Stefan wakes up in Rebekah’s bed and slowly remembers how he ended up there. He quickly gets dressed and tries to leave without her noticing, but Klaus busts him. He’s there to try to tell Rebekah that Kol now has both the indestructible stake and the daggers that take down the Originals. Rebekah mocks Klaus for losing his power over his siblings. Klaus says Kol’s gone over the edge because of his fear of Silas, so they need to dagger him before he hurts anyone. Rebekah still has one dagger, and Klaus wants it. But there’s no way she’s going to give him something he can use on her.
Rebekah leaves to take a shower, so Klaus turns to Stefan, urging him to talk some sense into her. Stefan isn’t on board, since he has Damon to look after. Klaus notes that Kol is Stefan’s problem as much as he’s Klaus’ – Kol running around free means Jeremy’s in danger and the cure could be at risk. If Stefan helps Klaus dagger Kol, everyone gets what they want: an uncompelled Damon, a safe Jeremy, and the continuation of their quest for the cure.
It’s time for another decade dance! Because the previous three dances went badly, but that doesn’t mean the fourth won’t be the charm! This one’s theme is the ’80s. Bonnie’s helping with the setup, since Caroline isn’t there for some reason, and she calls Elena to bug her into joining her. Elena has her hands full at home, where Jeremy and Matt have ditched their training regimen to eat junk food and play video games. She says it’s like living in a frat house. Jeremy claims he’s training. “Train yourself to do some dishes,” Elena replies.
She tells Bonnie that she has a plan to solve all their problems: Jeremy will kill Kol. That’ll take out thousands of vampires in one fell swoop and get the gang several steps closer to the cure. Bonnie decides to ditch dance prep and go to Gilbert Gables to solidify the plan. She hopes Caroline won’t notice that she’s only blown up 89 red balloons instead of 99. As Elena laughs that she probably will, she turns on the water in the kitchen sink, which burns her.
Bonnie gets an explanation when she calls her father: He had vervain dumped in the town’s water supply. Bonnie didn’t even know there was any vervain left in town. He tells her he’s also reinstating the town-wide curfew and canceling all events, including the ’80s dance. Bonnie’s furious, especially when Rudy says he’s responsible for her safety and the town’s well-being – she thinks she has that covered. He points out that in just the past few months, a bunch of people have gone missing or died in “accidents,” so she’s not actually doing that great of a job. He orders her to come home for a family meeting.
As Bonnie hangs up, Kol ambushes her, wanting to kill her so the gang can’t have her help undoing the spell on the cure. She magically causes him pain all over his body, but in the process she accidentally bursts some balloons and makes the contents of some lockers explode. Still, she’s at least immobilized Kol long enough to allow herself to escape.
Stefan checks on Damon, who would really like to be let out of the basement, please and thank you. Stefan will only give him one vial of blood so he doesn’t gain back too much strength. When Damon goes to the bars in the door to get a bottle of water Stefan brought him, he sees that Klaus is there, too. He’s been asked to babysit Damon. Stefan gives him feeding instructions and says he can bleed Damon out if he gets too much strength back (or if he just annoys Klaus). Damon notes that Stefan isn’t speaking to him, probably because he’s still mad that Damon slept with Elena. Klaus spills that Stefan slept with Rebekah, so he seems to have moved on. Stefan tells the other two to continue their “villain bonding time” while he tries to get the dagger from Rebekah.
As Stefan’s leaving the house, Elena calls to tell him that Kol went after Bonnie. They think he’s going to target anyone who’s after the cure. Stefan tells her he’s working on getting a dagger from Rebekah so they can put Kol down. Elena shares her plan for Jeremy to kill Kol for good. Stefan turns on his motorcycle so Klaus can’t overhear the conversation. Elena explains that Bonnie has some really strong new abilities and thinks she can hold Kol long enough for Jeremy to stake him.
Stefan warns that Klaus and Rebekah will kill the rest of the gang in retaliation. Elena says that they can use the dagger on Rebekah instead. Stefan is hesitant to do anything to the woman he just spend the night with. Elena adds that Bonnie may be able to get Klaus out of the picture long enough for the gang to get the cure and use it against the Originals. Stefan agrees to the plan but wants to know how Elena is going to lure Kol into a position to be staked.
