Written by Duana

I feel good about my decision not to watch this show on Thursday nights. There’s a lot going on then, and I also really like this as the first part of the week. Palate-cleansing, in a weird way. But man, the Twitter drama that has to be avoided.

Also, it seems, particularly with ‘genre’ shows, that there are only so many dramatic titles to go around –but this one seems quite appropriate.

Previously: Doppelgangers, Klaus is Werewolf/Vamp, Caroline and Tyler were kidnapped as sacrifices, Damon forces E to drink his blood for resurrection purposes, Tyler wolfs out, bites Damon, Jenna’s in transition (!!!) and Damon’s bite’ll kill him. Wheee!

Den of Werewolf hiding. Caroline and Matt bravely face down wolf Tyler, who’s really rather aggressive and scary, until Matt takes matters into his own hands and shoots him. Caroline screams for him not to. You can’t really argue with him due to the werewolf being now subdued, honey. But they leave their cage, and Caroline makes Matt hold her hand.

Katherine brings me joy just by being onscreen, as she laconically checks out Damon’s wolfbite. She’s pouty that he might die, but neither of them knows a cure. So she switches into being pouty that he doesn’t have a goodbye for her. But he’s furious that she lured Jenna out, though she swears she had no choice. He says that’s why he gave her the vervaine – and then the real truth comes out, as Katherine shrugs it was Jenna or herself…Damon snarks that she always wins, and Katherine points out she never let love get in the way. I feel like I’m a cliché if I tell you his eyes are all popped here, but he’s all “I’ma offer myself to Klaus”. Katherine says it won’t work, since his wolfbite renders him irrelevant – and Jenna’s already dead.

Speaking of – she’s waking up in a field, all panicky because she doesn’t remember anything. She should have known it wasn’t Elena calling her – a vampire grabbed her and made her drink his blood. You know, lest we all get involved in vampire fantasies, I want you guys to think about the fact that blood is HOT going down your throat. Gross, right? I mean, maybe it runs icy in vampires and is refreshing. I don’t know.

Anyway, Jenna slowly realizes she’s a vampire, and I assume she doesn’t puke only because that reflex has been taken away from her. Elena swears she’s going to save her, but just then Greta the witch arrives.

Elena sees something on the ground that I have tried to identify but despite rewinding seven times, I cannot and am as screwed as Elena who, after lunging for said object, gets thrown backward into a ring of fire which keeps her from doing anything. Greta slits her wrist to allow Jenna to feed, and though Elena screams and begs for her not to, Jenna falls on Greta’s wrist like a bad skater who finally reaches the edge of the rink – and then, as a second ring of fire surrounds Jenna, Elena, tearfully, ruefully, something – tries to tell her it’s going to be all right. But Jenna’s eyes are red and terrified…

Bonnie’s hideout. The only member of the Gilberts not surrounded by fire is Jere, who is surrounded by candles, Bonnie, and books. They are reading for a way to keep Elena from becoming a vampire. Bonnie says keep going. So…they’re acting like they’ve been on the show the past two weeks and know what’s up.

Elijah – who I was shocked, SHOCKED to find a lot of you find attractive, explains the technical parts of Klaus’ transformation to Alaric and Stefan. Apparently it’s all on Bonnie to get Klaus to the brink, then Elijah will finish him.

Damon calls, and as he updates Stefan that things ‘got complicated’, Stefan is blustering on all “I’m busy”. Damon explains about Jenna, but sits on the little piece of news that he’s about to die. Stefan look at Alaric…

Elena listens to Jenna go through transition. The part where she partly doesn’t feel anything, like emotions. Elena swears she won’t let this happen to Jenna.

Greta drags Jules into the forest field, throws a third fire ring around her, and Elena tries to appeal to Greta to maintain the balance in nature. The screen is all wavery, ostensibly because of the fire – and then there’s a weird blip that could be a tape flaw but that I could have sworn was a frame of Klaus smiling, satisfied (though frame-by-frame does not make this true. This show is making me crazy). In any event, Klaus appears at the field. Are they ready?

