Recap: ‘The Vampire Diaries’: The killer in me is the killer in you
After a rather lackluster episode last week, ‘The Vampire Diaries’ came out swinging tonight and proved, once again, why we should never underestimate it or question it. From now on I am just going to assume that when there’s an off episode it was done on purpose to throw us off the scent of what’s to come. I’m on to you, Plec and Company, I’m on to you and your sneaky ways.
Most everyone got to shine in tonight’s episode, “The Killer.” Whether it was Elena taking control or Pudding Pop going full on prison break, our favorite group of Mystic Falls misfits were firing on all cylinders tonight. And though I find the diary voiceovers to be very tedious and too on-the-nose for this show, I understand that Elena feels as if she’s got no one else to turn to except her diary.
She can’t voice her frustrations and loneliness to Stefan, because she knows that he’s already carrying enough guilt about her death. She, being the compassionate Elena that she is, doesn’t want to burden him with what she feels are her own problems. She knows that if she tells him about her true feelings – that sometimes she feels like ending it – that he’ll never forgive himself for letting her die (he probably won’t ever get over it anyway, but for the sake of Elena’s thought processes we’re just going to go with it).
On the other hand, she also can’t tell Damon. The most obvious reason for this being that they’re a little rocky on account of her dirty dancing (her words, not mine) episode at the frat house the night before. She’s embarrassed and ashamed of the way the blood affected her and she’s afraid that it could happen again. But the heart of the matter, why she really doesn’t open up to and confide in Damon, is that Elena is afraid of what might happen if she does. She’s afraid that if she opens those doors even a sliver – like she did in that motel last season – that everything she’s kept bottled up for the past three years will come rushing out. And she’s spent too much time trying to convince herself that she’s happy with Stefan and that she wants to be with him to just turn around and walk away into the arms of his brother.
When it comes to Damon, there’s a part of Elena that knows deep down that he’s going to be the one to help her through this transition – he’s the brother who’s embraced what it means to be a vampire. Stefan has never and will never accept that he is, by nature, a predator. And we know why that is – it’s because he can’t control himself when it comes to human blood – but if he can’t help Elena through this difficult time, then that really only leaves one person.
And he’s the same person that she blames at the end of the episode after she’s killed Connor. But I suppose I should take a step back and address the rest of the episode before going any further.
This episode opened with Connor taking Jeremy, Pudding Pop and an unsuspecting April hostage at the Grill in an attempt to lure out the extremely good looking vampire population of Mystic Falls. At this point in time Connor still doesn’t know that Elena’s a vampire, and April has been compelled to forget everything she kind of witnessed during her stint as vampire bait in “Memorial.”
Tyler, who hasn’t really gotten over the fact that Connor shot him “like, nine times” wants in on the action to take him out. He devises a plan with Damon and Stefan to kill Connor and rescue their human pals. But neither Damon nor Tyler know about the supposed cure for vampirism, nor do they know that Stefan has conspired with Klaus to keep Connor and his magical map tattoo alive in order to find said cure. Klaus, proving that living for a bajillion years has taught him nothing, insists that Stefan can tell no one about their secret plan. In my head, this is Klaus’ way of keeping his BFF close, but it could also be because he’s kind of a control freak.
So Stefan devises a plan that includes secret tunnels and the use of Klaus’ hybrids to save our beloved trio of innocents – who by this time have been divided up. Jeremy is busy unsuccessfully trying to convince Connor that vampires are our friends and Matt and April are in the kitchen trying to find an escape route. After discovering that his one and only plan – the old wine cellar – has been bricked over, Matt doesn’t give up hope. He grabs some tools and starts digging his way out – just like in all those prison movies.
Back at Casa de Lockwood, Damon is a little reluctant (“That where you been all morning? Out buying bossy pants?”) to go along with Stefan’s plan, but eventually gives in. Both brothers, unsurprisingly, do not approve of Elena joining in on the action. It doesn’t matter that she’s also a predator, they don’t want to risk it.
