Today we here at PopMessiah.com are happy to introduce our very first guest blogger: Rebecca Faria, in what will hopefully be the first of many recap/reaction posts for one of my favorite TV shows: The Vampire Diaries! You can follow Rebecca on Twitter at @RebelBeckerton
This time, Rebecca takes us through the CW hit’s mid-season finale: “Homecoming” which originally aired on November 10th, 2011. Enjoy!
I have a secret love, and it is The Vampire Diaries.
I won’t waste your time making excuses for how I spend mine; life’s too short to feel guilty about pleasure. And if you made it to this paragraph, you and I probably have this in common.
The lugubrious Alaric was present in name only, as was the increasingly adorable Jeremy. They were briefly missed, but I was soon distracted by awesome storytelling. Oh, I am such a pushover for non-linear narrative when it’s done well. So let’s get right to the latest episode, “Homecoming.”
We open with Stefan luring Klaus back to Mystic Falls. He reports Michael’s death by dagger, and then we jump back and forth in time between their phone conversation and the gang scheming how to work around Stefan’s little compulsion problem. They make up a neat little plot (pun!) and Michael volunteers to let Elena push a dagger through his old, cold heart. He trusts that they’ll wake him up in time for the party, since he’s the only one who knows the location of the anti-Klaus weapon: a stake carved from the wood of the white oak tree used to create the original vampires.
The mythology of this show is completely ludicrous. And yet, I forgive it wholeheartedly. I’d say it was because of the lack of sparkly angstbats, but then my friends who are Twilight fans would come after me (and they know where I live).
Klaus is reluctant to believe Stefan, but is hooked when Rebecca gets on the line and confirms Michael’s death. Klaus quickly agrees to abandon the werewolf hunt and come home, Rebecca feels guilty about turning on her brother, Damon gloats too soon, and Elena yanks the dagger out of the vampiric vampire-hunter on the floor.
Rebecca’s painting her toenails when Michael wakes up. I can’t make out the colour but I’m sure it’s very classy. Theirs is not exactly a joyous reunion; Rebecca knows that Klaus HAS TO PAY but really this is ALL MICHAEL’S FAULT. It’s very tense.
Elena rummages in her closet because she has nothing to wear to homecoming. I’m sure the wardrobe department will figure something out in time. Bonnie feels sad and lonely, but she’s going to be all noble about it because Elena shouldn’t have to take sides between her best friend and her baby brother. This gives Elena an epiphany about the bond of siblinghood. Later, while attempting to assemble an anti-werewolf grenade, she tells Damon that they can’t trust Rebecca. He is either unimpressed by her cleverness, or concentrating on impressing her with his own clever contingency plan. Also, baby brother might be eavesdropping if he isn’t too focused on his own closet problem.
Seriously, Stefan? You’re one hundred sixty-two years old and you don’t have even one decent tie? What have you been doing with your time?
Despite his lack of faith in the wardrobe department, Stefan’s determined to go to the dance and protect Elena’s pretty neck. Not because he cares about her neck, you understand. He’s just doing this because he has to. They bicker about which one of them is the weak link in their clever plan.
Tyler and Caroline get ready for the dance and play with glitter. What was I saying about sparkly angstbats? Ty’s a bit peckish and wants to nibble on someone warm and willing. Caroline disapproves, and mutters uncomplimentary things about Rebecca leading him to the dark side. Tyler doesn’t see what the big deal is and has already arranged a date for the hot-tempered interloper – with everyone’s favourite medium, Mattie. How can this possibly go wrong?
Rebecca’s playing dress-up in big-girl clothes. I’m unconvinced about the cut, but there’s no denying that the girl looks good in crimson. She’s done her part to take down Klaus, so now all she wants is to relax and finally let down her guard. She’s not going to let a little thing like family betrayal stop her from enjoying her first high-school dance. Elena listens sympathetically, gives back the magic necklace, and stabs the poor girl in the heart. Don’t worry; she’ll get better next year. Probably. This show doesn’t let anyone stay dead longer than they can help it.
Damon’s tucks in Rebecca’s inert body and praises Elena, but our girl is consumed by guilt. (There’s a lot of that going around these days.) She feels bad for Rebecca, and feels bad about feeling bad for doing the necessary. Damon’s reassures her; Rebecca’s only temporarily dead, after all. And hey, he has a secret backup plan. She trusts him, right? Right.
I thoroughly enjoy Damon. Ian Somerhalder’s eyebrows are delicious, no lie.
