The race for the cure takes a tragic turn as Silas is reached
Vampire Diaries
Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…

We’ve been hearing rumors of a TVD death, and we may or may not have witnessed it in this episode as thawing Silas drained Jeremy and snapped his neck. Jeremy looked more dead than usual, and the promo for next week seems to suggest that Jeremy has not woken up (if Meredith wants Elena to release “the body”) — even though he had his ring on. Does being a member of The Five make him supernatural, and therefore the ring no longer works on him? If he did die, who gets the Hunter’s Curse: Silas for finishing him off, or Katherine for setting it in motion? Or will there be no curse because of a loophole? If Silas is raised, does that mean there’s a way for him to bring Jeremy back from the dead, or was the possibility of resurrection just a lie that Silas’ hallucinations told folks like Shane and Bonnie? And wait, how was Katherine there? Is she working with Shane? Was she completing the final sacrifice of 12 for Shane? Does she want the cure for Klaus, so she can stop running and hiding from him? So many questions. But let’s go back to the start.

Vaughn, the Hunter who captured Damon, had him tied to a tree and wanted to know why his mark suddenly completed itself two days ago. Damon insisted he knows nothing about tattoos. “Look at my skin, it’s flawless,” he cracked. A new classic Damon line. While Vaughn took a poker to Damon’s neck to show he should be taken seriously, Elena recapped everyone’s whereabouts on the phone for Caroline. They saw signs of a struggle, so they assumed Damon has been taken and wasn’t just off brooding. They asked Caroline to get Klaus’ sword so they could translate Jeremy’s tattoos via the photos Bonnie took and send them a map and directions. Klaus wouldn’t hand the sword over, Rebekah argued. He didn’t need to: “There’s only so many places you can hide a 3-foot piece of metal,” Stefan said. Next time we’d see Caroline, she and Tyler would have found the sword in Klaus’ attic. That is like Damon hiding the moonstone in his soap dish, only less clever. The handle is a cryptex (“I’ve seen the Da Vinci Code,” Caroline said), so they basically had to twist parts and read Aramaic, which of course Klaus knew.

Jeremy, Bonnie, and Shane reached the well, and the islander who was assisting Shane asked for his payment. Shane gave him the tombstone. Like Bonnie, I thought that was a lame use for it. Apparently its core is made up of Qetsiyah’s calcified blood, which is more valuable in some witch circles than the Hope Diamond. While Rebekah tried to get a signal, Elena and Stefan talked about the fact that he’d never told her he’s always wanted to be human again, even before he met her. I don’t think it’s that much of a deep dark personal secret, Stefan, considering you preferred to drink animal blood when we met you. But Stefan referred to Elena as a friend, which made Elena happy and Rebekah concerned.

Vaughn now had Damon walking toward the well. His plan was to use Damon to make Bonnie open the crypt to Silas for him. He’d make Silas take the cure, kill him, and complete the Brotherhood of the Five’s mission. Damon noted that Bonnie would not do anything for him, but good news for Vaughn: They didn’t give a crap about Silas, they just wanted the cure, so yes, Bonnie would open the crypt regardless. Vaughn dropped the bombshell we all kind of saw coming: There’s only one dose of the cure. Klaus, who’d wisely decided that he could help Caroline and Tyler read the cryptex and keep that important information to himself, shouted it out to Rebekah when Caroline phoned her to say they were emailing the translation and directions. Did he really want her to be happy, or did he just want her to take the cure so no one would try to force feed it to him? I assume the latter.

On her way down into the well, Bonnie fell and cut her hand. Jeremy bandaged her up so they could talk about how she wouldn’t let Shane raise Silas and would kill Shane herself if he made a move to hurt either one of them, but not before she bleed heavily enough that it seeped down below to the crypt and fell on stony, steely Silas’ mouth. (Ah, so the blood is what gives him enough mojo to produce the hallucinations.) Meanwhile, Damon and Vaughn took a break on their trek to reveal that Vaughn hadn’t saved Jeremy and Elena, there’s someone else on the island — someone who also took out the islander who’d been given the headstone. From the neck injury, it looked like a vampire. It didn’t occur to me yet that it’d be KATHERINE.

