Life isn’t so great on The Vampire Diaries these days.

The Originals are running amok. Bonnie’s long-lost mother is a vampire. Alaric might be a serial killer. And Elena is on the outs with both Salvatore brothers. Things can only get better in “Break on Through,” right? Maybe?

Several Things That Don’t Help
Because the obvious choice for murderous rage in Mystic Falls is a medical condition, Meredith sticks Alaric in an MRI. Elena and Meredith discuss the situation outside the room, allowing Meredith to get all gooey over her psycho boyfriend.

Said psycho boyfriend isn’t liking the MRI too much. A couple of seconds’ staring into the machine’s internal mirror yields a scary sight — Alaric’s reflection is super-scary evil in a subtle, yet obvious, way. Alaric freaks out for a minute before suddenly calming. Has he just gone psycho?

It doesn’t seem like it after the test though. Although Alaric gets a bit rage-filled at the suggestion that he is, in fact, crazy, the rage soon calms, and Alaric gives Elena the ring. He doesn’t want it anymore.

Elena offers to ask Bonnie for help (because of course Bonnie wants to help Elena right now) with figuring out the ring stuff. And then Damon shows up to take Alaric away — possibly to a party, considering the vampire’s demeanor.

Elena is still pissed at Damon, because of that whole Stefan-drinking-blood-thing, so they flirt-fight for a minute or two. Damon insists that Stefan needs human blood. Elena counters that sips of her blood used to be enough for him. This reminds Damon that Stefan and Elena were in love. Much pouting follows.

The blood theme continues over at Abby’s farmhouse. Bonnie has made her mother a daylight ring, which Abby is using to stand sadly in the garden. Abby doesn’t even get excited when perky Caroline shows up with a cooler full of hospital blood in a variety of flavors. All Abby cares about is that she can’t feel the garden anymore. Apparently this is a big thing for witches, which Bonnie demonstrates by gardening with her thoughts.

Old Relationships Return
Instead of a full-on party, Damon takes Alaric and Meredith to the Wickery Bridge dedication. I guess that’s all the party Mystic Falls could rustle up on short notice. Not that it’s a fun party — Alaric and Meredith leave right after Carol Lockwood comes over demanding a bridge sign Alaric forgot to get from the history department.

He doesn’t have it. No surprise there — Alaric hasn’t been thinking about signs.

Damon spies Sage, his vampire sensei from 1912, hanging out across the bridge. He shows absolutely no surprise that Sage is a) in Mystic Falls for the first time in a century, and b) comfortable in broad daylight. Does every vampire have a magic ring these days?

Before we can ponder such mysteries, Rebekah comes over to be a bitchy little thing. It seems that Sage has arrived to find Finn, which merely irritates Rebekah even more. She takes off, leaving Sage to hypothesize about getting into Rebekah’s head. But Sage can only do this if Damon exploits Rebekah’s weaknesses. This is, of course, plotting-vampire code for sex.

Damon can help with that.  

Meanwhile, Elena has gone to look for Samantha Gilbert info in what she thought was an empty Salvatore house. It’s not empty. Stefan has arrived home and is about to snack on a blood bag. They ignore this with awkward small talk before Stefan informs Elena that her psycho ancestor died in the insane asylum by lobotomizing herself with a needle. Because Stefan isn’t even remotely concerned with comfort these days, he casually remarks that the same thing is probably happening to Alaric.

It’s not a tender moment.

All Over the Place
Back at the bridge, Damon flirts with Rebekah over the volunteer snack table. They ignore the stale-looking cookies and move right on to the flirting. Rebekah pretends not to be interested but then Damon offers a drink and an implied threesome back at the house. How could a girl resist?

Out on the farm, Caroline finds Jamie, who’s cutting wood and being freaked out about vampires. Caroline lectures him a little about how he has to support Abby, ending with a “Get over yourself!” Further lecturing is hindered by a call from Elena. Shockingly, Bonnie isn’t returning her calls, but Elena really needs help keeping Alaric from being a serial killer and stuff.

