I love it when you can feel the big battle is on the horizon. By the end of this episode, you definitely sensed we’d entered the season’s final chapter (as well as that Damon maybe got a new haircut?). Team Salvatore! Let’s dig in…
So we began with Meredith giving Alaric an MRI to check if his homicidal tendencies were caused by something she could treat medically. Do all MRI machines have mirrors on the inside, or just this one so that Alaric could freak out when his reflection froze with him looking cocky and evil? Meredith told Elena she began suspecting Alaric was the killer of Council members when she remembered a story her grandmother had passed on to her about crazy Samantha Gilbert and her journal. Meredith said she protected Alaric because as a doctor, she hates to see anyone hurt by something he or she can’t control — and because Alaric is like a lost puppy that you want to save. (I’m paraphrasing.)
Physically, Alaric is fine, so he assumed it was the ring causing him to go crazy and he gave it back to Elena. Perhaps Damon hanging with Alaric, feeding him chicken soup and martinis, and making sure he didn’t kill anyone would have been a good plan. I mean, you might want someone stronger than him around to watch him. But no. All the vamps were preoccupied: Caroline was still at Abby’s house, with a cooler of refreshments (including her personal favorite, B+), and helping Abby through her transition. Actually, we didn’t actually see Caroline spend much time with Abby, who now has a day ring of her own. Instead, we saw Caroline with Bonnie after Abby stormed off because she could no longer feel her garden. Witches have a connection to the earth. They can feel life and make dead plants bloom. But now Abby’s lost it. (Did you notice Bonnie calls her mother “Abby” not “mom” when talking about her?) Caroline also had to lecture Jamie, who’d been steering clear of the house and Abby because he’s afraid of her, on what it means to be there for someone when something has been forced upon her. Abby didn’t choose to be a vampire, Caroline said, but she chose to continue living so she could be there for him and Bonnie.
Damon, meanwhile, was out ditching Alaric and Meredith at some Wickery Bridge event because Rebekah was there and he wanted to know why — also because Sage made her grand entrance to modern Mystic Falls. She told Damon she’d heard Finn was out of his coffin, and she came to find her one true love. The moment Sage referred to Rebekah as “that elitist Original bitch,” I typed “Welcome to the plan, Sage!” in my notes. Sage told Damon that Finn had turned her so they could be together forever, then Klaus daggered him, and she’s been waiting 900 years for him. She offered to help Damon figure out what Rebekah wanted from him by getting inside her head. Rebekah’s a girl, Sage said: If Damon finds her weakness and exploits it, Sage could walk right in. Damon worked his bad boy charm and invited Rebekah, who gets turned on hearing about how mean she is, over to party with him and Sage at his place.
Stefan was already at home doing more research into Samantha Gilbert. When Elena walked in on him preparing to pour himself a glass of blood, he told her that Samantha had been committed to an asylum and tried to give herself a lobotomy with a knitting needle. She bled to death on the floor of her cell. If the same thing is happening to Alaric, he said, then there’s nothing she can do for him. That could have been worded better, Stefan.
That left Meredith and Alaric alone. He found her police reports on him, and we got an explanation about his violent past: One guy had broken a beer bottle over a bartender’s head, another had hit his girlfriend, and a third was just a douche. Alaric had channeled his dark side into becoming a vampire hunter. He told Meredith he’d slayed her cousin Logan, and Meredith said she uses vampire blood and she doesn’t judge them. That felt a bit weird to me at the time. Clearly Alaric wanted her to say he did what he had to do. But she needed to say she was Switzerland so Alaric’s alter ego would consider her soft on vamps…
NEXT: Damon is in a towel for, like, half the episode