'The Vampire Diaries': A storm brings buried secrets to the surface
Tonight's "Vampire Diaries" episode is called "Let the Right One In." After last week's episode, Stefan and Elena are stronger than ever, as are Matt and Caroline, it seems. Though Bonnie is still mourning her grandmother off-screen, I'm looking forward to seeing Tyler in this episode. I also can't wait to see the continued power struggle in the vampire nest.
Without further ado ...
8 p.m. -- At the beginning of the season, Damon got in his Edward Cullen dig. Now, Anna takes a potshot at some more classic vampire lore: Dracula's fear of running water. "He was a complete wuss," she laughs. "Never showered, was always smelly."
I'm definitely on Anna's side when it comes to the "to turn or not to turn" dilemma. Jeremy can't even give her one good reason to sire him. Drinking blood isn't going to fill that lonely-orphan void in your heart, Jeremy.
8:03 p.m. -- Pearl points out that the Lockwoods, the Forbeses and the Fells are still the prominent families in Mystic Falls, 150 years later. I love that each family has such a strong history within the town, and that they're all so entwined with each other.
8:05 p.m. -- "I've accepted the fact that you're a self-serving psychopath with no redeeming qualities," Elena tells Damon. He doesn't even flinch. Classic!
8:08 p.m. -- As Stefan is heading out to ... er ... refuel, the elder Salvatore drops the Damonism of the night: "I have two liters of soccer mom in the fridge. No? Give my regards to the squirrels."
8:14 p.m. -- There's a marked difference in Damon's entire demeanor when he realizes that Stefan could be in real trouble. As usual, he'll crow endlessly about how much he doesn't care, until someone he cares about is in danger.
8:15 p.m. -- Whoa there, Stefan. How courteous of the big mean vampire gang to strip you down before stringing you up.
I haven't written much about Harper in my recaps, but I should say that I already love him and hope he sticks around. Sterling Sulieman hasn't had much screen time, but it's been just enough to catch viewers' attention. I'm looking forward to finding out more about who he was in 1864.
8:16 p.m. -- Though I understand why Damon is asking Alaric for help, I'm not sure why Alaric's giving it to him. I mean, I know he's generally a stand-up good guy, but Stefan is a vampire, and Alaric doesn't seem to have bonded with him to the degree that he'd risk his life to save him.
8:18 p.m. -- At the Grill, Anna tells Jeremy that there are four reasons a vampire might turn a human. The first reason explains Ben the Hot Bartender. "We need somebody to do our dirty work," she says. The other three are also things we've seen before: revenge, boredom and eternal love.
Tyler is back from yet another vacation! Cabo? St. Tropez? His father, the "alpha d-bag," takes a particular interest in Pearl. "Elections are coming. She's a constituent, and a rich one from the looks of it," he says.
Tyler isn't exactly charmed. "And you can tell all that by looking at her a**?" he asks.
8:20 p.m. -- Damon teases Elena about how worried she is about Stefan. "He's the reason you live. His love lifts you up where you belong," he says. "I know." Even as he's teasing, it's immediately clear that he does know how she feels. In fact, if anyone knows what it's like to live entirely for someone else, it's Damon.
8:26 p.m. -- Uh-oh. Caroline is stuck in the woods in a rainstorm with no service on her cellphone. No scary movies start that way. At all.
8:28 p.m. -- Exactly how much practice does Alaric have with killing vampires? He looks like he could teach Buffy a few lessons.
8:29 p.m. -- Pearl asks Mayor Lockwood about his family's land acquisition in 1865. Did the Lockwoods appropriate Pearl's land after the tomb? Somehow, I don't think hers is the kind of family you want to mess with.
8:30 p.m. -- I'm waiting for the "Mission: Impossible" score to start playing over these shots of Elena on the porch.
8:35 p.m. -- Poor Caroline, still stuck in the car. Now I'm waiting for the "Jeopardy" theme song. What's a girl to do when stuck in a torrential downpour with zero bars on your cellphone? I doubt even Bing would work in those conditions.
By the way, we're 35 minutes in and we still haven't seen Melinda Clarke! Hello, waste of resources!
Caroline's terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day continues as she slips down a steep hill and grabs a root to keep from slipping ... only to discover that the root is actually a human hand.
8:36 p.m. -- Poor Tyler. He came back from vacation only to sullenly observe everyone else's misdeeds? After Vicki disappeared, Jeremy reached out to Tyler in a friendly truce. I hope their relationship gets explored more. In the meantime, Tyler can just watch like a stalker as Jeremy gets the text from Anna: "I'll do it."
8:40 p.m. -- Wait. Would Stefan drink Elena's blood if it were the only way to survive? Part of me thinks he'd rather die than do that, unless she was at risk too.
8:46 p.m. -- At this point, I've lost track of the body count. Alaric and Damon make a good team. Dudes are weird. They're all, "We killed a ton of vampires together! Bygones?"
8:47 p.m. -- Finally, Kelly Donovan!
8:48 p.m. -- Oh, no. The human arm was Vicki's?
8:48 p.m. -- Double whammy! First Vicki resurfaces, and then Stefan actually does drink from Elena. This is a moment we've been waiting on for a long time. Kevin Williamson even teased it when I spoke with him back in October. I hadn't expected it to happen until the finale, though. Paul Wesley told me that when Stefan finally drank, it would be like an addict falling off the wagon.
8:50 p.m. -- We've never seen Stefan hulk out quite this much, before. Before, when he's gone into vampire mode, it was far more toned down than it is now. I don't blame Elena for looking at him so fearfully.
8:55 p.m. -- Scenes like this are the reason that Melinda Clarke is so phenomenal. Kelly Donovan could easily have been a caricature. We've seen a thousand cougar-on-the-prowl, Stifler's mom types. Here, in a moment when sexuality and charm can't save her, Kelly Donovan's humanity is revealed.
Matt, sitting in Vicki's room, breaks my heart. This kid seriously can't catch a break. I feel sad for Caroline too, because no matter how she tries to help, it's too little too late. Matt finds comfort in Elena because she's been there for him all his life, and because she was with him during a time when Vicki was around.
8:57 p.m. -- Well ... bravo, Alaric. Damon certainly deserved that punch. I guess they're not about to start going out on slayer-vampire man-dates after all.
8:58 p.m. -- Jeremy's admission that he was interested in turning into a vampire for Vicki is one of the reasons I love this show. Just when I think someone is making an irrational, nonsensical decision, all the pieces fall into place.
9 p.m. -- Wow. When Stefan falls off the wagon, he falls straight to rock bottom. My favorite part of this scene is the look on Damon's face. Stefan has been the righteous one for so long that Damon has probably come to think of his little brother as infallible. I can't wait to see the fallout next week.
Were you as shocked as I was to see Stefan sink his teeth into Elena? How do you think he'll change now that he's got that extra fuel in his system? What effect do you think the discovery of Vicki's body will have on the already delicate relationships in Matt's life?
Let's chat in the comments below, and don't forget to check back in next week after the all-new episode!
--Carina MacKenzie (catch up with me on Twitter @cadlymack)
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Photos: (Top) Nina Dobrev as Elena and Ian Somerhalder as Damon. Credit: CW (Bottom) Stephen Martines as Frederick and Paul Wesley as Stefan. Credit: CW