'The Vampire Diaries': A bloody winter wonderland
As Christmas comes to Mystic Falls, the race for the cure takes a murderous turn
Last week on “The Vampire Diaries,” Elena found out that she was sired to Damon – and he threatened to “do the right thing” and leave.
But this week, the pair woke up in bed together. Not naked. Fully dressed. “I should have made you leave, sent you packing,” Damon said. “I promised Stefan. You’re sired to me, Elena, which means everything that you think you feel might not even be real.”
“I know, Damon,” she said. “But it feels real – and I’m not ready to let go of that.”
So then Damon threatened to invoke the sire bond. But instead, he thought he might throw her back into bed. That, of course, was when her phone rang. Bonnie. She was teaching Jeremy how not to kill his sister.
At his mansion, Klaus was painting when Stefan arrived. Klaus’s minion Adrian swung by, and Klaus ordered him to take the painting to the Winter Wonderland charity event organizers. “Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves, you know,” Stefan said – but Klaus could care less.
Then Stefan told him Elena was sired to Damon, and Klaus said he’d figured as much. But he had the hunter’s sword – the key to the cure. They could proceed with their plan – as long as Stefan could deliver on his end of the bargain: Jeremy. The problem there: Jeremy had to kill more vampires to complete the mark, but Stefan, et al, would prefer that he not kill them.
Back in the tunnels, Klaus’s minion Adrian was complaining to Tyler and the hybrid pack about their master. But Hayley said she’d found the witch who would save their lives – via a body-jump spell.
Of course, when Tyler told Caroline about the plan – and that he’d be the body they’d jump into, then be buried in concrete for like a year – well, she didn’t take the news too well. After all, it was their senior year! “This started with me,” he said. “This has to end with me. I need your support.”
Jeremy was working it all rustic at the Gilbert lakehouse, chopping wood, when a car drove up. Elena and Damon. Bonnie said they were there to help – that he needed to trust her. But “Professor Shadypants,” as Damon had dubbed him, was there too. Elena and Jeremy came to the door, but they couldn’t come in – Jeremy would have to invite them. So he did. And as Elena reached out to hug him, he pulled out a stake and nearly took her out.
Still at the winter carnival, Caroline called Stefan to vent about her boyfriend, “the dumbass martyr,” then demanded to know where Elena was. But Stefan had to download about the sword – that it actually decoded the tattoo map that would form on Jeremy’s arm. That it was the key to everything. Caroline had news for him, too: Tyler and the hybrids were taking out Klaus that night.
Caroline ran into Klaus minutes later, and they bantered a bit. As he stepped away to get the underaged co-ed a glass of champagne, she texted her hybrid boyfriend that it was all a go.
Meanwhile, Stefan rifled through Klaus’s stuff looking for the sword as he told Damon, via cell, about the situation – and Damon had an idea: “Kill Tyler before he gets to Klaus. Or, tell Klaus about the hybrids, and he’ll kill Tyler.” Easy-peasy, right?
Damon didn’t tell his brother, though, that he was at the lakehouse with Elena – because he was supposed to have dismissed her the night before.
Inside the house, Shane the psychologist was hypnotizing Jeremy to get him out of “see-vampire-kill-vampire” mode and into a middle set, where he’d actually recognize Elena as his sister again, and not just as bloodsucker. “It’ll give him a choice. He can choose to take the detour, instead of the conditioned response.”
With Jeremy under his spell, Shane asked Elena to share old memories from the lakehouse, about her family. “They would have wanted us to stick together Jer,” she said. “To fight for each other, no matter what.”
But Jeremy’s response was not quite what they were all hoping for: “She ruined our lives. She’s not even my real sister, she’s just the reason everyone I ever loved has died. I will kill her, even if that means that I die myself.” Then he snapped out of the hypnosis and asked if worked.
Elena moped lakeside, and Damon offered her a drink. She told him the plan didn’t work – they couldn’t re-program Jeremy’s mind. Then she told him that last time she was at the lakehouse, she was so in love with Stefan, and now it all felt so far away. “Is that the sire bond? Or just that I’m so happy to be here with you?”
Tyler was pissed when he found out that Caroline had revealed his plan to Stefan. But Stefan asked for some time. “How long? An hour? A day? Because every second that goes by that we don’t do this, they’re at risk,” he said of his 12 hybrid pals. “You and Klaus already served one of them up for Jeremy to kill. I don’t owe you anything. I’m taking him out.”
Stefan tried to stop Tyler by force, but looked up to discover he was outnumbered – by 12. “I’m sorry, man,” Tyler said, “but you don’t have a choice.”
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Tyler and his gang took Stefan and Caroline down to the tunnels and bound them up. Stefan told Tyler he didn’t understand – but Tyler understood completely. “It’s about the cure,” he said. “You know what happens to a hybrid when he’s cured of being a vampire? We go back to being werewolves – turning on every full moon. We could give a rat’s ass about the cure.”
And then he let Caroline have it, too. “I needed you by my side, Care. That’s all I wanted.”
In the house, Damon told Jeremy that Shane’s technique was all wrong. “It’s like dangling a cheeseburger in front of someone on a master cleanse. Just find someone else to attach your warm and fuzzy feelings to.” The natural candidate? Bonnie, of course.
Outside, Shane talked to Elena about her sire bond. “In all my world travels, the one spell I’ve never found is how to break someone from loving too much. Trust me, I’ve looked.” He said his wife and son died, and he was trying to figure out how not to miss them.
