The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 17 “Know Thy Enemy”

Wow – it sure has been a long time, “The Vampire Diaries”. I’m excited for this. I hope after this long hiatus the show doesn’t disappoint. I’ll recap as I watch and save my opinions for the end. Let’s jump right in, shall we?

Isobel returns to Mystic Falls.

Oh good, a recap. After this long it’s a little hard to remember what’s been going on. There was a lot happening when we left off – Matt found out Caroline is a vampire, Isobel returned to Mystic Falls, there was werewolf and witch drama and poor Jenna is still clueless to it all. I’m not going to go over what’s already happened because this is going to be long enough as it is. Feeling lost? Check out my previous “The Vampire Diaries” recaps here and here.

Jenna doesn't take the news well.

Finding out her boyfriend’s wife is alive is hard for Jenna to take. Finding out her niece knew doesn’t make it any easier. Naturally, she wants to know who else was in on this little secret. I don’t think Jenna wants the answer to that question – especially considering what else she would find out in the process.

Katherine bargains with the brothers Salvatore.

As Damon and Stefan discuss Isobel’s arrival, Katherine asks that they don’t tell anyone she is still in town. While I don’t trust Katherine after, well, everything she’s done on the show, she makes a good point. She could come in handy as a decoy Elena. Stefan heads out to handle some business, telling Damon to let Alaric know Isobel paid Jenna a visit. I bet he’ll be thrilled.

Jenna has a bag packed. This doesn't look good.

This seems like a pretty good time to tell Jenna the truth. With all of the danger surrounding Elena and those closest to her, it seems like a bad idea to let her take off on her own. Sure she says, “I don’t want you here, Ric. You need to go” but maybe they shouldn’t listen to her. John appears out of nowhere and tells them to let her go – that it’s too dangerous for her to be around with everything that’s going on. I’m just not inclined to believe that. John starts to spout off about honesty and Alaric, very justifiably, pops John in the nose. I won’t lie. I clapped a little here. It seems to me that John is about the last person that should be lecturing anyone about honesty.

Yay, Caroline!

Caroline is probably my favorite vampire on “The Vampire Diaries” (aside from Damon, naturally), so I’m excited to see her so early in the episode, even if not under the best circumstances. She’s on the phone telling Stefan that Matt not only knows her secret but that he also suspects vampires killed Vickie, which they did, of course. The worse news? She has no idea where Matt is. Yikes.

This just screams great idea.

While Stefan and Elena discuss the disaster with Matt, Isobel and Jenna, John asks them to join him downstairs. Apparently, it’s important. When they go downstairs, Isobel emerges from the kitchen and says she asked John for a ‘do-over’. Wonderful. John, being the bright individual he is, invited Isobel into Elena’s home, meaning she can pretty much come and go as she pleases. John says Isobel has information about Klaus. I wouldn’t trust this woman anymore than I would trust Katherine which is not at all. I don’t like where this is headed.

John, Isobel, Elena and Stefan sit down for a nice, friendly chat.

Isobel claims she’s spent the time since her last visit to Mystic Falls trying to track down Klaus because, according to her, finding Klaus before Klaus finds Elena is their best chance of keeping Elena alive. Makes sense but I’d believe it more coming for anyone other than Isobel. Apparently, she didn’t find Klaus, but did find out there are rumors circulating about the whole doppleganger situation. Naturally these rumors put Elena in even more danger as any vampire looking to suck up to Klaus is going to go after her.

Nope... don't like where this is going at all.

After Elena questions Isobel’s motives, John insists Isobel has actually been helping Elena all along. Funny. The last time we saw Isobel, she was making it pretty clear she had no interest in helping her daughter. Even so, John says that Klaus is obsessed with finding Katherine and has been for centuries. He claims they had to kill the tomb vampires (and nearly Stefan and Damon in the process) to prevent word that Katherine was still alive from reaching Klaus. It actually sort of makes sense. If Klaus were to learn Katherine was still alive, Klaus would head straight to Mystic Falls, find Elena and bad things would transpire. The scene ends with a proposal from Isobel. Apparently she has a safe house that Elena can go where no vampires could get to her – not without her permission, anyway. She asks Elena to let her help. Elena tells her to get out. I’m thinking that was a pretty smart move.

