The Vampire Diaries: An Episode of Total Understatements

Last night's episode of The Vampire Diaries was pretty funny. Katherine is pretending to be Elena, Damon is going off the deep end and Caroline's just cock blocking everybody. And the soundtrack stays perfectly in beat to the storyline.

Watch this episode "Total Eclipse of the Heart"
 Katherine pretends to be Elena

 So Katherine Pierce has total control of Elena Gilbert's body. To make sure that the viewers remember this, the episode opens up with a Katherine-as-Elena "I love my life" montage and voiceover. Are we really supposed to believe that Katherine Pierce would write in her diary? Didn't she make fun of diary-writing a few episodes ago? One can only hope that someone finds and reads this diary someday,in which she mentions becoming Elena Gilbert and that's how they discover who she really is. (Of course, the actual reveal will probably be more interesting. I'm curious to see what the writers come up with.) Katherine-Elena writes "everyone loves me", which is Total Understatement #1 of the episode.

Of course, the music playing during the montage is "Best Day of My Life" (by American Authors). I gotta say, Vampire Diaries has been really spot on with their musical choices lately. A little obvious maybe, but it totally works.

Katherine has to play the Elena role to a tee, so that means humoring annoying gal pals Bonnie and Caroline, going to class, and being a good girl. Caroline decides that the girls have to go to Whitmore's Annual Bitter Ball - a Valentine's dance for broken hearts, jilted lovers and bitter singles. As they discuss this in class, Bonnie spots a girl spinning a pen with magic - a witch! And she's white! That like almost never happens!

Back at Casa de Salvatore, Stefan notices blood coming from the trunk of a car and oh look, Aaron is dead inside it. He goes inside to find that Damon has trashed the place.
Damon: We hunted him down and I ripped his throat out. I just figured it's time to shove the last branch of the Whitmore family tree into the wood chipper.
Stefan: So Elena breaks up with you and your first instinct is to go on a killing spree? Could you be any more predictable?
Enzo: It was my idea if it makes you feel any better. 
Enzo and Damon, back together again, murder buddies 4EVER! They killed Aaron and now they're looking for Dr. Wes Maxfield in their games of Kill All the Augustines. Damon tells Stefan that he was dumb enough to try to change himself for a girl, so now he's going back to his true self. His sick sadistic self. His better self.
Enzo: What do you say? Should we get a new hobby? Golf? Scrapbooking?
Meanwhile, Katherine-as-Elena is laying down the building blocks of her plan to get back with Stefan. She has planted Nadia at the Mystic Grille so she can continually compel Matt to give them information on Elena adn then forget they ever had the conversation. He is her Elena Gilbert cheat sheet. Poor Matt - he's not a puppet, reminds Nadia, but everyone is really a puppet in Katherine's life.

Dr. Wes is back at his evil work (guess Aaron was wrong when he said they didn't have to worry about him anymore). He's out of money but he's not out of evil. He kidnapped a member of the janitorial staff ("Joey") at some hospital and turned him into a vampire so he can replicate his experiment - he's going to condition him to feed on other vampires.

Dr. Wes: Research is just money and time. I've got time. I'll find money.

