Season 4, Episode 19, “Pictures of You” was all about prom, prom, prom! So let’s get right to the dance-y details.
Poor Bonnie has certainly had a rough go of it lately. In fact, if memory serves, her most recent appearance ended with Stefan (Paul Wesley) breaking the bad news to her this way: “Yeah... so, you have no memory. Now let me tell you about all the deaths you are responsible for.” You’d think the poor sap would still be balled up under her favorite sobbing-afghan, probably indefinitely — and you’d be right!
Sure, we thought she was in the cemetery to pay her respects to Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) (or JGils, as we like to call him) but this was not so. Bonnie was asleep on her sofa! And it was only a vision of Jeremy that woke her from her dream and saved her from being consumed by the fire engulfing her living room. Girl’s got 99 problems and Expression-based magic is one.
Things are decidedly less urgent for Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley). Their troubles with Elena (Nina Dobrev), though upsetting, are not the toughest the bros Salvatore have ever faced. Exhibit their playful tossing of the football back and forth in their dark and sexy mansion. Just before they were about to go at it skins versus skins (in our dreams), they decide that emotion-free Elena needs to go bye bye. They decide to use the prom as an opportunity to bombard her with emotion. Stefan suggests that if this doesn’t work, they look her in the basement cell they have until a proper solution can be reached. Because Stefan is all about locking people in their basement cell. Note to all Mystic Falls pizza boys: best not be late.
There is absolutely no football throwing going on in casa de Originals. Rebekah (Claire Holt) and Elijah (Daniel Gillies) have brought the cure to Klaus (Joseph Morgan). Rebekah makes an impassioned plea for her humanit,y and Klaus, a good-looking but petulant baby, is having none of it. He presumes Elijah will be on his side, but best-dressed Original has other schemes in mind. Namely, challenging Rebekah to live one full day as a human to prove to him her sincerity. It’s like a fairytale, but instead of spinning gold the peasant girl is seeking to prove to people that she is capable of more than mere whims.
Rebekah is nervous but optimistic. Elena enlists herself as Rebekah’s chaperone. But don’t get it twisted. She’s not doing Rebekah any favors. If Rebekah meets the criteria put forth by Elijah and gets the cure, that means no one is going to be able to force Miss Sassy Non-Humanity Pants to take it.
Rebekah and Elena take a little side stop to look at prom gowns and bump into Bonnie and Caroline (Candice Accola). Bonnie’s still adjusting to Elena not being, well, Elena and has a case of the sad when Elena is a b-word to her. Caroline could care less and sasses as good as she gets. Her red-hot temper matches her hot pink gown! Caroline flounces out of the store, Bonnie in tow, and Elena does the ultimate shady deed: She takes Caroline’s dress! A nation arose as one and looked up at their TVs gasping: “Oh, no, she did not!”
Not only does Elena have a stellar prom look, she’s also outdoing all the other peons of Mystic Falls by bringing not one but two dates to prom. That’s right. Both Damon and Stefan, rocking amazing formal looks, twist her arm (literally and figuratively) and drag the girl to the ball. It would be so romantic... if she weren’t all emotionless and over it all.
Caroline, seething at having her dress stolen — a feat made even easier by the lack of vervain in the town’s water supply — turns to the only man in Mystic Falls with access to last-minute looks to rival Princess Grace of Monaco: Klaus. Stefan points out that Caroline’s got the man wrapped around her finger. She demurs, but come on; going to him for a fab free prom gown? Stefan’s on to something.
Outside the main event, Caroline and the prom committee have arranged a photographic display of senior memories. Stefan and Damon watch with baited breath as Elena is confronted with touching images from her past. For a moment, the old Elena flickers across the new, cold one’s face, but then it’s gone. Inside, she still can’t escape the barrage of folks trying to bring her back. Both Matt (Zach Roerig) and Bonnie offer their help. Elena brushes them off, pointing out that Bonnie is a living reminder of all the awful things that have happened in Elena’s life, and that Matt is useless unless he’s offering her a job as a busboy at the grill.
Bonnie goes outside to lick her wounds and finds only more of them: Silas in the guise of Jeremy! That dude is shameless. [Steven R. McQueen looks exceptional in a tuxedo. Miss his face!] It’s clear Bonnie’s magic is overtaking her, but she would rather die than accept the help Silas promises her. You kind of can’t blame her. We all agree: Silas. Is. The. Worst.
