Bulgaria, 1490: Katherine, then known as Katerina Petrova, gives birth to a baby girl. She asks her mother to let her see the baby, but her father refuses. She’s disgraced the family by getting pregnant out of wedlock, and the baby will be sent away.
In the present, Stefan asks Elena to come by Vamp Villa so she can see that Rose is now in Mystic Falls. She tells Elena, Stefan, and Damon that Klaus is another Original vampire. Compared to Klaus, Elijah is the Easter Bunny. He’s just a minion. Klaus is the oldest vampire in existence, and he may be targeting Elena. Stefan doesn’t think there’s anything to worry about, though – Elijah’s dead, so there’s no way Klaus could find out where Elena is. Stefan isn’t even sure he actually exists. He could be a myth.
Rose insists that Klaus is real, and he always gets what he wants. The gang needs to be afraid of him. Damon tells her she’s made her point. Elena gets up to go to school like this is a normal day and her life isn’t in danger. Damon guesses that she’s in denial. Stefan tells him to shut up. Hey, don’t kill the messenger.
At school, Bonnie runs into Jeremy, who invites her to hang out at the Grill later. She notes that he’s never wanted to do that with her before. Obviously these two like each other, but Bonnie’s a little hesitant to get into anything because Jeremy’s her best friend’s brother. A new student named Luka approaches them and asks for directions. All of a sudden, Jeremy isn’t the only guy with a crush on Bonnie.
Instead of going to school, Elena goes to the woods with Caroline, instructing her to tell everyone that Elena’s home sick. She’s going to the tomb, and she doesn’t want Stefan to know that she’s going to talk to Katherine. Caroline reluctantly agrees to keep her secret. Elena hopes that Katherine will be able to tell her how to stop Klaus from coming after her. Caroline notes that Katherine probably won’t tell her the truth, but Elena figures it’s better to try than to sit back and do nothing.
Caroline’s really only there to move the heavy door to the tomb, where Katherine’s weak from a few days without blood. She thinks Elena’s just there to watch her desiccate. Caroline’s hesitant to leave, but Elena knows she’s safe as long as she stays outside the tomb. Caroline leaves, and Elena gives Katherine some bedding and the Petrova book. She notes that the book says the family line ended with Katherine, which can’t be true since Elena exists.
Elena has also brought a bottle of blood to trade for information. She starts with just a little, keeping her distance and pushing a cup toward Katherine with a stick. Katherine says that she has “the Petrova fire.” After a drink, she starts her story, which begins in England, after she was thrown out of Bulgaria for shaming her family. While pretending to be English, she caught Klaus’ eye. When she found out what he was, she ran.
1492: Katherine hides as Elijah and some minions search for her in a forest. He calls out that it’s pointless for her to hide; no matter where she goes, Klaus will find her. Trevor joins the group and points Elijah in the wrong direction, then sends Katherine to a safe house.
Present: Katherine tells Elena that Klaus wants to break the sun/moon curse. Just as Rose said, he needs to kill a Petrova doppelganger to do so.
Damon has some questions for Rose over at Vamp Villa, but first he has to mock her for crying over Trevor’s death. He reminds her that vampires can turn off their emotions. Rose says she’ll flip her switch if he does the same. After all, it must be painful to be in love with his brother’s girlfriend. Damon lies that he’s not in love with anyone, but Rose doesn’t buy it. He warns her not to get on his bad side. “Show me your good side,” she challenges.
Damon asks how he can find Klaus. Rose says that’s not how it goes – Klaus finds you. This isn’t a situation where you have a friend of a friend of a friend with a connection to him. Damon asks how she and Trevor were able to contact Elijah, then. They went through a guy named Slater, who lives in Richmond. Damon wants to take a road trip, but since Rose doesn’t have a daylight ring, they’ll have to take her car, which has tinted windows for daytime excursions.
Caroline catches Stefan leaving school so he can go check up on the “sick” Elena. She manages to get him to decide to stick around by revealing that she told Tyler she’s a vampire. At the tomb, Elena asks Katherine why Klaus wants a Petrova doppelganger. Katherine explains that the sun/moon curse was created using Petrova blood, and the first doppelganger was created as a way to undo the spell. Katherine ran so Klaus couldn’t kill her.
1492: Katherine reaches the house Trevor sent her to and is greeted by Rose. To prove her identity, Katherine shows her the moonstone, which she stole from Klaus. Rose is upset that Trevor put himself in the middle of this situation. Klaus will try to get his hands on Katherine again, and he’ll kill Rose and Trevor for helping her. She plans to take Katherine back to Klaus that night and beg for mercy for both of them.
