the Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries 4.5, The Killer: A Loaded Gun

Connor returns to his RV (with Nate’s head) after his visit to Shane, which we get to see the rest of in a flashback. Shane is very interested in the fact that Connor met Klaus. Connor says it’s really hard to kill a hybrid, and it would have been nice if Shane had given him some pointers. As present Connor extracts werewolf venom from Nate’s gums, the way he did to Tyler, flashback Connor complains that Shane isn’t great about giving him answers.

Shane reminds him that their deal is that he’ll tell Connor about his hunter’s mark once it’s complete. So before Connor can get any information, he needs to kill more vampires. Shane tells him not to do anything to Bonnie, but Connor can’t make any promises about protecting anyone who gets in his way. Shane decides to keep Bonnie out of things himself. He’d rather not know the details of whatever Connor’s going to do in Mystic Falls to make his tattoo continue growing.

In the present, Connor goes to the Grill, where Jeremy’s back at work. He puts a knife to Jeremy’s neck and says it’s time to talk about vampires.

At home, Elena writes in her diary for the first time in a while. She’s still trying to accept the fact that she’s a vampire. Stefan’s also writing in his journal about how Elena’s a vampire now. But while Elena writes that she feels hopeless and scared, Stefan writes about the cure he now knows is out there somewhere. If he can get it, he can give Elena back her life. Elena admits that part of her wants to die, but she needs to stay alive for Jeremy, no matter what it takes. Stefan is also willing to do whatever it takes to get the cure.

Klaus texts Stefan from Italy, where he has a crew digging for Alexander’s sword, and informs him that Connor escaped. When Stefan calls, Klaus tells him to find Connor. Since Connor took Nate’s head, he must want his werewolf venom, which means he plans to stick around Mystic Falls and kill vampires. With Klaus in Europe, any vampires who come in contact with the venom will die. But Stefan can’t kill Connor, since that will lose them access to the map. Stefan needs to find Connor and capture him, but keep him alive, which will be tough with Damon on the warpath.

Stefan wants to tell Damon about the cure, but Klaus doesn’t think he’ll work with them to get it – he won’t want Elena to be human again. Stefan says he trusts Damon more than he trusts Klaus. Klaus replies that he trusts no one, in case Stefan’s forgotten how he likes to dagger his own siblings. If Stefan tells anyone about the cure, Klaus will throw the sword in the Mediterranean and no one will get the cure.

Matt arrives for a shift at the Grill, which hasn’t opened for the day yet. He calls Jeremy to complain about him being late. Aw, Jeremy was actually there before Matt. Good for him. April arrives and asks Matt if he’s seen Rebekah recently. Connor shoves Jeremy into the room and reveals to Matt and April that this is now a hostage situation.

Damon lets himself into Gilbert Gables and asks Elena where Stefan is. He isn’t answering his phone, which makes Damon think his brother is avoiding him. He wants to use Elena’s phone to call Stefan and she if he’ll answer. Elena doesn’t know why he thinks Stefan would be trying to avoid him. Damon realizes that she didn’t tell Stefan about what happened at the frat party the night before.

Elena says that was a mistake and she wasn’t herself. She doesn’t want to add to the burdens Stefan’s dealing with while trying to help her get through her newbie vampire days. Damon says she’s in a “classic shame spiral.” Hmm, I’m surprised Damon knows what shame is. Stefan doesn’t answer Damon’s call from Elena’s phone, so they figure that either he’s avoiding both of them or something’s wrong.

At the Grill, Connor sits his hostages down at a table and takes Jeremy’s phone. Jeremy asks him to let April go, since she has nothing to do with Connor’s mission. Connor disagrees – April and her father are very much involved. Plus, she and Connor have history. April doesn’t remember that history, since Elena erased her memories. Connor tells the group to get some vervain, and not just what you can put in a bracelet like Jeremy does. Obviously someone got him to take it off, which is why Jeremy doesn’t remember his conversation with Connor at the Haus of Klaus.

Jeremy’s upset that he was compelled again, and April’s just really confused. Matt says that if Connor knows so much about the gang, he knows they have vampire friends who will come to rescue them. Connor says that’s what he’s betting on. The group is bait for Connor’s prey. He texts Stefan, Damon, and Tyler to tell them where he is and inform them that the hostages will die at sundown.

