The gang goes to senior prom and you know what that means. Sweet, sweet suit porn!
Previously, on The Vampire Diaries
A grief-stricken Bonnie, having learned a second time about Jeremy’s death, walks through the Gilbert family plot. She kneels before Jeremy’s grave, which is wrong because John and Jenna took the last two plots. She places flowers on the grave and monologues for a bit until she hears Jeremy call her name behind her. She rises and turns to see him.
He yells at her over and over to wake up, to open her eyes. She does, on her couch at home, which is on fire. She waves a panicked hand over the flames, dousing them with Expression. Title card!
The Salvatores toss the old pigskin around their living room while tossing around ideas on how to get Elena to re-install her emotion chip.
Mom always said, don’t play ball in the house!
Plan A is to “pull a Lexi” and throw every emotion they can find against her wall and see what sticks. Plan B is to lock her up until they can figure out a Plan C, at which time Stefan swears he will withdraw from her life entirely.
Elijah is playing Judge Judy at the Haus of Klaus, mediating the dispute between Klaus and Rebekah as to who’s more deserving of the cure. Becky’s argument: she wants to grow old and have children and feel like every day matters. Klaus wants to avoid being tormented by Silas forever. Becks objects, reminding the court that making Silas human would allow him to die and finish the spell to break down the barrier to The Other Side which would release every currently-dead supernatural being. Klaus points out that this includes brothers Kol and Finn (it also includes Esther and Mikael, which no one ever remembers). Becky’s all you never cared about our dead brothers when they were alive and Klaus is all did so. Elijah rules in favor of Rebekah. Klaus storms out but not before threatening Becky that when she’s old and sick not to come crying to him.
A beaming Becky asks Elijah for the cure but he’s all not so fast there, Speedy! He wants her to be sure that she knows what she’s giving up by living as a human for one day. No vampire privileges, no strength, no nothing. If she can do this, he will give her the cure.
She takes this as an excuse to go shopping with Elena for prom dresses, because in a thousand years Becky has never managed to attend a high school dance. Elena assures her she’ll fail the test and that going to prom is a dumb idea, too tempting. Becky counters that there’s no more human experience that going to prom. Elena decides to go with since Rebekah won’t be able to compel herself a date. Becky’s suspicious but Elena’s acting purely out of self-interest. If Rebekah passes and takes the cure no one can use it on her.
Caroline has the last look at her dress along with Bonnie and they discuss Bonnie’s dreams.
Caroline thinks it’s just grief but Bonnie tells her about the burning couch. So not normal. Bonnie worries that Shane was right, that without him she won’t be able to control her Expression but Caroline thinks that a night off to grieve will fix what ails her. They along with Matt are doing friend prom together.
Rebekah and Elena enter. Elena: “Hi Bonnie, heard you got your mind wiped. That sucks.” She compliments Caroline’s dress and it turns out Elena helped pick it out back before she was a murderous beyotch. Caroline and Bonnie leave.
Some hours later Elena exits Rebekah’s house wearing Caroline’s dress.
Bitch stole my look!
The Salvatore brothers are her escorts for the evening, over her objections. Damon explains they’re just there to make sure Elena doesn’t kill the prom queen.
Caroline busts in on Klaus with a crisis. Elena stole her dress by compelling the tailor, which incidentally proves that the water supply is no longer spiked with vervain. Klaus busts out laughing but Caroline stamps her tiny foot and demands he take it seriously. She wants to look “Princess Grace hot” so he needs to dig into the cache of women’s clothes he apparently carts around with him and find her an outfit. Is Princess Grace really a fashion touch stone for teenagers these days? And seriously, why does Klaus haul around all those women’s clothes?
Elena and the boys arrive at the prom, where they are confronted with a “video yearbook”, a series of monitors showing slide shows of moments from the senior class. Elena spots a picture of her and Matt taken by her mother on the first day of freshman year, then a shot of her with Jeremy.
The hair…the horror…
For a second it seems like she might be feeling something but she turns away, complaining of the likely onset of a seizure.
The dance is in full swing (Matt describes the decor as a trial run of Caroline’s wedding) and Elena’s about to nip at her flask when Damon snickersnags it, saying she’s underage. Please, don’t insult us. She says he’s too old to be hanging around a high school dance but he says no dance is complete without at least one senior with an inappropriately aged date. Elena objects to the word “date” so Damon kicks it to “boyfriend”. They banter about emotions and what-not and Elena pretty definitively says that she never really loved Damon and if he believes otherwise he’s the one who can’t deal with emotions.
