'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'Down the Rabbit Hole'
I wanted to start off this recap by wishing everyone a happy VD, as in Valentine's Day, but having seen tonight's episode, that seems horribly inappropriate. I might as well bring cookies to a funeral or hand out flowers at gastric bypass. This is not exactly a warm and fuzzy episode, even though sparks do fly between Caroline and Tyler. But I'm not even sure that's a good thing, at least in tonight's context.
Unraveling this episode takes some doing, as quite a bit happens and the intrigue surrounding the hunt for Silas has more layers than your standard Awesome Blossom.
Right from the jump, we pick up where we left off with Damon and our new, cranky non-Jeremy vampire hunter, Vaughn. Vaughn wants to do what vampire hunters are supposed to do, which is find Silas, give him the cure, then kill him. To do this, he thinks he needs Damon's help with Bonnie. Even Damon realizes this is entirely stupid, as Bonnie would think twice before canceling her manicure appointment to save Damon, much less mess with more important plans.
But this gives Vaughn a reason to drag Damon around on a rope, depositing dribs and drabs of exposition like bread crumbs for us to follow. I'm not saying Vaughn's decision to keep Damon around isn't helpful to us -- if not for Vaughn chatting merrily with Damon, it might be a little harder to find out some tidbits about Jeremy and Bonnie and the mysterious cure. It doesn't make any sense, but it's not unhelpful.
Luckily, Elena is able to get cell phone reception to call back to the mainland, and she gets a hold of Caroline, who is still hanging out with Klaus. Again, I'm not unhappy she's hanging out with Klaus, or that Tyler keeps dropping in to snarl at his sworn enemy. Now, would I choose this as my base camp knowing that Bonnie's spell could wear off at any moment, and Klaus could decide to, oh, kill Tyler or do something equally unpleasant? Well, no, but this makes it a lot easier for us to get time with Klaus and Caroline AND Tyler, and, again, we have a lot of plot to run through in this episode. Just, just, don't pay too much attention to this stuff, okay? We have much more important plot twists to deal with!
Anyway, Elena asks Caroline if she can pick up that sword Klaus has back at his place. Sure, why not? Caroline zips over to his house, picks it up, grabs Tyler, and bring the sword back to Klaus Central to make him feel powerless and resentful. But guess what? The sword has a cryptex, which is apparently something I would know more about if I'd ever seen "The Da Vinci Code," but it kind of reminds me of one of those kids books that has the pages divided so that you can look at a frog-headed, bee-waisted, cow-footed thing.
The only problem with the cryptex is that it's written in Aramaic, and who knows Aramaic? Well, gee, Klaus does! And he's fluent! I am very impressed, as I took three years of high school Latin and can barely read the back of a quarter because it's not like you have much opportunity to speak to anyone in Latin, but Klaus can babble fluently. And what does the sword say? Or, to quote Caroline, "Klaus, WHAT DOES IT MEAN?"
That cure everyone's so excited about? There's only one dose. This shouldn't be a huge shocker for anyone, as the witch only intended Silas to drink it. Unless she thought he was extremely clumsy, she didn't need to bury him with a bucket of the stuff so he could pour it over his head or take a bath in it. But, as this news travels around the island (Klaus tells Rebekah while Caroline has the phone on speaker… really, I think Caroline and Tyler are just getting way too cozy with Klaus in this episode), everyone seems utterly devastated. They were going to use it as the basis of a bubble bath for Victoria's Secret! They wanted to fill an Olympic-size pool with it! They were expecting to be able to put it in spray bottles and pass it out at marathons around the world as a spritzer!
But, back to the story. Things start off well for Professor Shane. He's dragging his minions along with him toward Silas' grave, though the guy who brought him Jeremy and the witch wants his payment so he can split. And what is the payment? The tombstone! It's apparently soaked in the blood of the Superwitch who started all of this, and it's "more valuable than the Hope diamond in some with circles." So, yes, Shane wanted everyone to think it had some purpose in Silas' revival, but it's the equivalent of a kilo of coke or some semi-automatic weapons with the serial numbers shaved off. As if we didn't know this already, Shane lies constantly.
Thankfully, Bonnie and Jeremy have no intention of being the pliable tools Shane wants them to be, and Bonnie promises her ex-boyfriend she'll kill the bad professor herself if he tries to lay a finger on either one of them. I'm a little worried that won't happen, though, when Shane tries to walk her through the spell-enhanced vacuuming up of Jeremy's tattoo (which also causes Vaughn's tattoo to disappear). I expect at this point he's going to put Bonnie under using his powers of hypnosis, but no such luck. Maybe she's too powerful. Maybe the writers forgot that he used to be able to do that. Anyway, when Shane breaks a limb (I think leg? He mumbled a bit) and can't continue, he asks Bonnie for help and she pretty much tells him to eat dirt. She and Jeremy continue on to find the cure.
I'm wondering what's going to happen to Professor Shane now. He's in a cave, with a broken leg or ankle or hip or whatever, he has no family looking for him and no one who does know where he is likes him. Then again, I don't like this character either, so I can't say I'm overly worried.
