Where does The Vampire Diaries go after a long-awaited kiss?

That’s the question that “Our Town” endeavors to answer. And oh, are there ever answers! So let’s get to it.

Aftermath of a Kiss
We begin in a happy place, with a semi-naked Damon showering. And smiling. Just like the rest of us. Elena, on the other hand, is going full Buffy on a punching bag until Alaric interrupts her. He asks what might be wrong, but she deflects this with concern for Jeremy — who is already packing his bags for Denver.

Back with semi-naked Damon, the mood is broken — as it so often is these days — by the arrival of Stefan. He wants to get on with the whole killing-Klaus plan. This takes the brothers over to the Witch House, where Bonnie (surrounded by candles — isn’t that a fire hazard?) has been chanting in a failed attempt to open that annoying coffin. Suddenly, the coffins disappear, indicating an intruder.

And it’s… Damon? Oh wait, there’s a hybrid outside. Stefan and the hybrid face off for a moment before Damon rips the fellow’s heart out from behind. That does take care of the situation.

After the brothers discuss conflicting numbers of Originals and coffins, Stefan decides to continue this hybrid-killing trajectory and call Klaus’ bluff. When Damon points out that Stefan needs to be prepared to lose everything, Stefan shrugs it off.

Remember That School Thing?
Over at the school, Elena and Bonnie meet by their lockers to avoid talking about coffins and kisses. Instead, they focus on how Jeremy has been compelled to ditch Bonnie (and Mystic Falls). Bonnie is initially horrified, but she deals.

When Caroline shows up at school, she’s already looking depressed. No surprise — it’s her 18th birthday. And she’s a vampire. And her boyfriend’s a semi-murderous jerk. Speaking of Tyler…

Tyler approaches Caroline, but she’s super irritated by the attempted murder of Jeremy and doesn’t want to talk. Tyler is surprisingly kind about this, saying he’d love to put her first. But he can’t. Still, Tyler does give Caroline a (hideous) charm bracelet before he leaves.

Back at the House of Hybrids, Klaus says good night to his sister in her coffin and asks a random hybrid, Mindy, to take Rebekah to her room. That’s not creepy at all… This touching moment is interrupted — as it so often is these days — by the arrival of Stefan. The former blood buddies smirk at each other for awhile. Then Stefan proves his point by killing Mindy when she happens to enter the room. Klaus is not amused.

Caroline comes home to find Elena, Bonnie and Matt there with a surprise party. Alas, Caroline is still in a bad mood, what with the whole my-boyfriend-is-evil-and-I’ll-be-17-forever thing. She just wants to wallow. But Elena has other ideas.

Also in a bad mood: Klaus, still sulking in the House of Hybrids. Tyler shows up, also sulking. Klaus’ version of a pep talk includes asking Tyler to help get back at Stefan by killing Caroline. This fails to cheer up Tyler. He actually resists his sire for once and refuses. Klaus lets Tyler say no.

Or does he???

Party Time
Instead of a birthday party, Elena’s grand idea is a death party in a creepy tomb. But they have tequila, so it’s fun! After her friends eulogize her, Caroline finally smiles and agrees to blow out her candles. Then they drink. This is great until Caroline drunk-texts Tyler. Elena objects, which prompts Bonnie to throw a (justified) tantrum about how Elena can’t control everyone. And she leaves.

Back in town, Damon and Alaric attend an obligatory Founders’ party, noting — for once — the obscene number of parties in Mystic Falls. Alaric soon runs into Dr. Meredith Fell, who is still impressed by Alaric’s not-deadness. She probably shouldn’t be so surprised that Alaric lived, considering that she’s on the Founders’ Council. After an acceptable amount of flirting, Meredith asks about hitting up Damon for money. Not that it’s needed, since some English fellow has promised a whole lot.

That would be Klaus, of course, cozying up to Carol Lockwood. Damon shocked to find that this friendship is totally voluntary on Carol’s part, since Klaus has promised to protect Mystic Falls. He may mean “protect” in the mafia sense. The key to all of this is Damon keeping Stefan under control. Interestingly, Damon does not refuse.

Meanwhile, the party begins to get ugly as Meredith starts fighting with a fellow named Brian. It turns out that Brian is the Council’s medical examiner — the guy who makes all of the vampire deaths disappear. He’s also Meredith’s ex, thus making his “she’s psycho” comments about the good Doctor Fell seem reasonable. Alaric still wants to kick in the man’s teeth.

This Founders’ Party is obviously the place to be in town, because the next guest is Stefan. The vengeful vampire grabs a big knife (conveniently located next to the hors d’oeuvres) and heads upstairs just in time to stab a hybrid. Alas, there’s no heart removal this time, due to Damon’s interference.

Love Stinks
In the dark birthday woods, Tyler declares that Klaus can’t control him when it comes to Caroline and proves this with a kiss. Which turns into a make-out session. Which leads to… a bite. So much for Klaus’ lack of control.

Meanwhile, Elena and Matt have run out of booze and are looking for Caroline so they can all go home. They fail to find the birthday girl. But Stefan finds them. Quickly knocking out Matt, Stefan grabs Elena and drives away with her.

Elena is initially cool with the kidnapping, but she gets decidedly less cool when Stefan makes a few calls (that’s illegal!), makes a few threats and feeds Elena his blood. It seems the plan is to drive off a bridge — the same bridge that killed Elena’s parents — to turn her into a vampire. As this would deprive Klaus of the blood needed for additional hybrids, it’s a pretty good threat.

It works. As Stefan and Elena speed to the edge, Klaus suddenly caves, promising to get the hybrids out of Mystic Falls. This makes Stefan happy. Elena, not so much. She and Stefan yell at each other for awhile, until Stefan declares (again) that it’s over and drives away.


Happy Birthday Caroline…
Klaus shows up at the Forbes house, where Matt has brought a hallucinating Caroline. Desperate, Sheriff Forbes is willing to invite the vampire inside. Klaus finds a birthday girl who is now both depressed and dying and, unexpectedly, just wants to cheer her up. He points out that not getting older might be kind of fun — what with that big, wide world and all — and feeds her his healing blood.

When Caroline wakes up in the morning, she’s all better. And she’s got a present! It’s a bracelet — way prettier than the one from Tyler — from Klaus.

Bittersweet Goodbyes
Damon has walked Elena home, and they stop on that fateful Gilbert porch to talk. Damon isn’t totally opposed to Stefan’s actions, much to Elena’s surprise. But Damon is also way nicer than Stefan, prompting another tender moment.

Alas, before we can get a kiss, Elena protests that such an action wouldn’t be right. Damon corrects her: “It’s right. It’s just not right now.” And then he leaves.

Oh well.

Also leaving? Jeremy. He’s pretty cheerful about it, even when Bonnie shows up to let him go (and to glare at Elena some more).

Cheerfulness is, however, lost on everyone else. Alaric heads to his favorite spot at the bar. He meets Meredith, and they bond over day-drinking. Elena, meanwhile, goes back to the bridge and meets Matt. Elena points out that she’s not the girl who almost died there with her parents, but she misses that girl. Matt thinks she’ll be OK and offers a brief eulogy for carefree Elena.

Uh Oh…
Because The Vampire Diaries couldn’t possibly end on such a happy note, we are treated to one more scene in the woods. Sheriff Forbes has called in Damon to view a body. Only this time, it’s not a vampire that’s responsible for the death — Brian the medical examiner has been murdered.

Could Dr. Meredith Fell be to blame?

What did you think of this week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries? Let us know in the comments section below!

(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.