Elena is wide awake at 5AM when her alarm goes off. That sucks. She moves toward her bedroom mirror and examines a bite mark on her neck. She covers it with makeup before leaving her room, running into a very sleepy/possibly hungover Alaric.
The action has moved to the woods where Ric is teaching Elena the delicate art of staking vampires. She is trying (rather unsuccessfully) to use a contraption that ejects stakes when the wearer punches a vampire. Elena tries punching a mannequin multiple times but the stakes don’t come, prompting Ric to tell her she needs to hit the weight room. He takes a vervain grenade out of his bag o’ weapons and shows it to Elena while telling her the element of surprise is the only advantage when it comes to vamps. Then he pulls the pin out and throws it at her. Mr. Miyagi he is not. She catches the grenade and throws it into the air before it explodes. She gets pissed thinking Ric isn’t taking things seriously which leads him to launch into a tirade about vampires taking whatever they want, and hurting whoever they want. Think someone is still a little pissed about being killed recently? Because Elena is herself, she brings the discuss back to her and the hurt she is feeling because of Stefan. Ric just feeds the fire, telling her that she’s the strongest person he knows because she got out of bed. Let’s just call it what it is: she’s a teenage girl whose boyfriend broke up with her. And happens to all of us and we survive it. Get a grip. She puts the punch-propelled stake device back on her arm and pretends to be badass.
Caroline, Bonnie and Elena meet at Mystic Falls High School to face the new year. Elena has covered her bite marks up with a scarf that can only be described as fucking hideous. All of the girls are upset that they aren’t feeling more empowered but realize that they need to move on from the things that are bothering them. You know, Bonnie has a boyfriend who sees his dead girlfriends, Caroline’s boyfriend is now a hybrid and Elena now has a psycho ex who is watching her. Typical girl problems. Elena has a little sad about it being her and Stefan’s anniversary. Because she counts their anniversary from the day they met. So in her mind, my boyfriend and I will celebrate our eight year anniversary despite my being married to someone else in between then and now and us never being close to dating back then? I do not understand her logic. Caroline and Bonnie rally behind their girl as she promises that this will be a new year and a new life.
Damon descends the stairs of the great Salvatore Boarding House only to come face to face with the bodies of two dead girls. He enters the living room and finds Stefan playing Twister with various young co-eds. Is anyone else flashing back to Season One Damon? They trade a few quips about the dead girls ruining the Persian rug and the sorority girls helping Stefan “be all that (he) can be” before there is a knock on the doors. Damon opens the door and Rebekah enters with shopping bags. It seems that Klaus so eager to run from Mikael that he left his dear sister behind in Mystic Falls and she is in need of a place to crash. Damon is confused, wanting to know who the hell she is, while Stefan is apathetic. Damon eventually puts it all together as Stefan rejects the idea of her living there. She writes both boys off as rude and goes in search of a room of her very own. It’s nice to know who wears the pants in this strange pseudo-family.
Jeremy approaches Bonnie at her locker, concerned that she might be mad at him. She says she isn’t mad but is obviously feeling some negative emotion about “sharing space” in their relationship with the ghosts of his dead girlfriends. Jer tries to explain that he needed to talk to Anna to get a bead on Mikael’s location and she says she understands but asks him to step into her shoes. He loved both girls (according to Bonnie) and they didn’t exactly break up. Jeremy asks if she thinks he wants any of this to which she responds by telling him he has the power to decide whether he sees them or not. Kind of a good point.
Matt is parking his truck in the school lot when Vicki appears next to him. He is surprised to see her, telling her that her sudden appearances freak him out. She echoes what Anna has been saying- the ghosts can only been seen if the seer is thinking about them. Matt tells her that he was thinking of the first day of school last year when his biggest concern was trying to win Elena back. Vicki points out that he seems unhappy and asks if he is okay. Um, how thick is she? He very politely tells her that being alone is a lot for him to deal with. I would have told her to go fuck herself. They both express how much they miss each other which leads to Vicki asking Matt if he would help her come back. Just as he starts to ask what she means, Tyler knocks on the window and she disappears. Ty is SUPER PUMPED for the new school year, and ready to rock.
