There are some things we will always know about The Vampire Diaries. Stefan is unyieldingly sweet, Bonnie isn’t always around, Damon never actually leaves when he says he will, and Elena is always wrong about getting through the given ordeal the “easy” way. The one thing we blissfully forgot during these last few episodes is that these people are all in high school (except for Damon and Klaus, of course). And what comes with being a teenager stuck in a silly little town going to high school with a bunch of people who don’t understand you (and in the wake of a 10 PM town curfew too)? Rage, and lots of it. All this anger makes for an Elena we’ve not yet seen, and it may be driving her back to Damon already.
After finding that she does alright feeding on Matt’s blood, Elena makes her old boyfriend her own personal blood buddy, taking just a teensy bit from his veins, but not enough to quench her thirst or provoke the ripper brewing inside her. It seems to work since he’s eager to repay her for saving his life and sacrificing her own, but it’s clear this can’t last.
When Elena gets to her first class, History, she gets into a tussle with Rebekah, who’s all too eager to ruffle the new vamp’s feathers. Between barbs (coming from both sides) about being friendless, killing Alaric, and the fact that both girls have slept with Stefan, the episode quickly starts to feel like a hybrid of Sweet Valley High and the Maury Show. The fact that a pencil shank is involved doesn’t help the comparison. Still, as Elena pulls that pesky pencil out of her shoulder, I can’t help but thank the TV powers that be that the scene was without hair-pulling. Give me pencil-daggers over hair-pulling any time.
It’s not long before Rebekah strikes again, taunting Elena with a compelled classmate whose neck is dripping with blood. The brand new vampire can’t contain herself, and the incident causes her rage to boil over (which for Elena isn’t really much above a loud simmer). Stefan convinces her she needs a break from school and convinces her to go to Rebekah’s ditching party. (Side note: Kids, is this a thing? How the hell do you get school folks to not notice the fact that all the cool/fun kids are gone after lunch? This ditch-day party thing can’t be real, right?)
When Elena gets there, it doesn’t take her much time to share a little chat with April, who confesses that she’s convinced her father’s death was no accident (if only she knew how right she was). In her continuing rage, Elena accuses Rebekah of killing the council members, which is a low blow for someone like Elena. Rebekah clearly never learned to control her own rage, and takes vengeance by taking Elena’s daylight ring and forcing her into a crevice for safety. When Elena finally braves the sunlight long enough to retrieve her ring, she lunges for her bag, where’s got the white oak stake, courtesy of one shirtless Damon. Luckily, Stefan is there to stop her.
Verging on an after school special voiceover, Stefan talks her off her rage ledge with two very important talking points. Yes, “rage is bad” made it in there, but it wasn’t what drove it home. Step one was the fact that millions of vampires would die with Rebekah, and step two was that the guilt would destroy her. Elena knows what that looks like, because she spent all last season witnessing the effects on Stefan. Still, she can’t just let Rebekah’s ring trick be the end of it: she makes sure to do a student-body-impressing keg stand on her way out.
Then things get magical. A little too magical for my tastes. Stefan takes Elena on a magical mystery motorcycle ride, where she somehow uses her vampire abilities to defy gravity and stand on the back of the motorcycle and reach nirvana while looking like a circus bear. Look, I want Stefan and Elena to have sweet moments as much as the next girl, but this is too much. Luckily, it’s followed by a rabid makeout. Unluckily, that’s cut short by Elena’s sudden reaction to whatever was affecting Rebekah earlier (apparently, this includes visions of Damon). It turns out, our good friend Buffy (the nameless vampire hunter) poisoned the keg with werewolf venom, and it’s killing Elena. Klaus is miraculously willing to save Elena (because she still has the ability to serve some purpose for him yet again, oh my), but not before she has a vision of Damon telling her that the reason she keeps seeing him instead of Stefan is that she’s more like Damon than she is like Stefan.
Now, it could be that Elena is having fever dreams about Damon because she drank his blood. However, that is proved wrong when Rebekah (who also drank the werewolf-venom-infested beer) has a fever dream of her own about Matt saying she’s undeserving of love and her ripping his heart out. It turns out, she’s just having fever dreams about Damon because like Rebekah, who’s lusting after Matt even after she tried to kill him, Elena still has a thing for Damon. Plain and simple. And of course, she adds fuel to her own fire when she overfeeds on Matt in a fit of rage, forcing Damon to step in and undermine Stefan by taking up Elena’s Vampire School teaching duties. And the strange thing is that Damon seems to be right, but we’ve spent the entire episode hearing about how Caroline thinks Stefan is the best teacher when it comes to transitioning from human to vampire. Is Elena just going down a dark path because Stefan’s road is too hard? Or was her fever dream right? Is her vampire personality more suited to Damon’s style than her human one was? Look at Caroline, she went from crazy, obsessive girl-freak, to a mildly-obsessive, sex-crazed sweetheart. Vampirism changes people, and Elena is clearly changing. This also means a Salvatore brother reunion is looking less and less likely each passing week.
But she’s not the only one morphing before our eyes. After Buffy attacks Tyler to extract his werewolf venom, Klaus moves back into town to set up protection around his “assets” (see: hybrids in a post-doppelganger world), which includes giving Tyler three bodyguards. When Caroline comes back to grab him for Rebekah’s party, he’s distant and cold, refusing to leave or to let her stay. It’s because, just a few rooms over, he has his dirty little secret. Haley, one of the werewolves who helped him break his sire bond, has just flounced into town and she’s all over Caroline’s hybrid hunk. Klaus does the math for us: Tyler had a little sexual indiscretion during his spiritual awakening. Tyler’s stunned look confirms it, and the only question that remains is which one will be the one to break the news to sweet Caroline? And what will she do when she finds out?
Well, she might have to put whatever vengeance plans she might have post-secret for at least an episode. Buffy is sticking around, and now he’s got the attention (and protection) of Klaus. Buffy approaches Jeremy because only vampire hunters and future vampire hunters can see the “nice ink” on his arm, the tattoo Jeremy mentioned last week. Buffy enlists Jeremy to help him get to the town vampires, and luckily, he’s working with Dr. Fell and Damon. After Damon gets booby-trapped in Buffy’s trailer, he knows full well the problem they’re dealing with, so Dr. Fell and Jeremy help lure Buffy to the hospital, where Damon and Klaus trap him and interrogate him until Klaus realizes what he is: He’s one of “the Five.” Whatever it is, it’s something Klaus wants because when Buffy pulls the bomb trigger on his booby trap, Klaus makes sure to save him and promise him complete and total safety. Unfortunately, Buffy doesn’t even understand the illustrious group he’s a member of, so he isn’t able to give us any details before the episode ended. Hey, they’ve got to leave is with a cliffhanger of some sort.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: CW]
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