Damon is pouring himself a nightcap when Katherine calls to ask what’s happened in Mystic Falls since she gave him the cure. He gives her a quick update and says no one misses her. Katherine guesses that Damon is plotting to move in on Elena now that Stefan’s out of the picture. Damon says he hasn’t given up on Stefan; he just doesn’t know where his brother is. He realizes that Katherine knows. She tells him Klaus’ hybrids failed, so he’s gone looking for answers. She implies that she’s looking out for Stefan. Damon asks where the two killers are.
The answer: Chicago. Stefan spent some time there back in his Ripper days but says he doesn’t remember a lot of it, since it was mostly a haze of blood and partying. Klaus says the details make it legendary.
1922: It’s the Prohibition Era, which means everyone is going wild breaking laws. Stefan is just going wild in a different way, killing people before hitting a speakeasy. He’s a regular at this one, and the owner, Gloria, greets him from the stage where she’s singing. He goes to grab a drink from a waiter, but a woman named Rebekah gets to it first. She’s also a vampire, and she lets him know that he has a little blood on his face. Stefan asks who she is, but she won’t tell him.
Present: Klaus tells Stefan that Chicago was magical back in the 1920s. Stefan doesn’t care about magic or fun – he wants to move on from the failure with the hybrids. Klaus says they’re in Chicago to meet with a witch who can help him with his problem.
Elena wakes up to find Damon in her bed. He teases that she was dreaming about him. She can’t believe he has nothing better to do at 6 a.m. than bug her. He tells her he knows where Stefan is (though he won’t say how he knows) and invites Elena along to go find him. He opens a dresser and starts looking through her clothes so she can pack. Elena’s not in the mood for him to be snooping in her underwear drawer.
Caroline’s still looked up in the cell where she’s been held for a couple of days now. Bill, AKA her dad, wants to know how she’s able to go out in the sun. He claims that’s his only question. She shows him her ring, and he takes it off her hand and tosses it aside. He tells her that her ancestors built the cell supposedly as a place to hold particularly troubling prisoners, but really as a holding cell for vampires. There’s a way to pump vervain through the ventilation system.
Bill shows Caroline a bag of blood, which makes her start to vamp out. He tells her that blood controls her, and he’s going to fix her. He pulls on a chain that opens some blinds on a window high on the wall. The sun streams through and burns his daughter.
On the way to Chicago, Damon tells Elena he hopes the vervain necklace he gave back to her isn’t the only remnant she ends up with from her relationship with Stefan. She says it’s an antique, like Damon is. He gives her one of Stefan’s journals and tells her to read all about how he was back in the 1920s. Elena doesn’t want to invade Stefan’s privacy, but Damon thinks she needs to be prepared. She says she’s seen Stefan during a dark period and believes she knows what to expect. Damon (who reads while driving – dude, not everyone in the car is immortal) reads part of an entry, then gives the journal back to her.
1922: Stefan and some other guys are being loud at the speakeasy, and Rebekah tells them to knock it off so she can hear Gloria’s music. He acts condescending to her, and she makes it clear that he can’t get to her. He asks her name, but she tells him he hasn’t earned the privilege of learning it yet. Now Stefan’s really interested in her.
Present: Klaus takes Stefan to Gloria’s bar, which is empty since it’s daytime. Gloria’s there, and though she’s older, she’s definitely not 90 years older like she should be. She’s a witch with so much power that she can slow down the aging process (something I suspect Sheila also did). Klaus sends Stefan to the bar to pour them drinks while he talks to Gloria, who already knows why he’s there. Stefan eavesdrops as Gloria tells Klaus that every spell has a loophole, but the curse that bound his werewolf side is so old that she wouldn’t be able to figure out the loophole without help from the witch who placed it. Klaus IDs that witch as the Original Witch, who’s dead. Gloria can contact her, but she’ll need Rebekah to do it.
As Stefan notices a picture behind the bar, Klaus tells Gloria that Rebekah is “a bit preoccupied.” Gloria doesn’t care – she can’t move forward with helping Klaus until he brings her Rebekah. Stefan asks about the picture, which is of him and Klaus in 1922.
