This week on “The Vampire Diaries, Damon quotes “Heathers.” Lots of other stuff happens too. But just take a moment to reflect on how perfect that is. Then take a deep breath, because the rest of the hour is pure angst.
Elena (Nina Dobrev) is tormented by visions of Connor (Todd Williams) who tells her she has a guilty conscience. She calls for Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) to help, but he just morphs into her vision of Connor. This leads to her accidentally stab her brother in the neck. Oops. She phones Damon (Ian Somerhalder) for help because she is mad at Stefan (Paul Wesley). Stefan arrives as Jeremy wakes up. She rejects his offers of help. Elena showers. The tub appears to full with blood, “Shining” style.
Klaus phones Stefan to say that they are going to find the other four hunters. He asks if Elena’s hallucinations have started yet, revealing that he is the expert on what happens when vampires kill hunters because he murdered the original Five. Elena will be haunted by visions who will drive her to commit suicide. If Klaus doesn’t watch her, she’ll end up killing herself that day. Sure enough, Ghost Connor tells Elena she’s a monster who deserves to die. Klaus abducts her at vamp-speed.
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Jeremy tells Matt he has the Hunter’s mark. Damon and Stefan seek Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) help since the Five is a witch’s curse. She agrees to talk to professor Shane about it. April realizes, when Shane lectures at school, that he knew her dad. Shane talks about a creature named Silas, which I am mentioning in case he turns out to be important in future episodes. Bonnie introduces Shane to Damon. He shows Shane a picture of the Hunter’s Mark. He tells them they need to find potential hunters. It turns out that when someone with a hunter’s mark kills a vampire, he becomes a hunter. That means that if Jeremy kills one, he will replace Connor, which will end Elena’s torment. Damon breaks the news to Bonnie that Jeremy is a potential.
Klaus finds Elena and locks her in a room devoid of light for her protection. In this episode, he does have her best interests at heart even if it’s for his own selfish reasons, but nobody believes him. He tells her he went through 52 years of torment because he killed the Five. He wanted to die, but he’s immortal. He warns her the hallucinations take strange forms.
Ghost Connor demands Elena talk to her about what it was like to kill him. She admits she enjoyed the taste of his blood. He tells her that her parents died because of her. He tells her that suicide is the only way out. Then she has a vision of Katherine who tells her that in Stefan’s eyes they are now the same since Elena has been turned. She reminds her that Stefan hates Katherine, but points out that Elena still has Damon. She lists all of the people who have been hurt trying to protect Elena.
Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) flirts with Tyler (Michael Trevino) to throw off Klaus (Joseph Morgan). Caroline adds to the ruse, by staging a break-up scene in front of Klaus. One of the hybrids, Chris, has successfully broken his sire bond with Klaus and needs their help escaping his clutches. Caroline seductively asks Klaus to bring Elena back. Klaus says that if Tyler were still sired, he never would have cheated on her. She lets him buy her a drink.
Meanwhile Tyler persuades Chris, who is guarding Elena, to let Stefan in to her room. She hallucinates that he is Connor and stabs him. She is really in a stabby mood this week. She runs away. Stefan texts Caroline, who lets Klaus know that Elena has gone missing again. She also reveals that there is a way to stop Elena’s hallucinations.
Elena soon finds herself on the bridge, she sees her mom who tells her she should have died on the bridge twice. She throws her ring into the water. She hesitates when she thinks about how horrible it will be for Jeremy if she dies. Ghost Mom says she can be a ghost who helps him not a monster who hurts him. Damon finds her. He asks her to come with him. He morphs into Connor. Damon notices she tossed her ring.
Stefan texts Caroline what happened. She relays the news to Klaus, who is pissed. Chris is preparing to leave when Klaus finds him. Hayley claims she is the one who actually freed Elena. Klaus tells Chris to leave. It’s a set up for Jeremy, with an assist from Stefan, to kill Chris. The tattoo on Jeremy’s arm grows as poor Chris dies.
Elena instantly snaps out of her reverie. She realizes the sun is about to rise. Damon pushes her into the water, which seems like it wouldn’t help because the light would hit the water, but apparently it’s a really deep lake. Elena wakes up in her bed. Damon fished the ring out of the water because vampires can swim around the bottom of a lake for as long as it takes to find a tiny ring. Elena thanks him for saving her. He awesomely quotes Heathers. “You know what they say about teenage suicide: don’t do it.” Yes. Yes! A hundred times yes! She is ready to hook up. He takes the high road and informs her that Stefan lied to her because he is attempting to find a cure for her vampirism.
Tyler is devastated by Chris’s death. Caroline rationalizes that they had to do it to save Elena. Tyler says Chris was his friend too. There really is no reason why Elena’s life should be worth more than Chris’s. The morality on this show is greyer than “Dexter.” He wonders how Caroline got Klaus to agree to give up a hybrid. Caroline admits she agreed to go out on a date with him. Tyler angrily throws a glass.
At the Grill, Matt tells Damon that he did all of this detective work off camera with Sheriff Forbes’ help and learned that April’s dad called Shane every day. He phoned ten times the day he blew up the cabin. Shane tells Bonnie that when the hunter she knows completes his mark, he will be the only one who can help.
Elena apologizes to Stefan for stabbing him. Hey, he’s had a few violent moments with her too. Bygones. He says he sent Damon to find her because she trusts Damon more than him right now. She hopes the cure is real because she hates the person that she has become. Her desires have become darker. Stefan wonders if it’s a who or a what. She acknowledges the connection between her and Damon. Her feelings for him have been magnified. He says he can’t do this anymore and they break up for what are actually mature, rational reasons. It is very, very sad.