Sorry for the hyperbole, but I'm pretty sure this week's episode of The Vampire Diaries, "Haunted," is the best one of the season so far. The Halloween setting is perfect for playing out Vicki's vampiric transition, Bonnie's exploration of her mysterious genealogical history, and the exposing of "The Council."
There's plenty to talk about, so let's chat about the good, the bad, and the bloody (spoilers aplenty ahead!) when you
- So much is good this week, but the episode belongs to Vicki, who's having issues turning into a vamp — which also provides us with more exposition on the mythology of The Vampire Diaries as well as Stefan's personal journey as a bloodsucker. However, Vicki isn't long for even the undead world, and her story ends both abruptly and shockingly (more on that later).
- I love this show's balance of humor and intrigue, which Damon and The Council storyline provides this week. Damon overhears Tyler's parents, the Lockwoods, discussing the search they're on, just after he's noticed that Logan's murder hasn't shown up in the papers. I loved the tête-à-tête between Damon and Mrs. Lockwood at the restaurant; it doesn't take much booze to get the woman blabbing, and soon Damon knows that she's trying to procure vervain (which I finally googled; apparently it's a variant of verbena) and that she not only knows about the vampires in town, she's hunting them.
- I want to know more about Bonnie, and her glamorous, witchy Grams. I still can't believe Whitley is playing someone's grandmother. Aside from having the scoop on the family and being a witch herself, she teaches Occult at the University. How cool is she? Oh, and Bonnie's great-great-great-great grandmother, Emily Bennett? We've seen her before.
- I've said it a couple times recently, but I love a good Halloween episode. The costumes are priceless: Vicki goes as a vampire, Tyler's a character from 300, and Mrs. Lockwood channels Daisy Buchanan, someone Damon would certainly recognize.
- Not much bad to report this week, except for one gripe. Coffee as a vampire's secret to blending in with humans? Pretty silly. "It's the caffeine," Stefan says with a straight face. At least he didn't complain about Starbucks.
- The Hunger rules Vicki's life as a vampire, and all she wants to do is feed . . . and see Jeremy and Matt. First she takes a love bite out of Jeremy's lip, and then, in a desperate fight, chomps right into Elena's exposed shoulder (so that's why she needed a sexy costume). Her attack on Elena pushes Stefan to stake her, killing her immediately. I literally gasped, then held my mouth open for a good five minutes as I watched this all play out. I'm still pretty stunned.
Lastly, are we witnessing Damon's evolution? His encounters with Elena this week take a major detour; she lashes out at him for being responsible for Vicki, Jeremy being in danger, and finally, Vicki's death, angering him until he tells her, "You need to leave." This would normally be a threat from Damon, but there's another dimension to it; is the man who insists he'd kill anyone, anytime, telling Elena to go because he wants her to be safe? Is he forming feelings for her? The climax of this really occurs in the final moments, when Elena begs Stefan to erase Jeremy's memory. Explaining that his human-free diet won't allow him to do it correctly, we hear a voice volunteer. "I can do it." It's almost seductive, and Elena lets him — though she doesn't say thank you, on principle, but I felt like she wanted to.
What do you think — were you surprised to see Vicki exit so soon? I was hoping to see more of her development as a vampire, but her death evoked so much more of an emotional reaction from the characters (and me) that I can't imagine it another way. And if you want to talk more about the show, join Hooked on Vampire Diaries in the Buzz Community!
Photos courtesy of The CW