Kol toys with Jeremy and Damon, while Stefan learns to enjoy himself again

By Mandi Bierly
Updated January 25, 2013 at 05:09 AM EST
Annette Brown/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

S4 E11
  • TV Show
  • The CW

I feel guilty saying this was my favorite episode of the season since there was no Tyler and Caroline. (I’d take them over Team Shane, even though Tyler and Caroline don’t seem to be players in the race for the cure.) But this hour had the kind of big, bold twists that made us love this show in the first place. And the Stefan Who Doesn’t Love Elena is even more fun than Ripper Stefan. I’d like to retract my earlier statement about not wanting to see him and Rebekah have sex. That scene was hot. More, please. Let’s dig in.

We returned to the bar where Klaus had massacred those innocents so Jeremy could kill them all after they’d transitioned and grow his mark. But Jeremy balked: “I don’t take orders from you, dick. Hunters can’t be compelled.” I think this show is going to single-handedly bring back the word “dick,” which I feel lost out to “douche” for too long. Klaus adapted: He’d give Jeremy and Matt a two-minute head start, then he’d compel the new vampires to kill Matt so Jeremy would have to slay them. Jeremy managed to kill the first one that took a bite of Matt, then told Matt they should run to the lake house where the vamps couldn’t get in. Damon was disappointed that Jeremy wanted to retreat, but then he softened — ah, he cares about Matt a bit now, too (for Elena’s sake, no doubt). Damon said he’d slow the vamps down and ripped one’s heart out. Nice. We forgot Elena was coming to the lake to see Damon. She arrived just in time to save Matt from another vampire, and inside they went. We saw the line of vampires approaching. It’s a wonder that vampires don’t use the “burn the house down so they have to come out” trick. But the sun came up, and everyone was safe.

Elena was naturally upset with Damon, but she agreed to let him stay with Jeremy and go hunting while she took Matt, who Damon dubbed the Least Most Valuable Player home with her. He promised to keep Jeremy safe and told Elena to trust him. Was that the sire bond or simply not having any other brilliant ideas?

Back at Salvatore Mansion, Stefan was doing one of his favorite activities — walking into his bedroom wearing pants but no shirt. I approve of this pastime. Rebekah was waiting on the bed, reading Stefan’s diary to make sure he’s on the up and up wanting to be on Team Rebekah. She told Stefan their new plan was to steal Silas’ headstone from Shane so Team Shane would have to join them.

Speaking of Team Shane, they were at his office, where Bonnie was freaking out that she can’t control her power after doing that Expression spell that almost killed April. He held her hand: “Bonnie, look at me, I’m here with you. You don’t have anything to worry about. You are strong, you are focused, you are in complete control.” She repeated she was in complete control as though he’d hypnotized her. I just want to slap him. Sheriff Forbes and Mayor Bonnie’s Dad arrived to bring Shane in for questioning.

NEXT: Kol is a new player!

Damon and Jeremy headed back to the bar to hunt the new vamps, and we didn’t yet know how funny it was that Damon told Jeremy, “I’m trying to keep you alive, dumbass.” Inside, they followed a blood trail — that will never come out Jeremy’s shoe soles — and found a pile of dead bodies. Kol was there, looking adorable as always. He still had blood on his hands when he offered the guys a drink. “He’s underage and I don’t like you,” Damon cracked. Kol cut to the chase and told them that finding the cure risks the awakening of Silas. Damon didn’t care so much. So Kol continued: A few hundred years back, he came across a group of Silas’ followers. They said Silas would rise again and trigger the end of all time, which sounds dangerous even to an immortal. So he murdered all of them. He can’t sit back and let this race for the cure happen. Kol didn’t want to kill Jeremy and suffer the hunter’s curse. So he decided to rip off his arms. Solid plan, actually. That’s one of the reasons I’m excited for this potential Originals spinoff: They’re just smarter and more creative than normal vamps. Damon told Jeremy to run and fought Kol, who really should have just snapped Damon’s neck but didn’t. Turns out he had a good reason.

Stefan and Rebekah, meanwhile, took advantage of Shane’s detainment and looked through his office for the headstone. “Don’t Ripper out on me, we’ll find it,” Rebekah assured a tense Stefan. She said he needed a release. I’m guessing we all thought the same thing: He hasn’t had sex in a while. She suggested they burn through some of Shane’s herbs, and when he declined, she said he wasn’t as fun as he was in the ‘20s. He admitted they had a little bit of fun back then. This is when I decided I like the new Stefan because I catcalled him in my notes (“Looking good!”).

But back to Shane. Bonnie convinced her father to let her question Shane since he’s most likely to come clean to her, and what do you know, he confessed again. He said that Rebekah was telling the truth when she said he’d admitted orchestrating the deaths of Pastor Young and the 11 other Council members.