NEXT: Tantric magic

In the well, Shane realized they were standing on top of the magical passageway Bonnie had to open to lead them to Silas’ crypt. Bonnie had to hold Jeremy’s hand, touch his bare chest, breathe, and pull the power of the mark into her. So it’s tantric magic. Sexy! The more Bonnie “pulled,” the more Jeremy shook, though he didn’t seem to be in pain. The well began to crumble around them. Awkward commercial break!

Rebekah had sent Elena jumping first off a cliff so she could tell Stefan there was only one dose of the cure. She knew even if she gave it to him, he’d just give it to Elena. She couldn’t handle two against one, so she snapped his neck.

After the magicquake stopped, Bonnie and Jeremy were fine. They’d succeeded in opening the passage. Jeremy put back on his shirt. Boo! And Bonnie refused to help Shane, who’d broken his leg. A little convenient, perhaps? She told Shane it was best if he stayed off the leg, which meant she and Jeremy moved ahead on their own.

The Hunter and Damon officially entered the playing field. Since Vaughn no longer needed Damon because Bonnie had done her part already, they were ready to kill each other. Damon said he was going to do away with Vaughn and get the cure for the girl he loves. Vaughn said Damon’s attachment to his friends would be the end of him. We heard a noise. “You don’t know my friends,” Damon said. Enter Rebekah. “Or my enemies,” he finished.

Elena had made her way back to the top of the cliff to sit beside Stefan. As he drank from a blood bag, he told Elena about there only be one cure, and she said she couldn’t take it above everyone else who deserved it just as much as her. (Maybe Stefan and Rebekah deserve it more, since they’ve been vampires longer, Elena?) She said maybe it was for the best: Even if she could be human again, she’d never be the same girl she was before Matt’s truck went off the Wickery bridge. She’d have to learn to embrace the new her and live her life. Sired to Damon, Stefan said. She’d deal with that when they got home. HOME. They realized Bonnie’s spell holding Klaus would soon wear off, and after what they did to Kol, Klaus would kill them all. They had to get the cure and ram it down his throat. At Elena’s house, Tyler had realized that, too. He wanted to get out of town, knowing Klaus would start with him. Caroline begged him to let her try to fix things with Klaus because she didn’t want to say goodbye to him again.

We cut back to the well, where Vaughn proved he’s the James Bond of The Five. He knocked Rebekah out with some kind of stake grenade he buried in her chest and fired some kind of vervain yo-yo around Damon’s neck. Stefan and Elena caught up, and Vaughn fled through the passage. Stefan sent Elena on, and he stayed behind to try to help Damon.

NEXT: Oh, I keep forgetting Silas was a witch

Jeremy clearly thought it was romantic that he and Bonnie were on this mission together. That is, until she started talking to Grams, who only she could see and hear. Now the minute Grams started telling Bonnie that all she had to do to bring her back to life for good was reach Silas and “feed him,” I called bull. Grams would never violate nature like that. Jeremy was able to snap Bonnie out of it, because if it was really the ghost of Grams, he’d be able to see her since he can see ghosts. He guessed it was Silas trying to control Bonnie through a hallucination, as he had done with Shane. The tears in Kat Graham’s eyes were beautiful. Jeremy held her hand and told her to listen to the sound of his voice only. Ah, Jeremy. I was sorta surprised he was that smart and in control, but it was nice to see.

Caroline tried to convince Klaus that he didn’t have to forgive Tyler, he just needed to let him live far away from Mystic Falls. Klaus resisted, and we veered off into a conversation about whether Caroline would take the cure if she had the chance. Klaus knew she wouldn’t, she’s like him: She likes being strong, ageless, fearless. That makes total sense. Caroline turned it around on Klaus: If they’re so much alike, he should show Tyler the mercy she’d show Klaus. For a moment, it appeared she’d gotten through to him. We heard the epic love theme in the background. But the only mercy Klaus would show Tyler, for Caroline’s sake, was a head start.

