Klaus, Stefan, and Rebekah are still in Chicago, and Rebekah is updating her wardrobe for the 21st century. She can’t believe how women dress now. She barely got away with wearing pants back in the 1920s. She also hates dance music: “It sounds like a cable-car accident.” Klaus is in a bad mood since he only needed one thing from Rebekah, and she doesn’t have it anymore. He could just dagger her again and save everyone a bunch of trouble in the next couple of seasons, but nooooo. Stefan leaves the clothing store they’re in to get some air. He spots Katherine across the street, and she beckons for him to join her.
In Mystic Falls, Elena is making chili for a party at Lockwood Landing. Damon criticizes her for bringing a dish everyone else will be bringing. She tells him it’s an old family recipe. “Yeah, I know. I knew your old family. They made sucky chili,” he replies. They playfully bump each other as he joins her to help cook. Alaric doesn’t like this, and he asks why Damon’s there. Elena tells him that Damon thinks she’s going to break down because she spent the whole summer looking for Stefan only for him to say he doesn’t want to be with her anymore. She says she’s fine, but Damon thinks she’s in denial. She denies being in denial. He points out that she’s still wearing her vervain necklace, which is a reminder of her “unbreakable bond” with Stefan.
Stefan warns Katherine that Klaus will kill her if he finds out she’s in Chicago. Katherine confirms that the necklace Klaus is looking for is the same necklace Stefan gave Elena. He tells her that Klaus and Rebekah don’t know where the necklace is, so he just has to keep them from finding out. Katherine hopes he has an actual plan to do that, though it’s not like Stefan’s very good at being diabolical. Stefan notes that Katherine, who really is diabolical, hasn’t figured out his plan, so it must be good. “I forgot, you’re bad now,” she says. She warns him not to get too arrogant – Klaus is smarter than everyone, and Rebekah’s a destroyer.
Jeremy wakes up to find Anna in his room. She’s shocked that he can hear her, since she’s been trying to get his attention for days. She wonders what changed. He says he had a dream about her, which she likes hearing. Jeremy can’t believe she’s really there. Also really there: Bonnie, who’s back from her summer break with her family. Anna watches her and Jeremy’s happy reunion.
Downtown, Liz fills Damon in on what Carol, Caroline, and Bill have been up to recently. She’s locked Bill up until the vervain is out of his system so Damon can compel him. Damon would rather kill him, but Liz doesn’t want Caroline to lose her father, no matter how horrible he is. Also, she might be okay with vampires now, but that doesn’t mean she’s okay with Damon killing anyone he wants.
Poetically, Liz has locked Bill up in the same cell where he was torturing Caroline. He insists that he was trying to help Caroline, but Damon knows her well enough to know that she doesn’t need anyone’s help. He bites Bill to make sure the vervain’s out of his system, then asks why Bill thinks he can change a vampire’s basic nature. Bill says you can retrain your mind, if you’re strong enough. Damon agrees, then demonstrates his own mind-control skills by wiping Bill’s memory so all he’ll remember of this visit to Mystic Falls is taking Caroline back-to-school shopping.
Stefan meets up with Klaus and Rebekah at Gloria’s, where Gloria is trying to find the vervain necklace with a locator spell. Back at Gilbert Gables, the necklace starts burning Elena’s skin. Caroline thinks that’s a sign she shouldn’t be wearing it, now that she’s hanging out with Damon instead of Stefan. As Gloria continues her spell, Bonnie touches the necklace, which makes it spark. Gloria announces that she’s found it.
Stefan stands by, concerned, as Gloria says the spell showed her images, but not the necklace’s location. She just saw some girls. She can do the spell again to get more details, but she needs some time first. She also doesn’t like Klaus breathing down her neck while she’s trying to work. Stefan suggests that they go find someone to eat and come back later.
During the party at Lockwood Landing, Bonnie tries out a spell to tell her what kind of magic is affecting the necklace. While she works, Caroline asks Elena if she’s swapping Salvatores. Elena says she and Damon have just been working together to find Stefan. Caroline cautions her not to think she can change Damon. Elena wants to change the subject. The necklace starts levitating, but Bonnie says it’s not because of anything she’s done. The jewelry has its own magic.
At the food table (where, yes, there is lots of chili), Damon tells Alaric that founder’s parties like this one are just an excuse for the council to get together and plot against vampires. Alaric tells him to “take a beat with Elena” – whatever’s going on between them is a bad idea. Damon says it’s not Alaric’s business. Not that anything’s actually going on! Everything’s totally casual! Liz interrupts to summon Damon to a council meeting.
