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The Vampire Diaries “The Dinner Party” 

Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW

I don’t partake of spoilers so I genuinely have no clue what’s coming on The Vampire Diaries, and most of the time, that makes the show more enjoyable when I watch it live. Especially so when folks I like pop up. Case in point—I was thrilled to see Arielle Kebbel drop back in for a new Lexi flashback. I hope it’s the first of many.

“The Dinner Party” was a fast and furious episode, even without the whole cast. Sitting this one out: Caroline, Tyler, Carol, Matt, and Liz. We resume with Stefan and Elena on their weekend away as Elena pores over the family journals and comes across a passage that Stefan “killed” Jonathan. Stefan tells her it’s true, that when he came back from the near-tombing, he was off his nut—killing indiscriminately and even feasting on dying soldiers in the war. Essentially, he was Damon. It’s during one of these latenight buffet cruises that he spies another vampire doing the same thing. They throw down and she introduces herself as Lexi. When he takes her home and she sees rooms littered with bodies, she pronounces him a ripper and sets about reeducating him in how to be a vampire—telling him to focus on the thrall of love instead of death. We even get a flashback scene of Damon with Lexi where Damon asks for Lexi’s help in saving Stefan.

Back in the present, Alaric is still on uneven footing with Jenna, who’s getting friendlier with Elijah. Elijah tells Alaric he’s only protecting Jenna as he promised Elena but Alaric’s still uneasy. In short order, a dinner party at the Salvatores is put together, with Jenna, Alaric, Uncle Daddy, Andie, and Elijah in attendance. Elijah arrives and puts Damon on notice that there will be repercussions if he tries anything and Damon plays it dumb, a scene he repeats later with Alaric. After Damon visits Katherine and gets the appropriate confirmation that the dagger from Uncle Daddy will work, we can assume Damon’s a liar.

Back at the lake, Elena is reading about the very same dagger, and Stefan calls Damon in a panic when he realizes Uncle Daddy has set Damon up to be killed because the dagger works two ways if wielded by a demon—killing the intended target and whoever’s holding the blade. Alaric rushes in to interrupt just as Damon is working up to his move, and everybody reconvenes at the table while Alaric fills Damon in on the ruse. Damon sits back down at the table and Jenna excuses herself to the kitchen, and then mid-sentence, Elijah is run through from behind and we pan up to see Alaric holding the dagger as Elijah turns to ash. Cut back to the lake and Elena and Stefan also find out the blade has to stay in Elijah for Elijah to stay dead. Of course this handy piece of info arrives after the dagger’s been removed and Damon has stored Elijah in the cellar, so Elijah has time to run home to Jonas.

At Casa Gilbert, Jeremy and Bonnie are having a not-date to work on Bonnie’s powers. Bonnie agrees she’s interested in Jeremy but says BFF protocol dictates that Elena gives her approval before they can go any further. While they’re mid-fire controlling, Jonas bursts in and sends Jeremy against a wall. He demands to know what Luka told her and she tells him she knows about his daughter and she wants to help. He lays hands on her head as she begs him to stop and he tells her it’s for her own good and she will come to harm if his son does because of her spell on him. He leaves and Jeremy drops from the wall and races to Bonnie and she cries at him that Jonas has taken her powers.

Elijah comes to the cabin seeking retribution, does the bullet rock trick again to blow the door off its hinges, and Elena comes into the foyer to talk with him since he can’t cross the threshold. With Stefan standing behind her out of sight, she apologizes for Alaric’s actions and Elijah tells her their deal is off. She threatens to kill herself and let Stefan vamp her, torpedoing the ruse to get Klaus into town. He calls her bluff, so she stabs herself. Elijah freaks out, agrees to a revised deal that he won’t harm her loved ones even if they harm him, and begs her to let him save her. She staggers across the threshold into his arms and then drives the dagger into him and he drops ashen to the ground. Damon appears behind Stefan in the doorway and deadpans that they need to leave the dagger in this time.

At Casa Gilbert, Alaric has an awkward conversation with Jenna about Isobel when she asks questions he can’t answer. She leaves and Uncle Daddy comes in and offers to smooth things over by giving Jenna (his version of) info about Isobel. Alaric decides Jenna’s worth more to him than his own life and surrenders the Magical Undeading Ring to Uncle Daddy with the warning he’s going to need it now that Damon knows what he did. At the Salvatores, Damon and Stefan are putting Elijah in the cellar while Elena watches, and Damon finds the moonstone when he searches Elijah’s pockets, leaving them to mull what’s next. Later, when Damon goes upstairs, he finds a very self-satisfied Katherine in his shower—Elijah’s death has garnered her freedom and he’s been duped again.

So, that happened.

I’m curious as we get further into the Gilbert lore and what they knew, whether Elena’s daddy knew, once she started to come of age and resemble Katherine, that she was the Petrova doppelganger, and if he set something in motion there that we don’t know about yet. I’m ready for Jenna to be looped on the real Mystic Falls. It just makes her look like a complete idiot that she hasn’t asked the questions yet about the weirdness under her own roof.

I hope we get more Elijah, maybe in a cage match with Katherine? I wasn’t surprised so much as disappointed with the “she’s baaaaack” reveal because I think everything hums along just fine without her but I’m sure Nina Dobrev enjoys the hell out of playing her, so I’ll let her have her fun. I was glad they didn’t just drop the kiss between Jeremy and Bonnie. I’m guessing Bonnie won’t be a normal girl for long and distant cousin Lucy (from “Masquerade“) will resurface to re-Wicca her. The whole glamour thing with Damon and Andie is getting creepy now, especially with her sitting at the table when Elijah is killed and being surprised but otherwise stoic. Kudos to Matt Davis for his emotional range in Alaric’s segue scene at the end. He tears up during the argument with Jenna, gets really serious and dark when Uncle Daddy comes in, and then smiles in a sort “karma will get you” kind of way as he gives up his ring (which he better get back).

I’ve said all long, this is a show you really can’t miss an episode of and keep up.

Related news—Kevin Williamson’s new L.J. Smith project for The CW, Secret Circle, picked up Life Unexpected’s Britt Roberston for the lead in the pilot. Glad they’re keeping it in the family!

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