We left off last week with Klaus bummed at losing a batch of hybrids, Caroline locked up and Damon doing a great job of reminding Elena of her conflicting emotions about my favorite Salvatore brother. (Need to catch up? Visit our TVD recap index for links to past episodes.)
Things get bloodier this week as we dive into Stefan’s past, again. This time it’s not his past with Katherine, but his history with Klaus. (Yeah, didn’t see that coming either.) Damon and Elena continue the hunt to save Stefan, but will it do any good?
Missing memories, former flames, torture, blood and more flashbacks than you possibly could ever need. From here on out, it’s nothin’ but spoilers.
As always, the one person who knows what everyone is up to is Katherine. She calls Damon at the beginning of this episode. Sure, part of it is to toy with him—this is Katherine—but mostly she’s providing information. She’s been tracking Stefan and Klaus and knows exactly where they are. In addition to sharing that tidbit, she lets Damon know that Klaus’s attempt to create hybrids failed.
Our favorite evil Original has taken Stefan to Chicago, where Stefan’s Ripper alter ego had his heyday. This cues up the first of too many flashbacks (some are as short as 30 seconds) to the roaring ‘20s. In this first look back, we see Stefan feeding from a lovely lady in the back of a car and looking damn good in a suit. (That’s coming from someone firmly Team Damon.)
He then enters a speakeasy and locks eyes with a gorgeous blonde. She leans into him, licks at his lip and says, “Careful Mr. Salvatore, you’re still wearing your date,” and walks off. I immediately like her.
Back in Mystic Falls, we greet Elena in bed again. But, oh, she’s not alone. Elena is snuggled up to a, sadly, clothed Damon. And then, because she is an idiot, she jerks away from him upon waking. I would have curled into that goodness.
My advice: When waking with your head atop the hard chest of that dark-haired vampire, let your hands wander. You can always blame it on not being all the way awake, if necessary.
As Elena doesn’t listen to me, instead Damon calms her by saying he’s there to invite her on a trip up to see Stefan in Chicago. When questioned about just how he knows this, he plays coy: “It came to me in a dream. I was naked. You would have liked it.”
I never thought I’d say it, but the show pushed it a bit far by then having Damon rifle through Elena’s panty drawer holding up a pair and offering suggestive commentary. While I like Damon making saucy comments, it felt too juvenile for him. (I know, I know.) Maybe it wouldn’t have been if it hadn’t immediately followed the naked razz.
I didn’t have much time to contemplate Damon’s panty raiding ways, because we cut over to Caroline. You may recall at the end of last episode she was strapped to a chair in a dungeon, compliments of Mrs. Lockwood and her own dad. We quickly learn that the room is ventilated with vervain to keep vampires weak, and Daddy Forbes has plans for Caroline. First he asks her how she can walk in the sun. He says he only wants to know this. When she reveals her ring, he removes it and then kicks into his brand of aversion therapy for vampirism.
You read that right. Mr. Forbes tortures his daughter in an attempt to cure her from being a vampire. His precise plan is to open a window and burn her with sunlight, then hold bagged blood in front of her and if her face vamps-out, then he does it again, promising “This is how I’m going to fix you.”
It’s painful to watch and has big echoes of some of the vicious aversion therapy used on gay men and women in the past. The idea that you could burn, torture or cut out an essential part of someone’s being horrifies me. Caroline can’t help that blood is what her body requires for sustenance, but Mr. Forbes really expects her to stop needing to drink blood. He doesn’t care that she doesn’t hurt anyone. Her form of existence is reason to torture her. The Vampire Diaries doesn’t really go deep that often. It’s more of a soapy drama goodness, but this was done well. Really well done.
After bringing the heavy, the show skips back to Damon and Elena en route to Chicago. Damon loves a road trip. This time, though, he’s trying to get Elena to read one of Stefan’s diaries in the car. (Maybe vervain stops people from getting car sick while reading on road trips? If so, please share.) She refuses, saying she isn’t going to invade Stefan’s privacy. Damon has no such qualms and gives us a quick reading, which paints a picture of blood and sex.
Klaus has taken Stefan to the same speakeasy from earlier flashbacks. It’s now a legitimate bar and Gloria, who was a lounge singer in the ‘20s, runs the place. We discover she’s a very powerful witch and Klaus has come to seek her help in finding out why he can’t make hybrids. It’s not like Stefan’s about to reveal that Elena’s still alive and thus the curse is still in effect. Gloria agrees to help, but says they’ll need more power to contact the Original Witch. She tells Klaus she requires the help of Rebecca, and the badass hybrid is none too pleased by this news.
