The Vampire Diaries 1.21 “Isobel” Recap

OH. MY. DEAR. LORD!!!!!! The Vampire Diaries this week?!?!?!?! EPIC!!!!!! Slightly speechless now, but thank you TVD writers for giving me back my soul after LOST ripped it out and put it in that bottle of MiB’s. Anyway, wasn’t Mia Kirshner delicious in every shape, way, and form last night?!?!?!?! Let’s get to it!!!!

In Which We Meet Isobel

We pick off from last week with Alaric still reeling from Isobel’s appearance at the bar. Isobel, meanwhile, is acting as if nothing has happened and treats their reunion as if he was an old flame from back in the day. Alaric doesn’t appreciate this and wants some answers, but Isobel only has one thing in mind and that’s meeting Elena, which she demands that Alaric set up. Ric tells his dead ex wife that she can take her ass straight to hell, because he’s not doing squat. Au contraire, dear Alaric. When he leaves the bar, Isobel forces her strength on Alaric, telling him that if he doesn’t follow orders then she will make mince meat with his history class students. Better do what she says, bro…

Setting Up The Game Pieces

At school the next day, Alaric assigns Tyler and Matt to help build the Founder’s Day float. The problem that Alaric doesn’t know about is that these two still are having issues since their fight. Well, Matt is at least. Tyler is trying to make amends. Elsewhere, Caroline tries to get Bonnie to spill what the deal is between her and Elena. Bonnie claims that she can’t say, which doesn’t sit well with Caroline at all.

Meanwhile, Alaric calls Elena, Stefan, and Damon into a secret meeting to tell them about Isobel and her intentions. Elena is spooked, but Damon tells her that she doesn’t have to do anything she doesn’t want to do, but recants when Alaric mentions the pending bloodbath if the transaction doesn’t go through. All three of the men tell Elena that they will be there when she meets Isobel.

Speaking of Isobel, she’s living it up in a nice-looking, foreclosed home, courtesy of Jon Gilbert, who is obviously working with her. That little imp… After Jon berates Isobel about consorting with two humans who are under her compulsion, the two discuss the retrieving of that mysterious invention of John Gilbert’s, which Isobel thinks Jon isn’t doing a good job of doing. After slapping the taste out of Jon’s mouth when he gets out of line, Isobel declares that she is about to run things now.

The Mother/Daughter Reunion From Hell…

Elena waits for Isobel to show up at the Mystic Grill, while Stefan blends in the crowd and Damon and Alaric post up outside. When Isobel does show up, she shows no emotion. At all. Elena on the other hand fights to hold it all in. Isobel is so in business mode, that I can’t help but laugh (Mia Kirshner had this scene on lock!). Isobel makes it clear that she wants the contraption, but before she gets to that point, she comments on several things. First, she knocks down Elena’s questions concerning who is Elena’s father. Next, she ponders about Elena’s alliance with the Salvatores, which piques her curiosity in Elena. Isobel also mentions that Elena already know the reasons Isobel wanted to be a vampire, stating immortality as an example. She’s basically reading her daughter like an open book, with each sentence being a resounding truth to some extent. Outside the Mystic Grill, Alaric and Damon wait and talk. Damon strikes a nerve with Alaric when he mentions killing Isobel. Alaric admits that Isobel isn’t the woman he married, which puzzles him cause he sees that Stefan, and even Damon at times, have humane feelings. Damon then goes into his “Feelings Button” analogy, saying that Isobel took the easier road and that he doesn’t blame her.

Back inside, Isobel makes her proposition known. She wants the invention and she wants it now. Elena refuses, but Isobel makes it even clearer that heads will roll if she doesn’t get what she wants. After Isobel leaves, Elena’s waterworks start flowing. Bonnie appears and sees Elena crying, but she doesn’t come to speak when Stefan shows up. This hurts Elena even more.

The Plot Thickens

Jeremy hasn’t heard from Anna and constantly blows up her phone. Jon overhears Jenna and Jeremy talking about Anna and tries to wiggle his way in, but Jeremy tells his uncle that he doesn’t need a heart to heart about girls.

