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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Welcome to your lake nightmare

This week, Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) decided to go play “Dawson's Creek” and spend some alone time at her parents' lake house. Elena stood on the dock with a blanket and Stefan wrapped around her, and I could have sworn I'd seen a Pacey and Joey scene like that. “Please tell me there's nothing wrong,” Stefan said as Elena got a text from Caroline just before leaving. Of course there is, Stefan. Did you not see what I wrote last week that any phone call or text in Mystic Falls meas there's an emergency? Although not as pulse pounding as last week's episode (for me, anyways), the trip quickly turned into a nightmare for Stefan and Elena. Stefan was clueless to the trouble ahead though because Tyler (Michael Trevino) had taken Caroline's phone and sent the message to find out where they were. He's playing with the wolves because they told him he'd never have to turn again if they could break the Curse of the Sun and the Moon first. And for Tyler, who just had a torturous first transformation and is probably dreading the second one, that is major incentive to betray his friends.

The second sign of trouble: Elena's “I've always loved it here” upon arriving at the lake house. That's what we call foreshadowing, kids. You just know those lovely memories are going to be completely tarnished. Elena tricks Stefan into thinking only John (David Anders) can invite him into the house before playfully allowing him to enter. You could tell those two crazy kids were going to have one fun makeout weekend. Well, until the wolves come. The kind of creepy making out in Elena's parents' bedroom leads to the discovery of a secret room full of weapons and journals. Looks like Elena's parents knew about vampires. Were they part of the council? And if they knew and John knew, how did Jenna (Sara Canning) manage to remain so unaware?

Back in Mystic Falls, Bonnie (Katerina Graham) was using her witchy mojo to get answers out of Luka (Bryton James). Impressively, she's able to overpower Luka. After giving him a “witch roofie,” Bonnie taps into his brain as Caroline (Candice Accola) and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) watch. He reveals that he and his dad are helping Elijah (Daniel Gillies) kill Klaus because Klaus has his sister. Seems Klaus has given up on finding Elena. He's been using witches for ages to discover a way to undo the curse without the doppelganger. But the only way to kill Klaus is in his vulnerable state after the sacrifice, which means “Elena has to die.” The wolves fail to mention this to Tyler. While Tyler is making sure Stefan stays down, Brady sniffs out Elena in the house. But Stefan, who's been let go by Tyler, is able to get to her in time and stab Brady, who I will not miss one ounce. That's what you get for attacking Caroline.

“I didn't know what they were going to do to you,” Tyler tells Elena, referring to the sacrifice. He's been saying that a lot lately about his werewolf friends. Maybe he should check his facts first. But all the lying didn't stand in the way of Tyler agreeing to leave town with Jules (Michaela McManus) after she promised to be honest with him. Before they take off, Tyler also gives Matt (Zach Roerig) the truth about what's been going on with Caroline. “I kind of fell for her,” he tells Matt. “I don't know how anybody wouldn't because she's kind of incredible. But she loves you.” OK, I forgive you. A little. But I'm afraid the very sweet push has been for nothing. Matt and Caroline have lost their luster for me. I think Caroline just needs to be single this season. She's been awesome enough on her own that a love interest isn't really necessary.

Meanwhile, John threatens to tell Jenna the truth about Alaric's (Matt Davis) after-school activities. “She can't stay in the dark forever,” he says. My response? True. Please do tell her! Alaric's is, “You're a dick.” Also true. Elsewhere at the historical society event, Damon (Ian Somerhalder) tries to attack Elijah, who stabs him in the neck with a pencil. As fun as cocky Damon is, it's nice to see him put in his place every once in a while and be reminded that he's not the most powerful vampire. Damon and Stefan can't be indestructible for there to be real stakes – no pun intended – even though we know there's probably no show without them.