While the last third of this show moves at a hellishly breakneck pace (breakneck? Get it?), there is some time before the story starts moving at hyper speed for our vampires to talk. Stefan explains to Elena that he wants to take the cure because he's wanted to be human for a long time -- and long before he met her. He didn't tell her he wanted it because it had nothing to do with her. But he can tell her now that they're friends. Elena likes the sound of that. I do, too.
Rebekah and Stefan also talk, and Rebekah thinks that, if there was only one dose of the cure, Stefan would end up giving it to Elena. Which is, apparently, true, even if they're just friends. Of course, that makes it easier for Rebekah to break Stefan's neck in an attempt to beat both him and Elena to the cure.
Meanwhile, Damon and Vaughn are still waddling around the island, waiting for their storyline to pick up. They stumble across the mercenary who Shane paid off with Silas' tombstone, dead. Who did that? It wasn't Damon or his friends, and it wasn't Vaughn. Someone else is on the island! There are way too many people on an island that's supposed to be mostly deserted, people.
Soon, it's time for Damon and Vaughn to fight, because they've reached Silas' hidey-hole and Rebekah shows up and, wow, these people can see really well in the dark, because I can't. I've adjusted my computer to optimal brightness and it's still like watching a moving smudge. Anyway, Vaughn drops Rebekah with a little wooden hand grenade-type thing, and he's about to kill Damon when Stefan and Elena rush in.
And this would be about the time when everything starts moving very, very quickly. Don't blink, people!
Damon urges Stefan to help Elena find the cure without him -- later Rebekah will give Damon a pat on the head for being semi-selfless. Someone attacks Elena, but we don't see who it is. Bonnie and Jeremy get closer to Silas' grave, and Bonnie's Grams shows up -- but Jeremy realizes, because he can't see Grams, that she's just a hallucination created by Silas. That means poor Professor Shane just imagined Caitlin, who pops by to reassure him he's a good boy and did everything he was asked to do. By Silas/Fake Caitlin. I will give Silas credit, though, for at least making the dead people-hallucinations friendly and reassuring even after the person they're meant to talk to has outlived his or her usefulness.
When Bonnie and Jeremy finally find Silas' grave, they discover the cure is only enough for one person -- and desiccated, creepy-looking Silas has it stuck in his concrete-like hands. The only way to get the cure away from him is to give Silas enough blood to be revived. I would think this would be a good time to say, hey, Elena's pretty happy as a vampire, and maybe we can just get in a canoe home. But it doesn't matter, because Vaughn comes rushing in and stabs Bonnie. Then, he and Jeremy start fighting, because Jeremy wants the cure for Elena and Vaughn wants it for Silas. I am waiting for Silas to wake up, laugh, and kill both of them.
But before that can happen, Elena comes rushing in, demanding Jeremy help her get the cure. Then, she calls Jeremy a brat -- and we all instantly know she's not Elena -- she's Katherine. Oh, oh no. Where the hell did she come from? Anyway, she gives Jeremy to Silas to eat, grabs the cure, and Jeremy looks dead. Dead, dead, dead.
Dead. Yeah, happy Valentine's Day, I guess. Crap.
I have never been a huge Jeremy fan. Too often he's been stuck on the sidelines, trying to be normal and date and play basketball with Matt, and you can hardly blame him. But I liked him with Bonnie, and I liked him as a vampire hunter. It was a strange twist and one that, if the cure didn't pan out for Elena, might have been too complicated to continue. Still, that doesn't mean I wanted to see Jeremy dead.
Of course, dead isn't always dead on "The Vampire Diaries," though sometimes it is, and I'll just wait until next week to give up on Jeremy entirely.
The other storyline that wrapped up in short order was the Caroline-Tyler-Klaus triangle. Bonnie's spell eventually wears off, and Caroline and Tyler realize that with just one dose of the cure, they're not likely to able to stuff it down Klaus' throat and kill him. That means Klaus won't stop until he's killed Tyler.
Caroline begs for Tyler's life, pleading with Klaus to show compassion. Of course Klaus, who melts like a wad of hydrogenated fat whenever he sees Caroline, agrees to spare Tyler's life… for a while. I mean, Tyler might have wanted to shut up about how much he wanted to kill Klaus, as no amount of love for Caroline is going to turn him into a big pile of stupid. So, Tyler gets a head start, and that's it.
There's a lot of crying to be done, and Caroline and Tyler have a surprisingly sweet farewell scene. She insists he forget about her, and she wants to hear him say it. And, because he loves her, he agrees to her terms. "I will live a happy life without you," he lies, meaning the exact opposite. "I will forget all about you. And I will never, ever think about you again." This is a lovely scene, and it would have been even better if we'd been spending just a little bit more time with the two of them as a couple instead of the two of them running around and grabbing knives and being dedicated Scooby gang members. But still, lovely scene.
So, next week we'll find out if Silas is really alive, if Jeremy is really dead, and where the hell Katherine came from. And now, I'm going to take some aspirin and watch "Project Runway," and hope any of you hoping for a happy, upbeat Valentine's Day just watch this episode on your DVRs later.
Will you miss Jeremy (if, indeed, he's gone)? Were you surprised about the cure? And what do you think happens with Silas?
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