'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Massacre at the Masquerade
8:00 - I am still very sad about Mason. Please pause your televisions and observe a moment of silence for the sexiest werewolf shoulders ever.
8:01 - Caroline ( Candice Accola) is quickly shaping up to be one of my all-time favorite TV characters ever. Her character development has been flawless, and it's rare that you find a character who is simultaneously tragic and hilarious. I want to listen to her talk about boys forever. "Skip the teen drama, get to it." No, Damon! Don't skip the teen drama! More Matt! Caroline reveals Katherine's plan to wreak havoc on the town to get the moonstone, and Stefan makes an interesting point - losing Mason rattled her. Her alphabet of plans seems to have arrived at the letter D. Desperate.
Damon's favorite word also starts with D. "Katherine's not getting dick." Perfection. There's nothing like a crazy ex to sharpen up a man's one-liners.
8:02 - MATT! Um... can we talk about how amazing it is that Matt ( Zach Roerig) showed up to help bring Jenna home from the hospital? I bet he's a volunteer there. Or maybe he just sits outside the door in his free time, waiting for people who need him to carry heavy things and smile dazzlingly.
I'm so glad Jeremy ( Steven R. McQueen) calls Elena ( Nina Dobrev) out for thinking that her breakup with Stefan will cure Katherine's crazy. Was Elena born yesterday?
8:04 - Katherine made Miss Flowers carry all the bags? She's a vampire, she could lift a truck!
I'm guessing that Katherine's witch friend is a relation of Bonnie's. She and Katerina Graham could be sisters. It's interesting that Katherine thinks Lucy didn't have a choice to come when she called.
8:05 - Alaric's ( Matthew Davis) bag of tricks is pretty awesome, but this scene was more fun in the Comic-Con preview - the pacing feels off here and they cut out one of Alaric's cute lines. It's so interesting to know that Alaric developed his arsenal with the intention to kill Damon for killing Isobel. The tables have turned.
8:06 - Finally, Katherine breaks out the hair straightener! It's very interesting to see her in her downtime, relaxed and talking to an ally. She's less distinguishable from Elena here - girls getting ready for a party are girls getting ready for a party, I guesss.
8:07 - Elena's such a minx, inviting Matt over to "watch TV" when they're both fresh off of painful breakups. Recycling exes is no way to rebound, Gilbert!
I can't decide if Matt is genuinely over Elena. When his sister died, he sought comfort with her, not Caroline. It's almost hard to watch her tell him that he looks good in a suit because he might still have feelings for her. I know it would end in disaster, but I'd love to see Elena and Matt give it a shot again. It'd be really interesting to see her try to return to the land of the living... and there's undeniable chemistry between them.
8:08 - Why in the world is the He-Man Vampire Haters Club including Caroline in their plan when she's so easily rattled by Katherine? This is going to be a mess. While we're on that, why does Damon ( Ian Somerhalder) trust Bonnie ( Katerina Graham) with the moonstone now? Is it just out of necessity? She royally screwed him the last time he trusted her, with John Gilbert's device in "Founder's Day."
8:12 - Uh oh. I'm pretty sure that Tyler ( Michael Trevino) bonding with his mom and apologizing for his dickishness is a very, very bad sign for her. Neither of his parents has ever been particularly nurturing toward him before now, and it's nice to see a softer side of him. I hope she isn't his first kill - even though she's his mom, viewers don't have an emotional connection to her. I think his first kill should be more epic.
8:13 - Matt! He's been thinking that Katherine is Elena this whole time? Poor, clueless, adorable Matt. Oh. My. God. His little smile when she tells him that he looks good in a suit... I just made embarrassing noises. My friends are giving me looks. This is my favorite scene of all time. "God, you're hot. Now go away." Please, sir, may I have another?
8:15 - Matt and Tyler are getting into the booze, while Thing 1 and Thing 2 dance around. Why have these girls infiltrated and when will they go away? They've been in several episodes now, and they're still completely one-dimensional. They keep showing up as plot devices without having any emotional ground in the show. Annoying.
8:16 - Doesn't anyone notice that Jeremy and Bonnie are sneaking away upstairs together? What ever will the villagers think? I want to know what everyone else at school thinks of our heroes. I know that it's not exactly interesting to watch these kids mingle in hallways at school, but an episode where they're muddling through history class wouldn't be the worst thing ever. It'd be nice to see how unnatural it is for them to go about their normal lives now that they've become so embroiled in the supernatural world.
