"Blood Brothers" is the long-awaited vampire origin story of the Brothers Salvatore, so hop in my DeLorean, because we've got to go back in time.
1864: As we learned in previous episodes, while Stefan was compelled to drink Katherine's blood, she and Damon kept it "real"
I bet that's why Damon is keeping it "real" with Elena, so that when he turns her, she'll be his twu luv. The night all the vampires are arrested and locked up in the tomb under the church, the Salvatore boys create a diversion, attack Johnathan (sic) Gilbert the Elder, and free a Vervain-groggy Katherine from the paddy wagon, but before they are able to secret her away, they're shot "dead" by torch-bearing townies.
Stefan wakes the next day. Bonnie's ancestor, witch Emily Bennett (and her brother) ferried the kinda-dead Salvatore boys to a rickety shack and Emily has been keeping watch over them. Stefan doesn't understand why his gunshot wound has completely healed. Emily informs Stefan that Katherine's blood saved the boys, and explains the concept of transitioning. When Stefan swears he never drank from Katherine, Emily schools him in compulsion, and explains the rings Katherine had Emily make for the boys, weeks before, in accordance with her evil scheme. Damon, who is sitting shirtless by a stream, tells his brother that he was never compelled. The boys decide to die and not complete their transition.
When Stefan returns to Mossy Manse's predecessor, he listens as Papa Salvatore instructs Johnathan the Elder to whitewash his late son's involvement in the Vampire Incident, when he chronicles the night's events. Gilbert agrees, but since Modern-day John Gilbert (Uncle Snark) was sure to stress that Johnathan the Elder kept many journals, and some are still locked away, I suspect there's a Gilbert-penned, tawdry, True Crime version of events, mouldering somewhere in Founders Hall or the like. Anyhow, once Gilbert leaves, Stefan goes to see Papa who proudly exclaims that it was he who shot his beautiful boys. When Stefan tries to reason with his father, and explain his decision not to transition, Papa pulls out a wooden stake, but in the struggle, it's Papa who is impaled. Good riddance, say I. Good eatin', says Stefan. His transition is complete. Dun!
Later, Stefan brings a young woman to Damon, who hasn't fed because he believes Katherine was burnt to death in the church, and he only wanted to be a vampire to be with her. Stefan tempts his big brother by biting the woman's neck. Transitioning Damon cannot resist the fresh blood, and the rest is history.
2010: Stefan spends a lot of time in his cell drifting in and out of consciousness. We get the bulk of the 1864 story from his fevered dreams and mopey reminiscing. When he's awake, he's no longer a blood-crazed maniac. He's suicidal. When Damon goes out on a man-date with Alaric (the search for Isobel is their beard), Elena flirts with being too dumb to live. She opens Stefan's cell, they argue about whether or not he should live, whether or not her life is in danger when she's with him, and stuff like that there. When she leaves, she purposefully leaves him his magical ring. Stefan doesn't use it to go on another feeding frenzy, though. Instead, he decides that since he never meant to be a vampire, and had (originally) decided not to feed and complete the transition (until he was tempted by Daddy's delicious belly blood), that suicide-via-sunrise is the answer. Guess who watched a lot of Buffy back in the day?
When Elena finds the ring lying in the empty cell, she goes to Damon who reveals that it was Stefan who forced him to transition. Elena takes that information and hunts down her man. There's more emo arguing and I-love-you-ing and finally she leaves him with the ring again. As much as Stefan believes he deserves death, he cannot resist Elena -- cannot abandon Elena. He slips on the ring and they fall into each others arms, being careful, as ever, to keep their pelvises miles apart. Dear Directors: Next time you shoot these two in a clinch, would you please keep a close eye on the blocking? Their bums are always sticking out, and you could drive a truck between their nether regions. Since Stefan and Elena are already intimate, it's silly and distracting to see them in such a chaste embrace.
Important points not covered above: Emily didn't tell the boys that Katherine escaped, because she was hoping they'd choose not to transition, and wanted them to make their decisions free from Katherine's influence; she tells Stefan his curse is that even in death, his heart is pure; Damon hates Stefan -- not so much because Stefan forced him to feed and transition, promising it would be awesome, and then promptly became a critter-tarian -- but more because Katherine was only supposed to turn Damon. Wouldn't that be a great thing to hate Katherine for, instead? It totally works for me, D. Try it.
