Image credit: Bob Mahoney
REMEMBER WHEN YOU TWO SMILED? Neither do we, Elena (Nina Dobrev) and Stefan (Paul Wesley).
Stefan called the Grill and told Connor that if he released the hostages, they could have a talk, and he would tell Connor about the Five and why Klaus wants him alive. Connor just slammed down the phone. Matt had his hands full in the back trying to convince April not to believe Connor's talk about vampires and to chisel through the blocked tunnel. While waiting for Dean to make his move, Connor had time to tell Jeremy that he didn't used to think all vampires were bad. A vampire he was hunting once turned a friend of his. The friend said she'd keep it under control but didn't. So he had to kill her, too. "A vampire's like a loaded gun. Eventually it's gonna go off," Connor said.
Dean finally made his entrance, carefully stepping over the trip wire but not realizing Connor had also set up a pressure-sensitive Bouncing Betty mine. Once he stepped off of it, the bomb blew. Connor was covered in nails, but lived until Connor shot a hole in his chest -- like a literal hole. Dean was the distraction -- Stefan had finished the job Matt started from the opposite end and was there. He gave Matt his phone with the map to get out of the tunnels and told him to take April to Caroline's so she could be compelled. Problem: Matt didn't have a good enough signal yet to pick up Elena's call when she phoned Stefan to ask what that explosion was. Damon woke up, and she wanted him to go to the Grill, but Stefan had taken his day ring, so he couldn't. (Smart, Stefan!) Elena decided she was going, and Damon told her to use the fact that Connor doesn't know she's a vampire to get as close as she could before making her move. Already, I was envisioning Stefan having to yell "He can make you human!" as she was inches from striking...
But no. Connor had put Jeremy on a Bouncing Betty, and was prepared to shoot him if Stefan didn't come out. Stefan wanted to trade information for Jeremy's life, but Connor wasn't making deals with a vampire. Elena rushed in and pleaded with Connor to set Jeremy free since he's all the family she has left. Connor said he'd shoot Jeremy right in front of Elena on the count of three if Stefan didn't come out. He got to two and Stefan appeared. Elena tackled Connor, but he fired and it hit Jeremy in the gut. Stefan had to get falling Jeremy off the mine fast enough so he could shield them from the bomb with a table. Elena paused her assault on Connor to ask if Jeremy was okay, and Connor was able to flip her. She held him off long enough for Stefan to get Connor off of her -- and Stefan sped away with him. That would tend to support Damon's theory that Stefan has either made a deal with Klaus or is compelled.
After Elena fed Jeremy her blood to save him, he told Elena about Connor's tattoo and that someone had compelled him to forget the day he'd spent with Connor. Stefan took Connor through the tunnels and ran into Damon, who said he had to punch through a boiler room basement and septic tank to get there. Luckily, his face only had one smudge of dirt on it. Damon was determined to kill Connor, so Stefan told Connor to run as fast as he could. Damon then focused his anger on Stefan and grabbed his brother's heart -- gross. He was going to rip it out if Stefan didn't tell him why he was protecting Connor. Stefan finally told him, and the way Damon's face softened -- "Klaus told you there's a cure for vampirism?" -- was so great. You could see him processing it. He wants her to be like him, but he wants her to be who she wants to be more. He let Stefan go.
Connor, of course, ran into Elena in the tunnels, and she took a big bite on his neck. "Stay the hell away from my brother," she said. Connor dropped to his knees and called Elena the biggest monster Jeremy would ever meet. He staked her. "You missed," she said, and snapped his neck. That's like the Vampire Diaries of old! But do hunters die that easily?
NEXT: More Bonnie means higher candle budget