Clarke is following up on the photo he found of Seylah and Landon, but a security guard at Triad tells him there’s no record of an employee with that name. Clarke wonders why she has their logo on her necklace in the picture. He wants access to a backup archive, but the guard tells him his few months working there haven’t earned him the security clearance he needs for that. Clarke knows the access code, though, and it gets him into a store room full of files. He finds Seylah’s and sees that she was absorbed 20 years ago, which means there’s no way she could have been at Triad the night before.
Pedro wakes up at midnight when a hand with long fingers taps on his window. He opens it to look outside but doesn’t see anything. When he turns to go back to bed, he sees a woman in a black dress and veil floating across the room. It’s a nightmare, and he wakes up screaming.
Two hours later, Hope and Alaric are still up, talking about the urn. She hid it but doesn’t want to tell him where; it’s safer if only one of them knows. He thinks that person should be the adult, but she thinks it should be the one of them who has superpowers. She suggests warning the rest of the students before they get attacked by a monster during exam week. Alaric agrees that they should tell them some form of the truth, but in this situation, that’s going to be hard to do.
Hope is sticking with her decision not to tell Landon what happened in Kansas. He’s wanted to meet his mother for his whole life, and now she’s dead. Hope wants to keep him from knowing how that feels. Alaric defers to her. He tells her they need to give the students the right amount of information without telling them too much. They need to do things differently than they did with the knife.
He gets the students out of bed to tell them that they’re in possession of another artifact connected to Malivore. That means another monster is likely on its way. Matt apparently still owns Lockwood Landing, and he’s offered to house all the younger kids there to keep them safe. Kaleb asks why they don’t get rid of the artifact instead. Alaric wants them to deal with whatever monster comes next, rather than leaving innocents out in the world to handle it. Then they can figure out what to do with the urn. Any older students who want to go to Lockwood Landing can, but they still have to take their exams. (It’s not like Alaric can tell the state accreditation board that they need to postpone them because of monsters.)
Kaleb and M.G., who’s out of lockup in the basement, are both sticking around. Hope didn’t come to the meeting, and Rafael figures she’s already gearing up for battle. Landon thinks she might have realized it was a mistake to bring him back to the school, since danger follows wherever he goes. Rafael says this isn’t on him. Landon assumes that Hope’s sudden coldness toward him is connected to whatever happened in Kansas. Rafael advises him not to worry about whatever he’s forgotten. He should focus on the positive, like the fact that he’s allowed to stay at the school. Rafael’s happy he’s there.
As the younger kids board a van to go to Lockwood Landing at 4 a.m., the woman from Pedro’s nightmare visits a sleeping M.G. and Alaric. She floats above M.G.’s bed and hovers over Alaric’s desk, somehow able to be in two places at once. They both wake up, but she’s already gone.
Hope wakes Rafael in the library, where he fell asleep studying. She tells him he’s cute when he sleeps, but he’s not sure he heard her correctly, since he’s so tired. She kisses him, then suddenly disappears when a guy slams his hand on the desk and demands to know where something is. Rafael recognizes the man, Kurt, but doesn’t know what he’s looking for. He’s so scared that he starts crying. Kurt angrily snaps his belt and the woman in black tells Rafael that he knows what she wants. Rafael protests as Kurt raises his belt to hit him. He wakes up in the library – for real this time – and sees a welt on his arm.
At 7 a.m., Rafael tells Alaric and Hope what happened (leaving out the part of his dream that included Hope). They think the woman is the latest monster. Every culture has legends about creatures that only appear in dreams, and Alaric is familiar with this one. Rafael asks if she’s able to put things in people’s heads. He IDs the woman from a picture in one of Alaric’s books.
Alaric tells the remaining students that the latest monster is a night hag. She’s a dark spirit trapped on the astral plane and can only interact with people through dreams. “So, like, Freddy Krueger?” M.G. asks. Alaric says yes, in the sense that what happens in the dreams also happens in real life. As long as they stay awake, they’re safe. He again gives everyone the option of leaving whenever they decide to go.