Stefan, Klaus, and Rebekah grab a bite in the warehouse, and the guys gang up on Rebekah a little, just like brothers tend to do with their sisters. Klaus calls Rebekah a brat, which just makes her madder. Stefan says Klaus isn’t always great to hang out with, either. Rebekah enjoys that. Stefan heads out, and Klaus tells Rebekah he’s writing his victim’s name on a wall.
Jeremy finds a quiet room at Lockwood Landing so he can chat with Anna some more. She asks why he hasn’t told Bonnie that he can see Anna and Vicki. Jeremy isn’t sure how to say it, since he doesn’t know what’s happening. Anna says it’s a push and pull – she’s on the Other Side, trying to contact him, and sometimes, if he pulls, he can sense her. She’s by herself there, and is a part of the real world but just can’t be seen.
Vicki, however, is in a different situation. Her presence brings darkness for Anna, and sometimes it feels like she’s trying to push Anna out. Jeremy thinks that’s why the window broke when he was talking to Vicki. Anna warns him not to let Vicki in. She can’t get through if he’s not open to it. Anna says again how great it is to finally be able to talk to someone. She reaches for Jeremy’s hand, then remembers that he can’t feel her. He tells her to try anyway.
Stefan returns to Gloria’s and asks her what she saw during her spell. She tells him the more interesting part is what she heard – the girls with the necklace were talking about Stefan. She didn’t tell Klaus because she doesn’t plan to help him. The necklace is a talisman from the Original Witch, and Gloria wants it. Stefan tells her he can’t help her. Gloria threatens to tell Klaus what Stefan’s hiding from him. Stefan tries to attack her, but she hits him with a psychic migraine.
She does a spell to paralyze him and lays him out on a table for a spell to find out what he’s keeping from Klaus. She prefers voodoo over new age witch stuff, so this is going to be painful. Stefan says he won’t tell her anything, but Gloria says he won’t have to. She’s getting his essence from his blood, and will use some herbs, including vervain, to get what she needs.
Liz tells Carol, Damon, and the rest of the Founder’s Council that things in town have been quiet, vampire-wise. Damon backs her up, saying the worst is over. After the meeting breaks up, Bill arrives and asks if Liz, Carol, and Damon think everyone on the council is clueless or stupid. Why not both?
At Gilbert Gables, Bonnie puts Jeremy to work looking through grimoires for anything about metals or necklaces. He suggests that she talk to the witches at Hex House, but they’ve cut her off for bringing Jeremy back. She messed with the balance of nature, which means there are consequences. Jeremy declines to mention that those consequences involve him now being able to communicate with ghosts. Bonnie feels bad for not telling him earlier that she can’t reach the witches, but he tells her she didn’t do anything wrong.
Bonnie mentions that Elena said Jeremy’s been having some struggles since he came back from the dead. He says he’s just been feeling out of it. As he picks up Elena’s necklace, Anna appears next to Bonnie and tells him the darkness she mentioned related to Vicki is there. The grimoires start catching on fire, though Bonnie’s able to put them out.
Gloria hasn’t gotten anything out of Stefan yet, but she’s not giving up. Just touching him gives her visions of Elena, and Gloria’s able to see that Stefan loves Elena and would do anything for her. He’s put himself through a lot of darkness and guilt to protect her from Klaus. Stefan begs Gloria not to dig any deeper, but she does, and she realizes that Elena is the doppelganger. Her resurrection is what’s keeping Klaus from successfully making any hybrids. Katherine arrives just then and kills Gloria.
Elena and Caroline are still at Lockwood Landing, wondering where Stefan got the necklace in the first place. Elena never asked. Alaric finds them and asks where Damon is. Caroline says he’s probably doing something bad to someone good. Elena doesn’t appreciate what Caroline says is just honesty. She spots Bill and suddenly turns from her usual confident, strong self into a scared child. Elena tells her to go before he sees her.
Damon follows Elena and Alaric out of the house and tells them that Bill is somehow immune to compulsion. He threatened to out Damon as a vampire, which Damon thinks is ironic, since Bill is gay. Elena asks how Damon knows Bill can’t be compelled. Damon doesn’t think that’s the thing she should be focusing on right now. He says Bill wants to control the council because he thinks it’s been compromised (Alaric: “It has”), and he wants to put vervain in the town’s water supply.
