The glitz and glamour, the sequins and sparkles, the trains and tuxedos.
The Originals, the humans, the vampires.
A mother with a hidden agenda, a brother with too much love, and a sister just trying to fit in.
It would be simply maniacal of me to say that this episode did not live up to it's unreachable expectations, because it did. It soared above and beyond them, and it did not glance back for one moment. Congratulations to Caroline Dries and the always-incredible writing team for designing an episode that was truly, truly memorable. It was exquisite, and my mind is still reeling (never mind that last scene - phew, hot under the collar over here. Almost like those EW covers). The wait for all the Originals to be together has been a long-time coming, and it most certainly did not disappoint. Well, enough of my praise, let's delve into the source of it all - episode 3.14 'Dangerous Liaisons'.
Our episode begins with Elena and Matt leaving the hospital after visiting Ric. While the two chat about the attacks, an ominous shadow stalks them through the hospital and out into the car-park. That shadow turns out to be Rebekah, who (after smacking into the back of Elena's car) tries to bite her before Elijah pushes her off. Elijah says to Elena: "Well, I believe we have a little catching up to do" and Elena gives this little clue-y smile that I think everyone had on their faces after he said that. What a magical man, that Daniel Gillies.
We jump over to to the Gilbert house where Elena tries to convince the Salvatore's that going to the Mikaelson's ball to meet with Esther is a good idea. While Stefan may agree with Elena, Damon doesn't, and we can cut the tension with a knife. Then we get a wonderful glimpse of brother-brother and sister-brother rivalry as the Originals get ready for the ball. Mommy Original breaks the fight up by having a little chat with Klaus about her "1000 years on the other side" and asks him who he's going to invite to the ball. Damon and Stefan have a go at each other over who's looking after Elena now (the whole thing is a little too deja vu for my liking), while Caroline listens to a message Tyler left her. She notices a package left on her front doorstep, which turns out to be an invite and an amazingly gorgeous dress from Klaus. Wow.
Caroline chats with Elena about the Damon kiss (don't worry, I'm going to get to her reaction at the end of this recap. It's going to be a long rant), and then Rebekah shows up with another BAMF quote: "Careful Caroline, it's all well and good until she stabs you in the back." Rebekah decides that Matt is her target for the ball, and neither Caroline nor Elena are happy about it.
Cue to the beauty and glamour that is the Original's ball. Damon's chat with Carol is interrupted by Kol, who has nothing but demeaning things to say to him: "I've met a lot of people, and you don't particularly stand out". I always love a magical Elena entrance, and this one took my breath away. Damon was bedazzled, but the Delena moment is quickly ruined by an incredibly stunning Stefan. Then comes a supremely awkward and Katherine-like moment where Elena walks in with one Salvatore on each arm. Ha.
Then Caroline makes an equally, if not more magical entrance of her own - to which Klaus is smitten. Finn introduces himself to Elena and invites her to go visit with Esther. Their conversation is cut short by a charming speech Elijah gives, and Damon turns his own charms on Elena as he invites her to dance. We see a rather sad (but putting on a brave face) Stefan lurking in the corner.
I always love TVD dances, and this one (as everyone has been putting it) was picture perfect Jane Austen. Klaus continues to use his Joseph Morgan charm on Caroline (and let's face it, she will be powerless to resist), and Elena swings out from Damon's arms only to land in Stefan's. The two share one of their sizzl-y Stelena moments, and she draws him away from the ball to ask for his help to get Damon out of the picture.
SIDE NOTE: It should have been a dead give-away when Damon and Rebekah were dancing that there will be hot hate sex later, just saying.
Kol encourages Rebekah to let him help her kill Matt (instant thought  Matt cannot die, and  Kol's a DICK), and Stefan snaps Damon's back in order to knock him out. That was a nusto moment. Elijah confides in Elena that he isn't sure of Esther's intentions, and Elena goes to meet Mommy Original herself. Esther then tells of her real reasons for bringing the family together - to bind them and kill them in one fell swoop. We also find out that Esther was pals with Bonnie's ancestors.
Meanwhile Klaus comes across Caroline watching a pretty horsey in the yard, and blatantly answers her question as to why he invited her: "I fancy you." Caroline snaps at him and with a twirl, heads back inside. Esther tells Elena she needs her blood to perform the binding ritual, and Elena complies with a prick and a droplet. I was a bit shocked at Esther but then not-so-much - she is right in her thinking, and she's had 1,000 years to stew over it. Damon attacks Stefan and there's more role reversal between the two. "Maybe because you care too damn much."
Rebekah lures Matt outside to be killed, but relents when he puts his coat over her shoulders (naw, Matty <3). Elena battles with keeping Elijah in the dark about Esther's intentions, but then allows all the Originals to drink the champers with her blood ju ju in it. Klaus shows Caroline his passion in art, but she has nothing but frustration and a super keen eye into his soul to throw back at him. Oh snap Klaus.
