Too much happened in this episode to do it justice in a recaplet, so first, let's review the big moments. Jenna dies. John dies. Greta (thankfully) dies, as does Jules. Satan Klaus breaks the curse. Elijah betrays the Fellowship of the Falls when he fails to kill his bastard brother and instead rescues him. Bonnie survives. Elena dies and is resurrected, but retains her humanity thanks to Uncle Snark Daddy's one decent act on the show.
So, Klaus and Greta have Elena, Jenna and Jules contained by magical fire and Klaus times their sacrifices to the moon's position in the sky. Greta completes Jenna's transition by forcing her blood down Jenna's throat. First up at the altar is Jules. Not only does Klaus rip out her heart, he squeezes the blood into Greta's cauldron or what have you and it's wicked gross. Next up is Jenna. Thanks to some coaching from Elena, Jenna makes a respectable attempt at escape by sinking her fangs into Greta's neck, but she fails. Stefan arrives and offers himself as the vampire component of the Doppelganger Ritual, if only Satan Klaus will spare Jenna. He won't because he's eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil. He will, however, stake Stefan to the ground like he's little more than a butterfly specimen in those sick little collections weird kids keep. Satan Klaus then kills Jenna and finally drains Elena of her blood.
Meanwhile, Bonnie and Germ are still holed up in the old mansion ruins. John brings them all the Gilbert journals in hopes that they can find a spell which will allow Elena to retain her humanity and resurrect, even if she dies with Damon's blood in her veins. They do. They bind John Gilbert's life-force to Elena's.
Anyhow, back to the main action. Klaus succeeds in killing Jenna. Next he drains Elena of her blood while Stefan looks on -- helpless. Elijah and Damon bring Bonnie to the sacrifice site at just the perfect moment to shock the hell out of Satan Klaus. The plan is for Bonnie to render Klaus harmless with her suped up mojo, and then for Elijah to rip Klaus's heart out and finish the job -- thereby preventing Bonnie's death by magical exertion or whatever. The thing is, the brothers on this show love each other even more than they hate each other. So while Bonnie is a spectacular force of nature and wields her new powers expertly, and Elijah does plunge his hand into Satan Klaus's chest, he never gets to ripping out his heart, because Klaus pleads for his life from an interesting angle. It seems the big fallout between Klaus and Elijah wasn't over Katherine after all. It was because Klaus killed off their family one by one, and hid their bodies so Elijah couldn't (presumably) remove the ash-dipped daggers from their chests and revive them. Back in the day, Klaus told Elijah he dumped them all in the deep blue sea, but he was only kidding! He stashed them and will bring Elijah to them, if only Elijah will spare him. Bonnie is ready to kill them both and give her own life in the process, but Elijah whisks his brother away in a whoosh of flames (bring your own subtext) leaving our Fellowship of the Falls broken, bloodied, beaten and bereft.
By episode's end, Elena is alive again and still human and John is dead. He leaves her a touching letter and his Protect-o Ring. I'm not sure what good that will do. Is she no longer too supernatural for it, Show? The kids then all dress up to visit and John and Jenna's unmarked graves in the Gilbert plot, as if they were going to an actual funeral.
In other news, Damon reveals to Stefan that Tyler bit him, but asks little bro not to tell their girlfriend. Stefan promises to find a cure, and hey, I bet there's a spell for that. Either a spell, or maybe Damon can suck on Tyler's throat -- just for a little while and just for medicinal purposes, I assure you. Speaking of Tyler, our secondary triangle is sidelined in their own self-contained story. By watching Caroline in action, Matt learns Liz's view of beasties is bigoted, and yet he doesn't want to be involved in any of the mystical goings-on in Mystic Falls so he dumps our Vampire Barbie, who must seek comfort in the arms of a very nekkid Tyler Lockwood, poor baby.
I'll be back with the weecap, ASAP. In the meantime, please grade the episode at the top of the page and then join us in the forum, where we're all snuggling down with Tyler under that blanket.
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How was this not just the season finale? I mean, I know "The Sun Also Rises" is episode 21 of a 22 episode second season, but I know season finales and that, my friends, was a season finale. Four characters die and we're left with three cliffhangers. Season finale, yes? Yes. Don't sass me, now.
So we open on Matt and Caroline trying to hide from a now wolfy-Tyler, down in the dungeon at the old Lockwood ruins. Pudding Pop has to shoot Pudding Pup to keep him from attacking. A wounded wolfy is a subdued wolfy, so Caroline grabs Matt's hand and Stealth-Salvatores him right out of there. We cut to...
Alaric's Apartment: Katherine and Damon examine his werewolf bite. I wonder if it matters that Tyler wasn't fully wolfed-out when he bit Damon? Maybe a transitioning wolf's bite is like a werewolf bite vaccination for vampires. I'm fanwanking, aren't I? Damn. Well, leave me to my denial, wouldja? When Damon makes to leave, Katherine is nice to him for the first time in 145 years. She wants him to say goodbye. She doesn't want him to leave mad and then die. Damon's having none of it and none of her. Katherine delivered Jenna to Klaus, even though she owed Damon her loyalty for slipping her Vervain. Damon wants to offer himself up to Klaus in Jenna's place, but Katherine reiterates their conversation from last week and fills in some blanks: Klaus saw Damon's bite, knows his blood is impure, and so Damon won't do for the Doppelganger ritual.
Quarry: Elena helps Jenna figure out that she's been vamped, or at least that Klaus fed her his blood and then killed her. Remember, in The Vampire Diaries' mythology, the fledgling vampire must feed to complete the transition. Poor Jenna. She doesn't want to feed but Greta Manwitch traps Elena in a magical circle of fire, and then cuts her own wrist and forces Jenna to feed. Jenna says she can't. Elena encourages her to resist, but having Greta's blood right in her face like that is too much for our vampire tadpole. She drinks deep and vamps out, Greta then surrounds Jenna with fire, too.
Bonnie's Safe House: Bonnie and Germ are still hiding out in the ruins where Bonnie juiced up on the mojo of a hundred dead witches. They're going through the Manwitch grimoire collection, looking for some way to keep Elena from becoming a vampire if she's sacrificed while Damon's blood is still in her system. Hey, how come Bonnie can't just magically choose the right grimoire like she did before?
Outside: As Alaric, Stefan and Elijah are approach the safe house, Elijah exposits that the ritual will happen in stages, as the full moon sets. First Satan Klaus will sacrifice the werewolf, then the vampire, and finally Elena. Once the Doppelganger drops dead, the Klaus curse will be broken, and he'll become a hybrid. And blah blah blah vulnerable during the transition. Blee bloo whaaaaaaa. Elijah is going to finish the job himself to ensure Bonnie doesn't die of magical exertion. Oh oh. Stefan, Alaric, Elijah is gorgeous but he is NOT to be trusted. Before our boys have time to consider my warning, Damon calls Stefan and tells him the sacrifice is happening and Klaus has Jenna. Stefan: "Oh my God." Audience: "We've been saying that for a week, now."