8:16 - Alaric is kind of pointless in this episode. I liked seeing his Mary Poppins bag of tricks, but he seems wasted, pacing around Jenna's kitchen and brooding. I do find Elena's level of comfort with him fascinating - she tries to grab his phone, speaks sharply to him, calls him Ric.
8:18 - I've said it before, but the cat-and-mouse game that Katherine plays with Stefan brings out the absolute best in both these characters. He's so smug and sexy, and her vulnerability makes her even more frightening.
Wow. I didn't think she'd actually kill anyone in public, but when Thing 1 interrupts her dance... Katherine doesn't pull punches. "Paralyzed from the waist down... and dead." I got chills! This scene is getting rewound and watched over and over and over. Dobrev is chilling.
8:25 - Elena is the worst sneak-er-out-er. That was bush league. I wish she'd, for once, mind her own business. I realize that she's used to being in the loop and having everything revolve around her, but she should trust that there's a plan in place and stay out of it.
8:25 - It's great that despite how far he's come, a random death still means nothing to Damon. There are still key differences between him and Stefan and the lines haven't blurred. This scene has a lot of impact on me. Damon promises to have Stefan's back, and that's enough to reassure Stefan. Finally, the bridge has been rebuilt between these two.
8:25 - If I start writing "JEREMY!" every time he appears, will you guys be mad? He wants a school spell and a sex spell! He hilarious. McQueen's casual delivery here has me swooning for all the wrong reasons. "You want to dance or something, while we're waiting?" He's so charming, and he is bringing out some really fun sides of Bonnie that we haven't seen yet.
That said... watching Katherine paw at him is creepy to the max. I know they're not technically related, but... ew. Hands off the baby brother.
8:27 - MATT! Even drunk and surrounded by willing and easy girls, he pauses to give Caroline a Meaningful Glance Across a Crowded Room. The music swells! My heart soars!
8:30 - While Katherine was choking Caroline, I had a feeling that they had Katherine right where they wanted her. I love that Caroline's vulnerability in the past is what made her absolutely essential to this plan. The fact that everyone is necessary in this plot is what makes this episode so great. There is no ensemble cast with more chemistry than this one.
8:31 - HOLY MOLY! The stake to Katherine's back hurts Elena. Is that the doppelganger connection? If so, maybe Katherine somehow created Elena - or convinced one of her witchy friends to create Elena - as a way to keep herself safe. This is one of the best twists the show has seen so far.
8:35 - Dobrev is phenomenal here. I'm starting to feel like a broken record every time I see how awesome she is. Seeing Elena helpless and scared in one scene, and Katherine kicking ass and taking names in the next is awesome. The fight scene where she takes on both brothers gave me the chills!
I'm glad Jeremy tried to give Elena the ring. With all the discussion of how much danger Elena is in, all the time, I'm surprised that he and Alaric haven't superglued their rings to her forehead by now. Are the rings the product of a witch, and if so, can more be made? The relationship between these two is so well done.
8:36 - "The three of us together, just like old times. The brother who loved me too much and the brother who didn't love me enough." "And the evil slut vampire who only loved herself." Perfection.
8:37 - She wants to break the curse - who is she trying to get? Her maker?
8:38 - Katherine chose her minion well. Matt knew exactly what would set Tyler off. Zach Roerig has proven before that he's awesome at playing a jerk - remember him as Tyra's boyfriend on "Friday Night Lights" - and it's difficult to watch him turn that on as Matt. Tyler seems so heartbroken as Matt stabs him in the back.
Could Caroline be more awesome tonight? That elbow to Matt's face was a brilliant move.
I'm so disappointed that Sarah is Tyler's kill. It feels like a cop-out that she and Amy were brought in just to be disposed of. I don't like characters that are plugged in just to be offed, it reduces the emotional impact.
That said, there is no lack of emotion in this scene. Trevino is turning it out in every way. The genuine fear that any kid would have knowing he accidentally killed a friend is there, but it's amped up by what he knows about the curse. Tyler looks absolutely agonized and I can't help but feel tears come to my eyes. He never really had a chance. It's one of the most tragic things that's happened on this show.
