After the Salvatore brothers find a hybrid lurking around the mansion, Stefan has had enough. With no other options left he decides to challenge Klaus in a life or death staring contest but with the stakes so great, who will blink first?
After killing an unlucky hybrid that was searching the abandoned mansion, Stefan realizes that Klaus still has all the power and that the fight needs to be brought to his doorstep. Damon warns his brother that bluffing like that implies you are willing to lose everything; a statement which seems to fall on Stefan's deaf ears. Meanwhile, Elena is going through a tough time now that Jeremy is leaving town for a while and Caroline is uninterested in her birthday because they've lost their meaning now that she's technically dead. Bonnie isn't taking the news about Jeremy any better after Elena tells him that he was compelled by Damon, leaving her with mixed feelings and wondering if the decision should have been Jeremy's to make. Elsewhere, Stefan is demanding that Klaus pull all of his hybrids out of Mystic Falls but when Klaus refuses, will Stefan cross the line to defeat an original?
In similar fashion to last week's The New Deal, Our Town had a lot going on but essentially, not a lot of payoff. The cat and mouse game taking place between Stefan and Klaus has been going on in some way or another throughout the course of the season and this felt like more of the same. As Damon was never on board with the plan to begin with, he sat on the sidelines even though Stefan agreed to partner up with him just last week.
Skating just in this side of insane has paid off greatly for Stefan. In seasons two and three we were used to seeing him only as Elena's protector and more often than not, the softer Salvatore compared to his brother Damon. The Vampire Diaries has flipped that old formula on its head entirely and now Stefan's reckless nature and anger towards those around him and, especially himself, has turned him into a much more compelling character. Paul Wesley still gives the smouldering eyes more often than they need to be there but he completely outshined Nina Dobrev in their scene together before he drove away.
While the "funeral" for Caroline may have been intended to make her a more likeable character, the execution fell flat. Caroline continues to be the least likeable character in the series but having another character besides Elena moan about how she's still just a kid caught up in something is redundant. If the writers are making Caroline a greater part of the story by creating a relationship between her and Klaus, they need to make Caroline more than the girlfriend/vampire who could not be less helpful in every tough situation.
After Damon compelled Jeremy at the end of last week's episode, a number of people were probably wondering whether or not Jeremy is leaving the show: absolutely not. Besides Jenna, The Vampire Diaries is still essentially the same cast as it has been for the past few years. The episode would have been more focused on Jeremy had this been the case but what the show is doing is bringing the lens right onto Elena. Since the death of Jenna, losing Stefan to Klaus and now Jeremy we are getting to see Elena come into her own as a fighter and more mature. I like how they have not brought Damon and Elena together even with the tension between the two of them if more than palpable. We need to see the person that Elena will become before anything else happens with Damon and I like how the show is holding off on that.
Our Town is another episode with good elements but it didn't make a great episode. We have Stefan and Elena becoming different people but the story too familiar to what we have been seeing for most of the season. We'll see how the story continues to develop in next week's The Ties that Bind.