Oh, Vampire Diaries, you big tease! The entirety of "Sacrifice" felt like deliciously excruciating foreplay as nearly every character came within a breath of making out with another but no one ever kissed.
When the action starts Elena is snoozing in bed and hears some noises so she gets up to investigate and instead of finding Dr. Warlock creeping around in her bathroom, she runs into an underwear-clad Alaric coming up the stairs with his bowl of post-coital Chunky Monkey, while a totally sex-haired Jenna trails behind (enjoying the view I'm sure). I guess it was supposed to seem awkward but between how much we all appreciate a shirtless Matt Davis and how Elena keeps steeling glances down to Alaric's undies, it didn't seem that awkward to me. While Elena's out in the hall talking to her aunt about how her history teacher is really good in bed, Dr. Warlock is rifling through her things stealing several pieces of jewelry, some hair and the brush it came in, and a picture of Elena in her cheer leading uniform all of which makes me think that there may be something more than a spell afoot - like a touch of kleptomania and maybe some pedophilia? I'm just sayin'.
The next morning the Salvatores stop by the Gilbert house to tell Elena about how they visited Katherine in the tomb and asked her nicely to give them the moonstone. She snarked at them and they snarked back and she let us all know where her priorities lie when she asked to be let out on account of being starving, and dirty, "but above all," bored. Isn't it just like her to put screwing [with] people ahead of everything? Katherine makes such a good bad guy that I hope she never dies. Anyway, she agrees to cough up the stone if they get her out of the tomb so now they've got a plan which they're telling Elena about. Bonnie will temporarily disable the spell, they'll slip in and take the stone from Katherine by force then duck out again while Bonnie puts the shields back up, leaving Kat in the tomb for good. Then Bonnie will work some more magic and "destroy" the moonstone, thereby breaking the curse and negating the usefulness of the doppelganger as anything other than a pretty thing for a couple of undead brothers to fight over. Elena objects on the grounds that she doesn't want anyone to do anything in the service of protecting her that might get them killed.
School. Huh, I keep forgetting these people even go to school. Anyway, Bonnie is walking with Luka, talking about witchy things. He's shocked that Grams didn't tell her she was a witch until she was in high school and she tells him about how it wears her out physically when she does magic. He tells her that she can draw extra power from nature, the elements and channeling another witch's power. He holds her bracelet, she holds his necklace, they concentrate and a mighty wind kicks up. Things turn icky when she starts acting like all this showy, mystical nonsense is giving her a magical orgasm. Jeremy happens by then with a lame comment about the weather. Luka takes his leave, Jeremy calls him weird and Bonnie gets defensive. Bonnie is adorable when she flirts and I have no real reason to dislike Luka (other than his unfortunate facial hair and my bad feeling about the true intentions of he and his father), but I'm not having it. Time for Luka to go bye-bye now so Bonnie can rededicate herself to hooking up with Jeremy. Anyway, Bonnie is left with his necklace, which she looks at meaningfully until she gets a call from Damon on her cell.
Elena lets herself into the Salvatore manse and finds Rose in a state of undress. An awkward moment ensues where Elena knows that Rose is having the Damon sex and tries too hard to act (for herself as much as for anyone) that she doesn't care but if you aren't jealous of a person having the Damon sex then you probably don't have eyes...or genitals. Elena gets down to brass tacks and we skip ahead to where Rose thinks it's a terrible idea for the two of them to have Slater put the word out that Elena is alive and well and ready to be shipped off to Klaus for sacrificing. Elena keeps being annoying (seriously, her "please everyone, stop caring about me and trying to save me" crap has grown beyond tiresome. She was a lot more fun when she wasn't trying so hard to be selfless) and kind of rude to Rose before offering to pay Rose for her help in the form of SPF jewelry that she'll get Bonnie to make. There is virtually no way in hell that will ever happen, poor Rose and her atrocious hair just got duped.
Tyler is shooting hoops (pretty badly) at school when Matt finds him. Matt apologizes for what went down at the Masquerade ball and barely holds back tears as he does so. Tyler accepts his apology and Matt sadly walks away, promptly running into Caroline. She asks how he is and he tells her he's been better. He looks at her for a while, clearly wanting to say something but not able, and then heads off to class. Matt Donovan needs a hug more than everyone else put together, ALL THE TIME!
When Matt's gone, Caroline heads over to talk to Tyler. "You two still on the outs?" he asks, which she confirms. She reminds him that the full moon is fast approaching and he gives her a little friendly shit about focusing on her own vampire problems and leaving his wolf problems to him. He has a plan, she'd like to know what it is and when he wonders why she thinks she can help, she gives him an abbreviated list of ways in which she's awesome.
