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TV Recap: 'Vampire Diaries' Episode 305 - 'The Reckoning'

Vampire Diaries Episode 305

"The Reckoning"

Written By: Michael Narducci

Directed by: John Behring

Original Airdate: 13 October 2011

In This Episode...

The whole gang is gathered at the school for Prank Night. They set up mousetraps in a classroom, saran wrap the faculty toilets, and TP the indoor pool. The fun and games end quickly when Klaus shows up, grabs Elena, and sends the background players home. Bonnie wanders in, and Rebecca delivers Tyler after knocking out Caroline and leaving her in the hallway. Klaus is pleased to have the whole gang assembled. He is not ready to kill the doppelganger yet - he wants her to suffer. He forces his blood down Tyler's throat, then snaps his neck and sends Bonnie off to find a way for him to make his hybrids successful. Since Bonnie can't contact the witches, she needs to find someone who can communicated with ghosts: Jeremy. Jeremy seems to be MIA (more on that in a minute) so Matt has the "brilliant" idea that if he kills himself, and has Bonnie bring him back to life, he too will be able to contact Vicki. Vicki sent him a text message saying that she can help him, so this seems logical to him (not, say, texting her back, or just talking aloud and letting her respond via text). His plan works. Matt was obviously just lonely, so his plan was truly selfish.

Stefan shows up in the gym, and Elena is thrilled to see him. He pledges his loyalty once again to Klaus, and promises that Elena means nothing to him. Klaus tests his loyalty by backhanding Elena so hard she spins around and falls to the floor. Stefan's reaction is to attack Klaus. Klaus now has to take allegiance from Stefan, and compels him to stop fighting him. He has Stefan feed on a couple of background students, then turns on the scoreboard clock and compels Stefan again. When that buzzer goes off in 20 minutes, Stefan must feed on Elena. As the time draws down, he begs her to run; she begs him to fight for her. She doesn't believe he will attack her - until that buzzer goes off and he nearly does. Stefan fights the compulsion, but it does little besides giving her a head start. Stefan tries to slow himself down by stabbing himself - through the abdomen - with a broom handle. Klaus removes it and begs him to turn his feelings off. Since Stefan won't do it on his own, Klaus is forced to once again compel him. Stefan's eyes get dark, the love vanishes from his demeanor, he vamps out, and he lunges at Elena.

With all this shit going down at the school, Damon and Katherine are in the middle of nowhere, driving to an undisclosed location. Damon has had enough of her games and pulls over to a rest stop. Katherine claims she knows of a way to kill Klaus, and it involves Michael, a vampire and vampire-hunter. Pearl (Anna's mom) told her about it, but didn't give her Michael's location. But Pearl is dead. The only person Pearl told was Anna - also dead. But who is speaking to dead people nowadays? Jeremy - and he is unconscious in the trunk. When he comes to, the vampires want him to ask Anna about it. She doesn't want to help them, but Damon gets violent and she gives in. Damon heads back to Mystic Falls and leaves Jeremy and Katherine to "wake" Michael. They discover him in a mausoleum, in a concrete coffin, wrapped in chains, and desiccated like a mummy.

Tyler has woken from his "kinda-death" and is in that precarious in-between space. Klaus brings him a vial of Elena's blood and makes him drink. Tyler convulses, screams in pain, and looks up with yellow werewolf eyes and pointy vampire fangs. It worked. The original witches hated Klaus, so going off a hunch, he decided to do the opposite of what they said. Killing the doppelganger won't allow him to make the hybrids; he needs her blood to complete the transformation. So now Tyler is a hybrid, and he feels grrrrrreat! 

Elena is in the hospital, alive and being drained of blood (not enough to kill her, of course). The nurse has been compelled to follow Klaus's directions. Outside, Damon confronts Klaus, and the two fight, with Klaus winning - until Damon utters the name "Michael." Pure fear washes over Klaus, and Damon promises he knows where Klaus is. Klaus throws Damon across the parking lot and takes off. Damon rescues Elena and takes her home where he gives her bourbon to forget (good idea, what with her massive blood loss and all). He offers to compel the memories of Stefan out of her head, but she refuses. She needs to remember, and she finally gets it - Stefan is truly gone this time.

Well, not entirely gone. As Damon and Elena are staring deeply into each other's eyes, him promising never to leave her and looking like they will kiss, Stefan walks in. Klaus has sent him there to keep an eye on Elena. Obviously he has to protect her - she is useless dead. He grabs a drink and tells them to carry on - he truly has no feelings for Elena anymore.

Dig It or Bury It?

This was an outstanding episode. The pacing of this show is so spot-on, and tonight's episode was nearly flawless. Every scene ends in a mini-cliffhanger, but before you can get too wrapped up in what will happen next, we flip to another story beat and get sucked in there. It is intense, it is whirlwind, and it is so well done that you hardly miss a beat. My crazed ADHD brain appreciates the pace.

I have a few criticisms. For one, I have no idea why Matt thought that killing himself was the most reasonable answer - again, other than that he was lonely. I think he feels a little left out that he doesn't have any cool supernatural power. But I'm also a little bummed that Stefan and Damon have clearly switched demeanors, and no one has called them on it. When Stefan walked into the house at the end, it was hardcore deja vu for me - I could swear Damon said the exact same words with the exact same inflections some time in the first season. I need some jokes here, people!

Blood Lust

It's funny - this episode was non-stop, but looking back, I can't quite pinpoint any scenes that were particularly violent or gruesome. 

Sibling Rivalry

The boys have effectively changed places. Stefan does a good job with the whole evil side. Even when he has tried to play it mean and hardcore in the past, I never quite bought it. But now I do. I just hope Damon doesn't turn into a complete pussy.

Prophecies?

Stefan is high on blood. Elena wants to lock him up - but not kill him. She believes she can take care of herself, even though Damon vows to keep her safe.

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