A new chapter has officially begun with new fangs and a new party. A bit more information comes through with the Traveler group and Wes’s experiments reveal a darker twist on this plot’s vampire saga. In all fairness, it’s a bit like Blade II, but only in the vampire on vampire concept.
Katherine and Stefan discover a way to connect through their pain labors and Bonnie is forced to endure the curse that Tessa set her up with as the new anchor. All in all, the sense of power has been dispersed enough that every character can return to a fresh start on college life. There’s a few good things they did in this episode while keeping to some old habits, but altogether is an improvement over the last few weeks. Let’s get started.
Wes continues to document his work on Jesse as he injects him with undiluted Augustine blood. Jesse wakes and breaks free, biting Wes before escaping.
Bonnie is living in college with Elena and Caroline and they want to throw her a party to celebrate her return. Bonnie records a message for her mother and leaves to spend time with Jeremy who is visiting. While together, she notices an elderly woman in the distance who stares at her constantly. When Bonnie leaves, the woman finds, grabs her, and then disappears, causing Bonnie a brief moment of pain.
Elena phones Damon and asks to comes to the party and to bring Stefan. Damon tries to talk to Stefan who is still suffering the effects of drowning at Silas’s hands.
At the Mystic Grill, Katherins drinks at the bar while Matt continues to watch the footage Gregor made, warning him to keep the knife safe. Katherine explains that Gregor is a type of witch and when Matt refers to Nadia, Katherine ponders her next move.
After receiving a call from a panicking Jesse, Caroline goes to his dorm and stops him from feeding on his roommate, Aaron. Elena arrives with blood bags to satiate his hunger and Caroline teaches him how to heal Aaron with his blood.
Katherine finds Stefan in the bar and they have a passive drink together. Stefan eventually describes his pain which she seems to know how to help with. She asks him a favor as Nadia shows up after Katherine contacted her and meets Stefan.
Elena, Bonnie, Caroline, and Jesse are at their party as Damon is concurrently at the college lab with Wes tied up. He begins injecting vials of flesh eating bacteria and other contents while asking him questions about the experiments.
Back at the party, Bonnie sees the old lady behind the veil and talks with her, finding out she was a witch. The old lady is tender and kind with her situation giving Bonnie some relief. Jeremy startles her back into reality and they leave to be together for the night.
In the storage room at the grill, Katherine has Nadia awaken Gregor from Matt’s body. When Gregor wakes, he is angry at seeing Katherine and says after he killed Silas he was supposed to kill Katherine. Katherine stabs Matt with the Traveler’s knife, effectively expelling Gregor from Matt’s body.
Caroline and Jesse dance and kiss.
Wes finally explains to Damon that Jesse was made to crave the blood of other vampires. During this, Jesse bites Caroline’s lip and begins to act strange. He suddenly leaves to avoid Caroline.
Aaron finds Elena at the party and they briefly describe their past involving the death of their parents. Aaron mentions Wes as his legal guardian and that his mother died in a cabin from a bear attack which, to Elena, sounds like a vampire attack.
Stefan stumbles out of the bar and is suffering the same drowning sensations again. Katherine tries to help by having him remember the names of those he first killed. Stefan slowly begins to take control again. Nadia then confronts Katherine about having to kill Gregor and leave in anger.
Damon is on the phone with Elena and explains what happened to Jesse. She asks Damon not to kill Wes. When Damon goes to heal Wes, Jesse arrives and overpowers Damon. He feeds off of him as Elena arrives and stabs Jesse from behind, in the heart. Caroline finds them just as Jesse falls and dies in her arms. Caroline is upset with Elena for what she had to do.
Stefan finishes another drink at the bar and finds a note left for Nadia explaining that she intends to take her own life. Katherine is seen at the top of the town’s clock tower and leaps off. Stefan saves her from the fall. She tells him that her old age is quickly catching up with her and Stefan tells her to suck it up.
Bonnie and Jeremy are making out when she sees Jesse in the room. He grabs her and disappears putting Bonnie in more pain. Jeremy consoles her as she explains what being the new anchor means but that it’s worth it to be back and with Jeremy.
Caroline and Elena clean up after the party and they apologize over the event leading to Jesse’s death but Caroline continues to warn her that being with Damon is dangerous.
Back at the lab, Wes is cutting his restraints as Damon finds a blood bag marked #12114. He remembers a number #21051 relating to a time when he was captured and experimented on sixty years ago. Wes escapes and subdues Damon with vervane gas pumped in the room. When Damon wakes, he realizes he’s in the same cell from sixty years go and begins to worry.
At first the vampire experiments weren’t that appealing to me, but given the immortal plot between Silas, Tessa, and Amara, I gladly preferred the science approach to this plot. Luckily, I think it’s paying off. We have a mysterious vampire whose blood turns other vampires into vampire cannibals. Finding out that Damon was once connected to this string of experiments was a nice little twist at the end. Damon can now stop playing the errand boyfriend and actually take part in the meat of the show. He does better in sticky situations and likely this will throw him a bit out of his element, which all characters need from time to time.
Most of my positive vibes are from Katherine. She’s been my favorite character for a while and the more they push her into a redemption role, the more I approve. It can definitely be argued that committing suicide is cowardly for her and, for the most part I agree, but this way, she can finally hit that rock bottom and now Stefan has given her the reigns to take her life back, if she can. She offhandedly commented about Stefan ending up with one of the doppelgangers, which is her passive way of saying it should be her and not Elena. It’s not a desperate call, but it’s a feeler and now that they’ve connected through a bit of pain, it seems like a development is assuredly going to happen.
Between the vampire experiments and the traveling witch convoy, I’m not certain which plot will be dominant toward the middle and end of the season. The lore of witchcraft in VD could prove to be interesting, although that could have the potential of drowning out the vampire plot, though, I highly doubt it. There aren’t very many compelling witch characters. Bonnie has regained a sense of character, even with her hair cut, which was a good call by the way, but I never fancied her compelling witch. None of them really. Maybe there’s still an ace character waiting in the wings to unleash their hell on earth.
Character drama is always touch and go and in one case, Caroline’s stinging reminders to Elena that Damon is bad for her is starting to truly take hold. I was expecting Caroline to hold onto her anger with Jesse’s death for at least one more episode. Instead, we get more warnings about Damon and Elena of course doesn’t buy it but since the seed has been planted numerous times, it’s a matter of “when” Damon and Elena have their outting and not “if”. It’s a constant struggle to ask if Elena needs to be in a relationship to be an effective character on this show. In a way that’s why we have Katherine, so we still get the best of both worlds and maintain the “two brothers, one goal” aspect that started since day one. Not so strangely enough, I’m more interested in Katherine and Stefan developing their old connection than I am Damon and Elena maintaining theirs. It’s bottled chaos, gotta let that out to make things interesting.
Overall, I thought this episode was an improvement over the last few. Still fell to the curse of beginning episode exposition, and the obligatory party, but that’s CW for you. It happens on Arrow and The Originals all the time. Young people party…a lot.
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