I don't know if you guys remember last week, but if you're ever in the mood, just kick up your feet and really cast your memory back to last Thursday-ish. That was when a truly great episode of The Vampire Diaries aired. In a third season that has been basically ON FIRE, that episode in particular has to be a high point.
I'm not sure if anybody looked at this week's episode synopsis, noted that it was Bonnie-centric, and was like, "Yep, that's gonna be a classic." Because this week's episode, "The Ties That Bind," was was not a classic. It was about medium-okay. But saying a Season 3 episode is only medium-okay is like saying, "We only hit twelve home runs instead of the usual baker's dozen." You know? Still very good compared to other shows, but not amazing for a team that usually wins the World Series every week. Question: What is baseball? I've been hearing a lot about it lately. I know that the men wear equestrian pants and the women take over whenever our boys have to go overseas and show the Krauts what's what. Oh well, the point is: Sports analogies are the perfect way to describe The Vampire Diaries!
You know what, forget it. Let's take a walk through a Styrofoam graveyard, shall we?
We began in medias witchmare with Bonnie dreaming of walking around yet again.
Suddenly Bonnie found herself locked in a casket! She did NOT seem happy about it.
And just before she woke up, an angelic beauty opened the casket and drenched Bonnie in a wonderful heavenly light.
Then we cut to the witch house, where Bonnie was recounting the whole thing to Elena, who for some reason she'd decided to show the coffins to.
After Stefan walked in and got mad at everybody for spilling his secrets, Bonnie decided that the locked casket was the #1 most important thing in her life, and the only way she could think to solve the problem would be to locate the pretty lady from her dream, of whom she always carried around a photo in her back pocket.
Well obviously, come on, Stefan. But most importantly, look at Baby Bonnie! Dang, I'd really like to see her go back to that hairstyle. #TVD4
Back at Elena's house, the ladies pored through tons of profiles of every Abby Bennett in the nation (Sheriff Forbes' little inkjet printer must've been at it for hours!). Luckily they had a vampire out pounding the pavement as well.
Bingo! We had a match, and that match had a need for speed and incredible taste in earrings.
Then Damon took the opportunity to openly flirt with Elena right in front of Bonnie:
Elsewhere Caroline arrived home probably in the hopes of just kickin' back and watching Dance Moms or something.
But whoops! Tyler wanted to apologize for having bitten her almost to death, and the way he decided to do that was to enlist a man who recently attempted to scramble Caroline's brain via torture to hopefully somehow help him break his sire bond to Klaus. Now, Bill Forbes is in my opinion the biggest storytelling blunder of Season 3. I hated that plotline so very much. I don't care how many homosexuals are involved behind the scenes of this show, to take TVD's only gay character and turn him into a hypocritical bigot just rubbed me all wrong, let's put it that way. I appreciated that Bill was brought back for a decidedly more positive purpose this time, but it still didn't make sense. Suddenly he was totally cool with the existence of monsters and somehow wanted to get Caroline's forgiveness? Um, didn't he basically tell her off last time they spoke? Oh well, those complaints aside, this B-story was still the best part of the episode.
Over at Mystic Grill Alaric had just concluded a weird lunch date with Meredith only to have Damon walk in and spill the beans about Meredith's dead ex-boyfriend the Medical Examiner.
While Alaric was slightly concerned that Meredith might be a psycho killer, I'm sure he's seen worse. Not a deal-breaker.
And then over at the Salvatore joint, Klaus was just chillin' in the den listening to rock and roll jams and being a real pain in the neck.
After having gotten rid of the hybrids like Stefan demanded, Klaus now wanted to know the next step for getting his family back. Hilariously enough Stefan was like, "Not gonna happen." Klaus needed to move away for a few years and then, I don't know, write a super polite letter on nice stationery requesting his family back and only then would Stefan consider it. I don't know, that didn't seem like a good idea to me. But Stefan didn't care because his main concern was hassling Elena a ton for some reason.
Elena and Bonnie were driving out of state (in Bonnie's rarely seen white Prius!) to visit this Abby Bennett lady. Unfortunately Klaus was one step ahead of them and sent his newest hybrid bestie to make mischief before they arrived.
