The Vampire Diaries: A Beatdown at the Potluck (PHOTO RECAP)

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What is going ON in Mystic Falls? Everyone's all pent up and grouchy! We're only four episodes into the season and it's like every character is all fidgety and angry over nothing. Obviously the grown-ups have been sexually frustrated for years now, but now the kids are too? Man, what is even the point of being a monster if you can't even get any action from it? Otherwise it's just a lot of blood-breath and torn couture. I don't get it.

But hey, you know what I DID get? That "Disturbing Behavior" was a very entertaining episode! I am not part of the Nobel Prize Committee (anymore) but I know a fun episode when I see one. Here's what happened:

First off, the episode BEGAN with the opening titles—no cold open—so you could tell we were really IN FOR IT THIS TIME. Haha just kidding, it was a normal episode, I think the editors just forgot where the logo goes. Anyway, we were in Chicago still, which you could tell by the four shots of the iconic Chicago skyline, followed by an on-screen title that said "Chicago." But really, where WERE we? Nobody knows and possibly never will.

Klaus and Stefan were chillin' at some store drinking all of the champagne and watching Rebekah be mad about modern fashion.

Stefan was pretending to <3 Rebekah but she was onto him for sure. Rebekah's pretty cool in my book! (My book has Panda Express stains on some of the pages, don't look at those.)

Meanwhile, a VERY familiar vampire doppelganger was loitering outside. Don't worry, Stefan didn't make a citizen's arrest, even though loitering is a VERY serious crime in Chicago.

Katherine was basically like, "I did a ton of detective work in the 1920s so I know about the necklace and I want to help you kill Klaus." Then they had some kind of head-tilting stand-off.

It was very serious! Anyway, Stefan was like, "Nope, talk to the hand." Classic Stefan!

Meanwhile in Elena's kitchen, she was making chili to bring to the town potluck. Because fine. Townwide potlucks are definitely a normal thing towns do, and orphaned girls are always bringing chili to them.

Damon cracked jokes about how all of Elena's dead relatives were bad at cooking, and then Alaric walked in like, "What's he doing here?" No, what were YOU doing there, Alaric?

But Alaric's raised eyebrow had a point: These people were definitely playing the I Like You game.

It's official: Jeremy is the worst sleeper. HOW did he fall asleep in this position? With a sketchbook on his shin? And why is he drawing pictures of Gorillaz?

Anyway, he woke up to a nosy ghost just creepin' on him. She seemed surprised that he could see her! Even though several times already he'd made direct contact and cringed? Do they have MENSA in the afterlife, lady?

So then Jeremy and Anna were officially communicating with each other. Although it begged the question: How long had she been chillin' in Jeremy's bed or watching him pick his nose? Weeks? Months? He didn't seem freaked out about it, so whatever. Body shame was NOT something Jeremy was concerned about at this point in time.

Caroline (a.k.a. The Best) showed up at Elena's house looking radiant and joyful despite all the bad times she'd faced at the hands of her father. But just look at her up there: Wouldn't you LOVE that to show up on your doorstep with a bowl of fun?

But this was literally the look on Elena's face when she answered the door.

Dang, is your enormous belt too tight?

Whoops, the witch is back!

Well, what are you gonna do, right? She's a character still.

Meanwhile Sheriff Forbes and her bestie Damon showed up to hopefully zap Bill's brain into forgetting his bigotry. He warned them, though: He was not as susceptible as they thought.

I'm sure everything worked perfectly.

Somewhere in Chicago, Klaus' witch Gloria was finally trying to get to the bottom of that whole "Elena's necklace" thing.

Whoops! Gloria definitely knew who had it, but she was mysteriously cagey about it. Even cagier, Stefan was like, "Oh look at that, lunchtime!" and whisked his posse out of there. Good save, Stefan!

Meanwhile at the townwide potluck (held at Lockwood Manor), the girls were all about ignoring the chili contest and getting down to business.

I realize there was a time last season when Bonnie came down out of the mountains yammering spells at Klaus or whatever, but it's such a distant memory that I prefer to believe she completely forgot how to do magic over the summer. It just seems like a Bonnie thing to do, you know?

Dang, Caroline called Elena OUT. See what I'm saying though? Why does everyone suddenly care who Elena's spooning with? Get your own demon-hunks, you guys!

Whoops, there went that dang necklace again.

Again, Alaric was telling Damon to cool it with the Elena stuff. Normally I'd agree with Alaric, but Elena LOVES undead murderers, okay? Let her get that, guy. Gosh, if MY loved one ever gets murdered by a one-thousand-year-old vampire-werewolf hybrid, I hope I don't become as uptight as Alaric has become!

Back in Chi-town (my name I just made up for Chicago), three old vampires were playing The Dozens.

I loved how genuinely hurt Klaus looked when Stefan took Rebekah's side in the non-argument. Also the fact that he was cradling a corpse in his arms. This show is just the weirdest.

Meanwhile Jeremy paused between sets of push-ups to chitchat with Anna's ghost.

Apparently the afterlife is basically just hanging out by yourself in Mystic Falls? Depressing! That said, Anna wears tons of great new outfits and possibly got highlights, so I guess that's pretty cool. Anyway, it was established that (1) Jeremy only sees the ghosts because he WANTS to, and (2) the Vicki ghost is "darkness."

Also, Jeremy can FEEL Anna. And you know what that means! Ghost boning.

Meanwhile Stefan confronted Gloria about why she didn't spill the beans to Klaus re: Elena having the necklace.

It was because SHE wanted the necklace for herself! I guess it's a witch heirloom and she'd be able to use it to chill with the Original Witch? And Jasmine Guy too, I'm guessing! I don't know, Gloria is awesome though, and I especially loved when she did THIS to Stefan while also giving him the side-eye.

