This week in Mystic Falls, Stefan's nasty blood habit has gotten so out of control that maybe it's time for an intervention. But first, it's time for the Founder's Ball, the annual bash where the town's teenage hotties get their hair did and compete for the Miss Mystic Falls crown! More importantly, we all love Stefan and Elena's mushy romance -- but are the seeds of a love triangle being sewn as "Delena" (that's Damon + Elena, duh) heats up?

[Full recap of Thursday (April 22) night's "The Vampire Diaries" after the break...]

Human blood-drinking Stefan is showing his flashier side, driving up to school in his bright red hot rod while all the kids stare. Who does he think he is, Edward Cullen? He greets Elena and tells her that the worst of his cravings are over-- but then why does he have a secret stash of blood bags in his trunk?

Sheriff Forbes reports another theft of blood bags to the council, which has come to her attention thanks to Uncle John, who proposes that he and Damon team up to launch an investigation. Damon grudgingly agrees, since the rest of the council has no idea what he and Uncle John know about each other.

Bonnie's back in school! But something's weird about her. Her lip gloss isn't shining as bright or something. Meanwhile, Anna pays Damon a visit and apologizes for everything that happened to Stefan in the woods on behalf of her mom. Pearl's army of forest-dwelling tomb vampires has been basically dismantled and now it's just back to the two of them and Harper. Damon accuses her of pulling the blood bank jobs, but Anna tells him her vampire posse isn't responsible.

Elena catches up with Bonnie outside of class. She's a bit distant with Elena -- losing your Grams because you helped your BFF save her vampire boyfriend by casting a life force-exhausting spell will do that to a friendship -- although she's much chummier with Caroline, who seems to offer Bonnie a more normal teenage existence: shopping for ball dresses! Elena is reminded that she signed up for the Founder's Court ball-pageant-thingy, in which she gets to compete in yet another Mystic Falls popularity contest against Caroline. Turns out Elena only entered because her dead mom wanted her to.

Stefan comes home from school only to be interrogated by Damon, who thinks Stefan's got more pep in his step because he's drinking human blood -- but Stefan denies that he's on the stuff. "I'm clean," he insists, with an unconvincing smile. I think I've seen Stefan's expression on that show "Intervention." Damon suspects his brother is lying.

Elena calls Stefan to tell him about the Founder's Ball. He agrees to be her vampire boyfriend escort, but then goes on a mysterious solo jaunt through the dark bowels of the Salvatore mansion. Damon follows Stefan into the basement, where he catches him digging into a stash of human blood. Caught red-handed, Stefan claims he's got his blood problem under control, but Damon reminds him that stealing hospital stashes could draw a lot of unwanted attention their way. Stefan's in complete denial; a worried Damon tells him that after years of being a vegetarian vamp, he might to snap with a sudden steady diet of human blood. Stefan insists he's okay and asks Damon to back off.

Mrs. Lockwood and other town socialites interview Elena, Caroline, and some other town strumpets for the Founder's Ball pageant. Elena tells the panel she's doing it for her dead mom (ah, the old sympathy votes strategy!) while Caroline rattles off a list of extra-curriculars like she's interviewing for Yale. Meanwhile, Uncle John shows up at the Salvatore mansion under the guise of "working" with Damon. What he really wants is for Damon to track down one of Johnathan Gilbert's old inventions that was lost in the church fire. Uncle John suspects Pearl, who he's heard about, might know something about it. Damon, however, realizes that Uncle John doesn't really have what he wants -- namely, a way to find Katherine -- and pulls out of the deal, threatening to kill him and the council if John squeals.

Elena, Stefan, and their classmates learn how to ballroom dance for the Founder's Ball; without touching, just like in the old days! Elena likes the new, sassy Stefan. So do we! Later, Caroline breaks down the politics of the Founder's Ball chances to Bonnie; she thinks her only real competition is Elena. To which we say, "DUH!" The specter of Elena will forever hang over Caroline's head! Everyone loves Elena! The women in the Forbes family -- except for her sort of butchy cop mom -- all won the crown, so Caroline really wants it. She and Bonnie bump into Elena and Stefan, but Bonnie gives them a cool reception. Outside in the hall, Elena asks for an explanation of the major diss. Bonnie tells her she's upset because she thinks her Grams died for nothing, considering that the tomb vampires escaped even after Grams spent all of her witchy mojo to close it before dying. Bonnie blames the Salvatores for the whole shebang and wants nothing to do with them. Stefan overhears.

