Written by Duana
Season 3 Episode 1 reca
Oh lord we are BACK! I had to re-read the season finale from last year and, honestly, even though I wrote it, I’m so dizzy. Can’t believe all that stuff happened in one episode . Let’s break back in…
Previously, Katherine says Elena enjoys having both Stefan and Damon worship at her altar, Klaus was able to break the curse to reveal his vampire side (R.I.P Aunt Jenna), Damon was bitten by Tyler Lockwood and Stefan vowed to find a cure, but that mostly involved Klaus making him drink blood to go back to his vampy ways. And, of course, ELENA KISSED DAMON.
We open on a house in Tennessee. It’s gorgeous. Farmhousey-porchy. A girl in a tiny tank and shorts is looking for her dog, Rudy, and suddenly Klaus appears in front of her, using an American accent. He swears he’s not a serial killer but needs to use her phone. She’s smarter than the average horror film girl and says she’ll bring him out the phone, and when Klaus wonders why she’s not trusting, she snarks that she’s from Florida. But Klaus isn’t having it, compels her, and suddenly she appears inside the house where her friend/roommate bitches about air conditioning but suddenly can’t tell Klaus where Ray Sutton is, he’s on the road. When Klaus presses, friend takes off running through the house..but of course, when she runs out the front door, Stefan is waiting for her. She weeps out that he’s at a bar called Southern Comfort. Then Klaus tells Stefan to kill tank top fast, but to let roommate suffer. The screams echo as Klaus walks away.
As she so often is, Elena is awake in bed on nice sheets. She hauls herself up, and Kat Graham has apparently ditched the rest of her name. Elena throws open the drapes in Jere’s room and tells him to get to work, Matt called. Jere hopes he’ll get fired.
Elena talks to Caroline who wants her to not skip a party, and also call her mom due to an animal attack in Memphis. Alaric is looking sweaty and delightful messing over a juicer or something in the kitchen and it wouldn’t take much at all for this to turn into the second-book-in-a-VC-Andrews scenario, amirite? Anyway, it’s definitely vampires, Caroline says, though not necessarily Klaus. Elena begs her to ‘keep tonight small’. Alaric fixes what I assume is his couch bed. This is problematic, you guys, especially when she asks if he needs a bedroom!!! But he says no and takes her in in those short-shorts. Anyway, it is, of course, Elena’s birthday and he wishes her a happy one.
Damon soaks in a tub, and that girlfriend of his (forget her name) won’t get him more champagne, he has to get it himself. Incredibly teasey cinematography makes you think you’re going to see Somerhalder naked but no, that’s only for Elena. She sees him, and he smugs that she should learn to knock. She’s all business, with the ‘we should check out yet another lead’. Damon won’t let her go because Klaus might discover Elena’s not dead, and sends her off. His work girl says she’ll send him an address to look into.
The grill! Jere phone-Skypes with Bonnie, who’s with her boring Dad’s boring family. She just finishes saying he needs normalcy when lights flicker in the storeroom. Jere seems to know what this means and hustles Bonnie off the phone. Either Vickie or Anna is there, ominous and hovering over Jeremy but both disappear when Matt comes in, demanding to switch stations so he doesn’t have to wait on Tyler and Caroline. They exposit that they’re not dating, even though everyone thinks they are. “That’s crazy!” Nervous giggle.
Aforementioned Southern Comfort bar. Klaus rolls right up to Ray Sutton, and, once he’s identified him, ditches his American accent right-quick, and says Ray’s type is hard to come by. Stefan compelled everyone else in the bar, so Klaus can explain that he’s a wolf/vamp hybrid, and since Ray is a vampire, Klaus wants to know where his pack is. He says he can’t compel Ray, but Stefan is ready with some scotch and some wolfsbane. Hands up if bad Stefan is your new favourite person!
Alaric – still sexy in baseball tee, and Damon show up at the location of the animal kill. I swear up and down that the way Damon asks if Rick’s still sleeping on the couch means he’s thinking along the same lines I am. Like, did you SEE Elena’s short-shorts? So the guys go inside the house, check out the blood streaming over the walls, and then, cutesily – both bodies propped up nicely on the couch. SO creepy, but not as creepy as Damon explaining that Stefan puts the bodies back together when he’s finished feeding, and proves his point by shaking one of the girls’ heads off their bodies.
Elena bitches to Jeremy and Caroline that she has to fight Damon every time there’s a lead on Stefan. Tyler is the guy in this situation, saying it’s Elena’s fault for kissing Damon, and though Caroline chastises him, he shrugs like Elena saying “it was a goodbye kiss” doesn’t make a difference. Which it doesn’t. As Elena leaves, Caroline gives the awesome line “Just because I tell you things, doesn’t mean you’re allowed to know them” but then gets mad that he’s bringing ‘Slutty Sophie’ as his date to the party. Quit it with the woman-hating, Caroline. Anyway, they discuss how their incessant horniness is a problem. Intense stares, she sunnily hopes he gets lucky.
Damon is dousing everything in fasoline – until they somehow discover a trapdoor in the floor. At which point they realize one of the girls – or both? Are werewolves. Fire.
Bar. Stefan stirs wolfbane in Scotch and then, brutally, awesomely, stirs darts in the mixture and throws the darts at Ray. He’s all Mr. Reasonable, which of course, amps up the creepy. Anyway, then someone compelled tells Klaus that Damon was at the farmhouse. Incidentally, my boyfriend just walked into the room, looked at Stefan, and said “Hey, it’s TV Vampire Jacek!” (Lainey: Jacek does NOT look like that TV Vampire!)
So Stefan wants to leave to deal with it, Klaus doesn’t know if he’ll come back, and pouts that Stefan should be having fun.