In the Gilbert house, the serial killer in question is quite sanely looking over the police reports of his youth and lamenting what an idiot he was. Fortunately, they were all noble fights. More or less. Alaric does feel bad about one thing: Among his vampire kills was Meredith’s cousin, Logan Fell. That could be important in the future.

Down in the Salvatore basement, Stefan is on a blood-bag binge. Damon counsels moderation, which really doesn’t go over well. Damon warns that Sage and Rebekah are on their way over for sex.

Heading back to the farm, Jamie actually comes in the house with some wood, much to Bonnie’s delight. Abby is happy too and hugs him. Bad idea. She quickly gets hungry and takes a bite. Caroline does manage to intervene before the damage is fatal, but this pretty much freaks everyone out.

In the Salvatore den of sin, Damon and Sage await Rebekah to the tunes played by a doomed pianist. Rebekah soon appears with a bottle of some incredibly old wine (stolen from a queen!). This inspires Damon and Sage to sexy-dance. Rebekah is uncomfortable but takes solace in eating the piano player. Crafty Damon joins her and declares that she’s the one he wants. They finish their snack (RIP Piano Guy!) and start making out. Sage just watches.

Once more at the farm, Bonnie brings Abby some blood and begs her to not run away again. Abby isn’t so convinced but doesn’t argue right then. Caroline shows up to be perky and inform them that Jamie is OK.

Finally at the Gilberts’ again, Elena refuses having Alaric’s financial information and takes a call from Caroline instead. It seems that Alaric’s psycho stuff is totally normal to witches and curable with herbs. All Bonnie needs is something personal and pre-psycho ring. Alaric suggests his wedding ring, stored in a bottle back at his place. Elena volunteers to get it.

Why I Love That Shower
Having sufficiently distracted Rebekah with wild vampire sex, Damon and Sage proceed to learn the girl’s secrets. One gratuitous shower scene later (yay!!!), Damon has learned that Rebekah is looking for the lumber from the white oak.

Still beautifully naked, Damon runs to the library to find his family’s lumber ledgers. The correct entry shows that the white oak built the old Wickery Bridge. But when Damon shares this tidbit of information with Sage, things get a little tricky. Naturally, Sage doesn’t want Damon playing around with the one kind of wood that could kill her beloved Finn.

Damon solves this by saying it’s only Rebekah he wants dead. Sage and Finn can live happily ever after, for all he cares.

You Think You Know Someone…
Elena arrives at Alaric’s apartment, where she meets Stefan. The two proceed to search the apartment and talk. Stefan has learned that Samantha Gilbert managed to kill two people, even while in the insane asylum. She did this without the ring. In response to Elena’s understandable alarm, Stefan protests that Elena shouldn’t try to save everyone. Elena disagrees. Both consider what this means for their relationship.

But they can’t consider long. Inside of a locked drawer, Elena and Stefan find a whole bunch of papers. Some of them are photos depicting the bloody corpses of Alaric’s victims. There is also a super-creepy serial-killer note addressed to Jeremy. In it, Alaric charges Jeremy — as the holder of the other Gilbert ring — to carry on the work of purging Mystic Falls of Founding Families.

This has got to be a conflict of interest for Jeremy, but whatever. Elena doesn’t even have time to fully freak out about all of this, because she finds the ring right then. Realizing that, even without it, Alaric might be in killer mode, Elena and Stefan rush back to the Gilbert house.

Heerrrre’s Alaric!
Meredith’s incompetence in the Gilbert kitchen wakes up Alaric. He immediately goes all creepy and proceeds to empty the contents of all of the syringes. Then it’s back to the kitchen. Meredith is completely unaware of Alaric’s current creepiness and continues making sandwiches.

Until Alaric picks up one of those giant Gilbert kitchen knives. This gets Meredith’s attention.
The ever-creepier Alaric asks if Meredith feels remorse for not just ridding Mystic Falls of vampires like a good Founding Family member should. Considering Meredith’s penchant for playing with vampire blood, that’s actually a reasonable question.

