So what have the trio been up to in the last two months?
Vampires Unleashed from the Tomb
Ok, so apparently Bonnie's grandmother died for nothing, because they didn't successfully lock up the tomb. So all 30 or so vampires caged within escaped. I wish they would've explored their fish-out-of-water experience more. It's been more than a hundred years since they've roamed the Earth. They have to be confused about technology, stop lights, cars, and even clothes. It would've been fun to see the lost vamp Harper use an iPhone. lol Since Anna helped her mom out of the tomb and nursed her back to health, Pearl set up shop in an entranced woman's home so that all of the vampires would have a safe haven. She has a plan. She wants to reintegrate into the town, get rid of all of the vervane, and dissolve the makeshift vampire task force. Of course, it's not going to be easy, especially with impulsive and uncontrollable vampires on her hands. Luckily, Damon and Alaric killed more than half of them when they went to rescue Stefan, who got kidnapped and tortured by one of Pearl's vengeance-seeking goons.
Stefan has a Dark Side & Elena prefers Damon's
In the first half of the season, Damon revealed that one of the reasons he returned to town was to "get his brother back." He wanted them to have fun like they used to. He implied that there was a time when Stefan was as wild and crazy as he was. And after this week's episode, we can see that that may have been a possibility. When Elena saved him from Pearl's basement, his kidnapper came after them. The only way to overpower him was to get his energy back up. He had to feed on Elena. The problem is Stefan hasn't had human blood in years, possibly decades. Now he has to re-ween himself off the concentrated nectar that seduces him with every drop. In order to subdue the hunger, he has to get drunk. While he's a little more loose and fun when he's drunk, he's also not Stefan. He's like a diluted version of Damon, which apparently Elena doesn't find attractive. Actually, it's not that she finds Damon's personality unattractive. It's that she's afraid that the person she's in love with doesn't really exist. She, like most normal human beings, prefers consistency. I think that's why next week, when Damon has to fill in for a suffering Stefan as her dance partner at a pageant, they share a little bit of a moment. Maybe Damon hasn't always been honest with her, but he's always been true to who he is. Besides, it's better to be secretly kind than secretly evil. Who knows? Maybe when Katherine returns, she'll end up with Stefan, and Damon will gladly stay with Elena. Of course, the only way that'll be plausible is if he stops treating her like his little sister. Curling up on her bed and sifting through her underwear drawer is a start.
Jeremy Knows Everything! (I think...)
Poor, poor Jeremy. He's like a dog with a bone. When he gets his teeth into something, he just won't let it go. I thought Damon removed all longing for Vicki from his system, but if he did, it didn't really work. It turns out Jeremy was only hanging out with Anna, after realizing she was a vampire, because he wanted to be turned into a vampire, so he could be with Vicki. Seriously? Not only was that a douche move for seducing a girl into helping him reunite with the girl he's obsessed with, but it's the most ridiculous idea I've ever heard. Thankfully, Anna didn't snap his neck right there. She was probably bummed that her mom was somewhat right about the Gilbert men. Pearl used to be in love with one of his ancestors, but he rejected her when he realized she was a vampire. She has an understandable grudge against the entire family, and therefore, would never approve of her daughter dating or even turning one of them. But at least Jeremy didn't throw her to the wolves. It's an improvement. All of this infatuation with being reunited with Vicki, led Jeremy down a very enlightening path. After Caroline discovers Vicki's body in the woods and any idea of being reunited with her dissolves, his new mission is to investigate whether or not it was a murder. And in the process, he discovers that his sister has been keeping secrets from him. Not only did she know that Vicki was a vampire and that she was dead, but if he read as much of the journal as he should've and if she wrote down how Vicki died, then he should know by now that the Salvatore brothers are vampires too. I don't know what this means for their relationship, other than he will never trust her again, but I hope it doesn't lead him to join the sheriff and the committee against everyone, including Anna, tragically repeating history.
The Arrival of Jonathan Gilbert
I am always creeped out when David Anders ("Heroes") pops up on the screen. They cast Jonathan perfectly. And he had quite the introduction. Here are all of the things we learned about him:
1) He's slept with his sister-in-law Jenna, and she hates him.
2) He can't die, just like Alaric, because of a ring that he wears. He gave Elena's mom the ring that she gave Alaric. (I wonder if that means he's Elena's real father.) The ring he wears is Elena's dad's, which means that he knew about the vampires too.
3) He's the one who sent Elena's mom to see Damon.
4) He either knows Katherine or all about her.
5) He's come to Mystic Falls to expunge the town of all of its new vampires and he has practice hunting them down. But it seems like he has a secret agenda as well. According to the future episode synopsis on TV.com, Damon and Alaric have to find a "mysterious invention" before Jonathan does. Hmmm, I wonder if it turns vampires into humans or worse: identifies them.
While all of that is truly interesting, I'm most excited about watching Jonathan's influence on Jeremy. It seems like vampire hunting is a tradition passed down to the men in the Gilbert family, and Jonathan implied that he intended on filling him in on everything his ancestors were involved in. Will he be met with resistance or will Jeremy gladly take up the gauntlet?
Ladies and gentleman, Julie Cooper's ("The O.C.") in the house!!! Melinda Clarke drunkenly stumbled into the series to play cookie-cutter Matt's alcoholic and promiscuous mom. So far she's proven that she's not only interested in every hot guy in town, but they are likely to get in her pants after only five minutes (or even five seconds) of conversation. She makes her daughter look like a girl scout. I thought it was pretty obvious that she'd go after Damon, but then she pretty much crossed the line when she started making out with Matt's bff/Vicki's ex-boyfriend Tyler. I don't blame Matt for kicking her out. If she wants to change, then she can do it somewhere else and then come back. Of course, whenever you kick someone out in the middle of the night, there's no guarantee that they'll survive in that town.
Tyler is becoming interesting
When Matt caught Tyler slobbering all over his drunken mom, he kicked his ass...or at least he tried to. Turns out Tyler has a very peculiar amount of strength that he can't explain. His rage baffles him and daddy wants him to keep it in check. I dunno. Maybe he's like Vicki. Maybe he was bit by a vamp and if he dies, he'll become one. Or maybe Elena isn't the only orphan in town, and his real parents aren't exactly normal. Either way, I'm excited to find out what abomination he turns out to be and, of course, what he'll do with that information. He strikes me as more of Damon-opportunist than a Stefan-martyr. Although, he did surprise me when he said that he didn't feel like he deserved to mourn Vicki, because he was such a jerk to her. That was very sensitive of him to reveal, and, let's be honest, very accurate.
This season has been pretty awesome and with only there episodes left, there's promise for more explosive scenes. Bonnie's returning, Gilbert is a man-on-a-mission, and I'm pretty sure I spotted Damon feeding on Caroline...or maybe that was Stefan. Hmm.