Vampire Diaries Recap: Saving Elena Gilbert...?

Vampire Diaries Ian Somerhalder Nina DobrevThis Thursday’s The Vampire Diaries featured a frat party, mysterious tattoos and flashbacks. But when it came down to it, the episode was really about two brothers trying to save the girl they both love, in very different ways.

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First, there’s Damon’s approach: He takes it upon himself to teach Elena the snatch, eat and erase method of eating while crashing Bonnie’s college trip. It doesn’t make Stefan too happy, even though Elena reassures him, “You’re the one who’s getting me through this no matter who teaches me how to feed.” He doesn’t protest too much, perhaps feeling that he can’t really help her in this situation. So while Bonnie is bonding with her the hot new professor who’s taken over her Grams’ class, Damon gives Elena a crash course on choosing a victim. Too bad he forgot to mention: “Don’t get distracted by sweet pictures of your prey and their adorable little sister.”

A Murder House-themed frat party later provides the perfect setting for a second try. Damon dresses as Jack the Ripper, and Elena and Bonnie are his victims. (Did they grab those costumes from the same awesome shop that provides Masquerade ballgowns at the last minute?) The newbie vamp picks one particularly despicable douchebag, who’s roofying a coed, and takes a bite out of him.

“I feel good,” she exclaims euphorically, hugging Damon. “I want more.” And she takes it, feeding on a female party-goer, then dancing with the elder Salvatore in a blissed-out state – that is until Bonnie arrives, leaves Elena horrified at herself and scolds Damon.

“She’s not out of control. She’s having fun,” he responds. As for the changes in her behavior, “She is a different person. She’s a vampire.” And the thing that keeps him from going Ripper crazy like his brother, which he’s trying to teach her: “I can revel in it. I can make it fun.”

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Stefan, meanwhile, charged with taking care of Connor, inadvertently discovers another way to save Elena. After teaming up with Klaus and manipulating Rebekah to get intel, he learns that Connor is part of The Five, a group of highly skilled vampire hunters from the 12th century that has a history with the Originals. Rebekah fell in love with one of them, Alexander, and even was ready to leave her family behind after he revealed to her the ultimate weapon against the vampires – a cure!

Now Stefan has a possible way to free Elena from her suffering, but he doesn’t divulge this info when she comes home. For one, they still have to decipher the tattoos on Connor’s body, which are the map to the cure, and they grow with every vamp he kills. They also need the key to reading his ink: The sword that Rebekah buried with Vampire Diaries Joseph Morgan Daniel GilliesAlexander after Klaus killed him in retaliation for daggering their whole family. Then there’s the little problem of the fact that Connor pulled a Mike Tyson on the hybrid’s minion to get his ear piercing and escaped – to meet up with Professor Shane! Turns out he sent him to Mystic Falls. Hmm, if he’s a member of The Five, too, will he persuade Bonnie to tap into her magic and turn against her vampire pals?

Finally, if Elena is cured of her vampirism – would the show really do that after everything? – she becomes a source of hybrid blood for Klaus again. But it might be worth risking all that for Stefan, who fears that if his girlfriend ever shuts off her humanity, she’ll never return.

As for Rebekah, the poor girl lets herself be fooled again and gets daggered by her own brother — and just when Stefan promises to give her a clean slate with Matt. Darn.

Vampire Diaries fans, would it feel like a cheat if the show were to unmake Elena’s vampire state? Does Damon have a point about letting loose to stay sane? And is Rebekah’s picker, as they say, totally off when it comes to guys?