Would the real Elena please stand up?
Vampire Diaries recap Season 3 Episode 4
And so the saga continues. If you’d asked me an hour ago I’d have said I’m feeling exhausted from the road-trip element of the show – trying to keep straight who was met in what time, and for some reason, why this whole Stefan-and-Klaus run is making me tired. I concluded that I am damn old but I think another factor is that Stefan is often so malleable that he reflects the people around him. He’s not mirroring Klaus as much as he does Elena or Damon but maybe that’s why he feels so lost to me…
Open on gorgeous, sunny Chicago. With a helpful graphic, as if we didn’t know. Stefan and Klaus are introducing Rebecca, kind of against her will, to the concept of dressing in the ‘oughts. Her comment about dressing like a prostitute is pretty predictable but the one about the horrendous music absolutely lands…
Stefan is amused by Rebecca and Klaus is bratty, in a way that implies that he wishes he were banging his sister. (What? Sometimes you just need to cut to the chase.). After Rebecca says she knows when Stefan’s lying, which of course won’t come up later at all, and he gets up – and sees Katherine, across the street. He should know by her trampy posture and pout that it’s not Elena, but he races after her anyway.
In the land of Mystic Falls, domestic bliss, Damon bitches Elena out for bringing chili to a potluck :“Everyone brings chili”. What was Damon like in the 50s? Did he eat TV dinners without complaining? Anyway, it’s a Founder’s Day something or other, Rick’s not interested, Elena pouts. But when Damon digs at her chili again, he and Elena bump elbows and giggle. When Rick thinks that’s a little too cute, they exposit Damon is babysitting her so she doesn’t break and go back to chasing Stefan. Damon says losing her necklace would be a good place to start –
- and that would suit Katherine too, as Stefan storms up to her. She explains the necklace that is needed to make the hybrids is, for the cheap seats, the one Elena wears. Katherine wants to know what Stefan’s plan is to keep Klaus away from the necklace and the still not-dead Elena (and Katherine, for that matter). Katherine warns about the sister and Stefan sloughs her off. So, like any other day.
Jeremy’s lying on his bed with Anna. Wait, what? He yells and she gets really excited that he can even hear her. He looks pretty cute in this scene, but that’s irrelevant. Anna was trying to get Jeremy to hear her and it only worked because he was dreaming about her.
Caroline shows up with a dish for the potluck – and Bonnie! She hugs Elena and Caroline, kisses Jeremy, and only Jeremy sees Anna looking disapprovingly in the mirror…
Damon and Sherriff discuss how nutty Caroline’s dad is, what with the abusing her and all – Sherriff’s waiting for the vervaine to get out of his system. Damon would just have killed him, but the Sherriff won’t have it. He’s Caroline’s father…anyway, gay euphemism and then they head into the jail. Damon’s assigned to compel him, and of course he makes a meal of it. Both scenery-chew-y and actually tasting him to see if there’s vervaine in him. Anyway, Damon compels him to leave town and only remember ‘back to school shopping’.
Chicago. Rebecca has wasted no time adopting the 2011 fashion look. Do girls wear this many shorts? Remember in the 90s when shorts were, like, verboten? I do, because I came of age in a time without fun. So, Gloria’s searching for the necklace, Rebecca offers herself as a conduit…
Girl talk in Elena’s kitchen. The girls berate her for passing off ‘Damon and I made the chili” as though it ain’t no thing, but before they can really get into ‘what is she THINKING?’ , Elena screams – her necklace burns her chest. Back in Chicago, Gloria continues to chant and Caroline passive-aggressives that maybe Elena shouldn’t be wearing it anymore. Mystic Falls – it burns Bonnie’s finger. Chicago – Gloria, with a warning look at Stefan, says she found it.
Klaus and Rebecca (who really is quite pretty, by the way) pressure Gloria to find it, but she lies through her teeth that she only sees images. Stefan distracts them all by inviting them out for a snack…and it’s a pretty flimsy excuse, S. No? As they leave, Gloria heaves a sigh.
Big ol’ picnic. Bonnie rushes up to magically skin-healed Elena. She has an identification spell, which she is apparently doing right out in the open in the park while Caroline interrogates her about her interaction with Damon. Elena does that thing where if you avoid the subject, it probably doesn’t mean anything good. Anyway, Bonnie discovers the necklace has its own magic as it floats in front of them.
