It's a given that I don't understand half of the ongoing plotlines of The Vampire Diaries. I used to feel pretty bad about it—here I am, trying to explain this show in picture format to the casual reader, and even I can't make heads or tails of what's happening at any given time. But you know what? I've stopped feeling guilty about it, I'm just owning it now: I am confused, and that's just the way it's going to be! All I ask for now is that this show be actually FUN to watch, and this episode was VERY fun.
Oh hey, did you notice this episode was written by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec? NO WONDER they are the bosses. Give yourselves raises, you rascals. What an improvement after last week! Don't get me wrong, this episode still had some clunkers, especially relating to the increasingly ludicrous vampire origin story, but there were some MAJOR highlights as well. I mean, COME ON:
It's like the writers were like, "How can we make Price smile today?" Bingo. This episode was like an ancient dreamboat walking out of a suitcase.
All right, where were we? Oh right: A dusty, underlit dungeon.
When we left off last week, Elena had suddenly stopped being a completely passive character and had taken it upon herself to awaken the only vampire who could possibly step to Klaus.
Elijah took his sweet-ass time coming back to life, but when he did it was pretty exciting. Elijah is awesome!
While writhing around on the ground doing his zombie gyrations or whatever, Elijah saw Elena sitting there and immediately began having flashbacks. You know, to the olden days when everyone wore floppy wigs and hung out in blurry ballrooms.
The year 1492, to be exact. Seems ol' Katerina Petrova found herself at the wrong party at the wrong time. But as you can see, the people were FANCY:
You know, if Trevor had worn his hair like this in modern times, Elijah probably wouldn't have karate chopped his head off. It was VERY luxurious.
Unfortunately, Elijah broke from his reverie only to realize he'd been flashbackin' the wrong lady.
He dealt with it like most people would when they realize they're hanging out with Elena—by throwing himself against the nearest wall. Zing! (?)
Just kidding, this part was actually AWESOME. Because Elijah was dead when the house became human-owned, he woke up inside it without having been invited! So he had some kind of uninvited-vampire-seizure and tore through the hallways like a whirling dervish.
Also, I think this was a new innovation, but was this the first episode in which there was actually a NOISE when a vampire hit that invisible doorway barrier? THUNK! I guess I never thought there was a physical barrier, I thought it was just a psychological thing that vampires had, like compulsions, but nope. According to the distinctive sound effects, apparently there's a force field. Whatever you say, Vampire Diaries!
Elena was eager to have a chat with Elijah, but she wanted to do it far away from those meddlesome Salvatores who are always messing everything up (or FIXING everything, but whatever). In order to gain Elijah's trust, Elena gave him the dagger as a keepsake and then ran off with him just before Stefan woke up.
So, just to be clear, super vampire hearing doesn't really work when they sleep. Wait, why do vampires sleep again? This show!
Stefan ran downstairs only to find Damon being handsy with Andie. I was wondering what happened with this lady! I'm sure she's been super busy with all kinds of hard hitting investigative journalism. (LOL)
Damon did NOT approve of this semi-consensual relationship.
But Andie was definitely in the "you don't understand our love" phase of her abuse. Good for her! We should all be so lucky. Barf. I generally like Damon as a character, but we've been through this sort of thing (with Caroline last season) and it never feels not-icky.
FINALLY, they noticed the missing corpse in their dungeon. Whoops, how did that happen?! I bet they NEVER saw that coming. These guys have the best hiding places.
Elena was doing her best to win Elijah's trust back. It mostly involved giving him a vampire Capri Sun and saying super nice things about him over the phone.
And it worked! Elijah started telling her all about Klaus, including the fact that body possession is one of his favorite tricks. Boy, I bet Elena felt like a real horse's patoot for killing him before learning that.
They dropped by the Lockwood mansion and confronted a sad-eyed mayor with a teenage hunk-shaped hole in her heart.
