Tonight’s episode opened with Elena and Stefan discussing the vampire that she hit with her car.   She tells him that all she can really remember was that he was wearing black boots and a black hoodie.  Stefan gives her vervain for her family and friends, telling her how she can put it into jewelry so that her loved ones can’t be compelled by vampires.

Later, at the Gilbert’s house, Jeremy is doing something with the ancestor’s journal when the doorbell rings.  He gets up from the table, leaving the journal open to a page with a plant on it.  The plant looks a lot like vervain.  Jeremy opens the door and it’s the pizza delivery guy.  Jeremy calls for Elena to come down and invites the guy in, telling him to leave the pizza on the table by the doorway.  He comes in with a smirk on his face.  Elena pays him, he leaves and pulls up the hood to his black hoodie as he walks away.

At the Salvatore home, there are books everywhere as Damon looks through the family library to research how to open the tomb.  Stefan confronts Damon about taking Elena to Atlanta and makes a few comments about whether Bree was able to help.

The following day at school, Alaric returns Jeremy’s essay, marked with an “A”.  Alaric praises his work and they discuss Jeremy’s thoughts on whether there are really vampires in Mystic Falls.  Alaric asks Jeremy about his source – Jonathan Gilbert.  Jeremy tells him that he was his ancestor and the information came from his journal.  Alaric tells Jeremy that he’d love to see it because of the first-hand account of the Civil War, making a crack about it being like porn for history teachers.  Jeremy gives it to him.

Elena and Caroline are walking talking about the necklace that Elena gave her.  As they talk, the topic of Matt and Caroline’s relationship comes up and Elena gives Caroline her blessing to pursue it.

At the Grill, Matt is at the bar filling out a job application, talking to one of the bartenders, Ben.  Bonnie and Elena are seated at a table and talk about Elena finding out that she was adopted.  As Bonnie is leaving to pay the bill, Damon stops her.  Bonnie tells him to stay away from her and Ben intervenes.  Damon leaves and Ben hits on Bonnie.

Elena is walking to her car and her phone rings.  She answers it and the guy on the other end of the line says that he’s the guy that she hit with her car and asks her if the car she’s driving now is new.  He tells her that she won’t get away next time.

Back at Stefan’s, Elena and Stefan discuss how she’s being stalked.  Stefan gives Elena the Gilbert Family’s pocketwatch/vampire finding compass and tells her how he ended up with it.  He explains how the compass points out vampires and how the founding families (including hers) used it in 1864 when they tried to eradicate the vampires from Mystic Falls.

Caroline and Matt are working on painting banners at school and Caroline is flirting with Matt.   The upcoming school dance comes up and Matt tells her that he’s not going because he has to work.  Caroline made a few comments that upset Matt and their conversation became tense after that.

At the Grill, Jeremy is playing pool and Anna shows up, asking how things went with his essay.  She asked if the teacher believed the stuff about vampires.  She asks him if he wants to do something later.  He turns her down because he has punch duty at the school dance.  She asks him about the next day or the day after that.  Jeremy turns her down, leaving her looking dejected as he leaves the Grill.

Elena comes home and Aunt Jenna tells her that the insurance company called and her car is totaled.  She tells Elena that it’s OK to keep driving her car for now.  Elena asks her if she’s coming to the dance tonight and she tells her that Alaric asked her to help chaperone.  Elena confronts Jenna about the fact that she’s adopted and no one told her.  Jenna tells her that her birth mother was a 16 year-old runaway named Isabel who showed up at her father’s office one night as he was leaving work, about to give birth.  Elena’s father delivered the baby and gave Isabel a place to stay.  She disappeared a few days later.  Elena’s parents were having trouble having a baby of their own and Mr. Gilbert used his position as a doctor to create a falsified birth certificate, listing Elena’s mother as the birth mother.

Damon is continuing to work on his research and Stefan gives him their father’s journal, telling him that it contains nothing that he’s trying to find. There’s no information about Katherine, the tomb, or how to open the tomb.  Stefan offers to help him to get him to leave town.  He agrees that he’ll let Katherine get out, but the other 26 vampires in there will stay put.

Elena is in the bathroom getting ready for the dance and the compass (which she left on her bed) starts moving.  After leaving the bathroom, she notices the movement and calls Stefan.  Damon answers the phone, telling her that Stefan’s on his way and forgot his phone.  Elena mentions that the compass was moving and assumes that it’s Stefan in the house.  The camera pans and shows a vampire on the ceiling almost directly above her.  Elena ends the call and the vampire drops down to attack her.  He’s knocked away by Stefan before anything can happen.  They scuffle and the mystery vampire escapes.  Damon comes over and they discuss the attack.  By now they’ve figured out that it was the pizza guy.  They wonder if there are others and they don’t know.  Stefan reminds them that the vampire was invited in and Damon states that they’ll go get him tonight.  Damon proposes that they go to the dance as planned and see what happens.

At the dance, Alaric sees Damon come in with Elena and Stefan.  Jenna comes up and they go for punch.  Caroline, Bonnie, and Elena discuss Damon and Elena responds to their questions of why he’s with them by telling them that she has to learn to tolerate her boyfriend’s brother at some point.  Jenna and Alaric discuss Jeremy and his progress in school and then the topic shifts to Alaric’s wife.

