Chock full of blood, betrayal, backstory and bromance, "Kill Or Be Killed" is much more of a turning point than last year's "The Turning Point." Lady Lola is covering the weecap for me, so it only seems right to let her grade it, but if it were up to me, I think I'd give it an A. My head's still swimming in the story, though, so there are only two things of which I'm sure right now. Not only does Nina Dobrev do a good job, she's also got the best damned job. Anywhere. Ever. Here, let me show you...
The Lockwoods: Mason "Brick House" Lockwood finally tells Ty how he turned into a werewolf. A year ago, in Emerald Coast, Florida, Brick House was minding his own business -- and taxing his own liver -- when his friend Jimmy came out of nowhere and accused Brick House of making time with Jimmy's girl, Marla. We never see Marla, but we do see Jimmy, who is barely the same species as Brick House, so I'm guessing the same is true of his chick. Jimmy won't listen to reason and keeps coming at Brick House. A fight breaks out. Death ensues. And that's when the real fun begins. Brick House is now a werewolf. Arooo. Back in the present, he cautions Tyler how easy it is to kill someone, even without meaning to, and reminds him that he needs that moonstone, but still won't say why.
Has there ever been a more civic-minded community than Mystic Falls? The place is a cult. Today is the Historical Society's Build-A-Park day, or something like that. Mayoress Mama Mulva presides over the townies down on the old Fell estate. Mason shows up to help, as do the Brothers Salvatore, so it really is a beautiful day. Caroline and Elena are there too, and Elena heaps hot coals of guilt on Caroline's head by pretending she and Stefan are still on the rocks. The lovers stage arguments that feel a little too real, but don't fret, babies. They have a code. When he tells her he can't do this anymore, he means he loves her. And when she's all fine, whatever, she means, "I love you, too."
Despite seeming to agree to a truce prompted by Stefan, there's no love lost between Brick and the Brothers Salvatore. He makes a beeline for Sheriff Liz Forbes and tells her right out that they're vampires. Liz can't believe it. Damon's been her friend, her confidante, her eye-candy -- but she gets a little girl to hand him a glass of vervain-spiked lemonade and learns the ugly truth. She and her deputies ambush our beautiful boys in the woods, shoot them full of wooden bullets, drug them with vervain, and drag them down to the cells underneath at the old Lockwood place. When Caroline finds traces of the boys' blood, she and Elena follow after them. They're accosted by Brick House, who realizes Care Bear is a vampire. When he attacks Elena, Caroline swoops in to the rescue and beats the muffin out of our newest stud. The girls race off to save the boys, but Caroline panics when she realizes that doing so will mean revealing her true self to her mother. Elena, brave as ever, tries to go it alone, which is, of course a disaster. In the end, Caroline comes through, does away with the deputies and pleads with Liz to keep their secret. Liz, who has been searching for a way to connect with her human daughter, suddenly wants nothing to do with Caroline, and is all kill me now, which is disappointing. I'd thought better of you, Liz. What's not disappointing is Damon's response. Once the vervain is out of his system, with a little help from fresh, hot deputy blood, he makes a run at Liz, but cannot and will not do her in, because she's his friend. The gang takes Liz back to the Salvatore dungeon where they plan to hold her for a few days until the vervain is out of her system. Damon will then compel her to forget the whole deal. Liz goes along with this, but she never wants to see Caroline again. Damon sticks up for his baby vamp, which is rather heart-warming, and the whole Forbes-portion of the episode melts the top layer of frost off Elena's heart, who tells Damon that today, she saw in him the Damon who was her friend. Awww. Caroline comes clean to Elena about doing Katherine's bidding and about the reason why. Katherine threatened to kill Matt. Give me a stake. I'll put that bitch in the ground, myself.
Stefan decides that he needs to build up his resistance to human blood the way Katherine did with vervain. He and Elena have an actual argument, but in the end, she sees things his way, stabs her palm and offers it to him, and then kisses his game face away. Isn't it romantic?
