I would argue that this week’s episode centered around Tyler, though it may not seem that way based on his screen time. He wrestles with his loyalties so much this week and struggles with the right thing to do over and over. His anguish and turmoil overtakes any other plotline this week. Though I really hope we get to see more of this in weeks to come, it may not happen.
I’m seeing a pattern this season, of opening the episode on a gruesome campsite littered with bodies. This week, it is Jules and Brady cleaning up after the werewolf/vampire fight at the end of last episode. It seems as if only a few hours have passed since Jonas saved the vampire’s asses. New character, werewolf Stevie, figures out the vamps are trying to break the curse of the sun and the moon, which would allow the vamps to walk in the sun but would trap the werewolves in their moon state forever. Brady decides he can stop the vampires’ plan by killing every last vamp in Mystic Falls. Yeah, that makes sense. Because he’s been so successful up until now.
Over at Caroline’s, it’s the morning after her rejuvenation sleepover with Elena and Bonnie, and Elena and Stefan decide to have one of their own, up at Elena’s old family lake house.
Another morning after: bathtub girl does the walk of shame from Damon’s, freshly compelled to “fall hard” for him before her interview with new author “Elijah Smith” a.k.a. the original Elijah. Alaric shows up, and Damon shows him how to kill an original, according to John.
Cut to Bonnie and Caroline at the grill, where they both notice the awkwardness between Caroline and Matt. Matt confronts Caroline about her lie about being with Bonnie when she stood him up the night before, and then Tyler tries to talk to her, but she runs off. Not before Matt thinks they are together, though, and a fight breaks out between the former best friends.
Tyler goes back to Jules, where he is finally clued in about the sun and moon curse, and Brady, Jules and Stevie figure out the doppelganger for Mason’s old vamp girlfriend “Kathy” is Elena. They conveniently leave out the part that Elena won’t survive the ritual that breaks the curse when they tell Tyler the details.
Elena and Stefan leave for their romantic night away from Mystic Falls. Tyler had stolen Caroline’s phone back at the grill, and he finds out via text the location of their getaway. Brady, Jules and Tyler leave to capture her.
Not going to lie, I got really excited when Stefan and Elena pulled up to her lake house in Stefan’s old-fashioned red car. Style points. Another high point of the episode: Stefan couldn’t walk in the house, and Elena freaks out. Apparently the lake house was left to John. Then she laughs and invites him in. She can joke?
At the tea party for Elijah’s “book,” Damon flaunts his new “girlfriend” in front of Jenna, before formally meeting Elijah for the first public time. The last time they interacted, Damon tried to stake Elijah — not exactly a best friendship. Damon challenges Elijah, and ends up getting stabbed in the neck with a pencil. John blackmails Alaric, threatening to tell Jenna the truth about Isobel, and wants Alaric’s supernatural, death-defying ring.
Back at the grill, Bonnie approaches Luca and forgives him…as a ploy to “witch roofie” him. Bonnie, Caroline and Jeremy bring him to Caroline’s house, where Bonnie sets up a hypnosis ritual to try to find out what Luca and Jonas are planning. Caroline girl-talks with Bonnie about Jeremy, because it is obvious to everyone that there is something going on between them. Bonnie tells Caroline she doesn’t want to ruin whatever relationship they have, since he’s Elena’s little brother. They begin the ritual, and Luca fights Bonnie’s attempts but she ends up successful. He tells them that he and his father want to kill Klaus too. Klaus has his sister, making her search for a curse breaker that doesn’t require the doppelganger. Luca and Jonas plan to kill Klaus after the sacrifice. He says Elena has to die for Klaus to be vulnerable.
Damon and Alaric relax back at the Salvatore mansion with drinks, when Alaric is stabbed by Stevie, who then shoots Damon with vervain. The rest of the wolves make their appearance. We get a nice close-up shot of Alaric wearing his ring, so we know he can’t be dead. Damon later wakes up in some sort of torture device, a collar with wooden nails around his neck with Stevie holding the chains. Turns out, Jules thinks Damon has the moonstone and she wants it.
Back at the lake house, Elena and Stefan find a secret compartment filled with Jonathon Gilbert’s old journals and vampire hunting equipment. Just in time, too, as Brady surprises Stefan with a wooden bullet to the chest. He gives Tyler the gun while he goes into the house to find Elena. Tyler shoots Stefan again, trying to validate his actions by confronting Stefan about the curse. However, it turns out Tyler didn’t know Elena has to die to break the curse. His new wolf posse conveniently left that out, and he’s left to question his loyalty again.
Elena gets worried when Stefan doesn’t come back into the house, and grabs a knife. Smart girl! She stabs Brady, leading him away with her smell and loud noises. Stefan finishes him off, and Tyler apologizes to both of them. He breaks down, confessing that he wants the curse broken by the wolves so he never has to turn again.
Elijah surprises the wolves back at the Salvatore mansion with the moonstone. He rips out the wolves’ hearts, but Jules gets away unscathed. Elijah saves Damon and leaves with the moonstone.
Damon calls Stefan to update him on the fact that Elijah has the moonstone. Stefan tells Elena that Elijah has been planning to kill Elena the whole time, but she knew all along. She just wanted her loved ones safe. Stefan gets rightfully angry, after everything he’s done for her, risking his life time and time again, when she planned on martyrdom the entire time. She tried to justify her plan by pointing out he constantly risks his own life to save hers, but he explains that he’s lived for over a hundred years and Elena’s just begun to live, making a lot of sense. This was the most poignant conversation so far this season, really giving valid reasoning behind Stefan’s constant hero complex.
After their successful extraction of information from Luca, Bonnie and Jeremy discuss their friendship. She tells him that overnight, he grew from Elena’s emo druggie younger brother into a “hot guy” when he shuts her up by kissing her. Good strategy. I was wondering when we were going to get some closure to their “will-they-won’t-they” plotline.
The ending montage this week was really sad: Mrs. Lockwood finds an envelope addressed to “Mom” on the table in her foyer, and right then we know Tyler is running. He goes to see Matt at the grill, confessing to him that he fell for Caroline after she helped him through a rough time, but Tyler can tell that she loves Matt. In an uncharacteristically good move, Tyler advises Matt, “Be good for her” before saying his goodbyes — excluding Caroline — and leaving with Jules.
Questions for this week and next week:
How far will John go to get Alaric’s supernatural ring? It has already saved his life over and over again, and without it we just might lose Alaric for good.
Will John drop the bomb on Jenna that Isobel, Alaric’s “dead” wife, is actually alive? How will he try to explain that one?
Are Bonnie and Jeremy going to last? What will Elena do when she finds out? Caroline can’t keep a secret for long…
Where is Tyler going, and is it going to be included in the show? He’s such a powerful character that I highly doubt we’re losing him for good.
How are Damon and Stefan going to save Elena now that they know she’s willingly going to be sacrificed?
Choice quotes from this episode:
“Tell me you’re not going to kill him at the tea party.” -Alaric
“No, that would be stupid. I want to know his end game before I kill him.” -Damon
“A.k.a. werewolf armageddon. A.k.a. werewolf domination.” -Stevie
“She’s giving him the sex smile.” –Caroline
“What kind of witch roofie was that?” -Jeremy
“A strong one.” -Bonnie
“You’re a witch, I’m a vampire, it’s not like we’re in any situation to be picky about boys.” -Caroline
“That Elijah’s one scary dude. But with nice hair.” -Alaric