Elena thinks that might be a good idea. Damon will be able to keep himself in control, now that Stefan isn’t around to keep an eye on him. Damon objects to that, then says he should have killed Bill that morning. Elena reminds him that Bill is Caroline’s father. Damon points out that she’d still have her mother, which is one more parent than Elena and Damon have.
Alaric tries to stop Damon from going back inside to do anything stupid. Damon’s in the mood to fight now, and when Alaric won’t back off, Damon checks to make sure he’s wearing his Gilbert ring, then breaks his neck to put him out of commission for a while.
Back at Gloria’s, Katherine tells Stefan that she’s been thinking about his “diabolical” plan. Klaus is too paranoid to completely trust Stefan, but Rebekah still loves him the way she loved him in 1922. Stefan’s bonding with Klaus to make Rebekah feel left out, which will make her want him more. Stefan says that’s a plan right out of Katherine’s playbook. Katherine just isn’t sure why Stefan’s doing this, other than to keep Klaus away from Mystic Falls.
Stefan doesn’t trust Katherine enough to tell her anything, but she thinks she’s earned some information as a reward for killing Gloria. Stefan reveals that he knew Klaus and Rebekah in the 1920s, when they were running from someone. Katherine’s heard stories about the hunter they were running from. Stefan’s curious about who would make Original vampires scared enough to flee. She wants in if he’s going to make a move against Klaus, but Stefan doesn’t want a partner in crime.
Tyler finds Caroline waiting for him in his bedroom/hiding out from Bill. Tyler kind-of-jokingly-but-not-really offers to beat Bill up, if she wants. Caroline says she bought him the shirt he’s wearing, and it was expensive, so now isn’t a good time. Plus, he’s still her father, no matter what he did to her. If there’s anyone who understands the complicated relationship between a child and an abusive father, it’s Tyler. They start making out, but they’re interrupted when Elena calls to tell her what Damon’s up to.
Damon goes back to see Bill, who says he’s been working for decades to keep himself compulsion-free. He also criticizes Damon’s technique as “lazy.” Not sure how that’s a problem if it works, but okay. Damon asks why Bill hasn’t exposed him and Caroline to the council. Bill says he would never put Caroline in the crosshairs like that. He did take a risk not leaving town, but he doesn’t think Damon will kill him. Damon says Bill is the third person to underestimate him today.
He bites Bill, who asks if Damon’s going to kill everyone who learns his secret. Damon says he’s just going to enjoy the nice moments in life like this one. He goes in for another bite, but Caroline zooms in and shoves Damon into a wall, then through a window. She offers Bill some of her blood to heal his neck wound, making him drink even after he resists. Damon wants to keep teaching Bill a lesson, but Caroline attacks him. He’s older and stronger, so he easily overpowers her, but she’s pretty mad, and she’s able to throw him off her. Then she grabs Bill and zooms away with him.
Elena has arrived in time to see the end of the fight, and she tells Damon he can’t act like this in anymore – not in Mystic Falls and not around her. He asks why it’s suddenly so important for everyone to make sure he’s on his best behavior. Uh, because your usual babysitter left town? Elena says she doesn’t want him to act the way other people think he always does. Damon says he’s a vampire, so if people think he’s a monster, they’re right. She yells that he doesn’t have to act like a monster. He replies that he’s not Stefan, and she needs to stop trying to turn Damon into him.
Bonnie starts vacuuming up the ashes left over from the burned grimoires, which means she can’t hear Jeremy talking to Anna in the bathroom. He tells her she can’t pop in when Bonnie’s around. Anna notes that she can only pop in when Jeremy’s thinking about her. That must be why he hasn’t told Bonnie about her and Vicki yet – he’ll have to admit that he still thinks about them. Jeremy says this is too much to deal with, and he tells Anna goodbye and shuts her out. As Anna begs Jeremy to hear her again, he tells Bonnie everything.
Stefan returns to the warehouse and is about to open one of Klaus’ coffins when Rebekah comes in. Stefan asks why she doesn’t undagger her siblings. Rebekah knows that Klaus would punish her. Stefan notes that she cares about him even though he’s an awful person. She says she hated him for a long time, and it was exhausting. Stefan asks about their time on the run, and who’s been looking for them. He’s surprised that Klaus is afraid of someone. Rebekah tells him that no one in the world is completely fearless. Stefan presses the issue again, but Rebekah says Klaus wouldn’t want them to talk about it.
