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The Vampire Diaries “Our Town” 

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

Stefan’s done a lot this season to make Elena get over him/hate him/move on, and while *she* still may not be there yet, I’m pretty sure after his actions tonight that *I* am. “Our Town” picks up the day after last week’s episode and follows the path of most avoidance as Elena and Damon share no scenes until the very end of the hour. And I don’t know what the hell to make of Klaus’s latest move. Heads up: this is going to be really very long.

We start with Damon showering, satisfied, happy, and as Stefan points out, even “chipper.” Elena works out on the bag with Alaric and says nothing about the night before but does ask Alaric if he’s talked to Damon, which raises his radar a little.

Bonnie is working her mojo at the Witchy Manor when she’s beset upon by a nosy hybrid (in a neat trick, the coffins disappear while she’s mid-spell because the hybrid has come down to the basement). The Salvatores arrive and dispatch him but we oddly see no aftermath chat between them and Bonnie.

Later, at school, Elena and Bonnie ready Caroline’s locker for her (should’ve been) 18th birthday but she’s stopped in the parking lot by a chat with Tyler where he admits his siredom is always going to be in the way. They agree it sucks and they’re sorry and he leaves her with a silver charm bracelet as her birthday gift. Inside, Elena and Bonnie disagree about Damon compelling Jeremy and when Bonnie goes to say goodbye to him she drops just enough of a hint that his idea might not have been all his own that she almost joins Stefan on my sh-t list.

Stefan goes to see Klaus to demand that the hybrids back off and beheads one of them to make his point. Klaus retaliates by commanding Tyler to bite Caroline and Tyler essentially tells him “bite me” (or so he thinks).

At the latest founders day shindig, where Alaric hilariously calls BS that every council meeting has to masquerade as something else, he and Damon find Klaus in cahoots with Carol Lockwood, seemingly agreeing to keep Mystic Falls safe if Stefan will stand down. Stefan meanwhile tries to ginsu a hybrid until Damon tells him to snap the hell out of it and they discuss how to be a better villain. Downstairs, Alaric reconnects with Dr. Fell, who is a founder descendant (I thought we’d had another Fell) and would seem to be up to something because her ex-boyfriend from high school has an argument with her that causes Alaric to intervene and is later found dead at the end of the episode.

Elena, Matt, and Bonnie take the party to Caroline’s and she tells them she’s not feeling it but Elena tells her too bad and they reboot it as a funeral after Caroline finally admits that she hates that she got stuck at 17—a filler year—and never made it to 18. They have a genuinely sweet crypt party and get ripped on tequila and cake and laugh like the teenagers they are. Bonnie’s a bitchy drunk and she makes another dig about Jeremy and then goes home. Tyler shows up because Caroline drunk texted him and then they take it outside, he takes back everything he said that morning, and tells her he loves her. Things heat up and before he realizes what he’s done, Tyler bites her.

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

Caroline freaks the hell out and Tyler runs away (but doesn’t go get Elena or Matt). Elena and Matt have a heart to heart about being in Mystic Falls and Matt suggests gently that they’ve all gotten stuck with their respective lots. They head out to find Caroline when they finish the tequila and Stefan zooms in and knocks Matt out (with more force than necessary) and whisks Elena off to make his next threat to Klaus.

He drives them out to the bridge and calls Klaus and threatens to kill Elena, who’s screaming and weeping and begging him to stop and he really couldn’t care less. Klaus listens to all of that and realizes Stefan is serious and backs down. Stefan stops the car and Elena bails out and gives it to Stefan with both barrels and he tells her all of this leads to Klaus’s destruction and that’s job #1 and she STILL doesn’t tell him she can’t love him and will never be with him and he tells her he lost her when he left with Klaus (and I’m all “honey what else do you need to have this bastard do to you?”). Damon is looped on all this because Stefan answers Elena’s phone but he doesn’t arrive to pick her up until after their throwdown.