Now – candles, Elena in a virginal white dress, and Damon looking at her while she confesses she might not not cry before the cake. Damon presents her with her protective necklace, and I can’t help but love these two, even though he’s rocking a bit of a mullet. BUT, I must protest the ‘can you put on my necklace’ move. Ladies, we been putting on necklaces for years, and if you pull this move, Elena, we both know why you’re doing it. Anyway, they head down to her party.
Damon escorts Elena down the stairs like it’s some sort of debutante ball. Now how many houses does this girl own now? Anyway, when she gets downstairs, it’s a full-on kegger. Damon benignly compels a girl not to drink the good stuff. Elena pretends to be put out for one second before Caroline pulls her into the fray.
Jere and Matt prepare to smoke a joint. This should be interesting. Jere tells Matt about how he’s been seeing ‘things’ since he came back from being dead. Matt slaps his knee like that’s totally reasonable. Elena and Caroline wander in, pretend like they don’t like the herb. Elena, in a two-years-ago throwback, goes to bitch out Jere.
Okay, the next ten seconds are hysterical. Alaric points out that he’s a parents’ worst nightmare- the chaperone from hell. Then Elena comes out in her I guess-not-jailbait-anymore dress, demands Damon’s drink, and tells Alaric Jere’s smoking weed again. Sometimes this show is only a few tweaks away from Strangers with Candy. Anyway, she sloshily asks Rick to talk to Jere.
Damon’s girlfriend! Nobody’s said her name yet, so as she complains that she’s the last one at the studio, I realize she’s gonna die tonight. Someone turns on a giant klieglight, and won’t let her out of it. SO VERY META! Then it goes off, and I’m really feeling Scream-y about this whole thing. She runs, trips on a cable. Then Stefan appears in front of her. She lectures that ‘we’ve’ been looking everywhere for you, and he begins to vamp out at her…
Party. Caroline swigs from a bottle of something amber. What’s the deal with Vampire hangovers? Right now she’s jealous of Tyler grinding with Sophie. Matt comes over to commiserate with her, and he says the forbidden words “vampire” and “werewolf”, so he jets. Then Caro compels Sophie to leave.
Outside, the old dudes talk. News reporter wants Damon to pick her up. He leaves, urging Rick to ‘drink more’. Elena goes up into Damon’s bedroom, where Caroline is about to drink blood. Elena wants to skip cake (BECAUSE SHE WAS LOOKING FOR DAMON IN HIS BEDROOM) and Caroline says she can’t, she has to get on with her life. Elena bites out that she won’t give up on finding Stefan, she just wants to know he’s alive.
Elena, in Damon’s what, closet? Sees that Damon’s been tracking Klaus without her. She doesn’t know why Damon wouldn’t just tell her.
So Damon’s at the news network, and Elena calls him to bitch. Little knowing what she’s gonna have to bitch about. Anyway, Stefan meets Damon. These bitchy sessions between them are always entertaining. Stefan says let him go, Damon laughs at the idea that he’ll ever let Stefan go. Anyway, Stefan has compelled Andie up to the catwalks, and then makes her fall off them to her death. Naturally. Having made his point, Stefan vanishes.
Jere in fantasy land. He’s about to drive stoned, but the only person more stoned is Matt, so Jere’s going to drive him, but Vickie appears in the car, begging Jere to help her. Matt sniffs as though he heard something, but it’s not ‘til Anna appears in front of the headlights that Jere realizes he’s not driving anywhere.
Caroline (black dress, for those keeping track of the symbolism) snots through the party. Tyler’s annoyed that Caroline won’t say she actually wants to date him, they kiss really really hard, did anyone not know this was coming? She’s not so horny, though, that she can’t bitch at Damon for having missed the cake.
Damon, in his bedroom. So’s Elena. She’s in a fury, which he exacerbates by calling her an idiot. She’s so furious, and finally Damon reveals. The victims aren’t Klaus’s, they’re Stefan’s. She doesn’t want to believe it but Damon tells her the hard truth. Stefan that she knew isn’t coming back – at least, not in her lifetime.
House of unsupervised wayward teens. Matt and Jere have progressed to the munchies portion of the evening. Matt takes the ice cream for the road. Then Matt asks why Jere said Vickie, and these two together never constituted a braintrust, did they? Matt takes Jere’s ‘Seeing her” to mean that he only sees her because he loves her. Poor Jere looks at Matt like “Wow, you suck, being the only non-supernatural in town”
Back at the bar, Ray is pinned to a pool table. Klaus, who has big plans for him, forces Ray to drink his own blood. Then, as Stefan watches, he snaps Ray’s neck. Klaus tells Stefan it’ll be easier and easier not to care about his old life, the more blood he drinks.
As Elena comes in, Alaric packs up, and the dumb reason he gives, rather than “You’re never dressed, Elena!” is that he’s not a good example. So, more or less the same thing then. He leaves her, which is pretty much awful, on her birthday.
Caroline and Tyler are about to have really, really hot violent sex.
Damon’s mullet is more and more apparent as he trashes his bedroom. Then he seems to think of something.
Stefan, leaving the bar, is overcome with – is that remorse? Maybe. He pulls out his phone -
Elena has a beautifully drawn happy birthday card. Jeremy? Elena’s phone rings, from ‘caller unknown’. She says “Hello” a couple of times. She can tell that it’s him. Swears he’ll be okay. He says nothing…weeps and nods into the phone. It’s obviously very heartbreaking.
Caroline dresses and leaves Tyler. She looks regretful. Why now? Possibly because she knows she’s about to run into Mrs. Lockwood, who’s all judgy. But not just that – Caroline goes to grab her purse, it burns her hand – and Lockwood takes the opportunity to shoot three tranq darts into Caroline’s back.
So, like a normal day then.
Photos courtesy the CW.