That night, Elena goes the straight-forward route: She calls Kol and asks him to meet up and call a truce. Matt and Jeremy are getting weapons ready for the encounter, but Kol is at the house before they can even blink. He orders Elena to invite him in if she’s serious about the truce. While Elena questions how smart it would be to let Kol in, she writes a note to Matt sending him to help Stefan find Rebekah’s dagger. Kol knows he can’t kill Jeremy without suffering the hunter’s curse, and with vervain back in town, he probably can’t compel Elena to kill her brother, so the Gilberts are safe letting Kol in.
Elena writes Jeremy a note to go get Bonnie, though he’ll have to invite Kol in first. She opens the front door and tells Kol that she’ll let Jeremy invite him in, but only if Kol stays away. Kol agrees, so Jeremy invites him in, then goes out the back door. Kol thinks he’s just a coward. As he puts away his iPod (he loves that in the modern age, you can listen to any music you want any time you want), Elena sees that he’s brought the indestructible stake with him.
Stefan goes back to Rebekah’s house, where she’s trying to pick out an outfit for the dance. She doesn’t like any of the ’80s-era offerings. He tells her the dance was canceled. She asks why he’s there, since she knows he tried to sneak out that morning. He confirms that he doesn’t regret their night together, and he might want to repeat it, even if it doesn’t lead to Rebekah giving him the dagger, which she thinks is the only reason he would want to have sex again. She laments missing another high school dance, and he asks why she wants to go to one so much. He says they can still go, even if it was canceled.
Klaus and Damon bicker about who’s to blame for Jeremy’s failure to kill all the baby vamps and complete his tattoo. Klaus takes it all the way back to the gang’s work with Shane to get Jeremy to fight his hunter’s instinct to kill vampires on sight. Damon points out that they needed to keep him from killing Elena. Klaus is like, “Of course this is about Elena.” He wonders how she can keep overlooking all the evil things Damon has done. Damon says some people are more capable of forgiveness than others.
Klaus thinks there must be another reason – compulsion or manipulation or the sire bond. Damon realizes he’s asking because he wants advice on how to win Caroline over. He thinks Klaus is worried that Caroline will never forgive him for killing Carol. Stefan says Damon’s done worse, though Damon isn’t sure. He doesn’t mind being the bad guy since bad guys get things done. Klaus does bad things for no reason, just to be a jerk. “If you’re gonna be bad, be bad with a purpose,” Damon advises. “Otherwise you’re just not worth forgiving.”
Kol plays a video game while Elena goes looking for “old people” alcohol that he might like. Kol says people in the 21st century don’t have any imagination. He loved the drinks in New Orleans at the turn of the century. All the Originals lived there. Well, not Finn – he was in a box. And Kol was only there until Klaus daggered him. Elena asks what Kol did to deserve that, as if Klaus needs a good reason to dagger one of his siblings. Kol thinks Elena and Klaus’ alliance has made his evil actions less horrible to her. Elena says she doesn’t have an alliance with Klaus. They just had the same goal in finding the cure. But she’s willing to give up that search if Kol promises to leave Jeremy alone.
She gives Kol the alcohol so he can make them drinks, then goes to the fridge to get ice. While the door is blocking his view of her, she reads a text from Jeremy telling her he’s still looking for Bonnie. Kol can’t see their conversation, but he’s suspicious. Jeremy calls Bonnie as he heads for her house, telling her that Kol is at Gilbert Gables. Elena makes small talk with Kol about the video game, which is one of those shooting types where you kill people. He notes that it’s not like the real thing, then asks if Elena’s killed before. She admits that she killed someone once, and she assumes Kol has killed a lot more than she has.
