'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'Into the Wild'
If you thought all the mass killing and double-crossing and flip-flopping leading to our Scooby gang finally getting down to the nitty gritty of unearthing Silas, well, there's more where that came from. Tonight's episode is about all the many, many moving parts of this plot, and honestly, it's enough to make your head hurt. I can't decide whether Professor Shane is an evil genius or just confused, because if it's the latter? Can't blame him a bit.
First we start with a flashback of Professor Shane running around on a rock, then entering a cave that's been covered in Sharpie graffiti. Hey, it's like he's in a New York City subway car, but with better ventilation! Anyway, next, we see Shane arriving on the same island with Damon, Elena, Rebekah, Shane, Bonnie and Jeremy. It seems that Silas is buried here, 200 miles off the Nova Scotia mainland, so it's cold and desolate and strikingly beautiful and probably shot in Vancouver.
The best (and really, almost only) joke in the episode is a simple one -- Shane offering Damon sunscreen. Naturally, Damon thinks Shane is an idiot, but I can't rule out the idea that Shane wants Damon to think exactly that. Next thing you know, Shane will be galumping around the island in a Hawaiian shirt and a wacky hat, looking for a corn dog stand, cawing, "I can't be evil! I'm too goofy, dag nabit!"
While we know Rebekah is tagging along for the cure, her other reason for being is to make Elena uncomfortable. When Elena takes a run at her, just for fun (because seriously, hello, she's an Original), Rebekah easily shrugs her off and points out that she's on the island at Stefan's invitation. Elena glowers. I wish Elena would just admit she's as stung by Stefan's rejection as he's stung by hers, and maybe they just need some time apart. But no, there's no time for that! There's a cure to be found!
And by the way, you know who really wants to take that cure now? Stefan. And he doesn't give a flip whether or not Elena takes it, either, so there. "If I take the cure, it wouldn't be for her," he tells Rebekah, sounding all empowered and mature. "It would be for me." Well, thank God. I would caution most people not to buy real estate or adopt a stray cat together without a firm commitment, so I'd hate to think of Stefan giving up immortality just to make some ex-girlfriend who's dating his brother happy. I mean, you know how that sounds?
Though he may have the girl, though, Damon is in no a rush to take the cure. Elena tries repeatedly to convince him she'll still love him once she's human, but he's not convinced. I have to admit, I think Elena's being a little unicorns and moonbeams about this, too, because why would Damon want to be stuck with, say, a middle-aged woman or a senior citizen? Will he use his super strength to change her adult diapers with one hand or push her wheelchair around the mall? Damon is many things, but nurturing isn't one of them.
Elena even goes so far as to beg him to take the cure with her, telling him she'll always love him just the way she loved Ste… never mind. Anyway, it doesn't matter, because that gets a big no from Damon. Although we get the impression Shane's digging at Damon's psyche is what truly turns Damon on the idea, I can't help but think he would come to this conclusion on his own. Seriously, I don't really see his love lasting past middle-aged spread.
Throughout the episode, we get Shane spinning dribs and drabs of what led him to Silas in the first place. Some of this comes out in natural conversation, some comes out when Damon tortures him (nice exposition, "Vampire Diaries"!), but I think it might be best to just get through it in one fell swoop, because I'm still trying to sort this out. Please, if I'm getting it wrong, I apologize.
Anyway, Professor Atticus Shane (did we know his first name was Atticus before? It's so "To Kill A Mockingbird," I wish they'd saved this name for a better character) lost his son and his wife several months apart. It seems his wife was a very powerful witch, and when she tried to use expression to bring their son back after he died in a car accident, it killed her. But her death inspired him to find a well that was rumored to give people who spilled their blood there the ability to talk to and see their lost loved ones -- a rumor that caught on after a bunch of guys were found bled out next to the well. There is no mention of whether or not these guys were really stupid, and if they took a break from cutting themselves to let someone know they were talking to Grandma or whatever. Just wondering how word got out before cell phones.
But I digress. Atticus doesn't care -- he really wants to see his dead witch wife Caitlin. And when he does? She tells him all about Silas and all the things he has to do to bring Silas (and thus her) back to life -- get a headstone, find one of the five vampire hunters, get the map of Silas' grave from his tattoo, get bunches of people and vampires killed, find a powerful witch somehow related to Silas (which is, apparently, Bonnie) that sort of thing. Lotta work. But hey, as we know, Silas was down with all of that. Professor Shane may be a squirrely creep who goes to frat parties with his students, but if nothing else, he's committed.
At one point Professor Shane also explains to Bonnie that she needs to repeat a spell to revive Silas but he won't give it to her yet because she's the one thing standing between him and Damon killing him. I'm actually not seeing a whole lot of barriers to Damon killing him, and I'm not entirely sure why he hasn't yet, except that it would make Elena angry.
