Damon doesn’t seem to be the focus in this episode, given how much is happening to everyone, but by the end of the show it’s abundantly clear — Damon is tired. Tired of trying to be nice, tired of everyone trying to make him be nice, tired of playing nice. It’s not surprising that our resident bad boy would eventually bristle at playing by the rules, and unlike Stefan, he’s become hardened enough that his mushy marshmallow center isn’t easy to access 24/7 — even when Elena’s around. As for Elena, as much as she misses Stefan, she needs to be more aware of how much she wants Damon to step into his shoes, whether she admits it to herself or not. But, as I said, there’s a lot happening in this episode to everyone, so let’s get recapping.
As we all know, Rebekah’s back — and hating it. Or at least it seems that way as she condemns modern dresses (women of the 21st century dress like prostitutes) and modern music (it sounds like cable cars crashing). Klaus is understandably still perturbed that Rebekah lost her necklace, but Stefan doesn’t seem too happy, either — which is a surprise given that he know remembers the relationship he had with Rebekah (as well as Klaus). When Katherine flags him down on the street to reveal she knows Elena has Rebekah’s all-important necklace, Stefan makes it clear he intends to keep this a secret from his new-old friends. I understand he values Elena’s life more than pleasing Klaus, but I’m a little surprised this isn’t more of a conundrum for him — by saving Elena, he betrays two people whom he used to adore (even if he now finds Klaus pretty reprehensible). Obviously, he makes the right choice, but knowing how Stefan loves to torture himself, you’d think he’d latch onto this issue, too.
In Mystic Falls, Anna shows up in Jeremy’s bed, and she’s thrilled when Jeremy reveals he can actually see her. She doesn’t elaborate on what life is like in the afterworld, but apparently it’s really, really lonely. Neither one of them can quite figure out why Jeremy can see her now when she’s been trying to get through to him for days, but Anna almost doesn’t care — she’s just SO HAPPY to be able to talk to someone.
Caroline drops by Elena’s with a special gift — Bonnie. Well, this should complicate Jeremy’s little meet-ups with dead exes. Anyway, the girls are having fun, making chili, when Elena’s necklace burns her — Klaus’ witch Gloria is looking for it, and apparently in the process of long distance burning Elena, she finds it. Stefan tries not to act as worried, but he clearly is. Luckily, it’s not as easy as cooking up a spell, going into a trance, and emerging with a name, address and GPS directions to said necklace. The witch can only see a girl with her friends — nothing more. She needs more time. Stefan, relieved, suggests Klaus and Rebekah join him in a feeding.
Luckily, back in Mystic Falls Bonnie is soon hard at work to find out what magic is affecting Elena’s necklace — which gives Caroline time to grill Elena on whether or not she’s switching Salvatores. It’s not the gentlest way to pose the question, but it’s pretty clear to anyone who sees Elena chumming around with Damon that she’s become more attached to him. Clear to everyone, of course, except Elena, who thinks such a suggestion is simply ridiculous. They’re just friends! Who make chili together! Yes, that’s exactly how Damon sees it. Oh, Elena.
Damon does have other things to do than make chili with Elena, though. Caroline’s mom asks him to compel her ex-husband to leave town immediately and forget everything that happened with Caroline. This seems like an easy solution, which suggests it won’t be.
At a town potluck, Ric tells Damon to stay away from Elena. Damon’s getting a little sick of people telling him what to do, especially these fragile, mortal people whom he could use for food.
Meanwhile Anna and Jeremy talk, and she gives him another warning about Vicki. But that’s not the important part. When she touches him, she can feel it. I’d suggest Jeremy not get too chummy with Anna. Beyond the fact he has a girlfriend, Anna is dead — and seems very, very lonely. This can’t go well in the long run, especially if he decides he doesn’t want his ex-girlfriend around when he’s making out with his current one.
Having gotten Klaus and Rebekah fed and off his scent, Stefan goes back to the bar to the witch, and Gloria reveals that the girls she saw were talking about him. Stefan’s startled, but soon discovers the witch has her own agenda — she didn’t tell Klaus this little detail because she wants the necklace for herself and rightly suspects Stefan has information about where she can find it. When Stefan isn’t forthcoming with said information, she decides to torture him and drain his essence so, even though he doesn’t tell her anything, his blood betrays him. Then, luckily, Katherine shows up and kills the witch. Have to say, excellent timing.
But Katherine doesn’t just do a good deed and disappear. She wants to find out what’s going on between Stefan and Klaus. Reluctantly, he tells her he knew Klaus and Rebekah in the 1920s — and he knew back then they were being hunted by The Hunter, whoever The Hunter is. Stefan’s trying to sort out why an original vampire who can’t be killed would be afraid of anyone or anything, and Katherine smells a plot in the works. But Stefan’s intent on sending Klaus to his, well, not death, but something, all on his own. I know Katherine’s completely untrustworthy, but I suspect it wouldn’t be the worst thing if he joined forces with her just to take on this one task. After all, she did a pretty handy job with the witch.
