Episode 3.07 TVD – “Ghost World” or Redemption and Hope” (10/28/2011)

I know it’s only October, and last night’s episode of TVD was a Halloween special, but to me it felt like a Valentine.

According to a tweet from Julie Plec, “Ghost World” was a gift to viewers.  And it was very, very special.

I know that today’s technology – social media in particular – makes it possible for fans and producers/directors/writers/actors to interact in a new, immediate and powerful way.  But there is nothing compelling (no pun intended) the creators of TVD – or any show – to act on fan
feedback.  The fact that they did shows just how much they appreciate the fans, and who doesn’t love that?

Moreover, TVD is some of the best television ever, with its rich characters and complex plot-lines.  Yet these people took the time to weave into this incredible tapestry some of the most beloved former characters in a way that closed out the past, included just about everyone (Tyler was the
notable absence last night), and not only did not destroy the integrity of the current story line – Klaus and the Original family – but enhanced it.

And because of that, I continue to be awestruck by the production, writing, and acting on this show.  That it doesn’t get recognition from The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences or SAG is criminal.  This show defines the term “ensemble”. But the acting and writing stand on
their own merits, individually as well as collectively.

In a season that has so far been marked by one standout episode after another, this one was particularly sweet.  And if you didn’t cry – at least once – you have my deepest sympathy.  This show is superior because of the way it makes the fans care about the characters. Their happiness – and their pain – is ours as well.

So what happened?  For me, it was a story of redemption and hope.

Vicki is gone.  But Anna is still there, and Mason has appeared.  And Mason appears to be out for revenge against Damon.  So Damon finds Bonnie and gives her an order – “fix it”.  Bonnie is concerned because if Mason is here, things are much worse than she imagined.  Vicki and Anna are bad enough, but just how many ghosts are there?

Her grimoire drops and falls open to a page with a manifestation spell to reveal “veiled matter”.  Say what?  In a word – ghosts.  Bonnie and
Caroline are off to the old witches house (the one where Bonnie brought Jeremy back to life) and Bonnie starts chanting the spell.

Suddenly, ghosts start to pop up everywhere.  And they are corporeal – they can touch people and people can see and feel them!

Lexi appears to Stefan, and she has one of the best moments of the night.  When Stefan is less than happy to see her, she cracks his head against the side window of an SUV and knocks him out!  Lexi was beloved for her spunk as much as her humanity.  She’s the kick-ass precursor
to our beloved Caroline!  She is there to help Elena get rid of the Ripper and get the “feeling” Stefan back.

Mason shows up at the bar next to Damon and Alaric – and Ric can see him! Mason is not there to mess with Damon – he just wants an apology, and to help.  He knows where there is information on how to kill Klaus, and that will free Tyler.  He even accepts the left-handed, half-assed apology that Damon offers up!  I always liked Mason.

Elena enters the restroom at the Grill and sees Jeremy – kissing Anna – she can see Anna!

And Sheila Bennett shows up in the abandoned house.  Grams!

Bonnie starts to cry but Grams tells her there is no time for that.  When Bonnie brought Jeremy back from the dead, she upset the balance of nature.  Grams is going to help her to get the balance back.

In an unexpectedly sweet moment, Caroline greeting Grams with “Hi Miss Shelia” and it had just the right touch of southern gentility and respect for her elders.  Anyone who is not in love with Caroline has a hard, hard heart.

Grams explains that the Original Witch gained a foothold into the human world when Bonnie opened the door for Jeremy to enter.  And then she used Vicki, knowing that Bonnie would send her back – which only opened the door wider.  Basically, anyone with unfinished business can come back now.  They need to destroy the OW’s talisman (the necklace) to send all the ghosts back and close the door between this world and the next.

It was very fitting that Grams was the one who got to explain what’s going on, including the information about the Original Witch, the necklace and the warning about staying out of Original Vampire business.   Jasmine Guy nails the part of Grams once again.  Sheila Bennett is the perfect combination of maturity, beauty, wisdom, compassion and love.  She is stern, but in a way that conveys love and concern.  It is why she is so beloved.

Caroline calls Elena and tells her that Bonnie needs the necklace – the OW is using it to draw power from the living.  Elena says she doesn’t have the necklace – Damon does.  Bonnie and Caroline are off to Casa Salvatore to look for it (even in the soap dish), but it’s not there.

Mason sets off on a hunt on the Lockwood property with Damon, looking for something that will help Tyler – information on how to kill Klaus.

Lexi gives Elena lessons on how to rid Stefan of his Ripper impulses and restore his humanity and emotions.  It’s basically a course in tough love.  Turns out that the necklace was a symbol of hope to Stefan in his darkest time.   (It’s perfect that a talisman that represents hope wound up with the character who, among all the characters in Mystic Falls, best represents hope.)