Inside the Lockwoods. Caroline and Matt hide from Tyler – isn’t he knocked out, though? She can’t understand how Matt knew – and neither can I – when he spits that he was on vervaine when she tried to compel him to forget everything. He drops the bomb that this was her mom’s idea, and he’s spitting mad as he announces her Mom hates vampires, always has. He on the other hand, is just going to try not to get killed. But it’s implicit that he’s protecting her…

Damon strolls, none too quickly, toward a knock at the Salvatore door. He winces and gets dizzy, and therein lies the world of the werewolf bite, I guess. John’s at the door, all “Elena hasn’t returned my calls”. Poor baby! Damon explains how very, very late John is, and that he saved Elena via giving her vampire blood. John has very little to say except when Damon says it gets worse still…

Venn-Diagram rings of fire. Screams. (Jules’ body, per Greta, is pulling itself inside out, in case we need that info later) Klaus oversees. He strokes the moonstone, gives it to Greta. She drops it in a fire, Jules screams still more, and Greta starts to murmur. Elena figures out who Jules is – and then Jules is vacuumed out of her ring, Klaus pulls out her still beating heart – and Jenna has just now figured out what she’s in for.

Jere and Bonnie’s love nest. They whisper about how Emily Bennett the witch had a thing for the original Jonathan Gilbert. Jere, in what I have to assume is a joke, says he can have Stefan bring Jonathan’s journals. Because he won’t be oh, busy, today, or anything. Someone’s there. Bonnie twigs – Jere would have kept talking. It’s Alaric. He kicks Bonnie out so he can tell Jere the sad truth about Jenna..

Upstairs, the same-old same-old. If Bonnie goes to kill Klaus, she’ll be dead. Stefan and Elijah say it’s not an option, and she doesn’t want Jenna to die. Stefan’s gonna offer himself up instead.

Ritual. Stefan squeezes Jules’ heart into a boiling cauldron. Jenna, meanwhile, is like “remember before I was your guardian?” She says she failed Elena, but Elena swears she didn’t. A lot of talk of failure, which seems unnecessary at this point. There is some role reversal of Elena the child trying to comfort Jenna the adult, but, perhaps as it should be, it doesn’t work very well. Elena swears that she’ll be OK, and that when Jenna gets the chance, she needs to run. Jenna nods, like yeah, no kidding. I haven’t drunk all ya’ll’s martyrdom, I will be saving myself as planned.

House. Matt thinks he killed Tyler, Caroline swears he didn’t. Tyler’s out there somewhere. Then wonders, plaintively, if her mother wants to kill her. He shrugs off the question. Something at the door. Caroline stops Matt from shooting, and goes out to grab a now shirtless-but-human-form Tyler, who lies on the doorstep.

Elijah and Stefan agree to go to Klaus’ ritual spot. Elijah will bring Bonnie at the last second. Stefan ONLY NOW thinks to ask whether Elijah’s not going to double-cross them. Elijah swears he’s going to help kill Klaus because Klaus killed all the rest of their family and he misses them and can’t find their bodies which were buried at sea. He swears he won’t fail, and you guys, that floppy hairstyle? Really?

John comes downstairs to bring Jere and Bonnie the journals.

Alaric tells Damon what’s going down. Damon spits “We have a witch, she kills Klaus! Nobody has to die!” When Alaric reminds him that yeah, probably Bonnie does, Damon spits wordlessly, and screws up his face in this hilarious fashion, like “why do people keep pretending she MATTERS??” It’s my favourite moment so far.

Meanwhile, at the ritual, we have Jenna, hating her life, and Klaus striding toward her. Elena begs for Jenna’s release, says she followed all of Klaus’ rules – when Klaus smells Stefan, up on a hill. Klaus heads up for a cup of tea.

Jonathan and Bonnie found something they tell to Damon. In the journals, a spell was cast to bind a woman’s life force with her child’s. This is all about her soul somehow, which Damon has the audacity to call ‘Act-of-God mumbo jumbo’. I’m not saying he has to subscribe to Judeo-Christian beliefs, but dude, you’re a vampire. Who’s dying of a werewolf bite. Are we sure some of those aren’t euphemisms? Anyway, John doesn’t want Elena to die as a vampire; he spent his life working against that.