Katherine waves a dangling mouse over a still dessicated Mikael when she receives a phone call from Damon. She tells him that Mikael refuses to eat and is therefore out of the game. He tells her to try harder, concerned that Stefan the Ripper will destroy his house if Klaus isn’t killed soon. She hangs up and sees a man in the cemetery.
Elena is still at school when she receives a call from Damon. He warns her about Rebekah taking up residence in what is technically her house. I get that she died briefly during Klaus’s ritual but couldn’t she sign the Salvatore house over to Jeremy and keep all uninvited supernatural creatures out? She inquires into how Stefan is doing and I love Damon for cracking jokes about him. She asks for the dirty truth on bad Stefan but Damon pretends he hears the school bell ringing and hangs up on her.
Elena runs into Caroline who is putting up flyers about the spirit squad bonfire that night. Elena promises to attend when she senses that Caroline is more than a bit stressed. Their discussion is cut short when Tyler arrives and begins macking on his girl. Elena notices blood on his t-shirt so the girls drag into into the bathroom. Ty tries to stop Caroline’s freaking by telling her the blood is from a blood bag… that he got from Rebekah. Not the best tactic, my hybrid friend. It seems Klaus gave Beks orders to watch over his newest “asset”. Tyler thinks it’s awesome that he’s the first successful hybrid and doesn’t understand why Care isn’t sharing in his excitement.
Elena decides to leave the couple alone to sort things out and runs into Stefan while exiting the bathroom. She is upset to learn that he will be attending school to watch over her. He tries to forcefully escort her to class when Ric arrives to save the day, kind of not really. He tells Stefan to let Elena go and gets shoved into a locker. Stefan warns Ric to stay out of his way before telling the pair he will see them in history class.
Ric and Elena go to his classroom for a pre-class chat about evil Stefan. She explains that Klaus compelled Stefan to watch over her now that he knows her blood in the key ingredient in hybrid making. They agree that something needs to be done about her new bodyguard before students start filing in. Elena takes a seat flanked by Caroline and some random guy but it is short lived. Stefan compels the guy to give up his seat so he can sit next to his favorite girl. Ric welcomes the seniors back to school and begins to discuss the “country’s original founders”: Native Americans. Rebekah waltzes into the classroom mentioning Vikings and introduces herself as the new girl.
Matt arrives at the stoner den where Vicki appears to chide him for being there. He tells her he thought she’d be more comfortable there, which is awesome. He asks what she meant when she mentioned his being able to help her come back. She tells him that she has someone on the other side who can help her come back whenever she wants, not only when Matt is thinking of her. Jeremy quickly pops in looking for his lab partner and is unable to see Vicki. After he leaves Matt asks Vicki if Jeremy can’t see her anymore.
Jeremy is in one of the school bathrooms telling Anna that Matt was talking to Vicki. Looks like he was only pretending to not be able to see her. He explains how Matt died after DROWNING HIMSELF and can now see her. He also tells Anna that he heard Vicki say she could come back.
Vicki tells Matt that she is receiving help from a witch who says there is a ritual that can bring her back.
Anna speculates that Vicki could come back if she had a strong anchor. Then she gets a little mushy and tells Jeremy that she is tethered to him. Um, bitch please. He has a girlfriend (even if she’s horrible).
Vicki explains that while she’s still be a ghost, she will be able to come and go as she pleases once the ritual has been completed. She also says that Matt will be the only one who can see her.
Anna warns Jeremy that Vicki has a darkness around her and will have to pay a horrible price for upsetting the balance of nature.
Vicki begins crying to Matt about how they won’t have to be alone anymore, prompting him to ask what he has to do in order to get the ball going on the ritual.
Football and cheerleading practices are happening! And someone mentions poor dead Dana. Cue Rebekah arriving to inquire about joining the squad. Caroline is pissed, telling her that she can’t just “infiltrate all of (their) lives”. Looks like Beks is only interested in becoming the new Caroline which may include stealing Tyler.
