Was it just me or was this week’s episode of Vampire Diaries a bit of a snoozefest? Don’t get me wrong, I adore the characters—okay, maybe not the new ones—but “Dead Man on Campus” really seemed to be lacking when it came to the excitement factor. Maybe I was expecting more of a shocking cliffhanger, especially since they’re taking a mini break next week. The whole college storyline with “Dr. Jekyll” just isn’t interesting enough for me. And although we lost someone this week, we barely even knew the character to actually care. However, there was a shift in dynamic between Katherine and Stefan back in Mystic Falls and that’s definitely a storyline I’d love to explore further! Okay, I’m done rambling. Here’s what happened on this week’s episode of TVD.
Previously on The Vampire Diaries...
Stefan had a horrible summer drowning, coming back to life, and drowning again at the bottom of the quarry. I’m no psychologist but I think he might need some major therapy. Damon and the group tried and failed to bring Bonnie back to life but eventually found a solution to their problem by making her the anchor to the other side. The catch is that every supernatural being now has to pass through her after they die. Ouch! Katherine’s age is catching up to her now that she’s human and she’s been freaking out about losing her hair and her molars. Dr. Maxfield made Jesse a vampire for reasons that will become clear this episode.
“Dead Man on Campus” opens with Dr. Maxfield continuing his study of vampire Jesse. He proceeds to give Jesse a transfusion of undiluted Augustine blood—which I’m assuming it’s what they call their vampire. Jesse ends up becoming too strong and breaks free from his restraints. He bites Maxfield before he can regain control of the situation. The title card appears and we’re left wondering if the doctor was Jesse’s first victim.
Bonnie is now at Whitmore sporting a super cute bob and in charge of this week’s product placement. She’s sending her mom a video message and points out what we’ve been wondering this whole time, “What kind of dorm has a fireplace?” Elena and Caroline walk in the room carrying bags of booze. They’re throwing a party to celebrate Bonnie’s return and the death of Silas and Tessa. Bonnie makes up an excuse about going to register for classes but the girls know she’s really going to make out with Jeremy. And make out is exactly what they do. However, the fun is interrupted when Bonnie notices the ghost of an elderly woman. As she’s walking to class, the women crosses paths with her. “I’m ready,” she tells Bonnie before touching her shoulder and making her cry in pain.
Somewhere else on campus, Elena is on the phone with Damon trying to convince him to come to their dorm party. She puts him on hold to go talk to Aaron and there’s a tiny bit of jealousy on Damon’s part when he hears them talking. After asking Aaron to come to the party, Elena tells Damon to invite Stefan even though they know he’s probably not up for it. Damon relays the message to Stefan but he’s a little distracted reliving his death to pay any attention. He ends up turning down the invitation and leaves the house.
At the Mystic Grill, Matt is replaying the video of his possession on his phone—while on the job, who does that?—and a tipsy Katherine is begging him for another drink. He agrees to pour her another if she translates the video for him. Katherine watches the video and tells him that a guy named Christoph activated him. Which really just means that he made the possession possible. Matt tells him it was Nadia who put the traveler inside of him.
Back at Whitmore, the girls are busy prepping for the party when Caroline gets a call from Jesse. He tells her he needs help and asks her to come to his dorm before his roommate—who happens to be Aaron—gets there. When Aaron arrives, Jesse is unable to control his hunger and feeds on him. Luckily for the blond, Caroline comes into the dorm just in time to stop Jesse before he can kill him. He spills the beans about Dr. Maxfield’s experiments and Caroline and Elena give him a blood bag to curb his hunger. They initiate Vampire 101 and use Aaron to show him how to heal people with his blood and how to compel.
We head to the Grill, where Stefan is trying to drink away his sorrows alone but is joined by a drunk Katherine. He tells her that he keeps reliving his death and Dr. Pierce diagnoses him with PTSD. As she reminds him that she also lived through very traumatic experiences—losing her daughter and having her whole family slaughtered—Katherine tells Stefan that helping her with a little something might keep him distracted. He agrees just as Nadia walks into the bar. Katherine introduces her daughter to Stefan.
Meanwhile, Caroline and Elena talk about handling the Maxfield situation and Elena tells her that Damon is questioning him as they speak. Caroline thinks that Damon is going to kill him and assures Elena that she’s okay with them being together as long as she realizes what kind of person Damon is. In the lab, the Salvatore has Maxfield tied to a chair and tells him he’s going to inject him with all the diseases he has lying around in test tubes until he starts talking. He’ll heal him once he gets the answers he’s looking for. He starts by injecting him with a flesh eating bacteria and later follows with a shot of rabies.
Back in Mystic Falls, Katherine, Nadia, Stefan and Matt are holding a little meeting in the Grill’s back room. Matt brings the knife the traveler left him and Nadia calls the traveler forward. Gregor possesses Matt and after Katherine threatens him, he admits that he was sent to Mystic Falls to kill her. Katherine reveals her father was also a traveler and proceeds to stab Matt in the stomach. She knows the knife won’t kill him but will kill Gregor. Needless to say, Nadia is not happy. Later, Stefan is having another drink at the bar when he’s once again overcome by his memories of death. He steps outside and Katherine tries to help him but he loses control and starts to choke her. She finally gets him to release her by asking him to name all the people he’s ever killed. The distraction works and Stefan regains control of himself. Nadia comes out of the bar and is angry with Katherine for having killed Gregor. “Rot in hell,” she tells her as she walks away. It’s obvious her words and anger have on impact on Katherine.