They separate and Bonnie and Matt are the next up. Bonnie says she misses her; Matt does too and he wants to help. She bags on him for his minimum wage job but he just means he doesn’t want her to miss out on the best parts of Senior year. Matt, the best part of Senior year is the last day of Senior year because high school sucks. Elena rather meanly says that Matt would have unplugged his emotion chip the second Vicki died if he could. Bonnie steps in, saying that Elena pulled her chip because of all the terrible feelings surrounding Jeremy’s death. Elena replies that by failing to bring Jeremy back Bonnie is actually a reminder of those terrible feelings. That’s the moment when Bonnie gives up on Elena.
Bonnie heads outside for some air and runs smack into a monitor displaying a photo of her and Jeremy. Turning from it, she gasps at the sight of Jeremy in front of her. “Is this real?” she asks. “Does it matter? May I have this dance?”
Ghost, hallucination or Silas?
Stefan grabs Elena on the dance floor and she threatens to bite if he doesn’t let go. He cajoles her into staying, reminding her of how he hates to dance. Elena looks annoyed but then a flicker of enjoyment seems to dart across her face.
Becky corners Matt at the punch bowl and asks if he and Bonnie are a thing. He says they’re friends. She says she knows what he’s thinking, why didn’t she compel herself a date. He says no, he was wondering if Bonnie wants ice in her drink. D’oh! She asks if he thinks she would make a good human. Matt replies that “good” is a hard word to live up to and he’s never seen her do anything remotely good, so no, no she would not. He leaves with the punch as Rebekah’s face crumbles. No answer on the ice question.
Stefan challenges the idea that the only reason Elena came to the prom was to keep tabs on Rebekah, given that this is the most romantic night of the year. Elena dismisses the notion that this is her cry for help, offering to show him what a real cry for help looks like. He doesn’t believe she doesn’t care and she doesn’t care that he doesn’t believe. Stefan sets his phasers to “seduce” and several times it looks like he’s reaching her, but then she just walks off the dance floor.
Caroline arrives at the prom and her dress is gorgeous.
Elena bitchily asks “how do I look?” Caroline starts to call her a backstabbing bitch but Stefan’s approach diverts her course. Elena takes another shot and Caroline literally bites back a reply as Stefan hauls her to the dance floor. Caroline: “I know you said to kill her with kindness but can’t I just kill her?”
Stefan compliments her dress and smiles when she says it’s from Klaus, noting she has him wrapped around her little finger. Caroline rejoinds that if that were true she’d be spending prom night with Tyler. They commiserate about their respective lost loves and how trying to Plan A Elena is harder on Stefan than on Elena. Caroline says of course it is, because you loved her. But she insists that one day he’ll find freedom from her and find someone else. Possibly someone in a fabulous white beaded dress, show?
A bemused April
Rhodes Young advises Rebekah that April can’t just make her prom queen. She has to win the popular vote and her tally is currently zero. Rebekah can’t compel or injure her so she’s stymied. Elena’s not, backing April against a wall and throttling her a bit before ordering her to make Becky the queen.
April scurries away and Rebekah calls Elena on her shit, but Elena says she only did what Becks was about to do. Rebekah denies it and Elena reminds her of the time she tortured her for the location of the cure, wrecked her relationship with Stefan and locked them in with a werewolf. I totally don’t remember that but Becky’s all yeah, so? So, Elena says, you’re not a good person and you won’t win this by being yourself so just stand still and refrain from speaking. Epic.
Bonnie dances with “Jeremy” and he asks, “Do you miss me, Bonnie?” OK, it’s Silas.
She does, so he asks if she wants it to be for real. She does, and he tells her it can be if she uses her power to do the spell. Bonnie twigs that she’s dealing with The First and tries to get away but Silas grabs her arm. He insists that without him her magic will overwhelm her and she’ll kill herself but she doesn’t believe he cares about anything but tearing down the wall. He asks if she wants to see Jeremy again. She replies, “Not like this” and leaves.
Steven R. McQueen is doing something with his voice in this scene, some kind of half-accent or stilted pronunciation or cadence and it’s extremely distracting.
Back at Klaus Haus Elijah shows Klaus his superstake (not a euphemism) and tells him Becky gave it to him. He gives it to Klaus, who can’t figure his angle. Elijah says it’s the only threat to him so now that he has it he can quit worrying about the cure. Klaus points out that Silas will still be coming for him but Elijah says he’s dealt with extended periods of torment before, he can do it again, and if he can’t he can always run.
Klaus threatens to take out Katherine if he doesn’t get the cure but Elijah asks, as his only living brother, to give Elijah this opportunity to love. Klaus responds that if he’s forced to run he’ll run directly at Katherine and make it his mission that Elijah never know a moment’s happiness. Considering that Katherine has evaded him for literally half a millennium I am not finding this threat all that credible no matter how glowery Klaus makes his pretty face. I don’t think Elijah takes it all that seriously either. He calls Klaus’s life “little” and “hollow” and departs.
