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The Vampire Diaries “Homecoming” 

Photo Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW

Well done, show! I did not know until about minute 37 or so, plotwise, and the TSC preview, that this was the last episode heading into the hellatus. There were a few foreshadowing things that I saw coming. Katherine wasn’t one of them. And also, kudos that the show didn’t go there but did likely wind the Delena contingent into a hand-wringing lather at the most overt suggestion so far this season. Is it really early to be truncating the season at episode 9 or is that just me? The pacing and editing was a bit all over the map so I’m going to hit the highlights and then talk about where I think that leaves us.

Elena, Stefan, Damon, Rebekah and Mikael are embarking on a plan with about eleventy seven things that can go very wrong. Rebekah could falter; Stefan could be compelled to tell Klaus the jig is up, or Mikael could just dine and dash on the whole lot of them.

They begin by faking Mikael’s death via dagger at Elena’s hand so that when Stefan relays his daggering, it’s not a lie. Rebekah supports the veracity of the story and Klaus hurries home. Rebekah, again sympathetic (I know!) sits painting her nails while waiting for Mikael to revive and has it out with him, essentially telling him even though she knows he didn’t kill her mother he’s still a bastard for turning them into monsters, which actually seems to wound him.

She gets all dolled up for the homecoming dance with Matt (mani-pedi and her compelled red dress) and tells Elena this is her first ever dance because she never had time for high school. Elena gives her her mother’s necklace to complete the ensemble, tells her how amazing she looks, puts her hand comfortingly on her shoulder and then stabs her in the back and apologizes as Rebekah hits the carpet. As Damon covers her up and prepares to move her to the basement, Elena feels guilty and Damon reminds her Rebekah isn’t acually dead, but still, A+ job!

They had earlier chatted weak links while they prepared wolfsbane weapons and Stefan wandered through seeking the proper tie for the dance (random). Elena worried about Rebekah being able to betray her brother, despite Damon’s astute observation that he’s a “mama-killing, dagger-happy brother.” Damon tells her he has a plan that she won’t like and that she can have no part in it (which proves I was not paying attention when the latter occurrence was a surprise). He asks her to trust him and she says she will.

The homecoming dance has Caroline in a tizzy and Tyler being a good boyfriend except for suggesting they take ten for a warm snack courtesy of a tip from Rebekah. Caroline greets that with a raging case of “ew!” and pronounces Rebekah an “evil blood slut” and she’s even less enthused when Tyler tells her she’s taking Matt to the dance.

The dance is cancelled (saw that coming) because the gym is flooded (by Klaus) so the party is moved to the Lockwood house and garden, where Klaus makes his arrival and tells Tyler he’s insulated himself from potential harm and double-crossing with hybrids collected from all of the country.

Tyler runs off and vervains Caroline and begs Matt to get her out of the house. Damon arrives because he can get in where Mikael can’t, and Bonnie intervenes when he and Tyler throw down.

Stefan is surprised to find Klaus at the party and Klaus says he wants to see his father and orders Stefan to bring him. He says he will and then makes Klaus promise to let him go. Klaus says when his father is dead, he will. Thankfully, questions are worded in such a way that Stefan doesn’t tell Klaus anything to tip him off. He trots home to fetch Mikael and finds himself chomped and knocked out instead.

After Damon gets entrance into the party, Klaus is on guard and orders all the hybrids on watch. Then one of them tells him he has a visitor named Mikael. They go around to the backyard where they have a pissing match on the patio because Mikael can’t come in and Klaus won’t go out. It’s an extremely charged scene.  And Joseph Morgan plays it on the edge of tears the whole time as Mikael rips into Klaus about his abandonment issues. (LOVE Sebastian Roche, y’all.)

Mikael threatens to kill Elena and Klaus he doesn’t need her. He calls Klaus’s bluff and stabs Elena, who falls as Klaus screams, and when she pops right back up we find out she’s been Katherine all evening. Damon swoops in from the foyer and slams Klaus into the ground and has the dagger ready to strike when Stefan slams into him, takes the dagger, and instead drives it into Mikael, who bursts into flames (BOOOO!). Klaus stands up and thanks Stefan for his friendship and his actions and then he releases him.

Back at the Salvatore house, Damon and Elena console each other in front of the raging fireplace and are very handsy and genuine and quiet about it but they do not kiss as they come to an agreement that Stefan is lost to them. Katherine calls from the car to say goodbye and apologize that the plan failed.  She hangs up the phone and we find Stefan in the passenger seat (which I completely expected).

We backtrack later and find out Klaus had an insurance policy against his death–having Damon killed by a pre-compelled robo hybrid–which he told Katherine-as-Elena. She raced off to revive Stefan, tossed him a blood bag, told him the truth, and said it was in his hands. So even compelled, Stefan can’t let Damon die (again).

He and Katherine talk about retaining humanity and he says he can’t after everything he’s done this time, and she says he has to, especially because now he has to get mad. They part ways and Stefan calls Klaus. Stefan winds him up a bit for the big reveal that he has heisted all of the bodies of the rellies, torpedoing Klaus’s plans for a post-Mikael putting the fam back together. Sneaky!

And Caroline dumps Tyler even though he make a very good case for his better, faster, stronger with a side of being somebody’s bitch because he never has to transition under a full moon again and go through that pain. She can’t abide the “being somebody’s bitch” part. BOO!

No Alaric, Jeremy, Carol, or Liz. Very little Bonnie, although she does get to smack a vampire and hybrid (yay) but she tells Elena that Elena can’t really console her about Jeremy because she can’t be as angry as Bonnie herself is about his betrayal. All true.

And that’s where we dangle for eight weeks.

Things I saw coming: Elena staking Rebekah, Klaus ruining homecoming, hybrids at the party, Mikael being killed, and Stefan being in the passenger seat when Katherine called Damon.

Things I didn’t: Katherine as Elena; Stefan running away from, instead of to, Elena post-compulsion, and Caroline giving up on Tyler.

I love the dynamic of this show that there is always a bigger bad than the current bad, so I’m wondering who’s next in the rotation now that Klaus is obviously still alpha threat but Stefan has an advantage now. I’m guessing we’ll find out there’s another really, really old somebody out there who’s another threat. Bonus is we’re likely going to get Elijah back (yay yay yay!) and meet the rest of the fam—because we haven’t been properly introduced to whoever is in the rest of the coffin parade.

I’d also like to know how Katherine got away from Mikael and that he saw no need to compel her. I think there was a larger discussion there that got skated over because she could have given him a really interesting perspective on his son. And how did Klaus not know it was Katherine at the party?

I know I say this a couple of times a year, but we seriously need a two-hour episode now and again. Kudos to Evan Bleiweiss for making his first script for the show a jam-packed episode.

PS – there’s a very good read with Julie Plec over at The Futon Critic and I especially liked that she addressed that they are wasting Matt Davis and desperately need to make Alaric a better character because Davis is that good. I wish we’d had him in this episode. I’d have loved to see him chat with Mikael about a 1,000 years of history.

See you next year!

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