The Salvatores, Elena, and Tyler meet up at Lockwood Landing to come up with a rescue plan. Damon thinks it’s simple: Kill Connor. Stefan doesn’t want to jump to violence; they know Jeremy’s a hostage but they don’t know who else is there. Elena sides with Damon, since they can outnumber Connor. Tyler says he’s rallied some hybrids for help, too. Caroline joins the group and reports that Liz has spread a story about a faulty gas main to explain why she’s had the road outside the Grill blocked off. The gang can go in for their rescue mission without anyone seeing.

Stefan tries again to slow things down. He wants to know what they’re walking into before they move. Damon objects to him putting himself in charge: “Is that where you’ve been all morning, out buying bossy pants?” Stefan points out that Connor likes to set traps and has werewolf venom, so they’d be idiots to just walk into the Grill. Elena questions how he knows that Connor has the venom. Stefan plays it off like it’s a fair assumption, since Connor’s used it before.

Damon finally agrees to give Stefan an hour to do recon. In the meantime, he wants to get Bonnie involved. Caroline says she can’t do magic right now, but Damon figures she’ll come out of retirement once she knows that Jeremy’s in danger.

But Bonnie’s at Whitmore with Shane, who’s convinced her to participate in “witch therapy.” This will require all her focus, so she’s not allowed to use her phone or the Internet. He’s sure he can help her practice magic again. He gives her some tea he got from aboriginal spirit guides, then turns on a metronome. He wants to hypnotize her. Bonnie’s skeptical, but Shane says she’s afraid to practice magic because the witches’ spirits made her feel guilty. She needs to confront her fear and guilt, then remove them. Bonnie says witches are immune to the kind of manipulation that would come from hypnosis. Shane disagrees, since it’s already working – he got her to mirror his movements and take off her earring without her even noticing.

Stefan heads downtown while filling Klaus in on what’s happening. Klaus doesn’t care about the hostages, but Stefan says he should, since his friends do and they could take out Connor and end the search for the cure before it even begins. Stefan can buy them some time, but Klaus needs to get his hybrids to agree to Stefan’s plan so they can outvote Damon.

Elena and Damon are at Alaric’s apartment, where Elena has a view of Stefan from the window. She wonders who he’s talking to on the phone. Damon hopes it’s Bonnie. He finds a map of the tunnels under the town and takes a picture of them with his phone. Stefan calls to let them know that Matt and April are the other hostages. Damon calls them “danger magnets.” Stefan wants more time to try to get them out.

After they hang up, Elena tells Damon she’s using the tunnels to get to the Grill. Damon reminds her that Connor doesn’t know she’s a vampire. She thinks she can use that to her advantage – she can offer to trade herself for the hostages. Damon refuses to let her go, since she’ll either be a hostage or get herself killed. Elena tells him to stop treating her like she can’t take care of herself. Alaric and Stefan have trained her.

Damon notes that she’s in no way prepared to take on a professional killer. He grabs a mini-crossbow and points it at her, demonstrating how easy it would be to kill her. Elena grabs it from him and shoves him down onto the bed, showing that she can probably handle herself. “For someone that doesn’t want to be like me, you sure are good at it,” he says. Elena tells him that Jeremy is the only thing holding her together right now, so she can’t let anything happen to him. Damon promises that they’ll get him out.

Connor puts together a trap as April tells Matt and Jeremy that he’s clearly delusional, since he’s talking about vampires, but his mention of her father makes her curious. Jeremy’s still stuck on what Connor said about them having a conversation he can’t remember. Connor shows off his trap, a tripwire bomb that releases nails to puncture vampires and put werewolf venom in their bloodstream.

Jeremy asks the point of all this. Connor says he thought he was just supposed to complete his mission and kill vampires. Now he knows the hunter’s mark is an explanation for why he is the way he is. Killing vampires makes it grow, and once it’s complete, he’ll know his story. Since a rescue party will most likely be there soon, Connor sends Matt and April to the back room. He warns them not to try to escape; he’s rigged all the doors with traps.

