MYSTERIOUS ISLAND — Shane leads an expedition to a desolate island off the coast of Nova Scotia, where he believes the secret of the cure lies hidden. On the trek to the island’s interior, Rebekah and Elena continue their bitter rivalry, Stefan does his best to keep the peace, and Damon accuses Shane of leading them into a trap. Bonnie and Jeremy try to figure out the message of the hunter’s mark, while Shane reveals more of the legend of Silas and the witch Qetsiyah, along with his own personal history. Back in Mystic Falls, Tyler confronts Klaus, and Caroline is caught up in the violence that follows.
|One Year Ago: Professor Shane runs through the woods, chased by a tribal looking man with face paint. Shane reaches a rocky cliff face and goes inside. He finds ancient writing on the walls and a deep, dark pit.
Back in the present, the Silas-seeking party disembarks: Shane, Jeremy, Stefan, Damon, Elena, Rebekah and Bonnie. They're 200 miles off the Nova Scotia mainland. Shane tries to convince Rebekah to play nice with Elena, who responds by charging her and trying to stake her. Damon assures Elena that Stefan only brought Rebekah to show Elena he's moving on and to show Damon that he can't get under his skin.
Damon's not ready to talk to Elena about what he might do when they find the cure. Bonnie takes photos of Jeremy's tattoos, which tell the story of Silas and the witch Qetsiyah, who was in love with him. She made him immortal, but he used it on another woman. Qetsiyah freaked out and murdered the other woman when she found out, then banished Silas to a hole in the ground.
She also made a cure for immortality and buried it in the ground, hoping Silas would take it and die. But he didn't, just to spite her, so centuries later her descendants created the hunters to find him, cure him and kill him. The group sets out on their hike.
Back in Mystic Falls, Tyler stops by the Gilbert house to taunt trapped Klaus. Tyler thinks curing him will break his sire line. Tyler's looking forward to killing Klaus. Klaus taunts him by suggesting drowning, the way he killed Tyler's mom. Shane explains that centuries after Qetsiyah died, miners digging in the area went crazy. They saw visions of their loved ones. Shane believes it was magic.
Shane's wife and child died within months of each other, so he tried the well, cutting his hand to bleed into it. He heard his wife Caitlin call to him and lowered himself down into the dark, scary rock pit. He heard voices all around him and freaked out and fell. At the bottom of the well, he saw his wife. As they trek through the woods at night, Shane tells everyone to stop. He triggers a "Return of the Jedi"-style booby trap and tells them to stick together.
Jeremy pauses for a drink of water and from in the woods, a man draws back a bow aimed at Jeremy. Before he can react, the man falls dead from a hatchet thrown in his back. He doesn't know who threw it. Shane takes them to a place where, legend has it, a group of college kids were all drained of blood on spring break. Damon argues to keep going.
"I'm shocked you even want the cure since you've got the most to lose once Elena's human," Shane tells him. Elena assures Damon that Shane doesn't know what he's talking about. She says her feelings for him won't change after she takes the cure.
Caroline joins Tyler as he gloats over Klaus. Caroline gets to work cleaning up charred Kol. Klaus suggests that because they killed Kol and he killed Carol; they're even. Caroline gets worked up reciting all his other misdeeds, including killing Jenna. But she gets too close to the field trapping Klaus and he skewers her with a curtain rod, yanks her into his force field and chomps on her neck.
Around a campfire, Rebekah asks Stefan if he's still planning to take the cure to get back with Elena. She would give anything to be a normal human. "If I take the cure it wouldn't be for her; it would be for me," Stefan says. After studying Jeremy's tattoos, Bonnie comes to Shane because she doesn't see a spell in them. He assures her he'll help her access expression when she needs to and reminds her she needs him to help her stay in control of it.
He reveals that his wife was a powerful witch who tried to raise their son after he was killed in a car accident. She died trying to use expression. "You taught me the same magic that killed your wife!" Bonnie says. "Yeah, but look, the upside is: I've learned the warning signs. I can keep expression from consuming you," Shane says. "The downside is you turned her into a bomb that only you can dismantle," Damon says.
