The Vampire Diaries: 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' – Recap/Review

WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS!

I know you’ll never be the boy
You always wanted to be
But every now and then
I know you’ll always be the only boy
Who wanted me the way that I am
– Total Eclipse of The Heart by Bonnie Tyler

For the second straight week, The Vampire Diaries writers are turning to the hits of the 1980’s for their episode titles. In this episode, almost everyone is nursing a broken heart. Caroline invites Katherine/Elena and Bonnie to Whitmore’s Bitter Heart Ball. Katherine makes plans for Stefan; Tyler finds solace in a bottle; Damon’s plan for revenge has an unexpected result.

As the episode opens, Katherine (Nina Dobrev) is at Whitmore, writing in her diary about how she loves her perfect life as Elena. She has everything she has ever wanted – youth, beauty, health, everyone loves her, and she’s a vampire. Katherine proceeds to delete all the pictures of Elena and Damon off of Elena’s phone, saying bye, bye worst decision Elena ever made. She replaces it with a picture of Stefan and makes plans to win him back.

In class, Caroline (Candice Accola) declares to Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Katherine that they are not to mope over boyfriends past but to start fresh as brave, free, and single. Katherine points out that Bonnie is not single. Caroline says that Bonnie can be their wing woman and pulls out a flyer for Whitmore’s Annual Bitter Ball – a celebration of broken hearts, jilted lovers, and bitter singles. (Sounds like an event for Grumpy Cat) and suggests they go as the jumping off point for their fresh start. Bonnie notices the girl sitting next to her levitating her pen. When she notices Bonnie watching her, she abruptly stops.

Meanwhile, when Stefan (Paul Wesley) arrives at the Salvatore house, he notices blood coming out of the trunk of Damon’s car. When he opens it, he sees Aaron’s (Shaun Sipo) lifeless body. Stefan enters a totally trashed house and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) acknowledges him by rolling off the couch and apologizing for the mess (love the tilted pictures on the walls!). Stefan confronts him about the car, and Damon explains that he decided to rip Aaron’s throat out and be done with getting rid of the last Whitmore. Stefan confronts him about going on a killing spree after Elena dumps him, when Enzo (Michael Malarkey) walks in. He says it was his idea and Stefan rebuffs him. Stefan asks Damon if they’re “murder buddies” again. Damon says they worked things out because after you spend 5 years with someone in a dungeon you form an unbreakable bond. Enzo asks Stefan if he has heard from Dr Wes Maxfield, who is next on their hit list. Stefan asks if Damon is going back to his psychotic, sadistic old self once they kill off the last Augustine. Damon replies that he likes that version of himself and was dumb to try to change just to get a girl. (Well, yeah) He tells Stefan to get another hobby besides trying to save him (Hmm, overtones of Klaus and Elijah). Stefan tells Damon he’s better than this, to which Damon responds that he’s better like this. Stefan shakes his head and leaves.

Back at Whitmore, Katherine calls Matt (Zach Roerig) at the Mystic Grill and asks for his opinion of what she will say to ask Stefan out (if it would sound like Elena). Once he says yes, it sounds like Elena, Nadia (Olga Fonda) takes the phone and compels him to forget what just happened and he goes back to tending the bar. She asks Katherine how much longer she has to wait around like a bar fly before they spend some time together. Katherine chides her about not enjoying being around Matt. Nadia defends him, saying she never compelled him, not even to sleep with her. She hangs up on Katherine.

Somewhere in rundown building lab, Dr Max Westfield (Rick Cosnett) has a hospital janitor, Joey (Christopher Marrone) chained up. Joey asks Max who he is and what Max did to him. Max introduces himself and tells Joey that he’s turned him into a vampire and will condition him to feed on other vampires instead of humans. He tells Joey he’s done it once, and now he has to replicate it. He also needs money, to which a female voice behind Max responds that she can help him with that. The woman introduces herself as Sloan (Caitlin McHugh) and tells Max she can help him with his research. He demands to know how she knows about it. Sloane tells Max she’s been tracking his Augustine experiments for months and she’ll give him money and protection in return for analyzing some blood she has (Stefan’s and Elena’s? Is she a Traveler?). When Max refuses her help, she gives him Aaron’s bag and tells Max his car was abandoned in the middle of the road last night. Max suggests he’s dead and Sloane agrees; she then tells Max that he is next.

Meanwhile, Enzo invites Damon to take a road trip to another country after they kill Max, but Damon tells him he’s not thinking that far ahead. They enter a cell where Diane (Sabrina Mayfield) the head of Whitmore security is chained up. They have kidnapped her from her office. Damon compels her to admit that she forged the suicide note to cover up the death of Whitmore student Megan (Refresher: Elena’s college roommate, and tied to the Augustines’). Damon asks her where Max is and she says she hasn’t seen him for days. Enzo then snaps her neck, calling her a dead end.

