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The Vampire Diaries “Smells Like Teen Spirit” 

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

It’s the first day of senior year, locking in for those of us following along at home that two seasons and change/50 episodes = one year in the lives of these characters. Good to know. This may also be the point at which the show has reached critical mass because the leaving behind of Rebekah to infiltrate Mystic Falls High and the Salvatore/Gilbert abode feels like too much. I also found myself really annoyed with Stefan being annoying, which is as it’s supposed to be, but that’s usually where I find myself with Damon. It’s all askew, I tell you. Oh, and Katherine may have gotten herself eaten.

The episode starts with a sleepless Elena hauling herself out of bed to begin Buffy-style training with Alaric, who would seem to be his usual hungover self. He tests her on a nifty stake glove, which she can’t activate, before telling her two truths: she’s the strongest person he knows because she got out of bed and she needs to put some meat on them bones.

So, first day, yadda yadda, and Elena, Bonnie and Caroline are grousing about their BF drama when Elena announces it’s her anniversary and Caroline detentes that she wins. Out in the parking lot, Matt is talking with Vicki about how much has changed for him in the last year, too. He repeats how much he misses her and we know that’s a capital Bad idea.

At the Salvatore/Gilbert abode, Rebekah invites herself in amidst Stefan’s blood Twister breakfast game with a few nubile young things (I thought Elena had to grant entry, but, whatever) and asks where her room is. Damon isn’t amused so she helps herself to finding one. Then Stefan goes to school to keep an eye on his charge (Elena), and Rebekah shows up to keep an eye on hers (Tyler). They not only roam the halls, but also come to class and arrive on the athletic field, where Rebekah gets herself a squad placement and Stefan lurks on the running track and tries his damnedest to be really insulting to Elena.

Tyler is practicing vamp 101 dbaggery, compelling his coach to let everybody out of practice early and earning himself a “simmer!” from Caroline. Damon spots pretty quickly that Tyler is “sired,” so he’s essentially going to be a tattle tale dogooder who defends Klaus.

Elena puts her head together with Damon, Alaric, and Caroline to hatch a plan to capture Stefan and keep him locked up. She gets loopy drunk and is on her way to the plan working out except that a) it’s too early in the season and b) doof Matt has reanimated his sister, whose super secret task is to nip the hybrids in the bud by killing Elena.

Matt realizes he goofed and calls Bonnie and she pretty quickly sends Vicki back from whence she came, but Anna is still hanging out with Jeremy and irking the crap out of Bonnie.

Caroline and Tyler have it out about his behavior and she tells him he’s acting like the guy he was before, who she never would have been friends with, and he’s semi-horrified that he’s been such a jerk. He agrees with Caroline that he doesn’t want to be that guy again. Then they get down to business on the study’s sofa at his house (again, where is his mom?) and as soon as Caroline leaves, Rebekah arrives with a snack for Tyler and he dives in.

Back at ye old tomb, Katherine tries to wake up Mikael and finally does so with a human offering. He’s horrified that he’s fed and she chatters away at him a bit before releasing him from his chains. She asks him what he survives on if not human blood and he answers by snatching her into the coffin with him and beginning to feed.

The morning after the plan failure, Elena and Stefan have a weird conversation about how she didn’t let him die when Vicki set the car on fire. She hems a bit about he’s still in there somewhere before successfully stabbing him with the stake glove to make the point that she’s on guard til the old Stefan shows back up. And she’s getting sort of handsy with Damon as points out on her person where she can strike a deadly blow to Stefan if she has to.

Like I said, folks. A LOT going on. I’m glad Klaus is taking a breather. I wouldn’t mind if Katherine is done but I’m sure she’s not. I can see her along for the ride with Mikael after he compels her or some such. Nina Dobrev must pinch herself when she’s not napping. Tonight’s new episode goes boo! for Halloween. Enjoy!

The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays on the CW at 8/7c.

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