While Professor Shane hypnotizes Bonnie at Whitmore College, Connor holds Matt, Jeremy and April hostage at the Mystic Grill. He wants Stefan, Damon and Tyler to meet him there. Stefan struggles to keep the cure-secret safe while figuring out the logistics of rescuing the humans. When Damon mentions that Liz is keeping people from the scene, I realize that this rescue might be better accomplished by the law, which makes it hard to engage for a while, but eventually "The Killer" earns my time and interest.
While I grabbed Hayley's "Yeah, I don't do teen drama," line for this episode's headline, what I really don't do is gore, and yet this is shaping up to be the most disgusting season I can remember. Connor has extracted werewolf venom from Nate's decapitated head and booby trapped the restaurant with werewolf venom-tainted nail bombs. When Damon twigs to the fact that Stefan is working another mission besides the rescue, Stefan vervains him and takes his daywalker ring.
Eventually, Matt and April escape through the tunnels under the town, which probably stretch across the entire continental United States from Mystic Falls, Virginia, to Sunnydale, California, but I digress. Stefan saves Jeremy but tips his hand enough that Elena knows he's hasn't been straight with her. Meanwhile, Caroline figures out Tyler is keeping a secret about Hayley. It isn't what Klaus thinks, though. There are other hybrids out there (possibly ones Klaus doesn't know about, if I heard Ty correctly, and if I did, that makes no sense), and Hayley and Tyler are looking for a way to break Klaus's sire bond.
One of Klaus's known hybrids gets killed during the rescue mission in the goriest way possible. Once Jeremy is safe, Stefan tries to smuggle Connor out through the tunnels. Damon confronts them, so Stefan releases Connor and tells him to run. Damon thrusts his hand into Stefan's chest and squeezes his brother's heart as he orders him to 'fess up about his secret dealings with Klaus. Meanwhile, Elena, who has already outed her vampirism to the hunter, catches up with Connor. After she bites him and warns him to stay away from Jeremy, Connor tries to stake her, so our girl snaps his neck.
Elena, of course, bemoans the fact that she killed -- even though she did so in self-defense, rather than in a bout of gluttony. Later, at Mossy Manse, Stefan and Damon agree they don't have to tell Elena she killed the map to her cure. Since keeping Klaus's secret already caused this catastrophe, I don't know why our beautiful Brothers Salvatore think this new bargain will end any better, but wisdom is hardly in character for either of them.
By episode's end, Elena is hallucinating that there's been a blood bath in her bathroom. Jeremy keeps mum about the hunter's mark which has appeared on his hand, and Bonnie gets back her mojo. I don't usually discuss the previews, so if you're that spoiler averse, skip to the next paragraph (or preferably, get over it). It looks like Katherine is coming back next week, and not a moment too soon. If anyone can teach Elena how to adapt to her new nature, it's our Kiki. Someone had better do it, and quickly, because there was a Twilight: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 promo during the commercial break, and as a vampire, even Bella Swan seems more watchable than our mournful baby vamp, Elena (who still hasn't learned to wipe her fricking mouth).
The episode is well-paced, and as usual, our cast knocks it out of the park. I keep thinking though, if I'm tired of Elena's eternal compassion, her haters must be ready to pull an Elvis on their TVs. That said, were Elena unapologetic about her first kill, it wouldn't work at all for me. Within the context of this episode, I'm fine with Elena's remorse. The real problem is that her compassion has been hammered into us far too long and far too heavily in previous episodes. I am getting a little tired of the gore fest that is Season 4, however. The visual of Elena burying Connor while his blood still drips from her mouth is a powerful one, but for me, it's overkill.
I'll be back with the whole story in the full recap. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then come on over to the forum, where Jeremy is putting his vervain bracelet on our wrists, but we're mooning over Matt.
SPOILER WARNING: Sort of. This recap contains no known spoilers for future episodes of the show, but there might be mentions of what happens in the book series. Now, don't worry about me spoiling you too much. I haven't even read the books. My 14-year-old has, but that was a couple of years ago. See, there's a thing that happens in the books that I don't want to happen on the show. Since I can't un-know it, I can't really talk about one without the other. Please don't be too afraid of being spoiled. The book series inspires the TV show, but it's not a roadmap for it. For example, Caroline isn't even a vampire in those books. Book-Meredith is Elena's best friend, age-contemporary, not the town physician, and also dates Alaric, who isn't nearly as involved and doesn't die (or maybe does, my daughter says, "That part's fuzzy..."), and book-Klaus is way different. My point, and I do have one, is that I'll be darned if I know which book events are going to happen on the show; I just want to kvetch about the ones I don't want to happen. Whether they will or not is anyone's guess. I just don't want you to get your knickers in a twist if book events I mention later come to pass. While I'm at it, I may also mention the preview that aired at the end of the episode broadcast. Caveat lector.
Currently, on The Vampire Diaries... Once again we're treated to this season's cheesy recap montage. I like cheese. It sets the mood. The voice-overs are basically the same, but now Elena's freaking out because she had fun at a frat party. Klaus knows Connor's tattoo is a map to the vampirism cure. With the montage finally over, we open on Connor's camper. He enters and throws a bloody pillow case down on his table. It clearly contains a head -- Nate's. We cut to...
Whitmore College. Connor tells Professor Shane that he spent the past couple of days chained up by Klaus. Shane knows Klaus is an Original. Connor explains that he's a hybrid and notes hybrids are hard to kill (decapitation, or de-heartization). Dude, those won't even work on Klaus, but I'll let you find that out for yourself. Wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.
During their conversation, we flash back to Connor drawing werewolf venom from Nate's gums. We're two minutes in (including the montage and the buffer time I include at the beginning of my recording) and already I've had my fill of gore for this week. I might later opine on the Season Four gore. Right now, I'm just complaining. Connor is sick of Shane not sharing knowledge and answers. Shane: "We had a deal. I'll give you answers about your hunter's mark when it's grown to completion." Connor: "In other words, kill as many vampires as possible." Shane: "Come on, Connor. Why do you think I sent you to Mystic Falls? There's no shortage of vampires. That town's practically infested." Science fact.