First things first–this was the last episode before a FOUR WEEK BREAK. In February. During sweeps. WTH, y’all? Next year we need 24 episodes. Just saying (imagine me with my hands on my hips like Stefan above). On the upside, I dragged my ass in getting this recap written, so now the return is only two weeks away. Sweet!
Well. The big news is that we seem to have a forfeit in the Salvatore/Gilbert love triangle. And the winning brother seems to accept it vs. say, doing the honorable thing because he realizes his ship really truly might have already sailed. Just once, I wish one of the brothers would steal and modify the line from Pirates of the Caribbean and pop off with, “Hellooo, vampire” when they do sketchy things.
We also bid adieu to Elijah (don’t go), Esther (buh-bye), Kol (see ya), and Finn (hardly knew ya) while Rebekah stays with Klaus (again). Oh, and now we have a Bennett vampire. No, not that one. So the morning picks up with a sleepless Elena calling Stefan, who doesn’t answer because he’s writing in is his diary again. She leaves him a message that they need to talk. Then she calls Damon, who does answer and snits that there is no argument to resolve, before he lies back in bed to reveal that Rebekah has stayed the night. Elena has a moment of “screw this” and grabs some clothes from her closet and closes the door.
Damon bids Rebekah a flirty goodbye and opens the front door to find Elena standing there on the landing. The girls size each other up and Rebekah gives Elena quite the hahaha bitch sneer. Elena brushes past them and catches Damon up on Esther (which I really though he already knew, but I apparently recalled something that NEVER HAPPENED) and he has the same reaction as Stefan in a big “so what” way.
Elena catches up with Bonnie as she tries the privacy spell but can’t quite get it to take. Caroline weighs in on the all-for-one=dead plan being A+ and then we get some exposition fairyness where Bonnie tells us that she and her mom visited Esther and have been roped into the Mikaelson annihilation spell.
Elena is still reeling about lying to Elijah when he shows up and takes her for a drive. I really do love them together. They chatter away and then he calls her out for lying and drops her into the Lockwood caves, where she finds Rebekah a happy jail guard.
The boys soon get a visit from Elijah demanding that they break the spell or he’ll have Rebekah break Elena. This leads to a rather elaborate ruse where Klaus and Kol are at the Grill alongside Alaric and Doc Maybe-Crazy and Caroline gets Klaus out of the bar so Alaric can dagger Kol, which crispies all the kids at once. Klaus rails at Caroline for the setup and then Elijah pops up to pull the dagger from Kol and revive all of them.
In the caves, the daggering buys Elena enough time to get into the vamp-free cave zone until Rebekah gets crafty with a can of gasoline and threatens to burn her, but Elena psych evals her out of it. Kol, Elijah, and Klaus confront Esther and Finn mid-ritual and she essentially gives them the speech she gave Elenaâ€”they are an abomination and she spent a millennium feeling the pain of all of their victims so they have to go. Of course she drops all this on them from inside the safety of a fire pentagram.
The Salvatores confer on what to do and agree that stopping the Bennetts is the key. Damon also points out that they could do nothing and the only collateral damage would be Elena but we know thatâ€™s a scenario that will never play out. They flip a coin to determine who will actually do the deed and we donâ€™t see who wins the coin toss but Damon later tells us that the onus was on Stefan but he went ahead anyway.
So the plan for the Bennetts deviates a bit when Stefan surprises Bonnie at witchy manor and threatens her and she tells him that living or dead, the Bennett witches will still have to help Esther. Stefan responds that one of them wonâ€™t be a witch and we see Damon grab Abby and tell her this will only hurt a minute before snapping her neck. Above ground, Estherâ€™s circle dies and she screams at the witches not to abandon her before she and Finn disappear.
Elijah and Kol scatter and Rebekah is left with Klaus. Elena goes to Carolineâ€™s to see Bonnie but Caroline stops her at the foyer and tells her Bonnie (who we see weeping over her mother in the same room where Caroline wept over her dad) wonâ€™t see her. Elena’s heartsick and asks Caroline to tell Bonnie she loves her and Caroline says she will and smiles sadly at her (and I think about all of these kids being partially/wholly orphaned so quickly).
Over at Doc Nutty, Alaric is licking his wounds from the ass-kicking at the Grill when he wakes up in the living room to find Doc asleep in bed. He heads into the kitchen, and being Alaric, rifles through some papers and finds that she has crime scene photos and one of his knives. Then she appears in the doorway holding a gun on him.
Back at the Salvatores, Stefan talks to Damon about taking the hit for turning Abby into a vampire. Damon resignedly tells Stefan that Elena didnâ€™t want him anyway, so essentially there was nothing for him to lose. And thatâ€™s where we ended.
So my takeaway on the triangle (which, as y’all know, not a fan, but the sidge here was radically different because Stefan wasn’t an active participant) is that if this is the end of Damon and Elena maybe getting together, we wasted a whole lot of the season making us care about Damon and Elena and root for them (or was that just me?) to have it torpedoed fairly quickly.
We also have an addiction analogy here about abandoning someone while they’re using. Now that Stefan is no longer drinking blood (i.e. clean), is he worthy of Elena again? And if so, then what hell is Damon left with? I was invited to participate in The Televixen’s TVD podcast a few weeks ago, and I talked a little bit about woo.
We never really saw Stefan woo Elena. We were just handed that as the origin story of the series and told to care about them as a couple, and I did. But I really, really liked that this season Damon worked for Elena’s affection. He actively wooed her. He even tells Stefan he thought he was going after her fairly, but at the end of it all, it didn’t matter if she didn’t want him. I don’t know if that’s true, and I think it’s not entirely true yet because she immediately regretted shooting him down when he told her he loved her.
I don’t read spoilers, and I haven’t read the books, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Elena goes back to Stefan and gets her closure with him and then chooses Damon. We’re only in the third season. Elena’s only 18.
Sidebar: Damon references 146 years with Stefan. Aren’t we at 147 now?
As for Bonnie and her mom, I donâ€™t think we had enough of a bead on Abby to feel anything directly about her being turned, but it does feel like TOO MUCH for Bonnie. I don’t want to have her go all Dark Willow on us.
New episodes resume on March 15th at 8 pm/7c.
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