Outside, a high schooler skins his knee playing basketball and Stefan is overcome with uncontrollable blood lust, drawn to the smell with a throbbing hunger like the one he felt with Matt's MILF the other week. Alaric startles him and Stefan reacts aggressively before coming to his senses and excusing himself.

At the Founder's Ball Anna shows up looking fancy and runs into Damon, also looking good in his fancy pants. Anna was supposed to enter the pageant a hundred and whatever years ago, so this is kind of ironic. Damon takes the opportunity to tell her that Uncle John wants something that he thinks Pearl stole from Johnathan Gilbert years ago. Not good party chatter.

Upstairs, Aunt Jenna helps Elena get her hair did. They reminisce over Elena's dead mom as Jenna curls her hair. Across the room, Caroline has no mother figure to help her get ready. (Sad face.)

Downstairs, Jeremy and Uncle John -- also looking fancy in pretty suits, I must add -- casually talk about Gilbert family history. Jeremy tells Uncle John he read Johnathan Gilbert's journal from way back when, which sort of surprises Uncle John. There are more journals locked away, he tells Jeremy. Somewhere in the garden party, a string quartet plays Coldplay covers. Jeremy excuses himself to say hi to Anna. Turns out Anna's still mad at Jeremy for trying to use her to change him to be with dead Vampire Vicki, but he counters by pointing out that she only got to know him to poetically wake up her entombed mother with his Gilbert family blood. Jeremy reveals to Anna that after reading Elena's journal, he's pretty much caught up on this season of "The Vampire Diaries."

Damon pops up as Elena's changing into her gown to tell her something important: Stefan's still drinking human blood! Damon wouldn't have cared a month ago, but now it's causing the council to nose around. And, we think, maybe on some level he enjoys forcing a wedge between the happy couple. Elena's shocked to hear about Stefan's meat locker of blood. Damon warns that Stefan's addicted and could be unpredictable -- and then, Stefan unpredictably walks in to Damon's snitch session! Damon excuses himself so that Stefan can get an earful from Elena. Stefan keeps denying that the blood drinking is changing him. His denial makes him talk like a giant vampire douche bag, and he keeps insisting that he's fine with that addict's self-delusion.

Their fight is interrupted by Mrs. Lockwood, who calls Elena downstairs for the pageant thingy and kicks Stefan out of the changing room. Stefan holes himself in a bathroom to unleash his rage on a poor unsuspecting mirror. (More poetic imagery - smashing the very object that reflects Stefan's true self to his own eyes! Or something…) Elena and Caroline's ditzy fellow contestant Amber accidentally walks in on him at the exact wrong moment, and he walks menacingly towards her with his veiny vampire eyes on blast!

As the girls make their entrances one by one, Mrs. Lockwood discovers that Amber is missing. Hey, so's Stefan! It's kind of like that "It's My Party and I'll Cry If I Want To" song. Elena and Caroline are left to chat as their rivals get called downstairs. Caroline pep talks Elena out of leaving to go find Stefan by reminding her that she was doing this for her mom. Meanwhile, Jeremy and Anna are still chatting away. He tells her how that he's still sort of mad at his sis for arranging his memory wipe (Elena must journal EVERYTHING that happens on this show!) but also sort of glad to not remember Vicky as a horrible person. Except for now he remembers everything, so I guess that's moot. Anna makes her move: she tells him she'd never hurt Jeremy. He believes her. So do we! Uncle John watches from afar.

