Season 3, episode 3 | Aired Tuesday, Oct 25 2011 at 21:00 BST on ITV2
Oh, wow. I don't know how they do it, but The Vampire Diaries delivered another fabulous hour of television with 'The End of the Affair'. First off, let's deal with the whole Caroline debacle.
It turns out daddy Bill isn't exactly father of the year. After locking her in that cell, he pumps vervain through the ventilation system. He's all passive-aggressive too - "I'm so sorry this happened to you" - but we can't really blame Caroline for going along with his requests.
After all, he is her dad. So she tells him that her ring lets her walk in the sunlight and he promptly takes it off and throws it on to the ground. Then he brings over some blood and Caroline goes all vampire-faced, so he takes it away again. He tells her that blood controls her but he's going to "fix" her - and pulls a chain to open wooden blinds so that the sun pours in. Caroline's scream is truly bloodcurdling.
Tyler knows that something's going on, so he goes to find Liz. But back in the cell, Bill's determined to condition Caroline so that she associates blood and vampirism with pain. Yes, yes, the idea of "fixing" your child has so many not-really-hidden meanings, but Candice Accola and Jack Coleman are so great that they can pull it off. Especially when Caroline groans that her father can't change who she is, and he desperately but coldly replies: "Yes I can." Then pulls those blinds open again.
Bill admits that he cried when he heard Caroline was a vampire, and though she insists that she's learnt to adapt and can't be fixed, he's pretty resolute. When Caroline asks why he's trying to fix her, he replies: "So I don't have to kill you." Gulp. Anyway, the sun's gone done now so he locks his daughter in the cellar and heads home.
Or at least, he tries to, but he didn't count on Liz turning up with a gun. Liz isn't impressed with Bill's parenting skills, even though he tells her: "Trust me to do the right thing. Let me do this not because she's a monster, but because we love her." What a line!
It doesn't work, though, and Liz calls in Tyler. Bill tries to stop him from going in to Caroline but Liz shoots in his general direction and it scares him off. Tyler scoops up Caroline (and her ring) and they get out of there.
Back home, Caroline's tucked up in bed recovering (and drinking blood) as her mother comforts her. Liz even defends Bill, pointing out that he has grown up to think certain things about vampires. Caroline's devastated and admits that she thought Bill was the one who "got" her (Caroline's clearly going through that awful moment when teenagers realise their parents are actually flawed, and it's beautifully done).
Also lovely is that Liz is now so supportive of her daughter and it doesn't seem like the show forced this, even despite the troubles last season. Anyway, Tyler comes to take over comforting duties - cracking pretty bad jokes - and gets into bed to hug Caroline as she sobs. If you didn't cry when Caroline tearfully stated that her father hates her, I don't know what to do with you. But the Tyler-Caroline relationship is so sweet, and he kisses her on the head.
That was all fantastic, but of course it wasn't even the main storyline this week (seriously, if that's your B-plot, full of screams and tears and quiet devastation, then you must be doing something right). Over at the Salvatore mansion, Damon's picked up a call from - wait for it - Katherine! Hurrah!
She claims that she's hiding from Klaus and Stefan, but it turns out she knows exactly where they are - and she also knows that Klaus is not happy that his hybrid plan didn't work.
Well, it turns out they're in Chicago. Klaus says he wants to remind Stefan of his old ripper days, but Stefan doesn't have much memory of all that (blood blackouts, you know the score). But in a flashback to the 1920s, we see Stefan having a whale of a time feeding from a flapper in a car (hurrah to The Vampire Diaries for returning to this decade, which allowed for some gorgeous period detail and stunning-looking scenes).
It's the little things that make this - Stefan takes the flower from his victim's hair and pops it in his jacket pocket to look a little suaver. Inside a speakeasy, he watches a woman called Gloria perform on the stage, and also spots a rather attractive blonde vampire.