Anyway, back at the potluck, the Anti-Vampire Council was holding a very important meeting:

Whoops! Apparently Bill Forbes was being honest when he claimed he couldn't be compelled? Now he's just out to make trouble. Typical Bill Forbes!

Quick question: When did all commercials become NIGHTMARES?

What on EARTH! And the one where Sofia Vergara shapeshifts into a black lady for a few seconds and then back? What is HAPPENING on Madison Avenue? Do I need to fly out there and fire EVERYBODY?

Anyway, back in Mystic Falls Bonnie and Tyler were spending a quiet night together, just doing the typical stuff two teenagers would do after not seeing each other for three months.

Yeah, so. I guess Vicki did this? Who knows. Anna might be kind of shady.

Anyway, at Gloria's bar (during business hours?) she was torturing Stefan after what I'm assuming was two hours of candle placement time. She wanted ANSWERS about Elena.

Gloria was good! Possibly the coolest and most powerful witch we've seen on the show so far—

R.I.P. Gloria (2011-2011). Hey Katherine! Nice entrance! Anyway, Katherine saved Stefan, you guys! That is because she is an ace detective and always arrives in the nick of time. One would assume that after this Stefan might have changed his mind and allowed Katherine to join his plan to kill Klaus, but NOPE. One should not have assumed that.

Back at Lockwood Manor, three characters were doing one of those classic walk-and-talks like they did on The West Wing. Except in this case these people had basically nowhere to go, so that was confusing. Anyway, Damon was all mad about Bill Forbes being around and Elena was like, "Settle."

Oh, Damon! Always playing pranks on Alaric by murdering him when he's wearing his immortality ring.

Elena was P.O.'ed about this particular murder because she has excellent rational thinking skills.

Tyler was the best character in this episode because (1) he had the foresight to skip the townwide potluck that was held AT HIS OWN HOUSE and (2) he snapped right into boyfriend mode when he found a sad young lady on his bed.

Has Elena ever been THIS much of a villain before?! How bad did you feel for Caroline? I guess I didn't feel THAT bad, because what kind of maniac answers the phone during sex? I know it's federal law for all TV and movie characters to do that, but oh well. Better luck next time, you horny monsters.

REALLY into this dude on the wall. I think he is my new favorite character? TEAM THIS DUDE. Can't wait to see THAT flashback episode!!

Dang, Damon TORE him UP. Luckily Bill has a superhero for a daughter! Because then it was a bunch of this:

I loved when she offered her dad her own blood so that he could heal and when he refused she was like "Grow up!" and FORCED him to drink it. VERY weird, but very awesome also.

But then Damon was at it again!

So after Caroline gave him the what-for and whisked her father out of there, Elena walked in all trying to make everything about herself.

He basically was just like, "Yeah, I'm a jerk. Deal with it." And you could tell Elena was trying SO HARD to think of a comeback. I bet she'll think of one in a few days. Don't worry, Elena. It'll come!

Anna discovered that Jeremy kinda-sorta still had feelings for her. But then Jeremy discovered he can make Anna disappear by blocking her out of his mind.

So then he decided to come clean about everything to Bonnie:

It's hard to say whether Anna was being honest or not, but whew! What an awkward subplot.

For a brief moment Elijah fans squealed with delight. But then a coffinblocker showed up.

Stefan took a moment to grill Rebekah for some answers about the Vampire Hunter who's been chasing them for "hundreds of years," according to Katherine. Then she took a moment to grill him about whether he will ever love anyone as much as Elena. I was like, "Dang, Rebekah, y'all just danced real close at the club a few times. It wasn't anything serious!"

Whoops! Because his kiss wasn't sincere enough, Rebekah turned on Stefan! Her accusations were more than Klaus could handle.

BOOM! Lights out for Stefan.

Meanwhile at the Salvatore Bros' underlit mansion, professional couch-surfer and part-time teacher finally awoke from being dead.

Needless to say, Alaric was NOT happy. He did NOT like Damon's prank, not one bit!

Elena more or less, once again, admitted she liked Damon but without saying it outright. In this case she claimed that she couldn't admit to liking Damon because it would be bad for her reputation? Or something. It's pretty funny that Elena thinks people aren't already horrified by her personal life, but whatever.

Poor Caroline! And with that, Bill Forbes left town. Father of the Year! In all seriousness though, I think what bugged me the most about this plotline was how weirdly real it seemed. Parents can and do say the most awful, hurtful things to their children and there isn't always a happy ending. Caroline's always been the heart and soul of this show, so I suppose it makes sense she has to bear the brunt of its pathos. Keep your chin up, girl!

Whoa, it turned out Alaric was SUPER pissed about what Damon did, so much so that he angrily demanded to join the Anti-Vampire League so that he could better represent the human beings in the town.

Very interesting! Very weird, too, but that's Alaric for you.

Dang, Bonnie got conned, y'all!

Oh hey, Katherine! Man, I love Katherine. She got the necklace back, showed up at Damon's door, and immediately sussed out that he and Elena were having a lover's spat. THEN she invited him to join her in some mischief.

Damon has good taste sometimes. SOMETIMES.

Later on Stefan woke up in a Prada ad. Just kidding, it was the back of a moving truck and Klaus just couldn't WAIT to show Stefan where they'd driven to.

BOOM! Now everyone's back in town!


QUESTIONS:
... Was Rebekah driving the truck?
... Which ghost will Jeremy shirtless-hug first?
... Will ANYBODY get action anytime soon?
... Is Alaric turning into a jerk?
... Is Caroline a BAMF or what?

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