Recapping Television's Hottest Shows with Monkeys as Critics

Recap: Megan Fox overshadowed by new cast member's 'F-bomb' on 'Saturday Night Live's' premiere

Jenny Slate makes a name for herself, for east coast viewers at least

<p>Megan Fox didn't do herself any favors with her forgettable performance on this season's premeire of "SNL."</p>

Megan Fox didn't do herself any favors with her forgettable performance on this season's premeire of "SNL."

Credit: NBC

 

"Saturday Night Live" returned for its 35th season with "Transformers" and "Jennifer's Body" star Megan Fox as host and U2 as the musical guests tonight.  After a politically charged summer with President Obama in the middle of a health care crisis, Bill Clinton saving journalists in Korea, Glenn Beck making a, um, name for himself on Fox News, the writers on "SNL" should have had tons to lampoon in their first new hour since May, right? 

Oh, they've done that already on the first two episodes of "Weekend Update Thursday."   Well, quite honestly we're more interested in seeing if Ms. Fox, who has been battling former "Transformers" director Michael Bay in the press, can show some of the comedic range she displayed in "Body" (not that many of you went to see it).  So, without further ado...

Recap: 'Dollhouse' Premiere - 'Vows'

With Joss Whedon writing and directing, Echo returns and marries a not-so-nice Jamie Bamber

<p>Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse'</p>

Eliza Dushku of 'Dollhouse'

Credit: FOX

 

At some point this summer, Joss Whedon obviously realized he's got his 3 million and change fans and just decided to go for broke in pleasing them. His show is apparently cheap enough now that doing that is going to be enough to keep it running for a while, and that's all he really cares about anyway. Whedon can occasionally let things down on the micro level, but he's always playing a huge game on the macro level, one where little tiny bits of information hook together into larger story arcs that hook together into giant, world-shattering stories that legitimately Change Everything. Whedon occasionally spends a lot of time messing around, but that time messing around almost always adds up to something bigger, which explains the fierce loyalty his fans and many critics have toward his work. Would anyone have stuck with "Dollhouse" through its rough patches if it were from anyone else? (Well, if David Chase or David Simon wanted to make "Dollhouse," perhaps.)

To that end, Whedon doesn't even bother to do a previously on segment in tonight's season premiere, "Vows." He assumes you've seen all of "Dollhouse "season one (though maybe not the unaired episode "Epitaph One," which, more on that later), and he assumes you can keep up. His confidence in the viewer is exemplary, especially on network TV, but it also proves slightly disorienting. For a guy who traditionally starts his stories a little too early and lets them simmer very slowly, it's odd to see him getting so in medias res so immediately.

[Recap of Friday (Sept. 25) night's "Dollhouse" after the break...]

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'Friday Night Bites'

Stefan takes an interest in football, Elena returns to cheerleading and Damon actually gets to be a vampire

<p>Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley of 'Vampire Diaries'</p>

Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley of 'Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

Things are heating up in good ole' Mystic Falls. Hormones are raging. Tempers run high. The delicious promise of boy-on-boy action is in the air, and I'm not even talking about Stefan and his evil (or just misunderstood?) brother Damon having themselves a vampire fistfight and flying through windows. It's football season in Mystic Falls!

But first, the prologue. Unfortunately, whiny, annoying Caroline didn't bite the big one last week when her roll in the hay with bad boy Damon ended with him busting out the vampire face and snacking on her neck. Caroline wakes up the next morning confused, the proud new owner of a giant, bloody hickey. Next to her, Damon sleeps soundly. She recalls her horrible vampire sex attack (which seemed to go straight from foreplay to blood drinking, so she probably didn't even get any) and tries to tiptoe out of the room and to safety while Damon sleeps. But he does that creepy "show up out of nowhere” thing and says a scary good morning to her, which in Damon talk apparently means, let's have breakfast! By which I mean, a breakfast of Caroline.

[Full recap of Thursday (Sept. 24) night's "The Vampire Diaries" after the break...]

Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'Lights, Camera, Sew!'

It's movie magic time, so what's with Ra'mon's lizard outfit?

