ORIGINAL PEOPLE ORIGINAL FAMILY — With help from Elena and Bonnie, Alaric tries to decipher the meaning behind his recent discovery. Elena and Rebekah engage in a mean-girl power struggle, until Rebekah finally reveals some of her family's ancient secrets and the violent past she shares with Klaus and Elijah. Damon tries a reckless new approach to make a breakthrough with Stefan, and they're both surprised by an unlikely ally.
Alaric deciphers some of the names carved into the cave wall, including depictions of a werewolf that predates the Lockwoods. There are names—Niklaus, Elijah and Rebekah—mentioned in a Viking script. In a flashback to a thousand years before present, Rebekah is seen carving those runes into the stone while Klaus is complaining. It is clear that they are both afraid of their father.
Back in the present, they realize the names have been there long before the founding of Mystic Falls. Damon suggested it could be an elaborate Klaus ruse, but the other name they found made them think otherwise: Mikael, Klaus's father. Alaric snaps photos and studies them later. They try to sort out how Mason's ghost is saying the cave contained a weapon against the originals squares with Mikael being listed. Elena decides to go to the source. She goes to school to talk to Rebekah. She shows Rebekah the cave etching and asks why she and Klaus have spent 1,000 years running from their father. Elena threatens to wake Mikael, citing the location of his tomb to prove she knows where it is. Rebekah warns her if they wake him, they're all doomed. In Ye Olde times, Elijah and Klaus practice sword fighting. Klaus wins. Mikael arrives with their mother and disapproves of the tomfoolery. He takes a sword and taunts Klaus for playing around. His dad takes him on with a sword and quickly disarms him. He holds a sword to his son's neck and calls him impulsive. "Some days it's a miracle you're still alive, boy," Mikael taunts him. Alaric pours over the etchings and deciphers the symbols. He finds one for vampire. Elena calls Damon and tells him she thinks Rebekah will spill eventually, when their "mean girl power struggle" is over. "A thousand year old vampire I'm sure has learned the art of patience," he says, to which Elena replies, "She's a 1,000 year old vampire who's joined the cheerleading squad. There's a whole different set of rules at play here." Damon later checks on Stefan in the jail cellar. "It's family day at Vampire Rehab," Damon says. Damon tries to talk to his brother, but Stefan is morose and pouty. Damon breaks his chains, says to hell with the Lexi plan, and suggests they get a drink.
Elena visits Rebekah at the Salvatore place, where she has compelled girls to model Homecoming dresses for her. She threatens to kill one until Elena picks a dress. Elena capitulates. Rebekah lets them go, then warns Elena that she will give her information on her own terms. Bonnie brings Alaric the necklace that wouldn't die. He consoles her about Jeremy being an idiot. Then he shows her a carving that matches the emblem on the necklace. The symbol is repeated across the wall. Based on the origin Bonnie's grandmother told her for the necklace, he thinks he knows what the symbol means: witch. Rebekah tells Elena her family came to America, long before it was America, to escape a plague. Her mother heard from a witch about a land where everyone was healthy.
They came and lived among the werewolves for 20 years, during which time Rebekah was born. Once a month, they'd retreat to caves and wait out the howling. Flashback: Rebekah admires necklaces hanging in a witch's hut. Esther's necklace burns her. The witch warns it's not Rebekah's to touch. Klaus comes up shouting for help and carrying his brother Henrik. They snuck out to watch the werewolves turn. Henrik is torn to shreds. The witch tells their mother Esther that Henrik is gone. That was the beginning of the end of peace with the werewolves. Damon calls Elena and tells her he went "off book" with Stefan. At a bar, Damon orders a whiskey and compels the waitress to let Stefan feed of her. She offers her arm and Stefan bites down right at the bar. Later, at a table, Stefan and Damon play quarters. Damon loses. Stefan says he's worse than Elena, trying to get to him with brotherly bonding. Damon likes living on the edge, but says Stefan goes too far over it.
Rebekah toys with Elena, who gets fed up and pretends she's ready to leave. Rebekah tells her the necklace wasn't Stefan's to give. She says the original witch is the one who turned them into vampires. Flashback: Rebekah listens as Esther and Mikael beg the witch Ayana to ask the spirits for help fighting the werewolves. Being a vampire wasn't meant as a curse, it was a weapon. Ayana warns them what they're talking about is a plague and the spirits will turn on them. Mikael tell Esther it's in her hands.
Rebekah explains that her mother was also a witch. The witch of the original family. The original witch. Rebekah isn't a witch. She explains her mother didn't turn. Her mom called upon the sun for life and the ancient white oak tree, nature's sign for immortality. Mikael offered his children wine laced with blood, then he killed them. "And he wasn't delicate about it either," Rebekah says. Flashback: Rebekah and Klaus wake up by the fire, bleeding. Their father brings in a compelled village girl and slits her arm for his children. He forces them to drink. Rebekah says the witch Ayana was right about the consequences; for every strength there was a weakness, like getting burned by sunlight. Her mother found a solution: the lapis lazuli rings. Neighbors were able to keep them out. Flowers at the base of the white oak burned them and prevented compulsion, and the spell decreed that the tree that gave them life could take it away, so they burned it to the ground.
