As with every Vampire Diaries episode, a lot of pretty dramatic things happen. I don’t actually think I’ve ever watched a “filler” or “jump the shark” episode. This one was not different at all. Before it’s one week break, the previous episode ended in the tragic end of Jeremy Gilbert, a character that I have loved for a very long time. He was Elena’s last family member, and as with the tradition of this show, someone Elena loves has to die after a certain point of time. It started with her parents, then Aunt Jenna, then Alaric, and now Jeremy. Maybe they’ll kill Bonnie next, who knows. Julie Plec and G.R.R. Martin should meet for lunch and go over notes on killing characters. And after Jeremy’s death, Elena literally broke down in a very heartbreaking performance by Nina Dobrev, leading Damon with nothing much to do but to turn off her humanity in order to keep her sanity in order.
Obviously burning down the home she grew up in and where everyone she loved died is going to have huge detrimental psychological repercussions, but we’re going to choose to keep that stowed away until the season finale. So this episode is basically an episode where we learn that every vampire that “turns off” their humanity basically acts like an angsty teenager. They pretend like nothing affects them, walk around snapping heads and sucking souls, and then go head and throw a massive party where they drink a lot. Can we talk about how the sheriff isn’t even trying to hide that underaged drinking and drug use is the biggest problem in town? Like, she literally just doesn’t care.
Anyways, it was interesting to see this side of Elena, since she does seem to emulate Katherine and it’s interesting to see where they’re going to go when the two inevitably meet up. Elena has already gotten the upper hand on Caroline, what with her training with Alaric. Like most TVD episodes, this episode was split into two separate story lines that will eventually meet up. Elena dealing with her horrible life by punishing her liver and Caroline was one, packed with cheerleaders and cat fights, and the second was… a little confusing. It was a weaker episode, there were still shockers and gratuitous feeding, but I’m not really sure what everyone is after? Katherine? Silas? Some companionship? Rebekah is searching for a cure that, if it ever did, doesn’t exist any more. Stefan just wants Elena not to be the Ripper. Klaus is searching for Katherine, but somehow ended up in bed with Hayley? Caroline is missing Tyler, but it’s obvious to everyone that events in their life keep drawing her closer to Klaus. And, Hayley is looking for her family, which could be some sudden bloodline found in the bayou. Oh yeah, and there are missing blood bags, let’s not forget that.
There was very little weight to the episode. It’s not like the writers don’t know how to handle their massive amounts of plot lines, because they have done it very well before, but this seems like one of those episode where they need to do some plot line weaving to make sure everything makes sense. One minute we’re watching Elena hungrily ravage a cheerleader’s throat, the next minute Damon is pulling out the heart of his mysterious old friend. I don’t normally like Hayley, despite loving Phoebe Tonkin as a mermaid in H20: Just Add Water, because I found her character to be flat and badly constructed, but this episode brought a lot of interest into her character. The possible family that she hails from could just be a nudge in the direction of The Originals spin off show, the backdoor pilot will be in episode 20 of the current season where Klaus returns to the French Quarter in Louisiana.
But that’s still a ways away, until then, Damon and Elena are heading to the city that never sleeps (and there’s obviously going to be a reveal about who Damon’s friend is), leaving everyone in Mystic Falls to deal with the potential super old vampire that is stealing blood bags from hospitals. Though, one has to wonder how a super ancient vampire who has been asleep for centuries knows how to break into a secured hospital and steal blood bags. And perhaps that hospital should consider a better security system.