<p>Louise of 'Project Runway'</p>

Louise of 'Project Runway'

Credit: Lifetime

 

Okay, has everyone seen the "I'm not here to make friends" montage on YouTube? If you're the one shut-in who hasn't, it proves several things about reality television, which is that the genre has reached an uncomfortable level of self-awareness and that when someone drops the INHTMF bomb, it is game on, bitches. And tonight Nicolas, otherwise known as The Next Guy To Go Home And Not Because He Has The Same Hair As The Raggedy Andy Doll I Had As A Kid, dropped the bomb. Brace yourselves, it's going to be a bumpy night.

[Full recap of Thursday (Sept. 24) night's "Project Runaway" after the break...]

Heidi, rocking an S&M schoolteacher look, announces it's time for the designers to get out of their sewing room/torture chamber and see what Los Angeles is best known for – movie making. And all this time I thought it was smog and homelessness. Silly me. Nicolas is thrilled because he's done a lot of costumes for film, which makes me want to swat him on the back of his stringy-haired head and say, "She doesn't mean porno, dumbass," but I digress. 

The designers are dragged out to a Hollywood soundstage, which excites the kids because they don't realize that a soundstage is just a big ugly warehouse full of camera equipment and teamsters. I am personally much more excited to see that Tim Gunn is already there, looking all avuncular and natty, ready to deliver a plug for L'Oreal Paris by introducing some make-up guy representing his corporate slave master, I mean sponsor.

Anyway, the challenge is that each designer must pick a film genre from Tim's little velvet bag of tricks, then design an outfit for a character that would fit that genre. Everyone is crazy excited about this, because no one's gotten stuck with Western yet.

Then the L'Oreal guy natters on about L'Oreal and classics of film and blah blah blah... oh, excuse me, the marketing plug sort of lulled me to sleep there. Is it me or is the blatant cross promotional crap MUCH worse this season? Friggin' Lifetime.

Irina picks first. She takes film noir. Logan picks action adventure. So does Carol Hannah. Ra'mon picks sci fi, revealing he's a big Star Trek and Star Wars geek, which I find hard to believe unless he had a tween crush on William Shatner or something. Louise, of course, picks film noir. Althea picks film noir. Gordana picks period piece. Nicolas picks science fiction, since he lives in his own weird, creepy little world and I don't think serial killer horror was an option. Christopher picks period piece. The last two designers to pick, Shirin and Epperson, are stuck with Western. We get to watch both of them die a little inside, which is good fun, really.

Oh, and it's a one day challenge. Shirin and Epperson look weepy. Carol Hannah wants to do a sexy assassin. Logan wants to do Carol Hannah. Carol Hannah wants to do him right back. Ra'mon wants to do Shatner. Nicolas wants to escape to the imaginary world in his head where he doesn't suck.

Everyone goes to Mood and realizes they can't afford what they really want to use, to which I say, hey, welcome to Los Angeles, bitches.

Back at FIDM, everyone hunkers down and starts sewing, which inspires Nicolas to start talking about his crazy ass design idea, which has to do with three queens who watch over the universe and live on Orion's belt. Which makes me think Johnny wasn't the only meth head in the competition.

Meanwhile, Ra'mon is tie-dying fabric to create a human-reptilian hybrid. He's beyond excited. I'm thinking walking Astroturf is not something to aspire to.

Someone stole Louise's bobbin. Nicolas is worried for her, not because of her bobbin, but because she doesn't have a concept for her character. To which I say, Nicolas, sweetheart? She's 1920s girl. She'll figure it out. Now go back to your sucktastic white Queen of Orion whatever the hell and shut up.

Oh, yay! It's Tim Gunn Chin Holding Time! Gordana tells him her costume is for a woman who discovers oil in the 1920s and is coming out to society, which suggests she spent more time thinking up a backstory for her character than actually designing the dress, which is pretty blah. Tim tells her to cut it lower in the back, but I think he's really just decided she's going home soon, so why overexert himself. Christopher is making a 1800s Victorian vampire bridal gown, and Tim is appalled to see naked arms. Because, um, vampires tend to be modest or, I guess, chilly, as all their blood goes to their stomach (rimshot, please). Tim is seduced by the ruffles in Epperson's outfit. Tim tells Ra'mon his lizard outfit could be sublime or a big hot mess. I'm putting my money on the latter. Tim loves Louise's subtlety, but says it doesn't hold up on the runway. Tim feels Nicolas' outfit is a little too safe, although I'd say a big, white snowflake costume isn't so much safe as Christmas-y.

