If this photo recap seems especially tense and suspenseful it's because a bee is watching me write it. I don't trust any bee, but this one especially seems like a real creep. I cannot guarantee that it won't suddenly fly over here and bite me or whatever bees do, I don't know how bees work, just that they have bad attitudes and especially this one that's watching me right now. So I apologize ahead of time for what a bee is doing to me. Just keep in mind that at any moment I might be attacked by a bee and this whole photo recap will be swept to hell or whatever happens when bees go wild on somebody. We are all just going to have to white-knuckle this situation together.
THAT BEING SAID, I really liked "Rescue Me"! Last week's episode made me very grumpy and I stand by that, but that was because I got so tired of Damon and Elena, plus the whole thing with Caroline becoming a remorseless doppelganger-terminator didn't rub me the right way at all. But this week served to undo both of those bad impressions, PLUS it injected tons of steroids into the crazy season-long mythology involving the Travelers and also my new favorite characters the BLOND WITCH TWINS. I love the blond witch twins. They are like mayonnaise (which I realize sounds gross but please keep in mind it's one of my favorite foods) in that anytime they are present everything is better. From Liv's Gina Gershon lips and Nomi Malone hair to Luke's EVERYTHING. But also Enzo is still great, Sloan is very alluring, and even the original recipe characters are back on track as sympathetic heroes. Oh, that station wagon scene. I want to live in that scene for a while. And again, I liked how Damon and Elena's breakup proceeded this week in a thoughtful and angsty and sympathetic way. Maybe I will even start rooting for them again? BABY STEPS.
So let's talk about "Rescue Me" okay?
We began in medias brainscan as the Travelers were yammering away in the train yard trying to get more 411 on the last remaining doppelganger.
Honestly I came into this episode feeling super bad for this doppelganger who was obviously a heroic EMT who did not deserve to get swept up in the madness of Mystic Falls, but then it turned out he was super into ironic puns about being a doppelganger and I was like, "Okay, kill him off." You know? I can only take so much of that.
Meanwhile Elena and Damon were lounging sexily in their bed the morning after their broken hearts had boned so much and Elena got an alarming text message.
As Jeremy's last remaining relative she had to go represent him at school! Except, can we talk about Elena's phone wallpaper real quick? It is a tiled image of French toast, a lady sitting at a desk, and also trees? Am I understanding this correctly? Unless this wallpaper was yet another thing Katherine did to f*ck with Elena, this is the most definitive evidence to date that Elena has mental problems.
Anyway, Elena tried to sneak out but Damon woke up and tried to stake her if you catch my drift. (My drift means 'boning'.)
Love is complicated, everybody.
At the bar Damon was humble-bragging so much about how he'd tried to break up with a lady and all she could do was jump on his broomstick if you catch my drift. (My drift also means 'boning' here. I will let you know if my drift ever does not mean boning, but just FYI it will usually mean boning.)
Then Liv the witch showed up and ordered an entire bottle of gin and I suddenly remembered how much I love this character. Oh and (sigh) the brother. (A second sigh, because it's worth it.)
When Elena showed up at the high school she quickly found out that technically Damon was Jeremy's legal guardian somehow. I am not sure how this happened, especially in light that he had attempted and occasionally succeeded in murdering Jeremy so much over the years, but oh well. Anyway, I was really relating to the guy in the background here.
Meanwhile they were informed that Jeremy is not doing great in school these days and this caused Elena to do tons of guilty soul-searching.
If I were Elena I would have at least defended myself by explaining at least two-to-three seasons' worth of backstory. Jeremy had been super busy lately!
This magazine that Caroline was reading is honestly the hardest TVD has made me laugh in a while. EFF Magazine. EFF Magazine! BRB subscribing ASAP to EFF MAGAZINE. So yeah, she and Enzo were out on their task of murdering Stefan's doppelganger, and here they were at this Atlanta hospital where he worked (which looked very similar to the Mystic Falls hospital in my opinion) and Enzo was outright flirting with her.
These two have good chemistry, just putting that out there. Just setting that hot fact on a windowsill to cool off. Go ahead and be a rascal and try and snatch it and I will slap your hand. But yeah, Caroline and Enzo are fun team for a couple of murderers! I would watch this spin-off. VAMPIRE HITMEN OF HOTLANTA.
