There must be a serious letter-writing campaign going on, because this week we have shirtless Stefan. Shirtless, grumpy Stefan. Ahem. Alaric gets good use out of his magical ring; and as Caroline says goodbye to one parent, Bonnie attempts to bond with hers, and the Originals… Well, let’s see, shall we?
At the end of last week’s episode, we saw Elijah had been undaggered (because Damon is smart sometimes) and smart boy that Elijah also is, he immediately cops that, what with the look of surprise and fear on Klaus’s face, Klaus wasn’t the one who wanted him awake. There is a little scuffle, but Klaus claims he never broke his promise to Elijah – he did reunite him with the family. (Except none of them was conscious, but, you know, details). Klaus takes the dagger out of another Original and threatens Elijah with it – Elijah dares him to, because if he does he’d have to deal with the other Original, Cole – who Klaus seems afraid of somehow.
Klaus tells Elijah that Michael is dead, which Elijah doesn’t believe at first. Why, if Michael has died, hasn’t Klaus woken the rest of the family? Cole has been daggered for more than 100 years, and the other coffin holds Finn, who’s been asleep for nearly a millennium (that is, for nearly as long as the Originals have existed) – and Klaus tells him it’s all Stefan’s fault. Oh, and there’s things he never told Elijah. Klaus has the upper hand again, deftly re-inserts the dagger into the still-unconscious Cole, and the Original fraternal alliance seems to be back on course. Emphasis on “seems to be.”
At Elena’s house, Alaric is hungover and trying to remember what he said to Meredith (Dr. Fell) when he “whiskey-dialed” her at 2 a.m. Stay classy, Alaric. The Sheriff arrives (just what one needs when one is hungover) and tells them that the only prints they found on the stake that killed Brian were Elena’s – the stake was from the Gilbert family “secret little Slayer stash,” in Damon’s words. (How much do I want to see Damon watching Buffy? SO MUCH. The snark-o-meter would be off the charts.) Damon’s money is still on Meredith, but Elena thinks Stefan could have done it. Still, Damon’s not in the mood to talk because he has a rendezvous with Elijah. In more smart moves, he left a note in Elijah’s jacket for him:
“Dear Elijah, let’s get together and plot the destruction of your brother, etc. etc. “
and Damon wants to see if Elijah is still loyal to the brother who betrayed him.
Stefan shows Bonnie and Abbie to the cave we saw before, where Damon compelled some handy humans to hide Klaus’s last locked coffin (remember, vampires can’t enter the cavern). When he emerges, Elena is waiting for him: she wants to know if he killed Brian. He is offended, but after he threatened to kill her on the bridge, she doesn’t know what he’s capable of. Stefan wonders if she asked Damon, and despite the fact that the characters are two vampires and a doppelgÃ¤nger, it feels very like that super-awkward hurtful conversation you always have to have with your ex about nothing very important.
Elena goes to meet Caroline at the hospital – Caroline is hoping Bill is recovered and ready to be discharged, but Dr Fell tells her she discharged him late last night “to shut him up” about being saved with vampire blood. Dr. Fell also mentions – as you do – that she knows Caroline is a vampire. Caroline calls Bill’s phone, which leads them to a hospital storeroom, where Bill is sitting, staked, with his throat slashed. But since he died with vampire blood in his system (something the killer apparently didn’t know) he wakes up when Caroline removes the stake. Problem solved! Except, no: to survive, he has to complete the transition to vampire by drinking human blood – which he refuses to do. Bill would rather die than become a vampire.
Stefan, meanwhile, goes home to be browbeaten by Damon into going to dinner at Klaus’s house, to give Bonnie and Abbie more time to open the last coffin. Stefan is super-grumpy after being accused of murder by Elena and isn’t inclined to believe in Damon’s nascent alliance with Elijah, but Damon pulls rank:
Oh, yes, this is about me kissing Elena. Just remember, if it wasn’t for Klaus you wouldn’t have become such a dick and that kiss would never have happened. So get ready, and get happy; we’re going to negotiate a fake truce and I don’t want your attitude getting in the way.
Back at Elena’s, Alaric is trying to figure out what else from his “secret Slayer stash” is missing: and the knife that Elena found with Bill is one of theirs. Alaric now suspects Meredith – but Elena isn’t convinced, because why would she save his life and then try to kill him? (And she would have known he would wake up a vampire, because she was the one who gave him Damon’s blood.) Alaric is confused and reminds us that sometimes screenwriters have lazy moments too:
We’d be idiots to ignore all these facts.
Caroline has taken Bill back to her house – she’s thinking of forcing him to feed, but Elena dissuades her, even though she of all people knows how difficult being parent-less is:
The only thing your dad has is his choice.
Caroline hasn’t heard from Tyler since werewolf-Tyler nearly killed Bill, and she thinks it’s possible that Tyler is behind the attacks on Brian and Bill. Just about then, Normal MattTM shows up to give hugs and generally distract his exes from thinking about the murderous tendencies of their exes (how long ago is it since Matt and Caroline were together? Not as long as it feels). Caroline goes inside to try to persuade Bill one more time, and Matt walks Elena home. But Bill is resolved to die, full of quotable moments, and resists Caroline’s pleading:
Parents aren’t supposed to outlive their children, Caroline… This is life. This is what it means to be human.
