'The Vampire Diaries': Bourbon and bonding
As the brothers Salvatore hunt for a way to break the sire bond, Elena discovers her true feelings -- for Damon
Last week on “The Vampire Diaries,” newbie vampire hunter Jeremy almost killed his newbie vampire sister Elena, so she decided to move out of the Gilbert house – and into the Salvatore mansion, where the bloodsucking brothers were still tense about the recent shift in their romantic triangle. Given the situation, Stefan decided to bail, which meant that, Damon and Elena had the opportunity to explore the romance brewing between them. And did they ever.
Meanwhile, Caroline and Stefan finally figured out why Elena was so bonded to the badass bloodsucker – “Elena’s sired to Damon,” Stefan announced.
“She’s become Damon’s lapdog,” Caroline was lamenting. “We need to do something.” So she decided to talk to Tyler, since he’d managed to break his sire bond with Klaus.
Speaking of which, Tyler and Hayley were working on their next hybrid, Adrian, but their last convert, Kim, was upset by the process. “He doesn’t have to do anything. Isn’t that the point of breaking the sire bond: Free will?”
As Elena and Damon cozied up, he was already having a negative influence on her – she skipped school. When she finally got dressed, they argued about whether or not to tell Stefan. “This is our time. It’s never been right before, and it is now,” Damon asked. “Can’t we just have one day?”
But Stefan showed up, and he broke the news to Damon. “You two idiots can’t stand it that she’s happy because of me,” Damon said. So Stefan asked him to prove it – by asking her to drink from a blood bag. If she could suddenly, magically do it, they’d know it was true. The whole sire bond thing.
At school, Elena invited Bonnie and Caroline to a girls’ night at the Salvatore abode. Later, she ran into Damon – who’d brought her a drink. He asked her to try again. “Please. For me.” So she did. And it worked. She was fine. “I can’t believe this, Damon, I don’t have to hurt people anymore.” And then she thanked him.
Hayley told Shane they’d broke 11 hybrids. But Shane reminded her that she’d promised 12. And Hayley reminded him that Tyler wasn’t part of the deal. So he said he wouldn’t give her the USB drive with the info about her parents until she fulfilled their deal.
Back at home, Damon told Stefan he was right. Elena was sired. So then he told him the answer lay in New Orleans, 1942. And “no ordinary girl. That was Charlotte.” Cue the flashback. He’d turned her, and at the jazz bar, asked her to watch his drink. “If anyone touches it, show no mercy.” He walked away to procure their dinner, and when a sailor accidentally knocked over Damon’s whiskey, she broke his neck. She was sired to Damon. Just like Elena. “She went all fatal attraction on me, so then I had to make a clean break.” He’d found a witch to help him break the bond. “Pack your bags, brother. We’re going back to Bourbon Street.”
The girls, meanwhile, were breaking out champagne – and a blood bag for Elena. Caroline did not look happy to hear that. “So where is my least favorite Salvatore?” But Elena was upset. “Would you mind laying off the hate?” Besides, Bonnie had spirit tea, courtesy Shane. Caroline frowned, and Bonnie told her to stop judging. “Okay, I hearby promise to stop judging for the rest of the night, even if you both are ruining your life.”
Bourbon Street, and the boys were arguing. Again. Damon said Stefan probably blamed the sire bond for Elena’s newfound feelings for him, and Stefan agreed. “Why, because it’s impossible to think she could have feelings for me?” Damon goaded. Stefan retorted with: “No, because it’s impossible for her to be so blind that she doesn’t see how wrong you are for her.” But then Stefan apologized. And cue the flashback. Another apology from Stefan – one Lexie had made him practice. For blaming Damon for his ripper history. “It’s time to make nice with your brother,” Lexie had said.
Then he’d walked up to a dashing Damon. “Come to put a stake in my heart?” Stefan: “More like to bury the hatchet.”
Reunited, the pair had planned a jaunt to Egypt. But when Stefan walked away, Lexie nipped that in the bud. “You’re not going,” she informed him. “Stefan’s better off alone than in your company. He needs balance and restraint.”
That’s when Charlotte had shown up – with a bloody snack. And Stefan had gone all ripper right then and there.
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Back to the present: Stefan asked where Damon had abandoned Charlotte. “The corner of Bourbon and Du Monde,” he said. “I kind of told her to count every brick in every building. I was gone by morning.” So Stefan headed off – to the corner of Bourbon and Du Monde. “Let’s see just how literal this sire bond is.”
Charlotte was no where to be found. So Stefan wondered what they’d tell Elena. Damon called it “an omission for the greater good.” The greater good? Yup, Damon said. “Are you doing what’s best for Elena, or what’s best for you?” Damon asked. “Looks to me like the only reason you want to break Elena’s sire bond is to restore her to her factory Team Stefan settings.” Then he stormed off. Walking through the French Quarter solo, Damon realized he was being followed – and then attacked. By Charlotte. Stefan pulled her off. “She kissed me,” Damon said. Then Charlotte spoke: “Damon, I always knew you’d come back for me. I must have counted every brick on every building in all of New Orleans.”
Okay, so she wasn’t only counting bricks. But the act of counting bricks was like that old song that reminds you of an ex, she said.
Hayley was in Tyler’s ear about werewolf packs and sire bonds. “Kim is challenging your position as Alpha,” she said. “You need to put her in her place.” At the bar, Kim and Adrian were playing pool when Tyler came up and told them to go home – they had another big day of sire-bond-breaking. Things got heated, but Kim gave in. But she wasn’t done yet.