We also get the story, again, about how Silas came to be buried alive. If you missed it (and man, I'm so glad they tossed into an already confusing and info-packed episode), a powerful witch liked Silas and gave him eternal life, but the he wanted to give it to another girl, then the witch got jealous and killed the other girl and buried Silas. She left the cure with him hoping he'd kill himself and the two of them could be together in the afterlife. But no, he preferred to be buried alive rather than hang out with her. Wow, that's cold. Anyway, that's why Silas has the cure. And this bitchy witch? A bunch of her descendants created the chosen vampire hunters in the hopes of finding Silas, forcing him to take the cure, and then killing him. And all I can think is, didn't they have other things to do? Maybe crafts, or knitting, or surviving the bubonic plague or something?
Woof, Professor Shane rattling on and on and ON about Silas and his dead wife and all this witchcraft stuff is exhausting, so I'm thrilled when we cut back to Mystic Falls. Klaus is still stuck in the Gilberts' house thanks to Bonnie's spell, and guess who comes to visit? Tyler! He just wants Klaus to know that, as soon as Klaus is released from the spell and his friends return with the cure for vampirism, he's going to kill him. I think that's a lot of variables, honestly. Klaus isn't scared, as he's Klaus and no one's killed him yet. Caroline stops by to tell Klaus he's a jerk and she doesn't even want to waste time and calories dealing with his murderous ass, so Klaus takes a chunk out of her. That is what I would call a literally snappy comeback.
Tyler begs and pleads, but finally it's up to Caroline to tell Klaus she knows he's in love with her. That means some little bit of him is human, which means he's capable of being saved. Klaus, who crumples up like a big, snotty Kleenex, brings Caroline back from the brink of death just as we always knew he would. It's weirdly romantic, and it just makes me wish there was more time for the Klaus-Caroline love connection to develop, but I fear "The Originals" will put that on ice. But who knows?
Back on Silas Island, the Scooby gang wanders around, bumps into weird booby traps and insults one another. Or really, Rebekah insults Elena and Elena glowers. Or, at least she glowers until Rebekah saves her from becoming diced up by one of those wacky booby traps. Rebekah says she doesn't care whether Elena lives or dies, but at the very least her death should be epic. I think the truth is that Rebekah likes Elena a little more than she cares to admit.
What's significant in all this slogging around the island is that someone (or many someones) is not a fan of tourists. At one point someone tries to kill Jeremy, and yet that person gets killed before they can. So, um, there are secret lurkers upon secret lurkers, and that's at least one level more of secret lurkers than I think I can handle.
Eventually, some lurker abducts Jeremy, which forces the Scooby gang to split up and search for him. This gives Damon a chance to torture Professor Shane, who prattles on that Damon can't kill him because he's the only one keeping Bonnie from splintering into big chunks of crazy. "There is one flaw in your logic," Damon sneers. "I don't give a crap about Bonnie Bennett." Of course, Elena has to step in and rescue Professor Shane (darn it) before having a Meaningful Conversation with Damon about the cure. Guess what? She doesn't enjoy it much. "You grow old, you die, I stay a vampire?" Damon says, eyebrows wiggling wildly. "Face reality, Elena. We don't work."
Elena won't give up! God, doesn't this sound like a variation on one of her speeches to Stefan? She just needs to plug in Damon in a few places along with some nouns and verbs, and it's like a Vampire Love Mad Lib. "Take the cure with me! That's how much I know this is real!" she says, trying to look as much like a sad-eyed velvet painting as possible. "That's how certain I am that I'm going to love you after this is all over. Take the cure. Be human with me. This doesn't have to be hard anymore."
Damon, driving a stake into the whole Delana concept pretty fiercely, admits he can't think of anything more miserable on earth than being a human. So, if Elena takes that cure? They're pretty much over.
However, that implies she ever gets the chance to take the cure. Eventually Stefan, Rebekah and Elena realize everyone else is gone -- and so is the headstone. Damon may have wandered off to sulk, but they can guess that Professor Shane is up to no good and probably has Bonnie in his grasp.
And guess what? That's exactly it! Professor Shane had Jeremy kidnapped by a witchy pal of his, he has Bonnie trapped with him, he has the headstone, and bam! He's good to go! I am wondering if unearthing Silas is just going to turn out to be a very bad thing simply because Shane is the only one who seems to be in a position to do it, and we all know he's a pretty disposable character once this storyline wraps up.
But forget about all of that, because Damon, wandering in the woods, gets taken down by a vampire hunter. What? It's so dark (and to tell the truth, my screen is so pixelated I could barely tell it was Damon) I can't see much, but Damon doesn't appear to be moving. I'm sure he's fine, but I'm worried nonetheless. I mean, yeah, he and Elena may be having relationship troubles, but that doesn't mean I want those eyebrows to stop wiggling for even a moment.
Do you think Professor Shane will revive Silas? Do you think Damon is okay? And do you think anyone will take the cure?