the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 1.4, Family Ties: Deadly Beast Captured

Summary: Elena awakens to a sound downstairs at Gilbert Gables. She goes to the living room and tries to turn on the lights, but they don’t work. The TV turns on by itself, and reporter Logan Fell announces that the animal that’s been killing people in Mystic Falls has claimed another victim: Elena. Damon appears behind a very confused Elena and says, “You know what’s coming next.” She runs for the front door, but Damon blocks her exit. He’s also in the doorway to the kitchen and living room. There’s no way for her to escape, and Damon is free to grab her and bite her.

It’s all a dream, but it’s not Elena’s – it’s Stefan’s. Damon gave it to him via vampception. Since Stefan doesn’t drink human blood, he doesn’t have any defenses to stop Damon from getting in his head and messing with his dreams. He does, however, have the power to chuck a letter opener into Damon’s chest from across the room. Damon says the killer animal has been caught. It was a mountain lion. The news has declared, “Deadly beast captured. All’s well in Mystic Falls.”

Stefan wonders why Damon would cover his tracks instead of just wreaking havoc and fleeing town. Damon says he’s having a great time in Mystic Falls and wants to stick around a while. True, now that Elena is wearing a vervain necklace, Damon can’t get in her head, but he has other ideas – and other girls to mess with. He stabs Stefan with the letter opener and complains that Stefan cut up his designer shirt.

Logan interviews Sheriff Liz Forbes, who confirms that a mountain lion attacked a hunter and was subsequently killed. Stefan knows the real killer is still out there, wanting Stefan to fight him. “How do I stop a monster without becoming a monster myself?” he wonders via a journal entry.

At Gilbert Gables, Jenna is also watching Logan’s report, though she’s more focused on him than the content of the segment. She calls him various names that include the word “scum,” such as “Logan ‘Scum’ Fell.” Elena’s amused to learn that they used to date. In fact, their breakup is what inspired Jenna to move out of town. Elena’s cleaning up some family heirlooms that the Founder’s Council wants to put on display. Jeremy objects to her loaning anything out, since it all belonged to their parents.

Stefan comes by and Elena takes him up to her room to make out. He notices his face changing in the mirror and slams on the brakes. Elena thinks he just wants to take things a little slower, which is okay with her. Then she asks him to be her date to the annual Founder’s Party the next night. It’s been a tradition for decades, and this year there’s a heritage display that Elena’s mother helped with. Stefan accepts the invitation.

Over at Caroline’s house (going forward, Fort Forbes), Caroline is trying on potential Founder’s Party outfits while Damon lounges on her bed, reading one of the Twilight books. He wants to go to the party with her, but Caroline knows she can’t show up with him at a party her mother’s going to attend. Damon uses compulsion (and, let’s be honest, his natural charm) to make her change her mind.

He goes back to his book, not getting why Bella’s so special. He misses Anne Rice. Caroline asks why Damon doesn’t sparkle like Edward. He says that in the real world, vampires burn in the sun. Well, vampires other than him and Stefan, since they have daylight rings that allow them to go out in the sun. Caroline studies the bites he’s been leaving on her body and asks if they’ll make her a vampire. Damon explains that to turn into a vampire, she would have to drink vampire blood, die, then drink human blood. As they start to make out, Caroline comments that Damon can be sweet when he wants. Then she worriedly asks if he’s going to kill her. He says yes, but not yet. He needs her to do something first.

At the Mystic Grill, Tyler and his parents, Carol and Richard (not Charles, as Carol calls him; someone screwed up there), are talking about what Mr. Tanner’s death means for Tyler’s football season. Yes, that’s definitely the priority here. Vicki is their server, and when she checks on them, Tyler ignores her. P.S. Richard is the town’s mayor.

Across the restaurant, Bonnie complains that both Caroline and Elena have dates to the Founder’s Party but she doesn’t. She wonders if Caroline’s mother is okay with her bringing Damon. Caroline says she doesn’t care what her mom thinks. She insists that Damon isn’t dangerous; he just has family drama and trauma he’s dealing with. Bonnie gets her to spill what that trauma is, as long as Bonnie promises not to tell Elena.

Tyler tries to chat with Vicki away from his parents, but she doesn’t appreciate him only being friendly when he feels like it. She asks which respectable girl in town he’ll be taking to the Founder’s Party. He asks her to go with him, and though she claims the party will be dumb, she’s clearly thrilled that he invited her. Jeremy’s been watching the whole conversation and points out that Vicki basically had to ask Tyler to invite her to the party. She must think that if she dresses respectably, he’ll treat her like she’s respectable. He warns that she’s making the wrong choice and knows it.