Matt wanders up to Rebekah asking after Bonnie.
She says she’s probably in the bathroom and asks Matt to dance. He turns her down but she begs a little, asking him to put her out of the misery of living every girl’s worst nightmare, sitting alone at prom. Matt relents and leads her to the dance floor. She tells him she’s thought about what he said earlier and that while it won’t be easy to be good but it’s worth the effort. He can’t figure out why what he thinks is so important and she says it’s because he’s everything she wants to be: loyal; honest; kind; a dude. OK, maybe not that last one but that would be an interesting turn, right? Matt protests that he’s just a busboy but she counters that he’s “human, beautifully human.”
Caroline walks up to Damon, wondering why he’s not on “save Elena duty”. He’s on break. Caroline gazes out over the seas of dancing Seniors and declares that it sucks. It’s their last big dance together and it’s nothing like she wants it to be. He offers her a pull on his flask, which she accepts. She announces that she’ll be at the after party and walks out.
Bonnie approaches him and tells him they have a problem. They connect with Matt and Stefan to discuss the situation and Elena eavesdrops with her vampionic hearing. Rebekah does not. Way to commit! Elena fills her in on the “Silas as Jeremy” situation and deduces that this means Silas still wants the spell cast. Elena is not worried about any supernatural enemies who might come back. She’s worried about Alaric and Jeremy. Getting nagged by the Salvatores about her emotion chip is bad enough; Jeremy would harp on her 24 hours a day. That’s…kind of awesome thinking.
April mounts the dais to announce the Prom King and Queen. Team Salvatore isn’t paying attention, being more concerned with a) getting Elena home and b) figuring out how to be on the lookout for someone who can look like anyone. I suggest safe words. Mine shall be “doorknob”. The King and Queen are Matt and Bonnie, because who else is left.
Becky is crushed which is just the stupidest thing ever but Elena has a brainstorm. Everyone’s worried about Silas but Silas without Bonnie is nothing. If you can’t kill Silas, kill his witch. Becky gawps that she can’t kill anyone, she’s supposed to be human. Nonsense! You can kill her non-vampirically, humans kill people all the time! Elena’s all, fine, I’ll do it.
Caroline arrives at
Tyler’s Matt’s place with supplies for the after party. She senses a presence behind her and whirls around. It’s Tyler, with flowers.
She flies into his arms but after a moment remembers Klaus’s threats. Tyler tells her Klaus can’t enter unless Matt invites him. He hands her the flowers and asks her to dance.
Damon swigs from his flask as he watches the memory wall. Damon approaches and they argue but since it’s really Silas and not Stefan I’m not bothering with it. Silas stakes Damon in the abdomen and reveals that Stefan’s in the woods in a similar condition.
Becky warns Matt that he has to get Bonnie off the stage but she’s not one to gossip so he didn’t hear it from her. Too late anyway, as Elena corners Bonnie backstage under the guise of congratulating her. Bonnie is rightly suspicious and Elena vamps out and attacks.
Bonnie blocks the attack and gives Elena a Mystic Migraine, the feedback from which swirls through the dance as a strong wind and shorts out the sound system. They are so not getting back the deposit on that thing. With Elena down Matt reaches the backstage area. Bonnie’s freaking about losing control and Matt tells her to go. April wanders into the middle of all this wondering what’s going on. Elena’s all this is what’s going on and slams April’s head into a table and tears out her throat for not making Elena’s new BFF Becky Prom Queen.
Matt frantically tries to revive April and Becks arrives in response to his call. He asks her to feed April her blood. Becky: “Can’t we just call 911 or something?” She explains that if she heals April Elijah won’t let her become human. Matt explodes that this isn’t even a choice. If she wants to be human she needs to act like a human and heal a person with magic blood like humans do. She doesn’t immediately respond.
Damon finds Stefan in the woods, unstaking himself.
Bonnie crosses the parking lot and Silas-as-Jeremy calls after her. She accuses him of waiting until she loses control and then swooping in to save her and that has happened exactly zero times. He insists that he’s the only one who can keep Expression from consuming her. She shouts at him to leave her alone and the wind whips up and every car alarm in the parking lot starts sounding. Silas starts yelling “Control! Control!” at her like that’s in any way helpful. Bonnie screams “Get out of my head!” and the wind dies and the alarms stop and Silas is gone.
Before Bonnie can catch a breath Elena takes her from behind, sinking her fangs into Bonnie’s neck. Bonnie falls to her knees but Elena has an adverse reaction, spitting up Bonnie’s blood. Bonnie’s wound spontaneously heals and she rises. Now it’s Elena who’s on her knees as Bonnie administers a patented Bennett Bonebreak, snapping Elena’s various limbs one by one.