Manse. Bonnie's going to lift the spell just long enough for the brothers to run in and grab the stone and run out. Jeremy correctly argues that what she just described killed her grams a few months ago so how the fuck is she planning to pull it off? There's some blah blah blahing during which Damon admits the plan is not good and Jeremy offers to run in and get it - no spells necessary - with his death-defying ring. Damon scoffs/insults. Bonnie gets back on topic and asks for something that belongs to Katherine.
Rose and Elena arrive at Slater's ginormous loft apartment. They bust down the door, find him dead, and snoop around. They find the first really unattractive person this show has ever hired, a sobbing girl named Alice, hiding in the closet.
Back at Stupid Plans R Us World Headquarters, Stefan gives Bonnie the picture of Katherine that we see every week in the previouslies. She puts it in a bowl, sprinkles a little water on it and sets it alight with her mind. She tells them that she's turning it to ash that will, when sprinkled on Katherine, render her immobile temporarily. Then she gets a nose bleed which only Jeremy sees. I'll buy that the Slavatores don't SEE the blood, but are you telling me they can't smell it? I mean, fresh, warm blood is INCHES from both of them and nothing? I must call bullshit.
Woods. Caroline and Tyler are having a heart-to-heart on their way to the old Lockwood Wolf Dungeon. Tyler notes that Matt is pretty sad but that he understands why she would want to keep her distance from him, saying "you can't be honest with him. It's not really fair to be with someone and not really let them know who you are. I get it." She looks sad and contemplative and then they arrive at the dungeon, which she accidentally tells him she knows about. He's surprised. She backtracks and he shrugs it off. Down they go. There's a whole inspection of chains and bolts and Tyler says that Mason "bolted" before Tyler's curse was triggered so he didn't really get to learn much from his uncle. Caroline finds a journal hidden behind a grate and Tyler reads a bit of it, determining that it's Mason's diary of his "change" and now I have this mental picture of Mason, laying in bed every night, writing in his diary like a 13 year old girl. God, I miss Uncle Mason! Anyway, at the back of the journal, they find a memory card.
Stupid Plans R Us World Headquarters. Bonnie dumps the ashes out of a bowl, onto the credenza (wasted step, much?) while Stefan heads off to get torches and Damon goes to get Alaric's stake gun out of his trunk. How much do I love that Alaric lets Damon keep bits of his arsenal indefinitely? So much. Jeremy waits until the brothers leave to admonish Bonnie for trying to do shit she's not strong enough to pull off. She doesn't want the super vamp hearing to pick up on the convo so she gets REALLY close to him and puts her finger to his lips. Jeremy's pants get tighter. The two of them whisper about how he doesn't want her to get hurt and she doesn't want Elena to die, then they flirt for a microsecond and she goes to get him a Ziploc bag for the ashes. When she isn't looking he surreptitiously grabs a handful of ash for himself.
Back at Slater's Rose has no sympathy for Alice's faux devastation because Alice was a fang hag - a revelation that made me lose a fair amount of respect for Slater, rest his soul. Also, I could have sworn I was getting a bit of a gay vibe from Slater but, you know, whatever. Elena decides to use this information to bribe Alice into helping them hack into Slater's computer and get the doppelword out to the Klaus minions. If Alice will help them, Rose will vamp her. Alice promptly forgets she's in mourning and springs into action. Rose is all, "I'm not making THAT girl immortal, no way, no how" and Elena confirms that she's totally taking advantage of the fang hag's stupidity. There's a thing with a(nother - Alice?) Twilight reference that I'm just going to blow right past because we're all better than that, and then Elena has Alice put the doppelword out. Rose is pissed and Elena doesn't care.
Tomb. Jeremy shows up with a stupid plan and a sexy face - same old, same old. Katherine taunts him. He uses an Alaric stake shooting thingamajig to get her in the gut, then dusts her with a handful of magic ashes incapacitating her. Then he goes into the tomb and searches her person but doesn't find the moonstone so he VERY SLOWLY goes deeper into the tomb and has a look around. When he finds the stone - laid out on an alter behind a little gate because Katherine obviously has a sense of humor - he spends about 20 minutes holding it up and gawking at it before he turns around and jogs toward the exit. Katherine has regained her faculties in the week and a half that he's been in there, and attacks him. Just when you think our Jeremy is nothing more than a (very) pretty face, he at least has the good sense to toss the stone out of the tomb door while she's sinking her teeth into his scrumptious neck.
