The Vampire Diaries: Season 3, Episode 6
Smells Like Teen Spirit
Well, we all knew the insane plot momentum would have to slow down eventually. And while there were still a ton of people and stories and things happening in this week's episode of The Vampire Diaries, I personally did not feel quite the same intensity as week's past. This could have been because of Klaus's absence, which left kind of a big hole of terror and violence in the week's proceedings, but it also could have been the fact that we all returned to high school, one of my least favorite places for the TVD crew to spend their time. It's funny that high school is still pretty boring, even with a witch, a vampire-werewolf hybrid, two evil vampires, one wonderful vampire, and two ghost-talkers. But I should probably start at the beginning.

Last week's episode ended with the Stefan's return to Salvatore Manor, interrupting the smoldering smolder of Elena and Damon, and, at long last, completely reversing the regular roles of the Salvatore boys. I've been looking forward to this reversal for a while, in part because I appreciate Paul Wesley's evil Stefan and I always want more of him, and also because, at long last, I have finally become an Elena-Damon fan. It's all very new and different for me. In any case, we see much evidence of the brothers and their new personas tonight, as Stefan creeps and slithers around Mystic Falls High, and skeeves both Elena and me out in the process, while Damon, with his hero hair and jealousy inducing attempted seduction of Rebekah, reminds us all of his considerable charm. In short, then, Stefan spent a lot of time being scary and vaguely annoying, while Elena and Damon plotted to put him down for the duration of Klaus's absence. The plan works in part, as Elena gets herself a little tipsy and throws herself in harm's way in order to distract Stefan from Alaric's sedative, but falters when our other big plot point, Miss Vicki the Ghost, tries to kill everyone's favorite doppelganger.

Stefan and Elena

Matt, sensitive and lonely sucker that he is, gets convinced by Vicki to perform sketchy magic and bring her partially back to life, which backfires as the witch who's helped her get to this point expects Vicki to kill the center of everyone's attention, Elena the doppelganger. I was a little happy to see Vicki come back, and I definitely thought the tension ramped up when she set out to kill Elena, but I have to say I'm so sick of watching Elena get almost killed so often. She's obviously sick of it too, as she spends a significant chunk of time attempting to learn how to defend herself (in scenes reminiscent of Cordelia's self-defense training on Angel). I'm really hoping that we find out sometime soon that the doppelganger has some kind of actual power besides being very thin and brunette, as that would make things much more interesting, but in any case, Elena escapes death once again, though Stefan remains at large. I thought this was all fairly exciting, but I'm hoping for more from Stefan, somehow, as right now he's mostly only being vaguely creepy and obnoxious.

Tyler and Caroline

The other major focus of this week's episode was the strained relationship of Caroline and Tyler. Tyler, it turns out, has been "˜sired' by Klaus, meaning he's got major loyalty to the big bad of this season, which understandably causes some friction in his otherwise perfect relationship. I was definitely not happy to see a return of jerk Tyler, and neither was Caroline, but I'm sure we're going to get a lot more friction there, especially as annoying "Barbie Klaus" has decided she wants him. I wish she would be more interesting, and I wish we could have Tyler get some excellent storylines without resorting to jerk Tyler, but I'll keep faith that somehow our The Vampire Diaries creators will not let us down.

All in all, this episode was not quite as intense as the previous weeks but a lot happened and a lot has been set up for the coming weeks. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing how everything plays out.

Grade: B

I totally called (to myself) that Michael would drink vampire blood! I'm excited to see what he gets up to. Katherine, for being a total badass, finds herself helpless kind of often"¦

I laughed out loud when Elena stabbed Stefan. He definitely deserved it, after this week.

Only shirtless Tyler this week, but I'll take it"¦

Alaric's continued anger with Damon is funny and appropriate. People forgive that guy too often, in my opinion. Though I would probably do the same thing.

Uncle Mason is back!!! In my opinion that best looking man this show has ever had is back!! And he's going to kick Damon's ass!! I'm so excited!

See you all soon!

Tags: The Vampire Diaries
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