The chapter of the Originals truly begins

By Mandi Bierly
Updated February 03, 2012 at 08:25 AM EST
Vampire Diaries
Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW

I now have no idea where this season is headed, but I’m totally into it. How did the Original Witch survive all those years in the sealed coffin? I guess if she had enough power to create vampires (and kill hybrid Klaus, apparently, if she wanted to), she can pretty much do whatever the writers need her to have done. The bigger question: We know the TVD producers like to introduce characters as one thing and turn them into something else that surprises us. Is Mother Original as peace-loving as her forgiving Klaus made her seem, or does she have plans for the Original family that will prove dangerous to Elena (and therefore Damon and Stefan)? I’m betting on the latter. Let’s back up.

We picked up right where we left off two weeks ago with Elijah wiping off the blood on his hands from ripping out the heart of one of Klaus’ hybrids. That’s the first fight on this show that I’ve rewound multiple times. “Easy, I just finished renovating,” Klaus said as he and Elijah continued to beat on each other. Watching the Original siblings fight is more fun than seeing the Salvatore brothers go at it. There’s more variety. Elijah was punching and kicking. Bravo. Klaus eventually took the dagger out of one of his other siblings and threatened to put it in Elijah. “Use it. I dare you. You’ll have Kol to deal with,” Elijah said. This was our first clue that Kol will be a badass despite not really looking like one. He’s been daggered for more than a century and brother Finn for more than 900 years. Once Klaus told Elijah that he’d killed Mikael, Elijah couldn’t understand why Klaus hadn’t freed them. Klaus said Stefan was in possession of one thing that could keep them from being a family. If Elijah would stand by him and help him destroy Stefan, he would come clean about their family history and the family would be whole again, he promised. Kol got re-daggered. See you soon!

Alaric awoke with his usual hangover and confessed to Elena that he’d whiskey-dialed Meredith at 2 a.m. I wish we could get a web video of that conversation. I’m pretty sure it would be Matt Davis’ finest moment. Sheriff Forbes showed up to tell Elena and Alaric that there was only one clean print on the stake that was used to kill the medical examiner — Elena’s. It was from her family’s arsenal. My first thought was KATHERINE! Would they have the same fingerprints? But then I remembered that most killers wear gloves, so we just heard about the print so it could be linked to Elena’s heirlooms. Why would someone use one of her family’s stakes to kill a Council member? Elena had phoned Damon to update him, and he told her to ask Alaric if his “dirty little doctor” had access to his weapons. “You’re on speakerphone, Dick,” Alaric said. “Dick” appears to be Alaric’s new nickname for Damon. Elena refused to believe Alaric’s luck with women would be THAT bad. And besides, the medical examiner was killed before Alaric had shown Meredith his slayer stash. So who did it?

Elena thought Stefan might have been crazy enough that night to do it, so she followed him to the Lockwood cave — where Damon had compelled two Lockwood gardeners to bring the coffin since it still has that spell prohibiting vamps from entering — and point-blank asked him. I think he was hurt by the insinuation, but I’m not sure because I wasn’t really listening. I was just admiring how great Stefan looked in that light. I did hear him inquire whether she had asked Damon if he had killed anybody lately. Well played, Stefan. He walked off, leaving Bonnie and her mother Abby in the cave to figure out how to open the coffin before Klaus called in his hybrids to help him locate it.

NEXT: Mr. Grumpy learns about the original Petrova

Damon was off having “tea” — code for a meeting in the woods — with his favorite Original, Elijah. I was right that Damon had left Elijah a note in his jacket pocket after taking the dagger out, though I did not imagine he would sign it “XOXO Damon.” Damon wanted to plot the destruction of Klaus, and he said he had one easy question, something about what could be inside the coffin and not like, “Where did you get that great suit?” or “When did you get a haircut?” Elijah and Damon cooked up a plan for the four of them to sit down and try to broker a truce between Klaus and Stefan. That, of course, was really just to stall so Bonnie and Abby could pop the top off that coffin by unbinding the blood knot spell (magic that requires two generations of witches).

Damon had a tough time convincing Stefan to go to the mafia-style sitdown, but Stefan needed to play hard to get both so we could enjoy some shirtless time as Damon tried to dress him and so we could be reminded that everyone at that table would have trust issues: Elijah betrayed the Salvatores the last time he agreed to help with Klaus, Klaus had then daggered Elijah, Stefan is still fairly rogue, and Damon has kissed Elena. Damon reminded Stefan that Klaus is the one who turned him back into a Ripper, and if that hadn’t happened, neither would’ve the kiss. He’s the enemy right now. Damon is acting smarter these days, right? I like it.

