Last week on The Vampire Diaries, “The Five” looked to the past.
“The Killer,” however, was filled with happenings big and small that will propel us into the future, as the episode teased/introduced/propelled juicy storylines coming that will clearly play a role the rest of the season.
What was so great about tonight’s nearly flawless episode? SO many things!
The Voiceover: They’re vampires... who write in diaries. Get it?! But, seriously, our episode kicks off as a sullen Elena laments in her voiceover about being depressed, angry and scared at her new vampy self and then.
Cross cutting to the Salvatore mansion, Stefan is scribbling down how he’s intent on finding the alleged cure to give Elena her life back. The opening somehow avoid the sap and proves once again that the emotional core of the show is truly the guiding force to everything that happens. Bravo!
Damon-isms: As usual, the biting humor of Damon was all over, from his early scene mocking Elena’s melancholy state by saying he gets the "shame spiral" and "newbie vampire remorse." Later, we're treated a Wizard Of Oz reference when Damon calls Klaus and his hybrids the “Lollipop Guild.” All that quipping aside, we can always expect Damon to eventually get to kick-ass mode, which he does.
Nearly Klaus-less: Klaus may be in Italy trying to figure out this curse cure, but his presence is all over the episode, which only shows how effective and awesome the character is. Stefan ends up doing what Klaus says. Tyler ends up doing what Klaus says. Sense a pattern here? The fact that Klaus is in another country (and has the best cell service ever apparently) and is still driving story is a compliment to both the writers and the fabulous Joseph Morgan.
Now, if we can only get Rebekah back soon. (Hear me, Julie Plec?!?)
Who’s in Peril This Week? Jeremy, Matt and April are all helpless while bald bad-ass hunter Connor rigs the Grill with his werewolf juice bombs that come with a poisoned nail chaser to get rid of as many vamps as possible. In the midst of all this, Jeremy realizes he has spent time with Connor but someone has compelled him not to remember, so that’s a major remember this part of later moment from this scene. (Truth be told, I’m mostly happy that Jeremy finally has an actual, active story this season.)
If I have one complaint, it’s that the victim of Connor’s booby trap is not any of our regulars but Hybrid Dean (ummm... who?), one of Klaus’s minions who gets "nailed" and looks kinda like Pinhead from Hellraiser for a quick second and then dies. Quite an elaborate death for someone we really don’t care about, but I’ll forgive for now.
What Caroline Saw: I’m sure our fearless TV Fanatic Editor-in-Chief Matt was pleased as punch that we got some Caroline this week, especially when our blonde bloodsucker caught her beloved hybrid Tyler wrapped around Haley and went all finger pointy at the twosome.
But, come on, you’d think by now we’d see it coming when the TVD writers fool us by thinking one thing when it’s really another. Another example of the smart writing is made clear here when Tyler comes clean that he and Haley were just bummed about the death of Hybrid Dean (again... who?!?). LockWolf also reveals to her (and us) that Klaus’s ‘knowledge’ of a love tryst between him and Haley is just a rouse so they can keep working on de-siring all Klaus’s hybrids.
So Caroline has nothing to worry about, right? RIGHT?
Brotherly Love: I marvel whenever the love/hate of the Salvatore Brothers comes back in play and never grows stale. We get he-man shoving in this case, asStefan gives Damon a shot of vervain and Damon later digs deep (literally) in his bro’s baby-smooth chest. However, at the end of the day, Damon’s got Stefan’s back. Awwww!
And the writers still manage to remind of us of the love triangle when Damon makes it clear that while Stefan might not be able to love vampire Elena, Damon is fine with her no matter who she is. Snap! Delena is so ON!
Bewitched: We’re slowly getting Bonnie back into the mix, but first she’s still on the outside of things, hanging out with dreamy Professor Shane (who we shouldn’t forget is pulling Connor’s strings). Shane is kindly helping her bring back her magic and while it all seems subtle and nice, you just know this is a big teaser for what’s sure to come in future episodes. Bring it!
Twist and Shout: So, who really turned out to be “The Killer?” from the episode title? The newest vamp on the block, of course, Elena. We could’ve guessed her first kill – via the classic snap-your-neck move no less - would be a big one... but leave it to the TVD writers to wisely make it the one person (buh-bye, Connor) who just happened to have a tattoo that could help her become human again.
While Elena isn’t exactly aware of this fact yet, it’s a nice kernel to a secret held by Damon and Stefan that will surely come back to life when we least expect it.
Tattoo You: The fact that The Vampire Diaries Season 4 still leaves you drooling for the next episode the moment the end credits roll is quite a feat. At the end of “The Killer,” Jeremy is the only one who can see the sudden appearance of the hunter’s tattoo on his arm... BOOM!
Damon tells Stefan he has his back, but also makes sure we know that the love triangle is still alive and kicking…BOOM!
And then Elena has her end-of-episode voiceover interrupted by the appearance of blood in her bathroom and the word KILLER written on her mirror, but the images then vanish and we get one final ‘What The Frak?’ moment... BOOM!
Can someone conjure up a time travel spell to get me to next week’s episode? Like, NOW?!
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.