Slight rating upgrade due to the vampire show actually being scary this week. While they didn’t go very far with their whole everyone in town being possessed paranoia, they deliver a few creepy scenes. Starting with a mariticide, and ending with said anonymous wife and murderess amongst throngs of strangers bleeding out on the street as they recite an ancient spell.
We also start with Stefan and Elena in captivity, bound and bleeding, as the Travelers are using their blood (in little portable vials) to make the spell work. This is more gore (a hallmark of the season), until Stefan is surprisingly freed and then he and Elena are able to get out of there. Weak and unsteady and starving, but their shambling escape is more than they’ve accomplished in weeks.
The show also makes use of the cave of sleeping Travelers, this time by Damon and Caroline vamp-speeding them all to his mansion, in order to lure Markos out into the open. He comes, but not because he cares about his people. Nope, he just wants the house, and as the spell takes effect (spreading in geographical ripples from the center of town), Damon is chased out into the woods by flashbacks of his own long ago demise.
The spell that allows Travelers to permanently take over Mystic Falls also allows them to undo vampirism, which means vampires start dying in the manner of their original death. That means bullets for Stefan and Damon (from their own father), and gurgly lungs full of water for Elena. Not fun, but it is possible to outrun it. Maybe?
The flies in the ointment are two-fold. Luke and Liv try again to kill Stefan or Elena, but their impressive witch potency starts fading right after making a mess of an SUV. Witches and vampires, if only they’d learn to get along, would be unstoppable.
The second wrinkle is the habitual one on this show: love. Julian (possessing Tyler now) is in love with a Traveler, and he’ll die when the spell works on Tyler (neck-snap from Klaus), since his friends also burned his real body to ensure he’d keep possession (as the wolf part kept fighting him off). Follow that? It was his girl who freed Stefan, and sadly Liv’s car-telekinesis killed her, too.
So with nothing left to lose, and because Stefan’s calm voice has only ever triggered rage from almost everyone he tries to use it on, Julian/Tyler takes an unprecedented and irrevocable step. A rather neat echo of what happened between Stefan and Enzo, in fact, as Enzo has been pressuring Bonnie to bring him back to life, one way or another.
Well, now everybody’s going to have to come back to life, or the show will be over. I vote for Alaric, can somebody get Matt Davis back on contract already!?