Landon asks Hope if she had any nightmares last night. She says she barely slept, since she has so much on her mind. He brings up the possibility that the night hag is connected to the trip to Kansas, but she thinks they should just focus on the current monster. She also advises Landon to go to Lockwood Landing. He declines, since she’s not leaving. Also, it’s his first day, and he wants to get to class like everything’s normal.
Hope goes to her room to write in her journal. It’s at least partly a way to keep herself awake, though it doesn’t work too well and she almost dozes off. The library is full of people studying, including Kaleb, who uses vamp speed to read quickly. M.G. sees blood dripping on his own book. When he raises his head, he’s vamped out and blood is dripping from his mouth.
Kaleb slams his book shut, waking M.G. from his nightmare. Kaleb chastises him for the notes he’s working on for a presentation about Dracula. He’s going to “take down the entire vampire canon”! M.G. says they don’t have to act like vampires have for the previous century. He goes to class to give his presentation, in which he criticizes the book for being patriarchal. It’s only still popular because it’s about a privileged man who gets away with doing whatever he wants to do. This means the class has spent weeks reading a book about the abuses of consent.
Landon starts dozing off, and when he comes to, everyone’s taking the final exam. The teacher tells him that if he doesn’t pass, he can’t stay. There are five minutes left in the period and Landon hasn’t even started. When he does, the tip of his pencil breaks. He goes to sharpen it and everyone starts laughing – he’s in his boxers. He realizes he’s having a nightmare and needs to wake up. “You know what you must do,” the night hag tells him. “Bring it home!” Landon jams a pencil into his hand, and when he wakes up for real, his palm is bleeding.
At 5 p.m., Alaric makes an announcement over the PA system that there are “energy herbs” available to help people stay awake. “Please dose yourselves responsibly,” he says, then remarks to Hope and Landon that he’s going to get sued, “or hexed at the very least.” Landon tries to make him feel better by saying that the gym teacher at his last school dealt coke under the bleachers. He wonders what the night hag meant about bringing something home. Alaric brings up Malivore and the urn, but Landon notes that if the night hag is trapped on the astral plane, she can’t take the urn. Then again, she also isn’t supposed to be able to affect reality, so Alaric’s research is a little incomplete. He promises that they’ll find a way to keep the night hag from getting the urn.
As Hope fixes up Landon’s hand, he comments that at least he’s had a memorable first day. Alaric wishes he would go to Lockwood Landing, but Landon doesn’t want to give up something he’s worked so hard for. Hope and Alaric are taking better care of him than anyone ever has. He quips that he had to stab himself to get Hope’s attention. She leaves as soon as she can, and Landon thinks he’s screwing up their relationship. Alaric advises him to let Hope be Hope. She’ll come talk to him when she’s ready.
Hope goes to the gym, where Rafael’s keeping himself awake by working out. She invites him to spar with her, but he goes too easy on her for her liking. Clearly he doesn’t get how strong she is, which is fair, since she’s tiny. She wins the match, impressing him. She tells him she’s sorry for the things that have happened in his life that have made him so good at sparring, but she appreciates that he gave her a good fight.
Rafael asks her to “be cool” with Landon. He’s going to be looking over his shoulder, thinking another shoe will drop and he’ll have to leave again. If Hope is going to drop that shoe, she needs to do it gently. She asks why Rafael thinks there’s another shoe coming. “Where we’re from, there’s always another shoe,” he replies. Sometimes it’s a real shoe and sometimes it’s a belt. If Hope doesn’t want to be with Landon, that’s fine, but she needs to be honest with him.
Hope says she still wants to be with him; there’s just a lot going on right now. Rafael advises her to be more open with Landon. She thinks her secrecy is justified since she’s trying to protect him. Rafael claims he’s never lied to protect someone, but the fact that he clearly has feelings for Hope and hasn’t said anything to Landon means he’s lying right now..
Landon does some research in the library, then tells Hope and Alaric that he’s not sure they’re dealing with a night hag after all. He thinks it’s an oneiroi. Alaric knows that as a shape-shifting dream demon from Greek mythology. “Yeah, of course he knows what it is,” Landon says. Hope wonders why a monster would disguise itself as another. Landon notes that if they knew what it was, they’d be able to figure out how to stop it. “Hope, kiss him for me,” Alaric tells her.
