Hats off to the Vampire Barbies this week – both Caroline and Rebekah pretty much made “Into the Wild” bearable. Stefan sure knows how to pick his BFFs… and friends with benefits. Last week, we left off with Kol’s death causing Jeremy’s mark to finish growing, which means that the gang could now head off to find the cure.
Tyler and Caroline, noticeably absent the last couple episodes, re-appear with a bang this week. Since Bonnie left Klaus – trapped with a crispy Kol in the Gilbert house [which is kind of a cold move, to be honest] – while the gang takes off for the wild Canadian islands, Tyler decides it would be a good time to pay his momma-killin’ hybrid sire a visit. Mostly Tyler has decided that he’s going to watch over Klaus and taunt him until the group returns with the cure – at which point he intends to force-feed it to Klaus so that he can kill him.
The two pass a few threats back and forth before Caroline (Candice Accola) shows up to try and get Tyler to leave. However, Caroline loses her cool and ends up in an argument with Klaus, yelling at him that she will never forgive him for killing Carol Lockwood or Aunt Jenna. Finally having enough of the attitude, Klaus lashes out at Caroline, stabbing her with a lamp post and dragging her into his box before taking a bite out of her neck.
Realizing that Caroline will die now that she’s been bitten by a hybrid, Tyler promises Klaus that he’ll be Klaus‘ “Little Bitch” again if he’ll heal Caroline. Klaus refuses as he feels that his revenge against Tyler (Michael Trevino) is worth Caroline’s death. Caroline asks Tyler to take her away so that she doesn’t have to look at Klaus anymore. Once away, Caroline accepts that she’s going to die, but Tyler comes up with a plan to return to the Gilbert house and leave Caroline alone with Klaus – likely hoping his guilt and love for Caroline will make him heal her.
Once Tyler leaves the two alone, Caroline delivers a fantastically moving speech about how, since Klaus (Joseph Morgan) is able to love, he is still saveable. [Though I’m pretty sure Hitler was in love at some point, but that doesn’t make him saveable.] Still, it was a nice speech anyway, and Klaus ended up healing her of his Hybrid bite, so… well played, Caroline!
Some major character developments also take place this week while everyone’s wandering the island. Rebekah, understandably still pissed off that Elena and Jeremy killed her brother, is full of sass and fed up with Elena. Stefan wisely opts to stay out of it, for the most part, as Elena and Rebekah exchange snide comments and insults. Elena has to re-think her position when Rebekah saves her life mid-argument, and Stefan re-thinks Rebekah’s supposed “evil” status when she points out that Elena‘s actions make her no better than Bex. [Possibly the best “you go girl!” moment of the episode.]
In addition, Stefan informs Rebekah that he is no longer intending to take the cure for Elena – if he takes it at all, it’ll be because he wants it for himself. Rebekah plans to take it because she absolutely hates being a vampire. Shane confesses that his wife Caitlin died from the Expression magic he taught Bonnie to wield. Naturally, Bonnie is shocked, and Damon is furious that Shane has ensured his survival by banking on Bonnie needing him to keep her from spiraling out of control.
Damon, for his part, finally breaks down – after some encouragement from Shane, who was pretty obvious in his attempts to get Damon to leave the island for some reason. Damon tells Elena that he absolutely does not want the cure and does not want Elena to take the cure. [It will be interesting to see how far this sire bond stretches if the cure turns out to actually exist. Now that Elena knows Damon doesn’t want her to take it – wouldn’t she lose interest in it?] Anyway, after this revelation, Damon storms off.
As for the Race for the Cure, it turns out that the cure is supposedly hidden on an island off Nova Scotia, which was considered a “remote location” back in the day. Unfortunately, once we got to the island, we were left with a whole lot of Professor Shane backstory – in the form of flashbacks, of course – to trudge through. Since he’s certainly no one’s favorite character on The Vampire Diaries, the flashback scenes weren’t as enjoyable as we normally find them to be [like, for instance, when we get to see some Elijah action or 1920’s Stefan, both always a good time].
[I have realized that I pretty much stop paying attention whenever Shane speaks, so I had to go back and re-watch his flashbacks a few times to get what he was talking about.] Anyway, we learn through the flashbacks that Shane (David Alpay) was on the island a year previously after hearing rumors about people being able to see and talk with their dead loved ones. Using his blood, Shane managed to conjure up his dead wife Caitlin (Camille Guaty). Through her, he learned that Silas and the cure were buried under the magic well on the island. [My guess is that she turns out to be just as shady as her husband.]
Caitlin told him all the steps he would need to complete in order for Silas to be raised – at which point Silas would then also raise anyone who died helping release him. As we’ve figured out, this involved several massacres, and though Shane was reluctant to cause so much death, Caitlin convinced him by telling him that all he had to do was find people to do the killing for him. Pastor Young and Hayley were both convinced to help by Shane promising that they’d see their dead loved ones again.
Between character developments and flashbacks, another witch Massak (John Gabriel Rodriguez) shows up and kidnaps Jeremy – who was alone in the tent trying to get some sleep. When morning comes and they realize they’ve lost Jeremy, the gang splits up into two factions: Bonnie, Shane, and Damon stay at camp while Stefan, Elena, and Rebekah take off to search the island to try and find Jeremy the old-fashioned way.
At camp, Bonnie tries to find Jeremy by using a locator spell. Damon takes matters into his own hands as he ties Shane up and tries to torture the cure’s location out of him. He also tries to assure Shane that he doesn’t care about Bonnie [hopefully this is supposed to be a way to show Damon becoming self-destructive again, because I know the writers don’t expect us to believe that after all the times he’s helped try and keep Bonnie alive]. Regardless, just as Damon is about to kill Shane, Elena shows up and stops him. [Elena is the worst decision-maker on the planet, by the way.]
There is also a mysterious, hatchet-throwing character that is out to protect Jeremy [some sort of Hunter solidarity, I’m sure], and by the end of the episode we learn that it’s probably Galen Vaughn (Charlie Bewley), another Hunter. He makes his magical appearance when he finds Damon and snaps his neck. [Don’t even ask me why this Hunter didn’t just kill Damon right off – hopefully they’ll have some logical reason for it next week].
While everyone has their backs turned, it’s no surprise that Shady Shane takes advantage by making off with Bonnie, Silas’ headstone, and eventually also meets up with the witch who stole Jeremy. Once the rest of the gang finds out about Shane’s unsurprising betrayal, Elena – in a show of trust after Rebekah’s brutal honesty finally penetrates her brain – willingly hands the White Oak Stake over to Bex. So, Bex has the White Oak Stake, some unknown hunter has Damon, and Shady Shane has everyone else. The events have led to an uneasy alliance between Rebekah, Elena, and Stefan, and we’ll have to wait and see how this all plays out….