‘The Vampire Diaries’: Elena Debuts a Brand New Look

by | March 22, 2013 at 8:57 AM | Recap, Vampire Diaries

Nina Dobrev as Elena in "The Vampire Diaries" (The CW)

All you need to know about this week’s installment of “The Vampire Diaries,” “Because the Night”, is that it features flashbacks of Damon (Ian Somerhalder) as a punk in New York City during the 1970s. That already makes it an A+ episode. But humanity-free Elena (Nina Dobrev) emerges as a true bad ass, Lexie’s back, and Silas gets what he wants in the worst possible way. Here are the highlights.

The Best Use of Music Yet on This Show: The episode opens with a couple stumbling across a seemingly dead body on the ground. The body jumps up and kills the woman. “You’re that serial killer, aren’t you? Son of Sam?” the guy assumes. “Son of Giuseppe, but close enough,” replies Damon. “Psycho Killer” by The Talking Heads plays as Damon comes into the frame, his face covered with blood, and he attacks the man. A subtitle reads “New York, 1977.” Hell, yeah.

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New York State of Mind: In present day New York, Elena may have lost her humanity, but she has gained a sense of style. She gets a great new hair cut that adds some bangs and layers. Elena questions his motives for taking her on this trip. He tells her NYC is an all you can eat buffet. There’s so much life that a little death goes unnoticed. Actually, he is there to track down information about Katherine’s whereabouts so he can find the cure.  They go to a punk bar called Billy’s that is basically the vampire-friendly CGBG’s. Back when New York was gritty and punk was more than just a teen fashion style, Damon gave the I.D’s of his victims to a bartender who sold them a mysterious brunette who of course turned out to be Katherine. He also wore muscle shirts. Lexi (Arielle Kebell) stops him from feeding on someone in the middle of the club. Stefan sent her to reign him in.  She asks him why flipped he  his switch. He claims “Leave it to Beaver. The fifties bored me.” When he tells Elena the story, she guesses that Lexi persuaded him to turn his humanity back on and he expects her to do the same.

In the present, Rebekah (Claire Holt)shows up and slams Damon’s head into a bar. She blurts out that they were hunting for the cure together. Damon does his best to cover, though he has managed to locate information on Katherine’s wherabuts in a file in the bar’s backroom.  Elena privately tells Rebekah she isn’t buying Damon’s act. She claims that both Salvatores are determined to find the cure so she has to find it first and destroy it.

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Metaphorical Vampire Threesome: While the appropriately named real-life band Dead Sara plays, with Damon’s encouragement Elena compels a girl and drinks from her. Then Damon joins in, with each one of them taking one side of her neck. Rebekah gets in on the fun, too. This brings a whole new meaning to the “True Blood” phrase fang-banger. It is very sexual and very twisted.  Rebekah proposes working with Elena. She wants the cure so she can have a family. Elena rejects the idea because she thinks that Rebekah’s emotions are annoying and weak.

Damon and…. Lexi?!: Damon tells Elena how Lexi would torture him by bringing up Katherine every night to make him remember love. In a flashback, he finally tells Lexi that Katherine isn’t the person he cares about. It’s her. She brought back his humanity. They have sex. This puts a whole new spin on everything! Elena is stunned that Damon and Lexi had sex on the bar — and the roof. In fact, she wants to go to the roof to hear the rest of the story. Elena says she would be down for some action. He turns her down. She reminds him they are no longer sired. They kiss. She tries to steal the address from his pocket. He is onto her. He says he invented her strategy. In the 1970s Lexi wakes up on the roof. Damon has locked the door to the stairs. He tells her he is repaying her for the 6 months of hell. His humanity isn’t really back on. He isn’t like Stefan. He chooses to be this way. He leaves her to burn in the sun.

In the present, Damon tells Elena that one day the switch will come back on and she will feel terrible guilt about everything she did. That was why he killed Lexi. He couldn’t take the reminder of what he did. She points out that he must have felt something for Lexie in order to make such a methodical plan to destroy her.  She tells him she won’t take the cure. He says she will even if he has to break her neck and force it down her throat. So Rebekah breaks his neck. She and Elena steal his car and  phone him to let him know they stole his  info on Katherine. Then they drive away like the vampire Thelma and Louise. It’s awesome. I sort of want Elena to stay like this forever, even though it would destroy the show’s dramatic tension.

Silas Gets What He Wants: Back in Mystic Falls, Bonnie(Kat Graham) is with Silas (David Alpay) , who is using Shane’s body (Shylas?). She is aware of who he is and is, with some reluctance, going along with his plan to complete the triangle that would resurrect Jeremy, and every other dead person on earth, by killing 12 witches.  He warns her that the other witches will try to strip her of Expression, She has to fight until they are all linked. Then it will be easy, because killing on person will kill all of them. Bonnie attempts to lure her mother to town, but a witch named Asia comes instead. Bonnie pretends she wants her help in ridding herself of dark magic.  Bonnie warns she won’t be able to save her alone. A full coven appears from the witches. Now she has the requisite 12. They do a sort of witch exorcism on her. The other witches link to fight Bonnie’s power as she and Shane planned.

Caroline Does the Unthinkable: Stefan (Paul Wesley), Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Caroline (Candice Accola) have figured out what Bonnie is doing. As they search for her, Caroline and Klaus continue to spar.  As they search the woods, Klaus says his friend Magellan taught him to read a map. Ha!!! Caroline claims she has no attraction to Klaus’s dark side. “People who do terrible things are just terrible people.”

They reach the witch-orcism and tell Asia that Bonnie has been brainwashed by Silas, Asia says that means Bonnie is beyond hope. They have no choice but to let her die. Klaus says the only way to save Bonnie is to kill the witches, which gives Silas what he wants. Caroline, out of concern for her friend, impulsively kills one, which thanks to the link, kills all twelve. Bonnie wakes up  at the Salvatore house with Stefan by her side. She  doesn’t remember anything after the island. She does not know about Silas, or that Jeremy is dead. The question is whether she will be devastated, determined to destroy Silas, or still in his thrall when she learns what happened.

Klaus tells Caroline that, thanks to her,  Silas has everything he needs. She says she had to do it. Then it hits her that she killed 12 people. It’s a nice parallel to Damon’s story of remorse. Klaus tells her she seems like she needs comfort. Why doesn’t she find someone less terrible she can relate to? Oh, burn!

Silas Has A Trump Card: Alone, Klaus comes fact to face with Silas. s.He tells him that if he brings him the cure, Klaus will be safe. Klaus points out he isn’t looking forward to meeting all his supernatural enemies. Shane pulls out the white oak stake.  If Klaus doesn’t do his bidding, he will die.