the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 1.8, 162 Candles: Wanted Dead or Alive

Stefan has fallen asleep reading in the living room of Vamp Villa, and when he wakes up, he realizes someone else is in the house. That person zooms around and makes noise for a little while before rushing Stefan and knocking him over. It’s Lexi, a vampire friend of Stefan’s, and she’s in town to celebrate his birthday.

The next morning, the two talk about how Logan was recently out hunting vampires. Stefan isn’t sure if anyone else knows what he and Damon are. He warns Lexi to be careful while she’s in town. She’s just there for Stefan’s birthday, and will be spending the weekend in New York, seeing Bon Jovi. (“Wanted Dead or Alive” is her and Stefan’s theme song.) Stefan wonders if Bon Jovi would remember them from a crazy weekend they once spent together.

Lexi asks why Stefan wants to stick around Mystic Falls anyway. It’s because of Elena, of course. Lexi hopes she’s a better choice than Katherine. Speaking of people Lexi hates, where’s Damon? Stefan says he’s “inflicting misery somewhere.” Stefan has to leave, but Lexi can’t go with him since she doesn’t have a daylight ring, so she’ll be spending the day in the house. She wants to do something big to celebrate Stefan’s birthday, since 162 is a pretty good milestone.

Liz summons Jeremy, Matt, Elena, and Stefan to the sheriff’s department to ask questions about Vicki, whom everything thinks left town. Thanks to Damon, Jeremy knows nothing about her whereabouts. Matt says Stefan might know, since he was hanging out with Vicki recently. Stefan tells Liz that he was just trying to help Vicki deal with her drug problems. Elena backs up that story, saying she asked Stefan to help Vicki, hoping that that in turn would help Jeremy. All four say Vicki was acting like she usually did after partying, and they don’t think there’s anything unusual about her sudden disappearance.

Outside, Matt ignores Stefan, who says he was just trying to help Vicki. Elena assures Stefan that Jeremy doesn’t remember anything other than what Damon told him. She’s sorry they have to lie, since Matt and Jeremy are going to keep thinking that Vicki might come back some day. Stefan offers to go somewhere and talk, but Elena wants him to stay away from her.

Lexi wakes up from a nap at Vamp Villa to find Damon in bed with her. They despise each other, since Damon’s evil and Lexi behaves herself (and also because of some stuff that will come out in season 4). They taunt each other for a while, but it ends when Lexi grabs Damon by the throat and reminds him that she’s older than he is, which means she’s stronger. If he ruins her visit with Stefan, she’ll hurt him. Damon seems genuinely scared, and he apologizes.

Bonnie’s ready to leave Sheila’s house after staying for a few days; she says her dad doesn’t like her to stay there for too long. Sheila knows it’s because he thinks she fills Bonnie’s head with too much witch stuff. She tells Bonnie to wear the amber crystal, since it found her and protected her. It’s a talisman, which means it’s powerful. She shouldn’t give it back to Caroline.

At Gilbert Gables, Jenna complains to Elena that Logan sent her an email saying he was leaving town. Jeremy surprises both of them by catching up on schoolwork he’s been slacking on. Meanwhile, Damon goes to the sheriff’s department to deliver some of Zach’s vervain to Liz. She tells him that they haven’t figured out who in town is secretly a vampire. They might have their facts wrong. Maybe vampires can go out in sunlight now. They could be walking around right in front of them. “Hmm,” says the vampire sitting right in front of her. Liz says they’re turning their focus to people who have recently come to Mystic Falls.

Bonnie goes to Gilbert Gables the next morning to check on Elena, who hasn’t returned her calls. Elena’s moping because she ended things with Stefan, and she asks Bonnie to distract her. Bonnie rips up a pillow, then, after swearing Elena to secrecy, shows her a trick Sheila recently taught her. She uses magic to make a feather float into the air, then multiple feathers. Elena’s stunned and delighted. Bonnie tells her that everything Sheila said was true – Bonnie’s a witch.

Downtown, Caroline runs into Damon and tells him she’s done doing his bidding. He mesmerizes her somehow, without even saying anything, and tells her to throw a party at the Grill that night. He wants a big crowd so Stefan and Lexi will attend. He plans to use the party to solve the town’s vampire problem. Oh, and he wants his crystal back.