After discussing how difficult it's going to be to kill Elijah, Damon and Alaric find themselves under attack from Jules and her friends. Alaric is stabbed, but he's wearing the ring, so he and Jenna won't have matching scars. Damon gets the torture treatment until Elijah shows up with the much coveted moonstone. He dares the wolves to come get it and then takes them and their hearts out as they do so. Elijah mentions to Damon that this was the third time he's saved him. Does Damon have a new mancrush? Has Alaric been replaced? Probably not after learning from Bonnie that it was always part of Elijah's plan to sacrifice Elena. But Elena knew this when she agreed to the deal with Elijah. Stefan's not very happy to learn she's “being a martyr” for her friends. “That's not heroic. That's tragic,” he tells her. Is he right? Is it so wrong of Elena to want to protect her loved ones? Or is it just another reminder of Rose's accusation that she's running away and not even trying to fight back. Is she playing the victim before she even becomes one?

Other brief thoughts:
– It took a whole syringe of vervain to put down Damon. Guess the build up tolerance plan is working.
– Funniest scene: One of Jules' werewolf buddies hiding from Elijah behind his coat collar.
– Cutest scene: Elena, Caroline and Bonnie snuggled up in one bed, and Elena falling off the crowded bed. With all the curses and vampires and werewolves, the female friendships have been lacking a little lately, so that was a nice little visual reminder of their camaraderie.
– Speaking of friendship... It was so nice to see Bonnie and Caroline being friends again, discussing the supernatural and boys in tandem like this is just the way their lives are now and they accept it. And for Bonnie, that also means accepting that she likes Jeremy and vice versa. After a much needed push from Caroline, she lets it slip to Jeremy that she thinks he's hot and sweet. The resulting kiss was hot. I only wish Caroline had confided in Bonnie about what's going on with Matt and Tyler.
– I wish Elena and Stefan hadn't been so quick to close the lid on the “box that we shouldn't open,” aka talk about the future. Every time the show brings up the topic, like when Caroline used it to manipulate Elena for Katherine, it's brushed away quickly. It has to be on both their minds constantly. What happens when Elena graduates? Does she go to college? Does Stefan follow her? What about when people start to notice that only one person in the couple next door is aging? Are they going down the inevitable breakup road, a la Buffy and Angel? I know they've got their hands full dealing with the problems of the moment, but it has to be there in the back of their minds. Or has Elena accepted that she probably has no future?

Readers, when dealing with sacrifice, are you on Elena or Stefan's side? Are you happy that Jeremy and Bonnie finally came to their senses? Do you think Caroline should stay single? And do you want Jenna and Matt to learn the truth?

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

'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Tyler picks a side
'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Baring and burying Damon's humanity
Complete "The Vampire Diaries" coverage on Show Tracker

Photo: Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) go to the lake house. Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert / The CW.

Comments () | Archives (10)

Im so happy about Bonnie and Jeremy finally hooking up. Hot is an understatement. As for Caroline, I definitely want her either single or with someone new. I think it would be fascinating to see Jenna's reaction to everything.

I just want Tyler and Caroline together.

That's all I care about.

The show just get better every week. Love the bonnie and jeremy kiss, great chemistry!!

I disagree, if Elena does sacrafice herself I believe that she will be a hero. She ia willing to give up her life in order to protect the people she loves. I would do the same. Some people say that she's dumb and that she shouldn't do it, but they should put themselves in her shoes. They should stop and think, what if it was their family and friends?

" if Elena does sacrafice herself I believe that she will be a hero. She ia willing to give up her life in order to protect the people she loves. I would do the same"

I think Stefan's point is that she is not even fighting, she has just accepted that she needs to be sacrificed, which really is tragic. If she were certain like 100% sure that that is the only way, then it would be heroic, but she is not sure, she is just waiting for her to be sacrificed and her friends to be 'safe', she is practically given up. I do like her, but I kinda prefer Caroline, she is grown as a character.

And the episode was killer.

Well honestly I think that Matt and Jenna should be let in on the "secret" I mean seriously you can't keep them in the dark and expect them to have any real relevance on the show! I mean what is Matt just supposed to be a temptation for Caroline? A standby figure? It just doesn't seem to be working anymore...I mean in the books (and yes I realize that this show isn't necessarily following the books) Matt is fully aware of the towns secrets and is actually a pretty influential player in the towns game. And Aunt Jenna, poor Aunt Jenna, can she please catch a break?! Let her into the fold already, Jenna actually has the potential to be a really strong female presence, I'm not saying to make her a slayer or anything but COME ON ALREADY! As for the whole Elena Martyr thing, I see both sides of the issue, I totally understand why elena would sacrifice herself, because honestly wouldn't we all? If it meant protecting our friends and family? People we love? I do understand Stefan though, he's a protector, he wants to protect Elena, keep her alive, he loves her and doesn't want to lose her..and he does make a good point, she hasn't lived yet...he has. Oh Caroline! I love her so much! She's become so awesome! Honestly I do want her and Matt to get back together, having a love interest doesn't lessen her awesomeness, it might add to it, maybe I'm just a sucker for a happy ending but I like them together. And Tyler can't be gone forever right? I mean he as to come back, after all according to legend they play a key role in the curse too! And even though it's a little weird, I do love Bonnie and Jeremy together...Beremy :)

