Previously in Vampire Diaries: Damon wussed out.
Sorry this is late, guys. The holiday season is kicking my ass. Anyway, we open this very depressing episode on the morning after Damon wussed out, as he and Elena wake up (fully clothed!) in bed. Damon whines about how he should have done right thing but didn’t, and Elena gives him sexy doe eyes and reiterates that she didn’t want free will anyway. So there.
It would be cute if it wasn’t so gross, you know? They almost kiss, but a phone call from Bonnie interrupts. She needs Elena to come help with Jeremy’s reprogramming so he doesn’t kill all the vampires they actually like. Elena invites Damon along to come with, because that seems like a good idea.
Meanwhile, Stefan finds Klaus enjoying some post-modern painting for charity. This week, Stefan is deigning to briefly notice that the hybrid slave labor Klaus has going on is kind of morally repugnant. But he’s even more concerned with bitching at Klaus about how Elena is sired to Damon and he needs the cure more than ever and why is Klaus wasting time on stupid charity when he could be helping, wahhhhhh. Klaus, however, feels like he’s already done his job and ball’s in Stefan’s court with the whole Jeremy growing his tattoo portion of the plan. But he does show Stefan the magic hunter sword and explain how it’s a key to the map.
Over at the hybrid revolution cave dungeon HQ, all the newly de-sired hybrids are chomping at the bit to get free of Klaus once and for all. Luckily, sketchy Hayley shows up promising she’s got the witch and the spell to do what they need.
Cut to… Caroline freaking out as Tyler explains how this plan involves dropping Klaus’ consciousness into Tyler’s body, which they will encase in concrete until the hybrids can all disappear. It’s a moot point (spoilers!) given how this episode plays out, but wouldn’t it be kind of stupid to drop a vengeful Klaus into the body of a still immensely powerful werewolf/vampire hybrid? I mean, how about shoving him into a boring old human who can’t eviscerate all of them super easily?
ANYWAY. Caroline thinks this entire plan is stupid and dangerous, but Tyler is really into this whole I’m the alpha thing, even though those ingrates in his pack were ready to betray him and torture his girlfriend at the drop of a hat last week.
Out at the Gilbert cabin, Jeremy’s angrily flexing and chopping wood. As you do. Damon and Elena pull up, and things seem tense, but Bonnie helps get Jeremy’s murderous impulses under control… um, sort of. Seeing as he invites Elena in and then immediately tries to kill her. Oops?
Back in town, Stefan updates Caroline about the sword’s purpose. When she spills the beans about Tyler’s hybrid liberation plans, they realize they need to get the sword away from Klaus before he gets taken out.
Cue Caroline cozying up to Klaus at this week’s big town function (the charity art thing he was painting for) while Stefan snoops around the mansion, looking for the sword. Damon, on the phone, suggests they just kill Tyler. (Oh, Damon. Never change.) He also lies about not being with Elena and implies he already set her free. Bad Damon, no cookie!
Professor Creeps has Jeremy tied to a chair and hypnotized so they can program his subconscious to overcome his hunter conditioning. Elena gives Jeremy a sweet speech about love and family togetherness. In return, hypno-Jere’s subconscious says pretty much the most horrible things possible about how Elena isn’t his real sister and is the reason everyone he loves is dead and he’ll happily die if it means he gets to kill her too. Ouch. Not cool, Jeremy’s evil subconscious.
Stefan struck out at the mansion, so he and Caroline want Tyler to delay his plan. Tyler’s not really feeling that, especially after they let Jeremy kill that poor dude a few weeks ago. Gotta say, I’m kind of team Tyler on this one. He has the HLF (Hybrid Liberation Front) lock them in the cave dungeon to keep them from wrecking the plan.
Damon finds Elena moping out on the dock. She’s got a case of the sads about both the Gilbert siblings’ brainwashing issues of the moment, and muses that her time in love with Stefan feels like weird dream. Damon looks pained. But he does have a suggestion — instead of deprogramming Jeremy with his love for a vampire, they should use his love for Bonnie, and… damnit, I really do not want to revisit Jeremy/Bonnie. They’re so boring! Gah.
Professor Creeps doesn’t have any idea how to help Elena with her deprogramming problem, but lets slip that he had a wife and son who died. (Hmmm. So… guessing all this is so he can resurrect them?) Oh, and he also knows how to find the vampire cure. Without the sword. DUN!
Tyler finds his mom at the charity party and tells her about the big plan. She’s not thrilled, but ultimately supportive. They have a sweet moment where she compliments him and tells him his father would be proud. I should have known right then that she wouldn’t be surviving this episode.
Story time with Professor Creeps! Turns out the “cure” is technically a cure for immortality, not vampirism. But because blood feeds immortality, curing the one will get rid of the blood lust too. Or… something. I don’t even know, you guys. This show’s vampire mythology is such a hot mess. Anyway, they’ve got to go dig up some ancient dude named Silas, whose location the good Prof is keeping to himself for now.
Damon calls Stefan — who gets excellent reception down in the cave dungeon, I must say — to give him the good news about no longer needing the sword. So the hybrids set him and Caroline loose, and she heads straight for Tyler to prove why she’s still the brains of their relationship: they should still do the plan, but put Klaus into daggered Rebekah’s body instead of Tyler’s. Yeah, that… does make a lot more sense.
Unfortunately, they share the good idea with evil Hayley, who surreptitiously warns Professor Creeps and then snaps Caroline’s neck before she can tell Tyler Bonnie’s given them the okay. (Or that Bonnie dropped the bomb that Damon has been hanging out with Elena all day.)
