The Vampire Diaries Episode 309
Written By: Evan Bleiweiss
Directed By: Joshua Butler
Original Airdate: 10 November 2011
In This Episode...
Like the best episodes of TVD, this one is focused completely around a complicated, multi-layered plan to kill Klaus. The high school gym has "mysteriously" flooded, forcing the homecoming dance to move to Tyler's house - a massive Lollapalooza-style party with My Morning Jacket playing. Klaus commanded Tyler to set this all up as a "wake" for his father, complete with dozens of hybrids he has turned across the country. Naturally he has to see his father's body first. Stefan promises to produce the body, and when he does, Klaus will free him from his compulsion.
First, Elena must "kill" Michael - stab him through with a dagger dipped in white oak ash - so that when Klaus asks Stefan if Michael is really, truly dead, he can answer honestly - since he is still under Klaus's compulsion. Next, Elena daggers Rebecca and Damon hides her body in the cellar. Despite the fact that Rebecca has been showing a truly human side, they are concerned she will warn Klaus. Elena un-daggers Michael, and he attacks Stefan, drinking him into a blackout. Damon is a little concerned, but grabs his bags and heads to the party.
Tyler has Matt clear out as many people as possible. Michael shows up and faces off with Klaus. They bait each other over the doorway to the Lockwood mansion. Michael can't come in; Klaus won't come out. Klaus threatens his dad with his small army of hybrids, all under his sire, but Michael reminds him that as an Original, he can still compel a hybrid, and has one on his side to prove it. He then produces Elena and threatens to kill her if he doesn't come out. Klaus thinks he is bluffing because Elena is the only leverage Michael has. Michael proves him wrong by knifing her in the back and letting her drop onto the porch. In his shock, Damon manages to surprise Klaus and tackles him with the white ash stake in hand. Elena was not Elena at all (of course), but Katherine. She pops up, as un-dead as ever, and throws a couple wolfsbane bombs out at the hybrids. As Klaus and Damon tussle, a third body jumps into the fray: Stefan. Stefan pulls Damon off of Klaus, and Klaus grabs the white ash stake and kills his father. Stefan has earned his freedom, and Klaus removes the compulsion binding him. Damon feels betrayed, and back at the house, Elena promises that they will get through this - they always do. And they will let Stefan go if he is truly unable to be saved from himself.
So what exactly was it that Damon didn't plan for? Klaus let slip to Katherine - who he thought was Elena - that his hybrids have very specific orders, and that if he were to die, Stefan was to die as well. Katherine told this to Stefan, but with one important change: Damon would die; she mentioned nothing of Stefan. Regardless of how emotionless he was, Stefan couldn't let his big brother die. As Katherine is making her getaway, Stefan is in the car with her, for at least a short distance. She admits that his life was at stake, too. But now she needs him to be mad. For next on Klaus's to do list is to bring back the rest of his family. It will be very difficult to do, however - Stefan has stolen and hidden Klaus's family coffins.
Dig It or Bury It?
I love it when Vampire Diaries goes all Ocean's 11. Their plans are pretty rote at this point - they always involve substituting Katherine for Elena and usually have a secret player waiting in the wings - but they are intricately planned out, with every nitpicky detail dealt with. What's more, is that they are always filmed with such a wonderful flow. The plots are logically executed, and the individual episode always ties up its plot points before unravelling new ones for future episodes. This episode played with temporal space more than normal which, for the most part, was fine - like when they went back and explained the "secret" parts of the plots - but it opened with with some "Stefan calling Klaus" then "One hour earlier"-type scenes that felt mostly unnecessary.
So Stefan is no longer being compelled to do Klaus's bidding. But does he get his humanity back? Because at one point, his humanity was compelled away, but when flickers of it remained, Klaus placed the second compulsion on him. So now does he get his humanity back - or at least a better shot at regaining it if he so chooses? I guess it is a choice, because in the car with Katherine, he says he doesn't want to let the humanity back in.
Random thought: Does Elena or anyone else still go to school? Because really, how the hell does a girl study in a place like Mystic Falls?
Katherine throws wolfsbane grenades at the hybrids... but wouldn't it be more effective if she used a cocktail of wolfsbane and vervane?
When Damon first arrives at the Lockwood home, his way is blocked by one of Klaus's hybrids. "This event is invite-only," he snarls. "Here's my invite," scoffs Damon as he de-hearts the grunt. He falls to the ground and Damon tosses his heart on top of him, while grumbling, "Hmph. Hybrids."
The holiday season will feel a little more empty, a little more cold, with The Vampire Diaries on hiatus until January. However, I do like this split-season structure where we get nine straight weeks of new episodes. Hopefully the remainder of the season will play out that way. When we come back January 5th, Klaus is out for revenge. What else is new?