They take this information to Rafael, M.G., and Kaleb at 8 p.m., along with the news that Hope has a plan to kill the oneiroi. She can’t fall asleep without risking the urn being found, so she needs someone to pull the oneiroi out of the astral plane. “So, Freddy Kreuger, like I said,” M.G. replies. If they’re dealing with the same thing here, they can literally grab and pull the oneiroi from the dream dimension. Kaleb thinks this is crazy and it’s time for him to go to Lockwood Landing.
Hope gives the guys the option to leave, since she can’t force them to stay and fight the oneiroi. Landon won’t leave if she’s not, and Rafael won’t leave if Landon’s not. As a founding member of the Super Squad (which is what I’m calling the core characters from now on), M.G.’s staying put. And though Kaleb knows the risks, he doesn’t want to go without M.G. (“no child left behind”). Hope announces that it’s nap time.
At 10 p.m., Alaric grabs the urn and tells Hope he’s taking it as far away from the students as possible. Her hiding place wasn’t that great – she has a safe under her closet floorboards with the Mikaelson crest on it. Hope blasts him for playing his “adult card” to protect the students, even though he’s a killable human with two kids who need him. “I’ve also been kicking supernatural a%$ longer than you’ve been alive,” he replies.
Alaric heads out of town, leaving the twins a message letting them know he loves them in case he doesn’t come back from this alive. But he runs into a weird problem: Somehow, despite passing the sign marking Mystic Falls’ city limits, he passes it again moments later. It turns out he’s dreaming, having fallen asleep at his desk. When he passes the sign a third time, he realizes something’s not right.
The Super Squad set up makeshift beds in the gym so they can sleep in the same place. Kaleb reminds M.G that whatever he sees in his nightmares isn’t real. M.G. says he already faced his worst nightmare when he Rippered out in the cemetery. Hope doesn’t want Landon to fall asleep, but he’s not about to let her make decisions for him after ignoring him all day. His biggest fear was fitting in at the school, so there’s nothing the oneiroi could use against him that would really scare him. Plus, he figured out how to save the day. P.S. He finds it really sexy that Hope is going to be the hero here. She has a job for him, and as Rafael tries not to watch them together, she whispers in Landon’s ear that she needs him to get the urn.
Knowing he’s in a dream, Alaric starts driving faster. The oneiroi appears in his backseat and says he knows what she needs. “Rise and shine!” he exclaims before slamming the car into a tree. That wakes him up.
At 11 p.m., the boys are all asleep. Kaleb’s dreaming that he’s chained up and restrained like Hannibal Lechter and is being brainwashed into believing that vampires are evil. Somewhere, Bill Forbes is taking notes. Rafael’s dreaming about transforming into a werewolf, and M.G.’s dreaming about Rippering out while making out with a girl. Hope pops up in Rafael’s dream and tries to calm him. At first he’s worried about hurting her, but she reminds him that he can’t. She tells him she wants to be with him and thinks he wants the same thing.
Landon’s dream has him back in the classroom from earlier, except now it’s empty. The walls start to move toward the center of the room. M.G. sees that the girl he was kissing isn’t the only person he’s killed – he’s in the kitchen and it’s full of bodies. He promises that he wasn’t feeding; he’s sworn off it. “It’s who you are,” the oneiroi tells him.
She goes to Kaleb’s dream, taunting that he defends vampires but still worries that he’s wrong about them. She yells that he’s nothing. Landon tries to hold a wall back as the oneiroi mocks that his small space keeps getting smaller. She tells the boys that this is all them.
M.G. tries to grab her but his arms go right through her. Rafael realizes that he’s dreaming, since he would never make a move on his best friend’s girlfriend. The oneiroi tells him he’s the worst kind of monster, since he wishes he could be with Hope. Rafael grabs at her as well but has the same experience as M.G. The oneiroi tells Kaleb that he knows how to make this stop. Kaleb swipes at her with no effect. Landon tells the oneiroi to drop the act and show him her face – her real face. She takes off her disguise and reveals her true self, a super-creepy demon. Landon says he’ll take the oneiroi to the urn, then grabs it.