But not every ghost who has appeared is there to help someone.  Frederick and some of the tomb vampires appear in the square, ready to resume their vendetta against the founding families, and they start with a Fell – of course.  (Those Fells just can’t catch a break.)

And it turns out Anna, who really does love Jeremy, loves her mother too.  She took the necklace because she doesn’t want the door to close before she can find her mother.  And if she can’t find her mother, she wants Jeremy.  She doesn’t want to be alone.  She can’t quite believe that
there are people on the other side who have found peace because she hasn’t.

Elena tells her she is not being fair to Jeremy, but Anna knows that.  Jeremy tells her he believes there is peace on the other side, and she gives him the necklace.  He takes it to Bonnie (who –now that she knows about all the love between Anna and Jeremy – is really pissed.)

Bonnie takes the necklace, throws it into the fire – and starts to chant, and suddenly Grams is beside her, slipping her hand into
Bonnie’s hand and chanting along with her.  With a crack and a pop, the necklace disappears.

And suddenly, Damon is alone.  Mason is gone.

Mason provided one of the key moments of the night with his “revenge versus redemption” speech.  He understood he made bad choices in his
life, but they are over.  He wants to help Tyler.  His part in the story was the key to what is going to happen in the next episode, because he leads Damon to the location of information on Klaus and the originals – information that may provide a way to kill Klaus – and free Tyler from his grasp.

Lexi passes the “de-Rippify” torch to Elena, and she is gone.

Lexi got to offer Elena hope – that Stefan is still in there somewhere, regardless of what Klaus has done.  And now Elena knows how to knock the Ripper out of him, if she is so inclined.

Grams tells Bonnie “You’re stronger than all of this.  I’m proud of you.”  And she’s gone.

Bonnie finally gets closure with her Grams.  Sheila passed away unexpectedly in Season 1 and Bonnie spent a good deal of time away from
Mystic Falls mourning her loss.  Sheila is one of those earthy characters that ground everyone around her, and that her last words to Bonnie were words of encouragement felt so right – yes, it was one of the crying moments.)

Finally, the sweetest moment was with Anna.  As the ghosts disappear one by one, we see Pearl in the middle of the road.  (I’m getting teary-eyed thinking about it as I write this…)  Anna sees her and they run to each other, pure joy radiating from their faces.  And they disappear together, holding each other.  Best moment of the episode – in an episode that was full of best moments, as always.

But we’re not done yet.  Because this is- after all – The Vampire Diaries.

Ric has found his way to the Lockwood caves and Damon.  And discovers some interesting writing on the walls!

With a flash, crackle and pop, the necklace suddenly reappears on the hearth!   It would not make sense for something that represents hope to simply disappear.  Besides that, if you cheated (like I did, naturally) and saw the pictures of Original Mom wearing that necklace in next week’s
episode, you know it’s not really gone.

Looks like the Original Witch is one powerful Bitch!  She will not be stopped.  She must really hate Klaus.

(WARNING:  If you have not yet seen the promo for next week’s episode, you might not want to read further.  If you can’t stand the wait, carry on!)

Next week?  Well, it is impossible for me not to comment on next week’s eagerly anticipated episode about the Original Family back before they were vampires. When the short promo was posted, it wasn’t long before we had screen caps to show details of who we will see – some old
friends, some new.

And apparently, these people have a Viking heritage.  As usual, a hint of this was dropped in a past episode by Rebekah.  Everything on this show is done with deliberation.  Nothing is wasted. Rik tells us the writing on the walls of the cave is Viking script – and it includes the names of the Original Family members.

Original Mom, in episode stills, is wearing the necklace, so either she is the Original Witch (play on words?) OR she is wearing a gift from someone else.  While she may be a witch, I still think she’s a Petrova.  There are no Viking Petrova’s as far as I know.  Mikael may have picked
her up on a previous journey across the seas. And I don’t think she’s the Original Witch (mother’s don’t hate their children, no matter what they do)  – but I do think she’s the OW’s BFF.

It also looks like presumed youngest Original sib is dead (in Klaus’ arms).  We don’t know really if he’s the youngest sibling of the Original Family, or the child of one of the Original siblings.  We just know that he sure looks dead in Klaus’s arms.  Did Papa Werewolf and his clan
attack the Original Family Settlement?  Is Original Dad Mikael sword fighting with Original Werewolf Dad – or Klaus?

And I think I see a tree burning in the night sky?  The oak?

As usual, the anticipation is killing me.  Let the countdown begin.

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