Homecoming is cancelled because the gym’s been flooded but Tyler saves the day, more or less. Caroline calls Elena to let her know about the change in venue, and they hang up just as Matt shows up at the Salvatore’s door with a corsage (so cute!) and looking for his date. Rebecca’s indisposed, so Elena suggests a last-minute substitution.
The shindig at the Lockwood mansion is in full swing when Caroline and Bonnie get there, and it doesn’t look at all improvised. There’s decor, live music, and a lot of guests they’ve never seen before. Stefan bumps into Tyler before Caroline does, and finds out that Klaus is here and is throwing the party as an impromptu wake for dear dead dad. He’s been waiting a thousand years for this, and clearly plans to savour every moment.
Matt comes in along with Elena. Wow, she got ready really fast – even curled her hair! Matt thinks it’s weird that they’re there together, but she makes him shut up when Caroline approaches and lets them know that Klaus showed up. Caroline’s clearly out of the loop on all the clever plans tonight.
Klaus delights in event-planning and cheerfully anticipates a reunion with his family. I’m sure the relatives he’s been carting about in boxes for years on years will be perfectly thrilled to see him. He demands Michael’s body, and promises Stefan freedom from compulsion once this is crossed off the bucket list.
Meanwhile, Damon and Michael bond over a drink. Damon pretends that Rebecca’s at the dance, and Michael shows off his big stick. It’s a very nice stick, and useful too. They also discuss Michael’s dietary preference – vampire blood only! – and he’s happy to demonstrate; when Stefan shows up to tell them about Klaus, Michael has a little snack. Stefan ends up unconscious on the floor, where he can’t be compelled to interfere with their clever plan. Not quite how Damon had planned to incapacitate his brother, but it’ll do.
Klaus reassures Tyler that his Mom’s not going to have a problem with the party; she’s been compelled out of the way. Wait, how? Isn’t she on massive doses of vervain? He becomes less reassuring when he points out all of Tyler’s friends in the crowd and then shows off his new hybrid army who will happily kill anyone who strikes against their sire. Tyler takes Caroline upstairs and confronts her, but the others have deliberately kept her in the dark. Still, she tells Tyler that he can’t be trusted as long as he’s under Klaus’ control. Tyler knocks her out with a shot of vervain.
Downstairs, Klaus is still feeling both suspicious and gloaty, so reminds Elena that a thousand years of practice has made him the king of clever plans. He will always be at least a step ahead. Really, why do they even bother getting out of bed?
A hybrid tries to stop Damon from entering the mansion, but Damon puts him down easily. Meanwhile, Tyler can’t disobey Klaus, but he’s retained enough of his self that he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, so he hands sleeping Caroline over to Matt and begs him to to get everyone out. Matt is Not Enthused, but cooperates. Tyler heads back downstairs just as Damon is coming by, and gets dragged into a quiet room for a little chat.
Damon criticizes Tyler’s hosting skills, Tyler criticizes Damon’s plotting skills, and they snarl and throw each other around. Just as Damon raises a stake, Bonnie steps in and gives them both a massive witchery migraine. Tyler passes out. Another one? I’m running out of ways to say characters are taking carpet naps. Damon complains at Bonnie, but doesn’t distract her from his new toy – the white oak stake that can kill an original vampire.
Klaus is bemusedly pondering the game of beer pong (what will these silly humans think of next?) when one of his new hybrid toys tells him Michael is waiting at the door for an invitation. Klaus tells his soldiers to take their places and goes to talk to daddy. Father and son snipe at each other from opposite sides of the door. Michael reveals that he’s compelled the hybrids to assist him, and has them fetch his leverage. Elena trembles convincingly as Michael threatens to kill her. Klaus can’t make new hybrids without her, but he’s okay with that as long as Michael’s taken out. Michael taunts his son some more before stabbing Elena in the back (literally and figuratively! good work, writers!) and she looks surprised for a few moments before she crumples. Damon appears behind Klaus. Instead of going for Elena’s killer, he impales Klaus on the singular stake. Klaus hits the floor, but it seems to have missed his heart.
Elena stands up and smirks at her attacker. It’s been Katherine in the party dress all along! Michael seems genuinely surprised, so I guess neither Klaus nor Michael has figured out that Elena irons her hair straight and Katherine sleeps in curlers. Michael barely has time to marvel before she pulls wolfsbane grenades from her pockets and casually neutralizes the hybrids.
