So this is how it's going to be, I guess. Awesome and then boring and then amazing and then terrible and then back to awesome. The Vampire Diaries is like a carousel of quality, and there's just no telling what kind of episode you'll get. True, even a turd sandwich like last week's episode is still more fun to watch than, say, Nikita, but still: More episodes like this, please! Because what an episode! Am I right? Last night's episode was a terrific episode!
It should come as no surprise that all the highlights revolve around the show's best characters: Caroline, Rose, Katherine, and GUESS WHO ELSE? Elijah. Yeah, I said it. But more on him later. The fact is, this show has really filled out its cast with some talented actors and well-written characters. Remember back when it first started and everyone was a jerk or an idiot except for Bonnie? Times have changed! Even Tyler is interesting now. TYLER.
Werewolves seem to have always had a minor role at best on Vampire Diaries, and to me they always seemed like an obligation on the writers' part. (Did you know that if you write a vampire story and don't include werewolves then you have to go to jail? It's a federal law now, look it up.) So except for a few fun facts (werewolf bites kill vampires!) and a bit of Lockwood Family backstory, werewolves haven't had a huge impact on this show's core storylines. Well, that all changed last night when werewolves finally got their due—and in the process we got some of the most riveting, affecting television I've seen on any show this season. Seriously!
We began in the middle of another one of Tyler's pre-full-moon freakouts. He seemed pretty worried about what's about to happen to him. Understandable! It was still unclear how exactly werewolves change into beast-form, at least according to Uncle Werewolf's video diary. As far as I could tell, here's how it works:
HOW TO BE A WEREWOLF, by Mason Lockwood
1. Put on chains
2. Remove shirt.
4. Throw a bike.
And that's about it. Not very helpful!
And since Tyler still didn't know that Mason is completely dead, he was blowin' up his voicemail like crazy.
This lady was hanging out in Uncle Werewolf's apartment at the time, and so she heard Tyler's message. Because, sure why not. New episode, new character. This show is really into introducing new characters every five minutes. That's just sort of its thing. We all have hobbies.
Oh lord, this thing again. The moonstone was back for another dose of boring. Seriously, this moonstone is the least interesting MacGuffin imaginable. Elena and Bonnie had a conversation about it and also about Klaus and also about Elena's death wish and so on and so forth. Here's the gist:
Bonnie and Jeremy were surprisingly cool around each other even though their love triangle got busted apart in the last episode. But you know how it goes, nothing heals the heart like teaming up with a witch to trick your sister into a force field.
Very clever, Bonnie! Trapping Elena inside her house was definitely a sign of how good this episode would become, and it was also the best use of Bonnie's powers since that time she accidentally set a car on fire. Still, though, Bonnie's sort of a dunce. I mean, look what she gave up:
Oh, Bonnie! Her whole life is a blunder-fest.
Meanwhile, Damon paid his brother a visit down at the tomb—and he brought treats!
Katherine was just hanging out giving everybody some sassy 'tude. Typical Katherine.
So the late Uncle Werewolf's ladyfriend's name is Jules, and she just showed up on the Lockwood doorstep looking for her fella.
This was the first time Tyler and his mom learned that Mason never arrived in Florida. But that's not what I want to talk about right now. I know I've mentioned this before, but look at the above freeze frame. I realize they're supposed to be playing mother and son, but these two actors are definitely sleeping together right?
I mean, seriously:
The sexual tension around the Lockwood mansion is getting unbearable!
Jenna was like "Oh hey, I'm still a character." Something about how she's been tasked to act as tour guide to some visiting author. I'm sure this will definitely not come into play later.
Damon dropped in on Elena to tease her about being trapped in a force field. Apparently the whole thing was his idea. Good call! I agree that Elena cannot be trusted to keep herself safe, just as she cannot be trusted to keep us interested/entertained.
Jeremy took one for the team by agreeing to hang out with her all day. Poor Jeremy!