Back at Elena’s, the electricity is out. “That’s weird,” says Elena, like she doesn’t know she’s in a supernatural TV program and broken electricity spells DOOM. She and Matt discover lots of blood everywhere (floors, walls, stairs) and find Alaric at the top of the stairs, stabbed but still alive. He doesn’t know who attacked him, but he tells Elena she has to kill him so that his magic ring will kick in and bring him back to life – of course, this only works if being the doppelgÃ¤nger is enough to make Elena a supernatural being, but she goes for it and stabs him, then asks Matt to stay with her ’til Alaric wakes up.
Bonnie and Abbie were sparring over Abbie’s abandonment of Bonnie, guilt, and the loss of her powers, but when Abbie realizes that the spell on the coffin needs two generations to undo, they get down to business. And it seems to be getting somewhere – the candles flare, the coffin lid is looser.
At Klaus’s house, Stefan is still disinclined to co-operate, but under threat of evisceration from Klaus, he sits down. Klaus is supremely confident that he and Elijah will repair their relationship; Stefan throws a spanner in the works by asking after Rebekah, but Klaus already has that covered – he’s already told Elijah what made Rebekah turn against him i.e.: that he killed their mother. Stefan makes some pithy remark, but Damon is on his case again:
Hey, remember when you killed dad? You might want to dial down the judgement til dessert.
It’s exposition city at this dinner party: Elijah asks Stefan how Elena is, which Klaus finds hilarious, and prompts him to talk about the original doppelgÃ¤nger – a woman called Tatia, whose blood their mother used as part of the ritual to make them vampires. In a storyline that’s becoming familiar, both Elijah and Klaus loved her, but to hear Klaus tell it, they both decided on “bros before hos” and I’m betting Tatia didn’t survive the Originals’ ritual (her child, of course, did).
Damon gets bored and wants to get down to business: Klaus can have the coffin back if he and Elijah agree to leave Mystic Falls forever. Klaus is not amenable to this – that would involved leaving Elena, who is his only way of making more hybrids, and he doesn’t trust the Salvatores to protect her or keep her human.
The worst thing for Elena Gilbert is the two of you.
Klaus’s counter-offer is this: he will ensure Elena’s safety and well-being for the rest of her life. He also thinks it’s a good idea for her to settle down with a nice human – he suggests Normal MattTM – and pop out some more doppelgÃ¤ngers for him (it’s not clear whether Klaus knows that Elena and Matt were actually a couple before). Stefan goes to shake on it, but says “˜no deal’ (good Stefan, remembering Elena is a real person with her own mind!), and Klaus swiftly breaks Stefan’s arm and holds his hand in the fire – he’s not negotiating any more – and tells Damon to go and get the last coffin if he values Stefan’s life. He orders Elijah to go with him “to keep him honest.”
Oh Klaus, for someone so perceptive you can be very clueless, because Elijah comes back with “dessert.” That is, with Cole, Finn, and Rebekah – all very much animate, armed with daggers, and pretty pissed at Klaus.
Stefan and Damon are released, and Stefan tells Damon he was right to wake Elijah up. Damon doesn’t want to be thanked – he still feels like he owes Stefan for all the times Stefan has saved him. Finally, Stefan admits he still loves Elena, and Damon says he does, too. End of discussion.
They enter the caves to find Bonnie and Abbie knocked out, and the coffin open – and empty.
At Klaus’s, the Originals start to deal with their family business. Klaus tells them he wanted them to all be together again – and they say they will be – just without him. Rebekah tells him they are leaving him as soon as she kills Elena, thus ensuring that Klaus will always be alone (no more hybrids without Elena’s blood). Klaus threatens to hunt them down, and Elijah points out that that would turn him into Michael. Klaus yells that, unlike Michael, he can’t be killed, and he has nothing to fear from them – but it’s all very non-threatening and pathetic…until the door opens. Guess who it is?
Yep, it’s Esther. And she’s not here to kill Klaus – she’s here to forgive him.
So, someone’s killing Founders Council members – it’s not Dr. Fell, who has an alibi – and Bill died, and I don’t really care, because the Originals are all back with their mom, who is perhaps the only person who could bring them all back together. Some serious shit is about to happen.
Minor points: Alaric woke up, so Elena does count as a supernatural being. Also, who is the Steven that Caroline offered to call for Bill? Is there another evil uncle on the way to Mystic Falls? How are Finn and Cole related to the other Originals? Is Esther a vampire, too – and if not, how is she here and walking around and all that?
And next week? I’d guessed it was Esther in the coffin (there is a giant “I WAS RIGHT” written in my episode notes), but I have no idea where things go from here, and how the attacks on the Council fit in. I’d be inclined to blame Katherine (fingerprints) but she never does anything without a reason, and I can’t think of what that reason might be. Over to you!