One year ago, Shane is being chased through some woods by a man in indigenous makeup. Shane comes to a cave where names have been written on the wall. He looks down into a seemingly bottomless well.
In the present, Shane is on the same island as he was a year ago, but this time, he’s with Stefan, Damon, Elena, Jeremy, Bonnie, and Rebekah. They’re 200 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia, on what’s supposedly the most desolate and obscure island around, the best place available to hide the cure. Shane offers Damon sunscreen, which Damon thinks is a joke. Nearby, Rebekah’s glaring at Elena, which Stefan says isn’t helpful. Rebekah notes that Elena helped kill Kol, so Stefan should be glad Rebekah’s only giving her a look that could kill.
Elena has brought the indestructible stake with her, and she tries to attack Rebekah with it, but in a fight between the two of them, Elena will never, ever win. Rebekah says Elena’s just trying to avoid her real problem, which is that Stefan has let Rebekah tag along on the trip. Stefan tries to let Elena know he’s not choosing sides, but she ignores him. Damon teases her, then says Stefan just brought Rebekah to make Elena think he’s over her, and to make Damon think he can’t get under Rebekah’s skin.
Elena notes that once they find the cure, she’ll probably never have to deal with Rebekah again. Damon can’t imagine Rebekah human or without fangs. Elena says that Damon has never talked about whether or not he wants to take the cure. He dodges the question by saying he doesn’t want to deal in hypotheticals.
Bonnie’s taking pictures of Jeremy’s hunter’s mark, I guess so he doesn’t have to keep his shirt off the whole time they’re on the island, trying to follow the map. Neither of them is that upset about her seeing him shirtless. Bonnie recaps the story of Qetsiyah and Silas: She made the immortality spell, he wanted to give it to Amara, and Qetsiyah killed Amara and buried Silas alive. Bonnie keeps putting her hands on Jeremy as she covers each part of the story, like, there are other people around, guys. Let’s keep it PG.
Jeremy asks if the hunter’s mark says anything about the hunter’s role in the story. Shane joins them to explain that Qetsiyah buried Silas with the cure for immortality in hopes that he would take it, die, and spend eternity on the Other Side with her. He wouldn’t do it, so her descendants created the hunters to find, cure, and kill him. Shane says he’ll tell more of the story as they hike to the spot where Silas and the cure are buried.
Tyler checks in on Klaus, who’s still trapped in Gilbert Gables until Bonnie’s spell wears off. Klaus threatens to kill Tyler the second he gets free, but Tyler plans to force him to take the cure and make him mortal. Klaus notes that his whole sireline could be cured, too. Tyler thinks that if Klaus became human again, the sireline would be severed, so Tyler could kill him without killing anyone else. He’s been considering his methods of murder. Klaus suggests drowning, the way he killed Carol.
On the island, Shane’s satellite phone loses its signal. Elena admits to being creeped out. Rebekah tells her to leave, then. She ignores Stefan when he tries to stop another fight from starting. Rebekah lists how everyone else is helpful but Elena serves no purpose. Damon asks about himself. “You have a nice behind,” she tells him. He’ll take that. (Stefan is amused by this, by the way.)
Night falls as the group continues their trek. Shane tells them that some miners who were once excavating a well on the island suddenly started bleeding themselves dry. Legend said they used the blood to receive visions of their dead loved ones in the well. People started coming to the island to find out for themselves. There are scientific explanations for what happened, but Shane believes magic is at play here. His wife and son died just a few months apart, so he went to the well in hopes of seeing them again.
A year ago: Shane cuts his hand and lets blood drip into the well. He hears whispers, then his wife’s voice coming from the well. He rappels down, but he falls during his descent. His wife, Caitlin, is waiting for him at the bottom.
Present: Shane is 100% sure that his blood is what let him see Caitlin again. Damon’s like, “What kind of drugs were you on at the time?” The group continues their hike through the woods, coming across a net trap that Shane spots before anyone else does. He tells them to stay together and keep an eye out for danger.