The Salvatores arrive to try to talk Bonnie down as Elena begs from the ground. Bonnie backs off. Stefan asks if she’s OK. Bonnie: “No, I’m not OK, I almost died, the shell of my best friend almost killed me. None of this is OK!” She leaves.
Damon helps Elena to her feet but before she can say anything Stefan takes her from behind, injecting her with a shot of vervaine, AKA Plan B.
Matt turns from tending to a recovering April and thanks Rebekah for saving her. He says he was wrong earlier, that it’s possible she would be a slightly less awful human being than say Hitler or Pol Pot, so yay? They have a moment and I do not approve because Matt is way too good for her. Matt breaks it up to take April home.
As they leave Klaus arrives, because why not, and busts her for failing the test. Rebekah protests that she saved a life and you can’t get more human than that. Klaus is all, balderdash, it’s way more human to stand by and wring your hand and piously wonder where souls go after death and ask if there wasn’t something you could have done. It’s one of the better descriptions of a huge segment of humanity I’ve heard lately.
A crestfallen Rebekah believes Klaus is going to tell Elijah but no, he says, she will. In a nifty bit of editing, we cut back and forth between Klaus telling Rebekah at the dance that she will confess to failing and that she doesn’t deserve the cure and Rebekah telling Elijah that she passed with flying colors. While Klaus continues to berate Becky about her desperation to matter, Elijah hands over the cure. Klaus says that fortunately he doesn’t have to worry about wasting any more breath fighting her on the subject, which confuses Becky. Me too. As Rebekah walks off with the cure Elijah’s cell phone rings. It’s Rebekah calling from the dance which she hasn’t left yet which means that the two scenes were taking place simultaneously and Elijah just handed the cure over to Silas.
I cannot believe I did not see that coming despite the anvils about impersonation that in retrospect clanged down all over the place. I wonder if Klaus’s last line means that he and Silas cooked this up together?
Caroline and Tyler share a last dance. He has to leave before people start arriving for the after party, since he can’t be spotted in town. Caroline understands and thanks him for the best prom ever. Tyler leaves and Klaus immediately confronts him on the porch. They really need to screen that in. Klaus asks if it was worth it. In deference to Caroline’s perfect night, Klaus gives Tyler a five-second head start.
The Salvatores lock Elena in the family cell. In reviewing the evening they realize that Elena was genuinely frightened of Bonnie and dying. Plan C is make Elena’s life a living hell. Damon wants to talk Silas too. Stefan observes that he still needs Bonnie and that based on what they saw tonight Bonnie can take care of herself. Damon warns against underestimating Silas, noting he fooled both of them easily enough. They exchange “how did Silas fool you” stories and Stefan’s is just unbelievably stupid. “Damon” told him he spotted Silas in the woods, led him there and staked him. Meaning Stefan at no time asked himself how “Damon” would recognize Silas in the first place. Damon lies and said Silas talked about his hair, as if Damon isn’t the vain one. After a lingering glance at Elena from Stefan, they depart.
Klaus returns home to discover a note from Katherine, inviting him to head to New Orleans for next week’s backdoor pilot for the Originals. There’s some witch there trash talking Klaus and who has information that will shake Klaus to his very core. All righty then.
Bonnie arrives at I think the Lockwood family cells, having found Silas with a locator spell. He’s hiding in the shadows because of a spell Qetsiyah cast to ensure no woman would ever love him, by which I’m assuming he means she uglied him up. Bonnie demands to see his face and Silas rises and turns to reveal his horrible visage.
Once again massive props to Nina Dobrev for her performance. The subtle changes in her face throughout the episode were amazingly effective at selling the hope that something was stirring in the emotionless Elena, only to dash them every time. On a teen drama about vampires.
I was reading some reviews on another site during the hiatus and the reviewer frequently commented that she found the interactions between Caroline and Damon supremely icky because the show wants us to forget that in the first season he raped her repeatedly, forcing her to have sex under compulsion and then making her forget it. I have to confess I hadn’t thought of it in terms of “rape” before although I’ve long been troubled by it, which is why I loved the moment after Caroline turned when she confronted Damon, slugged him and declared “You suck.” Now whenever they’re on-screen together I have trouble thinking of anything else. That reviewer strongly suggested that the show is doing everything it can to make us forget about this and I find myself wondering if we should mark it as read or if the show needs to address it, if it’s even possible for the show to address it.
Next week Klaus heads to NOLA. Let’s all hope it’s hugely successful and that the Originals piss off to Louisiana so we never have to think about them again.