Nov 4 2011 10:19am

The Vampire Diaries Season 3, Episode 8: Family Day at Vampire Rehab

Claire Holt as Rebecca in The Vampire DiariesPreviously on The Vampire Diaries: Hybrid curse broken, necklace stolen, vampire who kills vampires awoken. You know, every day Mystic Falls craziness.

This week brings us another flashback-heavy episode, and not enough Caroline or shirtless guys. We liked it anyway.

(Need to catch-up? Visit our TVD recap index for links to past episode recaps.)

*******SPOILERS BELOW*******

Alaric brings Elena down into the creepy tunnels where we discovered the pictographs of the Originals at the end of the last episode. He makes a crack about watching out for bats, and as she gets concerned about creepy-crawlies Damon jumps out at her. It’s one of the things I love about The Vampire Diaries: They enjoy a good joke about vampire stereotypes. Also, Damon, you may scare me whenever. Really. Jump out of my closet now.

Damon is unable to enter the main cavern where the designs are etched in the walls. Alaric explains the pictures tell a “very old story” that appears to talk about the curse. The Lockwoods may have come to Mystic Falls the same time as the other founders, but werewolves have been there much longer. Does this mean there is an Original werewolf? We’ve got an Original witch, who was willing to team up with Vicki. Original vampires, all of whom have a thing for both Stefan and Elena. I wonder if the Original werewolf would have a good Mystic Falls lackey.

Also cut into the walls are names, written in ancient Viking language, which includes Klaus, Elijah and Rebecca. So, yep, Originals.

FLASHBACK! We see Klaus and Rebecca putting their names on the wall inside the cave. The two talk of fear of their father and Klaus always tattling on Rebecca. I like seeing them a bit more innocent, and love the idea of them being truly afraid of someone. Rebecca reminds them how they must always stick together to stay safe from their father.

When we cut back we get to know the translation of the fourth name on the wall. The final member of the Original family: Michael. For those not keeping up, that would be the vampire who hunts vampires. That Michael.

Matt Davis as Alaric in The Vampire DiariesAlaric took photos of all the drawings and while he pores over them trying to decipher the story, Damon and Elena spar. She loses, he snarks. I still want to see them kiss. Status quo remains.

Mason Lockwood, in ghostly form, told Damon that the wall would lead to a weapon to kill Klaus. He may have meant Michael. He may not, but Elena’s game to help Alaric figure out what the pictures mean. After a few jabs from Damon, Elena surmises the best way to get answers is to ask the Original still living locally: Rebecca.

We find her still doing the cheerleader thing, and looking both irritated and curious when Elena blocks her tumbling path. Don’t forget, Rebecca had Stefan in his Ripper days. Rebecca assumes she’s there to talk about Stefan, and promises she’s taking a break from him until he starts treating her better. “Really, you should take a page from my book,” she suggests. I tend to agree, but then, we all know I’m firmly Team Damon. Instead of taking the bait, Elena pops out a picture of the etchings and Rebecca looks scared. Instead of answering why she and Klaus have been running from their dad, she turns to return to cheerleading practice, stopping only when Elena says they’ll just ask Michael when they wake him.

Rebecca may not give Elena any details, but it does cue another FLASHBACK! The boys are practicing swordplay, and Klaus cuts off Elijah’s belt in a teasing, brotherly way. Michael doesn’t see it that way, though, and picks up a sword to challenge Klaus, to remind him they do not have time for fun.

Nina Dobrev as Elena in The Vampire DiariesElena returns to help Alaric with the ancient drawings—which he’s used sticky notes to label as meaning “vampire” and “werewolf”—while chatting with Damon on the phone. He’s arrived to check on Stefan, who is still locked up in the old below-ground jail. Stefan looks “pale and pouty” per his little brother, and Elena doesn’t seem all that affected by it.

After Damon points out he’s not really a fan of Lexi’s brand of recover, Stefan wants to know why Damon keeps visiting him. Damon’s response may be one of my new favorite Damon-isms: “C’mon, it’s family day at vampire rehab!” Stefan suggests that just because Klaus wants Elena alive doesn’t make her safe with Rebecca around. Could be a ploy to get Damon to leave or to free Stefan to help protect Elena or, you know, it could be true. Turmoil overtakes our dark-haired brother as he realizes Stefan has truly given up. He has no desire to feel again, but he also has resigned himself to staying locked up. Unable to let it continue, Damon frees the locks and suggests they both need a drink. And this is when we remember he’s often been the more empathetic of the brothers.

Rebecca invites Elena over, and while Elena plans to talk, Rebecca just wants help picking out a dress. She’s compelled other girls into her own mini runway show to aid in selecting a homecoming dress. She threatens to kill one of the girls if Elena doesn’t help her choose a dress. I really hate seeing Rebecca do things Caroline would love. She’s bastardizing the lighthearted cheerleading, dress shopping, etc. events that TVD usually saves for Caroline and her neurotic version of normalcy.

