So, Tyler had to spend the night in the Mystic Falls hospital to keep up appearances after last week’s episode. [I guess that's how long it takes normal humans to recover from a gunshot wound to the heart. One overnighter for observation.] You’d think he’d be safe in a hospital, but this is Mystic Falls we’re talking about, and there’s a vampire hunter still on the loose. Fortunately, Tyler has super hybrid hearing, so he heard Connor take out the guard standing watch outside Tyler’s hospital room – and quickly hopped out of bed to attack Connor. Unfortuantely, he wasn’t quick enough, and Connor shot him up with some paralytics – and then Connor totally stabbed Tyler in the gums with a syringe to steal his werewolf venom!
Soon after that, Tyler was allowed to go home. He and Mayor Lockwood arrive at their house, which is now full of hybrids – looks like Tyler landed himself in the Hybrid Protection Program. Turns out, Klaus doesn’t want any more of his hybrids killed – even if it’s the hybrid dating his love interest. [Though I'm not too sure why hybrids would be sent to protect Tyler - why wouldn't Klaus just compel some vampires and not put his last remaining hybrids in harms way just for the one hybrid he hates?]
Anyway, Tyler was basically on lockdown for the entire episode, but his old friend Hayley [who he met while trying to break his sire bond last season] showed up to keep him company. It turns out that he’d lied to all of his werewolf buddies so that they wouldn’t come to Mystic Falls [smart move on his part, probably saved their lives], but Hayley found out where he lived anyway and came to find him. For some reason, he didn’t tell Caroline that Hayley was in town, and Klaus assumed it was because he cheated on Caroline with Hayley.
[Tyler didn't deny it, but he didn't confirm it either. However, I hope they don't expect us to believe that Tyler would cheat on Caroline - it would be something the old Tyler would do - but completely out of character for the new-and-improved Tyler. If this is the case, it would obviously be nothing more than a plot device to break the two up and clear a path for Klaus to get an in with Caroline.]
While Tyler was on lockdown, catching up with his old friend Hayley and throwing side eyes at Klaus, Elena was catching up with Matt in their old make-out spot at the high school. Sweet little Matt was voluntarily allowing Elena to feed from him [since she still is unable to keep any blood down that isn't straight from a human vein - for whatever reason]. Afterwards, Elena meets up with Stefan in History, their first class of the day – which brings up fond memories of Alaric [though I'm not sure how as he was only in his classroom three times max during his entire teaching career]. At this point, Rebekah walks into class telling everyone about a party she’s throwing at her new place – now that she’s left Klaus.
This is the beginning of a very interesting storyline between Rebekah and Elena, as the two spend much of the episode engaging in their normal Mean Girl power-struggle [except this time, with much more rage on Elena's part, thanks to her new vampire status]. Rebekah really gets creative, stabbing Elena with pencils, smearing their classmate’s blood all over her face, throwing her daylight ring down the garbage disposal… you know, standard bullying: vampire style.
While still at school, Elena and Stefan go into the hall to get away from Rebekah. Elena spots Connor down the hall heading towards Jeremy – and Stefan offers to go help him out while Elena cools off. Connor takes Jeremy into an empty classroom to chat with him about the reason that Jeremy was able to see Connor‘s tattoo. Apparently, it’s a sign that only vampire hunters and potential vampire hunters can see. Connor tries to recruit Jeremy, and Jeremy goes along with it so that he can lead Connor into a trap later.
Sporting a fresh new bandage and vampire bite as, apparently, Matt won’t let anyone heal him [presumably so that it would be impossible for him to die with vampire blood in his system] Connor corners Matt in the hallway. Seeing the new vampire bite, Connor threatens to kill Matt if he doesn’t tell him which of his classmates is feeding on him. Matt pretends he’s been compelled at first, but then gives Connor a name: Rebekah Mikaelson. [Every one of these kids have got some quick-thinking and duplicity in their blood, but I guess living in Mystic Falls will do that to you.] As a thank-you, Connor knocks Matt unconscious, but also promises to kill Rebekah for him.
