the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 3.11, Our Town: The Better Villain

Damon’s taking a shower, and he’s in a great mood. And why shouldn’t he be? He reconnected with Stefan, they’re going to work together, and he kissed Elena. At Alaric’s, Elena is in a much different mood. She’s getting in a good workout and doesn’t want to talk to Alaric about what has her so riled up.

Stefan wants Damon to get ready faster, since they’re supposed to meet Bonnie at Hex House in ten minutes. Damon tells him to relax. Stefan asks why he’s in such a good mood, but Damon won’t tell him. Back at Alaric’s, he and Elena both admit that they didn’t sleep well the night before. Alaric says his Gilbert ring is “running low on batteries.” That’s another reason to get Jeremy out of Mystic Falls and away from supernatural creatures who want to kill him.

Alaric notes that Elena’s getting stronger, and probably not just because she’s channeling her frustration into her workouts. He says Jeremy seems excited to be going to Denver. Elena casually asks if Alaric has talked to Damon yet today. Alaric says no, and Elena pretends she didn’t have a good reason for asking.

At Hex House, Bonnie still isn’t having any luck with the coffin she and Stefan haven’t been able to open. She hears noises nearby, and someone moves through the room. Stefan and Damon are arriving outside, talking about how they’re keeping Elena in the dark about the coffins. Damon senses that something’s off, and he sneaks into the basement to check it out. Meanwhile, one of Klaus’ hybrids leaves the house and runs into Stefan. He prepares to attack Stefan, but Damon surprises him and rips out his heart from behind.

At school, Bonnie joins Elena a little late to decorate Caroline’s locker for her birthday. Bonnie doesn’t mention what she was doing that made her late. Elena tells her that Jeremy’s leaving town until they figure out how to deal with Klaus. Bonnie knows Jeremy wouldn’t leave Elena to handle this on her own, and Elena admits that she had Damon compel him. She wants Bonnie to have the chance to say goodbye, even though she and Jeremy never worked out their relationship issues.

Back at Hex House, Damon discovers that hitting the sealed coffin with a shovel doesn’t do anything. However, he does finally do some math that no one else in the gang has bothered to do yet: In total, there were seven Mikaelson siblings. One died in the old world and one in the new world. Rebekah is with Klaus. That leaves three remaining siblings (Elijah, Kol, and Finn). So why are there four coffins? Who’s in the sealed one? Stefan doesn’t know, but he says Bonnie thinks that person is the key to killing Klaus.

Damon really wishes the witches’ spirits would help them open the coffin, since they’re already going to the trouble of hiding the coffins. Stefan says their first priority is keeping the hybrids and Klaus from finding out where the coffins are. They need to get rid of the hybrids. Damon tells Stefan to just keep the peace and try not to draw attention to what they’re trying to keep hidden. Stefan says he won’t play defense when he has the upper hand here. If Klaus doesn’t do what Stefan wants, the coffins will go to the bottom of the ocean.

Damon points out that Klaus will then kill Stefan and everyone he knows. Stefan doesn’t think he would do that – Klaus’ family means more to him than anything, so he won’t kill the one person who knows where those family members are. But if Damon’s skeptical, they can call Klaus’ bluff and find out for sure. Damon says you only call someone’s bluff if you’re willing to lose everything if you’re wrong. Stefan just leaves, clearly ready to take the risk.

At school, Bonnie approaches Jeremy to talk about his big move to Denver. She’s still hurt by what happened with him and Anna, but she doesn’t want him to leave. Jeremy says it’s a good idea, and he could have a better life in Colorado. Bonnie notes that Elena said the exact same thing. Jeremy doesn’t get what she means, since he doesn’t know he was compelled, but Bonnie just says she’s sorry he has to go.

Caroline isn’t happy to be at school, even though it’s her birthday. Tyler wants to talk, but Caroline doesn’t – in carrying out Klaus’ orders, he almost got Jeremy killed. She asks what he plans to do about his sire bond. Tyler says there’s nothing he can do about it. He understands why Caroline doesn’t want to be with him. He wants to put her before anyone else, but as long as he’s bonded to Klaus, he can’t. He wants her to know how sorry he is. Caroline says she’s sorry, too. Tyler wishes her a happy birthday and gives her a charm bracelet.

Klaus puts Rebekah in her coffin at his new place, where he has a bedroom just for her. I’m sure she’ll thank him for it once she stops throwing things at his head for daggering her again. Stefan pops in for a visit and tells Klaus to get his hybrids out of town. Klaus says no, of course. He guesses that Stefan’s been drinking vervain, so Klaus won’t be able to compel him again. That means there’s a lack of trust in this twisted friendship. Stefan points out that “friends don’t strip friends of their free will.” Unless one of those friends is Damon. Klaus admits that that was extreme of him, but he gets moody.

