Oh, the weather outside is frightful. No really. It’s practically raining blood in Mystic Falls.
While fake snow fell on the town square, the death knell was ringing for 12 unlucky victims - one of whom was a Lockwood. We happen upon The Vampire Diaries' first “holiday” episode, and all we see is red. But when Death took his toll, it wasn’t Tyler whose life was snuffed out - as many of us thought - it was his mother and sometimes protector Mayor Carol Lockwood as Klaus held her helpless head in the town fountain until she slumped lifeless over the edge.
Of course, this action didn’t just happen, unwarranted. Tyler formulated a plan to kill Klaus, one that included another body switcheroo, like before, that would mean effectively losing Tyler too. Luckily, after another lovers’ spat over their warring motives in the Klaus/Vampire Cure/Hybrid saga, Caroline convinced Tyler to use Rebekah, who’s sleeping peacefully with a dagger in her chest, instead of himself for the ritual. Haley, the girl still very much in cahoots with Professor Shane of the oh-so-incomprehensible evil plan, did her best to derail this sudden compromise because it would have kept Tyler from his intended death as part of Shane’s ominous 12 sacrifices. But she’s also keeping another big secret: They didn’t need to kill Klaus, they actually need him to kill the hybrids himself. Why? We’re not sure, but knowing TVD, we will in January.
Klaus does his brutal duty all too easily. After he learned of Tyler and the Hybrids’ (which is a great sixties era band name) plan to kill him, he naturally sought revenge on his former minions, killing them in a bloody rage, but when he went after Tyler, we were left to wonder. Their paths didn’t cross for the rest of the episode, leaving Klaus to exact his rage the only way he saw possible: Taking the life of Tyler’s mother.
And in the wake of all this violence is little April Young, who’s entering into this world much like little mortal Elena did. She’s got no boyfriend/spirit guide along the lines of a Stefan Salvatore, but we watched her mimic Elena and Damon’s dance at the pageant a few weeks ago and now she’s wearing vervain jewelry and learning all the secrets of the vampire world. In this instance, April found Caroline right after Haley gave her a little neck-snap and part time death nap and if watching the pulseless Caroline rise wasn’t enough, she heard her phone call about bodies, death, and mayhem. (It takes an outsider like April to shake us out of thinking this stuff all sounds pretty normal sometimes.)
When Caroline tried to compel her, April simply walked away stunned, but with her memory still in tact. That led her right into harm’s way and a tomb where Rebekah lay daggered. If the promos weren’t enough of an indication, it’s clear April will undagger her new vampire friend, though by the end of Thursday’s episode, we just saw her staring in awe. I would spend a little more time being shocked at April’s loss of innocence, but I’m too busy getting back on the long dormant Rebekah train. Man, I’ve missed that crazy woman.
Of course, the second tragedy of the night wasn’t as bloody as Klaus’ little tirade, but it did involve some hearts asunder. After he promised Stefan he’d break things off with Elena, Damon was easily convinced to let the baby vampire stay by his side. And after a sweet morning cuddle/P.D.A. session, Elena and her new beau went to her family’s cabin, where Jeremy was learning not to want to kill his sister. When she got there, he couldn’t keep himself from trying to drive a stake through her heart as soon as she walked through the door. (Makes you excited to go home for Christmas, doesn’t it?)
Next: Elena can't listen to her heart.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahlerProfessor Shane was there to help (but really he was just there to make sure Jeremy’s tattoo gets filled in so it can be his map to the cure), but he was unable to change Jeremy’s subconscious from a bloodthirsty villain to someone who still loves Elena. Finally, it was Damon who actually helped: he directs Jeremy’s energy toward an object he can love and not simultaneously want to kill as a way of focusing his conscious with his subconscious. Luckily for Beremy (Jonnie? Jerenie?) shippers, Jeremy and his impossibly muscular arms focus on Bonnie, confirming the rekindling of a relationship that’s been teased all season.
But that still leaves the sad part: Damon used his sire bond with Elena to make her leave him. After she tried to make this relationship Stefan 2.0: The Dark Side of Salvatore by invoking her last trip to the cabin (which was a blissful day with Stefan), but it only drove Damon to greater resolve. She kept asking if she felt happy because of the bond or because she was simply happy, and while Damon can be arrogant, he’s incredibly insecure when it comes to Elena. He doesn’t know the answer to her question, but he suspects her wealth of affection comes from a supernatural power and not from her heart.
Elena’s final moment with Damon, however, seems to confirm quite the opposite. She’s sired, but she’s not a robot. And when the bond compelled her body to take its rightful place in Bonnie’s car, her heart was completely present and set on staying with Damon. She still left, but not before taking a moment to give him a tender kiss that spoke volumes. It’s that kiss that makes this situation heartbreaking, but seemingly unfinished. (Whew.)
Of course, there are few problems left dangling. One is that the cure Stefan’s been depending on all season seems increasingly shady. It’s not a cure for vampirism, it’s a cure for immortality dreamed up by the Silas character Professor Shane gave a lecture on a few weeks ago. In fact, Damon is able to call Caroline and Stefan out of the messy plan over at the Hybrid Army headquarters because Shane knows so much about this immortality cure, including how to decode Jeremy’s arm map in order to get there. And while this all seems pretty great and Shane’s desire to be the Indiana Jones instead of the guy who writes books about Indiana Jones and discover Silas’ tomb himself seems like a great story, it’s shady. Damon still doesn’t trust the guy and Damon’s usually right. Besides, if he’s right and immortals are by nature blood-drinkers and this cure will take away their immortality, isn’t it possible that the reversal could mean death? If we remember correctly, TVD loves to turn grand solutions into harrowing prospects: let’s not forget what happened the time our gang killed an Original and everyone turned from their bloodline died too. Have you learned nothing, Salvatores and Co.? There. Is Always. A Catch. Always.
Unfortunately for Stefan, he can’t be bothered about a catch because he just found out that Elena and Damon were together after Damon promised it was over. Clearly, Stefan thought Damon was the obstacle to his happiness. He was in that bittersweet little pocket of denial that we all fall into after a breakup: If we just removed that damned obstacle, she’ll come back and everything will be good again. First, it was finding the cure (which he’s still interested in), but now that there’s a sire bond to blame all her behavior on, all he has to do is remove that to get the Elena he knows and loves back. This reveal was just a confirmation to poor Stefan that that is never going to happen. Of course, he doesn’t really take to Taylor Swift songs, so he started throwing tables. It’s understandable really.
And with that, we’re left to an entire month without Damon, Elena, Stefan, or Caroline. Mystic Falls’ great mysteries will have to hold back until Jan. 17. It’s alright, folks, we’ll get through it, because clearly whatever happens in four weeks will be well worth that pesky wait.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: CW]