These hiatuses are just killer. This season has been so good that when we’re off, I find myself in season-two longing mode. RIP, STELENA. Thankfully, three weeks only feels like an eternity because if I had to wait one more to figure out what Caroline was up to sans humanity, I would have turned my own humanity switch off. (This involves less ripper-ing and more French fries, in my case.) This week our one and only Ian Somerhalder stepped behind the camera, so needless to say, it was an A+ episode. We don’t call him Smolderhalder for nothing, ya know?
Let’s get into it.
I have to admit, I was looking forward to Caroline without her humanity. Mostly because Candice Accola is fierce beyond reason, and I wanted to see that in action. Plus 10.
The first thing we learned about humanityless Caroline is that her voice is down an octave (sultrier, digging it), and also that she is a total BAMF. Plus 8.
When Liam showed up and Caroline voiced the thought we were all thinking: “The boy I totally forgot existed. You’re cute, are you a doctor yet?” Plus 6.
I was into Kai when he was a straight-up psychopathic villain, and I’m still into him now that he has something of a conscience. “Feelings are hard.” So true. Plus 4.
Damon’s face upon realizing his mom wasn’t in the coffin he’d thought she was in for over a millennia was the same face we saw when he realized Katherine wasn’t in the tomb. His whole life has been a lie! Well, besides the mirror. Minus 10.
“You think I’d be used to this part by now.” Bonnie’s back, and she’s glad to be rid of her ’90s flannel. So are we. Plus 20.
This entire scene between Caroline, Bonnie, and Elena was pure gold. Caroline just does not give a you-know-what. “I ate him. And he was delicious.”
“You know how cute guys naturally taste better?” This is excellent reasoning. Like how baby … you know what, never mind. I’m a vegetarian. Plus 6.
And when the girls got on her case (sheesh, can’t a humanityless vampire live?), Caroline gave them a lesson in restraint by sharing her logic for why she didn’t kill Loser Liam: “I could throw you in the dumpster, but everybody’s always being found in dumpsters.” I think Caroline’s read Gone Girl, guys. Plus 8.
“Check in Mystic Falls to see if anyone’s missing.” Uh, has anybody seen Matt lately? Slipped him some extra cash to pay for groceries? Minus 4.
Another gem in the Stefan Salvatore Pickup-Line Handbook for Brooders: “I never thought I’d say this, but … do you want to go to a rave?” Quick footnote: Joey once took Pacey to a rave. They ended up on an awkward double-date with Dawson and Pacey’s sister, and then Andi overdosed on a bunch of speed? I dunno, but it was romantic as hell. Further proof Caroline is the Pacey of our time. Plus 7.
Caroline at the rave with the Britney Spears “I’m a Slave 4 U” hairdo is everything fabulous about the world, but it feels like I have acid in my eyes because it’s wrong, wrong, wrong. Bring back our girl with the bouncy curls! Minus 12.
I love how Stefan’s default “I know how to save someone from themselves” strategy is to get drunk with them. Plus 10.
I also love how he thinks he can get Caroline back because he smiled, had a couple of shots, and stared into her eyes for a bit. Dude. Her mom died, she loves you, and you chickened out. It’s going to take at least some expensive chocolates to fix this shipwreck. Minus 6.
“What are you going to do to her, Caroline?”
“I’m going to kill her.”
Do us all a favor, Caroline. No points, because I resent that Sarah is still around to even be killed.
They have a fireplace in their dorm? No, sure, I went to Hogwarts, too. Minus 9.
“I compelled a student to perform surgery on Stefan’s niece, and you found a way to make this about you? You truly have a gift, Elena.” PERFECTION. (And we feel seen, writers.) Plus 12.
Just when I thought this situation couldn’t get any worse (better), Caroline delivered the kicker: If Stefan shut off his humanity, she would save Sarah.
Elena’s all like, “Nuh-uh, Stefan’s keeping his humanity.” Stefan looks kind of doubtful about this. And that was the moment I knew we were all doomed.
While Liam is off slicing organs out of Sarah’s body, Caroline is making margaritas. “I think I’m going into pediatrics” is right, Liam. Minus 25.
“Stefan unleashed himself from you months ago, Elena, he can speak for himself.” These one-liners are just — okay, is there another pun I can use instead of "killer"? They’re "bloody good"? Sure, let’s go with that. Plus 18.
Meanwhile, Damon finally got Kai to fess up about Mama Salvatore, in the usual way: “As a vampire who eats people, I’m saying you don’t want to get on my bad side.” Plus 8.
Turns out Lily Salvatore didn’t die of consumption in 1858 — she turned into a vampire, faked her death, and went to Europe, where, according to Kai, she “went a little cray.” Yep, Mama Salvatore is a bona-fide rippahhhh with 3,000 corpses under her belt. (I guess it runs in the family.)
So Kai’s coven put her down, and by "down" I mean "locked her in a prison world" because actually dying on this TV show is not a thing that happens. Plus 40, because I am loving this story line.
I am also loving fierce, powerful Bon-Bon. As she says in her kiss-off phone call to Jeremy (whom I’m assuming is still alive while fighting vamps in "art school"): “I don’t know if I’m scared of myself or if I kind of like the new me. I’m going to figure myself out, and then I promise I’ll come visit you.” Girl, take it from me: Once you are a little bit scared of yourself, that’s when you’ve just started to shine. Plus 35.
The Stefan-Caroline showdown/throwdown was hot yet wrong in so many ways — I’ve been waiting for these two to go at it for so long, I guess I’ll settle for a little fighting before we get to the loving part. Plus 4.
“Bring me back.” Stefan’s plea to Elena over the phone was utterly heartbreaking, and in that moment, Steroline deniers everywhere knew just how much he loved Caroline. He’s going to ditch his humanity for her, guys. But does Elena have to be in charge? She’s really bad at saving people. Minus 24.
“Don’t you dare tell me that you shut it off.”
“Okay, I won’t.”
[Pan to Caroline lying on the bar, lookin’ smokin’, as she takes Stefan’s cell phone.]
“He shut it off.” Minus all the points. Plus all the points. I’m so conflicted.
Look, I want Caroline to get her humanity back just like the rest of us, but … watching her and Stefan being badass rippers together is going to be so. Much. Fun. (And watching Elena struggle to save them, equally entertaining.) While I’m in front of my mirror trying to replicate Caroline’s awesome hairstyle this episode, tweet me your thoughts on next week’s Steroline shenanigans! Should we start a body count tally? (I think so.)