He requests his coffins back, but Stefan isn’t there to make a deal. He repeats that he wants the hybrids out of Mystic Falls. If Klaus doesn’t remove them, Stefan will. Klaus warns that if Stefan keeps threatening him, he’ll retaliate with violence and things will get messy. Stefan says Klaus can do whatever he wants – Stefan doesn’t care. Or maybe he does. Maybe he’ll drop Elijah in the ocean.

Klaus is willing to lose one brother if it means he gets to kill Damon. Stefan invites him to try it and see what happens. A hybrid comes in to make sure the boys are behaving, and Klaus says that “Stefan was just leaving after failing to make his point.” In response, Stefan beheads the hybrid and says, “One down.” Klaus should get the rest of the hybrids out of town or, just like he warned, things will get messy.

Caroline wound up skipping school, so Elena, Matt, and Bonnie surprise her at Fort Forbes that afternoon with decorations and a tiara. They’re going to the falls to make s’mores (like they did when they were kids) and drink tequila (not like they did when they were kids). Caroline’s grateful but doesn’t want to celebrate this year. Bonnie can’t believe that, since she always makes a big deal out of her birthday. Caroline says that now it’s just a reminder that she’s dead and will always be 17. She’s “stuck in a filler year,” never to reach 18. She’ll be okay, but she wants to wallow first. Elena has another idea.

Back at the Haus of Klaus, Klaus tells Tyler that Stefan had two choices and made a bad one. Tyler will help Klaus get revenge. Tyler doesn’t want to participate, since he’s already lost enough because of Klaus. Klaus doesn’t care. He orders Tyler to bite Caroline, which will, of course, kill her. Tyler refuses, but Klaus says this is a loyalty test. Tyler again refuses, and surprisingly, Klaus backs down. He says he’ll find another way to get back at Stefan.

Damon and Alaric (who seem to have patched things up, so I guess Alaric accepted Damon’s weak apology) are at the town’s Founders’ Hall, talking about Stefan’s behavior. Alaric isn’t sure if Stefan’s humanity is on or off. Damon thinks there’s a kind of “dimmer switch” situation here, which is a problem since Damon can’t predict how far Stefan will go. Alaric is skeptical that Damon actually cares who lives or dies. “I have a small list,” Damon says. Yeah, it probably has three names on it: his, Stefan’s, and Elena’s. Maybe Alaric’s, depending on the day. Anyway, they’re there for a council meeting/fundraiser event for the restoration of Wickery Bridge.

Instead of the falls, Elena takes Caroline, Bonnie, and Matt to the Fell crypt in the cemetery. She acknowledges that Caroline’s technically dead, which means she needs a funeral. She needs to say goodbye to her human life so she can move on with this life. Caroline agrees, and the group gives her a eulogy and encourages her to move forward. Bonnie uses her fire-starting magic to light the candles on Caroline’s cake.

Back at Founders’ Hall, Alaric notes that the bridge they’re trying to restore is the one where Miranda and Grayson died. He tells Damon that something’s up with Elena. Damon says it’s probably just the mess with Stefan. He wants to leave as soon as he writes a check for the fundraiser and gets another drink.

Alaric runs into Meredith, who remembers him as her “miracle patient.” He jokes that he has nine lives. She says that’s an asset in a town with vampires. Surprised that someone’s talking about vampires so openly, Alaric asks if she’s on the council. She doesn’t really answer, but she says that since she’s a Fell, she’s in a founding family. She also hates Wickery Bridge, which is where her senior prom date dumped her. She’s held a grudge ever since. She asks where Damon went, since she’s supposed to ask him for a donation. Alaric says that’s smart, since he’s rich. Meredith says there’s another rich guy there, a British man who pledged to match all the donations.

Damon spots that British man talking to Carol and tells her she’s been sucking up to the guy who ruined Tyler’s life. Klaus corrects that he saved Tyler, who no longer has to turn at the full moon. Klaus can sympathize, even though he’s only ever had to turn a couple of times. Carol says that Klaus has promised to protect Tyler and the town. Damon wonders how that’ll work, since Klaus and his hybrids are the town’s biggest threat.

Klaus says he wouldn’t need the hybrids if Stefan would return his coffins. Damon says that won’t happen. Klaus tells him that he and Carol made a deal: He’ll stay out of the council’s way if the council stays out of his. The town will be safe. Stefan just has to stop killing hybrids. Carol tells Damon to get Stefan under control or the council will have to move against him.

In the crypt, Caroline admits to drunk-texting Tyler, which Elena thinks is a bad idea. Bonnie tells Elena to stop trying to control everyone’s actions. She apologizes for that, but she’s upset that Elena got Damon to compel Jeremy to leave town. Elena says she’s protecting him and giving him a chance at a normal life. Bonnie thinks Jeremy should get to choose how he lives his life. Elena asks her not to tell Jeremy to the truth. “Are you going to compel me not to?” Bonnie replies. Matt breaks up the argument, and Bonnie decides to leave the party/funeral.

