Woah, you guys. This episode was an excellent lesson in how you do soapy supernatural drama, and there weren’t even any sexy times! But how can we be sure? Let’s make a list: torture (chains!) by the scorned lover? Check. Angsty love triangle? Check. Super weapon for killing the big bad? Check. Scooby gang? Check. Plans gone awry? Check! What else? Let’s find out!
The episode opens with Elena checking up on Alaric after he has found out that he has a psychopathic vampire hunting alter ego. Though he’s been treated by a spell courtesy of Bonnie, he’s still under supervision and Damon prevents Elena from seeing Alaric, but not because Alaric is having a tough time, it’s that he happens to be making stakes out of the old Wickery Bridge sign made of Original-killing white oak. Ah, boys will be boys. They make twelve stakes in all, and then gather the gang (who are remarkably reminiscent of a certain group of Scoobies) to discuss strategies for offing the Originals. Twelve stakes. Twelve shots at killing an Original. Given that the Originals are still linked, they just need to kill one in order to get rid of all of them. Some murderous role playing follows as they work out their plans. (I don’t remember the original Scoobies role playing ever and see now that that was a significant oversight on Joss Whedon’s part.)
Off in some city elsewhere, Klaus is ragging on Finn to help them work out their little family linkage problem. Finn is still hell bent on ending their existence so refuses to cooperate. Unfortunately for him, Klaus and Rebekah have other ideas. They drag him back to Casa Original in Mystic Falls where they intend to use a witch to break the bond that makes them so vulnerable. But then, Finn is maybe all right with living because his true love shows up and it has literally been almost a millenium since he spent time with Sage and wow, they have some catching up to do. How time flies when you are stuck in a coffin! (Though really, what much has Finn to say? As Klaus puts it, he’s been in a coffin longer than he was alive.) Oh wait, did Klaus say he has a witch? Yeah, of course, poor Bonnie. Girl gets it rough.
Speaking of getting it rough, Rebekah decides to pay Damon back for using her. She kidnaps him and chains him up in the middle of Casa Original which happens to have a ballroom-(is that what it is?)-cum-torture-chamber where she gets to cut on him and drain him of his vervained blood. So now the Originals have both Bonnie and Damon, though Stefan and Co. are only aware of Damon’s whereabouts. They don’t realize Klaus is forcing Bonnie into breaking the Original bond. Stefan knows that Damon would say go ahead with any opportunity to kill an Original but Elena is more worried about Damon than anything else. In his torture-induced delirium, Damon dreams that Elena rescues him but it’s just Rebekah screwing with him. I watched this episode with a friend who informed me that she hates Rebekah. I find her kind of amusing; she takes the scorned woman to the nth level but it all really comes from a blistering loneliness and low self-esteem. So, you know she’s bad but can also see how sad she is (much like Klaus). Good characterization in my mind.
Stefan insists that they go through with their plans and sets up to watch Finn and Sage at The Grill. Sage informs Finn that they are in enemy territory and that she has been making lots of new vampires for protection. Finn looks unimpressed and though Sage makes some pithy comment about living life to the fullest, Finn appears to not have forgotten the morally ambiguous position of his very existence. After Matt slips the two of them a couple of vervained tequilas, they chase after Stefan who looks like the likely culprit. But, “It’s a trap!” Stefan fails to stake Finn but fortunately Elena and Matt are there to stick Finn right in the chest, who promptly dies and bursts into flame. Sage despairs as the rest of them bolt. Time to celebrate, right?
So back at Casa Original, after some pretty brutal bullying, Klaus has succeeded in getting Bonnie to break the spell that connects his family’s mortality together. Of course it happens right before Finn’s flame show. Klaus lets Bonnie go, but not before he asks if she wants to save the vampire who turned her mother. She leaves Damon chained up (good for her) and calls Elena to reveal the sad facts. Then she freaks out. I’ve been pretty hard on Bonnie, sort of thinking she’s a bit of wimp. But that’s a bit harsh. She deals with things differently than the rest of them and that’s fair, but at this point I’m not sure why she just doesn’t leave. Part of my dislike for her has been how passive she’s been, and maybe her withdrawal has been how she copes but I really hope the writers make her more active in what she does and that she does things for herself and not just for her friends. Or gets the hell out of the place that makes her so miserable.
At the Salvatore house, Caroline, Elena and Stefan are discussing what to do about Damon. Stefan decides to rescue him, even though Rebekah and Klaus are way tougher than him, but his plan is interrupted by a grief-maddened Sage. Before she can kill him, she and her minion start coughing up black blood and die right before everyone’s eyes. Plot twist! When an Original is killed, every vampire from that line dies. Tricky! Now we have a game of who sired whom and a reminder that Klaus sired Tyler. Well shit.
Realizing the jig is mostly up, Stefan takes the super stakes to Klaus to trade for Damon. He tries to trick him into thinking there is only eight in total, but Damon, sans vervain in his blood, is compelled to tell the truth. Klaus wants the others, like now. In a great bad guy speech he reminds Stefan that he should be grateful for having an enemy because it gives him a place to put his anger:
I’ve given your life purpose!
Stefan leaves with Damon under the promise of getting all of the white oak stakes to Klaus. Rebekah and Klaus have a typical brother-sister Klaus-Rebekah fight in which they say they love family but mostly reveal that they kind of hate each other. Elena and Stefan then have a heart to heart in which Stefan realizes Klaus was right. (Klaus in his own nefarious way is almost always right. He’s kind of like Spike that way.)
They stare at each other longingly but at the end of the day Stefan has let Elena slip from his grasp into that of his brother’s (maybe). Alas. Tragic love triangle. Damon goes off to get the last stake from Alaric who hid it on a bookshelf. But then can’t find it. Even though he told no one about it. Which leads Damon to ask the pivotal question: Are you telling me your vampire-hating alter-ego has a stake that can end an entire line of vampires, possibly mine?
Okay team, what did you guys think? Are we going to be stuck with Klaus forever or is Tyler going to make the sacrifice? (Looks like he’s back in the next episode so maybe we’ll find out!) But then Klaus will never win over Caroline, so that’s no good. And what of it, Elena? Damon or Stefan? What should Bonnie’s next move be? And the question on everyone’s mind: where’s Elijah?