Damon finds Isobel’s hide out and engages in strip poker with her female companion. Before anything gets out of hand, Isobel thankfully interrupts the game before Damon’s pants drop (but I think a lot of women cried, “FOUL!” at her in the process). Isobel and Damon both start to seduce each other with their super vamp speed while discussing the device, which Damon didn’t bring. He asks Isobel what is her mission in Mystic Falls and she reveals that Katherine is the one pulling the strings here. WHAT?!?!?! After Isobel reminds Damon that Katherine can get testy when she doesn’t get what she wants, the two vamps go at it in a sexual manner, but Damon uses this ruse to pin Isobel down and give her the law of the land. He tells her that if she touches anyone he loves, including Elena (!), Isobel’s vampire life will be a short one. Damon also adds that if Katherine wants something, then she needs to come get it herself. I’m being nice in how Damon worded this, but you get the jist.

Back at the Gilberts’, Elena is shocked to open her door and find Bonnie standing there. Bonnie apologizes for dipping on Elens in her time of need. They reconcile and Elena catches Bonnie up on current events. At the school, people are prepping for the Founder’s Day parade, two of those people being Matt and Tyler. Matt blows off Tyler’s continuous attempts of reconciling, because Tyler asked about Kelly’s whereabouts.

In the school, Bonnie meets with Elena to show her Emily’s spell book, which drops a double whammy on all we thought we knew. book contains blueprints and spells surrounding the alleged inventions of Johnathan Gilbert. I say alleged, because Johnathan Gilbert actually didn’t invent the items! Emily created them by putting spells on them and on Johnathan to make him think he invented vampire slaying devices. Wooooowwwww. Then to make things sound even more crazy, Bonnie notices that the mystery device that Katherine, Isobel, and Jon are after is in fact a weapon against vampires. It makes sense for Jon to want it, but the vampires? Hmmm…

Outside the school, Jeremy asks Elena if she knows anything about Anna. When Elena says she doesn’t, this prompts Jeremy to go off tangent claiming Elena to be a liar since she lied to him about the vampires and Vicki. He runs off, but before Elena can have the time to chase him, Isobel shows up. Oh, hell…

Isobel shows Elena that she knows all of Elena’s true friends and family. When she stops at Matt, Isobel makes it clear that she means business when she orders her male companion to cause an accident that injures Matt. With that incident getting Elena’s attention, Isobel demands that if Elena doesn’t get Damon to hand over the device, Jeremy will be the next on her list. Isobel is also confident that Damon will make sure nothing happens to Elena, making the trade a sure bet in her eyes. Before Elena can warn Jeremy, Isobel’s female companion grabs him as Isobel disappears.

The Plan

The aftermath of the accident forces Matt to accept Tyler’s offer to drive him to the hospital. Wonder if these two will be finally stop the arguments?

Jon is shocked and pissed that Isobel has Jeremy as collateral and demands that his nephew be released immediately. Isobel wants the ring on Jon’s finger and says that she will kill Jeremy to prove to Jon that she means business, no matter who ends up in the crossfire. Jon really tries to reason with his partner, but falls short as Isobel has her minions kick Jon’s ass before she removes his super ring off his finger. Later, Jeremy and Jon talk about the nature of vampires and how they all must be destroyed. Jeremy is against this notion, citing that there are good vampires out there, but Jon tells him that’s a lie and that Jeremy’s father would agree, since it was Dr. Gilbert who taught Jon all he knows.

Elena, Stefan, and Bonnie come up with the idea that Bonnie can reverse the spell on the device, making it ineffective. Damon is not down with this plan at all, mostly because he doesn’t trust Bonnie, who he did try to kill earlier. Elena demands that Damon hand over the device and to cut the crap. He eventually does. Bonnie does her magic while the others watch and hands over the device, citing that it is ready. But why does my bad feeling meter starts to act up?

The Exchange

Elena meets with Isobel to make the exchange, but not before each woman shows their backup. Isobel reveals that she sent Jon and Jeremy home, and tells Elena to stop looking for redemption within her. She also tells Elena that Damon is in love with her and that’s why she knew he would up the goods. Elena hands over the device and thanks Isobel for being a cold-hearted which magnifies the memory of Mrs. Gilbert as her true mother. Isobel in turn informs her daughter that as long as she is in cahoots with the Salvatore brothers, then she is “doomed” and that at least Katherine, who Elena clearly isn’t, had the common sense to leave them behind. Isobel leaves, but has changed the scales on the Stefan/Elena/Damon dynamic something tough.