At Vamp Villa, Zach catches Damon looking through Stefan’s schoolwork. Damon doesn’t get why he would voluntarily go to high school, especially after he spent some time at Harvard in the ’70s. Zach asks Damon why he’s in town, but Damon just says he’s there to spend time with his family. He throttles Zach until Stefan comes in. Damon heads out, and Zach chastises Stefan for not doing something – anything – to keep Damon from hurting anyone. Stefan can’t do anything thanks to his weakened state from lack of human blood.

Zach knows vervain would reduce Damon’s power, but Stefan says it hasn’t grown in the area since 1865, thanks to Damon. Stefan gave the little he had left to Elena. Zach takes him to the house’s basement and reveals that family members have been growing vervain for generations. He doesn’t want Damon to know, but he trusts Stefan to use it to weaken his brother.

Tyler goes to Gilbert Gables to get the heirlooms Elena is loaning Carol for the Founder’s Party. Tyler and Jeremy snipe at each other. No one cares, boys. Bonnie’s over to help Elena get ready for the party, and Elena bugs her for the secret she knows Bonnie is keeping. Bonnie swears her to secrecy (just like Caroline swore her to secrecy), then spills that Katherine chose Damon over Stefan. In response, Stefan manipulated Katherine until she turned against Damon. Elena thinks Damon made that up, and they can’t trust that that’s what really happened. Bonnie isn’t sure Stefan is the great guy Elena keeps insisting he is.

At Vamp Villa, both brothers get ready for the Founder’s Party, something they attended back in their day. Stefan’s drinking to try to deal with the stress of having Damon around. Just gaze at his bare chest like I do. Trust me, it makes you forget about all your problems.

Carol calls Elena to tell her that something didn’t get included in the box Tyler picked up. Elena realizes that Jeremy took a pocket watch and asks if he’s selling it on eBay to pay for pot. Jeremy gives it back to her, saying it was supposed to be a gift from their father, since it’s passed down to every eldest son in the family. Elena promises that he’ll get it back after the party.

Back at Vamp Villa, Stefan watches closely as Damon goes to pour himself a drink. He remembers that Stefan and Katherine went to the Founder’s Party together in 1864. They looked great together, but when Stefan took Katherine home, Damon was waiting for her. He starts to take a drink, then pours it out on the floor. He knows Stefan spiked the bottle with vervain and was only drinking to make it look like it was safe. Now Damon will be in a bad mood at the party, and he could take it out on someone there.

Basically everyone in town goes to the Lockwoods’ mansion (I’ll call it Lockwood Landing), where the family greets them at the door. Tyler intercepts Vicki before she can make it to his parents. At Vamp Villa, Zach gives Stefan a little vial with liquid vervain in it so Stefan can try dosing Damon again. At Gilbert Gables, Elena gives the pocket watch back to Jeremy instead of taking it to the party.

Damon escorts Caroline to Lockwood Landing, where he lucks out that Carol is at the door to invite him into the house. Liz is there, so Caroline is unable to keep her mother from seeing her date. She guesses Liz wouldn’t approve even if Damon weren’t way older than she is. Richard invites Stefan and Elena into the house as Liz asks Caroline where her father is. Caroline says he’s in Memphis with his boyfriend. Ooh, scandal! Someone in this town is gay! What a shocking development!

Stefan and Elena take a look at the heirlooms on display, which are on loan from the town’s founding families. Meanwhile, Logan tries to chat with Jenna, who doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. He tells her she hasn’t changed since they last spoke. “I’m meaner now,” she says. Elena looks at the guest registry from the original Founder’s Party, which is full of people with the same last names as her friends (Lockwood, Forbes, etc.). She’s surprised to see Stefan and Damon’s names on there. Damon and Caroline join them, and Damon says that Stefan and Damon were the original Salvatores in town.

Caroline wants to dance, which Damon won’t do with her, so she asks to borrow Stefan for a while. Alone with Elena, Damon apologize for trying to kiss her the other night. He’s working through his family issues, like his and Stefan’s sibling rivalry, which is kind of a family legacy. Stefan guesses that Damon told Caroline to ask him to dance, but instead of leaving her and going back to Elena, he gets her some champagne.

Damon tells Elena that the Salvatores were revered in Mystic Falls until the Battle of Willow Creek in 1864. Union sympathizers gathered in a church and were killed by townspeople who supported the Confederacy. The original Stefan and Damon went to the church to rescue someone they loved, but they were shot. Elena wonders who they went to save. “A woman, I guess,” Damon replies. “Doesn’t it always come down to the love of a woman?” Elena says she’s sorry Stefan and Damon don’t get along, but she doesn’t want to get in the middle of it. You heard her folks! That’s the end of the show! Wrap it up and go home!

Tyler hangs out with Vicki outside, obviously not wanting to be seen with her. She knows it, too, and she tries to force him to go back to the party with her. Carol comes out to chat with them, and Vicki is polite to her before leaving. Carol makes a comment about Tyler bringing trash to the party. Shut up, season 1 Carol.

