Matt is running through the woods. He hides behind a tree, but a vampire finds him and bites his neck. Jeremy shoots the vampire with a crossbow and rushes to check on Matt.
We rewind a bit to Zanadew, where Jeremy refuses to go along with Klaus’ plan to have him kill a bunch of newbie vampires. Klaus says he doesn’t have a choice. Damon doesn’t get why Jeremy wouldn’t take advantage of this opportunity to kill readily available vampires. Jeremy objects to killing innocent people, but Damon argues that they’re not people anymore. Klaus tells Jeremy to get killing already, but Jeremy can no longer be compelled, even by an Original, so Klaus can’t make him do it. Klaus notes that he can compel the newbie vamps instead.
He offers Jeremy a two-minute head start before he turns the vampires loose to kill Matt. Damon says that wasn’t part of the deal, but Klaus declares this “artistic license.” Damon notes that Jeremy can’t take on a bunch of vampires all at once. Klaus says Matt is the one who’s really at risk here. Damon gives in and sends Jeremy and Matt to the car to get weapons. Klaus warns that if they try to drive away, he’ll kill Matt himself. Meanwhile, some human Klaus has compelled feeds the newbie vamps her blood to complete their transitions.
Fast-forward to the guys in the woods, where Jeremy tells Matt he needs to get moving again. Now that he has a neck wound, the vampires will be able to smell his blood. Damon finds them and criticizes Jeremy for not shooting the second he realized a vampire was there. So he’s…mad that Jeremy didn’t kill him? Okay. Jeremy snaps at Damon for setting them up, but Damon thinks it’s Jeremy’s own fault for making Klaus mad in the first place.
He tells Jeremy to get ready to fight, but Jeremy has a better plan: run. If they can make it to the lake house, they’ll have a safe place to hide. Damon is critical of Jeremy’s prioritization of Matt’s life over the hunter’s mark, but he agrees to stay behind and slow down the vampires while the guys run for safety.
Matt and Jeremy approach the lake house, but Matt gets ambushed by a vampire and almost gets eaten. Luckily, Elena has arrived, and she saves him. The two of them and Jeremy go inside the lake house as vampires approach like zombies in a horror movie.
In addition to a house where vampires can’t enter without an invitation, these three have the advantage of not being burned by the sun, which means when it rises the next morning, the newbie vamps have to leave. Damon arrives and Elena yells at him for his stupid plan. Damon says this was the easiest, safest, and fastest way to complete the hunter’s mark and get the cure. Elena tells him that she cares more about the safety of her loved ones than the cure. He blames Jeremy for not killing the vamps and saving Matt.
Elena says the top priority right now is protecting Matt from vampires who have been compelled to find and kill him. Damon already has the solution: He and Jeremy hunt the vampires. Yes, Jeremy will have to kill innocent people, and it’s not an ideal situation. But Elena can take Matt (the “least most valuable player”) back to Mystic Falls, and Damon will protect Jeremy and take out the vampires at the same time.
Stefan gets out of his morning shower to find Rebekah lounging on his bed, reading his journal. She wants to make sure he doesn’t have any doubts. He insists that he’s done with Elena. Rebekah thinks that’ll only last until they get the cure. She and Stefan are at a disadvantage compared to the other pairs looking for the cure, so she wants to get a leg up by stealing something necessary to wake up Silas: his headstone. Then Shane will have to work with the two of them, leaving Klaus in last place in the team rankings.
Bonnie is trying to meditate with Shane, but she’s having a hard time finding peace when she can’t stop thinking about how her last big spell almost killed April. As she’s venting about the possibility that she won’t be able to control all the power she has now, a candle in front of her lights itself. Shane tells her that she’s strong and in complete control. She repeats his words back to him, almost like she’s hypnotized, and the candle goes out. Just then, Liz and a deputy enter and drag Shane out for questioning.
Damon and Jeremy get ready for their big vampire hunt, guessing the baby vamps went back to Zanadew since there’s no other buildings in the area they’d be able to enter. Damon’s training advice: Go after one vampire at a time, aim for the heart, don’t hesitate, and don’t miss. Simple! Jeremy says Damon doesn’t have to pretend to care about his life right now, since Elena left. Damon says he’s just trying to keep Jeremy alive.