Stefan confronts Enzo burying Aaron’s body in the forest. He tells Enzo he needs to go find another buddy and leave Damon out of his game of blowing off some steam. Enzo calls him a do-gooder and Stefan counters that he is the balance that keeps someone from falling off the edge. Enzo asks him to take the leap and join them instead because he looks like he could use some fun. He offers Stefan a shovel.(Biiig mistake of course!). Stefan wacks Enzo in the leg, then jabs the handle into his chest. Enzo eggs him on to take his best shot and pushes back the shovel. Stefan jams the shovel (not handle) up against Enzo’s neck and tells him to get into his car and leave town. He warns Enzo that what he will do to him will be final and to be sure he doesn’t see him again. Enzo smiles.

Katherine meanwhile, buddies up with Caroline back at their dorm room. She asks Caroline’s opinion on earrings and Caroline shocks her by asking when does Elena accessorize and she’s not fooling anyone. Katherine thinks she knows she’s not Elena, but surprise, Caroline thinks Katherine is faking that everything is okay since her (Elena’s) breakup with Damon. Just then, Katherine sees Stefan is calling her. She asks Caroline if she should ask him to the Ball. Stefan says he has to talk to her in person about Enzo. This throws Katherine for a loop since she doesn’t know who Enzo is. (Oops). She does ask him to the Ball but he turns her down. She tries to convince him to go.

Back at the Mystic Falls Grill, Nadia is hanging out at the bar and gets a text from Katherine asking who Enzo is. Nadia has no idea and sees Tyler (Michael Trevino) walk up to the bar and order “something that will obliterate the memory of Caroline” (Wow. Tall order) from Matt. Tyler notices Nadia. Matt warns him that she’s psycho Katherine’s daughter who hasn’t fallen far from the tree (good one) to which Nadia acknowledges that she can hear them. Matt reminds her that she locked him in a safe and buried him in the woods. (Tyler’s eyes get huge!) Nadia tells Matt and Tyler she’s grieving the death of her mother and to leave her in peace. Tyler suggests they do shots. They take turns sharing “my mother was so bad she…” stories and the one with the worst story has to take a shot. Tyler excuses himself to go pee and asks Matt to pour them another round. He stays in earshot and hears Nadia compel Matt and he tells her Enzo is a buddy of Damon’s and former cell mate when they were held by the Augustines.

At Whitmore, Bonnie and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) are discussing going to the Bitter Ball, and sharing a moment of happiness when Damon appears. Bonnie asks what he’s doing there and he says tutoring students. Then he drops the bombshell — he’s there to kidnap Jeremy. Damon tells Bonnie he has a hit list and can’t find his victim and he needs a witch. Bonnie reminds him he just said she can’t do magic and tells him to go away. Damon tells Bonnie that her Gram held occult classes so there must be witches around. He gives her a piece of cloth with Aaron’s blood on it and tells her that should be good for a locator spell. Jeremy tells Damon she’s not helping him. Bonnie says Elena would kill him. Enzo arrives on the scene. Bonnie asks who he is and Enzo says he gets people to do what they don’t want to and proceeds to crush Jeremy’s head. Bonnie gives in and says she’ll help.

Katherine and Caroline arrive at the Bitter Ball. Katherine receives a text from Nadia saying that Enzo was Damon’s cell mate and is dangerous. She then meets up with Stefan (looking very hot in a suit and tie!) and they dance. Stefan notes how good she appears to be doing and she responds that she is but no one seems to think she should be. Stefan tells her he needs to talk to her about Damon and what he’s got himself into. She says Damon changed her and she doesn’t like the person she’s become and asks Stefan if he likes her as she is or once was (Hahaha good little trick). He doesn’t want to answer her. They decide not to discuss what Enzo and Damon are up to. Caroline interrupts and takes Katherine away to the shredding station. (Oh this’ll be good).

Back at Mystic Grill, Tyler points out to Matt that Nadia took his vervain bracelet and compelled him to forgot she did. He asks Matt if he has any vervain and when Matt says yes, it’s in the coffee (clever), he tells Matt to drink some right away as they see Nadia come back into the bar.

At the ‘shredding station’ back at the Ball, Caroline takes printed pictures of her and Tyler and a drawing that Klaus did for her. She tells Katherine that she’s decided that both relationships are over and she won’t change her mind. Katherine asks her if she’s really talking about her. Caroline suggests that Katherine is an emotional roller coaster and making herself available to Stefan could be confusing things. Then she tells Katherine to forget what she said when Katherine asks her if she’s leading Stefan on. Katherine smiles, says okay and walks away.

