It’s the first day of senior year for our favorite teen crew, which marks an unhappy anniversary for Elena – it’s the day she first met Stefan.  Alaric attempts to train her to use all of his vampire-fighting weapons, but she’s weak and needs to bulk up.  At the Salvatore household, Stefan has been feasting on the blood of several young ladies in a bloody and slightly kinky game of Twister.  Now there’s a new addition to their home: Rebekah.  Klaus left her behind when he fled town and she has nowhere else to stay.

Matt is still seeing and chatting with Ghost Vicki.  It’s understandable that he misses her.  With no parents around and his only sibling dead, he’s on his own.  But even a teenager should be suspicious when Vicki tells Matt that there’s a way he can bring her back.  No one’s going to notice that the party girl who died last year is suddenly alive again?  But before she can give further detail, Tyler interrupts what he thinks is Matt talking to himself.

Katherine is having no luck rousing Mikael, who we see is not only in vampire stasis but also bound in several heavy chains.  Caroline is upset to find out that not only is Rebekah keeping an eye on Tyler (orders from Klaus), but Tyler thinks being the first surviving hybrid is awesome.  He feels great and is loving his extra supernatural powers.  He even shows off a bit, displaying blood on his shirt from breakfast and compelling his football coach to knock off practice early.

As if in response to last week’s geographically expansive episode, Stefan and Rebekah have both enrolled as seniors as well to keep an eye on their respective charges.  Vicki tells Matt she has help “from the other side.”  Jeremy walks in, pretending not to see Vicki but immediately reporting it to Anna after he walks away.  Vicki says she’s been talking to a witch, she’d be able to go anywhere she wanted if she returns, and only Matt could see her.  Anna warns Jeremy that if Vicki is allowed to upset the balance of nature, there will be a price to pay.  Meanwhile, Matt promises Vicki his help.

Caroline grows more and more irritated with the change in Tyler’s attitude as well as Rebekah’s encroachment on her life.  Elena was already convinced that the Stefan she loved is gone, but when he calls her a “human blood bag,” she enlists Damon’s help.  Her plan is to chain Stefan up until Mikael can kill Klaus and relieve Stefan from the compulsion.  There are several holes in this plan, including the warning that Anna previously gave that Mikael would kill them all, but Damon swears to do whatever Elena asks.

Major spoilers ahead!

Katherine drips human blood into Mikael’s mouth.  He awakens, but is disgusted by the blood and pushes Katherine away.  While planning to take down Stefan at the school bonfire, the gang discovers that Tyler has been sired by Klaus.  This effect is rare among vampires but may be due to Tyler being a hybrid.  Sired vamps feel a fierce loyalty to their creators and will do anything to gain their approval.

Matt performs a ritual that involves blood and the words “I accept you.”  Vicki becomes corporeal and she is able to hug him.  Bonnie finds out that Jeremy is still speaking to and seeing Anna and storms off.  Vicki reveals that the deal she struck with the mysterious witch means she has to kill Elena to stop the creation of hybrids.  She knocks Matt out and escapes.

At the bonfire, Stefan watches Elena and Elena watches Damon flirt with Rebekah.  Matt calls Bonnie for help, and Vicki shows up to party.  Rebekah realizes that Damon is distracting her and stabs him.  Caroline confronts Tyler and tells him he’s acting like his pre-werewolf self, who was a “d-bag.”  He vows not to return to that state.

Elena pretends to be drunk and clumsy, and when Stefan catches her they share a moment where they come this close to kissing before Alaric shoots him with tranq darts.  After he puts Stefan in the SUV and Elena gets in, Vicki sets the car ablaze and locks Elena inside.  Alaric is unable to help – there is some magical protection aiding Vicki.  Bonnie and Matt reverse the spell he performed earlier.  As he says goodbye to his sister, Vicki disappears. Elena and Stefan are able to escape the SUV in time before it explodes.

Damon patches up Elena and tells her he was faking the flirting with Rebekah.  Rebekah shows up at Tyler’s house with a compelled victim shortly after Caroline has left, taunting Tyler into feeding.  Mikael tells Katherine he will kill Klaus if she frees him from the chains around him.  When she releases him, he attacks her and feeds on her blood since he doesn’t feed on living things.

Elena tells Stefan she’ll never give up on recovering his humanity.  When he calls her pathetic, she stabs him with one of Alaric’s inventions.  Jeremy and Anna confess they can’t stop thinking about each other.  They are able to hold hands and feel each other, but have no idea why.  As if that weren’t crazy enough, Tyler’s dead uncle Mason shows up at the Salvatore house and throws Damon across the room.

This week’s episode felt much more cohesive than last week’s, most probably because the plotline had a central focus point – the bonfire.  There were lots of shocking moments towards the end – why are ghosts becoming corporeal for no reason?  How the hell did Mason come back to life…or is he another ghost that can touch and move things?  I’ll be on edge until the answers come next week!

If you missed last week’s episode be sure to read ‘The Vampire Diaries: The Reckoning’ recap to catch up on what happened.