The Vampire Diaries: Burn Down the Disco

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Man, when The Vampire Diaries is on, it's really ON. I mean, don't get me wrong, there's always plenty to make fun of because this show is ridiculous, just straight up ridiculous. But for my money there are two things Vampire Diaries does better than any show on television: teen angst and full-on horror. In its lesser episodes it forgets these elements and we're left with boring flashbacks or scenes about middle-aged teachers having misunderstandings. But in episodes like Thursday's "The House Guest" we get reminders of how fun it can be to be a teenager, interspersed with some of the most inventive and frightening horror imagery on television. You guys, this is a pretty fun show. Did you know that?!? Trust me, it's fun. I'll explain later.

Before we jump in, I want to get something out of the way. I like to think I'm a good person deep down. I know I talk a ton of trash about the boring or bad elements of this show, like how the two main characters are lifeless 'tards, but I only point out the bad because there's so much else that's good. For instance, because I am the meanest about Elena, I think it's important to make clear that I think Nina Dobrev is a terrific actress, and she did particularly awesome in last night's 'sode. Katherine is a genuinely great character and a lot of that has to do with Dobrev's talents. The differences between the two characters are subtle and surprising. So yeah, boring Elena is not Dobrev's fault! Rather than blame her, I choose to blame the author who made this character so boring in the first place. L.J. Smith, you're F--KIN' FIRED. Whoops! Someone beat me to it. (Haha too soon?)

But yeah. I hate because I love. God don't make no trash, etc. Hey, GREAT EPISODE last night, am I right?

We started things off in a very brown, very poorly lit mansion where Elena was crackin' jokes about not going to school. Oh Elena, you're hilarious. You're also TRUANT, young lady. Elena needs to quit foolin' around with a chiseled corpse and start thinking about her damn PSATs.

Ugh, these two. I'm glad THEY are having fun.

Then we got some Parent Trap-style doppelganger shenanigans. You know: One's a Brit! The other's a cokehead! Because, Lindsay Lohan. Nevermind. Anyway, Damon was feeling very chokey.

I guess he'd kicked Katherine out the night before and she'd spent the ensuing hours stealing Elena's clothes and ironing her hair? Whatever, Katherine gets bored I guess.

So both Damon and Stefan immediately fell for her impersonation, and Stefan suddenly doubted that he'd been making nookie with the correct person.

I loved that everyone was so quick to choke each other out. If anything, Elena seemed, AT MOST, slightly annoyed by the choking, but then again she'd had quite a week. Elena isn't that impressed by chokings anymore.

Haha, psych! Classic Katherine. She was just F-ing with everyone. Honestly though, maybe she shouldn't be so proud of being mistaken for an affectless bobblehead?

So yeah, Katherine's back! Her thing was, she wanted to help kill Klaus, and she seemed pretty confident that they'd need her help because she's a pro at these things. That she's pretty smart and useful might seem super obvious to me and you, but of course Elena and Stefan were trying to wrap their brains around it. Ugh, these two.

Isn't this the saddest sign ever made? LIVE music! Man, what a town. Is this really all it takes to get people to show up somewhere? If anything, whenever I hear there's a live band playing at a restaurant, I like, AVOID that restaurant. I don't need to hear aging music teachers tearing through cover songs while I'm trying to eat my wings. Cool it, you guys.

Also, did I hear correctly or did Matt claim that Mystic Grill might "go under"? See, I knew this would happen. Too many supernatural creatures are using that establishment for important meetings and not doing enough ORDERING OF FOOD. Thanks a lot, monsters. Human beings are going to lose their jobs!

Matt still felt sort of weird about Tyler and Caroline's "friendship" and wasn't really giving Caroline the time of day. Poor lady. Rejected by a reject.

I mean, look. I just think if you don't want to be suspected of being a very rich, very old vampire, perhaps you shouldn't drive this very expensive, very old car. But what do I know? Nothing. Case dismissed.

How much did you love Damon's indoor flame thrower? I want one! How can I get one? Do they have them at Kohl's? Just kidding, I'm not allowed to go there anymore.

Damon was trying to burn up Elijah's body but it wasn't working. I love that he just stopped trying. I mean, really? Chainsaw maybe? Jackhammer? Acid? Nope, best to just leave this insanely dangerous vampire unattended until further notice.

Damon still seemed pretty ticked that Katherine tried to get him killed the night before. But she was just like, "Yeah, what of it?" I love Katherine. I'm sure deep down Damon was all grinning like, "You, Madam, are a RASCAL." I agree! Katherine is so diabolical it's charming.

Back at school, Elena chatted up Alaric about his Jenna problems. This plotline is still happening, I guess. I got mad all over again about how Alaric gave his ring away, especially because GUESS WHAT? Uncle Gilbert hasn't fixed their relationship yet like he said he would. Great trade, Alaric. Great brain.

Stefan and Bonnie arranged to meet up with Jonas and Luka at a certain struggling local hangout.