They go back to the bar, but it’s quiet. Also, there’s blood all over the floor. They follow it to the walk-in freezer, where all the vampires’ bodies are piled up. Kol appears and reveals that he killed them all. Now he wants to have a chat with Damon and Jeremy. When he found out what Klaus was planning, he tracked down the baby vamps and took them out so Jeremy can’t complete his hunter’s mark. Kol doesn’t want anyone to wake Silas.
Hundreds of years ago, Kol encountered a group who worshiped Silas. They told him that when Silas rose again, he would trigger the end of all time. Kol killed all of them, too, and he’s not going to let the gang proceed with their plan to get the cure. Kol reminds Jeremy that they were friends in Colorado and urges him to “call off this imbecilic treasure hunt.” Jeremy refuses, so Kol considers killing him, though that would trigger the hunter’s curse. Instead, he decides to rip off Jeremy’s arms. Damon holds Kol off and tells Jeremy to run.
Stefan and Rebekah search Silas’ office but don’t find the headstone. She mocks him for being tense and says he needs release. She finds some herbs and suggests that Stefan try them out. When he declines, she asks what happened to the fun Stefan she knew in the 1920s. He notes that he was emotionless back then. Rebekah disagrees – he was certainly happy when he was hanging out with her and killing people. Stefan admits that he had fun with her. She suggests that he start having some now. She assures him that Shane won’t be back any time soon.
In Mystic Falls, Liz interrogates Shane over the council explosion. In Liz’s office, Bonnie backs up Shane’s story about how he knew Pastor Young to Rudy. Rudy thinks Shane preys on the weak-minded, which Bonnie guesses includes her. Rudy says that April made the accusations against Shane, and Rebekah backed her up, saying Shane confessed his crimes to her.
Bonnie says that if Shane is going to tell anyone the truth, it’s her, so Rudy lets her interrupt the interrogation and take Liz’s place. She’s right about Shane telling her the truth, because once they’re alone, Shane admits that April and Rebekah’s accusations are right.
Elena takes Matt to Gilbert Gables, apologizing for his involvement in the mess Klaus created. Matt blames Damon, and he’s not too happy about Elena letting him be in charge of Jeremy’s training. He acknowledges that the sire bond was probably in play there, though. Elena says it wasn’t, but Matt thinks the old her wouldn’t have left Jeremy with Damon, especially after what happened last night.
Jeremy calls Elena to tell her that Kol has Damon. Elena immediately goes to Klaus, since he set all this in motion. Klaus thinks it’s amusing that Elena’s coming to him for help after the gang plotted against him. She tells him to call off Kol, but Klaus says she’s not in a position to make demands. He has his own interest in getting the cure: He can either use it to turn Elena human again so he can make more hybrids, or he can destroy it so the gang can’t use it against him. Elena notes that they want to the same thing. She begs him to rein in Kol.
Klaus gives in and calls his brother. Kol says he just beat Damon up “for old time’s sake” (probably a reference to the dropped backstory that they encountered each other decades ago). Klaus tells Kol to let him go and stay out of trouble or he’ll get daggered again. No more sabotage, and no more messing with Jeremy. Kol promises to obey, then compels Damon to stab himself with a stake. “If you’re gonna kill me, do it like a man,” Damon says. Kol explains that he just wanted to make sure Damon can be compelled.
He thinks Damon should be thanking him for stopping the search for the cure. He can’t really want it – Damon likes Elena more as a vampire. Jeremy is her last tie to humanity, so Kol compels Damon to forget where he got the order he’s about to receive: find and kill Jeremy.
At Gilbert Gables, Elena tells Jeremy he can put away his weapons, but he knows Klaus won’t let him stop killing vampires. She says they’ll figure things out when Damon gets there. Jeremy can’t believe she’s willing to listen to him again. She notes that Damon saved his life. Jeremy corrects that he saved the map to the cure. Damon doesn’t care about him. Elena says she does, but Jeremy’s on hunter overdrive and doesn’t want her to get too close right now. He really wants to get the cure for her, but he’s not sure how he can do it.
Stefan and Rebekah smoke Shane’s herbs and look at his artifacts, some of which Rebekah is familiar with. She insults Elena, and Stefan throws a knife at her. She tells him she wouldn’t compel away his memories of Elena because keeping them is the only way he’ll learn something that took her a thousand years and hundreds of betrayals to learn: “Love and caring ruins you.”
Stefan thinks that’s bleak, but Rebekah says it’s actually liberating. She’s getting flirtatious, and she reminds him of the fun they had in the 1920s when they didn’t care about anything but enjoyment. She knows he liked having sex with her. Stefan says it was good because she was crazy, not because they didn’t care: “Crazy sex is always good.” Rebekah’s like, “Takes one to know one.” She tells him to stop caring.
