Just when you think you have The Vampire Diaries figured out, it goes in a direction so unforeseen, you find yourself checking your TV Guide to make sure you’re on the right channel. TV Guide, you ask? What is that? An early form of the “list” button, kind of like a cross between Tivo and a magazine. What is a magazine, you ask? Never mind.
Last night’s episode was dark — really dark. Possibly the darkest we’ve ever seen this show go. But it was also straight-up delightful. Like an episode of Gilmore Girls where the heater breaks and everyone has to walk around in puffy sweaters and funny-looking hats. Hot chocolate all around!
“Fade Into You” was two polar-opposite things butted so close together that they had no choice but to hug. Like black and white, Bieber and Sinatra, Nick Jonas and virginity, Friendsgiving and the tale of Jo, Kai and the twins were the most opposing plotlines to ever come in contact with each other, yet the resulting amalgamation was, quite honestly, breathtaking. Last night’s episode was horrific, tragic, dramatic, poignant, and FUNNY.
I loved it, let’s recap.
Feeling REALLY confident about the fact that the Tyler and Liv plotline got a shout-out in the “previously on” section. That one is usually reserved for Damon’s weird eye thing. The people have been heard! Plus 4.
This opening was everything I avoid in a movie theater. Straight-up classic horror. The knife and blood was one thing, but then the LITTLE BLONDE KIDS?! Dark shit. I’ve never seen American Horror Story, but I imagine it’s something like this. Well done, and terrifying. Plus 20. (But minus personal points for the years of life lost).
Oh, but Kai cooks! There’s the show I know and recognize. Murderers: good with spices and mozzarella. Plus 8.
“You can’t miss Friendsgiving … we’re already low on friends as it is.” Death, you know? These guys basically live in a retirement community. Minus 12.
“Hey, were you invited to Friendsgiving?” Classic. Plus 10. Also, I was thinking how cute it was that Caroline wanted to do Friendsgiving. Friendsgiving is a thing. It’s fun. It’s usually the week before actual Thanksgiving, and sometimes it’s a potluck. I generally bring a crudité platter and dips because cooking, no thanks. ANYWAY, then I realized that their Friendsgiving is their only Thanksgiving because they have no family, because their family is all dead, and it stared to be kind of sad. No points, because do they ever care about food anyway? I forget.
The girls got it up to care about a possibly alive Bonnie! Plus 30. Ten bucks says she comes back and they’re like, "Wait you’re Bonnie? Sorry, we thought Bonnie was Vicki? We were really looking forward to being reunited with Vicki."
Damon, Stefan, and Alaric talking about Caroline was A+ and made me realize something! It made me realize how delightful it is to watch Damon and Stefan talk about a girl (normally). We’ve never seen that! Brother chick-teasing! Because they have both always been in love with the same one! Plus 20.
“See, Stefan? Even the bear knew.” Freals. Plus 8.
Then Stefan grabbed the teddy bear from Damon and drop-kicked it into a magical barrier. Stefan’s angst was really paying off big time. Plus 4.
Liv and Luke were the twins under the bed with Jo. It all began to come together and then promptly fell apart again when Tyler and Liv took over the scene with their sexual tension. So into these two. Plus 5.
Elena looked great last night. Plus 5.
The Counting Crows! Plus 20. We’ve heard "Mr. Jones," we can officially leave the '90s.
Caroline is totally in charge of Friendsgiving. You can say what you’re thankful for, but only in 100 words or fewer, Caroline doesn’t have time for your stream of consciousness here. (We’re looking at you, Elena). Plus 10.
Also, you’re not allowed to use your phone. Plus 7.
Jo is the twins' sister. She saved them 15 years ago from her psychotic brother Kai. I am so into this plotline. New characters haven’t been this good since the Originals, and look what happened to THOSE guys. Plus 20.
“I’m sorry, did you just say coven?” —Liam.
“Oh my God, you’re still here.” —Elena
Plus 12, for obvious reasons.
Kai’s father and Damon had a heart-to-heart about the ascendant. This episode just kept getting better and better. These Gemini coven witches are hard-core. Plus 4.
Where did they put Liam? Minus 4.
Holy shit. On their 22nd birthday, the twins have to merge powers, and the weaker of the two dies. SOPHIE’S CHOICE, TVD. HOW WILL WE CHOOSE? So like this show. Give us the two greatest characters ever, and then tell us we’re gonna have to lose one of them. Plus 20 for really excellent storytelling.