Flashback: Rebekah explains that the worst part was the hunger for blood. She feeds ravenously on village people. "And with that, the predatory species was born," Rebekah says. Damon notices Stefan over-feeding at the bar and slows him down. Stefan asks again what Damon's agenda is. He wants to remind Stefan what it's like to not just be Klaus' little bitch, he explains. Stefan says there's no point because Klaus can't be killed. Someone approaches and offers to help. It's Mikael.
Elena wants to know why Mikael started hunting Klaus. Rebekah explains when Klaus made his first kill, it triggered his werewolf gene. And Mikael knew his wife had had an affair with a werewolf villager. Esther put the hybrid curse on to suppress his werewolf side and shunned him, but Mikael couldn't get over it. Mikael's greatest weakness was his pride and it was heightened after he turned.
He went on a rampage and killed half the village, then came home and killed his wife. He ripped her heart out as Klaus watched, Rebekah says. After, Mikael took off in a rage. Nik stayed behind to bury their mother. Rebekah, Klaus and Elijah promised to stick together forever. Elena points out that Klaus locked her in a coffin for 90 years. Their emotions are heightened as vampires. She's stubborn, Elijah is moral and Klaus has no tolerance for those who disappoint him. Rebekah says as an immortal, she needs her brother. The alternative is an eternity alone. She knows Elena wants Klaus dead, but warns her if she comes after him, she'll rip Elena apart.
At the bar, Mikael quizzes Stefan on Klaus, but Stefan says he's compelled and has been told not to talk. Mikael reaches into Damon's chest and grabs hold of his heart. He asks Stefan again, but Damon says Stefan's emotions have been shut off. Mikael's about to give up on Stefan and kill Damon when Stefan says he can get Klaus back to Mystic Falls. If he does, Mikael will kill him; if not, he'll kill Stefan.
Alaric and Elena take Bonnie down to the cave. He puts post-its up with translations. They see the white oak tree the originals burned down. There's another symbol with the witch symbol and what looks like a bleeding heart. Two of the symbols are connected.
Elena remembers that Rebekah said Mikael killed the witch by ripping out her heart. Elena figures out the symbols and realizes Rebekah doesn't know the real story. Elena goes back to Rebekah's. She asks how she knows how her mother died. Klaus told her their father did it. Elena shows her the carvings. She shows her the symbol for hybrid and the one for witch and the story of her death. It involves the hybrid symbol. The hybrid killed the original witch. Elena points out that his mother put the curse on him, so he'd be the only one of his kind, and then she rejected him. Klaus was angry. Elena says he lied so he wouldn't lose Rebekah. Elena pleads with Rebekah to do something, saying Klaus has had a hold on her family for 1,000 years and now has a hold on everyone. Rebekah screams at her to stop talking and grabs her, vamping out. Then she breaks down sobbing.
Outside the bar, Damon congratulates Stefan on his breakthrough of emotion to save him. Stefan haughtily says he didn't do it for Damon, he did it for himself. When this is all over, he plans to leave everyone. Damon says he couldn't just leave Stefan to rot in the cell. Stefan taunts him that his humanity is showing. Damon decks him. Stefan gets up and Damon body slams him. He tries to get up and Damon trips him hard. He walks away. Rebekah breaks down alone.
Elena comes home to find Damon waiting for her. She doesn't have the energy to yell at him for letting Stefan out. Damon tells her they got Mikael and the plan is in motion. Elena tells him they might have Rebekah on their side, too. Elena describes Rebekah as a girl that lost her mom too young who loves blindly and recklessly, even if it consumes her. Elena realizes how familiar that sounds. "When all is said and done, there's nothing more important than the bond of family," she says. Damon suggests she remind Stefan of that. Elena thinks Damon will be the one to save Stefan from himself, not because he loves Elena, but because he loves Damon. She curls up and shuts the lights off. He watches her fall asleep.
- Antagonist: Mikael.
- This is the first episode of the second chapter of season three, The Originals Chapter.
- Jeremy, Caroline, Matt and Tyler don't appear in this episode.
- We learn that Rebekah was the first of the Mikaelson children to drink human blood after turning, thus becoming the first vampire to complete her transition out of all her siblings.
- Elijah returns in this episode. It is the first time since As I Lay Dying that he was seen, although it was in a flashback. And the episode number "8" is the anniversary of Elijah's first appearance on the show which was season two's eighth episode Rose.
- This is the second Flashback episode this season.
- A majority of the main cast do not appear in this episode, due to the focus being on the flashbacks to the 10th century. This is a common occurrence throughout the series.
- Mikael's origins are revealed in this episode, and his relationship with Klaus is also shown.
