Last week was about recapping things since the break, and forming new alliances. This week is the amazing race, with Bonnie/Shane vs. Rebekah/Stefan vs. Klaus/Jeremy/Damon in their quest for the cure to vampirism (which will also lead to Silas, and thus needs his headstone). Complicating things are Elena (who doesn’t want the cure) and Kol (who doesn’t want to wake Silas). And he’s willing to rip Jeremy’s arms off to keep that from happening. Which, as he’s an Original, he could do. Imagine having to actually rehearse that threat, though, when you’re a thin hipster like Kol. “I will rip off your arms!” Somehow Nathaniel Buzolic makes it work. This episode takes Kol from smarmy brat to intensely smarmy madman. If DC ever needs to cast Klarion the Witchy Boy, they should keep him on file.
This result makes more sense than the previews, which implied Jeremy was running from the pack of new vamps Klaus had created as target practice. Even Jer, with his newbie slayer-skills, could have handled that. Any vamp worth his blood can create a nest in just a few hours in and around Mystic Falls, the bodies are just piled up all over town. But when Kol shows up and kills them all, you realize Jeremy’s actually running from him. And from Damon, who’s been compelled to kill him, too.
The compulsions are ricocheting all over the place since the vervain supply has been depleted. Shane can resist it, but few others can. Elena interrupts Damon enough to wake him up to the knowledge of what he’s doing, and there’s some implication that siring might be a two-way street, but she can’t fully countermand Kol’s order. So we get an odd scene of Damon stalking Jeremy though the town catacombs, hunting for him at the same time as he’s warning him to run. The old body-and-mind divide, imposed by command.
Team Rebekah (she helpfully names them all over the course of the race) stumble upon an unknown party rifling through Shane’s stuff, looking for that headstone. They easily subdue him, but he won’t talk, and when they make threatening plans of torture, he bites out his own tongue and then slices his own throat! All without a word. A sad loss of a hottie, but the right way to introduce a shadow faction.
Team Bonnie is distracted by Shane’s hypnosis. Though he tells Bonnie’s father she’s a “prodigy,” he clearly wants to pull her strings, which makes it very frustrating when her dad views him as an authority figure. Somebody in this town needs to wise up to this dude; does he really go from being interrogated for a mass murder to running off with the Mayor’s daughter? Sherriff Forbes, hello?
Team Klaus (and Kol) chase Matt, Jer and Elena to their lake house, which the evil vamps can’t enter. That only buys them some time, but it does pit the originals at each other during the night, with each of the siblings at odds and Kol the only one holding the Son of White Wood stake which could actually kill any of them.
He’s got the right idea, though, because Elena has a plan of her own. Rather than kill 10 more vamps or however many there are to go, why not just kill Kol himself (and thus his whole line all at once, since that’s how it works). I guess we’ve figured out which line the vampires we like are tied to, Elena? Whatever, it’s the most bad-ass thing you’ve ever said, so let’s go for it. Vamp Elena is totes biblical in her vengeance! All references to Heath Ledger as the Joker aside, Kol is too much of a wild card to live. Even if he’s probably right about the whole Silas thing.