What a crazy episode! It's so crazy, it feels like old-school TVD. I still have a headache from trying not to cry. Let me 'splain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up. Our beautiful Brothers Salvatore decide they're going to torture Elena into feeling. Well, at first, Damon makes a final appeal to her by infiltrating her dreams, but in said dreams, he sends her back to school, not realizing any self-respecting senior learned to turn off her emotions at the school door two years prior. Next, Damon and Stefan get rough with her. The boys steal her daywalker ring, open the curtains and let her burn. The problem is, Elena has never been suicide-averse. Regardless (and perhaps, because of that) their treatment of her is hateful, but I'm not dwelling on it now so that I'll have something to rant about in the full recap.
Because Caroline is Queen Unclear on the Concept, she tries to appeal to Elena's better angels, as if they actually exist. Epic failure abounds. Finally, Katherine shows up and makes everything all better. Okay, no. She makes everything all worse in that way only Katherine has -- the way that's better than all the other ways. She sets Elena free from the Mossy Manse dungeon on the theory that if Elena doesn't have the Salvatores swanning over her, she'll totally crack. I, for one, think that's not the worst plan, but no one ever listens to me.
In the end, it takes Matt's "death" to restore Elena's humanity. Because I never lost my humanity, you'll note I put the word death in scare quotes straightaway so that you won't catch this headache I've been nursing, since I stopped myself from crying over what is about to unfold.
Matt catches up to Free Elena. She drains him of too much blood, but he's still alive. As she's going in for another feed, Stefan arrives and stops her. Next, Damon appears and tells Elena that if she doesn't turn on her humanity, he'll kill Matt. When Elena's recalcitrance continues unabated, Damon snaps Matt's neck. Right. Yes. Let that sink in for a moment. I'll make a paragraph break, to give you your space.
I swear to Plec, when I thought Matt dead, I had my own little "drops the mic" moment, but not in a cool way. Rather it was in that, "Dear Tubey, I'm glad you upgraded this show to full recaps, but I'm never writing another syllable about it. I'm free to cover anything that Julie Plec has never touched. Love you bunches..." sort of way. Don't get me wrong, I don't actually expect Matt to survive the series -- at least not as a human (although he should). That said, had Damon killed Matt to "save" Elena's "humanity"… well, such an act would have wiped out three of my favorite characters and perhaps, my three favorite characters (if you get the distinction). He didn't. And? He knew Matt was wearing the ring, so I'm happy to walk away not hating anyone.
While I'm sweating out Matt's fate, it also seems that Silas has managed to kill Liz Forbes, in an attempt to bully Caroline into revealing Bonnie's whereabouts, even though Caroline can't find Bonnie. Thank heavens, Liz lives, because I can't -- we can't -- they can't do that. If there are no actual grownups on the show, it suffers. No, I mean this, Julie Plec. God, I wish I knew your middle name, because right now you need the three name treatment. Please, my dearest, get your head out of The CW world for a moment. Killing both Jenna and Alaric was… er… overkill. Killing both Carol and [Daddy] Lockwood was overkill. Matt and Bonnie having no (meaningful) parents is overkill. Julie, my friend, I know you too are a big Buffy fan, so let me speak plainly: there's a reason Giles remains one of the more favorably remembered characters from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. His stabilizing presence, clear head, sound character and strength was needed. Always. Nitpick: Since Silas seems to be an Original-Original vampire, who invited him into Fortress Forbes, i.e., how did he gain access. Show, when you make certain characters (see: The Originals) too invulnerable and way too powerful, you actually make them weaker.
In other news, Bonnie plans to take down Silas. It's too complicated to explain -- and also a little too vague -- in a recaplet. She enlists Katherine's support, by waving an invulnerability carrot in front of her. Katherine's going to need that carrot, not for her eyesight, but for her very life. Once Elena's feelings reemerge, it's only her hatred of Katherine that keeps her grounded, so Katherine's death is now her fondest wish. Elena, my love, the fandom already hates your whiny guts. If you kill Katherine, you'll kill your show.
