ELENA'S NEW NIGHTMARE — Terrifying hallucinations leave Elena shaken and confused, causing her to make a dangerous mistake. After giving Stefan some very disturbing news about Elena, Klaus takes matters into his own hands. Professor Shane reveals a story of ancient witchcraft to Damon and Bonnie. With help from Klaus and Stefan, Jeremy begins a new chapter in his life. Finally, Elena makes a painful personal confession to Stefan, and Matt gives Damon startling new information about Professor Shane.
|The episode starts with Elena getting up from her bed at night, feeling scared. She goes to the kitchen to get something to drink when she hears something. She turns around but there is no one there. She again hears someone and turns around to find Connor standing behind her. She is scared & tells him that he is not there - he must be a dream. Connor continues to talk to her and Elena gets scared and yells out to Jeremy. She tells Jeremy that she killed Connor and he is a ghost whose haunting her. He asks her if she is sure because ghosts can't do this - he grabs her around the neck, strangling her. She gets out of his hold, picks a kitchen knife and stabs him in the neck only to realize that she has stabbed Jeremy instead of Connor. Jeremy falls to the ground but he has his ring on so he'll be fine. Elena is shown pacing the room talking to Damon while Jeremy lies dead on the sofa. Damon insists she should have called Stefan, but Elena says she doesn't trust Stefan because he has been lying to her. Stefan enters the house & Damon says he's called Stefan. When Stefan tries to talk to Elena, she excuses herself saying she needs to wash the blood off her hands.
Stefan goes to her room and tries to talk to her, but she refuses to listen saying he has been lying to her and working with Klaus. At the Lockwood house, Hayley and the hybrids have been drinking all night. When Tyler asks her, she says they're drinking for Dean, the hybrid who died trying to rescue the hostages in the Mystic Grill from Connor. She makes him drink a shot and then wipes his lips just as Klaus comes up from behind them. Tyler asks what he is doing there and Klaus tells him what happened to Connor. There is a knock on the door and it's Caroline. She returns all of Tyler's things and breaks up with him. Klaus witnesses all this and asks the rest to leave them alone for a while. Just as Klaus leaves, Tyler, Hayley & Caroline smile - it was a fake breakup for Klaus' sake. Tyler & Caroline kiss and Hayley is seen giving them a look.
Elena is showering when she sees blood in the bathtub only to realize that she is hallucinating. Meanwhile, Damon and Stefan are talking in the kitchen and Stefan gets a call from Klaus. Klaus taunts him about ruining his plans for a hybrid filled future and asks him how Elena is doing - and if her hallucinations have started yet. Stefan asks him how he knows that. Klaus says he killed the original five hunters so he knows and asks Stefan where he is. Stefan says he is at Elena's place. Klaus is also there. Stefan comes out to talk to him and Klaus suggests he hand over Elena to him or else she'll kill herself before the end of the day - the witches had created the hunters to kill vampires and if a hunter dies, he will still kill the vampire that killed him. Elena is hallucinating again and runs from her room to the kitchen where she sees Damon, but he turns into Connor. She runs out of the house and Klaus takes this opportunity to carry her away. Damon and Stefan are left standing on the porch.
At school, Jeremy asks Matt if he sees anything on his hand. Matt says no. Jeremy then tells him that he now has the same hunter's mark as Connor on his hand - it appeared after Connor died. Matt and Jeremy wonder if it means that Jeremy is the next chosen one. Prof. Shane and April interrupt them and have a small conversation. Prof. Shane then invites them all to his exhibit at school and leaves. April is wondering why Prof. Shane looks familiar. She asks Matt and Jeremy if they've seen Rebekah as she has disappeared and she had promised April that she'll look in to her father's death.