Unfortunately they got some bad news. Not so much bad news for them as it was bad news for Tom the doppelganger: He'd been missing for FOUR MONTHS and nobody had cared enough to call the police. I barely know this character and he's already seeming so tragic. Anyway, this meant that Stefan's visions weren't in realtime so they needed to finger his brain way more. What had happened to Tom?
It turned out he was last seen getting propositioned by some lady!
But then when Caroline and Enzo showed up at her house, she was on her knees doing magic and had been doing that for like four months straight? Probably 80% of her spell involved making sure the candles lasted forever and also her knees didn't hurt. The other 20% was to hide the doppelganger.
The best was when they had to figure out how to enter the home and Enzo had a brilliant plan.
MURDER VIA DOORKNOB. Enzo is pretty much amazing. Speaking of things I'm into...
Bonnie straight up CONFRONTED Luke in the study lounge for eyeballin' her too much and he pretended he didn't know who she was or what she was talking about. But then his cover was blown when the ghost of the witch who'd been murdered by a doorknob walked up and told Bonnie to tell him that their plan had been foiled. In my opinion she was probably just super stoked to be off of her knees finally.
Meanwhile Liv was still back at Mystic Grill and guess who she was hanging out with? Jeremy! Also she was doing special magic so that nosy hybrids couldn't listen in on their convo.
This was when we finally learned what was going on with Liv, Luke and the Travelers. Liv and Luke were old-fashioned witches and they were fighting some kind of war against the Travelers, who Liv said were planning something big. Whatever big plan the Travelers had in store involved the blood of the final doppelgangers, meaning they'd been trying to keep Tom hidden. Jeremy immediately believed her especially when she started flattering him all kinds about how he's a hunter and therefore knowledgeable or whatever. I don't know. Personally I think Liv wasn't kidding a few episodes ago when she was flirting with him a ton, I hope that continues. Not that I necessarily want Jeremy and Bonnie to break up, I just like the idea of Jeremy having a storyline finally. Anyway, yeah, I am pretty sure I called this: Liv and Luke are fighting on the side of good? It's just that for now they seem ready to eff over our heroes as collateral damage in order to win. Hopefully this will all be sorted out.
Then Liv tried to leave but Tyler stepped to her and called her out for being a pro witch.
So yeah Liv's cover as a noob is definitely blown. Now everybody knows she is the most skilled witch since Fairuza Balk made all the hammerhead sharks commit suicide.
Meanwhile at school Damon and Elena were acting sexy in the hallways, moving on.
Then Caroline and Enzo discovered Tom all asleep in a coma in the basement and I'm sorry, but look at those salt trails! They were a mess! Esther would have been so ashamed.
Then Tom woke up and realized he'd been in a magic-induced coma for four months and that's when Caroline decided it was her chance to murder him.
But she murdered Enzo instead! I am honestly not sure if this was her plan all along or if she just gazed into fake-Stefan's eyes and it made her too tingly to commit homicide against a human. Either way it was a touching turn of events (seriously I had been so disappointed that Caroline was on a murder mission, it just didn't seem like our lady's style, you know?). Next thing we knew they were eating waffles and Caroline was trying to improve Tom's life via mind-meld.
This was another really sweet moment: She compelled the h*ck out of him to go on and have a great life. What she maybe didn't consider was that if Tom went missing again, the Travelers would fry Stefan's brain again and/or use a location spell. Let's be real, this guy was screwed either way. It was almost not even sad when Enzo showed up and took care of business:
This worked out pretty well actually. Caroline didn't have to murder an innocent dude! Plus Enzo revealed that he'd been blackmailed by the Travelers into doing this dirty deed and in exchange they'd help him find his lost love. Yeah, guess we're gonna be meeting Enzo's ex pretty soon. But who knows, if she really is like Caroline then maybe she's not so bad? We'll see!
Then Damon and Elena made out in front of a skeleton.
But whoops, it was just a sexy daydream. The sexiest daydreams always involve broken Erlenmeyer flasks and skeleton pervs. Anyway Elena was embarrassed about having tawdry fantasies in front of other grownups and so she went into the wood shop and a witch threw her across the room!
