Vampire Diaries Recap: S03E04: Disturbing Behavior

While an entertaining episode, "Disturbing Behavior" serves to tie together the past and the present to set up the future rather than to showcase anything particularly groundbreaking in itself. It leaves many open ends that will need to be addressed, but promises that all will reach a head quickly. Essentially, the principle players learn enough new information to cause problems but not enough to solve them immediately. It is an episode that sets the players in place for the more spectacular scenes to come. Let's explore these open-ended problems that arise for later consideration...

Elena's necklace, a relic of the original witch.
Elena's necklace, a relic of the original witch.
Gloria tortures Stefan to get the necklace's location.
Gloria tortures Stefan to get the necklace's location.

The Problem of a Necklace

Remember when Stefan first gave Elena her necklace? It was given as a token of affection that would protect Elena from being compelled by vampires. The problem is that the necklace used to belong to a vampire, and that vampire, newly awakened after her brother “killed” her, wants it back. Elena does not know her necklace’s significance, but she begins to understand that something is wrong when it burns her skin while she is wearing it. Gloria, Klaus’ witch contact, is attempting to locate the necklace, and the reaction is immediate. Gloria tells Klaus that she got a sense for the necklace’s location, but in fact, she got more than that. She overheard the conversation between Bonnie and Elena, and she knows what Stefan has been hiding from Klaus.

Meanwhile, Gloria has her own agenda. She wants the necklace for herself, and she is willing to use Stefan to find it. She uses that same trick of Bonnie’s that hurts vampires so much they can barely move and then takes the opportunity to tie Stefan to a table. His blood contains his essence, and with a few herbs (vervaine included), Gloria can use this to actually track the necklace’s location. Luckily, Katherine kills her before she has a chance to discover Mystic Falls and go there herself. Unfortunately, Gloria was neither the only threat nor the most dangerous villain that could affect Elena’s existence.

Jeremy and Anna finally connect.
Jeremy and Anna finally connect.
Do bad things happen when Vicki appears? Or does it have something to do with Anna?
Do bad things happen when Vicki appears? Or does it have something to do with Anna?

The Problem With Ghosts

Bonnie returns, much to the joy of Elena, Bonnie, and Jeremy. But this raises the question: will Jeremy tell Bonnie, his newest girlfriend, that he is being haunted by the ghosts of his exes? The initial answer is no. And that might be because he has been dreaming about them, or Anna at the very least. And that is the reason that Jeremy and Anna can now truly reconnect. She has been calling out to him for days, and his dream acts as an answer to that call that allows them to actually communicate. Now they can speak to each other, which is a relief to Anna who has been alone since her death. Jeremy is her only connection to this world. And with their new found connection comes the ability to touch as well, which makes their bond even stronger.

But what about Vicki? “Whenever you say you see her, I feel something. A darkness. And when I try to tell you not to let her in, something crazy happens… like she’s trying to push me out,” Anna warns. So why does she come to warn Jeremy the next time she feels Vicki’s presence? While searching old spell books for a clue as to the significance of Elena’s necklace, Jeremy sees Anna appear. And suddenly the old flammable books spread across the floor are on fire. Luckily Bonnie is able to extinguish the flames with a quick spell before anyone is hurt, but the scare does drive Jeremy to push Anna away.

Damon lets his inner vamp loose on Caroline's father.
Damon lets his inner vamp loose on Caroline's father.
Alaric demands to be a part of the council given his relationship with a founding family.
Alaric demands to be a part of the council given his relationship with a founding family.

The Problem with Family

Remember when Caroline's father tortured her to try and get her to stop craving blood? Sheriff Forbes and Tyler came to her rescue last episode, and now Sheriff Forbes has her ex-husband detained so she can give Damon the chance to glamour him into forgetting everything he has learned. But the power of the mind is strong enough to keep Bill from succumbing. He has trained himself to resist compulsion, so despite Damon's best efforts, Bill remembers everything that has happened and decides to stay in town. After all, he knows that vampires and vampire sympathizers have compromised the council. He also does not seem to mind anyone knowing that he still remembers, as he crashes the council meeting.

“I know you think I’m the bad guy here, Damon, but I would never expose my daughter to those morons.” Only torture her and kill her if she could not fight her nature. And if you let her live, it would only be in a town where the water supply is spiked with an herb that causes her pain (Bill’s plan to keep everyone in line). I am still confused as to how Bill justifies his view on vampires given his love for his daughter, but no matter.