Matt texts Elena to tell her he hasn’t had any luck finding the dagger in Rebekah’s house. She and Kol start talking about Silas, whom Kol learned about from a number of groups of witches over the centuries. He has a lot of respect for witches. (We’ll find out in The Originals that he was a witch himself before he became a vampire.) Elena asks why he’s so afraid of Silas. Kol says that according to the witches, awakening Silas will unleash Hell on Earth, and he’d like to avoid that. Elena notes that that sounds biblical. Kol tells her that’s another problem with people nowadays: They’ve lost faith, and that means they no longer know who to fear.
Bonnie hasn’t answered Jeremy’s calls because Rudy took her phone, as well as her keys. He’s insistent on having that family meeting he mentioned earlier. Bonnie notes that they’ve never had one of those before. Rudy wants to defuse the ticking time bomb Shane said she is. He lost Abby to witchcraft and doesn’t want to lose his daughter to it, too. Bonnie says it’s her life.
Jeremy arrives and tells Bonnie that Kol is at Gilbert Gables. Rudy won’t let Bonnie leave, so she magically bursts a light bulb in a nearby lamp and orders him to stop telling her what to do. But before she and Jeremy can leave, they discover that Rudy didn’t intend on being the only parent at this family meeting: He’s invited Abby to join them.
Jeremy says they don’t have time for this, but Rudy won’t let him get in the middle of a family matter, no matter how much danger Elena might be in. Abby agrees – Bonnie’s done helping Elena. As she demands to know what Shane has done to mess with Bonnie’s head, Jeremy turns on her, raising a stake to kill her. Bonnie steps between them and gets him to back off. She sends him home, promising she’ll be right behind him.
Elena brings in more alcohol to keep Kol around. He expresses skepticism that she’s really willing to give up the cure to protect Jeremy. Well, Kol, some people actually like their siblings. Some people have never daggered their siblings and stuffed them in a box for hundreds of years. This is what normal families are like. Elena says it doesn’t matter what she wants anyway – if what Kol has said about Silas is true, they shouldn’t be going after the cure.
Kol’s done hanging out, so he starts to leave. He’ll let Elena know later whether he accepts the truce. She’s desperate to keep him there but tries not to show it when she asks if there’s a possibility that he’s wrong about Silas. “Some things are better left buried,” he says as he goes.
Stefan and Rebekah go to the school in ’80s clothes and enjoy the red balloons by themselves. He puts on a song by the Cure, because heh. Rebekah thinks the ’80s were cheesy, but Stefan says some of it was good (mostly the movies, like Say Anything, The Princess Bride, and The Breakfast Club). He likes their themes of love and friendship and endless possibilities. He thinks Rebekah would have liked the ’80s – though neither of them wants to admit it, they both care about those things. He gives her a koala clip and suggests that they dance.
Jeremy goes home and learns that Kol left. Kol returns right then and announces that he won’t accept the truce. Elena closes the door in his face, but he just kicks it in and comes inside. The Gilberts have taken off, so Kol will have to find them.
Back at Bonnie’s (the Bennett Bungalow), she’s trying to convince her parents that she can handle this new type of magic Shane has taught her. Abby reminds her that she warned about the consequences of using dark magic. Bonnie says it’s not dark magic, it’s expression, because she doesn’t realize they’re the same thing. She tells Abby that there’s a cure for vampirism, and she can do the spell to get it and save her mother. But that means Bonnie needs to go right now. Abby says she’s not the one who needs to be saved. She covers Bonnie’s mouth and uses some kind of herb to knock her out.
Klaus can’t reach Stefan, and he’s not happy about it. He doesn’t know what’s taking Stefan so long to get the dagger. He gives Damon another vial of blood and notes that he’s not trying to escape. Damon would rather hang out there, even if it’s with Klaus, than try to get out and risk killing after Jeremy. Klaus wonders how Elena feels about Damon’s inability to overcome Kol’s compulsion to kill the person she loves most in the world. Damon says that Elena is familiar with his failure to control his impulses.
Klaus mocks that it must be hard for Damon to try to live up to his brother. When Klaus compelled Stefan to feed on Elena, Stefan was able to stop himself. That’s true love. Damon asks what Klaus would know about love. Klaus replies that he knows Damon’s in love with Elena, but he’s afraid of what will happen when they find the cure. Klaus doesn’t think things will turn out well for their love story. He foresees Stefan and Elena getting back together, and he thinks Damon sees that, too.
