Previously on Vampire Diaries: ELIIIIIIJAAAAAAAAAAH! (What? Did something else happen?)
We open exactly where the last episode ended: Elijah’s awake and mad as hell. (By the way, I feel I should warn you guys that I totally love Elijah beyond all reason. Um, sorry? But look at his prissy little face! I just want to smoosh it and draw little hearts around it forever!)
Klaus looks nervous. AS HE SHOULD. They tussle a bit, in the process finally revealing the names of the final two originals: baby-faced Kol, who’s been daggered for over a century, and Finn, daggered for over 900 years. Jeez. Wonder what he did to piss in Klaus’ Cheerios?
Anyway, Klaus talks his brother down by dropping the bomb that Mikael’s dead. And he claims that the only reason the rest of the family is still all daggered is that he needs the mystery coffin back from Stefan first. (Having seen the end of this episode, I… still don’t get why? But maybe it will be explained tonight.) The upshot is that Klaus wants Elijah’s help to destroy Stefan. Elijah looks thoughtful. DUN!
Chez Gilbert: a hungover Alaric apologizes again for bringing his booty call home last night. Elena is kind of adorably enthusiastic about his love life prospects with Dr. Fell — even after Sheriff Forbes comes over to share the news that someone is apparently trying to frame Elena for Douchy McDead Medical Examiner’s death, and the good doctor is still the prime suspect on Damon’s jealous little mind. Seems the examiner was killed with one of the family’s stakes and Elena’s fingerprints are the only ones on it. Intrigue!
Damon, by the way, is on his way to meet up with his (and my!) favorite original so they can plot against Klaus. Or so he hopes. At least Damon’s got the fact that he was the one who undaggered my boy working in his favor. Elijah, as always, remains enigmatic about his loyalties.
Meanwhile, Stefan is taking Bonnie and her mom down to the mystery coffin, which has now been hidden near the cave paintings. He’s fairly bitchy about Bonnie having given up the other coffins in order to save all their lives last week and god. Shut up, Stefan! I liked you when you were more evil. But now you’re just semi-evil and annoyingly self-righteous.
Case in point: Elena shows up to ask if he was the one who killed the medical examiner and Stefan actually has the nerve to act all offended, like how could she possibly suspect him of something so heinous? OH, I DON’T KNOW, STEFAN. Why don’t you ask Awesome Andie why anyone might think you’re capable of cold blooded murder these days? Ass.
Caroline’s at the hospital to see her dad and meets Dr. Meredith instead, who tells her that Daddy Dearest was not happy about being saved with vampire blood, and has already checked himself out. Except… Caroline can hear his phone ringing somewhere close by when she tries to call him. When she follows the sound, she finds him stabbed to death in a supply closet. Whoah! I was not expecting that.
Fortunately (or not, as it turns out), Damon’s blood was still in his system, so now he’s transitioning into a vampire. The only problem? He has no intention of completing the transition. Caroline is distressed.
Like cute little vampire matchmakers, Damon and Elijah have scheduled a fake sit down between Klaus and Stefan to buy some time for the witches to open the coffin. (They’re all awfully confident that there’s some game-changing weapon inside, aren’t they? I mean, what if it was just filled with Klaus’ antique porn collection or something?)
Stefan continues to be an enormous dick about everything, because he still seems to be under the impression that he has any sort of right to feel betrayed over Damon and Elena’s kiss. Get over it, sulky! You don’t get to treat everyone like shit for months and then act like you’re the wounded party.
Alaric confirms that the dagger used to stab Mr. Forbes is from his collection, which Meredith saw the other night when she was over for the booty call. The plot thickens! He’s going to try to get some answers while Elena heads over to comfort Caroline, who’s just having the Worst. Year. Ever. She’s been trying to reach Tyler with no luck (because he’s off conquering the sire bond, I hope?) and worries that he might have killed her father under orders from Klaus. Elena doesn’t think so, though, and talks Caroline down from forcing her father to drink some blood to save his live. They have a sweet and sad talk about what it’s like to lose a father.
Most awkward dinner party ever: the Salvatore and Mikaelson brothers sit down for several courses of bitchiness and flirtation. (What? You all saw that wink Damon threw Elijah, right? You know he would totally hit that.) Stefan tries to trip Klaus up with the reveal that he killed his and Elijah’s mother, but apparently, Klaus has already come clean with Elijah.
Awkwardly, however, he neglected to fill him in on more recent happenings, so Elijah puts his foot in his mouth about Elena and Stefan’s epic break up. Oops! This launches him and Klaus into a story about the very first of the Petrova dopplegangers: Tatia Petrova, with whom they were both in love. Interesting! There have been hints of this before, but this is the first time it’s been spelled out: Tatia already had a child by another man, who was presumably the one to continue on the line that would eventually lead the Katherine, Isobel, and Elena. After Klaus and Elijah fought over her, their mother “took her” and used her blood in the spell that turned them all into vampires.
So… it’s kind of implied that Esther killed Tatia, but how much do you want to bet she turns up at some point? (At least in flashback? Pretty please? I really want to see Nina Dobrev in Viking garb!)