At the cabin, Elena is full of hope and trust over Professor Creeps. But Damon, bless his paranoid little heart, still thinks he murdered all the council members. Creeps exposits that he was just trying to help Pastor Young with his depression over his dead wife, but it obviously didn’t work. Uh-huh. Sure you were.
Meanwhile, it’s time to test Jeremy’s deprogramming! First, he doesn’t stake Damon. And then he hugs Elena — without even trying to stab her in the back or anything! Aw. At the same time, Professor Creeps gets a text from Hayley promising that she’ll fix things and “get his twelve.” HMMMM. Since the show rather pointedly just dropped a reminder that there were twelve people killed in the council explosion, I guess Creeps brainwashed the Pastor somehow?
At the charity party, Stefan finds Klaus, who has finally figured out that when Stefan is acting shifty while Caroline is acting flirty, they’re definitely up to something. Yeah, you are getting kind of predictable there, guys. Stefan confesses he’s been looking for the sword, and Klaus has the nerve to act hurt that no one trusts him. Bitch, puh-lease.
Apparently, while searching, Stefan did come across a collection of letters from Klaus’ many centuries of murder victims. How… nice? Klaus finds this no more creepy than Stefan’s murder closet back in the 20s. Touché, Klaus. But he also gives a sob story about how terrible loneliness is, and how murdering people makes him and Ripper feel close to them for a brief moment and… OH MY GOD, CRY ME A FREAKING RIVER. (Hey, Klaus? Maybe you wouldn’t be so “infinitely and utterly alone” all the time if you’d just, you know — stop murdering people all the time. JUST A THOUGHT.)
Inside, poor April stumbles across Caroline’s body, then gets the dual trauma of seeing her revive and leave pissed as hell voicemail for Stefan, which included a reference to Rebekah’s body being down in the Lockwood cellar. Oh, dear.
Unfortunately, April has gotten just smart enough to play along when Caroline compels her to forget everything. Oops. Caroline runs into Cute!Matt (aka, Sire Only Appearing Once In This Episode) downstairs, who remembers that April’s wearing Jeremy’s vervain bracelet. (Which seems like a strange choice of accessory for her formal Miss Mystic outfit, but okay. I’ll go with it.)
Tyler leaves his mom a happy message that everything’s going to be fine now… right before running into Hayley, who confesses there is no witch and this whole convoluted plan was just part of a ritual sacrifice she has going on with Professor Creeps. Um, seems like there are easier ways to kill people? Unless they had to be hybrids, I suppose.
This is inter-cut with Klaus murdering the hell out of all his hybrids in the woods while a terrible rock version of O Holy Night plays in the background. (People, keep your gravel-voiced singers away from my favorite carol, please. Boys choirs only.) Klaus finishes the last one off down in the cave dungeon when she can’t tell him where Tyler is. Uh-oh.
Jeremy, Bonnie and Elena are looking through old family Christmas decorations together at the cabin. Damon smiles to see her laughing and enjoying herself, but won’t come in and join them. When Elena goes out to cajole him into the house and he gets all sad and mopey again about how seeing her and Jeremy together again has reminded him of how he’s lying to and betraying Stefan right now. So… he finally does the right thing, and orders her to leave him. Damon will stay at the cabin with Jeremy to teach him how to hunt vampires. Elena looks horrified at first, but by the end, she seems to be accepting it calmly. The sire bond is creepy, y’all.
At the same time, Caroline and Stefan, still thinking Tyler’s plan is working, sit down for some girl talk. And — no lie — this is the conversation they have:
STEFAN: I’m feeling kind of guilty about sending Klaus into a trap. I mean, sure, they’re not even going to kill him, just temporarily inconvenience him. Not to mention he’s tried to kill us all multiple times, kind of mind-raped me into becoming a soulless killer for a year, and has all these slaves he terrorizes on a daily basis. But he’s so handsome and sad, you know?
CAROLINE: I know, me too! Especially the handsome part.
STEFAN: And let’s face it, we’re all pretty horrible people too.
CAROLINE: True that.
STEFAN: We’re really only better than him because we have family.
ME: Of course, Klaus would have family too if he didn’t keep abusing them and putting them into dagger comas for centuries at a time. I MEAN, THERE’S THAT.
I sure hope that conversation was meant to be ironic.
Anyway, this leads Caroline to share Damon’s lie about not sending Elena away. And also sleeping with her. D’oh! Stefan throws a hissy fit as we see Bonnie and Elena getting ready to leave the cabin. Elena admits she wants to fight Damon about leaving, but suddenly feels an uncontrollable urge to leave. She kisses him goodbye, though. Damon’s clearly hating this, but determined. Oh, the humanity!
Poor, duped Tyler finds the bodies of the hybrids in the woods and the cave dungeon, where… April is hiding! She finds Rebekah’s dead-looking, daggered body in a coffin and, presumably — because she is still pretty much a moron — undaggers her. I mean, really. Would that be your response to finding something like that? Because me, I might call the police.
Meanwhile, Tyler’s mom is waiting alone outside the party for him to give her a ride home. Well, this can’t be going anywhere good. Klaus wanders up, all covered in blood and generally looking creepy as hell. He wants to find Tyler. She begs him not to hurt her son, who’s all she has… and he responds by emotionlessly drowning her while another Christmas song plays in the background. Because Klaus is sad that his slave minions didn’t love him and therefore feels the need to make everyone else miserable too. Klaus is the worst.
Thanks, Vampire Diaries! Really uplifting.
(Also, for real, writers? I can tell you’re just dying to “redeem” Klaus, but stuff like this? Not helping.)
Next time: Originals! Jeremy at vamp-killing camp! Stefan being self-righteous!