Conclusions: Slapping Revelations

Elena tries to explain herself to Jeremy later, but he doesn’t want to hear what she has to say. He reveals that he read her diaries, especially the part about Vicki, which Elena defends by claiming that she was only helping him. Jeremy then kicks Elena out of his room.

Isobel visits Alaric one last time, which sends him on the edge. He claims that she must still love him for her to be trailing him. To prove his point, Alaric dares Isobel to kill him, removing his vervain stash and ring so she can do the deed. Isobel pins him against the wall and compels him to forget her in order to free his heart, because she is not his wife anymore. Plus, she reveals that her becoming a vampire was a mistake that she will forever have to deal with. Before she places the ring back on Alaric’s finger, Isobel also ordered him to forget the conversation. Then she disappears, leaving a bewildered Alaric alone.

Anna finally comes to Jeremy and reveals what happened and that she has no place to go. Well, she sure as hell can’t stay there!

Now we are here to the biggest shocker of the episode. Stefan confronts Damon about what Isobel said concerning Damon’s love for Elena. He makes it known that it’s not going to happen and that Damon best back off. Damon is cool with it, but warns Stefan that he will be there for Elena when she finds out the secret that Stefan surely knows, which is that Jon Gilbert is in fact ELENA’S FATHER!!!!!! Stefan calls Damon’s bluff, claiming that Damon has no proof, but Damon doesn’t need proof. Isobel and Jon dated when she was 15 years-old, and when she got pregnant, she runs to Dr. Gilbert, who happens to be Jon’s brother. It doesn’t take a rocket science, people.

Isobel calls Jon to say that she left the device and his ring on the doorstep. He says he won’t let her down, which Isobel threatens that he better not, because Katherine wants all the tomb vampires dead and she means it. Plus, Isobel puts in a special request to off the Salvatore brothers so that they can save their daughter from a life a damnation. Awww…. Isobel has a heart after all!

At the Mystic Grill, Caroline still badgers Bonnie on the issues between her and Elena. Bonnie finally comes clean… sort of. She tells Caroline that she has done something bad, claiming to have done one thing when in fact she did the opposite. Bonnie concludes that when Elena finds out, they might not be friends anymore. OMG, Bonnie, what did you do?!?!?!?!?!?!?

From The Journals of the Founders

– WOW. WOW. WOW!!!!!!!!! I think I called that Jon was Elena’s father a couple of episodes back, but the reveal was still an epic scene!

– Mia Kirshner, thank you for a wonderful episode. Please return back soon. Thank you. Sincerely, Mark O. Estes

– So Isobel feels that her lust for the vamp life was the biggest mistake ever, which makes sense that she is trying to prevent Elena from falling in the same trap. What could’ve changed her mind to see Elena other than orders from Katherine? Maybe Katherine gave Isobel a history of the ‘hell’ she went through with the Salvatore brothers, or that they are prone to danger from other vampires and creatures of the night. So, in a way I can see Isobel’s reasoning for wanting the brothers dead. What decent mother wouldn’t?

– An underlying theme that ran throughout this episode was the concept of feelings. We got Salvatores’ theory on treating their feelings as if they were light switches. Then you have Isobel who still has love for those she left behind, so her feelings are there, but they are hidden/subdued, not completely ‘turned off’. Jon Gilbert, to an extent, still has feelings for his baby mama, but she’s a vampire, yet he can’t help the way he feels at times, although he is telling Jeremy that it is impossible for vamps to feel. Speaking of Jeremy, his feelings are fragile and clingy to an extent. In other words, he doesn’t really think things through when his feelings are involved. Last, we have Bonnie, who has let Grams’s death cloud her judgement. It would be one thing if she was doing this for Elena’s well being, as well as the well being of the town, but her actions are based on vengeance, which can’t end well for her. I hate that I just wrote that…

– We need Werewolf Tyler and we need him now! And is it me or do Caroline and Matt look like targets for next week’s finale? Just saying…

So what did you guys think? One more episode and after that it will be one hell of a summer. Any ideas on how we can cope?


  1. vampitup12 May 8, 2010
  2. pixiewings May 8, 2010
  3. MarkOEstes May 8, 2010
  4. MarkOEstes May 8, 2010
  5. pixiewings May 8, 2010
  6. pixiewings May 9, 2010
  7. MarkOEstes May 9, 2010

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