Last night Shady and Antigone once again braved the tempestuous world that is Mystic Falls, for the seventh episode of The Vampire Diaries, entitled Ghost World. Seasons of this show tend to pick up around episode seven (see: Vicki’s death, Katherine getting captured at the masquerade ball) and this year is no different. With the lifting of the veil between the living and dead, lovers and friends were reunited, hearts were broken and yet again our dear commentators were almost given whiplash from the breakneck pace of one of the best shows on television. It hurts so good. Recap and real time reactions after the jump (Warning: if you haven’t seen the episodes, it will be tres difficult to understand wtf we’re talking about).
Note: Tyler is not in this episode, though he is referenced (making it more obvious); Matt bows out early (he deserved a break after last week) and Rebecca and Katherine aren’t mentioned at all (do with that what you will)
Antigone: I forgot about mason being back!
Shady: I had to, it was my way of staying sane
Antigone: Oh, right, this is a reversal! And Damon can’t see him. Omg
this show loves its torture scenes
Antigone: “night of illumination” huh?
Antigone: I’m upset that I missed Jeremy and Anna, poor Bonnie
Shady: Yeah, I wish I was upset about Anna mixing it up, but I’m not
Antigone: Damon hasn’t driven w/ the top down in a bit, throwback! And I agree with him about people staying dead this has too many potential consequences.
We’ll pick up with the last “guest” we saw, Mason Lockwood – he’s left Damon chained, staked, and burning in a style similar to his own death. Though it is Stefan that frees him from this particular torment (after swearing it wasn’t him that did it), tonight’s episode is about Damon’s other bonds, the ones he chooses himself. His “bad” relationships are personified by his unnecessarily adversarial relationship with Mason – he automatically knows who’s haunting him, is unsurprised by the glass being smashed in his face at the bar, and their biggest argument is over his inability to apologize and/or trust (in spite of following a ghost to a cave without telling anyone, but that could just be his lack of impulse control). Conversely, his “good” relationships are personified by Alaric – the last time Damon tried this hard to make up with someone he had killed their brother, plus that someone was Elena. It is no mistake that he uses the same apology for both Mason and Alaric, even if Alaric calls him out (True bromance means never having to gloss over a recycled apology). Damon saying “sometimes I do things I don’t have to do” is not just a big personal step, it’s a message to us from the writers acknowledging that sometimes The Lesser Salvatore just loses it – he’s not together, but he’s getting there. It is also no mistake that Mason led Damon to the cave but Alaric is the one who actually remains to tell him what’s in there – he is the “real” one after all, and now that they are friends again, the audience can fully trust him without worrying about his motives.
Antigone: This Jeremy-as-medium thing is paying pretty awesome dividends though
Shady: he finally has a role!
The writers do us a solid by taking this ghost situation to its logical conclusion i.e. finally letting them be visible to more than one person at a time (though since literally every character has died or is undead, shouldn’t that have already happened? Am I confusing ghosts and thestrals?)
Antigone: And of course Bonnie suspects Vicki over Mason. Matt don’t pull out of missions, we’ll probably need your normal at some point…Lol witch cookies
Shady: we always need Matt’s normal…why am I always so happy to see Stefan now?! It’s like Bad Bill on TrueBlood
Antigone: I love that everyone – including me – gets nervous when he shows up. “If you wanna move on, stop talking to me.” He’s somehow scarier than damon when he’s like this.
Antigone: Bonnie and Caroline haven’t hung out in forever, this mission is overdue. But donde esta Tyler?
Shady: That’s because Bonnie went bitch-crazy on Caroline.
Antigone: Seriously, what the heck is going on between them? I really wanna trust you Anna, you guys were honest w/ one another at the end…”Send me away”? Ouch
We never question Alaric’s motivations when it comes to his newest role: a “family meeting” during decorating for the Night of Illumination (It’s fall in Mystic Falls, and with a new season comes a fresh round of community events) shows Alaric settling in nicely as head of the Gilbert house. The episode rightly decides to spend some quality time on the Elena-Jeremy relationship, since 1) they are both in the supernatural up to their necks and 2) he’s dating her best friend, and #1 is doing serious damage to #2. Usually their sibling bond is more informed than displayed – somehow the “sibling” talks are always taken care of by the the Salvatores – so it’s refreshing to see Elena chew him out like only a big sister can when she discovers him making out with ghost-Anna, with full assurances that she won’t tell Bonnie because he will.
