TV Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 312 - 'The Ties That Bind'

Vampire Diaries Episode 312

"The Ties That Bind"

Written By: Brian Young

Directed By: John Dahl

Original Airdate: 19 January 2012

In This Episode...

Bonnie decides that the only way to open that mystery fourth coffin is to find her mother, who left her when she was just a baby. Damon helps track her down in North Carolina and Bonnie and Elena head out on a road trip. When they arrive, they meet Jamie. His dad and Abby Bennett used to date, but he was a deadbeat and Abby took him in, practically raised him. Abby finally admits to Bonnie why she left. She and Miranda Gilbert were best friends. A vampire (Michael) came to town, looking for the doppelganger, and Abby used her magic to lure him out of town and seal him up in a crypt. By the time she was done, her magic was drained and as selfish as it was, she remained in North Carolina, where she was known as a woman, not a witch.

Elena had gone outside to give Bonnie and her mom some privacy, and Stefan sneaks up on her outside, mad that Bonnie told her about the coffins. Jamie finds them and Stefan tries to compel him back inside, but Jamie is under a much stronger compulsion already, from one of Klaus's hybrids. He shoots Stefan full of wooden buckshot that the hybrid left for just such an occasion, and ties up Elena (he was under strict instructions not to hurt her). While Bonnie is distracted by the shots outside, Abby uses some herbs to knock out her daughter. She puts her into the car and drives her out to the road to meet up with the hybrid. This was all a plot to get Bonnie to reveal the location of Klaus's coffins. If she doesn't give it up, Jamie has been compelled to kill himself. Bonnie feels betrayed, but Abby types up a note on her cell phone and shows it to Bonnie: "Warn your friends." Back at the barn, Elena breaks free, knocks out Jamie, and digs the wood chips out of Stefan's chest. He is impressed at her strength, and she admits she kissed Damon. Flashes of the old Stefan flash across his face.

Back in Mystic Falls, Damon got the warning. Klaus is waiting for him at the witch house and convinces the witches to reveal the coffins. There are only three. Damon only had time to hide one, but he went with the sealed one. He also pulled another little trick: he removed the dagger from Elijah's heart, waking him up.

Also: Tyler shows up to Caroline's house, Bill Forbes in tow. He is going to teach Tyler how to break his sire bond with Klaus. This involves Tyler changing into a werewolf on his own, over and over, until it doesn't hurt. If he controls his pain, he will no longer feel beholden to to Klaus. Bill is committed to this, even after Tyler breaks from his chains and nearly kills him. Dr. Fell saves him - with blood she bloodjacked from Damon. "That's my secret," she admits to Ric, "I'm a doctor who cheats."

Dig It or Bury It?

Aw yeah. The last couple weeks of "set up" episodes were worth it. Everything is dramarama this week. We've got some violence (though not as much as season two had) but things are getting good. Not really sure why Elena felt the need to tell Stefan that she and Damon kissed, but I hope it comes back to bite her in the ass. In all seriousness though, there were some really good emotions in this episode. Nothing that was too sappy or whiny or obnoxious - you all know how much I hate feelings. But the stuff between Stefan and Elena, Elena and Ric, Bonnie and Abby... it all felt very real.

Blood Lust

Elijah reveals himself to Klaus when he rips out the heart of his hybrid. But the most fun was Stefan and Elena. He can feel the wood chips scratching against his heart, so Elena must remove them. To do that, she has to reach in with her bare hands and pull them out. It's like vampire Operation. Of course, the producers could have shown the operation close up, with more detail than bloody fingers and some squishing noises.

Sibling Rivalry

Stefan takes his jealousy out on Damon, not Elena. After the whole ordeal, he goes home. Damon is there. He asks how Elena is and by way of response, Stefan reels back and punches him in the face. Which leads Damon to respond...

Devilishly Charming

..."I take it you two had a heart to heart."

Another fun Damon-ism: When he brings Bonnie and Elena the info on Abby, he wants to go with them on the road trip. Elena says no, he gives her a pouty face, and Bonnie asks what is going on. "We kissed. Now it's weird. Have a good trip," is his nonchalant response.


A truce is attempted when Damon tries to deal with Elijah.