Previously on TVD: Jeremy killed Kol, wiping out his entire line and completing the Hunter's Mark - and really pissing off Klaus, who's decided to chuck Plan Hybrid Family and go with Plan Kill All the Things. Luckily, Bonnie - who managed to dodge her parents working together to chloroform her and try to "fix" her via the cunning use of witches - trapped Klaus in the Gilbert house like a fly in amber...at least for the next three days. So you know what that means: FIELD TRIP.

Also, despite the fact that we are less than a week away from resurrecting the dead and a possible apocalypse, everyone is still extraordinarily fascinated with who Elena Gilbert is fucking. FOCUS, PEOPLE.

*

So here's where we are after this week:

STEFAN: Trying to keep the peace between an increasingly bitchy Elena and Rebekah, thus proving that his dick might really be magic. Ends up accidentally revealing to Elena that he wants the cure so he can become human with Rebekah.

ELENA: Alternated between trying to Mean Girl Rebekah back, offering Jeremy water, and trying to talk Damon into becoming human with her so she could prove she really loves him, when she wasn't almost being murdered like six times.

DAMON: This week we found out Damon's personal mission statement - "You think you don't deserve something, so you ruin it" - and somewhere, Alaric is yelling, "YES! CALLED IT!" and punching the air. (Petty, Saltzman.) He also claims not to want to be human, which I find hilarious. He also appears to be the only person on this goddamn unnamed island to have ever seen a horror movie, ever. (Also, he has a nice behind, which anyone who's ever seen Tell Me You Love Me could back up.)

PROFESSOR SKETCH: FINALLY lived up to his name, after revealing to Damon - without torture, even! - that he saw a vision of his dead wife after accidentally performing blood magic, leading him to cause three massacres to bring back Silas. Did I mention there's only been two massacres so far? Yeah. You should maybe call Mystic Falls and say the town's had a gas leak or something.

BONNIE: Bonnie - as a descendant of Qetsiyah - is integral to the spell. She's also basically going to die doing it, as Sketch straight-up admitted that that's why he made her dependent on him: so no one could kill him as soon as they found the cure. She's currently being press-ganged into waking up Silas, because her taste in dudes is still goddamn terrible.

JEREMY: Jeremy was mostly eye candy this week, posing for Instagram pictures of his Hunter's Mark before being kidnapped by an island witch with awful white guy dreads.

REBEKAH: Spent most of the night Mean Girling Elena, then reminded us that she and Elena have both done horrible things to each other and she's maybe not entirely at fault, here, before freaking the fuck out and accusing her of stealing the tombstone and trying to dagger and/or murder her again. To be fair, this would be on par with every other episode Rebekah's ever been in.

KLAUS: Decided to respond to Tyler's (totally understandable) dicky taunting by mortally wounding Caroline, then saving her after she reminded him that oh, hey, asshole, you were totes unsuccessful re: burning out your human emotions. Still stuck in the Gilbert house.

CAROLINE: After deciding to straighten up the Gilbert house - which just proves that in the right circumstances, she and Damon could totally bond over their varying levels of OCD - Caroline was mortally wounded by Klaus as a way of proving a point to Tyler, but ended up proving a point to Klaus instead. This is because Caroline is the BEST.

TYLER: Tyler decided to gloat for three days straight in front of Klaus, leading to Caroline being mortally wounded. Tyler is really not good at this.

***

* I think my main problem with this year's recap-y previouslys is that having someone narrate 'em assumes we haven't been paying attention. The first three years were just fine! Either catch up or don't, but we're not slowing down for you. Admittedly, the *show* still does that.

* So...we're all just skipping school and work TEACHING AT A UNIVERSITY to fly to an island 200 miles off the coast of Nova Scotia? Forget dying; none of you are graduating.

* I sort of love that he straight-up took them to Demonreach.

* "According to Shane..." Which is a sign that whatever you're about to repeat is a lie, because for real.

* "Jeremy has the Hunter's Mark; Bonnie's the witch; Professor Shane's been here before; Stefan and I have the tombstone; and Elena has no point."
"What about me?"
"You have a nice behind."

I don't know what's better, Rebekah's matter-of-fact delivery or Damon's little "eh, valid" face shrug.

* Sooooo if Qetsiyah's descendants made the Five, and--wait, are the Bennetts descended from the witches who made the Five? Because if so, this is basically just a variation on the Emily-in-Bonnie thing from S1. (Asked and answered: yes! So basically it's totally the same thing that Damon pulled with Emily and the crystal, only it's releasing an immortal dude witch who will bring back all the dead people ever.)

* I don't think I disagree with Tyler's "when Klaus becomes human, it'll only affect him" theory. I don't know that I agree with it, because none of you have ever had a good plan EVER, but it's as valid as anything else.

