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The Vampire Diaries “Bad Moon Rising” 

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney / The CW

“There’s a bad moon on the rise…”

No kidding.

Many threads tonight. Let’s get to it.

On the Caroline front, Stefan teaches her how to do the bunnyhophunt, encourages her to stay with Matt, and engages Bonnie to create a magical undeading daywalker ring. I see a cash money side business in Bonnie’s future if she ever gets past her hate-on for the vamps. Caroline is Caroline-level appreciative and skips off to the swimming hole to snog Matt (after bunny hunting) but finds herself unable to rein in the vamper tendencies when a gal named Amy keeps finding reasons to cozy up to him. Later on, Caroline apologizes and Matt is receptive, so they retreat to the woods. Things go badly when she gets more aggressive and he cuts his hand against a tree. She can’t resist munchabuncha Matt, when, thankfully, Stefan swoops in. He and Caroline have bigger issues though, because…

There’s a bad moon on the rise. No, really. Mason Lockwood has tried really, really hard to put himself on lockdown (shirtless and in chains, y’all), away from the general public, until Tyler moves his attempted seduction of Amy (busy girl) to the catacombs of the old Lockwood manse (which Tyler toured earlier and which his mother begged off as former slave unmentionables; we do know that it burned—flashback?). Once interrupted, Mason scoots back to his truck and chains himself to a tree before wolfing out. When Stefan approaches the truck while looking for Caroline, Mason breaks out and begins hunting. He jumps Caroline, but stops cold when Tyler stumbles onto the scene and hollers “No!” at him. Tyler later finds the beat-up truck and a naked Mason and starts piecing things together.

And, on the road trip side of things, Elena, Alaric—rocking super (natural?) hair growth (via the undeading ring hair club for men?), and Damon take off to Duke University (after Elena bestows big smooches on Stefan in front of Damon) to search Isobel’s office for Lockwood lore because vampires and werewolves are generally not friendly. There they find Isobel’s T.A., Vanessa, happily eager to share Isobel’s research, but only after she attempts to stake Damon and Elena because she knows the Salvatore history and mistakes Elena for Katherine. They settle on an Aztec myth about vampires and werewolves and establish that werewolf bites can kill vampires, which gets everyone’s ass in gear to go home, but not before Courtney is flirty with Alaric (which sort of went like this:”Oh, Isobel was a vampire? Sucks for you. Call me?”) Elena also begins asking questions about what it means to be a doppelganger and Courtney tells her that they pretty much torment each other (yay?).

Before they depart, Damon gives Elena an old tome that reveals that Katherine arrived from Europe with the name Katerina Petrova, which he knew from snooping her things in 1864. He tries to break through the wall o’hate and she doesn’t answer him clearly until they get home and are on the porch (again). He admits he didn’t see the ring on Jeremy and got lucky that he had it; he peddles the excuse that Katherine made him snap. Elena hears him out, takes a deep breath, and then demolishes him, telling him that he has in fact lost her forever and they can never be friends again.

On the Alaric front, we only find out that he’s been busy teaching (i.e. why he wasn’t in the first two episodes). When he arrives to pick up Elena for their road trip, he tries to soft pedal excuses to Jenna for being scarce and she’s having none of it. After he brings Elena and Damon back to the house that night, he sweeps into the kitchen as Jenna is contemplating the last of a bottle of red, pulls her to him, and plants quite the kiss on her. She’s surprised, but not unhappy to see him, and before she can spar with him again, he apologizes, telling her that is how he should have started their conversation that morning. She’s not arguing.

At the Mystic Grill, Caroline takes the high road and forces Matt to initiate a break up with her to keep him safe. Her reward? Katherine standing beside her bed the next morning, with promises that they are going to have so much fun together. (So, I’m assuming Caroline’s mom let her in?) Yikes!

So the net shakeout is:

·         Caroline is still not quite aboard the controlling urges train.

·         Mason is out as a werewolf and Tyler has to decide what to do with that.

·         Matt is on his own (again).

·         Damon may well lose his marbles (again) now that Elena has firmly crushed him.

·         Stefan is still trying to take care of everybody and sort of succeeding.

·         Bonnie’s going to be pissed that Caroline took a bite out of Matt.

·         John Shiban (X-Files/Supernatural) is one of the producers this season. I missed that before.

·         No Jeremy or Sheriff Forbes in the episode.

I really like Stefan and Caroline together—we don’t see Paul Wesley laugh and smile nearly enough and I love that Candice brings that out in him. I like that Stefan is just matter-of-factly laying out what needs to be done for Caroline to stay Caroline. He’s a man with a plan. We got “I love you” out of Elena and Stefan this week, and I always like to have that reiterated as the mission statement of the show—this is why we’re here, people. Ian Somerhalder shifted from funny to dark to heartbroken and as much as I enjoy him, Damon’s pleading with Elena seemed not entirely genuine. He did his best to sell her on it, and I think he’s sorry about Jeremy because of what it means to his relationship with Elena, but not as horrified at what he did as he should be, especially when he and Jeremy had just bonded about Anna.

I’m not going to argue with the folks loving on Mason—he’s definitely pretty, but I want more—I think he’s had ten lines of dialogue in three episodes. It’s well and good to stand there and look yummy and whatnot, but I want some character development, too. He’s been away from the family, presumably because of the lycanthropy. We’ve spent a season hinting at what Tyler is, and now we know the facts of it, so let’s see what role Mason plays in helping Tyler unlock, and control, his ability.

Third solid outing in a row. Way to go, y’all.

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