But back in the present, Stefan's tired of memory lane - he wants to know why he's still with Klaus. Klaus isn't interested in the full disclosure thing, so he just says he wants to see his favourite witch to get help with his hybrid problems.
Back in Mystic Falls, there's fun to be had as Elena wakes up - and finds Damon in her bed. These scenes might be put in purely to give the Delena shippers something to grin about, but I don't care - they're good fun, especially when Damon comes up with his lines (and we get reminded about how much of a douche he is when he begins rifling through Elena's underwear drawer, yuk). Anyway, he knows where Stefan is and Elena agrees to go with him.
In the car, Damon makes jokes about the necklace Stefan gave Elena, and which she can't stop fiddling with. But he wants to prepare her for what she might find out, so he hands over Stefan's diary. Elena's a bit worried about reading it at first because it would invade Stefan's privacy or something, but it's not long before her eyes drift down to the page (who could resist?)
Anyway, they get to Chicago and Damon takes Elena to Stefan's old apartment (turns out it hasn't been touched since he left the Windy City). Damon gives Elena a little tour - including showing her a hidden compartment behind some shelves. Weird, there's a list of names written on the wall. Nina Dobrev handled this scene beautifully - Elena's dawning realisation that these were Stefan's victims was fantastic. Damon stupidly tells Elena to stay there while he goes to find Stefan.
Back in the 1920s again, that blonde vampire comes over to tell Stefan and his friends to be a bit quieter. And we get to see that actually Stefan was, well, a bit of an idiot - boorish and annoying. Back in the present, Klaus takes Stefan back to the speakeasy, which is still run by Gloria, the singer from earlier. It turns out that she's a witch and has slowed down the ageing process - nice.
Anyway, Klaus wants to know why he can't make new hybrids and Gloria says only the original witch can help, but she's dead. To contact her, Gloria asks Klaus to bring her Rebecca, whoever that is. While all this is going on, Stefan is fixing them drinks - but wait. What's he found? Oh, a photo from the 1920s - of him and Klaus together. Everyone, let your jaws drop now.
Stefan's confused that he doesn't remember Klaus, and we get another flashback. Stefan's feeding from someone alongside that blonde vampire (who, OMG, is wearing Elena's necklace), but Klaus comes over and wants to take her away - he's bored and wants to leave. It turns out, this blonde - Rebecca - is his sister!
Back in the present, Stefan's kind of surprised that he knew another original vampire, but there are more pressing matters - Klaus has taken him to the cellar, where Rebecca is lying in a coffin. Of course, Klaus pulls out the dagger and waits for her to wake up.
Stefan's still keen to know why Klaus wants him around, and Klaus admits that he learnt some stuff from Stefan back in the day. In another flashback, Klaus, Rebecca and Stefan are all sharing a drink (and Klaus is talking about killing his family) when a man comes over looking for his wife - and threatening Stefan. Bad move! Stefan spots the man's wife and compels them both to come and sit down.
He slowly removes her glove, takes out a knife, and cuts her wrist, letting the blood flow into a glass as the man sits and looks on, terrified (and Klaus looks on, smiling and clearly impressed). Then Stefan hands over the glass to the man, finds out his name, and forces him to drink.
The man appears to be compelled, but he still knows exactly what he's doing and he doesn't like it one bit. Stefan's definitely being cruel, but it seems so "school bully".
Back in the present, he's still not convinced that he should believe Klaus, but Klaus says he can prove it - by taking Stefan to his old apartment. UH OH. While Damon hangs about talking to Gloria and finding out Stefan and Klaus' whereabouts, Elena's reading Stefan's diary as he charts his blood-rehab with Lexie. It's not long before she hears Klaus and Stefan coming down the hall...
When they enter the apartment, Klaus appears to sense that someone is there, but brushes it off. He says he used to wonder why Stefan wanted to know the names of his victims, until he found out about Stefan's ritual - the wall of names. Klaus pulls away the shelves, but Elena manages to hide.
