'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Best ep yet?

Vampire-Diaries-Lost-Girls_dl Even in 1864, Damon was a smartass. Just one of the many things that made this flashback episode the best Vampire Diaries yet. See also: the rampant shirtlessness and the hear this, CW censors? sound effect for Damon snapping Vicki’s neck.

We picked up with Elena confronting Stefan, and to the show’s credit, they didn’t waste time with him denying it: “I’m a vampire,” he said in a way that made you believe there might actually be hope for him not to lose this show to Damon. (It’s like he’s been holding back more than that secret. We want to feel some of that power, that presence.) Elena wasn’t ready to have that conversation, and she left. Stefan met her in her bedroom where she was doing some classic tortured-teen bed flopping, pacing, and hair pulling. “You can hate me, but I need you to trust me,” he said, telling her that she needs to keep his secret and that he’d never hurt her. “If you mean me no harm, then you’ll go,” she said. “I never wanted this,” he responded as he left. He never wanted what? Her to find out the truth? Not what a woman wants to hear. Or for him to fall in love again and risk feeling the kind of pain he was about to face?

The next day, Elena met Stefan for coffee and established that he can eat garlic, he’s not affected by crucifixes or holy water, he sees his reflection in mirrors, his ring protects him in daylight, and he survives on animal blood, which makes him weaker than Damon, who feeds on humans and uses mind compulsion to make those he doesn’t kill forget about it. (Got that, new viewers?) Stefan asked for a day to answer any question she has, and then she could choose for herself whether to keep quiet. They headed off to the site of his former home, and we found out that the brothers met Katherine in 1864 when Stefan was 17. She was a flirt and fond of being chased. Damon went off to war, but couldn’t stay away: “I was simply having too much fun to return to battle,” he explained with that trademark smirk. Which brother would Katherine have escort her to the Founder’s Ball? Stefan thought she chose him, but he said she was with them both that night. (Ewww. And yet, you go, girl. Kidding. Maybe.) As Stefan and Katherine were about to make love — and he told her he’d love her forever (oh, Stefan) — she bit him. Why was I surprised that she was the maker? The next morning, she glamoured him. She controlled both brothers’ minds so that neither would know about the other; she wanted to keep the three of them together forever, Stefan told Elena. Maybe we shouldn’t hate Katherine — I’d be evil, too, if I had to wear a corset — but I do. Here’s what’s great though: As Damon later hinted to Elena at her house (after he graciously cut to the chase and told her he wasn’t going to kill her “right now”), there’s more to this story than we’ve been told. We still don’t know which brother was turned first and how, how they each decided whether to feed on human blood or die, how they found out about Katherine’s threesome, how she ended up dead, or why Damon blames Stefan. Stefan can’t be as innocent as he seems, right?

While all this drama was happening, Damon was being his usual loose cannon self. According to co-executive producer Julie Plec’s Twitter page, it was EP Kevin Williamson who came up with Damon’s “I’m at the Sizzler” line for when Stefan asked him where he was — and he was burning the bodies of the stoners he’d devoured in the graveyard. I’m not gonna pretend that I wanted Vicki to survive. In fact, my reaction was pretty much like Damon’s: “You just don’t want to die, do ya?” But if she HAD to stay on the show, then having Damon turn her into a vamp simply because he was bored hanging out in the mansion all day sans ring was the best possible option. I wonder how many people he’s turned, and if he waited impatiently with his head resting on theirs as they drank from him for all of them…

Let’s skip over the fact that Vicki was not at all concerned that she was in a tank top and panties only when she came down stairs from her shower, and go right to the scene in which she and Damon danced the day away after taking a hit off each other’s blood. (I wanted that moment to be more sexual than it was. You?) I didn’t think it was going to get any better than Damon standing on the balcony gyrating with his shirt hanging open, but that cut from him finding the picture of Katherine to him slowdancing with a weeping Vicki while she told her sob story, which I still didn’t care enough about to take notes on, was awesome. She has no self-esteem, he told her. “I think I know what can help you…. Death.” AND SNAP! He broke her neck. Cut to commercial.

