Previously on The Vampire Diaries: we were all 7 weeks younger; there were vampires and werewolves and a curse and many terrible plans; it all happened in Mystic Falls, Virginia - a town populated by the most attractive people on the planet. It was very interesting but I started to think maybe they should all take a week to relax and make out with each other - in any and all combinations that tickled their fancies, I'm not picky. Oh yeah, and that new werebitch Jules took a bite out of Rose's shoulder and left a rash that looked worse than her hair. That's serious, folks.
It's morning in the Mystic Falls woods and Jules is waking covered in dirt, blood and nothing else. She wanders to a nearby campsite to find the campers strewn about in pieces. After she's gotten dressed in what I presume are the dead campers clothes, she piles up the corpse bits and prepares to light them ablaze when a deputy pulls up. She fakes semi-hysteria and says that a wolf came at her and her friends in the night and killed everyone but her. He goes to call it in and she clocks him over the head with a branch and then bludgeons him once more for good measure before we get the black title screen.
Salvatore manse. Elena arrives in Stefan's room and calls for him. She stands in the middle of the room a minute and then realizes he's standing right behind her. When she turns around the audience gets a lingering shot of a shirtless Paul Wesley and several audience members go apoplectic. I mostly just marvel at his lovely back and his tiny hiney. Elena and Stefan smooch. They agree to get back together forever. Elena makes Stefan a vervain and water cocktail, takes a sip and gives it to him. He chokes it down and all the while they discuss how he's going to find Isobel to help with their Elijah/Klaus situation and they remind us that he's trying to build up a tolerance for vervain the way Katherine did. They kindly take care of some business by expositing that Elijah's ability to compel other vampires is a mysterious power he has because he's an "Original" and "who knows" what other powers they may possess.
In the...den? Library? This house is e-fucking-normous, who knows what room this is. In some well-appointed room in the manse, Rose is telling Damon that she's really old and since she's lived over half of a millennium, she's done her time and she could totally die now. Damon is serving her a fresh bag of bank blood and flippantly insisting that if she remains maudlin, he'll do her in himself. He's all cute as he insists that these silly legends are totally unreliable and she should drink the yummy blood so she can get all better. He takes a gander at her back and lies that the hideous flesh-eating rash is getting better. Elena enters then and he requests that she back him up. Elena's all "uh...um...it's...yeah...I mean...it's...totally." I wouldn't have been able to lie any better myself. That thing is guh-ross! Damon asks where Stefan has gotten off to and Elena says that he left and that she'd really like Damon to stop him from finding Isobel. Damon declines to help with that on the grounds that he thinks it's a fine plan and also he's way more worried about how his girlfriend is dying just a little. He then asks her to stay there and take care of Rose while he runs some errands. Rose doesn't think it's necessary but Damon insists.
Elena and Damon excuse themselves to just outside the room - totally within super-vamp-hearing distance - and discuss how she's obviously going to die. Damon pretends he'd like that to happen sooner than later because "it's gloomy as hell" in the house. Then he leaves to go try and find a way to save her.
MFHS. The event o' the week is a Booster Club Barbecue which is being advertised with a giant banner on the side of a bus. Exceptionally good looking people mill around, talking and setting picnic tables and whatnot. Tyler ambles through the festivities in his football jersey looking good enough to eat and shooting a bit of a look at Caroline. Caroline smiles and walks over to him. She's happy that he's ok and that he made it through his first transformation ok. She optimistically talks about how it'll get way easier from here on out. She's a little ray of adorable sunshine. Guys, Caroline is totally my favorite character on this show, and it's not like there isn't STIFF competition from, like, EVERYONE else but that's how much I love her. Tyler isn't feeling quite so half-full at the moment. He insists they can't really be sure it will get easier. He stands kind of close to her and thanks her for what she did for him, saying he doesn't know what he would've done without her there. They look into each others eyes for about a month, he clearly wants to kiss her. She gets a little embarrassed like talking about how awesome she is makes her uncomfortable, so she smiles awkwardly (which makes him smile), and says that before next month, they should really reinforce his bunker because there was a close call with her almost getting nipped by him and that would have been bad. He wonders why and she tells him that a single werewolf bite can kill a vampire. He's stunned, both at the revelation and at how she knows. That's when Matt shows up.
He asks if they can talk for a second and Tyler awkwardly leaves. Caroline starts to over-explain to Matt that there's nothing going on between her and Tyler and that they're just friends. He believes her because she isn't a liar and she's always been straight with him. She smiles at him. Then he stammers for a minute trying to tell her something but never quite getting it out because instead, he kisses her. She smiles, kisses him back and then pushes him away. She says he can't, he wants to know why, she runs away. Matt stands there sad.