Tim then tells everyone to look around the room and figure out if they're better than the competition, to which Nicolas, he of the Raggedy Andy hair and unstoppable ego, says yes, yes I am. But he's worried about Ra'mon, because to him sci fi is all about beauty, not lizards. Which tells me he never saw "Species."

Then, it's make-up time with the L'Oreal guy. Gee, look at all that make-up. Don't you wish they gave us the actual color names and suggested retail prices so we could rush to Rite-Aid to buy all this stuff? You don't? Me neither, but that's probably next season. The season after tthat, Heidi will actually come to your house, hold your eyelids open with toothpicks while blasting classical music, then force you to smile while she applies lip gloss and blush with tiny little brushes. Don't laugh, it could happen.

Finally, we break away from our L'Oreal brainwashing segment to discover that Ra'mon has found out what everyone else knew ages ago, and that is that his model looks like a gecko, and not even the cute little one in the Geico ads. He has two hours to create a new look from scratch. Ra'mon, it might be time to go back to neurology, although I so don't want that man coming near my brain with something sharp if he can't even sew a damn lizard costume. 

Yay, runway time! Zoe's back, and the guest judges are John Varvatos (who's having a big sample sale this weekend, FYI) and Oscar nominated costume designer Arianne Phillips, because apparently it's too hard to find Oscar winners in... Los Angeles. Freakin' Lifetime.

 

Irina

Nice nightgown, Irina. And a clashy, gauzy cape I kind of hate. Irina says this is a costume, I say it's Victoria's Secret. Tomato, tomato.

 

Carol Hannah

Very "Matrix." Patent leather bustier, sleek black jacket, and weird suspender straps hanging off the skirt that might be cool if the model would slow down long enough for me to see what the hell they are. I think Carol Hannah must have been having naughty bondage-based daydreams about Logan, because this is pretty sexy for her.

 

Shirin

I kind of love the purple underskirt on this, and it is very saloon girl, but I question whether there's enough going on in this outfit. I mean, I think I saw this exact same thing on a "Bonanza" rerun.

 

Christopher

This is gorgeous. Gorgeous, gorgeous. And really, the first outfit that looks runway and yet fulfills the assignment. The guy may not know what he's doing, but he's still damn good.

 

Nicolas

Oh, yay, the evil white queen of Orion's belt or whatever the hell. I think I saw this exact same thing in a baggie in the Target Halloween costume aisle.

 

Althea

I like this little 1940s secretary look, but it feels a little safe.

 

Ra'mon

Amazingly, the model does not look like a gecko. It's ugly and the green is disgusting, but at least it looks like a dress. Maybe I would let Ra'mon cut open a little bit of my brain after all, just a section I don't use, like the part that does math.

 

Louise

I have no idea what period this is supposed to be. It's not 1940s and it's not 1920s, but a little bit of both. Plus, it's drab. Louise apparently thought that Tim's suggestion that she liven things up meant she needed to add a black headband. I suspect that is not what the man meant, Louise.

 

Epperson

You'd never guess Epperson got screwed with the last choice Western category, because this is a great outfit. I think the ruffled overcoat is denim, which sounds disgusting in theory, but it really works in practice and how often can you say that about anything?

 

Gordana

Wow. A flapper dress. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz...

 

Jordan

A leather jumpsuit with high boots. I think this might be cool, but black leather doesn't really read on television.

 

Decision time! Logan, Carol Hannah, Shirin, Irina, Althea all get a pass into next week.

 

Gordana

John appreciates all the detail, but Arianne questions the specialness. Zoe appreciates the skill of a dressmaker, but doesn't feel it's been updated for the 21st century.

