S3E13: As excited as I was that Elijah is back on The Vampire Diaries, I’ve got to say his return wasn’t exciting as I’d hoped. Luckily, the rest of the episode manages to make up for it. The murder mystery that started with Meredith’s murdered ex-boyfriend lying in the woods with a stake in his heart gets some serious traction; the series finds its way back to the gooey center with an emotional loss that binds Caroline and Elena; and the Damon/Elena/Stefan triangle gets more angsty, albeit with a little premature transparency. Plus the horror element gets a serious upgrade this week. But, we’ve got plenty of drama to work through, so let’s get to it.
“Elijah, my favorite original.” –Damon
We pick up right where we left off, with Elijah standing over a freshly killed hybrid and he is not happy. This first meeting between brothers starts with a fight, but changes quickly when Klaus tells Elijah that the contents of the fourth coffin will allow the family to be whole and that Michael is dead. And boom: it seems that Elijah is on Klaus’ side. Of course, we assume when he meets up with Damon a few scenes later that he’s just playing the game to help his brother, but it’s not that simple. When Damon undaggered the original, he left a note about meeting, signed “XOXO, Damon” (CW synergy!) and when he asks what “Klaus-killing weapon” is in the fourth coffin, Elijah instead sets up a gentlemen’s meeting. And there’s a reason I love Elijah – he’s just so old-fashioned.
”Why would you ask that?”-Stefan
“Maybe because I don’t know what you’re capable of anymore.” –Elena
Sheriff Forbes visits Elena and Rick to reveal that the stake that killed the medical examiner is one from Elena’s lake house and the only visible fingerprints are hers. The sheriff doesn’t think Elena did it, but she’s part of the puzzle. Damon thinks it was Meredith, Rick and Elena say it’s not possible – the first murder happened before Meredith ever saw Rick’s stash of weapons. Because she’s still not over the evil Stefan phase, Elena thinks it could have been her former flame. And because she’s the new, no BS Elena, she follows him to the cave where he’s keeping the coffin to ask him if he did it. It’s obvious that her question is deeply painful. He’s offended that she’d even question him and when he asks her if she questioned Damon about killing anyone, he knows that the answer is no. That kiss is really killing him, especially since the reason he went with Klaus and lost his humanity was to save Damon.
Later, Matt walks Elena home and when they get to her house the electricity is out – and they don’t think this is ominous at all. It’s not like they live in a town full of supernatural creatures and horror movie overtones. They grab flashlights and see the trail of blood leading upstairs – and a little more of that delicious scary movie style creeps back in. Upstairs, they find that Alaric has been stabbed. He’s still alive, but doesn’t know who did this to him. His wound is fatal and since they don’t know who attacked him Elena has to finish the job. Rick’s ring only protects him from supernatural attackers and since Elena is a doppelganger, she fits the bill. Luckily, it works, because with Caroline’s dad on his deathbed (we’ll get there) she’s got too many memories of dying parents coming back to her to lose Rick too.
But whodunit? Rick identifies the weapons used on the other victims (himself and Bill Forbes) as his own and figures out that the only person in all three places where he kept those weapons was Meredith. But, when all is said and done, Meredith has an alibi and they’re back to square one. And these attacks are just the beginning because someone no one suspects is picking off council members left and right. The show is about to get a whole lot bloodier, and soon.
“I told you I don’t have any powers.” –Abby
“And I don’t believe you.” –Stefan
Stefan takes Bonnie and her mother to the coffin, which is hidden in the cave with the ancient drawings – the one that’s got a spell to keep vampires out. They’ll be safe in there to figure out how to open the coffin while Stefan and Damon try to stall Klaus. Once they get to work, they find a blood knot in the Grimwar next to the spell Abby used to imprison Michael, which means it took two witches from the same blood line to seal it. It probably takes two in the same bloodline to open it. They start working on the spell, but it’s not doing anything. (We can tell because the candles aren’t shooting up flames.) Bonnie is convinced that Abby isn’t trying and Abby says the spirits are punishing her, but Bonnie isn’t an idiot. She knows Abby’s not trying and she says that her dreams can’t be wrong – Abby is closing herself off. It takes a comment about Bonnie pretending Abby was dead to deal with the pain of her leaving to turn the former witch around. They hold hands and the flames in the candles shoot up (which means it’s working!) and the coffin almost opens. While Bonnie goes to tell Damon, the coffin opens and knocks her mother out. Of course, we don’t see what’s in it, but it seems to be a living thing since it whipped that lid open on its own.