Grill. Jules arrives to ask Sheriff Forbes if she's had any luck finding Mason. The Sheriff tells her there's no news but she'll let Jules know when there is. She takes her leave. At a nearby table, Alaric calls his BFF: "Hey, Damon. The, uh, wolf is in The Grill." Stefan arrives then and sits down with Alaric. They make small talk about how Alaric helps Damon now (did Stefan miss the memo about how they're brofriends?) and how Alaric looked for info about a cure for Rose and found nothing so they hope that Jules might know something. Speaking of knowing something, Stefan would like Alaric to help him get in touch with Isobel. He says he has an old number and he'll text it to Stefan when he finds it.
Salvatore Sanitarium, Damon's bedroom. Elena helps Rose out of her sweater and into bed. While tucking her in, Elena gazes around the room and into the en suite bathroom that I'd sell my soul for. Rose notices and surmises that this is Elena's first time in Damon's room. Elena looks at the book on the nightstand - Gone With The Wind - and Rose guesses that it's not what Elena had expected. Elena says "it's just a room with a bed," before sitting next to Rose on the bed and noting "maybe I expected there to be silk sheets" and both women smile. I like these two bonding. I think Rose might have been a more interesting character if she'd become a friend and confidant to Elena as well as Damon. Rose expresses some envy and regret when she tells Elena that no one ever loved her the way Elena is loved. Trevor (may he rest) was her best friend but nothing else and hundreds of years of running prevented her from getting close to anyone else. Rose wonders why Elena is giving up by making the deal with Elijah. Elena thinks it's the best option but Rose disagrees and thinks it's merely the easiest option. I wonder why they waited all these episodes to make Rose useful and give the wonderful Lauren Cohan something to do. Better late than never I guess. Elena admits that since there was another witch helping Bonnie and that witch was in cahoots with Elijah, she doesn't actually believe that the moonstone has been destroyed. "You really are determined to die, aren't you?" Rose asks her. "At least I ran, you're not even trying." Point: Rose.
She starts to fall asleep and as Elena is leaving the room, Rose starts talking gibberish and then suddenly says she needs more blood. When Elena gives it to her, she chokes and spits it out. Elena goes to get a damp towel from the bathroom but when she turns back to the bed, Rose is gone. She attacks Elena from behind then and we cut to commercial.
When we return, Rose has Elena pinned to the wall and has vamped out. She's calling her Katerina and is blaming her for the current state of her health. Elena pleads with her to recognize that she's Elena, not Katherine. Rose comes to then and is horrified by what she's done. She apologizes. She's scared and frequently slipping in and out of lucidity. She tells Elena that she wants to go home. Elena tries to calm her, "tell me about it." Rose wistfully describes where she's from, what it looked like, how happy she was there. "When you live long enough, everything disappears. So much time wasted. I just wish I hadn't been so afraid." Rose is making me very sad.
At the Grill, Stefan is watching Jules "eat" (that is some WEAK stage eating, right there. She so totally spit that bite of chicken out the very second the camera cut away, she never even chewed it) when he gets the text from Alaric with Isobel's phone number. He immediately calls it and leaves a message: "Isobel, it's Stefan Salvatore. I need to speak with you. I, uh, I need to speak with you. It's about Elena. Please know that it's important." Damon arrives then and makes a beeline for Jules. Stefan tries to talk him out of doing anything too showy in the crowded restaurant. "There goes my plan to rip her spleen through her back," Damon scoffs. Stefan tries to talk to him about how this Rose situation is bumming him out but Damon is too cool for feelings. "I don't know if you know this, but vampires die. I'm gonna have a friendly chat with lady werewolf, brother. Ease up." That assertion would have been more believable if he'd have said it with his "friendly chat" eyes instead of his "rage blackout" eyes. Stefan gets a call then and leaves to take it.
At the weretable, Jules makes a "joke" about how she meant to kill Damon but she'll get it right next time. He tells her that she won't live to see the next full moon unless she tells him how to cure the wolf bite. She pretends she's going to be helpful and then smiles and mouths off to him. She makes light of the awful way that Rose is currently dying. Then she tells him that the only cure that exists is to stake her. Hey Damon? She's clearly not going to be helpful, you can rip her spleen out any which way you like now.
