Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW © 2011 The CW Network, LLC Photo: Isobel and Elena Visit the Graveyard in Season 2, Episode 17: "Know Thy Enemy"

Holy. Freaking. Cow! Alaric is the original vampire Klaus? Or, rather, Klaus is in Alaric’s body? Yes, our heads are swimming too. But The Vampire Diaries’ last-second revelation of the identity of the ultimate big bloodsucking baddie isn’t the only mind-blowing plot twist that’s got us gabbing. Three people sort-of-or-all-the-way died in this episode — two regulars and a guest star — and there was gratuitous male nudity to boot. Here are 10 other hot topics we’re rehashing about tonight’s aptly-named ep, “Know Thy Enemy.” (We’ve ranked them. If you disagree, let us know.)

10) Aunt Jenna checks out.
Minutes after her boyfriend assured her he’s not lying about his dead ex-wife, said ex showed up on Aunt Jay’s doorstep. “Hello Elena, it’s nice to see you again,” Isobel said. That last world brought the Gilbert guardian’s world crashing down. Poor Jenna. She quickly realized that not only has Elena known for quite some time that Isabelle is alive, John knows and Alaric does too. No wonder she flipped out. First she locked her self in her room then she moved on campus, essentially abandoning Elena and Jeremy. What number parenting fail is this now, Jenna?

9) Bonnie gets superpowers.
“Just how much power can you draw from 100 dead witches?” Jer asked after the energy-harvesting deed was done. Bon-Bon responded by making it storm. “A lot,” she said. No kidding. But apparently a lot is still not enough. In order to kill Klaus, the witch miss will have to use every ounce of her newly-claimed magic. Oh, and she’ll also have to die in the process. But get this: Bonnie’s OK with that. “It’s not just for Elena,” she said. “It’s for you. It’s for everyone. If I am the only one who can put an end to this then [dying] will be my decision.” Now, we like that Bonnie’s (sing it with us now) got the power. But we’re not cool with her being Mystic Falls’ new sacrificial lamb. What’s with the women in this town? Why are they so willing to go all harakiri for the cause instead of, say, finding another way to take an old vampire out?

8) Elena gets a house.
In order to protect her from the army of vampires they expect to come to town looking for the doppelganger, the sexy Salvatores give E the deed to their mansion. The minute she signs it, their home will be her safe house, and she’ll decide which vamps can or can’t enter. Sounds like a sweet deal to us. Though, maybe Damon’s having second thoughts. “I’ll be super-pissed if you lock me out,” he said.

7) The Salvatore Brothers aren’t the brightest.
Apparently wisdom doesn’t always come with age. The Salvatores have 13 bedrooms in their ginormous mansion. But where does Damon hide the moonstone? Right in plain sight — in the soap dish in the one bathroom they all use. It was a clever idea. Until a snooping Katherine found the darn thing. And then, well, it wasn’t.

6) Damon loses his shirt.
Picture this: Damon Salvatore bare-chested in front of the bathroom mirror. Now excuse us while we pause, rewind, and play it again.


Credit: Quantrell Colbert/The CW © 2011 The CW Network, LLC Photo: Isobel and John Talk in Season 2, Episode 17: "Know Thy Enemy"

5) Elena forgave Uncle John.
Sort of. After Isabelle’s death (we’ll get to that) and his own resurrection, evil Uncle John got all sentimental. He apologized to Elena and offered to leave town if that would make her happy. And we all know it would. But, of course, Elena couldn’t take the easy way out. “Everything you touch falls apart,” she told her birth father. “But you’re the only parent I have left. So maybe I can learn not to hate you.” What?! Now we call that masochism at its finest.

4) We finally meet Klaus.
And while we wouldn’t call it anti-climatic, we will say it wasn’t like anything we’d imagined. When Katherine woke up on the floor to see a witch working some weird mojo on Alaric’s head…she tried to run. But he caught her. And when Alaric’s mouth opened to speak, original vampire Klaus’s Slavic accent came out. Creepy? Yes. Very.

3) Isobel goes up in flames.
Talk about messing your kid up for life. One day after Izzy returned to town to supposedly help protect Elena, she sided with Katherine, arranged to have our favorite vampire-slaying history teacher killed (or possessed) and she bit Uncle John and threw him down a flight of stairs while Elena was giving an acceptance speech. If that weren’t bad enough, Alaric's ex then kidnapped the daughter she gave up 16 years ago and drove our girl to the grave her own parents bought for her. Next, after giving a sob story about how she never meant to be the worst mother ever, Izzy snatched off her vervein day-walker charm and howled as she burned to death right in front of Elena, all while making intense eye contact with her daughter. Trust us: There is not enough therapy in the world to help our girl un-see that.

2) Matt can’t handle the truth.
After dodging Caroline for a day and losing his cool with her mother, Sheriff Forbes, Matt finally seemed ready to accept the supernatural truth. He asked Caroline to tell him everything about his sister Vicki and how she became a vampire, etc. So Blondie did. And he cracked. “This is too much,” he cried. “Please make me forget, Caroline. I don’t want to look at you and see what I’m seeing right now.” It was a gut-wrenching moment. We felt for him and for Caroline until… (see next item)

1) Sheriff Forbes gets a new deputy.
Just as we were bad-mouthing the TVD scribes for having Sheriff Forbes leave angry Matt alone in her house, Caroline’s supposedly compelled boo walked down the street and got into a parked squad car. Inside sat Sheriff Forbes who cried as she as Matt to tell her everything.Yes, the Alaric-Klaus thing was big. But this — this crazy twist! — was our favorite gotcha moment of the night. Apparently when Matt paired her daughter’s name with the word “vampire,” the sheriff gave him vervein and deputized him as her own little undercover agent. Now the wool has been removed from her eyes. Will she be able to hunt her own daughter?