Even though Damon compels Bill to leave town, he doesn’t — and shows up at the town council meeting to share his agenda. Not surprisingly, it’s not a very vampire-friendly agenda. In fact, he wants vervain put into the water supply, plus he wants to control the council as it’s been corrupted (he’s not wrong about that, as Ric points out). Damon is appalled by this, but Elena doesn’t think vervain is such a bad idea. It would help Damon control his urges, so why is that a bad thing?
Elena, having tamed an already docile Stefan, apparently thinks she can do the same thing with Damon. And while Damon shares his brother’s affection for Elena, he’s not exactly a feral cat that’s always wanted a scratching post and litter box to call his own. Damon is not amused, and he wants Elena (and for that matter, everyone else, to stop telling him what to do). He wants to get rid of the problem that is Bill by killing the guy. Ric, determined but ineffectual as always, can’t stand for this. So, Damon kills him. Not forever, don’t worry, but he gets the message across to both Ric (who’ll figure it out later) and Elena. He’s a vampire, will always be a vampire, and unlike Stefan, he isn’t plagued by guilt when he gives into his baser nature.
Bonnie asks Jeremy to help her find out what’s going on with Elena’s necklace, then confesses she’s been cut off by the witches she’d been channeling. But then, Anna shows up and warns him that the darkness is present — and all of the books Jeremy’s searching through burst into flame. When Jeremy gets a moment to himself, Anna appears again — and this time, Jeremy’s not as open to Anna showing up when he’s trying to spend time with Bonnie (I knew this would be a problem). Anna points out she can’t pop up unless he thinks about her — and then realizes that’s exactly why he hadn’t told Bonnie about her. Then, Jeremy does what any guy haunted by his ex (whether figuratively or literally) has to do — push that ex out of his mind and tell his present girlfriend what’s been bothering him. Shut out and no longer heard, Anna sobs. I suspect this isn’t the last we’ll see of Anna, but it’s a neat little storyline about dealing with emotional baggage. Really, some of the B and C plots on “Vampire Diaries” have been the most effective and satisfying of late.
Caroline seeks comfort from Tyler, admitting she can’t bring herself to do anything to her dad — even let Tyler beat him up. And then they roll around on the bed, even though he’s sweaty. But just as things are getting hot and heavy, Elena calls. Damon and Bill are chatting, and a fight is in the offing.
Damon doesn’t rush to kill Bill right away, as Bill admits he’d never turn Damon or Caroline into the “idiots” on the council. But Damon, who’s ready to take out his anger and frustration on anyone convenient, decides to at least torture Bill a bit by snacking on him. He’s only stopped when Caroline appears and proceeds to kick Damon’s ass (obviously she’s not stronger than Damon, but she does have the advantage of surprise and anger on her side).
When Ric wakes up, he’s really mad at Damon. Which is understandable, but Damon had to make a point to someone. And no harm, no foul, really. But Ric decides he wants the Gilbert family represented on the town council — and points out to the sheriff they’d better do it seeing as one of them has a kid who’s a werewolf and one has a kid who’s a vampire. I’m actually a little impressed Ric’s able to get something accomplished, seeing as just a few episodes he was crying into his beer, fretting about his poor leadership skills.
Caroline and Elena chat, and while they both have bigger fish to fry, Caroline is determined to get Elena to admit she like-likes Damon. But Elena can’t admit it. She knows she’s been trying to change Damon into Stefan, and she also knows it’s not going to work. Elena is going to have to grieve Stefan or find some way to come to peace with the fact that she can’t be with the guy she loves. I suggest not spending so much time with Damon and possibly getting a therapist, but I doubt that will happen.
After Caroline’s superheroine defense of her dad, Bill tells her he’s going to go home and thanks her for fighting off Damon for him. Everything seems to be tied up neatly, until Caroline tries to tell her dad she’s going to be okay. “You’re a vampire,” he says, adding that she’ll never be okay again because of it. Bill may be out of the picture, but the dark shadow he’s cast over Caroline is going to be with her for a long, long time.
Meanwhile, Stefan tries to put his plan into action by pumping Rebekah for information about The Hunter. Rebekah pulls him into a kiss, which reveals to her that he’s not committed to her or Klaus — add to that his prying questions, and it’s not looking good for Stefan. Rebekah immediately narcs on him to Klaus, who doesn’t bother to listen to Stefan’s protestations that Rebekah’s wrong — he goes in for the kill, or at least it seems that way. But no, he wants to find out what Stefan is hiding — so he takes him back to Mystic Falls.
In a small, seemingly unimportant scene, Elena asks Bonnie to give her back her necklace. She just feels weird without it. But things aren’t as they seem — it wasn’t Elena but Katherine that made the request, and with necklace in hand she goes to find Damon. She wants a partner in crime, and her timing couldn’t be better. Feeling misunderstood and angry at all the people trying to make him behave, Damon is very ready to misbehave — I just hope he realizes what Katherine’s getting him into.
Do you think Katherine and Damon have a shot at destroying Klaus? What do you think of Klaus returning Stefan to Mystic Falls? Do you think Anna is going to become a problem for Jeremy?