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Vampire Diaries Recap: S03E08: Ordinary People

Updated on January 23, 2012
Rebekah carved her name and that of her brothers on the cave walls.
Rebekah carved her name and that of her brothers on the cave walls.

The Cave’s Revelations




Their names are carved on the walls of the Lockwood caves. The last name on the wall? Michael. “And I like to call him: Papa Original,” Damon quips. So what happened that drove the father of vampires to kill vampires? And would he be able to help them kill his son, Klaus? All that remains to be seen as the symbols on the wall need to be deciphered in order to gain more information. Luckily, Alaric, being a history teacher, is quite skilled in that arena, and he happens to recognize one symbol in particular. He calls Bonnie over and asks her to bring “the necklace that wouldn’t die.” The design of the necklace is repeated over and over again on the wall. And it means witch.

Damon spars with Elena.
Damon spars with Elena.

Seeking Answers

While Alaric sets to work deciphering the language on the walls, Elena goes to “the source” of answers, aka: Rebekah. To try and get her to talk, Elena shows her a picture of the symbol on the wall that represents her name and ponders, “I’m curious why you and Klaus have spent a thousand years running from your father.” When Rebekah turns to leave with no explanation, she tries a different tactic, threatening, “Well then maybe I’ll ask Michael when we wake him”. Rebekah looks scared. All she will say is, “If you wake Michael, we are all doomed.” Beyond that, her lips are sealed. Elena leaves, knowing she can get no more from Rebekah for the day, but she still insists that she can get more information later. That seems to be confirmed when Rebekah texts her and asks her to come to the house for a chat.

When Elena sees Rebekah again, Rebekah is contemplating her dress for the upcoming Homecoming dance. Like one who is accustomed to getting her way, she has compelled teenage girls into modeling her options for her. She’s temperamental. She tells Elena to choose a dress, and when she refuses to, she threatens the life of a model. Naturally, Elena picks a dress. With this demonstration over, Rebekah agrees to give Elena what she is looking for, but she makes it very clear that this does not give Elena the upper hand: “You do not threaten me. You will learn what I allow you to learn, is that clear?” Threats or no threats, the story is about to be told. The story of the first family of vampires. The story of the advent of the hybrid.

Damon indulges Stefan's need for blood.
Damon indulges Stefan's need for blood.
Michael threatens Damon to get Stefan to cooperate.
Michael threatens Damon to get Stefan to cooperate.

Vampire Rehabilitation

Before we get to the main event, we must return to another vampire whose story is unfolding. Last we saw Stefan, he was being tortured into sobriety by his former bestie Lexie. Now that she has returned to the land of the dead, he is still rotting in a cell, tied to a chair, with little hope of escape. That is, until Damon tears the chains from Stefan’s chair and lets him out of the cell. Why? Only Damon really understands Damon.

Once Damon frees Stefan, his first step is to take him to a bar. But they are not there for the alcohol. Instead, Damon insists that Stefan take another drink, straight from their waitress’ wrist. The brothers are bonding again, but all of this family time is cut short when Michael enters the bar with a mission: to get Stefan to tell him where Klaus is.

With Stefan under Klaus’ control, it stands to reason that he would know Klaus’ whereabouts. But he also must remain loyal to Klaus under the rules of his compulsion. Michael quickly finds a loophole in Klaus’ control when he seizes Damon’s heart and threatens to kill him. Stefan’s connection to his brother is enough to bend the compulsion to their purposes; though Stefan does not know Klaus’ whereabouts, he can lure him back to Mystic Falls so father and son can have a confrontation. Damon’s life is saved with this proclamation, but the volatile Michael is quick to assure them that either he will kill Klaus or Stefan, depending on whether or not Stefan can come through with his end of the deal.

Rebekah, back when she was human.
Rebekah, back when she was human.
The death of Henrik was the beginning of the end.
The death of Henrik was the beginning of the end.
The Original Witch, Rebekah's mother.
The Original Witch, Rebekah's mother.
The tree that created them can destroy them, so it burns.
The tree that created them can destroy them, so it burns.

Humanity Lost

After the dress debacle, Rebekah brings Elena to Stefan’s room to set the stage for her story. She starts her tale when her still human family had to flee Europe to escape the plague.

“My mother knew the witch, Ayana, who heard from the spirits of a mystical land where everyone was healthy. Blessed by the gifts of speed and strength. That led my family here, where we lived amongst these people,” she explained. But the problem was that these people were not ordinary. They were werewolves. The Lockwood caves were where the family would hide during the full moon. They had escaped the plague, but they had run unknowingly into another danger. It is the beginning of the end when Klaus and his younger brother Henrik sneak out to watch the werewolves transform; the next morning Klaus returns with the bloodied body of his brother. Rebekah explains, “And that was the beginning of the end of peace with our neighbors. And one of the last moments my family had together as humans.”

With the death of their son, Michael and Esther were determined to find a way to protect their remaining children. They pleaded with Ayana to cast a spell to give them immortality, but she refused, claiming that the spirits would turn against them and the blessing would become a curse. “This is the making of a plague, Esther. The spirits will turn on you,” Ayana warns. So Esther must take it on herself. Great parents Klaus and Rebekah had: a vampire hunter and the original witch.

To turn her children into vampires, Esther “called upon the sun for life, and the ancient white oak tree, one of nature’s eternal objects, for immortality." "That night my father offered us wine laced with blood," Rebekah remembers, "And then he drove his sword through our hearts.” When his children awoke, Michael gave them bodies to drink from. It was Rebekah who broke first and chose to live as they were. Klaus followed. And the first vampires were created.

Of course there were consequences. Sunlight burned, as did vervaine, the flowers that grew at the base of the white oak. And as all things in nature must be balanced, no matter how perverted, “the spell decreed that the tree that gave [them] life could also take it away.” To erase the threat, the family burned the tree to ash.

Michael once wanted to protect his children, but now he hunts them. What changed? Klaus’ first kill triggered his werewolf gene, which revealed Esther’s infidelity. Michael’s pride was wounded, so he killed the village and Esther. The three siblings who remained to bury their mother vowed to stick together “always and forever.”

“We’re vampires. Our emotions are heightened. I’m stubborn. Elijah’s moral. And Nik, Nik has no tolerance for those who disappoint him.” So Rebekah details her tumultuous relationship with her brother. She will always remain loyal to him, no matter what he does. And she will do anything to keep Michael dead. “Make no mistake,” Rebekah warns, “If you come after my brother, I will rip you apart. And I get my temper from my father.”

The drawings tell the story of the Original Witch's murder.
The drawings tell the story of the Original Witch's murder.

The Truth Unfolds

Elena now knows the story of the first family and the many reasons that Michael should stay dead. But by piecing together the symbols from the cave with the story she has leanred, Elena realizes that Rebekah is missing some of the story. It was Klaus who killed Rebekah’s mother, angry at the hybrid curse she placed on him as an attempt to atone for her mistakes.

Elena returns to tell Rebekah that Klaus lied to her. Rebekah screams in denial but eventually succumbs to the truth. Elena leaves Rebekah heartbroken. Back at her house, as she gets ready to collapse from exhaustion, Elena tells Damon that Rebekah may be an unexpected ally. They have something in common after all. Elena learned “that she’s just a girl. That she lost her mom too young and she loves blindly and recklessly even if it consumes her. When all is said and done, there is nothing more important than the bond between family.” Given this newfound insight, Elena makes a prediction regarding Stefan’s future:

“I think that you’re going to be the one to save him from himself. It won’t be because he loves me. It will be because he loves you.”


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