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The Vampire Diaries Episode 3-12 ‘The Ties That Bind’ Recap

Creepy woods and a cemetery welcome us to the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries. Bonnie (Kat Graham) is having another one of her nightmares, and this time it has her ending up in a coffin. She needs to stop wandering in her sleep.

Thursday night is about to get steamy. After last week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries left us with more than a few questions, all signs point to some answers…followed by more questions.

Creepy woods and a cemetery welcome us to the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries. Bonnie (Kat Graham) is having another one of her nightmares, and this time it has her ending up in a coffin. She needs to stop wandering in her sleep.

At least it wasn’t real this time, like that one time in Season One, where she woke up in the woods in her pajamas. Do you remember that? What an uncomfortable bed that must have made.

Bonnie believes that the dream is a message from the dead witches about who they need to get help from to open the mysterious fourth coffin. An unlikely character is revealed and, by unlikely, I mean totally likely. Bonnie brings Elena (Nina Dobrev) in on the secret to get her help in finding her mother who walked out on her 15 years before. Stefan (Paul Wesley) is none too happy about this newest development, which begs the recurring question: why is he so adamant about keeping Elena clear of the yucky details? Your guess is as good as mine, but I have a stinking suspicion the switch got switched.

Damon (Ian Somerhalder) “speeds up the research process” with his powers of persuasion but, despite his boy scout like help, the girls decide to leave him behind. After some intense eye contact between Damon and Elena, Damon decides to drop his gentlemanly ways and tell Bonnie about the kiss. Good thing; they couldn’t possibly have had enough topics to discuss on their way to track down a woman who abandoned her daughter. That lady may or may not be the answer to the witchy lock box.

After the birthday disaster that ended up with Caroline (Candice Accola) hovering on the brink of death, Tyler (Michael Trevino) does some soul searching which ends in him seeing this bond with Klaus (Joseph Morgan) in a new way. He decides that the best course of action is to bring Bill Forbes (Jack Coleman) into the mix. Perhaps his brand of help will be more effective with someone that has unfriendly tendencies and desire to change.

Alaric (Matt Davis) is getting nice and friendly with Dr. Fell (Torrey Devitto) out in the open at the Mystical Falls Grill. Work calls, and she heads off to the hospital. Though, before Alaric can follow suit, Damon decides to join the party. The news of her ex showing up dead brings a damper to the festivities, and brings on a whole new complicated mess to the Alaric love life category. Why can’t he just find a sweet, vampire oblivious lady friend?

Stefan pays Klaus a visit, or is it the other way around? The way they walk in and out of eachothers’ humble abodes, it’s hard to tell. Salvatore Manor it is. Klaus is looking to get his family back and Stefan is still not in a mood to negotiate.  It looks like Stefan may find himself as alone as Klaus if he keeps up this attitude, and wasn’t it a cocky attitude that started this whole mess in the first place? Watch out, Stefan; Klaus is almost always one step ahead. Make a move or fold. Either way, this stale mate is getting old.

The road trip to find Momma Bennett gives Bonnie some time to grill Elena about kissing the other Salvatore brother. However, their conversation is conveniently interrupted by Stefan’s incessant calling. Being the one kept out of the loop isn’t so fun when it’s on the other foot.

In an upset, Klaus seems to be one step ahead as per his usual style. One of his hybrids is already at Abby Bennett’s front door. What has this original menace to society discovered? And, more importantly, how long has he been holding onto this card?

The girls arrive, but the person they find first isn’t Abby. They come face to face with her pseudo son, Jamie (Robert Ri’chard) – a good looking guy that she took in after she dumped his deadbeat dad. It doesn’t take long before we get what we came for, the meet-and-greet between mother and daughter, which is about as awkward as expected.

Abby (Persia White) doesn’t save any time before telling the story of why she left town. It was a heroic enterprise at the request of her best friend, none other than Miranda Gilbert, Elena’s deceased mother, after Papa Original showed showed up looking for the doppelganger. It turns out she is the very witch that put Michael in the crypt that Katherine and Jeremy found him in.

While Elena steps outside to give the two Bennett’s a minute, Stefan shows up and he is not amused by being left out of this step of the plan.

