Rebekah is back, she’s mean, and she’s taking everything that was ever good about Stefan and Elena and making them really mad at each other.
It’s a New Year and a new Vampire Diaries, with not a lot of plot development, but oh the talking, oh oh oh the talking. Bummer news: The first scene of this episode take’s place at Carol Lockwood’s memorial service. Opposite of bummer news: Rebekah is back and boy is she mean.
Elena leaves the memorial because she thinks she sees Rebekah. She hears someone crying creepily. It’s April, sad that the memorial is bringing up memories of her dad. Also, she knows that Elena’s a vampire. Rebekah runs in and breaks Elena’s neck (something we learned in the last episode basically just incapacitates a vampire for like ten minutes). And we’re off!
Elena wakes up in the library to an angry April. The people in this town are a bunch of lying liars, unlike Rebekah. To be fair, people in this town are constantly lied to . . . but maybe for their own good? Rebekah comes in and compels Elena to sit down. This is going to be fun/devastating.
Meanwhile, at the Gilbert family Lake House, Jeremy and his bulging muscles are learning all that it takes to become a great hunter. Or, you know, ordering a bunch of pizza and practicing fighting. Damon keeps listening to Elena’s voicemails, but can stop long enough to show Jeremy he could still kill him if he wanted to/pay the pizza delivery girl (breaking down gender stereotypes guys!) to never return (never never return to this place!).
Stefan’s drinking his sorrows away, but he gets a call from Rebekah telling him to come to the school because she’s got Elena trapped. He plans, with Caroline, to white oak stake that Original.
Except, obviously that’s not going to work. Instead both Caroline and Stefan get trapped with Elena and compelled to play the awkwardest game of truth or dare in history (oh, if I had been compelled to tell the truth when I played this game in high school, the horror it would have wrought).
Rebekah wants the cure and she wants to know why they are all still vampires and haven’t found it yet. Don’t you remember when you sad you’d take the cure and grow old and die with Elena? Rebekah asks Stefan. Rough stuff! She’s been gone for so little time and yet so much has changed. Rebekah asks what happened. Stefan replies that Elena slept with Damon. Um, I love you Stefan, but that’s not what happened that caused your break-up (it happened after). Rebekah did not just ask you to name a thing that happened. Elena is pissed that Caroline told Stefan.
Back to dear-chiseled Jeremy, still trying his darndest to learn to hunt with the best of them. He’s practicing putting a gun together (to what end—who are any of us to say?). Klaus shows up, not really pleased at Jeremy’s progress in the whole killing vampires department. Damon shoots Klaus in the chest saying “That was for Carol Lockwood.”
At the library Rebekah is in full mean girl mode (oh, if the mean girls had had the power to compel me, what a terrible terrible world) getting Elena to tell Stefan every excruciating detail about her feelings for Damon. Elena says she loves Damon, it’s not the sire bond.
Eventually, they get away from the awkward stuff, back to the important finding the cure discussion. Stefan tells Rebekah about Professor Shane.
Cut to Bonnie talking to Professor Shane way too much like he’s a friend and not a creepy college professor who hangs out at a high school. He gives her a human bone necklace from the witch Qetsiyah (What’s the return policy on that? Store credit?) and sends her on her way. As she leaves she sees Kol, who kidnaps Professor Shane for Rebekah.
While Kol is off fetching the professor, Rebekah calls Tyler to tell him to get down to the school and save his girlfriend (Like he couldn’t save his mom. TOO SOON, Rebekah). Kol arrives with Prof Shane, who cannot be compelled, so Rebekah says that Kol is going to have to beat the cure’s location out of him.
At the lake house, Damon is whittling some stakes and Klaus continues to badger him about Jeremy killing vampires. He wonders why Damon doesn’t just kill innocent people/turn them into vampires and let Jeremy hunt. Because that would be wrong, duh . . . But anyway, if it’s wrong Klaus will do it, so R.I.P. pizza girl who Klaus has turned and Jeremy is forced to stake.
In the library, Rebekah makes Elena admits that she loves Damon now because he is unpredictable and Stefan sees her as a “broken toy.” Ok, we’ve heard this whole thing enough this season that I get it and accept it, but also “broken toy” seems a bit harsh. “Broken person he used to love me but now doesn’t quite understand,” maybe that’s better. Rebekah gets Stefan to say that Elena is breaking his heart.
