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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: On the road again

September 23, 2010 | 11:20 pm

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Another week brought another eventful episode. How is this only the third episode of the season? It feels like so much has happened already. Tonight brought our first look at the werewolves of Mystic Falls, the return of Alaric (Matt Davis) and Jenna (Sara Canning), and a dash of Katherine (Nina Dobrev), so let's get discussing!

1. Is Caroline going to be able to go outside? Solved! Bonnie (Katerina Graham) uses her magic powers to cast a spell on a ring that lets Caroline (Candice Accola) go outside – love that Caroline's upset she didn't get to choose the ring -- but not before she expresses some major reservations about her friend's new vamp state. She's worried that Caroline's only cause more harm in the daylight, but Stefan (Paul Wesley) convinces her that keeping Caroline from her life, her friends and Matt, will only make things worse. Bonnie still finds a way to stand her ground – she threatens to undo the spell if Caroline hurts anyone. The hardest thing is everybody's got a point. Caroline needs her friend, but Bonnie's made the hard choice to look out for the many rather than just the one.

2. Is Stefan the best friend ever or what? While Damon (Ian Somerhalder), Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Alaric are away, Stefan and Caroline will play. OK, more like go over the basics of being a “good” vampire. In my interview with Candice Accola, she hinted that last week's episode set up the possibility of a new friendship between Stefan and Caroline, and it certainly seems like that's coming to fruition. It's great to see Caroline interacting with the other characters. Sensei Stefan guides Caroline through the woods, teaching her how to kill poor, defenseless rabbits for blood – why not use a blood bank like on Angel? – and to control her emotions. After laughing at her, affectionately, I think, he explains that your emotions as a human are magnified as a vampire.

“So you’re saying that now, I’m basically an insecure, neurotic control freak on crack?” Caroline replies. Oh, Caroline, please never change. At least the girl knows her faults. Afterwards, Stefan takes her to the swimming hole to see Matt (Zach Roerig) because he knows the importance of a human significant other. Unfortunately, Caroline's still new to the vampire thing and lets her insecurity and jealousy issues get the better of her, which “no drama” Matt wants no part of. That brings me to...

3. Is there hope for Caroline and Matt? Stefan sticks with Caroline for almost the entire day, looking out for her, but after she apologizes, Caroline and Matt sneak off into the woods. During a full moon. With a werewolf nearby. Who can kill Caroline with a bite, according to legend. Stefan tries calling her phone, but Caroline left it in the car. Meanwhile, Caroline's trying to make amends by making out with Matt, but it appears the excitement is too much for her. After pushing him up against a tree, he cuts himself and Caroline licks up the blood before biting into his neck. For a moment, I forgot to breathe because I thought they were killing off poor, precious Matt. After all, there has to be a toll. Instead of taking his life, Caroline just takes his memories and his heart by creating some fake drama, so he'll breakup with her. She doesn't want to hurt him anymore, at least not physically. It was an awfully unselfish thing of Caroline to do, especially as a vampire. For the time being, Caroline and Matt are not going to be able to make this work like Stefan and Elena, but Stefan had many, many years before Elena to learn to control himself, so maybe in time...

4. Why does Elena look exactly like Katherine? This question has been coming up a lot within the show this season. “Doppelgangers usually torment the people they look like,” says Isobel's former student Vanessa (Courtney Ford). Elena calls it more information we already know. I call it duh. Damon, however, does offer up some intel about Katherine: Her real name is Katerina Petrova. Of course, Katherine is Russian (or something close to that), as are all fictional bad guys or girls. I try not to take it personally though. It's also a nice nod to Nina Dobrev's Bulgarian roots.