Present: Damon and Rose arrive in Richmond, and he threatens to kill her if this turns out to be a trap. Rose isn’t intimidated, since she’s centuries older than Damon, and therefore much stronger. She tells him not to get on her bad side. She also promises that he can trust her. They go to a coffee shop with special windows that keep the sunlight from penetrating the glass. Slater is happy to meet Damon; he’s familiar with the whole Katherine/Salvatores story. He also knows something about the tomb under Fell’s Church.
1492: Rose is ready to tie Katherine up and drag her back to Klaus. But Katherine has stabbed herself, hoping to die instead of being taken back to Klaus. Rose won’t risk that, since Klaus will kill Trevor, so she heals Katherine with her blood. Trevor arrives, and Rose confronts him for ticking off Klaus. Trevor doesn’t care – he had to save Katherine because he loves her. They’ll just have to run from Klaus. That’s the least of their problems, though. In the next room, Katherine has decided to finish what she started by using Rose’s rope to hang herself.
Present: Katherine explains that Klaus needs a human doppelganger, so this was a win-win – she was safe from being sacrificed, and she got to live on as a vampire. There was a drawback, though, since Klaus has wanted revenge for 500+ years and has been looking for Katherine ever since. Elena starts to grasp that Klaus really does want her dead. Katherine cuts her wrist and offers to turn Elena if she wants to take the same escape route. Elena doesn’t.
1492: Katherine wakes up in transition, and a disappointed Trevor chastises her for not just letting him help her run. Rose accuses Katherine of using Trevor to get what she wanted. Now Klaus will come after the two of them for helping her. Rose decides to get rid of Katherine right now with a stake, but Katherine grabs the owner of the house where they’re staying and uses her as a human shield. Then she drinks the woman’s blood and completes her transition. Rose says Katherine has just signed their death sentence. Katherine doesn’t care, since she gets to live.
Present: Elena’s upset that Katherine’s actions made Rose and Trevor targets for 500+ years. Katherine’s just surprised that Trevor lived that long. Apparently Elena’s not clear on the fact that Katherine doesn’t care about anyone other than herself, especially not innocent people who got tangled up in a deadly mess. She tells Elena that if she’s smart, she’ll focus on saving herself, too.
Caroline continues delaying Stefan at the Grill. He’s not going to tell Damon what Caroline revealed to Tyler, since Damon would be mad at her. Caroline asks why Stefan is such a good friend to her. He says she reminds him of Lexi. Caroline’s shocked that he had a friend. She wants to know all about Lexi, but Stefan says he’ll tell her another time, since he’s still hoping to get out of there and check on Elena. So Caroline brings up Tyler again, worrying about what he’ll do during the approaching full moon.
Across the restaurant, Bonnie runs into Luka, who’s there with his father, Jonas. She’s there to meet Jeremy, but since he’s not there yet, they invite her to sit with them. Jonas, a doctor, did his residency in Massachusetts and wonders if Bonnie’s related to some Bennetts he knew there. Bonnie confirms that she has family from Salem. When Jeremy arrives, Bonnie says goodbye, putting her hand on Luka’s shoulder.
In Richmond, Rose and Damon fill Slater in on Trevor and Elijah’s deaths. Slater became a vampire in 1974, and since then has just gotten a bunch of post-grad degrees. Damon thinks that’s a pretty big waste of eternal life. Rose finally gets to the point of this visit: How can they get in touch with Klaus? Slater says he uses Craigslist. He responds to a personal ad, and his message gets sent through a chain of people until it gets to Elijah. But with Elijah gone, they’re now out of luck. Except, of course, Elijah’s not dead. In fact, he’s across the street from the coffee shop, putting a $100 bill in a busker’s guitar case and taking a handful of change.
Luka chats with Bonnie and Jeremy as Caroline continues distracting Stefan. He’s on to her, though, and asks where Elena is. She won’t tell him, which really should be all he needs to figure out what’s going on. Instead, Stefan thinks she’s with Damon. Caroline says no, so Stefan tells her that if she’s really his friend, like she says she is, he’ll tell her the truth. Ooh, sneaky. But Caroline’s loyalty to Elena supersedes this new friendship, and she won’t give up anything.
Back at the tomb, Elena wonders if Katherine’s telling her the truth. Katherine pages through the Petrova book and says she has no reason to lie. Elena thinks Katherine came back so she could grab Elena and offer her up to Klaus as a replacement for herself. That’s also why she got Mason to find the moonstone. Elena asks what else is needed to break the curse. There must be something else, since Katherine triggered Tyler’s werewolf curse.
Elena puts together the elements: a doppelganger, the moonstone, a werewolf, a witch to do the spell (Katherine plans to use Bonnie, since Lucy’s turned on her), and a vampire. That explains why Katherine turned Caroline. Just like 500+ years ago, Katherine is willing to offer up innocent people to die so she doesn’t have to.