They’re about to kiss when they hear someone approaching and have to hide. A guy comes in to search the office, successfully finding the headstone that Rebekah and Stefan couldn’t locate. Rebekah reveals herself and asks who the guy is.
Damon finally gets to Gilbert Gables and tells Elena he wants to apologize to Jeremy for being so hard on him. Meanwhile, Bonnie turns off the camera recording Shane’s interrogation so he’ll open up to her. He thinks they’re still being recorded, but she says they’re not, and he can trust her because she’s not a liar like he is. Shane says he was going to tell her the truth eventually. He’s not a killer. Pastor Young really was depressed. Shane convinced him to take part in a ritual required to get the cure. Silas will bring back the people who died.
Bonnie tells Shane he’s crazy. He argues that he’s just passionate. As she’s about to walk out, he reminds her that in their first session together, she said she was worried that doing magic was hurting Sheila. Isn’t Bonnie curious what’s happening to her grandmother now? Wouldn’t she like to see Sheila again? Bonnie decides to stay and continue the conversation.
Damon and Elena go to the Grill, where Matt and Jeremy are both working. While Elena and Matt are chatting, Damon zeroes in on Jeremy and vamps out. Jeremy realizes that something’s wrong but I guess is too confused to run. Elena stops Damon, sensing that something’s off with him, which gives Jeremy a chance to go to the back room and grab a gun. He also eyes the entrance to the tunnels.
As Damon heads into the kitchen, he realizes that Kol must have compelled him to go after Jeremy. He figures out that Jeremy went into the tunnels and follows him. He calls out for Jeremy to keep running because if Damon’s been compelled, he won’t be able to stop hunting the hunter.
Rebekah ties up the intruder and tries to torture information out of him by cutting his arm. She wants to know who sent him there. Since she can taste the vervain in his blood, she knows he hasn’t been compelled, though Stefan notes that he could have been compelled before he took the vervain. He suggests that they take the guy back to Mystic Falls, wait for the vervain to leave his system, and compel him into spilling what they want to know.
Unfortunately for them, the guy has apparently been compelled to keep his secrets no matter what. He bites off his own tongue, then kills himself with the knife Rebekah’s been cutting him with. Rebekah wonders whose brother was responsible, hers or Stefan’s. Stefan thinks it could be neither – someone else could be looking for the cure.
Bonnie clarifies that Shane is trying to convince her that if she helps him raise Silas, Sheila can come back. He tell her that her reckless use of magic is the reason the spirits are torturing her grandmother. They’re hurting her over and over. Bonnie gets so angry at Shane that she magically mangles his hand. He realizes she really is out of control, and she likes all the power she has now. She continues hurting him, and he tells her to look at herself.
Rudy comes in and Bonnie uses her old turning-water-into-fire trick to keep him away from her. Shane tells him that Bonnie’s lost control, so Rudy demands that Shane do something. Shane does what he did earlier, calming Bonnie by telling her she’s in control. She puts out the fire and stops hurting Shane, then leaves the room. Shane tells Rudy that Bonnie is a prodigy. With Shane’s guidance, she can become one of the world’s most powerful witches, but without his help, “she’s a time bomb.”
Elena calls Stefan from the tunnels, but Rebekah answers his phone instead. She says she rescued Stefan from his old, boring life, “but it keeps calling.” Elena guesses that Stefan is listening in on the call, so she tells him that Kol compelled Damon to go after Jeremy, and they’re somewhere in the tunnels. If Stefan still cares about the cure, or even about Jeremy, she’d like him to come help find them. She doesn’t get a response, so she hangs up.
Jeremy’s near the Lockwood cellar, and he cuts his hand to draw Damon to him. When Damon arrives, Jeremy shoots him with wooden bullets. Damon says that Jeremy will need to shoot him in the heart to save himself. He needs to follow his hunter instincts. Instead, Jeremy shoots him in the head, which knocks him out long enough for Jeremy to escape the tunnels. Damon thinks that was a dumb move, and Jeremy should have killed him when he had the chance.
Rebekah meets up with Kol, threatening to dagger him so Damon’s compulsion ends. Kol says that would make her just like Klaus. Their family is already messed up – Elijah won’t even be around his siblings because he’s sick of all their fighting. “This cure has ruined us, and it hasn’t even been found yet,” Kol laments. “Just imagine what would happen if it is.” Rebekah says the family was ruined way before they knew about the cure.
