Newsflash: Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) father, Rudy Hopkins, not gone the way of Mr. and Mrs. Walsh from Beverly Hills, 90210. (The original one. Look it up.) Papa Hopkins is back, and he’s going to try to run Mystic Falls as the town council’s seventh choice for interim mayor. Sound like a stupid move? Yeah we think so too. But, hey, there we go getting ahead of ourselves again…
Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 10, “After School Special” opens amidst a candlelight vigil for Mayor Lockwood. It’s four days after her death and Sheriff Liz Forbes and the new mayor are forcing the school body of Mystic Falls High to mourn en masse. “How does a community stay strong after losing its leader?” the sheriff asks. Understandably upset, Tyler (Michael Trevino) walks out.
Elena (Nina Dobrev) watches him go. Then she thinks she spots Rebekah (Claire Holt). Could it be? To answer her question, Elena goes to investigate. She hears crying coming from the one of the halls, turns the corner to find her former babysitting client. “It’s the whole mayor thing, it’s bringing up stuff from my dad,” April (Grace Phipps) says. “And I know you’re a vampire.” The last bit catches Elena off guard. Before she can ask, “Say what now?” Rebekah vamps in and breaks her neck. “Was that necessary?” April asks. Rebs smirks and replies, “No. But it was fun.”
Meanwhile downtown at Mystic Grill, Stefan (Paul Wesley) is doing a little mourning of his own over the loss of his relationship. “Seriously, you decided to go on a Ripper bender now?” Caroline (Candice Accola) asks when she calls to chastise him for skipping out when Tyler needs him most. “My brother slept with Elena,” Stefan replies. “It kind of puts a little bit of a damper on things.” Yeah, it does. But, um, the Mayor died. We’re just saying.
Speaking of the late Mayor, the Powers That Be cite an “accident” as her cause of death. Caroline hates that because it sounds like code for fell-over-drunk-and-drowned-in-the-town-square fountain. But we disagree. Everyone knows it’s code for Klaus (Joseph Morgan) strikes again!
Sadly Stefan isn’t the only one skipping the assembly. Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and Matt (Zach Roerig) ditch too. Their excuse: They’re vampire hunter training out at the Gilbert lake house with Damon (Ian Somerhalder). The training’s coming along nicely. Jer’s strong and fast but he’s not as good as his ego thinks. Damon, who’s busy repeatedly listening to please-don’t-send-me-way voicemail messages from Elena, pauses to remind him of this. Minutes later Original Vampire Klaus stops by to remind Damon that he’s supposed to be “growing Jeremy’s mark.” The OV asks how many vampires Jer has killed. When Damon answers zilch, zip, zero. Klaus does not like the answer. Damon is too preoccupied to care. Suddenly he decides to teach Jer the second lesson of the day. The sexy Salvatore quickly assembles the handgun and shoots the OV twice in the chest. “That was for Carol Lockwood,” D says.
Back in town, Bonnie catches up with her dad. She’s not amused that he’s accept the Interim Mayor job. Still, she offers, as the super witch of Mystic Falls, to help. Having just learned that vamps killed both his predecessors, Rudy wants revenge. He basically tells his daughter that he’s going to crack the rule whip around town and that he will protect her. We try not to laugh.
Meanwhile, back at school Elena wakes up in an empty classroom with a newly undaggered Rebekah. The Original sister has kidnapped her and she promptly uses E as bait. Stefan and Caroline bite. They launch a half-assed attempt to liberate Elena only to conveniently get schooled by Rebs who easily captures them, sits them down in a classroom and compels them to spill the beans about the vampire cure, the hunter’s mark and loads of other stuff.
During a bout of awkward silence Caroline blurts out that Stefan and Elena broke up and this fuels Rebekah’s vengeance fire. She commands Elena to tell Stefan three hurtful truths. The first was why she slept with his big brother. “I didn’t sleep with Damon because of the sire-bond,” Elena involuntarily confesses. “I slept with Damon because I’m in love with him.” Ouch!