Poor Bonnie is sitting alone inside. The candle at her table blows out, but when she stares at it really hard, it relights itself. That freaks her out a little and she blows it out.

Elena and Damon join Stefan and Caroline at the bar, where Damon declines a drink his brother offers. Elena takes Stefan away to dance, and Caroline comments that they look cute together. Damon tells her not to talk. Logan approaches Jenna again, this time expressing his sympathy over the death of Jenna’s sister. He’d like a second chance to make up for all his sins when they dated. Jenna declines, unable to forget that he cheated on her.

Stefan casually makes sure Damon didn’t say anything to Elena that he shouldn’t have. She tells him Damon explained that he acts the way he does because of Katherine. Now she wants to know more about Katherine. Stefan doesn’t want to talk about her, but Elena assures him that he can open up to her if he changes his mind. Really, she’d love it if he opened up to her, since she doesn’t know much about him.

Stefan thinks Damon put her up to this by messing with her head. Elena just doesn’t want her new boyfriend to keep secrets from her. If he doesn’t tell her about himself, she can only go on what other people say about him. Stefan again brings it around to Damon – he’s trying to turn Elena against Stefan. Elena says he’s succeeding and walks away.

She finds Bonnie, who blames herself for this mess because she made Elena doubt that Stefan is a good guy. Carol approaches and mentions that Elena didn’t bring the pocket watch to the party. Elena lies that she couldn’t find it. Elsewhere in the house, Damon has Caroline serve as lookout while he searches a box in one of the rooms. He retrieves an amber crystal he put there decades ago.

Jenna pointedly ignores Logan, who again tries to smooth things over with her. He claims he’s changed over the years. She starts to fall for his charms and agrees to have lunch with him. In the dining room, Carol berates a caterer for letting the candles on the table blow out. Bonnie looks on with disdain (at Carol, not the caterer), then starts to try her fire-starting trick again. As she realizes she’s being crazy and turns to leave, a candle lights. When Bonnie turns back to the table, all the candles in the room are lit.

Elena and Caroline meet up in a bathroom, where Elena notices something red under the scarf Caroline is wearing around her neck. She sees Damon’s bite marks on Caroline’s shoulder as well and accuses Damon of hurting her. She immediately finds Damon and orders him to stay away from Caroline.

Elena then goes to Stefan and apologizes for not listening when he told her Damon is bad news. Stefan promises that he’s handling the situation with Damon and Caroline. Elena thinks that anything short of having Damon arrested isn’t sufficient. She asks Stefan to explain what’s going on, but he says he can’t, and he might never be able to. She needs to trust him. Elena says she can’t do that until he earns her trust.

Vicki surprises Jeremy by showing up at Gilbert Gables wanting to spend time with someone who doesn’t want to keep their relationship a secret.

Back at Lockwood Landing, Damon confronts Caroline for letting Elena see his bite marks. She promises that she didn’t tell Elena anything. He tells her she makes him crazy but he forgives her. Just as it looks like he’s initiating a make-out session, he tells her he’s over her and bites her. Caroline ends up unconscious, but Damon isn’t faring much better – instead of trying to feed Damon vervain, Stefan spiked Caroline’s drink and waited for Damon to drink her blood. He zooms off with a weakened Damon before Caroline revives. She picks up the crystal, which Damon dropped. She tells Elena she’s fine, but Elena can tell she’s been traumatized.

As Stefan locks Damon up with the vervain at Vamp Villa, he voices over that he did what he had to do to protect people. Just as Damon said earlier, the headline here is, “Deadly beast capture. All is well in Mystic Falls.”

The party at Lockwood Landing is over, but Liz and Logan have stayed behind for a meeting with Richard and Carol. They hope Elena will get them the pocket watch because they’re going to need it. They know the bodies that have been found drained of blood weren’t killed by a mountain lion or any other animal. “They’ve come back,” Logan announces.

Keep in mind: To become a vampire, a human must consume vampire blood, die, then consume human blood.

Bonnie can light fires with her mind.

This isn’t Mystic Falls’ first experience with vampires.

Significant item update: There are a number of objects that have an important role in the series, and I constantly find myself losing track of them, so I’ll be keeping tabs on them here. For starters, Jeremy has the Gilbert family’s pocket watch.

Etc.: Damon reading Twilight is even funnier in hindsight, since Ian Somerhalder is now married to Twilight actress Nikki Reed.

I know I put Tyler down a lot (with good reason), but seriously, what does Vicki see in him? Does she just want a rich, popular boyfriend? She doesn’t seem like the type to care about that. What is she getting out of this relationship, or whatever you want to call it?

Caroline having a gay father is, unfortunately, about the extent of diversity this show has, beyond Bonnie being Black. (There are three other gay characters in later seasons, none of them all that significant.) In the ten years between this show starting and Legacies premiering, the franchise’s universe gets a lot less straight and white.

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