Damon decides to take things into his own hands and attacks Bill, making it clear that he has no problems with being the evil Damon we once knew. But blood is thicker than… torture? Caroline, proving that she is very much herself, just stronger and a little bloodthirsty, comes to her father’s rescue and pushes Damon around the room. Basically, she kicks butt. Bill recognizes that he has no place in this new order and leaves town.

In other news, Alaric decides to become the true representative of the Gilbert family by taking a place on the council. I like the new and improved Alaric, though he has to make sure not to overstep his responsibilities when it comes to taking care of the young Gilberts.

Rebekah wants to trust Stefan, but she suspects the he is hiding something.
Rebekah wants to trust Stefan, but she suspects the he is hiding something.
Klaus decides to see Stefan's betrayal for himself.
Klaus decides to see Stefan's betrayal for himself.

The Problem with Trust

Back in Chicago, we have three vampires in an uncertain alliance. They used to be friends, but the situation has changed drastically. Stefan stays with Klaus because leaving would put his brother and Elena in danger. Rebekah stays with Klaus… possibly because of the bond between siblings. But since Klaus killed her temporarily, this bond may be suffering. Rebekah could be staying because she still loves Stefan (after all, for her no time has passed since her seemed to love her back). Either way, the alliance is unsteady, and any small thing could break it.

In addition, Rebekah has awoken to find that things have changed. Stefan and Klaus appear to be friends, but Stefan no longer treats her like she walks on water. He is still trying to keep on her good side, however, so that he can pump her for information about who the siblings were running from before her “death.” She is reticent to begin with, but she is even more so after she forces a kiss on Stefan. She asks if he believes he could ever love again after Elena’s death, and he lies and says he will in time. She catches the lie and rats him out to Klaus: “He’s not with us, Nick, I can sense it."

The next thing Stefan knows, he is waking up on the floor of the truck that houses Klaus’ family coffins. Fearing for his life, Stefan gets ready to defend his betrayal, but Klaus stops him short. “No need. I’m not mad; I’m just curious. Rebekah seems to think you’re holding onto something. A piece of your old life. The thing is, she’s got flawless instinct, borderline supernatural, so I thought I would check it out. See for myself what it is you’ve been hiding…”

With these last ominous words, Klaus opens the bay door to reveal the familiar sites and sounds of Mystic Falls. Remember what I said about this episode bringing all the players to where they need to be? Mystic Falls seems to be the gathering point for a head-on collision.

With Stefan gone, the sparks between Damon and Elena start to fly and others begin to notice.
With Stefan gone, the sparks between Damon and Elena start to fly and others begin to notice.
Katherine visits Damon with the necklace and the promise of a road trip.
Katherine visits Damon with the necklace and the promise of a road trip.
Caroline, as always, tells it like it is.
Caroline, as always, tells it like it is.

The Problem with Damon

While Stefan is fighting to hide his true self, Damon is trying to reclaim it. He has been playing the hero while Stefan has been away, and has gotten closer to Elena because of it. But despite his good behavior, he is not seeing any change in his relationships with the citizens of Mystic Falls. His only friends, Alaric and Sheriff Forbes, still distrust him, and Elena's trust is dependent upon him keeping in line with Stefan's old values. This causes him much frustration, and he finally breaks when he attacks Bill.

So when the opportunity presents itself in the form of Katherine, Damon elects to skip town and his newfound responsibilities: “Why not? The walls are starting to close in on me around here.” Let’s see how long that plan lasts, as both Salvatore brothers seem inevitably drawn to Elena's side.

On the other side of things, people close to Elena are seeing changes in her relationship with Damon, and they are worried. Alaric mans up and tells Damon to “take a beat” with Elena after seeing their interactions. Later, Damon repays him by killing him. Yes, it is temporary, and Damon knows that, but the action still does not bode well for his relationship with Alaric. Caroline also notices the attraction between the two, but she is most pointed in making Elena admit that her attraction is growing despite her love for Stefan. I love how Caroline always tells it like it is. As the audience we have always seen that the attraction between Elena and Damon has always been mutual, but it has not been given room to grow. With Stefan out of the picture, this was a possibility, but with his sudden return to Mystic Falls, the complicated feelings Elena has for the Salvatore brothers must be addressed, and soon.

Problems to Come

With Klaus in Mystic Falls, he will inevitably find out that the doppelganger lives, which could be the reason his attempts at hybridity have failed. Also, Damon's sudden departure with Katherine can only spell trouble for Elena, as she loses an ally at a crucial juncture. As for Jeremy and his ghost problems, how long can his associations with Anna continue now that Bonnie is back and knows that he has the means to communicate with his dead ex-girlfriend? Keep watching and reading to find out...

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