A strange woman (Sloane) shows up to offer him new funding for his research. She's offering money and protection, in exchange for him agreeing to analyze some blood for her. She has Aaron's bag (including the syringe that he had stolen from Wes a few episodes back) and says she found his car abandoned. They can both assume he is dead and that Dr. Wes is next. Of course, they're right. Damon and Enzo have kidnapped the head of Whitmore security (now that's ironic) to help them find Dr. Wes. They get her to admit that she forged suicide notes of the students who were killed by vampire attacks, but she hasn't heard from Dr. Wes in days.
Damon: Well, that's a shame because that makes you a dead end.
Enzo: Well... technically...  
(breaks her neck)
Enzo: ...now she's a dead end.
Stefan finds Enzo burying bodies in the woods, as Stefan puts it "shallow grave duty". He wants Enzo to find himself a new BFF because Damon's in a bad place right now. Total Understatement #2.
Stefan: You know what makes somebody walk a straight line? When they have no choice but to be the balance for somebody's who's about to fall off the edge.
Enzo: It's so much more fun when you just commit to the leap.
Stefan his him with the shovel and threatens to stake him with the other end. Enzo pushes the end of the shovel into his own stomach. He's used to pain - he was tortured for years.
Enzo: What do you think you can possibly do to me that hasn't been done a thousand times before? Go on, take your best shot.
Stefan: What I do to you Enzo will be final.
Back at the dorms, Katherine-Elena is contemplating calling Stefan. Again, the  music is spot on ("I Want It All" by Jules Larson). Caroline tells K-E that she knows that she's "faking" (Total Understatement #3.) Caroline tells K-E that she doesn't have to pretend that breaking up with Damon is no big deal, just so she can help Caroline deal with the whole Klaus-Tyler drama. Oh as if. Stefan calls to tell Elena about Enzo and Damon killing Aaron but he doesn't have the heart tell her over the phone. She invites him to the Bitter Ball so he can tell her in person. Of course, Katherine-Elena has no idea who Enzo is so she texts Nadia at the Grille to find out from Matt.

Tyler is drinking to obliterate the memory of Caroline (as "It Ain't Over" by the Rival plays - foreshadowing?).
Tyler: She's new.
Matt: Whatever you're thinking un-think it. That's Katherine's daughter. And the psycho doesn't fall far from the tree.
Nadia: I can hear you.
They decide to do shots. Great idea Tyler! They play a game of "who has the worst mommy" (it's almost as awesome as Damon's toast to Katherine drinking game).
Tyler: My mom was so afraid I'd flunk the 8th grade and embarrass her, she actually wrote an entire English paper for me.
Nadia: Oh! My mother was so desperate for companionship she compelled an entire town to be her friend.
Matt: My mom hooked up with you.
Nadia: Oh, my god seriously?
Matt and Tyler: Afraid so.
Nadia: Drink, both of you. 
Tyler has to pee and Nadia is surprised to find out that hybrids pee. I guess vampires don't pee because they're dead, werewolves do because they're alive... so yeah, why do hybrids pee? Interesting. My real question though is how exactly is Matt - the lone human left in the Scooby Gang - able to go shot-for-shot with a vampire and a hybrid. Certainly their supernatural metabolisms makes their tolerance a little higher than normal. How is Matt even still standing? As soon as Tyler walks away, Nadia compels Matt to find out who Enzo is and then tells him to forget what they said. Tyler overhears, thanks to his super sharp hybrid hearing. Tyler tells Matt that Nadia has been compelling him. They realize his vervain bracelet is missing and need to figure out why she's compelling him. He tells him to drink some coffee (it's always spiked with vervain at the Grille thanks to Sheriff Forbes).

Elsewhere, Bonnie and Jeremy plan to attend the Bitter Ball to support singles Caroline and Elena (separately, because they're not allowed to bring dates - so stupid). Just as soon as they admit that they're happy, Damon shows up to mess up the happiness!
Damon: I'm here to kidnap your boyfriend!
Bonnie: Let go of him.
Damon: Or what? You'll glare me to death? You don't have your magic wand to back you up anymore, Bon-Bon.
He needs a witch to help him find Dr. Wes. Even though Bonnie can't do magic anymore, she wants her help in finding one who can do a locator spell.
Jeremy: You're not gonna hurt me. Elena would--
Damon: Elena would what? Hurt me? Dump me? Been there, done that, wrote the country song.
Bonnie: Kill you. She would kill you.
Damon: Cool. And then me and all her doppelgangers can start a baseball team on the other side.
Okay, Ian Somerhalder is basically writing his own spin-off! I would totally watch a show called Damon and the Doppelgangers. Enzo shows up, because he's "the one who gets things done" (Total Understatement #4) and starts to hurt Jeremy until Bonnie finally agrees to help.