Damon asks Bonnie to dance.  FAIL.  Caroline tells him to back off.  Damon asks Elena if she’d like to dance.  She turns to Stefan and asks him if he’d like to dance with her, leaving Damon by himself.   The camera pans to the “hoodie vampire/pizza guy”  in the crowd.   Elena and Stefan dance and talk about whether he can sense other vampires in crowds while scanning the dance for signs of the vampire.  Elena asks Stefan what things were really like in the 1950’s.  Jeremy is at the punch table and Anna shows up.

Bonnie and Caroline arrive at the Grill after ditching the dance.  Bonnie crushes on the bartender, Ben.  Caroline makes a snarky comment about him being a “washed up jock who pours drinks for a living” and Matt overhears it as he buses tables.

At the dance, Elena and Stefan continue to dance and Damon is watching.  Alaric approaches Damon and they introduce themselves to one another.  Damon claims to be Stefan’s legal guardian.  Alaric ends up asking a bunch of questions, making Damon suspicious.

At the Grill, Bonnie and Caroline are seated at a table and Caroline is feeling sorry for herself.  Bonnie tries to give her a pep talk and then gets bold and asks Ben on a date.  Matt walks by the table where Caroline is sitting and she confronts him.  Matt throws her “washed up jock” comment back at her.

Anna helps Jeremy with the punch at the dance.  She asks to see the journal and gets very agitated when he tells her that Alaric has it.  Jeremy sees her eye do something strange.  She turns away from him, trying not to transform in front of him, and makes a hasty departure.  She’s in the hallways of the school when someone wearing a hoodie approaches.  It’s the hoodie vampire/pizza guy.  They talk and she tells him that she’s sticking to the plan and tells him to leave the girl alone.  They talk about how Elena looks like Katherine and he makes a comment about how he just wants to have fun with her.

Back inside the dance, Damon is dancing with a girl as Elena and Stefan watch.  Elena spots someone in a hoodie and Stefan goes after him, telling her to get Damon.  Stefan catches up with him, but it’s just a guy.  He tells Stefan that some guy gave it to him.  Meanwhile, Elena’s phone rings.  It’s the vampire and he gives Elena instructions on what to do, threatening to kill Jeremy if she doesn’t comply.   Elena goes through the exit as instructed and takes off running through the hallways.  He grabs her and tosses her.  She picks up some pencils and stakes him.  She breaks a mop handle and tries to stake him with one of the pieces, but he catches her hand.  As he goes for the kill, Stefan stops him.  Damon, holding one of the broken pieces of mop handle, tells the vampire that they just want to talk.  When he makes a move, Stefan stakes him with the other piece.  Stefan asks him what he wants with Elena.  The vampire tells him, “She looks like Katherine.”  Stefan and Damon exchange looks and Damon asks, “You know Katherine?”  Damon asks him how to get into the tomb and won’t tell.  Stefan drives the stake further and the vampire tells them that they need Jonathan Gilbert’s journal.  Anna sees this happening and runs away as Stefan kills the vampire.  Elena freaks out a bit because they don’t know who he’s working with and if there are other vampires.  Damon tells her, “He had to die.”  Stefan explains that he’d been invited in.  They hear someone in the hallway and Damon goes to tend to it.  It’s Alaric.  Damon uses his powers on him, asking him why he’s in Mystic Falls.  He tells him that he’s there for a teaching job.  Damon leaves and Alaric, a bit shaken, opens his hand and looks down at the crushed vervain in his palm.

Caroline apologizes to Matt and they talk about where their relationship is going.  Matt tells her that he’s scared to move on because what he has with her is the only good thing in his life at the moment.  Caroline tells him that she’s already gone because he decided that for her.

Alaric takes Jenna home and they stand on the front porch, talking.  He asks her out on a real date and she accepts.  They end up talking about his wife and how it’s OK for him to mention her.  Jenna asks what her name was and he tells her Isabel.  Jenna asks where she was from and learns that she was from Virginia, not too far from Mystic Falls.

Caroline is walking home and Matt pulls up in his truck, telling her to get in the truck.  He gets out of the truck and they kiss in the deserted street.

Stefan and Elena talk about the events of the night and Elena tells him that it felt good to fight back.  Stefan tells her about his plan and the deal that he made with Damon and then tells her that it was a lie.  Elena is OK with that.

Back at the Grill, Ben is locking up for the night and is being watched by Anna.  She transforms and goes to attack him.  He thwarts her attack, revealing that he is also a vampire.  He asks, “Where’s Noah?”  Anna tells him that the Salvatore brothers killed him.  Ben tells her about the witch crushing on him and Anna tells him that she doesn’t have the journal but she knows where it is.  They walk off with their arms around each other into the night.

This week’s episode was definitely better than last week.  There was definitely more action and it felt like the plot was moving along more.  I particularly like the twist of Alaric’s deceased wife quite probably being Elena’s mother.  I wonder if he knows that she had a child that she abandoned.  If so, does he know that it’s Elena?

Hmmm…Stefan deceiving Damon?  Should be interesting.

Now we have the mysterious vamps going after the Gilbert journal as well as Damon.

How many male vampires are out there as a result of Katherine and her games?

So, what did you think of tonight’s episode? Join us in the forum and share your thoughts!