The Vampire Diaries Recap: Hello, Love

Photo: Annette Brown/CW
The Vampire Diaries
Episode Title
Moonlight on the Bayou
Editor’s Rating

It’s the crossover event we’ve all been waiting for: Today, Stefan reunites with his estranged frenemy Klaus Mikaelson. But even more importantly: Three years from now, Caroline is headed for a reunion, and no matter what your ’ship is, you know that’s going to be one hot reunion. (Because it’s New Orleans and it’s always hot there. JK, because it’s Klaroline, people.) 

Back to the Future
When Caroline said Klaus’s name, I shivered. Just putting that out there. “My name is Caroline Forbes. He’ll know me,” she says, with a sort of indignation that only our girl Caro could pull off, as if she actually means: Look, this guy hasn’t seen me in almost six years (wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff not withstanding) but you just say my name and I promise he’ll come running. 

The problem: Klaus is gone, and hasn’t been seen in New Orleans in almost three years. Which puts his disappearance right around …

On the Bayou
The present day, where Stefan is barreling towards some magical safe-house Valerie is helping him find. He stops to get a charger, because duh, no responsible hero goes out without one. Big mistake, as Rayna Cruz slides up on her Harley and throws her sword at the glass separating them. Stefan gets away just in time. Eventually, he heads to the safe-house, a.k.a. a bar. And not just any bar. Of all the gin joints in all the world … he walks right into Klaus’s.

“Welcome to New Orleans, old friend.” — Remember when this guy was our problem of the week? 

So I counted the seconds until Klaus brought Caroline up and immediately forgot what the count was the moment he said her name. Don’t get me wrong—I am a Steroline-lover ‘till the end, but … the Klaroline chemistry, even when she’s not even in the room … damn! “We’re going to need another round,” Stefan says. Me too, I say.

I love that Klaus is being Stefan’s voice of reason about his fears for Caroline’s babies. Of course Klaus knows Caroline wouldn’t abandon them. He knows Caroline. “If you care for her as you say you do, why aren’t you with her now?” he asks, revealing once again that he also knows Stefan, and how uncharacteristic it is of our brooding hero to be separated from his girlfriend because of a brotherly spat. 

Cue Stefan’s scar, Klaus’ recognition, and the uproar: Of course the latter also knows about Rayna Cruz’ bloody reputation. And he’s pissed at Stef for dragging his people into this battle. I miss the good ol’ days of Joseph Morgan screaming at people to get out in that cute British accent. I also miss the epic bromance of Klaus and Stefan — which doesn’t seem to be returning anytime soon. Stefan takes a hint and peaces out, just as the phone he leaves behind rings, with Caroline’s name on caller ID.

But we’ll get into that conversation later. Like the TVD writers and their love triangles, we like to tease.

Stefan’s escape gets hindered by Rayna Cruz, but just as she’s about to push her sword in and finish the job, Klaus comes in and saves the day. More like slays the day, since he kills Rayna with a single swipe to her neck. Of course, they have to get away before she regenerates — and, more importantly, they have to get away before the werewolves in the territory stake their claim.

“Do you love her? Caroline?” Klaus asks when they’re in the car, driving, presumably, someplace far, far away from Rayna.
“Why? Do you still have feelings for her?”
“I have far too many complicated women in my life already.”
I’d like to note that neither of these boys were honest in this conversation. Yes, Stefan loves Caroline. Yes, Klaus still has feelings for Caroline. Will this love triangle ever be resolved? You may have to watch The Originals to find out, as Klaus tells Stefan he’s taking him to see a witch who can help with his “Rayna Cruz problem.”

Your Worst Enemy
Speaking of problems, Damon’s got a new one, and it’s called the Armory. Yet another secret society (remember the Augustines?), this one is dedicated to finding the dangerous artifacts of the magical world and keeping them out of the wrong hands. Enzo seems to have bartered his kidnapping into a more profitable deal: In exchange for working with the Armory to secure Rayna’s sword, they’ll give him information on who his family is.

