The hunter mythology comes to light as Elena tries not to go dark

By Mandi Bierly
Updated November 02, 2012 at 05:30 AM EDT
Annette Brown/ The CW

This is The Vampire Diaries that we used to know. We now have our mission for the season: Retrieve Alexander the Hot’s sword, read Connor’s treasure map tattoo, and find the cure that will allow Elena — and Stefan?! — to become human again. Let’s dig in.

The episode opened with a flashback to 1100 A.D., when a witch used a goblet of fire to mark five shirtless men wielding large swords with tattoos like Connor’s. It’s a shame we’re only focusing on Alexander and his pecs. At least one of the other Five was dreamy enough to be seen on this show again. In present day, Damon was busy searching for a supernatural handbook among Connor’s belongings when he got a call from his favorite sheriff, Liz, who told him no remains were found in the explosion Connor set. Damon delegated figuring out Connor’s current whereabouts to Stefan because he was headed on a road trip with Elena and Bonnie to Whitmore College. (Oh how I wish we’d have seen some of that car conversation.)

Bonnie wanted to see the professor who’d taken over Grams’ classes there, and Damon wanted to teach Elena “Snatch, Eat, Erase” and ogle sorority girls. During a pre-trip “hunter defense” class in the woods with Elena, Stefan asked her what we’ve all been wondering: Why can’t Caroline help her learn to safely feed on humans? Because Caroline’s too good at it, Elena told him, she doesn’t understand how hard it is for her. That’s a little bit of a stretch, but okay. Anyone else think we might finally get some vampire sex after class? Nope. Grrr argh. At the Grill, Rebekah tried to buy Matt’s forgiveness with a new truck. He’s still pissed, but he’ll keep it, thank you very much. Klaus thought hearing the words “The Five” would make Rebekah come back to him, but she’s not ready to play nice. Yet.

At the college, Elena, Damon, and Bonnie sat in on Professor Shane’s class. Damon’s eye roll reaction to the girls discussing how attractive the witchipedia professor is was perfect. Damon and Elena got in trouble for talking, but in his defense, Damon was imparting valuable lessons on choosing victims: Stoner guys are too paranoid and you don’t need the extra buzz, while geeky girls are inherently suspicious of anyone who’s nice to them. You want to go for a pretty blonde girl who’s self-absorbed and easily flattered. You just need to separate her from the herd. Elena later tried to snack on one as they were walking across campus — what exactly was the plan if she’d succeeded, do it right there out in the open? — but then she saw a photo on the girl’s phone of her with her little sister and felt too guilty to bite. That’s fine, because a fraternity had a Monster House party scheduled and nothing is as guilt-free as douche frat boys.

While Damon, Bonnie, and Elena bought their costumes offscreen — Jack the Ripper (ha!) and two prostitutes he’d murdered — Stefan went to see Klaus. He’d suspected Klaus saving Elena from Connor’s werewolf venom-spiked brew had something to do with Klaus’ interest in The Five. Klaus had been trying to torture it out of a shirtless Connor, who can’t be compelled, but was getting nowhere. Flashback time! Klaus told Stefan that he and his siblings stumbled upon the Brotherhood of the Five, highly skilled vampire hunters, in Italy in 1114. The Originals had followed the Normans as they conquered southern Italy, feeding and turning people along the way. With all the bloodshed came exposure. These flashbacks were almost cruel in how they dangled Elijah in front of us but didn’t give us our fill. He was the sensible one, even then, telling Klaus that the story of the Original Vampires was spreading because of his and Kol’s appetites. Rebekah fell for the hunter, Alexander, who believed in public executions of vampires. We watched one burn in the sun, and others had already been staked on the stake. Back in present day, Klaus told Stefan that Alexander had shared his secrets with Rebekah, and he wanted to know them now. Klaus promised to share the information with Stefan if Stefan could get Rebekah to come to him. When Klaus said the hunter holds the answer to all of Stefan’s prayers, I knew he meant there was a cure that could reverse vampirism and make Elena human again.

