It’s a dark and stormy night, and Elena awakens when a window in her bedroom blows open. Anna’s hanging out in Jeremy’s room, messing with him by trying to make him think Dracula was real. He’s desperate to know more about vampires so he’s ready when he becomes one. Anna isn’t about to turn a guy who learned all he knows about vampires from Netflix (which is, coincidentally, where I’m watching this). She hides when Elena comes over to ask Jeremy to help close all the windows in the house, since a storm seems to be approaching.
Over at the tomb vampires’ house (TVH ’cause I’m tired of typing it out), Frederick tells Pearl that they’re running low on blood, so Anna should go hit up a blood bank. He thinks he might be able to tag along, if the storm makes it dark enough for him to go out. Pearl says no – he’s grounded after his and Bethanne’s siege on the Salvatores. She wants the vampires to keep better control over their emotions. Frederick just wishes he knew what Pearl was up to.
She tells him she wants to know who in town is using vervain. She guesses it’s the people from the founding families, since they were all using vervain back in the day. Frederick is eager to kill all the founding families’ descendants, but Pearl want them to be smarter. They shouldn’t hold grudges. In time, they’ll get their town back. After she leaves, Frederick, who’s been carving a stake, tells some other vamps that patience is key here.
The next day, Damon cleans up the mess Frederick and Bethanne left and suggests that he and Stefan pay the TVH a visit and kill Frederick. Elena’s annoyed that Damon made a deal with Pearl. He says he didn’t have a choice, since Pearl is scary. Plus, how could he resist when he’ll get Katherine back? Elena sarcastically comments that of course they have to play along so Damon can get what he wants, no matter who gets hurt.
Elena has just now learned that all the vampires are out of the tomb, and that combined with the knowledge that Damon killed Isobel has her pretty bitter toward him. She tells him she’s accepted that he’s a “self-serving psychopath with no redeeming qualities,” though. Stefan calls for peace, reminding them that they need to prioritize dealing with Pearl and the tomb vampires. Not that Elena will be involved, since Stefan doesn’t want to put her in danger.
Jeremy and Anna hang out at the Grill before she has to meet up with Pearl. Jeremy asks if Pearl knows that Anna’s a vampire. Anna replies that if he doesn’t get how hard it would be to keep that from your family, he’s really not ready to turn. She compliments his bracelet, which he says Elena gave him (which means it contains vervain). She asks if Elena knows they’re hanging out. Jeremy doesn’t think she would care, since she doesn’t know Anna’s a vampire. Poor, clueless Jeremy. Anna asks him to keep their friendship a secret. He offers her the bracelet as a gift, to show that he likes her for more than just what she can do for him, but she turns him down.
Across the restaurant, Matt tells Caroline that he yelled at Kelly for getting drunk and making out with Damon, but he doesn’t want to be too hard on her because she’ll just take off again. She’s a lot like Vicki in that way. He wishes Kelly would just try. Caroline says she could surprise him. She’s on her way to her father’s boyfriend’s daughter’s birthday, and she assures Matt that she’ll drive safely in the rain.
Stefan heads out to hunt rabbits or squirrels or whatever he drinks blood from instead of humans. He needs to regain his strength from being stabbed the night before. But he quickly encounters two vampires in the woods, then gets a stake in the stomach courtesy of Frederick.
Damon calls Elena, who ignores him until he’s suddenly in her house. (To his credit, he didn’t just barge in, which he could have done.) He’s called multiple times, worried since he hasn’t been able to reach Stefan. He suspects that the tomb vampires have grabbed him.
Damon goes to the TVH and demands that Frederick return his brother. He can’t get in the house, and Frederick compels Ms. Gibbons to never let Damon in. Frederick is pleased to finally get revenge for his 145-year imprisonment, which he blames on Katherine’s obsession with the Salvatores. He describes the horrors of desiccation, announcing that he’s going to let Stefan go through that before the vampires kill him.
Damon returns to his car and tells Elena that Stefan’s in the house but unreachable. As a human, Elena can obviously get inside without an invitation, but Damon won’t let her get involved. He makes it clear that he’s going to save Stefan, despite their estrangement; he just doesn’t know how.
Inside the house, the vampires soak ropes in vervain and use them to tie Stefan up. Harper objects to the torture, but Frederick thinks revenge is justified since Stefan killed Bethanne. He cuts Stefan across the chest, which I think is mostly torture for the audience. Harper reminds Fredrick that Pearl will be home soon. Frederick growls that Pearl is no longer in charge.
Damon is obviously desperate because his rescue plan involves help from someone who hates him: Alaric. He and Elena approach Alaric at school and tell him they need him to get into the TVH. They know about his ring, which will keep him from being killed by the vampires. Alaric really doesn’t want to do anything nice for Damon, and even though he doesn’t have anything against Elena, he doesn’t want to get involved. Damon tries to sweeten the deal by announcing that Pearl could provide information on Isobel’s whereabouts. When Alaric accuses him of lying, Damon calls him a coward. He starts to leave with Elena, but Alaric agrees to help.
