While in Chicago with Klaus, Stephan runs into a vampire from his past, someone still interested in him after decades. In a flashback to 1920s Chicago, Stefan recalls a troubling chapter in his life. Following a tip, Damon and Elena follow the trail of Stefan and Klaus. Wondering what’s happened to Caroline, Tyler asks Sheriff Forbes for help.
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursday nights at 8:00 on the CW.
Not only do we meet Nicklaus and Stefan, both enjoying the clandestine freedoms of Prohibition, but we get a whole supporting cast as well: the well-preserved witch Gloria (Charmin Lee), and “Nick’s” sultry sister, Rebecca (Claire Holt). A Harlow-esque flapper, she immediately takes to Stefan, only slightly moreso than her brother, who contemplates destroying him (Klaus defines territorialism, must be his wolven side) but is instead taken by Stefan’s style and flair for the vicious gesture. It’s a demonic bro-bonding moment, and damned if it doesn’t finally give Klaus some dimension and context other than “Do what I say or I kill everyone immediately.”
We also get a welcome dose of Katherine (Nina Dobrev) this week, calling from points undisclosed to give Damon a tip about Stefan visiting old haunts in Chicago. While Dobrev’s Elena is a compelling heroine, her Katherine is a blast of subversion and sneakiness. You always believe what Elena says (she only lies to the bad guys), but you’re never quite sure about Katherine, so she and Somerhalder’s Damon get to chew up the scenery to their actor-ish limits with innuendo and double entendres.
The flashback to the 1920s is an obvious choice (what have we got left, World War battle scenes?), but the show does it with flare. The costume department has fun with the dresses and suits, and props roll out some spiffy vintage cars. It’s also of course the nascent era of American cinema, so seeing all these young people dress up like silent screen sirens has its own charm, especially given that now they can talk so much.
Bill is decidedly old school when it comes to vampires (and the torture chamber he uses is apparently a family tradition), but Tyler (Michael Trevino) (with last week’s carefully considered demonstration of his own nature to his mother and this week’s steadiness regarding his girlfriend, he’s the unsung hero of the moment) brings help. Caroline’s mother (Marguerite MacIntyre) is the Sheriff, after all, and she’s more than willing to use her gun to rescue their daughter.
There’s more mumbo jumbo about who’s chasing Klaus, if he can solve the hybrid mystery, but I’m more interested in how he stakes Rebecca at the end of the flashback (for the crime of choosing Stefan over him), and only revives her this week, still in her flapper dress. The whole family of Originals just lets him put them all on ice at his whim? For decades on end? Culture shock much?
Stefan also makes a good point to Elena, who thinks he can come back from the dark side like he’s done before. “Last time it took me thirty years, Elena. Your life will be half-over by then.” Guess Stefan isn’t into mature ladies, which only bodes well for the revived Rebecca. How did he ever forget her and Klaus in the first place, you wonder? Only if like me you keep forgetting that vampires can compel other vampires.
Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at http://cornekopia.net.