NEXT: A clean slate and a cure

Stefan found Rebekah at the Grill and quickly compelled her new BFF, April, to forget everything she was about to hear. I hope that doesn’t include Rebekah’s warning to steer clear of Matt (“Hey, off-limits, I have dibs”). Stefan told Rebekah that Klaus was going to use her, but she should let Stefan use her instead. He’ll never forgive her for killing Elena, he said, but he’ll give her a clean slate so they can get along at least. And, he promised to ask Matt to give her a clean slate as well. That’s so high school! Maybe he could pass Matt a note in the hallway.

Rebekah agreed to see Klaus, and the dinner scene between those three rivaled the one between the Salvatore Brothers, Klaus, and Elijah. Klaus and Rebekah bickered like the siblings they are, and Stefan threatened to name the million other people he wished he was dining with instead. (Don’t you wish he would’ve started to do it? I’m genuinely curious since we know so little about his interests outside of brooding.) Klaus attempted an apology to Rebekah, and we got a nice dissolve from this meal to a meal in 1114. Elijah, Klaus, and Rebekah listened as Alexander told them the five hunters were bound by fire and the last breath of a dying witch to a single cause — the destruction of all vampires. He said they had the ultimate weapon, which no vampire can survive. Back in present day, Klaus said in order to find the weapon, they need to solve the puzzle — the tattoo is a map leading to it. Cue the entrance of Jeremy, whose ring was swiftly removed so Klaus could threaten to kill him if he didn’t draw him the map off Connor’s arm.

At the Murder House, Jack the Ripper and his prostitutes showed up fashionably late. A Halloween party filled with people covered in fake blood really was the perfect place for Elena and Damon to feed in public. She picked a guy who roofied a girl, and as Stefan had warned her earlier, she got caught up in how good it felt. She hugged Damon. He liked that. “I want more,” she told him. He loved that.

As Jeremy sketched Connor’s tattoo, Connor revealed more about himself. There was a guy he served with in Iraq who had the tattoo. Connor could see it, and that guy had told him what he’d told Jeremy: Only potential hunters can see it. He lost track of the guy, but then one day, the tattoo appeared. It started on his hand. The more vamps he killed, the more it spread. It’s like it’s trying to tell him something but he doesn’t know what, Connor said. Klaus compelled Jeremy to tell him why the tattoo wasn’t complete.

Another flashback: Rebekah was in bed with Alexander. He wanted her to go with him when he left to follow the map, and she said she would. She wanted to talk to him about why he thought all vampires were evil and had to be put down, but he wanted to have sex. Or, so we thought. He Basic Instinct-ed her as they were making out, stabbing her with the dagger and white oak ash on his bedstand. Alexander also daggered Elijah, Kol, Finn, and Klaus. Of course, the dagger didn’t work on Klaus because of his werewolf side, so he got free and ripped out Alexander’s tongue and killed him. Klaus blew up at Rebekah for trusting Alexander over him and demanded to know what he’d promised her if she went with him — a cure.

Stefan refused to believe it at first — the Original siblings would’ve looked for it sooner. But the hunters died, the marks disappeared, and the map was gone, Klaus said. He’d never seen another member of The Five until now. Rebekah knew why Klaus cared so much: He wants to turn Elena back into a human so he can make more hybrids. After Klaus made Rebekah feel like a love-starved desperate teenager with bad taste in men again, she stormed off. The sword is the key to reading the map, and Rebekah knows where Alexander’s sword is. Klaus said Rebekah wouldn’t tell him the location, but she would tell Stefan.