At Vamp Villa, Lexi bugs Stefan about Elena. She thinks he’ll win her back once they have sex. Stefan doesn’t want to use vampire tricks to keep Elena around – she has to want to be with him. Lexi uses a straw to pierce a blood bag, since she drinks human blood but doesn’t feed on humans. Stefan doesn’t judge her for that, but he knows he can’t keep the same diet. He has to abstain from all human blood because he can’t control himself when he drinks it.

Damon arrives and announces that there’s a party at the Grill that night. It’s just a regular party, and no one has to know it’s Stefan’s birthday. Damon thinks the town should see him and Stefan out with normal people so they’ll blend in. Lexi’s up for it, and it’s clear that Stefan won’t be able to change her mind.

Back at Gilbert Gables, Bonnie asks Elena if she thinks Bonnie’s a freak now. Elena says no, but she’s not sure why Bonnie told her she’s a witch, since Sheila wanted her to keep it quiet. Bonnie says that Elena’s her best friend, so Bonnie can’t keep secrets from her.

Lexi takes a shower and wraps herself in a towel before she gets ready for the party. Stefan still doesn’t want to go, mostly since Damon wants them to. Lexi points out that Damon won’t be able to do anything to them in front of a bunch of people. Lexi only gets to spend one day a year with Stefan where he’s not brooding, and she wants to spend that day doing something fun.

Elena rings the bell at Vamp Villa and Lexi calls for her to come in. She’s shocked to see Elena, but slowly realizes that she’s not Katherine. Lexi introduces herself as Stefan’s friend and says he’s in the shower. That plus Lexi’s current attire, her towel, gives Elena the wrong impression about the nature of their friendship. As Elena leaves, Lexi runs upstairs and confronts Stefan for getting involved with someone who looks exactly like his ex.

After Stefan explains everything, Lexi suggests that Katherine and Elena are related, since they look so much alike. She’s surprised that Stefan hasn’t looked into that. Stefan says he doesn’t want to connect them to each other. Beside their appearance, Elena and Katherine are nothing alike. Stefan says a bunch of nice stuff about Elena, adding that she makes him forget that he’s a vampire. Lexi realizes that he’s in love with her.

The party is underway at the Grill, and Caroline’s pleased with herself. Damon is less pleased, since she hasn’t given him back the crystal. Lexi arrives alone and hilariously blows Damon off. Meanwhile, Stefan goes to Gilbert Gables to check on Elena, since Lexi said she seemed upset earlier. He clarifies that he and Lexi are old friends, nothing more. (Fun fact: Lexi is 350.) Elena notes that Lexi was staring at her, but Stefan doesn’t tell her why.

She says it was a mistake to go by his house. She’s tired of keeping secrets, including from Bonnie. The only person she can talk to is Stefan, but she doesn’t want to be around him. He promises that she can come to him for any reason. He offers her a ride to the Grill, then reveals that it’s his birthday. Elena tells him she’s going to stay home tonight.

Caroline finds Bonnie at the party and asks her to give back the crystal. Bonnie says she can’t return it, so Caroline tries to convince her that she looks fat when she wears it. Really, Caroline? Really? Bonnie reminds her that she said the crystal is Damon’s, so Caroline is asking on his behalf. When Caroline reaches for it, it zaps her like it did Damon. Bonnie can’t believe that Caroline was just going to grab the crystal from around her neck.

Stefan arrives at the Grill and tries to talk to Matt again. He repeats that he was just trying to help Vicki, who was going through something Stefan went through once. Matt doesn’t blame Stefan for Vicki’s decision to leave town. She’s just like their mother; he can’t count on either of them. He appreciates Stefan for trying to help her.

Damon asks Caroline for the crystal again, getting more desperate. Caroline doesn’t get why he’s being mean to her when she’s been so good to him. He calls her useless and shallow. As Stefan reluctantly dances with Lexi, Damon goes outside, where he finds a couple making out in the alley behind the Grill. He sneaks up on them and bites the boy, then turns his focus to the girl.

Elena shows up at the party after all and watches Stefan have fun with Lexi. Damon approaches and they banter a bit (he calls her righteous, she calls him a psychopath). She asks what he did to Jeremy after Vicki died. Obviously he did more than just erase Jeremy’s memories, since Jeremy is studying and isn’t drinking or using drugs. Damon says he just took away Jeremy’s suffering.

Caroline wants to explain herself to Bonnie, though really she wants to complain that Bonnie gets to keep the crystal while Caroline got called useless and shallow. Bonnie tells her that’s not true and she shouldn’t let Damon treat her the way he does. Caroline doesn’t think Bonnie’s treating her any better.

