Do you have friends? I know that's a personal question, but hear me out. What does "friend" even mean? Is friendship a real phenomenon? It's hard to say. The only living creatures willing to spend any time with me are a family of raccoons that live under my porch, but I'm pretty sure they're only just using me for my garbage. I happen to have very high quality garbage (humblebrag). I once threw away an entire, untouched Thanksgiving dinner just to make a point. That sort of thing is why the raccoons like me, but on the other hand, could I put them down as emergency contacts? No, probably not. Sad to say but those raccoons are probably not my friends. But YOU might have friends, human friends even, so let's talk about your friends for a second. Are you one of these people who not only has a circle of friends, but, like multiple circles of friends? And every now and again you throw a social function where the two circles combine and it's SO WEIRD to see Bernice from work chatting with Fuji from the community center? Like, they are both two great people that mean a lot to you, but just seeing them in the same room is super strange? How had they never met before? Isn't it sort of wonderful to see them hitting it off like that? That's the exact feeling I get sometimes when I've been following a TV series for a while and it has a terrific ensemble of characters and suddenly two of them share the screen for the first time in years. That happened this week on The Vampire Diaries! This episode was the Katherine and Caroline show all the way, I don't care. Rest in peace all the rest of the plotlines because Katherine and Caroline TEAMED UP! How had this not happened before? Yeah, I realize they technically spent time together that one time when Katherine murdered Caroline, but it turns out they have a lot in common! In fact their scenes together were so good that I demand another spin-off. Get these ladies their own detective show stat! ('Stat' is terminology meaning 'pronto'.) So good.
"Handle With Care" had a number of other good things happen in it, but let's be real, it was just a collection of scenes that came before or after scenes with Katherine and Caroline, A.K.A. THE STARS. That being said, let's talk about this episode!
We started with Katherine enjoying a breakfast feast at some diner. Was it the same diner where she'd stabbed a woman in the heart in front of everybody the previous day? Unclear! But what was very clear was that Katherine had a new lease on life. If we're being honest I'm still so steamed that Damon tried to murder her, and even worse, how annoyed Elena and Damon looked when Katherine didn't stay dead. Shouldn't they have been like, "Yeah, we murdered a human but it was for the greater good" and then been relieved when Katherine survived? Nope, they were just annoyed. Delena is a pair of jerks sometimes!
Sorry, my blood is boiling like crazy because now that Rebekah is gone Katherine is my constant. But let's not lose track of what matters: Katherine is still alive! Albeit, with one slight change:
Whoops, a lock of gray hair, just like Nancy's from A Nightmare on Elm Street! But instead of getting it from facing an immortal creature who can invade people's minds... Oh, I guess she did get it that way. Anyway, I thought the gray hair looked good but Katherine was NOT happy about it.
Meanwhile at the Salvatore shanty, these two murderers were just having a post-murder sunrise cuddlefest. They openly joked that any minute a villain would walk through the door and ruin their day. Because that's basically how their lives had been for several years now, it made sense. Why even bother setting an alarm clock when you are a magnet for supervillains?
And that's when Silas showed up, and like Katherine, he was ALSO very stoked to be alive. But in this case he was happy to be alive-yet-capable-of-death. Yes, today would be his death day, and to celebrate he was just witching it UP. Just so much witchery all over the living room.
We get it, show-off. Anyway, then Jeremy showed up and everybody decided to take a field trip to New Jersey to find the anchor so they could destroy it and by extension destroy monster purgatory so that Silas could die, but like 100% die, no take-backs. Blackout forever. Literally.
It made me laugh when he didn't let Elena join them because she looked too much like his dead ex. Also, he used ESP to fire a crossbow at her leg.
Haha rude! Oh Silas. But if we're being real, Silas is so much more fun now that he's essentially on the same side as the rest of these jokers. He seemed straight-up FUN in this episode. And a fun person with Paul Wesley's face has been a rare commodity on this show lately.
Haha Tessa is a major creep. Don't watch people sleep, that's creep sh*t! But also how weird was it that Stefan went home with Tessa and they did body shots until he passed out? That seems very unfun to me, but then again I hang out with raccoons (callback).