Nicolas

Crazy ass Nicolas tells his evil queen story, which amazingly isn't an autobiography. To my horror, the judges loooove this piece of crap. Arianne likes the ice queen make-up. Zoe thinks it's clever, bold and risky. I am so not reading Marie Claire for fashion tips, I'll say that right now.

Louise

Louise tells this bizarre story about a 1940s actress dressing up for a 1920s party, but Zoe sees through her crap and calls her out on a convoluted mess she'd expect to find in a plastic bag at the store. John thinks it's not special at all.

Christopher

Oh no, Christopher has a crazy ass vampire bride story. For whatever reason, John doesn't hold this against him, thank God. Heidi likes the fact it's updated and, Arianne loves the back detail.

Ra'mon

Crap. Another freakin' backstory. Designers, you are not screenwriters, stop! You're killing me! Of course, some executive is probably going to watch this and buy their pitches for six figures a pop, because this is Hollywood, after all. Zoe hates the dress and thinks it looks "Swamp Thing." John thinks it looks like a school project, and Heidi thinks it's a hot green mess. Arianne thinks he sabotaged himself by working with leather. I think he might have been better off with the Kermit outfit.

Epperson

Arianne likes the contemporary value. Zoe loves the layers and the fabric choices. John says the model can manage his farm anytime, which I think is just a pick-up line, and one having to do with barnyard animals at that. I am instantly uncomfortable.

The judges talk. They felt Louise missed the challenge. Ra'mon's outfit was a shambles, but Arianne likes his guts. Arianne thought Nicolas' outfit looked cheap but would photograph well. John liked Epperson's model. Heidi appreciated that he came through on a genre he didn't like. John calls Christopher's outfit perfection. Heidi's amazed he put it together for $150.

Gordana is... in.

Epperson is... in.

Nicolas is... the WINNER? Not Christopher or Epperson? Excuse me while I puke little white feathers to match this horrible, horrible outfit. Raggedy Andy claps his hands like a five year old and starts talking about Bryant Park. This is beyond wrong.

Christopher is in. It's down to Ra'mon and Louise. I'm betting Louise.  Ra'mon overshot, but Louise didn't try. Plus, she's kinda boring TV.

Ra'mon is... going home? Seriously? Okay, Ra'mon bugged the crap out of me, but he did pull off some pretty amazing outfits up to this point. I can't believe he didn't at least get a pass this week. But apparently we really are living in Nicolas' imaginary world where he doesn't suck and Ra'mon goes home. I hope that's the only upside down stuff, because if I find out Liza Minnelli is president and bowl haircuts are now required by law or something, I will be PISSED.

 

Do you think Ra'mon should have been eliminated? Who do you think is going home next week? And do you love to hate Nicolas, or just hate him?

 

Recap: 'Survivor: Samoa' - 'Taking Candy From a Baby'

Psycho Russell makes a discovery, Yasmin makes a stir and Foa Foa makes a mess on 'Survivor'

<p>Mike of 'Survivor: Samoa'</p>

Mike of 'Survivor: Samoa'

Credit: CBS

Pre-credit sequence. Welcome to Week Two of "Survivor: Samoa" or, as it's pretty much already been renamed, "The Psycho Russell Variety Hour." Rarely if ever has a single castmate so immediately and completely dominated the conversation. It's only Day Four in Foa Foa and Psycho Russell is gloating, warning that Marisa played with fire and, thus, got burned. He's pretty solid with his causal logic, at least. He's relieved to no longer have to worry about her strong mind. Officer Betsy, sensing Psycho Russell's wrath, approaches him and attempts to reconcile. They agree that they don't trust each other, but they'll still talk. "It is what it is," they both agree. She tells the camera that she has no faith in Psycho Russell, having gotten to know him.

Recap: 'America's Next Top Model' - 'Make Me Tall'

The models have their shortness exploited on the runway and in a photo shoot

<p>Brittany of 'America's Next Top Model'</p>

Brittany of 'America's Next Top Model'

Credit: The CW

No, Bianca, you don’t need to work on your face. You need to work on your ALL OF YOU. Starting with your hag-like personality. You are a black hole where a sunny little model should be. Oh, Tyra, we’re into only the third episode of "America’s Next Top Model" Cycle 13, and I already have a girl I hate. And not a girl I love to hate. Just hate. 