As the boys all wake up, the oneiroi finds a Mikaelson safe behind a painting in a hallway. There’s nothing inside. Hope appears with the urn and reveals that she lied to Landon about where it was. Back in the gym, Landon tells the others that he grabbed the oneiroi but isn’t sure if it worked. He asks where Hope is. Rafael says she was in his dream, but then she disappeared. They hear the sounds of a fight going on above their heads. “What was Hope doing in your dreams?” Landon title-drops. “The usual – just being a bada%$,” Rafael replies.
Hope and the oneiroi burst through the gym doors. She tries to tackle it but it grabs her by the throat. Alaric runs in with a crossbow and tells Hope to aim for the oneiroi’s eyes. He tosses Hope an arrow, and she breaks it in half and stabs the pieces in the oneiroi’s eyes. “Landon was right – sexy as hell,” Kaleb comments.
The Super Squad power-walks back to their rooms with Alaric hanging back. Hope praises Rafael for his help, but he’s not up for a chat. She comments that she feels like she’s been waiting for the other shoe to drop with him all day. He tells her that when he and Landon first met at the Gonzaleses’, Landon told him about a guy who used to burn him with cigarettes. Rafael suddenly felt protective, so he tracked down the guy and beat him up. He never told Landon, knowing Landon wouldn’t want to be a part of something like that.
Rafael admits that he was a hypocrite when he said he’s never lied to protect someone. When someone is as important as Landon is to him, Rafael will do what’s best for him, even if it means lying. But he’ll also protect Landon from being hurt in other ways. That means Rafael and Hope need to keep their distance from each other.
M.G. makes Landon and Kaleb official members of the Super Squad. Landon has a guitar with him, and M.G. and Kaleb start rapping while he plays. Hope stops in just long enough to see Landon having fun with his new friends. He follows her out and tells her that he’s spent most of his life scared and unsure. Coming back to the school actually made it worse, since he suddenly had something to lose. He felt like Hope was avoiding him and keeping things from him. Now that he’s fought a demon that exists to make people face their fears, he’s not sure what he was so afraid of.
If Hope doesn’t want to be with him, that’s okay. He’ll just work to make her change her mind. If she needs to lie to keep the urn safe or hide secrets because she’s burdened by a lot of responsibilities, that’s also okay. It’s his job to get her to see him as someone she can confide in. “I’m not going to be afraid of losing you anymore,” he says. “‘Cause I’m gonna be the guy who always fights to find you again.” Hope responds to all this with a kiss.
Later, she checks in with Alaric, who’s sore from his dream car crash. She gives him the urn, revealing that she couldn’t pick a good hiding spot for it, so she just put it under her pillow. He tells her that she and the boys did a great job while he slept through everything. Hope excuses his fatigue, since he drove halfway across the country in three days. She tells him they need a new plan so the other students can come back to the school.
Clarke pays a visit to the Gonzaleses, pretending to be with Child Protective Services. They believe that Landon and Rafael were adopted by wonderful families in Virginia. Clarke says that since the family is still receiving checks for the boys’ care, they’re facing felony charges, but they could avoid those if they tell him where Landon is. They repeat that he was adopted by a wonderful family in Virginia. Clarke gets that they’ve said all they can, literally. He asks if he can look at any belongings Landon may have left behind, and they let him in.
Etc.: Aww, I want to give Rafael a hug.
Call me crazy but I think letting students stay at the school when there’s a possibility they could get seriously hurt or even killed is a little…irresponsible. Then again, if the parents know what’s going on at the school and don’t show up to get their kids out of there, maybe they’re the irresponsible ones.
I would complain about the cliché of Landon’s dream, but I’ve been out of school longer than these teens have been alive and still regularly have dreams about stuff like not knowing where my classes are or not having the right books, so maybe it’s a cliché for a reason.
It says a lot about Hope that when she and Landon find Alaric asleep at his desk when he thinks he’s in the car, Landon suspects that Hope used magic on him to keep him out of their way.
Does this mean Alaric’s worst nightmare is not being able to leave Mystic Falls?