Salvatore Sanitarium. Elena comes into Damon's room with clean bedding but is brought up short when Rose is nowhere to be found. She goes looking for her through the house. She calls Damon (I assume), says she's worried about Rose and that he should come home. She then hears a ruckus in the house and, on account of her death wish, I guess, goes to investigate. She finds Rose huddled on the floor in the basement sucking numerous blood bags dry. Rose turns around with the crazy eyes and there is a chase through the house. Rose tackles Elena but Elena pulls open a heavy curtain and bathes Rose in searing sunlight. If I were her, I would have just stood there in the sunlight until Damon came home but sometimes they forget that Elena isn't stupid so, off she runs. Rose catches her again, Elena claws at her gaping fleshless wound. Rose screams in pain and again Elena runs. She barricades herself in Stefan's room and we head to commercial.
And we're back, still in Stefan's room with a frightened Elena. She opens the black-out drapes and runs onto the balcony...for a second. She sees no way down from there - and apparently doesn't understand that standing in the bright sunshine is about the safest place she could be when a vampire without an SPF ring is after her - and runs back into the room. She smashes the leg off of some priceless antique and clutches her new stake in her hand. Rose bangs on the door and calls her by name. She is back in her right mind and needs Elena's help. Elena doesn't open the door.
MFHS's Booster Barbecue. Caroline is hauling a giant bag of trash down the hall when Matt calls out to her. She drops her bag of trash and turns to talk to him while he jogs over to her. God, you guys, he's so damn cute! He'd like to know why she ran away when he kissed her. "You caught me off guard," she tells him. "What did you expect me to do?" "Not that." He says. Fair enough. She apologizes and he wants to know how she feels. There's some stammering and then she tells him she loves him. He thinks that if she really does love him, then she'll tell him what it is that she's keeping from him - what's keeping her from getting close to him. Candice Accola does some fantastic face acting here, all "trying not to cry" dimples and furrowed brow. Some annoying cheer twat calls to Matt from the other end of the hall then, bitching about needing more burgers. He turns around all, "not now, Dana" and when he turns back, Caroline is gone. Damn super vamp speed! Aaarrrgghhhh!
Salvatore Sanitarium. Elena sits on Stefan's floor, staring at her stake (yay for alliteration!). The house has gone silent so she thinks this would be a good time to leave the room. Not when Rose was coherent but now, when she doesn't know what Rose is doing or who she thinks she is. Sometimes Elena exhausts me. Anyway, she finds the front door open and gets nervous and then runs into Damon. She explains that she doesn't know where Rose is.
MFHS Barbecue. Now that it's dark, there are lights and a marching band. Also a whole bunch of trash which Rose has stumbled behind to choke and sputter. The janitor comes over to see if she's alright and she eats him. Commercial.
And we're back. The Sheriff and her deputies have found Janitor Bob's corpse and she's called Damon. She thanks him for coming so quickly and he asks what happened. He also calls her Liz - I'm so glad that compulsion allows these two to be friends again, I kind of love their scenes together. She tells him that a vamp made a snack of yet another dark-complected manual laborer in the town. He promises to find the vampire and she and her deputies move everyone inside. Elena is trying to call Stefan and asks if Damon knows where he is but Stefan is way down Damon's list of priorities this evening so he gives her a stake and they vamoose as a young, attractive blond couple get into their car. Or rather, the girl gets in the car and the guy gets thrown through the windshield by Rose who then rips out the throat of the girl. Damon tackles her and snaps her out of it. She becomes hysterical over what she's done and begs him to make it all stop. He picks her up and carries her away.
Salvatore Sanitarium, Damon's room. He's cleaned Rose up and put her in bed. She's barely hanging on and he's joking with her to lighten the mood. Elena stands by the door and Rose apologizes to her. She says she's never liked taking human life. Damon wants Elena to leave. Rose begins to talk about vampirism. "It's the worst part about it. That need to kill. Thirst. The pleasure it brings you afterwards. Wasn't meant to be or...it hurts." Damon wants her to stop talking about it. "Damon's a lot like me - he wants to care, and the minute he does he runs away from it," she tells Elena while Damon stands across the room making pained faces where neither woman can see. Rose cries that she's sorry for what she did today and Elena says she knows. "And you have to fight. I know that you're scared but you have to do it anyway," she says and then begins to choke again. Elena leans down to tend to her and Rose holds her hand, comforted. They share a nice moment and then she talks about how she can't forget what it's like to be human. The feeling, the memory, haunts her but it's all that's kept her going. Damon continues to look pained across the room. Then Rose starts to writhe in agony and Damon sends Elena out of the room. He sits down on the bed, cradles Rose in his arms and caresses her tenderly. Commercial. There were approximately a BILLION commercials in the middle of this episode it was complete bullshit.