Shane tells Damon he expects Damon to try and kill him when they get near the cure, but Bonnie has to keep him alive so he can keep her alive. In the middle of the night, Jeremy is awoken by a tribal man. Back at the Gilbert house, Caroline freaks out, knowing that she'll die if Klaus doesn't heal her. Tyler says he'll fix it, then begs Klaus to save her. When Klaus refuses, Tyler offers to be his slave again. Klaus refuses. Caroline asks Tyler to get her away from Klaus.
Back on the island, they split up to search for Jeremy. Damon finds Shane going for his satellite phone, which he said earlier wasn't working. Damon demands to know where the cure is. Shane explains it's at the bottom of the well. Flashback to Shane with his wife Caitlin, realizing that his bleeding was keeping her there with him. She tells him about Silas and if Shane sets him free, he'll help those who helped him. She told him everything he had to do, including finding a descendant of Qetsiyah to perform the spell.
Back at camp, Bonnie tries a locator spell for Jeremy. She lights a fire then follows its trail through the woods. The wind starts blowing and she hears voices all around her. Elena, Rebekah and Stefan walk through the woods, with the women bickering. Elena trips a trap, and Rebekah stops wooden spikes before they skewer Elena. Rebekah doesn't care if Elena dies, but says if she does it might as well be epic. Elena goes back to check on Bonnie.
Damon reviews the plan with Shane, including the sacrifices. Back at the bottom of the well, Shane objects when his wife tells him all he has to do is convince someone that they can see a lost loved one again. "Which is how you convinced the pastor to blow up a farmhouse full of people," Damon concludes. But he needs three massacres and Damon only counts two, including Klaus's holiday hybrid slaughter. He wants to make Shane tell him more.
Caroline gets worse. Tyler blames himself, but she tells him he's a great leader and people believe in him. He checks that she trusts him, then takes her back and lays her at Klaus' feet, saying if he wants her to die, he'll have to watch. Tyler leaves. "Nothing personal, but if I cure you, that means victory for him. Don't worry, it won't be long now," Klaus tells her.
Damon starts his interrogation of Shane, who taunts Damon about how Elena is going to leave him. Shane reminds him they need him alive to control Bonnie. "There is one flaw in your logic: I don't give a crap about Bonnie Bennett," Damon says, as he prepares to snap Shane's neck. Elena flies in and stops him. She tells Shane to stop messing with her friends. Elena follows Damon and he picks a fight with her. He asks what will happen if she takes the cure and he stays a vampire, he gets to watch her grow old and die. She thinks he's doing what he always does: pushing her away because he doesn't think he deserves her. She asks him to take the cure with her so they can grow old together.
But Damon says that's what Stefan wants, not him. He can't think of anything more miserable than being human. Rebekah and Stefan tromp through the woods at night and trip another trap, ending up close together. They have a quick moment, and he asks if she's serious about a truce with Elena. Rebekah argues that they're being unfair to think of her as evil.
Rebekah points out that she only ran Elena off the bridge to save her family, doing what they would've also done: protecting the people they love. And Elena has helped to kill two of Rebekah's brothers. Elena goes looking for Bonnie and finds both she and Shane are gone, as is his stuff. Rebekah and Stefan come back and find Elena. The headstone is gone.
Back at the Gilbert house, Klaus tells Caroline that letting her die will teach Tyler a lesson. Caroline says he's doing it because he's hurt, which means there's a part of him that's human. She says she's seen it and has wished she could forget all the horrible things he's done. "I know that you're in love with me, and anybody capable of love is capable of being saved," she says. Klaus says she's hallucinating. She struggles for breath and goes limp. Klaus finally feeds her his blood.
Back on the island, Rebekah freaks out thinking Stefan and Elena are behind the disappearance of the tombstone. Stefan says the cure is his only hope to end the constant pain and suffering of being a vampire. Elena is struck by how differently he and Damon view being a vampire. Elena offers Rebekah the White Oak Stake as a peace offering, saying the three of them have to work together.
Meanwhile, Shane runs through the woods with the tombstone. He meets up with a man who has Jeremy bound and gagged. Shane assumes he's the one who threw the hatchet to save Jeremy, but he didn't. Bonnie finds them and Shane introduces Massak, the witch, who will prevent her from leaving.