Elsewhere, Tyler and Jeremy bond by skipping out on the park restoration and bringing Amy and Sarah back to the Lockwood home for some drunken debauchery. When they're alone, the boys fortify their budding bromance, share their wolfy knowledge and panic when Sarah grabs the moonstone and then falls down a flight of stairs when Tyler tries to get it back for her. In the end, she's fine, but later, Tyler confesses the afternoon's indiscretions to his uncle -- including the fact that he half-hoped Sarah would die, and he would turn. He then gives Brick House the moonstone and we flash back again to the night he turned. Katherine was there, and although Mason doesn't realize it, she almost certainly compelled Jimmy to attack him.
Later still, Mason goes out into the woods to meet someone waiting in a black Mustang. OMG, is he Sam Winchester's secret love? Sadly, no. He's Katherine's chew toy. He gets in the car, gives her the moonstone and then some lip, solidifying Nina Dobrev's life on the list of those most coveted.
-- Cindy McLennan
Previously: Elena wigged out (har har) when her wavy-locked doppelpire Katherine showed up. After Katherine skulked around town, screwing with Damon's head, turning Caroline into a vampiress, and professing her undead love to Stefan, she and Elena finally came face to face. To fend off Katherine's hell-bent advance (including threats to kill Elena's entire family), Stefan and Elena hatched a plan to make it seem like they had fallen out of love. Also, shirtless werewolves!
We open in Emerald Coast, Florida, one year ago. Mason Lockwood calls it a night at whatever year-round Spring Break bar he's frequenting that night. He leaves, followed closely behind by a guy who's up to no good and emboldened by a hasty shot. Out in the parking lot, the guy, whose name we learn is Jimmy, shoves Mason and accuses him of running around with his girlfriend Marla. Mason claims innocence, but Jimmy won't be dissuaded. Bar fight ensues. Well, technically parking lot fight. Jimmy gets several good blows in, but he's a goner when Mason picks him up and chucks him on the ground with a crunch. Farewell, Jimmy. You seemed like trash, and we hardly knew ye! Cut back to the present, Lockwood Mansion: Mason tells Tyler that, even though Jimmy's death was out of self-defense, it still triggered the curse. Flash to Florida, where Mason's eyes turn extra-wolfy. Now, every full moon, Mason must sedate and restrain himself, or he'll kill everything in his path. He warns Tyler to be careful because any death -- be it accidental or calculated -- will literally change his life. "You don't want it, Tyler," he says, "trust me." Title card.
Now that Mason has answered Tyler's questions, he wants Tyler to honor his end of the bargain and give him the moonstone. Tyler hems and haws, saying he thinks that it's in a safe under the floorboards. Of course, it was there. Until he removed it. Tyler pushes Mason to tell him why he needs the moonstone. Mason lies that it's just sentimental value.
Gilbert Gables: Jeremy tells Elena he can't believe that Tyler's a werewolf. Elena says they only know for sure that Mason is a werewolf. Jeremy says it shouldn't be easy for "us" to figure out, and Elena reminds him that he is not invited into her Super-Special Supernatural Club with the Salvatore brothers. She warns him to stay out of all this mess for his own safety. He mopes away, and she walks over to her closet to fetch something. The minute she opens the door, you know someone is going to be there when she closes it. Happily, it's Stefan. She closes the bedroom door so they can keep up their ruse of being dunzo, then plants a kiss on him that she's been waiting for all morning. He asks if she's ready to face the day. She's not. She doesn't want to fight with him, even if it's fake, and hates that Caroline is acting as Katherine's minion. He reminds her that it's fight or die, given Katherine's threats on the Gilberts. She begs for assurance that they won't let anything they say in the fights creep into what they know about each other, so he devises a code: When he tells her he "can't do this anymore," he's really saying, "I love you." When she says, "Fine, whatever," she actually means, "I love you, too." They seal it with a kiss.