Just then, Bonnie and Damon show up at the Ball together. Damon asks Bonnie where her witch friend is, and Bonnie points out one of the catering people, Liv (Penelope Mitchell) who is in her class (the pen spinning gal). Bonnie says she works for event catering and this is a total shot in the dark.

Meanwhile, Caroline bumps into Stefan and he turns down her offer to dance. He tells he didn’t come to dance so she asks him what’s up with him and Elena. He tells her that Damon has gone off the deep end and has killed Aaron. He wanted to tell her, but she seems so happy so he thought better of it. He thinks if she knows, she’ll give up on Damon forever and he won’t be able to pull Damon back. Damon walks up to them asking why all the dramatics. Stefan asks why he’s there and Damon says he and Bonnie is going to find him a witch to do a locator spell to find Wes so he can go kill him. Then Bonnie tells them that Enzo has Jeremy and if she doesn’t find Wes by midnight, Enzo will kill Jeremy. Stefan looks at the picture on Bonnie’s phone of Jeremy looking beat up. Just then, Katherine walks up and Stefan hands her the phone. She looks at the picture and acts all shocked and scared. When she turns her back to them, she rolls her eyes and looks annoyed. (Poor Katherine; something always getting in the way of her romancing Stefan).

Katherine calls Nadia and asks her if there would be a problem letting Jeremy die because it would solve a lot of her problems and evoke a lot of sympathy from Stefan (oh my god; she’s so shamelessly selfish and evil! ). Katherine admits knowing where Jeremy is and should she just go and save him. Nadia tells her that Elena would do anything to save her brother and asks if she really does know where he is. Katherine says he’s at the Whitmore house; she’s the only one who recognizes it because she’s the only one who has been to a tea party. Nadia tells her she better go save Jeremy or they will figure out she’s not Elena. Katherine asks Nadia to find out if Caroline has feelings for Stefan so she knows what she’s up against. (This entire scene was brilliant).

Outside the Grill, Nadia hangs up from her call with Katherine as Matt joins her. He asks who keeps calling her and she ignores him. Thinking she has compelled him, she grills Matt about whether or not Caroline has feelings for Stefan; if Caroline and Elena ever fought over him; Does he think Elena can win Stefan back? Matt answers he doesn’t know and asks why she’s asking about Elena. She tells him to forget the conversation and disappears. Matt shakes his head in confusion. Tyler joins Matt and asks him if he was right. Matt goes to tell him what happened when Nadia breaks Tyler’s neck. She says he’s not telling Tyler anything.

Back at the Ball, an emotional Katherine tells Stefan she can’t lose Jeremy again and asks for him to help get Jeremy back. Meanwhile, Bonnie finds Liv in a back room and asks for her help. Liv asks if she knows her; Bonnie says they are in Sociology class together and that her Gram used to teach Occult Studies at Whitmore. Liv shakes her head that she never heard of her or the class. Bonnie confronts her about being a witch. She grabs Liv and tells her she really needs her help and Liv says that even if she wanted to, she can’t; she’s just a freak. She walks away and Caroline, bearing her fangs, stops her. Liv asks what she is and Caroline says she will help Bonnie and or does she need to say it slower (Hahaha, a blond telling a blond!).

In a room at Ball, Bonnie and Liv are seated around a map, with dirt or something laid out on it. Bonnie is instructing Liv in the locator spell under the watchful eye of an impatient Damon. Caroline is also observing. A scared Liv can’t believe vampires are real and Bonnie tells her to forget all that and to focus on her breathing and to repeat the chant after her. She tells her to use the blood on the scrap of Aaron’s clothing that Damon supplied, to find Wes. As Liv chants, a strong wind starts to blow through the room, the candles’ flames grow bigger, the light bulbs burst and the chandelier falls down. Damon asks if that’s a good sign and Liv panics. She says she can’t do it. She says she’s done horrible things. She can’t control her power; she’s hurt people and burned buildings. She tells Bonnie she’s a freak. Just then, Damon’s phone rings and he answers “Witchy Hotline. How may I help you? Damon speaking” (A good voice mail outgoing message!). Enzo asks what’s taking so long. Damon says they’ve lost motivation and asks Enzo to inspire them. He puts Enzo on speaker and he says that Jeremy will be dead very soon. Caroline blasts Damon and tells him to call Enzo back and stop him. Damon replies that cooperation is not optional.

Meanwhile, Enzo grabs a fireplace poker and approaches Jeremy who is tied up in a chair. He tells Enzo that killing him won’t inspire Bonnie. Enzo tells him he’s right, that she’ll think he’s a clique murderer. But he does like to leave a good impression. He picks up a plastic bag and tells Jeremy that no one takes you seriously if you don’t follow through on threats. He places it over Jeremy’s head and suffocates him. (But did he really kill him?)