As the group heads off again, Elena and Jeremy hang back to rehydrate. He asks if she’s really buying this story about a magic well. She thinks it’s understandable that someone would go this far to try to see a lost loved one again. As Elena goes to catch up to the others, Jeremy sees a man with a bow and arrow aimed straight at him. Elena shoves him out of the path of the arrow, and the bowman takes a hatchet to the back. Elena and Jeremy aren’t sure what just happened, but it looks like someone saved Jeremy’s life.
Shane takes the group to a little cabin where some college kids died on spring break. They were all found drained of their blood. Damon proves that he would survive a horror movie by saying that staying there while someone is lurking nearby with a hatchet is a bad idea. They should keep going. He asks Shane where the cure is, but Shane isn’t dumb enough to tell him when that’s what’s keeping him alive. He doesn’t know why Damon wants the cure anyway – he has the most to lose if Elena becomes human again.
Elena tells Damon that Shane doesn’t know what he’s talking about. She’s not going to fall out of love if she takes the cure and breaks the sire bond. Damon notes that they can’t know what might happen until they actually have the cure. Elena’s excited about all the good things the cure could bring – Jeremy won’t be a hunter anymore, they can get rid of Klaus, and anyone who wants to be human again will have that option. Damon still won’t say if he’ll take it, and he tries to put on a happy face about how great things will be in just a few hours. Elena promises that her feelings for him won’t change. Damon is very skeptical about that.
Caroline joins Tyler at Gilbert Gables and asks him to come home with her instead of hanging out there and gloating. When Tyler won’t budge, Caroline tells him to “gloat and multitask.” The house is a mess and they need to clean up, starting by moving Kol’s body. Klaus thinks they can call it even, now that Carol and Kol are both dead. He asks Caroline to call Bonnie and get her to left the spell trapping him there. Caroline says she’ll never help him.
Klaus points out that he saved Tyler from the bad parts of being a werewolf, and he once saved Caroline’s life. Caroline thinks Carol and Jenna’s murders outweigh the good he’s done. His charms don’t make people forget his evil deeds. Caroline decides not to continue the conversation: “You are not even worth the calories I burn talking to you.” By now she’s standing right by the doorway between the kitchen and the living room. Klaus grabs a lamp, impales her with it, and uses it to pull her into the living room. He bites her neck and drops her to the floor. “Now that was definitely worth the calories,” he says.
The gang sets up camp for the night, and Rebekah wishes they’d brought s’mores. She gets spooked by their surroundings and Stefan laughs at her, since she’s an Original vampire and shouldn’t be afraid of anything. She asks what he’ll do if Elena becomes human again and wants to get back together. Does he still want to take the cure to be with her? Instead of answering, Stefan asks why Rebekah wants to take the cure. She seems to be the “perfect vampire.” Rebekah admits that she hates being a vampire and would give anything to be human. Stefan says if he took the cure, it would be for himself, not Elena.
Inside the cabin, Bonnie tells Shane that she can’t figure out the spell that’s supposed to be included in the hunter’s mark. He says it’s not a literal, written-out spell. Expression is a way of accessing magic inside yourself. She just needs to want the right spell. Bonnie is skeptical that she can trust Shane’s teachings. He tells her he’ll be with her the whole time to guide her. Which…isn’t a good thing if she can’t trust him.
Damon joins the conversation, urging Shane to say whether Bonnie can trust him. Shane just says she needs his help. Expression has already gotten messy for her, and he’s seen it get worse. Caitlin tried to resurrect their son after his death. She was a powerful witch but wasn’t disciplined. Expression overwhelmed her and she died. Bonnie’s furious that Shane taught her the same magic that killed his wife. He notes that he knows the warning signs and can keep her from suffering the same fate as Caitlin.
Damon points out that he created a bomb that only he can defuse. Shane is well aware of the possible consequences, and he knows that Damon will kill him as soon as he’s done being useful. Bonnie needs to keep Shane alive so he can keep her alive. Elsewhere, someone kidnaps Jeremy.
Caroline panics about Klaus’ bite, since his blood is the only thing that can heal her. Tyler calmly promises to fix things. Klaus bites his wrist and tells Tyler to beg to save Caroline. Tyler does, but Klaus isn’t satisfied. After all, Tyler still wants to kill him. Tyler agrees to be Klaus’ minion again and do whatever he wants if he saves Caroline. Klaus refuses, so Caroline tells Tyler to take her somewhere else. She doesn’t want to look at Klaus anymore.
