Previously on Vampire Diaries: Elena ate a frat boy, then felt bad about herself. And Stefan made a deal with the devil.
We open where the last episode ended: with Connor confronting Professor Creeps. Connor’s pissed because he had to find out about the hybrid menace all on his own. Professor Creeps surmises Connor met Klaus, who he knows by reputation only. They exposit that he will only tell Connor what he knows about the hunter’s mark when it is complete, which is why he set him loose in Mystic Falls to kill vamps. He also asks Connor to keep Bonnie safe as she’s important to his plans. Well, that can’t be good. Connor pretty much tells him he is SOL. What a charmer.
Cut to Connor heading toward The Only Bar in Town. Jeremy is in the back stocking shelves when he hears a door slam. Connor grabs him and puts a knife to his throat. Roh-roh.
Oh, joy. Elena’s remembered that she used to keep a diary. And so has Stefan! I sure did miss this aspect of the show. They tandem voiceover about how she hates being a vampire and he will do whatever it takes to give her back her life. Oh, shut up, Stefan! Let Elena make her own damned choices!
Klaus calls Stefan from Italy to give him the bad news about Connor’s escape, and how he now has access to more werewolf venom while the only cure is on another continent. Fun! So clearly, Connor is still trying to kill them all. Klaus, by the way, has a whole archaeological dig going on to find that damn sword. He threatens Stefan to keep him quiet. (Again. Some more.) God, he is one note.
Cute!Matt is opening the Grill when April shows up, looking for Rebekah. She seems to think he and Rebekah are together, which ticks Matt off. But before he can go into a rant about his hate for her, Connor comes out with Jeremy and his knife. Poor April seems to have gotten herself caught in the middle of another crazyfest.
Damon storms over to Elena’s looking for Stefan. He’s pissy because he thinks Stefan’s been dodging his calls, but it soon becomes clear he’s really there to fish for gossip about Stefan’s reaction to last week’s dirty dancing shenanigans. Except Elena didn’t tell him about that. Oops! Anyway, when Stefan doesn’t answer Elena’s call either, they both realize something is up.
Hostage central: Jeremy tries to get Connor to let April go, but he’s not biting. When she makes it obvious she’s been compelled to forget their prior encounter, Connor gives some good advice about how they all need to get their hands on some vervain — and not wear it in a bracelet anyone could remove. Oh, and then he tells Jeremy they had an encounter he’d forgotten as well. Jeremy is not pleased to realize someone’s been digging through his brain. (Again. Some more.)
Anyway, Connor’s big plan is to use the hostages as bait for Stefan, Damon, and Tyler — the only vamps he knows about other than Klaus and Rebekah. The rescue team is ready to go rip Connor’s heart out… until Stefan finally makes appearance and immediately starts trying to stall them.
Meanwhile, Bonnie is hanging out with Professor Creeps, who has taken it upon himself to keep her out of Connor’s way under the auspices of hypnotizing her to help her work through her witch block.
Stefan calls Klaus for help from his hybrids to stop Damon from killing Connor. Meanwhile, Elena and Damon are hatching their own plan with one of Alaric’s (AWWW!) maps of the Mystic underground. Did we know all those endless tunnels under the town were from the underground railroad? That’s a nice detail, show. Elena wants to come along for the rescue, which Damon thinks is a crap idea, since Connor doesn’t know she’s a vampire yet. She points out that she’s been training with both Alaric and Stefan and can handle herself.
When he ambushes her with a crossbow to prove her wrong, she totally gets the drop on him. (Damon doesn’t even pretend to not be turned on.) Elena foreshadows that Jeremy is the only thing holding her together right now and anything happening to him to send her over the edge. Damon promises they’ll get Jeremy back.
Over at the Grill, Connor’s making booby traps while April freaks out. Jeremy tries to interrogate Connor about his missing memories, but Connor deflects with a lesson about his vampire killing tricks. Aw, he just wants to teach young minds! He also seems to imply that he has an urge to kill vampires that he can’t quite control or understand; he’s desperate for answers about the mark that will help make sense of it all.
Elena is freaking out about Jeremy, who’s kidnapped every other week. Um, pot/kettle, Elena. Damon casually says they’ll just compel him to leave again for someplace safer once this is over. Poor Jeremy. No one has a qualm about mind-raping him.
Stefan comes back and informs them that he has cooked up a plan with Klaus to use one of the hybrids. Damon’s rightly suspicious… so Stefan knocks him out. Damn. Elena is freaked out and insists on coming along, but Stefan begs her to trust him. (And possibly compels her? That scene was weird.) She reluctantly stays.
At Tyler’s house, Caroline is shocked to runs into Hayley, who drops the bomb that she’s been staying there for a few days. A jealous bitch-off ensues. Ugh. I really hate this plot.
Fortunately, the death glares are semi-interrupted by more pressing concerns. Namely: the fight both Hayley and Tyler are having with the hybrid Klaus ordered to go help with Stefan’s plan. They try to convince him to disobey the order, as he is clearly canon fodder, but he thinks the sire bond is unbreakable. When Tyler stupidly calls Klaus to prove that he managed to break his bond, Klaus totally lets the cat out of the bag regarding Tyler’s affair with Hayley. Caroline is crushed.
Stefan calls the Grill to negotiate with Connor. He promises to tell Connor about the mark and The Five if he’ll free the hostages. Connor’s not in a the mood to make a deal. Meanwhile, Cute!Matt and April have been locked in the back room. The old wine cellar tunnel’s been bricked over, but Stefan’s coming up the tunnel from the other direction.
