‘Vampire Diaries’ Recap: Episode 25, ‘Bad Moon Rising’

Is it just me, or was last night’s “The Vampire Diaries” episode full of “Twilight” references? I usually love when “TVD” cheekily alludes to “Twilight,” like the time Damon tells Caroline that real vampires don’t sparkle, but last night’s episode paid so much homage to Edward, Bella and Jacob that I had constant déjà vu. Amidst the vampire love story parallels, though, a LOT went down: Mason is 100% a werewolf, Matt and Caroline break up, Alaric and Jenna kiss and make up, and Elena and Damon’s friendship is all shaken up.

That’s right, Alaric is back! His wife-turned-vampire Isobel was a professor at Duke University who researched folklore, including so-called “wolf men.” Damon, Alaric and Elena head to Duke to investigate, while Stefan stays behind to look after Caroline. In the episode’s first “Twilight”-esque turn of events, Stefan gives Elena a lingering kiss before she gets in the car with Damon. Edward dropping Bella off at the treaty line, anyone?

Caroline’s inability to go out in the sunlight is severely debilitating, so Stefan asks Bonnie to make a daywalking ring. Bonnie’s conflicted, given her hatred for all things undead, but she gives in. Then, in true “Twilight” fashion, old vampire (Stefan) teaches new vampire (Caroline) to hunt animals, then informs her that her human personality will be amplified in her eternal form. “I’m basically an insecure, neurotic control freak on crack?” Caroline exclaims. Sorry babe, but we can’t all be expert empathizers. Or mind readers. Or psychics.

At Duke, we meet Vanessa, a former pupil of Isobel’s. She seems friendly, but then she tries to kill Elena. In true Salvatore fashion, Damon steps in just in time to save her. After agreeing to a truce, Vanessa shares her knowledge of Quileute Aztec legends. Allegedly, an Aztec shaman created a curse making werewolves slaves to the moon and vampires slaves to the sun. The wolves and vamps became mortal enemies. Vampires hunted the wolves to near extinction, but a werewolf bite is fatal to vampires. Cue Elena’s worried phone call to Stefan.

Speaking of werewolves, Tyler catches Mason jogging off to a creepy, underground cave with suspicious scratches on its walls. Tyler throws a party nearby so he can snoop for more info about his uncle, but Mason tells him to move everyone away by nightfall. No explanation given. When the vampires arrive, Stefan and Mason exchange tense stares. Think Edward/Jacob hatred. After we learn that a full moon’s rising that evening, we see Mason in the cave, chaining himself to the walls and sweating profusely. Just as he’s about to transform, he hears voices approaching his hideout. Yikes! Luckily, he manages to get into his car before becoming a wolf. After Elena’s warning, Stefan hears growling and cautiously approaches Mason’s truck. Like a flash of lightning, werewolf Mason breaks out the back window and runs off into the woods.

Meanwhile, Caroline and Matt’s make-out sesh goes awry when he scrapes his hand. Ignore the blood, Jasper! I mean, Caroline! Stefan pulls Caroline off Matt to stop her from draining him, when Tyler and werewolf Mason happen upon the scene. Amidst high tension, Tyler orders the wolf away. Then, uncle and nephew share a moment of understanding as Mason admits that he’s the werewolf. Tyler’s worry is clear—does this mean he’s a wolf too?

Caroline modifies Matt’s memory, but the incident shook her up so badly that she considers ending their relationship. Oh jeez, hasn’t she read “New Moon”? Apparently not. She picks a fight with Matt later that evening, intentionally causing him to break up with her. The mixed look of devastation and relief on Caroline’s face when Matt walks away is truly heartbreaking. This entire episode made me feel especially bad for Matt, though. He loved Elena, but her parents died and a vampire swept her away. Now, he confesses his love for Caroline and she becomes a vampire. He deserves a nice, happy human girlfriend.

But I digress. After leaving Isobel’s office, Damon shows Elena a book he found labeled “Petrova,” Katherine’s family name. “You hated me before and we became friends,” he tells Elena. “It would suck if that was gone forever. Is it?” Elena doesn’t immediately answer. Back in Mystic Falls, Damon finally admits that he didn’t know about Jeremy’s protective ring, and despite his apologies, Elena tells him spitefully that he’s lost her friendship forever. In the most game-changing line of the episode, Damon retorts, “You and Katherine have a lot more in common than just your looks.” This really gets under Elena’s skin, especially since Stefan always assures her that she’s nothing like Katherine. Understandably, she’s left completely speechless.

Of course, last week’s Katherine-free episode didn’t mean that Elena’s doppelganger was gone for good. Kat appears and scares the crap out of a heartbroken Caroline, telling her, “We’re gonna have so much fun together!” Uh-oh…

Are Matt and Caroline really over? Will Elena ever forgive Damon? Is Tyler going to transform into a werewolf? What does Katherine have in store for Elena?