At the Salvatores, Elena cracked open another bottle as the girls danced and drank. Elena said something about the lovely bathtub, and Caroline noted that it was probably infested with cooties, given all the girls Damon had dragged through the place. “Say what you will about Ripper Stefan, but at least he wasn’t a man slut,” she said. Then Elena pointed out that Caroline had fallen for those very charms when Damon first showed up on the scene. And Damon had always been there for Elena when she needed him. Yeah, Caroline said, “because he was hoping you’d sleep with him.” And that’s when Elena announced that she did. Jaws dropped. “I did. I’m happy. And I wanted to spend tonight with my best friends so I could tell them about it.”
Elena asked the girls to leave. “Do you think it makes me happy that you guys hate him? I can’t hate him. I think I’m falling in love with him.” And that’s when Caroline had her outburst: “You’re not falling in love with him, Elena, you’re sired to him.” Oops. “It’s true,” she continued, then presented all the evidence and mentioned Stefan. “It’s not your fault Elena. Damon took advantage of you.”
Elena opened the door and asked the girls to leave – but they had company: Kim and Adrian. They attacked, and managed to swipe Caroline.
Elena and Tyler were on the hunt for Caroline. “Kim’s trying to prove that she’s the alpha,” Tyler said. Elena asked why Adrian would do that – he was still sired to Klaus. “The bond affects how you act, not how you feel,” Tyler explained. Which meant, maybe, that Elena really did love Damon?
Damon and Stefan went to the witch’s shop, where Nandi pretended to know nothing until Damon mentioned her great grandmother, Val. Cue flashback: “The magic you’re talking about is dark. Magic like this won’t come cheap,” Val had said. “Casting the spell you need will require the sacrifice of 12 human souls.” Modern day again, and Stefan was annoyed. No way he was sacrificing souls. Besides, Nandi said, she was just a tourist trap – no real power here, she insisted. All her grandmother’s stuff was gone. “If a spell like that ever existed, it’s gone for good.”
As they walked out, Stefan questioned Damon about the 12 souls – and Damon confessed he’d done it, and would do it again in a heartbeat if it could save Elena. “Now are you going to help me good cop-bad cop this witch or not?” he asked Stefan.
Back at the shop, Damon called Nandi out. “You’re not Val’s grand-daughter – you’re her daughter,” he said, recalling a young girl 70 years ago, writing her name, Nandi, over and over on a piece of paper. “You’re 80 years old and you don’t look a day over 50. You’re a practicing witch.”
As he stepped forward, she attacked too – “I gave you a chance to leave with your life,” she said. But Stefan stepped in as good cop, and said they really needed her help. She said she wouldn’t. “The kind of magic my mother practiced, it’s unnatural. Witches don’t even call it magic. We call it expression. It channels the power of human sacrifices. It calls on darkness that can’t even exist on this plane without swallowing it whole. She sold you a bill of goods about breaking the sire bond because she wanted access to that power, and you gave it to her when you killed those twelve people. The bond can’t be broken with magic. A vampire only bonds to her sire when she has feelings for him before she turns – human feelings. Vampirism only heightens those emotions.” Well, that really upset Stefan.
And then Nandi told them what they really wanted to know: how to break the sire bond. “You want her free, you have to set her free,” Nandi said. “Tell her to live her life without you, never think about you again, and then, leave her. That’s the only away around the sire bond.”
Caroline begged for mercy as Kim tortured her – and that’s when Tyler and Elena showed up. Elena offered herself up as Kim’s victim, but Tyler managed to grab Kim – and threatened to rip her heart out. He said he wouldn’t though – he wasn’t Klaus. “But if you want to be free, you have to work together,” he said. “You’re either with me, or you’re against me.” So Kim apologized, and he let her live. That’s when the rest of the pack – Kim and Adrian included – bowed down to Tyler.
Damon knew he had to break the sire bond – so he practiced on Charlotte, who, despite all the distance and years apart, was still smitten with Damon. Then he told Stefan he set her free. “You don’t think I’m going to be able to do what I need to when I have to tell Elena to stay away from me.” Flashback again: 1940s New Orleans, a uniformed Damon steps out of a cab. Lexie found him again. “Damon, I know what you did, and you’re not going overseas with Stefan.” Stefan was serving in war as penance – and he didn’t need Stefan’s influence. She was asking him to abandon Stefan again. “It might be good for you, Damon, but it will destroy Stefan. For once, you need to put someone else before yourself. You need to let him go.” And so he had. “Good luck, brother,” he’d said to himself, then walked away.
Stefan admitted that it seemed unfair, but he would understand if Elena never wanted him again the way she used to.
At the Salvatore house, all cleaned up, Elena and Caroline hugged and made up. Elena asked Caroline to keep her secret – that she slept with Stefan. Bonnie, meanwhile, told them that Shane was helping her learn a whole new type of magic. “It’s called expression,” she said with a smile.
Meanwhile, Hayley delivered the news to Shane that they’d broken the 12th hybrid. She wanted to know where her parents are. “They’re dead,” he said. But that didn’t mean she wouldn’t see them again. “This is far from the end,” he said. “We are the beginning.”
Stefan told Caroline they’d figured out how to break the sire bond – and that Damon would do what it took. But Caroline asked how they could trust him. “Because I think he loves Elena as much as I do,” he said. “He can’t be selfish with her. Not anymore.”
Damon had found Elena. He said they needed to talk. She said she knew she was sired to him. “Tyler told me the bond doesn’t affect how I feel, just how I act,” she said. “Nothing’s changed. I’m happy.” He wished it was real. “It is real,” she said. “Don’t do this to me.” And he said: “I don’t want to do this, Elena. I’m not the good guy, remember? I’m the selfish one. I take I want. I lie to my brother. I fall in love with his girl. I don’t do the right thing. But I have to do the right thing by you.”
So she asked him if her touch felt wrong. And he was speechless.
"The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the CW.