In the penultimate episode of season three, the stories that seemed stuck in idle hit the pedal to the metal for the residents of Mystic Falls. While I was clear that I was not a fan of last week’s episode, I knew Matt Davis’ evil Rick would juice up the landscape and give this storyline the necessary pump forward. It was a hell of an episode so drop your socks and grab your crocks, we’re going to get wet on this ride.
Vampire Barbie & Skipper Make a Great Team
Unbeknownst to all our heroes and heroines, Rick turned at the end of last week’s episode and Before Sunset begins in the early morning with Caroline and Rebekah on post-20s-party cleanup. Rebekah is annoyed that Caroline is ‘two’ minutes late to clean up a party Rebekah didn’t even get to attend. After an awkward moment, Caroline tells Rebekah she’s sorry about her mom. She knows that Rebekah hated her, but she was still her mother. In a rare moment of connection, the Original sis apologizes about the history teacher, he seemed like a good guy.
Rebekah heads out to get more cleaning supplies when she’s jumped by Rick and nearly staked with the-new-uber-impossible-to-destroy-super-white-oak stake. Thankfully, Caroline intercedes and the two make their (albeit brief for Caroline) escape. In the parking lot, the still relatively new vampire Caroline fumbles with her keys. She’d have been safer running like hell, but we often forget no matter how used to her powers and how comfortable in her skin she is, Caroline’s still a baby vamp. Rick appears and knocks her out, dragging vampire Barbie back into the building as his skin blisters and smokes — yep, still a vampire and the sun still hates him.
In the meanwhile, Rebekah watches and then flees to warn Klaus.
Can’t We Get A Break For Just Five Minutes?
Despite the loss of Rick just the night before, Elena and Jeremy are repainting the master bedroom. They’ve buried every person that slept in it and while they both hate the room, they need to remake it, make it different, give it a different feeling. Stefan shows up and Jeremy wants to know if Elena and Stefan are back together, because if they’re not — could Stefan go the hell away and give them five minutes without vampires to grieve?
I like the more mature Jeremy. He’s hurting and he’s lashing out, but his need for time without the next crisis is a point. Unfortunately…
Alone again, Elena frowns at her phone. Alaric is calling. She doesn’t think it’s funny. She thinks it’s even worse when Alaric informs her that he has Caroline. Elena needs to come to the school right now and tell no one or he’ll kill her vampire best friend. Unsurprisingly, Elena slips out (more surprisingly, Stefan didn’t hear her). At the school, she is horrified to discover Caroline bound and gagged with pencils through her wrists and a vervain soaked gag in her mouth.
Can you say ‘ow’? Caroline can’t.
Elena can’t believe Rick is a vampire (or that he’s such an ugly ass about it). He taunts her that she can let Caroline go, but Elena can barely get the pencils out before Rick grabs them and drives them through her wrists again. Oops, did he mention that Elena shouldn’t trust vampires? They lie. Worse, he wants Elena to stake Caroline if she wants to free her. Put her out of her misery. Elena refuses, but Rick berates her about why she trained, why she learned to fight and just how disappointed her parents would be in her if they could see her now.
Spare Tire, Flashlights….Doppelganger
Warned by Rebekah, Klaus decides it’s time to get lost from Mystic Falls (yes, running is what this Original Badass knows how to do), but first he has to collect Elena. Rebekah tells him he is insane, Alaric is trapped in the school by the sunlight, they only have a few hours to get lost. But Klaus is intractable. Rebekah finally calls him on his crap. He doesn’t need his hybrids, he has his family. But that’s not enough for whiner boy, he wants it all. So Rebekah does the smart thing…
…she leaves his happy ass and heads out of town without him.
In the meanwhile, back at the Gilbert house. Damon shows up with a bloodied and hurt Bonnie. He fills Stefan in on the details and when Bonnie gets tired of Damon’s digs she wants to know why he saved her, he points out he does stupid things all the time. The door bell rings and Jeremy answers it to find Klaus on the doorstep.
