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The Vampire Diaries “The Sacrifice” 

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

We’re almost halfway through this season already. Boooo!

It was Die Hard: Mystic Falls/Richmond on the CW Thursday as almost everyone’s fatalistic tendencies moved front and center. No Mama Forbes, but pretty much the rest of the cast got to play. We get the previouslies that catch us up on the moonstone and curse before we open on Elena asleep on top of her bed, under a throw, rather than in it, when she’s startled awake, and we see creepy Dr. Jonas lurking in the shadows (pervy!).

She gets up and goes into the hall to investigate and runs smack into Alaric on the landing of the stairs, clad only in his boxers, followed closely by an embarrassed Jenna, clad only in his shirt. Inside Elena’s room, Jonas is gathering hair from her brush, personal items, and a photo off of her dresser. In the hall, the three make small talk and Elena says she heard a noise and they say that was them, and Alaric rushes off out of propriety (he is her teacher, after all), leaving Elena and Jenna to sort out that it’s OK with Elena that Alaric has been staying over a lot. This is the only time we get Alaric and Jenna in the episode, so I guess the point of the scene was to get Elena out of her room and confirm that Alaric and Jenna are a go for hooking up. Elena then goes back to bed (again, on it but not under the covers) as Jonas skulks right down the main stairwell and out the front door. Wood floors creak, people. Just saying.

The Salvatores go see Katherine (and it takes two of them to move the tomb door when Caroline and Damon have both previously done it alone, so?). They talk to Katherine and she says she wants out now because she’s bored; they ask for the moonstone and she says no. They go see Elena, whom they retell this to, and she’s vaguely interested. That’s a ruse, though, because she goes to see Rose at the Salvatores and is sort of shocked to encounter her in a wee robe referring to having just been naked in Damon’s bed. Awkward. She gets dressed and Elena fairly demands to be taken to Slater. Rose sensibly declines but Elena offers that Rose really would like to be a daywalker, so it’s in her best interest to help.

At school, Bonnie has a (fairly erotic) witchy encounter with Luka where they swap jewelry and use that to power boost each other’s magic, eliciting wind that sends everyone off the quad.. Jeremy wanders up and asks what’s with the weather, and as slow as he is, I really doubt he’d miss that the Luka is not normal. On the basketball, court Matt is nearly doubled over with grief as he apologizes to Tyler for the party attack and then Caroline comes up, but Matt can’t speak to her. She commiserates with Tyler for a while and he’s still not entirely trustful of her.

They leave campus (shocker) and go down to the Lockwood cellar and Caroline has to act like she’s never been (and killed two people) there before. Tyler shows her the chains and says he can confine himself when he turns. Caroline spots a journal and when Tyler opens it, he also finds a SIM card. They go back to her house and play it back, tearfully watching (and fast forwarding through a lot of) the horrifying video that Mason (sniff!) shot of his first change, while Caroline reads a play-by-play from the journal for added impact, and it pretty much has the equivalent effect on Tyler of a pregnant woman watching a birthing video—“ Oh HELL no! Thanks, but NO” As they get more tearful and genuine and HOT with each other, Matt rings the doorbell and Caroline’s happy to see him because he seems to be coming back to her and then Tyler opens the front door on them and essentially marks her porch (which was bizarre, and rude!).

In Richmond, Elena and Rose find what’s left of Slater and his human wanna be fanger girlfriend. Elena dangles that Rose will turn her if she helps them, so she cracks his computer (Kristen Stewart is the password. Hee!) and finds a contact to reach Klaus (which is NOT what Slater told Damon and Rose a few weeks ago in the diner), and Elena send a message that she’s ready to surrender. Rose confronts Elena that she’s on a suicide run, and Elena says if it saves everyone else, so be it, which makes Rose twitchy enough to call Damon, and he comes running. When he arrives, he and Elena have a very heated (all meanings implied) exchange because she’s refusing to leave and then she tries to hit him and he tells her he’ll break her arm and/or carry her out of there. Before they can resolve it, Klaus’s guys come in and then Elijah shows up to dismantle them (Rose hilariously speed runs out of the room while this happens), and then he leaves. Elena and Damon are thoroughly confused because they’re still alive/undead.