Oh, THERE'S Stefan -- he's kidnapped Amber and he's dragging her along the street to his kidnapper sports car. But Stefan's torn; he keeps changing his mind about what he wants to do with her. Stefan's acting totally schizo, talking to himself and telling Amber way too much (which is fine, since he mojoed her into being totally mellow). The blood hunger has gone to his head. "You seem sad," she tells him in a daze. "I'm not sad -- I'm freaking hungry!" he shouts. At that very second, Elena's name is called at the Founder's Ball. She starts walking down the stairs looking for Stefan, who's missing from his escort post at the landing. Damon sees that Stefan is AWOL and moves silently through the crowd to give Elena his arm. What a gent! They join the other couples in line to do the Founder's Dance, which Damon amazingly (but not surprisingly) knows. A generic cheesy song plays as Damon and Elena worry about Stefan in whispers. (Seriously CW, that song? Horrible.) With the whole party watching, Elena and Damon dance silently. Is this the beginning of a real-deal love triangle?? I don't know, but that Damon sure is dashing when he's not, you know, homicidal.

Still standing by his car, Stefan has a strangely truthful conversation with Amber. She's like his victim-slash-therapist. He tells her that he wants to kill and eat her, describing exactly how he would do it. Under his vampire spell, Amber tells him to take just one taste. What an enabler! Stefan's vampire face comes out and, fighting it for a moment, he takes a big juicy bite out of Amber's neck. She's totally not going to make it back to the Founder's Ball in time. Way to ruin two Miss Mystic Falls contestants' nights, Stefan.

Back at the Founder's Ball, Caroline and Elena still wonder where the hell Amber went. Mayor Lockwood announces the winner of the Miss Mystic Falls: it's Caroline Forbes! Finally, Caroline gets some vestige of happiness in her dreary life! Meanwhile, Uncle John investigates the bloody bathroom and the council secretly calls for Damon.

Outside, Stefan is still playing with his dinner. Amber's bloody but alive, and weirdly okay with the whole thing -- until Stefan reverse-mojos her and tells her to be afraid of him and to run away. Only, psycho-schizoid Stefan then changes his mind, and attacks Amber as she flees. Luckily, Damon, Elena, and Bonnie find Stefan in the woods and he releases Amber. Damon tries to stop him, but Stefan throws him aside like a meth addict on an adrenaline rush and starts walking toward Elena, who cries out for him to stop to no avail. Suddenly, an unseen force gives Stefan an instant headache and stops him in his path, snapping him out of his bloody rage. The camera swings to Bonnie, who has a determined, satisfied look on her face. Have her witchy powers gotten stronger? Can she now stop vampires with her mind? Stefan collapses.

Moments later, rescuers led by Sheriff Forbes tend to Amber; Elena and Bonnie and Damon cover up the truth. Elena tries to talk to Bonnie, but she just wants to be left alone and she still wants nothing to do with Elena as long as she's rolling with the Salvatores. Back inside, Jeremy and Anna are STILL talking, oblivious to it all. Aunt Jenna wants to leave, already! She runs into Uncle John, who asks about Anna. Aunt Jenna blabs that Anna's mother is Pearl, the famed vamp who he already knows about, and that she and Anna are the folks who want to buy Elena's father's office.

Damon comes home to find Anna and Pearl waiting on his doorstep. Pearl hands over a pocket watch-looking thing that she took from Johnathan Gilbert, who apparently was a gadget hobbyist in his spare time from hunting vampires back in the day. She remembers him having a pocket watch-compass-vampire detector, but that's not what this thingamajig is. It's something else, but she doesn't know what. Pearl gifts the mysterious thing to Damon as an apology for the whole "my vampires went rogue and kidnapped Stefan" kerfuffle.

Stefan finds Elena in his bedroom. He tells her she shouldn't be there, and that what she saw in the woods was what's really inside of him: a monster. A blood-draining killer is who he is, he insists. They have a shouty fight. She keeps pushing, insisting that the raging addict isn't the real him, until he pushes her against a wall in anger. He apologizes and they embrace. She forgives him. Promising Stefan that he'll be okay, Elena injects him with one of Alaric's vervain shots. She and Damon lock Stefan in the basement prison to detox and sit together outside the door.

Next week: Stefan feels bad about his blood addiction and takes off his magical ring to commit suicide!

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