Mystic Falls has a new council of sorts. Alaric, Stefan, Damon, and Elena meet to discuss the Lockwood issue. Did Isobel ever mention another supernatural element in Mystic Falls?
Of course, what would a vampire story be without a werewolf plot? Damon is skeptical. He’s been around a long time, and he’s never run into a werewolf. Therefore, they must not exist. Despite his skepticism, the group decides a road trip to Isobel’s office is in order - except for Stefan. He has to stay home and babysit baby vamp, Caroline.
And he’s not exactly thrilled about it. Elena realizes he’s on edge having her going away with Damon. She offers to reschedule the trip, but he says he’ll be fine - while admitting he’s going to hate her being gone. As Elena puts her bags in the car, Damon offers to take very good care of her. She’s tired of Damon, at least she’s not calling him the D word this week, and she knows Stefan’s still uncertain about the trip. She glares at Damon, pulls Stefan close to her, and gives him a passionate kiss - while Damon looks uncomfortably at the pair.
Sunlight is still giving Caroline major issues. When Matt arrives to spend the day with her, she can’t even answer the door. Thankfully, Stefan has thought of this, and he meets with Bonnie to try to solve the problem. In a complication I expected (but hoped to be wrong about), Bonnie’s not so sure about providing Caroline with her own anti-daylight jewelry. At first, she tries to play the “I’m not strong enough card,” but Stefan nixes that idea. If she can drop a vampire with a single glare, she can make the ring. The instructions are in the grimoire. Stefan insists that Caroline needs the ring to give her a tie to her humanity not to make it easier to hunt. Finally, Bonnie agrees.
We move on to Caroline’s room, and Caroline is cranky. She wants to know why she didn’t have any say in picking the ring, and she’s not enjoying the “judgy-Bonnie” treatment. She didn’t have any say in turning into a vampire, and she’s not pleased that Bonnie seems less than friendly. Stefan intervenes before Caroline drives Bonnie away, and Bonnie successfully spells the ring.
Damon’s not the only one curious about what’s going on with Mason Lockwood. Tyler follows his uncle into the woods and discovers a hidden room beneath the ruins of the old Lockwood home. Curious, Tyler asks his mom about the room. The Lockwood house burned down ages ago (seems to be a lot of that in Mystic Falls), and the room isn’t something mentioned in polite company. Slavery, you know. Somehow, I’m thinking slavery isn’t why the room wasn’t mentioned. Does Mrs. Lockwood know the family secret?
The road trip crew arrive at Duke. Alaric introduces Elena and Damon to Vanessa, a former student of Isobel’s, who has the key to the office. Vanessa seems to stare at Elena for a very long time. If she was Isobel’s research assistant, is she more familiar with Mystic Falls’ past than she initially volunteers?
Vanessa leaves the room, and Elena studies the shelves of the office. Damon casually questions where Vanessa went just as she comes around the corner with a device that looks disturbingly familiar. Without any warning, she fires a dart - straight at Elena. Damon jumps in front of Elena, taking the dart in her place. Alaric knocks a frightened Vanessa against the wall.
Stefan brings Caroline to the woods for a hunting lesson, and it isn’t going well. Caroline’s enjoying her first taste of freedom in days and hunting bunnies is not at the top of her list. She wants to go to the swimming hole to hang out with Matt. Stefan understands, and he agrees to go after they’re finished hunting.
Elena introduces herself to Vanessa - asking her for help researching Katherine. Vanessa shows them all the research Isobel had on Katherine, but it isn’t much.
Tyler’s taken over Duke’s job as the official Mystic Falls party host. Mason pulls up, and Tyler questions if he’s there to bust them. No, they can continue with the party but everyone needs to be out by dark. Why Uncle Mason? Does it have to do with that dark, scary room on our property? Of course not, Mason just doesn’t want anyone to end up drowning after dark.
Caroline and Stefan arrive, but they can’t go join the others until Stefan and Mason engage in a stare-down. (Sorry, but I totally flashed to Twilight when Jacob’s dad stared at Edward. I guess you can only glare so many different ways....) Caroline comments on Stefan’s “serious vampire stare” as compared with “worried vampire look” and “hey, its Tuesday!” Can I say how much I’m enjoying this Caroline/Stefan interaction? We have a hint of the Stefan we saw with Lexie, and its awesome. If this is his normal personality, why is he so serious around Elena?
Matt can’t swim with the others - no waterproof cast. Thankfully, Amy Bradley decides to keep him company. Too bad for her, that’s exactly when Caroline arrives. Amy, if you don’t want to meet the fate of a random crew member wearing a red shirt on Star Trek, I’d seriously follow Caroline’s compulsion to the letter. Matt doesn’t like Caroline’s continued insecurities. Stefan’s not pleased that Caroline compelled Amy. Caroline doesn’t seem to be enjoying this experience at the swimming hole as much as she thought she would.
Vanessa doesn’t have much information about werewolves, but she does have a sketchbook of some type. Both proved dangerous to Native Americans, and a curse was placed on the supernatural beings. Vampires are forced to be creatures of the night, and werewolves are ruled by the full moon. Long ago, vampires hunted werewolves almost to extinction. Few werewolves still exist, but they’re still dangerous to vampires. A single werewolf bite is fatal to vampires.
Darkness has fallen. Caroline apologizes to Matt. He has a brilliant idea. Let’s go make out in the woods! Sure, nothing bad ever happens in the woods at night.... In Caroline’s defense, she hasn’t been part of the werewolf discussion. She probably thinks she’s the scariest thing in the woods right now.
Elena has important news for Stefan. He needs to stay away from the werewolf or he could die. Stefan’s awesome here. He immediately looks around for Caroline, and she’s gone.