At Elena's house, Bonnie, Damon and Stefan are trying to figure out her whereabouts. Stefan is worried about the hunter's curse and asks Bonnie about it as it is a witch's curse. Damon asks her to stop the curse, but Bonnie says she cannot do that kind of magic as the spirits won't let her do it. She, however, says that they could ask Prof. Shane as he seems to know everything about everything. She and Damon head towards the school while Stefan goes to look for Elena. Klaus puts Elena in a windowless room. He says it is for her protection or else she'll take off her daylight ring and burn herself to death. Elena says she would not do that. However, Klaus tells her she'll want to kill herself as he had once. The only problem was he was immortal hence had to bear the torture for nearly 52 years. She asks him how he stopped it and he responds that he didn't. He tells her that one day it stopped on it's own and then leaves her alone in the room.
Stefan calls Caroline for help. He asks her to get Tyler to move the hybrids away so he can get to Elena. Tyler tells Stefan that Chris, the hybrid guarding Elena, is not sired to Klaus anymore and they'll try to get him to help. Meanwhile Elena is hallucinating again. She has a disturbing conversation with Connor - he accuses her of his death and her parents. He tells her that he'll not stop till she dies. He tries to get her to kill herself, but when Elena refuses to listen to him, he disappears and Katherine appears. At the school exhibit, April tells Matt that she knows Prof. Shane through her dad which makes Matt suspicious. Prof. Shane is talking about a powerful witch called Silas who created a spell which granted Silas immortality. He mentions that Silas was buried alive by a scorned lady witch who was in love with him. At this point Bonnie and Damon arrive. Damon asks Bonnie to get Prof. Shane to him and is about to leave when Prof. Shane mentions that Silas wants to be revived and wreck havoc on the world. He then wraps up the presentation and goes with Bonnie.
Katherine is trying to mess with Elena's head and is successful in disturbing her by saying that it is possible that Bonnie and Stefan now hate her. She is losing her mind. Damon is shown sitting in Alaric's class drinking from his bottle of bourbon when Bonnie arrives with Prof. Shane. Damon introduces himself as a specialist on the monster stuff. He shows Prof. Shane the drawing of the hunter's mark and Prof. Shane is keen to know where he got it. Damon evades him. He then asks Prof. Shane about the Hunter's Curse and Prof. Shane wants to know if they have a dead hunter on their hands. Damon is evasive again. Prof. Shane says that the curse falls upon the person who kills the hunter and will not stop till a new hunter awakens. He volunteers to get them some of his research. Once he leaves, Bonnie wonders where they'll get another hunter and Damon calls Jeremy.
Meanwhile Stefan and Tyler talk to Chris to help them and he reluctantly agrees on the condition that he leaves the place once the job is done. Caroline goes to the Mystic Grill to distract Klaus so Stefan can get Elena out. As Stefan opens the door to the room, Elena who is already hallucinating, attacks him and runs away. He then calls Damon to tell him that he has lost Elena again and that Damon should go find her and talk to her as she listens to him. Stefan texts Caroline to tell her that he has lost Elena, but the hunter's curse can be broken if Jeremy kills a vampire. She in turns confesses to Klaus that she was distracting him so Stefan could get Elena out, but now they've lost Elena. She also tells him that they figured out a way to end the curse.
Elena is seen at the Wickery Bridge where she starts hallucinating again and this time sees her mother. Her mother tells her that she should have died in the accident and remain dead. Elena has a conversation with her mother and finally agrees that she should kill herself. At this point Damon arrives and tries to talk her out of doing something stupid, but she has already thrown her daylight ring into the river. He notices that she doesn't have her ring on. Meanwhile, at the Lockwood mansion as Chris is leaving, Klaus arrives. He lets Jeremy kill Chris and the hunter's curse is broken. At the bridge, Elena can feel that Connor is gone, but it is too late as it is sunrise now and she starts to burn. Damon quickly jumps with her in the river to save her.
Elena is shown lying in her bed with her ring on. When she wakes up, Damon tells her he fished it out of the water for her and they have a light moment. She then thanks him for saving her life and they share an eye look. Damon then takes the high road and tells her why Stefan has been lying to her and that there might be a cure for her.
