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The Vampire Diaries “Ghost World” 

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

Happy Halloween! I didn’t get to this episode until Sunday night because I was in Vegas this weekend (and let me tell you, people, there is some skin on display when the ladies almost wear their costumes). So, I was a bawling, snotty mess at the end of it and that surprised me. I was also surprised afterward at the little things the show didn’t do, that I think would’ve made the episode perfect. It’s like I’ve said before–at some point, we are going to need a two-hour episode. First off, though, I’m glad I didn’t read the credits and that everybody aside from Mason who popped up was a genuine, lovely surprise

So, we begin with Damon getting his fair share of the exact abuse he inflicted on Uncle Hottie Mason from Uncle Hottie Mason, and instead of shaking awake from a nightmare, it’s very real. Damon thinks Stefan had a hand in it but Stefan pleads innocence and it’s not too long before he pays Bonnie a visit telling her to put back in the box whatever she let out.

Alaric and Elena have a meeting with Jeremy to ask him if he can try to reach out to Lexi since he’s got Ghost AT&T and she’s the only one with a track record of curing Stefan from his bouts o’ Ripper. He says he’ll try. He’s also still hot and heavy-ish with Anna, whom he can now touch. And kiss. More on that later.

The centerpiece of the episode is a town shindig to commemorate a founders tradition of lighting lanterns, which Anna expositions is a big fat sham. In pretty soon order, the town historian is killed and displayed to make that point.

Stefan pops in on Alaric and Elena and tells them to leave well enough alone, that he’s not their guy anymore and he saunters off to find himself confronted by Lexi on the street in front of God and everybody. She’s there to fix him again, he’s not hearing it, and she just moves past that to busting his head against a window and knocking him out.

Bonnie and Caroline have Bonnie’s grimoire fall at their feet, opened to a specific page, and that leads them to the witch massacre house where Bonnie immediately begins a spell and her grandmother appears. After a very sweet exchange where Caroline shyly greets her, she tells Bonnie that she upset the balance bringing Jeremy back and sending Vicki home, that an old witch has taken advantage of it to prop that door open, and now she has to close it with Elena’s necklace.

Elena’s back at the Grill when she walks in on Jeremy and Anna kissing in the bathroom and is processing that as she gets a call from Caroline about what’s going on around town and informing her that her necklace is the key. She tells Caroline to text Damon and find the necklace. She heads back outside into the restaurant and Lexi grabs her and says she has Stefan locked up and come on, already. Elena’s processing that Lexi is standing there, holding her hand, which she can feel, and saying words, that she can hear, and that she just set in motion returning the ghosts from whence they came, as she lets Lexi drag her out of the bar with the promise that this won’t be pretty.

They arrive at the holding cell where Stefan is chained to a chair, all vitriol and defiance. Lexi alters her tone just a bit and then starts projecting onto him incremental visions of what happens as he’s denied blood for days, months, and years. He wavers in and out of “I love you” and “I hate you” and Elena asks Caroline to ask Bonnie to wait on the necklace.

Outside, in the town square, several of the tomb vamps are wandering around wielding destruction on descendants of the founders. Bonnie and Caroline find out the necklace is missing and Elena accuses Anna, confronting her that she can’t hold onto Jeremy at the beginning of his life, most especially if she loves him. Anna confesses to Jeremy she was hoping all of the tomb vamps returning would include her mom. At the end of the day, what she wanted most was to no longer be alone. She realizes Elena is right and gives the necklace to Jeremy.

Bonnie and Caroline head back to the witch house and on the way, they see Mama Lockwood in dire straits and Caroline gets out of the car to attend to the descending ghost vamps and tells Bonnie to go. Caroline takes the vamps on and Carol rouses just enough to see that Caroline is fighting to protect her. About the same time, Elena realizes they can’t wait just for Stefan.

Jeremy brings the necklace to Bonnie and she snatches it from him. She tosses it into the fire and stands back to begin the spell and her grandmother appears beside her and takes her hand (BAWLING) while Jeremy stands back (gripe: we never see his face after grandma appears and I wanted to see that register for him).

On the Damon front, after the smackdown from Mason, Mason shows up at the Grill in front of Alaric, and tells Damon he’s not there for revenge, although that part was fun. He’s there to help Tyler (who is not in the episode = FAIL!) and all he wants is for Damon to apologize, which he kinda sorta does. He asks Damon to come alone to the Lockwood cellar, where he can show him a tool to kill Klaus (who is not in the episode = WIN!). Damon goes, and finds himself impaled on a few booby traps before they finally have their “aha!” moment just as Bonnie’s spell kicks in and Mason disappears (DAMMIT).

Back with Stefan, Elena has told Lexi her time is short and Lexi fixates on the necklace and its importance to Stefan as a symbol of hope before telling Elena to keep on with it because Stefan is still in there, and then she, too, disappears (DAMMIT).

After Jeremy tearfully bids Anna goodbye and pledges she won’t be alone, she walks down the square, crying, and finds her mother waiting for her. She gets out “Mama?” before they fall into each other weeping and laughing and then disappear together (BAWLING and DAMMIT!).

And then we end.

I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED having Grandma, Mason, and especially, Lexi back. If we’d had two hours, I’d have wanted Mason and Tyler to talk to each other. I’d have wanted Mama Lockwood to bitchslap the mayor about his secrets about his brother and their son. I’d have wanted Rose to get inside Damon’s head. I’d have liked Jenna to rattle Alaric. I thought about getting the Gilbert parents back, but since we’ve not yet seen them in flashbacks, I’m not sure what weight that’d have carried.

What we did get was chock full of awesome. I like that Bonnie and Jeremy have to sort out that she might’ve been a rebound from Anna and that she sacrificed so much to bring him back and then he betrayed that with Anna. I like that it’s Elena’s hands now to restore Stefan. I like that Damon has the Klaus key so close at hand and will have to do the right thing.

I was glad it was character light. We had a Matt drive by but no Tyler, Klaus, Rebekah, or Liz, and yet it was still chock full. Good on you, show, that it was sort of Halloweenie but nothing to do with that actual day. Awesome, awesome episode.

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

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