Welcome to another strong (if somewhat scattered) episode from this freshman series. The actors grow more at home in their fictional skins, each week. The plotting remains taut and exciting. Speaking of... we open on Stefan, doing shirtless pull-ups on a beam in his bedroom, but oddly enough, that's not what the episode is about. No, I don't get the writers' choice to abandon their most compelling idea either, but their second choice works too, so let's get to it.
As Stefan works the human blood out of his body at Mossy Manse, Damon tries to tempt him off-course. Blood bank blood will give him everything he needs. It's not like he has to kill or even hurt anyone. Wave your hands in front of your face really quickly, so you forget that blood bank blood is for seriously injured people. There now, doesn't that feel better? To be fair to our pretty blue-eyed bugger, Damon has a good reason for trying to tempt his brother off the wagon. Vampires are much stronger when they stick to their preferred entree, and with Pearl and what remains of her Suck of Vampires hanging around town, the Salvatores are going to need every advantage. But Stefan is the very soul of control. Right? Right? Well... we'll get to that later.
Meanwhile, the late Dr. Greyson Gilbert's brother, Jon (SARK! David Anders) arrives at Gilbert Gables. Jenna (who slept with him) and Elena (who I so hope didn't) can't stand him, and neither can I. He's in town to keep Jenna from selling Greyson's office building to Pearl. More covertly -- he's there to spur the Council into action over the vampire problem. Unfortunately for him, Damon's a regular at the Council meetings now, and quickly twigs to the fact that this Gilbert is a threat.
There's yet another Founders' Day shindig. They should start calling it Founders' Year, yeah? And, under the full moon shining down upon it, this whole cauldron of problems bubbles to a rolling boil. Tyler is getting drunk because he's a
werewolf teenager. Matt is getting drunk because he's mourning his sister. Kelly is getting drunk because she's the worst mother in the world and a boozy broad. Stefan is getting drunk because alcohol takes the edge off his cravings for human blood, and he already vamped out earlier, while making out with Elena. When Stefan and Elena dance, Elena accidentally bumps into some guy, who is way ruder to her than any guy would ever be to such a beautiful young woman. Stefan confronts the guy. When he won't back down, Stefan compels him to apologize.
Meanwhile, Matt (who, when drunk, can't hide the fact that he's still smitten with his ex) gets Elena to dance with him. And in another room, Kelly gets Tyler to make out with her. Of course poor Matt sees this. Of course he goes after Ty. And since Tyler is a
werewolf and there's a full moon hothead, he beats the pudding out of Matt. Bad Tyler. No biscuit. In the fracas, the boys knock into a horrified and humiliated Kelly, who ends up with a cut on her head. Of course Stefan goes to help her, and ends up helping himself to just a little, stealthy lick of her blood (off his fingers, he's not a head licker or anything, at least not yet). That cannot be good.
And somewhere in there, Uncle Jon makes it quite clear to Damon that he knows who and what he is. Pragmatic as ever, Damon snaps Jon's neck, tosses him off the balcony, picks up his drink and returns to the party. Not too long after, Jon strolls back in, healthy as you please. Seems he's got a magical ring, too. He reveals to Damon and Alaric that he's actually wearing his brother's ring. His own ring he gave away to -- ISOBEL!!! Oh my word, is this tool Elena's other biological contributor? If her uncle is her father, is Elena her own grandpa? Who knows? What we do learn is that Jon is the one who sent Isobel to Damon -- to get turned. Oh bravo, Show. Bravo.
Later, Stefan surprises (and scares) Elena in her room. Bloodlust raging, he frantically confesses how tempted he's been, and that he gave into the temptation to taste Kelly's blood, and how he almost killed Rude Guy who confronted him later, as he fled the party. Elena calms him down and says they'll figure it out, together. Stefan remains unconvinced. Back at Mossy Manse Damon knows Stefan is hurting. He talks to him some more about giving into his natural cravings and then leaves a glass of the good stuff behind. Scared and ashamed though he may be, Stefan drinks it -- with gusto.
Elsewhere and when, Matt tells Kelly to hit the road. More importantly, Alaric and Elena talk about Jeremy. He shows her Germ's paper because he suspects Jeremy knows the bloody truth about Mystic Falls. Elena tells Jeremy that she was adopted and also tries to figure out what he knows about vampires, but he never tips his hand. Elena tips hers though, and so later, Jeremy pores over her journal and finds out way more than he ought to know, right now.
We open on Stefan, doing shirtless pull-ups, or so I said when I wrote the recaplet. So imagine my stunned disappointment upon sitting down to re-watch the episode and instead of being greeted by shirtless Stefan, I got wife-beater Stefan. No, not that kind of wife-beater, sillies.
He's not married. He's wearing a tank-style undershirt. I'm awfully sorry for my over-active imagination and even sorrier for the wardrobe department's overly-honed sense of duty. Anyhow, Stefan's doing pull-ups from a beam in his ceiling, when Damon walks in, carrying a glass of blood. He's fully clothed, and bitching that Stefan's got the music up too loud, which makes me think too much about vampire super-hearing for this early in the weecap, so moving right along....
Damon wants to know when Stefan's going back to school. When "Soon," is all he gets for an answer, big brother pushes things a little further -- urging Stefan to just give in and drink. "This self-detox is not natural." He waves his glass under little brother's nose and asks how long it took him to wean himself when last he indulged. Stefan's doing push-ups now, and still trying to ignore Damon who's now working a new angle. "I don't get it. I mean, you don't have to kill to survive. That's what blood banks are for." ...Or you know, seriously ill and injured humans. Besides, Stefan made it pretty clear to Lexi in "162 Candles" that he's the vampyric equivalent of an alcoholic, and human blood is his demon rum. He gives no similar explanation to Damon, just "I have my reasons." Damon: "What exactly are those holier than though reasons? Because we've never actually discussed that." Stefan can't help but note that Damon is taking a little too much delight in his struggle, but assures him he has everything under complete control. Uh huh. That's why, when Damon "accidentally" leaves his glass of blood behind, Stefan can't stop staring at it. Damon, who lives for I-told-you-so moments, waits just long enough, before returning to retrieve the glass and smirk at his suffering brother.
Gilbert Gables: Elena, on her way to school, hollers for Jeremy to get a move on. Jenna sees her to the door, and when they open there's (SARK! Okay, I can't front with you all. I didn't watch Alias, and yet I still said, "SARK!" when I saw him. What is it about fandom that implants all these random pieces of trivia in the brain? For the un-implanted, David Anders) is the guy on the porch and he's playing Uncle Jon Gilbert. I suppose that could be John but until I see otherwise on-screen, I'm going with Jon because it's a diminutive of Jonathan as in However-Many-Greats Uncle Jonathan Gilbert. Oh man, I've completely lost the plot. Let's start a new paragraph.