He wants Jeremy to invite him in, but Stefan and Damon send Jeremy to his room.
Klaus informs them that he knows his mother’s creation is alive (sorta) and kicking (definitely), so he’s leaving town, but needs a few supplies before he goes — including Elena. The boys shut the door in his face and look for Elena. But too late, she’s already gone.
What comes next is a FABULOUS scene as Klaus wings a ball through the window and pieces of a picket fence. He’s walking up to the door with a can of propane and a blow torch when Stefan steps out to let him know Elena isn’t there. In fact, Alaric has Elena prisoner and unless Klaus shows up, he’s gonna kill her.
Consternation crosses the Original’s face. He doesn’t really want to get himself killed. He warns the boys there’s a 1 in 4 chance they will die if he dies and Damon can live with those odds. When he points out that Tyler will definitely die, Damon definitely doesn’t care. Either way, they want Elena back, they have to work together.
Enter Bonnie. She has an idea. Her mom dessicated Michael (I seem to remember mentioning this several times over the last few weeks, but I digress), maybe they can get Abby back and get the spell. Fortunately, Abby who ‘disappeared’ was just a phone call away and has been in touch with Jamie (but not Bonnie) – can you say worst mother EVER?
The Moments That Bond
Damon and Bonnie wait for Abby at the Salvatore house where after nearly a year, we finally get the “ANSWER” as to why Katherine waltzed in there at the end of second season. Despite the fact that boys gave the house to Elena, she ‘died’ and the homestead blessing went bye-bye. Thank you writers!
Abby is very uncomfortable around Damon and Damon clearly doesn’t trust her. But when Bonnie tells Abby she needs the dessication spell, Abby tells her she can’t handle the depths she’d have to go to do the spell. Au contraire mon frair, since Abby skipped out on Bonnie, she has no idea what her daughter can handle.
To desiccate Alaric, they will need to stop his heart. But to stop his heart, they have to stop a human heart. Hrm. Sacrifice averted, Jeremy has an eternity ring. Damon wants another human to wear it, but Jeremy insists, Elena is HIS sister darn it and he’ll do it.
Damon doesn’t like it, but he does appreciate the sentiment.
Meanwhile, Klaus and Stefan have a moment outside the school waiting on Damon and Bonnie. Klaus gets in a few digs about Damon and Elena, but Stefan points out that no matter how hard Klaus tries to drive a wedge between he and his brother, they are stronger for it. Klaus pouts, but says once they save Elena, he’s still taking her. Stefan says he’ll go with her, to keep her safe. Klaus smirks that maybe he’ll take Damon instead. Wouldn’t it be interesting to see who Elena chose in that situation?
Finally, it’s plan time. Bonnie gives her blood to each of the three vampires. She tells them all they have to do is get a grip on Alaric’s heart. She’ll know and she’ll do the spell. She’ll stop Jeremy’s and Alaric’s heart and desiccate him. Of course, they make all these plans RIGHT OUTSIDE THE SCHOOL where Alaric can hear them…but I digress.
Elena lashes out at Alaric by hitting him with the vervain and frees Caroline. She makes her run, but Alaric catches Elena before she can get away. He throws her into some lockers (ow, and by the way, keep your scorecards hand here), lifts her up and chokes her.
On their way in to deal with Alaric, Klaus catches Caroline and comforts her, then sends her home to lock herself in her house where she can be safe from Alaric. He promises they will get Elena. It’s a rare, sweet moment. It’s too bad I really don’t like him, he’s almost human where Caroline is concerned. Unfortunately, it’s just not enough for me.
Alaric overpowers Stefan and Damon (breaking Stefan’s back and Damon’s neck). The neck with Damon was just a little poetic, considering. Alaric goes after Klaus and they struggle over the stake and Alaric almost has him when Elena makes him stop by holding a sharp razor to her own throat. She’s figured it out. Esther gave Alaric a limited lifespan by tying his life literally to Elena’s. If Elena dies, Alaric dies. She tells him to let Klaus go or she’ll slit her own throat. For those wondering why, Elena still has no idea which Original bloodline her friends belong to and she’s protecting them.