Liz has been working late, so she hasn’t noticed that Caroline has been missing for a couple of days. She leaves Caroline a message as Tyler shows up at Fort Forbes. Bill continues torturing Caroline with the sunlight, and she begs him to stop. She promises that she won’t hurt anyone. She can handle her urge to hurt people. Bill doubts that, since she still vamps out when she sees blood. He’s going to condition her to associate vampirism with pain. Eventually, just thinking about human blood will make her repress her instincts. Caroline says that’s impossible. He can’t change who she is. Bill disagrees and opens the blinds again.
Damon and Elena’s magic time machine has already brought them to Chicago. They go to the apartment building where Stefan lived in Chicago in the 1920s. (There was an all-girls high school around the corner; sounds like that was Stefan’s favorite restaurant.) Damon breaks into Stefan’s old apartment, which somehow hasn’t been renovated or cleaned out since he lived there. Damon shows Elena the spot on a pantry wall where Stefan listed the names of all his victims, all the way back to his first, Giuseppe. He thinks Elena needs a wakeup call about how violent her boyfriend used to be.
Elena asks what Damon was doing in the 1920s – working toward women’s liberation? Damon says he was in Chicago, too, but he was able to avoid his brother. He’s going to look around the city for Stefan, but Elena’s not invited this time. Damon tells her to stay in the apartment and come up with a plan to get Stefan to go home with them.
Klaus and Stefan head to a warehouse as Stefan demands to know why he doesn’t remember meeting Klaus before. Why didn’t Klaus ever mention that they knew each other? Klaus says they didn’t like each other much in the beginning.
1922: Stefan and Rebekah feed on a woman together, then make out with each other. He admires her necklace – the same necklace that Elena’s now wearing. Rebekah says a witch gave it to her, and it’s supposed to be magical. That must be true, since it brought her love.
Klaus interrupts, telling Rebekah it’s time to leave. Stefan’s amped for a fight, but Rebekah warns that Klaus will kill him. Klaus has heard of Stefan and agrees with Rebekah’s previous assessment that his hair looks funny. What’s with people always making fun of Stefan’s hair? Anyway, Klaus is bored and wants to leave, but Rebekah doesn’t want to go with him. Klaus says she has to do what he says because she’s his sister.
Present: Stefan can’t believe that he not only knew Klaus 90 years ago, but also another Original vampire. Klaus opens a coffin that holds Rebekah’s body and pulls out the dagger keeping her dead. Stefan asks why Klaus wanted him to tag along for this reunion. Klaus says Stefan has some useful talents, and even taught Klaus some tricks.
1922: Klaus asks why Stefan thinks he’s worthy of being with Rebekah, since she’s an Original and he’s from a “diluted bloodline.” Rebekah tells Stefan her brother (whom she often calls Nik, as his full name is Niklaus) is an elitist. Stefan asks about the other Mikaelson siblings, and Klaus says he killed most of them. Rebekah’s okay with that since Klaus allowed them to choose sides, and they chose wrong.
A guy named Liam comes to their table and demands to know where his wife is. When she walks by, Stefan compels both of them to sit down so he can take a little of the wife’s blood. Then he compels Liam to drink it. Klaus and Rebekah enjoy the entertainment.
Present: Klaus says he was Stefan’s number one fan. Stefan isn’t sure why he should believe this. Klaus compels a security guard to tell Rebekah to join them at Gloria’s after she wakes up, and let Rebekah drink his blood until he’s dead. Klaus wants to take Stefan to his old apartment to prove that he knew Stefan back in the ’20s.
Damon goes to Gloria’s, and it’s kind of amazing that he and Stefan were able to avoid each other in the ’20s since they were both regulars there. She tells him Stefan was there with Klaus, and they’ll be back after they run an errand for her. Damon turns on his charm to ask for details, but Gloria is charm-resistant, somehow. Gloria, teach us your ways!
Elena’s reading Stefan’s journal again, but there’s not much there other than records of his cravings and how annoyed he is with Lexi for trying to tame him. She hears Klaus in the hallway and hides in the pantry. Klaus can tell someone’s been in the apartment, but Stefan says someone probably broke in earlier. Klaus says that he didn’t know why Stefan wanted Liam’s name, but then Stefan explained that he had a ritual. Elena spots Liam’s name on the pantry door. Klaus knows that Stefan wrote down all his victims’ names and relived their deaths.