Anyway, the moral of the whole story is that the boys have put it behind them and realized family needs to come before all else. Bros before hos, Salvatores!
Back at the caves, Bonnie and her mother figure out that the spell to open the coffin requires two generations of witches, which is why the witch dreams led Bonnie to go find her. But Abby’s magic is still not working. She thinks the spirits are still angry at her for abandoning Bonnie, but Bonnie realizes it’s Abby whose guilt is getting in the way. After a heart-to-heart, they try again and it seems to be working.
Cute!Matt walks Elena home after showing up at Caroline’s like the sweetie he is. Creepily, the lights are all out at the Gilbert homestead. Even creepier? There’s a trail of blood leading upstairs, where they find Alaric bleeding to death. (I won’t lie: I was legit scared they were offing him at this point in the episode and might have made some embarrassingly distressed noises in protest.) Alaric weakly begs Elena to kill him; she realizes that he’s wearing his ring, which means if he’s killed by something supernatural — like a doppleganger — he’ll be healed.
… so she stabs him in the heart with a kitchen knife. Daaaaaaamn. At this rate, the Gilberts aren’t going to have any cooking knives left that haven’t been used to murder someone. Cute!Matt is so over all this supernatural bullshit, by the way.
Klaus and Damon finally sit down to talk terms. Team Salvatore’s opening offer: they give the mystery coffin back in exchange for the entire original family leaving town forever. Elijah thinks it’s fair, but Klaus makes it clear that there’s no way he’s leaving without Elena, his walking hybrid factory. He then proceeds to lay a little harsh truth on the Salvatores: Elena would be better off without either of them in her life. (Yeah… true.) His counter-offer? Ensuring Elena’s happiness and safety for the rest of her natural life, including a human husband and children to carry on the Petrova line.
When Stefan rejects that deal (which actually seems kind of reasonable?) the fun and games are over and the fangs come out. Klaus breaks several of his bones and holds his hand in the fire, ordering Damon to go get the coffin now or he’ll kill Stefan. Good! Let him burn!
But, no, of course Damon won’t. Klaus sends Elijah off to make sure Damon does as commanded, promising to reunite him with their family for really reals when he gets back.
Aaaaand… now we’re at the part of the episode where Caroline breaks my freaking heart. Her father’s growing weaker, but still refuses blood; he doesn’t believe people are meant to cheat death. When she breaks down, asking why he hates who she is, he finally tells her what he should have said when he first came back: he loves her and she’s strong and good and everything he hoped she would be. She breaks down, crying and begging him not to leave her. Liz and I sniffle, watching. Poor Caroline!
House of brotherly love and betrayal: Stefan and Klaus are surprised by Elijah’s early return, sans coffin. It seems than instead of following orders, he went ahead and de-daggered his siblings, no longer trusting Klaus’ “vulgar” promises. Yay, Elijah! We meet Kol and Finn, both generically attractive and pissed as hell. And hey, here comes Rebekah, finally getting to give Klaus the stabbing he deserves! Stefan and Damon make their exit as the Mikaelson family closes in for a bloody reunion.
Out in the woods, Stefan and Damon have what passes for a heart-to-heart for them on the way back to the caves to check on Bonnie and Abby. Stefan almost — kind of — thanks Damon for saving his life back there, and for being right about waking up Elijah. Damon pretends he only did it for Elena, but who is he kidding, really?
Then Stefan confesses that he’s in love with Elena again. (So does that mean his emotions are all the way back on now? So confused.) Damon says her loves her too. They both seem to have reached some acceptance about that fact? Anyway, onto the caves, where they find the coffin open and both witches out cold. DUN!
Back at the house, Cute!Matt waits with Elena for Alaric to wake up, which he finally does just after Sheriff Forbes calls with good news/bad news: Dr. Meredith has an airtight alibi for Alaric’s attack. So maybe his taste in women isn’t totally tragic after all… but now they have three attacks on council members and no suspects. Oh, and Caroline’s father has died. Sad!
Mikaelson family reunion: Klaus claims that he built his new mansion for all of them to live together as a family, never having to be alone again. Funnily enough, none of them are too keen on that idea. His siblings are going to leave him instead, and Rebekah promises to kill Elena on her way out of town so he’ll have no more hybrids to keep him company. Klaus loses it, screaming about how he can’t be killed and he’ll hunt them all down. Elijah’s transparent, vindictive pleasure in sticking it to Klaus does my heart proud, by the way. (He’s so calm and cold! Bless.) He threatens to use the mystery coffin against Klaus — but first, the coffin’s contents find them…
… and it’s Esther! Their not-so-dead mom!
Yeah, I have no idea how this is possible. Wasn’t she supposedly the one directing ghost!Vicki to kill Elena earlier in the season? I thought that meant she was in witch heaven with Grams and the others? WHATEVER. Momma Witch seems like she’s going to go all medieval on Klaus’ ass (literally — her thousand year old peasant garb has held up very well in that coffin!) but she actually wants to forgive him so they can all be a family again. Oh, boy.
Next week: it’s fancy ball time!