Every teen drama has done an episode where its main gang is trapped somewhere for a long period of time, forced to reveal secrets and unravel their emotions, taking a cue from John Hughes, who perfected the artform of the “detention” premise in cinema.

The Vampire Diaries

C+
“After School Special”
CW


“The Vampire Diaries” is no ordinary teen soap. So naturally, it takes this simple premise and morphs it into something much more horrifying.

Rebekah returns, and her first order of business is to kidnap Elena, Stefan and Caroline and forcibly hold them in the school library, compelling them to tell the truth. Mostly, Rebekah just wants to know where the mysterious cure for vampirism is so she can find it first, shove it down brother Klaus’s throat and watch him suffer in his mortality. Because, even though she has been tucked away in a coffin for a few weeks, Rebekah is still the greatest.

The juiciest secret that comes from this high-stakes game of truth or dare is that Elena still loves Stefan but is in love with Damon. Even though it has been around since day one, the love triangle is hardly TVD’s most compelling element, and having it drive so much of the action is dragging down this season, which — like Jeremy’s vampire hunter tattoo — grows more puzzling with every passing moment.

“After School Special” promises twists and revelations, but ultimately serves up a summary of everything that has happened so far this season. Do the writers think we were stuck in a coffin with Rebekah all these weeks?

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