Elena’s growing impatient as she and Damon wait for Stefan at Alaric’s apartment. She regrets bringing Jeremy back from Denver. Stefan arrives and tells them that Klaus is sending a hybrid to join them. They can use him to draw Connor’s fire, since hybrids are immune to werewolf venom. Damon asks how Stefan is so sure Connor has venom. Also, why is Klaus involved? Stefan says Damon’s paranoid, but it’s a fair question. Damon wonders if Klaus compelled Stefan to do something. Stefan just says this is the best way to rescue the hostages.

Elena intervenes and tells the guys they’re wasting time. Damon agrees and says he’ll just go in and kill Connor himself. Stefan stops him and injects him with vervain. He sends Damon’s map of the tunnels to his own phone and tells Elena he’ll use Damon’s plan, but in his own way.

Elena can’t believe he just vervained his own brother. Stefan notes that Damon doesn’t care about Matt or April, so they can’t trust him to save them. Elena wants to go with Stefan, but he doesn’t want to put her in the position of having to fight and possibly kill Connor. She’s anxious again over the thought of losing Jeremy, and Stefan tries to calm her down, promising to save her brother. He needs her to trust him to do this himself. He kisses her, then zooms off before she can try to argue again.

Caroline goes to Lockwood Landing, where Tyler is trying to make Dean, the hybrid Klaus chose to join the gang, understand what a dangerous situation this is. Hayley’s lurking around, and though she’s heard of Caroline, Caroline hasn’t heard of her, either from Tyler’s time in the Appalachians or Hayley’s time in Mystic Falls, which has lasted for a few days already. Caroline gets territorial, but Hayley’s not here for it: “Yeah, I don’t do teen drama.” She tells Caroline to direct her issues with the situation to her boyfriend.

Hayley crashes Tyler and Dean’s conversation to try to convince Dean not to put himself in harm’s way. Tyler’s on her side – this is a suicide mission. Klaus won’t let Dean use lethal force against a guy who wants to kill all the vampires in town. Dean says he’s following Klaus’ orders, and also, Hayley doesn’t get a say because she’s not a hybrid. Tyler notes that he is, and he broke the sire bond, something Dean can do, too.

Dean invites him to stand up to Klaus right now. Tyler calls Klaus, whose team has just found the sword. Klaus reminds Tyler that he knows about his past with Hayley. Caroline can hear the conversation, though, which means Klaus no longer has leverage over Tyler. Tyler just hangs up and tells Dean to do whatever he wants. Hayley’s unimpressed with Tyler’s attempt to stand up to Klaus.

Stefan calls the Grill and tells Connor to free his hostages. Connor says he will once all the vampires in town are dead. Stefan reveals that he knows all about the hunter’s mark, what it means, and what Connor is. He’ll tell Connor everything if he releases the hostages. Connor says Stefan must be desperate. Stefan tries to tempt him by pointing out that Klaus saved him – wouldn’t Connor like to know why? Connor responds by hanging up and breaking the phone.

In the storeroom, April’s trying to sort through all the stuff she’s heard. She finds Connor familiar. Matt tells her not to buy into Connor’s craziness. He pulls a vent off the wall and reveals the entrance to a tunnel. It used to lead to an old wine cellar, but unfortunately, it’s been bricked up. Matt grabs a hammer and a knife and starts chiseling at the bricks. Underground, Stefan hears him.

Dean heads to the Grill as Klaus tells him to get Connor out while Stefan rescues the hostages. He should be on the lookout for ambushes and traps. In fact, Connor’s finishing up his venom bomb, but he’s not so focused on it that he doesn’t notice Jeremy trying to edge closer to a weapon to use against him. Jeremy tells him that not all vampires are bad. Some are his friends. Connor says he once had a friend who was turned. She promised she wouldn’t hurt anyone, but Connor couldn’t trust her. “A vampire’s like a loaded gun,” he says. “Eventually it’s going to go off.” Killing her gave Connor the start of his tattoo. He tells Jeremy that if he’s going to be a hunter, he needs to understand that vampires kill humans and hunters kill vampires.

Connor hears Dean approaching and puts on some loud music and turns out the lights. Dean sees the tripwire he’s put across the door frame, but he doesn’t realize there’s a pressure pad under the mat he’s stepped on. When he steps off, it explodes. In the storeroom, Matt and April see him go flying. As Stefan joins them, Connor shoots Dean with something that puts a big hole in his chest. Thanks for trying, Dean. Enjoy the Other Side.