While Rebekah entertains herself by watching Elena’s confessions break and re-break Stefan’s heart, Bonnie heads out to Professor Shane’s (David Alpay) office to bitch about her dad. “He hates my witch heritage. That’s why he travels all the time,” she whines. “He can’t handle it.” Shane replies by liberating her, telling her she doesn’t need his help anymore. Then he gives her a graduation present. It’s nothing big. Just a necklace with a human bone charm that the 2000-year-old witch Qetsiyah used to channel power. Shane then sends Bon-Bon home so he can grade papers.
As she leaves, Bon-Bon passes a flirty-cute guy in the hall. Does he look familiar? Or is he just hella hot? After she turns the corner, Bonnie realizes the stud is Original Brother Kol(Nathaniel Buzolic). She runs back to Shane’s office to warn him. But she’s too late. Chairs have been knocked over. The Professor’s gone. Kol has kidnapped Shane for his sister.
Speaking of Sister OV, Rebs takes a break from the Stelena drama to use Caroline’s phone to call Tyler. She catches him at home alone, mopey. “I heard my brother made a real mess of your life,” she says. “Believe me, I can relate. You have my condolences.” She invites him to come collect them by saving Caroline. “Maybe you have a better shot of saving her than you did at saving your mother,” Rebs says. It’s a low blow. Tyler, who’s already guilt-ridden, rushes to the school.
Before he gets there, Kol arrives with Shane. Rebekah immediately tries to compel him to tell her about the cure. But the prof can’t be compelled. So Bex leave Kol to beat the truth out of Shane. Or nibble it out. The Original sister doesn’t care. She’s too psyched to go back to her truth-or-more-truth game with Elena. Tyler arrives just before she starts the second round. Rebekah compels him just like she did the others. Then, for Ouch: No. 2 she makes Elena tell Stefan how she feels when she’s with Damon (Answer: “Like I’m free.”) versus how she feels when she’s with him (“like a project to be fixed”). For the final truth bomb, Rebs commands Elena to tell Stef how what she feels for him. E’s eyes fill with tears as she confesses that she still loves Stefan but she’s not in love with him. This satisfies Rebs to the core. “Did that hurt, having someone you love drive a dagger through your heart?” she asks Stefan. “Welcome to the last 900 years of my life.”
Meanwhile, Damon’s sitting in the woods outside of the Gilbert lake house, whittling. Klaus vamps up. Surprisingly he’s not mad that Damon shot him. He’s more worried about Jer’s hunter mark. He suggests they turn more townspeople so Jeremy can kill them and grow the mark. Damon hesitates and Klaus accuses him of trying to appease Elena by doing the right thing of not involving innocent civilians. Damon doesn’t deny it. So Klaus tells him he’s already started working on his idea. His first victim is the local pizza delivery girl. Earlier that evening he’d turned her then compelled her to go to Jeremy’s house. While Klaus and Damon sit in the woods, Pizza Girl knocks on Jer’s door, claiming car trouble. Too honest for his own good, Little Gilbert admits that he’s about to hop in the shower then he invites her inside to wait for the mechanic. Oh, sweet, nice Jer...
Pizza girl attacks Matt faster than you can say “extra pepperoni , please.” Jer hears the struggle, comes in and stakes her. Damon vamps in and together they all watch Jeremy’s tattoo grow.
In the meantime, Bonnie walks into Mystic Falls High, looking for Professor Shane. She finds a supremely brainwashed April, who tells her that Rebs had already compelled the Scooby Gang to spill about the cure and was in the process of torturing the truth out of Shane. Bonnie quickly grabs some salt and a few vials to do a protection spell for her Ph.D buddy.
Not far away, Shane doesn’t think he needs to be protected. The way he sees it, he and Rebekah are on the same side. They want the cure, he wants to resurrect the man who’s buried with it. Shane announces he just wants to free Silas and Kol starts to drown him. Only Shane’s lungs don’t fill with water. April’s do. And Shane keeps talking. He confesses to orchestrating the murders of dozens in order to raise Silas. He figures that killing a few won’t really matter because “Once I raise Silas, Silas will raise the dead and he will bring back every last soul who died on his behalf.”