Back at the scary Lockwood room, Mason’s wrapping himself in chains and fastening himself to the walls. He must have gotten a late start because he seems really rushed.
What’s that noise?
Looks like Amy took Caroline’s advice. She found a single guy. Too bad she found Tyler, and Tyler decides to take her exploring in the dark Lockwood room. Mason hears them coming and bolts - still wearing his chains.
Elena pages through Isobel’s research and stops on a picture of Katherine. She waits for a second, then she asks Vanessa what she knows about doppelgangers - not much. Did we think the answer would be different? All she knows is the person enjoys tormenting the person who looks like them and tries to undo their life. Elena seems disappointed. She must have thought the look-alike issue would be explained in Isobel’s papers.
Damon hints that he knows more to the story, but Elena’s tired of dealing with him. When he won’t tell her what he knows, she grabs her things and walks out to the car.
Mason tries to chain himself to a tree, but he must sense his time is limited. He jumps into his truck.
Stefan’s still looking for Caroline when he sees Mason’s truck. Stefan, if you think he’s a werewolf, this is the time to go away. No, Stefan gets closer to the truck and sees the claw marks in the ground. Walking closer to the truck, Stefan’s reflection looks back at him - until he’s staring into the eyes of a wolf. The wolf explodes through the back window of the truck and knocks him to the ground before it speeds off into the night.
Caroline’s compulsion seems to have worn off. Amy’s still in the dark room with Tyler when she questions what she’s doing. She likes Matt, not Tyler. Still somewhat confused, she leaves.
Vanessa asks Alaric if he’s heard anything else about Isobel. He admits that Isobel literally became her research. She’s a vampire now, and Vanessa hints that must be really hard on their marriage. Oh, she’s so hitting on him right now.
Speaking of hitting on people.... Damon meets up with Elena at the car. He’s in serious apologizing mode, and he comes bearing a gift. Oh, it seems to be a journal of some sort, but the name stamped on it is Petrova. Hmmm, Katherine Pierce isn’t her real name. Originally, she was Katerina Petrova, and she was originally from Russia. Damon seems to know more background information about Katherine than Stefan. His excuse - men snoop too.
Now he gets to the reason for the gift. He wants to know if he’s destroyed their friendship forever. She hated him before, and they still became friends. Can’t she work through it again? Elena doesn’t answer - she just slides into the car.
Matt has found the perfect spot in the midst of the woods. Caroline’s totally ready for this. She takes charge and knocks Matt against a tree. Poor Matt, he scraped his wrist. How clumsy of him... Caroline doesn’t mind. In fact, those bunnies from this afternoon seem to have worn off. She can’t resist - she begins by licking the blood off his wrist but soon loses control.
Thankfully, Stefan knocks Caroline off Matt. Matt drops to the ground, and Stefan tells him to stay there. Stefan and Caroline must lead the werewolf away from Matt. If they run, Mason will follow.
The pair speeds through the woods until they meet up with Tyler. What are they doing out there? As Stefan tries to explain, Mason leaps atop Caroline. Stefan vamp speeds him off, and he and Mason face off. Before either can make a move, Tyler yells for Mason to stop and it works.
Caroline compels Matt to believe an animal attacked him in the woods. While he’s leaning against the truck, confused, she walks to Stefan. She can’t believe she hurt Matt - the person who means more to her than anyone else in the world. Realizing how much danger she’s putting Matt in simply by being with him, she asks Stefan if she should break away from Matt. Stefan’s not the person to ask. He knows he should have walked away from Elena long ago, but he simply can’t.
Tyler finds Mason’s abandoned truck in the woods - complete with Mason’s pants. Mason, covered in mud and grime, approaches Tyler and asks for his pants. Tossing him the clothing, Tyler asks Mason if he was the creature in the woods. With a single nod, Mason confirms Tyler’s fears.
Matt sits alone at a table in the grill. Amy sees him and comes to keep him company - again. This provides Caroline with a much needed excuse. No matter how shallow Caroline has seemed in the past, what she does now is truly selfless. She picks a fight to make Matt break up with her. She knows she can’t safely be around Matt, and she can’t let herself risk hurting him again. She allows Matt to think he’s the one making the decision. As he walks away, Caroline is heartbroken.
Alaric arrives at Elena’s house. Without even knocking, he walks into the room and surprises Jenna. She seems confused until he wraps his arms around her in a passionate embrace. Going to Duke has given him the freedom to move on, and he’s ready to take the next step with Jenna.
Damon and Elena linger on the porch. Damon comments that road trips are good for them, but Elena says that not everything is back to the way it used to be. She has to know, despite what he’s said earlier, did Damon really see the ring? In an unusual moment of transparency, he admits that he didn’t. Katherine had thrown him for a loop, and he was striking out at everyone around him. He’d gotten lucky with the ring. If Jeremy hadn’t been wearing it, Damon didn’t know what he would have done.
Elena thanks him for his honesty. Now she’s ready to answer his question. Yes. He’s gone too far. He’s lost her - and her friendship - forever.
Damon realizes all the interaction with Elena throughout the day had been an act. She’d been playing him. She admits it. He had information she needed, and she kept pressing until he gave it to her.
He’s stunned. This isn’t the Elena he knows. In fact, she reminds him of someone else. In a cutting remark, he says Elena has more in common with Katherine than her appearance. He turns and walks away, leaving a stunned Elena on the porch.
Morning comes, and Caroline’s still asleep in her room. Someone else is there - Katherine. Caroline slides away from her as Katherine takes a seat on the edge of the bed, but Katherine says not to be afraid. They’re going to have lots of fun.
This episode’s preview promised to be intense, and it delivered. I’m counting the days till next week, though, when Katherine and Elena finally come face to face. Not just that - its a flashback episode. What really happened when Katherine came to Mystic Falls?