Stefan meets Katherine-Elena at the dance, which is basically the same as any regular Valentine's Day dance despite the theme. As they dance to "Best Part of Me" (by St Leonards) they talk about Damon. He tells her that Damon "got himself into some bad stuff" (Total Understatement #5) and K-E says "it's what Damon does" (Total Understatement #6). She tells him that she always tried to fix and change Damon but he ended up changing her instead. She wants to know if Stefan still likes her - the person she's become. (There's something extra meta about that right there.) She seems so happy, he's hesitant to tell her about Enzo and Damon now because he knows it will upset her.

Back at the dance, Caroline tells Elena that she's been through a lot lately (Total Understatement #7) and her emotions all over the place (and so are Stefan's) so they may be confusing things. Later Caroline asks Stefan to dance. 
Stefan: You are the second person that I didn't come here to dance with.
Caroline: Okay then what are you not telling Elena?
Stefan: Way to eavesdrop Caroline.
He tells her Damon has gone off the deep end. He killed Aaron but he didn't have the heart to tell her because she seemed so happy. He doesn't want her to give up on Damon forever because he doesn't know if he'll be able to pull him back after that. Just then, speak of the devil, Damon arrives to the dance with Bonnie as "Love Me Again" by John Newman plays. (So perfect. Seriously, they're doing a great job tying in today's hit music with the storyline. It's almost too perfect, but yet it works.) They tell them that Enzo had Jeremy so if she doesn't find a witch to help them find Wes by midnight, they'll kill him.

Katherine-Elena overhears and comes over to see the cell phone photo of Jeremy tied up. She looks like she's about to cry and turns away to rolls her eyes. Is it messed up that I like Katherine-as-Elena more than Elena-as-Elena (and prefer evil Damon to good Damon)? I even preferred Silas-Stefan to real Stefan. I have issues.

Katherine-Elena calls Nadia.
Katherine-Elena: Hypothetical question. If Jeremy Gilbert's life was hanging by a thread could I credibly just let him die? Because his death would be really convenient for me.
Nadia: Are you seriously making a pros and cons list?
K-E: Are there any cons? Because I've only listed pros.
Nadia: Katherine!
K-E: I'm just saying, his death would earn me a lot of tenderness and sympathy from Stefan.
Nadia: If Jeremy is in danger, Elena would do everything in her power to save him. You know that.
She knows where Jeremy is - at Whitmore House - because she recognized it from the picture (and is apparently the only one whose been to a Whitmore tea party). Nadia instructs her to save him now because otherwise they will start to realize she's not really Elena. She reluctantly agrees, but in the meantime she wants her to ask Matt if Caroline likes Stefan because she's getting annoying and she needs to know what she's up against.

Nadia asks Matt and he answers that he has no idea. She wants to know if he thinks Elena can win Stefan back. Then she compels him to forget and rushes off, except Matt has drank the vervain coffee and can't be compelled. Tyler comes back "so was I right?" and Matt is about to tell him when Nadia returns and snaps Tyler's neck. She warns Matt not to tell him anything.

Back at the dance, Katherine-Elena fake cries to Stefan that she can't lose Jeremy again and asks for his help to save him. Meanwhile, Bonnie approaches the girl from her class (she's a server at the party) and says she knows she's a witch. She pretends to have no idea what she's talking about, but Bonnie says she really needs her help. Caroline approaches and goes all vampy on her so she'll agree to help. Bonnie talks her through it as she tries to do the spell, while Caroline and Damon look on.
Damon: How long is this gonna take?
Caroline: For a newbie witch to learn a complicated spell under massive stress!? ...I have no idea.
The candles flame, the light bulbs all burst and the chandelier falls.
Damon: Is that a good sign?
The witch freaks out. She says she can't do this. She's believes she's a bad person who has done horrible things, hurt people, set buildings on fire. She can't control her powers. (Prediction: Bonnie is going to play witchy mentor to this girl in the near future.) So Damon tells Enzo that they're "lost motivation" (Total Understatement #8). Enzo warns them through the speakerphone that Jeremy will soon be dead. Bonnie gives the witch a pep talk and she agrees to continue.
Jeremy: You don't have to do this.
Enzo: That's the thing about threats. If there's no follow-through, no one takes you seriously. Sorry to make this about me.
He puts a dry cleaning bag over Jeremy's head and starts to suffocate him. Dude how many times does Jeremy have to die on this show? Stefan bursts in and fights with Enzo, while Katherine-Elena reluctantly gives Jeremy CPR. Enzo stabs K-E in the back but Stefan pulls it out, just as Damon walks in. He lets Enzo know that the spell worked and Wes is in Richmond, so they leave.
Stefan: Hey Damon, don't bother coming back.
Damon: I wasn't planning on it.
Katherine-Elena looks at him with disgust until the door closes and then she smiles.

