the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 3.12, The Ties That Bind: The Mother of All Reunions, Part 1

Bonnie’s in the cemetery, looking at the headstones of her female Bennett ancestors, including Sheila. The sealed coffin is there, and as she starts to open it, Klaus appears and says he figured out how to open it. He asks if she did, too, then attacks her. Bonnie ends up trapped in the coffin without a cell phone signal or her magic. She hears someone approaching and yells for help. Eventually, a woman opens the coffin.

At Hex House, Bonnie tells Elena that she’s been dreaming about the coffins for days. She thinks the witches are trying to send her a message. Bonnie has decided to tell Elena where the coffins are even though Stefan wanted to keep her out of it so Klaus and his hybrids couldn’t get the information out of her. Bonnie is more sure than ever that her dreams are telling her that whatever is in the sealed coffin can help them kill Klaus.

Stefan joins the two of them, annoyed that Bonnie showed Elena where the coffins are. Elena asks if he’s going to kidnap her again to keep her quiet. Bonnie says she thinks she knows who can open the sealed coffin, and she needs Elena’s help to find that person. It took her a little while to recognize the woman in her dream, but she figured it out: It’s her mother.

Bonnie and Elena go to Gilbert Gables and look through records of women with Bonnie’s mother’s name, Abby Bennett. Bonnie appreciates the help, since things with her and Elena have been a little strained because of Jeremy being sent away. Elena promises that this is her top priority right now. Bonnie feels weird having to track down her mother, who left 15 years ago. Elena gives her an excuse to bow out, but since the coffin is spelled shut, which is a witch problem, Bonnie feels responsible for solving it. She thinks she would have eventually encountered her mother again anyway.

Damon arrives with the info Bonnie and Elena are looking for: Abby Bennett Wilson is now living in North Carolina. He wants to tag along on the trip to see her, but Elena says his “snarky commentary” isn’t welcome at this mother/daughter reunion. Damon pouts a little, then smirks a little. Bonnie asks what’s up with them. “We kissed. Now it’s weird,” he tells her, then leaves to let Elena deal with the fallout.

Tyler goes to Fort Forbes to apologize to Caroline, who doesn’t think a simple apology will make up for the fact that he bit her and almost killed her. He says that Klaus ordered him to do it and he refused, but it happened anyway, as if Tyler couldn’t control it. He asked Liz to call Bill, whom Tyler hopes can alter his technique for resisting compulsion to teach Tyler how to resist the sire bond. Bill says that Tyler made a mistake and now wants to fix it, something Bill understands.

Alaric and Meredith have just finished lunch together at the Grill, and she agrees to have dinner sometime, so that relationship is on. Damon arrives as she’s leaving and asks Alaric what Meredith’s “damage” is. He doesn’t think someone that hot and smart could be completely normal. Alaric admits that he’s been keeping an eye out for red flags. Plus, Brian called her a psycho. Damon notes that you can’t trust what someone’s ex says about them. Alaric wonders what his exes would call him. “Nothing. They’re all dead,” Damon replies.

Alaric mentions that Brian is the medical examiner, which makes him “dead-adjacent.” Damon corrects that, actually, he’s dead, thanks to a stake through the heart. Alaric says that Meredith didn’t mention anything. Damon thinks that’s another red flag. If he were a cop, Meredith would definitely be a murder suspect.

Stefan goes home and finds Klaus waiting for him, ready for instructions on how to get his coffins back now that he’s obeyed the order to send his hybrids out of town. Stefan says this isn’t a negotiation. Klaus has to leave town first. Then in a few years, Stefan will consider giving him the coffins. Klaus says that Stefan gets one last chance to make a reasonable deal. Yeah, buddy, “reasonable” left the building a while ago. Stefan starts to threaten to drop the coffins in the ocean. Klaus laughs at him and asks how how this version of Stefan is going over with his friends.

Bonnie and Elena head to North Carolina so Bonnie can see the woman she hasn’t seen or heard from since she was a toddler. Abby didn’t even get in touch when Sheila died. Bonnie wants to change the subject to Damon, but Elena acts like the kiss wasn’t a big deal. It’s not going to happen again. Bonnie asks if the kiss was good. Elena says it doesn’t matter, which Bonnie interprets as a yes.