But the answer probably should not be brutal homicide.

Alaric charges Meredith, who manages to run upstairs and lock herself in the bathroom (awesomely stabbing Alaric with some manicure scissors in the process). It might be too late for Meredith though — the lunatic managed to slice a big gash in her abdomen, and blood is flowing.

If You Can’t Trust a Vampire in Love…
Damon, alas, has gotten dressed. Not only tragic in terms of covering up his nakedness, Damon’s absence has allowed Sage to disappear. Damon is not a complete idiot, and he realizes Sage has gone to the bridge without him.

But it’s too late. Sage has informed Rebekah of the plan, and the two light a giant bonfire out of the old Wickery Bridge timbers. The white oak wood is no more. When Damon asks the reason for the double-cross, Sage points out the obvious — if she could take a peek inside Rebekah’s thoughts, Damon’s head would be even easier. Sage learned about the binding of the Originals from those thoughts and realized that dear Finn wouldn’t be safe if any Original were to be attacked.

Damon’s information that Finn is currently suicidal and couldn’t care less about Sage rattles her a little. But the damage is done. No more bridge, no more wood.

Home, Sweet Psycho Home
Elena and Stefan arrive at a dark and quiet Gilbert house. Stefan inspects the kitchen chaos, while Elena meets cheerful Alaric on the stairs. After spinning tales of Meredith at the hospital and an accident cutting his hand, all of Alaric’s lies are undone by the presence of a bloody knife on the floor.

Fortunately, Stefan is there to knock out Alaric before Elena gets murdered. The vampire then smells blood upstairs and leads Elena to Meredith’s mutilated body. Stefan goes all hungry-vampire for a brief moment, but the sight of Elena’s sad eyes brings him to his senses. Instead of eating Meredith, Stefan feeds her some blood for healing. The former lovers share a tender moment amidst the gore. And then Stefan takes off, because there’s only so much a vampire can take.

Happy-ish Endings
The next morning, a disoriented Alaric wakes in Abby’s house to find Damon at his side. Bonnie has spelled Alaric to keep out the crazy and is working on a herbal remedy for Alaric’s death-damaged soul.

Not that Bonnie is around. She has instead gone to the Gilberts’, where Elena is at her usual task of cleaning up murder in the kitchen. With Elena crying and begging for forgiveness, she and Bonnie hug and reconcile. Bonnie is even feeling positive about things — she and Abby are going to garden and make everything better.

Or maybe not. Caroline goes inside after her own feeble gardening attempts, only to find Abby writing a goodbye letter. Despite Caroline’s valid protests that everyone needs parents, Abby chooses to leave. It really sucks to be Bonnie these days.

At about the same time that Bonnie is likely learning of her mother’s departure, Elena uses the solitude of her house to call Jeremy. Little Brother is cheery, normal-sounding and way too busy to talk to his sister. Fortunately, he hasn’t talked to Alaric either.

So Jeremy is probably OK. For now. The whole thing moves Elena to tears anyway.

Life is happier for the Salvatores. Stefan is thrilled that he managed to not eat Meredith. Damon is thrilled for a different, bigger reason. While Rebekah and Sage did manage to burn all of the timbers at the bridge, they missed something. With a flourish, Damon produces the bridge sign forgotten earlier by Alaric.

They have a weapon. The game continues…

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Laurel Brown

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

Laurel grew up in Mamaroneck, NY, Grosse Pointe, MI and Bellevue WA. She then went on to live in places like Boston, Tucson, Houston, Wales, Tanzania, Prince Edward Island and New York City before heading back to Seattle. Ever since early childhood, when she became addicted to The Muppet Show, Laurel has watched far too much TV. Current favorites include ChuckModern FamilySupernaturalMad Men and Community. Laurel received a BA in Astrophysics (yes, that is possible) from Colgate University and a PhD in Middle Eastern Studies and History of Science from Columbia University before she realized that television is much better than studying.