Before Stefan and Elena head over to Rebekah’s party, Elena gets the white oak stake from Damon so that she can kill Rebekah once and for all. However, Stefan helps her see why she can’t do that – mainly because of all of the vampires she would also be killing as a result. Of course, this is Stefan, so he tells her that it’s ultimately her decision. In the end, Elena wisely opts to not kill her, instead going for a motorcyle ride with Stefan, but not before she does a keg stand at Rebekah’s party – to prove… something… to Rebekah.
The motorcyle ride leads to a hot vampire hook-up back at the Salvatore boarding house – that gets interrupted when Elena starts to hallucinate, seeing Damon instead of Stefan. Stefan immediately realizes that she must have gotten some of that werewolf venom in her system [probably through the beer at Rebekah's party, as Rebekah also gets ill from it]. Stefan then starts blowing up Klaus‘ phone trying to get him to come heal her.
Unfortunately, Klaus is unavailable as he, Damon, Meredith, and Jeremy have teamed up to take out the new vampire hunter by luring him to the hospital so they can blow him up. During the [really stupid] standard chat about “big plans to rule the world and kill some vamps,” that charcaters always do in movies and television, Klaus realizes that Connor is “one of The Five,” which for whatever reason makes Connor’s life really valuable to Klaus. Fortunately for Elena [probably actually unfortunately, but we don't really know yet], Connor‘s status also means that Klaus needs Elena alive – so he answers Stefan‘s summons and saves her.
Meanwhile, Rebekah is at her new home alone, suffering from the werewolf venom as well, though without a British hybrid to come save her. She also finds herself in the middle of hallucinations – though much more gruesome and murderous than Elena‘s. In her hallucinations, Matt Donovan had come over to talk with her about how she basically doesn’t deserve her life, and Rebekah, being the quick-tempered Original that she is, rips his heart out without even blinking. [I have never hated her more than I did in those 5 seconds before realizing it was a hallucination.] She seems to be pretty upset about it, but then realizes it was a hallucination, and so moves on.
While trying to relax until the werewolf venom passes through her system [though I'm not sure whether it goes away like that - even for an Original], April shows up and tells Rebekah she’s there to help clean up so that she didn’t have to sit at home alone [where is April "sitting at home," exactly? Her dad's house is a little charred, and don't even tell me the people in this town allowed a 16-year-old to buy a house. Either way, I can't even handle this town letting all these kids live in houses by themselves.] Touched that April stuck around to help clean up, and in desperate need of a friend, Rebekah decides she’s going to bond with this new girl.
During all of this, Meredith is being primed to take over Alaric’s place as Damon‘s go-to human drinking/plotting buddy, and Caroline offers to take over Damon’s place as Stefan‘s vampire helper. Though excited about the resurgence of the Stefan/Caroline friendship, I was skeptical about the Meredith/Damon combination, but it seems like it’s going to work out okay.
Of course, the Stefan and Caroline combination is just as great as we anticipated it would be – and Caroline is kind of perfect for being Stefan’s Rippers Anonymous sponsor. I think Caroline is pretty much a perfect example of a well-adjusted vampire – and, as she’s such a sweetheart, really knows how to be a good friend to Stefan.
During the sweet friendship-bonding moment between Caroline and Stefan, Elena calls Matt over so that she can have some dinner before bed. As she’d just had a pretty traumatic day, she loses control when feeding on Matt and almost kills him. Damon shows up just in time to stop her, compels Matt into forgetting what happened, and tells Elena he’s going to help her become a better vampire. We’ll wait and see how well that’s going to go.
For the concluding moment, Klaus – having just saved Connor, though everyone else thinks he’s dead – drops Connor off back at his RV and tries to chat with him about exactly it means to be one of “The Five” [I don't know why, but I just feel like that always needs to be capitalized]. When Connor clearly has no idea what Klaus is talking about, Klaus prepares to sit down and tell him a story – which, of course, means that we’re going to get a flashback next week. So, see you then!