From its slightly lacklustre premiere, The Vampire Diaries has only improved this season, and this episode is no exception. The suspense is kept high from the opening scenes, and even though some conclusions are reached by the end of the episode, there are still plenty of questions to be answered next week. The only low point for me was Elena’s continuous faith in Stefan – how many times does she have to be told that he’s a Ripper now?
The Road Trip
Did I mention that I love Katherine being back? She and Damon go on a road trip this episode, which is suitably amusing (“Stop being cute!” “It’s not possible.”), although Damon does manage to hurt her feelings by telling her that she doesn’t do it for him anymore.
There’s an extra body on this road trip too, Jeremy. Katherine has kidnapped him in the hope that he can communicate with Anna and find out about a way to kill Klaus for real. Anna is reluctant, giving the information only once Katherine starts beating Jeremy up. And it would appear that it’s not just Jeremy she’s trying to protect. The vampire who can kill Klaus is a vampiric vampire hunter called Michael, and Klaus is by no means the only vampire on his hit list. When they find him in his tomb at the end of the episode, bound in chains even in death, and Katherine stills seems intent on waking him, you could be forgiven for wondering if she has been taking self-preservation lessons from her doppelganger.
The Return of Matt
The residents of Mystic Falls, both supernatural and human, are preparing to return to school in this episode, which means one very important thing for me: Matt’s back! I didn’t like Matt back when he was dating Caroline, but he does have an important role in the show as one of the few characters who refuses to become supernatural. And possibly it was the fact that he spent most of the episode seemingly inches from death, but I actually felt a little more sympathetic to him this week.
In the opening scenes, we see him working out in the darkened school, and I’m absolutely convinced that he’s about to meet his maker. Human characters rarely last long in this show…actually few characters last long in this show… But no, all that he’s in danger of for the time being is severely upsetting Caroline if he messes up Senior Prank Night. She is back to the Caroline we all know and love, the neurotic control freak on crack. “We are making memories here guys!” She complains, but she’s about to have bigger problems on her hands.
The Hybrid Problem
Of course, Klaus is back, and he knows that Elena survived the sacrifice. As soon as Stefan realises what’s going on, he arrives too, with Rebekah in hot pursuit. So that’s two Originals and a Ripper walking the corridors of Mystic Falls High…is Senior Prank Night still looking like a good idea?
Klaus decides to play a little game with the teenagers, feeding Tyler his blood and ordering Bonnie to find a way for him to survive the transformation. Later, he decides that this game isn’t quite fun enough, and sets a time limit, compelling Stefan to kill Elena if Bonnie hasn’t found a solution in twenty minutes. Elena, displaying absolutely no self-preservation, ignores his orders to run and instead tries to talk him down. He’s not a toddler, love, he’s a murderous vampire, and if he says run, you should run!
Luckily, Bonnie manages to find the solution, after Matt finds a non-magical way to communicate with the spirits – drowning himself. “But I can’t bring you back!” Bonnie protests, and Matt, with a good dollop of common sense, reminds her about CPR. You’d never know that the girl used to be a lifeguard… What they realise is that Elena’s blood is needed to complete the transformation, so Tyler ends the episode a hybrid, and Elena nearly ends it drained of all her blood in a hospital bed, before Damon comes to her rescue. Salvatore does mean saviour, you know!
Just when it looks like Elena and Damon might share a season finale-esque moment though, Stefan arrives. Klaus has left him behind to keep watch over her. This does not bode well, for anyone…