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The Vampire Diaries Recap: The Ties That Bind Are Hard to Break

Posted: 01/19/12 11:27 PM ET

Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 12 of The CW's The Vampire Diaries, entitled, "The Ties That Bind."

I have a problem. After last week's episode of The Vampire Diaries, I found myself rooting for Team Klaus. I thought Stefan went a little too far with that whole "I'm going to drive Elena off the bridge" act, but now I'm conflicted once again.

"The Ties That Bind" was an emotional roller coaster of an episode, and it kind of made fall in love with Stefan again. For the first time in weeks, he left his poker face at the door, and we got to see a glimpse of the old Stefan. It was a welcome return.

As much as I love this new, badass Stefan, his irrational antics were starting to get on my nerves, until tonight. He never stopped loving Elena. He had to push her away to protect her from Klaus, so I can imagine his shock when Elena told him about her and Damon's kiss. Stefan didn't have to say anything. His eyes said everything: he was hurt.

Yet he knows that it was his arrogance that drove her away. So Stefan, despite his pain, tells Elena that he's sorry -- sorry for driving over the bridge and scaring her. And that's what made me fall in love with Stefan all over again.

Well, his apology and this: "You're better than him, Elena. You're better than both of us."

Paul Wesley gave a phenomenal performance during this scene. He was able to say so much without really saying anything at all.

However, I still think Elena shouldn't have dropped that kiss on him so carelessly. I mean, why did she even tell him in the first place?

Meanwhile, Bonnie is having more nightmares about the locked coffin, but this time, she thinks she may have found some sort of answer in her dream. It looks like she'll need her mother's help if she wants to figure out what's inside that coffin. But there's one little problem: Bonnie's mother Abby left Mystic Falls 15 years ago and never returned.

It's kind of a sore subject for Bonnie, who feels rightfully abandoned by mama Bennett.

Damon meets up with Alaric, where he reveals that the medical examiner, who just so happens to be Dr. Fell's ex-boyfriend, is dead. He took a stake to the heart. Not exactly a painless way to die, if you ask me. Naturally, Damon's suspicious of Alaric's new friend.

Stefan and Klaus have their own meeting. After sending away all his hybrids, Klaus now has no one to keep him company, except for the punk rock band that he's currently blasting in the Salvatore mansion. He wants his family back, but Stefan is content with stringing Klaus along for a few more months.

But what Stefan doesn't know is that Klaus is always one step ahead. It looks like Klaus sent one of his hybrids to a certain Abby Bennett's house.

Speaking of Ms. Bennett, Elena and Bonnie decide to take a road trip -- sans Damon -- to visit Abby. Even though Bonnie's not exactly thrilled to meet her mother after all of these years, they need her help.

When Stefan calls Elena to see where she is, she lies, telling him that she's going over to the lake house to clear her head. Of course, Stefan knows that she's lying, having seen the police profile of Abby Bennett on Elena's kitchen table. Silly Elena, doesn't she know that Stefan's always one step ahead of her?

Bonnie and Abby's reunion is a little underwhelming, but we do find out that Abby and Elena's mom Miranda were best friends. In fact, it was Miranda's death that drove Abby away from Mystic Falls. Mikael came after Elena, and in order to protect her, Abby cursed Mikael and put him in his coffin. But because she had to use all of her magic, Abby was left powerless and fled Mystic Falls.

Back at the hospital, Damon confronts Meredith. You see, he doesn't think that she's as innocent as she claims to be, especially given that her ex-boyfriend ended up staked, and he doesn't want Alaric to be her next victim.

And just when you think that things between them can't get any more awkward, Dr. Fell turns into Dr. Psycho and attacks Damon, rendering him unconscious. Next thing we know, she's drawing some of Damon's undead blood. But what for?

Turns out that Dr. Psycho is not as psycho as I thought. She uses vampire blood to save her patients. She's a doctor who doesn't really like death, which means her success rate is probably 100 percent.

Meanwhile, back at Abby's house, Stefan's not too happy with Elena for running off with Bonnie and not telling him... so he finds her and sneaks up on her! Obviously, Elena is thrilled.