Caroline tells Tyler that she agreed to go on a date with Klaus in return for one of his hybrids to be sacrificed. Tyler is very angry. Matt tells Damon at the Mystic Grill that he finds Professor Shane fishy. He dug up Pastor Young's phone records and apparently there were a lot of calls to Prof. Shane's office on the day the pastor blew up the council.
The episode ends on Elena's porch where she and Stefan have a conversation about her growing feelings for Damon. She finally admits that things have changed between her and Damon and that her feelings for Damon have magnified. Stefan states that she listens to Damon more than him and she trusts him too. He says he cannot continue with the relationship like this and they mutually agree to break up.
- Antagonists: Connor Jordan (hallucination), Katherine Pierce (hallucination) and Niklaus Mikaelson.
- Stefan and Elena break up, though it is on mutual terms.
- This is the last episode before a one week hiatus for Thanksgiving Day.
- Elena and Damon return to Wickery Bridge, where Elena almost died in May 2009, and where she was killed in a car accident in The Departed.
- Connor Jordan and Miranda Sommers-Gilbert haunt Elena from beyond the grave through hallucinations from the Hunter's Curse. She was also tormented by hallucinations of Katherine.
- Katherine makes a cameo in the episode, marking her first appearance in Season 4 after an eighteen episode absence, though she only appears as a hallucination. She was last seen in Homecoming.
- Jeremy makes his first kill as a hunter, which fully activates him as a member of the Brotherhood of the Five.
- In the following episode, it is revealed this activation includes Jeremy gaining various supernatural abilities, including moderately enhanced strength and reflexes, as well as protection from being mind-controlled by vampires or immortals.
- Caroline agrees to go on a date with Klaus if he will allow Jeremy to kill one of his hybrids to advance his Hunter's mark and fully activate his hunter potential, thereby ending Elena's Hunter's Curse.
- Elena finally admits she has feelings for Damon, which leads to her break-up with Stefan.
- Alaric Saltzman was referenced thrice in this episode.
- First when Damon says "Thanks for not ditching the family ring after it drove Ric crazy." to Jeremy.
- A second time in Alaric's old classroom, when Damon drinks a bottle of bourbon he found in Alaric's old desk.
- The third time when Damon orders two drinks at the bar, and Matt asks if he is still saving a seat for "Mr. Saltzman".
- Silas and Qetsiyah are mentioned for the very first time in this episode. Amara is mentioned for the first time, but she wasn't referenced by name, and won't be until the episode Original Sin.
- Silas' Tombstone is seen for the very first time in this episode.
- Not all the waters of the ocean can clean the blood off your hands, Elena, so you better head for the Shower of Angst! After any kind of trauma, all that one wants is to get a long shower, after all, water does have the archetypical cleansing properties that go beyond the visible stains.
- Add a bit of Fanservice with the topless from behind to keep it safe for kids!
- Of course, The Slayer is not the only Chosen One - it is a common trope that is actually older than the pyramids. In modern fiction we have Anakin Skywalker, Harry Potter, Neo from The Matrix, John Connor from the Terminator series, and one can say that Christ and King Arthur were also chosen ones. The Chosen one is often the beneficiary (or victim) of an ancient prophecy. Many times - but not always, they get special powers to fulfill their mission.
- Moral Dissonance: to kill the one hybrid that is not sired to Klaus anymore, but is the one who helped you save your sister or beloved is really not nice. It makes us question who the "good guys" are.
- That is also an example of Protagonist Centered Morality.
- The way Stefan is trying so hard so "fix" Elena, and on the way doing very questionable acts that mess things up more than they further his goal make him a Tragic Hero.
- When Klaus kidnapped Elena for her own protection, he kept her in a Gilded Cage.
- This is the first appearance of Katherine this season. She was last seen in Season Three's Homecoming.
- Jeremy is still wearing the Gilbert Ring, despite the fact that dying too many times while wearing it is what drove Alaric to be possessed by his inner darkness.
- In The Killer, Stefan compelled Jeremy to forget that Connor's tattoo could lead to a cure for vampirism.
- The Wickery Bridge was last seen in The Departed.