Jenna wonders what Stefan and Klaus are talking about. Elena, who seems to be pitching a campaign for how great it is to be a vampire, tells Jenna she can hear them, if she wants to. Stefan tells Klaus he doesn’t need to kill Jenna. Klaus likes the whole girl trio thing. But then Jenna hears Stefan offering to switch places…Elena is shocked. Shocked, I say!

Lockwood house. Matt contemplates what his life has become as Caroline enters to inform that Tyler’s sleeping. He’s all “this is your life now, eh?” He feels like she’s so great, and he though he could get past the vampire thing, but maybe he doesn’t know if he can. His life is an absentee mom and bills and school – so, Party of Five, then? Anyway, he has enough going on without all this. Sorry. Caro blinks.

Bonnie holds her hands on Jonathan’s head, sucking his lifeforce or whatnot. As Damon taps his foot, Jere gets all useless about not wanting her to go alone, to “make sure she’s OK” – so she kisses him and he faints. Nice. Then as they head out the door, Alaric is trapped in the house. Bonnie can’t let anyone else die. He’s pretty mad at her.

Ritual. Klaus applauds the selflessness of everyone. Elena stammers, forced to choose between them – and then Klaus is all ‘fooled you, my choice’ and STABS Stefan in the back. But he wants him alive, he’s doing something else with him. After which he takes Jenna’s flame down. Jenna gives Elena the steely eyes. She swears its OK – and then she superspeeds over to Greta and bites her neck!!! Klaus grabs her and slashes her side, and we hold our breaths, because surely it can’t be that easy – and she wakes up, eyes filled with panic at what’s just happened. What she’s just resigned herself to. Elena, full of tears now, because it can’t end well, stares at her terrified aunt and friend, and begs her to “just turn [her humanity] off, and then you won’t be scared anymore”.

Klaus stabs her in the heart with a wooden stake. Jenna dies. I’m sorry.

One ring of fire remains. Stefan wakes up, on the ground, in pain. His back-slash still visible. Elena is doused in tears. Greta pours blood into the cauldron so I guess Jenna didn’t have to be killed the heart-pulling-out way? Stefan whispers he’s so sorry, and Elena whispers back that ‘they’re gonna kill him’. Who? Maybe she says ‘we’re’ gonna kill him. I don’t know.

Klaus strides over to Elena, grabs her, and she won’t look at him as she strides sassily – even now! Even in Converse! - over to the cauldron. Elena stares at the dead husk that was Jenna as Klaus strokes her face and thanks her. She tells him to go to hell, which is the only place where this show airing at 8 PM seems really lacking. I’d love Elena to use an actual bad word here.

Stefan is in obvious pain as he pulls himself up - and Klaus goes to bite Elena’s neck. And at that moment, he’s drinking of her, the music goes all Chariots of Fire, everything slows – and the actor playing Klaus has to be super-careful to grip Dobrev below, not on, the boob. Klaus drinks her blood, then drops her as she passes out, processing the enormity of who he’s becoming.

As Stefan watches, Klaus begins to twitch. And then, as he begins to scream, we hear Bonnie incant over and over again. Before Greta can react, Damon snaps her neck and grabs the lifeless Elena. He lays her by Stefan and pulls the stake out of his brother’s back. Stefan begs Damon to take Possibly Vampiric Elena away – he’s staying until the end.

Bonnie continues to torture Klaus who screamed that he thought she was dead. I had no idea he was this afraid of her. Then, as Bonnie does her worst, Elijah strides over to do the best he can. He thrusts his hand into Klaus’ chest wound, and then, in a Hail Mary pass, Klaus tells Elijah he can in fact take him to their family who are not buried at sea. Bonnie says “Do it and I’ll kill you both”. Elijah says she’ll die, and she avers she doesn’t care. Stefan and Bonnie beg. They BEG Elijah not to double-cross them – but the thought of seeing his family is too much – and Elijah apologizes. He’s sorry – and leaves in his brother’s arms. Bonnie and Stefan scream in frustration. Wouldn’t you?

