Elena and Jeremy face off against Kol, as Stefan and Rebekah have a dance and a heart-to-heart

By Mandi Bierly
Updated February 01, 2013 at 06:13 AM EST
Tina Rowden/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

S4 E12
  • TV Show
  • The CW

Is there anything better than a Bon Jovi-loving Stefan? Than Jeremy FINALLY ripping his shirt off Hulk-style to reveal his full Hunter’s mark after teasing us with that white tank top for weeks? Still no Caroline and Tyler in this episode — they’re back next week, when Tyler gets to confront a captive Klaus, I presume — but the race for the cure is picking up the pace. Let’s dig in.

Stefan woke up in Rebekah’s bed, with Rebekah’s arm on him, and too quickly got his clothes on. He opened her bedroom door, and Klaus was there. He’d come to momentarily unite their teams against Kol, who now has the white oak stake as well as Klaus’ set of daggers. Klaus knew Rebekah has the last dagger and some white ash, and he wanted it so he could put Kol back in a box. Rebekah didn’t want to leave herself unprotected, so she told Klaus to get gone. Klaus asked Stefan to talk some sense into her: If they dagger Kol, Damon will no longer be compelled to kill Jeremy, and the hunt for the cure could continue.

Of course, Elena still has her plan to kill Kol, which she informed Bonnie of over the phone. No one seems at all upset that if Kol dies, and his bloodline follows, there could be nice vamps like Stefan and Damon among that body count. Elena was stuck in the safe house with Jeremy, who insisted he’s playing video games “to train.” That was another classic Matt face when he turned around to tell Elena, “Me, too.”

Bonnie was stuck at the high school blowing up 89 of the 99 red balloons Caroline had requested for the Welcome to the ‘80s decade dance. After Elena burned her hands trying to wash dishes, Bonnie phoned her Mayor dad so he confirm he’d done what should have been done a long time ago in Mystic Falls — put vervain in the water supply. (Did it not hit Rebekah’s neck of the woods, yet?) Mayor Bonnie’s Dad also reinstated a curfew and canceled town events, including the dance. Bonnie had the nerve to say it’s her job to protect this town and she’s been doing it well. Have we forgotten about all the lanterns we lit after the public memorial for the 12 dead Council members, Bonnie? She hung up, and Kol was there. He slammed her into the lockers and was going to kill her so the race for the cure would stop. Only she did to him what she’d done to Professor Shane when he was being interrogated and pissed her off. This time, however, as his bones broke, the balloons in the hallway burst and tons of paper flew out of opened lockers. I guess the kids had most of their books with them for homework? Kol collapsed, and off Bonnie ran.

We cut to Damon, who was still on the ground in the Salvatore family cellar. Stefan tossed him a vial of blood and offered him a bottle of water. When Damon got up, he was greeted by Klaus, who was going to play the role of Original Babysitter. Stefan told Klaus to give Damon a vial of blood every couple of hours so he doesn’t dessicate. He gave him permission to bleed him out again, if needed. Damon told Klaus that Stefan was still mad at him for sleeping with Elena, and Klaus told Damon about catching Stefan sneaking out of Rebekah’s bed. Revenge sex, Damon knows it well.

On Stefan’s way out to try to get the dagger from Rebekah, he got a call from Elena. She told him that Kol had just tried to kill Bonnie, and about her plan to have Jeremy kill Kol. Stefan smartly turned on his motorcycle motor so Klaus wouldn’t hear Elena explain that Bonnie thinks she can use her newfound power to hold Kol down long enough for Jeremy to get a shot. “They may be dysfunctional, bickering lunatics, but they stick together no matter what,” Stefan said, worrying about Rebekah and Klaus’ wrath. That’s why Elena wanted him to find the dagger and use it on Rebekah. Stefan said he can’t do that, which I took to mean because they’re partners, but Elena’s right: A vampire dies if he uses the dagger on an Original. So Matt will do it. And Bonnie also thinks she can get Klaus out of the picture, too, Elena said. Someone named Bonnie is AWFULLY full of herself now. Once they had the cure, they could use it against Rebekah and Klaus if they’re still pissy. Stefan agreed to it.

