You guys, we live in a world where Elena and Stefan are no longer a couple, and it's real because they both acknowledge it. My first thought: It's so fitting that the breakup took place on Elena's porch, because it's her special spot with Damon. My second: It's nice that it happened after Damon proved he was worthy of Elena again -- by telling her why Stefan had been lying to her -- and that Stefan handled it as well as he did. He understands that Elena's desires have been darkened and magnified by her becoming a vampire, but he can't pretend it's okay that his girlfriend wants to bang his brother. In short: Each brother behaved nobly. But how long can the peace last? This show is a drama. Will Elena jump right into a relationship with Damon? How's Stefan going to handle that? Damon was able to watch Stefan be with Elena, but maybe that's just because Damon had never been with Elena, if you know what I mean. We have until Nov. 29, the next new episode to worry about all that. Let's dig in.
We opened on Elena, whose sleep was so tortured that she had to get up and go make herself a cup of something (warm blood? warm milk?) in the Gilbert kitchen of death. "Can't sleep," said Connor, who appeared to her wearing a dirty, bloody tank top. "You know, it makes sense. Guilty conscience." While Elena just kept telling herself that he was a ghost, Connor asked her if a ghost could do this -- and grabbed her. A struggle ensued and, as one would've predicted from the location, someone ended up with a large knife in his neck. Elena had seen Connor, but it was really Jeremy, who she'd called for. Thank god he was wearing his ring. Still, that was a disturbing moment to watch.
Elena had Damon come over, and he wondered why she hadn't called Stefan. It's because she doesn't trust him right now, she said. Damon argued that killing Jeremy was worse than compelling him. Enter Stefan. "P.S. I called Stefan," Damon said. Ha. Jeremy awoke after Elena headed upstairs to shower, and though Stefan followed her to talk, she was still having none of him.
Over at Tyler's, Hayley and hybrid Chris stayed up all night drinking in celebration of fallen hybrid Dean. The way Hayley wiped alcohol off Tyler's bottom lip with her thumb and then sucked said thumb had me thinking hell no. But clearly she had seen Klaus coming and wanted to keep up the charade that she's trying to move in on Tyler. Klaus was drinking himself, mourning Dean's failure to recapture Connor. Caroline showed up to return a box of Tyler's belongings, and Klaus, ever the gentlemen, told everyone to leave so the love triangle could have some privacy. Turns out Hayley had tipped Caroline off that Klaus was there. They're friends! But, of course, we all caught that look on Hayley's face when Caroline and Tyler kissed to celebrate Klaus buying their faux breakup. It was that "Oh, I don't really want to watch this, but if I don't watch this, it will look like I don't want to watch this, so I have to watch this, and I might as well enjoy watching this, because he's hot" thing.
Elena finally got to take her shower (equal opportunity exploitation on this show!), and saw blood in the water. Klaus called Stefan, all calm and sober now, and told him they'd find one of the other Five hunters. Then, he asked if Elena's hallucinations had started. Stefan met Klaus outside Elena's house for the details. Klaus had killed the original Five, so he knows what Elena's in for. If you kill a hunter that's chasing you, the hunter is magically able to torment you until you take your own life -- so he takes you down with him. Tricky witches. Klaus wanted to kidnap Elena and lock her up so she couldn't commit suicide. Stefan said she's stronger than that. Maybe not. She was having more visions of Connor, and when she ran to Damon, she saw Connor instead of him. She bolted the house, and Klaus grabbed her and sped off.
At the high school, Jeremy told Matt about seeing the start of a mark similar to the one Connor had and how Connor had told him that he was only able to see his mark because he was a potential hunter. "So what does that make you, like the next Chosen One or something?" Matt asked. Buffy reference! Professor Atticus Shane showed up carrying pieces for his occult exhibit at the high school (sure, why not), and Not Now April was there, too. She said Shane looked familiar but couldn't place him. Interesting. We cut back to Damon and Stefan telling Bonnie about Klaus taking Elena. The spirits won't let her do that kind of magic to break the curse, Bonnie said, but she was quick to suggest they ask Mr. Know It All, Shane.
At his mansion, Klaus showed Elena to her new bedroom. Pretty fabulous accommodations, unless you like windows. He told her that she'd want to kill herself soon enough -- he had. For 52 years, four months, and nine days. He was tormented in his dreams, in his every waking moment, he said. The problem was he's an Original immortal. But the good news, recounting this story made Joseph Morgan's eyes soft and wet. He's tied with Sons of Anarchy's Theo Rossi (Juice) as my favorite male TV crier. Elena asked Klaus how he made the torment stop. He said he didn't. It just eventually happened. Elena figured that's why Stefan had tried to keep Connor alive -- so no one would feel suicidal.
Stefan was now at work on Operation Extract Elena. He called Caroline and wanted her to ask Tyler if there was a way for him to get the hybrids watching Elena to leave their post. Stefan then went to Lockwood manor and was brought up to speed on Hayley and Tyler's plan to help hybrids break their sire bond. Oh, and Chris already has. He was the one with Elena now, informing her that she was only being kept there until Klaus figured out where to hide her longterm. When he left the room, Connor appeared again.
Connor made her feel guilty about the family he left behind, including his brother and parents. Then he reminded her that she was the reason her parents were on that bridge the night they died. Elena wasn't taking the bait, so he thought maybe she'd listen to someone else -- and poof, there was Katherine. It wasn't real Katherine, but we'll take it!
NEXT: I'm thinking we should remember the name Silas