Topside, the Salvatores and Bonnie are fixin' to head in and commence the original stupid plan when Damon gets a call from Rose who would like him to be aware of what shit is hitting the fan in Richmond. He runs off to rescue Elena from her stupid plan - you practically need a diagram to keep track of all the stupid plans happening in this episode. Down in the tomb's vestibule, Stefan and Bonnie notice that the moonstone is already out of the tomb and they both wonder how the hell it got there. Katherine dangles Jeremy in front of them while his blood drips from her mouth. Bonnie furrows her brow and Katherine explains that his death-defying ring will allow her to kill him over and over all night so she's going to take her new toy in the back and they should give her a holler when they unlock the tomb.
Meanwhile, in parts unknown, Dr. Warlock has assembled the truckload of crap he stole from Elena's room on a table in front of Elijah and is ready to show of some fancy magic. Dr. W does a thing and says some stuff and tells Elijah to look for Elena and we cut to Slater's zillion dollar apartment where Elena is gazing out the window when Elijah's reflection appears in the window as if he were standing behind her. She whips around in panic but no one is there. Elijah opens his eyes back in Mystic Falls and knows just where to find her.
Down in the vestibule, Stefan doesn't know where the hell Damon disappeared to and Bonnie doesn't want to wait any longer to save Jeremy. Bonnie starts, holding Luka's necklace, and we cut to the Warlock house where Luka is just arriving. Chant, chant, chant in the vestibule. Luka feels weird, touches his chest as if looking for something that's supposed to be hanging there, and looks pensive.
Tyler and Caroline have come back to her house to fire up the laptop and find out who Mason thinks will ask him to the big dance. I make these jokes because what we're about to watch is INCREDIBLY painful, you guys. So Car flips through the journal and Tyler puts the memory card into the laptop and finds a video. Mason! God I missed his beautiful face! So Caroline finds the passages in the book that correspond to the video. We see Mason chaining himself up in his garage as Caroline narrates from the journal. We see him drink his funny water and she tells us that he'd mixed wolfsbane into it to diminish his strength. Mason writhes on the floor, sweating, crying, screaming in pain and anguish. Tyler watches, his face contorting into a painful mixture of fear, dread and terror. Tyler freaks over the hours upon hours that the transformation lasts. No longer able to hold back his tears, he tells Caroline he can't go through that.
Jokes aside - Michael Trevino was AMAZING in that scene.
Richmond. Damon has arrived to take Elena home. She's pissed that Rose tipped him off and is unwilling to leave with him. Damon leans heavy on the angry eyes and she whines about how nothing is ever her decision and how she doesn't want to be saved. She hilariously tries to punch him and, seriously, it's like the most pitiful-looking punch I've ever seen. I'd expect any self respecting girl with a brother to have a much tougher right hook than that. Damon gets really, really, REALLY close to her face, looks from her eyes to her mouth and back again, then tells her not to do that ever again. He looks at her lips again and then walks away without kissing her, even though he CLEARLY wanted to.
Abra cadabra goes the witch in the tomb hole. Katherine drags Jeremy out to see what progress has been made. Jeremy begs Stefan to stop Bonnie who is not, in his estimation, strong enough to pull this off. Cut to Luka doing his homework at home when he's suddenly stricken with chest pains. Dr. W wants to know what's up and Luka explains that Bonnie is channeling him. The Doc ain't happy about this development and starts to scold his son but then Luka gets a nose bleed and collapses to the floor. Hocus pocus, Bonnie's nose bleeds and Jeremy begs Stefan to stop her while Katherine gives him an elbow to the nose for disrupting the proceedings. That's fair. Alacazam. Luka screams in pain and clutches his head and Dr. Dub touches him firmly and the whole thing stops. Bonnie loses her mojo and falls to the ground.
Stefan tries to wake Bonnie and Katherine gets all crabby and impatient. Bonnie finally fesses up that even with help, she isn't strong enough to open the tomb. Katherine thinks that's a shame and snacks on Jeremy some more. Stefan can't watch that happen so he vampspeeds into the tomb, shoving Jeremy out and getting stuck in there himself. Bonnie rushes to Jeremy's aid, hugging him tight. Stefan looks out of the tomb at them and thinks "oh shit, I probably should have thought this through a little better." Katherine smiles because, as playthings go, she obviously feels like she traded up. I think it was a lateral move at best but I wouldn't scoff at being stuck in a tomb with either one of them.
