This review contains spoilers.
4.11 Catch Me If You Can
We’re back in Mystic Falls for a slightly less entertaining, but no less interesting, episode compared to last week’s, and our three teams currently competing for the cure are still circling each other. To recap, we have Bonnie and Shane, Damon and Klaus (and Elena, Jeremy and Matt), and Stefan and Rebekah, all of who have a different vital artefact in their possession. Just to complicate things even more, as The Vampire Diaries loves to do, there’s now a potential fourth team, as a particularly torture-proof stranger is seen breaking into Shane’s office and retrieving Silas’ headstone (which Stefan and Rebekah now have).
Got all of that? Good. Starting with Stefan and Rebekah, isn’t it glorious to have Stefan fill the role of antihero now that Damon has shacked up with his girlfriend? We all enjoyed the Ripper back in season three, but his shady morals didn’t last long once Elena stuck her oar in so, now that element has been removed, we can assume the rest of the season will be occupied by a more fun, increasingly ruthless Stefan. As he tells Elena this week, she doesn’t know what he looks like when he’s not in love with her (burn!), and we’ve not seen this side of the character before either.
But because this is The Vampire Diaries, we couldn’t expect him to stay single for long, and his flirtation with Rebekah is certainly preferable to his pining for Elena. They have a history, a common goal, and bitterness towards the rest of the cast, and all of this makes them perfect for each other right now. Their promise to keep feelings out of it probably won’t last long, especially for the notoriously emotional Rebekah, but we can have fun with the dynamic while it lasts. This is the most the central triangle of Stefan/Elena/Damon has changed, and it’s exciting to think that we won’t ever be able to return to the way it was.
Speaking of Damon, he’s making a few bad decisions of his own this week, putting Matt in harm’s way before royally sabotaging his life with Elena. At the end of the previous episode, we saw Elena and Damon say to hell with the sire bond, they were going to be together anyway, but the reunion is short lived. Having Klaus on their team is obviously going to lead Damon to his worst instincts, but using Matt (“the least most useful player”) as bait for the newly turned vampire army, and then turning his back long enough to be compelled, is certainly testing Elena’s patience.
Kol is back on the scene, which actually puts the cure team count up to five, and he’s desperate to stop the others from digging up Silas and triggering the end of days. As motives go, this is probably the least selfish, but I hope the show doesn’t chicken out of actually finding and using the cure come season finale time. In an attempt to sabotage the rest of them, he plans to kill their hunter, and so compels Damon to go after Jeremy. This leads to a tense hide-and-seek game around the caves and, after Stefan saves the day, Damon is now locked up and away from Elena for the foreseeable future.
Yes, the writers have found a brand new way of keeping Elena and Damon apart. I’m still not sure why they introduced this sire bond element for any other reason than to annoy viewers but, now that it’s in play, it’s actually more infuriating to see the pair together. Elena’s vampirism hasn’t cured her whininess or selfish attitude and, as Matt points out in his weekly scene, Damon has clouded her judgement in the most dangerous way. The old Elena would never have left him in charge of a plan, especially with Jeremy, and she doesn’t even seen too bothered upon discovering the army of dead innocents that Klaus and Damon have turned.
Bonnie actually gets something to do this week, too, as Shane orchestrates a demonstration of how much the mayor’s daughter needs him to stay stable. After April came to Sherriff Forbes last week with the truth about Shane, he’s being questioned by the police, but doesn’t even bother denying his part in the pastor’s murder/suicide plot. Instead, he puts Bonnie into play a little earlier than expected, and manipulates her into losing control, before calming her down with a few choice words. As he puts it to her dad, without his guidance, she’s a ticking time-bomb. Well played, sir.
Now that the pieces are moving and the players are set, it’s safe to say we’re in for one helluva showdown over the next few weeks. Jeremy is now on a mission to kill Kol, and thus wipe out his entire line, which sounds like a risky strategy. Will it even work? Will it unexpectedly kill one of our central characters? We can assume the Katherine/Stefan/Damon/Caroline/Elena line started with Klaus, but what about all of the people Elena will essentially murder with her plan? They’re getting desperate, and it’s oh so fun to watch. See you next week!
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, After School Special, here.
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