The Vampire Diaries – Episode 3-6 Review – “Sexual Tension”

The theme of last week’s TVD: Sexual tension. And we drank it up, but first things first and I have a lot to say about this episode so buckle in.
In a much different opening scene than Plec/Williamson usually chooses, Elena lies in bed already awake. Stefan no longer being Stefan and no longer loving Elena is a turning point for this entire show- more than anything else ever has been. Not only have people changed species in the past year (Elena into the Doppelganger, Caroline into a Vampire, Bonnie into a Witch, Jeremy into a Medium, and Vicki into a Ghost) as well as relationships, but also the heart of the show has completely changed. Nothing signifies it more than Stefan being “gone.”
A year ago in TVD world, the pilot episode, began with Elena’s parents being recently past and Aunt Jenna struggling to take over the reins at home. Jeremy was a stoner. Bonnie was just finding out she may be a Witch. Caroline wasn’t able to get a guy. Elena and Stefan were writing in their diaries. Not to mention the fact that Damon was a crow or something flying around in the fog… Anyway, little did we know at the time, but Stefan had been the one to save Elena’s life in her parents’ car accident and had returned to Mystic Falls High to get to “know her.” They ran into each other outside the men’s bathroom and it was sexual tension at first sight. This year, the kids begin their senior year’s first day of school as very different people.
For starters, Elena is barring two Vampy scars on her neck that Stefan gave her while trying to basically kill her. She then drags live-in Vamp hunter / dead Aunt Jenna’s ex-boyfriend / History teacher Alaric into the forest to start learning how to defend herself against Stefan. Things have changed in Mystic Falls.
When the girls get to school, Bonnie is stressing about how her new BF Jeremy is now seeing the ghosts of his dead ex-girlfriends and Caroline is lamenting on the fact that her new BF Tyler is now a Hybrid. Elena takes the cake by saying it is her and new-ish BF Stefan’s anniversary (not to mention the fact he tried to kill her two days ago). Elena goes inside vowing to put everything behind her and start a “new year” with a “new life.” Wonder how that’s going to work out.
At the Salvatore mansion, Damon walks downstairs to find Ripper Stefan in all his glory feeding on a hand full of girls who happen to simultaneously playing Twister. Talk about a twisted game 😉 And then, as predicted, Rebekah comes bursting through the front door, bags in hand. (Did Elena’s temporary death remove her as the rightful human owner of the mansion? Because we know that bitch wasn’t invited in.) Also interesting, Damon just now finds out Rebekah is Klaus’ sister. When will he find out about her history with Stefan? When will Elena find out?? Damon calls Elena to give her a heads up on the shenanigans. He names the new housemate Barbie Klaus and suddenly a fan favorite is born.
Matt, who’s now seeing Vicki, too, pulls up in the parking lot. Vicki pops out of nowhere and drops a bomb: he can help her “come back.” I get really anxious when people talk to themselves in scenes, especially for an extended period of time. Fortunately, Tyler interrupts and drags Matt into school with him. Tyler makes his way to Caroline and lays one on her. Unfortunately for him, Caroline tastes blood and Elena catches sight of a spill on his shirt. Caroline: “Vampire 101 Don’t wear your breakfast to school.” Tyler continues to stick his foot in his mouth when he says that it was Rebekah who supplied him with the blood bag that morning. Clue number one that Tyler’s got some explainin’ to do. Taking it even further, he expresses just how awesome he feels about being Klaus’ first successful Hybrid. Looks like Hybrid comes with a side of ego. Elena leaves them be and (ironically) runs straight into Stefan outside the men’s bathroom. He lets Elena know once again that Klaus has left him in charge of protecting her. When he won’t let go of Elena’s arm, Alaric tries to step in. Following that brief confrontation, awkwardly enough, they all have History together. Surprise! Rebekah strolls in and joins the class, making Elena and Caroline understandably nervous.
Outside, Matt wonders over to Vicki’s old stoner “haunt”- if you will- on the side of the school. Vicki is of course there and seriously: what is the deal with all these guys talking to themselves? Matt, unsurprisingly, gets caught by Jeremy. Jeremy pretends not to see Vicki, but goes straight to the bathroom to call on Anna and tell her about it. In a series of cut betweens, Jeremy and Anna discuss how Vicki might possibly be able to “come back” while Vicki and Matt talk about how to make just that happen. It involves a ritual a Witch on the “other side” told Vicki about that would tether her to Matt. She’d be a poltergeist, basically, that only Matt will be able to see- but no longer disappearing at random. Sounds like a bad idea- especially when Anna points out that Vicki must have made a BIG bad deal with a Witch on the other side to accomplish such a feat. Uh Oh, Vick.
