Previously on The Vampire Diaries, this happened:
Vampire Diaries Voice Over (VDV0): Road trip!
Morning breaks over the Island of Misfit Vampires. Damon‘s lashed to a tree like an extra from the road company of L.A. Tool & Die while the New Hunter (Charlie Bewley) roasts a coney for breakfast. The sizzling sounds and Damon’s groans of discomfort indicate that the ropes are soaked in vervain. New Hunter asks if something’s paining Damon, who cites mosquitos. New Hunter: “How does it feel when a relentless eating machine is draining the blood from your veins?” Damon: “Itchy.” Hee!
New Hunter’s been killing vampires all his life but his Mark never completed until two days ago when it suddenly did. At this point I surrender. I don’t understand the Hunter mythology and am beginning to suspect it was deliberately designed not to make sense. Damon scoffs at the idea that he knows anything about tattoos. “I mean, look at my skin. It’s flawless.”
New Hunter realizes that Damon isn’t taking him seriously, because he doesn’t know him. New Hunter shoves a metal implement into Damon’s neck and introduces himself as Galen Vaughn. Title card!
Elsewhere on the island Elena gives Caroline a sit rep by cell phone. Imagine the roaming charges! With Shane gone, they need the Hunter’s sword to decode pictures of Jeremy‘s tattoo. Rebekah insists that Klaus will never give up the sword, but the group figures that with Klaus trapped they should have no problem finding the sword on their own. Caroline departs the Gilbert house where she’s staying with Klaus for who knows what reason in search of the sword.
Shane, Bonnie, an inexplicably untied Jeremy and Mah Sock arrive at the Hellmouth hatch well. Mah Sock will go no further. He doesn’t care about Silas; he just wants to get paid for capturing Bonnie and Jeremy. Shane hands over Silas’s tombstone and Mah Sock departs. Bonnie’s incredulous that the tombstone was nothing but barter. Shane explains that the core of the stone is Qetsiyah‘s “calcified blood” which, whatever, but it’s insanely valuable. File that tidbit of information away.
Caroline and Tyler arrive back at the Gilbert house with the sword and honestly, is there no better place they could study? Tyler’s discovered a cryptex in the sword’s handle.
Using it and pictures of Jeremy’s tat obtained through “the magic of the Internet” Caroline makes ready to “cryptex away”. Bad enough you’re dragging Dan Brown into this, show, do you really need to make “cryptex” a verb? Klaus suggests they use the magic of the Internet to order an Aramaic-to-English dictionary from “the nearest retail establishment”. Right, Klaus, like there are any brick and mortar bookstores left. Tyler wonders what Aramaic is and Caroline, always the brains of the operation, exposits that it’s a dead language from biblical times. Klaus laments that it could take them days or even weeks to translate even with a good dictionary and wistfully says in Aramaic, “if only you spoke Aramaic.”
Elena gripes and moans about how everyone’s in danger again because of her and it’s a fair point. She and Stefan yammer about why Stefan would want to take the cure and he says he wanted to return to being human long before he met her.
As Galen leads Damon through the forest on a leash (which, hawt) he exposits that he plans to use Damon as leverage to force Bonnie to open a passageway to Silas and the cure, where Galen will retrieve the cure, force feed it to Silas and then kill Silas, thus fulfilling the mission of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Tats.
For the second time in as many weeks Damon explains how the whole Bonnie-Damon relationship is simply not a solid motivational foundation to coerce either of them. Damon reasonably suggests working together so that each side can take their share of the cure and depart in peace. Galen says that Damon just doesn’t get it.
Meanwhile Caroline and Tyler have translated all of the symbols: “It eats you, starting with your bottom.” Not quite right. We go back and forth between the island and Mystic Falls and between Galen’s exposition and Klaus’s translations the upshot is there is only one dose of the cure.
Jeremy and Bonnie rappel down into the well. Bonnie injures her hand, spilling some blood. That means Grams, yes? While waiting for Shane to join them Jeremy expresses (heh) concern that Bonnie may not be able to control whatever spell she has to cast. Bonnie swears that no matter what she won’t let Shane raise Silas and that if Shane raises a finger against them she’ll kill him herself. Meanwhile, Bonnie’s blood seeps into the cavern floor. It drips through the ceiling of a lower cavern onto something which in the dim light resembles a human form.
On the surface Becky fields a call from Mystic Falls. Caroline lets her know that they’re sending the map and translations and Klaus pipes up that it was all thanks to him. Rebekah is skeptical that he would help them but he insists he wants her to live and die as she chooses, and oh by the way there’s just the one dose so you’d better get to it first. Tyler fumbles the phone off but it’s too late. Why were you on speaker to begin with?
Damon and Galen are still tramping through the woods exchanging light banter and death threats. Damon wonders why if Galen’s so concerned about not getting to the cure first he killed the guy who tried to kill Jeremy and Elena. Galen denies all knowledge and Damon’s not buying it until they stumble across one dead Mah Sock.
“Damon: “That you?” Galen: “No…you?” Damon: “No.” These two are my new favorite pairing. Damon hasn’t been this much fun since Alaric died.
Down in the well Shane’s spewing more cult nonsense and ordering Bonnie and Jeremy to look for the passage in the form of anything that doesn’t occur in nature, like the perfect circle inscribed in the floor right below Shane’s feet.
Stefan, Elena and Rebekah, who has somehow managed not to mention the “one dose” thing, arrive at the cliff opposite the well entrance. Elena jumps down and instead of immediately following, Becky tells Stefan about the single dose problem. Then she snaps his neck. Elena sees him collapse.