Kol thinks Shane is bat poop crazy in the most dangerous of ways. He grabs a copper pipe and skewers Shane. This time the professor feels the pain. He starts bleeding and falls. In another room, April falls too. Only she’s bleeding much worse than Shane. Bonnie full-on panics.
Rebekah thinks Kol has killed Shane and she is not happy. She needed him. The people she doesn’t need are sitting in the other room. So she marches back into the library where she has stored Elena and co. and compels Tyler to change. She knows that he can’t control himself in his wolf-vamp hybrid form and figures she can use him to buy time. While Tyler kills, and possibly eats, his friends, she and Kol can get a head start on finding the cure. She plans to force-feed it to Klaus then kill her brother where he stands.
Tyler tears apart the library in a failed attempt not to turn. Before he does Elena, Caroline and Stefan run. Car dashes off one way and the couple formerly known as Stelena tries to barricade themselves in a hallway. It doesn’t really work. Beast Tyler bangs in the door. Then, just as he’s about to break through he seems to give up and go away.
Elena and Stefan take this opportunity to run. They sprint down the hall where they find Bonnie with a dying April. She tells them what happened and they realize she’s been duped into using Expression magic, which they think is the darkest of dark. But they don’t have time to worry about that now. Stef feeds Elena’s former charge his blood and warns Bon-Bon to take April and run — which she does.
The only problem is Bonnie heads straight for Shane’s office. She finds him not at all repentant. She accuses him of tricking her into doing black magic. He tells her Expression is not black. “It’s a way of doing magic that isn’t monitored by nature or the spirits,” Shane says. “It isn’t good or bad. But it also has no limits. So how you use it is up to you.” The nutty professor reiterates that he’s there to help Bonnie because she’s “the key to everything.” We can’t help but think: Oh, snap. Don’t let Elena hear that!
Back at Mystic Falls High, Caroline finds Tyler lying naked in the gym in front of his mother’s shrine. He’s managed to reclaim his human form. When he sees her, he starts crying. Yes, he blames himself for his mother’s death. “I should have saved her,” he says.
Meanwhile Rebekah catches up with Elena and Stefan. For some reason we don’t understand, she offers to help Elena out by erasing Stefan’s memories of her. Elena looks appalled. But Stefan doesn’t. He jumps at the chance and tells Rebekah to do it. That’s when we realize why Rebs offered: She turns to Stefan with a look that can only be caused by years of heartache and betrayal. “I refuse to make you forget her the way Klaus made you forget me,” she hisses. “Consider your eternity of pain my revenge, Stefan.”
Talk about awkward. Now Elena knows that Stefan wishes it were all over, that he could forget her and move on. And he knows that for some reason she doesn’t want him to, that she needs him to remember. Stefan turns and walks out. We think he leaves crying, but we can’t be sure.
Later, out at the Gilbert lake house, Damon buries Pizza Girl. Elena calls to tell him that Stefan knows about them. Then she tells him what Bex’s compulsion made her realize — that her love for him, and not his brother, is “the most real thing that I ever felt in my entire life.” She waits a beat then adds, “I love you Damon. I love you.”
Damon looks confused. Then he looks up at the sky like he’s thanking God. He tells Elena that he’s going to do a lot of dirt to find the cure for her. Then he says, “Get in your car, right now. And come to me.”
Back at Casa Salvatore, Stefan meets with Rebekah to make a confession of his own. He tells her that Shane’s not dead and that he wants to work with her to find the cure. He suggests they be Team I-Hate-My-Brother because “whoever finds the cure first gets to decide what to do with it.”
Speaking of hated brothers, while all this was going down, Klaus was busy turning the entire populace of a honky-tonk bar into bloodsucking peeps. Accompanied by Damon, Jeremy walks in sees the carnage and freaks. “You said you were going to convince Klaus to do this another way!” He tells Damon. But Jeremy doesn’t know what Elena has just told Damon. He doesn’t understand that the vampire will do anything to have her human again. At least not until Damon opens his mouth. “Well, I thought about it,” D says, “then I realized his idea is better.” And behind him some poor guy who’d been drafted into vampirism wakes up dead.