Oh, then she started bragging about how Silas was mortal now so all she had to do was venture forth from her weird brown cabin and murderize him. And also she'd thought through her plan PERFECTLY.
HAHA CLASSIC SILAS. Silas had bewitched her weird brown cabin so she was trapped there! Oh Tessa. Considering she's the most powerful female witch in existence she was acting like such a Bonnie in this episode.
This was amazing: Because Katherine is still a hobo, she decided to travel two hours to Elena's dorm room and use Elena's bathroom and just impersonate her in general. Perfect plan! No I mean it, it was perfect in that this was my favorite plotline of the episode and maybe of any episode. If only because it led to maybe the most epic teamup in TVD history.
So, Caroline came in and she was packing up boxes because of how Dr. Maxfield had told Elena that all vampires should drop out of college. But then of course Caroline has super senses and can tell the difference between a blood-eating demon and a human, so right away she knew "Elena" was an impostor.
To be fair, Katherine was doing an especially lazy impersonation. First of all, she came across as dynamic and with a vibrant internal life, so that set off Caroline's doppelganger 'dar (doppel-doppler?) like crazy. But things got EXPECIALLY good when Katherine immediately dangled an enticing proposition in front of Caroline: Katherine would use her expertise in supervillainy to help Caroline look into what Dr. Maxfield was up to. In exchange for that, Caroline just had to let Katherine chill on campus for a few days and also eat so much dorm food. Honestly, it was perfect. Not only was Katherine right (Caroline DID need the help), it appeared as though she seemed genuinely excited to be back in the saddle again. Scheming really makes Katherine come alive! It was like she suddenly had purpose again. Anyway: YES. This was happening.
Here's how Katherine and Caroline's plan went down basically:
THAT SMILE. This was no reluctant team-up, Caroline was legit LOVING IT. I can talk about this plotline all day and JUST MIGHT. The dynamics at play for both characters were so crowd-pleasing it was almost unbearable. First of all, obviously, watching Katherine use her skills for good (and selflessly too) is always going to give me brain tingles. But also seeing Caroline going sliiightly bad-girl for this plan was very enjoyable also. Obviously she is an angel and one of the few moral compasses this show has left (despite her occasional murder spree), but she seemed to be having a great time doing bad girl stuff with Katherine in a relatively harmless way. I don't know if the show would actually go down the road of having Katherine and Caroline become besties BUT I CAN PRAY. No but really, look at her devious smile in this picture. It was just like Klaus' smile from this week's The Originals. (Can I talk about The Originals here? Is that okay?) Klaus' smile on this week's The Originals was so good and meaningful and attractive and rewarding it haunts my dreams. This was like that. Klaus and Caroline both had scene-stealing smiles this week, so if you believe in cosmic confluence, then rest assured that in some strange way KLAROLINE LIVES.
Okay this was some SHADE right here.
Haha Tessa answered Stefan's phone and told Elena that she'd slept with him. What a crazy thing to do! But it was a lot less crazy than dropping everything and confronting Stefan about it.
Haha classic Elena. The second it seemed like Stefan was getting his swerve on with someone else, Elena was there banging a pot and a spoon about it. Lady, go sit in your Mini Cooper and listen to Salt 'N Pepa's "None of Your Business" because that song is an accurate description of this situation.
Anyway, Stefan had to set her straight.
HAHAHA amazing. The second Elena learned that Stefan's bone had been nowhere near Tessa's haunted cave Elena had no more use for him and spun around and left. OR TRIED TO.
Man, these ladies were throwing so much shade at each other all episode, it was enough to set back women's rights by a few decades. Oh well, suffrage was fun while it lasted.
So then Silas and Damon and Jeremy drove for SEVEN HOURS and suddenly they were in New Jersey busting open so many crates.
I guess the "anchor" was somewhere in this room, but they were at risk of being discovered by the gypsies who were supposed to be protecting it and were I guess doing something else that day. Maybe they were at a water slide park or a planetarium, I can't say for sure. All I know is, these three bro hunks were tearing through this warehouse and no box was safe.