After school, the football team and cheerleaders are practicing side-by-side. After one cheerleader “mysteriously” goes missing, Barbie Klaus shows up to take her spot. Caroline is not about to have that. Rebekah informs Caroline that hers is the only life she’s keen on “infiltrating.” She likes Vampire Barbie’s spunk and popularity… and boyfriend Tyler. Tyler meanwhile is on the field compelling the head coach to let the team out early so they can go to the Bonfire. (Is this the same Bonfire Vicki got attacked at in the Pilot? I like the parallels. That’s what makes a High School show fun.) When Caroline comes over to scold him, Tyler yet again professes a creepy admiration for Klaus. They’re then distracted by Rebekah in the background showing off some gymnastics moves. (As an ex-cheerleader, I have to comment. SO glad they show her doing something kind of impressive and not just a terrible cartwheel like most shows feature their fictitious cheerleaders doing.) Tyler seems to appreciate her skills as well.
Elena is on the track Buffy-ing up (Yay!) as Stefan joins her. When an extra runs into Elena, Stefan shoves him down like one big fat bully. Elena is not the type of girl you do THAT in front of. Stefan then calls her “the human blood bag” and I can’t help but laugh. Stefan is a DOUCHE.
Hours away, Katherine’s been trying to get Mikael to drink animal blood. When a poor cemetery mourner comes strolling by with flowers, Katherine finally gets some human blood to offer him. This does the trick and Mikael can now open his eyes and speak. I can’t help but feel anxious. Shouldn’t she be negotiating with him at this point? As in: “Hey, so if I wake you up and set you free, promise not to kill me?”
Against Damon’s wishes, Elena goes to the mansion to do more working out. (Didn’t know Vamps needed work out equipment… duly noted). Elena invited Damon in to (not only call her Warrior Princess, but also-) discuss locking Stefan up. I wouldn’t want to see his ass either.
And now begins, Thank You God, the sexual tension. Damon proceeds to grab Elena’s hand and place it on his heart to… er… show her where it is… And then spins her into him and touches her ribcage to… uh… show her where it is… Oh, right, where was I? Damon’s showing Elena where to stake a Vampire. Right. And then he spins her back around and promises that no one will ever hurt her… And she’s staring at his mouth… And the screen goes black. Damn commercials.
It’s time for the Bonfire now, which is confusing because it looks part lake house, part forest, and part Mystic Falls High- but we go with it. Damon, Elena, Alaric, and Caroline are gathered in Alaric’s classroom, a team huddle favorite. They are planning out their “take down Stefan” plan when Tyler joins them. He- again- announces his newly found admiration of Klaus and denounces their plan to take down Stefan. Damon knows something we don’t know and vervains Tyler in the back. Apparently, he’s been “Sired” – this happens when Damon turns Elena in the book but we all know the book and the show are entirely different creatures. Sired is when a new Vamp (Tyler) feels loyalty to his creator (Klaus) and seeks approval. Caroline asks Damon how to fix him and he answers: Get a new boyfriend. Trouble.
Outside, Stefan confronts Rebekah about her new interest in Tyler. A girl has needs. Respect. Elena joins them at the keg and helps herself to a beer. Angry Elena is my favorite! Even Rebekah thinks Elena’s quips at Stefan are amusing. As Stefan watches her giggling over a guy doing a keg stand, I can’t help but feel he at least still knows her. Is it just me, or does he have a look in his eyes that says he’s still there somewhere? (I’m not a CW Supernatural expert, but this does remind me a lot of when Sam lost his soul.) Who knows, maybe Ripper / Humanity-less Stefan is merely curious about Elena.
Let’s not forget about Matt and Vicki. They’re spending the Bonfire in the janitor’s closet doing a creepy ritual to bring Vicki back from the dead. Those two sure know how to party. The ritual works and Vicki and Matt hug. Luckily, Jeremy has finally found a moment to fill in Bonnie. Just in time too because NOW Vicki fills Matt in that her end of the Witch-y deal is to “restore the balance” by killing the key to creating Hybrids: Elena. When Matt tries to stop her, she whacks him over the head with a wrench. Aaaaand now I understand the “darkness” Anna’s been talking about. Matt somehow wakes up and calls Bonnie. Vicki however, is already gone looking for Elena.
Ok, time to melt. Damon puts his moves on Rebekah as part of the keep-Rebekah-away-from-Stefan-so-we-can-shoot-him plan and Elena looks positively JEALOUS. And I LOVE it. I think we all know that feeling of being at a party, slightly buzzed, with eyes lingering a little too long at that special somebody across the room. Just me? Didn’t think so. Stefan catches her (is he jealous? I’m confused!) and Elena’s denials are very slurry. OMG. Elena’s drunk. Drunk Elena is my favorite! Unfortunately for Damon, Rebekah is – remember? – super aware of intentions so she doesn’t buy his act. Instead, she stakes him in the stomach.