At Alaric’s loft they find copies of the city’s old tunnel maps (because, of course he would have those), but Damon asks too many questions and Stefan takes him out with the last vervain left in town. Elena’s pissed, but Stefan still won’t let her come, so she stays behind and holds court next to Damon’s lifeless body.
Back at the Grill, Jeremy’s making pals with Connor when Dean, one of Klaus’ hybrids attempts to infiltrate the hostage situation. He notices a trip wire and effectively avoids it. But in doing that he steps on a bomb. But the impact of the explosion and the thousand shards of glass don’t kill him, so Connor blows a whole right through his chest. As this is happening, Stefan is able to enter the Grill through the underground tunnel and save Matt and April. But when he attempts to rescue Jeremy, things don’t turn out as well.
After Damon wakes up from his vervain nap and realizes that Stefan took his daylight ring, Elena takes off for the Grill by herself. The fact that Connor still doesn’t know that she’s a vampire is on her side and she does her best “he’s the only family I have left” plea in order to try to save him. Connor, unfortunately, is not having it. She attacks him, but he manages to get a shot into Jeremy’s gut. For a show about vampires, Jeremy sure does seem to be shot by humans an awful lot, no? Good thing Elena can just feed him her blood now, I guess.
Stefan takes off with Connor into the underground tunnels and it would appear that the plan to capture him alive went off with only minimal complications. But Damon’s waiting for them in the tunnels and we find ourselves in the midst of yet another Salvatore pissing contest. Stefan eventually comes clean to Damon about the possibility of a cure, but not before there’s a lot of fingers in chests and angry brother fighting. Now, I enjoy a brotherly disagreement as much as the next girl, but because they’re preoccupied, Connor is able to take off down the tunnel.
Unfortunately for him, an angry Elena is waiting for him, and after he attempts to stake her (“You missed.”) she snaps his neck. And just like that Elena’s killed her first victim. It isn’t until she’s burying him (hey, at least she’s thoughtful!) that she realizes just what she’s done and suffers a massive breakdown. “You told me to kill him,” she tells Damon, “So I did.”
It would be easier for me to take her seriously if she didn’t have all that blood on her face. Seriously, did Damon just skip over the etiquette portion of the trap, eat, erase Vampire Diet? One would think that clearing away the evidence that you’re a killer – not just the dead body, but the tools you used to kill the person – would be a high priority, but apparently Elena’s not really concerned with her appearance, well, ever, because she’s constantly got the vampire equivalent of crumbs on her face.
The episode ends with Elena suffering from hallucinations as the result of killing a hunter, and with Stefan admitting to Damon that he prefers Elena in her human state. Because of this, he’s still dedicated to finding the cure. And Damon tells him that he loves Elena no matter what she is, but that he’ll help Stefan find the cure because he’s his brother.
Some stray observations:
So much happened in this episode that I haven’t even mentioned the B and C storylines.
- Caroline and Hayley finally meet and Caroline immediately jumps to the conclusion that we all jumped to as soon as we heard that Hayley and Ty, as she likes to call him, shared a secret. But the secret is not that they’d had a relationship behind Caroline’s back, it’s that the two of them have been planning a coup to take down Klaus. Because Hayley helped Tyler to break his sire bond, they want to do the same for the rest of the hybrids. In other words, Tyler’s about to get a lot more screentime. Get ready ladies, I predict a hell of a lot of abs coming our way.
- Bonnie did some boring stuff with Professor What’s His Face. I’ve already lost interest in this storyline. Mainly because it’s Bonnie, but also because it’s hella boring. Also, I don’t trust a dude who has that many candles in one room.
- Now that Connor is dead, the vampire hunter’s map tattoo has begun to appear on Jeremy’s body. So, let’s also be on the lookout for more shirtless Jeremy (yes, please). Jeremy, in his first act of protector of innocents, gives April his vervain bracelet in a small attempt to protect her. Aw.
So what did you guys think? Are you surprised at how quickly Connor was dispatched? Do you think that this will all come back to bite Klaus in the ass? How badass is that gif up there? Team Badass.
Photo Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW
Hair (Damon): 7.5
Brooding (Stefan): 5
Self-hatred or freakout (Elena): 8.5
General badassery: 9