She knows about Elena (though she also thinks Elena’s dead), and that Stefan’s only with Klaus because he saved Damon. Rebekah thinks Klaus admires that Stefan would give up anything for his family. They kiss, and Rebekah asks if Stefan thinks he’ll ever love anyone like he loved Elena. Stefan says he might, one day. But she knows he’s lying and doesn’t really care about her.
Klaus arrives and announces that Gloria’s gone, so they need to find a new witch. Rebekah tells him that something’s wrong, since Stefan was asking about Mikael. Stefan isn’t really on their side.
The next morning, Damon fixes two drinks at Vamp Villa, one for himself and one for a just-now-coming-back-to-life Alaric. His resurrection took a little longer than usual, and Damon advises him to get his ring checked out. Alaric’s understandably mad that Damon killed him, but Damon thinks he had a good excuse – he was sick of people telling him to behave himself. Alaric says everyone’s just finally realized that Damon is a jerk. No, I’m pretty sure they already knew that.
Downtown, Caroline tells Elena she won’t say “I told you so” about Damon, but…well, she did tell her so. Elena admits that Caroline and Damon were both right and she was trying to change him. But he can’t be in Elena’s life if he’s going to act out. Caroline says Damon has gotten under Elena’s skin, and she needs to just admit that she’s attracted to him. Elena won’t let herself admit it because she doesn’t like what it says about her. Caroline replies that it means she’s human.
She spots her father across the town square and goes over to say hi. He tells her he’s heading home before he gets himself killed. He thanks her for saving him from Damon. Caroline assures him that she’s going to be okay. But Bill still thinks that since she’s a vampire, she can never be okay.
Alaric goes to Lockwood Landing to tell Carol and Liz that he wants to represent the Gilberts on the Founder’s Council. Carol says it doesn’t work that way. Alaric reminds her that the council is supposed to protect the townspeople, but Carol and Liz are protecting their supernatural children. Who’s looking after the humans? The supernatural have their own set of rules; they look after themselves. The Founder’s Council needs to look after themselves, too. He’ll be at the next meeting.
Elena meets up with Bonnie outside the Grill and asks if she can have her necklace back. Bonnie’s still trying to figure out what’s going on with it, but Elena feels weird not wearing it. Bonnie gives it back to her, then reveals that Jeremy’s seeing ghosts. As a waitress comes to refill Bonnie’s coffee, she looks away for a moment, and when she looks back, Elena’s gone.
She’s now at Damon’s door, and he tells her he’ll only accept an apology from her if it’s in writing. But this is Katherine, and she’s amused that “lovebirds” Damon and Elena are already fighting. She wants a partner in crime for a road trip. Damon decides this is a good time to get out of town. Katherine won’t tell him where they’re going, but she promises it’ll be good. She gives him the necklace she just tricked Bonnie into giving her.
Stefan wakes up in what looks like a small storage room that’s holding Klaus’ coffins. Klaus is curious about what Rebekah thinks Stefan is holding on to from his old life. Instead of asking Stefan, Klaus decided to check things out for himself. They’re not really in a room – they’re in the back of a truck, and the truck has just brought them back to Mystic Falls.
Etc.: With John no longer around to pressure Jeremy into going to town events, why is he still showing up at them? It would make sense if Bonnie asked him to go to the party at Lockwood Landing with him, but she spends the whole time there with Elena and Caroline.
Even though it would have been a little more evil than the audience might have liked Stefan to be, I think he, not Katherine, should have been the one to kill Gloria. It would have been another move to show that his love for Elena is stronger than his loyalty to Klaus.
I imagine the only reason the council hasn’t put vervain in the water supply before is that they didn’t have access to enough of it until Zach grew a bunch of it.
I like the little moment where Damon looks down at Alaric’s hand to make sure he’s wearing his ring before he kills him. Unlike with Jeremy, there’s no question about whether he knew Alaric was protected, and Elena…well, he knows she’ll still yell at him later, but she has less of an argument now.
Alaric doesn’t seem to evolve a ton over the series as a whole, but if you’ve seen Legacies, you can see he’s changed. The biggest difference is that in this episode, he insists that humans need to be protected from the supernatural. He still sees the supernatural as the enemy. On Legacies, he starts out wanting to teach supernaturals to live in a human world, then shifts to wanting to protect them. Humans are now the enemy.
Alaric waking up at Vamp Villa after being killed by Damon means Elena let Damon take him there, which makes no sense. She had to know Alaric wouldn’t want to see Damon. At the very least, I think she would have stayed there with him.