But if the pattern of what happens when you learn about your “true” family on this show holds true Enzo, he should have stayed kidnapped. This won’t end well. (Remember Isobel?)

Just as I have this thought, the Armory stun-guns (or the magical equivalent of stun-guns) Nora and Mary Louise, who have just reconciled their engagement with a ring pop. To make matters worse, Valerie also warns Damon about the Armory. “They were more than happy to let Rayna bury her sword in Beau as long as it got her into one of their cages.” Like Bonnie’s wise words from last week: sketchy people, sketchy tchotchkes. Unfortunately, when Damon tries to get Bonnie out of there, Enzo vervains him and knocks her out. 

The full truth comes out: The Armory wants the sword, and Stefan can lead them to it. Damon can either reveal Stefan’s location and let the Armory kill him and get the sword … or Enzo will let Tyler (not dead, it turns out, but currently incapacitated) turn into a werewolf and kill Damon. 

“Good news, tween wolf. You’re about to get your sweet revenge on me.” Instead of just killing him to prevent the curse from activating, Damon keeps Tyler alive out of allegiance to Elena. Tyler points out that this is really F’d up — Damon’s morality should be tied to more than Elena’s possible reappearance in his life.

But interestingly, Bonnie’s morality enters a gray area here as well—Damon tells her to let Tyler kill him, but she refuses, cutting off Enzo’s hand so she can use his fingerprints to release the lock on the door instead. I think, as with Damon and Tyler, Bonnie wants to keep Damon alive for Elena's sake. 

“You’re not supposed to die for me, Bon. Neither is my brother,” Damon says, watching over Bonnie in the hospital after her plan backfires and Tyler attacks her. For Damon, this is the last straw: He’s taking himself out of the game as soon as she is healed.

I guess this is how Damon ends up in a coffin — he decides it’s worth playing dead for the next 60-70 years instead of risking the chance that Bonnie, or Stefan, or anyone else Elena loves gets caught in the middle of his messes. But will it work? It didn’t seem like things were so great in the world Damon left. It actually seemed like the opposite: Without him, things went down the drain. 

Hello, It’s Me
Which is basically the status of Caroline’s life right now. Her boyfriend’s on the run, she loves two babies that aren’t hers … and Alaric informs her that he’s moving to Dallas today, keeping his promise to Jo to make sure the babies are safe. Even if that means hiring the perpetual boyfriend-texting nurse to accompany him, bad idea.

“I’m a better idea,” Caroline tells him, trying to play it cool. This is not something a mom would do, it’s just something Caroline, concerned citizen and child-surrogate, would do. (This is a lie, and everyone and Klaus Mikaelson knows it.)

And in between crying babies who won’t sleep, diner rest stops, and nanny spreadsheets, that’s exactly who Caroline winds up talking to on the phone.

Klaus: “Hello, love.”
Caroline: “Who is this?”
Klaus: “Ouch, has it really been that long?”
Shivers, shivers, shivers! Okay, so it’s not the in-person reunion we may have hoped for, but many kudos to the TVD writers for knowing how to play a long game.

This entire conversation was like a wishful thinking cocktail served up with nostalgia chocolate. Klaus ensures Stefan’s safety … not because he particularly cares about Stefan’s beef with Rayna Cruz, but because he cares that Caroline loves him. (Stefan, not Klaus. Right now, at least.)

“My family is what makes me truly happy. It is not a crime to love what you cannot explain,” Klaus says, in a rare moment of softness from him…and a sign to Caroline that it's okay to love the babies, even if it means her life will change in ways she can’t control. Which, maybe, is why Caroline tells Ric she’s staying the night in Dallas, under the guise of making sure the electrician doesn’t electrocute her — sorry, Ric’s daughters. She’ll even compel the nanny to lower her fee, if Ric wants. But something tells me she’ll be making herself at home there soon enough — exactly where, as Klaus said on the phone, Sheriff Forbes would want her to be. 

I’ll be tuning into The Originals to see the rest of Stefan’s story this week, and I hope you join me! Until next week, you can find me on Twitter @Talkativetara.