Bonnie tells Liv that she has experienced the same things and she can teach her how to control her power. She shows Liv a picture of Jeremy on her phone and tells her that his life is in her hands. Liv agrees to try the locator spell again but if she burns the school down, it will be on Bonnie’s hands.

Enzo is body slammed to the wall by Stefan, as Katherine rushes to Jeremy who is on the floor, and takes the plastic bag off his head. Katherine exclaims “ewww” as she attempts to give Jeremy mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while Stefan and Enzo have a body slamming contest behind her. (How does one concentrate with mirrors being smashed and bodies flying across the room?). Katherine then starts pounding on Jeremy’s chest telling him angrily to wake up as Stefan tries unsuccessfully to stab a crawling Enzo with the fireplace poker. (Hilarious! This scene is like a bad comedy). Jeremy draws a breath and comes back to life. Enzo throws something wood at Katherine’s back and Stefan pulls it out. Damon arrives and tells Enzo (who is now remarkably on his feet, unhurt) that Wes is in Richmond. As they leave, Stefan tells Damon not to bother coming back. Damon says he wasn’t planning on it. Katherine secretly smiles.

Tyler wakes up and asks Matt where Nadia is. Matt says it was a misunderstanding; she only wanted to talk about Katherine and knew he was mad at her, so she had to compel him. He said she believed Tyler would go after her if he knew she was “frying his mind”.
Tyler doesn’t really believe him but warns him to stay away from Nadia. Matt shows him his vervain bracelet (probably isn’t one) and to call Tyler if she hassles him. When Tyler leaves, Matt gets into Nadia’s vehicle with her. He tells her he took care of it. She warns him if Tyler follows them, she will kill them both. He confronts her about whoever is calling her looking for information. She says he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He reminds her about McGregor being implanted in his brain and suspects that Katherine didn’t die and jumped inside Elena. Nadia grabs him and threatens to take off his life ring. She says the vervain has to come out of his system and then she’ll decide what to do with him.

Enzo and Damon find their way to Max’s lab. Damon says Enzo can kill Wes and Enzo questions if Damon didn’t want to leave home. Damon says he was only there for Elena and she’s done with him and so is Stefan. They are suddenly surrounded by a group of chanting Travelers that includes Sloane (surprise, surprise). Damon asks who they are and Wes appears behind him and says his back-up. As they collapse holding their heads in pain, Wes injects Damon and now he will feed on other vamps.

Meanwhile, Stefan asks Katherine if she’s all right and she asks him to remove a splinter from her back. As he does, she says she knows he wanted to tell her Damon killed Aaron. She said she was able to get over the threshold of the Whitmore house and she couldn’t have done that unless the owner (Aaron) was dead. He apologizes for not telling her and she asks him why he didn’t. He says that ever since she was with Damon, he’s been waiting for him to screw up badly. But whenever Stefan thinks Damon has gone too far, Damon’s been there for her, better than he ever was. He eventually stopped waiting for Damon to fail because he liked the person he’d become and he doesn’t want to lose that person. Katherine reminds him that Damon threatened Jeremy and she can’t go back to that. However, if Stefan wants to save Damon, she will help him. But she will only do it for him (yeah, right). As they embrace, Caroline walks into the room and they part. Stefan looks very uncomfortable. (What’s going on with him?)

Damon and Enzo wake up in the lab. Enzo asks Damon what Max stuck him with and Damon replies he doesn’t know but if he stuck him with the vampire poison, they have a problem. Enzo asks what kind of problem and Damon tells him about Wes’ plan to have vampires feed on each other. They hear something and discover Joey chained up in another part of the lab. Joey asks to be let go and Damon unchains him. But then Damon starts to change and Joey asks what’s going on with him. Damon replies that karma is happening and he attacks Joey. Enzo pleads for him to stop and when he does, Joey’s head lands separately from his body onto the floor. (He bit him rather hard!). Enzo looks at Damon and admits that this will be a problem. (Quite! You’re next!).

This was quite an episode. Katherine is really working her charm on Stefan, Damon has turned into the ultimate ripper and Stefan is feeling all kinds of regret about Damon. It’ll be interesting to see what Nadia does with Matt. But doesn’t Matt hold the key to Elena’s survival? Nadia gave him the knife that killed McGregory inside Matt. Wouldn’t that work the same way on Katherine? And why hasn’t Bonnie still not realized that Katherine didn’t pass through her and isn’t dead? Will Liv become Bonnie’s new best friend? Will she take Bonnie’s place as resident witch? Will Damon survive Max’s injection and plan? Why are the Travelers interested in Max’s research? Whose blood does Sloane want analyzed? Is it Stefan’s and Elena’s that they took when they were holed up in that Traveler shack? What is there scheme?

Tell us what you thought of this episode!

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