Recap: Viewers learned the origins of the original vampires and the meaning of the mysterious cave drawings found by Alaric in the previous week’s episode. We learn how Rebekah, Klaus, and Elijah came to be the original vampires, as well as whom the mysterious vampire hunter, Michael, really is.
Key Plot Points:
The Cave Drawings: As Alaric continues to study the cave drawings, he concludes that they appear to be anti-vampire. He points out symbols describing moon cycles to represent werewolves and also deciphers names in an ancient Viking script that translate to Nikklaus, Elijah, and Rebekah. There is a flashback of Klaus and Rebekah in the cave and we see her carving on the cave walls with a dagger. They discuss how the drawings in the cave predate the discovery and settlement of the New World. Elena suggests going directly to the source and asks Rebekah about it at school, showing her a photo of her name on the cave wall and asking why it was there. When telling Elena the story of her family, Rebekah mentions that the New World was discovered by other people not included in history books. Near the end of the episode, after Elena hears the story of how the original vampires came to be, Elena realizes the meaning of one of the symbols that Alaric hasn’t figured out. She realizes that Klaus has been lying to Rebekah for the last thousand years – Michael didn’t kill Esther, Klaus did.
The Story of the Original Vampires and the Vampire Hunter: After Elena confronts Rebekah about the cave drawings, Rebekah invites her over to the house to help her pick out a dress for Homecoming. Rebekah happened to compel a group of girls to model the dresses for her to choose and then compelled them to forget as she dismissed them. After doing some snooping around Stefan’s room, Rebekah begins to tell Elena about the drawings and their meanings. She talked about a plague striking their homeland as her parents started a family and how it claimed their child. They wanted to escape and a witch that her mother knew told them of a place with healthy people (who happened to be werewolves). Her family lived in peace with the werewolves for over 20 years. They would retreat to the caves for the night of the full moon each month, returning to their home in the morning. One morning, they heard Klaus yelling and found him carring their little brother, Heinrich, who had been attacked by wolves. The brothers had snuck out to watch the wolves transform and Heinrich was attacked and died from his wounds. Rebekah tells Elena that this was the end of the peace with their neighbors and one of their last moments the family had as humans. Their parents (Michael and Esther) asked the witch Iyana for help protecting their family. She denied their request because of the potential consequences, telling them it was the “makings of a plague”. It turns out that Esther was also a witch – the Original Witch. She turned her family by calling upon the sun for life and the ancient white oak tree for immortality. That night, Michael gave them wine laced with blood and drove a sword through their hearts. When the children came to, he forced them to feed on a girl from the village to complete their transformation. Rebekah described the euphoric feeling that they felt and the power. She also commented on the consequences that Iyana had promised – a weakness for every strength: the sun, neighbors being able to keep them out of their homes, flowers from the base of the white oak preventing compulsion, and the oak tree that gave life could also take it away. She describes how they burned the ancient white oak to the ground and the darkest consequence of all – the hunger for blood. She tells Elena that was when the predatory species was born.
Elena asked why Michael started to hunt Klaus. Rebekkah said that when Klaus made his first human kill, it triggered the werewolf gene. It turns out that Esther had an affair with a villager and Klaus was the product of their relations. Esther put the hybrid curse on Klaus to suppress the werewolf gene and turned her back on him. Rebekah relates that Michael’s greatest weakness was his pride, which was magnified in his transformation. When he learned of his wife’s infidelity, he killed half the village as well as Esther. According to Rebekah, Klaus watched it happen. When the children buried their mother, they vowed to never turn their back on one another and to stick together “always and forever.” Rebekah tells Elena to “wake Michael at [her] own peril”.
Elena returns to Rebekah to tell her what they learned from the symbols in the cave about Esther’s demise, showing her the photos that Alaric took. She tells her that one symbol is for a hybrid (Klaus) and the other shows the death of a witch (Esther), showing that a hybrid killed the original witch. Elena talks about how the werewolf gene would have been magnified in his transformation, causing him to be more aggressive and violent. She talks about how he lied about Michael killing Esther so that he wouldn’t lose Rebekah. Elena pleads with her that they have to stop Klaus. After going all vampy on Elena for a moment, Rebekah falls to the floor and begins to sob.
Stefan’s “detox”: Damon releases Stefan from the chains in the basement and the two of them hit a bar. Damon compels the female bartender to let Stefan drink from her while he hits the liquor. He also compels witnesses throughout their time there to forget what they might have seen. The two brothers exchange their usual snarky barbs with one another. When asked why he let Stefan free, Damon tells him that he wanted to remind him of what freedom feels like so that it can motivate him to kill Klaus to regain it fully. At this point, Michael appears to the brothers offering to help kill Klaus.
When Michael threatens to rip Damon’s heart out and end him, Stefan agrees to help deliver Klaus to Michael. However, he denies doing it for Damon, insisting that he did it for himself.
Elena/Damon/Stefan: This episode featured no real progression of anything between Elena/Stefan or Elena/Damon. However, it did conclude with Damon lying on top of Elena’s bed as she falls asleep after talking about the events of the day. She talked about how she thinks that Rebekah is on their side and how she’s just, “…a girl who lost her mom too young, who loves blindly and recklessly, even if it consumes her.” After this statement, there’s an awkward pause as the two realize who else they know that fits that description. Elena tells Damon that she’s not mad for releasing Stefan and that Stefan will be saved because he loves Damon, not because of her.
I really enjoyed learning about the origins of the original vampires in this episode. I think that most viewers have been wondering how/when/why they were created and now we have our answer. I would love to see some flashbacks as to how the Lockwoods came to be in Mystic Falls and how their family knew about the cave drawings. Personally, I felt a bit heartbroken for Rebekah and how she had been misled by her brother for the past thousand years and all of the pain that she had been through. The entrance of Michael to Mystic Falls certainly makes things seem more interesting for future episodes and I can’t wait for the next one.