So Klaus’ table was nice and all, but it really made me miss the decadent taste Talbot had on True Blood. “We can sit and eat, or I can reach down your throats and pull out your insides. Choice is yours,” Klaus said when Stefan balked at dining. Stefan was generally Mr. Grumpy, and Damon was his charming self (insert wink at Elijah) while trying to keep things from boiling over when Stefan made snide comments like asking where Rebekah was. Klaus said he’d come clean to Elijah about their mother, and Damon had his line of the night: “Hey Stef, remember when you killed Dad? Might want to dial down the judgment till dessert.” Ha. Elijah asked about Elena, and Klaus told him there was much he’d missed. Damon suggested they put Elena in the Do Not Discuss pile, so instead, Klaus encouraged Elijah to tell the Salvatores the story of the originator of the Petrova line, Tatia. She was an exquisite beauty who every man wanted to be with despite the fact that she already had a son. No one loved her more than Klaus, except for maybe Elijah. I love how enthralled Stefan was. Obviously this tale’s something he and Damon can relate to. So their mother, a powerful witch, sought to end their feud over Tatia and took her. Elijah and Klaus found out later it was her blood that their mother had mixed with the wine the night that she performed the spell to turn them into vampires. Tatia wouldn’t make a decision between the two brothers, so Elijah and Klaus grew estranged. They traded words and blows, but in the end, it’s family above all. This is when you started thinking Damon and Stefan may be in trouble, but you should have had more faith in Elijah…

NEXT: Old Stefan and New Originals!

Bonnie and Abby had been chanting over the coffin for an hour at this point and nothing had happened. Abby thought the spirits were mad at her for abandoning Bonnie and didn’t want her to have her magic back; Bonnie thought Abby was the one closing herself off to it. If she wanted to prove she was sorry for leaving her, Abby had to open the damn coffin. More chanting, and the candles’ flames went higher. Bonnie left to call Damon to tell him they were close, and the coffin opened. Truly, I wouldn’t have been sad had Abby died in that moment. Not that I feel Bonnie’s had closure, but I don’t feel as invested in this story line as I had expected to. We’d later find out that both Abby and Bonnie had been knocked unconscious. I assume that was the Original Witch not wanting to kill other witches. (A part of me wonders if Klaus had turned his mother into a vampire and daggered her in a coffin, but even if the spell would have propelled her out of that cave once the coffin was open, knocking down Abby and Bonnie, it doesn’t explain how the dagger would have come out. So we’re back to the Original Witch not needing to eat or drink.)

Back to the sitdown… it was deal time. Damon suggested Stefan give back the coffin and the Original family leave Elena, Stefan and him alone. Elijah said this was fair, but Klaus said he’d never leave without Elena. Both Salvatore brothers think they can keep her safe, but they’re the worst thing for her, Klaus said. What if she dies or they turn her into a vamp? Damon needed air. Elijah joined him. (Looking back, I assume this is when they took the daggers out of the siblings, guessing where things were headed and wanting to give them time to wake up.) When they returned, Klaus made a counter offer: He’ll get his coffin back, and he’ll insure Elena’s safety for the rest of her life. She’ll marry a human, maybe Matt, have a family and continue the doppelgänger bloodline. Stefan shook Klaus’ hand — but said no deal. Klaus didn’t take it well. He broke a few limbs and then put Stefan’s hand in the fireplace.

Damon tried to help, and Elijah stopped him. Klaus said he’d burn Stefan alive if Damon didn’t bring him the coffin. He told Elijah to go with Damon and keep him honest. (Oh, the irony!) Klaus promised he’d hand over the family when they returned. Stefan told Klaus to just kill him, assuming he’d do it when he got the coffin anyway. That’s when Elijah and Damon came back, along with a VIP waitress carrying a tray of dessert — or rather, daggers. Elijah had learned not to trust Klaus’ “vulgar promises.” Hello, Kol. Hello, Finn, who stabbed Klaus in the hand (I wish it had been a sword since he reminds me of one of the Three Musketeers). And oh yes, there’s Rebekah, pissed as ever and also stabbing him. “You’re free to go. This is family business,” Elijah said to the Salvatores with my preferred smile. YES! YES! YES!

On their way to the cave to check on Bonnie and Abby, Stefan and Damon had a nice little heart-to-heart. Stefan told Damon undaggering Elijah turned out to be a good idea and sorta thanked him for saving him from Klaus. Stefan knew Damon didn’t have to: He could have left him there to die, and then Damon would have had Elena to himself. Just then, Elena dialed Damon and he ignored the call. He saved Stefan for her. “I love her, Damon,” Stefan said. WE GOT OUR STEFAN BACK! “So do I,” Damon said. There’s really nothing Stefan could say. They’re on equal footing now, and they both know it. Stefan had worked so hard to push Elena away, he can’t fault Damon for caring for her after he was there to pick up the pieces.

Back at Casa Klaus, the siblings had helped themselves to wine while Klaus was whining about how he’d wanted that home that Rebekah was now vandalizing to be for the family so none of them would ever be alone again. None of them would be. The siblings were going to leave Klaus right after Rebekah killed Elena, she said. (Did Elijah sanction that?) Klaus said he’d chase them all down, but then, Elijah noted, he’d be just like their father, who he hated. Once THEY had the coffin, Klaus would fear them. Just then, the doors opened, and in walked their mother. (I’m still confused about whether Klaus had actually told Elijah it was her in the coffin.) Klaus dissolved into a scared child who couldn’t even look at her until she told him to. She asked if he knew why she was there. He said to kill him, and you almost felt bad. Joseph Morgan can look so vulnerable with tears in his eyes, and the death theme was playing. “Niklaus, you are my son,” she said. “And I am here to forgive you… I want us to be a family again.” WHAT? Seriously, I have no idea where this is headed. We have three unknown personalities — Mother, Kol, and Finn. Clearly Mother is going to rule this household, so what will she want? Will she want to eliminate Elena so she doesn’t come between Klaus and his siblings or so Klaus doesn’t further upset the balance of nature? Will the brothers be able to control their appetites? What are your theories?