Jeremy, Bonnie and Damon search Luka's house.

Before dying, Doctor Martin told Bonnie she could find a spell that would allow her to harness the power a witch leaves behind following their violent death. With Damon and Jeremy to help, they head over to the Martin house to look for it. If Bonnie goes to where a whole bunch of witches were burned back in the 1800s, she can harness their power with this spell. Damon knows where the witches were burned. Bonnie does a little hocus pocus and the book with the spell flies off the shelf. I totally wish I had that power.

Lady vamps fighting... why don't more men watch this show?

It seems Isobel plans to stay in Mystic Falls for a while as she’s just found herself a nice house. She really seems to like it, but her joy is short lived as she turns to find Katherine there. I thought Katherine didn’t want Isobel to know she was in town? Anyway… there’s a brief fight, but Katherine wins; pinning Isobel to the wall by her throat.


I honestly don’t know how anything on “The Vampire Diaries” surprises me, but here we are. Apparently the fight was just a little play fight and Isobel and Katherine are friends. Isobel tells Katherine she’s been busy working out a deal with Klaus to save Katherine’s life. Isobel, not surprisingly has John right where she wants him and is getting as much information out of him as she can. In turn, Isobel is providing that information to Katherine. While Isobel wasn’t able to directly able to reach Klaus, she got to one of his witches.

Isobel and Katherine scheme.

Isobel informs Katherine that Klaus would be willing to grant her freedom if Katherine is able to deliver the moonstone and the doppelganger. Katherine says she can get the moonstone. In a not at all surprising development, Katherine says she is willing to backstab the brothers Salvatore to gain her freedom stating that there’s not much they can do to help her anyway as they lost the one tool they could use to kill Klaus (the dagger sticking out of Elijah’s chest) and their witch lost her powers. Does she not know Bonnie has her powers back? Shh! No one tell her!

Damon, Stefan and Elena try to figure out how to keep Elena safe.

Ah yes, the tension between Damon and Stefan as they try to figure out the best way to protect Elena. This takes me back. Damon suggests staying at their house until Stefan points out vampires can come and go as they please there so Damon suggests staying at Elena’s house where things are more secure. That’s great and all, but what about Katherine and Isobel being able to get in. Do they honestly trust those two sneaky broads? Regardless, Elena isn’t a big fan of needing a babysitter all the time. Honey, you have a whole pack of vampires hunting you. Maybe it’s better to err on the safe side.

Keeping secrets from Katherine.

Something is going to go down at the Lockwood Luncheon. Jenna is sending Elena there. Caroline is going there looking for Matt. Yes, something is going to take place. Regardless, Elena tells Damon and Stefan she’ll need an escort. Stefan naturally volunteers. Damon points out that he wouldn’t be able to attend anyway as he has “witch stuff” to do with Bonnie. Elena starts to ask if that means he’ll be going to the site of the burning but he cuts her off before she can finish. Enter Katherine.

It's always weird when Katherine and Elena are on the screen at the same time.

I hope Damon hid that moonstone somewhere good because you know Katherine is going to be searching hard for it. I want to have faith, but Damon hasn’t always shown the best judgment. Katherine wants in on the vampire hunting plan, but Damon and Stefan aren’t eager to share the information. Smart move. Damon tells Katherine they don’t trust her. It shocks me that she’d think otherwise.

Sheriff Forbes, Caroline and Mrs. Lockwood discuss Tyler.

Over at the Lockwood house Sheriff Forbes discusses an ‘odd case’ of a fire where blood was found but no bodies with Mrs. Lockwood. Sheriff Forbes admits she’s beginning to think everything weird that happens in Mystic Falls involves vampires. She’s wrong, of course. There are werewolves and witches too. Caroline arrives and asks Mrs. Lockwood if she’s seen Matt but Mrs. Lockwood hasn’t. Mrs. Lockwood asks her to ask Matt if he’s heard from Tyler. Is it sad I completely forgot about Tyler?