Stefan calls Bonnie to bug her about Abby, and though Elena advises her to ignore the call, Bonnie knows he’ll just keep at it. Elena answers the phone instead and tells Stefan that she and Bonnie are going to spend the night at the lake house to get away from him and take a break from looking for Abby. Stefan tells her they need to move faster; Klaus knows he’s stalling. Elena points out that calling constantly isn’t going to help them move faster. Stefan says he’ll back off, mostly because he doesn’t need Bonnie anymore – he’s in Elena’s kitchen, and he’s found Abby’s address. Meanwhile, Klaus calls one of his hybrids, Daniel, with some instructions based on information he got from a very helpful deputy. Whatever Klaus wants Daniel to do, it involves Abby, since Daniel is at her house.

Elena and Bonnie arrive sometime later, but a guy named Jamie tells them Abby isn’t home. He explains that his father used to date Abby; after his dad left, Abby took Jamie in and treated him the way she should have been treating her daughter for the past 15 years. Abby comes home, and she and Bonnie have a pretty low-key reunion for people who are supposed to be family.

Back in Mystic Falls, Bill is chaining up Tyler in the Lockwood cellar. He tells Tyler and Caroline that the sire bond is about gratitude. Tyler is grateful to Klaus for freeing him from his werewolf curse and the pain that comes with turning. To break the sire bond, Tyler has to turn on his own. Once he can own his pain, he can get past whatever he thinks he owes Klaus. Tyler’s hesitant to turn at will, since it’s so painful, but Bill tells him this is the only way for him to get his freedom. Tyler decides it’s worth it and makes himself turn.

Elena checks on Bonnie, who’s trying to keep her emotions out of the situation at hand, which is about getting Abby’s help. Abby mentions that Elena is as sweet as her mother was. Abby and Miranda were best friends. Bonnie notes that Abby had a daughter and a best friend in Mystic Falls but left anyway. Abby replies that Miranda was the reason she left. 15 years ago, a vampire came to town looking for Elena because she was the doppelganger. No one could kill him, so Abby lured him out of town and desiccated him. Yep, Abby’s the one who got rid of Mikael. The only problem is that doing so exhausted her so much that she lost her magic.

Bonnie addresses the elephant in the room: Abby left her family after she got rid of Mikael. Abby says it wasn’t that simple. Bonnie doesn’t want to hear excuses, and Abby can’t help if she doesn’t have magic, so she tells Elena this trip a mistake. Abby wants to talk more, though, so Elena says she’ll give them some privacy and goes outside. There, she runs into Stefan.

Damon goes by Mystic Falls’ hospital and introduces himself to Meredith. He tells her he’s sorry about Brian and his death by “animal attack.” He also notes that Meredith signed his death certificate. She pulls him into an empty room and asks why he cares about this stuff. Damon says that Alaric likes her, so Damon wants to make sure she’s not crazy. Meredith is understandably offended that Damon thinks she killed Brian. If he really cares about Alaric, he’ll find out how Alaric was able to walk out of the hospital an hour after being brought there on his deathbed. Damon calls them even and starts to leave, but Meredith jams a syringe into his neck and takes him down. While he’s unconscious, she draws some of his blood.

In the Lockwood cellar, Tyler struggles to keep making himself turn. Caroline wants to let him take a break, but Bill says he can’t. Tyler tells Caroline to leave if she can’t handle watching him. After she does, Bill starts smacking Tyler with a shovel to make him mad. His bond with Klaus is putting Caroline in danger, so if he doesn’t turn, Bill will kill him. Tyler turns.

Bonnie cuts to the chase with Abby: Why did she leave? Abby says she was in a new place and had a chance to be someone different – Abby the woman, not Abby the witch. She’s ashamed of her actions, but Bonnie still had her father and Sheila, the latter of whom is a lot better at being a mother than Abby was. Bonnie realizes that Abby doesn’t know that Sheila died. She tearfully tells Abby what happened, and Abby says she’s sure Sheila was proud of her granddaughter.

