Previously on The Vampire Diaries, ‘Christmas Through Your Eyes’
Picking up right where the midseason break ended, Kai has kidnapped Elena and taken her to the Mystic Grill. He needs to learn how to control all the magic he sucked up from The Traveler’s spell so he’ll be ready to beat Jo in the merge ceremony. He’s going to use Elena for target practice. Kai has managed to master cloaking spells however and surprise, there’s a dead body right in front of Elena on the table! Kai’s monologues continue to leave me awestruck.
It’s a full house at the Salvatore mansion. Jeremy is there, useless as ever, so of course he has his shirt off. I find the more useless his character becomes, the more we see his bare chest. Liv is helping Jo practice magic in the living room so she’ll be prepared to face Kai. Things aren’t going so well though; Liv’s shirt is on fire and it looks as though a tornado has ripped through the room.
Damon spent the night at the hospital with Sherriff Forbes believing that Elena cancelled their dinner plans the night before. Caroline arrives bearing green smoothies and impatience for the lengthy practices of modern medicine; she’s unsatisfied by the idea that her blood won’t be a surefire cure for her mama’s cancer.
In what seems to be a throwaway scene, Liv and Tyler chat on the phone while Liv borrows a shirt from Damon. Maybe this will prove relevant at a later date?
Stefan has Mama Forbes’ living room all setup with her sound system so she can relax and be cozy in her favorite chair while she watches all the Friends episodes she can stand. Caroline has been on the Google all night and she’s heading to Duke University to get a second opinion for her mother. Stefan narrowly avoids an afternoon spent with the gang at Central Perk and decides to tag along for the road trip.
Kai has Elena chained to the ceiling of Mystic Falls high school. He’s working on a spell that will turn her blood to acid and while doing so he melts Elena’s daylight ring right off her finger. She manages to break free from the chains and runs into the science room. She allows the sun to set her hand on fire and then creates her own personal flame thrower with some sort of gas pump (my high school wasn’t this fancy) and manages to torch Kai creating a distraction for her to escape him once more. I must admit that was pretty badass for Elena! She locates a phone and quickly calls Damon to fill him in before Kai catches up to her and snaps her neck.
Meanwhile at Duke University, Caroline makes her way to the oncology department and Stefan attends an art show where the real Sarah Salvatore has an exhibit, only to find Enzo is also in attendance. The expert oncologist Caroline came to see gives her the same information she’s already heard from her mother’s doctors. The expert also tells her about a patient they have at the University with the same symptoms and Caroline requests a visit.
When Elena comes to she finds herself tied to a table in the cafeteria. Kai has had to change his shirt since she torched the other one; he regrets the loss, which causes Elena to wonder if he has ever cared about something that isn’t inanimate. In a reference that I believe would pass right by Elena if not much of the younger The Vampire Diaries audience, Kai asks her if this is an episode of Ricki Lake where they’ll talk about his feelings. He does admit to loving one of his brothers whom he played Dr. Mario with (another 90’s relic), and that he remembers the day he finally beat him at it. Though his favorite memory was when he finally beat him to death.
Outside the school, Liv is preparing a cloaking spell for Damon to get in and bust Elena out. But faster than you could say “damn these wonder twins” Luke has shown up and cloaked Liv so he can prevent her from helping Damon.
Damon calls Ric for reinforcements and though Jeremy wants to keep it simple and just kill Kai – it’s cute when he tries not to be useless – Jo says she’s strong enough to do a simple cloaking spell.
Back at the Whitmore dorms, Luke is forcing Liv to pack her shit so they can go home to the coven and perform the merge ceremony. Liv admits to Luke that she knows he is stronger, she’s known it since he stopped her from completing the spell that would have allowed Bonnie and Damon to cross back over from the other side. She tells Luke to go on ahead and pack whatever the hell he wants cause he’ll be the one to keep it. Eventually he decides that if the death of his sister is undeniable then he won’t force her to return home.
Matt alerts the sheriff to the dead body at the Mystic Grill. Why? Why is she working? This scene makes no damn sense. The sherriff nearly faints and Matt takes her home. Great work, Donavan!
In an act that must violate so many laws, not to mention being fairly shady in the area of ethics, Caroline forces the cancer patient at Duke to drink her blood. I guess she figured it’s no biggy since he has no next of kin listed in his file.