Speak of the devil, Tyler is practicing with the football team and is doing so in a du-rag. It is disgusting. He compels the coach to end practice early so they can all get drunk at the bonfire. Which is exactly what most teenage boys with the powers of compulsion would do. Caroline joins him as he heads off the field and tells him to cool it with the mind control in public. Ty starts going on about how he feels awesome and how Klaus gave him a gift. Caroline is less than pleased to hear him speak positively about Klaus but they are interrupted when the other guys on the team start hooting over Rebekah. She gives them a show filled with impressive gymnastics, ending in a split. The look on Caroline’s face is priceless as Tyler talks about Beks having “moves”. Barf.
Elena is running on the track when Stefan joins her, asking if she’s attending the bonfire. She tells him to leave her alone but he keeps following her, promising to get even annoying. A guy accidentally bumps Elena while running so Stefan freaks and pushes him, calling him a dick. Elena is mortified and can’t believe the person Stefan has become. Stef is callous, describing himself as someone “assigned to protect a human blood bag”. Ouch. She storms off while Stefan is left wondering if it was something he said.
Katherine is still in the crypt, holding the body of a man over Mikael so his blood will fall into Mikael’s mouth. Mikael awakens and immediately begins yelling at her to get the body away from him. She complies and tells him that she remembers him from Chicago in 1922. And he goes back to sleep? I have to agree with Katherine, not very scary for a “badass vampire vampire hunter”.
Elena is at a mystery location lifting weights. Guess she is taking Ric’s suggestion seriously. Damon joins her and she starts in on Stefan being horrible, tattling on him for calling her a human blood bag. Damon decides to “help” with her training by pressing on the bar to make her work harder. She is not a fan of this training method. Damon eventually stops, asking why she called him. Elena has a plan to lock Stefan up until Mikael can kill Klaus and break his compulsion. Damon reminds her that Stef’s back on the human blood with no humanity to boot. She begs him to do it for her so that she doesn’t have to see the monster Stefan has become (or reverted back to). Damon decides to take the opportunity to teach her anatomy. He grabs her hand and puts it on his chest, telling her it’s the sternum. He then grabs her and turns her around so she is no longer facing him and uses his hands to show her a spot below the ribcage and next to the spine where a vampire can be staked. It’s a very sexy lesson. He promises to do whatever she needs him do and swears no one will hurt her, not even Stefan.
Ric, Damon, Elena and Caroline meet in Ric’s classroom to discuss the Stefan plan. Elena is lure him away from the bonfire where Ric will shoot him. Damon asks why Bonnie isn’t involved to give him a magic migraine and Elena tells him that she wants to keep Bonnie out of it, afraid Stefan will hurt her. Caroline’s job is to prep the old Forbes jail cell. Damon, again the voice of reason, brings up Rebekah and the me and my shadow routine she has been pulling with Stefan. Elena informs him that his job will be to distract Beks with his charm and stunning personality. Ric is still pissed about the whole Damon killing him thing but as least they’re talking.
Tyler arrives and Elena asks him to steal vervain from his mom to keep Stefan weakened for a while. Ty tells her that he can’t help because locking Stefan up isn’t in Klaus’s best interest. Care reminds him that Klaus is the bad guy and calls him a “freaky hybrid slave minion”. Ty tells her that Klaus made him the hybrid he is today, going so far as to say he owes Klaus everything. He starts to leave but Damon stabs him in the neck with a vervain dart. Caroline freaks out until Damon tells them that Ty has been sired. Ric (who is supposed to be a highly knowledgeable vampire hunter) asks what that means so Damon explains: Klaus’s blood created Ty so he will feel loyal and seek acceptance from him. Caroline is less than pleased to hear this, obviously.
Rebekah is trying to work the tap on a keg at the bonfire when Stefan joins her. She is upset because she thought Tyler would be there. Stefan makes a crack about her being fickle and she comes off desperate, telling him to come talk to her when he’s willing to give her the time of day. Elena interrupts their conversation, pouring a beer and draining it in front of them, telling Stefan she’s there to have fun. He shows some mild concern about her being a lightweight but she ignores him, wandering off to join the party.
Matt and Vicki are in the garage of the Donovan house, ready to start the ritual to make Vicki a real ghost. The setting is borderline romantic with candles everywhere and a picture of the two of them as children on a table. Matt takes a knife and cuts his hand, bleeding all over the framed photo. WTF? Vicki tells him to concentrate on her and say he accepts her. He does and all of a sudden there is wind and the candles flame higher. Smoke and sparks come out of the picture before everything returns to normal. A door closes and Matt falls onto Vicki. She catches him and he can feel it. So she touches his face and he can feel that too! Hugs all around!
