Tag Archives: moderation

Get OUT of my HEAD! – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Break on Through”

[Note:  The recap for “Murder of One is on it’s way!  Be sure to check back for it, within the next 24 hours.  It should be available no later than early Saturday morning, March 31.  Thanks for your patience!]

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Hey there, Fangbangers!  This week on TVD, Alaric hopped aboard the Crazy Train.  Both Damon and Rebekah learned the hard way why you should never let a 900-year old vampire touch your . . . head . . . in bed.  Bonnie rejoined the I Have Sh*tty Parents Club, membership: every single character on this show.  Stefan moved one step closer to becoming a “Social Drinker.”  And Elena . . . did a lot of pouting?  So, choke down a nice tall glass of “B Positive,” because it’s time for another TVD-cap . . .

“We are predators, not puppies.”

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Don’t you just hate it, when you are getting an MRI, and the mirror image above your head starts TOTALLY eye-f*cking you . . . but you can’t look away, because the technician running the machine told you not to move?  Alaric can relate . . .

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“Hey sexy, what’s shaking?  Whaddya say, after this we go hit up the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, have a few drinks together and make some bad decisions.”

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“Well, that depends .  . . are YOU buying?”

While Alaric is busy being hit on by his Psycho Killer alter ego, Elena wonders out loud how Crazy Nanny Carrie / Meredith figured out that Alaric’s predilection for Man Jewelry was turning him evil.  (“Is there like a course for that in med school?”)  Meredith claims she learned this information from an old childhood story, regarding her ancestors.  “Fells are notorious busy bodies,” she jokes lamely . . . which, if you think about it, is exactly what got Vampire Journalist Logan Fell killed . . . and is probably what will ultimately kill Meredith/ Crazy Nanny Carrie.  (You know the famous saying, “Curiosity killed the Fell!”)

The CAT scan comes out normal, thereby proving that Alaric’s “Bad Seed” problem is a purely supernatural one.  It’s time to ditch the Man Jewelry, I guess!  Alaric gives the odious ring to Elena.  (Somewhere off screen, that Smeagol guy from Lord of the Rings, looks on with lust.)

“Don’t worry, Alaric!  Smeagol will take that Man Jewelry off your hands . . .”

Then, Damon magically appears to collect Alaric, and continue his three-season long foreplay with Elena.  Remember last week, when Elena caught the Salvatores chowing down at the “All Blonde Chick Buffet?”  Well, apparently, so does Elena.  And she uses it as the perfect opportunity to get under Damon’s skin . . .

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 . . . nevermind the fact that her guardian and her brother are still on a One-Way trip to Wacky Serial Killer Town.

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Apparently, Elena doesn’t think Damon is the best “Role Model,” when it comes to healthy neck eating habits.  All these different women!  Poor Steffie will get indigestion!  Instead, Elena suggests the “All Elena’s Arm” starvation diet . . . you know, because that worked SO WELL, last time . . .

Damon decides to lay down the law with Elena . . .

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“Hey!  What’s wrong with puppies aside from the fact that Stefan used to eat them?”

Deep down, both Damon and Elena know that, when it comes to Stefan, neither total abstinence, nor little nips of Doppelganger flesh, are long-term solutions to Stefan’s century long problem.  He needs yummy bags of Soccer Mom . . . and the occasional cute college co-ed!  He needs to go back to his vampire roots.  And most importantly, Stefan needs to learn a little self-control . . . which might have the unintended consequence of making him better in bed .  . . not as good as Damon, of course.  But better . . .

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Oh, I don’t know Elena . . . Damon has spent three seasons, doing this . . .

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  . . . and this . . .

 . . . and this . . .

 .  . . without jumping YOUR bones . . .

I think it’s safe to say he knows a thing or two about “self control.”

Speaking of self-control . . .

“B Positive!”

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Over at the Bennett Farm, Caroline is taking on the role of Nu-Stefan, in an attempt to make Abby a slightly less crappy vampire than she is a mother to Bonnie.  Truth be told, there probably isn’t enough “B positive” in the world, to make Mama Bennett smile . . . especially now that she can’t flirt with and fondle the local plant life, anymore . .  .

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“Oh, Pink Flower, your stamen is SOOOO big, it TOTALLY turns me on!”

(This reminds me .  . . I forgot to water my cactus, this year.)

Meanwhile, over at the Wickory Bridge, Damon gets to reunite with not one, but TWO of his 900 +-year old sex partners.

 (I guess he has a thing for older women . . . and, of course, much, much younger ones . . .)

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Hot for Teacher . . .

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 I guess Mystic Falls has finally decided to fix that ole’ bridge everybody is always falling off, and drowning.  (Good for them!)  Damon offers to take Alaric and his new girlfriend, Dr. Secret Psycho, there for some fresh air.  You know, because there’s nothing like spending time on a Man-Made Death Trap to make a Supernaturally-Made Death Trap feel less alone in the world.

“I feel so personally connected to this bridge.  I bet it’s killed a lot of Founder’s Council Members over the years too.  Good work, brother!” 

Mama Lockwood, who has no idea she’s talking to a serial killer of FOUNDER’S COUNCIL members takes this opportunity to bug Alaric about his forgetting to bring by some old sign, in honor of the re-opening of the bridge.  (Believe it or not, this detail will actually be important later.)

“I’m sorry, Mama Lockwood, I’ve been kind of busy carving all your friends up like the big fat Thanksgiving turkeys they are it just slipped my mind.” replies Alaric politely.

Shortly thereafter, Alaric and Crazy Nanny Carrie exit stage left, allowing Damon some alone time with His Women.

“Ladies, ladies.  There is no need to fight.  My manhood is big enough for both of you . . . and Elena.” 

After doing a little flirtatious sleuthing, Damon quickly surmises the reason for both of his lady friends’ sudden reappearances on the bridge.  Rebekah has been looking into some random tree, though Damon is not quite sure why.  As for Sage, she’s apparently been pining for that Death Wish-Having, Mama’s Boy Finn for the 900-years, since he turned her, and was hoping he’d stop by.  (Well, at least now we know why she and Damon get along so well!  And here, I thought it was just about the amazing sex.)

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Always eager to spread bad news, Rebekah bounds over to tell Sage that Finn has left town, and that his heart only belongs to one woman, his wackjob mother . . .