Outside, a sheriff’s deputy hears the girl Damon encountered crying in the alley. He finds the boy dead, bleeding from his neck. Inside, Lexi compels a bartender into believing she’s over 21 so she can buy shots. No, make that give her free shots. She takes one to Elena, who calls her Towel Girl. “I’ve been called worse,” Lexi says. She tells Elena that vampires like to drink alcohol because it diminishes their cravings. Elena notes that she’s never seen Stefan drink. Lexi says he’s uptight, but he loosens up around her because they’ve known each other so long.

Elena laments that he doesn’t feel like he can be himself around her. Lexi says that’ll come later. It’s a good sign that he told her he’s a vampire. The love of Lexi’s life was human, and he had a hard time accepting that she’s a vampire. Eventually, he came around because he loved her. Elena admits that she’s scared. “But you’re here,” Lexi notes. It must be because Elena really likes Stefan. “When it’s real, you can’t walk away,” Lexi says. Stefan was listening in on the conversation, so when Lexi returns to him, he thanks her. “I was feeling epic,” she tells him.

Liz tells the deputy who found the couple that they need to keep this quiet. She asks the girl if she saw what happened to her boyfriend. Back inside, Elena finally goes over to Stefan as a drunk Caroline approaches Matt for comfort and curly fries. She asks if she’s really shallow. She wants to be deep instead. Matt tells her that’s not really her. Caroline gets emotional over how shallow she is, and he offers to drive her home. She can’t walk steadily, so he has to carry her out of the Grill. He’s unable to get past Liz without her noticing. They’re the last people Liz will allow to leave the restaurant right now.

Lexi asks Damon the question everyone wants answered: Why is he in Mystic Falls? He tells her has a “diabolical master plan,” but he’s not going to share it, since that would take away from its…diabolicalness. Liz brings in the girl and asks her to point out the vampire who killed her boyfriend. She points to the bar, where Damon and Lexi are chatting. Liz goes to them and injects Lexi with vervain.

As deputies lead Lexi out of the restaurant, Stefan realizes that something bad is happening. He and Elena try to find an unguarded exit as Lexi attacks the deputies outside. Liz shoots her with wooden bullets, but they’re not enough to keep Lexi from closing in on her. Damon runs up with a stake and plunges it into Lexi’s chest. Around the corner, Stefan puts a hand over Elena’s mouth so Liz won’t hear her. Damon tells Lexi this is part of his plan as she dies.

Once Lexi’s body has been taken away, Liz goes inside to break up the party, since the bartender was serving underage patrons. She praises Damon for moving so fast with the stake. She thinks Lexi was the vampire attacking people in town, and that Damon has helped rid Mystic Falls of a killer.

Matt takes Caroline home and puts her to bed. She asks if he ever feels like no one in the world loves him. She wishes life was different. Matt does, too. He starts to leave as she falls asleep, but she asks him to stay. Back at the Grill, Stefan is fed up with Damon and is ready to kill him. Elena protests, but Stefan says Damon will never change. Elena doesn’t want Stefan to become a killer, too. He tells her that everywhere he goes, pain and death follow him, as does Damon. He needs to put an end to it. Elena begs Stefan to talk to her, but he tells her she was right to want to keep her distance from him.

Damon’s already back home when Stefan gets there. Damon lets Stefan get in a few punches before he fights back. He argues that he found a way to get the Founder’s Council off their trail (not that the Founder’s Council ever suspected them in the first place). Stefan knows Damon only did this for himself. He shoves a stake into Damon’s chest, but not his heart. He’s only sparing Damon because he saved Stefan. They’re even now, and they’re done.

Bonnie’s asleep at her place, still wearing the crystal. She dreams that she’s running through the woods, scared. Eventually she comes across Emily Bennett, her ancestor who once owned the crystal. “It’s coming,” Emily tells her. In the morning, Bonnie wakes up in the cemetery, right outside the Salvatore crypt.

Keep in mind: Vampires’ strength is relative to their age – older vampires are stronger than younger ones.

Etc.: Lexi’s by far my favorite recurring character. I wish we’d gotten to see more of her in the series, but thanks to Damon, we can’t have nice things.

I love the feather scene so much. It’s just two friends having a moment of pure joy in the midst of their crazy lives. And Bonnie gets to be the focus for once.

How difficult would it have been for Stefan to give Caroline some vervain so Damon couldn’t mess with her again? Come on!

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