Vampire Diaries Recap: S03E05: The Reckoning

It's all about tradition. An attempt to focus on normalcy. Senior prank night has arrived. "We are about to be seniors. These are the memories that will stay with us forever," Elena parrots Caroline’s motto. Too true, but neither Elena nor Caroline could anticipate the reasons their night would become so memorable.

Tyler turns hybrid.
Tyler turns hybrid.

Klaus Comes to Mystic Falls or the Hunt for Hybrids

The question has never truly been will Klaus find out that Elena is alive, but rather when. And the answer came at the end of episode four when Klaus discovered Stefan's deception and returned him to Mystic Falls. A quick trip to the high school was all it took for Klaus to discover that Elena was alive and kicking, and it was easy enough to separate her from the group of prospective seniors gathered there as a part of the annual senior prank tradition. From that point on, it is more of Klaus’ sadistic tricks. Klaus does not want to kill Elena outright; he wants to make her suffer. But first he must wait for the other players to arrive.

Meanwhile, Tyler and Caroline are continuing the pranking and enjoying some alone time. Sweetness commences. And then Rebekah shows up to ruin things.

The final player? Bonnie. When Bonnie and Matt arrive at the gym and see that danger has arrive, it is time to begin the festivities. Rebekah brings in Tyler.

"I'm gong to make this very simple. Every time I attempt to turn a werewolf into a vampire hybrid, they die during the transition. It's quite horrible actually. I need you to find a way to save my hybrids, Bonnie. And for Tyler's sake, you better hurry."

Klaus ups the ante by feeding Tyler his blood and then snapping his neck. Resident witch Bonnie now has a limited time to figure out how to solve the hybrid problem before Tyler becomes its next victim. Klaus holds Elena captive as Bonnie rushes to figure out the cure.

Anna looks on as Damon hurts Jeremy.
Anna looks on as Damon hurts Jeremy.
Vicki finally connects with Matt.
Vicki finally connects with Matt.

How To Seek Ghostly Advice or Damon Takes a Vacation

How does one solve the puzzle that is a centuries old curse? Go to the source. The first thought is to somehow gain information from the original witch beyond the grave, and luckily they have someone who could potentially contact her. But Jeremy is not answering his phone, because his ghost-seeing and speaking skills were needed elsewhere. Katherine's little road trip to nowhere was a plan to get Damon AND an unconscious Jeremy as far away from Mystic Falls as possible. She needs information from the dead as well: the location of the man Michael, the man who could have information on how to kill Klaus. Apparently Katherine's friend Pearl knew him, and Pearl had a daughter, and this daughter met a boy... long story short, Katherine needs to get information from Anna via Jeremy. All it takes is for Damon to rough Jeremy up a little before Anna caves and tells them where to find Michael. She also warns them that they would be stupid to wake him as he is a vampire who hunts vampires. Sounds like something wicked this way comes...

Meanwhile, back at Mystic Falls High, the lack of Jeremy poses a serious problem. They need answers, and fast, and he was their only option. But Matt comes up with another option. After a seemingly random conversation with Bonnie about how everything has changed drastically since they were lifeguards together at the pool over the summer, Matt puts Bonnie's CPR skills to the test. He weighs himself down and dives into the pool so that he can "die" and then speak with his sister. The plan works; right before Bonnie brings him back he speaks to Vicki and discovers that killing Elena is the only way to allow hybrids to survive. Everyone freaks out accordingly.

Back in the middle of nowhere, Damon asks for his phone from Katherine and finds multiple texts from Bonnie. He turns around to run to Elena's aid.

Klaus compels Stefan to turn off his humanity.
Klaus compels Stefan to turn off his humanity.

Elena in Danger and Stefan's Devolution

While all of this ghostly drama is going down, Elena is still stuck with Klaus. Eventually, Stefan wakes up and rushes to Elena's aid. "Come to save your damsel, mate?" Klaus asks teasingly. Stefan tries to convince Klaus that Elena is nothing and he is completely on Klaus' side, but when Klaus hits Elena and Stefan rushes him the truth is revealed. Fed up, Klaus compels Stefan into obeying his every word. Klaus sets the game timer to 20 minutes and compels Stefan into drinking from her once the clock runs down, promising to reverse the order only if Bonnie finds a way to save Tyler.

As the clock runs down, Stefan tries to fight the compulsion. Elena has hope that he can fight it because of his love for her. With 3 minutes to go on the timer, Tyler wakes up and begins transition. Vicki delivers a message from the other side: hybrids cannot live while Elena does. Klaus overhears this message and goes to intercept Elena and Stefan.

The timer runs out and Elena must run. Stefan chases her through the halls, all the while fighting his orders. "The only thing stronger than your craving for blood is your love for this girl," Klaus recognizes. Stefan is strong enough to resist until Klaus decides to take the choice away from him entirely. Klaus compels Stefan to turn off his humanity. Watching the transition is heartbreaking. "I fixed him," Klaus claims. With his humanity gone and his love for Elena extinguished, it's feed on Elena time for the Ripper.

But instead of killing Elena, Klaus is going to use her. He figures the witch is lying from beyond the grave, so he gives Tyler Elena's blood to finish the transformation. And it works. That tricksy witch made it necessary for the doppelganger to die for Klaus' curse to be broken, but made it necessary that the doppelganger live for more hybrids to be made. This allows Tyler to live, thankfully, but gives Elena a measure of safety, but it also makes her instrumental in creating a new bloodthirsty race.

Cut to Elena in the hospital having her blood taken for Klaus to store. Damon shows up to take Elena, and he gets Klaus running scared at the mere mention of Michael. Klaus runs.

Damon promises never to leave Elena again.
Damon promises never to leave Elena again.
Inhuman Stefan returns to keep on eye on Elena for Klaus.
Inhuman Stefan returns to keep on eye on Elena for Klaus.
Katherine and Jeremy find a petrified Michael.
Katherine and Jeremy find a petrified Michael.

Alls Well That Ends Well or... Not

So things are okay. Damon takes Elena. Tyler is alive and feels better than ever. And Matt survived his "suicide" attempt and now he can see his sister.

Now it is time to pick up the pieces. Damon takes Elena home and patches her up, even offering to compel her into forgetting, but she decides to remember. He returns her necklace and vows to never leave her again. And then newly inhuman Stefan comes home at Klaus’ order, ready to look after Elena and thereby ensure that more hybrids can be made. Something must be done.

Katherine and Jeremy arrive at the cemetery where Michael is sleeping, ready to wake him…

And that is where we end. The struggle with Klaus is just beginning, but it could quickly become even more deadly if they succeed in waking Michael. Who is Michael, and how does he have this power over Klaus and Rebekah? What is the power behind the Elena’s necklace, which Katherine stole so Klaus could not obtain it? What is Rebekah’s attachment to it? All of these answers and more when The Vampire Diaries returns with episode six, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”

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