The Vampire Diaries is back, and it’s basically the same. Elena has been kidnapped by the big bad, and Damon needs to save her. Thankfully her kidnapper is both witty and charming. I mean, he’s a total psychopath and his quips are about turning her blood to acid, but he does pull off that Mystic Falls High t-shirt.
Damon doesn’t know Elena has been kidnapped yet. He thinks she just changed her mind, as Elena is wont to do, and the camera finds him (with a close-up on the lips because why not) sleeping in a chair in Sheriff Forbes’ hospital room. Sounds like it’s going to be a ‘good guy’ episode for Damon. He’s also lending out his house to Alaric and Jo so that angsty witch twin Liv can teach her older sister to relearn magic. Turns out she needs to put it in practice a little sooner than assumed, because Damon needs someone to cloak him as he saves Elena. And witchy twin number two has kidnapped Liv. Meanwhile Sheriff Forbes has gone to home and bed rest, and Caroline has plans to visit a celebrated neurosurgeon. But first she needs to set her mom up with every episode of Friends, leaving Stefan with her after dropping the line of the night: “Stefan, you know how to laugh, right?” Cue high fives and the shouting of “burnnnnnnn.” But Stefan shall brood if he wants to brood, and he wants to brood in the car with Caroline, who happens to be going to Duke- the exact university that his great niece is attending. Weird how that worked out.
Kai and Elena are still on their weird kidnapping date. If it weren’t for the torture and the blood-acid thing and the dead grill owner on the table, I think he would’ve made her swoon with that “you’re crazypants” line. Luckily Damon and Jo are ready and to the rescue, hidden with a barely holding cloaking spell. Kai just happens to go wandering around the high school just as they show up, so when Elena wakes up she gets to see Damon’s swoonable face (yeah I made that word up, so?). Too bad a few scenes later he accidentally throws a stake in her stomach.
Yep, Jo lost the spell. Damon was wondering why her nose was bleeding, and that’s when Kai answers that magic is hard. Sure, Kai. That’s why you can make copies of yourself and randomly disappear and appear in random places.
The scene is a lot calmer at the Duke art gallery, where Stefan is creepily stalking his old relative. Well, calm enough until Enzo shows up. He’s still planning something, but now he knows the truth and I don’t really know what else he needs to get out of Stefan. As far as villains go, I’d put Kai up there at the top and Enzo at the very very bottom. Luckily, the Duke trip wasn’t only about Stefan and Enzo and angst. It was also about Caroline, trying out her vampire blood theory on a cancer patient. She’s a little out of her mind with the news about her mother, but she still feels for the kid she’s experimenting on. The only problem is, she’s the last thing her mother has in the world. And they need each other.
Back to an epic fight. Apparently the main characters have finally learned that there is strength in numbers, since when all three of the supernatural creatures fail, Jeremy and Alaric are there to save the day. They put Kai on ice, and Damon gets to stare lovingly into Elena’s eyes. Right after she tricks him into thinking she’s dying. Nice, Elena. The way to get to a boy’s heart- pretend a piece of stake is piercing yours. But at least they’re going out. Maybe they can be a real-life functioning couple for more than a couple episodes this time.
Stefan takes the excited Caroline home, though not without a few words of caution. This quick fix might be too easy. Caroline replies that it’s magic. It’s supposed to be easy. Then she comes home and tells her mother, who replies that she wants nothing more than to stay alive for her daughter.
MVP shoutout to Sheriff Forbes, one of the few humans left, who can still have human diseases and human weaknesses. She’s an example of a mother, and she raised brave, smart, and loving daughter. When the news hits that the blood doesn’t work, it’s going to be hard, and poignant, and powerful. It will be proof that even a show about self-centered vampires can be something important at times.