Stefan gives Matt and April his phone with the map of the tunnels and sends them to safety (and a visit to Caroline so she can compel April into forgetting everything). I guess while the music was blasting and the bomb was…also blasting, he punched through the bricks and cleared a path for them to the tunnels. Connor’s tattoo grows as Stefan tries to sneak into the dining room. Connor’s hunter instincts tell him a vampire’s present, and he uses Jeremy as a shield as he fires a gun at Stefan. Jeremy realizes he’s been pulled onto a pressure pad connected to a bomb.

Elena’s watching from Alaric’s apartment, so she knows there was an explosion at the Grill. Damon wakes up just then and realizes that Stefan took his daylight ring to trap him in the apartment. He thinks Stefan’s stalling for some reason. Either he’s compelled or he made a deal with Klaus. Elena decides it’s time for her to get involved. Damon objects, since Connor’s dangerous. “So am I, Damon!” she yells. He knows he can’t talk her out of this, so he tells her to be smart. Connor doesn’t know she’s a vampire, so he’ll underestimate her. She needs to get as close as she can to him and kill him.

Stefan hides from Connor and tries to convince him again to end the hostage situation so they can talk. Connor shouts that he doesn’t make deals with vampires. Stefan notes that if Connor dies right now, his whole life will have been for nothing. Elena approaches the Grill, listening in on the conversation. She bursts in and asks Connor not to hurt Jeremy, the only family she has left. Connor uses her to lure Stefan out of hiding, threatening to shoot Jeremy in front of Elena.

Stefan gives himself up, and as Connor takes aim at him, Elena tackles Connor. He misfires, hitting Jeremy instead. Elena gets Connor on the ground as Stefan grabs Jeremy from the pressure pad before he can fall off. Stefan turns a table on its side to protect them from the blast when the bomb goes off. Connor flips Elena over onto her back and prepares to stake her, but Stefan zooms over and whisks him out of the restaurant before he can.

Elena feeds Jeremy her blood but has to fight the hunger that comes with seeing his wound. He tells her she doesn’t have to hide it from him – he knows she won’t hurt him. She asks why Connor came after him. Jeremy explains that he can see the hunter’s mark, which Connor said makes Jeremy like him. Elena’s not pleased that other people know about this and didn’t tell her (“other people” meaning the Salvatores). She’s even less pleased when Jeremy tells her that someone compelled him to forget spending time with Connor. And since she was with Damon when that happened, she knows that “someone” has to be Stefan.

Stefan takes Connor through the tunnels, where they run into Damon, who punched through a septic tank in a boiler room to find them. He refuses to let Stefan take Connor wherever he planned to go. Damon will kill Connor no matter what he has to do. Stefan tells Damon to trust him, but Damon says no. Stefan turns Connor loose and tells him to run, then stops Damon from going after him. Damon demands to know why Stefan is protecting Connor. He reaches into Stefan’s chest and grabs his heart to make it clear he’s serious about getting answers. Stefan tells him the truth: Connor is the key to a cure for Elena. If Connor dies, they’ll lose it. It’s Elena’s only hope. Damon lets go of his heart.

Connor runs through the tunnels, but Elena finds him and bites him. She tells him to stay away from Jeremy, then pushes him down on his knees. He tells her she’s the real threat to her brother. He reaches for a stake and sticks it into her chest, but he misses her heart. She grabs him by the neck and breaks it.

Bonnie still doesn’t think hypnosis will work on her. Turns out she’s been with Shane for seven hours and didn’t realize that much time had passed. He thinks she’s better and asks her to test her magic by lighting a candle. Bonnie hesitates, but he assures her that she’s stronger than the witches she’s afraid will hurt Sheila. She has a power she hasn’t tapped into yet, and it means she doesn’t need to be afraid of anyone. Bonnie tries to convince herself that he’s right, but the candle still won’t light itself. The other candles in the room, however, are all glowing now.