Next, we caught up with Elena, who’d heard from Jeremy that Kol had Damon. She went to see Klaus to beg him to call off Kol. She convinced him that they were all on the same team to a point — Team Cure Should Be Found. They only differed on how to use it. So Klaus called Kol and told him to stay away from Jeremy, and if causes any more trouble, he’d end up back in a box. Kol agreed that he wouldn’t touch Jeremy, but again, he’s a clever man: He had Damon slowly staking himself to confirm that Damon could be compelled. Kol told Damon he wouldn’t remember him saying this, but he was to find Jeremy and kill him. I love when, as a viewer, you find yourself saying, “Oh s—,” excitedly. This is huge.

NEXT: Rebekah and Stefan almost get it on

Back in Shane’s office, the herbs were burning as Stefan and Rebekah noted Shane’s afterlife fetish by the collection of artifacts he had. Rebekah caught the Polynesian sacrificial knife Stefan threw at her after she compared her appreciation for other cultures to him dating a child who only thinks about herself. She asked if he knew why she had refused to compel him to forget all about Elena. It wasn’t just to punish him. She wanted him to learn what it took her “a thousand years and hundreds of betrayals” to: love and caring ruins you. It wasn’t bleak, Rebekah insisted. They didn’t care in the ’20s, they did what felt good. It was liberating — the drinking, the feeding, the sex. She was running the knife first across his heart and then his neck. Stefan had his first jaw-dropping line of the night: “The sex wasn’t good because we didn’t care. It was good because you’re crazy. Crazy sex is always good,” he said. She wasn’t offended. “You were hardly the model of sanity,” she said. He grabbed her hand holding the knife. “Stop. Caring,” she said. He made her drop the knife. They were about to kiss but got interrupted: Some guy came into Shane’s office looking for something, and he found the headstone. Instantly, Rebekah was there with her hand on his throat.

Damon went to see Elena and asked where Jeremy was. At the Grill, she said, checking on Matt. Damon said he should go apologize to Jeremy for being tough on him. APOLOGIZE? RED FLAG, ELENA.

Another cut back to Shane. Bonnie turned off the camera so he could talk freely. He told her about Silas, and how it wouldn’t matter that he killed those people because they’ll all be brought back when they find him. “You’re full on crazy,” Bonnie concluded. Then, Shane pulled out the Grams card. He remembers how worried Bonnie was that the spirits were punishing her. “Aren’t you curious what’s happening to her now? Wouldn’t you like to see her again?” Someone kick him square in the nuts. Even if he were to get doused with water, which is when we’ve established that he’s at peak sexiness, I would not want to see him right now. I’m much more interested in Damon hunting Jeremy.

At the Grill, Jeremy senses something was up with Damon when they came eye-to-eye. He started after Jeremy, and Elena called Damon’s name and he stopped — for a second. He told Elena that Kol must have compelled him because if he finds Jeremy, he’ll kill him. He saw Jeremy had gone down in the tunnels they used when Connor took hostages at the Grill. He followed. It’s deliciously creepy that while Damon was hunting Jeremy, he was yelling ahead to tell him to run and get out of there because he was coming and going to kill him.

But even more disturbing/awesome: Rebekah was torturing the guy who’d found the headstone to find out who he was. He wouldn’t say, and when she and Stefan started talking about bleeding the vervain out of him and asking again, he BIT OFF HIS OWN TONGUE. This would have been more shocking to me had I not seen a character on Sons of Anarchy bite off his tongue and throw it so it slid down a double-sided mirror this season in prison. But the guy also grabbed the knife and stabbed himself in the throat, which got bonus points. Stefan and Rebekah determined that someone must have compelled him, then put the vervain in his system. “Is it my bastard brother or yours?” Rebekah said. Stefan thought perhaps there was a third option.

Did the cut back to Bonnie and Shane mean we’re supposed to think that Professor Shane somehow compelled the guy to fetch the headstone for safe keeping, fearing someone would try to steal it? Or are you thinking it was Kol? He heard about the headstone, too. He should be covering his bases. Regardless, Bonnie paced in the room and made sure she had this right: If she helps Shane raise Silas, they can bring back Grams? I thought only those who died in one of these massacres returned if Silas does. Confused! But okay. Bonnie got pissed that Shane was preying on her guilt about Grams and started mentally crushing his hand. Her father, who had been watching this, came in and tried to calm Bonnie down to no avail. She through water that turned to fire to keep him away. Finally, Shane told Bonnie, “You are in complete control,” and just like that, she was again. Shane told Bonnie’ father that she’s a prodigy: With his guidance, she’ll be one of the most powerful witches in the world. Without it, she’s a time bomb. This is tough: Bonnie deserves a good, juicy story line, but I do not have fond memories of Dark Willow on Buffy.

NEXT: Stefan is badass

Elena still needed to save Jeremy, so she called Stefan. Rebekah answered his phone, and Elena knew he’d hear her even if he wouldn’t talk to her. She told him the situation and said if he cares about the cure or Jeremy, he’d come help. He didn’t say he’d come, but you knew they’d do something.