Back in Mystic Falls, Damon goes on his gut and takes it upon himself to make an introduction between himself and Dr. Fell. Things are starting to look funky, but Damon is willing to shake the truth out of her. That is, up until she vervains him in the back. It looks like this doc might be the psychopath her ex claimed she was. It’s not looking good, but I’m sure Damon will come out of it with minimal damage. Taking blood from a vampire? Dr. Fell, you are a naughty girl

Bill chains up Tyler, and not for any sort of fun. Taking the first step in severing the ties with his maker, Tyler must change into a werewolf. And the fun has officially left the room, except for the fact that Tyler is now shirtless. Caroline looks on as Tyler starts his transformation but gets too emotional. She leaves him in her father’s questionably capable hands, and Bill decides to take things to the next level. When did he start being a concerned parent again?

Things are still tense at the family reunion. Bonnie isn’t buying the charade and starts asking the tough questions. She wants to know why her mother didn’t come home after she lost her magic in the Michael debacle. Bonnie moves onto the reason they came in the first place, but without magic, what can Abby do to help open the coffin?

At this point, Klaus’ master plan starts to take effect. Jaime tries to break up a confrontation between Elena and Stefan. Stefan tries to harsh his mellow, compelling him to walk away. Jaime isn’t phased by Stefan’s threats because it turns out he’s already compelled. I guess that explains what the hybrid was doing there. And, he’s not the only one. When he shoots Stefan, the gun shots alert Bonnie to danger. Before she can find out what’s going on, her mother uses herbs of some kind to disable her. So much for this mother/daughter reunion.

Damon heads for Alaric to give him the heads up on Meredith, but he doesn’t react like one might expect.

Meanwhile, back at the old farm, Elena finds herself in some pretty uncomfortable looking ropes, while an unconscious Bonnie is being dragged into the backseat of a car. Abby takes Bonnie straight to the hybrid who is looking for information on the whereabouts of the coffins. Klaus gets some points for creativity in this round.

Elena escapes from the ropes with some tricky maneuvering around his vampire orders. She rushes to play nurse for an injured Stefan. Then, there are few tense moments (as if there hasn’t been enough lately,) between Stefan and Elena when she is forced to remove the wood shards from his chest. He decides that now is as good a time as any to comment on her personal growth. She spills the Damon kiss, and his reaction looks like a confused stare. Then he just leaves. No touching comeback and no foul retort. Maybe we are in store for a touching, yet not too over-the-top, solitary meltdown later on? I would have thought the truth would’ve been more of a moment, but his silence is pretty harsh.

Klaus does his own dirty work this time and follows Damon to the old house. Does Klaus think that Damon has revealed the location of the coffins to him?

Klaus may have figured it out. Fortunately, Damon is on the good side of the witches this time around. Klaus has an interesting proposition for the witches that will bring three out of four coffins to light. Thankfully, Bonnie was able to send an S.O.S. in time for Damon to get the mystery coffin out of the house. The game is still on, as now the fourth coffin becomes leverage for Damon, who decides he wants to play .

Alaric confronts Dr. Fell, but she seems to have a reasonable explanation. Dr. Fell uses the vampire blood she took from Damon to save Bill’s life. He was injured in an actual animal attack. Well, sort of. Tyler went all werewolf and turned out to be a little more than Bill could handle. Oops!

Abby tries to make amends for choosing this life over the one she had. She may be on the path back to power, if it means saving the day for her daughter.

A softer side of Stefan is back for at least a few minutes. The Stefan we all love makes a momentary return and seems genuinely hurt, but not particularly angry with Elena. Now that he’s wearing his feelings on his sleeve, will he just let Elena and Damon walk off into the sunset? Or, is he finally ready to fight for what was his? Maybe it’s time to start looking to get back some of what you lost, Stefan. This revenge plate it getting cold.

Stefan comes home solo, leaving Elena behind at the farmstead – a questionable choice. Damon is drinking alone, but gives Stefan an update. Stefan has an update of his own, a punch square in Damon’s jaw. This pretty much answers any lingering questions on how Stefan feels about Elena. Damon takes it in stride, and offers an olive branch of sorts – a dagger straight out of an original.

Elijah, an inspired choice, is back!

What does this mean for Mystic Falls, now that two originals with a grudge are on the scene? Will Stefan let Damon move in on Elena, or will he try to win her heart back?

What were your thoughts on this episode?

About the author

Lindsay Sperling

Lindsay Sperling has A.D.D. and her tastes reflect it. Her movie collection boasts everything from Casablanca to John Tucker Must Die to every season of Sons of Anarchy to-date. She adamantly supported a Veronica Mars Movie (yes, she did make a donation to see it happen..and also possibly for the t-shirt), hopes that the Fast & Furious franchise continues far into the future, and has read every popular YA book series turned film in recent years (except Harry Potter..). When she's not on an indie film set or educating the youth of America, she uses her time arguably productive as a freelance writer.