Welcome back fans of The Vampire Diaries!
This season of The Vampire Diaries has provided us with a lot of answers about long-running elements of the show. For every new answer, however, it seemed like three new questions would always pop up.
With Thursday’s episode, “Ordinary People,” a great many of these questions have finally been answered once and for all! Remember, The Vampires Diaries airs on The CW Network at 8 pm E/P.
Below, is the full episode “Ordinary People” courtesy of The CW Network via Hulu for your enjoyment. Please join in for the fun on Twitter using the hashtag: #TVD to tweet with other fans of the show.
There were two main story-lines that took place in “Ordinary People.” One of which was the interpretation of the cave paintings discovered by the ghost of Mason Lockwood in the previous episode. This plot-line picked up right as the episode started, as Alaric Saltszman (Matt Davis) escorted Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) down into the cave while he explained to her what he had discovered about the symbols in the painting. The painting, Alaric said, was a “really really old story,” about the origins of the Original Vampire family.
This revelation prompted our first trip back to 1000 years in the past, where we were introduced to young versions of Klaus (Joseph Morgan) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) before either one of the two had become vampires. The two were carving their names into the wall of the cave, the very same ones that Alaric would read one thousand years later. They were discussing their father, whom Klaus seemed to be very frightened of for some reason.
Rebekah told the young, long-haired Klaus that they all fear their father which is why the family always “sticks together as one; right, Traitor?” Klaus responded in agreement with a smile and finished carving their family’s names as Rebekah left to assist their mother. This scene was an interesting first look into the distant past of the Originals and I was very intrigued to find out what Rebekah meant by happily referring to herself and brother as “traitors.”
We were then brought back to the present day where Alaric then pointed out another name on the wall. It was that of Mikael, the vampiric vampire-hunter. The wall, Alaric said, revealed that Mikael was none other than the Father of the three Original Vampires and was an Original himself! As Alaric took photos of the cave painting, Elena decided to go to Rebekah herself for more details.
Rebekah was still posing as a student at Robert E. Lee High in Mystic Falls. Elena wanted to ask about the cave painting and why the Original sibling pair had been running from their father for the past millennium. Initially Rebekah avoided her questions, this prompted Elena to say that she would just “ask Mikael himself when [they] wake him.” This comment caught Rebekah’s attention! As Rebekah stormed away, viewers were sent back to the past for another trip down memory lane.
“Ordinary People” picked up in the ancient past as Klaus was practicing his sword skills with his brother Elijah (Daniel Gillies). Their parents, Mikael (Sebastian Roche) and Esther (Alice Evans), watched their sons.
The brothers were horsing around as they trained, something that angered Mikael. The elder Original grabbed a sword of his own and engaged Klaus. Mikael insulted him for being a “foolish boy,” and stated that the only way they were to survive the many dangers of the world around them was by always staying serious.
Mikael quickly disarmed his son and knocked him to the ground. In that moment it became really clear just how terrified Klaus and his siblings were of their father – even before they all became vampires.
“Ordinary People” then cut back to the present, where Elena had received a text message from Rebekah which instructed her to come over to the Salvatore house. Rebekah had been staying with the Salvatores and was finally ready to “have a chat,” with Elena.
Elena arrived for her “chat” with Rebekah and was expecting Miss Original to provide some answers about her past. Instead, Rebekah ordered out a large group of teenaged girls of whom she had compelled to be her personal modeling squad for various potential homecoming dresses. Rebekah asked her which dress she liked best and then threatened to kill one of the girls if Elena did not answer the question.
Rebekah told a frightened Elena that she should never threaten her with the release of her father again. Rebekah was not happy with Elena and told her that she would “learn what [she] allowed [her] to learn.” The episode quickly cut to Alaric, who had called Bonnie in for help with decoding the cave painting. Alaric realized that a symbol on the cave corresponded with Elena’s necklace: the talisman of the Original Witch.
That was when “Ordinary People” returned back to Rebekah. She had brought Elena along for another trip down memory lane. Her family had settled in the area that would eventually become Mystic Falls. The Original family had fled England to escape the Plague. They went to the settlement after hearing from a witch that the land was full of people with unique speed and strength – werewolves.
It was learned that Rebekah’s youngest brother, Henric (Devon Allowitz), had died from werewolf inflicted wounds. The wounds were caused from when the boy had sneaked out late at night to watch a wolf transform. Henric got too close which caused the wolf to attack. This, Rebekah said, was the moment when peace with the werewolves ended. It was the final moment when she and her family had stood together as humans.
