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The Vampire Diaries “Rose” 

Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW

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 “missing.” 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 didn’t tip anything to Tyler about the werewolves vs. vampires grudge match. (Sidebar: there’s one shot of Candice pulling on her boots that’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 she’s the bait for an original vampire elder, Elijah, because she’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. She’s still all smiles and butterflies about covering for him and won’t tell him anything concrete. Separately, he’s freaked out about his new strength—tearing the lock off his locker and slam dunking a basketball from way up high. When he’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 didn’t come home and teases Stefan, who says she wasn’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 bag—and Stefan tells Damon that Elena has been feeding him. While they drive and don’t bond, Elena keeps asking questions of her captors and gets slapped unconscious. Bonnie and Jeremy hang at Casa Gilbert and Bonnie can’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 won’t tell him, so he rips off her necklace and compels her to tell him (wouldn’t she drinking vervain, too, and the 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 grenade Elijah and that doesn’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 but 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, honey—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 she’s a vampire, but stops short and doesn’t tell him about the Salvatores and Katherine. I think we’re going to get a Romeo and Juliet thing out of these two, and we know how that ended, and it doesn’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 him he had loved him so much and didn’t want to be alone; he wanted his brother with him. Damon doesn’t really say anything, but the exchange sends him to a vervain-free Elena’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 she’s tired of running. So, we’ll see her again.

The setup for Damon’s confession is highly emotional because he begins by teasing her about her PJs and she’s immediately annoyed 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 can’t have her necklace while he talks, and looks genuinely afraid of him because she’s not wearing it, like he’s going to ask her something she really doesn’t want to answer (about how very ridiculously complicated her feelings are for him?) but he doesn’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 she’s speechless. And then he makes her forget. He wooshes out and time comes back to her and she’s alone in her room, wearing her necklace. I still think she’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.

I’m 100% spoiler-free, but I think we’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 suit—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 “there” 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 it—but I could totally see him saying “screw it” to everybody and going dark side). Bonnie and Jeremy are cute because he’s so intrigued (and turned on) by the witch in Bonnie that it’s a bit of a jolt in his feelings about her—I’m guessing he probably grew up with Bonnie in his house almost every day, so there’s been a sibling vibe there all along that’s now suddenly not.

As for our dear vampy brothers, Damon’s confession is one step forward, two steps back, because on this show, we know Elena will remember, Stefan will find out, and there’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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