NEXT: Kol comes calling

Elena phoned Kol and told him she wanted to call a truce in the name of Silas. She said she’d come to him, but he said he’d come to her. The doorbell rang. He was there. Elena wrote on a handy blackboard for Matt to go help Stefan find the dagger, and for Jeremy to go get Bonnie. Jeremy was the one who had to invite Kol in, so Elena said he’d do it and leave. Smart call: Kol had just got done talking about ripping Jeremy’s arms off, which would spare Kol the Hunter’s curse. Kol said he’d heard vervain was back in town, so he couldn’t compel Elena. Wait, why not? Does washing her hands in it earlier count? Kol entered, and Elena saw the white oak stake in his jacket pocket as he put away his iPod and asked for a drink.

We caught up to Stefan, who was back at Rebekah’s place watching her complain about ‘80s fashion as she tried to select an outfit for the dance from racks of clothing. A cover of “Maneater” was a nice song choice. Stefan had to break the news that the dance was canceled. She guessed that he’d come to talk about her giving up the dagger. When the subject turned to him trying to sneak out that morning, he said he was just trying to get used to their new situation. She asked him if he regretted it. He said no. She asked if he wanted it to happen again. He smiled (well, smiling for Stefan) and said maybe. SWOON. Would Stefan sleep with her just to get the dagger, she wondered. She knows he’s not Mr. Innocent. The conversation turned back to her missing yet another high school dance, and Stefan suggested they still go. This was almost as sweet as Zack setting up that “prom picnic” outside the school gymnasium when Kelly couldn’t afford a dress on Saved By the Bell. (It’s streaming on Netflix, y’all.)Though, let the record show that if we’re supposed to think security guards and teachers had been compelled before to let kids roam the school at all hours, that won’t work any longer now that vervain is in the water supply.

Back at Salvatore Mansion, Klaus was inside the cellar with Damon villain-bonding. I actually said, “Ahhh,” when Klaus asked Damon how he gets Elena to overlook every horrible thing he’s done: “What is it you say to her?” As much as I enjoyed Joseph Morgan during Klaus’ holiday hybrid killing spree, it’s these surprisingly tender moments of Klaus’ that I love most. Damon knew what this was about: Klaus is afraid Caroline won’t forgive him for killing Carol Lockwood. Damon gave him a real answer: Damon is the bad guy so things get done, Klaus is a bad guy just to be a dick. “If you’re gonna be bad, be bad with purpose; otherwise, you’re just not worth forgiving.”

Over at Pi Beta Gilbert, Kol dropped a mention of the Originals all living in New Orleans at the turn of the century — until Klaus shoved a dagger in his heart — so we won’t be surprised when Klaus heads to New Orleans in the April 25 episode. That’s the one serving as the backdoor pilot for the Originals spinoff. Elena asked what Kol had done to get daggered, and Kol told her Klaus doesn’t need a reason. She said she’s willing to give up finding the cure if Kol agrees to leave Jeremy alone. Since Jeremy couldn’t find Bonnie, and the only thing Matt found at Rebekah’s was a random hair pick, Elena had to stall by talking cocktails and Silas with Kol.

Kol said he ran with witches in Africa in the 14th Century, in Haiti in the 17th Century, and New Orleans in the 1900s, and they all knew about Silas. He holds witches in high regard (when he’s not trying to kill one). Silas would unleash hell on earth if risen, they told him. Kol likes the earth as is (thanks, iTunes). Kol is a pretty good conversationalist. I hope we see him again in flashbacks.

Jeremy couldn’t reach Bonnie because her dad had taken her car keys and phone so they could have their first ever family meeting. He’s worried about her being a ticking power bomb. Jeremy showed up at her house and told Bonnie that Kol was in his house. Her dad still didn’t want her to leave, so she made a lightbulb break. She tried to exit, and WHOA, her mother was at the door. Did not see that coming! Honestly, part of me wants Abby to turn Bonnie into a vampire so she’ll lose her powers and we can stop with all the witch stuff on this show. But we’re too far down that path.

Bonnie’s dad, whose first name I still don’t know, had called Abby. Abby wanted to know what lies Professor Shane had told Bonnie and said that Bonnie was done helping Elena. Jeremy tried to stake Abby, but Bonnie stopped him. Jeremy left, and back at Elena’s, Kol did as well. It was unclear whether he believed Elena about being willing to give up looking for the cure.

