On “Vampire Diaries,” we get to see Stefan act like a normal 17-year-old high schooler drinking whiskey at stuffy parties — and it’s a doozy.
This new side of Stefan is far more entertaining than his usual moody self. We can care less about the responsible and the morally centered.
What we need is more unpredictable, no-holds-barred behavior. And this episode just about proves that anything is possible — even for someone as rigid as Stefan is.
Follow along the highlights of “Under Control” as they happened during the hour:
8:01 p.m. Stefan works off his sudden need for human blood by well, working out. Damon, on the other hand, isn’t buying his little brother’s “holier than thou” explanation of why he prefers tasty squirrel juice. And to tempt him, Damon leaves his glass of human blood just asking for Stefan to take that trek over to the dark side.
8:02 p.m. It’s the first John “Jackass” Gilbert sighting (guest star David Anders) and it’s not a pleasant exchange between Elena, Jeremy and Jenna. Wonder why …
8:04 p.m. Jeremy and Tyler grieve together by the benches at school. Jeremy’s suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Vicki’s death, and duh, he should be! Will they tag-team their pseudo-investigation? Alaric shows Elena an essay Jeremy wrote about Mystic Falls’ vampire lore and this brings her up to speed on what her brother’s been digging up lately. Alaric warns Elena that Stefan might be more dangerous than he seems, but aw, she’s blinded by love and won’t believe it.
Let’s call it: something dangerous will happen by episode’s end caused by Stefan’s hand.
8:10 p.m. Well that was fast … just as Stefan and Elena do the deed, his face starts to get veiny. We all know where that leads.
8:16 p.m. While walking along a creek, Elena and Jeremy have one of their rare private conversations. It’s nice to see them act like siblings, but during their walk, Elena brings up Jeremy’s vampire paper. I sense some conflict brewing between the two.
8:18 p.m. Tyler and Matt booze it up. Add Stefan to “the drunk list” at the Founders’ party and it should be a very interesting night. Guess alcohol (and dancing!) is the go-to remedy for vampires when they’re detoxing from human blood.
8:26 p.m. At the party, Sheriff Forbes officially welcomes Damon into Mystic Falls, for lack of a better term (as if he hasn’t played a major role with the council already), but Jeremy spoils all the fun when he probes her about Vicki’s death. Damon obviously had everything to do with the way her body was found, but perhaps he should’ve hid her body a little better?
8:27 p.m. Stefan and Elena dance at the party, but when Elena bumps into a random dude who clearly had a stick up his butt. Stefan goes Damon-esque, compelling the man to apologize to Elena twice, who’s standing there shell-shocked. Sorry Stefan, but you’re starting to freak everyone out.
8:29 p.m. Tyler catches Matt’s mom Kelly (guest star Melinda Clarke) dump her drink in a potted plant. Tyler says some poignant words about Vicki’s death: “It’s like I don’t even First thought: Are they going to hook up? First instinct: Duh!
8:29 p.m. John knows more than he’s letting on, bringing up 1864. Damon thinks twice about breaking his neck before actually doing it, flinging John’s body over the ledge. Is he dead? I think not.
8:34 p.m. Elena lies to Jeremy about knowing more than she’s telling him. He’s putting the puzzle together ever-so-slowly but it’s fascinating to watch him uncover the truth. What will be even more captivating is the ultimate fallout between Elena and Jeremy because of this specific conversation where his sister lies to his face.
8:36 p.m. Poor Matt. He beats the hell out of his buddy Tyler when he sees him making out with his mom outside the party Tyler’s werewolf tendencies are coming out when he beats Matt’s face apart. Alaric swoops in and saves Tyler from doing even more damage, asking him numerous times, “What the hell was that?”
8:38 p.m. Stefan senses human blood. Can he control his urge? He touches the gash on Kelly’s face and is in a trance, until he’s brought back to reality before he can indulge. When he goes outside though, some of her blood is on his hand; of course, he takes the plunge.
8:40 p.m. John returns to the party, looking as alive as ever. “You’ve got to be kidding,” Damon says, stumped.
8:46 p.m. Always the astute one, Damon notices the ring John wears on his right hand as the same one Alaric wore that saved him from knocking at death’s door. Hm, interesting.
8:46 p.m. Aha! Damon tells Alaric, who received his ring from Isobel, that Dr. Grayson Gilbert, John’s brother, is the common thread with he and John. Alaric wonders if John and Isobel ever had a thing.
8:47 p.m. The jerk Stefan compelled to apologize to Elena on the dance floor bumps into Stefan, looking for a fight. After numerous attempts to stand down, Stefan has no choice to but crush the man’s hand, prompting him to ask like a scared little boy, “What are you, man?!” Stefan compels him to make up an excuse so anyone (or Elena) wouldn’t suspect anything out of the ordinary happened, but of course, Elena is 99.9 percent sure Stefan was the culprit.
8:48 p.m. Jeremy rifles through Elena’s room for any clue of vampires and comes across her beloved diary where she wrote every possible thing down. Elena’s going to have a lot to explain.
8:52 p.m. Again, poor Matt. Kelly, grieving via drinking, comes into her room only to see him packing. “Don’t you get it? I’m better off without you!,” Matt exclaims. Surely you don’t mean that! But alas, he kicks her out of the house. As tragic and heartbreaking as the scene is, for the most part, Matt’s in the right.
8:54 p.m. Ahh, so John is the keeper of all the town’s secrets. Certainly makes sense, considering he seems to know everything about everyone. Oh you sly dog.
8:55 p.m. After the party, Elena drops in to check on Jeremy, who tells her everything’s fine and dandy on his end. What he fails to tell her is that he knows more about her knowledge of the vampires than she can even fathom. Ruh-roh.
8:56 p.m. Quickly thereafter, Stefan suddenly appears in Elena’s room. He’s struggling to keep it together, telling Elena everything. Is this a good idea, spilling his deepest, darkest truths?
8:58 p.m. Damon notices a change in Stefan’s demeanor. “It’s different this time, isn’t it? The need is too strong. Of course it would be after all these years,” Damon concludes, tempting Stefan to drink the glass of blood left on the table in front of the crackling fireplace. Stefan grabs the glass and devours the blood in one gulp. Oh brother.
What are your thoughts on Stefan’s new calling? Was Matt right in letting his mom go? What are your first impressions of John Gilbert? Discuss below!