Before everyone watching is just completely devastated (or furious. I was a little of both), Tyler runs in. Rebekah tells Tyler to turn. She wants the cure, but she doesn’t need all this vampire competition in the way. So she tells the three vampires they can’t leave the school and assumes a turned werewolf Tyler will kill them all (you know what they say about assuming, Rebekah).
Here’s where we get to the kind of plot-advancing stuff. Bonnie goes to the school, trying to find Professor Shane and Kol. She instead bumps into April who tells her that Rebekah is back. Worried about what Rebekah will do to Professor Shane, since he can’t be compelled, Bonnie decides to create a protection spell. April helps, but why would she? Shouldn’t she be all like, “No, I’m standing by Rebekah.”
Anyway, Bonnie’s spell doesn’t work exactly as she planned (after all it’s that erie Expression stuff that’s not entirely safe) and she ends up causing all of Professor Shane’s pain to be inflicted onto April. When Shane is being drowned, April spits up water.
Shane confesses to Rebekah and Kol that he just wants Silas, he wants to bring people back from the dead, he’s made the necessary sacrifices, he’s ready. Kol stabs Professor Shane because he is for real scared of Silas (Rebekah maintains that Silas isn’t real and isn’t going to kill them. Immortals scared of other immortals. Interesting). Since April is linked to Shane, accidentally, she is the one who gets stabbed. I’ll clock that at about 38 minutes in to the show before we see copious amounts of blood. That’s pretty good for this show, actually.
Stefan, Elena, and Caroline all run away from a werewolf Tyler, but they obviously all survive so there’s not a lot of tension here. Stefan and Elena find April right before she dies and Stefan feeds her his blood so the stab wound doesn’t kill her. Bonnie and April run off.
In the gym, Caroline comes upon a fragile and naked Tyler and puts a blanket (or something) over him. He’s sorry he’s been shutting her out, he just wishes he could have saved his mom.
Rebekah finds Stefan and Elena. She asks Stefan if he wants her to erase every memory he has with Elena. At this point I was really annoyed because he’s obviously not going to do it right? Wrong. He tells her to do it. Erase his pain. She says she won’t, that’s her punishment to him. So was he playing her!!? Actually maybe not because he doesn’t answer Elena when she calls after him and he for sure didn’t want to talk to her about Damon.
A less interesting thing that happened in this episode was that Bonnie’s dad became interim mayor. It will probably be important later, so I have to mention it. Plus at the end April tells the mayor and the sheriff that it’s time for people to stop lying and that Professor Shane made her dad kill those people.
In the most interesting plot development, Stefan calls Rebekah to his home. He tells her Professor Shane lived and wasn’t killed when Kol stabbed him (like both Originals thought). He wants to team up and find the cure first. Does that mean he’s going to have to kill a bunch of people? No, right? Anyway, fun fun times! But also annoyingly he says that it is because he’ll go crazy if he doesn’t find out how Elena really feels about Damon. Um, homegirl told you exactly how she felt, Stefan. She said it wasn’t the sire bond. I think you might need to lick your wounds buddy, and move on.
In just-getting-on-my-nerves news, Elena calls Damon and in a way too gooey way to tells him she loves him. I get that this is a big Vampire Diaries moment and I’m fine with them being together, but also I don’t like the whole power structure of their relationship and how Elena seems like a child when she talks to him. His response is actually pretty sweet though, because he tells her to get in her car and come see him.
But also power structure, she has to! Not good.
Also, I guess we’re supposed to assume before that, Damon takes Jeremy to a place where Klaus has killed everyone and turned them into vampires. Damon had wanted to find Jeremy’s tattoo the humane way, but Klaus’ way is easier. So he hasn’t changed? Maybe Elena should just date Matt again?
Ok, I know that some of you probably loved the “I love you” scene, so let me know in the comments your thoughts. I apologize for being a bit of an anti-romantic in this regard.
Catch up on past Vampire Diaries recaps:
Episode 9: O Come All Ye Faithful
Episode 8: We’ll Always Have Bourbon Street
Episode 7: My Brother’s Keeper
Episode 6: We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes
Episode 5: The Killer
Episode 4: The Five
Episode 3: The Rager
Episode 2: Memorial