* And on this mystery/genius loci island where the secrets to eternal life and the cure for vampirism are just, you know, stored away like a trunk in your grandma's attic, there is also a well where, if you put some of your blood inside, you can hear and see visions of your dead loved ones. Four seasons in, magic keeps getting more and more fucked up. (Also, good luck getting to said well past the FUCKING SNARE TRAPS. It's like Ewoks live there. Or the First Slayer.)

* I do love that Caroline's first instinct is to immediately begin cleaning Elena's house. That's my girl! (Also great: reminding Klaus that, despite his pity-poor-me face, he murdered Tyler's mom *and* Aunt Jenna. Remember? For a ritual that turned out to be BS? DUDE NO ONE LIKES YOU.)

* "There's a mystery man with a hatchet running around, and we're just gonna camp?" Damon Salvatore, everyone!

* And then Klaus stabs Caroline and eats her. So he's over that crush, then, and moved right on to murdering her slowly.

* I do sort of think it's interesting that only Klaus - and, weirdly, Caroline - really like being vampires. Elijah I'm sort of iffy about, and everyone else goddamn hates it.

* OH SHIT so Sketchy's wife was a powerful witch who pulled a Pet Semetary and tried to resurrect their son, only she took too much power and she died? This won't end poorly!

* "You turned her into a bomb that only you can dismantle." Guys, protip: when Damon Salvatore is the only one following the thread of the sketchiest human in North America, YOU ARE NOT IN A GOOD PLACE.

* Look, it's not that I don't appreciate that Elena hates Rebekah for killing her. That's valid! That's fine! But it keeps coming out like she's pissed Rebekah and Stefan are fucking, which is just - EVERYONE QUIT WORRYING ABOUT FUCKING, WE ARE TEN MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT.

* I do sort of - look, everyone keeps on Damon's ass about "oooohh, when Elena's cured she's not going to love you anymore, your relevance is slipping away", but: DAMON SALVATORE IS BATSHIT CRAZY. Do you really want to remind him of that? Because I wouldn't. I'd want to make a cup of tea and go drinking with him, not taunt him about stuff. On a good day, he reacts poorly to threats. Remember how he murdered Mr. Tanner because Stefan accused him of having human emotions? YEAH.

* "I don't give a crap about Bonnie Bennett."

Which...is a spurious claim at best, frankly. I think Bonnie's middle of Damon's list of People Who Exist and Thus I Have to Keep Them From Being Murdered List, which starts with Stefan and Elena, still has Alaric on it, and then it's Bonnie (useful) and Jeremy (Elena's brother) and Liz, then like ten other people in one giant mass name. I think he's bluffing. I *also* think he'd kill Bonnie if necessary, but--remember, he could have killed Bonnie last season, and instead he went with "hey, let's just make her mom a vampire". (Also-also, I think if you told Damon any of this, he would, at the very least, rip off an appendage.)

* "You think you don't deserve something, so you ruin it." OH MY GOD that is somewhere on a coat of arms, in Latin, in the boardinghouse. SALVATORE FAMILY MOTTO. BOOM.

* "I used to miss being human. Now I can't think of anything more miserable in the world." Which, see above.

* "It's because you were hurt. Which means there's a part of you that is human."

Caroline wishes Klaus was different, sometimes. He's not always bad; no one is, not even the Big Bad. No one sets out to be a villain. Some of them choose it, and some fall into it, but most of them just think they're doing what's right for them. The Klaus who loves his family - the Klaus who wanted to kill Elena and Jeremy when Kol died - he isn't so bad. He's the same guy who snuck out Caroline's Miss Mystic Falls app and read it to her, darting away when she tried to catch him. And maybe Caroline (and arguably his family, at least some of 'em) was the only one who saw it, but it's there. Quiet, tired, too weak to show up a lot, but it's there.

"Anyone capable of being loved is capable of being saved."

I really like that she didn't just go for "love makes you a good person", because it doesn't; love makes you mean and scary and fucking nuts, but it doesn't make you good. It can, but using that as a definite is a lie at best and limiting at worst. No: anyone who can be loved can be saved. The possibility is there. Things being possible is what gets most of us out of bed every morning.

I still don't like Klaus; I still think he's a complete asshole, and he's like Damon-cubed in terms of being redeemed for a pilot, let alone a spin-off. But I can see the spark of it, in this, and I didn't before. (All points to JoMo, Candice, and Caroline Driies, who wrote the ep, for selling it.)

* Go Team...Salvagilberson? Wow, that sounds Scandinavian.

* Wow, Professor Sketchy has lived up to his name! WHY DO ALL OF YOU LOOK SURPRISED?

Next week: Team IKEA goes hunting for Bonnie, Jeremy, Professor Sketch, the Witch With the Strange Name, and Silas, while Damon entertains one of the Five and looks surprisingly smug about being rescued.

"Your friends can't save you."
"You don't know my friends."

HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS DAMON SALVATORE HAS FRIENDS. PLURAL. "Down the Rabbit Hole", next Thursday, 8 PM EST.
.

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