Outside Founders’ Hall, Damon discusses the Klaus situation with Liz, who says she won’t be able to do anything about his deal with Carol. She won’t let Klaus hold the town hostage, but she also won’t let people get in the middle of Stefan and Klaus’ “pissing contest.” Freaking A, I love Liz. She orders Damon to make Stefan behave before anyone gets hurt.

Nearby, Meredith is arguing with a guy named Brian who warns her that she’s going to ruin her career. Alaric walks up to be all “do we have a problem here?” as he’s trying to stop her from leaving. Brian advises Alaric to get to know Meredith better before he defends her – “she’s kind of a psycho case.” Alaric threatens to fight Brian, who says life is too short to get involved in Meredith’s issues. After he leaves, she tells Alaric that Brian was the guy who dumped her on the bridge. She has to see him a lot, unfortunately, since he’s on the council. He’s the medical examiner they turn to when they need someone to declare a suspicious death an animal attack. Meredith thanks Alaric for his heroism before heading off to work. They definitely like each other.

Stefan arrives just then and grabs a knife from a carving station. He stabs a hybrid and is about to cut off his head when Damon stops him. Damon notes that there are plenty more hybrids, and Klaus can continue making as many as he wants to replace the ones Stefan kills. That involves Elena’s blood, which means Stefan’s actions directly affect her. Stefan says protecting Elena is Damon’s problem now. Damon doesn’t think Stefan has the ability to just turn off his humanity with a switch anymore. If he wants to beat the villain, he has to be smarter. Stefan disagrees: “To beat the villain, Damon, you have to be the better villain.”

Tyler’s late to the crypt party, and Matt doesn’t want him to join the festivities. Caroline says it’s okay, and she agrees to talk to him outside. Matt tells Elena that he wants Caroline to be happy. He wants all his friends to be happy, no matter what craziness they’re stuck in. Elena seizes on his use of the word “stuck.” She says that Bonnie’s right about how inappropriate it was for her to mess with Jeremy’s head. But he’s in danger, and Elena can’t lose anyone else she loves.

Tyler apologizes to Caroline for their conversation that morning. He’s not going to let Klaus control him where Caroline is involved. She says it’s okay; maybe they’re not supposed to be together. She can accept it and move on. Tyler says he can’t do that – he loves her. He kisses her, and it looks like she’s going to get back together with him…but then he bites her on the shoulder.

Caroline yells for Tyler to get away from her as she starts panicking. Elena and Matt go looking for her, though they just think they need to stop Caroline from agreeing to get back together with her ex. Stefan finds them, knocks Matt out, and kidnaps Elena.

Elena’s phone rings as Stefan drives her somewhere. He takes the phone from her and tells Damon that Elena’s busy. He’s making his next move. He asks Damon what Klaus will do if he can’t make any more hybrids. Damon tells his brother to leave Elena out of this. Stefan hangs up and tosses the phone out the window. Elena orders him to let her out of the car, but he ignores her.

Damon pulls Klaus away from the meeting/fundraiser to tell him that Stefan has Elena and is going to try to use her against Klaus. Klaus needs to get rid of the hybrids. Klaus doesn’t think Stefan would actually hurt Elena, but Damon knows he’s gone off the deep end and is capable of anything. Klaus says that Stefan’s love for Elena is the kind that never dies, so there’s nothing to worry about. Damon replies that he knows Stefan better than anyone, and he doesn’t know how far Stefan is willing to take this. If Stefan says to do something, Klaus needs to do it.

Matt rushes Caroline home, having been unable to reach anyone else in the gang to help him. He and Liz will have to figure this out on their own. In Stefan’s car, Elena asks what the plan is here. He tells her he took Klaus’ family to make him suffer; he’s not going to let Klaus make more hybrids to add to his new family. Elena thinks Stefan plans to lock her up somewhere so Klaus can’t get access to her blood. Stefan says he might turn her into a vampire instead. Elena realizes that Stefan isn’t playing around, and she yells for him to stop the car. Instead, he drives faster.

He calls Klaus and tells him again to send the hybrids away. Klaus says no again, so Stefan announces that he’s going to drive Elena off Wickery Bridge. Klaus calls his bluff, so Stefan bites himself and feeds Elena his blood. With the phone on speaker, Klaus is able to hear her struggling. He calls Stefan’s bluff again, and Stefan says if Klaus keeps refusing to cooperate, the coffins will get dumped. “Say goodbye to your family, Klaus,” Stefan says as he approaches the bridge.