The gang doesn’t realize that Jeremy’s missing until the morning. Bonnie offers to do a locator spell, and Shane says he’ll stay back with her while everyone else goes out searching. Damon says he’ll stay, too, because no way is he leaving Shane alone with Bonnie. That leaves Stefan, Elena, and Rebekah to search together, which won’t be awkward at all.
Damon catches Shane checking his phone, which still doesn’t have a signal. Damon thinks he wants to call the person who took Jeremy. Shane gives him the phone so he’ll stop making accusations. Damon asks Shane again where the cure is. Shane says it and Silas are in the well, though he’s never seen them. He just heard the news from a reliable source.
A year ago: Shane’s bleeding from his fall, but Caitlin says that’s a good thing. His blood is keeping her there.
Present: Shane tells Damon that if only a drop of blood can give you a vision, two liters can do a lot more. Damon doesn’t get what Caitlin has to do with this.
A year ago: Caitlin tells Shane he might have a second chance to bring back both her and their son, Sam. There’s a witch named Silas who will “help those who have helped him” if he’s freed. Shane will just need to get the spell that releases him.
Present: Shane learned all the steps to get the cure from Caitlin. Bonnie’s key to the process because she’s one of Qetsiyah’s descendants.
Bonnie uses a piece of Jeremy’s clothing and some fire to do a locator spell. The fire leads her into the woods, where the wind is stirred up and she hears whispers. Meanwhile, Rebekah and Elena bicker until Elena accidentally triggers a trap. It’s a huge branch with stakes sticking out of it, and if Rebekah hadn’t caught it, Elena would have been staked. Rebekah says she doesn’t care what happens to Elena, but if she’s going to die, it should be epic. I though I banned that word from this show. Elena decides to go back to the cabin and see if Bonnie has had any luck with the locator spell.
Damon asks Shane how the council explosion figures into all of this.
A year ago: Shane is hesitant to kill a bunch of people. Caitlin promises that they’ll all be resurrected along with Silas. The spell that will bring Caitlin back requires a lot of mystical energy that doesn’t occur in nature. Shane still isn’t willing to hurt innocent people, even if he can have his wife back. She touches his face, which he’s surprised she can do. She tells him it’s possible because he believes it is, and because he believes he can see her again. He doesn’t have to kill anyone himself – he just needs to get someone else to do it by convincing them that they can see a lost loved one again, too.
Present: Damon guesses Shane got Pastor Young to kill the council by telling him he could see his wife again. But the spell requires three massacres, and there have only been two, the council explosion and the “holiday hybrid slaughter.” Damon realizes that Shane isn’t finished. He thinks Shane is going to kill the gang (which, if Damon thought about it for even a second, wouldn’t work because he needs to kill 12 people). Shane still won’t give up all his secrets.
At Fort Forbes, Tyler blames himself for Caroline’s condition because he turned all the hybrids against Klaus. Caroline doesn’t want him to feel guilty for being a leader. He asks her if she trusts him. He takes her back to Gilbert Gables and puts her down on the floor between the kitchen and the living room. He tells Klaus that if he really wants to be in control and let Caroline die, he’ll have to watch. Then Tyler leaves. Klaus notes that if he cures Caroline, Tyler wins. He’ll just sit with her while she dies.
Damon has tied Shane up, and he asks yet again where the cure is. Shane says it doesn’t matter – Damon just wants to torture him. Shane taunts that Damon is starting to panic because he knows his time with Elena is coming to a close. Damon hits him with a tent pole, but Shane just keeps talking about their relationship. He thinks it’s doomed. Damon is torturing himself by helping the others find the cure.
Damon threatens to kill Shane, but Shane knows he can’t because Bonnie will lose control. He urges Damon to leave instead of sticking around and watching Elena choose someone else. Damon thinks Shane wants him gone so he can’t stop Shane from whatever he has planned with Silas. Also, he doesn’t care about Bonnie. He’s about to finish Shane off when Elena zooms in and stops him. Shane tells her that her boyfriend is a maniac. She frees him but tells him to stop messing with her friends.