NEXT: This week’s Vampire Elena Scene That Made Us Laugh

Back to the frat party: Professor Shane was there — why, I’m not sure. He took Bonnie to retrieve some of Grams’ things, and he asked her if she practices like Grams had. Bonnie told him she doesn’t any longer. He described himself as someone who is very open-minded and who’s seen a lot of things. He’s willing to pass along what he’s learned if she’s up for it. I don’t think he meant that as a double entendre but my mind went there.

This week’s Vampire Elena Scene That Made Us Laugh came next: Elena and Damon danced with their victims before feeding on them. When they finally danced with each other, it was in this euphoric state. They looked high. And ridiculous. It wasn’t until Elena saw Bonnie looking at her horrified that she came back to her senses. Bonnie scolded Damon for letting Elena lose control, but Damon said that’s the point. If you revel in it and make it fun, you can drink and not kill; you don’t feel the guilt that eventually forces you to turn off your humanity switch and revel in a Ripper way.

Speaking of the Ripper, Rebekah came to see Stefan, and they had a sweet conversation. She said she’d wanted to find the cure for miserable Finn. She admitted she was envious of the love Stefan and Elena have. She’d believed Alexander when he said he loved her and they’d be married. They’d even picked out a church. Still, as much as she may want to help Stefan, she can’t let Klaus get what he wants. She’d asked Stefan if he found the cure, would he take it, too? At first, he just focused on Elena — he wants to get it for her before she kills and flips the switch. But then he admitted that even though he’d like to spend eternity with Elena, if there was a way for him to have kids and grow old with her, he’d do it. Rebekah is a hopeless romantic. She told Stefan she’d buried Alexander, even though he’d daggered her and her brothers. She’d done it at the church where they were supposed to be married. She felt foolish for doing that then — and she felt foolish now after she realized she’d just revealed where the sword was because she’d buried Alexander with it. Out came Klaus, who ridiculed her again for her love life. “Laugh at the girl who loved too easily,” she said, but no one will ever tell stories like this about Klaus because he can’t love. Stefan apologized to Rebekah before Klaus daggered her so she wouldn’t screw up his plan. I feel bad for her. I’m thinking April will come looking for Rebekah. You?

Klaus had a hybrid watching Connor, but Connor bit off the hybrid’s ear piercing and somehow used it to break out of his constraints. I’m glad I didn’t bother to learn that hybrid’s name because Connor creatively decapitated him. Klaus has no idea he’s lost Connor; he’s off to fetch Alexander’s sword. He said no one can know about the cure, especially Damon and Elena — “some secrets are stronger than family.” (I’d like to think that meant “Don’t tell Elijah,” so it’d be one of the first things Stefan would do. Wishful thinking.) Klaus had told Stefan to hide Rebekah’s body and compel Jeremy to forget everything he’d heard, so Stefan was there at Elena’s place when Damon and Elena shared another of their special porch moments. She told Damon that when he describes what a vampire is, deep down she thinks he’s right. But she doesn’t want to be like him. When it was just Stefan and Elena on the porch, she admitted to Stefan that she’d gotten carried away and was afraid she was becoming someone she didn’t want to be, someone who felt so much guilt she had to turn off her emotions and couldn’t survive. So yes, Stefan is definitely motivated to find that cure. (In the meantime, maybe she could just revel in having sex?)

After Connor escaped, he showed up to see Professor Shane. “Why in the hell did you send me there?” Connor asked. The Professor knows about the map, so did he send Connor to Mystic Falls to kill more vamps so more of the tattoo would reveal itself? Does that mean the Professor is working with Esther and the other dead witch spirits who want the Originals to die so the vampire species follows? Or is he the dark magic/evil coming to Mystic Falls?

Your turn. What did you think of the episode? What’s your theory for how this will play out? Are you already picturing an emotional scene between the Salvatore Brothers when Stefan has to decide whether to be human for Elena or stay a vampire for the brother he forced to become one? Wouldn’t it be beautiful if the cure wouldn’t work on Elena because she’s the doppelgänger? What do you think Caroline and Tyler were doing while all this was going down?

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