Still, Rebecca makes her point. She will only do what she wants to and isn’t going to play nicely if threats are involved.

Bonnie brought Alaric the necklace that “wouldn’t die.” It turns out the design of the necklace matches one of the designs etched in the Lockwood cave. If the necklace once belonged to the Original witch who put the hybrid curse on Klaus, the symbol on the wall means witch.

Back with Rebecca and Elena, the vampire has decided they should snoop through Stefan’s room. Elena has no interest, and Rebecca’s digging through his underwear drawer probably didn’t help. On the upside, Rebecca agreed to answer questions about her life while she snooped. She explained their family came here after a plague broke out in their homeland. A witch her mother knew had heard of this mystical land were everyone was healthy and “blessed with speed and strength” and they moved to live with them. In other words, the Originals used to live with the werewolves.

FLASHBACK. The Originals retreated to the caves while the wolves shifted each month. One full moon Klaus and their youngest brother snuck out to watch the wolves turn, and the younger one was killed. After that there was no peace between her family and the wolves, and shortly thereafter they were no longer human.

Damon and Stefan show up at a bar—not Mystic Falls Grill (gasp!)—and Damon calls to check in on Elena. Of course, Stefan can’t resist talking in the background so that Damon has to admit he let the guy go. Ignoring her reaction, he hangs up and then orders whiskey for himself and compels the bartender to turn over her wrist to Stefan. To which I go, Really?!?!

The boys end up playing Quarters, which results in a very drunk Damon and surprisingly sober Stefan. The boys end up having one of those heart-to-hearts full of sarcasm. Stefan’s all-or-nothing mentality—he’s either on the “bunny diet” or full on Ripper. Damon wonders why neither of them can just be.

Back in Stefan’s room, Rebecca suggests Elena and Stefan don’t work as a couple. Elena counters that Rebecca doesn’t know who he really is. And after a bit of verbal tug-o-war, I’m proud to say our Elena stood up and started to walk out, suggesting maybe Rebecca could compel herself a friend. She only stopped her exit when Rebecca said, “The necklace wasn’t Stefan’s to give. It belonged to the Original witch.” This witch wasn’t just the one who set the hybrid curse, but also was the one who turned them into vampires.

Claire Holt as Rebekah in The Vampire DiariesFLASHBACK! Turns out vampirism was a way for the Original family to protect themselves from the werewolves, to keep from losing another brother or sister. “My parents only sought a way of keeping their children alive,” was Rebecca’s explanation. Simple, but exactly right. When you make those kinds of hard choices, it’s difficult to look ahead to all the consequences.

Though their family could have left the area, Michael’s pride refused to let them do so. He wanted to be superior with all sense and abilities heightened. The Original witch warns them the magic they ask for has the makings of a plague and there will be significant consequences. They beg her nonetheless. The witch says no, but it turns out Rebecca’s mother was a witch as well. Turns out her mom was actually the Original witch.

Rebecca quickly points out that she is not a witch as they are nature’s servants and vampires are, well, quite the opposite. A person can only be one or the other. As such, her mother turned her family into vampires, but remained mortal for their sake. Rebecca explained the change. After her mother called upon her magic, her father had the children drink blood-laced wine, then stabbed each through the heart. “And he wasn’t delicate about it, either.”

Back at the bar with the Salvatore boys, Damon is dancing on the bar with two very lucky ladies. (Again, why am I never at these places?) Stefan is snacking on the bartender again, while Damon compels others not to notice. Stefan wants to know the purpose of the jailbreak, and even Damon’s witty retorts won’t keep him at bay for long. Damon finally admits that if Stefan got mad enough about being Klaus’s little puppet maybe he could do something about it. Cue Michael’s entrance.

Back with Stefan’s ex-girlfriend, Rebecca reveals the reason Michael hunts Klaus. His first kill triggered a werewolf gene, shaming his father. Klaus’s mother had cheated on his father with one of the werewolves. In an effort to appease him, she put the hybrid curse on Klaus to keep his werewolf side suppressed and then turned her back on him. Michael’s pride was amplified and in a rage he killed half the village, finishing with his wife. She broke his heart, so he tore hers from her chest while Klaus watched. After that, Michael disappeared, leaving the others on their own. Elijah, Rebecca and Klaus promised to stay together after that, which is why even when Klaus is mad and stakes one of them, he keeps them close in their coffin...and you thought your family was weird.

Elena and Rebekah in The Vampire DiariesRebecca’s final threat to Elena leaves no question where her loyalties lie: “Make no mistake, if you come after my brother, I will rip you apart.” Looks like Klaus gets his pride from Michael and Rebecca her temper.

