Moment of Goodness

The Vampire Diaries “Plan B”

Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW

I imagine the employment agreement to work on TVD is a hysterical set of pages “Welcome! You will be employed for an indeterminate number of episodes, during which time you may be beaten, stabbed, flogged, shot or eaten. There’s also a possibility you may get to roll around with Nina half-clothed. At some point, we will dispense with you in a ghastly manner. Sign here and here and here.”

Good Lord. So, everybody was in this episode, but not everybody walked out. Take a seat.

“Plan B” begins with Nina Dobrev, as both Elena and Katherine, rolling around in bed sweetly with Stefan (wearing a shirt – boo!) and not-so-sweetly with Mason (who’s not, poor girl, and during the “family hour,” even!), respectively. The discussions between the two couples are about the duplicity of the faux breakup and the location of the moonstone. Both interludes conclude no closer to a resolution. As it happens, in the ever-hopping burg of Mystic Falls, there’s yet another shindig afoot, so everybody’s convening at the Lockwood estate.

Bonnie helpfully bumps into Mason (who’s rather startled to find Stefan upright and unventilated) and discovers his Katherine connection, in an aspect of this show that I love—the dun dun DUN from the last episode’s closing minutes is poofed ten minutes in. At the Salvatores, Jeremy has inserted himself into the werewolf arc, showing up at their door with intel that Damon says they already have, but Jeremy’s actually not wrong and Damon didn’t know about the stone. Double hee that when Jeremy shows up, Damon asks if Elena knows what he’s doing and then when Alaric shows up, he asks the same question again. At least everybody else recognizes that Jeremy has a death wish.

They send Jeremy back to the Lockwood party prep, where Matt and Tyler have been chatting about Caroline being MIA and Tyler defends her as a head case with a good heart, which Matt can’t deny is true. Jeremy finds out that Tyler has begged off the wolfing and given the stone to Mason, so Stefan and Damon use Bonnie to give Mason an aneurysm and touch-locate the moonstone before Damon plays with him (and by that I mean tortures him with a hot poker and wolfsbane) not a little bit and then yanks his heart out of his chest. And to make matters worse, because Damon is 12, he taunts Katherine with all that.

Stefan and Elena go in search of the moonstone at the bottom of the Lockwood well and Stefan finds out the hard way that the well water is full of vervain, so Mason at least knew enough to booby trap the stone from Katherine. Bonnie and Caroline arrive and Caroline vamp-powers lowering Elena into the well to fetch Stefan. She retrieves the moonstone from the snake-filled waters and then offers Stefan her blood to help him heal. Strangely though, the very wet-with-vervain pair do not affect Caroline when she helps them out of the well.

Throughout the episode, Caroline bonds with Liz, who realizes she loves her undead teenage vampire daughter in spite of herself, and that Caroline vamping out made her the daughter she always wanted. She begs Caroline not to glamour her, and says that she will not betray her secret and Caroline believes her but says she can’t heed that about the others, and so she plants the memory of a flu and them bickering and then sadly takes her home to resume their pained relationship. Both actresses sold the hell out of those scenes, by the way. I said it last week, but I so wish Liz would get used more like this because Marguerite MacIntyre can rock the emotional stuff.

Post-Mason, Katherine gets her itch on, and we find out that she’s had Jenna in her thrall, leaking intel on Elena and Stefan’s secret hookups (in a sort or icky scene earlier, Jenna tells Stefan she heard them together that morning, which is eww, and parenting, much?). Elena learns all this from Katherine on the phone, just about the same time Jenna tries to Hari Kari herself in the kitchen, not ten feet away from Alaric and Elena. Seriously, the Gilberts need to take all the knives out the kitchen. At Casa Lockwood, Carol tells Tyler that Mason has gone back to Florida (per the Salvatores’ fake text).

Thankfully Jenna survives, but after a heart to heart with Jeremy, Elena races back to a somewhat hysterical and sobbing Stefan to break up with him for real. Damon catches her as she tries to flee, herself a snotty wet-faced mess, and mea culpas that Jenna was his fault (which it is—the slow reveal is NOT his strong suit) but he never actually says “I’m sorry.” Elena tearfully responds to him that Katherine has won and she closes the door behind her as Salvatore Brother #2 also begins to tear up. That last thing we see is that Katherine has glamoured Matt to be wolf bait to get Tyler to turn because she needs a werewolf. Commence pitchforking.

So, breaking it down a little, Mason was indeed Damon 2.0 and Damon called him on it. Jeremy is standing by for the beatdown even though Damon keeps telling him to go. Mason begs Jeremy to help Tyler and then Damon smacks Jeremy around a bit and tells him to suck it up or leave because he is going to kill Mason, so he leaves. Damon’s logic is that Mason wants to die anyway, that he’s Stefan in that respect, anguished about his curse, so Damon obliges him.

I have to call bullshit though that the chained chair didn’t fall into a million pieces and free Mason (hah!) when Damon knocked him to the stone floor—I get that the chains would hold. I just don’t think the chair would have. I find it interesting that the last time we saw Damon kill somebody this way was also a perceived betrayal—Gina Torres’s bartender ex-girlfriend character, Bree, in the road trip episode “Bloodlines” last season (Damon went back in the bar and killed her after he and Elena had had a fine time playing hooky for a day). It’s interesting that his usual go-to kill method of the neck snap gets tossed aside when he’s really pissed off.

I was glad to see Bonnie back in the mix and getting the quick up-to-speed tutorial on what she’s missed, but she’s not going to be happy when she learns she was an accessory to murder. Before everything went sideways, the scene between her and Damon and Stefan where Stefan kept restating Damon’s pissy requests as “what he means to say is please and thank you” was hysterical, and while their logic that Mason was, by extension of his association with Katherine, a threat to Elena, they still murdered him because Bonnie got him to his knees first.

I was happy to see for the first time in ages, Jeremy and Elena have an unbitchy heart to heart (silly boy says Katherine will pay) and the way he was sort of stroking her hair when they hugged, I’m with Cindy McLennan at TWOP that there’s a chemistry there that made me have to remind myself this is not a third character played by Nina, this is still Elena, Jeremy is her brother, and they’re not in Kentucky.

And finally, kudos to Taylor Kinney, who got to blow through with a hell of an arc and make the most of his episodes. He was fairly unique in that he got to interact with pretty much the whole cast. He’s in the IMdB credits for next week, so maybe we’ll get a couple more Katherine/Mason flashbacks.

Next up, a masquerade ball and everybody gets pretty!

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