[Full recap of Wednesday (Sept. 23) night's "America's Next Top Model" after the break...]

Recap: 'Heroes' Premiere - 'Orientation' and 'Jump, Push, Fall'

As the heroes try to reestablish normal lives, a new figure seeks revenge against a familiar foe

<p>Robert Knepper of 'Heroes'</p>

Robert Knepper of 'Heroes'

Credit: NBC

Admit it: you read the words "two-hour 'Heroes' premiere" and wondered why your just and merciful God had chosen to spite thee so. Two hours of what might be the last gasp of a once mighty franchise, fallen from such great heights down to such lows? Two hours of fleeting glimpses of greatness pummeled by insensible plotlines and shocking tonal shifts? The horror. The horror. 

Tonight’s reality? A two-hour premiere that essentially cancelled itself out, with an hour full of promise weighed down an hour of the same problems that have plagued the last three volumes of the series. This volume’s title, “Redemption,” is a conscious one, a meta name meant to ensure the faithful (if dwindling) viewer that they too recognize the show’s shortcomings. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that show has a clear understanding of what works and what doesn’t in this universe, and as such, I fear any positive developments are almost accidental. 

[Full recap of Monday's (Sept. 21) "Heroes" after the break...]

Recap: 'Mad Men' -- 'Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency'

As the office scrambles to prepare for surprise visitors, Don receives an unexpected business opportunity.

<p>John Slattery of 'Mad Men'</p>

John Slattery of 'Mad Men'

Credit: AMC

First of all, congratulations are in order to “Mad Men” for winning a well-deserved Emmy for Best Drama for the second year in a row. The show itself did not take a break from its schedule tonight to enjoy its success, however. Throughout this season, it has teased The British Invasion since the end of its second season. And tonight, the morbidly funny and incredibly bloody episode got a fitting title in “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency.” Because Lord knows Guy sure didn’t walk OUT of one. 

[Full recap of Sunday (Sept. 20) night's "Mad Men' after the break...]

Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' - 'The Night of the Comet'

Stefan and Damon continue to bicker over their dining habits and Elena continues to pine

<p>Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder of 'The Vampire Diaries'</p>

Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder of 'The Vampire Diaries'

Credit: The CW

About three things I was absolutely positive. First, the CW's new series "The Vampire Diaries" was not to be missed. Second, there was a part of me, and I was pretty certain how potent that part would be, that was super excited to recap the show for HitFix. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with the idea of two smoldering vampire hotties fighting over the same girl, week after week after week!

Episode 2 opens on a tent in the woods, where we catch up with a pair of teens making out. A familiar fog rolls through the trees around them, which can only mean one thing. "Is it going to rain?" the girl asks. Yes…blood, that is! He dies, her cleavage bounces its way through the forest, a figure jumps her from above, and we arrive at the title sequence for Episode 2 of "The Vampire Diaries," which we remind you is NOT a rip-off of Stephenie Meyer's "Twilight," thank you very much.

[Full recap of Thursday's (Sept. 17) "The Vampire Diaries" after the break...]

Elena (Nina Dobrev) has pretty eyelashes. So does Stefan (Paul Wesley). Director Marcos Siega thinks so too, because he gives us close-ups of them waking up this morning. "Dear diary," they begin in a shared voice-over. "This morning is different, I can feel it."

Downstairs, Elena says a chipper good morning to her delightfully quirky Aunt Jenna (Sara Canning). Elena feels good today, didn't you know? She's planning on walking on sunshine today! Her deadbeat little brother Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is also up early, but it's not to go to woodshop class. He's gone to visit his summer fling, Vicki (Kayla Ewell), who had a minor accident last episode when her neck ran into a pair of vampire teeth.