Back outside the Grille, Tyler wakes up.
Matt: Sorry. Slight misunderstanding.
Total Understatement #9! Matt tells Tyler that Nadia was compelling him, but only because she wanted to talk about Katherine and knew Matt was pissed at her. They didn't settle their mother-daughter issues before she died. She ran from Tyler because she was afraid he'd be mad at her for messing with Matt's head. Of course, Matt is lying...

After Tyler leaves, he gets in the car with Nadia and tells her that he took care of it. She threatens to kill them both if he follows them. 
Matt: Your boyfriend once planted yourself inside my brain. That's how you were planning on saving Katherine. She didn't die did she? She jumped inside Elena.
Finally someone figured it out. It's almost annoying how stupid some of these other characters are sometimes. I still don't understand how they don't all assume Katherine is in Elena. Not only was it the obvious solution to her whole little "death problem", but doesn't Bonnie know she never passed through her when she died? What the heck.

Damon and Enzo go to Richmond to find Dr. Wes. Damon says Enzo can have the honor of killing him, which makes Enzo wonder if he's having second thoughts about leaving home. Damon says he has no reason to go back - Elena is done with him and so is Stefan. When they arrive they find Dr. Wes is there - but he brought back up. a bunch of Travelers (including Sloane from before). Their chanting incapacitates Damon and Enzo, and Dr. Wes injects Damon with the syringe.
Dr. Wes: Good luck making new friends, Damon.
Back at the dorms, Katherine-Elena tries to get one last splinter of wood out of her back. She asks Stefan for help and "Say Something" (by A Great Big World) starts to play. She tells Stefan that she knows what he wanted to tell her earlier. Damon killed Aaron. She knows he's dead because he walked through the threshold at the Whitmore house and he couldn't have done that if the owner wasn't dead. He says he should've told her but just couldn't. She tells him that he can be honest with her no matter what.

He admits that ever since he first noticed her falling for Damon, he'd been waiting for him to screw it up so badly that she'd hate him. He's been watching him do horrible things and keeps thinking he's gone too far but then even then, he's still there for her, even better than Stefan ever was.
Stefan: The truth is, after a while, I just stopped waiting for him to fail because I liked the person that he had become... and I don't want to lose that person.
Elena: He threatened my brother Stefan. I can't go back to that.
Stefan: I know.
Elena: If you want to save him from himself, then I'll help you. But not for myself, and not for him. For you.
They hug and Caroline walks in. Caroline is such a cock block this episode.

Back at the hospital, Damon and Enzo wake up. Damon is worried about what Wes stuck him with. If it's what he thinks it is ("that cannibal vampire poison") they may have a problem... specifically, he may start feeding on other vampires. They find Joey the janitor vampire chained up in the other room. Damon starts to help him but gets sight of the blood on his wrists and goes all vampy on him.
Joey: What's happening to you?
Damon: I'm gonna go ahead and say karma. Karma is happening to me.
Total Understatement #10? Damon feeds on him so forcefully that his head comes off!
Enzo: Okay. I can see how this might be a problem.

Total Understatement #11 to end the episode on the perfect note.

Watch this episode "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on Amazon Instant Video. Catch up on the rest of the season here.

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