Damon is in his bedroom removing notes, newspaper clippings and maps from his closet door. Looks like he is officially giving up on finding Stefan. As he listens to the TV, news of Andie’s death is reported. Except they leave out the part where she was forced to commit suicide by her boyfriend’s brother. Probably a good call. Elena shows up to accuse him of ignoring her calls. He cites his “dead fake girlfriend” and not wanting to ruin her birthday by sharing the fact that her boyfriend is a homicidal maniac (once again). She tells him that Stefan called her from Tennessee (good old Sheriff Liz, using her professional connections to track calls from lost boyfriends). Damon insists that Stefan is lost to them but Elena refuses to believe him. Damn young love. Or young plus super old vampire love. Either way, Damon responds by lighting his research on fire. Very mature.
Ric is in bed when suddenly someone knocks on his door. A very persistent someone. He yells at “Damon” to go away so imagine his surprise when he opens the door to find Elena. She demands to know every last bit of info he has on Stefan. Ric mentions the whole Stefan being a killer thing but she brushes it off, telling him that Stefan is still holding on to his humanity. She got all of that out of a silent phone call? Boy does she know how to read subtext. Ric spills that Klaus and Stefan have been tracking werewolves and their last known location was outside of Memphis. That Ric. He’s such a secret softie.
Klaus and Stefan walk through the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with an unconscious Ray slung over Stefan’s shoulder. It’s almost like they’re on a date. How adorable. Klaus is extra cute, asking if Ray is getting too heavy because he doesn’t want Stefan over-exerting himself. Stefan tries to act like he wants to keep things strictly professional between them but we all know he’s secretly wishing they could bro down. Klaus calls him out on his moodiness and brooding, and have I ever mentioned how much I love Klaus? Thank you for saying all the things that I am thinking. They stop walking when they reach their final destination- the camp of Ray’s pack. Stefan tosses Ray’s body onto the ground and a female wolf rushes over, frantic that he’s been hurt. Klaus introduces himself and is gleeful when the she-wolf says she’s heard of him.
Carol is having a glass of scotch and putting vervain in the coffee when Tyler arrives home. They makes chitchat about stressful weeks and OH YEAH CAROLINE WAS BUSTED LEAVING YOUR ROOM POST-SEX. Tyler is a little hurt to hear that Caroline sneaked out, but not sad enough to stop him from drinking coffee. He tastes the vervain and thinks that it cream gone bad. Stupid Tyler. He leaves and Caroline calls someone named Bill to tell him that she has gotten herself into “a vampire situation”. WTF is Bill and why is she calling him? (See how I resisted making a Bill Compton reference?)
Jeremy has come to the Mystic Grill not to work, but to have a chat with Matt Donovan. That’s exactly how I would spend my days off if I lived in Mystic Falls too. Jer has called this meeting of the Mystic Falls Hotties (MFH) to discuss seeing Vicki and what to do about it. Matt suggests telling Bonnie which I can assume is the result of his being hungover. Bonnie Bennett is the most useless character in the history of television. Jer has done internet research and wants Matt to bring some of Vicki’s things and help him make contact. Matt initially refuses until Jeremy tells him about Vicki asking for help.
Elena and Ric have gone to Tyler to get answers to werewolf questions. He tells them that while most wolves chain themselves up individually when the full moon arrives, there are some who gather in mountains and deserts to let their freak flags fly. Elena asks if there are any specific wolfy areas in Tennessee and Ty uses her cell phone to bring up a map. Isn’t that awfully convenient. I thought Jules was from Florida. How would she have known about wolves in Tennessee and why would she have mapped out their exact location for Tyler? She thanks him and is about to leave when he asks about Caroline. It seems no one has heard from her since she was shot with vervain darts in the back. Elena asks Ric is he would like to accompany her on an excursion to find werewolves in the woods. During a full moon. This is where I think the writers need a lesson in geography. Mystic Falls is a minimum of seven hours from Memphis. And that’s assuming it is on the very westernmost tip of Virginia. How can they drive seven hours and hunt wolves before dark? It’s already the middle of the afternoon! Ric is an idiot and agrees to go with her.
Klaus is regaling the crowd of wolves with story of his awesomeness. He refers to himself as fascinating. Oh Klaus. Will anyone ever love you as much as you love yourself? Ray takes this opportunity to awaken, very concerned about the changes he’s feeling inside. Don’t worry Ray, I’m sure there’s a book for that. Stefan asks for any humans in the crowd to volunteer their blood to help Ray transition. Klaus senses a man of the non-wolf variety and super speeds over, biting his arm. Stefan catches the man and throws him to the ground for Ray. A woman I can only assume is his girlfriend struggles with Klaus, earning her a strangling. Klaus forces the woman to drink his blood while Ray refuses to feed from his friend. Stefan threatens to feed and not stop so Ray takes a sip from the human blood bag. Klaus kills the woman he gave his blood to and asks who’s next, all with his big bad wolf eyes.