Elena and Stefan are giving each other moony eyes in history class while Mr. Tanner (Benjamin Ayres) lectures about a comet due to pass over the town that hasn't come for 145 years. The comet will be visible right around dusk during some town celebration, which is good because I hear dusk is also a great time to catch some creepy fog in Mystic Falls. I predict some mayhem.

Stefan and Elena walk down the hall. From afar, they really do look like Edward and Bella, only with better make-up and H&M wardrobes. Stefan's got an old-ass copy of "Wuthering Heights," and tells Elena that all the Bronte sisters wrote under pseudonyms because of the times. Oh Stefan. You were there, weren't you!

Meanwhile, Elena's BFF Bonnie (Katerina Graham) is walking the halls with her frenemy, Caroline (Candace Accola), and Bonnie's prattling on about her family's history of being witches. Bonnie's crazy grandma swears she's psychic, and that she's descended from Salem witches! Which she's totally not, because that would be, like, so uncool. Except that she is, and she totally predicted stuff. And saw scary birds when she touched Elena that one time.

Caroline reminds us that A) she met a mysterious hottie last week, who we know is the uber-dangerous Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder), and B) that she was drunk when she met him, and therefore we're dealing with a bunch of naughty teenagers on this show. Is this a good message to be sending tweens, CW? Or will they all get the fangs in the end for their sins?

Jeremy stalks across the quad to the sounds of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs to confront Tyler for not going to visit his own girlfriend in the hospital. They have what the kids these days call "words," and Jeremy tells Tyler he'll kill him if he hurts Vicki again.

Elena checks in with her ex-who-she-wants-to-be-friends-with-but-who-wants-her-back-bad, Matt (Zach Roerig). Twenty feet away, Stefan uses his Patented Vampire Hearing to ear hustle on their conversation. There have been missing campers and animal attacks recently in Forks Mystic Falls? And Vicki told Matt she'd been attacked by a vampire? How WEIRD! Vicki was drunk too, Matt notes. We've got a town of alchies here. Matt asks Elena what's up between her and Stefan, who sits facing away from them even though we know he's listening in. If only he could read her mind! Matt bounces before Elena can confess how much her heart and loins ache for Stefan. Matt's taking this pretty well, considering. Almost too well. I can't wait until the writers turn him into a villain.

Meanwhile back in Mr. Tanner's history class, Aunt Jenna's having a parent-teacher conference about Jeremy. He's been missing a lot of class, and she tries to have his back. "Did you know their parents died?" she asks Mr. Tanner. "Yeah, four months ago," he replies. He points out that maybe Jenna's parenting skills aren't that sharp, and he's right.  

Shadowy figures walk through the hospital. One is Stefan, the other Matt. Matt enters his sister's room, but she's nowhere to be found. All of a sudden, she appears at his side, then freaks out (unconvincingly, I might add). Matt runs for help, allowing Stefan to slip in and work some vampire hypno-magic on her. Actually, he doesn't slip in – he speed-walks in, "Twilight" style. Hypno-Vicki forgets the V-word and will now say she was attacked by an animal. By the time Matt returns with a nurse, Vicki's back to normal.

I've got to take a moment to address the "Twilight" similarities, because let's face it. There are a LOT. The character types are similar, from the dark and brooding Stefan/Edward Cullen to the introspective, brunette Elena/Bella, to Elena's BFF, frenemy, and the harmless guy who wants to date her. Vampirekind is divided between those who feed on humans and those who, for conscientious reasons, choose to only eat animals. Vampires can walk so fast they're a blur, have super-duper hearing and strength, and when they fight, there's some definite wire work going on. Even the background music sounds familiar. The makers of "The Vampire Diaries" seem to have taken all of their cues from the aesthetics of Catherine Hardwicke's "Twilight," for better and for worse.

Ok, back to VD. ("Vampire Diaries" – as infectious as venereal disease!) Matt catches a glimpse of Stefan leaving Vicki's room, and follows him through the hospital into…a room where patients are having blood taken! Stefan pauses for a second to show us his Vampire Blue Steel, which requires Paul Wesley to pose and flex his jaw muscles to show how hard it is for his character to smell the forbidden elixir of human blood, while CG experts dilate his pupils. Stefan manages to escape through an open window two stories up. Matt is left perplexed.