Luckily Mrs. Lockwood was easy to compel because she hadn't been drinking her vervain, because Elijah had compelled her not to a few weeks before, even though in theory his death would have broken the compulsion—but you know what? I'm just trying to have fun here. Hey how funny was it when she barely flinched about loaning Elijah her dead husband's clothes? He'd only been dead for what? Five weeks? Cold-blooded, lady.
Meanwhile, Stefan got a troubling phone call from a professional Door Opener. (So THAT'S what she's getting her degree in.)
Jenna seemed pretty confused as to why her house was so empty. I was confused too; wasn't John still there? And why wasn't Jeremy answering his videochat? Did his AT&T; MiFi signal cut out?
Meanwhile, in flashback village, we were about to finally get our first glimpse of this season's main villain.
NEXT: Klaus is in da house!
Hey look, it's NIKLAUS! Call him Klaus though, okay? Turns out, Klaus is handsome—sorta lion-faced—but definitely more mysterious and sinister than the Alaric version.
Katerina was ALL about it.
Even though this was all some sort of plan to capture Katerina, Elijah still looked kinda butt-hurt about her instant connection with Klaus. But wait, why were these dudes calling each other "brother?"
Amazing! Elijah and Klaus are brothers. Wait, is it amazing, or is that just revisionist history? Not sure. But fine, that makes it a more bitter rivalry now, plus that means Katherine used to be the Elena of her day (stuck between two brothers. Nevermind.)
Meanwhile, in Alaric's personal Pottery Barn showroom, Katherine discovered a bottle of liquor.
Damon and Andie showed up to talk to Katherine. Why? Not sure. The main thing about Damon in this episode was that he was VERY angry at Stefan for some reason. I think it had to do with their differing methods of keeping Elena safe. So while Stefan was out trying to talk to Jenna, Damon was making friends with his mama vampire. Or something? Not gonna lie, I had no idea what was going on. Why did they just show up to the place they knew Klaus and his witches were crashing at? Did they know he wouldn't be there? (Shhhh, be quiet, brain!)
Anyway, he needed Andie to deal with the invitation-barrier issue.
Because I don't know if you know this, but the barrier makes NOISES now.
Damon's main gift for Katherine was a bottle of vervain. Apparently if she drinks it, Klaus can't compel her anymore. Damon suggested that for every vampire rule, there is a loophole. No doy, Damon, Klaus is a WALKING loophole. No rules apply to these Originals. That's part of why they're kind of a lame contrivance this season. Yeah, I said it. My main problem with them as villains is that so much of their lore, weaknesses, and abilities are just plum made-up on the spot. So fine, whatever. Drink it up, girl.
Not knowing what else to do, Stefan raced over to Jenna's house to warn her in person.
Except, WHAT? Klaus/Alaric was already there! Honestly though, this is a big WHO CARES. First off, WHY did Klaus give a damn about Jenna? Also, wasn't it more than obvious that he was simply not as powerful while in a human body?
The main tension of this scene came down to whether or not Klaus would tell Jenna about vampires. It meant that Klaus gave a really long, meandering speech about vampire legends and whatnot, but Jenna just seemed annoyed mostly.
I agreed with Jenna FOR ONCE.
So Klaus opted for Plan B. Luckily Stefan jumped in to save her.
Whoops, cat's out of the bag now!
Meanwhile, in the Lockwoods' backyard (for some reason), Elijah and Elena were still taking a stroll, talking about medieval vampirism. In particular, Elena wanted to know why Elijah had such a grudge against Katherine. He claimed he had his reasons, and then we flashed back to a a fanciful frolic.
Yes, it seemed as though Elijah may have developed feelings for ol' Katerina.
Typical Klaus, stealing away weak women. It made me laugh how Elena-like Katherine used to be. Sort of gives me hope for the day Elena might get turned. Wouldn't that be something??
Did you like this new angle on the Salvatore Mansion? Lookin' good, house!
Jenna was VERY hurt and VERY emotional about everything. Seriously though, she didn't seem to mind so much that her very reality had been called into question through the confirmation that most of her friends and loved ones are supernatural monsters. No, she seemed mostly upset that she'd been out of the loop.