At the party, Bonnie can’t seem to enjoy her time without being interrupted. The ghost of the elderly woman appears to her again. She tells her she’s on the other side because she was a witch. The woman explains that since Bonnie felt her pain, she doesn’t feel anything anymore. She seems friendly enough but I’m sure we’ll be seeing some scary faces in the future. Jeremy finds Bonnie and takes her away to “register for classes.” Meanwhile, Caroline and Jesse are dancing and enjoying their “heightened emotions” when we find out a new piece of information from Maxfield. He tells Damon he made Jesse into a new breed of vampire—one that feeds on other vampires. On the dance floor, Jesse bites Caroline’s lip and notices his intense hunger. He ends up leaving the party to keep himself from causing her harm. Aaron shows up and has a talk with Elena about Maxfield being his legal guardian. She realizes she can’t let Damon kill him or Aaron will be left completely alone.
Elena calls Damon and he tells her that Jesse only feeds on other vampires and does it until he kills them. She asks him not to kill Maxfield and he reluctantly agrees. As he’s preparing to feed the doctor his blood to heal him, Jesse walks into the lab demanding an explanation from Maxfield. He notices the blood on Damon’s wrists and starts to feed on him. Elena gets there just as Jesse is biting Damon’s neck. Knowing he will die if she doesn’t do anything, Elena reacts quickly and kills Jesse by stabbing him in the back with a stake. Caroline sees it happen and expresses her disappointment to her friend, “The Elena that I used to know, would’ve given Jesse a chance.” Normally I would side with Caroline because she’s my absolute favorite but I think there are a couple factors to consider here. We already know that Caroline isn’t a fan of Damon, so perhaps if it had been Stefan who was getting drained, she would’ve been a little more understanding of Elena’s actions. I’m increasingly becoming uncomfortable with how judgmental Caroline’s become of everyone around her.
Back at the Mystic Grill, Stefan is the last remaining patron at the bar. As he’s preparing to leave, he finds a note that Katherine left for Nadia. In the note, Katherine apologizes for killing Gregor but explains that it was the motherly thing to do. She does feel awful about committing suicide without even thinking that Nadia would be left without a mother. However, now that she’s growing older, she knows death is inevitable and would rather end her life sooner rather than later. We see Katherine standing at the edge of the clock tower overlooking the town. She lets herself fall but instead of hitting the ground, she lands on the arms of a vampire hunk. Stefan asks her what’s wrong and she admits that the cure is making her age faster and she’s going to die. His response? “You’re Katherine Pierce, suck it up.” It might not have sounded like much but Katherine’s expression changes to the fearless one we’re used to seeing.
Meanwhile at Whitmore, a couple of frisky teenagers—Bonnie and Jeremy—are ready to finally touch each other in all the right places but are once again interrupted by yet another ghost. I think it’s become pretty clear at this point that being the anchor is the worst, right? Jesse appears to Bonnie as she’s straddling Jeremy—awkward. She tells Jeremy that she thinks Jesse’s dead and it’s weird how he has no clue of what she’s talking about. Bonnie approaches Jesse and he tells her that he’s not ready and doesn’t want to move on but still touches her arms and crosses over to the other side. Jeremy witnesses her pain and Bonnie finally tells him what it means to be the anchor. She doesn’t want to talk about the consequences and instead asks Jeremy to kiss her. You would think what just happened would be a mood killer but they end up sleeping together anyway. Back at the dorm, Elena and Caroline talk about Jesse’s death. Caroline still insists that Damon isn’t the right choice for Elena and assures her that she’ll keep reminding her because she’s her best friend.
Speaking of Damon, he’s still at the lab waiting for the vervain to drain from Maxfield’s body so he can compel him to forget everything. He’s putting away the test tubes when he finds a blood bag in the fridge and asks what the number on the bag means. Maxfield asks him why he cares and Damon says he was #21051. There are very quick flashbacks to him tied to a table and blood spilling out of his eyes. Maxfield asks him if he was an Augustine vampire and Damon starts remembering that part of his past. He decides to kill Maxfield but by this point he’s able to free himself from his restraints and runs towards the door. He pushes a button that releases atomized vervain into the room and debilitates Damon. Maxfield tells him that Augustine will be thrilled to have him back. The episode ends with Damon finding his initials and the number 53 carved into the wall of his cage.
Wait a minute, you’re telling me that since Elena found out about the secret society she not once mentioned it to Damon? He seemed genuinely surprise to find out that Augustine still existed and that they were still doing experiments on vampires, even after he knew Jesse had been experimented on. It’s all too weird for me and a little hard to believe, if I’m being completely honest. What did you guys think of this revelation? Do you think Damon will be turned into a vampire that feeds on vampires just like Jesse or does Maxfield have more sinister plans for him?
Leave us a comment below with all your thoughts on this episode. Vampire Diaries is taking a break next week, so we’ll see you here on December 5th. Hope you all have a very happy Thanksgiving!