It's girl time, and Elena is out with Bonnie and Caroline gabbing about girl stuff. Like the comet and the doom and gloom it rained on Mystic Falls a hundred years ago. Caroline grills Elena about that night she and Stefan spent talking until the wee hours. "There was no sloppy first kiss, or touchy-feely of any kind?" she asks. Nope, Elena answers. Well, this series is young yet. There's plenty of time to let Elena get her freak on with one or the other vampire brother. Caroline suggests Elena jump Stefan's bones, and I wonder what sort of message this show is trying to send kids. Elena decides to take Caroline's advice and go for it after all – not vampire sex, but the walking on sunshine she woke up babbling about this morning.

Back home, Aunt Jenna's wearing her mom hat. She tells Jeremy about all that doobie smoking she used to do during freshman year and blabs about how much weight she gained because of all the munchies she used to get, in hopes that he'll confess about being a suburban street pharmacist. The ruse doesn't work, and now I just feel sad for Jenna and her self-image issues.

A chipper Vicki can't remember a thing about all that freaking out she did ten minutes ago, and recites Stefan's line about being attacked by an animal. Jeremy comes by. Vicki still wants him to keep their summer hook-up a secret, because all the kids in school will totally think she's a freak. She's totally like a year older than him, after all. How embarrassing! Jeremy reminds her that he's the one who saved her in the woods, and Vicki begins to reconsider.

At Casa de los Vampiros, Elena's come by to seize the day and look for Stefan. But something's wrong: the door's open, and it seems like nobody's home. Also, the cameraman has switched to a shaky handheld camera, which indicates that something spooky is about to go down. A door creaks open and a crow flies in, startling Elena into coming practically mouth-to-mouth with Boone! I mean, Damon. He looks at her like he wants to eat her. Ian Somerhalder is what Megan Fox in "Jennifer's Body" would call "extra salty."

Damon gives Elena a mini tour of the house, which is impressive in a "filled with old things" kind of way. Damon's version of small talk is to tell Elena how much Stefan likes her, then totally cock block him by mentioning the last girl Stefan was in love with – Catherine, who happens to be Elena's Civil War era doppelganger. Stefan arrives, alarmed to see his sneaky brother with his future girlfriend, and semi-rudely tells Elena it's time for her to leave before Damon has a chance to break out the family album and show Elena that old photograph of Catherine that Stefan still sighs over.

Vicki is having some bad dreams, all about Vampire Damon. Guess Stefan's hypnotherapy's not working so well. Also not working? Elena's efforts to "put herself out there," which Bonnie calls her on since all she's done so far is show up at Stefan's house, meet his brother, and leave awkwardly.

Stefan explains to his "uncle," who's really his nephew, why Damon came home. "Because I came home," he says. Uncle Zach is worried that Vicki could blow the lid off of the Salvatore family's secret. I'm worried that Chris Martin can't figure out how to play a middle aged man pretending to be the uncle of a teenager who's really his own uncle.

Vicki's out of the hospital and back in action at the Mystic Grill, where she's trying to get more time off and, more importantly, score some grown-up meds from pill pusher Jeremy. Amazingly, she pops these illicitly-obtained drugs right then and there, standing in the middle of a public eating establishment! They talk about the comet, because remember the comet? Yeah, there's gonna be a comet.

Outside, the town has gathered for the comet celebration, and everyone is to hold a candle for some reason. Elena runs into Matt, who very gladly lights her candle, then watches as she turns and lights Stefan's candle. It's a metaphor.

Stefan points out the comet to Elena and tells her that it's not a harbinger of evil, but just a lonely little space ball trapped on its course, who gets to come home once every 145 years. That's a metaphor, too, but she totally doesn't get it. In fact, Elena mistakenly thinks that Stefan's not interested in dating her, and she gets all teary eyed. Dummy, he came back to Mystic Falls just for you! (Because you look like his ex, but whatever.) Stefan IS the comet! Stefan stands there blinking his eyes while Elena walks off defeated, unaware that she just played herself.