Elena did her best to comfort Jenna, even though she had no real excuses. I have to say, again, I kind of see this from Jenna's side. What an awful feeling! Nobody had anything to gain from keeping Jenna in the dark. It just made her look like a fool.
Anyway, I know I give Jenna a tough time, so I'm glad she finally knows about all this stuff now. It's very had to sympathize with dunces!
Also, what was Stefan doing eavesdropping on them? Creepy!
So, there was definitely conflict brewing between the brothers, but I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around the particulars. I think they were just in bad moods?
Guess who WASN'T in a bad mood?
HOORAY for dancing scenes! This was like a sequel to my favorite-ever Vampire Diaries scene—Damon and Vicki dancing around the mansion in their underwear during Season 1. I just like it when it seems like it might be FUN to be a vampire, you know?
Oh, but look who it was, old Grumpyhair.
Katherine played it off like a pro, however. Classic Katherine! I liked how when Klaus "compelled" her to shut up, it took her a second to remember that she'd drank vervain, and she was all awkward about it.
Oh, look who it is! Greta! Sorry your brother and dad are super dead, lady. Anyway, she looked like she was having a good time.
The other witch servants wheeled in Klaus' REAL body, which was kept in a very expensive antique trunk, like the one Tom Hanks floats around on in Joe vs. The Volcano.
Okay, so now we get to the best and most hilarious revelation this show had to offer. First of all, you know that Sun & Moon Curse that all the vampires and werewolves have been fretting about all season (and for the past few centuries)? It's fake. It doesn't exist. So, like, awesome, this show got us to believe in a stupid thing and now it didn't even matter!
The REAL curse is relevant to Klaus only. It's a curse made by the witches to restrict the half of Klaus that IS A WEREWOLF. That's right, he's the bastard son of a werewolf while also being a vampire. HE'S BOTH.
So anyway, the stakes are still hilariously low. Elijah claims that if Klaus awakens the werewolf half of himself, he'll be some kind of unstoppable force. But I'm sorry, didn't anyone notice that the werewolves are mostly useless? There was NEVER a balance between werewolves and vampires because the only power a werewolf has is to turn into a dog once a month. Sure, they carry vampire rabies, but still. Vampires win. Anyway, great job, Vampire Diaries. That's a DON'T-CARE plot twist, for sure.
Also Stefan and Damon finally admitted to each other what's always been obvious.
They even rough-housed for eight seconds, until they were interrupted by Elena and Elijah, who both looked simply appalled.
Elijah had a flashback that filled in some final gaps: He'd discovered a way to break Klaus' curse without killing Katherine, but for some reason, Klaus didn't care. Anyway, when Katherine escaped, Klaus immediately blamed Elijah and it became clear that they were then blood enemies. All because of Katherine! Fair enough, she DOES have moves.
But, oh right, modern day. Anyway, the boys stopped fighting long enough to be annoyed at Elena for bringing Elijah into their home.
Poor Elijah just wanted an apology for having been repeatedly murdered and blow-torched and having all his witches killed. Fair enough!
Haha Damon was totally back in sullen teenager mode!
After telling everyone off GOOD, he ran upstairs and ripped off his shirt to take a shame shower, but Andie was still hanging out (even though he'd told her to leave). She basically told him that he didn't have to compel her anymore, that she actually had feelings for him.
When he grabbed her by the shoulders and compelled her to leave "before I kill you," it wasn't so much a threat as it was super sad. He really seemed to not be able to control himself anymore.
Poor guy. I mean, Damon's a bit of a maniac, but still. Poor maniac!
Back at Alaric's place, witches were lighting candles with their brains.
The REAL Alaric finally came to, and he didn't seem to mind that there were a half-dozen witches conjuring an ancient vampire in his living room as much as he seemed annoyed that Elena might be there. I totally would have done a face plant too.
Then it happened. The trunk opened and out walked an upgrade.
THREE MORE EPISODES!
... Do you trust Elijah?
... Are you glad Jenna's finally "in the know"?
... Do you think Alaric will be sore?
... How are Bonnie and Jeremy spending their time in that haunted house?