Caroline is returning home to find Tyler waiting for her on her porch. I wonder if he's been there all day. She asks what's up and he thinks they need to talk. He's acting all weird the way guys do when they want to express feelings and aren't quite sure how. He says he doesn't understand why, if a werewolf bite kills a vampire, she'd risk her life to help him. She says it's because he needed help. "I could have killed you," he tells her. "But you didn't," she protests. He tells her that he doesn't understand her and she gets exasperated that he doesn't want to let someone help him. He says that isn't it but she argues that it is. "Yeah it is, Tyler! You know, it's like you don't want anyone to care about you. Well I'm sorry I cared. I care, Tyler. So forgive me if I over-stepped my boundaries by actually giving a..." and then he plants one on her. She's brought up a little short by it. He stops after one kiss, still holding her face in his hands, and they look at each other for a moment. Then he kisses her again, slower and softer this time, and she kisses back. It's pretty fuckin' hot. You all know I couldn't love anyone more than I love Matt and I have always, always, always wanted Matt and Caroline to be together. But it's ok with me if that's an in-the-long-run story and in the short term, she and Tyler hook up because H-O-T. Anyway, after a little kissing she stops him, freaks out a little, tells him he can't do that and then says "Everyone needs to just...stop kissing me!" and storms in the house while he stands on the porch staring at the door with the unmistakable look of "what...the fuck?" We should all have Caroline's problems.
Salvatore Sanitarium. Damon is laying with Rose, still holding her. "Who would've thought you'd be a nice guy?" she says. He insists that he isn't nice, he's mean. "You lie." He shushes her and tells her gently to sleep. Then we enter her dream, where she's back home in England and she's got good hair. She pets the horses and gazes at the countryside and runs down a hill, happy as a clam. She finds Damon sitting on the hill, waiting for her. "This was my favorite place to come as a girl, how did you know?" He admits that Elena told him. She leans her head back and closes her eyes. "The sun is so warm. I miss this. I miss being human," she tells him. "Humanity's not all it's cracked up to be," he says. But she disagrees. She misses her friends and her family, she mattered then. He thinks she still does. "No," she smiles sadly, "but you do. You've built a life whether you want to admit it or not. I spent 500 years just existing." He tells her she didn't have a choice because she was running from Klaus but she says there's always a choice. "You know, you are ruining our perfect day with your strange, philosophical babble," he teases. She smiles and snuggles him, "I'd like to enjoy the fresh air, will you enjoy it with me?" "For a while," he tells her and takes her in his arms, holding her hand.
Back in bed, Rose is fast asleep, and Damon is sitting with her looking very sad. In the dream, she thanks him. "For what?" he asks. She tells him the pain is gone and he whispers that he's glad. He holds her hands and rocks with her in his arms. She asks if she'll see her family again. He tells her he thinks she'll see whoever she wants to see. I'm not exaggerating AT ALL when I tell you that even as I type this, I am crying. The moment is so bittersweet. She's so happy with him and he really loves her - maybe not in that same, passionate way that he loves Elena, but certainly as a friend and a companion - and is deeply sad that he'll lose her. I've had it paused for going on 3 minutes now and I've still got tears running down my cheeks. She thinks it's going to be nice and hopes to see Trevor again too. She tells him she isn't afraid anymore. He smiles at her. In his room, he lets go of her hand and picks up a stake. He holds it over her heart and cries. In the dream she gets up and asks him to race her to the trees saying she's older and faster than him. He gets up and tells her that he's controlling the dream so he could just cheat. She laughs. "On the count of three," she says. In bed, Damon holds the stake with both hands, shaking and crying. In the dream, Rose counts: "One...two..." In bed, Damon stakes her, she gasps once, weakly and dies. A single, perfect, manly tear runs down his cheek. He rests his chin on her head and exhales.
In the woods, Liz arrives to meet Damon who has Rose's corpse in his trunk. He tells her it's the vampire she's looking for and it matters not how he found her but just that she's dead and won't kill again. Liz thanks him profusely for once again saving the town. He promises to take care of burying the body. As he closes the trunk he looks at Rose's face and looks stricken.
