Tonight’s episode begins with everyone in trouble. The gang is at the high school late at night for Senior Prank Night, which Caroline insists will be a bonding experience. Out of nowhere Klaus appears in front of Elena, whom he previously thought was dead. Stefan wakes up in the moving van with Rebekah. She’s jealous that he loves Elena and sulkily tells Stefan that Klaus knows that the doppelganger (Elena) is alive, that he’s mad about it, and he has been breaking Stefan’s neck over and over.
Back in the school gym with Elena, Klaus begins a game with two of her classmates, compelling the girl not to touch her upraised leg to the ground and telling the boy that if she does, he should beat her to death. I get the feeling that things are not going to end happily for these two extras.
It’s show-and-tell time for Katherine, who reveals to Damon that she has the vervain necklace that Klaus wants, as well as a conked out Jeremy in the trunk. As Caroline discusses her worry over Matt with Tyler, Rebekah turns up and the two lady vamps fight. In another part of the school, Matt has a heart-to-heart chat with Bonnie about wanting to see Ghost Vicki so he can say goodbye. Neither of them realize that Ghost Vicki is there, she just can’t be seen.
With the other students dispersed, Rebekah brings Tyler into the gym, and Klaus has discovered Bonnie and Matt. He feeds his blood to Tyler and snaps his neck, telling Bonnie she has to find a way to save the hybrids before Tyler transitions and dies like the other failed wolf pack. Bonnie and Matt set off to find an answer. Bonnie has been shut out by the ancient witches who helped her before, but Jeremy might be able to use his ability to talk to the dead to ask questions. Unfortunately, Katherine has come to the same conclusion. Long ago Pearl told her there was one person who could kill Klaus, but Pearl only gave that information to her daughter Anna, Jeremy’s ghost ex-girlfriend.
Stefan rushes to the gym to save Elena under the pretense that he wants to pledge loyalty to Klaus. Klaus tells Stefan to kill the two extra students and Elena protests. When Klaus strikes Elena, Stefan attacks him. Klaus compels Stefan to obey him, which he’s never had to do before. Compelled Stefan kills the students. Klaus starts a countdown clock and tells Stefan under compulsion to feed from Elena when it reaches zero, and to stop her if she tries to flee.
Anna doesn’t want to help Katherine and Damon, but when Damon starts beating on Jeremy, she tells them Mikael is a vampire that hunts other vampires, but if he returns he’ll kill everyone. Rebekah sees a picture of Elena wearing the vervain necklace on Caroline’s phone and demands to know where it is. Elena tells her it’s lost and Rebekah bites her, then Elena confesses that Katherine stole it. I can’t blame Elena, I’d find a vampire bite a good incentive to tell the truth too.
Matt gets a curious text and thinks Ghost Vicki is trying to talk to him. He gets the great idea to drown himself with his weight belt so he can see her ghost. It works. Bonnie races to resuscitate him, but not before his spirit finally sees Vicki. She tells him to give Bonnie a message: that Elena being alive is the reason that the hybrids can’t survive. Klaus overhears and tells them he’ll pick hybrids over a doppelganger any time.
Elena tells Stefan about Caroline’s dad, who was able to resist compulsion, but he doubts that he’ll be able to stop himself from draining her. Caroline and Rebekah watch as Tyler begins the transition. Stefan literally holds himself back as time runs out, and though he tells Elena to run away, Klaus catches her. Rather than feed on her, Stefan stakes himself. Klaus taunts him, telling him to turn off his love for Elena. Klaus compels Stefan to stop his emotions, then tells him to drink from the doppelganger. Stefan attacks Elena as the screen goes black..
In an experiment, Klaus forces Tyler to drink Elena’s blood, and his transformation to a hybrid becomes complete. Klaus later tells Rebekah that he figured it out from a sort of reverse psychology from the original witch – that if he had succeeded in killing the doppelganger, he wouldn’t have been able to use her blood to help the hybrids, and that’s how he knew that Elena was the key. Speaking of Elena, she wakes up in a hospital bed, but the nurse is under orders to take her blood for Klaus, not to give her any for the blood loss she has suffered.
Now we’re into the “wrap-up” section of the show. Damon threatens Klaus by saying he and Katherine found Mikael. Klaus, in turn, vanishes. Damon carries Elena home and offers to wipe her memory, which she refuses. Tyler tells Caroline he feels great, but she’s clearly worried. Bonnie gives Matt a moment alone to say goodbye to Vicki. This time he is able to see her ghost, and it certainly doesn’t look like she’s leaving. Damon returns the vervain necklace to Elena, but it reminds her of Stefan and how he is lost to them now. A sad and solemn (and DELICIOUS) Damon promises that he will never leave her again. Stefan appears, cold and unconcerned with how close Damon and Elena are. Klaus has skipped town but left strict orders for Stefan to watch over and protect Elena. In a spooky tomb, Jeremy leads Katherine to Mikael’s coffin, which she opens.
This episode seemed a little uneven to me. All of the characters were scattered around the school, and Klaus and Rebekah kept appearing in the oddest places. “I’m in the gym; now I’m in the chem lab!” Elena didn’t have much to do, and poor Jeremy spent more time in a car trunk than finding answers. I did like the subtle questions brought up, though. Is Ghost Vicki really a part of the dark side like Anna has implied? Her message to Bonnie was a lie – Elena didn’t have to die to save the hybrids. So is the original witch evil for trying to kill Elena or good for trying to deny Klaus the hybrids he wants? Is emotionless Stefan going to continue to feed on the good folks of Mystic Falls now that he has no conscience? I must say that the way the light in Stefan’s eyes slowly dims a bit more each time he’s compelled is a rather heart-breaking torture. And what’s in store for our new hybrid Tyler? I guess we’ll just have to wait for next week!
If you missed last week’s episode, be sure to read our ‘Vampire Diaries: Disturbing Behavior’ recap to catch up.