'The Vampire Diaries' recap: To tell the truth
A gathering spot, live music and one very dangerous situation involving vampires and witches. Did “The Vampire Diaries” suddenly stumble into the Bronze? Nope, it's just a suddenly very active night at Mystic Grill, which has decided to add live entertainment in order to stay afloat. The music was a hit, but I think the random power outage and spontaneous fire combustion might affect business. A lot went down this week as the show prepares for a little break. Here are five questions to ponder while we wait six weeks(!) for the next new episode:
1. To tell or not to tell? Mystic Fall's clueless citizens, Matt (Zach Roerig) and Jenna (Sara Canning), got a lot of attention this week for their not-so-blissful ignorance. During a girls' night, Caroline (Candice Accola) argued that sometimes you need secrets in a relationship to protect the other person. Jenna, however, believes that if you love someone, that person deserve the truth. Both are valid points, but I have to give the edge to Jenna. As Elena (Nina Dobrev) makes note of, at a certain point, keeping secrets puts the other person in more danger and does more harm than good. Maybe if Jenna wasn't in the dark, she wouldn't have been so susceptible to being compelled to stab herself. Maybe Katherine (Dobrev) wouldn't have been able to get to Matt, too. Notice that all the people who Katherine has harmed, including Caroline in the premiere, are those who were in the dark. Alaric (Matt Davis) left it up to Elena whether to tell Jenna. She didn't say anything, but the Isobel (Mia Kirshner) homecoming suggests that's going to change. The truth also has an ugly side...
2. What does the truth mean for Matt and Caroline's relationship? Unable to articulate her feelings for Matt, Caroline took to the stage at Mystic Grill and decided to sing instead. The song of her choice: the Bangles' “Eternal Flame,” an excellent choice that was also featured on “Pushing Daisies.” Although it's hard to measure up to Kristin Chenoweth, Accola brought her own unique sound to the song. And the song did the trick. Matt jumped on stage and gave her a big kiss. It was a ridiculously sweet moment that reminded me why I loved this pairing and one that also filled me with dread. If you didn't know something terrible was going to happen to Matt after that scene, you haven't watched enough TV. Later, Jonas went on a rampage and stabbed Matt in the neck with a broken bottle. Thank goodness he didn't die because I would have been really annoyed if Matt went by way of bottle to the neck.
3. What did Jonas “show” Bonnie (Katerina Graham)? Elena and Katherine switched places, allowing Katherine to get the upper hand on Jonas and kill him. But then he snapped awake and grabbed Bonnie, who cried in pain until Stefan snapped his neck. Turns out, Jonas came back from the dead to give Bonnie something back: her powers. Bonnie also revealed to Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) that he showed her a way to Klaus. Did he show her how to harness the combined power of the buried witches? Whatever he did, I'm glad it means Bonnie will continue to play a pivotal role in the Klaus story as the sole witch still around.
4. What's Katherine's game? She kept telling Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan that they all have the same endgame –- to kill Klaus –- so they have no reason not to trust her. Of course, just because she says it, doesn't mean it's true. Damon wisely signs to Stefan when he finds out the location of the witches' memorial site rather than saying it aloud in front of Katherine. If she made a deal with John (David Anders) -- like he gets her out of the tomb, she stays and helps kill Klaus or Stefan dies –- then her good intentions seem more forced than good. Even if she did it for Stefan, that spells trouble for Stefan and Elena. Katherine's still hung up on him, and John wants him (and Damon) out of Elena's life.
5. What does Isobel want? In the final minutes of the episode, Jenna opened the door to find her niece's believed-to-be-deceased birth mother. A couple of episodes back, Stefan had contacted her about their Klaus problem. Is she back to help them? What information does she have? Does she know what he looks like? And how in the world is Alaric going to explain this one? Will he actually tell the truth?
Other brief thoughts:
-- Number of dead: Two. I have to say, I will not miss Luka and Jonas very much. Luka always bugged me for some reason, but his game of witch avatar was kind of cool. Still, as is par for the course with guest stars on this show, it was their time to go.
–- No one seems all that concerned that Tyler ran away. Some friends...
–- Jenna boasts about how capable she is and that she's a parent now, but then she leaves Mystic Grill, which is on fire, without Elena. I'm sorry, but no amount of “She's with Stefan” will ever make that good parenting.
–- “Katherine, there's other bedrooms in this house. Go find one.” Good for you, Damon. Does Katherine really expect Damon to just fall into bed with her after she continues to choose Stefan over him? She even confessed that she was willing to let him die for her freedom: “I wanted out of the tomb. It didn't matter who paid the price.”
–- Good on Elena for being so OK with her best friend and brother dating."He deserves to be with someone as amazing as you," she told Bonnie.
–- “School –- remember that thing we keep forgetting about?” At least they made an effort to go this week. And even filmed scenes on campus!
Readers, what did you think of Caroline's reveal to Matt? Did you like Caroline singing to Matt? Is Jenna right to argue for the truth? Did Isobel's return catch you by surprise? And what are you going to miss most while the show's in reruns for the next six weeks?
-- Vlada Gelman (follow my TV musings on Twitter @stayingin)
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Photo: Stefan (Paul Wesley), Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Katherine (Nina Dobrev) discuss their Klaus problem. Credit: Annette Brown / The CW