[Spoilers from episode 2 from here on out]
Episode 2 brought the blood, the tears and the twists. Even with the Originals absent, the show hardly teetered on predictable or stale. It was one hour of vampire delight. Below are the Good, the Great and the Brilliant moments from last night.
The Good: Elena turns to Damon with her blood-lust problems. In the beginning, Stefan and Elena giddily made out in the woods and feasted on a deer. Everything seemed hunky-dory between the two vamps until Elena projectile vomited blood. She needs blood from the vein and little bunny rabbits aren’t doing the job. Instead of upsetting Stefan, she turns to Damon for help. He offers his blood and gives her human blood bags but nothing goes down without coming back up.
Elena even called Damon after she wretched all over the bathroom during the pastor and the town council’s memorial. (Remember the pastor killed the town council by blowing up his own farm house?). These were most definitely rewind scenes — not just for Elena sexily drinking Damon’s blood (which happens to be a very intimate gesture between vampires) but also because Damon’s banter in the church was spot-on hilarious.
The Great: A new vampire hunter’s in town, and he ain’t no pushover. Seriously, he’s mega-crafty and pretty dang scary. We first see him shake Tyler’s hand — his glove doused with vervain — and Tyler’s skin burns in effect. The vampire hunter wasted no time to pop some hand-carved wooden bullets with strange symbols into Tyler’s chest. Since Tyler’s a hybrid, he’ll live from the attack, but other vampires probably wouldn’t be so lucky. Bonnie tells Stefan that the symbols aren’t witch-related. So what exactly are they? And who is the vampire hunter?
He only brings more trouble at the memorial. After wrenching a knife in the the pastor’s daughter — April, he sets his sniper gear on the upper-balcony of the church. April’s blood seeps into the holy water one floor below and all the vamps in the room go rigid. Elena’s already tweaking because she needs human blood from the vein — and fast. Damon says softly to all the vamps at the memorial, “Nobody move. Don’t turn around. It’s a trap.” [Side Question: Does anyone feel like Damon has become the mentor this season? His final speech that closes the episode certainly alludes to it. More on that in a bit.]
In order to calm Elena down, Matt offers Elena his vein to feed on. Since she’s already upset, they stealthily make it look like she’s sobbing into his shoulder. The offer also squashed the blame that both of them felt for the night Elena died. The vampire hunter escaped, not before shooting Tyler one more time and even popping a few stake-bullets into Damon.
And then a shocker came. Jeremy peeks over at the vampire hunter at the Mystic Grill and compliments his cool tattoo sleeve. As Jeremy and Matt walk away, Matt says that the guy didn’t have any tattoos. Sure enough, the vampire hunter looks from his bare arm and back at the receding Jeremy in confusion. We know that Jeremy can see ghosts, but this is a new little development in his spooky powers. Who likes Jeremy being all “Sixth Sense” in the show?
The Brilliant: The kids light lanterns honoring their deceased loved ones, and Damon grieves for Alaric in his own way. In just three little years, these teenagers have gone through hell. And as they list off their loved ones who haven’t made it in order to honor and respect them in the way they deserve, we finally tally the death toll for each Mystic Fallian. While each has lost someone special, I was holding my breath for Jeremy’s. No one has lost more significant others than this young man. “This is for our parents, for Viki, Anna, Jenna, and Alaric,” he says.
Not everyone is into Stefan’s lantern idea. Damon scoffs and storms away. He’s been strangely upset — not allowing anyone to sit in a particular seat at the Mystic Grill bar, the seat where his confidant and best friend used to banter with him. We cut to Damon at the cemetery drinking alcohol and talking to Alaric’s headstone. Damon’s monologue might be one of the most honest things he’s ever said, but what brought it home was the addition of Alaric, a ghost, sitting behind him and hearing the whole speech. Of course, Damon couldn’t see him, but it doesn’t matter.
Damon says, “In the end, when you lose somebody, every candle, every prayer is not going to make up for the fact that the only thing you have left is a hole in your life where that somebody used to be…and a rock with a birth date that’s carved into it that I’m pretty sure is wrong. So thanks, friend. Thanks for leaving me here to babysit…’cause I should be long gone by now. I didn’t get the girl, remember? I’m just stuck here fighting with my brother and taking care of the kids. You owe me big.”
Alaric replies, “I miss you too, buddy.”
Did you enjoy seeing Alaric back, even for a fleeting moment? Did you tear up a little? I did, but I’m a sad sap when it comes to emotionally charged “TVD” scenes. Are you liking the vampire hunter? How do you feel about Elena’s excess of compassion? Do you think she’ll use her vampire abilities to do good in Mystic Falls? And the big question of the night: why can Jeremy see the vampire hunter’s strange tattoo and no one else can?
A chance for your tweets to appear on the recap: From now on, I’ll be adding fan tweets to the TV recaps. How does it work? Easy. Tweet your reaction using #CW69, and your tweet could end up on the recap the next day. Tune in next Thursday and share your reactions! See you then.
— Becca Ritchie