NEXT: Vamps just wanna have fun

At the high school, Stefan and Rebekah broke in to the gymnasium, which was still full of balloons and had neon lights on the walls. Where does this dance budget come from?! She was looking cuter than Madonna, and I’d say he was a cross between Top Gun and Karate Kid’s Cobra Kai. Stefan needed to stall, because Matt was still hunting for the dagger, so he put on music — The Cure. FUNNY! As “Lovesong” played, Stefan gave Rebekah a crash course in ‘80s movies — the grand romantic gestures of Say Anything and The Princess Bride, and the unlikely alliances of The Breakfast Club. “Love, friendship, the possibility of anything happening,” Stefan said — she would have loved that decade because as much as they hate to admit it, they care about those things. After pinning her with a koala clip-on (I don’t remember those at all), Stefan asked her to dance.

Jeremy went home to find Elena alone at the house. When the doorbell rang, they assumed it was Bonnie. Wrong! It was Kol, who apparently hung around to hear what Jeremy and Elena would talk about when Jeremy returned. Those Originals are smart. He denied her request for a truce. Elena shut the door, but he’d been invited in. Hide and seek, it is.

Bonnie told her mother and father about the cure and that she needed to go if she wanted to save Abby. Abby said Bonnie was the one who needed to be saved, and grabbed her. Was I getting my wish? No, she just used some kind of powder to knock Bonnie out. Bored now.

You know who else was bored? Damon and Klaus, the latter of whom was infuriated by Stefan’s lack of communication. “It’s one of his trademarks, like his brooding and his hair,” Damon said. Ha! Klaus entertained himself trying to wind Damon up. He pointed out how Stefan had fought so hard to fight Klaus’ compulsion to feed on Elena that he was able to momentarily beat it. Whereas Damon couldn’t resist Kol’s to kill Jeremy. Damon may love Elena, Klaus said, but will Elena see that Stefan is the greater love when they find the cure? Klaus thinks that’s what’ll happen, and he believes Damon does, too.

Kol called Klaus at that moment. He assumed that Klaus was in on this plan to kill him. He said he was going to rip off Jeremy’s arm and kill Elena and then come for him. Elena fired an arrow at Kol’s leg. WHAT? That seemed like the worst plan ever, Elena. Klaus, meanwhile, freaked out and asked Damon what Stefan and Elena were planning. Damon genuinely didn’t know. Klaus thought he’d compelled Damon to stay in the cellar, but Damon had been drinking that bottled water Stefan gave him, which had vervain in it. Or so that’s what I thought. Unlike Elena, who I assume wouldn’t have had time to build up a tolerance to digested vervain, Damon has that. But then, if Damon could leave, where did he go? We didn’t see him again until the end of the hour.

NEXT: Rebekah’s big reveal, and the Gilbert kitchen of death

At the dance for two, Rebekah declared Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead or Alive” not as bad as the rest of the ‘80s songs she heard. (Rebekah didn’t like the Cure?) Stefan, who’d fetched booze from the teacher’s lounge, said it’s the “godfather of rock anthems.” DAMN STRAIGHT. Rebekah wanted to know why Stefan was so fun tonight, and he said it’s because he can’t listen to ‘80s music and not think of his best friend Lexi, who snuck them backstage once and compelled half a band to do tequila shots with them. Lexi was fearless, like Rebekah, he said. He didn’t sleep with Lexi, he just felt like a better person with her. That’s how he felt with Elena (only with the sex). He had the old sad Stefan look for a moment, and Rebekah said that look is the reason she doesn’t allow herself to care. He said she’s lying. A balloon randomly popped, and Stefan jumped. Rebekah assumed Stefan was afraid Kol had found them. She said she’d protect him and showed him that she had the dagger on her, in her boots. Stefan texted Matt to get there.

Elena, it turns out, had a plan. She was trying to lead Kol, a master at kicking doors, through to Jeremy’s room, where Jeremy was waiting to fire slim stakes at him. Kol caught them, one in each hand, but that meant that Elena could deliver some wooden bullets to his chest while Jeremy ran. Kol threw a stake back at Elena and hit her in the leg. He caught up to Jeremy and tossed him down the stairs. He sent a piece of wood he tore from the railing through Elena’s stomach and pinned her to the wall. Wait, he said he wanted to kill her. Just do it first. “Now, about that arm,” Kol said. You know what, Kol, maybe rip it off right there. Don’t drag him down the stairs, even though it looks cool for Jeremy to reach out and try to stop himself from being taken away.

