Alaric has been moved from house arrest at his place to a cell in the basement of Vamp Villa. Elena brings him some of his things, including a copy of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde that Damon snuck in. The confinement is Alaric’s idea, since his dark side is still a threat while the location of the last white oak stake is unknown. The gang hasn’t been able to find it on their own. They know Klaus isn’t going to take it well if it stays missing.
Elena tells Alaric that Stefan is going to babysit him while she and Damon go to Denver to get Jeremy (whose safety is no longer ensured there). She’s hesitant to share the news with Alaric, since she knows he won’t approve of her decision to travel alone with Damon. Alaric is more interested in how Stefan feels about the arrangement. Elena says it was his idea. He thinks she has unresolved feelings for Damon. Alaric asks if she does, and she says she’s going to try to figure that out.
Upstairs, Stefan tells Damon that he can get the location of the last stake out of Alaric. Damon likes his confidence, though he’s not clear about whether he has any faith in Stefan’s abilities to get the job done. Stefan’s good again and is in control of himself, but he may have lost his edge. On the other hand, he might still have Elena. She joins them and Damon tells her they’re flying to Denver first class. No compulsion necessary – he has airline miles. Elena clearly wants to say something to Stefan about the trip, but he just tells her to be safe.
At school, Caroline is supposed to be organizing the next decade dance, but the theme has been changed without her knowledge. They were up to the ’70s, but Rebekah has overruled Caroline to make it a 1920s dance. The two bicker and Matt tries but fails to make peace. Also, he liked Rebekah’s idea when she presented it, so he’s not really a neutral party here. Caroline tells them to do whatever they want. Matt follows Caroline as she storms off, and she congratulates him on selling their argument. It was all a ploy so she could take the day off.
Stefan visits Alaric, who’s trying to make himself fall asleep so his dark side will emerge. Stefan offers him some bourbon, and Alaric invites him to drink with him. He mentions Damon and Elena’s trip, but Stefan just says he felt like he needed to be the one to stay with Alaric. He thinks they only have a limited amount of time before they have to give up on letting Alaric’s dark side emerge and move to torturing the information out of him. Plus, he wants Elena to figure out her feelings. Stefan’s been through crisis after crisis to get back to her, but none of it matters if she wants to be with Damon.
In Denver, Elena and Damon surprise Jeremy at a batting cage. He’s happy to see his sister (not so happy about seeing Damon) but quickly guesses that something must be wrong. Damon explains that they’re trying to trace his and Stefan’s sireline beyond Katherine and Rose. Since Rose is dead, they need Jeremy to do his ghost whisperer thing and find out from her who sired her. Jeremy doesn’t think he can, since he never met Rose. Damon asks what use Jeremy has if he can’t talk to dead people when Damon needs him to.
Elena thinks they can use Damon as a way to connect Jeremy to Rose. Jeremy agrees to try, but first he wants to spend a little more time in his normal life with his normal friend who’s on his way to hang out. But because Jeremy left town before all the Mikaelsons were awake, he has no idea that his normal school friend, Kol, is an Original. Elena spots him first, and before Damon can react, Kol whacks him with a baseball bat so hard that it breaks. He tells Jeremy that they’re not really friends, but he shouldn’t take it personally. Kol grabs an aluminum bat next, but Damon catches it before he can swing it. He stakes Kol with a piece of the broken bat, which will put him down long enough for the others to escape.
After a drive long enough to hopefully lose Kol, they check into a motel for the night. Jeremy laments the fact that his supposed friend was really an Original. Damon taunts that he should have been suspicious when he made a friend so quickly. As soon as they’re in their room, Damon gets Jeremy started on reaching Rose. He tries to call her out himself, teasing that he knows Rose is obsessed with him.
Jeremy asks for personal information on Rose, and he doesn’t mean details from her sexual escapades with Damon. Damon says that she spent her last moments in a place she loved, and she wasn’t scared when she died. Elena disagrees, since she was with Rose the day she died, and Rose definitely wasn’t at peace. But Jeremy knows that Damon made Rose dream that she was. He announces that she’s there with them.