Shady: HE’S GHOST CHEATING
Antigone: NO. YOU. DO. NOT. CHEATER CHEATER
Shady: She’s gonna send Anna back and Jer’s gonna get sad/mad. But he’s so precious I’m still not mad
For the remainder of the episode Jeremy attempts to defend his choices – he doesn’t say he doesn’t love Bonnie, but saying he never stopped loving Anna is almost as bad – against Elena’s assertions that this connection will ultimately prove unhealthy. It’s not until the ghosts of the tomb vampires start Founders’ Day: The Sequel that he grasps the far-reaching consequences of staying in the past, and even though Anna admits to stealing (a lie I can forgive, her mother was always her most important mission) he can’t pretend that her leaving doesn’t hurt, and doesn’t really fight when Bonnie requests that he not insult her with his excuses.
Antigone: I love that Alaric is still mad at Damon
Shady: GRAMS. YOU CALLED IT LAST WEEK.
Antigone: Yay, Grams! I officially love this “ghost world” idea
Shady: JULIE PLEC I WILL HAVE YOUR BABIES
Antigone: ….since almost everyone has some dead person they want to see
Shady: Jasmine Guy is the most wonderful black woman on television.
Antigone: “hi Ms. Sheila’ i heart Caroline
Shady: I love how these girls are actual friends
Antigone: Sheesh, Elena caught them? And it’s probably for the best if that necklace is destroyed…lexi’s such a baller, i miss her
Shady: I am at a complete loss for words for most of what’s going on
Antigone: Ooh, Mason has info? i wasn’t expecting that. And Damon admitting he does a lot of things he doesn’t have to do is a (tiny) step in the right direction
Shady: it means he sane maybe
Antigone: I never thought of the fact that Lexie, as a vampire, was able to get into his head and help him from the inside
This cellar is the new favorite hotspot it seems
Shady: where exactly is this cellar? and how did Lexie know about it?
Antigone: of course there’s a Lockwood family legend that no one ever talks about, or bothers to tell younger Lockwood’s
Shady: right so how did these Lockwood parents get all these secrets
Antigone: They should have kept Mason around longer…and Stefan doing this jekyll/hyde thing is pretty awesome
Antigone: She actually answered her phone? They really are all about coordinating tonight. Lolz bf ghost dramas
Shady: Bonnie is going to tear some shit up. SHE BROUGHT HIM BACK FROM THE DEAD.
Antigone: BONNIE. So, so sorry, boo. Seriously
Antigone: AAAHHHH THE GUY THAT KIDNAPPED STEFAN THAT ONE TIME
Shady: this town just needs to stop gathering. period.
Antigone:This whole thing reminds me of Founders Day two seasons ago, which I guess it’s supposed to
Holy True Blood Batman! it’s Nan Flan’s peace rally all over again
Shady: Did I mention there’s a woman at my job named Nan Flanagan? Her name popped up in my email and I FREAKED
Antigone: What does she look like? B/c she definitely works for the AVL, don’t believe otherwise lol
Aaaand we’re back at his first blood bender. Don’t play the ILY card Stefan that’s horrible.
Elena’s own ghost story dovetails nicely with Jeremy’s (seriously writers, this was one of the best-constructed episodes in a while) as her prayers for Lexie’s return are answered (how were we supposed to interpret that momentary hesitation before going to the Chamber?), and we get a glimpse of the Ripper Rehab program she’s used over the years to get Stefan back on track: invade his mind so he thinks he’s starving, then apply pain until he feels something resembling true emotion. These scenes – with Stefan alternately begging and threatening violence – show just how far we’ve come since the first blood bender in S1, where falling off the wagon almost drove him to suicide; now we are left with a creature whose primary goal is to survive. Lexie’s job goes unfinished, but in another neat pass of the baton this episode she reminds Elena that he’s almost there before she departs. The fresh, delicious tension between exes only increases when Elena states that she is not giving up, only remembering that she has other obligations. Their story is far from over, but she knows she has to be realistic – “I won’t love a ghost for the rest of my life” she promises, and means it.
Antigone: why on earth would Elena stop this? Besides the creepy murder I mean….
And it was a “Tolerance’ festival on TB, I remember now
Shady: she looked in the soapdish for the locket lol
Antigone: Bullshit – They are all about the throwbacks tonight lol
And I would be sad if Anna did steal it.