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Primed for a little lady fighting, Sage offers to help Damon figure out what exactly it is that Rebekah is hiding from him.  All he has to do is turn on the charm, a little bit, and get her to pop by La Casa de Rich and Awesome for some Sexy Times.  Sage knows full well, that no woman in her right mind would ever refuse an invitation to Damon’s Bed of Champions . . .

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 . . . least of all the vulnerable, and perpetually sex-starved, Rebekah . . . who, like everyone on this show (except for maybe Psycho Alaric) really just wants to be LOVED, right?

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As Sage had predicted, Rebekah doesn’t need much convincing.  And soon enough, our fabulous vampire threesome have made plans for an X-rated Date with Destiny . . .

Meanwhile, back in Broody Town . . .

Well, THAT’S a pretty creative use of a knitting needle . . .

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Elena has conveniently invited herself into La Casa de Rich and Awesome because she heard about Damon and the threesome.  Supposedly, she’s come to check out a book from Salvatore Library on her batsh*t crazy ancestor, Samantha.  She finds Stefan in the living room, drinking blood of course.  (This guy is clearly an emotional binge eater . . . How does he never get bloated?  I mean, I know he’s dead and all, but you have to wonder sometimes, where it all goes.)

Damn you, and your super fast vampire metabolism.  DAMN YOU!

Knowing how much his girlfriend hates to read (I mean, let’s face it, girlfriend hasn’t set foot in a classroom in about six months.), Stefan chivalrously offers to give Elena the Cliff Notes version of that Big Bad Book she’s cradling in her arms.  Long story, short: her ancestor chopped her head open with a knitting needle, and bled to death in the loony bin.  (OK, who the heck gave the INSANE SERIAL KILLER a knitting needle?  Someone needs to put a dollar in the Moron Jar, stat.)

Ever the Bastion of Positivity, Stefan concludes his story, by giving it a “feel good” moral: “P.S. Alaric’s probably going to end up attempting to crochet an afghan with his brain too.  And there’s basically nothing you can do about it.  Thanks for playing!  Better luck next time.”

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Yeah, she didn’t really hit him.  I am just saying that, if she did, he totally would have deserved it . . .

“Two is company, three is a party.”

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(In my next life, I would like to be The Guy Who Covers Ian Somerhalder’s Weiner with Bits of Fabric to Appease the Censors.  That guy always seems to be one sneeze away from a Wardrobe Malfunction.)

When Damon arrives home from his Double Date at Death Bridge, Stefan is FUMING MAD . . .

*insert snarling and growling noises here*

“How dare you tell Elena I’m a vampire who drinks human blood  . . . oh wait . . . she already knew that . . . I mean, how dare you . . . um . . . talk to Elena without my permission.  YEAH!  That’s it!  Not cool, brother,” gripes Stefan.

Under normal circumstances, Damon would LOVE to continue another round of the Saga of Stefan and Elena, but he has brains to manipulate, and ladies to screw.  And he’s not about to let his little brother cockblock his CWTV-approved Porn Star Moment.

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So, instead, Damon simply offers Stefan a few, Vampire Pride Maxims, for inspiration (“We’re here.  We’re bloodsuckers.  Get used to it!”), and heads off to the bathroom to shower himself in Axe Body Spray . . .

Sage arrives at the party first.  Her housewarming gift is a piano player, who bares a suspicious resemblance to Finn.  (I guess Sage has a “type.”)

“Mommy and I used to play the piano together all the time.  But she always insisted on sitting on my lap, when we did it.  I never understood why . . .”

There’s a rule on this show, that states that all piano players must get mauled by vampires.  And this one is no exception.  Sage wastes no time at all chomping on her Finn Doppelganger, while Damon looks on, eager for the REAL party to get started.  And then, it does . .  .

Like Sage, Rebekah also has not come to the party empty-handed.  She brings over her personal catnip . . . booze, stolen from some Queen . . . somewhere.

Have I mentioned yet today, how much I love the rampant alcoholism on this show?

OK, enough of this lame piano music.  Let’s crank up The Kills on that iPod and DANCE!  (Because we all know how much Damon loves to dance!)

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Ahhhh . . . memories!

Never one to want anyone to feel left out of the party, Damon struts over to Rebekah, and her two left feet, who is busy nursing her bottle of booze and looking forlorn.  The pair share a little piano player snack, and then it’s time for Damon to REALLY turn on the Salvatore charm . . .

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Normally, I would take this opportunity to chastise Boozy Rebekah for being so easily manipulated by Damon’s transparent and superficial attempts at seduction.  But when Damon whispered, “I want you,” in Rebekah’s ear, I looked down at the floor, and found my panties around my ankles . . . and HE WASN’T EVEN TALKING TO ME!

The man is a genius . . .

So, of course they have to cut out the BEST scene, and skip to the post-coital bedroom cuddle . . .

Fortunately, the magic of gif-making allows us to improvise what likely happened between these two, while the cameras were otherwise occupied . . .

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Then, Sage crawls into bed with Damon and the sleeping Beks, and I’m thinking, “It’s PARTY TIME!”

But then, Sage just fondles Rebekah’s forehead for about two seconds, and walks away . . .

OK, here is where I call “B.S.”  Since when do vampires have Forehead Fondling Mind-Reading powers?  Oh, that’s right . . . they don’t.  Otherwise, Klaus wouldn’t have spent the entire summer ignorant to the fact that Elena wasn’t dead, and Stefan wasn’t really his best friend / minion / willing sex slave . . .

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Nope . . . forehead fondling as a form of communication sounds a lot more like something a WITCH would do.  In fact, it looked a heck of a lot like what Bonnie was doing with that plant, toward the beginning of the episode.  (It’s also very similar to what she did to Luka, back in Season 2).  And yet, we’ve just been told that witches lose their powers, immediately upon being turned into vampires.  So, even if Sage WAS a witch in her former life, there’s a good chance she would have lost her ability to forehead fondle, the minute she sucked on Finn’s bloody teets.

For now, I’m willing to give the writers the benefit of the doubt.  But if Sage has some magical powers that even the oldest, most powerful vampires in the world don’t possess, I’m hoping to get some sort of explanation as to why that is the case.  Just saying . . .

Ooooh, but wait!  We aren’t done with sexy times yet.  It’s time for the post-sex shower.  And we all know how much Damon loves getting all wet and soapy . . .