Caroline has cleared her schedule so she can meet up with Tyler. (Music: “Redemption,” the Strange Familiar) They go to the Lockwood cellar for some alone time. So I guess they’re officially back together. Meanwhile, Matt drives Rebekah home, and she asks why he’s being so nice to her, giving her a ride and helping her with the dance. After everything the Mikaelsons have done to him, he shouldn’t be so “gentlemanly.” Matt says it’s sad that she’s suspicious of such basic kindness. Rebekah agrees and lightens up a little.
Now she’s in a good mood, but it disappears as soon as she goes inside the Haus of Klaus, because Esther’s there. Rebekah wants to kill her immediately, but Esther thinks she has a good reason to stop her: Esther’s dying.
Elena asks Jeremy if Rose is lonely on the Other Side. Rose says no – she actually enjoys it. She spent centuries running, and now she gets to do whatever she wants. Damon asks if she’s still hot. Rose tells Jeremy to say that Damon is “still dripping with sex.” Jeremy would rather take on Kol than say that. Rose adds that she misses Damon and is rooting for him and Elena. Jeremy just says that Rose misses both of them. Rose can’t help with the sireline investigation since she was sired by a regular vampire named Mary. Damon remembers her, but he and Rose don’t know where she is. Rose says she’ll go try to find out more.
Back in Mystic Falls, Stefan and Alaric discuss Jeremy and how he could be at risk either with or without his ring. Alaric jokes that maybe Jeremy’s “dark” side is actually a hippie pacifist. He’s disturbed that his alter ego is so hostile. Stefan thinks it makes sense – Alaric lost his wife and girlfriend to vampires, so why wouldn’t he hate them? Alaric thinks his dark half must hate him, too. Instead of hunting vampires, he drinks with them. Stefan says his dark half is too judgmental.
Alaric continues that his alter ego is still a part of him. This isn’t a situation where he flips a switch and loses his humanity. He and his dark side are driven by the same thing. Stefan disagrees – the alter ego is the dark parts of Alaric, and everyone has those.
Klaus arrives and announces that he’s helped himself to the second-to-last white oak stake, which he found upstairs. As soon as Stefan hands over the last one, they can be done. Stefan says he’ll have to wait, but Klaus would rather just kill Alaric and let the location of the remaining stake be a mystery. Stefan tells him that killing an Original also takes out their sireline, so he’s not going to risk his own life by leaving a white oak stake out in the wild. If he and Klaus are both patient, they can get the location from Alaric, destroy the stake, and ensure the safety of all the vampires in the world. Klaus is like, “This is all dependent on Alaric passing out? On it.” He breaks Alaric’s neck, which means Damon will probably gloat later over being the one to make Damon put his Gilbert ring back on.
Stefan calls Damon to let him know that Alaric’s currently dead and will hopefully wake up as his dark half. Damon tells him they’re at a motel, waiting for Rose to return. He doesn’t mention that he and Elena are there with Jeremy, so now Stefan gets to wonder what Damon and Elena are doing to pass the time. While Damon’s out of the room, Jeremy asks Elena what’s up with the two of them. She pretends everything’s normal between them, but Jeremy says that even Rose picked up on it.
Rebekah asks Esther how she can be dying if Ayana used magic to preserve her body. Esther explains that Abby’s death cut her connection to the Bennett line, so she’s not getting the power she needs to stay alive. Rebekah has no sympathy for her mother, since she spent 1,000 years plotting her children’s death. Esther says she spent that time on the Other Side watching them. She saw all of Rebekah’s highs and lows, and she knows how much Rebekah missed her. Esther was with her the whole time.
Rebekah notes that Esther tried to kill her anyway. Esther replies that no one should get to live 1,000 years. Rebekah argues that she hasn’t lived at all. Esther takes her hands, then starts shaking and collapses on the floor. Klaus enters and Rebekah tells him that their mother is dead.