I appreciate that the episode didn't plant either Damon or Stefan at the root of Elena's emotional grounding. Caroline, Matt, Rebekah, Bonnie and (of course) Katherine, are fairly awesome in this episode. Truly, Rebekah's character arc this season (and maybe beyond) is a thing of beauty. Elena worries me. I don't care about what happened when her switch was in the off position. What concerns me is that it looks like she's going to be an "emopire" (hat tip to my Twitter friend, Brian) for the rest of the series. Also, I REALLY don't want Katherine dead. I'm less worried about that than some, because I don't think Julie Plec is a mental patient who would squander future Katherine hijinks. Still, I am a little nervous.
In conclusion, if you ever again make me think Matt is dead, Julie, I will sue you for my resulting stroke. And if you ever actually kill him off, I think the tweet I sent you right after the episode sums it up: "I just can't even..."
What I can "even" do is say how much I enjoyed this episode. I was sad when I got to our episode thread, only to realize just one person had posted and it was a negative comment from a person who found it boring and long. I found this episode riveting -- riveting in the way I found Seasons 1 and 2. For me, it seemed to pass in about 15 minutes. I couldn't be sure what was happening. I wasn't sure what to root for. I just held my breath and grabbed the reins 'til my knuckles were white. Were I Turk from Scrubs, the headline of this recaplet would read: "That's what I'm talking 'bout."
I'll be back with the full recap, ASAP. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then come on over to the forum, where you call can just step off our Pudding Pop.Think you've got game? Prove it! Check out Games Without Pity, our new area featuring trivia, puzzle, card, strategy, action and word games -- all free to play and guaranteed to help pass the time until your next show starts.
Previously on The Vampire Diaries, Elena cried. In their basement is where the boys have her tied. Silas blathers about the other side. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
Currently, on The Vampire Diaries, as Elena heads toward school, Caroline, Bonnie and Matt meet up with her. It's all well and good until Elena realizes, "Wait. Something's not right. I don't want to be here." Oh, I remember Acute Senioritis. Damon appears and reminds Elena she should think hanging with her friends at the end of senior year is the bee's knees. Given his age, I'm guess I'm not surprised he didn't use that phrase because he's too old for it. Elena realizes she's not in control of her own head. The last thing she remembers is that after the prom, Damon and Stefan locked her up and starved her because they know how to romance a girl. When Elena tells Damon this mind manipulation isn't going to work, he is confident there are other ways in which to provoke an emotional response. I sorta wish I'd headlined this episode as, "I Get So Emotional, Baby," but age before beauty and Barry before Whitney. We cut to...
Mossy Manse. Stefan confers with Damon about their prisoner girlfriend. Damon never admits defeat, but when he checks on Elena (who has been locked in a basement safe, which is a downgrade from dungeon cell) it's clear she has yet to spank her inner moppet or turn on her humanity switch, but needs to, stat. Through the safe door, he warns that they can do this the nice way or the "other" way. Title card.
Caroline arrives at Mossy Manse and demands to see Elena, regardless of what her one true mood is. Stefan tries to talk down Caroline, but our girl will have none of that. He insists he and Damon have to invoke fear or other negative emotions to get Elena to flip her humanity switch. Caroline begs for the opportunity to try something different. Our Ripper is reluctant, but eventually agrees. I hate the premise of this episode so very much, I don't want to watch it again, never mind talk about it. Don't get me wrong, it's an effective episode -- one of this season's better -- it just makes me sick.
Anyhow, Caroline presents Elena with a vial of blood which she swears is vervain-free. As Elena chugs it down, Caroline makes our point that the Salvatores are being abusive. She wants Elena to reclaim her humanity but thinks there are better approaches than causing her to suffer. She says won't give up on Elena, even though Elena hits below the belt, calls her clingy and reminds Care Bear that two of her suitors have skipped town. Tyler said he's running for his life, but maybe he's running from Care. Similarly, while Klaus is off to a new show, maybe he's just had it with Caroline's teasing. Is anyone else vomiting at the sexual politics of this episode, yet? Elena insists she's not judging Caroline and offers that it might be nice to have a bad boy ruffle Care's perfect feathers. Yeah, that's it. Get me a bucket. Leave it right by my desk. Ta. When Caroline rises to leave, Elena brings it home, vamps out and tries to attack Caroline. Caroline tries to talk sense to her forever friend, but Elena mocks her and says she's pathetic. Eventually, Caroline has had enough. When she rises to leave, Elena rushes her, so Caroline snaps Elena's neck. Seeing Stefan at the doorway, Caroline tells him to do whatever it takes. With that she walks upstairs. So much for not giving up.