This recap contains spoilers for the Stefan's Diaries books, so if you haven't read those, just--it's not hugely related to the plot, it's just funny considering the costumes.

1) SO: in the SD novels--which are canon, okay--the real Jack the Ripper was a vampire that Stefan and Damon pissed off, who covered up his feeding by mutilating his victims. The whole "writing notes to the police" thing was a way of framing Damon for the killings, because that guy cannot catch a break. This is just a long-winded way of saying: Ahahahahahahhaa, Damon as Jack the Ripper. It's funny because it's an in-joke!

(I am legitimately sad he is not passing himself off as minor Italian nobility, the way he does in the books. Also, considering how that dude used to dress, the outfits alone would be fucking amazing.)

2) Show. You know I love you. "OCCULT" IS NOT A CLASS YOU CAN TAKE IN COLLEGE. Myths and Folklore, yes; Modern Religions with a subsection on the occult, sure. Charles Xavier doesn't have a degree in Mutation, okay? He has a degree in Genetics and he specializes in mutation.

3) OH SHIT YOU GUYS FLASHBACK EPISODE. Literally one of my favorite things about flashback eps is just the batshit insanity the hair and costume people commit. I can't always give you details about the village the Originals lived in, but I can talk for a long goddamned time, off the cuff, about Elijah's crazy shoulder-length hair and...warrior's braid? And that time Damon dressed like a fop for the entire year of 1864? AMAZING.

4) So in 1110 A.D., a witch--it looks a lot like Ayana, the First Bennett and Esther's old friend--takes a bunch of shirtless dudes in capes into the woods, chants some Latin, lights a bowling trophy on fire and gives them ghost tattoos. Enter the Five!

5) (If I miss anything, I apologize, but my local CW affiliate is fucking up tonight.)

6) Stefan: you do not get to hold a grudge with Elena over the vampire BJ when NONE OF YOU HAVE EXPLAINED THAT BLOOD SHARING = VAMPIRE BJ. Be mad at Damon, fine, it was a dick move, but quit the little Elena digs until or unless someone fucking tells her something. Jesus.

7) Rebekah bought Matt a truck! Not that that is a balm on, you know, ELENA BEING DEAD, but I like that she's awkwardly trying. (I do agree with Klaus that she's trying too hard, though.)

8) Damon's been to college. A lot. Come for the sorority girls, stay for the--oh God, you know he has like ten degrees in utterly random shit. "Damon Salvatore, Secret Women's Studies Ph.D" is my new headcanon. (Ten bucks says he's also done at least one trip through med school, for torture purposes, and he's probably a published, well-respected Victorian Lit scholar or something. DEAR DAMON SALVATORE, IF YOU HATE HARDY I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.) (No, seriously: fucking Hardy.)

9) Stoners are too paranoid! Geeks get too suspicious if you pay them any attention! (Dick move, Damon.) Tiny blondes? PERFECT FOR SNACKS. Which...explains a lot about Caroline, four years in.

10) I am wholly unsurprised to see that Klaus has a bondage dungeon in that house he stole. I bet he compelled contractors to put it in while he was obsessing over the wainscoting.

11) Connor, as one of the Five, can't be compelled. That's not good.

12) 12th century Italy! Nothing good ever happens in 12th century Italy! I mean, art and culture, sure, but not for Our Heroes.

13) And now, let's have a long talk about Elijah's sweet half-assed stubble and slightly thicker accent, as well as the fact that he and Klaus are dressed like baby priesthood candidates in the 1400s. SERIOUSLY, THIS SHOW.

14) Rebekah fell in love with one of the Five, named Alexander; Alexander betrayed her, because Rebekah's taste in men is equivalent to the sadness that is Matt Donovan's general life, and daggered her and her siblings. Since it doesn't work on Klaus--werewolf side, remember; I'd forgotten--he got free, killed Alexander and his men, and promptly freaked the fuck out on Rebekah, thus starting the whole "you need to prove your loyalty to me, little sister" thing that continues to this day.

15) Oh, also? The "ultimate weapon" the Five have against vampires? A CURE. OH SHIT. OH SHIT YOU GUYS IT'S THE END OF SHADOW SOULS ALL OVER AGAIN OH SHIT. Minus Stefan's kitsune prison boyfriend.

16) Stefan whammying April to forget the conversation so he can talk to Rebekah in front of her is--okay, God knows Damon isn't a role model for ANYONE, but at least he fucking comes across. Stefan does shit like this all the time and thinks nothing of it.

