Oh, yes! It's that time again.
Last time, we were left with several lingering questions. What exactly is happening with Jeremy? What is Caroline in for now that's she stuck in that basement cell with her father, who seems to be about to torture her. Meanwhile, a disappointed Klaus heads off to find out why he can't create hybrids.
This episode, we're greeted to quite a few shocks. Elena and Damon go Stefan hunting and get more than they bargained for. Their journey leads them to Chicago, where (surprise, surprise) Klaus and Stefan have showed up to question an "old" witch, Gloria, about contacting the spirit of "the original witch" in order to find out why he can't create that hybrid army that he wants.
This spirals into another massive, intermittent flashback about Stefan back in hey-day of Chicago, along with some era-appropriate music and flapper dressers. As the flashback goes on, we discover some things that make VD the great show is.
If that's not the biggest twist this season so far, then I don't know what is.
But it gets better than that. In order to contact the original witch, Klaus is forced to resurrect his sister, Rebekah, another original whom he killed himself after a disagreement. He uncovers her body and removes the special knife and then goes off to mind-screw Stefan some more. And what a mind-screw it is.
Elena, in the meantime, reads Stefan's diary and learns all about his struggles to escape his ripper tendencies.
Klaus and Stefan end up back at Gloria's in preparation for the original witch summoning, but Damon and Elena show up too, and Damon changes with places with Stefan to distract Klaus long enough for Elena to attempt to convince Stefan to come back. Which backfires miserably. Stefan, in typical Stefan-denial style, tells Elena he no longer wants to be with her that the part of his life with her is over. End of discussion. Cue Elena being left all alone on an empty street to contemplate her misery.
It's the necklace.
Now there are two targets on Elena's head. And if Klaus spots them, she is so dead.
Oh, but what about Caroline, you ask? Well, her sub-plot in this episode was pretty much expected. Her father attempts to "fix her" via conditioning. The conditioning being to burn her with sunlight until she learns to associate vampirism with pain. Yeah, like that's going to work. Anyway, Caroline's scenes consist of her burning and screaming and burning and screaming and pleading and crying and pleading and crying. And then her mother and Tyler save the day.
But I personally think the rest of the episode makes up for it. I've been wondering for a long time why Klaus seemed to want Stefan so badly, and now all the pieces are falling into places. And it seems with every episode that goes by, Elena shifts further and further back into the spotlight. The spotlight being the center of all danger, of course.
So, yet again, Vampire Diaries succeeds to make the grade.
Overall grade: A-