A vast majority of Vampire Diaries fans were probably not around during the 1960s, so here is some important historical background to put the decade into perspective: The 1960s were like America's college years. By that I don't mean it's the decade in which we all became educated. What I DO mean is that everyone hooked up and did drugs and attended protests they barely understood and slept through every class. College in a bad way. So let's be real: The 1960s were awful. Just a truly terrible time for everyone, and that's the truth. That's why it's especially hilarious that in last night's episode of The Vampire Diaries, the youth of Mystic Falls threw a 1960s themed dance. Clearly that town is just pining for better times.
Hey, and speaking of last night's episode, did anyone notice that it was slightly terrible? HEAR ME OUT. Just kidding, that was it. This episode was slightly terrible! It wasn't without its moments, sure, and maybe it was more a victim of high expectations. We've heard so much about big bad Klaus all season that his sort-of appearance was almost insanely ho-hum. Worse, a lot of the characters acted super stupid, and much of the storytelling was kind of dumb. Also, there was a 1960s-themed dance. It made me so crabby that I nearly broke my VORQ 8 Tablet Phone with built-in Bluetooth and full hands-free GPS brought to you by Windows Vista!!
Anyway, here's what happened, you guys.
Like I was saying, for a one thousand-year-old vampire, Klaus came across as neither sinister, wise, nor mysterious. Nope, it turned out Klaus was basically just a slightly crankier Alaric.
Right off the bat, he was using modern lingo like "buzzkill" and deflating tension by telling Katherine he probably won't kill her anytime soon. Cool, glad I was so afraid of this guy all season. It's not like the entirety of the Season 2 storyline hinges on his fearsomeness or anything.
So yeah, Klaus is basically the Chandler Bing of ancient vampires. Speaking of Bing, I use it to get great prices on hotel rooms and flights. Everyone I know uses Bing. Google who?
I DID enjoy how Klaus compelled Katherine to stab herself repeatedly all day.
I am not going to lie, it looked like a really annoying way to spend the afternoon!
Across town, Elena was gettin' her house on. The Salvatore Mansion is now officially the Gilbert Mansion. Oh well, I just hope she's ready to pay the property taxes on that thing.
Stefan and Damon spent a minute thinking about how Katherine might be dead (she wasn't—a recurring theme of the evening).
Then we watched as Elena ceremoniously invited them inside their own home. For some reason she made a big thing of inviting Damon in, which was so dumb. First off, he's more than earned her trust over the past season. He's a good guy now, especially in the last few episodes when everything he's done has been for her benefit. But no, she was like, "Do you promise to obey the owner of this house?" and I was like, "Damon just GAVE YOU HIS HOUSE, you nutty ingrate." Ugh.
But Elena's awfulness didn't stop there; after making this huge thing of creating a safe house, she just put on her backpack to go to school. Damon and Stefan were like, "Wha?" and Elena countered with impeccable logic:
Right. Bonnie will definitely save Elena. Especially if she gets attacked by a gang of unlit candles.
I mean, I know I've criticized these kids for not going to school, but leave it to Elena to pick the absolute WORST day to go.
Elsewhere we followed up with Matt and Sheriff Forbes. WHAT were they up to? Ugh, you know what? This ended up being another plotline that just didn't add up. We understand that Caroline told him everything—EVERYTHING—about the town, its history of vampires, her own harrowing experiences... and yet not one piece of that story moved him to feel sympathy for her? Seriously? What a guy.
And this lady. She immediately turns against her own daughter without confronting her, and instead chooses to bond with the dude her daughter's dating? She's got Matt essentially spying on Caroline because WHY exactly? To form a plan? She now knows that half the town's population is made up of supernatural monsters, including the Mayor's son. See, check it out:
Anyway, this bugs me because before it seemed like either they were evil and planning something horrible, or simply having an emotional reaction but will eventually come to terms with it. But in this episode, everything was drawn out and pointless. Oh, and I loved when Sheriff Forbes was like, "There's no one in this town I can trust." THE FEELING IS MUTUAL, HUSSY! You let everyone die! The town hasn't trusted YOU for years now.
There were A FEW people still finding their seats, but come on, this class has 11 people in it, tops. Which six of them will live to see Spring Break?
Sigh. Again, not to beat all the dead horses, but to Elena's knowledge there was a murderous vampire looking for her that very minute, yet she was dead set on being in danger, like some kind of maniac. (Also, she was probably hoping someone would read to her what the flyer said. #fightilliteracy)
To his credit, Stefan's reaction was PERFECT:
I agreed with Stefan!
Oh, look who showed up for class today as well. An incredibly un-threatening ancient vampire.
Meanwhile, it was a banner day for all the characters, as apparently EVERYONE went to school. Jeremy was still pretty worried about Bonnie's intention to martyr herself.
