Every now and then a show will take the time and reflect on previous seasons with stories and reminders of how characters met, interacted, and went through their journeys. Often these are told with cringe inducing flashbacks we’ve already seen. Luckily, all we got was a few tall expositional scenes and they were only for the first half of the episode. This weeks episode “For Whom the Bell Tolls” \m/>_<\m/…Sorry had a metal moment there, this ep of VD showed that there’s no reason blank slate Stefan can’t run amok for more than one episode and funerals for characters that won’t go away can still somewhat have an impact if you let it. And Damon gives fierce bro hugs.
Damon, through a car crash that stuntman Mike from ‘DeathProof’ would applaud, convinces Stefan of his vampire heritage. After they have a few drinks at the Mystic Grill, Stefan tries to compel and bite a waitress. Damon stops him and takes him to the Salvatore crypt for some more family history. Damon gets a call from Jeremy to go see him alone.
Elena takes over the history lesson and takes Stefan to the high school where she explains how they first met. They then go to the bridge where she drowned and, after Stefan realizes they were once in love, he tires to kiss her. Elena almost does then quickly explains that she’s with Damon. This late moment of truth upsets Stefan and he leaves.
Bonnie pleads against it, but Jeremy tells Damon that Bonnie is dead.
Matt, meanwhile has been logging his actions with cameras in his house to record when he sleeps. When he wakes up on the couch, he notices his hand is cut. He checks the tape and sees himself make a phone call in a different language and accent. He then finds a camera and explains that friends will be coming for the dagger that’s in his possession and to protect it or he’ll kill Matt by cutting his own throat.
Caroline is studying in a graveyard with Jesse who sneaks in a kiss with her. She’s surprised and continues her studying, awkwardly. That night, Stefan show up the graveyard and flirts with Caroline. Jesse shows up and Stefan threatens him. Caroline compels Jesse to leave and Stefan then disappears. Stefan finds Jesse in the crypt and bites him. Caroline is able to stop him and Stefan retreats. Caroline heals Jesse with her blood.
Damon and Elena find Stefan back at their house and he’s burned all his journals. He no longer wants to be a part of real Stefan’s history and leaves Damon and Elena both. Damon tells Elena that Bonnie is dead.
Caroline finds Stefan at the crypt and is trying to stay calm over finding out about Bonnie. Stefan offers to be there for her as she was with him.
Jeremy, Matt, Damon, Elena, and Caroline hold a funeral in the woods for Bonnie, placing various items in a tree stump to honor her. Bonnie, watching the event, tells Jeremy to repeat her words of comfort and that everything will be ok. Tyler then appears and embraces Caroline as Damon embraces Elena.
Back at the college, Jesse explains blacking out earlier to Dr. Maxfield, who explains that Jesse has vampire blood in his system. He then injects Jesse with a substance that stops his heart. Maxfield explains that he’s finishing the process that will turn Jesse into a vampire.
No Silas, Nadia, Katherine, or Tessa this week. Shame, I enjoy Katherine’s bitchy banter and curly hair. At first I was unsure if the amount of coverage with Stefan’s past and Elena’s harmless flirting was necessary, but it looks like they’re keeping blank-slate Stefan around a bit longer. That’s acceptable. Last season there were glimpses of Caroline and Stefan possibly having a connection, and even though neither character explored that option, we saw it, and we logged it for future music videos that fans no doubt have made during the summer. Now it’s possible that Stefan might in fact be moving on to blonder pastures and it’s a healthy switch than returning so soon into Elena’s conflicted arms. She kind of straddled the fence just a teensy bit, but pulled back just in time to remind herself that she’s with Damon. It happens. She’s reminisced in the past and now Stefan is ready to move on, until he gets his memories back. When will that happen? Not soon, I hope.
I chuckled during Matt’s scene when Gregor and he had their conversation via late night camera recording. This type of scene was a consistent tool used in the short lived show “My own worst enemy” with Christian Slater. In that show, he had an alter ego and each personality would leave video tapes or recordings with messages of threats and/or casual learnings of their situations and Matt did a decent job selling another character inhabiting his psyche. I’m a fan of alter ego scenarios, so, keep up the good work, Matt. At least until you die a few more times and become a psycho killer like Alaric did. Hey, they reminded us for a reason.
With no real surprise, Maxfield has revealed himself to have an agenda and was willing to turn an unsuspecting Jesse into a vampire. Begs the question, how long can a human sustain vampire blood in their system before being killed and not come back?
Assuming Tyler’s return isn’t just a cameo, will he have an impact now that Stefan may see Caroline as a potential connection? One would assume yes, but stranger things have happened. I don’t know why but I still see Tyler as the one character that could benefit from bouncing between VD and TO, although Klaus could probably take his head if Tyler ever willingly got in his way. That would be bad.
Overall, with the sentiment with Bonnie’s funeral and Stefan’s current state of mind holding decent, I think there was too much reemphasis on what Stefan and Elena once had. I know it was important to get Stefan over that hump so his new mind could move on, Elena is playing with way too much fire. This would be a golden opportunity for Katherine to return and have her try and stake her claim, or better yet, try and get Stefan to turn her again. Is that against the rules? Will the cure inside her have an affect? Is she unturnable? Will there need to be another Lexi reunion to return the old Stefan back to normal? Elena’s father will somehow be hamstrung into the Maxfield plot, one I’m not entirely supportive as it stands right now. Maniacal doctors in the vampire world never last long. Scientifically, they’re too flawed to maintain a considerable role as reliable villains and are usually in league, or working for the real villain at hand. And right now, no one is trumping Silas, except Tessa. I’m sure dead Bonnie will have a field day with her if they are ever forced to meet.
No more words