- Miranda Sommers-Gilbert was last seen in The Departed via flashback. This is her first appearance as a hallucination.
- This is the third episode this season in which all main characters appear.
- Sheila Bennett and Abby Bennett Wilson were both mentioned by Katherine.
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- McKinley, Virginia
- "We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes" is a direct quote from both the 1960 and 1998 versions of the film Psycho. It was also a quote that was used to reference Psycho in the well-known slasher-flick Scream, which, coincidentally, was written by Kevin Williamson, the original showrunner of The Vampire Diaries. It was the Scream series that launched Williamson's career.
- Damon tells Stefan that -
- It's time to Face the Music - meaning, accept the consequences of his actions.
- Also to Pay the Piper - this is a reference to the fable "The Pied Piper of Hamelin ", who was hired by a village to get rid of all the rats, which he did. When the village refused to pay him, he played a different tune, and let all the children to death. A cautionary tale about paying your debts or bad consequences will follow.
- And to Dance with the Devil - meaning if you engage with someone known for their evil, crafty ways, he'll beat you at his game. It is said that witches danced with the devil.
- Damon refers to Jeremy as "Van Helsing " (a fictional character from Bram Stoker's 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula.)
- This is the second time Damon refers to a character as a famous vampire hunter. The first time was in Smells Like Teen Spirit, when he referred to Elena as "Buffy".
- This is also the second time Van Helsing reference was used. First one was in Children of the Damned, when Stefan referred to Alaric as Van Helsing.
- If there was any doubt that the Hunters are a reference to the Slayers, it was made clear after Jeremy told about his mark to Matt who replies: "What are you? The next chosen one?" The opening sequence of Buffy the Vampire Slayer said "In every generation, there is a chosen one".
- Charles Darwin is the British naturalist who wrote the book On the Origin of Species. During his voyage around the world on the HMS Beagle in 1830, Darwin made several observations of nature that led him to postulate that all species descend from a common ancestor, and proposed the theory of Evolution and the process of Natural Selection. In the book published in 1856 he presents compelling evidence for both.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode had about 2.84 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.18 million less than the previous episode.
- Hashtag during the airing is #ThatVampCray
- Stefan (after Jeremy reawakens after Elena "killed" him): "Welcome back."
- Jeremy: "What happened?"
- Damon: "Long story, buy the e-book."
- Katherine: "How about you and I have a little chat?"
- Elena: "Katherine?"
- Katherine: "Did you miss me?"
- Stefan (when Stefan's phone rings): "It's Klaus."
- Damon: "Time to face the music. Pay the piper. Dance with the devil."
- Stefan: "You know, I’m glad you find this amusing. If he finds out I told you about the cure, he’ll kill both of us."
- Damon: "Then quit avoiding him. I mean, it’s shady. Shady people get outed."
- Stefan (picks up the phone): "I don’t want to talk about it."
- Klaus: "Well, I can imagine why, what with you ruining all my plans for a hybrid-filled future."
- Stefan: "Well, it wouldn't have happened if you hadn't sworn me to secrecy."
- Klaus: "Well, life’s full of “ifs,” Stefan. Let’s accentuate the positives, shall we? The hunter was one of five, we’ll find another. It may take centuries, but we've got time, right?"
- Stefan: "You’re using your calm voice today. Who’s getting killed?"
- Klaus: "Not you, if that’s what you’re worried about. I am concerned about your beloved. Have the hallucinations started yet?"
- Stefan (grows alarmed and stares worriedly at Damon): "What do you know about that?"
- Klaus: "I’ll tell you. Where are you?"
- Stefan: "At her house."
- Klaus: "How convenient. So am I." (Klaus knocks on the door.)
- Klaus: "Caroline, you're beautiful, but if you don't stop talking, I will kill you."
- Klaus (about Tyler): "He never would have hurt you... I wouldn't have let him."
- Bonnie (to Jeremy): "You need to kill a vampire."
- Jeremy: "Great, give me a stake, I'll kill Damon right now."
- Damon: "Easy Van Helsing, we’ll get you one."