Later on after Elena and Bonnie arrived they had a run-in with a new hunky dude who seemed to be living with Abby.
Oh Bonnie. Anyway, upon finding out Bonnie was Abby's daughter, the guy (Jamie) invited her in.
But they didn't have to wait long. Almost immediately a suspiciously young looking woman walked in the back door and a surprising and emotional reunion took place.
Haha look at Elena's face right there. She might as well have been sitting there eating a potato. Anyway, the pictures don't capture it but this was a pretty moving moment. It wasn't just a long-awaited reunion, there was clearly some anger on Bonnie's part so the whole thing was heartwarming but super awkward. Kat Graham had some A+ reactions shots though.
Meanwhile in some underground dungeon (the secret jail cell? the Lockwood slave quarters? Applebee's?) Tyler was suddenly shirtless and chained up.
The idea was that for Tyler to sever his sire bond to Klaus, he'd have to stop being grateful to Klaus for breaking his werewolf curse and instead learn to manage the pain of transmogrification on his own. (I don't know.)
Ugh, it seemed like such a drag. Oh well, that's not an MP, that's an HB (hybrid problem).
First off, Jamie is the son of Abby's former husband, so it's not like they're dating or anything, let's just clear that up right now. But more importantly Abby told Bonnie the reason she'd abandoned her in Mystic Falls and it bizarrely centered around Elena. Apparently when Elena and Bonnie were toddlers Mikael had come searching for the doppelganger and Abby used all of her witch strength to desiccate him and lock him in that one tomb where Katherine found him. Unfortunately this act of heroism had side effects:
Haha Bonnie was so quick to be sick of Abby! Fortunately she stayed long enough for more drama to unfold.
Stefan had followed them there, for some reason. I don't know. Maybe Klaus had eaten all his Any'tizers or something and he just wanted to get out of the house.
Over at the hospital (hey they turned their lights on!) Damon was still out investigating everything and he finally confronted Meredith about her involvement in the ME's murder and cover-up.
Whoops! Bad vampire! Never turn your back on a fidgety lady. Where are your vampire instincts? "Sorry so sloppy." - Damon
Anyway, this was kind of horrifying:
Meredith just straight up stole his blood and then left him to sleep it off on the cold hospital floor. Harsh!
Speaking of harsh:
Tyler had begun to have second thoughts about this whole thing. That's when Bill Forbes picked up AN AXE.
Poor Tyler! It's gotta be hard when your ex-girlfriend's gay dad chops you with an axe all kinds.
Back at Abby's place, Bonnie was demanding answers from her mother.
As it turned out Abby had intentionally left Bonnie behind because she was mostly just sick of Mystic Falls? You know something, I am still not exactly sure what happened with this woman. First she said she lost her powers fighting off an Original vampire, now she's saying she lost her powers because the earth got pissed at her for abandoning her daughter. Either way, she felt like Bonnie would be fine chilling with Jasmine Guy instead. And that's when Bonnie dropped the bombshell that Grams wasn't around anymore.
Well, let's say this about Abby Bennett: She was definitely Bonnie's mother. Because sorry folks, this lady was a walking snoozefest. It's a bummer to say this, but I kind of thought this Bonnie-centric episode would finally cause Bonnie to be the dynamic character I'm told people believe her to be, but instead we now had TWO sad witches frowning at everybody. Oh well, I guess we can still cross our fingers that Bonnie goes evil, right?
Then Jamie came out and tried to get Stefan to scram, but Stefan had other ideas.
It turned out Jamie had been compelled by the hybrid to shoot Stefan with wooden shotgun shot. Oh, and look who else got compelled?
Poor Bonnie! And also poor Abby, her lower back was gonna be sore in the morning:
Oh, and then THIS happened:
Alaric was lifting all the weights in his home gym when Damon stopped by to inform him that Meredith had knocked him out and stolen his blood.
And Alaric STILL wasn't completely turned off by her.
