TV Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 306 - 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'


The Vampire Diaries Episode 306

"Smells Like Teen Spirit"

Written By: Julie Plec and Caroline Dries

Directed By: Rob Hardy

Original Airdate: 20 October 2011

In This Episode...

It's the first day of senior year. Ric is training Elena because she wants to be able to take care of herself. Hybrid status makes Tyler a complete douchebag. Bonnie is jealous of Jeremy's ghost ex-girlfriends. Stefan is back for his millionth senior year, and to "protect" Elena. Rebecca enrolls in school too so she can keep an eye on Stefan.

Elena is feeling threatened by Stefan's constant, smarmy hovering. Even though he is tasked with protecting her, Elena wants Stefan to be locked up until Michael can kill Klaus, breaking Stefan of his compulsion. The plan is set in motion at the back-to-school bonfire party that night. Damon is tasked with distracting Rebecca by flirting with her because she won't let Stefan out of her sight. Elena lures Stefan away from the party by getting really, really drunk (she later claims she was mostly faking it) and falling from the top of the bleachers. He catches her, and there is a moment where it almost seems the old Stefan is back. Ric shoots Stefan with a few vervane tranquilizer, the plan being to lock him in the Forbes cellar jail.

Vicki convinces Matt to help her come back to this side. He spills some blood on a photo, chants, and a witch on the other side gives Vicki the push she needs to come and go without Matt thinking of her. They can even hug. But Vicki quickly reveals that in order to come back, she had to make a deal. Balance must be restored, and Klaus cannot be allowed to create hybrids. Therefore, Elena must die. When Matt realizes he messed up, he immediately enlists in Bonnie's help to make things right.

After knocking out Stefan, Elena gets in the car with him. Before Ric can join them, Vicki sets the car on fire, trapping Elena inside. Ric is having a hard time busting her out, and in a panic, Elena wakes Stefan for help. Vicki grabs Elena, holding her (invisibly) within the car. Bonnie's spell works and sucks Vicki into the room with her and Matt, and she fades away. Elena makes it out of the car, but she won't leave Stefan behind. Back at the Salvatore house, Stefan and Elena share another moment where it looks like he might be turning the humanity back on (true love conquers all... and all that crap). But then it is gone.

Also: Katherine finally wakes Michael by forcing him to drink human blood. He is not happy; he no longer dines on blood from the living. Instead, he grabs Katherine and feasts on her neck. He can and will kill Klaus. Caroline gives Tyler a good talking-to, and he promises to not be a douchebag anymore. They have sex, and Caroline leaves. She is gone only a few moments before Rebecca shows up with a compelled, submissive girl, neck freshly bitten, and offers him a taste. Tyler can't refuse. Uncle Mason is back, and he is beating up on Damon.

Dig It or Bury It?

I feel like we could have gotten more out of the Vicki story. She didn't have to reveal her intentions immediately. Let her try to kill Elena once or twice before it is revealed what her deal is. I am getting the sense that Anna wants to do the same as Vicki - push into our side - but is being much more subtle about it.

Overall, I felt a bit underwhelmed by this episode. First off, it had little action or violence. I need that to temper the longing looks and teen angst. Second, I feel like this season has become predictable. So the Salvatores have essentially pulled a "Freaky Friday" and switched places, while Stefan's loss of humanity is ripped right out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I am eager to see what Michael, the vampire vampire hunter, and Mason Lockwood's return bring to the table. This episode does earn a few bonus points for the title - then instantly makes me sad when I figure out that at least 60% of The Vampire Diaries's audience wasn't even born in Kurt Cobain's lifetime.

Freaky Thursday

Damon is now the kisser of boo-boos (or the swabber of cuts and burns), while Stefan is the one playing bloody Twister with a trio of trampy girls and leaving the corpses of bloodless tramps littered about the house.

Myths Revamped

Damon quickly figures out why Tyler is being such a douche: he has been "sired." It is rare nowadays, but when a vampire is made, he sometimes feels indebted to his maker, putting his needs above all else.

Devilishly Charming

Elena is doing bench presses in an effort to get into shape. She is struggling. Damon comes in, but rather than spotting her, he holds onto the dumbbell, insisting he is helping. Elena protests, and Damon says, "C'mon Buffy!"


Mason is back to wreck havoc on Damon, but it isn't clear if he has been resurrected, a ghost, or wasn't actually killed. I'm kind of thinking ghost, one that only Damon can see. If so, then by the end of the season we can have a full-on ghost invasion. That could be awesome.