The Vampire Diaries’ ability to move through story at an unbelievably rapid pace is both what makes it great and what makes it fail. What I’m saying is that moving through story this fast sometimes makes the new plots feel a bit repetitive. I am really happy to have a show that doesn’t drag out a storyline for months, even years. However, as we get yet another episode where someone is trying to kill the originals, once again have the characters find a way out by trapping Elena and hoping the Salvatore brothers will help them, it starts to feel a little repetitive. That said, this time I was genuinely shocked at how Damon and Stefan handled getting out of the situation, and I appreciate Elijah enough as a character to find the resolution very fulfilling.
In ‘All My Children’ Esther teams up with Bonnie and Abby in an attempt to cast a spell to return her children into human form so she can kill them. Just as Damon suspects, Elena manages to throw a wrench in the plan when she tells Elijah what his mother’s intentions are. Elijah traps Elena and sets Rebekah to watch her, warning Damon and Stefan that if they don’t get rid of the Bennet witch line, Rebekah will kill Elena. The Salvatore brothers, who are both trying to play down how much they really care about Elena’s safety, flip a coin to find out who will take the hit. Damon turns Abby, but we later learn that Stefan lost the coin toss and that Damon took the fall for him. Because Abby can’t be a witch and a vampire at once, the ritual fails an Esther and Finn both disappear before they can undo the spell.
Elijah is quickly becoming the best part of this show. There’s something about his moral compass that intrigues me, and his last scene with Rebekah where he admits that he is as bad as any of them really resonated with me. I loved the way he said that their mother didn’t make them into monsters, they did that. In a way it’s true, but at the same time there weren’t many ways to obtain blood without killing when they were turned. At the start of the episode I feared that now that Klaus is going soft on Caroline, Elijah would be the new force of the original family, but after his letter to Elena I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen. I hope he sticks around.
Speaking of Rebekah, she seems to have it out for Elena for backstabbing her before the homecoming dance. As for Elena’s reaction to learning about Damon and Rebekah, I feel it’s about time she stops giving Damon hell for exploring other options or at the very least admits she actually has feelings for him. I’m tired of her acting better than him all the time when she is hardly innocent in all this. That said there was some good to come out of putting Rebekah up against Elena, as we now know there is another white oak tree that could possibly mean the death of the originals. I guess we just found out what the last part of the season will be about.
Then we have the Salvatore brothers’ perpetual aversion to acknowledging their feelings. Throughout most of the episode I was just rolling my eyes at how neither one of them was willing to admit that they wanted to save Elena’s life, and was thrilled when we actually got an honest conversation between them at the end. I was genuinely shocked at how they resolved the witch issue. I figured there was no way they would have anyone kill Bonnie. The writers would never want to do something that would so severely damage Elena’s relationship to one of the brothers. Having Damon turn her mother was a great way to get out of a sticky situation without making it feel like a cop-out. I did guess that Damon would take the fall for Stefan. Damon is always the one to take the fall for his brother.
The candid conversation, at least from Damon’s side, that followed was one of the best of the episode. Damon finally got Stefan to admit that he wants to go back to who he was, something that has been pretty obvious for the past few episodes but which no one has wanted to say out loud. However, the best part of the episode was Damon fully admitting to still loving Elena but also accepting that she doesn’t want him. I’m not sure I agree that he is better at being bad, but I can’t blame him for wanting to distance himself from Elena after having more or less been turned down.