It would have been genius, one of TV’s great deaths, if she’d stayed dead, but as Damon explained: She drank his blood, he killed her, now all she has to do is feed. What we didn’t find out until she went to Jeremy’s to raid his fridge and Stefan diagnosed her as mid-transformation, is that she either had to feed on human blood or die for good. That’s the choice Vicki started to become aware of as she kissed Jeremy’s neck and felt the urge to bite. She fled the house and ended up at the cemetery. Stefan tracked her, and, for the first time, I felt something other than annoyed by Vicki. After Stefan explained her options, she asked “Is it better?… Is it better? Will I be better?” She was sobbing, and maybe because it wasn’t in front of a man who she was using or was letting use her, I just felt how damaged, defeated, and alone she was. Stefan didn’t answer her question, which I take as a no. I wonder if when Vicki asked him to take her home, she meant so she’d die there. As he stood, Logan the newscaster, who’d done some vampire tracking of his own with the pocketwatch, shot Stefan with a wooden bullet. He was about to stake him when Damon, who’d learned Stefan was looking for Vicki from Elena, swooped in and stopped him. “If anyone’s gonna kill you, it’s gonna be me,” he said. Especially when he still needed to get his ring back. While Stefan handed it over (otherwise Damon would hurt Elena), Vicki fed off Logan. “I’m sorry,” she told Stefan, then ran away. Damon and Stefan now know that someone is on to vamps being back in town if Logan was packing wooden bullets. At least Damon picked up the pocketwatch so they can’t be tracked. Or will he find some way to use that against Stefan?

Stefan returned to Elena’s house and explained that he “lost” Vicki, but promised that he’d find her and show her how to live like he does on animal blood. I guess Elena wanted Vicki to choose death, too, because she seemed pissed that she was going to have to think up a lie to tell Jeremy and Matt to cover for Vicki now. She said she’d keep Stefan’s secret, but she couldn’t be with him, even though she believes he wouldn’t hurt her (and even though he’d told her about the vervain always protecting her free will). Personally, I think if my world had just blown up, I’d want to stay close to the hot, sweet, vampire who wants to protect me. But I love where “the breakup” takes us storywise. We get to reset the sexual tension and look forward to Stefan winning her back. We get to see how Damon reacts to Stefan being miserable and Elena being single.

What did you think of the episode? Are you happy or sad that Vicki is now a vamp? What do you want to see happen next in the Stefan-Elena-Damon saga?

As always, if you’re going to reference the book series in your comment, please begin with the word BOOK so others can avoid spoilers if they choose to.

Photo credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW

Comments (106 total) Add your comment
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  • jackie

    BOOK!
    I liked this episode at first ! I loved the flashbacks especially (: BUUUT, I hate how they’re changing the story so much ! Vicky doesn’t turn into a vampire in the book and now I think it just messes everything up D; and Elena isn’t supposed to reject Stefan ! In the book everythings the other way around ! Elena wants Stefan no
    matter what he is but Stefan wants to keep her safe ! ehhhh, this frustrates me ! but it was probably the beat episode yet for the people who didn’t read the books! (:

    • Ashley

      I actually think her rejection is great. It makes her much better than the book Elena. The fact that this is too much for her makes it less soap opera-y and gives her more credit as an anti-Bella type. She actually has a brain and is using it. Good for her. Besides, what kind of relationship is all “happy happy ooey gooey I’ll always forgive you no matter what” all the time? A sh*tty one, that’s what.

      • Eric Henwood-Greer

        Also keep in mind (I haven’t read the books) they have to fill 22 eps a season or whatever–if she accepted Stefan straight away it would take up far less episodes than if she questions it at first, then comes around (besides which it seems more realistic).

        I knew Vicky wouldn’t be offed, I know people hate her it seems but I’m interested and glad about what they did to her–it keeps things more complex and interesting. I was sad to see cutie reporter go though (though I appreciate that the show seems willing to throw people off about who they could kill) though I wish we had seen some ofCaroline.

        Still a great, atmospheric, soapy episode.

    • Ashley

      If they had kept Elena more similar to her character in the books, no one could even think about comparing her to Bella.

      About Vicky, I thought it was kind of messed up that Stefan and Elena seemed to want her to choose death. I mean, ouch, that’s a bit cruel.

  • leo

    I too loved when Damon was dancing on the balcony with his shirt off. Funny, I never liked him on LOST but in this role he just oozes with charisma and sex appeal!
    I still don’t get why the founders have this secret society to kill vampires. More has to unfold about how they formed.