- Mason Lockwood and Lexi were both mentioned by Damon. They were last seen in Ghost World.
- Alaric's apartment was last seen in The Hybrid.
- Shelia Bennett was mentioned by Alaric. She was last seen in Ghost World.
- Rebekah confirms that one can be a witch or a vampire, but not both.
- However, in I Never Could Love Like That, it was revealed that there is one loophole to this rule, which are Siphoner witches. They can become vampires who practice magic because they possess no magic of their own, they can only siphon magic from other magical creatures or objects; becoming a vampire allows them to siphon their own vampire magic as a power source.
- Klaus returns in this episode, also in the flashback scenes. He was last seen in The Reckoning.
- In this episode there was flashback from the 10th century.
- Henrik Mikaelson - Werewolf Attack; killed by unnamed werewolf (flashback)
- Niklaus Mikaelson - Stabbed through the heart; killed by Mikael (as a werewolf/flashback)
- Rebekah Mikaelson - Stabbed through the heart; killed by Mikael (as a witch/flashback)
- The title, Ordinary People is a reference to a 1980's movie about a family torn apart when a son dies.
- "Liar, liar pants on fire" is a common playground taunt.
- Damon refers to A Christmas Carol when he mentions Mason Lockwood's ghost. It's a book by Charles Dickens in which a sour and stingy man is visited by ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.
- "Saint Stefan" is credited with being the Catholic church's first martyr. He was stoned to death by Saul de Tarsus, who after conversion is known as Saint Paul. Damon has always referred to Stefan as a martyr.
- Damon asks Stefan how he got so good at a drinking game. This drinking game is probably "Pennies ", or "Quarters," as it is called in other regions, where players try to flip coins into a whiskey glass. Whether the player takes a drink when they land their coin in the glass or when they miss depends on which variation of the game they are playing.
- The whole episode is a great example of Troubled Backstory Flashback, which shows the Original's Dark and Troubled Past. This puts an end on the Original's Mysterious Past and maybe give them some Freudian Excuse for being as they are.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode had about 3.51 million viewers in the U.S., making it the most watched episode of Season Three.
- Klaus: (about Mikael) "He will find out. He always does."
- Rebekah: "That is because you always tell him."
- Klaus: "I cannot help it. He frightens me."
- Rebekah: "He frightens us all."
- Rebekah: "I know you think she hated you Niklaus, but she did not. She was just afraid. I'm sorry she turned her back on you. I will never do that."
- Elijah: "Nor will I"
- Rebekah: "We stick together as one, always and forever"
- Damon: "I got this, Elena."
- Damon: "I happen to like the edge, Stefan. Your problem is your inability to resist falling over it."
- Elena: "What is all this?"
- Alaric: "Names. Written in Runic, a Viking script."
- Elena: "These are the names of the Original family?"
- Damon: "Bang. You're dead."
- Elena: "I think that you're going to be the one to save him from himself. It won't be because he loves me. It'll be because he loves you. Can I tell you the rest tomorrow?"
- Damon: "Sure."
- Rebekah: "Why are you doing this to me? I've done nothing to you."
- Elena: "Klaus killed your mother. He has a hold on you, on me, on everyone. He has for 1,000 years. We have to make it stop!"
- Rebekah: "Shut up! Just shut up! Don't talk anymore! Nothing!"
- Elena: "Mikael, as in the vampire hunter who knows how to kill Klaus?"
- Damon: "Yep. And, as I like to call him, Papa Original."
- Rebekah: "You. Goody."
- Elena: "I was hoping we could talk."
- Rebekah: "About what? Stefan? Don't worry. I'm off him until he starts treating me better. In fact, you should probably take a page out of my book, if I'm being honest."
- Elena: "She's going to tell me. She's scared of him, Damon. I saw her face. I just have to engage in a little mean-girl power struggle first."
- Damon: "Make sure she doesn't power-struggle you into a wheelchair."
- Alaric: "Are you okay?"
- Bonnie: "Been better."
- Alaric: "Listen, Jeremy is an idiot, and I know this with certainty, because I was once a Jeremy. Trust me. We learn eventually."
- Rebekah: (to Elena about why her mother didn't become a vampire) "A witch is nature's servant. A vampire is an abomination of nature. You can either be one or the other, never both. My mother did this for us-- she did not turn."
- Damon: (to Elena) "I went behind your back. I freed Stefan. And you know what? It backfired. He's an even bigger dick than ever. It's just, now, he's a dick that's on our side."
- Elena: (to Damon about Rebekah) "She's just a girl. She loves blindly and recklessly, even if it consumes her. And when it's all said and done, there's nothing more important than the bond of family."
- Damon: "You should tell it to my brother."
- Stefan: "It's precision born out of tragic boredom."
- Damon: "All that effort wasted trying to tell you how boring you were, and you finally agree with me?"
- Rebekah: (to Elena) "Make no mistake-- if you come after my brother, I will rip you apart. And I get my temper from my father."