“A vampire is like a loaded gun. Eventually it’s gonna go off,” says Connor. Don’t we love a good Chekov-gun line? This week’s episode is titled “Killer” and watching every lie, secret, foreshadowing, and inevitability fall into place at the episode’s “killer” moment was wonderful (except less wonderful when I thought about how hard it was going to be to recap it).
At the beginning of the episode Professor Shane and Connor are chatting while we see shots of Connor prepping for an attack in his trailer. A good writing game to play in this scene would be to check how many things are said that allude to something else and how many of them actually follow through to tell you what they are alluding too. For instance, Professor Shane has a “plan” for Bonnie (no follow through). Connor says “You’ve always been slow when it comes to providing answers” and we find out that Connor doesn’t know the real secret of his tattoo (nice pay off).
To keep Bonnie busy, Professor Shane offers to teach her how to get her magic mojo back through hypnosis. By the end of the episode she is able to light all the candles in the room. But this storyline is Professor Shane trying to keep Bonnie busy, without a cellphone, and away from the gang.
The gang is dealing with major life-changing moments. The diaries are back people! Fret no more! Elena writes about hopelessness and Stefan writes about having hope for the first time because of the cure. This scene begins with a shot of a small photo of Elena as a child, now tucked in her mirror. This picture perfectly sets up the loss of innocence in this episode.
Klaus is in Italy digging up Alexander’s (original Five/Rebekah’s lover) sword. However, he manages to call Stefan to tell him that Connor has escaped but Klaus needs him alive. Klaus tells Stefan to tell absolutely no one about the cure.
In order to lure the vampires to him, Connor traps Jeremy, Matt, and April at the Grill. He texts Tyler, Stefan, and Damon to tell them he has hostages.
The whole gang (minus hypnotized Bonnie) comes together to work out a plan to save the hostages. However, Stefan doesn’t want everyone to be impulsive in an attack, because he wants Connor alive and not viciously murdered by Damon. He convinces everyone to calm down and wait while he figures out a plan to safely save the hostages (and get Connor out safely, shh…).
This whole episode Elena fights with her conflicting emotions of wanting to be taken seriously as a strong aggressive vampire and being terrified of becoming a strong aggressive vampire.
In one scene, Elena argues with Damon about her ability to take on Connor. I mainly mention this scene because of the hot moment where Elena bests Damon in a little “hunter role play.” She’s clearly up for the challenge, but what is the full implication of her skills?
Back at the Grill, April says completely logically that Connor is “clearly delusional” which is just too perfect! She also says Connor looks familiar. Is that something wearing off from the compelling or is it something else? (I’m asking you guys).
Also at the Grill, Connor tells Jeremy that they talked before, but Jeremy now has no memory of it. Jeremy is justifiably upset about being compelled. Connor also tells Jeremy that he now realizes his tattoo holds the answer of who he is. See, in the end everyone’s just searching for meaning.
Stefan comes to Elena and Damon with a plan. To retrieve the hostages they’ll use the tunnels like Damon suggested, but also Klaus’ hybrid will help out. Damon does not like teaming up with Klaus. Damon and Stefan fight and Stefan vervains Damon. Huzzah! In my notes I wrote “Um, yes 1000 times yes.” I’m a little embarrassed about it, but you guys deserve to know the truth. Stefan convinces Elena not to come with him and tells her that the most important thing is that she trusts him. Who wants to guess how that turns out?
In the C story of this episode goddess Caroline meets Hayley and is none too pleased. In the end, Tyler tells her he didn’t fall for Hayley but that they’re both trying to help the other hybrids. Um, but why did he get so upset when Klaus dangled the idea of telling Caroline about the Appalachians in front of him? And why is Hayley such a meanie (I don’t think I can swear in this recap, but you know what I mean)? Do not mess with Caroline, Tyler!
At the Grill, Connor instantly kills the Bluetoothed Hybrid (Dean) who has come to help. It’s a way too graphic scene involving an explosion and glass in the face (and a veiled “Death Becomes Her” reference). Elena sees the explosion and decides to go to rescue Jeremy. Damon tells her that he thinks Stefan has either been compelled by Klaus or is working with him. He also says that since Elena has the element of surprise she should get as close as she can and then kill Connor.
Stefan helps April and Matt escape, but ends up trapped behind the bar with Connor pointing a gun at Jeremy. Elena runs in and tries to get Connor to let Jeremy go. However, Connor starts counting down to when he will kill Jeremy. Elena quickly moves to attack Connor, revealing that she’s a vampire. She almost strangles him, but Stefan goes to save Jeremy who is standing on another one of Connor’s traps. Stefan and Jeremy dart away fast enough to protect themselves from the explosion, but because of the chaos Connor gets the upper hand. He about to stake Elena, but Stefan pushes him off her and takes him away.
In the tunnels, Damon confronts Connor and Stefan and plans to kill Connor. Stefan makes Connor run away. I thought this fight played out with pretty few holes. You know when two people fight on a show because of a secret and you just think “If this person had said this, this whole issue would have been avoided.” Well here, I think Stefan says everything he thinks he can without telling the secret and keeps fairly calm. He tells Damon to trust him, but of course Damon can’t. He attacks Stefan pulling at his heart until Stefan admits that the hunter holds the key to a cure.
Connor has represented Elena’s last hope throughout the entirety of this episode so you really feel the twist as she snaps his neck after confronting him in the tunnels.
So Elena, in the end, is the titular killer. The gun went off, figuratively. She’s left digging a grave and crying about how both Salvatore brothers are to blame for the blood on her hands. Nina Dobrev can play anger, fear, and sadness at the same time incredibly well, probably because she’s had so much practice.
In the last scene, Elena dreams of her bathroom covered with blood and the word killer scrawled on her mirror. So clearly, she is not going to be able to handle this killing to well. Let’s talk about the killing for a second. Connor did try to kill Elena and would probably try to kill her again after finding out she was a vampire. He also tried to kill her brother. Therefore, I know that Elena is torn up about killing a person, but in many ways it was a sort of “kill or be killed situation.” It’s not so much that she lost control.
The other major thing I want to talk about is Stefan and Damon deciding to find the cure together. Now, I might seem like I’m constantly Team Stefan, but really it’s because I have to play against how hardcore this show seems to be Team Damon now. Damon says he’ll help find the cure, but that Stefan needs to know, “I’m fine with her either way brother. So if I do this, I’m doing it for you.” UGH!!! This upset me so much. Because I feel like this line is set up as a sort of “I love her for who she is” beautiful, pure statement. And it tries to make Damon’s love seem greater. (We won’t argue about who loves her more because I don’t want hair-pulling). But in reality, Elena has said multiple times in this episode that she hates who she is. She might be lying to herself a little, but at the end she even says that she is loosing herself. So clearly she isn’t happy. The question becomes (convolutedly): Do you want the person you love to love the parts of you that you hate? Which you don’t, right?
Ladies, there was just so much plot, I feel like I didn’t get to say half of the things I wanted. I didn’t even get to mention Connor’s tattoo of the friend he killed, which I really hoped would mess up his vampire map. What do you guys think?