Damon asks Slater why Klaus wants to end the sun/moon curse. Slater says he just wants to beat the werewolves to it. If a vampire breaks the curse first, the werewolves are stuck transforming at every full moon while vampires get to go out in the sun. If a werewolf breaks the curse first, the vampires get stuck in the dark. Rose thinks werewolves are extinct, but Slater’s heard rumors that they’re not. Damon confirms that there’s one in Mystic Falls.
Outside, Elijah eavesdrops on the three as they talk about whether they can stop the curse from being broken. Damon suggests that they find a way to render the moonstone unusable. Slater isn’t eager to do something that will tick off an Original. Damon offers him a daylight ring in exchange for his help.
Across the street, Elijah casually tosses his handful of coins through the window. It shatters, letting in the sun. All the vampires flee, and Damon quickly covers Rose and leads her out of the coffee shop. She insists that Slater, who’s vanished, didn’t do anything to betray them. Klaus must be on to them. She’s terrified that he’ll find her and kill her. Damon actually feels bad for her.
Bonnie and Jeremy eye-flirt across the room from each other at the Grill. Luka sits down at Bonnie’s table and tells her that Jonas asked about Bennetts in Salem because he sensed something about her. Bonnie says she felt something, too (clearly she put her hand on Luka’s shoulder to see who he is). Luka pours some salt on the table and makes the grains levitate. He reveals that he and Jonas are both witches, and Jonas wants them to fit in here in their new home.
Katherine has retreated into the tomb, and just as Elena’s about to try to draw her back to the door, Stefan arrives. He urges her to ignore Katherine, since there’s no way she said anything that wasn’t a lie. Elena thinks she should listen, and it’s not enough to just let Stefan protect her because he’ll risk his life for her if necessary. Katherine joins them and says there’s nothing Stefan can do.
1492: Katherine returns to her family’s home in Bulgaria and discovers her entire family dead.
Present: Katherine tells Stefan and Elena that Klaus slaughtered her family as revenge for her escape. They can’t ignore the threat he poses to them now. Stefan tells Elena not to listen, but Katherine just laughs at him for thinking he can stop Klaus. With the moonstone, however, they stand a chance. Stefan thinks Katherine has made up the whole story to try to trade the moonstone for her freedom. Katherine points out that she’s the safest person in this mess – she’s in a tomb no vampire can enter without being trapped inside as well.
Damon and Rose are back at Vamp Villa, no closer to answers than before. Rose compares Damon to Trevor – both guys talk a big game and work an angle but are actually good allies to have. She says Damon’s right to fight his feelings for Elena. To survive Klaus, they need to stop caring about other people. Caring about Trevor almost got Rose killed, after all. They contemplate turning off their emotions, but instead they make out.
Jeremy spots Bonnie and Luka deep in conversation and realizes that he may have missed his chance to date his sister’s best friend. Stefan takes Elena home, insisting that they talk about the threat to her life. She emotionally says that everyone she cares about is in danger. Stefan is no longer the reason she’s not safe. Everything happening now is just because of her.
In the tomb, Katherine comes across a sketch of herself and her parents in the Petrova book. It would be understandable if people think she acts the way she does because she’s turned off her humanity, but the sadness on her face when she looks at the picture shows that she still has emotions. Back at Vamp Villa, where they’ve clearly just had sex, Rose tells Damon that the concept of turning off your emotions is a myth after a couple hundred years. You have to pretend.
Slater calls her from his home and tells her that he found a way to destroy the curse with the moonstone. They’ll need a witch to figure out what to do. He hangs up, and Elijah compliments him on putting on a good performance. He compelled Slater to say what he wanted Rose to know. Now he has one more task for Slater to do: stake himself. Elijah insists that it’s necessary. Once Slater has obeyed his orders, Jonas emerges from another room and asks if his death really is necessary. Elijah says it is: “He delivered his message. Won’t be long now.”
Keep in mind: Katherine had a baby in 1490.
Klaus needs a doppelganger, a witch, a werewolf, a vampire, and the moonstone to break the sun/moon curse.
Original vampires can compel other vampires.
Etc.: In the books, Katherine was from Germany, but the show changed that to Bulgaria because it’s where Nina Dobrev is from.
Elijah has a British accent in the flashbacks, and I think Daniel Gillies (who’s Canadian) explained that he drops it for modern-day Elijah because he moved around later in life. My guess is just that they let him use whatever accent he wanted in “Rose,” and then filled in more back story later. Anyway, it amuses me that half of the Mikaelsons have different accents from each other.
The less said about 1490s Elijah’s hair, the better. 1490s Rose’s hair, however, looks wonderful.
I’m with Damon: Who gets turned into a vampire and decides to spend the next few decades in school?
The trick with the coins is probably the second coolest thing Elijah ever does. (Number one is in the Originals episode “The Devil Is Damned.”)