by Dianna Berrian
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, why not heal that bitter heart with some “The Vampire Diaries”? It’s either that, or do like Damon does and go on a killing spree. Your choice.
For now, Katherine’s basking in the glory of being Elena, even going as far as writing in her diary. Life is good, so why not attend “Whitmore’s Annual Bitter Ball” – a night to celebrate broken hearts, jilted lovers and bitter singles. Does this have Caroline written all over it? Yes. It’s her idea of a post-breakup cleanse. Since Bonnie isn’t one of the single ladies, she’s putting her interest in the witch next to her.
Stefan, meanwhile, comes home to a bloody car sitting in the driveway. Well, almost. It’s practically at the front door and – oh yeah. Aaron’s corpse is in the trunk. Inside, Damon’s recuperating and confesses he and Enzo killed Aaron. Pretty predictable post-breakup behavior. And speak of the devil, Enzo pops out to take the blame. While Stefan fears his brother is becoming his sadistic, psychotic old self, Damon relishes being bad and having a murder buddy. In fact, he’s ready to hit the next target – Wes. But Wes is actually busy in a new, less fancy lab now that he’s poor. He’s turned another student – Joey – into a vampire and conditioned him to feed on other vampires instead of humans. As he’s ranting about the shabby accommodations, a girl named Sloan walks in offering funding for his research and even has some blood to analyze. It’s Aaron’s from the car that was abandoned in the middle of the road last night. Her best guess – he’s dead and Wes is next. Good guess.
Katherine calls up Matt to run her opening for her call to Stefan by him but he’s not much help, so Nadia compels him to go away and takes the phone back, pressuring her mother to spend time together. She’s also not keen on the idea of continuously using Matt as an Elena cheat sheet, which prompts Katherine to wonder if she likes Matt. How adorable. She’s still toying with the idea of calling Stefan when Caroline enters the dorm room. She gives Kat a slight scare when Caroline calls her out on “faking it”, meaning her pretending breaking up with Damon was no biggie, not pretending to be Elena. Whew! She says she’s off the hook for the party if she wants, but then Stefan calls wanting to talk about Enzo in person, so she invites him to the dance. Cause that’s not suspicious at all.
While discussing a possible road trip after the Augustine mess is over, Damon leads Enzo down to the basement dungeon of the boarding house where he’s keeping Diane Freeman – head of campus security – locked up and bleeding out. To test if the vervain is out of her system, they compel her to tell the truth about the suicidal coverup of Megan’s death. It works, but she has no idea where Wes is so talk about a dead end. Literally.
While Enzo’s outside digging her grave, Stefan pulls the “leave my brother alone” spiel and threatens him a little. Enzo’s not convinced but badass Stefan was always my favorite.
At the Grille, Nadia gets a text from Katherine wondering who Enzo is. Before she can get to Matt, Tyler walks in needing another drink to forget about Caroline. He spots Nadia, taking interest until Matt tells him who she is:
Matt: “That’s Katherine’s daughter. And the psycho doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
But it doesn’t stop Tyler. He offers her a shot and a short time later, they’re all swapping crappy mom stories and doing shots. When Tyler goes to break the seal, Nadia seizes the opportunity to compel Matt about Enzo. What she doesn’t realize is Tyler is listening in to her compel him.
Jeremy and Bonnie make their obligatory appearance this episode, with the recurring tagalong of Jeremy wondering why they just can’t be happy and Bonnie resisting. Cue Damon speaking for the fandom:
Damon: “Like driving past a car crash, except you want to look away.”
Turns out he’s there to kidnap Jeremy until Bonnie finds a witch to do a locator spell on Wes. He even gives her the piece of Aaron’s shirt with his blood on it. Both try to fight Damon’s threats until Enzo shows up and when he starts to crush Jeremy’s skull a little, Bonnie finally caves. Sigh. Another episode, another display of Bonnie being used for her magic. Or in this case, her ties to magic.
At the Bitter Ball, Katherine’s starting to put the moves on Stefan. She pulls him to the dance floor and has to keep reiterating how fine she is. He tries to tell her that Damon got into some bad stuff but she’s keeping up her Elena facade pretty well, not surprised by his impulsive behavior at all but not really liking who she’s become from being with him. And does Stefan miss who she was or like her better now?
Since that seems to be a touchy subject, she switches to Enzo and Damon again but Caroline snatches her away to go to the shredding station to shred some pictures of her and Tyler. And then Julie Plec breaks a million and one hearts by having her shred the drawing that Klaus drew for her back in Season 3. SERIOUSLY? It’s like rubbing salt into the wounds. What kind of writer wants to anger their biggest fanbase? I don’t get it. But I digress. Caroline proceeds to project Elena’s feelings for her, using her own relationships as a basis but Katherine sees right through it. Whatever. She wanders off to find Stefan again.
