A pair of family reunions dominated the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries, while Stefan showed some heart and Alaric displayed some stupidity.
Which scene stood out the most? How excited are we to welcome back Elijah? Join Round Table panelists Matt Richenthal, Steve Marsi, Dan Forcella and Eric Hochberger now as they break down "The Ties That Bind..."
What was your favorite scene from the episode?
Matt: Abby texting to Bonnie while the random hybrid dude stood nearby. She made Leonardo DiCaprio in The Descendants look like a text messaging amateur!
Steve: As Matt sums up very well in his review, there's almost too much going on from which to choose, or know what to invest ourselves in at this point. I was probably most interested in Tyler's storyline, though. Can Caroline's dad really fix him, and will he be the key to bringing down Klaus if so? It makes one wonder, and half-close one's eyes during every terrifying transition scene.
Dan: My favorite was Stefan's reaction to finding out about the kiss. At first it seems he's in shock, which is why he just walks away quietly, but then he gets angry and gives his bro a good right hook to the jaw.
Eric: Sure, it's cheesy to pick the obligatory TVD cliffhanger as my favorite scene, but the second I saw that dagger in Damon's hand I eagerly thought... Elijah!? And they delivered to a giddy fan.
Did you feel bad for Stefan when Elena told him about the kiss?
Matt: I did. It's been clear for a couple weeks now that Stefan is in denial. Of course he has the same feelings for Elena as always, he's just been acting out and focusing on Klaus because he didn't want to face the harsh, snark-filled reality: she's fallen for Damon.
Steve: I had mixed emotions, which speaks to the brilliance of this love triangle and the performance of all the actors (I'll elaborate more in question #4).
Dan: I did. I don't really know why, because he's been an absolute ass hole as of late, but I felt bad for the guy. The bro code is one thing, but the actual brother code puts things on a whole other level. As much as he knew Damon wanted Elena all this time, I bet he never actually considered something happening between them. It was pretty heart-wrenching.
Eric: Since FIOS decided I didn't need those 10 seconds, I cannot possibly answer this based on his actual reaction. But, either way, yes! Poor guy threw away his humanity to save Damon, only for him to violate the bro(ther) code.
Stupider course of action: Alaric telling Meredith about his ring; Elena leaving out the sheet that identified Abby; or Abby not thinking ahead when she took Jaime in years ago?
Matt: Abby taking in Jaime. Look, there are certain precautions you need to take when you're a powerless witch on the run. Foremost among them: do not invite others to live under your roof in case your past one day catches back up to you and a half-vampire/half-werewolf compels your quasi son to take action that threatens multiple lives. This is Former Powerful Witchery 101.
Steve: Alaric was distracted by Dr. Fell's hotness and Abby was dealing with some pretty significant external factors at the time, so both of them can be forgiven. Elena leaving out the sheet would never happen in real life, though. No one involved in any sort of covert activity would commit a blunder that obvious, save for O.J. leaving one bloody glove he wore while murdering his wife at his house and the other at hers. The Juice may have been acquitted, but in having Elena leave evidence simply to lead Stefan to her, TVD writers are guilty of a semi-weak plot device.
Dan: It has to be Alaric telling Meredith about his ring. This is life and death. He has that ring to protect him from dying, and whether he thinks the good doctor is a supernatural or not, he should tell no one about his life-saving ring. What a moron.
Eric: Hotness or not, you save talk about your live-saving ring for pillow talk! Everyone knows you can only trust a woman after...
More welcome return: Elijah, Bill Forbes or a semblance of humanity in Stefan?
Matt: I'm not sure if it makes sense within the show itself - didn't Elijah prove his loyalty to Stefan on the season two finale? - but gotta go with the obvious answer here: good to see you, E.
Steve: The latter. Ancillary characters come, go, die and come back to life so haphazardly that I'm rarely surprised, even by the better ones. I love the many layers of Stefan, however. Will his humanity ultimately win out? Will he snap and go off the rails like a bloodthirsty sociopath again? Paul Wesley and the writers are great at keeping us guessing every week.
Dan: Elijah! The dude is completely awesome. It really doesn't matter who he sides with, now that he's awake, he's going to be as cool and ruthless as ever, and it's going to be amazingly fun to watch. Did you see that heart-ripping bit? There will be more of that to come, and I welcome that more than anything else.
Eric: Did I not answer this with number-one? Elijah! I love me some HRG as much as the next former Heroes fan, but the Originals are a little more developed in my TVD heart.
Is Elena really better than both Salvatore brothers?
Matt: Is that really the point? We can't help who we fall in love with, can we? If the question were as simple as with whom we were best matched ethically, Elena would still be with Matt. But that guy is so boring I fell asleep before finishing this sentence.
Steve: If you define "better" as not having slaughtered hundreds of innocent people during various "ripper" phases throughout life, then yeah.
Dan: No. I paraphrase Zachery Ty Bryan in the movie First Kid when I say that I don't think Elena is better than... anybody. And even if she was, you can't be better than Damon and Stefan Salvatore. Well, unless you're Klaus, then you are just God's gift to earth, and you can do no wrong in my book.
Eric: Sorry Elena, nobody is better than Damon. Nope, Dan, not even Klaus.
Which is more painful, transforming into a werewolf or giving birth?
Matt: Transforming into a werewolf, no doubt.
Steve: Transforming into a werewolf, hands down.
Dan: Transforming into a werewolf, without question.
Eric: Transforming into a werewolf, d'uh.