Damon scoffs at all the chilis and Rick decides to man up and say Damon needs to ‘take a beat’ with Elena. Damon says Rick’s not her father and, loosely speaking, Rick tells him to step off. Damon runs off to a Founder’s meeting, and I wish I could agree with Rick here, but I don’t.
Our awesome threesome are chowing down on girls. Klaus remarks that Stefan really was starving – so let me just sidebar for a moment. This means Stefan has killed many, under the influence of Klaus. And we haven’t seen a remorse journal this time around. Also, are we implying here that because it’s all in service of keeping Elena safe, that it’s OK to kill all these other people? Isn’t that what we call Moral Relativism? How is Elena this precious? Or how to justify it, show?
Back on TV, Klaus is treating Rebecca the way Damon treats Elena – that is, he teases her and bothers her and basically flirts for all he’s worth. This makes Rebecca grit out “I am not a brat”. Stefan shows off that when you can hang out with 1000 year old vampires, your jokes don’t have to be good or current, because they’ve never heard them before? Anyway, he leaves, and Klaus says he’s going to write a name on a wall, so…it’s like people heard me. That was weird…
Jeremy comes to talk to Anna, like, what, did they have a date? He is so desperately dumb, it’s the best. Anna wants to know why he hasn’t told Bonnie that he’s seeing the dead girls, and I assume this actress took some lessons between season 1 and now? She’s far more interesting. Anyway, Jere is confused, which is adorable. Anna says whenever Jeremy says he sees Vicki, Anna feels something weird, that she’s being pushed out of a dimension. She’s pretty vociferous about not letting Vicki in, and then touches his hand, and there’s discussion over whether he can feel her, and then a full ET moment of finger-touching.
Gloria is pretty unimpressed when Stefan rolls up in her bar. She tells Stefan what he already knows – that the girls were talking about Stefan, and he wants to know why she didn’t tell Klaus. She says she wouldn’t tell Klaus anything but does want the original witch’s talisman, the necklace. Stefan goes to vamp out on her but she does the mind-control thing that makes him yell in pain.
Now in the bar with the lights out. Gloria still has Stefan paralyzed & slices his arm open with a knife. She’s planning to get the information out of Stefan’s head, ‘old-school voo-doo’. She pours something in his veins to stop him healing, and begins to bleed his blood into a jar below his table. Then she massages him with vervaine and, as you can guess, Stefan yells.
Founder’s meeting. The sheriff says it’s been quiet, Damon echoes it, and Mayor Lockwood – Tyler’s mother – comes in to talk. But they’re interrupted by Caroline’s dad who asks “Do you all think we’re stupid?”
Bonnie and Jeremy. Her idea of a hot date is having him look stuff up, since the witches she used to ask don’t talk to her anymore. She messed with the balance of nature by bringing him back. Jeremy is putting everything together, and skips the opportunity to tell Bonnie what’s been going on. She smiles at him, but then Anna appears behind Bonnie and says the darkness is here and THEN all Bonnie’s books catch on fire.
Gloria says Stefan has discipline and rubs him with vervaine again and then articulates the Stefan-and-Elena relationship in one go and you can see Stefan trying to keep the information from Gloria and just as she puts it all together Katherine very neatly stabs her in the jugular. “Looks like you need me after all.”
Rick catches up with Elena and Caroline and if he’s supposed to be ‘looking out’ for her, why is he talking like a teenager? Pick a side, Rick. Anyway, Caroline’s about to yell about Damon, but then her father shows up and she races out of the building. Elena and Rick are taking off when Damon appears. Apparently Caroline’s dad is impervious to compulsion. I should mention here that Damon is consistently making gay jokes about Bill, and not as a euphemism for vampire. So anyway, Elena has turned into a completely anti-Damon priss and Rick gets in the way and so Damon does something to Rick that sounds like cracking his neck but from Elena’s reaction, looks like he decked him.
Katherine and Stefan. Her plan for him is to make Rebecca love him more by ignoring him, and Stefan scoffs at her, as if he’d tell her anything. And then he tells her everything. Rebecca and Klaus were running from a vampire hunter. Katherine and Stefan together want to know why an original would be afraid of anything – but then Stefan reminds her they’re not partners and hefts Gloria out of there. I really did love you, Gloria.
Tyler runs into his bedroom to find Caroline stretched out on the bed, dressed. She’s hiding from her dad who’s back in town. These two are sweet together, but I’m not sure they’ve had an actual conversation yet. Anyway, she loves her dad, and then strips off Tyler’s sweaty shirt and they begin to bang bang. At least we’re getting the hot teen sex from somewhere…but then Elena calls, standing over Alaric’s inert body. So….more with the neck snapping then?