Back at the Grill, Jeremy tells Anna that he feels like there’s something missing from his life. It’s like he doesn’t fit. Anna isn’t willing to perform a “pity turn,” but he thinks he deserves it because he doesn’t have anything else. She tells him that vampires only turn humans a) because they need someone to do something for them, b) for revenge, c) out of boredom, or d) to spend eternity with someone they love. Jeremy doesn’t fit any of those categories, at least not yet.
Pearl arrives, so Anna pretends she’s chatting with Jeremy about schoolwork. Richard and Tyler are also coming into the Grill, and Richard warns that the roads are dangerous because of the storm, so the women shouldn’t leave yet. When Pearl learns that he’s the mayor, she decides she and Anna should stick around. Richard sees her as a potential voter and invites the women to have dinner with him and Tyler.
Alaric has a vervain-filled tranquilizer dart that he plans to use to get Damon into the TVH. Elena questions Damon’s plan to take on all the vampires by himself. She wants to come along. Damon won’t even consider the idea. The most he’ll let her do is drive the getaway car. Elena says Damon can’t stop her, and he doesn’t understand how much Stefan means to her. Damon taunts her for being in love, then turns serious as he says that he can’t protect her, especially since he doesn’t know how many vampires are in the house. If he’s distracted worrying about her, there will be a bloodbath and Stefan won’t make it out alive.
The storm has washed out Caroline’s planned route, and she calls Matt to tell him she’s “detoured on some random backwoods path to Hell.” She starts to lose her cell signal, so Matt tells her to hang up and focus on driving. As she tries to turn around to go back the way she came, her car gets stuck in mud. The cell signal is completely gone now, so she can’t call for help.
Coincidentally, Alaric’s part of the rescue plan involves him knocking on the tomb vampires’ door to ask to use the phone because his car broke down. Frederick buys the story and lets him in. When Alaric notices bite marks on Ms. Gibbons’ wrist, a vampire named Billy tries to attack him. Alaric stakes him, then turns on the sink and a food processor to cover the sound of him telling Ms. Gibbons to invite Damon in the back door.
Thanks to Frederick’s compulsion, Ms. Gibbons won’t cooperate, so Damon tells Alaric to push her out the door. After making sure that Ms. Gibbons is the only human who lives on the property, he breaks her neck, in the process rendering the property ownerless and giving himself an invitation inside. Alaric isn’t happy, but Damon doesn’t care.
Elena’s waiting impatiently in the getaway car, armed with a vervain tranquilizer. Back at the Grill, Pearl talks to Richard about his family’s history in Mystic Falls. Tyler complains to Matt that his father is basically flirting with another woman. Jeremy starts to approach Anna, who’s playing darts by herself, but she texts him a reminder that they need to keep their distance from each other. He complains that he’s bored, and she tells him to suck it up. He says he will if she turns him. Pearl notices them and asks Richard who Jeremy is.
Frederick realizes Alaric’s been in the TVH for a while and Billy has disappeared. Another vampire goes to the kitchen and turns off the sink and food processor. Damon ambushes him with a stake. Meanwhile, Alaric goes to the getaway car, which Elena has left. He grabs some weapons and heads back to the house, where Elena is sneaking toward the front door. She notices some steps leading to a cellar and goes down there instead. A vampire spots her, but Damon gets to him before he can do anything to Elena. He’s understandably ticked that Elena didn’t listen to him about staying in the car.
Caroline, on the other hand, is still in her car. It’s dark out now, but the rain is letting up, so she goes out to walk around a little and try to get a cell signal. She’s near the falls (yes, Mystic Falls has actual falls) when she finally gets one, but before she can make a call, she slips in some mud and takes a little tumble down a hill. She grabs at a branch to pull herself up, and is horrified to realize that the branch is entwined with a human arm.
Pearl confronts Anna in the Grill’s restroom, upset that she’s befriended the descendant of the man who was responsible for Pearl being entombed for 145 years. Anna argues that Jeremy isn’t the same person as Johnathan. Pearl orders her to stop seeing Jeremy, but Anna’s gotten very independent over the past century and a half, and she no longer takes orders from her mother.
Pearl thinks Jeremy will turn on Anna when he finds out that she’s a vampire. Anna announces that he already knows, and he doesn’t mind. Pearl slaps her. Moments later, they leave the Grill and Jeremy gets a new text from Anna: “I’ll do it.”