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This time though, it appears our shower is built for TWO.  (All that forehead fondling, must have gotten Sage’s fingers sweaty.)

P.S. Sage apparently has other magical powers, in addition to random dancing, piano player eating, tag team showering, and mind reading.  Now, she’s fondling Damon’s forehead, and GIVING him Rebekah’s memories.  OK, now I’m starting to get scared.  If her head starts spinning around, and green stuff comes spewing out of her mouth, I’m calling the exorcist . . .

Damon, of course, seems completely unperturbed by this odd turn of events.  In fact, he’s kind of thrilled . . .  After all, now he knows there’s still a tree out there that could Klaus et al.

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Damon doesn’t even bother getting dressed, before he makes another trip to the trusty Salvatore library.  (Wearing clothes is SOOO 19th century.)  Please let the towel fall down . . . please let the towel fall down . . . 

Sure enough, he figures out what many of us TVD fans have long suspected . . . . the Wickory Bridge is made almost entirely of White Oak.  In other words, Death Trap Bridge doesn’t just kill Founder’s Council Members like Alaric, it also kills ORIGINALS!  Time to burn the evidence!

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 Sage reappears, during all this, and makes Damon promise not to use the knowledge she gave him to kill her long lost lame lover, Finn.  Damon agrees, crossing his fingers behind his back . . . since he knows, thanks to the spell binding all the Originals together . . . once he stakes Klaus . . .

“Mmm . . . Surrogate Son tastes yummy!”

Something tells me New Guy Jamie is going to fit right in on the cast of The Vampire Diaries  . . . at least, until they inevitably whack him, probably about three or four episodes from now

Coincidentally, I also think she will fit in as Bonnie’s new love incest. It’s not incest.  They promise us it’s not incest, even though they sort-of/kind of have the same crappy mom.  After all, we all know how much Bonnie adores those former child stars, who went on to develop biceps . . .

(New Guy Jamie is the Non-Puppet one, just in case you were confused . . .)

The last time we saw Jamie, he was busy being compelled, and trying to bust a cap in Stefan’s ass . . . now he’s chopping wood (because that’s not at all a metaphor for anything sexual, now, is it?)  Caroline stalks outside to yell at Jamie for not being nicer to his new vampire mother.  She forces him to come inside and be civil.  Let the eye f*&king with Bonnie ensue.  Then, Mama Bennett proceeds to EAT HIS NECK.  Yeah, that’s what you get for listening to Caroline, Jamie.  Eventually, you’ll learn . . .

“How was I supposed to know that Jamie had ‘B Positive, blood!

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Fortunately, Jamie doesn’t . . . you know . . . die, or anything.  But that doesn’t stop Mama Bennett from sneaking out, while the kiddies aren’t home, despite Caroline’s protestations.  I’m really sorry that your Mom totally sucks, Bonnie.  (In more ways than one.) But hey, look on the bright side, considering how rarely you get your own story line, it will probably be at least three seasons, before we find out your father is just as bad . . .

In other news, Bonnie has decided to forgive Elena, and perform the spell that will magically cure Alaric of his Crazy.  (Man, if this were real it would put pharmaceutical companies, insane asylums and therapists out of business.  Witches are BAD for the economy.  . .)  She tells Elena to get something from Alaric’s house that he had before he started wearing his Jamaican Me Crazy Ring.

“Does the bottle of scotch, I had permanently attached to my lips count?”

Back at the Gilbert house, after receiving the password to all of Alaric’s bank accounts  (It’s “vampire slayer,” just in case you’re interested in performing a little identity theft, after reading this recap), Elena offers to head back to Alaric’s apartment to pick up the jewelry item.  Meredith all-too-eagerly agrees offers to stay alone with Alaric, while the latter looks.  (Girlfriend must be really hard-up for sex, if she’s willing to risk being bludgeoned to death for it.)  Ruh-roh!

“Do you feel remorse?  Because you should!’

“Geez, Elena.  You’re a pig.  When’s the last time you cleaned your bathroom counters, Season 1?”

Over at Alaric’s apartment, Elena finds Stefan . . . lurking (because that’s not weird . . . at all).  He agrees to help her search for Alaric’s wedding ring.  While the two are in the apartment, Elena and Stefan find all these creepy pictures of Alaric’s victims (even a picture of himself . . . not sure how he managed that.)

“Automatic timer on his camera?”

There’s also a big packet of information on the Founder’s Council, which Alaric was apparently preparing to send to . . . wait for it . . . Jeremy?!!!

On top of the packet is a letter to Jeremy, instructing him on precisely how to “cleanse the Founder’s council,” using the ring that will “make him strong.”

I have to say, I was skeptical at first, but I really like the way the writers are handling this serial killer story line.  Initially, when I first learned that it was “the ring” making Alaric crazy, I thought that they would use this as a way of completely freeing Alaric of liability for his own actions.

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But what’s interesting about Alaric’s psychosis is that he doesn’t seem “psychotic” in the way Samantha Gilbert was described.  Nope. This is a sociopath, pure and simple . . . a guy with a clear motive . . . one that “sane” Alaric wouldn’t necessarily disagree with: to rid the Founder’s Council of it’s inherent hypocrisy, when it comes to protecting the townspeople from vampires (though their methods of coping with it, might be different).  Bad!Alaric’s moves, up to this point, from attacking himself, to provide himself with an alibi . . . to studying up on the Founder’s Council . . . to exploiting the fact that the ring is likely having the same effect on Jeremy’s mental state, over in Vermont, have been kind of creepily brilliant.

The other thing we learn from this little excursion is that Samantha Gilbert also killed folks in the mental institution, long after she stopped wearing the ring.  Having come to the realization that Alaric is still very much a danger to Crazy Nanny Carrie, Stefan and Elena rush back to the Gilbert house . . . though it may be too late . . .

Back at the Gilbert house, Alaric awakens from his little nappy, with a bad case of the Crazy Eyes . . .

“Here’s looking at you, Crazy Nanny Carrie.”

As we learned this week, even on his “good, non-possessed days,” Alaric was no stranger to violence.  In fact, one of his favorite past times was beating up on asshats for fun.  So, you could imagine how terrifying he is now that he “has the ring to make him psycho strong.”