Poor, poor Caroline.

Poor Caroline is at her wit’s end over the whole Matt situation. I’m not sure how she thought it was going to go though, but one has to remember, Caroline had no choice when she became a vampire. She was used as a pawn in Katherine’s evil scheme. She says she wanted to tell him at the ‘right time’ and that she felt he would be “okay with it” (it being the fact that she’s a vampire) because he loves her. I love that most about her. She’s so innocent. Caroline heads off to look for Matt. Elena and Stefan promise to join her after they accept the award for Jenna on behalf of Elena’s adoptive mother. Stefan tries to reassure Elena by telling her Matt might “be okay with it”. Yeah… doubt that.

The house where the witches burned.

Jeremy, Bonnie and Damon arrive where the witches were burned. Apparently Damon tried to save Emily. It’s not as sweet as it sounds. He saw Emily as his key to getting Katherine back.  The ominous music makes me think something’s up. When they head into the house it becomes pretty clear the place has seen better days. A floor board creaks. I think Jeremy may have wet himself. It’s nice to see a little bit of humor.

Oh, this isn't looking good.

So it would appear that the house has been booby-trapped for vampires. Damon is unable to move out of the sun and his ring isn’t working. Damon starts to sizzle as Bonnie starts to work her magic. It better friggin’ work. Bonnie is successful and Damon’s going to be just fine. I guess a witch on your side is a good thing for a vampire. Damon decides to wait outside while Bonnie and Jeremy work inside just to be safe.

Really Damon? Are you kidding me right now?

Remember earlier when I said I hoped Damon hit the moonstone well because Katherine would be hunting for it? Remember that? Well she did and he didn’t. The freaking soap dish? I know hiding things in plain sight is a great strategy in some cases but in amongst things people might actually use? No, I’m not a big fan of that strategy. Way to go, Damon. Now Katherine has the moonstone.

Isobel is a cruel, cruel bitch.

Isobel approaches Alaric as he heads to his car and apologizes. He tells her he isn’t interested in hearing it. She tells him that she compelled him to let her go. She then says she wanted him to know how much she loved him before she did what she had to do, says “he’s all yours” and some goon pops out of nowhere and does something to Alaric’s head. I knew – absolutely knew – he was going to regret giving John that ring.

Bonnie and Jeremy share a kiss before the whispers begin.

Back at the house that hates Damon, Bonnie and Jeremy share a tender moment inside before Bonnie begins her ritual. A bunch of crazy whispers start – the souls of the witches who died. Bonnie can’t make out what they’re saying, but seems to be following them. Jeremy follows behind her. If they kill Bonnie off this show I will be livid! Jeremy does not need to lose another freaking girlfriend.

The spirits are ready.

Bonnie follows the voices to the spot in the house where she needs to perform her ritual. Jeremy demands to know what the whispering ghosts are saying. Bonnie refuses to tell Jeremy what’s being said which leads me to think it’s bad news. If I were Jeremy, I’d be all like, “Witch please… I lost too many girlfriends for you to be pulling this crap on me.” That’s not what Jeremy said, though. A few random fires light and Bonnie announces the spirits are ready. Meanwhile, Damon is locked outside. I hope they don’t need vampire intervention.

Well... that's one way to create a distraction.

I’d feel proud of myself for calling this one, but I think it was fairly obvious that something was going to happen at the luncheon. While Elena is downstairs accepting an award on behalf of her adoptive Mom, her real Mom is upstairs feasting on her Dad. Now that, dear readers, is a dysfunctional family. At least Isobel had the decency to warn John he was about to become dinner.

John to Isobel: “What are you doing here?”

Isobel to John: “Creating a distraction.”

Isabel to John: *chomp*

I’d say she got the job done. As Elena is giving a heartfelt speech about how much the Historical Society meant to her adoptive parents, John’s body comes tumbling down the stairs. Chaos ensues. One question though – Did Isobel not check his finger for that ring?

