The latest episode of "The Vampire Diaries" proves one thing for certain: you don’t stand in the way of a ghost on a mission, especially if she can zap you with her witchy powers. Unfortunately for Damon, he didn’t take the latter part into consideration. The episode, titled "History Repeating," is where we finally reach the turning point of the season and find out Damon’s master plan; this not only packs a punch, but throws down a major game changer for the series — something not felt since Stefan revealed his vampire identity to Elena a few weeks ago.
"History Repeating" does three things exceptionally fine this time around. First, it balances the continuity by tying up loose ends from plot-points as far back as episode, "Night of the Comet." Secondly, the tone is spot-on with its chilling moments reminiscent of a good old horror film. Lastly, it’s all about the acting! There was definitely more of an ensemble feel, and stands out as some of the best of the series so far.
There was a bit of everything, from Caroline taking the initiative with Matt to Bonnie’s final scenes out in the woods. Truthfully, everyone was on their A-game, even Jeremy who manages to show a different side apart from his doldrums. Without the trappings of melodrama easily found in other vampire niche franchises, we not only found out more about the supporting characters, but also saw what they’re really made of in the face of danger. There was really a major underlying message about trust and loyalty in this episode.
We have witnessed the quaint Mystic Falls transform into a place of imminent danger after the arrival of vampire brothers, Stefan and Damon Salvatore. This all ties in with the romance angle between the Salvatores and Elena Gilbert — whose uncanny appearance to their "maker" attracts them to her. Yet beyond the vampire love story are a number of gripping subplots; mainly the development of Bonnie Bennett’s (Katerina Graham) magical powers, and the secret society of townsfolk hell-bent on taking down some vampires.
Without holding back, the episode begins as Bonnie sits in science class with an expression of complete boredom. This all changes as we see a figure passing along the dark hallway. Bonnie notices it, and we see it is her ancestor Emily — recognizable by the portrait shown previously to Bonnie by her grandmother. The atmosphere takes an eerie twist as Bonnie follows Emily out the classroom and into the hallway where she receives a haunting message. It becomes apparent this is a nightmare within a nightmare as Bonnie notices Emily sitting in class beside her.
But not everything is a dream. The reality of life in Mystic Falls hones in on a new face, Alaric Saltzman (Matt Davis), who, despite his charm and specifics on pronouncing his name, dons a "garish" ring like Stefan and Damon. Elena and Stefan are forced together by circumstance once more, and Damon makes his move for his "precious" — an amber crystal amulet.
The critical point hits its limit when Caroline suggests the idea of a s©ance to Bonnie and Elena. Because it’s always a great idea to conjure up spirits when your best friend tells you she sees dead people, right? Although the mayhem that ensues is quite predictable, the fear came off as real. Katerina Graham really shines in this episode and there’s nothing better than when we get a bit of paranormal activity by way of possession from dear old Emily. The direction of the scene where doors are slamming while Caroline and Elena desperately try to get Bonnie out of a trapped room is something to remember.
Coinciding with the s©ance, we get some brother bonding moments as Damon and Stefan meet up on the football field. It’s odd seeing these two actually get along, despite ulterior motives. The chemistry between Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder as brothers onscreen gets stronger and stronger. It was nice to see a bit of a nod to their previous football play in the flashback episode "Lost Girls" reenacted in the present on a much larger playing field. But the moment is short-lived as we later discover Damon’s goal in returning to Mystic Falls.
It turns out that the literal alignment of the stars — the comet — along with the power of the crystal will allow Damon to bring Katherine back. The second shocker turns out to be that the 19th Century undead vixen was not killed after all in the notorious fire. In fact, she was protected by the magic of Bonnie’s ancestor, Emily. Damon is determined to bring Katherine back at all costs, declaring he knew their sire better than Stefan ever could while they were together.
But the best moment comes with the showdown between Damon and Bonnie — whose magic goes into overdrive with her possession by Emily. In one scene she throws the eager vampire into a tree staking him in the gut. She will not allow him to unleash Katherine despite their pact: Damon saves her children, and she protects Katherine. As Emily conjures up a fiery pentagram, Damon helplessly tries to stop the possessed Bonnie from destroying the amulet. Without a moment to spare, the crystal is sent into the air and shattered into pieces. Held back by Stefan, Damon is unable to control himself and lunges at a weakened Bonnie, who falls after Emily completes her mission.
Elena, who also arrives at the scene, is horrified by the turn of events. Damon nearly rips Bonnie’s throat out, but is stopped by Stefan who later feeds Bonnie his blood to heal her. When Elena asks Stefan if Bonnie will suffer the same fate as Vicki, he reminds us that only way to become a vampire is if you die shortly after being bitten and drinking a vampire’s blood. Something to remember, as the series continues to prove no one is entirely safe.
The final scenes of the episode move in a series of montages set to the music from The Bravery. Without dialogue we see a heartbroken Elena finally reveal the truth to Bonnie while dealing with her breakup with Stefan. We see Matt and Caroline make inroads with a bunch of snacks and laughs. Once again, appearances are deceiving as we end the night with the stunning cliffhanger. As Jenna Gilbert (Sara Canning) cleans out her items reminding her of Logan Fells (Chris J Johnson), her ex and recent victim of Damon, there is a knock at the door. Stand at the threshold is none other than a very undead Logan asking Jenna to invite him into the house.
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