The Vampire Diaires: 'Dead Man On Campus' – Review

Warning! Contains Spoilers!

Something sinister this way comes to Whitmore College.

Last night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, there was more death, denial, and dirty deeds to fuel nightmares. Caroline suffers heartache again, Katherine stares death in the face, Damon reveals his shocking past, Stefan fights his demons, Bonnie is in denial, and Matt is set free.

As the episode opens, Dr Maxfield (Rick Cosnett) is dictating in his lab about Jesse’s transformation from human to vampire in 14 days. Jesse (Kendrick Sampson) is shackled to a lab table and when Maxfield feeds him blood via transfusion, it elicits a violent reaction. Maxfield terminates the transfusion as Jesse rips free from his shackles. As Jesse swallows the bag of blood as Max tries to reach the “emergency button” located on a near-by wall, but he fails. Jesse attacks him with a vicious neck bite. (Uh-oh, is he a goner?)

In her dorm, Bonnie (Kat Graham) who is rocking a new hair cut, sends her mother a video message. Caroline (Candice Accola) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) bring in party supplies for her welcome home party. They both make light of the fact that Bonnie failed to mention to her mother that she is no longer a witch, but now an anchor, making her sort of ghost. Bonnie gets a text and makes an excuse that she has to go register for classes. She meets up with Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) but sees an elderly woman trying to get her attention. She makes plans to see him at the party and leaves. The woman appears before her, says she’s ready, and “enters” her. Bonnie collapses in agony. (Being an anchor is a pain!).

Meanwhile, Elena is talking to Damon (Ian Somerhalder) when she spots Aaron (Shaun Sipos). She invites him to Bonnie’s party while Damon can be heard on her phone asking who he is. Aaron initially refuses her invitation, but Elena compels him to remember they are starting over and to forget she compelled him earlier. He agrees to come to the party.

Back at the Salvatore house, Damon tells Stefan (Paul Wesley) that Elena wants them at Bonnie’s party. However, Stefan, sitting in Damon’s reading chair, is experiencing his drowning again. He asks Stefan if he’s all right and he says yes, but Damon doubts that as Stefan removes his fingers sunk into the arms of the chair, exposing puncture holes. Stefan asks Damon to tell Elena that he’s not up for a party.

At Mystic Grill, a drunk Katherine (Nina Dobrev) flirts with Matt (Zac Roerig) to keep giving her alcohol. Matt is looking at the video of him being possessed by the Traveler. Katherine tells him that she knows what is being said. He offers to give her drinks if she translates the video. Matt tells her that he meet a girl in Prague last summer who followed him back to Mystic Falls and her boyfriend “put a spirit thing in (his) head.” After watching the video, Katherine tells Matt that a Traveler named Kristof activated him. She says travelers are witches who are into possession and he has one inside him. Matt confirms the girl was Nadia and Kathleen admits she knows her. (How does Katherine know so much about Travelers?)

Back at Whitmore, Caroline gets a frantic call for help from Jesse. He doesn’t explain what’s going on, but says he’s expecting his roommate any minute. She runs to his dorm room to find him attacking Aaron (well, surprise, surprise!) and stops him. A shocked Caroline asks who turned Jesse into a vampire. Jesse describes his ordeal in Dr. Maxfield’s laboratory. He was starved and kept in a cell, and at night Max would inject him with weird blood. Jesse said he locked Maxfield in his lab. Elena shows up with blood bags for Jesse and she reveals to him that like Caroline, she is also a vampire. Caroline gets Jesse to heal Aaron with his blood and then they go on to teach him about compulsion. (They now begin New Vampire Training 101).

Back at the bar in Mystic Grill, a drunk Katherine sits down at Stefan’s table and tries to convince him to share a drink with her. He agrees to “one pity drink” and after she incoherently talks about doppelganger destiny, Stefan asks what is wrong with her. She hilariously details her aging (receding gum line, etc.)and asks why he’s alone. Stefan says he wants to avoid people. She convinces him that she’s wasted and won’t remember their conversation, to get him to talk. He recounts about reliving the drowning over and over and she diagnosis him with PTSD. She then asks him for his help, but he is reluctant. Katherine gives him the run down on her own past traumatic family events and Stefan relents. Just then, Nadia (Olga Fonda) shows up and asks Katherine why she called her. Katherine introduces Nadia to Stefan as her daughter.

