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The Vampire Diaries – Recap & Review – By the Light of the Moon

photo: cw
The Vampire Diaries
By the Light of the Moon

Original Air Date: Dec 9, 2010

Meg – Sr. Reviewer

Is it just me or did it get, uh, a little hot in here? *Fans self* I’ve been feverish all week with the flu, but dang it if my temperature was Antarctic compared to the sweltering sweaty naked times on tonight’s episode. There’s a full moon in Mystic Falls, and what does that mean? Skin, sweat, and chains.

Read on for the full recap and review!

Tyler and Caroline
As the full moon looms, Tyler tries frantically to contact Mason. Caroline tries to be helpful, all “maybe he’s surfing! With alive people! In Baja! He’s totally not in pieces under the Salvatore floorboards!” She’s sweet. She and Michael Trevino completely own this episode, by the way.

Tyler and Caroline go to Mason’s old dungeon in the woods to prepare for the transition. He starts unpacking his overnight bag of chains and shackles. Festive!

Caroline’s concern for Tyler is amazing—she tries so hard to be brave for him, but it just kills her to see him in so much pain. Caroline gingerly hands Tyler some herbs so he can chug an esophagus-eroding wolfsbane protein shake.

Tyler starts stripping down, leading to this hilarious exchange:
Caroline: Oh my god—you’re not going to get naked are you?
(The world: Shut up! Shut UP!)
Tyler: I don’t think it’s like The Hulk where I get to keep my pants…”
(The world: Score!)

With chains around his neck and stomach, Tyler looks like an extra from the Skinemax version of Spartacus. Holy biceps. As the transition starts, Tyler writhes in agony, convulsing, with his limbs cracking in and out of place. With what little voice he has left, Tyler growls at Caroline to get away from him. She holds him tightly, refusing to leave him like this. She stays as long as she can, but when the claws and fangs emerge, she locks him in a cage, bolts the dungeon door, and bursts into tears. I don’t blame her.

Caroline fights to keep the door closed, before vampzooming away. Inexplicably, she stands in the woods like a horror movie blonde. C’mon, Caroline—you’re smarter than this! Climb an effing tree! My concern is irrelevant, as the crisis passes. Caroline returns to the tomb to find Tyler alone and shivering inside. She holds him as he sobs. Awww.

Now that they have the moonstone, Elena asks Bonnie what she’s going to do with it. Bonnie says she’s going to sell it on eBay. No, actually she says that she will “de-spell” it so the stone becomes useless. Elena’s all, “yeah, that’s great, but could we go rescue Stefan now?”

Knowing that Elena will never miss an opportunity to martyr herself for love, her friends team up to keep her safe. Bonnie magically traps Elena inside the Gilbert home, while Jeremy takes the first shift of Elena Watch.

Unfortunately (although not for me, because I love him!), Elijah worms his way inside the Gilbert home under the pretense of being a historical researcher (well, in his defense, he is both old and inquisitive). He and Elena shake hands as if he hadn’t just ripped out two guys’ hearts in front of her last episode. Eh, bygones. You know, I didn’t get much out of Daniel Gillies in his first episode or two, but now I’m finding him delightful—he has the perfect balance of menace and reserve.

Elijah explains his plan to Elena. He doesn’t want to break the curse or kill her (at the moment). He’s fallen out of favor with Klaus and wants to use Elena to find him. Elijah promises to protect her and the people (and assorted supernaturals) who matter to her until some point in the future when he’ll return and kill her. Uh… thanks?

Elijah describes (Santa) Klaus as a paranoid recluse (can you blame him? This place is awesome!). He also claims to be a man of his word—yeah, sure—just ask poor Trevor’s severed head. The deal is made.

Bonnie and Luka
Bonnie goes to Luke and apologizes for, you know, almost killing him. Because he’s under orders from his father (or, more likely, because he’s a boy and Bonnie’s hot), he gets over it pretty quickly. Warlocks are easy. She enlists his help to de-spell the moonstone.

On the rooftop, they get spelltastic with candles and chanting (I wonder what the neighbors think? Oh, just the local pyro-spirit cult). I get really uncomfortable because every time they do magic, Bonnie looks like she’s having a braingasm. The moonstone explodes. I feel dirty.

Later, Luka reveals it was a fake-out illusion, as he hands the still spelled moonstone to Handsome Doctor Father (HDF).

Stefan and Katherine
Aww, Damon brought Stefan a vampire care package from Caroline! Stefan is all noble lion about his plight, saying “Don’t cry for me—save Elena! I’ll just be here with my grudge-holding, vengeful ex-girlfriend. Take your time!”

Katherine taunts Stefan over their impending desiccation: “your heart still beats, struggling to pump whatever blood remains, as your veins rub together like sand paper.” Fun! When that doesn’t do the trick, she projects steamy sex fantasies into his dreams. Clothes are ripped, bodies are thrown into walls—it’s pretty hot.

As part of his deal with Elena, Elijah comes to open the tomb seal, rescuing Stefan. He compels Katherine to stay until he allows her to leave. Yeah, that’ll happen. Stefan and Elena reunite smoochily.

New Wolf in Town
A lady wolf associate of Mason’s comes to town looking for him. She’s played by Michaela McManus who, to be honest, I have hated in everything ever. Every time I see her, it’s as if I can also see her thinking: “I! Am! Acting!” However, I’ll totally eat crow here (although it could be the flu) because I thought she did a pretty great job with this role.

Damon and Alaric try and figure out who and what Jules is. Thinking they are clever, they stage a scene where Damon rescues her from an overly-friendly Alaric. Damon slips powdered wolfsbane into Jules’ drink, and… nobody notices? Nobody thinks they’re trying to roofie her? This is the least vigilant town ever. It’s pretty funny, because you can see how proud Alaric and Damon are of their little ruse.

Jules won’t drink it—she calls them pathetic and laughs at them for threatening her on a full moon. Ok, so that went well.

Back at the Salvatore mansion, Rose shows up to apologize for bailing on Damon last week. She explains that she doesn’t have any other friends with whom she can have sexy play time. A wolf (presumably Jules) bursts through the window and, to the surprise of zero people, takes a big fat chunk out of Rose.

The bite heals (!) and they celebrate the very welcome discovery that werewolf bites aren’t fatal to vamps. Rose and Damon drink and decide to be friends. Friends who enjoy handsy naked time. The revelry is cut short, however, when we see Rose’s wound suddenly start to fester. What—is it, like, sex activated?

This was a great episode, but now I’m just agonizing over to make it to the end of January without my weekly fix! For shame, CW! Help a girl out… I thought this episode did a good job of moving the story forward past the pattern of:
Elena: I die now.
Everyone: No.
Elena: Yes.
Everyone: Sigh… no.

We’re moving forward on the road to Klaus (I can’t wait to see who they cast for that!) and the werewolf storyline just keeps getting more interesting. What did you think of the episode? How will you survive the hiatus? What are you hoping for after the break?

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