They have another heart to heart on the porch where Damon tells her Stefan was not all wrong in how he behaved. She tells him they can’t kiss again because it’s not right. He responds simply. “It’s right, just not right now.” And she lets that sink in.

Matt takes Caroline home and Klaus arrives to save her and here’s where my mind flipped over because I really have no clue what the hell he was doing here. Matt cuts him off with a “you did this” and then Liz lets him in because Caroline comes first. He enters Caroline’s room and sits on the edge of her bed and she rouses enough to ask him if he’s going to kill her.

He tells her, somewhat sadly, that it wasn’t personal, that she was collateral damage. He offers her a choice—to potentially live another millennium and see and do everything she ever wanted or to do or die there in her room on her birthday. She tells him she doesn’t want to die and he offers her his arm and cradles her while she feeds and wishes her a happy birthday. If he wasn’t such a raging sociopath, it’d have been sort of sweet. When she wakes the next morning, he’s left her with a beautiful silver bracelet that seriously one-ups the trinket Tyler gave her. She’s smartly both awed and immediately suspicious.

Over at the Gilberts, Elena says goodbye to Jeremy and Bonnie arrives to do the same and keeps her mouth shut about anything else while she and Elena exchange uneasy glances. Alaric meets up with Dr. Fell at the Grill and tells him a patient died. They chat over beers.

Out at the bridge, Elena meets Matt and tells him that she’s not unlike Caroline in having moved on from the person she’d been prior to going off the bridge the night she should have died and Stefan saved her. He tells her that the girl she was then would be proud of the girl she is now. He starts a eulogy of sorts, proclaiming her an amazing friend, and then tosses flowers into the water below.

Out in the woods, Liz takes Damon to a crime scene where the medical examiner (and former flame of Dr. Fell) has been staked and Liz says it was “MURDER!”

So, I get it that Stefan has a master plan but he crossed so many lines tonight taking Elena back to the bridge—which I’m pretty sure we’ve not actually been on before (comment me if I biffed that). This was the spot of her near-death, rebirth, and his rebirth of sorts when he saved her. To threaten to kill her there, even if he hadn’t gone through with it, was a punk ass, hateful move.

At one point earlier in the episode, Damon worries that, worse than an on/off switch, Stefan has a humanity dimmer which renders him wildly unpredictable, so much so that he sort of begs Klaus to acquiesce because he can’t be sure Stefan won’t get someone (or Elena) killed. I keep thinking there is something else we haven’t tapped yet about why Stefan is so balls out to vanquish Klaus. We’ve gone past the point of reason now for the current Klaus mindwipe. I’m thinking this is vengeance for something *before*.

Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

I get Bonnie’s point about Jeremy but I also see that as a pot/kettle setup because she used witchcraft to save him rather than let him die and Elena’s using compulsion to save him. Tomato/Tomahto.

I hate that Tyler really had no free will left at all and that Klaus really, truly seems to be making a play for his girl. That’s the way it looked to me, anyway. Those are some seriously manipulative shenanigans, y’all. I hope that Caroline doesn’t find herself enthralled with him—I don’t think there’s any bond there because Damon was saved by the blood and he’s not Klaus’s bitch, but we’ll see. Caroline is younger.

As for Elena putting a pin in it with Damon, I hope she gets over that soon because Damon is going above and beyond chivalry here, and I know he too can flip into sociopathic on a dime, but, for now, his immediate actions, and his proclamation to Alaric that he has a short list of people he’s concerned about, have me thinking Damon’s reverted back to who he was pre-vamping but without the naiveté.

So very much going on. This was another one we could used 90 minutes on. I liked that the whole gang was here–and that Matt was well used–even though the trade off was that we had a Jeremy-light episode for his (hopefully temporary) departure. I liked that we seem to be spinning up more and more new character combos and revisiting old relationships in a new way (I adored that Matt and Elena could really talk to each other like the old friends they are). Now I’m compelled.

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