It was Liv, and she was there to murder Elena so as to thwart the Travelers! But Damon ran in and conked Liv's head against a shelf before she could shank Elena with some poor kid's unfinished wood project. Man, I really hope the teacher lets him re-do it. Just kidding there are no kids or teachers left. Those grownups in the other room were just attending a support group for parents of murder victims.
Anyway, Damon stuck Liv's hand in a vice and was about to murder her!
(We've all been in Liv's situation here.) But then Jeremy ran in and stopped him!
I wasn't quite clear on why Jeremy wanted to save the life of the witch who'd just tried to murder his sister, nor why Elena trusted Jeremy in this case. I mean I know that Jeremy has faith that Liv had good intentions overall, but still, she nearly murdered his sister! Still, I liked that it gave Elena an opportunity to tell Damon not to murder somebody. This is definitely an episode about Elena rediscovering the concept of 'doing the right thing' so I was kind of hoping that would spread to Damon also. It sort of did?
Meanwhile I LOVED this part:
Jeremy agreed to help the twins (because oh yeah, THEY ARE TWINS! Did I mention that yet? This made me so happy) but only if Matt and Tyler could tag along. Now THIS is a five-some I can get behind. I want to see this spin-off! BEACH VOLLEYBALL TEAM OF JUSTICE.
Honestly in my head this concept was already coming together. First and foremost Jeremy decided to move in with the boys, thus making Lockwood manor an official LAIR.
Elena understood because she herself had been living in a villain headquarters lately, so it was only fair for Jeremy to seek out his own kind.
This scene was great. (Please check your shipper allegiances at the door because come on, it was REALLY GOOD GUYS.)
First of all, it took place in a brokedown station wagon jalopy, as most important scenes do. Second of all, it involved Stefan cheering Caroline up for not being able to murder Tom. She felt bad about not going through with it, because she'd really wanted to save Stefan from future torment.
But he was VERY cool with it, because in a way he also wanted to save Caroline from future torment (the guilt of murdering an innocent man). Anyway, this was a moment where I really appreciated the angst that these characters feel over right vs. wrong. Oh, and then this happened:
(Siiiiiigh.) And then they fell asleep in a brokedown jalopy.
And hey, credit where credit's due: This scene was also surprisingly lovely:
It felt like it was going to be yet another scene in which Damon tried to convince Elena to put up with their damaged relationship and continue their cycle of breakups and reconciliation, but in a rare moment of maturity, she declined... AND he saw it her way.
Okay show, ya got me. Just when I was feeling especially grumpy about these characters I'm back on board. Well played.
Anyway, get ready because it's here when the show went from very poignant to EXTREMELY INSANE.
Stefan and Caroline were spooning in the jalopy when they heard the unmistakable yammering of gypsy witches sippin' on doppelganger blood!
Which, okay, normal enough. But then Sloan lit everybody ON FIRE.
And that's when Bonnie was suddenly accosted by a whole GANG of Traveler ghosts!
They chased her around the dorm until so many of them invaded her body, her only option was to pass out on the floor and give birth to a shadow baby!
And then the shadow baby grew up and turned into this guy:
Meet MARCOS, bossman of the Travelers! He had been mentioned a few times, don't worry, it wasn't just some random dude who popped out of Bonnie out of nowhere as this photo recap might suggest. I guess the Travelers' big plot was to send so many Traveler ghosts through the anchor that Marcos was able to slip through coming the other direction? Not sure, don't quote me, that would be foolhardy to quote me. My first theory is that he's probably a bad guy, but my second theory is that he's probably very handsome, so stay tuned for that info.
Well friends, "Rescue Me" was a good one. It steered me back into a place where I could sympathize with people I grew frustrated with in previous weeks, plus it feels like the season's endgame threat is finally revealing itself. Also, you know, the twins. Love them. I don't know about you but I would like to see where the rest of this season goes! There's like 5 episodes left, right? Get ready for mayhem!
... Do you think Marcos will be pretty chill or total dick?
... Are Stefan and Caroline falling in love for real?
... Do you want to meet Enzo's ex?
... What spin-off would you rather watch, VAMPIRE HITMEN OF HOTLANTA or BEACH VOLLEYBALL TEAM OF JUSTICE?
AIRED ON 10/21/2016
Season 8 : Episode 1
AIRS ON 10/28/2016
Season 8 : Episode 2