At first, Bad!Alaric plays it cool . . . making casual conversation with Sitting Duck Meredith, as he plays with her blood syringes.  But things start to get creepy, when he not-so-casually asks Meredith if she feels remorse about her seemingly hypocritical stance on vampires.  (i.e. Good for Doctor Business . . . Bad for the Town.)  His words remind me a bit of when Alaric bullied himself onto the Founder’s Council, by arguing that everyone else in the group was in love with or related to a supernatural creature.  (Man, how long has this sh*t been going on?)

With all pretenses of sanity dropped, Alaric can now chase Meredith, like the psycho self he’s been . . . at least for the last fifteen minutes.  As for Meredith, she can make the classic Damsel in Distress Horror movie mistake of running upstairs, when she could just as easily have ran out the door screaming, “HELP, MY RING POSSESSED BOYFRIEND IS TRYING TO KILL ME, BECAUSE I ONLY PRETEND TO HATE VAMPIRES.  IS THERE A WITCH IN THE HOUSE?”

In Meredith’s defense, she’s impressively handy with a scissor . . .

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By the time Stefan and Elena return to the Gilbert house (That was kind of slow!  What?  Stefan can’t fly?  Vampire FAIL!), Alaric is already calmly and creepily grinning at them by the door.  “Meredith is currently dying on your toilet, Elena.  Sweet DREAMS! got an emergency call, and had to go back to the hospital,” he fibs.

Elena gets Bad!Alaric out of the house, by claiming she wasn’t able to find his ring.  Once he’s gone, Stefan turns to Elena, his eyes wide with anticipation, his nostrils flared like a pig poised a mud bath.  He has a little favor to ask of his ex girlfriend.

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If Elena thinks she’s being propositioned for Ex Sex, she’s sorely mistaken.  Stefan literally smells blood.  And it isn’t long before the pair find it’s source . . . it’s Meredith . . . in the bathroom . . . with the steak knife.  Cue Stefan’s vamp face . . .

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“My wife looks so hot, when she’s all mutilated and dying like that . . . oops.  Did I just break character?”

Annnnd, here comes our Super Hero moment of the week . . .

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Final score: Vampire Cravings – 0, Stefan Salvatore – 1

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Well, hey, Rome wasn’t built in a day . . .

Now, you may be wondering what happened to Alaric.  Well, after a nice bonding moment between Elena and Bonnie . . .

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 . . . the latter did a little spell, and served the Chunky Monkey some of her magical, “Don’t be a sociopath, anymore” salad.  Then Damon knocked the guy out, and took him to some remote loft, where he could . .  . you know . . . not kill people, and stuff . . .

Speaking of Dormant Serial Killers, Elena called Jeremy, who I am now officially worried about . . . or, rather, I’m worried for the good people of Vermont, who he has taken to calling his “friends.”  (Why do I have this feeling that Jeremy’s “friends” are a bunch of decapitated rotting corpses, he hides in his closet, and plays chess with when he’s bored.)

Of course, Elena doesn’t do anything practical . . . like tell Jeremy to take off the ring . . . or to be on the lookout for a care package of “Don’t be a sociopath anymore” herbs.  Instead, she just pouts and stares off into space . . .  Way to be a hero, Elena . . .

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 According to Jeremy, Alaric hasn’t tried to contact him once, since he left for Vermont.  Do we believe him?

“Game back on, brother!”

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Never trust a woman who’s always fondling your forehead.  Damon finds out Sage betrayed him, when he sees Rebekah burning down the Wickory Bridge.  It turns out Rebekah’s head wasn’t the only one Sage shrunk, during last night’s sex sandwich escapades.  Sage absolutely refuses to believe Damon’s claims of Finn’s suicidal nature.  She honestly thinks that, once united, the two will live happily ever after . . . along with his mother . . . who will probably sleep in bed with them for all eternity.

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Sage may think she’s saved her lover boy’s life, by betraying Damon, and teaming up with the scheming Rebekah.  But she hasn’t.  It turns out there’s one piece of Wickory Bridge White Oak the twosome failed to burn . . . (Remember what I said about the sign being important?)

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I hope you’ve been training, Scooby Gang, because Hunting Season has just begun .  . .

Next week on TVD, Bondage Damon makes his triumphant return to our televisions sets.  Also, THIS HAPPENS . . .

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Can I get a HELL YEAH?!

Check out the trailers . . . if you dare . . .

Until next time, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][FangirlsForever]

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Death Becomes Him – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “1912”

 DAMON: “Just once, I’d like to be in a flashback, where you don’t end up with blood all over your face, and I don’t act like I’ve got a stick up my ass.”

STEFAN: “Better luck, next week.”

Welcome back, Fangbangers!  This week, all of our Mystic Fall-ians (at least the ones that were actually IN the episode, since about three-quarters of the cast weren’t) were forced to confront death in a very personal way.  For the throw-away flashback guest stars, this meant actually dying (SUCKS FOR THEM!).

“I feel your pain.” 

For Stefan, this meant, once again, coming to terms with the fact that he’s . . . (surprise!) . . . a vampire.  (After over 100 years of bloodsucking, I think it’s safe to say that Stefan’s a bit of a “late bloomer” in the self-actualization department.)

For Damon, this meant solving a serial killer case, by reenacting scenes from the first half of pretty much every Law and Order episode that’s aired, EVER.

For Elena, this meant coming to terms with the fact that immortality might be precisely what drew her to Stefan Salvatore in the first place.

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For Rebekah, this meant realizing that the term “immortality,” with respect to Original Vampire living might not be without its exceptions.

And yet, no one embodies the title of my recap more than Alchy-ric Saltzman . . .

Let’s review, shall we?

[As always, special thanks to my ingenious blogging pal Andre, for all the glorious screencaps you see here.]

Hangover: Alaric Saltzman Edition

Don’t wanna die?  Here’s a tip:  Don’t be the never-before-seen on screen, human character, played by a completely unknown actor, in the first scene of a Vampire Diaries flashback . .  . ZACK SALVATORE!

“Aww, crap.  She’s talking about ME, isn’t she?  Why can’t she be talking about YOU?”