Elsewhere in 2010: Uncle Snark lets Elena know he knows she's dating a vampire. When he asks her what her mother would think of that, Elena snaps, "Which one?" Burn! Jeremy and Anna make me fall in love with their love, despite myself. Pearl wants to leave town, but Anna begs her to stay, and starts going to school, just to be with the Germ. Uncle Snark meets with Pearl who foolishly tells him she gave Damon the mysterious Gilbert Gadget. Later, Snark kills her and Harper, and calls Liz to inform her he's got more vampire information to share. Poor Anna, who has just kissed Jeremy goodbye, returns home to find her mother and Harper dead. Damon and Alaric run a trace on the phone Elena called a few weeks ago, which leads them to an apartment. They expect to find Isobel, but instead find New Vamp, a tomb refugee, who says John is his BFF. When push comes to shove, and veins come to face, Alaric (who'd just sworn off killing) stakes New Vamp. Alaric then swears off the search for Isobel, and retreats to the Grill, to drink off the day's events. Of course it's then that Isobel finds him. Alaric ought to swear off swearing off (but not before he swears off me.) DUN!
I'm holding my grade until the full weecap, but don't let that stop you. Scroll on up to the Episode Report Card, and let your voice be heard. Personally, I needed more dancing. More seriously, although I didn't cover Damon and Elena's moments in this episode, there was a lot of tense, flirtatious bickering of the I'm Pretending I Do Not Like You At All mode. My favorites include Damon telling Elena she's a nuisance, and telling her Stefan's favorite critter blood comes from puppies. Once it's clear Stefan is coming down from his human blood high, Damon reverts to his I hate you cover, but it's clear it's only a cover. I've been waiting for the Salvatores' vampire origin story, but on first review, I don't feel like I learned anything that I hadn't already pieced together. That said, I now better understand their messy family dynamics. I'm going to give the story a more thorough going-over before I make up my mind, because an awful lot happened in just one hour.
"Blood Brothers" is the long-awaited vampire origin story of Stefan and Damon Salvatore, so hop in my DeLorean, because we've got to go back in time.
Previously, on The Vampire Diaries: For over a century, Crittertarian-Vampire Stefan Salvatore lived in secret, but now he has to know her, i.e. Elena Gilbert, dead ringer for vampire Katherine Pierce. Stefan takes a flying leap off the roof of Mossy Manse and into the sunshine of Elena's love. In flashbacks to 1864, we learn that while Stefan and Damon each want exclusive rights to Katherine, she's the one who makes the rules, and is quite sure that choosing drools. After Papa Giuseppe Salvatore spikes Stefan's drink with Vervain, Katherine feeds off Stefan during their assignation -- and is instantly incapacitated. Papa bursts in the bedroom and orders Stefan to get the sheriff, who returns with a torch wielding mob. Katherine, now wearing a Hannibal-esque mask, is promptly tossed into the back of ye olde paddy wagon. Damon begs the mob not to take her, but his father pulls him back, warning that if he's linked to the vampires, he will be killed along with the vampires. Stefan promises Damon they'll get Katherine back, to which Damon is all is this fail not already epic enough for you? More recently, Stefan is back on human stuff, from both blood banks and nubile necks. He's not fussy; and he's not sad. HE'S HUNGRY! He tells Elena that human blood brings out the beast within. Elena refuses to listen. She's not going to give up on him. After she gets all hot and bothered with Damon on the dance floor, she stabs Stefan in the back with a Vervain dart and slaps his ass in the detox dungeon formerly inhabited by Damon.
Mossy Manse; Present: As Stefan drifts in and out of consciousness, a single perfect manly tear forms in the inner corner of his left eye. Who does he think he is -- Dean Winchester?
1864: Stefan and Damon Salvatore watch from the bushes as Johnathan (sic) Gilbert the Elder (Joe Knezevich) leads his torch bearing mob through Mystic Falls, following only the bearings on his ACTUAL VAMPIRE COMPASS. The mob puts a Hannibal mask on a young male vamp, we'll later learn is Henry. Gilbert yells out to the men: "We have to get to the church; they're waiting." While Damon flanks them, Stefan pops out of hiding and yells to the Goons: "Over here. There's another one. Quick!" Once the Goons run after their red herring, Damon disables the paddy wagon guard. Stefan then doubles back from the red herring hunt, rejoins his brother, they unlock the wagon and get Katherine out. Rather than rushing her to safety, they stay right in the very spot to which the Goons are most likely to return, and remove her mask, because they're too dumb to live.