    Others watch gossip girl, melrose or 90210 for their guilty pleasure but this is mine and thankfully it is actually well written and acted so I don’t feel too guilty about it :)

  • Sparky

    I have nt read the books and I have to say that if they had finished the episode with Elena accepting the fact that her boyfriend is a vampire I would have been seriously disappointed. We have been guessing on some of the other boards what the reason will be that the 2 of them eventually get back together. At the moment their highschool fling is nt enough to keep them together in my book. Also it gives Damon the opportunity to try and make an impression on Elena now that she is nt with Stefan. I am loving this show – the backstory is making this more than just another vampire show. Also kudos to Chris Mollere for his choice of songs on the show. Sucks we have to wait 2 weeks for the next episode – can’ wait…

    • squirlgirl

      Yeah, when I heard the Depeche Mode covered song I cranked up the volume and marked the episode to save on my TiVo. LOVED IT!

  • Julie

    Definitely best episode yet! Love your review of everything and I couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m reading the book now and am having a hard time adjusting to what is happening in the show vs. the book. Loving the show much better at this point (just my opinion). Anyways, I honestly can’t stand Vicky. Wish she didn’t survive, but oh well, next episode will prove interesting. And I definitely agree that the break-up, heartbreaking as it is, will only be worth it to watch Stefan get Elena back. Just like you, I don’t think that I could just walk away from Stefan :) I mean seriously, look at him! Oh and as much as I love Stefan…the way Damon was on the stair rail, I practically swooned :) Keep up the great reviews. I always look forward to reading them. Thanks!

  • Kelly

    I’m not at all happy with the way the CW is going with Vampire Diaries. They’ve changed alot and tonight’s show proved it. I understand it’s a TV show and things have to get draw out, but to change the plot (Damon and Stephan are from Rome)and character’s (Vicky never turns into a vampire, she’s also not Matt’s sister,and where is Meredith?)and actions is just wrong. It’s an insult to the Series and the Author.

    • Mary Q. Contrary

      FAIL. Get over it. They’re much needed changes. The books were crap.

      • Debbie

        I agree. The show is MUCH better than the books. And I dont see how talking about the books can spoil the show..they are so so different.

      • Jorden

        I wish they kept it as Damon and Stefan being originally from Italy – but thats all they should have kept.
        Elena is a way better character then the Elena from the book
        The show is great, and for the first time i think the show is so much better then the books its based on

    • kitkat

      Agree! Though I’m starting to like the show, I hate how they changed all the characters. No Merideth, Bonnie is completely wrong (They should have made the girl who plays Bonnie in the show Merideth instead), Caroline is all wrong, KATHERINE is all wrong and Elena is all wrong. Damon and Stefan’s personalities are pretty accurate, though I always pictured Stefan as much hotter than he is in the show….

    • Veronica

      I really like that they’re not following the books. I just started watching True Blood after having read all the books and I realized that while I still like the series, all the cliffhanger endings are not as exciting because I already know what’s going to happen. I definitely prefer using the books as an outline, but not following them exactly.

    • Rae Lynn

      I totally agree. Although books 1, 2 & 4 are the good ones, they have changed soo much!! Why is that necessary? They just take an “idea” from the books then totally change them. Same with Gossip Girl. Why can’t they have Meredith? Books don’t have to be followed exactly – but at least stick to the core of the story. How can an author agree to their story being changed so much?!?!

  • kate

    i never read the books, and i kinda don’t want to. i absolutely love the show and how the story has progressed so far. great episode tonight, and i know there are many more to come!

    • Dana

      Kate — I’m with you! Though I’m a huge Twilight fan, I never read The Vampire Diaries books, so the TV show characters are all I know. Those sound effects while Damon and Vicki were feeding gave me the willies, though!!!! The best scenes of the night definitely involved Damon, particularly dancing in the mansion while Vicki was transitioning.

      I love this show!

  • Ashley

    I was dying when Damon was dancing around with his shirt open. Not just from ogling him, mind you. I just could not stop myself from laughing at the whole Vicki-Damon dancing thing. It was the silliest thing he’s done so far.