It’s late at night, sometime in 1912.  A Founder’s Council meeting has just adjourned.  Death Wish Dummy, Zach Salvatore declines a carriage ride home, preferring instead to walk, despite the fact that a Founder’s Council Serial Killer is on the loose.  Horror movie fans will tell you that this is the equivalent of the stoner high school kid at the party in the woods, who tells his friends “I’ll be right back,” before stumbling toward a bush to relieve himself.  (He then disappears completely from the film, until act three, when his weiner and disembodied head are randomly found in the slutty naked girl’s bathtub.)

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SURPRISE!  Two seconds later Zach Salvatore is stabbed in the gut, and left to die, right in the center of town square.  It looks like someone won’t be around for the sequel . . .

“Do I at least get my SAG card?” 

Back in the present day, Alaric Saltzman awakens in a jail cell with no memory at all, of how he got there.  Unfortunately, Bradley Cooper, Zack Galifianakis, and co. are over in Antarctica filming Hangover 12.5: How are we NOT in rehab yet? and cannot accompany him on the madcap adventures necessary to solve this mystery  . . .

“At least I didn’t get a weird face tattoo, or have my front teeth knocked out!”

Lizard Forbes, who arrested Alaric the night before (Unfortunately, she has been the only cop in town, ever since her daughter ate the other one, back in Season 2.) is keeping his incarceration on the down low.  Because Alaric may well be a sociopathic serial killer, but he is also a great friend, whose ass looks spectacular in tight jeans.

“They don’t call me Chunky Monkey for nothing.  Just ask Useless Aunt Jenna or Vampire Isobel . . . oh wait . . . nevermind.”

Besides,  what’s a few dead bodies, among friends right?   I mean, honestly, who really liked Bill Forbes, anyway?  Lizard certainly didn’t, and she was married to the guy!

“Hey!  I redeemed myself in the end, by dying with dignity, and telling my daughter that I would never ever want to end up a monster like her . . . oh . . . nevermind.”

Shortly therafter, Damon arrives to bail his drinking buddy / boyfriend out of the pokey.  After all, if Alaric is going to meet his maker, it should be because Damon accidentally killed him for the eightieth time, and not because of something silly . . . like the Death Penalty.

“You owe me one, buddy.  I get to kill you at least two more times now.”

That Crazy Nanny Carrie Meredith Fell.  She’s a strange duck.  Her actions in this episode baffled me.  I think I liked her better when she was just a pure psychotic b*tch  . . .

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We learn from Lizard that Meredith healed Alaric with vampire blood after she shot him in cold blood, in her apartment, at the end of last week’s episode.  According to Meredith, Alaric has been offing members of the Founder’s Council with his crazy stash of weapons that EVERYONE on the council knows he has . . . thereby making him the dumbest serial killer ever.  Then again, he also stabbed the crap out of himself, which makes him Tyler Durden from Fight Club.

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Alaric is furious with these accusations, and claims that the real serial killer, Meredith, has framed him.  Damon wholeheartedly agrees, if only because the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls will be oh-so-lonely tonight, without him.

Lizard retorts that, unlike Meredith, Alaric has no solid alibi for any of the murders.  Right now, it officially sucks to be Alaric Saltzman . . . but, perhaps, not quite as much as it sucks to be THIS GUY . . .

Elena’s out for a mopey run with Matt.  We know she’s really depressed because she’s wearing the ugliest, bulkiest, most unflattering, grey sweatshirt in the history of grey sweatshirts.  Elena’s workout clothes used to be so universally adorable, that I coveted every single one.  What the heck happened?  Did someone in the costume department go through a really bad breakup, this week?

She looks like a koala bear with human legs . . .

Matt, apparently, can’t keep up with Elena, despite the fact that he is a two-sport varsity athlete, who occasionally has to run away from werewolves.  They take a break from running to talk about Bonnie, and explain why she won’t be appearing in the episode this week.  (No such discussions are had about Tyler or Klaus.)  Apparently, her mother has decided to complete the Vampire Transition, instead of, you know, dying, and stuff.  Baby Vamp Caroline, who also wasn’t in the episode, this week, is going to help out this this.  (Considering how much Bonnie’s nose bleeds, Abby is going to need all the help she can get, to refrain from biting off her daughter’s schnoz.)

Mid afternoon snack 

Elena mentions that she feels partially responsible for what happened to Bonnie’s mom.  She should . . .

This angsty moment is interrupted by Lizard calling Elena to tell her to come pick up her possible-serial killer-pseudo dad.  Elena jogs right down to the courthouse / police station without passing Go, collection $200, or taking off that damn grey sweatshirt.  The entire judging panel of Project Runway does a collective face palm, in response.

“This concerns me.” 

At the courthouse/jail thingy,  Elena encounters Damon, and gives him her best perma-b*tch face look.  Damon responds by doing his Eye Thing.  (That’ll teach her a lesson!)  Though vaguely mad at Damon for the whole “making Mama Bennett undead” thing, Elena is apparently not too angry with her sometimes lover to ask him for a favor.

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Of course, Elena would very much like Damon to “help Alaric” in his hour of need . . . but only if said “help” doesn’t involve eating people, manipulating them, or breaking laws.  Elena is a TOTAL buzzkill.  I blame her ugly sweatshirt . . .

“I’m mean.  You hate me.  The earth is back on its axis,” Damon snarks, his expression a mixture of exasperation and mild amusement, with just a hint of unadulterated lust thrown in for good measure.

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“You know, if you keep pushing people away, you are going to end up alone,” retorts the girl, who compelled her brother to abandon her, betrayed the one Original who actually trusted her, inadvertently alienated her friends, and ALWAYS PUSHES DAMON AWAY.

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Elena then stalks off . . . alone.

Confessions of a Chipmunk Muncher

Let’s now add to the long list of reasons Damon Salvatore would be an AM-AZING lover the fact that he plays piano, shall we?

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(It means he has long dexterous fingers that are strong yet gentle, and quick yet highly adept at . . . accuracy. ;))  While Damon is composing his next concerto, Stefan is busy . . . you guessed it . . . writing in his diary again.

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 It’s BAAAACCCK!  (Oh, pilot episode . . . how we’ve missed your cheesiness . . .)  Fortunately, now, instead of Stefan, himself, the voice of “Stefan’s diary,” will be played by Damon Salvatore . . .