Abby asks why Bonnie came to find her. Bonnie says she had a dream that made her think Abby could help her, but if she doesn’t have her magic, she can’t. Abby thinks she can lend a hand with herbs or something else from nature. In fact, she wants to help.

Outside, Stefan confronts Elena for not telling him that she and Bonnie had located Abby. Jamie is nearby and notices him getting mad, so he comes over to check on Elena. Elena sends him inside, since Stefan could easily lash out at him, but Jamie isn’t about to leave her alone with a guy who seems so aggressive. Stefan grabs Jamie by the neck and compels him to go inside before Stefan kills him. Elena yells at Stefan for becoming such a villain, but Stefan says this is how things have to be. “Right. Out-villain the villain,” Elena scoffs.

Instead of going inside, Jamie comes back with a shotgun, saying Stefan isn’t supposed to be there. Stefan realizes that Jamie’s been compelled. Jamie fires at Stefan, and inside, Bonnie hears the shots and goes to the window to see what happened. While her back is turned, Abby pours some herbs into her hands, then grabs Bonnie and puts a hand over her mouth.

Damon goes to Alaric’s to let him know that Meredith vervained and “bloodjacked” him. Alaric’s annoyed that Damon went to talk to Meredith, as if that’s what’s important here. Damon says he did Alaric a favor by proving that Meredith is crazy.

Back in North Carolina, Jamie ties up Elena. She asks him to let her help Stefan, since he’s been shot with wooden bullets and can’t heal from his wounds. She spots Abby dragging an unconscious Bonnie to her car. In the Lockwood cellar, Tyler pulls one of his chains out of the wall, and Bill realizes too late that this wasn’t such a great plan after all. Tyler tells him to run, but Bill isn’t fast enough.

Abby takes Bonnie to meet up with Daniel by the side of a road somewhere. Except there isn’t much point to their meeting, since Bonnie didn’t tell Abby where the coffins are, and Abby knows she won’t reveal anything now. Bonnie’s conscious again, and Abby promises that she’ll be okay, but she won’t be able to use any magic for a while because of the herbs Abby gave her. She asks Bonnie to tell her where the coffins are. Daniel has compelled Jamie to kill himself if she doesn’t. Bonnie doesn’t want to share any secrets, since doing so would affect her friends. While begging Abby to tell her where the coffins are, she pulls her phone out and types a message so Daniel won’t hear: “Warn your friends.”

Elena is working on freeing herself when Jamie comes back. He doesn’t know why he shot Stefan or why he’s still holding the gun, but he’ll shoot Stefan again if Elena tries anything. She determines that Jamie was compelled to shoot Stefan, and to kill himself if Abby doesn’t find out where the coffins are. He’s been told not to hurt Elena, though. Elena pretends he’s violated that instruction by making the ropes around her hands too tight, and when he comes over to loosen them, she knocks him out. Then she goes to pull out Stefan’s bullets.

Damon goes to Hex House, where Klaus is waiting for him. The witches give Klaus a psychic migraine, and Damon takes a moment to appreciate not being their target for once. Klaus knows witches care about their own, and 100 dead witches have 1,000 living descendants, all of whom Klaus will kill if he doesn’t get his coffins back. Daniel is already ready to end the Bennett line.

The witches chill out and reveal the coffins, but only three of them. Bonnie managed to get in touch with Damon, who had just enough time to move the sealed coffin before Klaus got there. Klaus threatens to torture Damon, but Damon won’t give up his leverage. He thinks Klaus wants what’s in the sealed coffin more than he wants his brothers back.

Alaric goes to the hospital to confront Meredith for attacking Damon. She thought she’d used enough vervain to keep him unconscious for hours, but Alaric tells her he drinks it every day, so he has a high tolerance. Meredith swears she’s not crazy and invites Alaric to stick around and learn more. She has a new patient to tend to – Bill.

Elena’s having trouble getting all the bullets out of Stefan, and it doesn’t help that she doesn’t really feel sorry for him. When she’s done, he notes that she’s changed somehow. She’s stronger and tougher now. Elena says everyone had to change. She has something to tell him, not because she feels guilty that it happened but because she feels guilty that Stefan doesn’t know: She kissed Damon. Stefan doesn’t respond, but he looks hurt.

