Yes, I’m breathing again.  I’m not going to start with Damon and Elena, because honestly if I did, I wouldn’t get through this review.  I’ve already got my shower set on the coldest setting for when I’m done with this.

I’m not sure about all of you, but in the contest of most dysfunctional family, I don’t think I’ve seen any family in TV more deserving of the prize than the Mikaelson family.  I’m sure that’s par for the course considering they’re the original vampires, but wow.  Talk about mommy and daddy issues.  

I’ve gotten out my flowchart, trying to again to work in all that’s happening in the plentitude of twisty plot.  I start by penciling in momma Esther’s return, who has supposedly come back to die.  I’m wondering how she isn’t dead already.  Abby was killed (and turned into a vampire) weeks ago.  That’s one long slow death.  Klaus has definitely learned his tricks from his mother, because just before Esther bites it (metaphorically of course) she comes back to see Rebekah, touches her, and then dies.  Naturally we don’t find out until the very end why she dies like that so suddenly.  Hint, Klaus pulled that stunt on Alaric last year.  

Despite their dysfunction, Klaus, Rebekah, and Kol are all on the same page in this one.  Prevent the Salvatores from finding out which one of them started their bloodline.  Gotta love a family working together for the sole purpose self preservation.  And where’s Elijah dammit?  Yes, I’m not letting that go.  Kol has been making friends with Jeremy in Colorado, watching his every move, which is exactly why Damon and Elena travelled cross country to retrieve him.  

When I saw the preview, I had to wonder why in the world Damon and Elena were traveling together without Stefan.  That’s answered in the first few minutes.  Elena visits Alaric, whose now an inhabitant in the Salvatore basement dungeon, and tells him they’re going together because Stefan insisted on it.  He’s very determined to force Elena to work out her feelings for Damon.  I don’t know whether to call Stefan stupid or brilliant, but she went to work alright.  After dodging Kol at the batting cages, they all went to a remote motel (Damon claiming it was Elena’s idea) and worked on contacting Rose with Jeremy’s “seeing dead people” skills.  

I love Rose.  Of all the vampires to bring back from the dead, she would have been tops on my list.  She’s amazing and bonded with Jeremy so well.  Who knew she was a Delena shipper??  She’s really happy in the great beyond.  Her happiness made me happy and I love how she told Jeremy about the wonderful dream Damon gave her before she died.  She didn’t know which original started her bloodline, but she’d find out the whereabouts of the vampire that turned her, Mary Porter.  

Sadly, Jeremy is NOT a Delena shipper and I’m trying to figure out why he thinks Stefan is okay and Damon isn’t.  They’re both vampires with very evil sides and Stefan has really been an ass this season.  No matter, for he caught Damon and Elena in their very steamy throes of passion (more on that coming) and didn’t take it well.  It was finally a pep talk from Rose later in the car – which Damon and Elena did not see or hear – that forced him to think about it.  She made an excellent point, Stefan is good for her, but he might not be what she needs.  She’s good for Damon and he will either be the best thing for her or the worst.  He challenges her.  Nice explanation, but I just think their chemistry is ten times hotter myself.  

I don’t know why Damon and Elena’s best scenes are when they’re in bed, side by side, giving each other that alluring glare, talking in their low voices, but those get me every time.  Wait a sec, I think I just answered my own question.  These setups are so tense, so breathtakingly slow and sexy you can hear a pin drop.  This time, Elena wonders why Damon won’t let people see the good in him, like what he did for Rose.  The answer is pretty clear, as long as he’s bad, people don’t have expectations of him.  He holds her hand and Elena is so bothered she can’t take it.  She leaves, he follows, and whoa.  They’re near the vending machines, he has her up against a post and…erm…oh…man she’s breathing hard…they’re trying to swallow each other whole…Damon has some awesome moves…and…Jeremy interrupts.  Damn, what a buzz kill!  Time for that shower now.  

After our horny heroes find Mary Porter dead and Kol in the house waiting for them with a baseball bat (not to mention ready to deliver another vicious beating to Damon), Damon goes back for more action with Elena.  She pulls away.  Oh crap girl, make up your friggin’ mind!  I’ll take him!  One very confused Damon wants to know what’s going on.  She admits the trip was Stefan’s idea and she’s trying to figure out if she has feelings for him.  He asks if she does.  I do believe that answer is obvious the way she was biting into you like a luscious piece of chocolate at the motel, Damon.  Still, she says she isn’t sure.  Damon takes that to mean yes but she doesn’t want to admit it.  He’s not happy.  “I’m sorry Elena.  This time I’m not going to make it easy for you.  This time you’ll have to figure it out yourself.”  Oh Damon, I don’t think you’ve ever made it easy for her.  Just you breathing is making her life difficult.  But fun!

For those of you that aren’t Delena shippers, Caroline and Tyler reuniting and getting hot and heavy in the werewolf cage ought to have satisfied you then.  The only bummer is, do these moments ever last for these two?  Tyler’s little fit of jealously over the picture that Klaus drew Caroline, which she kept, is really contrived, especially when she sweetly proclaims her allegiance to Tyler a minute before.  I know he’s a hot head but geez.  A forgiving hug with an uncertain glance at the end would have been better.  Considering this episode was overloaded with action, we’re lucky we got anything from these two at all.  I’ll take what I can get.   

Ah ha, but I haven’t gotten to the final twist, right?  There’s not a lot of space left on the flowchart so I’m improvising at this point.  It involves Rebekah and Alaric.  Stefan, in his slow interrogation of Alaric during the episode, manages to pull out evil Alaric.  Or at least he does after Alaric is killed by Klaus and comes back from the dead…again.  And I thought “Supernatural” killed the Winchester brothers a lot!  Evil Alaric hid the stake in the caves, where no vampire can go.  So Rebekah takes Evil Alaric to the caves for retrieval.  Evil Alaric tries to bargain with Rebekah, who’s not really Rebekah.  She’s Esther in a Rebekah suit.  So it ends with two unstable alter egos plotting the genocide of the entire vampire race.  Yeah, that’s going to go well. 

This of course is all setup for the final three episodes of the season.  I’m still dying to see where this goes, but more importantly, I wish Elena would stop teasing these brothers so much.  How about going it alone for a while Elena?  Learn to love yourself?  I accept her conflict, but for someone who’s supposed to be more strong and determined this season, she’s really wussing out right now.  Be a woman!  She owes both Damon and Stefan a huge apology.  Not that they’d take it.  They’re too much in love and have that feeling on/off switch when they need it.  The words “bitch” instead come to mind (theirs, not mine!).  

Up next, ambush at the 20’s dance.  Haven’t they learned by now these theme parties never go well?  We’ll find out how bad things get next week.  

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