So the stakes of Kai escaping make sense now. Kai will merge with Jo and take over the coven — and THE WORLD? I don’t know, he seems evil. Plus 8.
“Just to be clear: Jo was invited to Friendsgiving, but I wasn’t.” —Stefan Salvatore, keeping perspective. Plus 9.
Elena thinks Stefan and Caroline should just kiss and make up. Okay. Look, I like that Stefan and Elena are friends. I like that they can speak honestly with each other. But it’s bugging me how Elena’s memory problem hasn’t affected her feelings for Stefan. She fell out of love with Stefan because she fell in love with Damon, but now she doesn’t remember ever loving Damon, so wouldn’t that mean … you know what, never mind. Let’s keeping moving forward.
Every time I see Jo, I think it’s Elena’s biological mother. That chick died, right? Alaric dated her too, right? No points.
Jo’s dad was trying to kill her, pretty much. Which seemed super uncool and also, like, way jumping the gun? Kai hasn’t even escaped yet? Minus 10.
Jo was really chill about dying. Just coughing up blood and giving directions like a badass. Plus 15.
Kai was really milking his dinner with Bonnie, which was emotionally confusing (for me). Like, he’s a terrible monster, and those scenes with the twins and Jo were horrific, but also he’s charming and seems to have a troubled past? Probably Elena will date him. Plus 18.
“The coven comes before family.” Okay, but isn’t the coven family? Isn’t it the same thing? Minus 7.
Why did Kai’s dad want to kill Damon? This guy was trying to murder everyone for only like half a reason. Minus 4.
Meanwhile, Liam STILL did not understand what was going on, even though Jo was CHOKING ON HER OWN BLOOOD. So Elena fed her vampire blood to save her, because remember how that’s a thing? Everyone has been so into playing Doctor lately that I’d nearly forgotten they can actually just cure people super-easily by biting their own wrists. Variety is the spice of mortality, I guess! Keep saving people fresh and interesting. Plus 9.
Elena told Liam she was a vampire because dude was NOT putting 4,000 and 4,000 together. But then she compelled him to forget, probably because he wasn’t exhibiting enough hero tendencies. Plus 8, I guess. I mean, he’s still probably going to die, but it was nice of her to want to protect him.
Teenage Jo, who was suddenly completely cured of all of her stab wounds, agreed to merge with Kai. Can witches heal or not? Have we addressed this lately? Feels like we haven’t. Minus 6.
Witch high jinks! Been awhile since we saw some good witchy shenanigans. They sent Kai straight to hell. Plus 7. Witches got SO interesting on TVD this season. Trying not to think that has something to do with Bonnie being in purgatory.
I can’t take watching Bonnie being stabbed and sacrificed and killed anymore. I’m at my limit. I love Bonnie, but I can only love Bonnie if Bonnie is around. Also, enough with the stabbing already! This is a vampire show! Go back to biting each other, for Christ's sake. Minus 30.
“Girlfriend? You’ve been on like three dates.” Ha, Damon. Plus 6.
Damon compelled Alaric, which I think violates bro code. A Bro Shall Not Compel Another Bro. (I miss Barney Stinson). Minus 5.
Tyer and Liv foreverrrrrr. I LOVE this Tyler. I have missed this Tyler. He told Liv that he’s not going to let her die, they will find another way. It reminded me of how sweet he used to be with Caroline … remember? Plus 15.
“Besides, Bonnie’s alive.”
“Yeah, about that …”
Minus 20. There is always a caveat to Bonnie staying alive. She’s like the female Jeremy. P.S.: Where was Jeremy?
Stefan had some lame excuse about why he pushed Caroline away. Something to do with her being awesome? I don’t know. Minus 11. Just get it together already.
The final scene with Elena and Damon felt like the old Elena and Damon. She gave him a hard time. He softened to her. I also liked when Damon told Elena he talked and talked with Bonnie about her. “What do you think?” is the new “I love you.” Looks like these two crazy kids are gonna give it a fifth try! Good for them. Plus 6.
WHAT IS WITH ALL THE SPONTANEOUS RECOVERING FROM STAB WOUNDS?
Positive episode! We’re off next week for Thanksgiving. Enjoy your holiday, everyone! And remember to keep your gratitude to a long paragraph, no more.
As always: @RebeccaASerle