“The Vampire Diaries” 5.04: Ripper? I Barely Knew ‘Er!

Previously, on The Vampire Diaries

Damon drives an amnesiac Stefan through the dark Virginia night in a stolen car. Stefan reads his old journals, hoping that it will awaken his memories, obliterated when Tessa used him as a conduit to burn out Silas’s mind control abilities. It’s not working. Although Stefan remembers things like what day it is and the like he cannot recall being the “Ripper of Monterey”.

He also doesn’t remember being satisfied with drinking his blood from bags, which Damon explains is part and parcel of the whole Ripper thing. An annoyed Stefan makes to throw the empty bag out the car window but Damon gives a hoot and won’t let him pollute. Stefan concludes from this that he’s the “fun brother” and Damon is the “safe brother”. Damon puts that one right to bed, punching the accelerator and pulling the parking brake, sending the car into a tremendous crash and rollover.

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I have rolled my car before and it is in no way fun. Title card!

Elena’s blowing off more classes but Caroline has returned to the hallowed halls of Dear Old Whitmore. Elena frets about leaving Damon in charge of Stefan despite his assurance that things are “so far, so good”. Which according to Caroline means they’ve probably eaten a troop of Girl Scouts. Lest Elena think she’s not taking the situation seriously, Caroline assures her that she’s boning up on everything from microbiology to “Grey’s Anatomy. The real one and the show.” This is also in hopes of getting Doctor Maxfield to let her into his biology class (despite not having the pre-requisites for an upper-level class) which could then lead her closer to his reason for covering up their dead roommate’s death by neck rupture.

This being Caroline, she also intends to cozy up to new hottie Jesse, who is Maxfield’s TA. She’s dragging him three hours away to Mystic Falls for “Remembrance Day”, which is a thing where townspeople get drunk and ring bells in memory of the dead. Is one day gonna be enough time?

Cut to the Grill, where the Brothers Salvatore hoist shots in the memory of someone’s dead Uncle Steve. Stefan is bemused by the town’s cavalier attitude toward death and Damon explains that it dates back to a cholera epidemic in the 1820s when people would occasionally bury their dead a little prematurely. So the bereaved would sit by the grave for 24 hours to see if the “corpse” rang a bell on the surface by pulling a string from inside the coffin. Which is a real thing that happened.

In the middle of this a waitress stops by to clear away some empties. Stefan is entranced by the vein in her neck, which Damon explains is his blood lust. Stefan, double-checking that he’s not a shrink because amnesia, posits that maybe it’s the guilt from having murdered his father and forcing vampirism on Damon that caused his peculiar affliction. With those memories gone, it may well be that the Ripper persona is too. Damon proposes not testing that hypothesis. They drink to it and Elena slips in. Stefan has to be reminded of her name. Ouch.

Over at Casa Salvatore Jeremy is doing shirtless pushups, much to Bonnie’s and my approval.

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Bonnie thanks him on behalf of all the females on The Other Side. Seriously? Five years in and we can’t have any lesbian ghosts? What the hell, show?! Jeremy grows weary of her dead girl humor and the attendant lying to and avoiding of all of their friends. She tells him there’s nothing she can do about Stefan’s memory.

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He knows that but no one else does because she’s making him lie. Before they can get any more into it, Jeremy gets a call from Matt.

He meets Matt at the Lockwood place and shows him the strange knife he woke up with that morning, filling him in on his blackouts and missing time. Jeremy wonders if the protecto-ring might be messing with him but Matt is sure it’s related to the something or someone that Silas saw when he tried mind-controlling him. That would be, unbeknownst to Matt, Gregor, placed there by as Matt calls her “that Czech freak” Nadia. Matt’s set up cameras all over the house to catch what he’s doing while blacked out. How very In My Sleep of him! Matt asks Jeremy if he’s heard from Bonnie; Jeremy lies that she’s in D.C. with her mother and Matt explodes, demanding to know what she might have said to Jeremy to indicate she was mad at him. Matt’s starting to crumble but all Jeremy can think to do is leave.

Elena and Damon toss back another shot and discuss the Stefan Problem. Elena makes to call Bonnie but Stefan says he’s already called her ten times. He suggests that until she calls back they “let Stefan be Stefan” and flirt with that cute waitress whose throat he was eyeing earlier and who now, like Stefan, is off the floor.

In the storeroom the waitress washes some goo off her hands, straightening at the sink to see Stefan’s reflection. He compels her not to move or speak so he can test his Ripper theory. He gets his fang on but before he can sink them in Stefan takes him from behind, pinning him against the opposite wall. “Today, I’m the safe brother.”

The graveyard is filled with drunks celebrating Remembrance Day and Elena and the boys head for the Salvatore crypt to minimize Stefan’s exposure to human temptation. Stefan idly wonders if there’s anyone in here who he didn’t kill. Damon mentions Zach (who Damon took out in season one). “But on the bright side, our mother died of consumption!” Stefan: “Oh, good.” Damon gets a text from Jeremy asking to see him alone. He heads off, leaving Stefan and Elena to get flirty over such things as how she’s lost two sets of parents, two guardians a brother and a house in the last three years. It’s both horrifying and adorable.

Stefan asks how they met, which gives Elena the idea of taking him back to Mystic Falls High School, where they first met-cute, to see if it triggers anything. It doesn’t and they get flirty some more until Stefan catches the scent of blood from an injured wrestler. She leads Stefan outside and teaches him about super-leaping. On the roof she mentions him zhooping her to the top of a Ferris wheel once. Stefan: “When we were dating.” She’s surprised he’s figured that out but he points out that he may be amnesiac but he’s not stupid. Which leads him to wonder why they broke up, suggesting that his ripping peoples’ heads off probably had something to do with it. She gives him an “it’s not you, it’s me” saying that she changed upon becoming a vampire.

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