'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Don't mess with Katherine. Seriously.
Tonight's very eventful episode was brought to us by Elizabeth Craft and Sarah Fain. If you're a fan of Joss Whedon and his shows, then you may have heard of Craft and Fain before. They worked on “Angel” and “Dollhouse,” as well as “The Shield,” “Lie to Me” and “Vampire Diaries” co-creator Kevin Williamson's short-lived WB series, “Glory Days.” So in short, they're good. And boy did they deliver on that tonight. Because “Plan B” was so jam-packed with action and goodness -- I'll be sending the bill for my blood pressure medicine to the show –- I want to present my nine favorite things about tonight's episode and one thing I'm not so crazy about.
1. The opening teaser, which was so perfectly intercut between Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Katherine (Dobrev) and Mason (Taylor Kinney) both fooling around in bed. The juxtaposition and attention to detail really showed off the differences between the two relationships. Warm, soft light and rosy colors for Elena and Stefan. Dark, cold-like blue for Mason and Katherine. Elena and Stefan exchanged I love you's, as did Mason and Katherine, but somehow, hearing Katherine tell Mason, “We'll live happily ever after. I promise,” didn't fill me with comfort. Who hasn't she told that she loves them? And a very nice twist on the old standby of the creepy, stalker-like vampire watching the girl sleep as Elena watched Stefan sleep.
2. Jeremy's (Steven R. McQueen) “search for life's purpose,”as described by Damon (Ian Somerhalder). Finally accepting his place in the town's supernatural shenanigans, and even fighting for it, Jeremy went to Damon to share what he knew about Tyler (Michael Trevino) and the moonstone. His information actually proved invaluable to Damon and Stefan in their quest to take down Mason. And when Elena didn't like that Jeremy was getting so involved, his stood up to her and told her he was in it now because of her and she couldn't keep him out of it. Things got a little too heavy for Jeremy while Damon was interrogating/torturing Mason with yet another killer plant. (What is it with this show and torture by plant?) “Kill or be killed,” Damon said, grabbing him by the neck. “Suck it up or leave.” I think it's safe to say Jeremy's here to stay. “I don't know how, but she's going to pay,” he said with resolve after Katherine threatened Elena and their family.
3. Everyone working together.The show just hums like a finely tuned, well-oiled machine when all the characters come together for yet another Mystic Falls event and chaos erupts, forcing everyone to work together. “Judgey,” as Damon has nicknamed Bonnie (Katerina Graham), was able to temporarily overcome her hatred of vampires to help out Stefan and Damon. Not only did she link Mason to Katherine, she also incapacitated Mason and found out where the moonstone was. That “thank you” from Damon was well-earned! Then Bonnie, Caroline (Candice Accola) and Elena –- girl power! –- worked together to get Stefan out of the vervain-filled well. All that hard work even managed to get Bonnie and Caroline past their silent treatment. One of my favorite aspects of the show has always been the strong female friendships, so it was great to see that in play with Bonnie and Elena and Bonnie and Caroline talking again.
4. Tyler, ever the class act. Matt was back, and he was showing some signs of damage from his breakup with Caroline. He asked Elena if she was seeing someone since she wasn't playing party planner. We also saw him discussing Caroline with Tyler, who called her an “insecure, neurotic twit.” But “she's got heart,” he added. Nice save, Tyler.
5. Damon rips out Mason's heart. After getting all the information he could of out Mason -- Katherine loves him and wants the moonstone to break the curse so Mason won't have to turn anymore –- Damon pulled out the foolish muscle that had led to Mason's downfall. Damon wasn't blind to the parallels between them. They were both foolishly in love with Katherine, but clearly, Katherine was not after the moonstone because of her love for Mason. She quickly moved on to Matt –- oh, poor Matty, but at least he's being brought into the fold –- compelling him to go after Tyler until he killed him. Interesting that she seems to need the moonstone and a werewolf. And if she lifts the werewolf curse, could she also lift the vampire curse?
6. Jenna (Sara Canning) gets a storyline, only to stab herself!Poor, clueless Jenna. At least she knows Stefan is sleeping over, even if she doesn't seem to mind too much that her niece is spending the night with her boyfriend right under her roof. Turns out Katherine has gotten Jenna off the vervain –- why haven't they moved or done some spell to keep Katherine out of the house? –- and she's been compelling her to spy on Elena and Stefan. She also compelled her to stab herself, but Jenna got lucky and survived. And I was surprised to find that I was relieved. Elena and Jeremy need someone normal in their lives, and having Jenna around gives Alaric (Matt Davis) reason to be conveniently around when Katherine calls to give Elena the smack-down about always being one step ahead of her.
7. & 8. Caroline and her mom bond, but not for long.Accola continued to prove that making her character a vampire was one of the best things the show has done this season. We finally got to see more of the dynamic between Caroline and her mother in a perfectly heartbreaking scene. Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) finally came to terms with her daughter's new vampire state and even recognized how confident and strong it had made her. She promised to keep her daughter's secret, but Caroline recognized that she would not be able to trust Damon and the rest of the gang. She compelled her to forget what she knew, spinning a bittersweet, touching tale about how Sheriff Forbes was sick for the past three days and her selfish daughter took care of her before ignoring her again. The scene was so perfect, it almost made me forget that I'm not so happy Sheriff Forbes is back to square one now that she's been mind-wiped.
9. Stefan and Elena breakup.This isn't a favorite scene because I was rooting against them. I've actually grown to like them quite a bit and admire their mostly healthy relationship. Their breakup was yet another mature decision to sacrifice their love for the safety of their loved ones. I could do without the blood sharing, though. But now that they're broken up, is that going to lead Stefan to seek blood elsewhere? Will that lead to trouble and falling off the wagon? Caroline did describe Stefan as a “bloodaholic” in this episode.
10. Damon kicking Mason in the face with his knee. He kind of deserved it.
Readers, are you going to miss Mason? Are you glad Jenna survived? What do you think of Jeremy becoming a “scoobie”? Do you think Caroline was right to erase her mom's memory?
-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter at @stayingin)
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Photos: Caroline (Candice Accola) and Bonnie (Katerine Graham) work together. Credit: Quantrell Colbert / The CW.