Jamie witnesses their fight and rushes in to save Elena, and just when you think Stefan's about to kill the poor kid, Jamie unexpectedly comes at him with a gun. Before Elena even knows what's going on, Jamie shoots Stefan! I gasped. It was all very shocking.

And then he ties up Elena, while Abby poisons Bonnie, temporarily taking away her powers, and takes her to go meet with Klaus' hybrid.

It turns out that Jamie's been compelled to shoot himself if Bonnie doesn't reveal the location of the coffins, so all Bonnie has to do is tell the hybrid where the coffins are, and she does.

But it's not like Jamie would have shot himself anyway, because Elena tricks Jamie and ends up knocking him out. After last week's damsel-in-distress act, this was a nice change for Elena. I like when she stands up for herself. Does anyone else miss Katherine and her gorgeous curls?

Elena's badass behavior even got Stefan's attention, who was lying on the ground with chunks of wood in his chest. So what does Elena do? She sticks her hand inside his chest and proceeds to pull it out. Yes, it's just as gross as it sounds.

If only Elena wouldn't have ruined the moment by telling Stefan about her and Damon's kiss. But can someone please tell me why Stefan always leaves Elena stranded in the middle of nowhere, especially when Klaus is on the loose?

Meanwhile, back at the witches' cabin, Klaus has arrived to pick up his family members. After a few witchy threats (and a major headache), Klaus forces the witches to show him the coffins, and they do, but there's a catch. The forth coffin -- you know, the V.I.P. one -- is mysteriously missing. It looks like Damon won this battle, Klaus. He was one step ahead of you, taking the locked coffin and hiding it before you could get to it.

Is anyone else getting whiplash from all of these twists and turns? Not to mention that this was one of the bloodiest episodes of the season.

Let's not forget about poor Tyler. He feels a bit guilty for almost killing Caroline. I, however, couldn't care less, because the thought of Caroline and Klaus having some sort of relationship excites me way more than Tyler and Caroline's relationship ever did. And I know that I'm not the only one!

But he still feels guilty, so he enlists the help of Caroline's dad -- and his unusual methods -- to help him break Klaus' sire bond over him. He chains Tyler to the wall and forces him to turn. It just so happens that when Tyler turns, he breaks about every bone in his body. It's just as disgusting as it sounds. And it only gets worse when Mr. Forbes starts to threaten him with an axe.

In the end, Tyler turns... and he sends Mr. Forbes to the hospital. Luckily, Dr. Fell is there to save Caroline's dad with vampire blood.

Then we find out that to break the sire bond, turning needs to be painless, and I have to agree with Mr. Forbes on this one. Tyler's turning looked like it was anything but painless. This is going to be one excruciating lesson for Tyler.

Back at the Salvatore mansion, Damon may have hidden the V.I.P. coffin, but he still kissed Stefan's girl, so Stefan punches him. It was like a Season 1 flashback, and it was an awesome reminder that at the heart of The Vampire Diaries is the relationship between Damon and Stefan.

But they're not the only brothers going through a little drama. Elijah is back! Unfortunately for Klaus, he doesn't look happy. "What'd I miss?" he asks Klaus.

Oh Elijah, how I've missed you.

Quotables:

Elena (being funny?): "OK, Damon, look. Bonnie hasn't seen her mom in over 15 years. She doesn't need you and your snarky commentary narrating the whole thing."

Damon, to Bonnie: "We kissed. Now it's awkward."

Mr. Forbes, to Tyler: "How badly do you want your freedom?"

Damon, to Dr. Psycho: "I think psychopaths can be incredibly high-maintenance."

Damon, to Klaus: "Insulting a bunch of dead witches? Not smart. I did the same thing when I first came here."

Stefan, to Elena: "You've changed. There's something different about you. You seem stronger."

Elena, ruining the moment: "I kissed Damon."

Dr. Fell, to Alaric: "You wanted to know my secret. I cheat. I'm a doctor, and I hate when people die."

Stefan, as I fall in love with him again: "You're better than him, Elena. You're better than the both of us."

Mr. Forbes, laying down the law with Tyler: "Until you're capable of acting on your own free will, I'm not letting you anywhere near my daughter."

Damon, to Stefan: "If you're betting on Bonnie's mama to open it, you're screwed. She doesn't have any powers."

Elijah!: "What'd I miss?"

 

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