In a tense moment, where I wouldn’t have been surprised if Kai was actually just playing along, we learn that Jo’s cloaking spell is working when Kai passes right by her and Damon without a second glance. They find Elena and Jo, enlarge the spell to include her, but it’s taking a toll and they need to get out of there fast before Jo runs out of juice.
Back at the art exhibit Stefan calls Enzo’s bluff and says he should go ahead and tell Damon the truth about Sarah, knowing that without having this information to dangle over Stefan’s head, Enzo will have nothing left to obsess over.
Jo has the bleeds and her spell has run out of time just as Kai catches up to them. Damon urges Jo and Elena to get out of there while he stays there for some ass kicking. Kai pulls a disappearing act, vanishing from one end of the hall and reappearing at the other. Damon breaks off a stake-sized piece from a wooden broom handle and throws it into Kai’s chest. Unfortunately, Kai had disguised Elena’s body as his own and it’s she who has been staked.
Kai uses the distraction to track down Jo but Jeremy Gilbert actually proves himself useful and sends a bow through Kai’s shoulder. This gives Ric a chance to inject Kai with a drug to knock his ass out.
Stefan meets up with Caroline to find that the cancer patient is out of bed and looking healthy. Caroline is thrilled, but Stefan is still skeptical.
Damon works to get the bits and pieces of wood out of Elena’s chest but she tells him there must be a splinter still left in her heart and if there’s anything Damon wants to tell her, he better do it now. For a second I honestly thought, well damn how are they going to pull this off? Turns out Elena’s sense of humor got a little darker after spending the day with Kai and she’s totally fine. Even though in my head I was screaming – WHAT ABOUT BONNIE? – Damon and Elena did share a sweet moment together, only to be interrupted by Jo and Ric.
Enzo has this long speech at the art exhibit, but all I heard was “blah blah, sexy British accent, blah.” I do know that he’s cooking up some sort of revenge scheme and it involves having Sarah’s photos. One question though, why isn’t Matt with him? At the end of the last episode it seemed as though Matt was going to be doing Enzo’s bidding until he eventually killed him.
Elena and Damon resolve to have dinner the next night, as long as she isn’t kidnapped beforehand. Ric and Damon discuss Jo’s chances of beating Kai and while Damon is concerned, Ric has faith that she’ll come through.
Stefan confesses to Caroline about Sarah. The sharing of this secret, topped with helping out with Mama Forbes, and accompanying her to Duke are all great steps in getting their friendship back on track and Caroline is very grateful. This is another very sweet moment and you could feel the change in Stefan’s feelings towards her. These two are definitely hooking up soon! I only hope it happens as naturally as possible since their relationship up to this point has been one of the most organic on the show.
The final scene was the standout for me this week. I loved Caroline’s honesty, she knows that she will outlive her mother, but she didn’t think it would happen so soon. She wants her mama to stay around for many years to come so they can celebrate all the important moments in life together. After seeing the results from the patient at Duke University, Caroline is convinced that her blood is a cure for cancer and she persuades her mother to give it a try. It was haunting and downright heartbreaking to see these touching mother-daughter scenes being juxtaposed with flashes of the patient at Duke, who is coughing up blood and crawling out of his room screaming for help. This does not bode well.
The (only remaining?) mother figure dying from natural causes in a show that revolves heavily around supernatural deaths reminds me of a very similar plot from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Though this storyline is certainly not as compelling (not yet anyways) there’s something about the reality of the situation that helps to ground a show like this. It brings to mind what Stefan emphasized last episode, that there’s always a plan for the supernatural big bad, always a way to handle them, but with this there is no plan. It truly makes the circumstances much darker.
Kai is by far the most entertaining villain in the show’s history. His brand of sinister humor is so captivating and I find myself laughing at the most inappropriate moments. For example, when he uncloaks the dead Mystic Grill manager and he’s so filled with glee that he has surprised Elena, “Table for 3!” Or when he tells Elena that if there’s anything Ricki Lake has taught him it’s that loving yourself is what comes first. Then there’s his response to a confused Damon when he cloaks Elena, “Oh, are we not cloaking people anymore? I thought that’s what this was!” They’re giving him some great dialogue to work with and the actor is just hitting it out of the park. I hope he sticks around for a while longer.
I only have one real bone to pick with this episode, but it’s big: where the hell was Bonnie? Her absence better not become the norm.