the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 1.16, There Goes the Neighborhood: One Normal Night

The house Harper went to at the end of the last episode is now full of vampires who were until recently trapped in the tomb. Anna’s helping them learn about the modern world. They’re keeping Ms. Gibbons, the house’s owner, around for food and other things they need to compel a human to do for them. Anna’s uneasy about how one vampire, Frederick, is taking advantage of the on-demand meal situation.

Matt checks on Kelly at Donovan Domicile, since she spent the last night drinking and having sex. He’s learned of a job opening at the Mystic Grill, in case Kelly really wants to stay in town. She implies that she wants to help pay the bills. Caroline arrives and Kelly ignores her. Caroline’s clearly hurt but tries not to let it show.

Speaking of ignoring people, Stefan tells Elena at school that Damon’s not talking to him. Elena wonders if he’s still trying to find Katherine. She no longer feels bad that he got his heart broken. Stefan asks if she’s gotten anywhere in untangling the Isobel/Katherine/Damon mystery. Elena laments that she can’t have a single normal day without vampires (well, except Stefan). She’d like to do stuff every other teenager does, like homework and having fun. Wait, she WANTS to do homework?

Caroline and Matt are down the hall, talking about Kelly. Matt thinks Caroline needs to be nicer to his mother. Buddy, Caroline is absolutely not the problem here. He spots Elena and Stefan kissing and tries not to let it bother him. Caroline’s like, “Great, another problem to overcome.”

Pearl uses Anna’s phone to teach Harper about texting. They accidentally play a message Jeremy left Anna, who hasn’t been in touch for a while. When Harper asks if Jeremy is her boyfriend, Pearl makes it clear that she wouldn’t be okay with that. Anna has Ms. Gibbons’ car keys and ATM card (Pearl doesn’t know what that is), and mother and daughter are heading out on “business.” Pearl tells Frederick to keep everything under control at the house. Frederick isn’t the type to follow the rules, so Harper promises to keep an eye on the other vampires.

Back at school, Caroline approaches Stefan and Elena with the idea of a double date with her and Matt. She wants them to get over their awkwardness. Elena’s uncertain, but Stefan points out that it would be a normal activity for them to do. At Vamp Villa, Damon is surprised to find Anna and Pearl in the house. They wonder how the Salvatores keep out unwelcome vampires, since there’s no living resident, which means vampires can enter without an invitation. Damon says they just kill anyone who shouldn’t be there. He grabs Pearl by the neck, but she’s older and stronger, so she barely flinches as she removes his hand.

Jeremy is still looking for info on vampires, this time in a chat room. Specifically, he wants to know how to kill one. Back at Vamp Villa, Pearl tells Damon that some of the tomb vampires are living together. Others have probably left town or are hiding and trying to adjust to the modern world. Damon wonders how they got out of the tomb. Anna says Sheila must have screwed something up with her resealing spell.

Thanks to Anna’s knowledge of what goes on in the shadows of Mystic Falls, Pearl knows that the Founder’s Council is aware of vampires in town, and that Damon has been working with them. She wants him to provide a list of all the council members and their families, plus anyone he’s given vervain to. Damon asks what Anna and Pearl are trying to achieve. It’s simple: Mystic Falls took the vampires’ home from them back in 1864, and they want it back. In exchange, Pearl will track down Katherine and tell Damon where she is.

Damon claims that he no longer wants to see Katherine ever again. Pearl is on her own. She tells him the offer of connecting him with Katherine was just a courtesy – he’ll be doing what Pearl wants, no matter what. She puts her thumbs in his eyes to prove she’s serious. She’s 400 years older, and if she wanted, she could destroy Damon without a thought.

Stefan meets Elena at Gilbert Gables for the double date. She has to drive them, since he has a car but never drives it. She gives him the chance to cancel the date, thinking that doing something normal isn’t really a possibility for them. Stefan says they should take the night off and do something less serious than what they’ve been dealing with recently. Elena asks if he’s ever been on a double date before. Stefan claims that he and Hugh Hefner once went out with two Playboy playmates.

Pearl and Anna’s “business” next takes them to an office downtown, where they meet up with Jenna. She’s selling Grayson’s medical office, which used to be an apothecary – Pearl’s apothecary. Anna spots Jeremy walking through the town square and smiles, though he doesn’t see her.

Damon goes to the Grill for a drink, wearing sunglasses while his eyes heal themselves. Kelly’s there, and the two start chatting. Jenna joins them, happily reuniting with Kelly, who used to babysit her, then party with her when Jenna got older. She invites Jenna to take a night off from being responsible to drink with them.

