Elena once again proved that she is no Bella Swan in this week’s episode of “Vampire Diaries, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” She is, however, willing to rip a few pages out of the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” handbook.
Elena (Nina Dobrev), rightfully afraid of the new humanity-free Stefan, who still does not seem as evil as Angelus, gets Ric (Matt Davis) to do his best Giles impression and teach her some vampire slaying skills. The only problem is that she, an ordinary teenage girl rather than the chosen one, lacks sufficient upper body strength to use the cool Wolverine-style stake gloves that he gives her. So she hits the gym.
This turns out to be a good move since Stefan (Paul Wesley) has interpreted Klaus’s orders that he protect Elena to mean that he should return to Mystic Falls High. Rebecca decides to join him. If any of the other students wonder why two thirty-year-olds have enrolled, they aren’t saying anything. Rebecca (Claire Holt) joins the cheerleading squad and declares to Caroline (Candice Accola) that she plans to be the new head Mean Girl, so she’s not exactly keeping a low profile. Stefan refers to Elena as a human blood bag for hybrids. That’s cold. Elena concocts a plan with Damon and the gang to knock out Stefan so that they can lock him up in the Lockwood dungeon until Michael the Vampire Who Slays Vampires kills Klaus, and Stefan’s humanity can be restored. Given that Michael has been hunting Klaus for at least seventy years, Elena’s plan seems overly optimistic in terms of human timelines.
At the school bonfire, she seemingly gets really drunk. Drunk Elena is sort of like the Diet Coke of Katherine. Meanwhile, Damon and Rebecca flirt over s’mores, which seems to make both Elena and Stefan jealous. Eventually, Stefan insists on giving Elena a ride home. She refuses, then falls off the bleachers. Stefan catches her, and it’s like the good old, romantic days for a second, until Ric shoots him with a bunch of vervane-tipped stakes and knocks him out. They put him in Ric’s car. There’s only one problem: The car quickly catches on fire thanks to a newly sentient Vicki (Kayla Ewell).
Yes, Matt (Zach Roerig) is still seeing his dead sister. She persuades him to do a magic ritual that entails pouring his blood over some lit candles so she can come back to earth as a sentient being, not just when he thinks of her. A witch on the other side — in all probability the original witch — is working with her. Once Vicki makes it back, she announces that she now needs to honor the witch’s request that she kill Elena so Klaus will be unable to create more hybrids. She knocks out Matt and commences Operation Burn Elena Alive.
Fortunately, Matt wakes up and calls Bonnie (Kat Graham). She comes up with a counter spell that renders Vicki a mere ghost once again in the nick of time. Elena is able to escape from the car. She insists that Ric help her save Stefan before the car explodes. Matt has to send his sister away again since she is such a destructive force.
Back at the Salvatore house, Stefan taunts Elena about her continued hope that his humanity will be restored, saying that it makes her pathetic. In the scene of the week, she retorts that it makes her strong, and successfully uses the shooting stakes on him.
Meanwhile, Katherine revives Michael (Sebastian Roche) and learns that he refuses to drink the blood of living things. Instead he prefers to feed on other vampires. He starts with her. Does this mean that Michael is a cannibal?
Tyler (Michael Trevino) has become Klaus’s number one fanboy. In part it’s because being turned by a hybrid results in sire worship. In part it’s because being a vampire has brought back the macho jerk aspects of Tyler’s personality. Caroline seems to set him straight, but when Rebecca presents him with two glamored women, he drinks from them.
Finally, either Matt or Bonnie’s spell had an unintended consequence. Now Jeremy can touch Anna. Damon gets the surprise of his life when he’s thrown to the ground — by a resurrected Mason Lockwood!