Klaus opens the pantry door but doesn’t see Elena. Stefan steps inside to look at the list, and he and Elena give each other a long look. He announces that he found something, but he just shows Klaus a bottle of alcohol he stashed there a long time ago. He doesn’t say a word about Elena’s presence.
An hour later, Damon finally returns to the apartment and tells Elena they’re going out. He spent the hour regretting leaving her there alone, but now he’s moved on. He does ask if she’s okay, though he obviously doesn’t want to come across like he cares too much. Damon plans to distract Klaus while Elena talks to Stefan. But they’ll have to act fast, so Elena had better be sure she can get through to Stefan in a short amount of time.
Klaus and Stefan are back at Gloria’s, waiting for Rebekah. Stefan asks if Klaus wanted him as a wingman because Klaus liked his torture methods. Klaus says that’s part of it. The other part is that Stefan used to want to be Klaus’ wingman.
1922: Stefan tells Klaus that his family is jealous because they can never be what he is – a king. Klaus tells Stefan that Rebekah likes him, but he needs to be careful. She’s crazy and doesn’t do anything halfway. She’ll inevitably abandon Stefan, but that’s just who she is, and Stefan shouldn’t do anything stupid in response. Stefan tells Klaus he’s glad they’re friends.
Present: Stefan looks a little disturbed that he was once friends with this psychopath, but he toasts to friendship anyway.
Bill tells Caroline that he cried when Carol told him she was a vampire. Caroline says she’s okay and has learned to adapt. She doesn’t need to be fixed. She can’t be fixed. Bill reminds her that he’s always asked her to try her best, and she needs to do that now. She can fight the urge to drink human blood. Caroline cries, saying she’s starving. She asks why her father is trying to fix her. “So I don’t have to kill you!” he replies.
Caroline starts vamping out, then apologizes. The sun is down, so Bill decides they’re done for the day. He locks her back up in the cell, but as he’s leaving, Liz arrives and points her gun at him. Bill says he knows what he’s doing. Liz reminds him that Caroline is their daughter, and she loves him and looks up to him. He thinks that means she’ll trust him to do the right thing. He wants to fix her not because she’s a monster but because they love her.
Without hesitation, Liz calls Tyler in and sends him to free Caroline. When Bill protests, Liz fires her gun, not to hurt her ex but to let him know she will if he doesn’t back down. Tyler rescues Caroline, giving her back her daylight ring and carrying her out of the cell.
Back in Chicago, Stefan asks why he doesn’t remember spending time with Klaus, if they were such good friends. “All good things must come to an end,” Klaus replies.
1922: Stefan and Rebekah are sharing an intimate dance when Klaus’ vamp hearing picks up something that concerns him. The police have arrived to break up the speakeasy. Shots are fired, and though the humans inside are more worried than the vampires, the humans aren’t the targets here. The police are shooting wooden bullets. Rebekah says that means “he” is there.
Klaus calls her away, and Rebekah leaves both Stefan and her necklace behind. As Stefan leans over to pick up the jewelry, Klaus tells him their fun has to end. He compels Stefan to forget both him and Rebekah until Klaus says he can remember them. He appreciates this time with someone he’s come to see as a brother.
Present: Klaus tells Stefan that it was time for him and Rebekah to move on. He decided to give Stefan a clean slate. Stefan wonders why he did – was he running from someone? Klaus tells him the story’s over.
Stefan spots Damon ducking into the bar over Klaus’ shoulder, so he announces that he’s going out to find someone to bite. Outside, he confronts Damon for tracking him down again. Damon asks why Stefan is going back and forth between good and evil. He killed Andie, then saved Damon from Ray. Stefan warns that Klaus almost saw Elena, so Damon has to get her out of town. Damon says she won’t leave without getting Stefan in “vampire rehab.”
Stefan tells him that Elena is “the key to everything.” Klaus can’t find out that she’s alive. She was supposed to die in the sacrifice, and she didn’t, which is why Klaus can’t make new hybrids. If he figures that out like Stefan already has, Elena’s dead. Stefan orders Damon to tell Elena to go home and forget about him. Elena has joined them, so Damon says Stefan can tell her himself.
