In EW.com’s second annual Season Finale Awards last May, Jeremy seeing dead people was named the Single Most Clever Twist. With this episode, that story line has started to deliver. I still hate you selfish Vicki, whether or not you can produce a single tear, but thank you for bringing back Uncle Mason and tempting Jeremy to do more than hold hands with Anna (fingers crossed!). Let’s dig in.
The hour started with Elena turning off her alarm clock at 5:15 a.m., and I wondered why she had to get up that early for school when she clearly wasn’t going to shower because we watched her try to cover up Stefan’s bite marks on her neck with makeup. Turns out, she was getting in a morning workout with Alaric, who told her she needs to build up muscle if she wants to work his stealthy stake-cuff that fires when you punch someone hard. She also needs to embrace the element of surprise, which is the only way humans can truly have a chance against vamps. And oh yeah, the show needs to never throw another exploding vervain grenade again because those special effects were like Syfy movie quality (excuse to type the word Mansquito!).
Alaric really is coming along nicely in the parental department: That little speech about Elena being one of the strongest people he knows because she found a way to get out of bed this morning (thinking she could learn to defend herself against Stefan) was exactly what she needed to hear. (Especially because she was going to echo it again later when she surprised Stefan with a stake-cuff punch to the gut.) Alaric thinks Elena can do anything. Like put on eyeliner and eye shadow to workout at that hour like a Kardashian?
Anyway, it was off to school, where Bonnie and Caroline quickly lost the my-boyfriend-is-being-a-D-bag battle to Elena, who realized it was technically her and Stefan’s first anniversary — they met a year ago on the first day of school. That’s reaching, Elena, but yes, you win. The gang was all there: Jeremy was back from Charlotte, where Katherine was still trying to wake up Mikael (a mouse? really), and saying all the wrong things to Bonnie. She’s pissed that he’s still letting his exes in. “I haven’t talked to Vicki in a while,” he offered. Oof. Matt hung out in the parking lot talking to Vicki in his truck until Tyler interrupted her right as she got to the good part: There’s a way Matty can help her come back. We’re gonna have to start calling him Not Now Tyler, because he also interrupted Caroline browbeating Elena into attending the spirit squad’s back-to-school bonfire. Tyler had a drop of breakfast on his shirt, so the girls took him into the bathroom to scold him and find out that Rebekah has been tasked with watching over Klaus’ “asset” Tyler. Tyler couldn’t understand why Caroline didn’t think it was the slightest bit awesome that he’s the first hybrid, so Elena excused herself so Caroline could explain it to him.
Damon had previously phoned Elena to tell her that “Barbie Klaus” Rebekah had decided to move into Salvatore Mansion, whether the boys liked it or not (they didn’t). Elena had asked what Stefan was up to. “You know Stefan. Journaling, reading, shaping his hair,” Damon had lied. In truth, Stefan was partaking in an early morning game of bloody Twister with a few girls. I thought perhaps Stefan was above returning to high school, but Klaus told him to protect Elena, so he had to be there…wearing a short-sleeved V-neck T-shirt that really showed off his biceps when he shoved Alaric against a locker after he tried to break up Stefan’s conversation with Elena. Everyone but Elena was late to history class, presumably so Elena could fill Alaric in on Stefan’s bodyguard routine, and so Stefan could make a grand entrance kicking a kid out of the seat next to Elena and saying “Hey, you” to her as he sat down. Paul Wesley is having so much fun now. Good for him. Rebekah showed up in class, too.
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