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'The Vampire Diaries' recap: 'A Bird in a Gilded Cage'

Humanity-free Stefan forces Caroline to lose control, while Damon and company free his mother from her prison world.

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Tina Rowden/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

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

Much like Elena Gilbert, I love Damon Salvatore, the son. After six years, they’ve somehow managed to find yet another new dimension to this character, and it’s nothing if not enjoyable. And then there’s the fact that I already loved humanity-free Stefan, so right now, I’m pretty happy with where the brothers are in their journeys. Tack on the Enzo-Alaric duo and the twist at the end of the hour, and I’m in. Let’s do this!

We pick up right where we left off, at the bar where Stefan said goodbye to his humanity and hello to a margarita. Only now, Stefan is nowhere to be seen and Caroline is doing what no humanity-free vampire should: cleaning. As she tells Enzo when he enters, she’s returning the bar to the way she found it so that she won’t get kicked out of school or have to rot in a cell. After all, she can’t mess up her life right before she’s got an audition for the school musical tomorrow.

Basically, humanity or not, Caroline will always be a drama major. And she has a routine to keep.

Meanwhile, humanity-less Stefan returns home with one question for big brother Damon: “Where do we keep the weapons?” Spoiler: In the throne. Yes, they have a throne. Why they don’t sit on it more often, I have no idea.

While Stefan grabs his weapons of choice, Damon attempts to inject him with vervain, but he’s too slow. Stefan was ready for the attack—he figured Elena would tell on him. Now, he tells his brother to stay out of his way. Humanity-free Stefan was always a bit of a loner, wasn’t he? (Unless, of course, he had Klaus by his side.)

However, Damon’s idea of staying out of Stefan’s way involves beating up a perfectly good couch. Apparently, he thinks of it as a “healthy outlet” for his rage. Hey, it’s better than drinking a sorority girl.

When Elena enters, she informs Damon that Stefan was Caroline’s emotional trigger. He sees her bad news and raises her worse news: His mother is still alive. And she’s a ripper. As he puts, it makes sense, because “Stefan was always such a momma’s boy.” However, that gives Elena an idea: Why wouldn’t Stefan’s mother be an emotional trigger for him? And with that, they’re off to Lily’s permanent time-out.

Well, they will be, after Damon gets Bonnie and Kai on board, which turns out to be pretty easy. Promising Bonnie answers to all her prayers—which means what exactly?—Damon gets her to agree, and Kai agrees so long as Bonnie comes along. (He’s still hoping for forgiveness from the Bennett witch he betrayed so many times.)

Meanwhile, Sarah Salvatore wakes up in the hospital to find doctor Jo at her side. The story goes something like this: Sarah had too much to drink and passed out on the quad. You know, classic college mistakes. And with this being the first day of spring break, it’s the perfect time to protect a lie. It’s also the perfect time to think of baby names! More on that later.

While Bonnie and Kai get everything in order to pick up Mama Salvatore—yes, Elena is coming; as if she’s going to miss the chance to meet the woman “who gave birth to the two epic loves of my life”—Caroline has an audition to attend. After belting out a few notes and shedding a few tears, Caroline is pretty sure she crushed it, but when she asks the director for feedback, Stefan decapitates him. (Geez, Paul Wesley’s directed two episodes, and now no other director is good enough, am I right?)

According to Stefan, Caroline ruined his life by making him flip his switch, and in return, he’s going to force her to lose control. Because of course, Caroline is the only humanity-free vamp who actually plans ahead—trying not to do anything she’ll feel guilty about when she flips her switch back on. Yep, she’s even good at being a bad vampire.

But unlike Caroline, Stefan doesn’t have an elaborate system to keep him in check. And by the time he brings Caroline down to his level, she’ll be drowning in mistakes.

Still in control freak mode, Caroline retaliates by removing a few bolts on Stefan’s motorcycle, causing it to come crashing to the ground. And yet, it’ll take Stefan about 10 minutes to fix. As he puts it, her idea of revenge makes her an “embarrassment to humanity-free vampires everywhere.” So she punches a hole in his gas tank. Let’s see you fix that, Stefan.

Sidenote: Is it just me or is humanity-free Stefan hotter than normal Stefan? That white V-neck and leather jacket are more than working. 

You know what else is more than working? Everything about Alaric and Jo. Especially this: “Anyone named Alaric should not be allowed to name another human.” She’s kind of right. But once Alaric brings up the point that he didn’t name himself, he’s granted veto power for their baby names. However, that’ll all have to wait when Damon’s second favorite drinking buddy decides to team up with Damon’s first favorite drinking buddy. Translation: Enzo enlists Alaric’s help in capturing Steroline.

NEXT: The return of the cure