8:44 - Stefan really has Katherine's number. So who is Katherine running from? The only vampire I can imagine being more powerful than Katherine might be the one who turned her in the first place, though if that's who is after her, they'll have a seriously rough time casting someone who can go toe-to-toe with her and believably intimidate her. I still can't decide why she wants to break the werewolf curse. She says that she needs a wolf, so maybe whoever's after her is the one who cursed the Lockwoods in the first place. The connection would make sense.
"Have I mentioned how inconvenient your obsession with me has been?" "You and me both, honey." I would like to see an hour of Damon and Katherine sitting on stools, verbally sparring, and nothing else. That would be a great show on its own.
She's been following Stefan around, which is hard for Damon to hear. She was even at the famed Bon Jovi concert. Is nothing sacred?
8:47 - Clearly when a witch owes a debt, she's somehow compelled or required to follow through on it. The instant she repays her debt to Katherine, she's able to turn on her, but not before that. How powerful is she, though? There's no way she actually just killed Katherine.
This episode is revealing a lot of witch mythology that we haven't learned before - witches have to follow through on their I.O.U.s, and they're also very loyal to family. Lucy is so disturbed by the idea of crossing a fellow witch. Are the Bennetts technically a coven?
8:51 - Remember at the beginning of the episode, when Tyler told his mom they should've canceled the party? Word.
It's very in character for Caroline to try to take control of this messy, messy situation. I wonder if she'll compel people into not investigating the death too carefully. I wish we'd see the sheriff here - we haven't seen her since Caroline compelled her to forget about the vampires.
Tyler opens his shirt to check out his wound... and his chest is obscured by shadow. Lighting guy = fired.
Finally, there's the connection between Caroline and Tyler that Accola told me we'd see. I love the spark between them, and I love what it's going to do to Matt as it unfolds, since he obviously still cares about Caroline enough for those Meaningful Looks Across a Crowded Room.
8:54 - It's so rare to see Bonnie vulnerable, because she's always on the defensive with the Salvatores and her friends. Lucy reduces Bonnie to begging, and I like seeing her cave a bit. It also leaves room for Jeremy to sweep in and cheer her ass up. They should go learn some sex spells.
"When did you get your driver's license?" she laughs when he offers her a ride. Translation: "When did you get so hot? Let's go learn some sex spells!"
8:56 - Does Elena know that Katherine is "gone," but not actually dead? It seems like it's been left pretty ambiguous during her conversation with Stefan. I'm surprised that they didn't get back together in this episode. I understand her concerns, but if I were her, I'd feel safer with him than without him. I wish his blood drinking had been addressed. Has he still been feeding since their breakup?
8:57 - This is possibly my favorite scene thus far in the series. Damon promised in "The Return" that he'd kill Katherine in a poetic way, and he didn't disappoint. She essentially had him trapped for 145 years, and now he's going to trap her, too. Things really have come full circle for them.
There's not a beat missed. Katherine is so desperate as she claws at the walls - we've never seen her like this, and it's shocking. Meanwhile, Damon stands stoic, trying to hide his emotions while she begs.
"Why do you think I haven't killed her? She's the doppelganger, she needs to be protected," Katherine says of Elena. It stops Damon for a second, but he sees through her now. I have to say, when he promised that he'd be the one to protect her, I was moved. He still loves Elena, despite her choosing Stefan, despite her disdain for him.
I think it's notable that Katherine says Elena is "the doppelganger" versus "a doppelganger." I can't wait to find out what that means.
Damon's face as he slams the door shut is just brutal. Somerhalder is in rare form tonight.
8:59 - All due respect, but this is one of the worst cliffhangers we've seen. The phone call Elena makes to Jeremy as she walks to her car only makes it painfully obvious how ridiculous it is for her to have been left alone. Just minutes ago Stefan was telling her she needs to see a doctor... but everyone thinks she's just fine to go home alone? She's been kidnapped before. I wish the episode had ended on Damon's face after he shut the door on Katherine. It was much more powerful of a moment.
This episode was one of the best, but I have to say that Tyler's kill shouldn't have been a B-plot. This episode clearly focused on the hunt for Katherine, so it made the werewolf story feel like background noise, and it shouldn't have been. Trevino knocked it out of the park and made it feel so, so gutwrenching. I'm going to say that he gets the MVP tonight, because he completely aced what could have easily been a lackluster, anticlimactic moment. He's so underrated and I can't wait to see him play out Tyler's actual transformation.
By the way, Somerhalder definitely gets the honorable mention, here. His last scene with Katherine left me shivering.
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