Inside the prom, things are tense. Rebekah, mournful to have attended the dance solo — since compelling a date into attendance wasn’t an option — asks Matt if she’ll make a good human. Matt, having had a rough night himself and having been on the receiving end of Rebekah’s machinations more than once, snaps at her, saying probably not.
Damon tries to conjure Elena’s former love for him. Putting his feelings on the table, he quotes her feelings for him directly, reminding her that she said she loved him and that it was the most real thing she had ever felt. Elena is cruel to him and to Stefan. The younger Salvatore insists that they dance, and when the verbal reminders of their past trigger nothing, he employs her sense-memory, running his fingers down her back and entwining their hands. This does nothing to sway her and only hurts Stefan — and Damon, who has witnessed the whole thing.
Caroline’s prom night improves threefold. She arrives looking stunning in the relic Klaus procured for her and is immediately whisked into a dance with Stefan. For a dude who hates dancing, he does more of it than any other guy. Caroline is sad that Tyler (Michael Trevino) can’t be there, and she and Stefan commiserate about lost loves and the possibility of ever getting over them. At this, everyone at home sat up and sad, “PAGING CAPTAIN OBVIOUS” and then we all ate ice cream.
Klaus and Elijah, the non-party animals that they are, sit by a roaring fire and have a tete-a-tete. Elijah is attempting peace with Klaus — or at least trying to get the homie off his back. He turns over the white oak stake in a bid to gain Klaus’s trust, which doesn’t work because of how Klaus, uh, is. The hybrid still plans to hunt down Katherine (Nina Dobrev). Elijah says Klaus is petty and dramatically exits.
Caroline is in for a mondo-surprise in the form of one Mr. Tyler Lockwood. He shows up for her prom! He whisks her off with flowers and what have you. We were so worried that he was Silas the whole time! But no, it was Tyler in the flesh. Well, not shirtless or anything.
Our paranoia was well-founded, however, when both Damon and Stefan were impersonated by the ancient immortal in a bid to keep them staked and detained while he worked his dirty doings.
Bonnie let everyone know that Silas is still around and still trying to do the spell that will open up the divide between this world and the one beyond. Everyone is hemming and hawing about how to fix this and then Elena cuts to the quick of the matter. She will just, you know, kill Bonnie. Say what now?! Bonnie and Matt are crowned king and queen of the prom and Rebekah warns Matt to get Bonnie off the stage before Elena goes for her. But it’s too late!
Elena’s on the hunt, and when Bonnie proves harder to knock off than previously anticipated, she settles for maiming April (Grace Phipps). That girl is always getting maimed. It is her favorite hobby, basically.
As Matt tries to convince Rebekah to break the rules of the assignment Elijah gave her and heal April, arguably her only friend left in town, Elena is working her hardest to kill Bonnie. Today however, was a terrible day to do this. Because Silas was right, Bonnie is losing control. The witch demonstrates this when she nearly kills Elena right back. Luckily, Damon and Stefan stop her, but it’s really Elena’s pleas that finally reach Bonnie.
The guys take advantage of Elena’s prone and weakened state to vervain her and lock her in their basement — just as they’ve locked so many others, each other included, and will lock many more. Caroline says goodbye to Tyler, and Tyler and Klaus have a brief, shocking encounter! Klaus doesn’t kill him, because of his love for Caroline. Now that’s what we call... romance?
Matt changes his mind about Rebekah once she saves April Young. Rebekah’s psyched about this, until it’s revealed that Klaus has seen the whole thing. He tells Rebekah to go to Elijah and admit her failing. Elijah knows none of this and hands the cure right over to Rebekah — only it isn’t her! It’s Silas! The real Rebekah calls him, but of course, it’s too late, the damage is done, and Klaus’s scheming allegiance with Silas has kicked into the next gear.
Bonnie finds Silas in his hiding spot, courtesy of a locator spell. He has the cure and is ready to take it. He still needs Bonnie’s help, but all she wants is to get a good look at her tormentor. He shows her his face, which is horribly scarred, thanks to Qetsiyah.
Klaus is about to get some world-changing intel courtesy of Katherine. She’s left him a letter telling him to go to New Orleans, where information that will change everything awaits him.