Jeremy tries to introduce the concept of “good” vampires to Connor, who tells him a story about a friend of his who got turned. He ended up killing her, even though he didn’t want to. Jeremy is horrified.
Klaus’ red shirt hybrid comes in and sets off one of the booby traps, allowing Connor to kill him. Stefan uses the distraction to break through the bricked tunnel entrance. (So… was that his plan? Sacrifice the hybrid, who he knows has no choice but to obey? That’s cold, man.) Stefan sends Matt and April out through the tunnel and heads to the front to get Jeremy. But Connor has him standing on one of his booby trap pressure sensors; if he moves, a bomb will go off.
Meanwhile, Elena’s freaking out across the street. Damon wakes up, and they realize Stefan stole his daylight ring — which means he’s either working with Klaus or has been compelled by him. Not a bad bit of deduction. Elena has had enough. When Damon sees he can’t convince her not to go over there, he tells her to be smart, not let on she’s a vampire until the last minute… and then kill Connor. Uh-oh.
Stefan’s still trying to reason with Connor when Elena busts in, pretending to just be a scared human, begging for her brother’s life. Connor says he’ll shoot Jeremy unless Stefan comes out. So he does. Except just as Connor shoots, Elena knocks him over with vamps speed, and the shot hits Jeremy instead. Oops!
Stefan gets Jeremy off the pressure sensor and behind a barrier, but the explosion distracts Elena enough to let Connor get the upper hand. Stefan gets him off her and then hustles him away down the tunnel.
Elena heals Jeremy with her blood, and he is remarkably non-bitchy toward her about accidentally getting him shot. He also fills her in on the whole invisible tattoo thing, which he’s surprised to realize neither Stefan or Damon had already told her about. Elena’s not pleased by that and really not pleased to hear someone compelled Jere to forget where he spent the day yesterday. (Is it wrong that I kind of love Angry Elena? She’s so take charge!)
Damon finds Stefan and Connor in the tunnels, having apparently climbed through a septic tank to get there without going through the sun. (Ew! And also: hee!) He is determined to kill Connor, so Stefan sets Connor loose while he holds Damon off. After Damon totally sticks his hand inside Stefan’s chest (Ew! Again!) Stefan finally confesses the whole truth about the tattoo and the cure. Damon’s gobsmacked.
But it’s all for naught! Because Connor’s flight through the tunnels takes him straight to Elena. Who takes a chunk out of him and warns him away from Jeremy. Connor stabs her with a stake but misses the heart. And… she snaps his neck. DUN!
Back at Professor Creeps’ office, Bonnie comes out of a trance with no memory of how she spent the last seven hours. Um, is anyone else concerned about what kind of suggestions he might have been implanting all that time? Anyway, he gives her a pep tal about believing she doesn’t have to be afraid, and she lights all the candles in the room on fire with her brain. Yay?
Stefan and Damon find Elena crying and digging a grave in the woods for Connor. (You know that when Cat Power is playing in the background, someone’s depression is about to get real. Yikes.) Stefan tries to comfort her, but Elena is having none of it, saying she trusted him and he betrayed her. Damon, unexpectedly — but refreshingly! — steps in to defend his brother, and she reminds him that he was the one who told her to kill Connor. Damon looks gutted.
Elena breaks down as what she did sinks in.
Caroline finds Tyler comforting Hayley over the death of their red shirt hybrid friend. Caroline is in High Bitch mode, but after Hayley leaves them to talk, Tyler confesses that he never cheated on her — he just let Klaus think that to prevent him from learning the truth: Tyler and Hayley have been working together to free more hybrids from the sire bond. Oh, thank GOD. I would have never forgiven the writers if they’d had him hurt Caroline like that off screen and out of the blue with no build up.
Cute!Matt and April find Jeremy outside the Grill. She is her normal, slightly awkward, cheerful self, making it clear her mind has been wiped yet once again. Jeremy drops his vervain bracelet as she walks away and pretends to think it was hers. Matt plays along, telling her he likes it so she’ll keep it. Aw, boys! That was sweet. Norms of Mystic Falls unite!
As they leave, Jeremy notices part of the hunter’s mark has appeared on his hand. DUN! (So, I guess it’s kind of like the slayer line on Buffy: one dies and another is called?) Matt notices Jeremy’s surprise, but he lies that it was nothing. Oh boy.
Chez Salvatore: Stefan finds Damon reading his diary. Heh. They chat about Klaus’ no doubt unpleasant immanent reaction to learning Stefan didn’t protect Connor. Damon is still skeptical that the cure even exists, but says he has Stefan’s back against Klaus. Aw, Salvatores! I like it better when you’re getting along. Damon wants to know why Stefan wanted the cure for Elena so badly: is it because he can’t love her if she’s a vamp? Stefan doesn’t think she’s meant to be this person. Damon, on the other hand, likes either flavor of Elena. So he’s basically only helping out of love for Stefan.
(Um, that’s nice, guys, but how about you try actually asking Elena what she wants?)
The girl in question is talking to her damn diary again about how horrified she is at having killed someone. Suddenly, she notices a trail of blood leading to the bathroom, which is covered in it. The word ‘KILLER’ is written on the mirror. Elena falls backward in terror, and suddenly the room is clean. DOUBLE DUN!
Next time: Hallucinations! Curses! Katherine!