Kol gets all snappy at Rebekah over not letting him kill Matt, and Damon uses his love for Elena to get mad at her. Damon: "I'm mad at you because I love you." Elena: "Well maybe that's the problem." Elena, youuuu bitch. Kol lures Matt out to the balcony and breaks his hand, and it's only Damon's intervention that stops him from being killed. He pushes Kol off the balcony, and both Stefan and Elena presume that he's on a bender again. Mean mean mean. Poor Damon.
Caroline calls Tyler and tells him how much she misses him - only to hang up and find a beautiful, sentimental gift from Klaus in the form of a drawing. Pony! And so Caroline softens. Esther goes all mother-y at Elijah for the Original's childish behaviour, and then we find that Finn agrees with Esther that they must all die. She performs her witchy ju ju and Finn's blood links their names together on a parchment and it bursts into flames. Grose, but cool?
Stefan and Elena share a deep and moving moment as Stefan reveals his lie from earlier, which basically confirms that his love still abounds for her. She cannot get him to crack through his façade and embrace his pain though, and he pushes her away, yet again. Sad face.
Rebekah tries to make amends with Matt but he's having none of it, and so drunk and depressed Damon comforts her the best way he knows how - through an epic sexy time. Just when it starts to get adult-rated, the episode ends, and we sit there in shivery silence. Woah.
So, I was impressed. I loved this episode, because it left everything shipper-related up in the air and answered a whole lot of questions about Esther's intentions. But now I need to have a few rants, so bear with me. Read if you wish, if you don't, comment below :D
Mini rant 1: Klaroline
Okay so, I was not a fan of Klaus and Caroline. I will readily admit that. I found the shipping idea ridiculous, and cringed even at the thought of it. THAT was before this episode. Caroline Dries, you have made me a Klaroline shipper, without even intending to. I've seen this splashed everywhere - you could ship Caroline with anyone on the show, and it's true. That girl has got 'something else'; and I will credit that to Julie and Kevin's decision to make her a vampire. One of the better decisions TVD has made, in my own opinion. Anyway, the Klaroline scenes in this episode were 'real'; they brought out Klaus' softer side and it strengthened the connection the two established when Klaus saved Caroline's life. Feel free to disagree with me if you like, I'm just confessing how I feel.
Mini rant 2: Stelena vs. Delena
This rant will be a tad longer, and I apologise. Firstly - Delena. I have seen so much hate on twitter about the direction this took, with Elena choosing to believe the worst in Damon when he was caught fighting Kol, which, granted, I am a bit cranky at Elena myself (especially for her harsh comment towards Damon after he uttered 'I love you'. Bitch). But there's something everyone is quickly forgetting - Damon has done SO MUCH to Elena, SO SO MUCH, and Elena has been asked to forgive A LOT. Don't get me wrong, I adore our hunky bad boy as much as anyone, but let's see... Damon snapped Jeremy's neck, he's stabbed Ric, he's fed Elena his blood... shall I go on? And while you can put it down to 'oh he's a vampire, that's just how he is' we all KNOW that he is capable of more. He just likes to snap. Now, while Delena fans might be crying at the turn of events in 'Dangerous Liaisons', you have to remember that while the foundation has been laid for Delena, it is on shaky ground. She might love him, but she isn't Katherine - she can't love another when she is still in love and in mourning over Stefan. I know that things tend to happen suddenly in TVD - you cannot predict from one episode to the next what might change - but in my personal opinion, it will be a while yet before anything happens with Delena. Granted, there will be 'moments' like in 'The Birthday' and perhaps more kisses, but the two have a lot to overcome before they can be a couple.
Now, that being said, I need to have a word or two about Stelena. My heart broke a few times over for Stefan in this episode. The man is so broken up over what he's done to Elena that he cannot face his feelings for her. He cannot face the fact that he wants her back. That is why I don't think Stelena will happen for awhile either. Elena may have forgiven him, but until he forgives himself, he won't go back to her. Now THAT being said, I think Elena is a bit of a cow for allowing Damon to love her when she is clearly still smitten with Stefan. And where the tricky line is drawn is what will happen while Stefan takes his time trying to forgive himself, and Damon has even more chances to redeem himself. (Let's face it, after shacking up with Rebekah, he has a lot of redeeming to do).
But while I'm on that topic, I DO NOT blame Damon for sleeping with Rebekah. Elena STILL assumes the worst in him when he has been trying so hard to 'be the better man' and she goes all nutso on him and shoves his 'I love you' right back in his face. AND she gets Stefan to break his back and then assumes that he went on a bender when he was fighting with Kol, and didn't even pause to wonder if he was protecting someone. After everything, Elena still assumes the best in Stefan, but not the best in Damon. (wow, I can't believe how correct that statement was til right now. Go me.)
Say what you will, but that's my opinions on the matter. Now, let's have a chat my lovelies :) What did you think of this episode?