Meredith tells Alaric that Bill was found in the woods after an actual animal attack. He’ll die without some special medicine Meredith has just for this kind of situation: vampire blood. She uses it to save dying patients all the time.

Elena wants Stefan to talk to her, but instead of mentioning Damon, he apologizes for kidnapping her and threatening to drive her off the bridge. He’s not happy that she went off on her own today when Klaus is still such a threat. Elena knows she took a big risk, but she wanted Bonnie to have privacy with Abby without “everything else” getting in the way. Stefan knows she really means him. Elena tells him she didn’t plan on kissing Damon. Stefan says she’s better than him. She’s better than both of them.

After checking in with Elena, who says Jamie’s okay, Bonnie tells Abby that Daniel and Klaus will most likely back off since she kept her end of the bargain. Bonnie is trying to deal with the fact that Abby went through all this to protect Jamie, who isn’t even her family. Abby says he is, but she also cares about Bonnie and wants to help her. Bonnie says she can’t, since she doesn’t have magic anymore. Plus, Bonnie doesn’t trust her.

Abby says that when she got rid of Mikael, her magic drifted away. It got weaker the longer she stayed away from Bonnie. She thinks it was nature’s way of punishing her for abandoning her daughter. Maybe Bonnie can help her get it back. Abby doesn’t necessarily want it, but she would take it back if it means helping Bonnie.

Tyler comes to see Bill, who’s not exactly thrilled that Meredith gave him vampire blood but also isn’t, like, screaming about suing her or anything. Tyler feels bad for losing control and hurting Bill, but Bill knew the risks when he started this. He plans to continue their work tomorrow. Tyler’s confused, since he turned. Bill says that to break the sire bond, turning has to be painless. Tyler doesn’t want to go through that again, but Bill tells him he’s not allowed near Caroline until he can prove that he can control himself.

Alaric takes Meredith to Gilbert Gables to show her his weapons and let her know he’s a vampire hunter. He doesn’t want there to be any more secrets between them. She asks how he was able to survive the accident that put him in the hospital. He tells her about his ring, and she notes how convenient it is that he’s a vampire hunter who can’t be killed by vampires. She tries to take the ring off, and when he resists, she flirtily asks if he’s worried that she’s supernatural. He says he can’t be too careful.

Just as they’re about to kiss, Elena comes home. Meredith decides to leave. Alaric apologizes for bringing his new love interest to Elena’s house – Jenna’s house. But Elena says that as soon as he started sleeping on the couch, it became his house, too. She and Jeremy needed Alaric, and he stayed, which she’s grateful for. But he’s allowed to move on.

Stefan goes home, and since Damon’s there and not dead, he guesses that Klaus didn’t get his hands on all the coffins. Damon says he could only move the sealed one. He doesn’t think Abby can help open it, which Stefan says is just more bad news in a day full of it. Damon asks if Elena’s okay, and Stefan decks him. Damon figures that means Stefan and Elena talked, and Stefan doesn’t want to discuss the subject any further. No worries, because Damon has a good excuse for changing the topic: a dagger.

Klaus takes the three coffins he could get to Haus of Klaus, only to learn that one of the coffins is empty. That’s because Damon undaggered Elijah, who immediately pulls out Daniel’s heart, then asks Klaus what he missed while he was daggered.

Keep in mind: Meredith uses vampire blood to heal her patients.

Etc.: Persia White (Abby) and Joseph Morgan (Klaus) never have any scenes together, but they obviously got to know each other behind the scenes because they’re married now.

If your own child can’t recognize you, you have done a very bad job of parenting.

How in the world did Mikael know Elena was the doppelganger when she was three? Did he carry around a picture of Katherine as a toddler and compare it to three-year-olds with dark hair? Did something show up on a childhood medical test that sent up a bat signal and told Mikael where to find Elena?

I wouldn’t be surprised if Meredith isn’t the only doctor in Mystic Falls secretly healing people with vampire blood. It’s just a question of where she gets it.

Veeeeeery interesting that Elena’s exact words to Stefan are, “I kissed Damon.” Not “Damon kissed me” or “Damon and I kissed.” She makes it sound like she initiated it. Not that it matters, though – Stefan knows who was responsible.

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