Stefan’s big plan to get the dagger away from Rebekah was to have her do “the Breakfast Club slide” in the hallway. He knew she’d have to take off her boots. Matt was waiting around the corner and watched as Rebekah took out the dagger and walked it over to Stefan. She knew that’s what he wants. “You’re right. I do care. I want stupid koala corsages and a prom. I want to have kids with someone who loves me enough to stand outside my window with a stupid boombox. I want to be human. So let Klaus put down my brother, and let’s go find the cure,” she said, with tears in her eyes. “Come on, let’s go home,” Stefan said. He couldn’t do it. Matt almost looked relieved, right, that he didn’t have to dagger her even though he probably wants to?

At Bonnie’s house, Abby was mixing more drugs to keep Bonnie asleep until she could get witches there to erase her mind of whatever Shane had filled it with. Oops, Bonnie was up. She told Abby she doesn’t belong to the spirits, she belongs to herself now and made her mother hurt. Bonnie bolted.

Because all bad things happen in the Gilbert kitchen, that’s where Kol had taken Jeremy. He had Jeremy lying restrained on the island and was holding a cleaver. He was just gonna chop off both arms, to be safe, and then he’d heal Jeremy with his blood so he wouldn’t die. Elena got there just in time to redirect the cleaver into Kol. She kept Kol busy while Jeremy popped up and, in a move that was both brilliant and f—ing hilarious, grabbed the faucet hose and fired a stream of vervain water at Kol.

Elena tossed Jeremy the stake, and he staked Kol. Kol burst into flames that apparently were a special kind of fire that couldn’t spread to the floor he was writhing on. Klaus had shown up, just in time to see Kol ablaze. He had tears and anger in his eyes.

Elena tried to play it off like they had no choice, but Klaus knew they’d set a trap for Kol if he was even inside the house. He said he was going to set the house on fire and kill them when they fled. YES, THIS SHOULD BE YOUR PLAN. Jeremy said Klaus would never get the cure then for Elena to make more hybrids. Klaus let something slip: He didn’t want the cure so he could make hybrids. He wanted it so he could destroy it. He was going to kill them all as soon as he found it. Before he could make good on his arson threat, Bonnie showed up. She crippled him, then told Jeremy to invite him in. Why? She put up some kind of shield to keep Klaus trapped there. Sure, why not. She can pretty much do anything she wants now.

Stefan again broke sad news to Rebekah, this time about Kol. She was hurt that Stefan knew about the plan, and he said he went along with it because Kol was never going to let them find the cure and he wouldn’t let him hurt the people he cares about — Jeremy, Elena, Damon, and her. He said he still wants them to find the cure together — for Elena and her. She deserves a second chance, too, to be whatever she wants, he said. Why would Rebekah trust him? Stefan told her she was just going to have to take a leap of faith and appear on the next season of The Bachelor as soon as she’s human.

At Salvatore Mansion, everyone impatiently waited for Jeremy’s mark to grow, Damon was reunited with Elena now that he’s no longer compelled to kill Jeremy, and Stefan arrived home with Silas’ headstone. So Rebekah is still Team Stefan. Bonnie said she drew on the new moon to bind the spell keeping Klaus hostage, so they had three or four days to find the cure. Elena assumed Rebekah was daggered so they just needed to get Professor Shane and they’d be set — but Stefan said he didn’t dagger Rebekah because she’s on their side. How could he trust her? Damon was more than happy to tell Elena that Stefan had slept with Rebekah. Elena had nothing to say until the brothers started bickering, and then she told them to stop. “Why don’t you tell her to calm down, Damon. You’ve managed to use that sire bond pretty well so far, haven’t you?” Stefan said. BURN! Damon punched Stefan, and Stefan was about to return the favor when Jeremy screamed and RIPPED OPEN HIS SHIRT. I laughed for at least 20 seconds.

There was no way to make that not cheesy. But on the plus side, it was worth the wait. Lookin’ good, son. Like Stephen Amell good. Pause as I think back to season 1, and the first time I did an IMDB age check on Steven R. McQueen. Memories.

The mark grew, and now they all could see it. “Here we go,” Damon said.

Can’t wait to see how they bust Professor Shane out of jail to go cure-hunting on an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Theories?

Your turn. What did you think of the episode?

Episode Recaps

The Vampire Diaries

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