Damon prepares for a second strike, but Stefan tackles him and knocks the stake out of his hand. Damon thought he was snoozing by the fire (so did we) but, before Stefan can explain, Klaus grabs the weapon and leaps at Michael. This time the stake doesn’t miss, and Michael screams and bursts into flames. The stake burns too. Original vampires are now effectively immortal. Damon is furious at Stefan, but Klaus is grateful and frees Stafan from compulsion as promised. Damon and Elena take the opportunity to skedaddle before Klaus turns on them. Stefan still hasn’t said a single word.
Caroline wakes up at home. She puts the pieces together just as Tyler walks in, and they argue. He stabbed her for her own good, but she doesn’t see how romantic that is, so he tries a different tack. Being controlled by Klaus is so much better than being controlled by the moon; he never has to suffer through the change again. She can’t accept the new him, so he leaves in a huff. I guess they’ve broken up. Worst homecoming ever.
Damon’s back at the Salvatore house, trying to explain to Elena how it all went wrong. Damon had plans inside of plans, but neither of them expected Stefan to appear and blow everything to hell. Damon gives up on ever getting Stefan back, and Elena decides that they’ll just have to let go of him.
Is it just me, or do these two spend a lot of time staring at each other’s lips?
They pull away from their clinch when Damon’s phone rings. Katherine has interrupted their butterfly moment to say goodbye. She’s going back on the run. Damon wishes her well. Little does he know that she’s giving Stefan a lift on her way out of town.
And then we become unstuck in time, and the missing pieces fall into place. Flash back to Katherine in party clothes, waking up Stefan in front of the fireplace. Why would she do that? Flash back a little further to her confrontation with Klaus. He says that if he dies, the hybrids are under orders to kill Damon immediately. Will his compulsion still work once he’s dead? Katherine seems convinced, so we flash forward to the car for a second, and then back to the fireplace, where Katherine begs Stefan to care enough to save his brother’s life.
We revert to linear time, just soon enough to avoid whiplash, and Stefan asks Katherine why she would sacrifice the chance to destroy Klaus. She isn’t immune to human feeling, and really did love both her Salvatore boys. And now she needs Stefan to get his mojo back, too. Get mad, Stefan, and then get even.
Klaus calls Rebecca the next morning, but she’s not picking up. I’m sure he’ll figure out why eventually. He’s on his way to wake his relatives from storage, but is interrupted by a call from Stefan, who is not best pleased at the price he had to pay for freedom. Klaus opens the back of the truck, and his family is gone.
Stefan’s kidnapped the coffins and is holding them hostage. Klaus snarls, Stefan gloats a little (how unlike him!), and that’s the last we’ll see of The Vampire Diaries until next year. Tune into the show on January 5th, 2012 for more biting, betrayal, bad decisions, and clever plans.
Please consider these in the meantime:
- As I was writing this I looked up the name of the actor who plays Alaric, and only then realized that he was also Warner Huntington III on Legally Blonde. Good lord.
- After the love trio spent all those scenes fretting about which of them was going to be the weak link, it turns out that Katherine’s inner human was the upset to their clever plan. That is one volatile supercentenarian.
- Also, clever plans are invariably doomed to fail. Sometimes with fire. Take note.
- If Elena is the latest doppelganger, and Katherine was the doppelganger five centuries ago, it follows that their original was around a thousand years ago when Klaus was first running around. When do we get to see her in a flashback?
- Matt’s getting terribly self-destructive lately. Also lonely, but that’s no excuse for agreeing to date a bloodthirsty thousand-year-old vampire. This does not bode well for his continued survival. Mystic Falls is like to run out of live human teens.
- Will Stefan keep Klaus and Rebecca’s family crated or does he plan to start waking them up? Elijah is going to be all glorious fury when he learns the truth about his parents.
- Sometimes I worry that this show is going to give me cliffhanger fatigue.
- Can hybrids reproduce? Klaus won’t be able to get donations from Elena forever. Not even with all the orange juice and cookies in the world.
- Buffy is still my favourite vampire slayer.
- Stefan started to experience emotion just as Elena resigned herself to losing him. Super ironic timing, yes? The writers can’t let her keep both Salvatores on a string forever, so how is this going to play out? Well, here are some things that AREN’T going to happen:
- Elena realizes that the boys are awfully immature for their advanced age, and dumps both of them.
- Elena turns into a soulless creature of the night, and she and Katherine run off together.
- Alaric runs for mayor.