NEXT: The killing

Now we finally get to the mystery of the Mystic Falls Killer. Someone is attempting to murder people with weapons from the Gilbert family arsenal that Alaric has hidden all over the place. Caroline had gone to the hospital in the morning to pick up her father, and Dr. Fell told her that her dad had been such a pain after finding out he’d been saved by vampire blood that she’d released him the night before. Caroline phoned him, and she heard his cell going off in a medical supply room. She found her dad dead with his throat slashed and a knife in his gut (which turned out to be from Alaric’s stash in the crawl space in their house’s foyer). “Don’t be dead. Don’t be dead,” she pleaded. Elena reminded her that he’d died with vampire blood in his system. How did I not see this coming? Of course a man who doesn’t believe you should cheat life by becoming a vampire would have to decide whether to become one or suffer a true death. For him, it was easy. He wasn’t going to feed to complete the transformation. He was going to die.

Caroline told Elena she was going to force feed her father blood so he’d live. Elena, who you’ll remember thought she was having her choice taken away by Stefan that night on the bridge, reminded Caroline that his choice is the only thing her father had left. I started to tear up then. Supernatural shows are at their best when the story is based on human truths. Not to bring the mood down — I haven’t even mentioned V-necks in this recap yet — but the reality is, a lot of adult children will watch their parents’ bodies make the decision not to continue eating as they prepare to pass. I went through it in September with my brave father as his six-year battle with illness came to an end. It’s the body’s natural way of shutting down and not taking in food and water that it can’t process. You don’t force feed loved ones at that stage. You just have to let them go.

Of course, I teared up more when Caroline asked Elena, “What was the hardest part for you… when you lost your dad?” and Elena responded, “Realizing all the things that he wouldn’t be there for….” I could have used that hug Matt gave her when he showed up. (Did you think it was going to be Tyler? Where is he? I suppose the writers had to keep him occupied so we, like Caroline, could deep down wonder if he might have been the one who snapped and stabbed her father.) But I sobbed when Caroline tried one last time to get her father to change his mind. “How can you hate who I am so much?” she shouted when he asked her to respect his beliefs. He told her he didn’t hate her, he loved her. “You’re strong, you’re beautiful, you’re good. And even after everything that’s happened to you, you are exactly who your mother and I hoped you’d grow up to be,” he said. And here’s where I lost it: “Then please don’t leave me, Daddy. Please, please don’t leave me,” she begged. Candice Accola was just heartbreaking in that scene. “This is life. This is what it means to be human,” her father told her. What I try to hold on to is this: If I’m crying over what I lost, it means that what I had was really good, and for that I should be grateful. Caroline’s father did die, and I think what he told her about her being exactly who they’d hoped she’d be was as perfect an ending for that arc as Anna finding Pearl was for that one. (Pause as you well up just thinking about that. Go ahead and watch it again.)

While Caroline was with her father, Matt walked Elena home. The power was out, so they picked up flashlights and went looking for candles. Instead, they found a puddle of blood on the kitchen floor. SERIOUSLY, I WOULD NEVER GO INTO THAT KITCHEN. They each grabbed a large knife, the weapon of choice in that household, and followed bloody handprints on the walls upstairs to Alaric, who’d also been stabbed. (Censored quote from my notes: WHAT THE F—.) Matt was going to call 911, but seeing how much blood Alaric had lost, there wasn’t time. Alaric told Elena she had to kill him. This time, I only jotted down two words: HOLY S—. Like Caroline’s father, he hadn’t seen who attacked him. If it was a human, such as Meredith, his ring wouldn’t work. Being the doppelgänger makes her supernatural. So here’s Elena, who can’t handle losing another family member, HAVING TO STAB ONE. She did it. Let no one say this girl is weak. She asked Matt to stay with her until Alaric woke up, and admit it, you were thinking maybe Klaus could still get his wish someday… Alaric eventually came to.

Sheriff Forbes had called to say Dr. Fell had been in surgery for hours, so there’s no way she killed Alaric. So who is this person or thing that’s now attacked three Council members? I don’t think it’s Tyler. I don’t see Klaus compelling him to hurt Caroline’s father, even though he was training Tyler to break the sire bond. So if it is him, the stress of turning so many times must have made him snap so he took out her dad and then went to kill Elena but Alaric was home instead. Tyler does have an invitation for the house. But it’s not him, right? Who else would have had access to both the house and Damon’s car (which was at the bridge fundraiser the night the medical examiner died and was loaded with stakes)? Is anyone else hoping it’s some kind of new supernatural being that will force the Originals and the Salvatores to work together? Discuss! And do you think any of the new Originals will be as cool as Elijah?

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