'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 3.16 Recap: One Ring to Kill Them All
'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 3.16 Recap: One Ring to Kill Them All
Laurel Brown
Laurel Brown
Senior Writer, BuddyTV
Is Alaric dead? Who is the Mystic Falls serial killer? Which Salvatore brother does Elena love/hate the most this week?

All of these questions found answers in "1912." Keep reading to learn the answers for yourself.

Why Life in Mystic Falls Sucks
The action opens in the dark, misty night of Mystic Falls back in 1912. An old-fashioned Salvatore says good night to an old-fashioned Sheriff Forbes. They briefly discuss how Founding Families' members are getting killed.

And then Old Salvatore suffers that exact fate. Looks like serial killers aren't a new thing in Mystic Falls!

Back in the present day, Carol Lockwood demands to know who Sheriff Forbes has arrested in the Founders' murders. The sheriff doesn't want to say, but we find out soon enough. It's...

Alaric!

Probably-evil Dr. Meredith Fell seems to have shot Alaric, brought him back with vampire blood and then accused him of attacking her. Thus, Alaric is now the serial killer.

At least he's not dead? Anyway, despite (or possibly because of) Damon's defense of Alaric, Sheriff Forbes is insistent on keeping Alaric locked up for the time being.

In Which Nobody Does What Anybody Else Wants
Out on the mean streets of Mystic Falls, Matt is desperately trying to keep up with Elena, who is jogging with a vengeance. An exhausted Matt tries to distract Elena by bringing up the hell that is her life. Not surprisingly, this works. Matt shares that Abby has decided to complete the transition to vampire and that Bonnie is still working through the fact that this is all Elena's fault.  While Matt protests that Elena is innocent, she knows better.

Elena would do even more penance jogging, except that she gets a call about Alaric's imprisonment at this moment. That's one way to get out of exercise.

Or maybe not. Because Elena gets to the jail/courthouse/city hall (no clue) fairly quickly. She must have run. There, Elena meets Damon, who has been kicked out by Sheriff Forbes. They banter briefly before Damon makes it clear he won't help. And... Elena hates him again, even though Damon totally offers to rip bits off of Meredith.

Elena's rejection allows Damon sends him home to harass Stefan. This is easy, since Stefan is brooding and obsessively tapping his pen (the diary is back!). Damon wants to hang out, get a drink, solve a murder, whatever. Stefan isn't interested, even when Damon points out that the last Mystic Falls serial killer had basically the same pattern back in 1912.

1912
Stefan's diary helpfully narrates the vampire's return to town for the funeral of his nephew, Zachariah Salvatore. Of course, when Marianna Lockwood and Samantha Gilbert stop to say hello, Stefan claims to be a nephew. This works tand the Founding Family ladies give Stefan the scoop on the recent murders.

Stefan is distracted from ladies and murder by a crow and by Damon. The two brothers haven't met up in about 50 years, mostly because Damon is still pissed about being a vampire. But Stefan wants to bury the hatchet and get a drink. Damon obviously wants to disappear again, but, hey, drinks are fun!

The Present Day
Those drinks are stil
l fun in the present day, which eventually is enough to get Stefan out of the house.

The brothers go to the Mystic Grille, where Rebekah is spending quality time with Carol Lockwood. Apparently, the Lockwood ladies have spent generations paying attention to trees -- like, say, a vampire-killing white oak -- and Rebekah is so interested. Alas, most of the trees were chopped down decades ago to build up the town. Now Rebekah needs building records. Who has those? The Salvatores, of course!

Having ditched Carol, Rebekah finds the Salvatores at the bar. They're still talking about murders, which is, of course, one of Rebekah's favorite things. Damon and Stefan point out that they each suspected the other and suddenly remember that another vampire, Sage, was in town back then as well.

Total side note, but cool: The continued Salvatore line was the result of Zachariah Salvatore, the son of a maid and Papa Gilbert during the Civil War. The kid inherited everything, because everyone was else dead (or undead)

Also talking about murder are Sheriff Forbes and Alaric. It turns out that Alaric doesn't really have any alibis for the murders, and the sheriff thinks that maybe Alaric has killed to defend Meredith's honor. Because that makes sense...

1912 Again
A drunk Damon wanders into a boxing tent with Stefan, and they watch a seriously badass chick, Sage, beating the crap out of any man who'll have her. Sage is, of course, a vampire. She and Damon have an old-timey meet-cute before we head back to...

The Present Day Again
Elena ambushes Meredith, who's heading in to surgery. Although Elena valiantly defends Alaric with the I-don't-have-to-defend-him defense, Meredith isn't interested. She repeats that Alaric is a murderer and stalks off into the hospital.