Despite these morsels of information Elena was learning, she was still frustrated with Rebekah’s reluctance to fully tell her the story of her past. At one point; Rebekah made a comment about the pointlessness of human life, a quality forgotten by supernaturals. Rebekah indicated how “above it all” she perceived this attitude to be in herself.
Elena took this pause in Rebekah’s relay of her story as an opening and tried to push Rebekah into then revealing more about her past. Elena reminded her of the “little runway show,” and how it revealed that Rebekah was more in touch with her humanity than she was willing to admit. For once, Elena’s words worked and seemed to have hit a vulnerable spot inside Rebekah. She visibly softened and revealed to Elena that “the” necklace was not hers at all: It belonged to the Original Witch herself actually! Rebekah further explained that the necklace was the object used to put the vampiric curse on her and her family in the first place.
According to Rebekah, vampirism was created as a form of protection against the werewolves. Mikael, she said, wanted not only to just be safe from the werewolves, but to also fight them head on. Thus, he forced the Original Witch to turn them into creatures that would be faster and stronger than the werewolves to accomplish that end.
This was when Rebekah dropped the bomb onto Elena that the term “Original Witch” did not refer to the witch that was helping their family in town, but actually to another person altogether: Rebekah’s mother, Esther! Therefore, this meant that the title “Original Witch” meant directly what it sounded like: “the witch of the original family!” This was a huge revelation in not just this episode, but for the entire series! Fans now knew that not only was it Mikael’s idea to turn his family into vampires, but also that it was Esther who had carried out the curse itself. It was a shocking scene and I must say it was very surprising to learn the true dysfunctional aspects of the Original Family.
Rebekah went on to explain that her mother was the only family member that didn’t turn into a vampire, as she needed to stay human to perform the spell. The curse was created using the power of two objects: The Sun, and the White Oak Tree, one of Nature’s eternal elements. After using these objects to perform the spell, Mikael gave his children blood to to drank, killed them, and then forced them to drink more blood when they resurrected; thus completing their transformation into the very first vampires.
The strength that the vampiric curse granted the Original Family was incredible. However, it was then explained by Rebekah that for every strength they gained, there also countered back a weakness. First of all, the sun became their enemy. The sun kept the Original Vampires inside for long stretches of time. This was due in prevention to the threat of being burned to death if the light touched their skin. Secondly, it was discovered the vervain flowers that were growing at the base of the white oak tree must have somehow merged into the spell. Forever then on, vervain could now poison them.
The third weakness was that the same white oak tree that had given them all eternal life could also serve as the object of their death, because only its’ wood could kill them. This prompted Mikael to burn the scared white oak tree to the ground. Now, only could the ashes left from the tree be possibly used as a weapon against the vampires. Lastly, the blood that had provided them such super strength would now also inflict an insatiable blood-lust desire. This hunger made it impossible to live normal lives amongst humans.
The Vampire Diaries has always done a great job in illustrating vampirism as more of a curse than it is a gift. This scene did a great job touching upon this theme and it was nice to have the reasoning of the rules of vampirism explained.
At that point in “Ordinary People,” Elena asked Rebekah why, exactly, Mikael began to hunt Klaus down in the first place. Confirming parts of what Elena already knew, Rebekah said that when Klaus killed his first human victim, it set off his werewolf gene. This revealed to Mikael that Klaus was not his son at all, and that his wife had cheated on him with one of the werewolf villagers.
Thus to Mikael, Klaus became a symbol of his greatest shame, and greatest enemy. Her mother tried to make things right, Rebekah said, by putting the hybrid curse on Klaus to suppress his werewolf aspect. It did no good, however, as an Angry Mikael exacted his revenge on the entire village of werewolves, killing every single one of them – including his wife, whom he viewed as the enemy for betraying him.
With those words uttered, Rebekah then flashed back to the painful memory of her mother’s burial. We entered this memory just as Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah had sullenly joined hands over their mother’s corpse. It was this moment that the heartbreaking truth of their vampiric curse was learned that they were “Ordinary People” no longer, clearly sinking in. In seeing their mother lay dead, it was then that the siblings vowed to one another that they would dedicate themselves to each other for as long as they all walked the earth.
