The Mikaelson family is the focus of this week's The Vampire Diaries, as Esther goes forward with her plan to kill her own children, abominations though they may be. Elena spends much of the episode as a hostage in an underground hole, while Damon and Stefan scramble to save the girl they both love. There are a couple of shocking turns for two characters: one that's actually not that surprising in retrospect, and one I didn't see coming at all.
Generally, this episode doesn't feel as exciting as recent Vampire Diaries for me — except for a cute interaction between Klaus and Caroline. To get to all the good, the bad, and the bloody, just keep reading.
- It seems like Damon's revenge sex with Rebekah does make Elena jealous, because she catches Rebekah in her walk of shame out of the house who gives him a disgusted "how could you?" look.
- The Mikaelson siblings need their own reality show. When Rebekah returns from her dalliance with Damon, comic relief Kol declares "sista is a strumpet," while Klaus watches amused from the sidelines. And when Kol and Klaus go drinking, all I want is to be a barfly on the wall of the Mystic Grill.
- Elena is feeling guilty about her part in Esther's plan to kill her kids because she doesn't think Elijah deserves to die (should have spoken up last week when you were watching him drink that wine, sweetie). When Elijah drops by Chez Elena, they go for a walk in the woods, and Elijah confronts Elena about lying to him. He figures out Esther's plan, and when Elena wishes she could help, Elijah takes her up on her "offer" and traps her in the hole under the surface.
- Esther needs reinforcements for the ritual to kill her children, and she recruits Bonnie and Abby so she can channel their witch bloodline. They readily agree, because they want the Mikaelsons dead. Unfortunately, getting themselves involved makes them pawns in Elijah's plan to stop Esther, and he tells Stefan and Damon that they have to kill Bonnie or her mother or he'll let Rebekah kill Elena.
- Meanwhile, the Salvatores devise their own plan, using Caroline to distract Klaus at the bar. On his own, Kol hits on Meredith, and when Alaric gets a chance to dagger him, the Mikaelson siblings drop because they're linked. Klaus knows something is wrong immediately, and he finds Kol behind the bar and undaggers him. It's enough time for Elena to run away from Rebekah, and she's almost home free when she reaches the threshold that vampires can't cross. Frustrated, Rebekah tosses gasoline and a match to smoke Elena out.
- It's ritual time, and after Damon slips to Klaus that Esther is going to kill all of them, Elijah confirms it. Assembled at the spell site, Esther gets ready to sacrifice Finn and kill the children. Klaus threatens his mother to get her to knock it off, but she's unmoved. She goes forward with her spell, but nothing happens — because Damon has just killed Abby and made her a vampire. It's a loophole, but Bonnie reels, not wanting to see Elena later because it's indirectly her fault.
- Klaus and Caroline, you guys! When she shows up to the bar and shuts him down immediately, he follows her outside like a puppy dog. Undeterred, Klaus cutely asks her to take a chance and get to know him. She reluctantly sits, and he asks to hear all about her. I leave you with this exchange: "I'm too smart to be seduced by you." "That's why I like you." It's so on.
- Back at the Salvatores, we learn that Stefan was supposed to turn Bonnie's mom because he lost the coin toss, but Damon admits that he stepped in because he can see that Stefan is trying to get back to being old Stefan. Damon gets him to reveal that he hasn't drank any blood since the Wickery Bridge incident, while Stefan accuses Damon of still loving Elena. The still-wounded vampire brushes it off, saying, "I'm better at being the bad guy anyway."
- I'm on Team Delena through and through, but I feel like — hear me out — something is sparking between Elena and Elijah. They each feel equally guilty about having out the others' life in danger, and at the end of the episode, he sends her a note trying to explain where he's coming from. I don't know if it's totally virtue that's driving this tenderness toward Elena or something else. Maybe he's been drinking the same water as the Salvatore brothers.
- Are we supposed to be freaking out over the white oak tree the same way Klaus and Rebekah are after she sees the drawings in the cave? If it really is a threat to my beloved Klaus's life, then fine. But it felt a little anti-climactic to see two remorseless killers trembling over a piece of foliage.
- Hate to say it Alaric, but being victimized by Meredith Fell is so predictable that it's hard to be sympathetic. After she nurses him back to health after his run-in with the Mikaelsons, he wakes at her house, and snooping, finds a knife. It's pretty obvious that it's the same one that was used to stab him last week, and when he looks up, she tells him he wasn't supposed to see that, and fires a gun at him.
What did you think of this week's Alaric cliffhanger and the fact that Bonnie's mother is now a vampire? And will you miss the other Mikaelsons that we were just getting to know? Weigh in below!