Shady: she did though
Bonnie and Caroline’s relationship was another in need of revisiting, if only for reinforcement and not repair; the show sort of papered over their differences following Caroline’s turn to vampirism last year, and they barely shared scenes by themselves. It was reassuring to see that in the interim their friendship has only strengthened, since it was Bonnie’s turn on the emotional rollercoaster after Caroline’s hybrid BF drama last week. Caroline is taken to the former witches’ gravesite for the first time, and they run into their Ghost of the Evening, Bonnie’s grandmother (“Hi Ms. Sheila,” – Caroline is nothing if not polite). Their mission, should they choose to accept it, is to mend Vicki’s hole in the veil by destroying The Necklace and cutting the Original Witch off from her last remaining talisman. A hunt ensues (Damon said he left it at the house, but it’s missing) as Caroline does her best to be a good friend and run interference between Bonnie and What Elena Saw, going so far as to warn Jeremy that if he didn’t act he would lose everything.
Antigone: Caroline is the best friend a girl could have, seriously
Shady: WHERE is Tyler again?
Antigone: I was just typing the same thing
Shady: and why lanterns, Damon? why not flashlights?
Antigone: “I’m a ghost, I’m not God’ Line of the night
Shady: jesus cut Jeremy a little break she DIED on him…this is kind of poetic since it’s Bonnie’s fault that Anna died
this is some stone of resurrection shit
Antigone: Jeremy, honey, it’s called Orpheus and Eurydice. It’s over…
Oooh, Anna lied. And he and Bonnie will definitely be on a break when this is done
Shady: yeah, idk how to feel about them being on break. I don’t like villainizing Jeremy. His general brick-house adorableness makes it impossible for me to hate him
Antigone: Don’t sacrifice Bonnie for that. Like I love him, and I get it, but this is totally unacceptable
Oh, I was understating, she needs to drop his ass like a (hot) rock
Shady: yes, it’s unacceptable, unrequited love or love lost early just rips me up on so many levels
Antigone: Sigh, it really is painful for everybody. WTF is Tyler, I hate it when they do this. Esp when he should have gotten to see his uncle
Shady: I don’t think Jer is dumb enough to lose sight of Anna being a GHOST
Antigone: I would hope not. And aw, helpful Mason. ‘I don’t need revenge, Damon. I need redemption”
Antigone: Caroline BETTER remember that she’s a BA vamp that can fend for herself
Antigone: But they are so not talking in private right now
Shady: ok, Jeremy back off the ledge
Antigone: Right?! Last time he talked like that he took a bunch of pills and a vial of blood and went to sleep. Like she’s really gonna listen right now Jer, seriously. And poor Anna lost her mom again.
Shady: THIS SONG, MAXWELL COVER
Antigone: i like that Lexi’s unfinished business was her best friend.
SHE FOUND HER MOM
Antigone: Bonnie, man. When she isn’t aggravating she’s amazing
Shady: Bonnie is about to CURB Jeremy, her Grams was there, which means she’s feeling all strong. and when Bonnie feels strong she drops people QUICK
Antigone: Aw, Damon only trusts Elena and alaric
Shady: THE BROMANCE IS BACK.
Antigone: “Sometimes i do things I don’t have to do” Love that Alaric called him out, but the bromance is back ON
And i’m really digging teh new Stefan/Elena dynamic. And that she acknowledges her roles as someone other than his gf
Shady: I love that Elena is more of grown-ass woman than Sookie. She’s not whiny like Sookie.
Antigone: “I won’t love a ghost for the rest of my life” Killing me. And she’s OWNING Sookie right now.
Antigone: True about Matt letting go of Vicki first
Shady: wait wait wait but he HAD to let Vicki go, she was trying to KILL Elena
Antigone: WHY ARE WE BLACK GIRLS ALWAYS ALONE?
Bonnie finds out anyway, and we are once again reminded (even though Anna’s death was totally her fault) that Bonnie hasn’t lost the most, but she’s had the hardest time regaining her footing. The only family we have encountered died in S1 or hasn’t been seen since the start of S2; she is the least experiences with relationships, and hers is the only triangle where a point ended up dead; then Jeremy is randomly shot and she sacrifices her witch gifts to save him, only to create a hole between worlds as a consequence. So when she stares down that locket, and subsequently her cheating boyfriend, with the same dispassionate glare, we understand. She is so over getting screwed over. Elena got perspective, Jeremy got honest with himself, Damon got Viking cave paintings, but last night Bonnie got clarity. (Let’s hope it helps her force Rebecca to decode those drawings, even Alaric didn’t know what they said).
Antigone: WTF w/ the fire
Shady: Cave drawings…
Antigone: Because this is Lost?
Shady: oh I love this Anthology shit
Antigone: YES! Original family stories