"Nice dress. Mind if I borrow it?" - Katherine

Oh… a distraction. Can I just say Stefan sucks as a bodyguard? While everyone pours out of the room to see what happened by the stairs, Katherine appears out of the crowd and grabs Elena. I totally didn’t see it coming at all. That was the first big shock of the episode and it’s only halfway over.

"He's bleeding. Is he alright?" - Stefan

Meanwhile back at the foot of the stairs, Stefan is kneeling over John. He sees the bite marks. Mrs. Lockwood shoos him away. Perhaps she saw the bite marks as well. Stefan dashes off to find Elena leaving Sheriff Forbes to examine the body. Sheriff Forbes takes a look, sees the bite marks and tells everyone to leave him alone. “He just needs some air.” Right, Sheriff. Totally believable.

Elena is in trouble.

Isobel just keeps getting more and more lovable by the moment, right? We flash from the party (where Katherine has just fooled Stefan into thinking she’s Elena) to a car where Elena is lying unconscious in the backseat. The camera zooms out and surprise, surprise, it’s Isobel being evil again. They can’t get rid of this woman soon enough.

Katherine proves she can't be trusted. Again.

As Stefan and Katherine-pretending-to-be-Elena leave the party, Katherine stops pretending. Stefan grabs her, throws her against the car and demands to know where Elena is. Katherine responds by stabbing him in the belly with a needle, apologizing and tossing him in the bushes. She then steals his car and heads off to, likely, meet up with Isobel and Elena.

Bonnie succeeds but at what cost?

Back at the witch house, things seems to be going badly for Bonnie. First she starts crying and then the screaming and wailing begins. Jeremy tries to rush to her aid, but is thrown back and seems unable to move. Bad stuff, my friends. When all is said and done, though, Bonnie says she “did it”. I have to think, though, it isn’t quite as neatly wrapped up as she leads Jeremy to believe.

"He'll be fine in a couple of hours."

Over at the Lockwood house, Damon is called in to look at John. Damon checks John’s hand and sees the ring. Damon informs the ladies that John will be fine. Naturally, they’re confused considering they think he’s dead. He explains the ring. I don’t think that’s going to go over well with the women. Damon says they’ll need to come up with a cover story. His suggestions? “Epileptic fit, alcohol binge, banana peel… whatever works.”

Matt suddenly becomes important to the story.

As Sheriff Forbes leaves the house, calling in the ‘false alarm’ at the Lockwood’s, we see Matt waiting for her. He demands to see Vickie’s file so he can see how Forbes covered up the fact that Vickie was killed by a vampire, which of course, she was. Sheriff Forbes tells him he needs to calm down because he’s upset and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He does and she knows it.

I will never complain about a gratuitous shot of a shirtless Ian Somerhalder.

Damon drags John home, tosses him on the floor and decides to wash up. This means taking his shirt off and I’m totally cool with that. Stefan calls to inform Damon that Elena has been kidnapped. Damon discovers the moonstone is missing. I have to wonder if he feels at least a little stupid for hiding it somewhere so lame.

Elena's waking up. Isobel is double crossing Katherine. I have no idea what's going on.

Katherine arrives at Isobel’s, urging Isobel to hurry because it won’t take Damon long to figure out where her house is. As Elena wakes up in the backseat, Isobel tells Katherine she’s sorry. She had to do what she was told to do. What is that? I have no idea. This is the portion of “The Vampire Diaries” when things really start getting complicated. I love this part. Isobel tells Katherine ‘he’ wanted the moonstone and Katherine. Katherine asks who, but Isobel hangs up. I’m just going to go ahead and assume ‘he’ is Klaus.

And Katherine goes down!

The same man that did whatever was done to Alaric’s head has now taken Katherine down. I’m assuming this is Klaus’ man-witch. I hate to use the word ‘warlock’. Charlie Sheen has destroyed that word for me. I think it’s a pretty safe assumption as, until now, only witches have been able to take vampires out with wicked headaches.

Caroline returns home and finds Matt waiting.