17) I actually agree with Damon re: being irritated that Elena won't just eat someone. Everyone is someone's somebody, Elena! All hamburgers come from cute cows! Doesn't make 'em less delicious!

18) "Elena's educating me on the importance of ~feelings.~" The best part is the audible eyeroll Damon gives as he's saying this. FAVORITE.

19) Look, I know Pastor Young is up to some weird-ass shit, but destroying all the vervain in town in that gas explosion is just--what the hell, Council: what the hell.

20) "Let me just name the million or so people I'd rather be having dinner with right now." Shut up, sometimes I like Stefan.

21) So the ghost tattoos form a map re: where to find the cure, but you only get more of the tattoo visible the more vampires you kill. dangerously close to being a good idea, holy shit.

22) Also, it gets passed on to another person automatically when you die. Seriously, GREAT IDEA. SHITBALLS.

23) Aaaaaand Klaus kidnapped Jeremy to sketch the tattoo, because he is an asshole. But not a stupid one.

24) Professor Shane seems nice? And he is certainly not hard on the eyes. But as soon as anyone starts in with "there's other ways to practice magic", I'm all RUN BONNIE RUN because that is how you end up with a Season Six Buffy arc for Willow.

25) There's something gloriously creepy about Elena and Damon spotting Roofie Guy as someone to feed on and not, you know, stopping him.

26) "I feel good. I want more." Ladies and gentlemen, Elena Gilbert's start of darkness.

27) I--okay, this is stupid. I literally don't get why Caroline can't be Elena's Yoda in all this. Stefan clearly can't teach her, because of his long-standing human coke problem; Damon can't really teach her, because he enjoys it too much. And that's fine--for him. It freaks Elena right the hell out, liking it, and that might change over time, but it's the way it is right now and if this keeps going, we're gonna have another Katherine. We do not need another Katherine. Two of those would be too many; one's a good number.

28) SO: this year's Macguffin is the Sword of the Five, last seen buried with Alexander, because Rebekah is--seriously, I felt bad for her this week. That's not good. (Also, as Klaus daggered her, we're another one down re: graduation.)

29) Klaus, of course, wants the cure for Elena so he can make more hybrids. Because God forbid Klaus do anything altruistic for anyone, ever, except himself. (And arguably Caroline, which is why I cannot hate him. SHUT UP YOU DON'T KNOW ME.)

30) Sheila had a first edition Cujo! I don't know why that's cute, though way to pick the really depressing King novel, Grandma Bennett.

31) Aaaaaand apparently Professor Shane is now the Anthro professor, and not the Occult professor. Can we retcon that so Sheila did not teach a made-up thing?

32) Elena legit eating everyone at the frat party, as she and Damon are visibly bloody and TRIPPING BALLS, is fucking creepy as hell. Did I mention she and Bonnie are dressed as HISTORICAL MURDERED PROSTITUTES? Also, somewhere, Damon lost his top hat, which I'm sure will bug him. (No, really.)

33) Again, see: Caroline should be Yoda, but Elena being all "oh my God, I made a mistake, Damon talked me into eating people" is...sort of disingenuous on Elena's part. He talks a good game. No one says you have to listen. Literally no one, now, as Damon can no longer whammy you. You made a choice to start tasting every piece of candy in the box and putting 'em back; he just said "this is certainly an option", and joined you in doing it.


35) I am legit calling it now: based on Shadow Souls, which is a terrible book with three honest-to-God good parts in it, I am straight-up guessing that Damon, not Elena, is gonna be human by the end of the season, probably through a mishap and with no small amount of WTF on everyone's part as a result. Mark me down for that one in the betting pool.

36) "Some secrets are stronger than family." Which is true, but as this show has shown us roughly four billion times, family isn't made entirely of blood. This is gonna be a problem reaaaaally soon.

37) And then Connor gets loose and OH SHIT YOU GUYS HE JUST RIPPED THAT DUDE'S HEAD CLEAN OFF OH SHIT. That--that is impressive. Horrifying, but impressive.

38) And then! He makes haste to the college and Professor Shane, who--I'm not saying he's one of the Five. I am saying he has part of one of the tats on his wall, possibly carved clean off someone's skin (which...doesn't make a lot of sense, but NO TIME), and he's the one who sent Connor to Mystic Falls. OH SHIT YOU GUYS OH SHIT. If this involves Bonnie being a Bennett or fucking Esther coming back, I--SHIT.

Next week: Connor takes hostages in the Grille, because nothing horrible has happened there in--oh, a fortnight. "The Five", next Thursday, 8 PM EST.
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