Anyway, back to the only plotline I truly cared about anymore and maybe the only plotline I will care about for the rest of my life, Katherine and Caroline decided to scrub Dr. Maxfield's blood of vervain and also imperil his jugular with a scalpel in order to get all the scoop. Three of my favorite characters in one room, can we get Jeremy up in here too orrrrrr nevermind. Okay so they figured out at least one thing: There IS a secret society on campus, and they were meeting that very moment, but vampires could NOT attend. What Dr. Maxfield did not know was this was not Elena, this was Katherine, a mortal, and the two ladies shared the most mischievous smiles.
SIGHHHHH. These lady dreamboats had the whole situation ON LOCK. "Clever girl[s]" - Jurassic Park
Meanwhile I guess Tessa was tired of being a useless prisoner so she called up Damon and told him he had to murder Silas by sundown or else she'd murder Elena.
But of course, this was an annoying thing for Damon to deal with because he needed Silas alive a little bit longer so that he could bring Bonnie back to life. But then he realized he didn't care that much about Bonnie and immediately agreed to murder Silas pronto (which is a European word that means "ASAP".)
Haha forever LOL'ing at Katherine's Elena impersonation:
First of all, that church hair. But also just openly pretending to act very unsmart, but with a dash of don't-care. Ugh, so good. Anyway, yeah she just stepped right through that threshold and the lady detective who'd answered was like "Oh snap." NOW they didn't think Elena was a vampire anymore basically.
And then THIS happened:
Lest we forget, Katherine is a common hobo now, so she immediately went wild on that appetizer table and she did NOT care that Dr. Maxfield's himbo ward (whimbo?) was watching it all go down. But then it got even funnier when she tried to get all sly with him about what the deal was with the secret society.
Haha Katherine you rascal.
The thing was, this guy did NOT know what the eff she was talking about. Then she got frustrated and her tooth fell out.
So between this and the grey streak did this mean that Katherine was now starting to show her age? Of FIVE HUNDRED YEARS? It was already pretty funny that Katherine's had to deal with the indignities of being a human being, but now it's getting crazy. Love this plotline. Anyway, we did not learn what was up with the secret society, but at least Katherine came away with a purse full of biscuits. So that was something.
Quick question: Does the Nobel Committee award prizes for best shirt? Because this shirt was truly something. I can't say anything else about it because I might violate the terms of my creep probation. The last thing I need is a phone call from my creep probation officer asking if I've been on the internet creepin' again. I WAS JUST TALKING A SHIRT STANLEY. Stanley won't care. I cannot go back to creep jail. Too many strikes. I am trying to get my life together, to make something of myself, to follow my dreams. Right now my main dream is to finally start my coffeeshop folk-pop band. The name of that band? JEREMY'S HENLEY.
Anyway this scene had something to do with the fact that Jeremy found out that the plan to resurrect Bonnie was now off and Damon seemed bummed but agitated, I honestly cannot remember or care because my brain was scrambled by a certain wardrobe decision NOT MY FAULT.
Bonnie showed up and reminded everyone that there's basically no difference between her being dead or alive, so everybody relax.
* phone rings * OH HI STANLEY (UH OH GUYS I'M IN TROUBLE)
Anyway, then Damon was confronted in the warehouse by a couple of Travelers, which is the word this show is using to not get in trouble with the NAAGP. He tried to reason with them that he was now TRYING to kill Silas just like they'd want, but surprisingly they didn't want him to do that anymore so they used magic on him to give him a sunburn.
So Damon was forced to get poky and stabby, as was his right.
Do you think TVD uses the same dummy whenever somebody gets their heart ripped out? "Bring out the fistin' dummy!"
So while Katherine was out attending parties and spitting out molars, Dr. Maxfield's blood was sufficiently vervain-free and Caroline compelled him to give her all the scoop.
Couple things we learned: The secret society he belonged to was called the Augustine Society (or something, I can't remember bc henley) and there seemed to be a resident vampire on campus called the Augustine vampire (I think, my brain is scrambled, see earlier reason). The Augustine vampire was the creature that killed Caroline's roommate, although I know basically nothing about this thing, I'm picturing sort of an ancient Dracula type dude. Otherwise why would some college rally around him so much? So yeah, exciting! New villain! Please, please end this Silas thing already, so boring. Oh, also Caroline scrubbed Dr. Maxfield's brain of what had happened, and also the idea that she and her roommate were vampires at all. Mission accomplished!