I'm sorry, but I think Elijah is so cool (and as Alaric mentions, with great hair) and would be a bit bummed to see the demise of this character. I'd like to understand more clearly the bad blood between him and Klaus. Speaking of which, I'm so curious who the show will cast as Klaus. I really wanted to see a Caroline/Tyler romance and am so bummed Tyler's leaving town. Tyler's such an interesting character because you really can't predict what he'll do thus he creates a lot of suspense; with the other characters (even Damon) you can kind of anticipate. I hope Tyler returns with a bang and more in allegiance with his friends from Mystic Falls than with his newly found wolf pack friends (I'd love to see a scene where he truly puts himself in danger for Caroline as a way to make up for his mistakes with her). I think Matt should be let in on Tyler's secret. Uncle John is really coming off like a slimeball. When is Isobel going to make her re-appearance?Jenna should stay completely in the dark - Elena needs someone in her life that represents a world where witches, vampires and werewolves don't exists. Am so intruigued with where the show is going but am hoping it's not going to culminate in a totally lackluster/anti-climactic season finale.

Two corrections: First, I'm sure it was made clear by "uncle" john that his brother taught him all about vampires and he was definitely on the council. As to whether he shared that with his wife, probably, if they were like the Lockwood family, where both the mayor and his wife knew. Secondly, Klaus doesn't know Elena exists yet because he believed he kill all of Katherine's family, that's why he's looking for another way to break the curse.

I think the show needs a character to not know what's going on. I agree with others that this kind of makes them irrelevant. Betweent Matt and Jenna, I'd prefer Jenna find out because it will eventually cause a wedge between her and Alaric. I really want them to be the stable, happy couple. More on couples. Bonnie and Jeremy: great! Caroline as single: yes, but ultimately I like her with Tyler, who has to come back probably just as she and Matt are together again. I love love triangles.

Damon learning he's not the baddest vamp in town: great!
Sacrifice: I'm with Stefan but I'm surprised he didn't pick up on the loophole before.

I understand Elena's side; I'm on Stefan's side. Elena just feels that there is no way to fight back against Klaus, and that there is no way that even if she did her family get hurt in the process. But Stefan's right, Elena dying to save everyone else would be tragic.

I love Jeremy and Bonnie - they're so cute together. I hope that leads somewhere.
And I do agree about Jenna - it's getting annoying how she's so oblivious. Matt too, to be honest. And Jenna doesn't know about the council stuff because she is Elena's 'mother's' sister. She isn't related to Elena's 'father', who was a Gilbert and thus a founding family descendent. So I guess that's taken to mean being the sister of Miranda Gilbert = not founding family?
Elena's who sacrificial lamb act has been getting kind of old. It's sounding so Bella Swan by this point that I'm kind of afraid of how things will turn out this season (because I swear if she ends up allowing herself to get killed, i'll lose all respect for the writers. They've done so amazingly in other aspects of the show that you'd think they'd be able to write their way into a less-Twilight female main character). So the whole sacrificing herself thing, to me, is not heroic in the least. Yes, it is tragic she seems to think that's the only way to save everyone, but there's a point where you have to worry about yourself and your life. She's giving up too easily, like she doesn't even seem to think how her dying might have adverse affects to the friends and family she's 'trying to save'. So... less Bella Swan and more Season 1 Elena would be nice =)

Oh, and I'd totally love Tyler and Caroline to be together.
But not yet. Because like you say, Caroline is awesome enough by herself as is right now that she doesn't need another character attached to her to make her storyline interesting.


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