    On a less superficial note, I’m very happy with the way Elena reacted. It wasn’t some idiotic “Oh, I have no issue AT ALL with you being a creature of the night” reaction. It was much more believeable than the Twilight one. And the fact that the “perfect couple” broke up only made me happier with the writers. They’re not in love yet, so any other ending would’ve been BS in my opinion.

  • Celeste

    I totally concur about more sex and less dancing. I mean c’mon, all Damon and Vicki needed was some E, glowsticks and time travel back to 1996. I can’t understand why the girl who goes out her way to loose didn’t sleep with Damon.

    Also, where the hell is Aunt Jenna? I mean these scenes are taking place in the middle of night. Uninvolved and negligence on her part is one thing, but she does sleep at the same house, right?

  • Corey

    It was weird to see Damon and Stefan being buddy-buddy while they were alive.

    In the books, Damon and Stefan’s mother fell ill and died after Stefan’s birth. Allegedly, Damon blames his little brother for her death and has never forgiven him (it seems likely, but the reader has only Stefan’s suspicion that this is so, as Damon himself never suggests anything of the sort)

    In the books, Stefan explains his backstory A LOT, but Damon never does. This aura of mystery adds to Damon’s appeal, as fan speculation is one of the Vampire Diaries fandom’s favored pastimes, and it is perhaps better not to know for certain.

  • Carrie

    This show does indeed get better and more intense with each episode. I don’t mind that they’re changing the story, what would be the fun if people could just read the books and know exactly what would happen?

  • Nick

    why do you guys only recap the absolute worst shows and most stupid teeny bopper lame fad shows…what happened to recaps for shows that people other than reality fanatics and 13 yr old girls want to read….stupid stupid stupid

    • Eric Henwood-Greer

      Yeah I’m sick of E coverign and recaping teenybopper shows like Mad Men. Sheesh :(

      Seriously, what show aren’t they recapping that you want?

    • Bex

      It’s people like you that I don’t get, why read a recap for a show you don’t like, let alone waste your time commenting on it? That’s pretty stupid to me

    • Julie

      Oy! 33..and proud watcher of Vampire Diaries. lol

      For my more adult vampire fix there’s True Blood, but alas…on hiatus until next year.

  • Eric Henwood-Greer

    Oh and boo to no new episode next week

    • Jenn

      I second that. Two weeks is going to seem like a long time to wait, especially after an episode like that.

  • aisha

    i’m an avid fan of the books and was disappointed that there were going to be changes BUT realistically it would be boring if the plot followed the book exactly because then there’d be no suspense.
    Also they probably didn’t go with the Rome backstory, cos it would be very expensive to come with the Renaissance sets.
    Plus i doubt either of the brothers speaks Italian cos speaking english would be dumb.
    What i don’t like is the Civil War setting. Hello true blood.
    they should have come up with something original. Or they could have stolen one of the authors other ideas and gone with colonial america a la Quinn even though that would make the brothers about five hundred years old. (i’m british so sorry if i’m getting the history wrong.)

    • Melissa

      Colonial America was like pilgrams (1400′s) – Revolutionary War (1700′s.) 500 years could be correct. Your American history is not bad. :)

      • Laura

        Columbus discovered America in 1492.

        Pilgrims=1600s. :)

  • Mike

    The best episode yet. Yes, This show and the book have about as much in common as Bruce Willis and myself. Still, Stefan showed some backbone and I like what they’re doing with Damon and Elana’s characters. They’re characters are different from the book, but in a good way.

  • jackie

    LOVED THIS EPISODE!! favortie one yet. I too agree; why wont vicki die? I think I will be more annoyed with her being a vampire. oh well. I was heartbroken for Stefan because he is so believeable with his godness, but it is okay because the sexual tension from the beiginning will be there, which is a plus. I think Damon will try and get to Elena and see if he can appeal to his senses but i doubt it will work. Guess I will just have to wait and see next week. But i do love how the series is getting better and better!

    • Dee

      Yes, I can’t see how Elena would dump Stefan simply because he’s a vampire, yet hook up with Damon who is ALSO a vampire, and a bad dude at that. That’s right up there with Sookie being attracted to Eric, in my book. I don’t care what the actor who plays him looks like, the character of Eric is an A$$HOLE, just like Damon.

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