At the party, Bonnie talks to Jesse about being in love with Jeremy, as she awaits his arrival. In the corner of the room, Bonnie sees an old woman and approaches her.

Meanwhile in the campus lab, Damon has tied up Dr. Maxfield and is playing an interrogation game with him. He injects Dr. Maxfield with a deadly disease (first up is the flesh eating bacteria) from his own stash, to get him to answer Damon’s questions about his experiments. For every correct answer, Damon says he will heal him with his vampire blood; for every incorrect answer, he’ll just keep injecting him with various diseases. (Major gross out time!).

Back at Mystic Grill in a back room, Stefan asks Katherine and Nadia which one of them is younger and they both answer they are. (Okay, that was both bizarre and hilarious). Matt shows up and hands Katherine the knife that the Traveler left with him. Katherine has him sit down and has a reluctant Nadia bring forth Gregor, the Traveler possessing Matt. Stefan holds Matt/Gregor in the chair. Katherine introduces herself as Nadia’s mother. She asks him why he’s here, and he replies to track and kill Silas. She holds up the knife and he asks how she got it. She puts the knife up to his neck, and he says that he was to kill Katherine, and used Nadia to get to her. Nadia asks him why but he says he doesn’t question his orders. Katherine mentions how manipulative and ruthless Travelers are, just like Nadia’s grandfather, (Oh wow, more secrets revealed!) and then she stabs Matt. She tells Stefan that Matt will be all right; she just expelled Gregor with the knife. She said he wanted the knife because it’s the only thing that will kill a passenger (Good to know).

Back in the lab, Damon tells Dr Maxfield it was a bit harsh to turn a kid into a vampire and wants to know what makes this place turn people into mad scientists. Dr Maxfield explains that part of modern science is human trials and you do what you do for the greater good. Damon asks what he thinks is the greater good and when he refuses to answer, injects him with rabies. (Dr Maxfield is looking a bit rough right now).

At the party, Bonnie finds out the old woman is a witch who is ready to cross over (and we know what that means!). Bonnie tells her she is the anchor to the other side. Bonnie asks her what it’s like to die, and she said it helps seeing a friendly face. Then Jeremy interrupts them and the woman disappears. Jeremy takes Bonnie back to her dorm room to register for more classes while Caroline and Jesse get cozy on the dance floor.

Damon comments that the rabies isn’t having the desired effect, when Dr. Maxfield blurts out that he wanted to turn Jesse into a new kind of vampire. Damon grabs the Ebola (nasty!) disease container and asks him why. He replies that he wanted to change the fact that humans are vampires’ food source.

Bounce back to the dance floor, where Jesse comments he’s afraid to kiss Caroline because she freaked out the first time he did. She responds by grabbing his face and kissing him. (Don’t be shy with a hot guy, Caroline!)

And cut back to the lab for more of Dr. Maxfield’s explanation. He tells Damon that if vampires will no longer be a threat when they don’t have to feed on humans. Damon doesn’t believe his good doctor act and then Maxfield drops a bombshell. Human blood will only satisfy Jesse until he gets a taste of what he really craves to which Damon asks, what does he really crave?

And again back to Caroline and Jesse on the dance floor (Do you have whiplash yet?), making out. Jesse gently bites into Caroline’s neck and then as they kiss, he bites her lower lip. Her lip is bleeding and tries to laugh it off but Jesse turns away and red lines/cracks appear on his face (so he craves lips or blondes?). She asks him if he’s okay, but he replies he has to get out of there and leaves.

A healed Aaron arrives at the party thinking he over slept. He and Elena talk about the loss of their families. Elena tells him she lost both her birth parents and adoptive parents. Aaron says Dr. Maxfield is his legal guardian and only family he has left after he was shuffled around to relatives. He said his parents died when he was six. They had gone camping and he awoke to his mother’s screams and blood everywhere. He said a bear had got into the camp and there were bite marks all over their necks. Elena excuses herself to get more drinks for them, but she runs into Caroline who asks if she’s seen Jesse and where she’s going. Elena replies she’s going to call Damon to tell him not to kill Dr. Maxfield.

