While Shane talks, we flash forward to Connor setting up some anti-vamp weapon systems. In the present, Shane tells Connor there's a witch in Mystic Falls. "She's important to what I have planned. I want her to be kept out of harm's way." The Bonnie-haters cry, so Connor closes in on Shane and glares down at him. "Anybody gets in my way... Anybody? They're dead." Shane's head sort of bobbles in that, Whatever Dude way as he says, "Okay. Sure. I'll occupy her, myself. Just do what you do. And the less I know about it, the better." Please don't be gross. Please don't be gross. Please don't be gross.
Mystic Falls. Morning. Weapons bag slung over his shoulder, Connor approaches the Mystic Grill. Inside the kitchen, Jeremy is putting away some clean pitchers and the like. When he hears a noise, he goes to investigate, but sees nothing until he turns around to find Connor right in his face. The hunter grabs the back of Jeremy's head with one hand and holds a knife to his throat with the other. He asks the boy if he has his attention. When Jeremy nods, Connor says, "Good. Then let's talk about vampires." Title card.
Gilbert Gables. Elena's Room. Elena wakes and writes in her diary. Over at Mossy Manse, Stefan is doing the same. Elena's all I'm a vampire, and I hate it. Stefan is all, She's spiraling, and I hardly recognize her. Oh Stefan, sure you do. She's the one who looks just like Katherine. He doesn't listen. Instead, he blathers about how now there's hope. Elena's all, I feel hopeless, depressed, angry, scared. I'm all, Oh for feck's sake, Elena. Woman up and grow a pair. Of fangs! I mean fangs. She clearly already has ovaries, unless there's been some surgery that happened offscreen.
Stefan writes that if he can find that cure, he can give Elena back her life. What life -- the life in which she was threatened with death at every turn? Note to self: Don't exchange Christmas presents with Stefan. He'll either give you some other chick's mother's necklace, or an expiration date. Elena's diary entry could double as a suicide note, were it not for Jeremy. She'll do what she must to stick around for her little brother-cousin. Meanwhile, Stefan promises his diary that no matter what Klaus asks, what lies or secrets are involved, he'll do what he must to let Elena become human again.
Stefan's journaling is interrupted by a text from Klaus which reads, "We have a problem." We cut to Stefan talking on the phone, asking how Connor escaped. We cut to Klaus in Italy. This isn't some dead-of-night grave robbing operation he's running here. It's a full-scale archaeological dig, with tenting, lights, the whole shebang. Klaus points out that since Connor took Nate Hybrid's head, he must be after more werewolf venom. Stefan figures that means the hunter will stay in town to kill as many vampires as he can. Klaus exposits that since he keeps his healing blood in his person, and his person is in Italy, the Fellowship of the Falls is screwed if any of them gets poisoned with the toxin. There's more exposition, but you guys are watching every week. I hate to belabor this stuff, even if the show doesn't. Klaus's final orders are to keep the secret and keep Connor alive. Keep it secret. Keep it safe. But Gandalf, he's not. Klaus threatens to throw the hunter's sword in the sea, if Stefan utters a word about the cure to anyone. Stefan, he's totally bluffing. Klaus is even more motivated than you are -- to restore Elena's humanity. Stop. Think.