It was pretty weird between Bonnie and Luka, but more importantly, Daddy Warlock did NOT accept Stefan's offer of cooperation. In fact he seemed pretty P.O.'d (pissed off) that Elijah had been killed. Whoops!

Back at the mansion, Katherine was getting on Damon's last nerve. This made me laugh:

I liked the Damon/Katherine dynamic in this episode because it felt like he wasn't nearly as charmed by her flirtations as before. Again, back to the Rose plotline, Damon has mellowed out a bit. Maybe he's learned some lessons and junk? Who knows. All I know is Katherine wasn't about to get a shirtless hug anytime soon. Only local news anchors get those anymore.

And then MY FAVORITE scene of the night. How weird was this scene?

Very smooth, very cool. Last week I asked you guys to tell me what the actual date was on this show, and someone estimated that according to the show's timeline these characters are still in early 2010. So, I guess Mystic Falls is also a testing ground for all the newest electronic prototypes that AT&T;, Apple, Windows, etc. will offer in the future? VERY cool, and not distracting at all. It's funny if you look at these pictures again and pretend they're holding a regular-sized iPhone. Now they all look like tiny ladies! Isn't that hilarious? I'm sad.

And just when it seemed like the girls were going to stay in and order from one of the (apparently dozens?) of Mystic Falls pizza places that Bonnie HAD TO LOOK UP on her tablet, Caroline remembered that there was LIVE MUSIC happening somewhere in town. So that settled it then! Off they went.

Jonas the Warlock decided he'd have to locate and resurrect Elijah if he ever wanted to see his imprisoned daughter Greta ever again. Fair enough! I wouldn't've trusted Stefan and Bonnie with that either.

Except, to do this, he decided to transform his son into an invisible ghost investigator, which we'd quickly learn was THE WORST IDEA imaginable.

Luka wandered around the Salvatore Mansion looking for Elijah but at first all he found were a couple of bookworms reading dumb diaries.

Eventually Katherine went to grab a snack just as Luka's ghost attempted to remove the dagger from Elijah's corpse.

A really weird tussle ensued! It was funny seeing Katherine wrestle an invisible ghost over an enchanted dagger lodged in a vampire's corpse because that doesn't happen every day. At least, not where I live. But then things got serious when Luka's dad instructed him to BREAK A CHAIR and then STAKE Katherine instead.

And then he DID! I screamed (J/K but I was concerned)! How horrible would it be if Katherine died. But man, the joke was on me. I shouldn't have just assumed that a wooden stake to the chest-area would kill a vampire! How stupid of me. Damon showed up and nonchalantly yanked it out and Katherine was fine. Phew! This show.

It made me laugh how Damon IMMEDIATELY knew that a witch-ghost was up to no good and he just picked up the flame thrower and took care of business.

And back in his apartment, Luka CAUGHT ON FIRE.

So basically, just to recap: This father warlock had the ability to incapacitate vampires with a wave of his palm, but he still thought it was a better idea to send his son unprotected into a vampire mansion where he could be harmed very easily via telekinesis? Was this just so he wouldn't have to take the bus across town or what? Ugh, lazy warlocks. Bye, Luka! It's too bad you had to die, but you should've known this show has a bit of a track record when it comes to African-American characters.

Anyway, over at Mystic Grill an up-and-coming indie band was playing a hot set and generating tons of internet buzz.

Jenna was doing shots instead of talking to Alaric. Why? Who cares. Jenna's officially annoying now. She went from being a nobody to being a very annoying nobody. That's an arc, I guess? Ugh, I hate that I have to feel bad for Alaric now. Get off this show, lady.

The underlying theme of this episode is whether we ever actually help someone by lying to them. Both Caroline and Alaric struggled with whether to come clean to Matt and Jenna, respectively, with regard to the existence of vampires. I mean, I agree, these people should be informed—if only because they look like idiots for not knowing. On the other hand, HOW do they not know already? Matt's SISTER was a damn vampire and Jenna works for the town historical society, plus her niece and nephew both DATE vampires. Anyway, point is, Elena had something SMART to say for once, and she advised Caroline to come clean.

And then, oh man. OH GOD. OH MAN.

Caroline bum-rushed the stage and snatched the mic and COMPELLED the band to back her up. I know I'm gonna get in trouble with the super fans, but this is easily the most horrifying moment on the show so far. What an A-hole! It was so embarrassing. It made me hate Caroline a little, like I haven't since Season 1. I mean, once in a blue moon does this town get LIVE MUSIC and she has to ruin everything, then jump on stage and not even get to the point, just rambling on about liking some boy while the band stands there realizing their ONE GIG has been ruined.

And then she started singing.

Holy F-ing moly. Do you even know what she chose to sing? She sang "ETERNAL FLAME" by The Goddamn Bangles. Now, I mean, fine. Great song. I had that tape when I was a kid. Who didn't? But, WHAT? Why? Why ON EARTH? Did the producers want to get some of that sweet Glee download money? None of this made any sense. I watched it three times and it made less and less sense every time I saw it.