At first I was mad that Jeremy stopped in the tunnels, but if he really couldn’t find his way out, better to go on the offensive, I suppose. He cut his hand and let it bleed on his jacket. Damon smelled the bait and when he picked up the jacket, Jeremy attacked him. Damon bit Jeremy’s arm and tossed him. Damon said Jeremy was stupid, he couldn’t fight him in close quarters. “Worth a shot,” Jeremy said, and he shot Damon twice in the stomach. Damon told Jeremy to shoot him in the heart because he won’t be able to stop himself from coming after him. That’s really decent of Damon. “Do it. Do it,” Damon said. He lunged at Jeremy, and he fired a shot. Commercial! When we came back, Damon woke up and Jeremy had shot him in the head. Damon thought Jeremy was stupid, but since Damon can’t be killed for the show’s sake, that was actually pretty brilliant.

Back at Casa Klaus, Rebekah exchanged words with Kol. She put a dagger to his back. If she daggered him, Damon’s compulsion would end. Kol distracted Rebekah by bringing up Elijah, who he said won’t even show his face because he’s already disgusted by their bickering. Classy Elijah, I miss you. What are you doing right now besides wearing the hell out of a suit? Oh, right, Kol and Rebekah. Kol turned around and had the white oak stake pointed at Rebekah. He said he won’t let them raise Silas. Luckily Klaus was there to stop Kol. Kol left, and we got to see the second reason I’m excited for the potential Originals spinoff — dialogue like this. Klaus: “Well then, I think you need a lesson in how to properly dagger a sibling.” Rebekah: “Burn in hell.”

With Rebekah failing to dagger Kol, Damon was still on the hunt. Jeremy ran through the woods bleeding. Elena caught up to Damon and tried to tell him that he can resist the compulsion because she loves him, and he loves her, and he’ll do anything for her. “Sorry, Elena,” he said and continued the chase. When he found Jeremy, Damon again did the most decent thing he could. “Shoot now,” he told Jeremy. Jeremy fired a shot, and Stefan pushed Damon out of the way. “Hey brother, long time no see,” Stefan said. And he snapped his neck. Then, he looked at Elena. “You’re welcome,” he added. Just typing it makes me want to cheer. So great to see Paul Wesley have fun like this.

Damon was taken back to Salvatore Mansion and drained of most of his blood to weaken him. He couldn’t even get off his back. He wanted to see Elena, but Stefan said they can’t let him do that because with the sire bond, he’d be able to get Elena to let him out. Stefan’s plan: Damon stays in there until they find the cure and the sire bond and compulsion are broken. Then Elena and Damon can do whatever they want. (Damon seems much better in the promo for next week, so I’m thinking the plan changes.)

NEXT: Stefan is even more badass and gets some

Upstairs, Stefan ran into Elena and told her she couldn’t see Damon because she’d let him out. As I admired how hot Stefan’s hooded Henley was, Elena went fishing: She wanted to know what he was doing with Rebekah, the person who tried to kill her. (Technically, she succeeded Elena.) Elena assumed he was trying to punish her, and she didn’t know how else to apologize. He said she can do whatever she wants. He doesn’t care now. She said he’s lashing out because he’s hurt. That’s not him talking. Wrong again! “Sure it is. You’ve just never seen me like this. You don’t know what I look like when I’m not in love with you.” BEST STEFAN LINE EVER? (To paraphrase…) “I’ll let Damon know you stopped by,” Stefan said coldly. Elena left with tears her eyes.

Before we got to see what Stefan did next, we had to watch Bonnie and her dad disagree over whether she needs help with her power problem. We also had to see Klaus come to Elena’s to demand he house Jeremy now that Kol will undoubtedly come after him again. Elena and Jeremy opted for Jeremy to stay at their house, where at least Kol couldn’t get in. But yes, thank you Klaus for noting that Kol COULD BURN IT DOWN. Klaus told Elena to tell when Kol returns, and he told Jeremy there was no shortage of people to turn or loved ones to threaten, so they’d finish their work on the mark the next day.

NOW we can get back to Stefan. I realize he’s just being self-destructive, but my give a damn is also busted. I knew what he barged into Rebekah’s bedroom for, even if it took Rebekah a while to catch up. Blah, blah, blah, she hid the headstone someplace safe and isn’t telling Stefan where. No he’s not back with Elena. Does she care? No. She’s just trying to figure out why he’s there.

Stefan: Do you even have to ask?

Rebekah: No feelings, no attachments.

Stefan: (moving closer) None whatsoever.

And he pushed her onto the bed. When she sat up to undo his pants, he pushed her back down. Note: That scene was steamy and there was no shirt ripping or lamp tossing. No wall even! Groundbreaking! How many times did you rewind. Let’s just say I’m not excited and embarrassed to face the cardboard Stefan standee in my office tomorrow.

We could have ended there, but there was more. Jeremy and Elena discussed how screwed he is, and she came up with a new plan: If Jeremy kills one Original vampire, the line goes with him. Jeremy needs to kill Kol. The promo for next week shows Kol going after Bonnie as a way to end the race for the cure. Will that be extra motivation for Jeremy?

Your turn. What did you think of the episode? And how do you think we’ll see Stefan and Rebekah the morning after?

Episode Recaps

The Vampire Diaries

Ian Somerhalder, Nina Dobrev, and Paul Wesley star in the CW’s romance-infused vampire soap opera.
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