Caroline returns home and finds Matt waiting in her house. He tells her Sheriff Forbes (her mother, in case you’re new), brought him there to wait so he could cool down. Caroline tries to approach him but he backs away. He tells her he needs to know more about not only what happened to Vickie but more about Caroline too. She tells him she’ll tell him anything he wants to know. I could be wrong, but it feels like Sheriff Forbes is trying to get information out of Caroline using Matt. It feels like a trap. I hope I’m wrong.

"How much power can you draw from 100 dead witches?" - Jeremy

As Bonnie and Jeremy leave the witch house, Bonnie tells Jeremy that the chant he heard was a warning but that it isn’t important. When he persists, she shrugs it off, saying it’s a lot of power to have access to. He asks how much power she has so she summons a storm to demonstrate; answering his question with one statement – “a lot.”

Damon and Stefan arrive at the 'nicest foreclosure in town'.

Damon and Stefan show up at the house Isobel has been using (the house where the man-witch took out Katherine) and head inside to search for Elena. I’m not sure that splitting up was the best idea they’ve ever had, but this whole episode is full of unusually bad decisions for the brothers Salvatore. Stefan searches upstairs while Damon searches downstairs. Damon sees Isobel’s stuff, but there is no sign of Elena.

So... is Isobel good or evil? I'm thinking a little bit of both.

Just like Isobel’s last appearance on the show, I had a hard time deciding whether she was completely evil or just tragically misguided. As we arrive at the cemetery, I find myself no closer to being able to answer that. Isobel takes Elena to the headstone Isobel’s parents placed when it became clear the police weren’t going to find her body. She talks about how they bring flowers every week. She tells Elena she believes the human part of her – the part she gave up to be a vampire – is buried in the grave. Isobel tells Elena that the human part of her used to dream about meeting her daughter but instead of meeting that part, her daughter got to meet the part of her that would betray her own flesh and blood. She genuinely seems to have a heart, but as her cell phone rings, I have to believe something terrible is about to happen.

"I'm so sorry, Elena... that I was such a disappointment to you." - Isobel

… I don’t know what to write here. As much as I loathed Isobel and all the things she did to Elena, this was a genuinely heartbreaking moment. The call was the man-witch telling her that Klaus has the moonstone and Katherine so Isobel can let Elena go. Isobel had done what she was supposed to do. Apparently Klaus doesn’t need the doppelganger yet. Isobel apologized for being a disappointment, rips off the necklace that protects her from the sun and bursts into flames before Elena’s eyes. Goodbye, Isobel.

"So after I hurt you in the woods, I made you forget and I promised myself I'd stay away from you but I couldn't 'cause I love you." - Caroline

From one harrowing emotional scene to another. Matt and Caroline sitting together at her house while Caroline pours her heart out to him. She tells him everything and he doesn’t take it well. He feels hurt and betrayed – like all of his friends are liars. Caroline tries to talk to him, but he insists it’s too much. He asks her to make him forget. This would be good news if it weren’t for the vervain issue. How do we know Sheriff Forbes didn’t give him vervain so the vamps wouldn’t go after him? Would she go after her own daughter? I’m not liking this.

Elena and Stefan try to figure out what Klaus wants.

When the next scene opens, we find Elena holding Isobel’s necklace, feeling sad that she’s gone. Stefan assures Elena it’s natural considering Isobel was her mother. Elena asks a question that I think all of us are asking – why did Klaus let her go? Stefan says they can assume Klaus knows everything John knows so he would know that Elena’s protected and that she isn’t going to turn herself into a vampire meaning, that’s right – he also knows she’s not going to run. I have a feeling we’re going to meet Klaus before this episode is over.

Why is Elena always so against the best ideas?

Because they all got fooled by Isobel and Katherine, they decide it’s time to take a few extra security measures. They want to sign their house over to Elena. If her name is on the deed, she’ll have control over what vampires can get in and what vampires can’t. They say that Elena can just stay there until all is safe. I think they’re foolish. All is never going to be safe. Where would the fun be in that?

John's back.

While in the midst of offering Elena their house, John gasps and comes back to life.  Damon grabs him the moment he sits up. He swears he had no idea what Isobel’s plans were and apologizes to Elena. Call me a sucker, but I believe him. Elena tells Damon to put John down because she needs to talk to John. Damon looks at her like she just took away his favorite toy. I love Damon.