Tyler is playing pool at the Grill when Matt interrupts him. Seems Ty has been waiting for Caroline but I think she’s going to be a no show. Just a shot in the dark. There is some initial awkwardness about the Caroline issue but Matt quickly changes the subject to the full moon. He is adorable, offering to help chain Tyler up but Ty says he can handle it himself. I’m so sure. Tyler takes a sip from his coffee and comments on it tasting funky. Matt tells him that vervain is being slipped in per Sheriff Liz. Tyler begins to put two and two together. Better look out Carol.
The doorbell rings and Carol lets Bill inside, thanking him for coming. That’s what she said. They discuss the Caroline is a vampire thing. She swears that she is only one who knows, having worked things out all by herself. Bill takes the reins, having some sort of plan for dealing with the situation.
Elena and Ric are walking through the mountains of Tennessee discussing the fact that the full moon is almost upon them as they are hunting werewolves. Elena makes a crack about him being a Boy Scout but boy is he prepared. He unzips his bag to reveal a full arsenal. He hands her a wolfsbane grenade and she gives him John Gilbert’s resurrection ring. Seems like a fair trade to me. He reluctantly takes the ring as she walks near the edge of a cliff that overlooks a lake. Suddenly she goes flying into the water, having been pushed by Damon! Can I please vote this as best thing to ever happen on the show? Because it’s pretty amazing. Damon thanks Ric for letting him know where they were and Elena accuses him of being a traitor. Ric is awesome, pointing out that he’d never take her into werewolf infested woods on the full moon without backup. See, sometimes he is a good guardian.
Klaus feeds him blood to the human and compels him to relax, seeing as they will need him to help the others transition as well. Ray, meanwhile, is freaking out about his entire pack being dead. Klaus and Stefan have some back and forth about Klaus’s intentions. It seems he wants to build a large army of friends/warriors to prevent anyone from wanting to mess with him. Stefan questions their loyalty but Klaus isn’t worried, citing being on the team as motivation for being loyal. Stefan begins to ask why Klaus is keeping him around but Ray’s eyes being bleeding and it kind of kills the moment.
Elena acting like a child, refusing to come out of the water until Damon promises that he won’t make her return home. So he marches in, taunting her for not having a plan. She gets all emotional, talking about how she just has to save Stefan and honestly it’s hard to focus on what she’s saying when there is so much tension of the sexual kind. He eventually relents after she promises that they will clear out before the moon rises.
Ray is convulsing, eyes still bleeding while Klaus is having a minor panic. The girlfriend from earlier awakens and Klaus summons boyfriend Derek to feed her and begin the transition. Ray freaks out, eventually making a run for it. Stefan is able to tackle him but Ray bites him and leaves. Stefan is about to give chase when he hears Damon and Elena. Damon offers to carry Elena and super speed but she refuses. Um, wouldn’t that help them achieve their goal so much faster? Stefan can see them walking so he tries to redirect Klaus’s attention. He tells Klaus that he will need his blood to heal the wolf bite and Klaus agrees, but first he must retrieve Ray. Klaus returns to the campsite where all of the new hybrids are bleeding from their eyes.
Tyler arrives home and immediately confronts Carol about the vervain in his morning coffee. She plays dumb but Ty is AWESOME, calling it like it is: “Let’s skip the part where we pretend we don’t know about the vampires in this town. You were testing me to see if I was a vampire. I want to know why.” She tells him that he has been spending a lot of time with Caroline so she wanted to be sure he hadn’t been turned. The mention of Caroline rankles him, and he demands to know if Carol is responsible from her highly conspicuous absence. She tells him that he can’t be with Caroline because she is a monster. Tyler is struck with the realization that Carol doesn’t know about him yet.
Damon, Elena and Ric are discussing the coming moon when Ray bursts through the trees like a moose. Ric steadies his crossbow and threatens to shoot but Ray senses a vamp and attacks Damon. He is able to shove Damon into a tree and is preparing to bite when Ric shoots him. This only slows him momentarily but it gives Elena enough time to toss her wolfsbane grenade to Damon. He pulls the pin and it explodes, burning away part of Ray’s face. Damon gives him a swift kick to the stomach as Ray falls to the ground unconscious.
Matt and Jeremy are at the Donovan house, sorting through Vicki’s things. Matt makes a crack about a pipe being a personal item and I fall a little more in love with him. He sees a picture of the two of them as kids and has a mini freak out, telling Jeremy that he just can’t do it. No sister seeking seances for him. No siree Bob. Jeremy leaves, all dejected. Suddenly Matt hears a sound and looks behind him to see the picture has moved by itself.
