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Our favorite guest stars came and went

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October 28, 2011 at 09:00 AM EDT

Was this my favorite episode of season 3? No. I liked the concept a lot — ghosts with unfinished business return and make the things that we’ve been waiting to see happen, happen: Bonnie broke up with Jeremy, Alaric forgave Damon for killing him (again), Stefan is now in (temporary?) Ripper Detox, and Mama Lockwood has a reason to like Caroline. But something felt off to me. The dialogue seemed a bit ho-hum at times (though Elena’s final talk with Stefan was top-notch), and shots that should have been monumental looked almost cheesy (e.g. Bonnie’s spell and Alaric’s discovery of the Lockwood cave drawings, though Anna’s reunion with her mother had me SOBBING). It was like watching Charmed more than The Vampire Diaries in some scenes. Maybe I’m just used to every moment of an episode being intense and this one, for all that had to be crammed into the hour, had a lot of whoomp, there the ghost is downtime. We were getting a lot of cuts to different scenes, but the scenes themselves were slow. Did that make any sense? Maybe I should just stick to talking about torsos. Did you notice how hairy Alaric’s heavage looked this episode? And where was Tyler? Even if Carol Lockwood isn’t like Revenge‘s Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) who insists her children attend the events she hosts, wouldn’t Caroline have forced Tyler into volunteering to hang lanterns for the Night of Illumination? That’s probably a beautiful event (if there’s no dead man hanging in a tree), but I’m still gonna have to vote Gilmore Girls‘ Festival of Living Art as the most picturesque town affair. Let’s dig in.

So Damon woke up chained and skewered in the same seated position he once tortured Mason Lockwood. Still, Damon thought it was a twisted Ripper game that Stefan was playing until the blinds were opened and, without his ring on, Damon started to burn. So are we to assume Stefan saved him or that Mason did that himself because he didn’t really want Damon to die? Regardless, Damon got in his convertible and found Bonnie so he could tell her to fix this ghost problem because he doesn’t have time for it. “When I kill someone, they’re supposed to stay dead.” Bonnie dropped her grimoire (Charmed-like, right?), which magically turned to a page with a manifestation spell used to reveal veiled matter, meaning ghosts. “Okay, please tell me that’s a recipe for witch cookies,” Caroline said. Okay, that was snappy.

Bonnie and Caroline went back to former Witch Central, where Jeremy had been brought back to life. Candles were lit, the spell was chanted, we saw the magic wind through the cobwebs, and it worked: Caroline could see Grams standing there, holding Bonnie’s hands. Alaric could see Mason Lockwood at the bar as he slammed his glass into Damon’s forehead. Stefan could see Lexi, who slammed his face into a car window and knocked him out. Elena could see Anna finishing kissing Jeremy. Grams explained that when Bonnie did the spell to block the magic giving Vicki a foothold in this world, the old witch on the other side wedged a door wide open giving a free pass to anybody with unfinished business. (Sure, why not.) They need to close that door. The Original Witch’s talisman, Elena’s necklace, allows her to draw power from this side. Bonnie needed to destroy it.

The catch, of course, is that if Bonnie destroyed the necklace and revoked the ghosts’ all-access pass, whatever good they were doing here in this world would also end. And, it turns out, most of them were doing good. Let’s continue with Mason. Damon told him to cut to the chase: “I killed you. You want revenge. Get in line.” (Great delivery by Ian Somerhalder.) Mason said he didn’t want revenge, he wanted an apology. Alaric laughed, but things turned serious when Mason said he’d help Damon find a weapon to kill Klaus if he apologized. Damon admitted he didn’t have to kill Mason. He does a lot of things he doesn’t have to do. How is that at all an apology? I guess he was trying to say he does idiot things? But it was good enough for Mason. He told Damon to meet him at the old Lockwood cellar and to come alone.

NEXT: Goonies reference

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Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
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