Tyler and Caroline move from sex to talking about Klaus, because why not? Caroline thinks Tyler just needs to do one thing to end his connection to Klaus: Tell him to suck it. Tyler feels free and more like himself, but he isn’t sure that he’s broken his sire bond. Still, he knows that if he could get through turning over and over to break the bond, he can get through anything. Caroline says that’s good, since they’re facing that pesky problem of the Originals’ sirelines. If Damon finds out that Klaus didn’t sire his, Stefan, and Caroline’s bloodline, he wants to kill Klaus, which will also kill Tyler.
Jeremy’s asleep in the motel room, but Elena’s still awake, and Damon’s standing guard at the window in case Kol shows up. He catches Elena watching him, and she does a horrible job of pretending to go to sleep. He gets in bed with her and she brings up the way he gave Rose peace as she was dying. He says he didn’t tell Elena because it wasn’t about her. She asks why he doesn’t let people see the good in him. “When people see good, they expect good,” Damon replies. He doesn’t want to live up to people’s expectations.
They reach for each other’s hands, but after a few moments, she decides she needs some air. (Music: “Never Let Me Go,” Florence + The Machine) He follows her outside, and when she tries to stop him from saying anything, he asks why. He says her name, and suddenly she can’t stop herself from giving in to her feelings. She runs to him and they start making out. They’re almost cautious for a bit, but after a pause, as if they’re making sure this is what they both want, they go harder.
Let me be clear: This isn’t just kissing. This is “if my lips aren’t on yours and my hands aren’t on your body, my heart might actually stop beating” desperation – from both of them. This is hunger, lust, need. This is passion. It’s nothing like what Elena had with Stefan. That was the warm flicker of a candle on a chilly fall night. This is a five-alarm fire.
And then Jeremy ruins it. He comes out to tell them that Rose came back and reported that Mary lives in Kansas. Damon acts like nothing happened while Jeremy gives his sister a look that says, “I sure hope you know what you’re doing because we both know this is a horrible idea.”
Alaric’s awake, but he’s still his normal self, so Klaus’ plan didn’t work. Alaric doesn’t think his dark side is going to come out on his own because he knows what the gang wants from him. They need to move on to plan B: Alaric takes off his Gilbert ring, Stefan puts his life at risk, and hopefully, Alaric’s dark side comes out to fight back.
The road-trippers arrive at Mary’s house, and Damon and Elena tell Jeremy to wait outside. He’s annoyed about being sidelined and asks if they’re going to make out more. Damon tells him to listen to his sister like she’s really his mother and Damon is her boyfriend who’s trying to be a father figure. As he and Elena head inside, he tells her Mary is super-old (in vampire years) and creepy, but they hooked up back in the day. There’s a bang from deeper in the house, and when they go to investigate, they find Mary dead. Kol got to her first, and he’s stuck around to take another shot at Damon.
Back in Mystic Falls, Stefan pounds on Alaric for a while but doesn’t get anywhere. He’s drawn blood, which distracts him and makes him think he can’t continue. Alaric urges him to use his emotions about blood to fuel him. To bring out Alaric’s dark side, Stefan needs to tap into his own. Stefan listens, and after he throws Alaric against a wall, Alaric’s dark half comes out. He mocks Stefan for being an evil creature who doesn’t know how to be strong.
Kol tells Damon and Elena that Mary was an “Original groupie” who spent a lot of time with the Mikaelsons. He’s not sure which of them turned her, and he knows that by killing her, the gang won’t be able to find out whose sireline they’re in. He goes after Damon with his bat again, and Damon tells Elena to run. Kol stops her and says that Klaus declared her off-limits, but that doesn’t mean Kol will let her leave. Damon attacks him for threatening Elena, which just lets Kol know that she’s Damon weakness. He wants revenge for Damon snapping his neck and the gang killing Finn. After a few more whacks with the bat, he calls them even.
Instead of telling Stefan where the last stake is, Alaric wants to taunt him for a while. He warns that all the vampires will burn. Stefan beats on him again, demanding to know where the stake is. When Alaric still won’t talk, Stefan threatens to kill him. Alaric finally gives in and reveals that he put the stake in the No Vamps Allowed Cave. Stefan locks him back up and heads upstairs, where Klaus and Rebekah are pleased that his plan succeeded.