Damon and Ric are attempting to tie Ray to a tress with some ropes but it doesn’t seem to be going so hot. Elena takes it upon herself to spray some of the ropes with vervain and hilarity ensures. Ray awakens screaming. He is beginning to transition, despite there still being daylight. Ric is concerned that the ropes won’t hold a wolf so they all hightail it out of there.
Night has fallen and Derek has served his purpose by helping all of the hybrids to transition so Klaus does the gentlemanly thing and kills him. His girlfriend seems upset until Klaus threatens her, declaring himself the only alpha. The hybrids are all still bleeding from the eyes and Klaus seems mildly concerned.
The gang is running through the woods when Elena trips. And it is FREAKING HILARIOUS. Damon cautions her against getting up seeing as she is face to face with a wolf. Damon distracts it and gets it to chase him while Ric tries to talk Elena into leaving. She refuses to go without Damon but he makes her leave anyway.
Tyler brings Carol down to the creepy werewolf cellar under the old Lockwood property. He pushes her into a cell and shuts the door before grabbing some chains from himself, all the while telling her what a monster he is. She is confused as he rants about the family curse and Mason. Finally he begins transitioning. Carol watches on in horror, shrieking as the yellow eyes and claws come out to play.
Damon is walking through the woods when Ray comes at him in human form. Stefan steps in and rips Ray’s heart out, saving Damon once again. Stefan is pissed that Damon didn’t take his threats seriously and is still tracking him. Damon mentions his late night call to Elena and her obsession with saving him. Stefan denies calling her and tells Damon to take her home and make her stay there. Good luck with that.
Ric has managed to get Elena back to the car where she is sulking about Stefan and Damon still be out there. He is less than worried what with them both being vampires. Elena can tell she has lost the battle and switches tactics, building a case for Ric to stay at the Gilbert place and take care of her and Jeremy. He stops the mushfest, agreeing to stay if he can keep the resurrection ring. Damon returns and Elena is relieved to see him. Damon refuses to bask in her relief, instead pushing her towards the car to prevent her from seeing Stefan. Buzz kill.
Jeremy answers the ring of the doorbell at the Gilbert house to find an apologetic Matt, complete with beer accessory. He hands Jer a bag of Vicki’s thing while giving a mini speech about Jeremy being the only person who really understood her. It’s all very sentimental. As they make awkward small talk about not wanting to remember Vicki as a vampire, she appears. Jeremy asks her what he can do to help while Matt stands awkwardly by, unable to see her. She asks him to help bring her back but they are interrupted when a window shatters and Anna appears with a warning: don’t trust Vicki.
Stefan brings Ray’s dead body back to Klaus only to find that the pack has been slaughtered. Klaus tells him that they started to go rabid and/or bleed out so he had to kill them. He has a major freak out, screaming about doing everything he was supposed to. He runs through the steps of the ritual, not noticing that Stefan has an uncomfortable look on his face as he reviews killing the doppelganger. Stefan reminds him that he’s dying of a wolf bite so Klaus serves him a beer with some of his blood in it. Classy guy. Klaus has a sad as he realizes Stefan is the only member of his army. That would probably make me cry too.
Elena enters her bedroom to find Damon. He tells her that there is still something in Stefan worth saving and he wants to help her find it. Before he helps he asks her to tell him what changed her mind about leaving Stefan in the mountains. After a lot of cajoling, she finally admits that she didn’t want to see Damon get hurt. They have a moment that is both sweet and creepy where he tells her: “Because when I drag my brother from the edge and deliver him back to you, I want you to remember the things you felt while he was gone.” He leaves as Ric arrives with bags full of luggage to move in.
Tyler awakens naked in the cellar while Carol looks on. She promises him that she will make sure nothing happens to Caroline. Once they return to the mansion, Carol calls Bill and tells him that she made a mistake. Only he isn’t buying it, telling her that he was raised to fight against vampires before hanging up on her.
Poor Caroline is tied to a chair in an unknown cellar. She hears footsteps and calls for Carol. Except Bill is the one to open the door and greet her. And, oh shit, Bill is Caroline’s dad?!
BODY COUNT: 3+
Ray, Derek, Paige and the rest of the pack
DAMON: “Happy Birthday, Elena. Stefan killed Andie. Cake?”
DAMON: “We went through this, Elena. Stefan’s gone. I don’t mean geographically.”
CAROL: “You know, if you’re going to bring a girl home, I wish she’d have the tact to not sneak out like a prostitute.”
DAMON: “Yes, because I’m not an idiot like you.”
ALARIC: “Let the vampires fight the hybrid zombie mountain man. I’ll take care of keeping the humans safe.”
DAMON: “No, he’s not ok, Elena. He’s an insufferable martyr that needs his ass kicked… But he can be saved.”