Last night’s episode was one of the best in a long while, not for the ‘shocking’ twists but for the beats of the story, the tapestry that is the underlying mythology of the show: the Salvatore brothers and their love for one woman: Elena.
Murder Brings The Story Together
When I first heard about this episode, most of the spoilers and news focused on Cassidy Freeman’s guest spot as Sage. It sounded an awful lot like we were going to be spending a lot of time with Sage and I wasn’t entirely sure why. Fortunately, the episode was far more than just an introduction to the vampire seductress who told Damon to go for the button down type (and by the way, when they said we were going to learn how Damon went from just feeding to seducing, I thought we would get a heck of a lot more than we did, but no complaints really).
The episode opens in 1912 with Zachariah Salvatore and Sheriff Forbes parting ways late on a cold evening. As Mr. Salvatore crosses the quad, he’s stabbed by an unseen assailant (this is of course after mentioning that another town founder had been similarly slain). Parallels beautifully with the 2012 murders happening in Mystic Falls which have already claimed the lives of Bill Walters, Bill Forbes and nearly the life of Alaric Saltzman.
We flash forward to the present where Alaric wakes up in jail. It seems that Meredith shot him up with vampire blood after shooting him with her gun. She told Sheriff Forbes that Alaric tried to attack her with the knife and Alaric can’t figure it out. I loved that Damon was on his side and it was even funnier when Liz told Damon to stay out of it or she would put him in the cell next to Alaric.
Better still, Damon settled down for the moment and listened to her. I do like that he and Liz have managed to salvage their friendship from the lies about vampires. In the meanwhile, Elena was out running with Matt when the Sheriff called her with the news. She blames herself for what happened to Abby and she heads over to the Sheriff’s office where she runs into Damon.
Pushing Love Away
When Elena snapped at Damon during Dangerous Liaisons, a lot of us took her to task for it. But the pair really haven’t had a chance to talk since then. She tried to call Damon ten times that night while he was bedding Rebekah and even showed up over at the Salvatores first thing in the a.m. But Damon is pushing Elena away, not just for Stefan’s sake either. I think he put himself out there, got burned and is now in full retreat.
Interestingly enough, Elena called him on it during their exchange.
Elena blows out a breath and braces herself when she sees Damon: “Were you just with…?”
Damon: “Ric’s fine. Sheriff wants me to stay out of it.”
Elena, frowns, disbelieving. “But you’re not going too…are you?”
Damon with a mocking amount of cavalier: “It seems just as good a plan as any.”
Elena: “Your friend’s in jail for murder. You have to do something.” Yes Damon, Elena does know you and all mocking aside, she does believe that.
Damon sighs with an air of disdain: “I guess I could rip out Doctor False Accusation’s throat…or maybe her tongue. You know I could chew it up into little tiny pieces and feed it to squirrels.” He adds that last bit with a mimicing tick tick tick noise.
Elena looks both bewildered and exasperated: “Stop it Damon.”
Damon: “Guess me staying out of it suddenly sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it?”
Okay, we interrupt this exchange. Damon’s tight, snide smile is both baiting and purposeful. It’s as though he’s waiting for Elena to unload on him and she’s not. She’s being almost calm and rational. And as if he can’t help himself, he reminds her that he saved her life the night before and that she’s welcome.
Elena: “You know, you could show a little compassion about Bonnie.”
Damon snarks. “I know, you’re right. Her and her mom must really be hurting right now. Should I send lasagna?”
Elena purses her lips. “Okay, now you’re just being mean.”
Damon: “I’m mean. You hate me. The Earth is back on its axis.”
Elena starts to walk away and looks back at him, her voice is low and it’s husky with emotion: “You know, if you keep pushing people away, you’re going to end up alone.”
Damon’s eyes squint and he frowns as she leaves. I think it might be the first time he realizes that what she said that night might not have been what she meant. It’s a pause he needs to take. Because Elena didn’t blow up, she didn’t yell, she didn’t rail and she didn’t agree. She just looked sad.
Brotherhood and the DTs
Damon comes home to find Stefan trying to journal and tapping his ring in agitation on the table. It seems that Damon remembers something about another killer in Mystic Falls and he’s trying to put the pieces together. He’s also keeping an eye on his brother.
Best line of the night: “Dear diary, a chipmunk asked me my name today. I told him it was Joe. That lie will haunt me forever.”
They discuss the year, 1912 and both remember it. Stefan returned for the funeral of their ‘uncle’ who as it turns out was their ‘nephew.’ Apparently Papa Salvatore knocked up one of the maids and after their deaths in 1864, the family name was passed onto the bastard along with all their holdings. That young man grew up, married and had a son: Zachariah…who was murdered at the beginning of the episode. At least that ties it together for where the other ‘Uncle’ Zach came from during season one. He was descended from their half-brother.
Things we learned from the 1912 flashbacks:
Is Ric possessed? Maybe. Or is the ring recharging itself? It was created by a witch. Witches are all about balance. For every life that is given back, what if the ring must take a life…it could be a bit twisted. Or are they going down the road of demon possession which could be some seriously meaty material for Matt Davis.
Me, I’m just waiting for Damon and Stefan to break land speed records to get to Alaric — who is with Elena. The one person they protect above all others and Alaric’s killing founding family members.
Food for thought.
Still — it’s good to be right that Alaric was the killer. Overall, I loved this episode because it enriched the relationships between Stefan and Damon and to a certain extent between Damon and Elena.
What did you think?