‘Vampire Diaries’: The Race for the Cure Becomes The Thirst Games

"The Vampire Diaries": Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy and Nina Dobrev as Elena (Photo: Annette Brown/The CW)

Last week, “The Vampire Diaries” riffed on ‘The Breakfast Club.” This week’s episode, “Catch Me If You Can,” takes on a more contemporary teen film, “The Hunger Games,” as Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is forced to do his best Katniss impression. It’s as suspenseful and scary as its cinematic counterpart and a whole lot sexier. It’s also the most quotable episode of TVD in ages. Best of all, Elena (Nina Dobrev) actually thinks for herself this week. Here are the highlights of what the characters are referring to as the Race for the Cure, but this one is definitely not sponsored by the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

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Jeremy is Both the Hunter and the Hunted: Last week’s episode ended with Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) — Team Bad Boy — leaving Jeremy in a bar full of freshly turned vampires for him to kill. He refuses to take the bait, calling Klaus a dick. So Klaus gives Jeremy a two minute head start. Then he compels all of the new vampires to kill Matt (Zach Roerig). Jeremy will have to kill them all to save his bromantic buddy. He even has his crossbow to further the Katniss comparisons. One could make an argument that Elena  is the Primm of the show.  The question is which Salvatore is Peeta and which one is Gale. Jeremy and Matt run to the Gilbert cabin. As long as they stay inside the house and don’t invite any of the vampires inside, they should be safe.  So the vampires stand outside, like a bunch of zombies, until the sun comes up. It’s pretty badass.

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Kol the Original Wild Child: The next morning, Damon and Jeremy return to the bar in the hope of dispatching of the vampires. They find that Kol — Team Not a Team Player — has already slaughtered them all. The maverick Original is determined to prevent everyone from finding the cure because it will involve raising Silas which will “end time” which he does not like. He figures killing Jeremy will be the best way to accomplish this goal. So Damon fights with Kol to create enough of a distraction for Jeremy to flee. Kol gets the upper hand and compels Damon to kill Jeremy.

He also compels a human to go to Shane’s office and steal an artifact. Rebekah (Claire Holt) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) are already there. When they interrogate him about who sent him, he chews off his own tongue then kills himself. Gruesome!

Damon Tries to Kill Jeremy. Again.: Compelled Damon is about to kill Jeremy when Elena sees him staring intently and asks him what’s wrong. Damon realizes he’s been compelled and has the good sense to tell Elena. Damon ends up  chasing Jeremy through the caves while the rational part of him yells at Jeremy to run away to someplace safe. Instead, Jeremy slashes his hand so Damon will see his blood and be able to find him. When he gets close, Jeremy shoots him in the head to knock him out. Damon really has taught him to be an effective slayer. When Damon comes to Jeremy is gone. Elena finds Damon, who is hot on Jeremy’s trail, and tells him that he is strong enough to resist the compulsion because they love each other. She’s wrong. It’s an interesting parallel to the sire bond’s effect on Elena. Before Damon can finish Jeremy off, Stefan arrives like a knight in tarnished armor and snaps Damon’s neck. Jeremy needs to figure out whether his issue is with killing innocent vampires or vampires that he already knows.

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Stefan Finds a way to Punish Both Damon and Elena: Damon wakes up inside the Salvatore cell. Stefan informs him that he will not allow him and Elena to see each other because of the sire bond. If he tells Elena to free him, she will do it. Stefan says  that he’ll free him after they find the cure. Then he locks the cell door. Elena asks Stefan why he’s now on  Team Rebekah, claiming her issue is that Rebekah tried to kill her. I wish Elena would admit that she wants Stefan to pine for her instead of moving on.  Stefan points out this is the second time Damon tried to kill Jeremy, and she is still jonesing to be with him.. He profersses not to care what she does, making him as much of a liar as Elena. She says that this isn’t the real him. He gets the episode’s most character revealing line: “You don’t know what I look like when I’m not in love with you.” Then he punctuates his argument by having sex with Rebekah.

Elena Has A Plan: Elena, desperate to find a way to save Jeremy and free Damon, comes up with a great idea. Jeremy needs to kill Kol, thereby also killing every vampire who he turned. That will make the magic treasure map appear on his arm so they can start The Amazing Race for the Cure.  It’s great to see Elena being proactive without either one of the Salvatore boys.

Bonnie is The Closer: Shane (David Alpay) hypnotizes Bonnie (Kat Graham) by saying that she is in complete control as long as she is with him. Sheriff Forbes arrests him based on April’s accusation that he is behind the explosion that killed the Council members. Bonnie persuades her father that she is the only one who can get Shane to talk. You’ve got to love Mystic Falls unique brand of law enforcement.  She turns off  the camera in the interrogation room has has turned on a mic so her dad and the sheriff can listen in. He sasys it wasn’t a mssacre it was a ritual. Silas will bring back all the dead people, so they’ll be resurrected soon. I think Shane is scarier than the supernatural villains because he isn’t acting on biological urges. He’s just a sociopath with a crackpot theory. Bonnie tells him he is crazy. She is about to leave. So he asks her if she wants to see Gram again, reminding her that she is the reason her grandmother is suffering on the other side. Bonnie angry, uses her magic to give him muscle spams. When her dad interrupts,  she sets the floor on fire to make him leave. Shane says,”I’m right here with you. You are in complete control.” She stops it. There is a lot of compulsion going on in this episode. Her dad wants to get Bonnie help. Is there a magic psychologist? She doesn’t think she needs it.

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