Frederick’s annoyed that he spent 145 years locked in the tomb and now has to stay cooped up because Pearl doesn’t want anyone leaving the house. Harper advises him to stop complaining. Frederick is itching for a fight, and calling Harper (who’s Black) “boy” gets him an opponent. The two struggle with each other until Pearl returns and steps in. She reminds the vampires that there’s no fighting in the house. Frederick asks to be allowed to go out, but Pearl says they need to keep a low profile. He argues that no one in town knows who he is. Yeah, the Salvatores might recognize him, but Frederick will just fight them, too.

The double daters meet up at the Grill and talk about Caroline’s current least favorite subject: Kelly. Elena tells Stefan that Miranda and Kelly were best friends as kids, and Elena and Matt have known each other their whole lives. Speaking of Kelly, she’s still at the bar with Jenna and Damon. The teens don’t seem to like where that could lead.

Frederick decides that he and his girlfriend, Bethanne, deserve a night out, despite Pearl’s rules. He doesn’t see Harper as any kind of a threat to stop them. Meanwhile, Anna goes to Gilbert Gables with the news that she’s staying in Mystic Falls. Jeremy isn’t as happy as she expected him to be.

Damon tells Kelly and Jenna that he’s lost his main reason for existence, and the rest of his life is on the edge of blowing up. Might as well party! They’re drunk, and they’re having more fun than the teens. Matt elevates the mood by bringing up the time Elena’s parents busted them for being drunk at the Grill after Homecoming. They were seated at the booth next to the kids, and Matt tried to make an escape by having Elena pretend she was choking. He must have forgotten that Grayson was a doctor, so of course he was going to try to help someone who was choking (especially his daughter). She made a run for it, slipped, and fell in front of the whole restaurant.

Apparently Jenna and Kelly didn’t realize the teens were at the Grill, and Jenna only notices when Caroline and Elena cross the restaurant to go to the restroom. Kelly worries about her son seeing her drunk. Back at Gilbert Gables, Anna tells Jeremy that her mother decided to stay in town because she got a business opportunity. Anna’s thinking about enrolling at Mystic Falls High School like a normal teen.

Jeremy brings up his extra-credit paper, saying he wants to write another one about vampires. He’s curious about why people were labeled vampires back in the day. Maybe our understanding of them is wrong. They could be normal and good, just misunderstood outsiders. Anna tries to brush that off as a ridiculous idea. She doesn’t really believe in vampires.

Matt and Stefan play pool together, though Matt feels a little inferior because Stefan’s better at it. He’s better at everything, really, or at least he comes off that way. Stefan acknowledges that that must be annoying. In the restroom, Caroline asks Elena why she’s torpedoing the evening. She expected Elena to show Matt how happy she is with Stefan, not remind him of fun times they had together.

As they leave the restroom, they pass Frederick and Bethanne. Frederick grabs Elena’s arm and calls her Katherine. Elena manages to stay calm as she tells him he’s mistaken her for someone else. As soon as she gets back to Stefan, she writes a text on her phone telling him what happened, so Frederick won’t hear them talking. But Frederick has already spotted and recognized Stefan, and he and Bethanne have left.

The double daters then head to Vamp Villa, though Stefan thinks they should end the evening now and deal with the Frederick situation. Elena reminds him that they want a break from the vampire stuff. They need to continue their one normal night. Any other vampires in town will still be there tomorrow.

Matt and Caroline are awed by the interior of Vamp Villa. Caroline feels like she’s been there before, so I guess Damon’s compulsion to make her forget stopping by didn’t work 100%. Matt admires Stefan’s collection of model cars, something he himself used to build as a kid. Suddenly the two of them have something in common (well, other than Elena).

At the Grill, Damon and Kelly are flirting, and Jenna realizes she’s a fifth wheel and should leave (or maybe she just doesn’t want to watch, which, fair). Back at Vamp Villa, Stefan shows the others his vintage Porsche. It doesn’t run, and he hasn’t been able to fix it. He asks Matt to help him see what the problem is. We find out later that Stefan has a lot of knowledge about fixing cars, so this is 100 percent a lie to make Matt feel good, but whatever.

Matt has experience with old cars because he used to work on Grayson’s Camaro. Caroline pipes up that she doesn’t like sports cars because they’re hard to make out in. Matt says it wasn’t that bad in the Camaro. Oooh, wrong! Wrong thing to say! Bad Matt! Caroline huffs off and Elena follows her. Matt apologizes to Stefan, who says there’s no point in ignoring Matt and Elena’s history. Matt says he likes Stefan and Elena together, and he’s happy that she’s happy now.

