Holy crap with the longing looks. We have some interesting pair-offs this week.
First: no Matt, Jenna, Alaric, Katherine or Liz tonight. Aimee is still â€œmissing.â€ Sarah is still dead.
The basic gist of the hour is that Elena has been kidnapped (again) and Team Scooby (Bonnie, Jeremy, Stefan, and Damon this time) are on the case while Tyler still wants somebody to tell him how to be a werewolf.
We begin with Caroline getting ready for school while Damon sulks in her bedroom doorway (why?) and reassuring him that she didnâ€™t tip anything to Tyler about the werewolves vs. vampires grudge match. (Sidebar: thereâ€™s one shot of Candice pulling on her boots thatâ€™s pretty much straight down her shirt, so kudos to Ian that he held eye contact.)
Elena is handed off from her masked kidnappers to a vampire in a Suburban who takes a deadly sip of his conspirator before driving her to a remote estate, where she finds out sheâ€™s the bait for an original vampire elder, Elijah,Â because sheâ€™s a Petrova doppelganger. Rose (a barely recognizable from her days as Bela on Supernatural, Lauren Cohan) is the 500 year old vamp in charge and Trevor (Trent Ford), the SUV driver, is her vampire companion/lover/BFF who is obviously scared sheetless about something.
Once at school, Caroline and Tyler take in the missing posters for Aimee and the locker shrine for Sarah and sort of circle each other. Sheâ€™s still all smiles and butterflies about covering for him and wonâ€™t tell him anything concrete. Separately, heâ€™s freaked out about his new strengthâ€”tearingÂ the lock off his locker and slam dunking a basketball from way up high. When heâ€™s had enough with being dodged, he corners Caroline, demanding she talk to him and tries to put the hurt on her by grabbing her arm. She responds by pulling his own arm behind him and taking him down to the ground.
Jeremy realizes Elena didnâ€™t come home and teases Stefan, who says she wasnâ€™t with him, so they rally to find her. Bonnie slices Jeremy to initiate a locator spell and that sends the Salvatores on a road trip, where they banter and bicker and Capri Sun a blood bagâ€”and Stefan tells Damon that Elena has been feeding him. While they drive and donâ€™t bond, Elena keeps asking questions of her captors and gets slapped unconscious. Bonnie and Jeremy hang at Casa Gilbert and Bonnie canâ€™t handle doing nothing but waiting so she does another spell to send Elena a message, and that renders her unconscious, which panics the snot out of Jeremy. She of course tells him not to tell anybody, so everybody should find out next week.
Elena finds the magical note and is relieved help is on the way. Once Elijah (Daniel Gillies), sashays in, Rose reasserts that Elena is her ticket to freedom and he agrees and then it takes about two minutes for him to backsies and behead Trevor in front of her and Elena. Elena tries to buy time by saying she knows where the moonstone is and he wants to know where, she wonâ€™t tell him, so he rips off her necklace and compels her to tell him (wouldn’t she drinking vervain, too, and theÂ the necklace would be added protection?).
Just as he starts to drag her out for a trip back to wherever, Stefan and Damon arrive and superspeed around the house to distract him. Stefan gets to Elena and Damon gets to Rose. Elena tries to vervain grenadeÂ Elijah and that doesnâ€™t work, then Damon stakes the hell out of him with a coat rack. Elena gives him a longing look of thanks from the top of the stairs butÂ it’s Stefan who darts into the frame to embrace her while she wistfully still looks at Damon over his shoulder (he killed your brother, honeyâ€”remember?).
Over at the Forbes house, Tyler comes in on Caroline. They slap each other around some more and when he accuses her of being a werewolf and she laughs, the jig is up. So they get liquored up and she explains sheâ€™s a vampire, but stops short and doesnâ€™t tell him about the Salvatores and Katherine. I think weâ€™re going to get a Romeo and Juliet thing out of these two, and we know how that ended, and it doesnâ€™t help Tyler with his HTBAV 101, either.
Elena has a teary, huggy reunion with Bonnie and Jeremy at the Gilbert House while Damon and Stefan have a night cap at the Salvatore house. Stefan thanks Damon (again) and apologizes for turning him all those years ago. He tells himÂ he had loved him so much andÂ didnâ€™t want to be alone; he wanted his brother with him. Damon doesnâ€™t really say anything, but the exchange sends him to a vervain-free Elenaâ€™s bedroom to confess that he really does love her (shocker!). Rose wooshes in after Damon leaves to talk with Stefan because Lexi (sniff!) had told her he was one of the good ones, and sheâ€™s tired of running. So, weâ€™ll see her again.
The setup for Damonâ€™s confession is highly emotional because he begins by teasing her about her PJs and sheâ€™s immediately annoyedÂ until he holds up her necklace and the energy in the room changes. He tells her she can’t have it yet because he has something to say. She asks him why she canâ€™t have her necklace while he talks, and looks genuinely afraid of him because sheâ€™s not wearing it, like heâ€™s going to ask her something she really doesnâ€™t want to answer (about how very ridiculously complicated her feelings are for him?) but he doesnâ€™t ask, he tells. He says what he has to tell her she has to forget, and then very genuinely unloads that he does love her but doesn’t deserve her, Stefan does, and sheâ€™s speechless. And then he makes her forget. He wooshes out and time comes back to her and sheâ€™s alone in her room, wearing her necklace. I still think sheâ€™s lightly laced with vervain and will remember.
Out at the old plantation where Elena was held, bad vamp Elijah uncrinkles from the door, and tosses away the coat rack stake. Dun Dun DUN.
Iâ€™m 100% spoiler-free, but I think weâ€™re getting a set up for a next big bad in Elijah (who on the face of him is sort of wee and in a suitâ€”more odd than threatening, for now) before the big bad hiatus at the end of the month, so things are probably going to get very messy again, very fast. I liked the couplings with Caroline and Tyler and Bonnie and Jeremy sort of not going â€œthereâ€ even though their chemistry was already there and around the corner. If Caroline and Tyler do get together, Matt is going to go off on somebody (or not; he may just cry about itâ€”but I could totally see him saying â€œscrew itâ€ to everybody and going dark side). Bonnie and Jeremy are cute because heâ€™s so intrigued (and turned on) by the witch in Bonnie that itâ€™s a bit of a jolt in his feelings about herâ€”Iâ€™m guessing he probably grew up with Bonnie in his house almost every day, so thereâ€™s been a sibling vibe there all along thatâ€™s now suddenly not.
As for our dear vampy brothers, Damonâ€™s confessionÂ is one step forward, two steps back, because on this show, we know Elena will remember,Â Stefan will find out, and thereâ€™s just way too much baggage there about Elena and Katherine and whether Damon really does love Elena and not some tangible remnant of the sham love he thought he had with Katherine.
Either way, bang up performances by everybody. Happy Sweeps!
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