Stefan goes to look inside, and spots Elena. This is a heart-stopping moment, as they exchange the most meaningful glances you've ever seen. Then, shock horror, Stefan growls: "Look what I found." It's a credit to Paul Wesley that you genuinely think Stefan's going to give Elena up, even after their history - it turns out he's just going to distract Klaus with some whisky.
Damon finally returns to Elena, who's terrified after her close call. Damon's moving on quickly, though, and says he will distract Klaus this evening while Elena speaks to Stefan. But Elena's so juddery that he has to make sure she can do this as she'll only have about five minutes. She insists that she can.
Back at Gloria's bar, Klaus is telling Stefan that he actually used to want to be friends with Klaus. Time for another flashback - Stefan is telling Klaus that his family is just jealous because they want to be like him. It's all very bromancey, and Klaus even offers him advice about Rebecca. Incidentally, Klaus is called Nick at that moment - not such a terrifying name, right?
But as Klaus says, all good things must come to an end, and in yet another flashback we see the police appearing at the speakeasy - it's a raid. Stefan and Rebecca hide behind the bar, but Stefan realises they're using wooden bullets. Rebecca says that it means "he's here", but before she can explain Klaus rocks up to rush off with her.
As they run, Klaus stops in front of Stefan and compels him to forget about him and Rebecca until he says otherwise. And, in a weirdly touching way, he thanks Stefan for reminding him what it's like to have a brother.
Back in the present, Stefan says you only cover your tracks if you're running from someone, but Klaus isn't feeling talkative anymore. Damon appears in the shadows, and Stefan pops outside claiming he's going to feed. He's not best pleased to see Damon, actually, and says Elena needs to go home and forget about him because Klaus is about to figure out she's not dead. Damon tells Stefan that he can say all that himself - Elena's here.
Damon goes into distract Klaus (and get grabbed by the throat), while Stefan goes for a quick chat with Elena. Elena hugs him and says she wants him to come home, before trying to inject him with vervain (sneaky). But Stefan knows what she's up to and grabs her, saying he can't make it any clearer - he doesn't want to come home. He points out that it will never be the same again between them, but Elena points out that Lexie managed to "save" Stefan.
However, Stefan reminds her that it took 30 years, and that's almost half of Elena's life. She refuses to give up on him, but heartbreakingly Stefan says she has to. And then, coldly, he adds: "I don't want to see you. I don't want to be with you. I just want you to go." Perfectly done, and absolutely chilling.
Damon manages to avoid being killed by Klaus with a cocktail umbrella and a chair-leg stake, mainly because of the intervention of Gloria. Back in the car, he asks a tearful Elena if she's OK, but she sighs: "Just drive." Amazing how much those two little words can convey.
Anyway, Klaus and Stefan go to find Rebecca, who's out of her coffin now. But she's feeling a little angry, and sneaks up on Klaus to stab him. In a flashback, it emerges that Rebecca refused to run off without Stefan - she was tired of moving about all the time as it was.
Klaus offers her an ultimatum - him or Stefan - but she chooses Stefan. And Klaus isn't too happy with that, so he stabs her, killing her (or at least as much as Originals can be killed). Back in the present, Klaus says he's brought Rebecca a peace offering and calls in Stefan.
He compels Stefan to remember, and he does - he remembers Rebecca and being friends with Klaus. Anyway, Klaus is preoccupied because he wants to use Rebecca to contact the original witch. But Rebecca herself is concerned - her necklace is gone.
She throws her coffin around looking for it - seems it must be quite important. Of course, Stefan knows exactly where it is - on Elena's neck. Does Rebecca need it to contact the original witch? Klaus certainly assumes she does.
Back in Mystic Falls, Damon's chatting to Katherine again but she refuses to tell him where she is. How about one last flashback? It's just after the raid, and Stefan's forgotten everything. As he moves through the bar, he spots that necklace and picks it up as Katherine - with an amazing haircut - watches from a door. Back in the present, we find out where she is - well. It's only Chicago...
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