Vampire Diaries Recap: "Before Sunset"

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Last night’s episode, “Before Sunset,” was quintessential Vampire Diaries style, taking off like a rocket at the beginning and shooting forward until the very last second.

Let’s Hear It For Alaric Saltzman!

It’s no secret I haven’t been that happy when Ric’s story this season, from the fumbling mystery of the serial killer to the reveal that it was Ric because of his paranormal powered ring. However, there has been in a payoff with Esther turning him into a completely insane vampire hunter. Matt Davis plays a phenomenal crazy person, making it a side we’ve yet to see from him, and I loved every second of it.

The episode began with Caroline and Rebekah cleaning up the mess from that disastrous dance unaware that Ric was hanging out in his classroom. The only thing worse than being a vampire hunter who is also a vampire hunter is being trapped in a high school during the day while the town crawls with his prey. Thankfully for Ric there are plenty of blood sucking students and he was able to take Caroline, who stepped in and tried to save Rebekah from him. Nice one, Caroline. Let’s see if Rebekah ever pays you back.

Meanwhile, across town Jeremy and Elena were painting Ric’s old room while Stefan brooded a bit, only to be interrupted by Damon and Bonnie. They quickly put the pieces together about what happened as Ric tortured Caroline at the school by sticking pencils into her hand and made a sneaky call to Elena about saving her friend. While the vampires and witch tried to figure out how to reverse Esther’s spell, Klaus stalked the outside of the house, busting out windows and throwing stakes at Damon, none of them realizing Elena had sneaked away to save Caroline.

This is where Ric showed just how sinister he was, explaining to Elena that she was defying her parents and everything they stood for by befriending vampires as he tied a vervain soaked gag around Caroline’s mouth. He’s the kind of villain you want to see go up against all the other villains, making little time for witty comments, just a lot of threats and backbreaking and neck snapping. Ric’s not playing around, folks. He even called the vampire gang to let them know he had Elena, ready for a little game of cat and mouse.

Stefan and Klaus headed straight for the high school while Bonnie contacted Abby in hopes of using the same spell her mother used to immobilize Mikael. Abby used a spell to stop a vampire’s heart, but also had to find a living person’s heart to stop as well. They agree to stop Jeremy’s heart, since he’s really all they’ve got anyway. Bonnie gives them each a vile of her blood to sip, so they’ll all be connected and she’ll know when to start the spell.

While they figure out how to get in the school, Ric’s torture continued as he tried to force Elena to stake one of her best friends. She stupidly – and I say stupidly because Ric is now one of the biggest, baddest vampires around – tried to stake him, but quickly recovered from that failure when she through his glass of bourbon in his face. It was enough time for Caroline to escape, where she was also caught by Klaus in the hallway. My heart still skipped a beat for these two. I just can’t help it. 

Ric turned all his attacks on to Elena, but she won out by pointing out that he couldn’t kill her. Sure, Esther may have turned him into a raging vampire hunter, but his humanity still exists. Elena was like a daughter to him and deep down he realizes that. Unfortunately the vampires mean nothing and he easily takes them down, making it impossible to do Bonnie’s spell. Elena jumped in to save Klaus, which was nice and thoughtful of her, but sucked since she was unaware that he wanted to kidnap her and drain her blood. Somehow – I mean, really, where did this come from? Elena is starting to get really good at thinking! – Elena figured out that her life is tied to Ric’s, which is why Esther wanted her blood. He has Elena’s lifetime to kill vampires, but when she dies, he dies as well. So, does this mean Ric’s humanity is gone and he was just trying to save his life when he refused to kill? Or is there some good still inside him?

When Elena threatened suicide and started to slit her throat, Ric released Klaus, who promptly kidnapped her. She woke up to Klaus draining her blood so he can build an army of hybrids. As if things weren’t crazy enough, they got completely insane after this.

Ric told Stefan and Damon that his life was bound to Elena and Klaus had taken her to ensure that she would die. While they head over to Klaus’ mansion, Tylerfought his sire bond and tried to save Elena much to the dismay of his master. Klaus was astonished that he broke the bond and Tylerquipped that he did it for the woman he loved and love is always stronger. During Tyler’s scuffle with Klaus, Stefan and Damon burst in, Stefan seizing Klaus by his heart. Because of their connection, this prompted Bonnie to begin her spell and everyone in the room watched as all the life and color drained from Klaus’ face. I don’t know which was worse: the look on Klaus’ face as he realized what was happening to him or the look on Stefan’s who seemed pained to be doing it. Everyone else in the room seemed equally horrified when his body hit the floor. No party? No joyous celebration?

The vampires took Elena home and told her they were leaving town to drop off Klaus’ body. Insert the obligatory scene where Elena tells them how much they mean to her and how she can’t choose right here. This later lead to the brothers agreeing that for whomever Elena chooses, the other one will leaveMysticFallsforever. I’m not quite sure that I’m okay with this – at all. The only thing that saved this moment was when Elena went into the kitchen to find her friends waiting with tequila shots to toast to a Klaus free life. That’s the joyous party I was talking about.

They shouldn’t get too excited though because now they have Ric to worry about, the Ric everyone in town thinks is a high school history teacher and caretaker of Elena and Jeremy and therefore has a place on the council. He called a meeting and let the entire council know that Caroline is a vampire and Tyler a hybrid. Uhfreakingoh.

Ric called a council meeting and wants Sheriff Forbes and the mayor to let everyone in on the vampires they’re housing. Uh, freaking, oh.

Meanwhile, at home Jeremy pointed out how Ric never wanted any of this and wonders if Ric will kill the vampires and then kill Elena so he can die as well. He left her with this food for thought and headed to bed, unaware that no sooner than he was gone his sister was going to fall to the floor, bleeding from her nose. Was that just the result of a bad day? Does Elena have a concussion? Will her health get worse and require a dose of vampire blood? And if that happens what does that mean for next week’s preview that showed her plunging off the side ofWickeryBridgein a car? Will the writers finally turn Elena?

All I can say for sure is that we’re facing one hell of a season finale next week.  

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