Okay, kids--time for a life lesson. People you should go out of your way not to piss off: your parole officer; mobsters; and the oldest, most powerful vampire in existence. You'd think that would go without saying but it seems some people could use a reminder.
Katherine, for example. Klaus, in handy Alaric form (see last episode), is taking advantage of the chance to not only use Katherine for information on our heroes but to get slow, sweet revenge on her. For now by compelling her to repeatedly stab herself in the leg, but he's made it clear there'll be more where that came from. In the meantime he saunters off to see what else he can find out.
The Salvatores, meanwhile, think they can solve all their problems by signing their house over to Elena. Anyone else have a really bad feeling about this? Not least because Elena immediately goes on a power trip with Damon, not inviting him in until he promises to do things her way from now on (good thing he has no intention of keeping that promise). Elena also doesn't help her safety situation by leaving her brand new sanctuary to go to school, although you can't really fault her for not wanting to be a prisoner. And having uber-witch Bonnie as bodyguard helps. Oh yeah, and Stefan.
Of course they're at a huge disadvantage not knowing that Alaric is really Klaus. And the whole giving-Elena-the-house gambit later proves pointless when Klaus walks right in without an invite and participates in a discussion of all their anti-Klaus plans--including the "secret weapon" of Bonnie's new powers. Not good.
Matt is still pretending to be compelled by Caroline. He doesn't really want to keep up the act but apparently Liz needs him to buy her time now that she knows who the vampires are and that the Gilberts are "in on it." What she's doing with the time he's buying her I have no idea. I'd love it if she was giving them all the benefit of the doubt, but I don't think that would exactly make for scintillating drama. Besides, she wouldn't be a real hunter if she decided that some vampires were okay (wait a minute...)
At least all the kids have the big 1960s dance to look forward to. Well, sort of. Jeremy is still stressing about Bonnie using too much power and dying (and he can't give her his immortality ring because apparently it won't work on witches and other supernatural types). Matt is tense about having to act like everything is normal. Elena is freaked and Bonnie is on alert after Klaus compels a fellow student to ask Elena if she'll save the last dance for him. Still, that's not going to stop Elena from dressing up and partay-ing down (her costume options are great too--yes, I'm being sarcastic--Twiggy or sexy hippie, as if the latter were even possible). But thumbs up to Caroline and Matt's costumes as Jackie Kennedy and JFK. Not so much for Damon's open-shirt lounge lizard look. But I have to say that boy can dance. Ian must have had some training. Although considering Damon is supposed to be a chaperone, he spends an awful lot of time on the dance floor with a variety of underage female students. Not too big on ethics and morals at Mystic Falls High, I guess.
After finding out that Bonnie plans on killing him (and has the power to back it up), Klaus runs to his own witch, Maddox. He wants Maddox to take out Bonnie but Maddox claims she'll sense him coming a mile away and Klaus will have to do it himself. Maddox is also aware that the power will kill Bonnie so he concocts a protection spell for Klaus. All the vamp has to do is keep coming at Bonnie until she overloads and dies. Don't you love it when things look grim for the heroes? 'Cause you just know (or at least hope) they're going to do something cool.
(By the way, Klaus seems to share human vulnerabilities with his host body. Why can't one of the good guys just drain him? I have a feeling Klaus wouldn't be able to move to another human body without time to perform the magical ritual? Or would he just automatically go back to his own vampire form while the heroes succeed in killing only Alaric? Guess it's not worth the risk.)
Once Klaus arrives at the dance he doesn't waste any time. He compels the same student as before to make an announcement of a "special shout-out" to Elena from Klaus. The song is "Dedicated to the One I Love." Elena and Stefan are freaked while Damon thinks they all should act like nothing's wrong, have fun at the dance, and let Klaus come to them. Damon and Stefan then start rallying the troops. I must say I did enjoy the look on Klaus/Alaric's face when Damon dismissively claims he wasn't impressed by Klaus's overture. I don't think it's Bonnie Klaus really needs to be worrying about. Especially since Damon is making plans to help Bonnie increase her odds of winning and surviving (he overheard her and Jeremy talking).
Meanwhile Jeremy confesses to Stefan that if Bonnie tries to kill Klaus she'll kill herself as well. Stefan confronts Damon, who tells him not to tell Elena because she'll try to stop Bonnie. So Stefan tells Elena. Who immediately runs to Bonnie and forbids her to sacrifice herself. Oh, the drama. Bonnie claims that if the situation were reversed Elena would do the same for her. Elena's not buying it.
At this point Klaus decides to make his move. Using a bunch of compelled kids to beat up Jeremy, Klaus sets up a diversion to get the Salvatores away from Bonnie and Elena. Klaus takes the opportunity to lure Elena and Bonnie into the dark recesses of the school, at which point he reveals himself (minds out of the gutter, people). I think it was a little early for Klaus to be giving away the advantage--I don't know if someone who could wait 500 years for revenge would be so quick to out himself once he's got the perfect disguise. But he tells the girls that Alaric has left the building and even announces that Bonnie is on that night's hit list. After figuring out he's under a protection spell the girls take off, at which point Damon finally catches up with them. He sends Elena to get Stefan and asks Bonnie if she's willing to do whatever it takes to beat Klaus.