Damon goes inside to distract Klaus, who may actually be a little impressed with how Damon keeps trying to save his brother. He’s not going to do Damon any favors by letting Stefan go. Outside, Elena asks Stefan to come home with her. She embraces him, and for a moment it looks like he might give in. But she’s only putting her arms around him so she can inject him with vervain. He catches on and zooms out of her grasp, telling her he doesn’t want to come home.
Klaus grabs Damon by the neck and stabs a little wooden drink umbrella into him a few times to torture him before staking him. Damon offers to take Stefan’s place as Klaus’ wingman; he’s more fun anyway. Klaus throws him across the room and prepares to stake him, but Gloria stops him, not wanting any killing in her bar. Klaus tells Damon that he doesn’t need to negotiate Stefan’s freedom. “When I’m done with him, he won’t want to go back,” Klaus says.
Stefan tells Elena that Klaus is obsessed with creating more hybrids, and when he finds out she’s alive, he’ll figure out why he keeps failing. Elena doesn’t want Stefan to try to protect her again. She asks him again to come home with her. He tells her things will never be the same now that he’s killed so many people. But Elena knows that he’s still redeemable, because Lexi saved him after he went on his binge in the ’20s.
Stefan says that he spent 30 years pulling himself together. Elena won’t want to spend so much of her life dealing with that. Elena refuses to give up on Stefan, but he tells her it’s over. That part of his life is done, and he doesn’t want to see her or be with her. He tells her to go home.
Damon and Elena get back on the road as Liz tends to Caroline at Fort Forbes. She tries to explain that the founding families have passed down beliefs about vampires for generations, and Bill hasn’t been able to let go of them. Liz changed her beliefs because Caroline taught her to see things differently. Caroline laments that Bill used to be the person who understood her. Liz says he will be again. Caroline thanks her mother for believing in her. Tyler teases Caroline for sneaking out of his bed after they slept together, then tries to comfort her over her father seemingly hating her now.
Klaus returns to the warehouse and finds Rebekah’s coffin empty and the security guard dead. Rebekah ambushes him, sticking a dagger in his chest and telling him to go to Hell.
1922: Klaus and Rebekah are in the same warehouse, and she thinks Stefan is going to join them before they leave town. Klaus says he’s not coming because he’ll bring them too much attention. Rebekah asks what Klaus did to Stefan. She’s tired of running, since that’s all they do. She wants to stay in Chicago and be with Stefan. Klaus tells her to choose between him and Stefan. Rebekah chooses Stefan, so Klaus daggers her.
Present: Klaus pulls the same dagger out of his own body, since it has no effect on him (Rebekah knows that; she’s just mad). He tells her he brought her a peace offering. She’s happy to see Stefan, who still doesn’t remember her. Klaus compels him to recover his memories.
Klaus then tells Rebekah that they need to know how to contact the Original Witch. Rebekah has something that Gloria needs. Rebekah realizes she doesn’t have it after all – it was her necklace. Stefan keeps quiet about where it is.
Damon calls Katherine from Vamp Villa, wondering how she knew where Klaus and Stefan were. He thinks she’s in Europe.
1922: Katherine spots Rebekah’s necklace in the speakeasy, then has to zoom away before Stefan can see her. He picks up the necklace, having no idea who it belonged to. A man (who we’ll later learn is named Mikael) tells Stefan he’s with the police and shows him drawings of Klaus and Rebekah. Stefan says he’s never seen them before.
Present: How did Katherine know Stefan and Klaus were in Chicago? Because she’s there, too.
Etc.: Rebekah bugs me a lot early on in her run on the series, but I tolerate her a lot better later on, and outright like her in The Originals.
Claire Holt (Rebekah) is Australian, but her English accent is flawless.
Bill’s torture of Caroline is obviously comparable to how some groups think you can “deprogram” gay people, or condition them to ignore their attractions. This is gross enough, but even grosser when you remember that Bill himself is gay, and should get how disturbing it is to think you can change someone’s basic nature.
Carol’s promise to Tyler in the last episode that she would protect Caroline was obviously bull, because she does nothing to help Tyler find her. At the very least, she could have told Liz what was going on, because Liz would know where to find her.
Speaking of Liz, she’s come so far! Just a few episodes ago, she still believed that all vampires were evil and need to die. Here, she not only saves Caroline, but she gives Caroline a blood bag when they get home and has no problem being in the room while Caroline drinks it. At least one character on this show has a good mom.