Stefan finally freed Damon, and Damon insisted Stefan go help Elena get the cure while he sat, sulked, and recovered. Stefan didn’t waste time telling Damon that they had to save the dose for Klaus. On he went. Elena was still on her own — except for whoever jumped out and attacked her. That’s when I realized it was Katherine.

On Elena’s porch swing, Caroline said a tearful goodbye to Tyler. They’re immortal, he reminded her. “This isn’t goodbye, this is until we find a way,” he said. Beautiful line. Also simultaneously heartwarming and heartbreaking was her response: She told Tyler if they couldn’t find a way, he had to promise he’d live a full, happy life without her and never think of her again. For her sake, he said it. They kissed. He slowly walked away. And Caroline sat there crying. Where’s Tyler going? And how long will he be gone?

Stefan came to the Pass Professor Shane part of the game. Shane insisted he never knew there was only one dose, and he tried to barter his guide skills for some of Stefan’s healing blood, but Stefan refused. As Stefan went on, bleeding Shane saw another hallucination of his wife. Can he bleed out and die, please?

Bonnie and Jeremy reached Silas, who was clutching a box they presumed contained the cure. It was “fossilized in place,” Bonnie said. Trying to remove it was like trying to bend stone. Bonnie realized he’d been frozen like this for 2,000 years, and, perhaps remembering what faux Grams had said, she knew what they had to do: They had to feed him their blood to loosen his grip. They had to wake him up.

Speaking of waking up, Damon had crawled over to Rebekah and picked the stake shrapnel out of her back. She knew he hadn’t gone with Elena and Stefan because he wanted Elena to have the cure, even if she may not love him back then, which meant he was being selfless with her and was now a “halfway decent person.”

NEXT: Can we still like Katherine?

Back to Silas: As Jeremy beat him with a rock, Bonnie tried to tell Jeremy they’d find a way to get the cure without raising him. Just then, we heard the sound of knife stabbing Bonnie in the back: It was Vaughn. He told Jeremy not to listen to the witch — they had to raise Silas and do it now. With Bonnie already bleeding, why didn’t Vaughn just use her blood? Does it have to be blood from one of The Five to raise him? (That would explain why Katherine had saved Jeremy on the island before.) Vaughn cut his own hand and started dripping blood over Silas. Jeremy went Bourne on his ass, but Vaughn was the more experienced fighter. He was about to finish Jeremy off, when “Elena” sped in. Jeremy reminded her of the Hunter’s Curse, right before she took a bite out of Vaughn’s neck. She just knocked him out instead. Definitely Katherine, I thought.

Over to Klaus… He walked out of Elena’s house. He told Caroline he assumed he was free because something had happened to Bonnie. He also said he’d never hurt Caroline except for impaling her, and that he’d shown kindness, forgiveness, and pity — for her.

Stefan finally caught up to bleeding Elena, who confirmed that Katherine was there. Jeremy had wanted “Elena” to feed Bonnie her blood to save her, but “Elena” wanted Jeremy to raise Silas first. Katherine finally grew impatient and grabbed Jeremy, slit his wrist, and put it in Silas’ mouth. His eyes lit up. To speed things up, Katherine bit Jeremy’s neck and shoved it in Silas’ mouth. Silas raised his hand to hold Jeremy’s head in place and Katherine grabbed the box. She could have taken a second to yank Jeremy out of Silas’ bite — Silas couldn’t be full strength yet, right? — but she fled. Silas snapped Jeremy’s neck and he fell, looking really, really dead. Had he already drained Jeremy of all his blood? Again, does Jeremy’s ring not work because he’s a Hunter? Or because it was Silas who drained him? OR WHAT JUST HAPPENED?! All Bonnie could do was lie there looking paralyzed and stare helplessly at Jeremy. Man, worst Valentine’s Date ever. What if we never see that chest again, you guys?

Episode Recaps

Best Starting Point: ''Growing Pains'' (401) — A lot changed in last season's lead-up. It's probably best not to miss this season opener, which shows…
The Vampire Diaries

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

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