Harper is in the cellar along with Stefan, and Stefan thanks him for trying to get the other tomb vampires to leave him alone. Damon and Elena burst in, and Stefan tells them not to hurt Harper. Since there’s vervain on the ropes, Elena’s the only one who can untie Stefan. When he’s free, he has Elena pull out the stakes that were stabbed into Harper’s legs to keep him imprisoned with Stefan. Damon tells Elena he’ll distract the other vampires while Elena gets Stefan to the car.
Frederick gets the sense that something’s wrong, since there’s no noise coming from the cellar anymore. He sends the other vampires to search the house. Elena struggles to get Stefan to the car, since he’s weak. Back in the house, Damon attacks Frederick, then a couple of other vampires who try to come to Frederick’s aid (which allows Frederick to slip away). The fight ends when Alaric arrives with a gun loaded with vervain darts.
While Damon goes after Frederick instead of just taking advantage of his clear path to the door, Elena gets Stefan to the car, but realizes too late that something’s been damaged and they can’t drive away. Frederick pulls Stefan out through the window and beats him, then grabs a stick to stake him. Before he can finish Stefan off, Elena comes to the rescue with the vervain tranquilizer. She pulls the stick out of Stefan’s chest, but he’s so weak that he loses consciousness.
Alaric fights a vampire in the house, then meets up with Damon, who lost track of Frederick. They start to head to the car but quickly realize they’re outnumbered – there are vampires outside, ready to continue the fight. Alaric’s down to only one dart.
Kelly has made dinner at Donovan Domicile as a way to show Matt that she’s going to try to be a good mother this time. Caroline shows up, and Matt thinks she’s there for social reasons, but he realizes he’s wrong when Liz appears next to her. Richard gets a call at the Grill about the reason Liz is at Donovan Domicile: The body Caroline found by the falls was Vicki’s. Jeremy overhears as he tells Tyler that the storm unearthed her grave.
Elena tries to wake Stefan, getting more frantic when Frederick starts coming out of the effects of the vervain. She sees blood on her hand and realizes she has a way to give Stefan strength. She feeds him some, and he begs her to run. Elena promises that she trusts him not to hurt her. He drinks from her wrist, a really unpleasant experience for her. Once he gets started, he can’t stop.
Alaric guesses that Damon lied to him about Pearl being able to give him information about Isobel. Is this really the time to address that, Ric? The good news is that Pearl is now home, which means the other vampires are going to stop trying to kill Damon and Alaric. The bad news is that, as far as Pearl can tell, Damon and Alaric broke into the house and just started killing. Damon tells her that her buddies spent the day torturing Stefan. If Pearl can’t keep them under control, Damon won’t stick to their deal. “If I had a good side, not a way to get on it,” he says.
Frederick is back on his feet by the car, and he thinks Stefan is still unconscious. He’s just playing possum, and he’s back at full strength. He stakes Frederick, then keeps going even after it’s obvious Frederick is dead. When Elena tries to get him to stop, he growls at her. As soon as he realizes what he’s done, he feels horrible.
Later, at Vamp Villa, Elena looks uneasy about seeing this side of her boyfriend. He’s sorry that she put herself in danger and had to see him the way she did. She’s apologetic about making him drink human blood when he tries to abstain. Stefan acknowledges that she was saving him, and he saved her right back.
Jeremy calls to give Elena the news about Vicki. Everyone’s over at Donovan Domicile to support Matt and Kelly. Caroline is trying to be especially helpful, since Matt’s her boyfriend, but Elena’s the one he really wants to see.
Damon and Alaric both end up at the Grill for an end-of-a-long-day drink. Damon is fully aware that Alaric hates him, but he wants him to acknowledge how awesome they were during the rescue mission. Instead, Alaric punches him and leaves. “Happens,” Damon says dismissively.
Elena and Jeremy go home, and he goes straight to his room so he doesn’t have to talk. He pulls out some articles he’s kept about animal attacks in town and tears them up. Anna comes through his window and he tells her that Vicki’s dead – she must not have been a vampire after all. Anna realizes that Jeremy wanted to turn so he could be with Vicki. She leaves as soon as she can.
At Vamp Villa, Damon finds Stefan on a blood binge in his bedroom. Someone fell off the wagon when he drank his girlfriend’s blood, and now he can’t get enough…
Etc.: Apparently it’s not as hard as Anna thinks to keep your family from finding out you’re a vampire because someone does it pretty well all through season 2.
Elena saying Damon can’t stop her from helping with the rescue plan is hilarious. Of course he can! He can basically do whatever he wants!
Damon suddenly caring whether Stefan lives or dies is either an indication that he never really hated him or a result of him learning that Katherine doesn’t want him, and he should cling to any other relationships he can hold on to.
Imagine raiding a vampire hideout to rescue your vampire boyfriend with an assist from your history teacher. Then on Monday morning, you have to act like nothing happened. Or imagine him giving her a C on something and her protesting, and him saying, “I saved your boyfriend’s life. You owe me better than this crap.”