Fortunately, this gives Elena and Matt (who can pick a lock like no one's business) time to break into Meredith's apartment and hunt for clues. Elena soon finds some of those clues behind a false wall in the closet. Dr. Fell had detailed records on all of the serial killer's victims. Which isn't suspicious or anything. Meredith also has an old Gilbert diary. This will be important later.

But for now, the important part is that Meredith comes back from surgery. Elena and Matt hide in the dark closet and totally have seven-minutes-in-heaven thoughts. The teenage burglars think they hear Meredith leave and open the door.

Nope. She's still there. Busted!

The Purpose of a Woman
The Salvatores and Rebekah play darts while continuing to discuss the murders. This gets boring after about three seconds, so Damon and Rebekah take turns to mockingly read from Stefan's old journals. To give them credit, Stefan's diary is awfully pompous.

But it serves a purpose, because we're back in 1912 again. Poor, lost Damon kills a woman without enjoying it even a little bit. Sage disapproves. Because Sage is a super-hot vampire chick, Damon happily follows her back to the boxing tent. This time, it's all men doing the fighting, leaving the women to ogle from the sidelines. Sage points out that the buttoned-down, proper ladies are the ones who want to be seduced.

Damon is totally digging what will soon become his life philosophy and advances on the proper ladies. Who will he choose?

A Case of Bad Timing
We don't find out, because the story careens back to the present day. Rebekah disapproves of Sage, a girl who had the poor taste to be obsessed with Finn 900 years ago. Stefan isn't interested. He just wants to leave the bar before his bloodlust brings about a slaughter.

So he leaves.

Damon and Rebekah follow, having a surprisingly civil conversation about Stefan's intermittent conscience. Damon asks the Original to help him teach his little brother about moderation. Since this will obviously involve blood and violence, Rebekah is happy to help.

Damon finds a convenient young lady to seduce and then compel. As soon as the girl is ready to keep quiet, Damon takes a bite. Which Stefan hears. After a brief internal struggle between hunger and conscience, the threat of Rebekah having too much fun gets Stefan to drink the girl's blood.

This is exactly the moment that Elena and Matt -- released after their burglary by a fed-up Sheriff Forbes -- choose to walk by. Even the fact that Damon is about to heal the girl with his own blood isn't enough to stop their human horror. Stefan shares in that horror and then watches as his beloved runs off with Matt.

Home Again, Home Again
Elena and Matt share hot cocoa or something at the Gilbert house, where Elena explains that Stefan felt safe and immortal after her parents' death. Damon, on the other hand, was just annoyingly insidious. Matt acts all wise about being in love, obviously hinting that he still has it bad for Elena. Which is interesting, considering that Caroline was his One True Love just a few months ago.

Anyway, whatever moment they might have had is ruined by the return of Alaric. Thanks to a coroner's error changing the time of death for Brian the Medical Examiner, Alaric is now in the clear.

One Ring to Kill Them All
After some dramatic brooding in front of the fire, we get another flashback to 1912. Damon convinces Stefan to taste Marianna Lockwood. He ends up beheading her and then running away. Thus began the Ripper days. In the present, Damon tells Stefan that he'll be there for him, every step of the way. Basically, because Damon doesn't have anyone else.

Awww...

Back at the Gilberts, Alaric is getting ready for bed while Elena reads the old diary. He pretends to be all guardian-ish for a moment and tells Elena not to get in trouble again. Once the bonding is over, Elena mentions that Samantha Gilbert went bonkers. Just like Jonathan Gilbert before her.

Stefan looks back into the 1912 records and finds out that, secretly, the Founders' Council caught the murderer. But it was Samantha Gilbert, a Founder herself, so everything was hushed up. Samantha was declared insane and shipped off to the loony bin.

Damon is shocked by this news, since he's pretty sure that Samantha was the proper lady he had killed. This leaves only two possibilities -- Samantha became a vampire (nope) or Samantha had a magic Gilbert ring (yep).

At this moment, Meredith arrives at the Gilbert house and demands an audience with Alaric. It turns out that she forged the evidence that gave Alaric an alibi -- but only because she had to help him. Meredith insists that Alaric, thanks to his many life-saving ring uses, has turned into a crazy serial killer.

Alaric wouldn't be likely to believe this. But then Elena shows up, Gilbert diary in hand. Specifically, the diary of Samantha Gilbert, in which she chronicled (in messy, crazy-person handwriting) her descent into madness.

As Alaric's look of horror grows, we take one more trip back to 1912 and the murder of Zachariah Gilbert. This time, we see who is holding the knife. It is indeed Samantha Gilbert.

This can't be good.


Did you suspect Alaric was the killer? Do you believe he is now? Is there any cure for ring-caused psychosis? Share your comments below!

(Image courtesy of The CW)


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