On this week's episode of The Vampire Diaries, we pick up where we left off — perplexed by the mysterious writings on the cave walls beneath the Lockwood property. It's imperative that Alaric, Elena, and Damon unearth the meaning behind these ancient cryptic inscriptions, for better or for worse. With Stefan locked up, Rebekah basking in her new-found high school popularity, Klaus nowhere to be found, and Katherine stirring up trouble with Mikael (we presume), it'll take more than a little luck for the motley trio to decipher the cave code.
For Elena that means making nice with Barbie Klaus in order to press her for information about her past, while Damon tests out a riskier method of research, and Alaric continues to work tirelessly to crack the "vampire Pictionary" messages the old-school way. If you're ready to dive right into the good, the bad, and the bloody, just keep reading.
- Good thing Alaric miraculously knows everything about mythic creatures and ancient languages because he immediately recognizes the writings on the wall as an old form of Viking script. Lo and behold, the names inscribed are none other than Elijah, Rebekah, Klaus, and . . . Mikael. Yep, looks like our mysterious undead vampire hunter is the Originals' father. Or as Damon so cleverly refers to him, "Papa Original." This temporarily solves one small question — how is Mikael connected to Klaus and Rebekah? — but now, the larger question at hand remains, why have Papa Original's offspring been running from him for more than 1,000 years?
- Elena decides to go straight to the source, and since Klaus skipped town sans his devoted sister, Rebekah is their only hope in terms of gaining insight into the meaning behind the cave drawings (you see in flashbacks that Rebekah carved her name into the wall with Klaus by her side). But getting Rebekah to divulge a huge chunk of her past as both a human and a reborn vamp is no easy feat. Persistence is key and Rebekah eventually texts Elena (aren't vampires so tech-savvy these days?) to come by the Salvatore lair for a heart-to-heart.
- Stefan is still holed up in the dungeon when Damon pays him a visit. At this point, I wasn't sure how this interaction would play out. Damon is beyond merciful these days and Stefan could care less about the people that love him so. After much back and forth banter, Damon frees Stefan from his chained existence and says, "We could both use a drink," in that silly sardonic Damon tone I love. Cue a series of awesome bro-time scenes at some unfamiliar bar outside of town. It's great to see the Salvatore sibs palling around again; whether a farce or not (and I can never tell where Damon's schemes are concerned), it is nice to be reminded of the relationship they share outside of the Stefan-Elena-Damon love triangle, you know?
- To this effect, all's well at the bar. Stefan feeds happily on a bartender, Damon drinks his customary whiskey, and oh hello there, Mikael's here! This vengeance-seeking daddy vampire hunter is no joke. If you think Klaus is rough and tumble, just wait until you meet his father. He demands to know where Klaus is and Stefan, under Klaus's compulsion, refuses to oblige. In a tense moment, Mikael threatens to rip Damon's heart out if Stefan does not reveal what he knows. This is when we find out if Stefan has any shred of humanity left inside that handsome Ripper body of his — and he does. Damon lives to see another day, Mikael leaves them amidst a cloud of threats (Stefan must help him find Klaus or he gets a stake to the heart), and Stefan is still "switched off," but with a twist now.
- Rebekah reminisces about the past and Elena is all ears. In a series of flashbacks, Rebekah reveals that her family was once tight-knit until her younger brother Hendrick dies from a werewolf attack and Mikael finds out that Klaus is not actually his son, but a love child born from his wife's affair with a werewolf. Needless to say, some serious family tension ensues. Here's what you need to know: Rebekah's mother is the Original Witch; she and Ayana, a fellow witch, cast a spell on Klaus — the hybrid — so that he may never know his werewolf side; the spell also limits a vampire's capabilities by way of sunlight and vervain, and thus, the vampire legend and curse is born. Mikael turned his children into vampires; Klaus killed his mother, the Original Witch, but told Rebekah that Mikael murdered her mother to gain her loyalty and companionship; and Mikael, enraged by all these murderous events, became the fiercest vampire hunter around. His main target: Klaus. Got all that? It's evident that Rebekah remains Klaus's undying (ha) sister-servant because at the end of the day, he's her family and her tie to that past. Since she believes her father killed her mother, she doesn't want to be associated with Mikael.
- Elena pieces together the cave drawings puzzle as Alaric and Bonnie walk her through their findings. Looks like Klaus hasn't been telling the whole truth and Elena will have to be the bearer of bad news. She tells Barbie Klaus that it was not Mikael that killed her mother, but Klaus who murdered her. At first, Rebekah refuses the idea, but soon breaks down completely, devastated by her brother's trail of deceitful lies. It looks like Elena has inadvertently convinced Rebekah to help them track and kill Klaus, but we'll have to wait and see.
- And the moment we've all been waiting for, or at least I have. At episode's end, we're granted with a gratuitous (as in, more than 30 seconds long) scene between Elena and Damon, hooray! Damon lays on top of Elena's bed as she climbs into it. They talk intimately about the day's events, but quickly the conversation becomes much more metaphorical. Elena, upon recounting her interaction with Rebekah, says, "She loves blindly and recklessly, even if it consumes her," which, hello Elena! happens to be what you're doing. She goes on to say that Damon will be the one to save Stefan from himself — "It won't be because he loves me, it will be because he loves you." Awww. While that is unbelievably sweet, it would have been a whole lot sweeter if there was a goodnight kiss, or make-out sesh, involved. Just sayin'.
- I'm getting a bit tired of Stefan's hard-to-buy bad boy act. Somehow, the whole Ripper persona doesn't jive with the rest of his character makeup. Even under the guise of Klaus's compulsion, I still find it laughable how loyal to a fault he is to Klaus.
- For now, I'm OK with the Mikael storyline. It definitely threw me for a loop when it's revealed that he's not only Papa Original, but he's also after Klaus because his "son" killed his wife, the Original Witch. I worry, though, that if the plot lingers on this familial strife for too long, it could get old fast. I hope Klaus returns to Mystic Falls soon so we can grab a prime seat for the real showdown.
- Unlike the majority of The Vampire Diaries episodes, there's not much blood and gore to see here. Apart from Stefan's bartender snack and some quick bites in the Rebekah flashback montages, the most unsettling scene is Mikael's barbaric hand-thrust-into-Damon's-chest maneuver. Not sure it's kosher to play willy-nilly with someone's internal organs, even if they both happen to be vampires! Gross.
Did you savor the Salvatore bro-down moments as much as I did? Did you practically squeal with delight when Elena and Damon share a sweet moment in bed? Will this feeling of ultimate betrayal be enough to sway Rebekah to the "good" side or will she remain devoted to the MIA Klaus? All will be answered soon enough, but it's time to open up the floor — what did you think of tonight's episode?
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