The Original Family had been a source of fear and power for as long as they have been featured on The Vampire Diaries. Seeing them in this emotional state, at their most vulnerable, developed their characters in very interesting ways.
As “Ordinary People” moved on, we saw Elena as she returned back to Alaric and Bonnie. The two had been busy as they tried to interpret the pictures on the cave. After looking at the scrawled symbols on the wall herself, Elena came to the shocking realization of the truth behind the death of Rebekah’s mother. It clicked in Elena’s head that it was actually Klaus that had killed Esther, rather than the previously said Mikael! Elena returned to the Salvatore Estate and told Rebekah what she had just learned.
Rebekah was beside herself. Losing her temper completely, Rebekah screamed out to Elena that she did not believe her and could not believe her. Although she made a convincing show of strength to Elena in the face of such a shocking piece of knowledge, we eventually saw Rebekah break down. The thousand year old vampire sobbed openly; her world rocked, her perspective on her existence had altered.
Once again, us viewers were seeing an Original at their weakest moment. The scene did an amazing job to point out that perhaps the Originals still have pieces of “Ordinary People” within them beneath it all.
The second main storyline in this episode of The Vampire Diaries focused with the happenings of Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). This plot-line began with Damon as he went to visit Stefan in the underground torture chamber. This was where Elena was continuing Lexi’s (portrayed by Arielle Kebbel) regime of starving the blood-lust out of Stefan. Seeing that Stefan had completely given up on himself, Damon freed him from his chains. Damon decided that he had a different plan to cure his baby brother.
Despite a harsh admonishment from Elena, Damon had brought Stefan to a bar. Once there, Damon ordered a drink and then compelled the bar matron to let Stefan to drink her blood. Damon told his brother that his problem was that by not living on the edge, he had no ability to keep himself from falling over that edge.
This was an interesting scene, because it seemed to suggest that Damon was of the opinion that the only way Stefan could truly come back from his Ripper persona was if he learned to control it. Rather than completely shutting these ways of life off, Stefan would need to instead control the Ripper, rather than letting the Ripper control him.
As the night wore on, Damon and Stefan continued their drunken antics. Stefan continued to press Damon on just why, exactly, he had released him from the prison. Damon told his baby brother that he wanted to remind him of what freedom was like before Klaus took it from him. Stefan sneered at his brother as he told him that as long as Klaus was alive then he would never have freedom.
Right after those words left Stefan’s mouth a voice echoed out from behind the pair, “I think that I can help with that.” They whirled around to meet the voice’s owner and were shocked to see that it was none other that Mikael, or as Damon called him, “Papa Original,” himself.
Mikael wasted no time as he pressed the Salvatore Brothers for answers of to Klaus’ whereabouts. Stefan was stubborn at first as he stated that he has been compelled to keep Klaus’ location a secret and that nothing could change that. Mikael responded to this statement by shoving his hand into Damon’s chest. If Stefan would not reveal Klaus’ location, Mikael said, then he would rip Damon’s heart clean from his body. Distressed at the possibility of losing his brother, Stefan immediately said that he could arrange for Klaus to return to Mystic Falls.
Mikael merely smiled and thanked the brothers. Papa Original made clear in an eerily calm tone that if Klaus did not return, then Stefan would be the one to die. While this scene was a short one, it was powerful. It proved once and for all that the strength of Stefan’s love for his brother was stronger than Klaus’ compulsion. To me, it seemed to provide a glimpse down the path to Stefan’s redemption, perhaps this was the key to his humanity.
The episode came to an end as it showed Elena resting in Damon’s bed for the night. Elena was not mad at Damon for releasing Stefan, she said, but was instead hopeful about the results that it had yielded. “You’ll be the one to bring Stefan back,” Elena said to Damon. “But it won’t be because of his love for me. It will be because of his love for you.” Maybe for once, it would be Damon that would save Stefan.
In all, “Ordinary People,” was a powerful episode that provided many answers about some of the major mythology of the show. Despite the incredible amount of information being given to us viewers, the episode still felt very concise and to-the-point. While there was no shocking cliffhanger as the episode cut to black to end, a final confrontation by Mikael to Klaus was now looming heavily to think of in the future.
Will Klaus finally be defeated now that Mikael was in the picture to help? Will Rebekah stand by her brother despite his betrayal? Where the heck is Katherine?! She could not really be dead! These were events that could go any number of ways and I was on the edge of my seat as I would wait to find out what will happen next!
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