At the bar, Michael is questioning Stefan about Klaus, to which his reply is consistently, “I can’t tell you.” When Damon sasses Michael about the pointless nature of this little exercise, Michael slams his hand into Damon’s chest and takes hold of his heart. Informing Stefan one wrong move will equal a dead brother, he again asks for Klaus’s location. We see Stefan’s face start to vamp-out as he fights the compulsion. Thinking he’s dead inside, Michael makes the move to tear out Damon’s heart, when Stefan finally stops him. He can’t answer the question, but he can bring Klaus back to Mystic Falls. At that, Damon gets to keep his heart.

Michael, happy with the little loophole, promises to drive a stake through Klaus’s heart when Stefan brings him to Mystic Falls, but says if he fails, the stake will be for him instead. Yes, this guy is definitely scary enough to be Klaus’s dad.

Elena has returned to the cave with Alaric and Bonnie to put the pictures in the context of Rebecca’s story. The only piece that doesn’t fit is a part about how Rebecca’s mother was killed. Elena takes a picture and brings it to her, because Elena has discovered Rebecca doesn’t know the real story. The pictures show that Klaus, not Michael, killed the Original witch. Rebecca’s father didn’t kill her mother. Klaus did.

Klaus and Rebekah in The Vampire DiariesAfter a flash of anger, Rebecca is forced to accept it. As she kneels and cries, I can’t help but like her more. Still, I wished we had gotten real Caroline and not her Original vampire version in this episode.

Stefan tries to convince Damon that he didn’t save his life because his emotions kicked in, but because he’s ready to be free again. Free of Damon, Klaus and everyone else. I’m not buying it, and neither is Damon. Exchanging a few punches to the face, and these guys are ready to head home.

Damon’s laying in Elena’s bed when she gets home. He gives her the status update, but she doesn’t yell at him for freeing Stefan (or make him get off the bed). She climbs into the bed. She admits empathy for Rebecca, and recognizes that “she’s just a girl.” After shutting out the lights, the two lie on the bed—Elena under the covers, Damon on top of them—and she tells him she’s sure Stefan’s love for Damon will be what saves him, not his feelings for her.


  • “C’mon it’s family day at vampire rehab!” Yep, still giggling over that one.
  • Seeing Rebecca become a person. She’s no longer just Klaus’s pawn. She’s a girl who lost her parents, one to murder, another to pride.
  • Damon and Stefan bro-time.


  • No Tyler and Caroline? For serious, CW? After all the hype about Tyler being a hybrid, you’d think we’d keep this plot lively.
  • Flashback upon flashback.
  • Again, no abs. No shirtless Tyler. No shirtless Damon. No shirtless Stefan. Heck, we’d have accepted a shirtless Jeremy, who was also MIA from this episode.


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.

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Heather Waters
1. HeatherWaters
I haven't gotten to watch last night's episode, but the flashback episodes aren't my favorite anyway, so I'm not *too* devastated. And no Tyler or Caroline? Lame.

I have been curious to hear more about the Originals, though, and it sounds like last night provided all the info we wanted and more about them. I'd read spec that Michael/Mikael (I wish we could get confirmation on these name spellings already!) and the Original witch were Klaus's parents, so it's cool to see that confirmed.

On a shallow note, Rebekah/Rebecca is so. freaking. pretty. I kinda hate her. But I completely agree with the dislike for her trying to take Caroline's place. Not gonna happen, hon, because Caro's THE BEST.
Heather Waters
3. HeatherWaters
@ChelseaMueller -- Absolutely! Though I'd be jealous of her for having Tyler, ngl. But they're adorable, so it's okay.
4. cibele
Although I love my Caroline and Tyler and miss them, I can't complain about an episode with Damon and Stefan as focus. To me they are one of the most interesting and engaging relationships on this show. I love them together.
5. ChelseaMueller
@cibele - It was good to see them in a room together without Elena squished in the middle. I think sometimes we forget just how great their brotherly chemistry is.
6. taragel
"Also, Damon, you may scare me whenever. Really. Jump out of my closet now."

I think Alaric would like Damon to jump out of the closet too. ;)

Slash jokes aside, I was more interested than I expected to be in this week's episode, given there was no Caro and no Tyler. But Rebecca whom I thought was going to be awful and annoying, I ended up liking a little. Go figure.

Klaus? Looks way better in flashbacks than he does in modern day I think. He just has an old timey face maybe.

I liked Elena saying that if Stefan "breaks through" (ugh that phrase is so tired) it'll be because of his love for Damon, not her. I hope it really plays out that way.

Damon and Buffy' Elena's training montage going on in the background of Ric expositing was very amusing too.
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