The Vampire Diaries is finally back after its brief Winter hiatus, and we pick up with the aftermath of Tyler's mother's death. There are also original vampires back on the scene aside from Klaus, as Rebekah is now awake and rarin' to find the vampire cure for herself. While she has most of our gang held hostage at the high school library, Jeremy is off training with Damon and Matt — though Klaus shows up to expedite the process of getting Jeremy's tattoos to show up.
This week's plotlines are all very cure-based, and while we don't get to see much of hot new couple Elena and Damon, Elena does get some closure from her breakup with Stefan. But let's get down to details in the good, the bad, and the bloody after the jump.
- Rebekah saunters into Mystic Falls High just after a memorial for Tyler's mom, and using her new minion April, she rounds up Elena, Caroline, and heavily drinking, heartbroken Stefan. Rebekah wants the cure, so she assembles the gang in the library with the intention of giving them a pop quiz, hoping to get answers to find the cure.
- Rebekah's hostage crisis quickly turns into a group therapy session, since it's the first time Stefan and Elena have seen each other since he found out she was with Damon. In a cruel game, Rebekah makes Stefan confess why they broke up, and he replies that she slept with Damon. Not to quibble with you, Stefan, but technically, you guys broke up before she slept with Damon. Either way, a compelled Elena says she slept with Damon because she's in love with him, and basically talks about the many wonderful ways Damon makes her happy, while Stefan just makes her feel like she's a problem that needs to be fixed. Ouch! The truth hurts.
- Meanwhile, out at "Camp Nowhere," Matt is helping Jeremy train, and though Damon is ostensibly helping too, mainly he's keeping himself away from Elena. It's easy to be distracted there; Klaus shows up to meddle in the training and is irritated when he hears that Jeremy still hasn't killed another vampire. Klaus speeds up the process by turning a cute pizza girl so Jeremy has to kill her, then really ups the ante when he turns a whole bar full of people for Jeremy to slay. I'm not so compelled (heh) by this whole cure storyline, but I did smirk when, for purely fun times, Damon shoots Klaus for killing Carol Lockwood.
- Back in town, Bonnie's dad has been named interim mayor (whose absence has been explained with a classic traveling salesman excuse). But she has bigger problems than daddy issues this week; when she realizes that Kol and Rebekah have kidnapped Shane to get the cure, she makes a protection spell for Shane. Unfortunately, it turns April into a host, and she suffers the same fate as Shane. Dark magic is tough, yo.
- We finally find out more of Shane's motivation; it's not the cure he wants, necessarily, but rather the mythical Silas. Shane confesses to Rebekah and Kol that he had the council killed as part of a sacrifice for Silas, explaining that Silas will raise the dead — waking everyone who died for him. Kol tries and fails to kill Shane because he fears Silas, but the bigger question is, given how freaked out an original vampire is by just hearing about this guy, is Silas going to be the new big villain?
- After Elena tries to apologize to Stefan about her feelings, Rebekah offers to erase all of Stefan's love and memories for Elena. It's all very Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and Stefan actually wants it, but Rebekah just giggles and refuses him the release from the heartbreak, but not before Elena realizes just how much she hurt him.
- Finally, some romantic payoff: post-revelation, Elena calls Damon to tell him she loves him, and it's butterfly-inducing. Damon's face is so vulnerable and ecstatic, and though he tells her that he's going to do some terrible things to find the cure, it doesn't really matter right now. He even lets Elena come visit him. Sigh.
- I'm pretty tired of April and her role among the group. She's annoying as one of Rebekah's helpers, and I cared very little when she went to the sheriff and mayor to investigate the council's death. Is it wrong that I had hoped Bonnie's backfiring expression spell was just going to kill her?
- There aren't too many bloody scenes, but Shane pulling the stake out of himself is pretty gross.
What did you think of this week's episode?