“This is life. This is what it means to be human.” –Bill
At the hospital, Meredith says Caroline’s dad was discharged, but then Caroline hears her dad’s phone in the hallway. She follows the sound into an eerie medical supply room where he’s dead with a stake in his heart, just like the medical examiner. He’s not actually dead though because Meredith used vampire blood to heal him. Lucky break right? Wrong. This is Bill Forbes. He hates vampires. So he refuses to drink blood and accepts that he’s going to die without it. This brings about a sequence of events that bonds Elena and Caroline because they’ll both have experience the loss of a parent – a welcome addition to the angsty love triangle, as much as we love it.
Elena is also mired to this subject because she’s familiar with the concept of the choice to be or not to be a vampire. She dealt with that when Damon did it to save her from Klaus the first time and when Stefan almost killed her just a few episodes ago. Elena tries to convince Caroline it’s what’s right for him, but Caroline just wants her father to live, naturally. So, she tries to convince him to accept the transformation, but he says it goes against his beliefs. Caroline takes this personally, because how could she not, but he explains that he doesn’t hate her, he loves her, and he knows she’s good. He dies, a casualty of the most dangerous small town in America, and it would seem that the series is back to that low (and fantastically scary) place where it will kill off anyone (outside of the sacred love triangle). Last time TVD went this far, we lost Aunt Jenna. Something big is coming.
“Stefan, where is the lovely Elena tonight?” –Elijah
“I don’t know, ask Damon.” –Stefan
Now for the juiciest part: dinner with Klaus. Stefan doesn’t trust Elijah, because he betrayed them last time. Damon’s sure he’s pissed enough to screw Klaus over so he makes Stefan go to Klaus’ dinner to make a “fake truce” – the bit about how Damon never would have kissed Elena if Klaus hadn’t turned Stefan probably helps to seal the deal, as he’s clearly ruled by his emotions regarding the incident. Still, Stefan isn’t really happy with anyone in light of recent romantic revelations and he’s stubborn at Klaus’ dinner, but it’s not long before everyone – including Damon – tells him to put a sock in it. It’s about this time that we find that Stefan and Damon are basically Klaus and Elijah 2.0. Let’s do a little rundown, why don’t we?
“So do I.” –Damon Now, there is a purpose to all this wining and dining. Damon proposes that they hand over the coffin and the originals all leave Mystic Falls and leave Stefan, Damon and Elena alone. Small snag: Elena is the key to hybrids, so Klaus won’t leave her. Klaus says that the two of them are the worst thing for her; one will turn her into a vampire or their feuding will get her killed and she’s tearing them apart. Klaus wants Elena to raise little human babies with Matt so he has an endless supply of doppelganger blood, which would mean she’s always protected. But Stefan won’t do it (because he loves her and wants her for himself, duh!). Klaus is not amused and threatens to burn Stefan alive if Damon doesn’t hand over the coffin. Elijah is supposed to go with Damon, but neither of them leave; instead they undagger the whole happy family and Elijah tells the Salvatores to leave. The brothers and sisters descend on Klaus just as whatever came out of that coffin finally rears its head. It’s the original witch (but how? This doesn’t make sense!) and though she has the ability to kill Klaus, she says she’s back to have her family. Okay, what? There has better be more to this story (besides Rebekah’s aside that she’s going to kill Elena because someone’s always trying to kill Elena on this show. At least two over-protective vampires are in love with her and we’re used to her being in danger.) Speaking of which (I saved this for last because it’s the gushy romantic part we all love so much), Stefan says what we’ve known all along: he’s no ripper, he still loves Elena. And even though he almost gave up during that whole fire-threat moment, he still wants her. But at the same time, they seem to be determined not to kill each other over it. Stefan acknowledges that Damon could have let him stay in his heartless state – or die (including during dinner) – and he could have had a clear shot at Elena, but he didn’t. But he did it for Elena, not Stefan. Game, set, match. They may both want Klaus dead, but they also both want Elena. Are you excited to see Damon and Stefan actually vie for Elena for once? (Instead of just pining over her?) What do you think Klaus’ mother is really there to be a family? Or is she a double-crosser just like her son? Let me know in the comments or get at me on Twitter. @KelseaStahler