by Cassie Title
Tonight’s opening scene must’ve broken a record: It only took one episode post-hiatus for "The Vampire Diaries" to remind us of Damon’s impeccable hygiene. Frankly, I’m becoming a bit concerned with Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson’s obsession with Damon’s body cleansing. Are you trying to tell us something? Is Damon’s showering a symptom of OCD? Are you trying to tell us that the other characters don’t shower or bathe? WHAT IS GOING ON?
Okay, I get that he’s hot and you want us to see him all naked and steamy and such, and it’s become a running (water? Hey, if they can make stupid jokes I can include silly puns) joke, but we’re over it: It’s getting old. Just thought you guys should know.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can discuss the rest of this episode, focusing on what would have been Caroline’s 18th birthday, had she not been, well, dead. Oh, and lest you forgot about last week’s epic kiss between Damon and Elena, I’m reminding you. It’s important. Just saying.
"Those hybrids. They’re really bringing the neighborhood down."
This is the line Damon delivers after ripping a hybrid’s heart out, right outside the witch burial ground house. Stefan’s understandably concerned that Klaus’ hybrids might figure out that the coffins are inside; thus begins his all-consuming venture to rid Mystic Falls of Klaus’s hybrids. This leads to two more hybrid deaths on Stefan’s hands—one of which prompts Damon to say: "No dead hybrids at the Founders' Party," which may be my new mantra.
Caroline’s birthday blues
Bonnie, Elena and Matt are all set to make Caroline’s 18th magical—with locker decorations (do they still do that in high school? Because I’m pretty sure it stopped in middle school) and tequila in tow, but Vampire Barbie’s feeling the full weight of her actual status as a forever-17-year-old. Not to worry, though! Elena switches things up—and instead of throwing her an intimate b-day bash, the three amigos instead give Caroline a proper funeral—a sort of heartwarming goodbye to her old life and a full-on welcome to her new one. Which almost ends (again) when Tyler accidentally bites her. Yeah.
The Klaus crisis
I mean, what’s new, really? But, somehow, the Klaus situation is crazier than ever. That’s because we’ve somehow entered a parallel universe where the FOUNDERS' COUNCIL is now on KLAUS’ SIDE. Like, what?! He’s promised to keep the town safe as long as Stefan returns his coffins. Except, as Damon points out, HE AND HIS HYBRIDS ARE WHAT’S NOT KEEPING THE TOWN SAFE. I repeat: like, what?!
Stefan’s going off the deep end—right into Wickery Bridge
That’s right, folks. Stefan kidnaps Elena, calls Klaus, feeds her his blood while Klaus is on the phone and threatens to drive her off the bridge so Klaus loses his hybrid blood bank. The fact that he was willing to go so far to sell it to Klaus scares the hell out of me, and it sure as hell terrified Elena and Damon. Klaus backs down and says he’ll get his hybrids out of town, so hooray for Stefan. Except, not. He and Elena have a pivotal conversation (I know this because dramatic music, for the 100th time this episode, played in the background, making the scene epic): He was about to drive her off the very bridge where her parents died and she almost died, until he saved her. Stefan says that Klaus backed down so he didn’t have to do it, but he’s still being scary, douchey Stefan. Apparently, destroying Klaus is all he has left. When Elena retorts that he had her, he replies with: “I lost you the minute I left town with Klaus.” When she asks if he’s trying to make him hate her, he leaves her in the middle of the road and drives away, but not before saying, “I don’t really care what you think of me.” And, honestly kids: I kind of believe him.
Is Caroline a hybrid?
Tyler and Caroline almost get back together—until he unwillingly bites her because Klaus had previously ordered him to! Klaus promises to heal her with his blood and ends up having an extremely bizarre yet pivotal (again, I know it’s important because of the really epic music playing in the background) conversation with her about great cities and art and music and genuine beauty in the world and how she’s free and stuff. Um, what? Is Klaus trying to be her father? Her boyfriend? God? For the millionth time, WHAT IS GOING ON? He heals her, and when she awakes, she sees a gift from him. It’s a bracelet or a necklace or something. Whatever it is, and whatever it means, it seems ominous…
Meredith the Murderer?
Alaric’s new potential squeeze may have killed her ex-boyfriend Bryan with a stake. And he was human. And then she may have gone to the Grill and flirtatiously asked Alaric about his day drinking. Honestly, girl, you can do better than that: That man is ALWAYS there. Homeboy does NOT need an excuse for day drinking: Homeboy is the personification of day drinking.
I’m hoping it’s a "just kidding" kind of thing, but Jeremy has left. Not before Bonnie bitched Elena out for taking away his choice, and honestly, she is completely, 100 percent right. Compelling Jeremy to leave town, even if it’s for his safety, is just plain wrong. Plus, I already miss him.
It’s coming. You know it. Elena says something about the kiss. It’s set to repeat. Then she goes: It’s not right. And Damon replies: It is. It’s just not right now. Oh! Oh, oh, oh. That gets me right here.
The Mysterious Coffin
Previews for next week involve Bonnie’s mother! Apparently, she can open the coffin. I am more excited than you know. More. Excited. Than. You. Know.
What is in that coffin? Is it Esther’s body? Are you stoked to meet Bonnie’s mom? Are they going to open it next week? Is Caroline a hybrid? Is Jeremy really gone? What was up with the overly sappy music this episode? Did you think Matt and Elena’s funeral for Caroline's old life was sweet? When are Damon and Elena going to kiss again? WHERE IS KATHERINE? When are we meeting the other Originals? And when is Stefan going to stop being so, well, his current self? I know you have feelings. And I know you have thoughts. So verbalize them, people! Let us know your opinions and theories in the comments below or on Twitter.