Entertainment Weekly


Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content


The Vampire Diaries recap: The Pleasure Principle

Damon teaches Stefan a lesson in moderation, we learn Alaric is screwed

Posted on

Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

TV Show
run date:
Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley
The CW

After a month’s wait, I’d say a flashback-filled hour with arguably the best brother-bonding moment to date was a solid return. What about you? Let’s dig in.

We began in Mystic Falls, 1912, when a “Mr. Salvatore” didn’t accept a police escort home from a male “Sheriff Forbes” after a Council member was killed. Mr. Salvatore was stabbed in the dirt street.

In modern-day Mystic Falls, the current Sheriff Forbes took Mayor Lockwood — women power! — to the jail to see who was being held on suspicion of being the town’s current serial killer. Alaric behind bars would have been a lot more shocking had we not seen it in the promo. As is, I was most shocked by how light his hair looked. Doing time agrees with him! Dr. Fell had shot Alaric and healed him with vampire blood, but Liz said Meredith believes he’s the killer and that his own stab wound was self-inflicted, so he’s being detained. (Liz later told Alaric that Meredith said he witnessed her fight with her medical examiner ex and knew that Caroline’s father had threatened to report her for giving him vampire blood, so he had motive — however weak.) Damon was there to tell Liz how ridiculous this all sounded, but Liz threatened to put Damon in the cell with Alaric if he didn’t simmer down. Please, Liz. Do it!

Meanwhile, a very bundled up Elena was running with Matt, who told her he’d talked to Bonnie. She’s at her mom’s house, where Caroline is helping Abby complete the transition and learn to control herself as a new vampire. Translation: We will not be seeing them this episode. Elena got called to the police station where she didn’t even bother visiting Alaric after she ran into Damon. He only seemed to want to help Alaric by feeding Meredith’s tongue to squirrels, and he hadn’t expressed enough remorse for turning Bonnie’s mother into a vamp. Damon said he’s mean and Elena hates him, so the Earth was back on its axis. Elena said if Damon keeps pushing people away, he’ll end up alone.

Did Elena really think Damon wouldn’t help Alaric? Please. He went home and found a twitchy Stefan apparently suffering writer’s block while journaling. “Dear diary, a chipmunk asked me my name today. I told him it was Joe. That lie will haunt me forever,” Damon said. Ha. Damon was trying to remember what year they attended the funeral of Zachariah, that relative we saw die in the opening. Stefan told him it was 1912, and Damon handed Stefan his journal from that year. Let the flashback begin again…

Stefan learned from Mariana Lockwood and Samantha Gilbert that his “Uncle” wasn’t the first founding family member killed. Damon showed up, in a bowler hat, and we learned that Stefan has always had the better hair and, more importantly, that the brothers hadn’t seen each other in nearly 50 years. “Have you been eating the relatives again?” Damon asked him. Nothing like a you-killed-our-dad joke to break the ice. Damon was still pissed at Stefan for essentially forcing him to become a vampire and walk the world alone drinking human blood. With that reminder out-of-the-way, a smiling Stefan admitted he’d missed his brother and asked him to grab a drink to catch up. Cut to modern-day Damon asking Stefan to go grab a drink and help him solves the murders.

Naturally, they went to the Grill, where Rebekah was meeting with the Mayor to ask her where she might find that white oak tree we heard about last episode. It’s not in the records, so the Mayor assumes it was cut down and used when the town was built up in the 1900s. The Salvatores owned all the logging mills back then, which meant Rebekah and Damon did more than just give each other bedroom eyes as he and Stefan headed to the bar. She joined them there as Damon was wondering why the current killer wasn’t targeting A-list Council members like a Salvatore. (Because then we wouldn’t have a show?) Rebekah worked the logging mills into conversation because it was around the same time when their relative — their father’s illegitimate son with a maid – was murdered. But the Salvatores thought the segue was strange (like the time I said “Fine. So Heather Locklear—” to Scott Baio strange). Damon assumed she was just pretending to be interested in the town’s history because she wanted more sex, which he told her to just ask for. “Oh come on, it was too good for you to be this hostile,” he said when she told him there wasn’t enough liquor in the world. Stefan grabbed the bottle of bourbon and moved to the other side of Damon so he wouldn’t be caught in the middle of all that sexual tension. They’d blamed the 1912 murders on a vampire, but the brothers didn’t buy it. There was only one other vampire circulating back then besides them — Sage. “Speaking of great sex,” Damon said…

NEXT: Enter Sage