‘Vampire Diaries’ Recap: A Past Explains Present Bonds

'tvd' recap: Damon & Elena
The pair take a giant leap forward in their relationship.
'tvd' exclusive photos
See two exclusive shots from Episode 9.
Thursday’s episode of The CW’s The Vampire Diaries took us back to Bourbon Street to learn some very important things about present day Mystic Falls, including some insight into the vampire sire bond and Professor Shane’s (David Alpay) big plan.

The episode also gave us both Salvatores looking dashing in a uniform and the welcome return of Stefan’s BFF Lexie (Arielle Kebbel).

Note: Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen Thursday’s episode, “We’ll Always Have Bourbon Street.”

Girls’ night. When the boys go to NOLA, the girls will play. With Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) headed to the Big Easy to figure out the hows and whys of Elena’s sire bond, Elena (Nina Dobrev), Caroline (Candice Accola) and Bonnie (Kat Graham) decide to have a slumber party, complete with some drinks and “spirit tea,” at the Salvatore mansion. While Caroline is super judge-y the whole night, especially once she finds out Elena and Damon have since slept together, it’s kind of hilarious and awesome. There’s some major tension, but in the end it’s all good between the three besties.

Tyler is the Top Dog. Julie Plec had told reporters that Tyler (Michael Trevino) becomes a hero this season and this episode of TVD definitely cemented him in that role. Kim, the hybrid we met last week whose sire bond was broken by Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin), decided to take him on as leader of their pack by kidnapping Caroline. After she attacks Tyler, he takes her down, telling the other released hybrids that her revolt put them all at risk. Convincing his “troops” that they need to work together in order to defeat Klaus, Kim finally submitted and Tyler became the alpha wolf.

“The [sire] bond affects how you act, not how you feel.” Delena fans, hopefully, can breathe a sigh of relief after seeing this episode as we learned that the only reason Elena is sired to Damon is because of her human feelings for the older Salvatore brother. (See, their hook up wasn’t completely invalidated! The feelings are real!) Meanwhile, Back in 1942, another young lady, Charlotte (Madeline Zima) was also afflicted with a sire bond to Damon and has spent the last 70 years pining for him. But by episode’s end he set her free, which leads us to…

A selfless Damon. Despite Damon’s sometimes jack-ass ways, he really is a stand up guy. Back in 1942, at the bequest of Lexie, he let his baby brother go off to war alone so that his ‘live with no guilt’ ways wouldn’t influence Stefan to become the ripper again. Then, in present day, he was ready to break Elena’s sire bond by telling her that she is free, and thus never being able to be with her again. Of course, she stopped him before he could do so (at least by this episode’s end), but he was there ready to do the right thing even though, admittedly he doesn’t do that. Did anyone else’s heart want to break during that final scene? Seriously, the first and last five minutes of this episode were simply so fantastic – especially if you’re a big Delena fan.

Expression. During the Salvatores’ trip to New Orleans, we learned that expression is a deep and dark magic that requires a lot of sacrifices. And it appears this is the magic the good professor has been teaching to Bonnie. What will he use her and the 12 hybrids he made Hayley de-sire for? It’s not entirely clear to me just yet but given that the old witch in NOLA also mentioned the No. 12 too, I’m processing some theories.

“We’re the beginning.” Shane IS SO CREEPY. Recalling Pastor Young’s final words, Shane told Hayley that they are the beginning. What does that even mean? And will Hayley stick with him now that she knows her parents have died? So many questions, which I’m sure won’t have answers until after the New Year.

Buzz Moments:

OMG: Well this is weird…there actually weren’t any moments in this episode that made me gasp. I’d have to say this may be the first time I can ever say that for an episode of TVD.

Thank you, TV gods.: For giving an explanation of the sire bond which still validates Elena and Damon and the feelings between them.

Awk-ward: Will it ever not be awkward when Stefan walks into a room moments after Damon and Elena were locking lips? Though this week’s awkward moment upped the weirdness 10 times more from last week.

Hotness: Those first five minutes – hello! SO HOT!

Fab-u-lous: Elena Gilbert has good taste in clothes – the gorgeous dress she dons at school is from Free People (a brand I love). It’s available for purchase here.

Can. Not. Wait.: For Christmas in Mystic Falls! And the Tyler/Caroline tension which has been promised in next week’s midseason finale.

Celebuzz (1-10): 8. An overall great episode that clarified several things, featured some hot scenes and really fun action.

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