The Vampire Diaries at last makes its return from its second extended hiatus. A Few Good Men shows the aftermath of Damon’s master plan. He has spent the last century searching for someone who couldn’t have cared less about him. With this newfound knowledge he claims he is a free agent with no master plan and nothing to worry about. Damon drowns his sorrows in alcohol and college girl blood donors while still coming on to Elena as strong as ever. She feels sorry for him, having his heart broken and his entire purpose and drive taken away. No matter how evil-natured his actions and betrayals she feels for him. Damon is about to go too far though, unknowingly mocking Elena’s personal trauma from her past.
A bulk of the episode deals with Elena, her aunt, and Stefan digging in to Elena’s past, trying to find her birth mother. All Elena’s aunt really knew was that her name was Isobel and the year that Elena was born. They end up finding one of Isabelle’s high school friends who Elena goes to speak to. She gets a very weird feeling and realizes she knows a lot more than what she’s telling her. As Elena leaves, a man follows her, warning her to stop asking questions. As Elena’s aunt gets closer to Alaric, she begins to suspect that his late wife might have been Elena’s birth mother. Elena isn’t sure if she is ready to believe this, because it would mean she has already lost two mothers.
We are shown good chemistry between Matt and Caroline in this episode, focusing on their relationship running smoothly rather than some of the drama going on between the two. Just as thing get heated they are interrupted by Matt’s estranged mother, Kelly. I didn’t really think about Matt’s parents not being around before this episode, but it seems like a good move to flesh out his character a little more since he still seems a little flat compared to his personality and characteristics portrayed in the books.
Even when Damon is getting over a heartbreak he is still his hilarious, maniacal, and unrelenting self. Once again I have to applaud Somerholder’s performance in this episode in particular. He captures all of the darkness, mocking tones, and cockiness that he always embodies in Damon, but he adds a bit more depth in emotions than we usually get. There is a broken quality to him as if he’s in a haze, caring even less about obnoxiously showing off his more negative traits. Somerhalder shows this desperation that really comes out in a scene with Alaric. Damon embarrasses him in front of everyone while secretly bragging about murdering Alaric’s wife, becoming completely sadistic just to exert power over someone else once again and turning the suffering on him. Somerhalder quickly goes from a complete high to a complete low after realizing that not only was this woman Alaric’s wife, but Elena’s mother. He knows anywhere he was getting with her is completely lost now.
Some of the “bad guy” characters in this episode are a bit laughable. In particular the man who is following Elena’s dialogue is pretty clichéd. Most of the antagonists on The Vampire Diaries are usually brutal, intriguing, or at least wickedly funny so I was a little disappointed. Still, there were other vampires on the show, some leaving an air of mystery as we are only given very vague hints at what they are up to. Something is in the works though. This was sort of a transitional episode. On the one hand we are given the aftermath of the last episode with Damon. We go farther in to Elena’s past and finding out if there’s still a chance at finding her birth mother while still only getting very limited information on some of the other vampires and ominous characters. We are given some suspense and start to see the stories shift.