Caroline has been busy taking Tyler home. When he wakes up she lays some cold hard truth on him (seems like she’s been doing that to everyone lately). To sum up: You’ve been sired. Klaus is your master. You’ve been acting like old-Tyler because being a Vamp augments your personality for the good and bad. Be careful. He responds with a dreamy: “Everything I like about me is you.” How Jerry Maguire of you, Tyler. And then they have hot, make-up Vampy/Hybrid sex. Yes please.
Drunk Elena is playing around on the bleachers. Is it because this version of Elena reminds me of Katherine that I love this scene so much? When she climbs over the railing, Stefan asks: “What are you five?” Stefan would have never spoken to her like that before and I’m thoroughly enjoying it. Elena lets herself fall, only to be caught by her Prince Charming. They definitely share a moment (is Stefan in there somewhere??) before Alaric fulfills his end of the deal by shooting Stefan in the back. Alaric is sure to tell Elena she looks “not sober” before they carry Stefan’s body away and load it into Alaric’s ride.
Just as I was thinking Vicki was wasting her time smoking a cig, she uses it to light a long line of gasoline leading directly to the car where Elena and Stefan are held. The car lights up in flames and fills with smoke. Vicki locks the doors so Alaric and Elena can’t open them. Meanwhile, Bonnie and Matt are working a new spell. Vicki is obviously pissed when she’s dragged from the crime scene back into the classroom where Bonnie and Matt are sending her back to the other side. Matt tearfully says goodbye to his sister, like he didn’t get to the first time. Bye, Vick. Unfortunately Bonnie has no idea the car is on fire, so she’s not there to put it out. Elena’s still chocking up a storm, but tries to rouse Stefan anyway. Luckily Stefan is able to kick the trunk door out and they make it away (of course) moments before the car explodes. BTW, Alaric’s life sucks. First his wife, then his girlfriend, now his car?!
Elena and Damon meet up back at the mansion and Damon provides first aid to her burns. Elena, all nervous and cute, chides Damon for making Rebekah drool “all over you and your marshmallows.” In their most* honest conversation yet, he is clearly happy she noticed, she says she was faking most of her drunken antics, and he says he was faking the flirting. Alaric interrupts another electrifying eye contact moment. Everyone, including me, remembers to breathe.
In the Mayor’s house, Tyler and Caroline kiss goodbye and look so happy that I can’t help but think back on ALL they’ve been through. Sorry Team Matt, I’m converted. Caroline leaves and Tyler, just wearing a blanket around his waist, finds that he’s not alone. Rebekah is there (Ew- was she listening?) with a gift in the form of a bleeding girl. Tyler is clearly overwhelmed and when Rebekah takes a bite, he joins her. Guess that’s her go-to move, huh? They do say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…
Katherine unchains Mikael when he says the magic words: I can kill Klaus. And I will. Big mistake, though. She finds out first hand what type of blood Mikael prefers: Vampire blood. However- no way Katherine’s dead. There’s just no way.
Alaric and Elena are leaving the mansion (Elena is commenting on how she thinks Damon misses his wingman) when Stefan approaches. He has me going for a minute, saying he’ll always protect Elena, everyone’s better off with him around, and asking Elena why she saved him from the exploding car as if he’s about to say thank you. Yet when she answers that she still has hope, he says that makes her pathetic. She retorts that no, it makes her strong, and stabs him in the stomach with a nifty dagger retractor hidden up her sleeve (the same one she couldn’t use properly at the beginning of the episode). Guess all she needed was a little anger! Alaric looks on like a proud papa.
In ghostly news, Jeremy finds himself talking to Anna again in his bedroom. They both admit that they can’t stop thinking about each other and my heart catches on fire. Love Bonnie, but Anna and Jeremy are addictive to watch. When they go to hold hands, they realize they can actually feel it. And they didn’t even need a ritual… Damon is cleaning up another blood stained Persian rug when something goes flying by and breaks a vase. He thinks it’s Stefan and I almost have a heart attack because I think it’s Mikael! Whoever it is flattens him out with an invisible uppercut and BAM: It’s long-dead Mason Lockwood.
What I think we’ll see tonight:
From all the previews and spoilers, it looks like Uncle Mason and Lexie are back, someone somehow succeeded in chaining up Stefan, and we find out why the ghosts are running rampant. I’d personally like to see more Delena, more Barbie Klaus vs. Vampire Barbie (perhaps a good girl fight), and Aunt Jenna. A girl can dream… Cheers and enjoy tonight’s episode!

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