Apparently she is because a moment later she's going after Klaus, breaking bones and making him suffer. Of course her nose starts bleeding badly but that doesn't slow her down. Much like Elena and Stefan aren't slowed down by Damon when they return. Bonnie shuts them out of the room but takes a break from her onslaught to give Elena a long, sappy look. Then she collapses and dies. Stefan confirms she has no pulse. Elena freaks. Klaus disappears. And Damon orders Stefan to get Elena home so he can "deal" with the body. TVD is usually pretty impressive in its ability to surprise me but this time not so much; I knew right away that Bonnie wasn't really (or at least permanently) dead. When Damon tells Jeremy they need to have a little talk I know for sure that Bonnie's not really gone. Maybe they meant it to be obvious; I'm not sure. But it was a tad disappointing.
Back at the Salvatores' when Damon returns, Elena is devastated, crying and blaming herself for what happened. She confronts Damon about him knowing that Bonnie would be killed if she went after Klaus (I guess she doesn't entirely blame herself) and when he admits he did know she smacks him good. Definitely a palpable hit. But as Damon starts telling her what really happened, we switch to Jeremy in a candlelit tomb with Bonnie's body. Suddenly she wakes up *gasp* and tells him she had to cast a death-seeming spell to fool Klaus. Looks like they're going to be holed up in hiding for awhile. But it's okay, they've got a bunch of product placements to keep them company (Note to producers: stop it already. You're making enough money on this show to not need to keep inserting commercials in the middle of it!)
Stefan is pissed at Damon for not letting him in on the Bonnie plan but Damon couldn't risk Stefan telling Elena (gee, I wonder why). He then puts Stefan in his place by pointing out that Stefan cares too much about Elena's feelings while he's the one who's going to keep her alive. Nice.
When Elena later goes to talk to Damon he fully accepts that she hates him now. But she surprises him by telling him she understands why he did what he did. She also tells him she won't let Bonnie die for her and that they have to find another way to defeat Klaus. This leads to one of the swoon-worthiest moments of the show in which Damon tells Elena that if it comes down to her or the witch he'll gladly let Bonnie die because he will always choose Elena. But this begs the question: what is it about Elena that has both Stefan and Damon so committed to her? It can't just be that she's a nice version of Katherine (at least I hope not). I mean Sookie has irresistible fairy blood in her and Buffy has the whole Slayer appeal, but Elena...? Sorry, guys, I just don't get it.
Anyway, Elena decides to take matters into her own hands. She sneaks down to the cellar and removes the dagger from Elijah's body, then sits and waits for him to come back to life. Nice plan, Elena. It's not like he'll want revenge against all of them for, oh--I don't know--killing his witches and putting him out of commission...twice. No, I'm sure she'll have no problem controlling an Original like Elijah. And once he does her dirty work for her (i.e., killing Klaus) he'll certainly be on his merry way without another backward glance at the people who repeatedly betrayed him. Um...
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this episode. I think it might have rushed through some aspects of the storyline (an ongoing problem with TVD). It's set up some intriguing future moments, though. Then again, the whole Elijah thing just seems like a terrible idea and a stupid move on Elena's part. But Damon continues to be awesome (am I wrong in thinking that at this point he is the show?) Overall, I think I'll reserve judgment until I see where all this is heading.
Appearance: Human until the vampire emerges; then dark/red eyes, dark facial veins, and sharp, prominent fangs. Through magic Klaus can apparently possess the body of anyone he chooses.
Strengths: Super speed, strength. Ability to compel humans (Originals can also compel other vampires). Quick healing.
Weaknesses: Vervain, mystical daggers. Being compelled by Originals.
Mythology: Vampires need an invitation to enter a private residence but Klaus--in Alaric's body--apparently needs no invitation. To "kill" an original you need to dip a particular dagger in the ashes of a particular oak tree and insert said dagger into the Original's heart. But the Original will only stay dead as long as the dagger remains in place.
Klaus: [to Katherine as she begs him to kill her quickly] I've searched for you for over 500 years. Your death is going to last at least half that long.
Stefan: You promised her no more secrets.
Damon: I changed my mind.
Damon: No. Klaus is not winning tonight. No way. [to Bonnie] You still willing to do whatever it takes to kill him?
Elena: I understand why you did what you did. Klaus was fooled and Bonnie is alive.
Damon: Here's to duplicity.
Damon: [to Elena] I will always choose you.
The Vampire Diaries, Season 2 Episode 18 "The Last Dance." Written by Michael Narducci. Directed by John Behring. From The CW.