Damon and Bill have bantery banter about scotch. Bill says he was able to resist compulsion because Damon’s technique was sloppy, and Bill thinks Damon’s not stupid enough to kill him – so Damon eats from him. He’s really enjoying himself when Caroline walks in, makes her father drink her blood (with a ‘grown up’) and then we get a pretty awesome Caroline and Damon fight. IF that sounds like it doesn’t make any sense, it pretty much doesn’t. Somehow Elena’s here, yelling that she doesn’t want Damon to behave like everyone else thinks he does, like a monster. He tells her to quit turning him into Stefan (translation: please, please, turn me into Stefan if it means you’ll love me) and storms out.
Bonnie informs Jeremy there’s ash on the floor, but when he says he’ll get the vacuum, she’s like “I’m on it”. He and I wonder why, then, we needed to be told? Passive aggressive much? Anyway, of course Anna appears behind him in the bathroom. Jeremy is mad. Don’t be here when Bonnie is here. Anna was just trying to warn him – and says it’s his fault, because she can only ‘pop up’ when he’s thinking about her. So Jeremy, cold-hearted snake, puts Anna out of his mind and she begs him to not shut her out and disappears.
Jeremy tells Bonnie he’s been lying to her, but now Anna is behind him, sobbing that she’s all alone, but we can tell he can no longer hear her…
Stefan, in what, a furniture gallery? Rebecca’s glad he’s back, even if it is ‘dreary’ in the family graveyard. Stefan wants to know why Rebecca still loves Klaus, and she says it was too exhausting to hate him. Stefan exposits that it’s weird those two were so afraid of a man following him. Rebecca defers, and then admires – and says Klaus admires – that Stefan is here because Klaus saved his brother. (Although she, too, thinks Elena is dead.) And then there’s kissing and “Do you think you’ll love anyone like you loved that girl?” and he says ‘maybe’ and then, here’s the repeat of the line ‘I can always tell when you’re lying, Stefan’. She says his kiss gave him away, then tattles as soon as Klaus walks in – who launches himself at Stefan.
Morning. Salvatores. Damon makes two lemon drops, then brings one to Rick, who finally wakes up, pissed that Damon killed him. Damon, of course, is like “I sure did, what are you gonna do?” Needless to say, this is irritating in the extreme for Rick.
And we’re with Elena at school who at least has the grace to admit she was trying to change Damon, but not the grace to admit that she’s attracted to Damon as he is. She says if she admits it – if she even thinks about it for a second, then what does it say about her? Caroline thinks it makes her human, and then goes over to talk to her dad. He says he’s going to go home before someone kills him. He appreciates that she rescued him, but it’s all very formal. She calls after him, “Daddy? I’m going to be OK” and he comes back to deliver the crushing ‘I don’t think you’ll ever be OK again’. So that, combined with the tinkly music, makes us totally OK if someone kills him, right?
Rick is fighting for a position on the council, since the Gilberts are one of the founding families, and he’s their guardian or whatever. He’s all ‘who’s looking out for the people in this town?’ It’s all very noble but it smacks of just getting back at Damon.
At the grill, Bonnie and Elena do the exchange of the necklace, even though she would have liked to work on it more. But Elena feels naked without it. Then, Bonnie talks about Jeremy and the dead people he sees, and then Elena has disappeared. Like literally vamoosed from her chair.
She’s on Damon’s doorstep. Oh, no – that’s Katherine dressed as Elena. So that was her with Bonnie too then – and Katherine-in-Elena is sexy even with straight hair! Can you imagine? Anyway, she wants to get out of town, and Damon says the walls are going to close in around him, and Katherine, dangling the necklace, says they’re going somewhere good.
So Klaus looks at Stefan, prone on the ground. Stefan wakes up all ‘let me explain’ and Klaus says Rebecca’s instincts that Stefan is hiding something are “borderline supernatural” which seems like a weird way to describe a vampire’s talents. Anyway, Klaus wanted to see for himself, so up with the back of the truck-back and here they are, in Mystic Falls again.
So it’s up to you when was the last time we saw the real Elena. With Caroline, at school? With Damon, after the fight? I mean, I love these kinds of questions so it’s fun, but how linked are Elena and Katherine really? How much overlap is there in their personalities? To that end – if it was Katherine with Caroline, how much of what she says is a lie?
Oh, and where’s the real Elena?