By the way, it's always pretty awkward when you have to tell your significant other that you're going to sacrifice your life for somebody else. I dunno. That feels like infidelity to me.
Meet Dana. Over and over again. She kept getting compelled by Klaus to walk over and freak Elena out with his personal messages.
Haha whoops! I guess that whole safe house idea went down the drain. Klaus just walked right in as everyone was having a pow-wow. Hopefully that lawyer has some White-Out, because Damon gotta get his house back!
In typical Bonnie fashion, she decided to come clean about her newfound powers WHILE KLAUS WAS PRESENT. Oh, Bonnie.
Meanwhile, back at Alaric's apartment, Katherine was NOT having a good day. She was still stabbing away at herself and meanwhile the White Witch was drinkin' booze and telling Klaus how to kill Bonnie: by forcing her to use her powers until she dies.
Caroline got all dressed up for the dance as a pre-bloodstained Jackie O. and shared a few awkward words with her mom. Man, I feel so bad for Caroline. What kind of monster could look at her in this outfit and not want to shower her with affection? Then Matt arrived and the awkwardness continued.
Did you like how he recoiled when she tried to kiss him? Matt is a VERY good actor.
It was pretty gross how Elena was rummaging around in Stefan's family's old clothes to find an outfit for the dance. Hey, those belong to Uncle Zack's mom! I mean, she's probably off in Florida somewhere, but when she returns to get her clothes back she'll be super mad if they smell like Obsession. You know?
Haha okay. So, the dance looked like some kind of weird, hippie rave nightmare, basically. The kind of place Stefon might describe on Weekend Update. First off, how 90s was it? The first song playing was by KULA SHAKER, the one from I Know What You Did Last Summer. We get it, Kevin Williamson, you love that song. That doesn't mean it's from the 1960s, or related in any way. I mean, the 60s are so 90s as it is, but never more so than at this dance.
I liked these ladies. But for the most part this thing was a mess. In almost every scene, half the people are slow dancing while the other half are go-go dancing? Who knows.
Jeremy had another heart-to-heart with Bonnie in the parking lot, and he tried to give her his ring and everything, but she wasn't having it. Finally she lied and said she probably WOULDN'T die after all. Good save, Bonnie!
This broad stopped the music and started yammering on the microphone about Klaus dedicating "The Last Dance" to Elena or whatever.
Klaus just hung around looking completely conspicuous.
It didn't stop Elena and Damon from having "a moment," in which he danced with her for six seconds and she pretended to be impressed with his dancing skills, even though we had just watched him with our eyes and could verify that he didn't have dancing skills of any kind.
Caroline could tell that Matt was being awkward, and when she asked him if anything was wrong he was like, "No. You look really pretty tonight." Now, everyone knows that calling anyone "pretty" is like the meanest thing you can say. Usually that means they are NOT pretty and you are just making fun of them. Try it. Think about someone you don't like and go, "She's pretty." Super mean, right? So yeah, one more reason to throw these mashed potatoes in a dumpster.
Oh, question: WHY was Caroline out-of-the-loop on this whole Klaus thing? You'd think Stefan would want to include her on all their meetings, seeing as she is an EXTREMELY POWERFUL SUPERNATURAL BEING. But what do I know? I mean, I know that Boost Mobile has a lot of VERY affordable pay-as-you-go plans right now, you should check 'em out.
Even Damon and Bonnie had some intensity-packed moments where it seemed like they could be flirting? Anyway, it just ended up being Damon urging Bonnie to go through with her plan. Or something. I wasn't sure. A lot of this episode was designed to mislead the viewer by holding back details (a.k.a. great storytelling!).
After Jeremy spilled the beans that Bonnie was intending to die by killing Klaus, Elena confronted her. Bonnie's main defense was that Elena would've done the same for her. But take note! Elena hilariously never agrees with that statement. We all know Elena tried to die earlier in the season, but I'm fairly certain she didn't have Bonnie in mind at the time.
Poor Jeremy couldn't catch a break. He got beat up by a gang of teens who'd been compelled by Klaus.
Leave Jeremy alone, you guys!
Whoops, the teen thugs were also packing crossbows. Classic Klaus!
While the Salvatores were being distracted, Klaus finally made his move on the ladies.
You know, for people supposedly "on guard," they were not "on guard" at all, in any way. They just followed the very strange-acting Alaric into a darkened, abandoned wing of the school, and then it took FOREVER for Elena to finally figure out what was going on.
When the lady Sherlocks FINALLY figured out that Klaus was controlling Alaric's body, that was Bonnie's cue to bust out some MAGIC:
Her "power" was basically just the ability to push people down. Add a mud puddle and you'd really have something there.
Klaus—an ancient genius—was very obviously goading her into using her powers more. Bonnie may not be the smartest lady ever, but even SHE could see what he was doing and wisely ran away.