Back in the cave Tyler was NOT having a good time. Still. But he did finally start making progress on that whole 'turning into a werewolf' thing.
Oh no! Tyler got loose and bit Bill Forbes ALL UP. Sorry Bill Forbes.
Then Abby reported back to the hybrid and he insisted she finish her mission by finding out where Klaus' coffins were.
Luckily Abby was able to bypass her compulsion by telling Bonnie to warn Damon that Klaus was gonna come looking for the coffins. Also, Elena was using mind tricks of her own, by convincing Jamie that he'd violated his compulsion to "not hurt her" by tying her ropes too tight.
And then she grabbed his shotgun and BUSTED HIM OVER THE HEAD WITH IT.
Holy moly! Go Elena! Meanwhile Stefan was still rolling around on the ground with a chest full of splinters.
Uh-oh. Would fingering Stefan's chest wounds be the way to his heart? (Aside from literally?)
Back at the witch house, Damon was just doing his thing.
Klaus had been tipped off about the coffins and he was there to collect! But first he had to make fun of the witch ghosts, obviously.
How hilarious was it when he threatened the ghosts with killing the Bennett family?
And it worked!
Except, crafty bro that he is, Damon had already whisked the locked casket to a secret location. Klaus was NOT happy, but Damon was definitely loving it, and you could tell Klaus kinda was too.
Speaking of loving it, yup, it was clear Stefan was definitely getting all tingly for the thin brunette currently jamming her thumb into his ribcage.
That's just called good timing, Elena. Well done! Stefan reacted appropriately:
Oh please, get over it, guy. You did this.
So finally Alaric went to the hospital and confronted Meredith about all the weird stuff he'd been hearing about her.
It turned out she'd been healing her patients with vampire blood! That was her secret!
Obviously, the healing properties of vampire blood was old news to you and I, but Meredith was pretending she was about to win a Nobel Prize or something. Cool it, lady, you're late to the vampire blood party. But anyway this whole thing seemed hilarious because with the death rate in this town, Meredith's basically a one-woman vampire factory. Now anyone who dies chances are will have vampire blood in them. This town.
So then Abby Bennett told Bonnie that although she didn't have magic of her own, perhaps if they hung out a bit more her magic would come back and she'd be able to help with the locked casket.
So, fine. This is what's called a disappointing plotline. Bonnie had a reunion with her mother but it was ruined by a dumb hybrid compelling everybody. Then Abby doesn't even have powers so now we probably have to have a whole 'nother episode where she finds them somewhere, and neither mother nor daughter will so much as utter an interesting line of dialogue the entire time. Oh well. At least we can stop wondering what amazing backstory Bonnie's family has.
It was definitely pretty nice of Tyler to go visit Bill Forbes at the hospital (Caroline was probably at home watching Dance Moms finally).
But then he got the bad news: Tyler's sire curse wouldn't be broken until he learned to transmogrify painlessly. And also Bill wasn't going to let Tyler near Caroline again until that happened. SUX 2 B TYLER.
After Meredith had revealed her secrets, it was Alaric's turn. This included showing her his backpack full of slayer weaponry plus his favorite piece of jewelry.
HAHA. Elena walked in on these people totally macking out in her vestibule. But then she made it clear to Alaric that it was fine.
Oh and then Stefan arrived back home and he was super ticked at Damon for having kissed Elena that one time.
Fortunately Damon recovered quickly.
Damon had undaggered an Original! But which one??
Back at Klaus' mansion (which was shaping up nicely, thank you very much), he and his hybrid were organizing caskets.
And then something interesting happened!
He'll probably be so bummed when he finds out he was only asleep for like four months. He was probably hoping he'd wake up in a world of self-driving cars and blood in pill form. Oh well, WELCOME BACK ELIJAH!
This episode was just fine in my book. I liked it. A for effort. B for Bonnie. C for CIAO!!
... Will Elijah be pretty sore at Klaus?
... Does Stefan's punch prove he still <3s Elena soooo much?
... Do you think Abby Bennett is secretly interesting deep down?
... Should Tyler and Bill Forbes get their own spin-off?