Meanwhile in Tessa's weird brown cabin, Stefan used vampire walkie talkies (a regular whisper) to assure Elena that he's on her side and wouldn't let her die.
And he fulfilled that promise by stabbing Tessa with a big knife! Take that, you boring suicidal witch. Just kidding, violence is wrong J/K again WHAAT. "Take back the night." - Justin Timberlake
Oh I should have mentioned this earlier, but it turned out that anchor the dudes were looking for wasn't an inanimate object, it was an inanimate PERSON.
Amara wasn't dead after all! Tessa was kind of a liar. Anyway, Silas found Amara packed away in a crate (oh, haha, the episode title wasn't JUST a Traveling Wilburys song).
And he woke her up! Honestly, there is basically nothing that makes me angrier than being awake, so this was a pretty sucky thing for Silas to do to her. She was probably really enjoying herself! So yeah, no surprise here, Amara did NOT like being awake.
But credit where credit's due, she wasn't the type of lady to just complain about being alive and then enact some kind of complicated scheme involving a bunch of teenagers. No, she'd rather just grab a shard of glass and drink her ex-boyfriend's blood RIGHT AWAY.
Whoops, Silas' blood got drank. Despite being mortal, he didn't die. So he basically pulled a Katherine. I don't know. Who knows? Nobody.
Speaking of Katherine, I did NOT see this coming:
She returned to Dr. Maxfield and asked for his scientific help to save her life! Also she casually mentioned that she's Elena's doppelganger, and it was funny how nonchalantly that nugget of info was imparted and then received. Oh, a doppelganger, cool. Anyway, it looks SORTAAA like maybe Katherine wants the Augustine vampire's blood? Maybe to be turned back into a vampire? Or maybe something more complicated and creative? NO idea. Just as long as she spends more time on campus chillin' with Caroline I will be happy. Maybe she can even fall in love with Dr. Maxfield just sayinnn (I'm in a facility currently).
So after a big day in which nearly everybody failed at their most basic tasks, Damon and Jeremy drove another SEVEN HOURS back to Mystic Falls while Elena and Stefan also returned to the Salvatore shanty. Elena thanked Stefan and attempted to tell him that he's a good guy naturally, but we've just seen two previous episodes that contradict that. Still, he did score points for preventing Elena from being brutally murdered by a witch, so I guess Stefan was back to being sorta hero-ish. (To be fair he wasn't as condescending either.)
That's when Damon decided to show Elena what he'd brought back from New Jersey.
HAHAHA Amara's reaction at seeing Elena was intensely perfect. Follow your instincts, Amara, get out of there ASAP! ("ASAP" is an acronym for "and sprint as puma.")
But the episode's revelations were not quite over: Waiting up in Stefan's room was a recently stabbed primordial witch!
And she made him remember EVERYTHING. All the things of his whole life, which in a way was a very brutal form of revenge seeing as Stefan's life has been 85% nightmare. He's done a lot of bad things to be honest. Killed his father. Corrupted his brother. Ate most of Kentucky. But if we're being real, I am not that sympathetic. We've all been through things. Stefan's main redemption has always been that he was an emotional, empathetic creature who frequently did very heroic and selfless things for people. Plus, you know, he had a better personality than Amnesia Stefan, who was the worst sorry. So yeah, welcome back, Stefan's brain!
That was it! "Handle With Care" was a good episode. I am very tired of the leftover mythology from last season but I am very NOT-TIRED of seeing human Katherine do ANYTHING, especially teaming up with Caroline. I think the college plotline is starting to get juicy, and I'm excited to see the Tessa/Silas stuff starting to wrap up. You know? That's just progress.
OK BRB going to creep jail.
... Should Katherine & Caroline get their own spin-off?
... Are you excited to learn more about the Augustine vampire?
... Remember when Klaus smiled on The Originals a few days ago?
... Is Matt okay?
AIRED ON 3/10/2017
Season 8 : Episode 16