"Do you think I was born with these powers so I could float feathers and blow out candles?" - Bonnie

After reading that Bonnie could die if she uses too much of her power, Jeremy asks how much power it would take to kill an Original. She tells him the truth – it would take all of her powers which means killing Klaus will also kill her. Jeremy tells her he won’t let her do it, but Bonnie basically tells him he has no say – that she needs to do it for Elena, Jeremy and everyone else. This show really enjoys making martyrs, doesn’t it?

"I feel like she died." - Matt "She did." - Sheriff Forbes

Sometimes it sucks being right. It sucks a lot. What’s with all the emotional stuff going on in this episode? Geez. Matt meets Caroline’s Mom at her squad car and tells her that he did what she asked him to do – basically, fool Caroline into telling him everything. Sheriff Forbes asks Matt to tell her everything Caroline said. Although the scene ends before he does, it’s pretty safe to assume he did what she asked.

John tells Elena the truth... I think?

It’s hard to believe anything John says, but I’m inclined to believe this. He tells Elena that he had no idea Katherine and Isobel were working against him. After he calls them two of the most selfish vampires in the world, Elena questions why he would trust them. He tells her that he was there when Isobel gave birth to Elena. He tells her he saw how heartbroken Isobel was to give Elena up. Isobel promised to help keep Elena safe and he believed her. Perhaps John wasn’t even aware that a vampire could be compelled as Isobel was. He says he’ll leave if she wants him to. When Elena doesn’t respond, he gets up . Elena stops him. Despite the fact that he’s done horrible things and screws up at every turn, he’s the only parent she has left.

Stefan and Damon put their heads together.

Elsewhere in the Salvatore household, Damon tells Stefan he hears Bonnie’s spell worked. Neither of them know, of course, that killing  Klaus would kill her. Regardless, they realize that Katherine doesn’t know about Bonnie’s recovered (and strengthened powers) so suddenly they have a secret weapon.

It appears Klaus has a secret weapon as well.

The last scene begins with Katherine waking up on the floor. I thought we would find out what was going to become of her. Instead, we learned what has become of Alaric. Katherine observes some weird ritual being performed on Alaric, after which Alaric rises from his chair and is bowed to by man-witch. Katherine tries to run but is unable to leave. Alaric very slowly approaches her, cups her chin in his hands and says, in an accent very distinctly not Alaric’s, that he has missed her. She stares in horror at what is clearly no longer Alaric and says his name – Klaus.

Ladies and gentlemen... "The Vampire Diaries".

My Final Thoughts

Well “The Vampire Diaries” is back, alright. I don’t think there is a scripted show on television right now more capable of delivering an action packed, emotion movie in every single episode. It was a long wait, but it was well worth it. I am more excited than ever to see what happens next so… let’s talk spoilers.

We know for a fact that there will be at least three deaths before the end of the season and even the cast doesn’t seem sure of who will be leaving. I’m guessing Elena and Stefan are safe and I’d like to think Damon is. Other than than, I think it’s anyone’s guess. Does Isobel count? I’m not entirely sure. Since I’m not sure how it would be possible for Alaric to survive playing host to another entity, I’m going to assume he’ll be one of them as well. As to the fate of Matt and Sheriff Forbes – that really depends on what they do with their new found knowledge.

Tyler will be returning to Mystic Falls after receiving a troublesome phone call. All we know for sure is that he’ll be back in an episode titled “The Last Day” which will air on April 28th. Will the phone call be alerting him to the death of his friend Matt? Maybe even Caroline? I’d be willing to bet it will be his mother, Mrs. Lockwood. With Sheriff Forbes closing in, though, it could be almost anyone.

What did you think of Thursday’s episode? Who do you think will be killed off of the show next and do you think they’ll stay dead? With these Mystic Falls folks, you can never be sure. What are your thoughts on Isobel? Is John sincere in reaching out to Elena or does he have an ulterior motive? Sound off in the comments section below and make sure you come back next week for the next complete recap of “The Vampire Diaries”.