But I digress…
When Alaric doesn’t believe her — she starts cutting (injury #2). Klaus takes advantage of the distraction and slams Alaric away from him, when the hunter gets back to his feet, Klaus and Elena are gone.
One For the Road
Alaric wakes Damon and Stefan up and tells them what Klaus has done and why he’s taken Elena. If Elena dies, so does Alaric. He wants them to help him take down Klaus. Meanwhile, back at the mansion, Klaus is draining Elena of all her blood (injury #3, it looked like three or four blood bags already done). He’s pouting but he’ll have her blood supply and then Alaric will be dead. He doesn’t want to kill Elena because he wants the endless supply to make hybrids. Elena calls him on his crap.
But Klaus points out that he’s also doing her a favor. She will never choose between the boys because to choose would destroy their relationship as brothers. She doesn’t want to do that. Those words hit perilously close to home for the injured and the week.
In the meanwhile, Tyler is there packing up – acting like the good little sired boy, but when he sees Elena. He pretends briefly, but when Klaus isn’t looking, he springs Elena from the blood bags. Klaus can’t believe he’s not sired anymore. Klaus shoves Elena and she lands in a heap, cracking her head on the mantle (injury #4).
Nope, “I’m not your little bitch anymore.” It looks like Klaus is all set to kill him when Damon and Stefan help Tyler take Klaus down. Stefan drives his fingers into the area over Klaus’ heart and Bonnie performs the spell. Klaus desiccates before their eyes with a look of utter disbelief on his face. Damon checks on Elena and Stefan watches Klaus fall with a mixture of pity and satisfaction.
It’s Over, Right?
Damon and Stefan usher Elena home (note, not the hospital), making sure she gets inside. Note: we never saw them give her vampire blood to heal her or take her to the hospital for her injuries, but I digress…
It’s not quite sunset, but they want her behind her front door before Alaric is free. They also have to get Klaus’ desiccated body out of town. At the door, Elena apologizes to them if they feel like she’s stringing them along. She doesn’t want to choose because choosing means she loses one of them and she can’t lose anymore people she loves. The boys are both saddened, but they understand. Right now, they just want her safe.
She goes inside where her ‘best friends’ are there offering tequila shots. Caroline tells her that sooner or later she will have to choose, but for now. They can celebrate their ‘victory.”
In the car, Stefan and Damon talk about the fact that all of this was over one girl, but what a special girl. They both love her. Stefan finally tells him that if Elena chooses him, Stefan will leave and let them have their peace and quiet. Damon responds with and what, we hook up again in sixty years? Stefan nods.
Damon doesn’t like it, but he makes the same promise. It’s too good being brothers again and highly notable that the boys both expect Elena to have a human life span and never turn, but that’s a discussion for another day.
Or Is It?
Did I mention that Alaric outted the Sheriff and the Mayor to the council? That can’t be good.
After the kegger, Elena and Jeremy commiserate over how they hate that room and Elena tells him that if by keeping their friends Caroline and Tyler alive along with Stefan and Damon, then yes, fine, she’s the bad guy. Jeremy tells her that he doesn’t think she’s a bad guy, because even if they let Alaric end all the vampires, what’s left to keep the ‘evil’ Alaric alive? If he wants to die, then he’d kill Elena and Jeremy would lose her too (a beautiful way of reminding everyone that Jeremy and Elena really are in the same boat in so many ways).
They say goodnight and Elena picks up a paint brush to go back to work on repainting the room because after being choked, thrown into lockers, drained of her blood and slammed into a fireplace with an undisclosed head injury followed by copious amounts of alcohol, that’s what one should do.
Is it any surprise that Elena collapses?
Le sigh. Next week is the season finale of Vampire Diaries season three. I don’t know what I will do without my show for sixteen to eighteen weeks.