Holy cats, y’all. This was a bit of a snooze return from a four-week break UNTIL THE LAST FREAKING TWO MINUTES. And I gotta say, it would have had a hell of a lot more punch if we didn’t already know Matt Davis might have another job.
No Klaus, Caroline or Bonnie tonight.
As y’all now, I’m spoiler-free, but I did see the teasers/press making a big deal about Smallville’s Cassidy Freeman, so I assumed the whole episode would be focused around her. And I assumed wrong. She’s a small part of it as the backstory to how Damon unleashed Stefan’s Ripper in 1912 and now wants to put Stefan on a path up the middle road because he abandoned him a century earlier.
We get some brotherly angst/bonding/angst/detente with a little Rebekah (who’s looking for leads on the missing White Oak) thrown in, but the bigger arc is Elena and Matt (!) trying to unspool what the hell happened with Alaric and Dr. Fell (and yet, curiously, there are NO stills of them for the episode. BOO!).
We last left Alaric on the business end of Dr. Fell’s gun and we begin with him in jail accused of attacking her. Elena calls bullsh-it and she and Matt break into her apartment and discover that she has files on the dead council members, a ream on Alaric, and a Gilbert journal. So she’s’ looking guiltier and guiltier until the plotlines of past and present converge.
Seems Jonathan Gilbert’s granddaughter, Samantha, went deep end like he did in 1912 and started killing council members, and the magical undeading ring may have been the culprit. AND it may be doing the same thing now to Alaric, which makes him possibly a batsh-it crazy serial killer with chunks of lost time.
As Damon and Stefan are exposition fairying this, Elena is reading Samantha’s journal, and Dr. Fell is laying it all out for Alaric and explaining to him that the arrest was a ruse to accuse him once and then get him off Liz’s radar. In short, it looks muy mal for our sexy history teacher/vampire hunter. And that’s our cliffy for this week.
So, previous to that, it was reported this week that Matt Davis has booked a CW pilot. Now, a pilot isn’t a job but it does give Davis (and Alaric) a tangible possible exit. I haven’t read the books, don’t read spoilers, and don’t know what’s planned for Alaric, BUT I am on board with Davis getting to carry his own show. I’m not on board with Elena losing somebody else. FWIW, Davis did take to Twitter this week to tell fans his CW deal would allow him to do both shows if the pilot is greenlit, so there’s that.
In the middle of all that, we had some lovely work by Nina Dobrev and Zach Roerig as Elena and Matt just talked at her kitchen table like the old friends they are. She confesses to him that loving Stefan was safe and a coping mechanism of sorts after her parents’ deaths because he couldn’t die, but Damon snuck up on her and got under her skin.
When he gently tells her that you don’t get over the ones you’re in love with–that they never leave you, she catches herself that maybe Matt’s not up for hearing this, but he reassures her it’s OK. I think he was talking about Caroline (for himself) and not Elena, but that may just be me.
He gives her the journal and comments that nobody was paying attention to him when they were busted at Dr. Fell’s, and sometimes it’s nice to be the normal one who’s practically invisible to everybody else. Elena holds his gaze, really seeing him and understanding that she’s been guilty of taking him for granted, too, but she’s (hopefully) not going to do that to him anymore.
I was glad to have Elena declare the why of her Salvatore infatutaion and put it on the record. Like I said in my recap before the hellatus, we never got the woo (or the why) or Stefan and Elena, so I’m happy to hear her say it out loud.
As for Freeman, Sage is the vampire who in 1912 taught Damon to loosen his shorts a bit when it came to feeding and hunting. When he drags Stefan along on that toe dip into debauchery, it sends Stefan on his 1920s bloody bender. Damon sees an opportunity to correct that now, handing him a girl with an open vein and telling him to feed so Rebekah doesn’t kill her. Stefan can’t resist and feeds until Damon forces him to stop. He’s horrified that he caved, and even more horrified when Elena and Matt turn the corner and find him bloody-faced.
Stefan stalks off, humiliated and angry and then stews in front of the fireplace when he gets home. Damon arrives soon after, making sort-of apologies and Stefan rightly asks him why him feeding is so important to him, and he responds with the truth–that he could’ve stopped Stefan in 1912 but he didn’t want to then (because they’d been estranged for 50 years). But now he does, because Stefan is all he has.
And that was it. Two very different threads.
In addition to the Matt/Elena scenes, I loved the dynamic between Elena and Alaric when they were reconciled. I liked that they just wordlessly held each other when he came home, and I liked that they acknowledged that he’s so not her guardian—that they’re equals under her roof. If they have to turn Alaric to save his brain, I’ll be down with that. But I hope they don’t have to.
And, I wondered, does all this mean the ring was the impetus for Jeremy’s visions, too? How was it that Uncle Daddy wasn’t off his nut?
The upside? Six episodes to sort it out. Two more newbies, a break and then the last three before the finale on May 10th.