Damon walks alone in the woods and gets hit by an arrow. Someone jumps out and attacks him. Damon gets the upper-hand as they fight, then he sees the man's mark and realizes he's one of the Five. The hunter regains the upper-hand and snaps Damon's neck.
- Antagonists: Shane, Vaughn, Silas and Niklaus Mikaelson.
- Kol Mikaelson's corpse is seen in the episode, but Nathaniel Buzolic is not credited.
- This episode marks the first appearance of Vaughn. He's a member of the Brotherhood of the Five.
- Thought he appeared in Caitlin's visage, this is the first appearance of Silas in the series.
- Vaughn is the fourth member of the Brotherhood of The Five introduced in the series.
- Professor Shane takes Elena, Damon, Jeremy, Bonnie, Rebekah and Stefan to an island off Nova Scotia where Silas was entombed with the cure.
- Caroline and Tyler return after a two-episode absence.
- This episode begins the possible reparation of Klaus and Caroline's budding "friendship."
- Matt doesn't appear in this episode.
- Although Charlie Bewley is credited at the beginning of the episode, he only appears at the end and has no dialogue.
- A promotional synopsis for this episode was leaked onto the internet a week before the official air date.
- Jenna Sommers and Carol Lockwood were both mentioned by Caroline. They were killed by Klaus: Jenna in The Sun Also Rises and Carol in O Come, All Ye Faithful.
- Finn and Kol were mentioned by Rebekah. Finn was killed by Matt in The Murder of One and Kol was killed by Jeremy in A View to a Kill. Elena played a part in both of their deaths.
- Shane explains that one of Qetsiyah's descendants created the Brotherhood of the Five in order to find, cure and kill Silas. This descendant creating the brotherhood was shown in The Five.
- Damon taught Rebekah about s'mores in Smells Like Teen Spirit.
- Under the influence of Silas, Shane manipulated Pastor Young to kill himself and the Town Council (Growing Pains.) That was the first sacrifice of the Expression Triangle.
- Stefan and Rebekah discuss the events of The Departed, when Rebekah killed Elena in order to kill Alaric.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode had about 2.51 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.06 million less than the previous episode.
- This episode is the first episode not to feature a single song.
- This episode is the first to cover almost three full days in a single episode.
- Into the Wild is the title of a non-fiction book by Jon Krakauer, published in 1996. It tells the story of Chris McCandless, who abandoned all of his worldly possessions and traveled across America for two years until his death; his body was found inside an abandoned bus in Alaska. It was adapted into the 2007 film by director Sean Penn and stars Emile Hirsch as Chris McCandless.
- Nova Scotia - is one of Canada's maritime provinces, and one of the most populated. It is further south than Newfoundland, where the viking village of Vinland was located. It is about 10 hours drive from Virginia, but only one hour by plane.
- The Evil Eye - a look that can cause harm or bad luck to the recipient. It is a common belief from many different cultures.
- Team Building Exercises - a series of practices with the aim of improving team performance. It is supposed to go against the common office cut-throat office policies, where colleagues compete against each other for a promotion.
- Shane: (to everyone) "Congratulations! We made it!"
- Elena: (to everyone) "Is anyone else creeped out?"
- Stefan: (to Shane) "What is this place?"
- Shane: (to everyone) "Just keep walking and listen up. This place uses its own kind of magic."
- Shane: (to everyone) "We're not wanted here."
- Damon: (to Shane) "I'm done trusting you. Where's the cure?"
- Damon: "Looks like someone forgot her team-building exercises."
- Elena: "I'm not apologizing for not wanting her here."
- Damon: "You know Stefan just brought her here to make it seem like he's moving on. He wants you to think that he's over you, and wants me to think that I can't get under his skin."
- Elena: "You know, you're right. With any luck I'll only have to tolerate her for few more days and then we'll find the cure and I'll never have to deal with her again.
- Damon: "Human Rebekah. Can't imagine her without fangs."
- Elena: "You know, you never talked about what you will do about the cure once we find it. Will you take it?"
- Damon: (smirks) "I don't like to speculate."
- Tyler: (to Klaus) "Good morning, sunshine. You look pathetic."
NO SONGS FEATURED