Elena buries Connor in the woods, not even bothering to wipe his blood off of her mouth as she digs his grave. Stefan and Damon find her and Stefan tries to stop her, but Elena says she needs to bury the person she killed. She knows Stefan made some deal with Klaus, and she’s angry that he didn’t protect Jeremy. She was supposed to be able to trust Stefan. Damon sides with his brother, saying it’s complicated, but Elena disagrees. Damon told her to kill Connor, so she did. The reality of the situation hits her and she realizes she really took a human life.

Caroline finds Tyler comforting Hayley over the news of Dean’s death. Since Hayley doesn’t do teen drama, she leaves the room. Caroline tears into Tyler for keeping secrets about who he was with in the Appalachians while Caroline was out of her mind worrying about him. Tyler promises that nothing happened between him and Hayley. She saved his life while he was breaking the sire bond. He’s just letting Klaus think he and Hayley were involved so he doesn’t know the thing Tyler really is hiding: He and Hayley are going to help the other hybrids break their sire bonds and free themselves from Klaus’ rule.

Matt brings April back downtown after she’s had her memories erased by Caroline. They were going to hang out with Jeremy, but he’s not really in the mood to socialize. As April leaves, Jeremy drops his vervain bracelet on the ground, then picks it up and asks if it’s April’s. She says no, but the guys convince her to wear it anyway. After she goes for real, Jeremy tells Matt he’s sick of everyone keeping secrets. Then he starts keeping one of his own: The beginning of the hunter’s mark has just appeared on his hand.

After taking Elena home and honoring her request to be alone, Stefan catches Damon reading his journal at Vamp Villa. (Stefan locked it up pretty securely, but Damon got to it anyway.) Damon asks if Stefan has figured out how to tell Klaus that Connor and Dean are both dead. Stefan says that since Klaus is on a plane, he has a few hours before he has to break the news. Damon casually says he’ll have Stefan’s back if Klaus comes over to kill him.

Stefan thanks him for not mentioning the cure to Elena. Damon isn’t sure the cure exists anyway. Stefan just doesn’t want her to know that she killed her only chance to be human again. “Alleged chance,” Damon replies. Stefan believes Connor and tells Damon that since he belonged to the Brotherhood of the Five, there are four other hunters out there they can use to get what they want. Damon knows Stefan will ask him to help out, so he preemptively agrees. Stefan notes that just a couple hours ago, Damon was about to kill him. Damon says he was being annoying.

He asks why Stefan wants to cure Elena – because she’s not happy as a vampire or because Stefan can’t love her if she is one? Stefan says he’ll always love her, but she’s not supposed to be a vampire, and he doesn’t want her to be one. Damon is still on board with finding the cure, but he wants it clear that he’s fine with Elena as a human or a vampire. He’s only in this to help Stefan.

At Gilbert Gables, Elena washes Connor’s blood off of herself. We hear a voiceover of her next diary entry, which is her confession that she lost control and did the one thing she was most afraid of. She used to think the worst feeling in the world was losing someone you love. Now she knows it’s the moment you realize you’ve lost yourself.

As she’s writing, blood drips onto the page. She realizes there’s a trail of it leading from her bedroom to her bathroom. There’s blood all over the bathroom floor and walls, and someone’s used it to write “KILLER” on the mirror. She slips and falls to the floor, but suddenly everything is clean. The blood was all in her mind.

Etc.: I wouldn’t expect Bonnie to be okay with sitting in an office with a strange man who’s taken away her ability to call for help. Come on, Bennett.

Shane is totally that guy who makes travel his whole personality and thinks he’s better than everyone because he doesn’t go to popular, touristy places. Then he comes home and won’t shut up about his experiences. “Yeah, these tortillas are fine, but you haven’t lived until you’ve had one made by an 85-year-old farmer who ground the corn himself, like I did in [tiny Mexican village no one’s ever heard of that he pretentiously pronounces the name of like he didn’t just learn Spanish last year].”

Why hasn’t the gang cleared out Alaric’s apartment? Do they need a secret base of operations or something?

“Yeah, I don’t do teen drama” is a fantastic line.

In all the stuff surrounding Elena’s transition, the show never really addresses how Jeremy feels about his sister becoming a vampire. But in this episode, we get a little hint about it: When he tells her he knows she would never hurt him, he implies that he knows she’s still the same person she was as a human.

Jeremy, Connor JUST told you that vervain jewelry is a bad idea. Why are you giving yours to April?

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