Once he gets him alone, Tyler convinces Matt he’s being compelled by showing him his vervain bracelet is missing. But Matt’s all, “why would she do that to me??” Since the sheriff enforces a strict vervain-laced coffee rule, Tyler urges him to drink some. Really? Town crawling with vampires and only the coffee? Okay, Sheriff Forbes. Whatever you say.
Damon escorts Bonnie into the Bitter Ball to find herself a witch while Caroline gets the death of Aaron out of Stefan. He didn’t want to tell Elene because he doesn’t want her to give up on Damon forever. Speaking of, Damon intrudes on their talk to let them know Enzo has Jeremy and will kill him if Bonnie doesn’t find a witch by midnight. Proof – a picture on his phone of Jeremy all tied up. Katherine appears behind them all with her best OMG face and turns around right after to roll her eyes. I know, girl. Being Elena sucks. I would tire of it too. So she calls up Nadia again.
Katherine: “Hypothetical question. If Jeremy Gilbert’s life was hanging by a thread, could I credibly just let him die? Because his death – really convenient for me.”
You’ve got my vote, Kat. But Nadia’s right. Elena would do everything to save him and she needs to act like she cares or the jig will be up, so stop pining after Stefan for a sec and go get him. Before she goes, she asks Nadia to ask Matt if Caroline has feelings for Stefan. When they’re leaving the Grill, she tries to compel it out of him but he gets suspicious of all her questions about Elena. She leaves before Tyler comes out and just as he’s about to blow Tyler’s mind, Nadia snaps Tyler’s neck. Yep. Jig’s up.
Katherine continues being super dramatic as Elena, hugging Stefan and begging for his help. Bonnie has successfully found the witch girl but she’s in denial about her powers and just wants to be left alone. So, naturally, Caroline pulls a vampy face and scares her into submission. Bonnie shows her how to do locator spell and the room starts going windy, candles lighting, chandelier falling. It just scares the poor girl even more. Enzo calls with more motivation to get it right – “Jeremy will be dead very soon.” On his end, he’s picking up a fire poker to tease Jeremy with, but instead he trades it for plastic wrap to suffocate the boy into unconsciousness. While Bonnie continues working with the girl to get the spell right, Stefan and Katherine show up to save the day. Stefan keeps Enzo busy while Katherine endures mouth to mouth with Jeremy, and when that doesn’t work, comically beats on his chest until he wakes up. Enzo manages to throw a stake into Kat’s back before Damon returns with the location of Wes. Now let’s just assume for a minute it’s been more than 3 minutes before Stefan and Katherine show up. Wouldn’t Jeremy be brain damaged by now? Furthermore, 15 minutes would make him virtually impossible to revive. So how long did that rescue squad take? Hmmmm. Before he goes, Stefan warns Damon not to bother coming back. But he wasn’t planning on it. So. There’s that.
Tyler wakes up from his nap where Matt smooths things over. It was just a slight misunderstanding. See, Nadia was just compelling him so she could talk about Katherine. But she knew Tyler would go after her for frying Matt’s brain. Tyler seems to tentatively buy it and Matt promises to stay away from her, but uh…not so much. He gets in the car with her where he calls her bluff on Katherine’s death. Yeah, jig is totally up. Nadia’s not sure what to do with him yet, aside from draining him of vervain.
Katherine is back at the dorm checking her back for splinters in the mirror. Stefan shows up to check on her and she asks him to try to get the splinter out. And he does, with the unnecessary sexual tension created by her sliding her strap down. Upon her correctly guessing, he finally confesses that Damon killed Aaron. She plays Elena to a tee, asking him why he didn’t tell her when she thought they could still always be honest with each other. And because Stefan always has the best speeches…
Stefan: “Truth is, every since the first time I noticed you falling for my brother I have been waiting for him to screw something up so badly that you hate him. So I’ve been waiting and watching him do all these horrible things and every single time I think he’s gone too far, he’s there for you. Sometimes in ways better than I ever was. So the truth is, after a while I just stopped waiting for him to fail. Because I liked the person that he had become. And I don’t want to lose that person.”
Well. That puts a damper on some things. But “Elena” can’t go back to the way they were after he threatened Jeremy. So she’ll help him save him from himself. But not for herself, and not for Damon. For Stefan. They share a long embrace until Caroline shows up at the door, not really jealous but more concerned about what Elena’s doing toying with Stefan.
Enzo and Damon get to the lab in Richmond to find Wes when the encounter a group of Travelers chanting which brings them to their knees just in time for Wes to inject Damon with something. Damon stirs a little while later, hoping it wasn’t the “vampire cannibal poison.” Hearing a noise in the distance, they follow it until they find Joey. Damon unchains him but his bleeding wrists entice him and in seconds he’s drinking the newbie vamp. Enzo yells for him to stop but he doesn’t until Joey’s head hits the ground. Karma is a bitch, eh Damon?
“The Vampire Diaries” returns February 27th.
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