Kol calls to tell Klaus that the Gilberts are trying to kill him. He thinks Klaus is in on it – his desire to get the cure is greater than the loyalty he has for his brother. What loyalty does Kol think Klaus has to him?? Klaus denies any knowledge of the Gilberts’ plan. Kol says he’s going to rip off Jeremy’s arm and kill Elena just for fun. Then he’ll come for Klaus. As Kol is heading out the door, Elena shoots him in the leg with a crossbow from the staircase, then zooms away.
Klaus attacks Damon and demands to know what the gang is doing. Damon doesn’t know, since Stefan has been giving him the silent treatment and Elena isn’t allowed to visit him. Klaus compels Damon to tell the truth, but Damon repeats that he doesn’t know anything. Klaus compels him to stay in the basement until Klaus comes back, and Damon says he will…not. The water Stefan brought him has vervain in it, so Damon is currently uncompellable.
In the school gym, Stefan has put on some Bon Jovi. He tells Rebekah that “Wanted Dead or Alive” is “the godfather of rock anthems.” He tells her about Lexi and their shared love for the band. Once, she snuck them backstage and they compelled half the band to do shots with them. Rebekah asks if Stefan slept with Lexi, too. He says no, but he was a better person with her, and he never thought he would feel that way again. Rebekah guesses that Elena was the person who did that for him. She says that’s why she doesn’t let herself care – she’ll just get hurt. Stefan says they both know that’s not true.
A balloon suddenly pops and Stefan jumps. Rebekah assures him that if Kol finds them, she can protect them – she has the dagger in her boot. Stefan suggests a new activity, and as they’re leaving the gym, he texts Matt to come to the school.
Back at Gilbert Gables, Elena tries to barricade herself in her room, but Kol is too strong to be kept out. She and Jeremy end up in the bathroom, where Jeremy fires stakes at Kol, who catches them. Elena fires a gun at him a bunch of times, giving Jeremy a chance to run off. Kol throws a stake back at her, hitting her in the leg and getting her out of the way so he can go after Jeremy. He shoves Jeremy down some stairs, injuring him enough to keep him from running. Elena tries to jump on Kol in the hallway, but he breaks a post on the staircase and impales her through the stomach, pinning her up against the wall. Kol drags Jeremy down the stairs by his leg as Elena tries to unpin herself.
Stefan teaches Rebekah how to slide in the hallway like the characters in The Breakfast Club. She thinks it’s dumb, but he says the cheesiness is part of the fun. She can’t do it, so he tells her to take off her boots. He spots Matt lurking around the corner, waiting for his moment. Rebekah pulls out the dagger and hands it to Stefan, having guessed that’s what this was all about. She admits that she does care. She wants a normal human life and someone to love. She approves of Klaus putting down Kol and going to find the cure. Stefan accepts her offering and leaves with Rebekah, who never notices Matt.
Abby plans to keep Bonnie drugged until she can get some witches there to unbrainwash her from whatever Shane’s taught her. That won’t work, since Bonnie’s too strong for the drugs. She magically breaks the jar holding the herbs and says she doesn’t belong to the spirits anymore – she belongs to herself.
Elena manages to slide herself off of the post as Kol ties Jeremy to the kitchen island and prepares to cut off his arm. He doesn’t know which one has the hunter’s mark on it, so he decides to cut off both. Elena zooms in and stops him, holding him off while Jeremy frees himself. Jeremy grabs the spray hose from the sink and shoots vervain water at Kol, which also helps keep him from fighting. Elena pulls the indestructible stake out of Kol’s pocket and tosses it to Jeremy, who drives it through Kol’s heart. Kol goes up in flames and thrashes around but eventually stops. Jeremy and Elena both see that Klaus is at the open front door, watching his brother die.