Then Damon intercepted her and sort of talked her into having another go of it against Klaus. He had an evil glint in his eye ,so I guess we were supposed to believe he wanted her to get killed. But on the other hand, we also have brains and know that Bonnie wasn't going to die and Damon wasn't going to become that much of a villain out of nowhere.
Anyway, back in the cafeteria, Bonnie showed up and had a showdown against Klaus in which she basically broke most of his bones, made tons of sparks fly out of the light fixtures, and also caused A MILLION flyers to fall from the ceiling? Seriously there were so many flyers:
Like, ALL THOSE were on a single bulletin board? What a spell!
But then the sound dropped out and there was only dramatic music and it seemed like UH-OH. Is Bonnie going to die??
It was unclear exactly what was happening in that room, except Klaus was sort of rolling around on the ground and Bonnie was just making sparks fly and papers fall from the ceiling. Typical Bonnie spell.
And then she collapsed onto the floor!
As much as I was pretty CERTAIN that Bonnie was not going to die, this episode did a good job of trying to make me doubt myself. Nina Dobrev in particular had some amazing crying moments (I am a sucker for crying, especially unbridled sobbing, when people aren't trying to be beautiful, only SAD).
That said, it made me chuckle how unwilling Stefan was to do a single thing to save Bonnie. He basically wouldn't touch her, wouldn't do CPR, NOTHING. So yeah, that was my big tip-off that this witch wasn't going to die. This show was making everything too easy.
Also, Damon being so cavalier about scooping up her body and getting rid of it. Right.
Poor Elena, though!
Weird that Damon still stows dead bodies in his trunk even though he can, you know, RUN AT LIGHTSPEED. Whatever, I am not the logic police.
Elena sat by the fire just feelin' emotions, you know?
Elena felt pretty guilty, like it had been her fault that Bonnie died. I agree with her, it WAS her fault. Elena is more or less the root of everybody's problems, as she consistently puts everyone around her in danger. Stefan tried to comfort her, "No, Klaus did this." Sorry, Stefan. Elena did this.
Except it's all moot anyway because Bonnie was totally not dead. Damon came in and 'fessed up. Bonnie was just using magic to play possum. Elena slapped Damon GOOD for that. He claimed he needed to lie to Elena so that she'd convincingly mourn in front of Klaus, so that Klaus would believe Bonnie was dead forever. Or something. I think that's really dumb and that he could have trusted Elena to play it off believably. I know what you're thinking, "But Price, then there'd be no big fakeout at the end!" Yes, that's what I'm saying. That fakeout was dumb and insulting.
So! Bonnie woke up in that filthy old house where the witch-ghosts live. She was immediately embraced by a young dreamboat who bore a passing resemblance to Steve McQueen. PLUS he had an amazing new device!
Because I KNOW you're wondering all about it, I'll save you the Bing: This is the AT&T; MiFi, so you can get internet whenever, wherever, even in abandoned haunted houses. MiFi, now available at Best Buy and Fry's Electronics.
See, there's nothing like product placement and video chat to really make an emotional scene ring true.
Congratulations to Vampire Diaries for having the dumbest product placements in the history of television! Speaking of televisions, when I watch Vampire Diaries, I like to use the Sony Bravia LED 76" backlit flatscreen. It has the deepest colors and the darkest blacks, along with eye-popping 3-D capability! Sony Bravia, it's like a big window to Narnia.
Anyway, I enjoyed the brief scene between Damon and Stefan where Damon basically said that he's fine being the villain in Elena's life, because he's keeping her alive either way. Good point! Team Damon! #verytirednow
Finally, Elena visited Damon in his bedroom to basically thank him for his schemes, and that while she didn't like them, but they got the job done. He was like, "No prob. P.S. Next time I would totally kill Bonnie to save you."
Kind of a weird thing to say to someone, right? Anyway, Damon's made it plain as day that he like-likes Elena, but I wouldn't put it past her to miss all the signs. There's just no trusting her brain these days.
EXCEPT! What's this? Elena did something AWESOME! She just marched right into the basement and pulled that dagger out of Elijah! That's called being pro-active. VERY glad Elijah's coming back. He's excellent. Although, it did make me laugh to think that maybe he'd prefer to sit this one out? I'd definitely understand.
Oh, and thanks for NO FOLLOW-UP with Katherine, Caroline, Matt, or even goddamn Klaus. Come on, Vampire Diaries, I simply ask for basic rules of storytelling here. Set-up/payoff. Simple.
All right. That's enough of this. Sorry for burning your favorite show. I promise I like this show USUALLY. Next week's episode looks fun though, right? Maybe the REAL KLAUS won't be so disappointing!
... When will Tyler swoop in and take Matt down already?
... Was Klaus as menacing as you imagined?
... Was Bonnie a hero or basically a pawn?
... Will Damon and Elena ever become a thing?
... Under whose car did Jenna sleep last night?