Damon allows Vicki to run into him at the restaurant, which is just mean. She can't quite place him as the one who snacked on her in the forest, but she's plenty upset. So naturally, she heads for the ladies' room to go get high. There's one problem: Vampire Damon is right behind her, and he's wearing his vampire face!

Elsewhere at the Peach Pit, all the cool kids are hanging when Jeremy comes looking for Vicki. When Tyler reveals to Elena that Jeremy sells drugs, Jeremy tells the whole world that he and Vicki hooked up. Poor Matt has to also hear that Tyler may or may not have forced himself on his sister in the past. It's a lot to process in the span of 15 seconds. A truce is called so the gang can go find Vicki.

Matt runs into Stefan outside and tells him about Lost Vicki. He also adds, off topic, that he saw Stefan at the hospital and that he has Elena's back. Stefan excuses himself, because with his vampire hearing he has caught Vicki's cry for help.

Up on a roof, Damon's playing "I'm gonna drop you/I'm not gonna drop you" with a terrified Vicki. Stefan speed-walks his way up, where Damon's playing a new game. Damon's diet of people blood gives his vampire powers more strength than Stefan's puny animal blood powers, so he overrides Vicki's mind with the lie that Stefan attacked her. Damon rips off Vicki's neck bandage, revealing her wound, to tempt Stefan with her blood. Stefan's pain is so great that he looks like he got kicked in the junk, but even so he tells Damon to shove it, because he'd rather be staked in the heart then to return to his evil vampire ways.

It would appear, however, that this was only a test; Damon whispers some mojo into Vicki's ear, and she forgets everything that she was just witness to and leaves. What's Damon's game plan, Stefan wonders?

Back at the restaurant, Matt thanks Stefan for finding his sister. (Side thought: do vampires have to be invited into restaurants?) Stefan asks Caroline and Bonnie where Elena is, but Elena's gone home; thankfully, Bonnie's an excellent wing woman and gives him Elena's digits on a piece of paper. Passing the note to Stefan, Bonnie brushes his hand and gets her witchy tingle of doom, but all she can figure out is that something horrible happened to him.

Elena and Aunt Jenna have a heart to heart while Jenna rummages through Jeremy's stash. Jenna doesn't know how to be a good parent, like Elena's mother was.

At the Mystic Grill, Jeremy spies Slutty Vicki swapping spit with Tyler and looks like he's about to cry. Outside, Caroline is being vampire-stalked by Damon, who's been appearing to her all over town. She drops her keys in the parking lot, and all of a sudden, there he is! They flirt.

Elena finally balls up and goes to Stefan's mansion. She explains to him that every day, she writes in her journal about how scared she is of the world. He tells her that real life is happening right now, or something. I just caught the gist of his speech, because right then, Stefan and Elena have their first kiss! It's a nice, chaste little make-out sesh. Unlike the full-on sex party that Caroline is having with Damon, which gets really hot and heavy…that is, until he throws on his vampire face and takes a giant bite of Caroline!

Next week: Vampire football! This show's not like "Twilight" at all!

 

How did Week Two of "The Vampire Diaries" measure up to Week One?

Recap: 'Project Runway' - 'Fashion Headliners'

Johnny and Nicolas get their claws out, but only one will survive

<p>Nicolas of 'Project Runway'</p>

Nicolas of 'Project Runway'

Credit: Lifetime

So, another day, another challenge on "Project Runway." And even though last week seemed a little blah with everyone hugging their incredibly sane and normal models in what seemed like a 60-minute Zoloft ad, I think this week will be a whole lot bloodier and, thus, more fun. First, we have Meth Head Johnny moaning about the emptiness of being in the bottom three, which makes me think he might start filling up that hole with a hole not of non-prescription drugs procured from the helpful entrepreneurs on Skid Row. Then, Irina has to take some shots at last week's winner, Althea, as she thought that little black suit of hers looked like ass. Finally, Nicolas declares that Johnny doesn't deserve to be on the show. So, claws out before we're even five minutes in. Tonight is gonna be gooooooood.

[Full recap of Thursday (Sept. 17) night's "Project Runway" after the break...]

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