Elena tells Klaus that they didn’t have a choice. Klaus knows they set a trap for Kol, but Elena points out that Klaus wanted him put down. Klaus has a tantrum about not being able to make Kol suffer on his own terms. He threatens to burn the house down, then kill both Elena and Jeremy when they make a run for it. Jeremy notes that that will lose him his only chance to get the cure or make more hybrids. Klaus says he just wants the cure so he can destroy it. He’d always planned to kill the gang as soon as they got it. Now he’ll just move up his timetable.
Klaus suddenly starts writhing in pain. Bonnie has arrived, and she tells Jeremy to invite Klaus in. Elena and Jeremy are confused by that instruction, but Jeremy trusts Bonnie, so he does it. As soon as Klaus steps inside, Bonnie holds him off magically and sends Elena and Jeremy into the living room. Klaus follows them but has to stop when the Gilberts run into the kitchen (where Jeremy wisely pulls the indestructible stake out of Kol’s body so the gang doesn’t lose custody of it). Bonnie has put up a boundary spell trapping Klaus in the living room. She tells him he has no idea what she’s capable of now. Klaus yells a bunch about killing the gang, but they ignore him and leave the house.
Stefan takes Rebekah home and tells her that Kol’s dead. He defends the gang’s actions by saying that Kol put things in motion. He was never going to let any of them get to the cure. Rebekah’s upset that Stefan knew all along what was going on, and he made her think he wanted to spend time with her. He’s fine with her hating him, since the gang’s actions tonight will protect all of them. He still wants to work with Rebekah to find the cure. She can be human again and have everything she wants. She deserves a second chance. Rebekah notes that she can’t trust Stefan, which he acknowledges. He says she’ll just have to take a leap.
At Vamp Villa, Jeremy waits impatiently for the hunter’s mark to grow. Bonnie reminds him that it took a while for Finn’s whole sireline to die out. He’s worried the plan didn’t work. Damon comes up from the basement, finally out of timeout since Kol’s compulsion has ended, and he and Elena hug. Stefan arrives with Silas’ headstone and pointedly doesn’t say anything about the two of them.
Bonnie tells the group that she drew on the new moon to do the spell keeping Klaus in Gilbert Gables. They’ll have four days at most to get the cure before he can leave. Jeremy says that if they can’t, they should call Katherine and offer to join her in hiding. Elena assures him that they’ll find the cure – they’ve taken care of Rebekah, so they just need Shane to take them to the right place.
Stefan reveals that he didn’t dagger Rebekah. She’s on their side, so it wasn’t necessary. Elena doubts that they can trust her, but Stefan thinks the fact that she gave him the headstone means they can. Plus, Rebekah wants the cure more than any of them do. Elena asks if she pledged her allegiance while she and Stefan were in bed together. Elena’s shocked by that, and Stefan says Damon must have been itching to spill that knowledge. Damon says it was revenge for being bled out in the basement. Elena tries to break up the fight, and Stefan taunts that Damon should use the sire bond to tell her to calm down. After all, he’s put the bond to good use so far. Damon punches his brother, who gets up ready for a fight.
Across the room, Jeremy suddenly starts yelling in pain. He rips his shirt open (so dramatic!) as the hunter’s mark climbs up his arms and chest. The gang is able to see it for the first time. “Here we go,” Damon says.
Etc.: There are two excellent music moments in this episode. First, when Stefan goes to invite Rebekah to the dance, a cover of “Maneater” is playing, and it warns, “Watch out, boy, she’ll chew you up.” Then when they start dancing to the Cure’s “Lovesong,” the lyric is, “Whenever I’m alone with you, you make me feel like I am fun again.” In the previous episode, Rebekah urged Stefan to be his old, fun (evil) self again.
If the gang is going to keep paying rent on Alaric’s apartment, or whatever, they should use it as either a safehouse or neutral territory for meetings with their enemies. Then Jeremy would never have to invite Originals into Gilbert Gables.
You’d think that after Elena saw that Kol had the indestructible stake with him, someone would have guessed that Rebekah had her dagger on her. If you had a weapon your evil brother could use against you at any time, why would you keep it anywhere he could get his hands on it? I’d keep it on me all the time, too.
I wonder if the actors were happy or sad that most of them didn’t get to wear ’80s clothes in this episode.