Elena follows Damon outside and blasts him for wanting to kill Shane when he’s trying to keep Bonnie safe. Damon repeats that he doesn’t care about Bonnie, and he doesn’t care about the cure, either. He admits that he doesn’t want Elena to take it. She promises again that being human won’t change her feelings for him. Damon points out that they won’t have much of a relationship if she’s mortal and he’s not.
Elena asks if he’s really going to push her away just because things aren’t easy. He always does that – when he thinks he doesn’t deserve something, he ruins it. She won’t let him pull that again. As Damon’s starting to walk away, she asks him to take the cure with her. That’s how sure she is that she’ll want to be with him when she’s human again. It won’t have to be hard anymore. But Damon says Stefan is still a factor. He admits that he used to miss being human, but now he can’t think of anything that sounds more miserable.
Stefan and Rebekah come across another trap, and this time he saves her. He asks if she’s really willing to call a truce with Elena. Rebekah asks why everyone assumes she hates Elena so much. Uh, facts in evidence, your honor. Stefan points out that she killed Elena. Rebekah thinks any of the gang would have done the same thing to protect the people they love. Plus, Elena helped kill both Finn and Kol, so maybe she and Rebekah have more in common than people think.
Elena goes back to the cabin, but no one’s there. Stefan and Rebekah arrive a few moments later and she tells them Bonnie, Shane, and Shane’s stuff are all gone. Rebekah quickly checks her things and sees that Silas’ headstone is gone, too.
Caroline’s getting worse, and Klaus still won’t budge from using her as a way to teach Tyler a lesson. She asks how he could do this to her and Carol. Klaus blames boredom, but she thinks he’s lying. Klaus says maybe he’s just pure evil and can’t help himself. Caroline tells him he’s hurt, which means part of him is still human. She knows because she’s seen it. She’s even wished she could forget all his horrible actions. She knows he’s in love with her, and anyone who can love can be saved. Klaus tries to hide his emotions as he says she’s hallucinating. She replies that she’ll never know.
Caroline’s breathing is worsening, and it looks like she only has minutes to live. Klaus can’t stand it anymore, so he feeds her his blood, stroking her hair as she drinks.
Rebekah searches Elena’s tent, thinking she took the headstone. She strangles Elena and accuses the gang of betraying her once again. Stefan breaks up the fight, of course. Rebekah asks if the gang was always plotting to do this. Stefan says he would never let Shane run off with the cure. He’s suffered every moment of the past 146 years, and the cure will end that. Elena’s face is like, “Every moment? Thanks, love you, too.”
Rebekah accepts that Stefan didn’t take the headstone, but she still doesn’t trust Elena. Elena offers her the indestructible stake to prove that they’re still on the same side. Rebekah says it doesn’t matter, since they’re all screwed. Elena agrees, but there are still three of them who can work together. If they want the cure, they need to be a team. She offers the stake again, and this time Rebekah takes it.
Shane comes across Jeremy and his captor, Massak, whom Shane thanks for killing the islander who almost shot Jeremy with the bow and arrow. Massak doesn’t know anything about that. Shane says there must be someone else on the island who needs Jeremy alive. Bonnie meets up with the group, confused about how the fire went out behind her. Shane credits Massak, who’s a witch. His job is to make sure Bonnie and Jeremy don’t run away.
Damon’s alone in the woods when he’s shot with an arrow, then tackled. He’s about to kill his attacker when he sees that the guy (who we’ll soon learn is named Galen Vaughn) has a hunter’s mark. That means he knows how to take down a vampire, which is how Damon ends up temporarily dead with a broken neck.
Keep in mind: Bonnie is one of Qetsiyah’s descendants.
Etc.: Shane was still in police custody during the last episode, so how is he suddenly free and able to leave the country?
I wish I were the kind of person who could come up with insults like “you are not even worth the calories I burn talking to you” on the spot.
I’ve joked about it before but Damon really does think that asking the same question over and over will eventually get him an answer.
What a bad cliffhanger. Ooh, there’s another hunter on the island! Who cares? For two episodes that are so important to the story, this and the next episode have major pacing problems. They should have trimmed all the fighting and just done one episode.