Vampire Diaries: “Yellow Ledbetter” Review

The Vampire Dairies 602, “Yellow Ledbetter,” was all about relationships. More specifically, it showed us the dissolution of relationships. Whether it was Elena combing through her life with Damon, trying to figure out which moment to forget, Stefan losing his last friend in the world, or Matt and Jeremy trading barbs in their shared living room, no friendship was safe tonight.

It was a frustrating episode to watch, but, worse than that, it was absolutely nothing but a filler. The entire point of the episode seemed to be to watch our main characters continue to lose parts of their lives. Caroline wasn’t herself the entire episode, snappy with Alaric and simply passive with Enzo. Oh yeah, that’s right, Enzo’s back. And despite the fact that I didn’t like him last season… somehow he’s even worse this one. Maybe he’s supposed to be the new Damon, or Klaus, or any other bad boy with a soft spot for pretty girls. He’s certainly the second most unstable character of the night (the number one distinction would have to go to Elena). Whether it’s the tense, innuendo-filled dinner with Stefan and his human girlfriend, or the fight that obviously followed, Enzo’s dangerous recklessness doesn’t have a redeeming quality for me.

Of course, the point of that scene was to bring Caroline and Stefan back together. Poor Vampire Barbie, who had spent a large part of this episode much too complacent, has had enough of Stefan’s “I don’t care” attitude. In the best line of the night she tells her best friend “you’re a dick” and stomps off to the car. There goes the best relationship on the show.

Back in Whitmore, Elena and Alaric are playing at therapist and patient as she recounts some of my favorite Damon memories. One by one he makes her forget their first kiss, the night of the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant, and the motel vending machine incident. At this point I’m screaming at Elena to stop, but no matter what Alaric takes away they can’t seem to get her to remember when she first fell in love with a Mr. Damon Salvatore (personally, I’d say the first time he walked onscreen). Why’s that? Well, obviously, it’s because she was still with Stefan at the time. Cue shock and awe at the love triangle.

Here’s where we finally find out where Bonnie and Damon are: Mystic Falls, circa May 10, 1994, no one but them anywhere to be found. Or, as they put it, Hell. Bonnie has put her attention to getting those witchy powers back again, while Damon is more focused on drinking and listening to old tapes.

They’d better get back soon is all I can say because they need to fix the damage Elena has done. Therapist and patient finally find the moment to erase, when Damon commits his first unselfish act and finds her Stefan’s necklace. And with a few words from Alaric all Elena can remember is the once love-of-her-life snapping her brother’s neck.

“Who is Damon Salvator?”

“He’s Stefan’s brother. He’s a monster. And he died.”

Cue the frustration and slight inability to care about anything else that happens in this episode, no matter how dramatic. Here’s Caroline crying in the car. Here’s Enzo seeing her, walking back in the house, and snapping Stefan’s girlfriend’s neck. Here’s Jeremy, finally showing feelings, leaving a voicemail for Bonnie with a cell phone bill that he’s paying.

And here’s the leader of Matt’s “Town Safety” group, driving a van full of vampires straight into Mystic Falls. Here’s his sadistic smile as he opens the roof and hears them burn. Looks like we have a new villain in town. The creepy level is certainly high, and amid weak storylines I’ll have to give him MVP of the episode. Let’s hope the excitement lasts.

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