S3E17: Not every episode of The Vampire Diaries can bowl us over, and "Break on Through" is an example of that. After last week's episode focused wonderfully on the major issue at handAlaric's murderous turnwith a few delicious twistslike Damon's brotherly advice for Stefanthis week offered a winded tale. Hopefully, all this madness will set up a few fantastic episodes that deal with the White Oak and the Originals, Stefan and Elena, and it would seem a potentially murderous Jeremy. If not, then we just sat through a messy episode without much payoff.
"Rebekah may be an original, but she's a girl. Find her weakness and exploit it." -Sage
As workmen are rebuilding Wickery Bridge, Damon runs into Sage, the vampire who taught him to "enjoy" women in 1912. Rebekah is immediately jealous, apparently miffed over Sage's relationship with her Original brother, Finn. Damon's sure she's up to something, so Sage convinces him to seduce Rebekah and read her mind in her vulnerable state.
At his house, Damon tells Rebekah he doesn't want Sage, he wants her: boom, the perfect seduction. Sage finds Rebekah and Damon in bed, and reads Rebekah's mind. Of course, instead of telling Damon, Sage proceeds to make out with him as a means of telekinesis. This scene is an example of why some non-shippers get annoyed with this show: it was hot, but it was just about the most ridiculous way to reveal that Rebekah found out about the second White Oak and that she's been looking for it. Damon quickly checks the unfiled town records on his shelves (does Mayor Lockwood know about this) and it turns out the Oak was built into Wickery Bridge.
There's just one issue: Sage is in love with an original and that White Oak kills originals. Damon makes a deal: Damon rids Sage of Rebecca, and he'll leave Finn alone. But that would be too easy so Sage tells Rebekah about Oak at the bridge and she burns it. Sage knew he was lying about saving Finn because she read his thoughts and learned that the Originals are all linked.
But wait, there's still another twist! Damon "sold his rage" about Sage telling Rebekah about the bridge, but in reality, he's got the commemorative sign for Wickery Bridgewhich just happens to be made out of some of that White Oak. This means it's time to kill some Originals. It's great that we're finally at that point, but the way in which TVD got us there through a series of sudden sideshow twists and turns was a little too snappy. There's something to be said for taking one's time.
"I don't know how to do this." -Abby
"Do what? Be a vampire or be a parent?" -Caroline
Abby is still in transition after Damon turned her into a vampire, but she's distraught because she can't feel nature anymore. If that wasn't enough, she's scared she'll hurt her familyand her non-son Jamie is afraid of that too. As Caroline helps Abby get stronger and learn to resist her urges, she also convinces Jamie to embrace Abby. Unfortunately, Abby's not ready to be that close to a human and she bites him. As a result of the incident, she elects to leave and Caroline, fueled by how much she misses her father, begs Abby to stay for Bonnie. But it doesn't work.
But Jamie and Bonnie probably won't be hurting for long. After his "The guy who lives out back, you know the one you're not related to" comment, it seems pretty likely that they'll seek solace in each other.
"Do you ever feel remorse?" -Alaric
Elena manages to convince Bonnie to help put a spell on Alaric to help keep his evil side at bay, but before she can figure out a way to do it. But Alaric's evil side is starting to come out even when he's sober. Meredith is convinced she can help, even forgiving Alaric for killing her cousin, Logan Fell.
Despite her forgiveness, the dark side takes over and he goes after Meredith for being a member of the council who helps/sides with vampires. She escapes without being killed, but she is injured.
"Not everyone can be saved." -Stefan
"I wasn't planning on giving up on either of you." -Elena
But there's more to the Alaric issue than we previously knew. Stefan helps shed some light on the issuerather harshly at first. Elena goes to Damon and Stefan's to get the book about her ancestor who went crazy from the Gilbert ring. It's palpably awkward and Stefan tells her what happened: Samantha Gilbert killed herself because she went insane. He's callous about it and Elena storms off.
The tense moment drives Stefan to stress-eat (or drink blood) and it's pretty clear that as much as he says he can't be what Elena wants, it kills him that the notion continues to prove true. When Elena goes to Alaric's to get his wedding ring for Bonnie's spell, Stefan meets her there because he found out more about Samantha Gilbert: she still murdered people even when the ring was off. So Alaric is still murderous.
But it gets worse. They find pictures of all Alaric's victims and a roster of council members along with a note to Jeremy about carrying on "the work." Elena and Stefan get to her house and find Rick there. He attacks Elena, but Stefan stops him just before smelling Meredith's blood upstairs. Stefan needs Elena's help to deal with it, but he knows he needs to help Meredith. He feeds her his blood, but only stays long enough to help and then runs out of the room. Even so, it proves one thing: if he can keep his cool in a blood-soaked bathroom, he can keep his cool in other bloodlust situations.
Finally, Bonnie shows up and does the spell to keep Rick's evil at bay, but she seems standoffish. Elena apologizes with tears in her eyes and Bonnie hugs her and says she forgives her. Their pre-existing relationship carries this scene because Kat Graham seems almost out of it every time she has to try to be mad or at odds with Elena.
Of course, there's just one loose end: Jeremy. Elena calls him because she's worried his Gilbert ring is turning him into a secret accidental murderer like Alaric. He says he hasn't heard from Alaric and that he's fine, but he's got that mischievous, bad Jeremy twinkle in his eye. Something tells me this isn't the end of the Gilbert ring curse.
Did you like "Break on Through"? Or did you think it was just a little all over the place? Were you disappointed that the White Oak issue was solved too easily? Let us know in the comments or get at me on Twitter @KelseaStahler.