Jenna breaks a heel on her way out of the Grill, but Frederick is around to give her a hand (by breaking the other heel. Thanks, Frederick!). He asks if she was with Damon, saying they “go way back.” He gets Jenna to tell him where Damon’s living now. Jenna’s not so drunk that she can’t still make good decisions, and she realizes that sticking around and flirting with Frederick is a bad idea. He tries to compel her to change her mind, but she’s wearing vervain perfume and just laughs at him.

Elena tells Caroline she’s being ridiculous. Caroline knows it, but she’s upset that she’s always the backup. She’s Matt’s second choice because he can’t be with Elena. She’s Elena’s second best friend when Bonnie isn’t around. Elena doesn’t know what it’s like for Caroline because she’s everyone’s first choice. Matt and Stefan join them with the Porsche, and Stefan tells Matt and Caroline to take it for a drive. “If it’s not vampires, it’s girlfriends,” Elena sighs after they leave.

While making a snack at Gilbert Gables, Jeremy deliberately cuts himself to see how Anna will react. She tries to keep her distance, but he approaches her. She vamps out and shoves him up against the fridge, asking what he’s doing. “I knew it,” he says. He invites her to have a drink, and she does. When Jenna gets home moments later, Anna zooms out.

Matt and Caroline return from their drive and sit in the Porsche together. He tells her he knows she wanted to have the double date so she could see how Matt handled being around Elena. He needs Caroline to let go of the fact that he and Elena have history. Yeah, Elena still means something to him, but he wants to be with Caroline now. They make out, even though they’re not in an ideal setting for Caroline.

Also making out: Damon and Kelly, who are inside Vamp Villa. Matt is confronted by the unforgettable sight of his mother straddling Damon when he and the others return to the house. Matt and Kelly both leave. Anna gets home, telling Pearl she was just out getting some air (for three hours). Pearl begs her not to rebel like Frederick is.

The double date is over, but Stefan is reluctant to let Elena go home alone, since now they know there’s at least one other vampire in town. She reminds him that part of being normal is not having a bodyguard or a boyfriend who’s with her 24/7. As Elena and Caroline leave, Frederick arrives outside Vamp Villa. Before Stefan can start to lecture Damon about Kelly, Frederick jumps through the window. He tries to stake Stefan, missing his heart but briefly neutralizing him.

As Damon and Frederick pound on each other, Bethanne comes in and fights Stefan. He uses the stake Frederick put in him to kill her. Outmatched by Damon already, and now facing a two-against-one fight with both Salvatores, Frederick flees, leaving his girlfriend’s body behind. Stefan tells Damon he remembers them from 1864. Damon’s like, “You know who else is back from 1864? Let’s have a story time.”

At Donovan Domicile, Kelly tries to smooth things over with Matt, but he’s not in the mood. Like Stefan and Elena, he just wanted a normal night with his friends. Kelly ruined it by getting drunk at the place where he works to pay the bills she doesn’t cover. Matt’s the kid and Kelly’s supposed to be the responsible one, not the other way around.

Jeremy and Elena brush their teeth together at home and pretend they both had boring nights. Frederick returns to the tomb vampires’ house and tells Pearl that she was right about the risks of leaving the house. Pearl coolly stabs him in the stomach with the handle of a wooden spoon, saying that next time, he’ll listen to her.

Elena calls Stefan, who holds off on telling her about Frederick and Bethanne so she can end the night on a good note. Damon’s like, “Get off the phone with our girlfriend and help me get rid of this body.” Anna surprises Jeremy in his room, angry that he tempted her with blood. She could have killed him. He tells her how he figured out that vampires are real: He put Vicki’s behavior together with Anna’s vamp face the night they kissed. She tells him not to tell anyone.

Jeremy asks why she didn’t kill him tonight, and Anna says she’s a sucker for guys like him – guys who are lost. Why did he risk his safety to confront her? Jeremy has two reasons. First, if vampires are real, Vicki’s behavior makes sense. And second, he wants Anna to turn him.

Etc.: Matt, you’re going to need to stop yelling, “Come in!” at the door when someone knocks, without checking to see who it is. Sooner or later, you’re going to invite someone in who shouldn’t be there.

I love the ongoing bit of Damon trying to intimidate an older/stronger vampire, the other vampire showing he can’t best them, and Damon basically going, “Yeah, sorry, I shouldn’t have done that.”

Harper should just let Frederick do whatever he wants and get himself in trouble. Pearl’s smart enough to know that Harper can’t enforce the rules on a guy like that. Let him dig his own grave.

Wait, Grayson used to have a Camaro? The same car Damon has? Uh…

Jeremy needs to work on using his words instead of shoving blood in people’s faces and hoping they react the way he wants them to.

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