While Gloria and Klaus chatted it up, Stefan was snooping around the place. He discovers a photo pinned the to the mirror behind the bar. It’s him with Klaus in 1920s garb. To say our tortured hero is conflicted would be an understatement.
Sheriff Forbes has tried to call Caroline to no avail, and we get a glimpse of Tyler at her door just before the shot cuts back to what is burned in my mind as The Torture of Caroline Forbes. Between screams, she’s begging her dad to stop, when he eventually relents and closes the window. It’s only to bring over blood and be disappointed as his daughter’s natural craving shows on her face.
Damon and Elena make it to Chicago, and he immediately takes her to the apartment where Stefan used to live. They never explain how his apartment has remained pristine for more than 90 years. Or how no one else moved in. Or why there wasn’t a deadbolt. Apparently, there are parts of Chicago that no one has touched since the ‘20s. Magic! Anyway, Damon breaks off the doorknob and brings Elena into Stefan’s old digs. His purpose is to show her a hidden closet. At first the stealth pantry looks to be a place to hide booze, but a moment later Elena discovers the wall covered in names. He kept a record of his kills.
Elena tries to push back at Damon by asking just how he spent his time then. While he admitted to being in Chicago at the time, too, he made a point to say, “Stefan was a cocky Ripper douche, but I could still avoid him.”
Over with Klaus, Stefan is trying to get Klaus to explain why he doesn’t remember him. Is it a result of blackouts or magic or something else entirely? Finally, Stefan asks why Klaus never mentioned they knew one another. Klaus admits that upon first meeting Stefan he hated him.
Cue another flashback! We see Stefan, again, feeding on a woman, but this time the blonde from before is there, too. Then over the unconscious girl the blonde and Stefan kiss. This is the closest to a threesome we’re getting on TVD, so drink it in. It’s immediately evident that the blonde is wearing the heirloom necklace Stefan gave to Elena back in the first season. The one she still wears while pining for him.
The blonde is Rebecca, and she’s Klaus’ sister.
In present time, Klaus stands over Rebecca’s coffin. (Remember, he has all his siblings’ coffins with him. He keeps his family close. Dead, but close. He’s a sentimental guy.) The stake still juts from her chest, as it must with an Original vampire. Stefan says he still doesn’t remember her, but Klaus is fairly lost in looking at his sister. He strokes her ashen face as he pulls the stake from her chest. She doesn’t wake immediately, and instead Stefan manages to get a little more information out of Klaus.
This is when we discover that Klaus learned many of the really cruel things he does from Stefan. Flashing back to the speakeasy, we see Stefan and Rebecca coupled up on one side of a booth, Klaus on the other. A man comes up and inquires just where his wife is (insinuating Stefan has done something unsavory with the lady…which he surely has). Stefan beckons the woman to join them, and then makes both husband and wife join the group of vampires. He slices open the wife’s wrist and lets her blood flow into a glass. The husband is across the way, compelled to watch. Then, after sending the woman on her way to bandage her arm, he slides the glass to the husband and makes him drink it. Klaus looks stricken at first, but by the third sip, he, too, is laughing at the man’s distress at being forced to drink his wife’s blood. Klaus enjoys the man’s torture, but no more so than Stefan does.
Damon has left Elena at Stefan’s old apartment while he treks to Gloria’s. The bar owner tells him Stefan and Klaus will be back later that night. She doesn’t mention Rebecca or what Klaus is after.
In the meantime, Klaus has decided he will prove his prior friendship to Stefan by taking him back to the apartment and revealing one of Stefan’s secrets. Elena is inside reading Stefan’s old diary—like you’d resist, either!—and the accounts of Lexi getting Stefan off human blood. She hears Klaus in the hallway and escapes into the hidden liquor closet, tucked around a corner.
The guys see the doorknob missing and bust in. Klaus intends to reveal the wall of names to Stefan. He opens the hidden door and Stefan rushes forward. I’m surprised Klaus would let Stefan experience the big reveal of the names of his victims privately, but he does. This means Stefan and Elena just stare at one another, and we watch as conflicting emotions wash over their faces. Stefan yells out “look what I found” but turns around to Klaus holding a nice bottle of liquor. Talk about a head-trip—both for the viewer and for Elena.
Back to the Torture of Caroline Forbes. Now Sheriff Forbes is on the scene and holding her former husband at gunpoint. At this point I have to say HELL YES, LIZ FORBES! She reminds him that Caroline is their daughter, who loves and looks up to him. Tyler comes in behind her and goes in for Caroline while Mama Forbes keeps Mr. Forbes at bay under threat of gunshot. Tyler breaks away the shackles and lifts Caroline in his arms, walking her out of the cell.