New lady Jules walked right into Mystic Grill and asked the nearest pile of mashed potatoes where she could find Tyler. Poor Matt. In this episode he only had like two words of dialogue, and they were muffled in the background. He was basically an extra. I wonder if they asked him to do the dishes for real afterward.
Damon and Alaric (some guy, not important) overheard the conversation and they immediately decided to find out whether Jules herself was a werewolf. And how would they do that, you ask? Ugh. You know how...
By spiking her drink. This show! It's amazing how many thoroughly despicable things our supposed heroes do from week to week. I mean, really? Two guys are teaming up to spike a lady's drink? And we're supposed to root for them? Anyway, I also wanted to point out that when they exchanged the baggie of Wolfsbane, they totally touched thumbs. Gross, right?
In the show's best subplot, Caroline insisted on helping Tyler prepare for that night's full moon. Although her reasoning for this was sketchy (she felt very alone when she first turned into a vampire), this whole subplot was so well done. It was fascinating, it was horrifying, it was romantic, it just absolutely brimmed with pathos. I could praise it all day, but first things first…
So far so good! Now Tyler just needed to find a bike to throw.
Meanwhile, noted wizard rapist Bonnie went to Luka's apartment to apologize:
He invited her in and showed her his Grimoire collection, and within minutes her face was all...
That face right there is a symphony of emotion. Bonnie's in love y'all!
Back at Mystic Grill, Damon and Alaric put their very not-sleazy plan into action.
Speaking of awful seductions, Katherine was shimmying around the tomb trying to get a shirtless hug out of Stefan:
He seemed pretty over Katherine, but then she went and did THIS.
Never mind the fact that she hadn't showered in weeks, this classic move was apparently enough to drive him absolutely WILD.
Whoops just kidding, it didn't happen for realsies:
This was NOT Stefan's idea of a vacation. He was all, "Is it Friday yet?" and a kitten on a poster was like, "Hang in there, Stefan."
Oh, look who showed up inside Elena's house? Elijah! Turns out that "author" Jenna was showing around was actually just Elijah looking for a ticket inside the Gilbert residence. But here's where things got interesting.
I totally called it: Elijah is NOT working for Klaus, he's working AGAINST him. That partially explains why he "protected" Elena last week (although nothing could fully explain that dumb incident). Basically Elijah wants to kill Klaus for being a jerk and to do that he needs to use Elena as bait. In return, Elijah promised to protect Elena and her family from harm. Pretty neat, right? Elijah is officially a great character now. I mean sure, he looks like creepy Eurotrash half the time, but his intentions are genuinely intriguing. (P.S. doesn't Elena look like such an insufferable A-hole in that mirror reflection above?)
It made me laugh when he was pawing around at her belongings. Or should I say WHAT'S LEFT of her belongings. Do you think he'll ever give Elena back that framed picture of herself in a cheerleader uniform?
As the full moon approached, Tyler started getting antsy.
Caroline did her best to help him, including giving him Wolfsbane-laced water to weaken him. I can't be sure about this, but I'm guessing it tasted like wet dog.
Luka agreed to help Bonnie separate the curse from the moonstone. Or something? Don't ask. It never really made sense to me why this would do anything except be a general jerk move toward Klaus.
What was funny was that, when the moonstone started levitating I was like, "Please explode."
AND THEN IT DID EXPLODE! Suddenly our attractive young witches were bathed in sparks. (Witches know all the most romantic spells.)
Anyway, getting back to that gross drink-spiking subplot, Jules did NOT drink the drink because she is indeed a werewolf and she was onto these losers from the get-go.
It was actually kind of great how ticked off she was. I mean, she only came to town to find a missing friend and then some wild-eyed vampire and his nobody of a friend tried to spike her drink with a deadly herb. The worst! It made me laugh when she threatened Damon,"You've been marked." Did she secretly pee on him or something? I don't know how werewolves operate.
But I do know that Tyler was NOT having a good time.
His first-ever transformation had begun, and the process appeared to entail a lot of broken bones and screaming.
