We go camping with The Vampire Diaries gang this week, although it's more of a trip where you have to avoid being killed or kidnapped, rather than the kind where you roast marshmallows. Shane leads everyone into the scary wilderness to find the cure, but everyone gets scattered by the end, and we get a cliffhanger this week rather than resolution on the cure storyline.
Meanwhile, back in Mystic Falls, Klaus is still trapped, but he finds a way to wield power over Tyler and Caroline. Right when you think Klaus has done something irretrievably horrible to Caroline, he goes and proves he might be a softie after all. Sort of. Let's get to that and the rest of the good, the bad, and the bloody after the jump.
- The gang, led by Professor Shane, heads out to a remote location to find the cure and Silas. The camping group is so far away from singing "Kumbaya," though, especially with Rebekah and Elena both there, who continue to get under each other's skin. Also making things un-fun is the mystery warrior who kidnaps Jeremy.
- With the cure getting closer to reality, everyone is either excited for or fearful of what it means. Elena and Damon have a nice little kiss when she assures him that if they take the cure and the sire line is broken, she'll still love him. Meanwhile, Stefan and Rebekah philosophize over what they want. Rebekah admits that her bad-girl vampire image is all an act and that she wants to be human, and Stefan says he wants the cure for him, not because he just wants to be with Elena.
- Bonnie has the dirty job of photographing Jeremy's tattoos, and obviously, touching his chest increases her understanding. Bonnie can't find the spell in Jeremy's tattoo, and Shane says that she needs his help, sharing that his wife had also been a witch and that when she tried to raise their son from the dead, it killed her. Shane cops to being afraid that Damon will kill him once they find the cure, so he's using his control over Bonnie as his bargaining chip. Since he's the only one who can help her control expression, they can't let him die.
- Shane finally reveals more about his backstory and plan: he tells them how the people of the land had visions of their lost loved ones in a well, and he once found it himself to see his deceased wife and son. He had seen his wife, who told him that he had to get to Silas to bring her and his son back. Her instructions also include the use of a witch descended from the one who put a spell on Silas (Bonnie), who has to channel an extreme amount of energy, and finally, three sacrifices. There's the one at the council, the one Klaus executed over the holidays, and one more . . . that hasn't happened yet. Creepy.
- Trapped at the Gilbert house, Tyler stops by to check on Klaus and revel in his imprisonment, of course. Klaus brings up the possibility of turning mortal and his whole sire line also turning mortal, though Tyler theorizes that the sire bond will be broken if Klaus did. Bitterly, Klaus takes the chance to brag that he killed Tyler's mom but later theorizes that with Kol dead, they're even. Caroline lists off all the bad things Klaus has done, and, enraged, Klaus manages to grab her, pull her into his trap, and feed from her as Tyler watches. Klaus! How can we root for you guys as a couple if you're biting her willy-nilly?
- Infected with a werewolf bite, Caroline freaks out as Klaus makes Tyler beg him to save her. Klaus watches Caroline as she suffers, and she gets him to talk to her, saying she thinks part of him is still human because he's just hurt. She admits to wanting to forget all the bad he's done and even drops this bomb: she knows he's in love with her. Not just that, but if he can love, he can be saved. She hits the perfect nerve, and a teary Klaus feeds her his blood to save him. What can I say? It's oddly romantic.
- After Damon tries to torture Shane to tell him where the well is, Elena stops Damon before he kills Shane. Damon admits he doesn't want Elena to be cured. He says that if she becomes a human and still loves him, then their human/vampire relationship won't work (haven't we been examining this very idea for this whole series?). She urges him to take the cure and turn human with her, but Damon says it sounds miserable to him now. I'm a little bit surprised that Damon doesn't want the cure, considering that Elena offers him such a pretty picture of a life together.
- I'm irritated with the cliffhanger, because nothing really juicy happens this week; it's mostly Shane's storytelling, and I'm not excited about where everyone is at the end of the episode. Shane runs off with the headstone and meets back up with Bonnie, Jeremy and his witch captor; Stefan, Elena, and Rebekah have no choice but to team up, and Damon goes off on his own and runs into one of the Five — who handily dominates Damon as the episode ends.
- Even though it's such a bad courtship move to bite Caroline, I liked seeing Klaus with his mouth all bloody, reminding us that he hasn't gone soft.
What did you think of this week's episode?