I almost headlined this episode "Sacrificial Fam" because the Gilbert kids set out to die for one another, but then I got earwormed by Prince, so there you go. Elena snookers Rose into taking her to Slater's. Rose thinks they're looking for more doppelganger sacrifice information, but actually Elena's looking to give herself up to Satan Klaus via Slater's connections, in exchange for the safety of her family. Once Rose realizes what Elena is up to, she places a phone call, but more on that later. As you'll recall, Slater is dead, but his vamp-wannabe girlfriend, Alice, helps them hack into his computer and find his Elijah connection. Elena promises Alice that Rose will turn her for her troubles, but she doesn't mean it. Sneaky!
Meanwhile, Bonnie, Germ, Stefan and Damon scheme to get the moonstone out of ye olde tomb, without releasing ye olde Katherine. Bonnie creates a dry potion that will subdue Katherine long enough for Bonnie to temporarily lower the mystical seal and the tomb and let the Salvatores sneak in and grab the moonstone and then sneak back out. Jeremy's against this plan, since he knows the seal-spell could drain and otherwise injure Bonnie, so he breaks ranks first. Armed with an Alaric-made stake-gun, he beats the gang to ye olde tomb and shoots at Katherine, which doesn't kill her but does catch her off guard. Next, he throws the potion in her face -- and she's down! He's then ridiculously slow in finding the stone and scurrying out of the tomb, giving Katherine just enough time to revive and have a nice long drink of fresh, hot Jeremy (but only after he manages to chuck the moonstone past the seal). When Bonnie and the Brothers Salvatore arrive at the tomb, Damon gets a call from Rose. He remains outside to talk, because ye olde tombs don't get good reception.
As Bonnie and Stefan discover that Jeremy is Katherine's new chew toy, Damon learns where Elena is and what she's up to. He rushes to Slater's place, but by then Slater's connections have arrived to retrieve the surrendering doppelganger, and Elijah himself has arrived to confuse the heck out of everyone. Elijah is there thanks to a locator spell that Senior Manwitch cast for him. Once he determines that the connections have told no one of their mission, he dispatches them -- to death -- BY RIPPING OUT THEIR HEARTS and then walks away, leaving Damon and Elena confounded, if relieved.
There's another whole subplot with Caroline and Tyler (in which we get another look at Uncle Brick House -- yay) and it dovetails nicely with Matt and Caroline's residual feelings for one another. There's passion, tension and anger galore between Elena and Damon. Also, things heat up between Bonnie and Jeremy AND between Bonnie and Junior Manwitch. She even channels his power when she's trying to lower the seal on ye olde tomb and free Katherine in exchange for Jeremy. When the spell fails (thanks, I think, to Senior Manwitch's interference), Stefan ends up sealing himself in the tomb, WITH KATHERINE, in order to free Jeremy. Finally, there's some nearly nekkid Alaric action, but I'll save that for the full weecap.
On first watch, I say this was a strong, well-paced, twisty return. I haven't graded the episode, yet. I'm so happy to have the show back after a 3-week drought that I'm afraid I might give it an A+ just for existing. Don't let my hesitance stop you, though. I'm seeing mixed reactions on the boards and want to know what you think, so please grade the episode at the top of the page now, and, hey, grade it when you come back to read the weecap -- which I'll put up, ASAP. Until then, please join us on the boards. Don't make me throw you over my shoulder and carry you there, just click the link.
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"Sacrifice" is another crackling episode. It gets a B+ mostly because there are a few moments that take me right out of the story. Okay, yeah, I know this is a vampire show, but within that context, there are some things I have a hard time believing and a couple are right at the outset, so let's get to it, shall we.
Night; Gilbert Gables: Someone is sneaking around Elena's house. The sound-effects crew wakes her, because they're helpful like that, but she doesn't catch the intruder, because he's Senior Manwitch. Even though he's magical, it seems to me there are real logistical problems with this scene, particularly Senior's hiding. See, Elena gets up, goes down the hall and then she runs into nekkid Alaric holding a bowl of ice cream. Don't worry. I haven't mistaken this weecap for my dream journal. There's truly an au naturel Alaric, holding a bowl of ice cream, which he deftly lowers to cover his...Alaric, which is just off-camera.
Actually, although they play it off like he's really naked, and he even says, "I'm naked," after an awkward scene with him, Jenna, and Elena, we get on-screen confirmation that he's wearing boxer shorts. But, during the bulk of the scene, it really does seem like he's naked, and he's not just Elena's aunt's lover, he's also Elena's very own history teacher, so I am just sitting here thinking that she's talking to her history teacher -- who is naked. Granted, Alaric isn't even the same species as my history teacher. I mean, if you have to run into your naked (or nearly so) history teacher, you'd be lucky to be Alaric's student. He's buff, bronzed and hasn't had his chest waxed. There's no bad there, is what I'm saying, except for the NAKED HISTORY TEACHER IN MY HOUSE part.
Anyhow, while our trio have their awkward scene, Senior Manwitch manages to sneak into Elena's room from wherever he was hiding. He's clearly going to do some mojo on her, because he collects some of her hair, a picture, some jewelry and other stuff. What, no eye of newt? [If you ask me, the newt name still means something. -- Willow]. Maybe he has some back home in his man-cauldron. And here's where it becomes even less believable that he's not caught, because he exits Elena's room to hide again, but she's heading to her room and I can't figure out how it works. All right, enough. I'll get to the rest of the story. I just can't get into this whole scene, no matter how many times I watch, which is a darned shame, given that there's nearly nekkid Alaric.
Sooooooooo then, Stefan and Damon head down to ye olde tomb to talk to ye old Katherine. And when thye leave, they fail to close the tomb door, which is necessary for the rest of the story to play out, but it doesn't settle well. Sure, the seal is keeping Katherine in, but what's to keep some innocent by-stander from wandering in and becoming her next meal? Whatever, we're already on to the next scene...