5. How come Mayor Lockwood seemed clueless about his werewolf curse? I attribute Tyler's (Michael Trevino) cluelessness to the curse – I don't think it's taken full effect yet. But how to explain Mayor Lockwood, who seemed completely unaware as to what he was in last season's finale? Shouldn't he have been turning under the full moon like Mason (Taylor Kinney)? Speaking of turning... Mason finally does so, almost killing Caroline and Stefan in the process until Tyler shows up and yells, “No!” Are werewolves able to communicate with other werewolves? Tyler seemed able to connect with the wolf Mason, who looked at him almost with recognition and understanding, through all the rage and violence.

6. Are we headed for a vampire vs. werewolf war? Vanessa, our exposition fairy for the episode, describes an Aztec legend called “Curse of the Sun and the Moon.” Tired of vampires and werewolves destroying their farms, the Aztecs cursed both creatures, making vampire vulnerable to the sun and werewolves slaves to the moon. Then the vampires, for reasons unknown, hunted werewolves to the point of near extinction, which explains why Damon and Stefan don't know about their existence. But before you start to feel bad for werewolves, legend has it that a wolf bite can kill a vampire. Those are some serious stakes combined with a lot of bad blood between species. I don't see this ending well for either group or Mystic Falls' population count.

7. “Have I lost you forever?” That was Damon's question to Elena. The two join Alaric for a road trip to Isobel's office, which is heavily laced with tension and silent anger. Before they set off, Elena kisses Stefan a little more enthusiastically than usual for Damon's sake. Damon insists that he knew Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) was wearing the ring, but Elena says he's lying. At Isobel's office, Damon takes an arrow to the back to protect Elena when Vanessa attacks them, but that doesn't mean Elena's going to fall at his feet now. More back and forth banter and manipulation ensues. If Damon wants to be her friend, he's going to have to stop manipulating her and keeping information from her, she insists. He eventually does give up the information about Katherine's real name, but it's too little too late. “The answer to your question about our friendship is yes,” Elena replies. “You have lost me forever.” Damon responds in his usual Damon way – by lashing out. “You and Katherine have a lot more in common than just your looks,” he bites back after realizing she used him for information. At least no one's neck was snapped this time.

8. Are Elena and Stefan the healthiest relationship on the show? Strange to be saying that about a vampire/human couple, but juxtaposed against Caroline and Matt, Damon and everyone, and even against couples on other shows, these two are refreshingly healthy. They don't judge each other. They don't lay blame. “It is what it is,” Elena said last week, refusing to blame Stefan. This week, they continued to support each other without letting Damon get between them. Stefan was incredibly understanding and trusting about the road trip with Damon because he knew how important it was to Elena to get answers about her lineage. He even babysat Elena's friend. Obviously, his many years of magnified emotions from his almost empath-like human days have led him to become the best vampire boyfriend ever.

9. Will Alaric and Jenna finally make a go of it? Solved! After visiting Isobel's office, Alaric finally gets closure on his missing vampire wife. “It's time to move beyond this,” he tells Vanessa. I almost thought there was a moment between these two. Vanessa seemed very interested, but I don't know if Alaric mistook her interest in him for something else or if I was wrong about the signals she was sending out. He just warns her to stay away from this life. Back at home, he finally kisses Jenna, who is so happy to have a storyline of her own.

10. Is Katherine recruiting Caroline into her bad girls vamp posse? The episode ended much the same way the season premiere did. Caroline awakes in a bed to see someone standing over her. “Elena?” she asks groggily. Nope, it's Katherine. “Don’t be frightened. We’re going to have so much fun together,” she tells Caroline. Oh crap. What evil schemes does Katherine have up her sleeve? Is she going to turn Caroline over to the dark side? I don't think Caroline's going to be sticking to that bunny diet for much longer.

Readers, what did you think of the show's werewolves? Are you sad that Caroline and Matt broke up? Do you think Damon and Elena will be able to mend their friendship? Sounds off in the comments!

-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)

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Photo: Damon (Ian Somerhalder), Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Alaric (Matt Davis) hit the road to find answers. Credit: Bob Mahoney / The CW.
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