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 Though Damon loves his brotherly snark fests as much as the next guy, he tends not to interrupt Stefan’s “Diary Time,” unless he needs something.  And this time is no different.  “I want to enact our Wonder Twin Powers,” says Damon excitedly to the brother, who is most certainly not his twin.  Twins or not, I like the way Damon is thinking.  It’s been wayyyy too long since Stefan last played Scooby Doo to Damon’s Shaggy.  And what better excuse is there than the re-emergence of a Mystic Falls serial killer, on the 100-year anniversary of its last reign of terror, for the brothers to band together and engage in some serious super sleuthing?

Damon tosses Stefan his Diary for 1912, which, we can assume is conveniently lodged between the Diary for 1911 and the Diary for 1913.  (I’m sorry, but the idea that Ripper Stefan was carting around an ENTIRE library full of diaries, while he was ravaging Monterrey  like the bloodthirsty animal we are led to believe he had become, is about as ridiculous as . . . well . . . an Original Vampire carting around coffins for ONE THOUSAND YEARS.  This show is quickly becoming a vampire edition of the TV show, Hoarders.)

Apparently, back in 1912, Damon inadvertently reunited with his brother Stefan, after a fifty year hiatus, when the two returned to Mystic Falls to pay their respect to the definitely and permanently dead, Zack Salvatore.  In another nod to the pilot, Damon’s presence is actually preceded by that darn crow he used to occasionally metamorphis into, back in the day.

“I’m not going to lie.  I totally slept with the producer to get him to put me back in the script.” 

(Fortunately, he never became “wind” or a “puff of smoke” in this episode.)  Though a newly Lexi-fied, bunny-munching, on the wagon, Stefan is eager to put the past in the past, and resume his relationship with his brother,  a very chilly, grudge holding Damon is not quite ready to make amends . . .

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(It is important to note that Damon is also wearing a ridiculous hat.)

And yet, even back then, Stefan knew that the key to Damon’s heart was his liver.  And so, when the younger Salvatore invites the older one out for a drink, he is as patently unable to resist then, as he would be now . . .

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Damon Salvatore . . . making alcoholism seem attractive, since 1864 . . .

(Also during this scene, we are briefly introduced to two female Founder’s Council members from back in the day, Marianne Forbes and Samantha Gilbert.  Suffice it to say that ONE of these two never-before-seen women will end up being slightly more important to the episode’s mythology than the terminally unfortunate Zack Salvatore . . .)

“It doesn’t help that we are, more or less, completely indistinguishable from one another.”

A vampire walks into a bar . . .

Back in the present day, it’s Damon who invites Stefan out for a drink (since his bromantic buddy is currently being fitted for an unflattering orange jumpsuit, and a soap on the rope necklace for the inevitable “communal showers”).  It must be Vampires Drink for Free Night at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, because Rebekah is there too.  She’s been busy buttering up Carol Lockwood for information about the infamous Original Vampire-killing White Oak Tree, which may, or may not, still be standing somewhere in Mystic Falls.

“I’m very interested in learning about your wood.” 

From Carol, Rebekah conveniently learns that it was the Salvatore family that was mainly responsible for all the wood cutting, molding, and erecting that went on in Mystic Falls, during the past century.  (See what I did there?)  So, of course, when Damon and Stefan arrive in the bar,  Rebekah engages Damon in an eye-f*&king session that would surely cause retinal pregnancy, if vampires in this series were actually capable of giving birth.

Over at the bar, Damon admits to Stefan that he’s hoping to be his “vampire sponsor / life coach,” patiently guiding him through the world of “Eating Humans in Moderation,” i.e. allowing them to live to tell the tale . . . if they hadn’t just been compelled to forget it.  Damon’s argument that Stefan’s All or Nothing / Cold Turkey approach to de-ripper-ifying himself is a REALLY BAD one, that always, inevitably, ends in failure, is an impressively sound one.  And yet Stefan has read enough Alcoholic Anonymous books in his day to be skeptical about his brother’s untraditional approach to addiction . . .

The picture of sobriety.

Nosy Nelly, Rebekah, pops in, just in time for the conversation to wind its way back to 1912, which is great for her, because Rebekah REALLY wants to talk about the Salvatore wood . . . err .  . . I mean the White Oak Tree.

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Unfortunately for Rebekah, the Salvatore brothers aren’t in the mood to compare the size of their wood.  Instead, they’d like to talk about some old vixen vampire named Sage, who, like Rebekah, has sampled Damon’s wood, at least once.

Rebekah knows Sage, and thinks she’s a skank,  because she apparently used to have a little “thing” for Rebekah’s brother Finn.  I just think this means she has bad taste.  Now, I’m not saying that Finn isn’t attractive.  All I’m saying, is that, if I had to select one Original Brother to take to bed with me I’d take them ALL, the ABSOLUTE last one I’d choose would be the self-loathing, suicidal one with Serious Mommy Issues . . .   Then again, Sage DID seduce Damon, so her taste can’t be TOO bad, right?

Back in 1912, Sage was a semi-professional boxer, who used to use her vampire strength and compulsion to beat the crap out of men, and humiliate them in front of all their friends.  (Sounds like a real keeper!)  Sage takes an instant interest in Damon, criticizing him for the joyless way he gnaws on human flesh, and reminding him that women can be used for pleasure, as well as food.

“Welcome to Vampire Whoring, 101.” 

To be honest, this part of the episode was a bit of a let-down for me.  After all, the promo for this episode seemed to promise viewers a glimpse into how Damon went from being the sort-of innocent, Katherine-spurned,  uptight vamp we saw in the “Blood Brothers” and “Dinner Party” flashbacks to the lusty lothario we came to know in Season 1.  During the hiatus, I was genuinely looking forward to some Casanova-esque seduction scenes, in which Sage patiently instructed Damon in the art of compulsion-induced arousal and “sexy neck biting.”

What we got instead was  . . . absolutely nothing.

Damon’s seduction and consumption of the aforementioned Samantha Gilbert occurred off screen, and the remainder of the flashback was Stefan’s to steal.  And while the episode did shed a bit more light on Stefan’s past, I ended the hour with little more insight into Damon’s 20th century motivations and machinations than I had prior to its airing.  It kind of pissed me off.   I’m not going to lie . . .

Back in the Present Day, a very flirtatious Rebekah graciously offers Damon her services, both with respect to Stefan’s “treatment,” and to the “serial killer investigation.”  We are led to believe she’s doing this, in hopes of getting more information about that darn tree.  However, I, for one, think that Rebekah, much like her brother is just lonely . . . horny . . . and desperate for companionship, particularly with those of the opposite sex.