The audience was OKAY with this? Yeah, fine, Candice Accola has a good voice. Weirdly smoky and processed, but fine. I still don't get it. How is this "coming clean" about being a vampire?

Eternal Flame. ETERNAL FLAME!

Matt was VERY into it. Because why not? He's Matt. He's permanently on the verge of tears anyway.

And then, ONE CHORUS into the song, Matt takes the stage and lays one on her. What a godsend. I was happy for them but I was also happy for us that it was over! Lord, I was still blushing from embarrassment. Cringing, just absolutely cringing from this scene. At one point my soul had actually left my body, floated up, and gave my TV the side-eye.

Yeah, so THAT happened. Holy Lord, none of us will ever live this down. Shame on us all. We did this.

Man. It's almost too much to continue. Where do I find the strength to go on? Hold on a second, I'm just gonna leaf through The Collected Poems of Maya Angelou real quick.

Better. All right. So Stefan dropped by the Warlocks' apartment, where Jonas scrambled his brain and then took off to find Elena.

Funnily enough, at that very moment, Elena was dealing with an awkward situation of her own. The world's saddest witch had a girl-boner for her younger brother. What's the etiquette for this situation? Nobody knows anymore. It's a new world now, one where a girl can just jump up on stage and sing "Eternal Flame" and it's considered not-crazy. Anyway, long story short, Elena was like "Sure. Green light."

What a relief! Bonnie was pretty stoked though. I mean, who could blame her, her new boyfriend looks like Steve McQueen! Dang, if only Jasmine Guy could've been around to see THIS.

Watch out! Angry warlock on the war path! This was a really great moment. Jonas TORE THIS JOINT APART!

So long, Mystic Grill! You were the weirdest all-ages restaurant, pool hall, night club, dive bar, music venue, and vampire hangout this side of the Mason-Dixon line.

As everyone scrambled, Caroline bravely leapt onto Jonas and tried to bite his throat out. But he zapped HER brain real good, so Matt ran in to DEAL with this dude. Unfortunately, this happened:

What kind of spell was THAT? You don't learn that kind of stuff at the wizard academy, let me tell you. Poor Matt! Lucky for him, his girlfriend is sort of a demon.

Back at the Gilbert House, Jonas snuck up on Elena in her bathroom.

Psych! It was actually Katherine and he'd walked right into her trap.

She bit his throat right OUT!

Bonnie seemed pretty upset about Jonas, and just when she knelt to peacefully close his eyes, he suddenly CAME ALIVE AND…

Grabbed her skull again for old times' sake? Luckily Stefan quickly snapped his neck.

It made me laugh how Katherine was standing over him like some kind of ninja. Man, these kids. I remember when they were just a Teen Detective Agency. Now they're a straight-up MURDER SQUAD.

Elena was not sufficiently grateful, in my opinion.

Tricking Jonas WAS Katherine's idea, after all. I mean, sure it's annoying having someone impersonate you and wear your clothes and junk, but look what happened! Chick saved the day.

These people had a conversation that I was supposed to care about? Nice try, Vampire Diaries. Anyway, sorry Alaric. You're better off.

Jeremy was VERY concerned about Bonnie's lack of powers. Chill out, Jeremy. Take a break.

Luckily that's what the whole last-gasp skull grabbing was about. As Bonnie explained, in his last moment, Jonas restored Bonnie's powers, plus gave her a bunch of psychic instructions on how to kill Klaus and I guess also to say hi to his daughter for him? Who knows? Still though, very thoughtful!

There was a bit of business about how Katherine may have gotten Emily Bennett killed back in the day, and it's tied into that witch burial ground they're looking for. So, if I may hazard some theorizing, it's looking like when Klaus arrives and the sacrifice occurs on the burial ground, there may or may not be ghost witches who will seek to help Bonnie and/or get revenge on Katherine. Great, more things to worry about. Let's just wait for the finale, okay writers? I am not smart enough to keep track of these things.

Matt had a number of pointed questions for Caroline. So she finally TOLD HIM she's a vampire. Yes, FINALLY. Now Matt might have something to do on this show! Unfortunately Caroline didn't handle this in the cool, confident, empathetic way she'd been for most of this season. No, it was strictly whiny, delusional, Season 1 Caroline all the way. Ugh, what a bummer. Needless to say, Matt did NOT take it well.

Sorry, Caroline. You live and you learn, am I right? Let's all hope Matt doesn't run home and get himself killed. Now that he's got blood in his system, everything he does will be like a scene from Final Destination. Almost getting killed every five minutes.

Ding-dong!

Jenna was NOT happy to have a caller at THIS hour.

Haha, oh it's Isobel. Great timing! Welcome back.

Questions:

... Will Katherine survive past the finale?

... What's Isobel up to now?

... Will Greta be stoked when she finds out she's an orphan?

... Do you think Jenna will…. zzzzzzzz

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