Stefan’s humanity starts to show as he once again saves Damon’s life

Season 3, Episode 9 (“Homecoming”)
Sebastian Roché (Image: The CW)

This episode reminds me a lot of “Masquerade” in season 2, maybe because it also takes place at a party at the Lockwoods’ house and involves most of the cast scheming to kill a villain. However in this episode the villain is Klaus instead of Katherine (and Katherine is actually in on the scheme) and instead of a charity event, it is a party that Klaus threw to celebrate his father’s death. These types of episodes are always fun to watch and contain multiple plot twists on the plan. Just as in “Masquerade” the audience doesn’t know what the plan (or in this case the sub-schemes within the larger scheme) is before it happens so we are watching it unfold without much idea of what is next.

Klaus is lured back to Mystic Falls when he hears that his father is dead and he promptly throws a party. I’m assuming he is the one that caused the gym to flood so that everyone would have to go to the backup party at Tyler’s. He even gets a band to play on very short notice (he likely compelled them). He certainly has a flair for the dramatic. The heroes’ scheme to kill Klaus relies on too many people who can’t be trusted, mainly Mikael and Stefan. With Stefan compelled to obey Klaus he won’t be able to directly disobey an order. Damon comes up with a secret plan to insure against people turning on them. However, what they don’t expect is that Stefan would be the one to stop them. Even if he is under Klaus’s control, he wanted him dead to get his freedom. What Damon didn’t know is that Klaus had ordered his hybrids to kill Damon if he was killed. When Katherine finds this out she tells Stefan, sparking a little humanity back in him.

Damon thinks that Stefan turned on them, valuing his freedom over the greater interest of Klaus being dead (which would also have granted his freedom). He thinks this means that Stefan is really lost now and they won’t be able to save him. Elena also recognizes that this means they may have to let him go. However, they don’t know the real reason that Stefan turned on them and killed Mikael instead of Klaus. Elena was right, Stefan’s love for his brother is what saved him. Now he will have to face everything that he has done. But he will start with getting some revenge on Klaus. As much as I love watching Stefan get to be evil, I am happy for him to start returning to himself again.

Though most of the cast gets to be in on the plan there were a few notable exceptions. I am not sure why Alaric was not a part of it, wouldn’t he have been a chaperone at the dance? Tyler is of course left out of the plan because of his sire bond to Klaus, and I guess Caroline is as well by extension. When Tyler finds out that everyone is scheming and that Klaus will kill them all if they try anything, Tyler tries his best to save at least Caroline. She is unhappy with this methods and they get into a fight (maybe break up?) over his sire bond. Even if he is being kind of a dick, I definitely feel for Tyler through this because I can understand why he feels so much better now, even if it means being under Klaus’s command. He no longer has to go through the painful transitions every month. But his thankfulness blinds him to who Klaus is. He sees this loyalty as a small price to pay but doesn’t realize what he is getting into. I can also understand Caroline’s reluctance to be in a relationship with someone who doesn’t have free will. Especially if they are bound to someone as evil as Klaus.

These schemed-filled episodes are always some of the most fun to watch and this is definitely one of my favorites of these types of episodes. Even if they are plot-heavy they tend to lead to some good character content as well. This is the episode that sparks Stefan’s return to Humanity Stefan, though it won’t necessarily be a quick return to normal. Elena and Damon grapple with the idea that they may have lost Stefan forever. Damon is enraged that the plan didn’t work out, but his anger seems to be more about the fact that it was Stefan who ruined the plan than their failure to kill Klaus. Also Caroline having to give up on Tyler when she sees that their relationship can never be the same as long as he is sired to Klaus was very sad. She has stuck by him through the worst times in his life, but this is too much. It isn’t a choice he made but it is what he is stuck with.

Episode Grade: A

Other Thoughts:

  • Rebekah painting her toenails next to her “dead” father’s body is definitely on brand for her.
  • Stefan: “If I look at your track record with high school dances, it’s pretty tragic”
  • Elena gives Rebekah the necklace and then literally stabs her in the back. Pretty cold.
  • I was kind of surprised that Elena was so willing to sit out of the plan when Damon says he doesn’t want her to be a part of it. She just trusts him so completely? Usually when they try to leave her out she rebels and shows up anyway.
  • The band at the party is My Morning Jacket, a somewhat popular indie band at the time. The CW/the WB used to be very into having guest spots for these types of bands on shows but they don’t do it very much anymore I don’t think.
  • Caroline: “How did he plan a better party than me so fast?” Caroline’s worst nightmare.
  • For a vampire hunter, Mikael is not very effective. He seems to only want to hunt one vampire – Klaus.
  • Klaus is playing beer pong which was a weird sight. But the cups seems much too close.
  • Mikael: “Who do you have other than those whose loyalty you forced?” that is cold, but true.
  • Tyler: “I’m sorry I stabbed you” only on vampire diaries is this a line you can say to your girlfriend and have it be somewhat normal
  • Body Count: 2, Damon kills one of Klaus’s hybrids and Stefan kills Mikael. At this point Stefan and Damon’s total body counts are pretty close (Damon has 24, Stefan 22).

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