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Though I’m a Delena fan, through and through, I must say that I enjoyed the “friends with benefits” comraderie of Rebekah and Damon in this episode.  While I believe these two are WAYYY too much alike to ever get seriously romantically involved with one another (not to mention the whole “Klaus” thing), I did like the easygoing, mildly insulting banter they had going on with one another.  I also got a real kick out of how effortlessly they repeatedly managed to gang up on and mercilessly tease Stefan,  whether it was by jointly reading his ridiculously self-righteous diary, or later, by force feeding him a drunk college coed . . .

Rebekah also provides the much-needed female perspective on this male-dominated flashback.

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For example, Damon’s and Stefan’s assertion that a female couldn’t possibly be the serial killer were both incredibly chauvenist, and as it turned out, patently WRONG.  Rebekah picked up on this right away.   And the minute she said it, I was certain that the 1912 serial killer HAD to be female.

Rebekah also astutely noted that BOTH Damon and Stefan were rather broody, judgy, self-righteous, and dare-I-say, a bit dull, back in those early post-Katherine days.  It was a tough truth that I think both brothers desperately needed to hear . . .

Ultimately, I think it was Rebekah’s spot-on assessments of the brother’s situation, back in 1912, that convinced Damon to allow Rebekah to help him “cure” Stefan 100 years later.  So, when Stefan storms out of the bar, after experiencing symptoms of blood withdrawal,  Damon and Rebekah gamely follow him into an alleyway.

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Once there, they come upon an unlucky blonde early 20-something.  “You are about to have a very BAD night,” Damon says to the college coed, his eyes heavy with compulsion power.  He then takes a big chunk out of the poor girl’s neck, right in front of a twitchy,  eye-bulgy Stefan.  With the scent of blood still fresh in the air, Damon passes the nearly unconscious girl over to Rebekah, informing Stefan that the Original Vampire will KILL the girl, unless Stefan takes a bite out of her first.

Unable to control his urges any longer, Stefan goes all growly and fang faced, as he hungrily and noisily slurps blondie’s neck like a kid in a Campbell’s soup commercial.  When things start looking pretty grim for the girl, Damon calls upon Stefan to stop, but the urge is too strong, and he keeps on sucking.  Finally, Damon is able to wrench his brother’s piggy-eater face from the guest stars neck.  He then feeds her some blood to heal her, and send her on her way.

“I swear, this isn’t what it looks like.  I’ve just never been good at putting on lipstick.” 

Unfortunately for the Salvatore Brothers, Elena and Matt magically appear to catch them in the act.   Cue the judgmental glares from Elena,  as Damon smirks awkwardly, and Stefan just stares at his ex-girlfriend wide-eyed, as globules of college coed drip from his mouth and chin.  (Next time, Damon . . . bring a napkin.)  Elena, once again, stalks off in a huff.  This prompts an embarrassed Stefan to do the same.   I foresee a lot of angsty diary writing in both of their futures . . .

The Born-Again Ripper

In my favorite Salvatore Brother Bonding scene of the episode, Damon comes home to comfort his little brother, and congratulate him on a job not-so-well-done, but not entirely sh*tty either.   “You did really well out there.  Pretty soon, you will be the King of Moderation,” Damon insists brightly.

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When the subject turns to Elena, Stefan insists that he “doesn’t really care what she thinks.”  But Damon isn’t hearing it.  “Oh no . . . no more No Humanity Stefan,” he lectures.

As much as this whole “two brothers in love with the same girl” thing is getting a little old, I do appreciate how both brothers actually encourage one another’s feelings for Elena, because they recognize that their love for her is a symbol of their humanity.

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When Stefan angrily insists to Damon that he “doesn’t need his help,” we are whisked back to 1912, once again.  Just like in the present day, Damon finds a not necessarily willing female blood donor for Stefan, and entices him to drink her in an alleyway.  The only difference is that, this time, Damon doesn’t stop Stefan.  Instead, he lets his younger brother literally RIP the girl’s head off, then creepily try to glue it back together, just as we saw him do back in the early episodes of Season 3.

Again, a devastated Stefan insists that he “doesn’t need [Damon’s] help” before rushing off into the woods to become the famed Ripper Klaus talked about, earlier this season.  And Damon, out of a mixture of fear, anger, and maybe a little guilt, just lets him go.  Over in the present day, Damon promises Stefan that he will never let this happen again.  He vows to stand by his brother through every step of his “recovery,” for as long as it takes.  Stefan is touched and tearful, as he wonders out loud, why his brother is so insistent on doing all this for him.   “Because right now, you’re all I’ve got,” Damon responds solemnly.

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All together now, “AWWWWWWW.”

In which Elena admits that Damon “gets under her skin” (and we start thinking dirty thoughts)

While Stefan and Damon are in the process of gradually repairing their relationship, one partially-chewed college coed at a time, Elena is busy doing a little Scooby Doo detective work of her own.  She angrily confronts Meredith, regarding why the latter would have the gall to frame her guardian for murder, when the Chunky Monkey is obviously so very good in bed.  Meredith then proceeds to start spouting out information about Alaric’s past, like the super stalker she clearly is.

“So, Damon told you he loved you, and you said THAT?!  What the heck is WRONG WITH YOU?”

According to Crazy Nanny Carrie, back in college, when he wasn’t studying up on vampires, good ole Alaric used to enjoy beating the crap out of people, including, quite possibly his own girlfriend / Elena’s mother, Isobel, who, apparently, at one point, had filed a restraining order against him.

This information gives Elena pause.  But she’s not quite ready to believe these awful things about the man who used to bone both his sister, and his bio mom, and is now literally the only family she has left in Mystic Falls.  “Elena, you date vampires.  It shouldn’t come as a shock to you that your guardian is a murderer,” Meredith retorts, before leaving Elena open-mouthed in the parking lot.

(You have to admit, the b*tch kind of has a point . . .)

Later, Matt randomly helps Elena break into Meredith’s apartment, while she’s at work.  (You know, because all poor, blue collar, kids MUST be thieves.)  Within minutes, Elena is conveniently able to locate the trap door in Meredith’s closet. (Every Founding Family member has one!)  Behind the trap door is a box that contains detailed files on all the Founding Family members, who were victims of the serial killer, including Alaric himself.  In Alaric’s file, Matt locates a note from the coroner’s office, which actually seems to provide Alaric with an alibi for the original coroner’s death . . . since it may well have occurred earlier than the initial reports supposed.