I haven’t much liked Stefan this season. Watching him be Klaus’s puppet was less sexy than I’d hoped. This episode changed that, though. Stefan gains some confidence and I had to be impressed when he asked Klaus why the only knows him as the “hybrid dick who sacrificed my girlfriend on an altar of fire” if they used to be best friends.
This is when we flashback to their friendship breakup. He and girlfriend Rebecca are dancing when a raid is unleashed on the speakeasy. Only the police are using wooden bullets. Rebecca says “they” have found them, and tries to flee with Stefan. Her necklace falls to the floor in the melee.
Klaus stops Stefan from following and compels him into forgetting him and Rebecca until he says otherwise. Before he leaves he tells Stefan that he had “forgotten what it was like to have a brother.” And through the flashbacks we really do see these two were like brothers. Hell, Stefan was with Rebecca in a way that nearly made him family to Klaus.
But why? Stefan surmises the only reason Klaus would have to hide his trail is if he is running from something. Unfortunately, Klaus isn’t ready to reveal that part, but I suspect in future episodes we’re going to see what the invincible fear.
Damon arrives at Gloria’s and gives Stefan a subtle nod, indicating to meet him outside. Stefan leaves Klaus’s side under the guise of getting a “real drink” and comes outside to threaten Damon again. He asks Stefan to pick if he’s going to be good or bad, but I rather enjoy tortured, but evil Stefan. So, I don’t mind if he doesn’t pick a side just yet.
Stefan lays out how Elena living ruined Klaus’s plans for creating hybrid soldiers, and how a very powerful witch is about to reveal that to him. It scares Damon into understanding how much danger Elena is in, but he still tells Stefan to tell her himself and joins Klaus at the bar. And to that end, Damon and Klaus’s barroom banter illustrates how similar these two could be. Is it any surprise Stefan once found Klaus as a surrogate for Damon?
Outside, Elena strokes Stefan’s cheek and begs him to come home. She hugs him and lifts an arm to stab him with a syringe of vervain, but he catches her. I didn’t see Elena literally dragging him home, but she has no chance now. He snatches her wrist, goes all Ripper and tells her he doesn’t want to come home. He explains the danger she’s in. Elena, of course, doesn’t care. He tells her it can never be like it was, talks about the bodies he’s left in his wake. She knows Lexis pulled him out of it before, and is sure she can do it now. That took 30 years, though, and it’s half of Elena’s life. Finally, Stefan goes for the cold words everyone knows he doesn’t mean: “I don’t want to see you. I don’t want to be with you.”
Inside the bar, Klaus has grown tired of Damon’s witty comebacks and is choking him whilst impaling him with a cocktail umbrella. Let’s give him points for both creativity and resourcefulness on that one. Again, these two have so much in common.
In Mystic Falls, Caroline is safe at home in her bed. Her mom takes away an empty blood bag and gives her the look every mom gives her sick child. Liz does her best to help Caroline understand her dad’s actions were a result of wrong ideas engrained in them about vampires. Tyler comes in and holds Caroline as she cries at the thought that her dad hates her. I may now love Tyler Lockwood. He is turning into such a good guy: Strong, caring and damn loyal.
Klaus returns to Rebecca’s coffin to find it empty. She stakes him in a flash. It’s well deserved, given how he killed her. Rebecca wanted to be with Stefan, and when Klaus decided Stefan was staying behind, Rebecca made the choice of her lover over her brother. As such, Klaus staked her. But Rebecca’s stabbing didn’t kill Klaus; as a peace offering, he hands over Stefan and removes the compulsion to forget. The look on Stefan’s face tells us that he not only remember Rebecca, but also his love for her.
This is when we learn that Rebecca’s necklace—the one that now resides around Elena’s neck—is the key to contacting the Original Witch. It’s what Klaus needs, and Rebecca is upset at having lost it.
At the very end of the episode we get a flashback revealing Katherine was at the speakeasy the night of the raid, and she saw Stefan pick up Rebecca’s necklace. She’s a woman who likes to know everything and always have another ace up her sleeve. Should we worry she’ll reveal this little tidbit to Klaus or Rebecca?
What did you think of this week’s episode? I liked Stefan a whole lot more. He was the bad guy, looked pretty hot in ‘20s attire and was still plenty tortured. Did the Caroline torture scenes make you squirm at all, or did you just want them to get back to the Salvatore boys?
I was surprised they didn’t include anything on the Vicki vs. Anna ghost subplot, but with a zillion flashbacks and the vampire torture, it’s unlikely they could have done it any justice.
Finally, is anyone else really excited about the prospect of Rebecca and Stefan hooking up? I just really like her.
Hit the comments to gush (and maybe to complain about the lack of shirtless guys this week).
While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. She may also have a crush on Ian Somerhalder. He’s her off-season Alexander Skarsgard.