Klaus finally gives in to Stefan’s demands, and he and Elena both tell Stefan to stop the car. He screeches to a halt on the bridge. Elena gets out, not wanting to be in the car with him for another second. She asks how Stefan could threaten to kill her on the bridge where her parents died – the bridge where she would have died if he hadn’t saved her. Stefan says he just had to scare Elena to make Klaus believe that he would hurt her. Elena asks what would have happened if Klaus hadn’t bought it. Stefan yells that he backed down, which means they’ve proven that Klaus has a weakness. That means Stefan can destroy him.

Elena can’t believe that after everything, Stefan can only focus on destroying Klaus. Stefan says that’s all he has left. Elena argues that he had her, but Stefan knows he lost her the minute he left town with Klaus. She just hasn’t accepted that yet. Elena asks if he’s trying to make her hate him. “I don’t really care what you think about me anymore, Elena,” he replies before driving off and leaving her alone on the bridge (without a phone, by the way. Monster).

Klaus shows up at Fort Forbes, having heard from Tyler that Caroline needs his blood. Matt confronts him for being the reason she needs it. Klaus tells him to get Liz to invite him in so he can cure Caroline. Liz knows he’ll want something in return, but Klaus says he just wants her support. Liz also knows she can’t risk her daughter’s life, so she invites Klaus in.

He goes to Caroline’s room, where she asks if he’s going to kill her. “On your birthday? Do you really think that low of me?” asks the guy who kidnapped her to sacrifice her, really did sacrifice her best friend’s aunt, and turned her boyfriend into a hybrid. He tells her she’s collateral damage; there’s nothing personal about her involvement. He admires her charm bracelet and says he loves birthdays. Caroline doesn’t see the point when you’re a vampire and will live forever. Klaus tells her to adjust her perspective of time. She’s now free from human conventions. Caroline’s like, “I’m only free for the next couple of hours. Then I’m just dead.”

Klaus tells her he could let her die if she really believes there’s no point in living any longer. He’s considered it himself over the centuries. But he wants Caroline to know a secret: There’s a big world full of art and music and beauty, and she can experience all of it. She can have as many birthdays as she wants. She just has to ask. Caroline says she doesn’t want to die, so Klaus gives her his blood.

Somehow, Elena got in touch with Damon, who takes her home. He says that Stefan won this round of the battle by getting Klaus to back down, and it was a victory the gang really needed. Stefan beat Klaus at his own game – he was the better villain. Elena tells him not to be too impressed. Damon admits to being a little proud. He asks if Elena will be okay. He puts his hand to her face like he’s going to kiss her, and she tells him he can’t do that again. He says he knows. Elena says it’s not right, but Damon thinks it is, just not right now.

The next day, Jeremy’s off to Denver. Bonnie shows up at Gilbert Gables just as he’s leaving, but instead of telling him that Damon compelled him, she just says goodbye. Caroline wakes up healed and sees that Klaus left her a birthday present. It’s a bracelet, and it’s much more grownup and expensive than the one Tyler gave her.

Elena and Matt meet up at Wickery Bridge, where she tells him that he was right to use the word “stuck.” She’s been holding on to the girl she used to be. The girl who was supposed to die there with her parents. The girl whose life was normal and didn’t involve vampires. Matt tells her she’s not that girl anymore, and it’s okay to let her go. Elena isn’t sure; she may have disappointed that girl a little. Maybe she’s disappointed her parents, too. Matt knew that girl, and he thinks Elena’s doing better than she knows. He pulls some dandelions out of the ground and gives her a brief eulogy before tossing them into the water.

Meredith lost a patient, so she goes to the Grill for a drink. Alaric’s there, sad about sending Jeremy away, so the two start drinking together. In the woods, Liz takes Damon to a crime scene. Brian has been found dead with a stake in his chest. Since he’s human, this isn’t a case of someone trying to kill a vampire. It’s murder.

Etc.: I’m going to say it again, in case it wasn’t clear the first time: In this house, we do not speak of Klaroline.

I’m disappointed that it took this long for anyone to do the math and realize they have an extra coffin.

Going after Caroline to lash out at Stefan is an interesting move on Klaus’ part. How can he be sure Stefan won’t consider Caroline acceptable collateral damage?

I get Stefan’s intentions, and I can buy him going this route, but the lengths he goes are needlessly cruel and beyond what I think he would do. It’s one thing to threaten to turn Elena when he knows she doesn’t want that. It’s another to make Klaus think he’s going to kill her, and even to make her think he’s going to kill her. But to threaten to kill her the same way her parents died is too much, and for most people would be unforgivable. His excuse for it isn’t even good – he needed to exploit Klaus’ weakness. But he already knew what Klaus’ weakness was. That’s why he took the coffins. I think this is a scenario the writers used to get maximum drama, but it was just too far.

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