Vampire Diaries Recap: S03E07: Ghost World
Making the Unseen Seen
It all begins the day leading up to the Night of Illumination, the night when all the lights are turned off and only lanterns light the way in the Mystic Falls. Caroline and Bonnie are walking together, discussing the ghost drama that went down with Vicki and whether or not any other ghost would be capable of directly affecting their world. When Bonnie reaches for her bag, her grimoire tumbles to the ground, mysteriously opening onto “a manifestation spell, it’s used to reveal veiled matter.” If cast properly, the spell would reveal the presence of ghosts.
Returning to the spot where Bonnie saved Jeremy’s life by summoning the help of past witches, she casts the revelation spell. When Bonnie opens her eyes, she sees her dearly departed Grams sitting in front of her. Across town, Elena sees Anna, Stefan sees Lexie, and Ric and Damon see Mason. Apparently the spell made any ghost viewable to the general populace. The ghosts of the past seasons have unfinished business with the still “living,” and they will definitely make their presence felt.
Damon and Mason
We pick up where we left off. Damon is chained to a chair, and he thinks Stefan had something to do with it. But it is Mason Lockwood, supposedly dead, that opens the curtains to let Damon burn. To the audience, this is as clear as the daylight shining in, but for some reason, Damon cannot see his tormentor. It is Damon who first alerts Bonnie and Caroline that they could have another ghost situation on their hands given his suspicions. He also informs Alaric of the possibility, because Mason being back in town could also pose Ric a problem, given that the two conspired to kill him in the first place. Damon and Ric are still at the bar, discussing the situation and their current lack of friendship when Bonnie’s spell is completed and Mason becomes visible.
While Mason’s initial actions had been vengeful, he only wants two things: an apology from Damon and to help Tyler. His leverage? He knows a way to kill Klaus. Damon takes the bait and follows Mason’s instructions: "Meet me at the old Lockwood cellar. Bring a shovel. Come alone." Beneath the cellar is a series of caves where Mason believe they will find what they seek: “There's an old Lockwood family legend about a weapon that could kill a vampire,” he explains. “Like the rest of their secrets they kept it buried." The Lockwoods’ caution when it came to vampires is a double-edged sword; they kept the weapon buried and protected it, which means that there is a point in the caves that Damon cannot cross. That leaves Mason to soldier on alone.
Lexie and Stefan
While the last thing Damon would want would be to come into contact with the already dead (seeing how many he has killed), Elena has one particular ghost she would like to spend some time with: Lexie. Elena would do anything to bring Stefan back from the dark side that is human blood addiction, and she has read in Stefan’s many diaries that the one person who could bring him back from that ledge time and time again was his best friend Lexie. Unfortunately, Damon killed Lexie back in season one. Elena initially asks resident ghost whisperer Jeremy to try and contact Lexie, but that is before Bonnie’s spell reveals that Lexie is already there, waiting to impart her great knowledge. Though the ghosts need to be banished back to their side of the divide, Elena is quick to ask Bonnie to hold off as long as possible so that she can learn Lexie’s Stefan-taming secrets.
Be ready for some vampire torture scenes. Strapped to a chair, Stefan has no choice but to clench his teeth through the pain before him as Lexie starts her teaching: "First step, drying him out. Starve away the blood lust; strip away the temptation," she instructs as she does some vampire mind trick that makes Stefan’s skin crawl… literally.
Elena has to stand by and watch as Stefan rapidly cycles through the stages of blood detox, which includes begging and irrational anger. Elena is clearly affected by what she is seeing, but Lexie stays impassive as she continues: "Once he's weak enough, you have to cause him pain. Make him feel things. Anger, rage, anything. You have to make him see past the blood." Lexie drives a stake through Stefan to prove her point. "Think of it like a regimen, day in and day out. Like running the treadmill, like making coffee. Until he's ready to be saved." Elena can't hack it, so she runs away, and straight into... the aftermath of the founder's celebration.
The Night of Illumination
In a small town like Mystic Falls, there is no end to the festivals and celebrations that the leading families can dream up to celebrate the town’s history. On the night of one such celebration, the Night of Illumination, the lights are turned off in town and hundreds of lanterns are turned on. It harkens back to a simpler time when there was no electricity, a time where there were also more vampires running amok.
The problem with a rift opening between our reality and the afterlife is that you cannot control who crosses that rift. While helpful ghosts like Grams, Lexie, and Mason cross over, intent on imparting knowledge rather than getting revenge for their deaths, some non-friendly spirits cross over with them. This includes the ghosts of other dead vampires who have a score to settle with the founding families of Mystic Falls. And how convenient that they are all gathered in the town square to celebrate! The usurper Frederick, who prefers not to toe the line of safety, states it simply to Anna and Jeremy: "Well it's founders celebration, and we... we've got some unfinished business with the founding families." Cue screams as the townspeople discover where Mr. Fell, the town historian who was supposed to give a brief talk on the history of the celebration, has gotten to: he is strung from a tree, blood dripping in tracks from his dead body. Now cue panic.
Anna and Jeremy
There is one person who does not want all of the ghosts to return from whence they came. Jeremy and Anna have gotten even closer since her death, it seems. Anna has actually taken to following Jeremy around. It's kind of cute. Though Jeremy is more than accepting of her presence, however, Anna is well aware that others would not be so excited to know that she still has a foothold in our world. When Anna and Jeremy go somewhere private to talk, they broach the subject of their ability to touch each other. Jeremy is suspicious, thinking that Anna must be getting some sort of help from the other side to keep her connection so strong. She swears she is alone. And then Jeremy kisses her. Not cool when he is dating his sister’s best. Especially not cool when Bonnie’s spell takes hold at this moment and Elena walks in to see the kiss. Drama! Elena calls Caroline and tells her what happened but still asks that they wait to do the spell until she can help Stefan. Problem? Bonnie overhears Caroline use the term "boyfriend dramas," plural, when speaking with Elena, so Caroline has no option but to spill the beans about the kiss. The heartbreak on Bonnie's face is gut wrenching, especially given that we heard her confess her love for Jeremy to Grams earlier in the evening.
Bonnie and Caroline cannot delay casting the banishing spell for long, but in order to cast the spell they require Elena/Rebekah’s necklace, which has gone missing. Caroline suspects that Anna took the necklace so that she could stay with Jeremy. Jeremy supports Anna, claiming she would never do such a thing, but Caroline tells him off. I do so love a Caroline that sticks up for her friends in such a no-nonsense way! Unfortunately for Jeremy, Caroline was right; Anna stole the necklace to make sure she could stay. She returns it, and the spell is cast. All of the ghosts return to the other side, Anna included, but not before she is reunited with her mother, Pearl.
Finishing Unfinished Business
With the ghosts returned to the other side, the citizens of Mystic Falls are safe for now. But not all is well with our favorite characters. Due to her inability to follow through with Stefan’s detox regimen, Elena must live with a Stefan who is still under the control of his bloodlust. Bonnie vows never to see Jeremy again despite Anna’s departure. He did break her heart after all. And though the spell worked to send the ghosts back, the ever-so dangerous necklace remains unharmed.
But what about that weapon that Mason tried to locate? Right before the banishing spell took hold, he had discovered something in the caves, something that Damon would be unable to track down due to the barrier impeding his progress. He calls in Alaric to look for the weapon, but what he finds is not an object. Instead, Alaric comes across cave paintings covering the walls. It is these pictures that will reveal what Elena and co need to do to kill Klaus.