Bonnie is with Jeremy at MFHS, confronting him about talking to Anna. He tells her that he thought Anna would be able to tell him what Vicki was up to. He mentions the witch on the other side which makes Bonnie even more pissed off, seeing as she is a witch and might have been more knowledgeable than Anna. Anna takes this opportunity to appear beside Jeremy. He shushes her when she whines about just helping which makes Bonnie angry. She tells Jer she can’t deal and leaves to “deal” with Matt.
Vicki is wandering around the garage, excited that she can feel the candles. Freaking weirdo. She tells Matt that she made a deal with the witch on the other side: in order for her to stay on the side of the living, she needs to restore the balance by killing Elena so Klaus can’t make any more hybrids. Matt is less than pumped to hear this and tries to stop her but Vicki knocks him out and takes off.
Stefan spies on Elena as she chants for a guy doing a keg stand at the bonfire. She sees him watching and puts on a big show by drinking. Meanwhile, Rebekah is sitting on a log alone, enjoying a marshmallow. Damon joins her and they talk commiserate over being the old dude/chick at the party. Rebekah is frustrated that she keeps burning her mallows in the fire which Damon uses as an attempt to seduce her. It’s kind of creepy. He peels the burnt part off and feeds her the inside, sucking on his fingers after. Elena watches the entire scene and I’m surprised she doesn’t puke because I want to and I’m not even drunk. Stefan joins Elena from where she’s watching and comments on the jealous looks she’s shooting Rebekah’s way. She gets very defensive, saying she isn’t jealous before storming off.
Bonnie has arrived at the bonfire and is listening to Matt freak out via cell phone. She tries to get him to calm down and tell her exactly what happened.
A random male partygoer is sitting on a car smoking a joint. He sets it down (still lit) and leaves. Um, is this something people do? Vicki arrives at the party and takes the joint, smoking it while no one is looking.
Damon makes a s’more for Rebekah because she has never had one, a concept that is blowing my mind. She questions why he’s being so nice and he once again begins flirting. She understands that he is distracting her but doesn’t know why. She warns him that it’s “never a fair fight” when she’s involved and stabs him in the gut with a roasting stick. She leaves as he doubles over in pain and pulls the stick out. Ouch.
Tyler wakes up at the Lockwood Mansion where Caroline is watching over him. He doesn’t understand how he got home so she tells him that she brought him. And calls him a “d-bag”. You can’t say douche on the CW? He has the gall to ask what her problem is which really sets Care off. She explains that he has been sired and Klaus is his master, which he tries to deny. She tells him that he’s acting like the old Tyler- the asshole he was before he became a wolf. With that she attempts to leave but he stops her, apologizing. He is very sweet, swearing that he hates the old Tyler and will be careful to keep him in check.
Elena has taken her drunk party to the school bleachers. She is lying down, star gazing when Stefan arrives to tell her she’s drunk and needs to go home. She gets up and starts talking about needing to find her car. Like that’s going to happen. Stefan tells her that he’s driving her home so she climbs over the railing of the bleachers and starts hanging from it like an idiot.
Stefan calls her out on being five and he’s not wrong. She almost falls and starts laughing, telling Stef that Klaus would not be happy with him. She then goes for no hands and predictably falls. Stefan super speeds over in time to catch her and they have a moment. She tells him that she knew he’d catch her and they gaze into each others’ eyes. Then Ric comes along and shoots him full of vervain darts. Stefan falls to the ground unconscious while Ric checks in with Elena. She may be drunk but the plan worked.
Elena opens the trunk of Ric’s SUV and he puts Stefan inside. Elena gets behind the driver’s seat as Vicki, still smoking her stolen joint, looks on. She glances at the ground before blowing on the joint.
Matt and Bonnie are in an empty classroom in the school. Because all high schools leave the doors unlocked so students can entering whenever they feel like it. Come on! Matt apologizes for thinking he could trust Vicki. Bonnie tells him to repeat the ritual to her exactly as it was performed so she can find a way to send Vicki back.