Damon stepped outside, and he asked Shane what his deal was. And Shane confessed that he could lead them to the vampire cure – just like the sword and the map. “Because I’ve already been there.” He showed them this massive rock, then told them the tale of the ancient witch Silas, who was in love with a girl, and so he and his friend, another witch, created an immortality spell so he could be with her forever. But the friend got jealous and killed the girl before Silas could enact the spell – and he was cursed to an eternity to without his one true love. So he found the cure, but before Silas could take it, his friend buried him underground – leaving him, and the cure, to rot. “Human blood is the life force of the world,” Shane said. “No more immortality – no more need to feed on human blood.” All they had to do was find Silas and dig him up.
Before Tyler could complete his mission, he had to stop by the winter carnival to say good-bye to his mom – you know, before he buried himself in concrete for a year. She wasn’t super-understanding. “I’m their alpha,” he said. “They’re looking to me to help them.” So she told him to do what he had to do. He was a leader, just like his father.
Damon called Stefan and said he’d found the answer to the Tyler problem – and it didn’t involve the sword. Then Shane showed them an image of the tattoo map – a partial. When the map was complete, they’d know where to find Silas. So Elena asked what was in it for Shane. He said that he wanted Silas. “You rather be the guy who writes about Noah’s Ark? Or the one who sails it down the Hudson River?”
Caroline and Hayley found Tyler – and Caroline said she had another body to bury. Rebecca’s, complete with a dagger already in her. “We dump Klaus into her body, bury her – and we’ve just killed two original birds with one stone.” Hayley protested this. But Tyler was down. As Tyler and Caroline kissed and made up, Hayley texted Shane that there was a problem – and he ordered her to fix it. So she did. By knocking Caroline out.
Elena gathered ornaments and said she was optimistic about Jeremy – thanks to Shane. But Damon didn’t trust him – “mainly because I think he blew up 12 people at the Young farm.” Shane overheard, denied. He agreed that he’d been touch with the Pastor – but the Pastor was too far gone.
That’s when Jeremy came in, bearing a stake. Would the detour work? He walked up to Damon, stake in hand, and instead of impaling him, handed him the stake. Then he went up to Elena, and hugged her.
Back at the Winter carnival, Hayley was whispering to Klaus when Stefan walked out. Klaus demanded to know what Stefan was up to. “I showed you the sword, I explained its value, I’ve been on your side the entire time,” Klaus said. “What do you want from me? A secret brotherhood handshake?”
Then Stefan said he found the letters – from his victims over the centuries. Mementos, Klaus said. “Loneliness, Stefan. That’s why you and I memorialize our dead. There’s the briefest of moments before we kill where we literally hold their life in our hands. And then we rip it away, and we’re left with nothing. In the end, we’re left infinitely and utterly alone.”
April Young headed into the ladies room – and found Caroline slumped over, no pulse (of course!). But then Caroline awoke and asked if she’d seen Hayley. Then she called Stefan – with a jaw-dropped April watching – and said that werewolf slut Hayley had lost her mind and that he had to check on Rebecca’s body. Then she compelled April to forget it all. On her way out of the loo, she ran into Matt, who told her that April was wearing a vervain bracelet – which meant she wasn’t compelled at all.
Hayley ran into Tyler as and he asked about the witch. She told him there was no witch – and no plan to take Klaus down. She needed him for the sacrifice.
As they were speaking, Klaus was slaughtering the 12 hybrids one by one. “I’m sorry,” she told him. “If you run now, you might make it out alive.”
And so Tyler ran as “Night Divine” played in the background and the final hybrid suffered Klaus’s wrath – but wouldn’t give up Tyler’s whereabouts.
At the lakehouse, Damon watched as Elena, Jeremy and Bonnie shuffled through the ornaments. “With all the dram, you’re missing the actual fun part,” she said, holding mistletoe over his head. But no kiss. “Damon, you can’t keep telling me that this isn’t real. I know how I feel, and that you feel it, too, so stop fighting it.”
But Damon’s brother was on his mind. “I’ve been lying to him all day,” he said. “I was supposed to invoke the sire bond, and send you away. I was supposed to do the right thing by you, and the right thing by my brother. Which is what I’m going to do right now.” He told her to go home, that he would teach Jeremy what he needed to know. “I’m setting you free, Elena. This is what I want. This is what will make me happy.”
Caroline was all frantic about Tyler and April, but Stefan was wallowing. “I thought I’d feel happy about Klaus getting lead to slaughter, but instead I feel kind of guilty,” he said. Caroline did, too. “We’ve all done horrible things. What makes us any better than him? I think it’s just that we have family we can trust.”
“Trust is everything,” Caroline said. “Have you heard from Damon?” Then she told him where Elena had been – with Damon.
He asked her for the truth: “How together are they?” And her silence said it all.
At the Lakehouse, Bonnie hugged Jeremy good-bye, and Damon packed Elena off into the car. “I was ready to fight you on this, but suddenly every part of my body is telling me I need to get in this car and leave you.”
And he told her to go. So she give him one last kiss.
In the woods and in the tunnels, Tyler found his slaughtered pack. But as he walked away, he didn’t realize that the murders had borne a witness: April Young, tiara on her head, Miss Mystic Falls, convulsing in grief and disgust, then tentatively making her way through to a coffin. She opened it up, and inside lay Rebecca.
Tyler’s mom Carol was leaving him another message when Klaus walked up, his prim and proper suit splatted with blood. He said, he too would like a word with Tyler. “Klaus, please,” she said. “Don’t hurt him. He’s my son. He’s all I have.”
And Klaus said: “And you’re all he has. There’s a beautiful symmetry to that, don’t you think?” Then he drowned her in the fountain in the town square, still decked out as a winter wonderland, glowing with Christmas lights.
“The Vampire Diaries” will return with new episodes starting Thursday, January 17, at 8 p.m. ET/PT.