The Vampire Diaries recap: Cruel Intentions

Esther revealed her plan while Stefan took a step forward, and Damon took a step a back
Ep. 14 | Aired Feb 9, 2012

BALL GIRL So we're just gonna pretend that Elena (Nina Dobrev) had that dress in her closet?

Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW

I know the episode was called "Dangerous Liaisons," but I opted for the teen version of that for my recap title in honor of the Mikaelson siblings acting like children now that their mother, Esther, is around. Which I loved. “Rebekah wasn’t even out of her box a day before she tried to ruin my life," Klaus whined to Esther after Rebekah attempted revenge on Elena for that whole dagger-in-the-back incident. Who else thought someone was going to be in Elena's backseat and maybe pop up to wave back at her after she waved goodbye to Matt in the hospital parking lot? Luckily, Elijah was there to stop Rebekah from biting Elena. I swooned; Rebekah called both Elijah and Elena "pathetic." Why? Because they play nice? As Elijah said, he and Elena had some catching up to do. Let's dig in.

Off camera, Elijah told Elena what we the audience knew: Esther was in the fourth coffin and says she's forgiven Klaus for killing her and wants the family to live in peace with each other and the residents of Mystic Falls. As Elena updated the Salvatore brothers at her house, an invitation was delivered to her front door to join the Mikaelsons for dancing and cocktails that evening. (I guess Sheriff Forbes couldn't be at that party because she would have had to enforce the legal drinking age.) There was a note from Esther on the back: "I think it’s time we finally meet.” Elena thought she should go to find out what Esther wants with her, and Stefan agreed. Damon didn't. He wanted to go back to old Stefan who cared if Elena lived or died. Stefan said that was Damon's job now. Damon said Elena can’t protect herself -- which, of course, is true, but she doesn’t want to hear that. If she was going, Damon was going, too. I don't know why Elena thought she could tell them she wouldn't go and they'd believe her. But she did. She wanted Caroline to be her bodyguard.

Caroline had received an invitation ("Save me a dance. Fondly, Klaus”) along with a beautiful gown. Esther had urged Klaus to bring someone to the ball, which seemed sweet at the time because we didn't know she wanted Klaus to be distracted so he wouldn't see her and Elena plotting against him. I agree with Caroline that sending a woman a gown is "some twisted Cinderella fetish.” It's like on The Bachelor, when every season used to feature a date on which the man would take a woman to a shop after hours and let her try on dresses and pick one to wear for their evening together, and she'd inevitably talk about feeling like a princess. But at least we knew how a high school student got that gown. Where did Elena get hers, in small town Mystic Falls, perfectly fitted in less than a day? When I decided to go to the homecoming dance in eighth grade on the day-of in my small town, I had to settle for peach dress pants and a turquoise sweater. (I assume one of the Golden Girls worked at Deb.) Caroline wasn't going to go to the ball. For starters, Tyler is out of town. He left her a message saying he was sorry to hear about her father, but he was away doing what her dad had told him to -- keep changing into a werewolf until it no longer hurts him -- and he'd come back once he'd fixed himself. But then, Rebekah came into the Grill to invite Matt, and Caroline had a change of heart: “What time is this stupid dance?”

NEXT: Someone start making Team Elijah shirts

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