Damon and Elena take a moment post-Kol to make sure they’re both okay. She resists when he touches her, and he asks what’s going on. She tells him that Stefan thinks she has feelings for Damon. She’s still not sure if she does. Honey, you practically got naked with him, like, an hour ago. You do. Damon’s annoyed that she was using the trip to figure out her feelings, or maybe hoped that he would screw something up so she could justify ditching him. Elena notes that it’s typical of him to sabotage things. Damon asks what she would do if he didn’t. He tells her that this time, she’ll have to figure things out herself.
As Rebekah takes Alaric to the No Vamps Allowed Cave. Klaus tells Stefan that he knows Damon went to Denver, then reveals that that mission failed. Stefan asks if Klaus is going to kill him. Klaus says he hasn’t decided, but Stefan doubts that. Klaus has had plenty of chances to kill him, but Stefan’s still alive, which means Klaus doesn’t want him dead. Klaus admits that he’s waiting for the evil Stefan to come back. He thinks Stefan’s right on the verge of going Ripper again. Stefan says he’s been fighting that part of himself, trying to repress it, but he knows it won’t go away. By accepting it, it won’t control him, and neither will Klaus. If Klaus isn’t going to kill Stefan, he can leave.
On the drive to the airport to go home, Elena, Damon, and Jeremy are all quiet. Rose appears in the backseat next to Jeremy and tells him not to let Elena or Damon know she’s there. She cautions Jeremy not to interfere in their mess. Elena makes Damon a better person, but he makes her different, too. He challenges and surprises her, and makes her question her life. Stefan’s love for Elena is pure, and he’ll always be a good choice. “Damon is either the best thing for her or the worst,” Rose says.
Caroline takes Tyler to her house and says he can stay while the gang figures out what to do next. She’s determined not to lose him again after just getting him back. Tyler spots the sketch Klaus did of Caroline and the horse, and he asks if Klaus has feelings for her. Caroline doubts it, since Klaus doesn’t have feelings for anyone. She assures Tyler that nothing happened between them while he was gone. Tyler makes a good point that she kept the drawing, so it must be meaningful to her. He decides to find another place to sleep.
Alaric retrieves the stake from the cave but won’t give it to Rebekah since it’s the one thing keeping everyone from killing him. She agrees to listen if he wants to suggest a bargain. He notes that since there’s only one stake, only one Original has to die. If she works with him, he’ll make sure it’s not her. Rebekah tells him she doesn’t want one Original to die. She steps into the cave, shocking him, and says she wants them all to die. Alaric’s confused, which surprises Rebekah; she thought he would have figured this out, since her son once hijacked his body. Alaric puts it together as she reveals that she’s not Rebekah, she’s Esther, and they have a lot in common.
Etc.: Is it bad that I laughed about Damon sending Alaric Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
Not to be like, “Hey, Bonnie really dropped the ball here,” but…Bonnie really dropped the ball here. She knew from the previous episode that Klaus and Kol knew were Jeremy was. She should have mentioned that to Elena.
No wonder Elena hasn’t figured out her feelings about Damon yet – they’ve barely had any screentime together in the past few episodes. Which is a weird choice for the show, since Nina Dobrev and Ian Somerhalder were dating at that point, so why wouldn’t you put them together as much as possible as a hook for the audience? Then again, they cast Paul Wesley’s wife as Meredith and then gave them, like, three scenes together the whole time she was on the show.
If the Salvatores aren’t going to sign Vamp Villa back over to Elena to keep out vampires, they should at least invest in some sort of security system so they know when they have intruders.
You know, I would like to see Tyler tell Klaus to suck it. I mostly want to see Klaus’ reaction. Then I want Tyler to say it to Elijah, because I think Elijah would have a hilarious response.
Why couldn’t Jeremy contact Mary and ask her who turned her? Damon had a connection to her, so it would have worked the way it did when he contacted Rose.