But before any more research can be done, Meredith arrives home from work and catches Matt and Elena IN THE CLOSET (insert dramatic music here).

Lizard Forbes is furious, but not furious enough to actually do her job, and charge the teens with any crime (It’s not like either of them have anything resembling parents to bail them out of jail!)  Before letting the pair go, Lizard Forbes notes that Meredith herself turned in the letter.  So, Alaric will be set free from Mystic Falls ONLY active jail cell, once said letter is authenticated.  Hooray for Alaric, he will live to eat Chunky Monkey again . . . or will he?

Elena and Matt have had a rough day, one that began with a rough run, included a potential arrest, and ended with them witnessing Stefan’s piggy eating habits.  So,  of course this makes them both feel like they’ve earned a stiff drink of hard liquor some tea (lame!).  As the two chug the non-alcoholic liquid the discussion turns to why Elena loves her Salvatore brothers.   It is during this discussion that Elena realizes that she was drawn to Stefan, at least initially, because he was immortal,  and so many of the people she loved had already died.

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It’s kind of a sad reason to begin a relationship, don’t you think?

The conversation then turns to Damon, and why Elena seems just as inextricably drawn to him as to Stefan.  In what were, not surprisingly, my favorite lines in the ENTIRE episode, Elena had THIS to say . . .

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 Now, you know me.  I’ve never exactly been a “Matt Fan.”  And yet, I must admit, I fell in love with him a little bit, when he said this . . .

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 What an awesome and insightful statement!  For one thing, I love how Matt automatically made the connection between Damon’s “getting under [Elena’s] skin,” and her “falling in love with Damon.”  It’s something that’s been so incredibly obvious to all of Elena’s friends for so long.  But Elena, who’s been in denial of her true feelings, for multiple seasons now, needed to hear it.  So, I’m glad that Matt was willing to say it to her.

And while Matt is quite obviously referring to Elena’s strong feelings for Damon, judging by the watery look in his eyes, he’s also referring to himself.  What’s interesting is that it’s not entirely certain, in that sense, whether he’s referring to his feelings for Caroline, or his feelings for Elena.  It’s possible that he means a little bit of both.

Beyond the obvious reasons why I wouldn’t “ship” Matt and Elena *cough she should be with Damon cough,* my concern with the coupling actually has a lot to do with Matt’s well being.  Elena has already dated Matt, and admitted that, while she clearly cares for him, she never really felt passionate about their relationship.  If Elena was to date Matt again, I feel like she would be doing it simply because he wasn’t a vampire, just like, two years prior, she started dating Stefan, because he was one.  Because I don’t believe that Elena will ever genuinely feel for Matt as strongly as he feels for her, or as strongly as she feels for the Salvatores, I don’t think it would be fair of her to enter into a relationship with him.

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Nobody deserves to be third choice in their Happily Ever After . . .

Oh, did I mention that Matt’s Cloak of “Human Invisibility” enabled him to snag Elena’s ancestor, Samantha’s journal from Meredith’s files?

Well, now I did!

One Ring to Rule ALL the NUTBARS . . .

For an episode that was surprisingly slow moving, things happened pretty fast in the last five minutes or so.  Alaric is released from jail.  We then see Elena reading Samantha Gilbert’s increasingly erratic diary (apparently, John Gilbert wasn’t the only member of Elena’s family, who ended up going loony tunes), at the same time that Damon and Stefan are recalling how the Mystic Falls serial killer ultimately ended up being none other than Samantha herself.

“See?  I told you I’d be mildly important.” 

Then, Meredith pops over to tell an angry Alaric that his “drunken blackouts” may be a sign that he’s a psycho serial killer, who’s slowly being turned into a wackjob by his recently-on-the-fritz immortality ring.  Elena rushes downstairs to confirm this, since she now realizes that both Samantha and John Gilbert, who wore similar rings, suffered the same fate.  So, Alaric is the Mystic Falls Serial Killer, after all . . . Meh, I kind of expected as much.   I’m SHOCKED.

More interesting than the Killer Ring, I think, is what exactly motivated Meredith to forge a coroner letter, in order free Alaric, when she now-KNOWS he’s mentally unstable, and might KILL HER?  I still think that b*tch is hiding something . . .

Another interesting aspect of this is Jeremy.  He’s wearing the Jaimaican Me Crazy Ring too!  Now, ordinarily, I’d say Jeremy is in no immediate danger of becoming a wackadoodle, since he hasn’t been wearing the ring nearly as long as Alaric has, nor has he “died” quite as many times.  And yet, I can definitely see the writers fudging with this fact, if they need a quick excuse to bring Jeremy back on the show.  (For example, the writers might assert that Alaric’s aggressiveness during his college years was also the result of his wearing the ring, thereby making Jeremy’s endangerment much more immediate.)

One more tidbit to consider.  Is it possible that the two rings are DIFFERENT from one another,  or that each ring wearer is effected differently by them?  For example,  Uncle/Father John was presumably about Alaric’s age.   And the two men were wearing the darn thing, for about the same amount of time.  And while Uncle/Father John was certainly a douche most of the time, I wouldn’t necessarily consider him a psychopath . . . nor would I consider the original John Gilbert to be one. Judging by flashbacks of the character, he seemed more quirky mad scientist than homicidal maniac . . .

Just some food for thought . . .

If the promos are any indication, next week’s episode looks pretty promising.  For one thing, we get the return of Crazy Alaric, who we haven’t seen since he was Alarklaus.  (Question: Why is it, in horror movies, that the psycho killer always seems to be screaming things like “OPEN THIS DOOR,” when he’s coming at you with a hatchet?  He might as well be saying, “Why on Earth, are you running away from me?  Don’t you want to be raped and decapitated?”)

Also, next week, Damon [Spoiler Alert?] somehow mind rapes Rebekah (at least I’m pretty sure that’s what he does, based on the promos), takes a shower, and gets lucky with two lady vamps at once.  In the words of Damon, himself, “Now that’s what I call a party.”

You can check out extended promos for the episodes, here:

Until next time, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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