Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder (Image: The CW)

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

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  • The humanity switches are off and Damon and Stefan are somehow still arguing about just how much humanity Stefan has left. The show’s views on what turning off your humanity means are very confusing, honestly. Is having humanity vs. not an absolute, or a sliding scale? Can I get a wiki on this?
  • Sybil takes a job as a history teacher, convinces the local news station to send Caroline to the high school to do a story, all to set up Caroline having to help her find some ancient bell. Sure! Conveniently, Matt and his father have connections to this bell and are looking for it as well at the same time.
  • Bringing Dorian in on the supernatural shenanigans surrounding the Armory is good, because this show desperately needs another character right now and Dorian is pleasant so far.
  • Stefan and Damon’s arc as Cade’s minions involves a lot of long, intricate plots to get people to do bad things so they can collect their souls. Are there not enough bad people out there that Stefan has to manipulate someone generally good into doing something terrible?
  • “I’ve gotta say, I’m disappointed.” “Well that’s your resting state, Stefan, so what?”
  • Using Alexandra Chando as a sort-of Elena surrogate is a nice bit of casting, considering she looks so much like Nina Dobrev. The ease with which Stefan can manipulate her character without it raising a ton of red flags is a bit too convenient, however, even if compulsion was involved for part of it. What part of a guy constantly hinting he wants his brother dead seems normal to you, Doctor Doppleganger?
  • The ending sequence of Damon talking about Stefan with the inmate, while Stefan camped out at the hospital looking for his next victim was definitely the most tonally interesting thing in the episode. Ian Somerhalder always pulls off at least one really nifty thing in each of the episodes he directs.
  • Stefan is a Ripper again! Sur…prise?
  • I can’t leave that alone. Of course it’s not a surprise. It was obvious this was going to happen since the second Stefan turned off his humanity switch, because TVD never met a character beat it couldn’t grind into the ground. I’ve enjoyed Stefan’s Ripper stories immensely in the past, but this turn of events just sort of made me sigh. Is anyone else more optimistic about the Ripper’s return?

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