Kol turns on Rebekah, ready to kill her with the indestructible stake so she can’t raise Silas. Klaus zooms in and breaks up the fight. Kol leaves, and Klaus tells Rebekah she needs to learn how to properly dagger one of her brothers. She tells him to burn in Hell.
Jeremy’s out of the tunnels, but he cut himself so badly that he’s weakening from blood loss. Damon finds him, but so does Elena. She urges Damon to fight his compulsion – he’s strong enough because of their love for each other. He would do anything for her, so he can do this. Damon clearly wants to, but the smell of Jeremy’s blood is just too tempting. He gets close to Jeremy and tells him it’s time to shoot. Jeremy does, but Stefan arrives and moves Damon out of the way, then breaks his neck. “You’re welcome,” he tells Elena.
Damon wakes up in the basement of Vamp Villa, locked up and weakened because Stefan bled him out since he couldn’t keep him down with vervain. Damon suggests that they go after Kol and make him “decompel” Damon. Stefan doubts that they would be successful. Damon asks to see Elena, but Stefan won’t let him – he could just use the sire bond to get her to free him. He’ll need to stay locked up until they find the cure. Then when Damon’s no longer compelled and Elena’s no longer sired, they can do whatever they want.
Upstairs, Stefan busts Elena trying to go see Damon and tells her she can’t. She asks why he was hanging out with Rebekah. After all, Rebekah tried to kill her. Stefan points out that Damon has tried to kill Jeremy twice now, and Elena’s still hanging out with him. Elena asks if Stefan’s trying to punish her. She can’t keep apologizing. Stefan coolly says she can do whatever she wants – he doesn’t care. Elena tells him he’s acting out because he’s hurt. This isn’t him. He replies that it is; she just doesn’t know this version of him: “You don’t know what I look like when I’m not in love with you.”
At the Grill, Bonnie apologizes to Rudy, who says he’s going to get her help. Bonnie denies that she needs it; she knew what she was doing. Rudy reminds her that Shane said she was out of control. Bonnie notes that they can’t trust him. Rudy says he saw his daughter using dangerous magic, and he doesn’t want it to continue. If she doesn’t think she needs help, that really means she does.
Klaus goes to Gilbert Gables to take Jeremy home with him for safekeeping. Jeremy declines, so Klaus warns him and Elena that Kol will stop at nothing to ruin the gang’s plans. Elena says they’ll take their chances. Klaus advises the Gilberts to let him know when Kol eventually comes after them, preferably before Kol burns their house down. He tells Jeremy they’ll get back to work tomorrow, with more newbie vamps for Jeremy to kill.
Stefan lets himself into Rebekah’s house (turnabout is fair play) and asks why she didn’t dagger Kol. She notes that his indestructible stake outranked her dagger. She knows Kol is nuts, but Stefan says Jeremy’s alive and Damon’s neutralized, so no harm done. Plus, Rebekah has the headstone. Stefan wants it, but Rebekah won’t give it up, since Stefan has betrayed her twice already. She asks if he worked things out with Elena. No, she doesn’t care, but she’d like to know why Stefan’s there. Stefan doesn’t think she needs to ask. They agree to no feelings or attachments, then start making out on her bed.
Back at Gilbert Gables, Jeremy laments that he’s between a rock and a hard place, the rock being Kol’s desire to kill him and the hard place being Klaus’ insistence that Jeremy kill innocent people. He doesn’t even know how many vampires it will take to complete the hunter’s mark. Elena suddenly comes up with an idea that will solve two of their problems at once: Killing one Original also kills their entire sireline, which could contain upwards of tens of thousands of vampires. Kol compelled Damon to kill Jeremy, so Jeremy will kill Kol instead.
Keep in mind: The gang aren’t the only people looking for the cure.
Etc.: Shane is…eh, but he gets points for commenting to Bonnie during the interrogation, “I think your dad’s confused about the format of a parent-teacher conference.”
I’m not sure what I would have done in Elena’s position but I know I wouldn’t have asked Klaus for a favor I didn’t earn.
Kol calling Damon “darling” is…certainly something.
I really wish Rudy had gotten more character development. We only ever see him complaining about the negative aspects of Bonnie being a witch. He’s like Liz before she developed compassion.
Elena’s plan for Jeremy to kill Kol is pretty brilliant. You know, except for the part where Klaus won’t be happy.