Ric closes the trunk and sees a can of gasoline on the ground. Vicki throws the joint on the ground, onto some spilled gas. It catches fire, creating a pathway of flame to the car. The car begin to ignite as Elena is trapped inside. Ric struggles to open the door but it’s stuck shut. He looks around for something to break the door down with and finds a lacrosse stick which is so not useful. He attempts to break the door with it anyway and to no one’s surprise it doesn’t work. The flames grow as Elena attempts to kick it open. Meanwhile, Vicki stands next to car watching Elena slowly die of smoke inhalation.
Back inside the school Matt lights a candle while Bonnie reads from a grimoire. Does this chick carry one with her everywhere she goes? She tells him that she found a spell to block the magic that is helping Vicki and slices his hand open with a knife.
Elena is coughing up a storm due to lack of oxygen. She yells Stefan’s name and he wakes up temporarily, breaking the trunk with his feet. Meanwhile, Bonnie is inside casting a spell.
Vicki tries to stop Elena as she heads towards the back of the vehicle but is suddenly pulled into the classroom with Bonnie and Matt. She pleads with Matt to make Bonnie stop but he insists that he needs to fix his mistake. Bonnie tells him that Vicki is still there because he’s thinking of her. He says his goodbye to his sister, telling her that he can’t hold on to her to stop himself from being lonely. She disappears and sads are felt all around.
Ric helps Elena out of the burning vehicle and they both grab Stefan. They manage to pull him out just before the SUV explodes.
Elena and Damon are in his bedroom where he is applying first aid to her scratched face. She mentions all of the flirting with Rebekah and he tells her that he was faking it. They have a really sweet moment but Ric crashes it, needing Elena to give him a ride home. They exchange one last look before she leaves.
Caroline is still at the Lockwood Mansion, putting on her dress after sexy times with Tyler. The hybrid is sitting on the couch naked except for a sheet around his waist, questioning why she always runs away after sex. Care tells him that he needs to earn an sleepover and he accepts the challenge. How adorable. They share a smooch and she leaves. And not a moment too soon because Rebekah shows up with a girl bleeding from the neck, a “present”. He tells her to leave but she says Klaus would want Tyler to indulge. She bites the girls wrist and Ty super speeds over, sinking his fangs into her neck.
Mikael awakens as Katherine lights candles in the crypt. He apologizes for having an outburst and tells her that he does not drink human blood. He asks why she woke him and she mentions Klaus. He tells her that he’ll kill Klaus if she helps him remove the chains. She breaks them and he grabs her, biting her neck. Seems he only feeds on other vampires. Interesting.
Elena tells Ric that she thinks Damon misses his friend as they toward the door of the Salvatore Boarding House. Stefan stops them and gives them a lecture about how they need him around to protect Elena. He asks her why she saved him and she tells him that she still has hope he can find his humanity. He calls her pathetic and she counters by saying she’s strong and stabbing him with the punch-proppeled stake launcher that Ric was training her with. Ric looks proudly at an incapacitated Stefan before closing the door.
Jeremy is in his bedroom leaving a voicemail for Bonnie. He is upset that she is ignoring him and won’t talk things out. He hangs up and Anna appears, beginning a dialogue about how she shouldn’t be there. She questions why he was thinking of her while calling Bonnie. Maybe because she’s the root of the problems he’s having with his gf? They both agree that they can’t stop thinking about each other and touch hands. And they can now feel each other? WTF?
Damon is removing the ruined Persian rug from his living room when someone super speeds around and breaks a vase. He assumes it is Stefan and yells at him to cut it out. He leans over to pick up the pieces of the vase and someone hits him hard enough to knock him over. It’s Mason(!) who is ready to have some “fun”. Damon opens his eyes but can’t see the ghost. Oh shit.
BODY COUNT: 3
Anonymous sorority girls, Rebekah’s “present”
BONNIE: “I mean, why should I let the fact that my boyfriend is seeing the ghost of his dead girlfriends hinder this experience?”
DAMON: “Oh, you know Stefan. Journaling, reading, shaping his hair.”
CAROLINE: “So how do I fix him?”
DAMON: “Get a new boyfriend.”