Back at the tomb. Jeremy’s awake, Alaric is frustrated. John only writes, peaceful. Jere, just catching up, asks if John knows what happens when the mother in the story gave her baby the lifeforce. Because everyone in the entire story is more on the ball than Jere, yes, he has. Nobody blinks. EVERYONE WILL DIE FOR ELENA. We get it. Poor Jere. It’s not even like he’s a Key, or anything that matters. Anyway, Jere sort of vaguely protests, but nobody likes John Gilbert so it’s not a problem, right? John hands Jere a letter for Elena, and what looks like a ring. And in a first on this show, apparently Alaric is slower than Jere, all “What’s going on? They hear Damon and Elena come in.

Damon lovingly croons to Elena that if she comes back as a vampire he’ll stake her himself, so that she won’t hate him forever. I love his combination of selfishness and love for her. Jere and Alaric want to know how she’s doing, but it’s unclear just yet. And it’s Damon who, over his shoulder, has to tell Jere and Alaric the truth about Jenna. Seriously, he doesn’t even bother to turn all the way around to let them know.

And then John, seeing that whole scene, strides out into the daylight. He looks to be wearing a single glove.

With that, Elena jerks to life. She says she feels fine. John has a slightly satisfied look on his face – and then, still barely out of the doorway, he dies. I presume.

Caroline and Tyler. Their trauma is not even a worry to me right now. He’s vaguely perturbed he got shot. I do like the siblingy-ness of these two. He says he should never have come home, she’s all “How about you never leave?” Because she’s Caroline, she tells him she doesn’t mind that he tried to kill her twice, and then in the exact same tone, says Matt broke up with her. I love teenagers and their sense of perspective. She more or less tells Tyler in so many words that she needs a friend, and he cuddles her – shirtless, mind you – as he thanks her for taking care of him. They need each other!

Damon and Stefan are now in suits. Plenty of room in the Gilbert burial plot. Stefan decrees that because she ‘lost the only parents she had’, she’s in shock. The fact that she doesn’t have someone telling her to go to bed anymore is kind of the least of the traumas that went down last night, right?

Elena puts on earrings. She looks at photos of Jenna from happier times. Jere enters, in a suit. We’re to assume John’s life force allowed her not to become a vampire. Jere gives her the letter from him, and his ring. She looks at him, and I hope these two form a bigger bond now that they’re truly by themselves. Elena apologizes for Jeremy having lost so many people, and he says he still has her – but guys, I’m serious. Let’s get some super-powers going on for Jere, here, so I don’t have to call him Adorably Useless and he gets sacrificed next season finale. Anyway, they hug and he leaves.

Elena sits on a windowseat that seems ideal for the purpose of reading Profound Words from your Dead Newly-Known Father. John calls himself ordinary, and her extraordinary. He says he failed her and was prejudiced. As the survivors walk in the graveyard, John ponders whether he might have changed things had he listened to her more. I’m not sure they could have been, could they? As Elena lays roses at her real, unreal parents’ graves, John hopes that she’ll know he does in fact love her.

Elena’s crying, of course. Alaric lays a rose at Jenna’s grave. Jere takes in the enormity of it all. Damon stares into the distance. Suddenly it’s later, and Stefan begs Damon to come back to the house and be with Elena. Damon’s focused on the bigger problem – how does one kill an all powerful Vamp-Wolf and his brother?

Stefan won’t let Elena lose anyone else. Damon’s all “Think fast, look at my wolf-bitten arm. I’m on borrowed time”. Stefan looks so horrified he almost kisses Damon, and I want them to find a Bezoar or something. Stefan swears they can find a way to save Damon, and all Damon begs for is secrecy from Elena. You know, I don’t always find Paul Wesley or Stefan that compelling – but he’s best in the scenes with his brother – and Damon strides off among the gravestones, and all you can see is Stefan’s pain, writ large on his face.

One more week. It’s worth mentioning that Julie Plec says not everything that appears in the final week’s promo appears in the episode. There just wasn’t room. Anticipate accordingly.

Attached – Ian Somerhalder at various Kentucky Derby events this weekend.

Photos from Michael Loccisano/Stephen Cohen/Gettyimages.com