Previous to that, we saw Elijah working with Jonas on a locator spell to find Elena with the items pilfered from her bedroom. After he dispatches Klaus’s goons, he returns to Jonas and says keeping Elena safe is the plan. So, hmm. Somebody’s working against Klaus.

When Damon got the call from Rose, he was yanked out of the party planning for Katherine, which involved Bonnie casting a spell with the original daguerreotype Stefan’s been carrying all these years to render the metal in the image a weapon against Katherine, immobilizing her long enough for them to get the stone. Jeremy’s all “please don’t…bad idea…kiss me?” and then he secretly takes some of the ash for his own needs. Guess how that’s going to go. I’ll wait.

As you guessed, Jeremy goes to see Katherine alone, immobilizes her, gropes her for the stone but doesn’t find it, leaves her on the floor, finds the stone, and heads back to the door in time for her to grab and start snacking on him. His one smart thing is to toss the stone clear of the door. Stefan and Bonnie show up and see the stone and realize something’s wrong, but she’s not strong enough for the spell, even pulling from Luka, whose dog tags she kept, so she collapses. Since Katherine’s all eat, reheat, eat with Jeremy because of his magical undeading ring, Stefan decides screw it, he’s going in, so he jumps in and throws Jeremy out into Bonnie’s arms, but now he’s trapped with Katherine. Sidebar: I’m pretty sure this was Jeremy’s first encounter with Katherine and they skipped right past the “dude, you look like Elena” thing, which seemed odd and also refreshing.

Bonnie and Jeremy sort of carry each other home and she chastises him for being stupid (not a new thing there, Bonnie) and he says he didn’t want her to get hurt. Things get very still and serious and he tries to kiss her but she shuts him down. He calls bullshit that the heat between them is just coming from him, but she leaves anyway. When Damon brings Elena home, still arguing, Jeremy opens the door, and one look at him and one word that we don’t hear send her racing to the tomb, where she has another heated exchange with Damon (that Stefan and Katherine overhear) when he tells her she can’t go in. Stefan tells Damon to keep her away and Damon says he’ll fix this while Katherine gloats that she finally has Stefan where she wants him. We’ll see.

Where to begin on distilling this… We had Jeremy again proving self preservation is not genetically coded into him, Elena being a fatalist because she’s rather remove herself from her friends and family than have them removed from her, and the Salvatores again torn about keeping Elena safe but not really discussing the fact that Damon, while sexing up Rose, is still crushing super extra hard on Elena, who’s technically still beholden to Stefan.

Bonnie and Jeremy are hot together. Period. Get on with it. Bonnie has the mindset to be the witch but her body can’t keep up, and it’s interesting that she mentioned for the first time (to Luka) that Grams drank, so I wonder if we’re going to see Bonnie go junkie on something to fortify herself so she can perform, and Jeremy will have to help break of her that, being a former druggie himself. The twist with Elijah and Jonas hints that there’s some fractiousness within the Originals, so Elena’s a potentially bigger power player than we’ve learned so far.

The Tyler/Caroline stuff was heartbreaking and also hot. He pointedly asks her why she’s so invested in him and she says it’s because she was turned alone, didn’t understand all of it, and killed someone, so she doesn’t want that for him. The interesting thing here, too, about these two characters together is that last season they were peripheral, light (ish), and dare I say, shallow, but adding a supernatural element to them has deepened the characters as individuals and in terms of what they mean to each other, while giving Candice Accola and Michael Trevino so much more to do. They are completely bringing it—kudos to Trevino for selling the hell out of Tyler’s terror about all of it, and Accola for juggling emotionally-conflicted teenager/newbie vampire/wannabe wolf counselor.

Kudos all around, really. I Tweeted last night that this episode needed to be two hours. There was a TON of stuff going on in such a short time. I’ve said all along that you really can’t miss an episode of this show because they dispense with plot so quickly. This episode did that exponentially. One episode left until the winter hiatus, but a catchup marathon airs all week the week after next, so good news/not-exactly-bad news. We may well need another speed drill fix of ten episodes in five days to properly distill the season so far.

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