Look, don't judge me, but this is where the show really started to get to me. I'm not a robot. I have emotions too, okay?
This poor guy was genuinely sobbing on the floor, and Caroline knew she couldn't help, but she was there with him anyway.
Tyler: "Get out of here! It's not safe!"
Caroline: "I'm not leaving you!"
Me: "I am starting to cry while watching a show about supernatural monsters."
Caroline held out for as long as she could, but eventually he came after her and she had to run out and barricade the door. When she knelt down behind the door and sobbed, that was it for me. I had to pause the show and just hold my cat for a minute. It was very emotional!
Anyway, back at Damon's house, he was still pretty rattled by Jules' threat. But guess who was there waiting for him?
Hey Rose! She seemed a little embarrassed about having fled the scene during their last encounter with Elijah. Honestly, who could possibly fault Rose for that? It was a good decision, in my opinion. It was probably a bad decision to RETURN to Mystic Falls, but I like Rose so I won't hold it against her.
Uh oh! There's a werewolf in the living room! Okay, so I need to complain for a minute. Out of all the various possibilities for what a werewolf looks like, my least favorite is the "regular wolf" look. True Blood went the same route, I guess because prosthetics or puppets would look too cheesy? But are you telling me that THIS doesn't look cheesy?
I mean, really. It bugs me because Tyler was clearly turning into some kind of large, awesome-looking monster. But no, in this universe, werewolves actually SHRINK in size and look like angry dogs. Fine, whatever. It's just disappointing is what I'm saying.
OH NO!!! Not Rose! Is she going to die now? I will be SO MAD if Rose dies. Oh, phew, her wound started healing.
I liked how Damon held her in his arms and comforted her. I don't have anything funny to say about this, he just seemed like a good guy for a split-second. Credit where credit's due.
Luka went home to his warlock daddy and guess what?
That whole "ceremony" with Bonnie was just a big charade so that he could steal the moonstone back from her. Feelin' kinda bad for Bonnie. But you can tell by how Luka lays it down on the table rather than hand it to his dad that Luka's feelin' pretty sore about the whole situation. I guess that means he's genuinely in like with Bonnie? We'll see!
Elsewhere, our favorite tomb dwellers have unexpected company.
As part of his deal with Elena, Elijah agreed to use his warlock-for-hire to free Stefan from the tomb.
Stefan was pretty stoked to be leaving.
Katherine was pretty bummed that she had to stay trapped. This was after she attempted to 'talk it out' with Stefan and even tipped him off about finding Klaus (check for clues in Elena's dead mom's file cabinet). Also, Elijah compelled Katherine to chill out in the tomb a little longer until Klaus gets there. Or something. I'm not sure.
When the coast was clear, Caroline found Tyler all broken and spent on the floor of the slave quarters where he'd chained himself. She seemed pretty relieved that he hadn't busted out and murdered her. But it was so heartbreaking when she tried to comfort him saying, "You made it. You're okay." And he just pathetically answered, "No. I'm not." Ugh, so sad/good.
Then this happened.
Then there was some eye-acting.
I LOVED when Rose told Damon "I don't love men who love other women, I think more of myself than that." Man, she's the best. But can you imagine if every other character on this show had the same policy? There'd be no show! Seriously, there's a metric ton of love triangles happening right now and, honestly, everyone just needs to chill out with the love triangles a little bit. So yeah, Rose is the best.
BUT, OH NO!!! ROSE MIGHT BE DYING NOW!!!
Okay, that's a pretty great cliffhanger, but only because of how much I don't want Rose to die. What a neat trick, writers! But what's this? No new episodes until January 27th? Holy moly! What are we supposed to do with ourselves? Oh God, oh man, oh God, oh man.
I have to go find a cat to hold.
... Jules: yay or nay?
... Do you like Elijah better now that we know he's a free agent?
... Are you glad Elena and Stefan are back together?
... Which characters most need a shirtless hug?
... Don't you wish these werewolves looked more like the ones in Thriller?