On the same day the CW announced they ordered nine new scripts from the writer's room, The Vampire Diaries returns with its third outing, "Friday Night Bites." Damon continues to make good on his promise/threat to Stefan (it's been almost 150 years, why stop now?) by literally using the people in Elena's life as pawns on the giant chessboard known as Mystic Falls.
"I got the other brother. Hope you don't mind."
After spending most of last episode looking for Damon, Caroline finally found him and did much more than exchange numbers. Last time we saw the pair, they were making like George Costanza by combining food and sex. Though, I suppose it's only natural if you're a vampire and can get both from the same person.
The pain of her wound awakens Caroline who finds Damon sleeping next to her. She attempts to sneak out of the room but is stopped by Damon who, after smelling her blood, shows his true face once more.
This teaser is a perfect example of why the past two episodes have continued to be compelling. They've satisfied our desire for answers while leaving other questions open-ended. Any good genre show should have big and little mysteries that they answer as the story progresses. By posing smaller questions like "What did Damon do to Caroline?" we are momentarily distracted from the bigger questions about the Salvatore brothers and their connection to Elena.
Realizing she's been treating him badly, Vicki tries to build a friendship with Jeremy. Obviously, that's just not what he's looking for and he accuses her of only falling for him for the drugs.
It's not easy being the new kid in school. Meatheads throw footballs at you for no reason; teachers try to prove their worth by grilling you with questions once they find out you may be smarter than them...
And that's just what Mr. Tanner, the history teacher who shamed Aunt Jenna (who was wholly absent this week), did. Unsuccessfully, I might add. He also allows Stefan to try out for the football team, thinking he'll be knocked on his ass. But, after a bit of practice, it's clear Mr. Tanner doesn't know history or sports.
I always knew stacking teams with older players was high-school football's dirty little secret.
Her visions of what's been and what's to come have been happening with increasing regularity. Her mind has also been fixated on the numbers 8, 14, and 22. Despite telling Elena of the unsettling vision she had after touching Stefan, Bonnie is guilt-tripped into having dinner with them both.
The dinner is awkward at first, but Stefan wins Bonnie over with his observation that the Salem witches were champions of non-conformity.
"I got my own cheerleader now!"
Persuaded to forget all that Damon's done to her — okay, maybe not all, but the vampire stuff for sure— Caroline brings her new man to Elena's. Stefan unsuccessfully tries to stop his brother's invitation into the Gilbert home and Damon's plan goes off without a hitch. He's now free to enter whenever he wants and can put all his powers to dastardly use in Katherine 2.0's own home.
In fact, why wait? I know he's going to pull something. Damon and Elena have some alone time in the kitchen—the perfect time to strike. What? He helps her fold the napkins?! Oh, he's doing a lot more than that. While he helps clean up, Damon once again brings Katherine to the forefront of Elena's mind. Turns out she died in a fire and it's not long before Elena deduces that Damon had a relationship with her as well. Who got her first? It appears that's just one of many things the Salvatore brothers don't see eye-to-eye on.
There is one thing they seem to agree on.
"Let's get one thing straight. I'm not Katherine."
Her life has changed so rapidly, it's messing with her head. Never mind, that's Damon.
After Elena ignored the Swedes' advice and instead let the wrong one in, Stefan gives her a necklace with an herb contained in the locket. I'd guess the herb is mystical and not what Jeremy peddles at school.
The herb prevents Damon from "persuading" Elena.
"What are you doing, Vick?"
Matt's the classic good guy. He's being torn in every different direction by his friends and family. His sister is causing strife between his friend and his first love's brother. In addition to all of that, Matt has to deal with the stress from football season and seeing his ex fall in love with his newest teammate.
At a Timberwolves bonfire, Matt's problems come to a head. Jeremy and Ty finally have it out. A bottle, not surprisingly Jeremy's, breaks in their fight and in an instant, a drunken Jeremy tries to use it as a weapon. Stefan reacts quickly, briefly slices his hand (thank you regenerative abilities!) and stops anyone else from being hurt.
"Anyone, anytime, anyplace..."
Stefan is needed on the field but he's busy trying to contain his brother's impulses. Finally, Stefan calls Damon out on his bravado. Their sibling rivalry has lasted almost 150 years and Stefan's still standing. That wouldn't be true if Damon really wanted his brother dead. Basically, his bark is worse than his bite.
How does Damon respond to that charge? By killing Mr. Tanner.
Matt discovers his coach's body while Bonnie looks on as the police investigate the crime scene by building eight. Nearby, a car with the license plate FHT 14 is parked next to spot 22.
This prediction from Bonnie goes beyond, "What's in the drawer?"
"It wasn't just for the drugs."
Yeah, that just about covers it.
This episode was directed by John Dahl. You may have seen his name on episodes of Dexter, Breaking Bad and True Blood. He also directed the films Rounders, You Kill Me and the underrated J.J. Abrams-produced suspense thriller Joy Ride.
Great Lines & Moments
Caroline grabs a lamp.
Damon: Don't do that.
Caroline throws lamp at Damon.
After smelling Caroline's blood-soaked pillow.
Damon: This could've gone a completely different way.
Elena: There's more to me than just gloomy graveyard girl.
Damon: I've been doing some thinking. Some soul searching...
Damon: I saw Elena today, btw- that means "by the way."
After being invited in.
Damon: You have a beautiful home, Elena.
Damon: You don't seem like the cheerleading type, Elena.
Caroline: It's just 'cause her parents died. She's just totally going through a "blah" phase. She used to be way more fun... and I say that with complete sensitivity.
Standing up to Ty.
Jeremy: 'Cause it looks like I'm waiting here for you to man up.
Elena: I'm sorry about Katherine. You lost her too.
Stefan: What happened to cheerleading?
Elena: I quit. I'm a quitter.
Damon: I'm hiding from Caroline... She talks more than I can listen.
Damon: I could seduce her the old fashioned way. Or, I could just eat her.
Damon: If that's my humanity, then what's this?
Damon attacks and kills Mr. Tanner
Writing in journal...
Stefan: There's nothing human left in Damon. No good. No kindness. No love. Only a monster who must be stopped.
What did you think about this episode? I'll admit I was a bit skeptical when I saw Stefan would be joining the football team but I found this episode every bit as enjoyable as "Night of the Comet." We were shown new sides of Stefan's character and it was great seeing Elena stand up for herself.
Next week's episode is titled "Family Ties" and looks to contain more than a few revelations.