At Mystic Grill, Stefan stumbles his way out of the bar as he relives his drowning. Katherine finds him outside and tells him to relax and that he’s okay. Stefan grabs her around the throat so she can barely breathe. She tells Stefan he has to deal with it or it will catch up to him. She has him name everyone he’s killed, from the beginning to get him to focus on something else and get in control of himself, to believe he’s not drowning. As he goes through the names, the flashbacks disappear, and he thanks her. Nadia appears, angry that Gregor is dead. Katherine tells her she deserves better and Nadia tells her to rot in hell.

Damon tells Elena over the phone that Jesse’s craving is vampires and once he starts, he can’t stop. When Damon confirms to Elena that Maxfield is still alive, she asks Damon not to kill him, which he promises. Jesse barges into the lab at that moment and demands to know what Maxfield did to him. Maxfield replies that Jesse wants to feed on the monsters. Damon notices his arm is bleeding, and Jesse attacks him. Jesse is stronger and he flings Damon through the window and into the hallway. As Jesse is feeding on Damon, Elena finds them and stakes Jesse, just as Caroline arrives. Caroline is devastated and Damon explains Elena had no choice, that Jesse was going to kill him, that he needed to feed on vampire blood. Elena apologizes but Caroline isn’t having it.

At Mystic Grill, Stefan finds a suicide note to Nadia from Katherine, on the bar. As Katherine first hesitates, and then jumps from the ledge of the clock tower, she’s surprised when she doesn’t hit the ground. She looks around and finds that Stefan has caught her and saved her life. He asks her why she wanted to jump and she tells him because she’s dying, that the Cure did something to speed up the aging process. Stefan cups his hand around her cheek and says, “Hey, you’re Katherine Pierce. Suck it up.” (Best line of the night!) and then he walks away.

As Bonnie and Jeremy share an intimate get together in her dorm room, Jesse appears. A shocked Bonnie tells Jeremy that Jesse is dead and approaches Jesse, confusing Jeremy who doesn’t understand what’s going on. Jesse tells Bonnie that he’s not ready, that he doesn’t want to die. (Why couldn’t he stick around longer!). Bonnie screams out in pain as Jesse goes through her and a panicked Jeremy asks what’s going on. She explains what being an anchor really means and that those are the consequences but they’re worth it, because all that matters is that they are together.

Back at the now ended party room, Elena tells Caroline again how sorry she is about Jesse. Caroline wants her to try to understand that the outside world isn’t as dangerous as being with Damon, which shocks Elena. But Caroline says that the day she stops telling Elena that, is that day they’re no longer best friends and she hopes that day never arrives.

At the lab, Dr Maxfield is cutting off his tube ties while an unaware Damon pulls from the refrigerated unit, a blood bag with the number 12114 on it. He asks Maxfield why it has that number and Maxfield asks why he wants to know. Damon says because he was 12051. Maxfield is surprised and asks him if he was an Augustine vampire! (Big secret revealed! Oh Damon!). Damon has brief flashbacks and says he hasn’t heard that name in years. He tells Maxfield he thought their lab experiments were shut down 60 years ago. Maxfield says they weren’t. Damon decides to kill him, but Maxfield escapes his bindings and pushes the emergency button. It pours atomized vervain over Damon and he passes out. Maxfield comments that Augustine will be thrilled to see Damon again. Damon wakes up to find himself inside a cell where he has flashbacks to being experimented on.

What an incredible episode of reveals and a long wait until the next episode airs on December 5th. In the mean time, there are many questions: What or who is the Augustine vampire? Is he/she a vampire or is it the name of a scientist that created the vampires? And why is Damon not like Jesse, feeding on other vampires? Will the new vampires being created succeed in wiping out old vampires? Will Aaron play a part in Maxfield’s plans? Will Stefan and Katherine form a friendship? Will Bonnie be able to deal with the consequences of being an anchor? Will Elena and Damon’s relationship survive his secret? Will Caroline and Elena’s friendship survive over Damon? Is Katherine part Traveler since her father (Nadia’s grandfather) was one?

Tell us what you thought about this episode!

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