At The Grill, Jules meets with Tyler. He asks what she wants from him and she says that she just wants to be his friend because it's what Mason would have wanted. I'm really beginning to think (if by "beginning" I mean "3/4 of the way into") that Jules and Mason were not actually friends because I find it hard to believe someone as awesome and unwilling to hurt innocent people as Mason would have a friend as horrible, homicidal and bitchy as Jules. She tells him that she knows he's a werewolf and that Caroline is a vampire. He wants to know how she knows about Caroline. "You can't sniff 'em out?" she asks. She realizes that he's new to this. She touches his hand and offers to help him but he pulls his hand away (he's saving himself for Caroline) and asks where Mason is. This is when she does it, she RUINS EVERYTHING and tells him that Mason is dead. "You wanna know who murdered him?" she asks. "The little blond vampire did." He says that Caroline would never do that and she tells him "she and her little vampire friends were behind it, Tyler." He insists that Caroline is the only vampire in town but she blabs that Caroline lied about that and that the town is lousy with vamps. Poor Tyler looks heartbroken. "But don't worry," Jules says, "we'll get them." Oh hey, that's not comforting, that's TERRIBLE! She tells him that she's his friend and that she has others like them on their way to town to crank this whole thing up a notch. Uh-guh! Just when everyone started making out, now this?
Damon arrives home to find Elena waiting for him. She came back to make sure he's ok and hands him an already made glass of scotch. She's a really good friend. Jules could learn a thing or two from Elena. Or, and I'm just puttin' this out there, she could die a messy, bloody, painful death. Either way. Damon's talking the big talk about being glad the whole mess with Rose is over and he's ok, and he doesn't have feelings and he's cold and dead inside. Elena doesn't believe him. He begs her to go home. She says she knows he's hurting and she won't leave him. "What do you wanna hear? That I cared about Rose? That I'm upset? Well I didn't, and I'm not!" he says and tries to walk away. She busts him for trying to turn off his emotions and pretend he doesn't feel. She doesn't want him to give up on being a real boy again. "I feel, Elena. Ok? And it sucks! What sucks even more is that it was supposed to be me! Jules was coming after me." She realizes he feels guilty. He insists that can't be because that would be human of him and he's not human. He tells her he doesn't want to hear her lecture him about not giving up when all she does is give up. He tells her again to go home. She hugs him, he BARELY fights back tears, and she leaves.
Gilbert House of Inadequate Adult Supervision. Elena gets home and finds Stefan. She tells him that Rose died. He says he called Isobel but that he didn't find her. And then Uncle Jon comes out of the kitchen and says hello. I hate Uncle Jon, but I do love me some David Anders.
On a dark street in the middle of nowhere, a body lays in the road and a woman stops her car to avoid hitting it. She gets out and runs over to check on him. It's Damon, moaning and groaning. She asks what happened and he tells her that he's lost. "Laying in the middle of the road?" she asks, incredulous. He didn't mean that kind of lost, though, he was speaking metaphorically and existentially. He drinks from a flask and says he needs help and asks if she can help him. I'll be honest, drunk Damon makes me uneasy. And not a little sad. "No, please don't leave," he begs her as she walks back to her car, "I really do need help." He looks so small sitting there in the road with his legs out in front of him, not moving. It's a strange and unsettling visual. He vamp-speeds to her and stops her before she can get to the car. He compels her not to move. She says she doesn't want any trouble. "Neither do I. But that's all I got, is trouble," he says. He drinks, he asks her name (Jessica), the music kicks up in the background. He tells her he has a secret, "and I've never said it out loud. I mean, what's the point? It's not gonna change anything, it's not gonna make me good! Make me adopt a puppy! I can't be what other people want me to be. What she wants me to be. This is who I am, Jessica." He's got the crazy, intense eyes turned all the way up to a million and he's doing that forceful inflection thing that he does and Jessica is freaking out, rightfully so. She asks if he's going to hurt her. "I'm not sure. Because you...are my existential crisis," he says as he begins to cry. "Do I kill you? Do I not kill you?" She begs for her life. "But I have to, Jessica. Because I'm not human and I miss it! I miss it more than anything in the world!" He's crying harder now. "That is my secret. But there's only s-s-s-so much hurt a man can take." She begs again. He breathes for a second, walks back to where she's standing, and says ok. Tears fall from his eyes, and he compels her again, "you're free to go." She runs for her car. He turns, sees her opening the car door, and vamp-speeds to her, grabbing her and sinking his teeth into her neck in one, swift motion. God, poor Damon! I know he just killed a girl but, he really is tormented by some serious personal demons.
It was a good episode with some OUTSTANDING performances. Lauren Cohan was finally given something to do as Rose that was worthy of her talent and she killed it in every one of her scenes. Ian Somerhalder absolutely fucking OWNED the last half of the episode. It's amazing to watch him turn Damon into someone so sympathetic even as he's killing someone. I don't believe there's anyone else that could pull it off the way he does.
Next week, Tyler puts Caroline in a cage. Is that anything like the Housemans putting Baby in a corner? No, probably not, but we'll find out for sure next Thursday. Can't wait!