The Vampire Diaries Recap: Stefan vs. Damon, Round 21 — What Is Your Greater Good?

The Vampire Diaries

Dead Man on Campus
Season 5 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries

Dead Man on Campus
Season 5 Episode 8
Editor’s Rating 4 stars
Photo: Annette Brown/CW

Last night was my favorite kind of TVD episode. It was fun (parties! booze! making out!) but it also had a lot of depth and heart. We got to take a closer look at relationships that haven’t been given the spotlight in a while — Elena and Caroline, Stefan and Katherine. Also, Damon got some purpose and Bonnie’s plotline didn’t totally suck (I mean, it did for her, but that’s different).

What I’m really loving about this season is that we’re getting the chance to see real emotional consequences. So much has happened to our gang that at this point they all have post-traumatic stress disorder. There are crazy story lines on this show. Moonstones and werewolves and doppelgangers and nutty professors and serial killers — and they pull most of them off. But what TVD has always shined at is beautiful, human emotion. Relationships. That is what this show is built on. And last night, we got to see a lot of them evolving.

Except for Jesse. Jesse did not evolve. He mostly just died.

Stefan Is Not Really Up for a Party

Stefan just sitting by the fire was hilarious until we saw that he is continuously hallucinating, still being trapped in that safe. Minus 15. Also, addendum: Why do vampires sweat? Wouldn’t their body temperatures self-regulate before that could happen? Of all the unrealistic things to fixate on …

Stefan and Katherine — yes, yes, yes. “Like it or not, you’re going to end up with someone who looks like me.” DEAL WITH THIS HORRIBLE TRUTH, STEFAN. Plus 30.

“Um. What is wrong with you?” Being human is hard, you guys. Am I right? Plus 8.

Katherine introduced Stefan to her daughter! That’s a big step. Must be serious. I think the bridesmaids should wear blue? Plus 10.

“Which one of you is younger?” He dates high-schoolers. It’s a fair question. Plus 7.

Matt, Stefan, Katherine, and Nadia in the storeroom was phenomenal. “I would much rather be getting drunk right now.” So much drinking last night! Missing Alaric something fierce. Plus 15.

Stefan stumbling around was brutal. Also, has Stefan showered? Is he afraid of the water now? Can you imagine if he just started walking around the Salvatore mansion like Huck from Scandal? (I love Huck, but that one time he didn’t shower for weeks was more horrifying than any murder). Minus 20.

Stop trying to kill Katherine, Stefan. Minus 10. Also, why was her strategy getting him to think about people he killed? Like wouldn’t that make him feel worse? I guess we really shouldn’t question Katherine.

Stefan reading Katherine’s suicide note was amazing, as was Katherine standing on that clock tower — framed and tortured by time. I mean, this is great television. And then Stefan catching her falling body before it hit the pavement — predictable, yet perfect. “I’m dying, Stefan. I’m dying of old age.” She was CRYING. And then Stefan TOUCHED HER FACE. “You’re Katherine Pierce. Suck it up.” How great was Katherine’s expression as Stefan walked away? It said everything we need to know. She has something to live for now. Amen, sister. Plus 50.

Total: 75

Damon Can Compel All of This Out of Your Head

“Anytime you start with ‘this is gonna sound lame,’ guess what? It is!” Stefan would never say something like that to her — and that’s exactly why I’m loving Damon and Elena together right now. Normal adjacent. Plus 4.

Why does Elena hate talking on the phone with Damon? She will use any excuse to get off the phone with him. Taking Aaron on as a project is just so Elena. I thought maybe new relationship blood would be interesting, but she has all the same annoying tendencies with him, too. Minus 10.

“The only moody mystery guy that I wanna make out with is you.” Plus 6.

“Damon said that he’s going to try and bring Stefan” — Elena. I really hate to say this, Delena people, but if Elena’s first reaction about her boyfriend coming to visit is that he may bring his brother, her ex … minus 19. I’d really like to start rooting for them but she’s going to have to stop demanding Stefan’s full attention, too.

“What I want is to be drinking copious amounts of booze and making out with my girlfriend.” Making out. Sometimes I forget this is the CW. Plus 7.

Did I miss the part where Damon got to Professor Doctor? Why is this idiot (Wes) such an easy target? Whatever. Damon injecting him with, like, every infectious disease was just crazy enough to be awesome. Plus 17.

DAMON GOT A PLOT. A good one. Turns out Damon was an Augustine vampire. I don’t totally get what that means, but I don’t care. One of my favorite things about the early seasons of this show was discovering things about Damon and Stefan’s past. We haven’t done that in a while. Time for a history lesson! Plus 30.

Total: 35

Bonus Points:

Oh, good, another psycho teaser with Professor Doctor. Plus 5.

Bonnie on Facetime videoing for her mom was just … why is her being alive and having a functional relationship with her family and friends sad?  I mean, Christ. But it was funny when they made fun of who and/or what she is now. Nice to know Caroline and Elena don’t really get it, either.

“I have to go register for classes.” Obviously that’s code for making out, because register? Classes? Please. I love when the writers poke fun at the stuff we all know is ridiculous. Plus 20.

Katherine can’t compel booze! But she’s super-hot, so ultimately it all works out. Also it makes me sad that Matt is still bartending at Mystic Grill. Wasn’t Rebekah supposed to compel him an acceptance to, like, Stanford? Plus 7.

Caroline’s vampire compassion was so beautiful. Helping Jesse heal his roommate … God, I love her. Plus 9.

Caroline close-dancing. Maybe I don’t even ship Steroline. Maybe I just ship Caroline and life. Caroline and people. Caroline and those red solo cups. Plus 8.

Professor Doctor wants to make a breed of vampires who will only feed off of each other, or something. That just sounds gross sexy — don’t we have enough gross sexy already? Minus 7.

Am I going to have to make a debate category for Aaron? Is that even how you spell his name? Some friendly advice, Aaron: I would run very far from all of these people. I would drop out of school, and move to California, and just read books. Be outside in the sunshine. Live out your days on a goddamn raft. Just do not stay here and fall in love with this girl. Minus 5 for ignoring my advice you stupid, fictional character.

Jesse DIED? I know how you kill a vampire, but it just seems like they’re all constantly sticking wood in each other (yowza!) and nothing ever happens. Is Elena the first one of them who managed to actually put it in the right place? (I can’t stop, I’m sorry.) Anyway that just seems highly unlikely to me. Minus 15.

Jesse passing through Bonnie while she was boning Jeremy was pretty awkward. Like how much would it suck to die and then have to show up at a weird sex den before you get to go live in purgatory? Take note, Aaron. This is what happens to extras. Minus 7.

“The Elena that I used to know would have given Jesse a chance.” “The outside world is not nearly as dangerous as the person you’re inviting into your own bedroom.” And then: “The day that I stop telling you is the day that we’re no longer best friends.” I love Elena and Caroline’s friendship. I love how complicated it is. Real friendships always are. Remember in the first episode when Caroline said that Elena always gets everything? It was never easy. One of the challenges of transitioning childhood friendships is that we see those people for who they were, and not always who they are. I’m looking forward how this develops. Especially that giant falling out they’re going to have when Stefan and Caroline get together (kidding, not kidding). Plus 20.

Total: 35

Stefan won this round — but only for that interaction with Katherine.

We’re off next week for Thanksgiving, but see you all back here December 5! I’m sure we’re all thankful for the same thing. Jeremy shirtless. Obviously.

As always, I’m here: @RebeccaASerle

The Vampire Diaries Recap: Dead Man on Campus