Forbes house. Caroline doesn't think they should read any more of What To Expect When You're Expecting To Wolf-Out. She tries to look at the bright side (the transformation speeds up over time) and line the whole thing with silver (if he can just get through the first one, then everything will be a-ok) because that's another of the many, many, many ways that Caroline is awesome. Tyler downs some Scotch and asks why she's helping him. He's never considered them friends and he can't understand why someone he knew his entire life, but didn't like at all, would suddenly want to help him under really crapalicious circumstances. She tells him it seems to her like he kinda needs someone to help and to care. And she knows what it's like to turn into a monster alone - to be scared and out of control. She ended up killing someone and she doesn't want that to happen to him. When she is explaining this to him, they're sitting side by side on her couch. She says the word "urges" and he, like, totally wrinkles up his eyebrow before softening his entire face and starting to steel glances at her lips. It's the international sign for "I'm totally thinking about kissing you right now." I'm busy yelling at him to kiss her al-freaking-ready when the doorbell rings and Car goes to answer it.
It's Matt! Caroline goes out on the porch and closes the door behind her. He apologizes for not calling first and and tells her he misses her. They smile at each other and OH MY GOD, you guys! Zach Roerig has THE best smile in the history of the world! Just when they're having this moment and I think they might kiss and get back together and get married and live happily ever after like I've always wanted them to, Tyler opens the door and ruins everything with such swiftness that I would swear he's been taking lessons from Marti on Hellcats. Damn you, Tyler! Matt's taken aback by seeing his best friend - who, to his knowledge, kind of hates Caroline - at his ex-girlfriend's house. Tyler appears to be surprised to see Matt too but the look that immediately follows is more "I've decided I like her so I would prefer if you two never have another moment again, ever. Kaythanksbye." The bottom line is that Caroline was almost but totally not kissed by two very dreamy boys in the span of a few seconds. Tragic.
Richmond. Three random vamps bust in to "meet the doppelganger." Elena tries to introduce herself but Damon interrupts and then Elijah kills one of them with a very crunchy sound effect. Rose lays one eye on the Dapper One and vampspeeds on out of there faster than you can say "buy a wig while you're gone!" Damon expresses his confusion at Elijah's non-deadness and then the two remaining randoms tell him how they want to curry favor with Klaus by making his doppelwish come true. Elijah confirms that no one else knows they're there and then in one fantastically swift move, rips the hearts out of both their chests, drops the hearts on the floor and vampspeeds away. Damon and Elena stare at the door and each other, mouths agape.
Elijah and Dr. Dub confer at the Dub Hub later that night. Doc is surprised to hear that Elijah didn't kill Damon and The Dapper One explains that the two brothers would sooner die than let anything happen to Elena so they're just the kind of useful protection that he needs around her to keep her safe. Wha? Oh, Elijah! You are a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, and ensconced in designer clothes, and I LOVE IT!
Gilbert abode. Jeremy and Bonnie enter the kitchen bickering about which one of them is more reckless and stupid. I think they're over-looking the likely possibility that it's a tie. She wants to know why he had to get involved in the first place and he tells her it's because he didn't want her to get hurt. "Jeremy, you can't...feel that way about me," she tells him. He tells her not to act like it's all one-sided, "like, I'm some kid who has a crush on his sister's friend." She doesn't protest. Then he goes to her, touches her face, and tells her that she could have died. She tells him he almost did die today. He was willing to take that chance. She shifts her weight and moves closer to him. He takes a step toward her, still holding her face in his hand. He goes in for the kiss and she closes her eyes, squeezing out several tears and tells him that they can't. DAMN YOU, BONNIE! She tells him that she can't, she apologizes and then leaves, looking back at him on her way out. In my entire life I have never seen so many painfully attractive people have this much trouble hooking up with one another. It's madness.
Gilbert porch. Elena thanks Damon for bringing her home and he makes "Rose is a doody-head" noises that prove (again) that Damon gets his feelings hurt just like real boys. Jeremy comes out to the porch and tells them about how Stefan is locked in a mystical cage with his crazy ex. Elena and Damon run off to the tomb and just before Elena charges in half cocked, Damon stops her. More fighting that Katherine and Stefan listen to for a bit before Elena just finally tires of fighting with him and leaves in exhaustion. Stefan finally comes to the door. Damon thinks whatever landed Stefan in the tomb should win the Stupidest Plan Of The Night award and since it was technically the result of three spectacularly stupid plans running smack into each other that was the culprit, I'll go ahead and agree. Damon promises to find a way to get him out and Stefan isn't too worried about it but he would like the majority of Damon's energy to go toward working with Bonnie to de-spell the moonstone and to keeping Elena safe. Damon promises and leaves and Katherine tells Stefan that was his biggest mistake yet. She only says that because she didn't come back to town until after he cut his hair.
Next week: the only thing we know for sure is that SOMEONE will make out on this show for a fucking change. Good enough for me.