So what have we learned about the Gilbert family? That they don’t throw anything out. Ever.
I have to admit, though, that I did laugh at that practical joke when Elena led Stefan to believe that she couldn’t invite him into the lake house. It was a cute, “real” moment amidst all of the supernatural doom and gloom.
In all honesty, it was actually quite refreshing to see Elena talking about her deceased parents. The series kicked off with Elena rightfully distraught about their deaths, but the show smartly drifted away from that (as The OC showed us, a perpetually depressed lead female can get awfully old awfully quickly). However, Elena’s relationship with her parents is an exceptionally important part of her character, and it’s also natural for her to wonder what her relationship with them would be like now that she knows about the existence of vampires (assuming, of course, that they knew about them as well).
Anyway, this episode seemed to focus on relationships, and explaining to the viewers why certain bonds exist, or delving into the nuances of the relationships we’re already familiar with. First and foremost, we got a closer look into the Bonnie/Luka/Jeremy triangle. And Caroline even joined in on the fun! We came to understand that Bonnie was intrigued by Luka because he was new and relatable. Meanwhile, Jeremy was somebody who was always there but she never truly appreciated. Overall, I was really happy with how it was handled. I thought their restraint in making it happen was smart, but they wisely decided not to put it off too long. And I’m glad that Bonnie made the right decision.
Speaking of Luka, he spilled the beans on Elijah’s actual plan to kill Klaus, and it involves Elena dying. This is something Elena apparently assumed, much to Stefan’s chagrin. While I understand him being saddened by her decision, I don’t necessarily agree with his general stance. Yes, it’s not fair to compare Elena to him, because as he noted, he already lived a very full life. But the same isn’t true for Jeremy, Bonnie, and even Jenna and Caroline. They all have full lives ahead of them – and most of them can be described as “innocent” in the grand scheme of things. Sure, maybe it’s not fair for her to die in order to save Stefan and Damon, but for her to do it for her little brother and her best friends? I can see her position in that regard.
We also got some justification as to why Tyler would be willing to turn against the people he’s known and cared about his entire life for a bunch of virtual strangers. He’s turned once, and it was an immensely painful and miserable experience, and now he’s got an escape clause. If he breaks the spell, he can avoid ever having to transform again. It makes sense, but I’m also glad they didn’t take it too far. Once he realized Elena’s life was in danger, he did the right thing and allowed Stefan to save her. Oh, and for some reason, I love how nonchalantly the vampires pull out the hearts of these werewolves.
Overall, a really solid episode, but I was a bit bothered by the fact that it was so easy for John to get into Jenna’s head. Here is a guy she does not like or trust, who quite obviously and open attempts to antagonize her. He makes one extremely vague and accusatory comment about Alaric’s wife, and suddenly Jenna is all suspicious of him. Sure, one could argue that she already suspected that something was up and that John’s comment merely accentuated her insecurities, but to be honest the show hadn’t properly built that up. It just felt a bit contrived. And to be honest, it wouldn’t hurt having just one genuinely happy couple on the show.