Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW Photo: Jeremy Comforts Matt in Season 3, Episode 2: “The Hybrid”

Jeremy recruits Matt to help him help Vicki

Meanwhile, back in Mystic Falls, Jeremy was busy recruiting Matt. He needed the former busboy to help him do a spell that will somehow save Vicki. They gathered the things they needed for the enchantment. But when they started digging through his dead sister’s belongings Matt backed out. “I don’t know why I let you talk me into this, man,” he said.

But then he changed his mind. And, as if she was paying him back for a solid, Vicki appeared to Jeremy while Matt was still in the room. “I can come back. Help me come back,” she begged. Then she broke a window. And Jeremy’s vampire ex Anna appeared. “Don’t trust Vicki,” she warned. Now lil’ Jer has to pick sides. Great, just great.

Credit: Judy Yam’s Twitter Photo: Elena and Damon Face off in a Season 3 Sneak Peek Photo

We love our Mystic Falls peeps. But we’ve gotta admit, they’re not big on research. In this week’s episode, “The Hybrid,” Klaus, Elena, Jeremy, and Mrs. Mayor Lockwood all stomp off on misguided adventures that would have gone a lot more smoothly if they’d only done a bit more investigating. All of them? Yes, we’ll start with Klaus.

Credit: The CW ©2010 The CW Network Photo: Tyler in the Woods in Season 2, Episode 13: "Daddy Issues"

Tyler comes out to his mother

Oh, but we can’t forget about the other person who was too lazy to do a little homework — Mrs. Mayor Lockwood. Clearly, the mayor thought she was doing her son a favor when she kidnapped Caroline. But then, because she hadn’t planned a few steps ahead, she realized she didn’t have the nerve to kill a girl she’d watched grow up. Even if said chick is a vampire. So she called some guy “Bill” for help. “I’ve gotten myself into a bit of a vampire situation,” she said.

While Mommy was dialing for reinforcements, Tyler was busy putting two and two together. After Matt let it slip that Sheriff Forbes had him lacing the Grill’s coffee with vervain, Tyler realized he recognized that aftertaste from his coffee at home. And vervain-laced coffee plus a missing vamp girlfriend equals holy crap my mom’s a vampire hunter.

“You can’t be with her. She’s a monster!” Momma Lockwood said when Ty confronted her.

“You don’t know about me. Do you?” he replied. To show the Mayor what a monster really is, Tyler marched his mom out to the dungeon of the old Lockwood mansion. He locked her in one cage then chained himself up in the other and let Mommy spend the night watching him painfully transform into a werewolf, try to gnaw his way out, then turn back into a human again.

“I’ll take care of it. I’ll make sure nothing happens to her,” Mayor Lockwood said when Ty woke up in the morning. Damn straight you will.

Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW Photo: Klaus and Ray Face off in Season 3, Episode 1: “The Birthday”

Klaus attempts to build a hybrid army

With cojones the size of Texas, TVD’s biggest baddie marched Stefan into the middle of a werewolf campsite on the evening of a full moon. Then they dumped pack member Ray (a.k.a. the lil’ bro from Seventh Heaven) onto the ground. Apparently, Klaus was on a mission — to turn Ray’s pack into hybrids. All of them. In one evening.

“You join us or you die,” Klaus said to the one she wolf who dared to protest.

“I’d rather die than be a vampire,” she replied.

“Wrong choice.” Klaus grabbed her and force-fed her his blood. Next, he snapped her neck. “She’ll thank me for that later,” he told the rest of the pack who, to our surprise, did not collectively move to attack.

Here’s where a little research would have helped. If Klaus had done, say, an experiment on Ray before going after the pack, then maybe he wouldn’t have had to discover the hard way that werewolves killed with his blood in their system wake up wrong. We’re talking an angry-shaking, bleeding-from-the-eyes, turning-before-it-gets-dark kind of wrong.

As soon as he turned, Ray got an apocalyptic rage and ditched camp, biting Stefan on the way out. “You find Ray and then I’ll heal you,” Klaus offered when Stefan showed him his arm. “You’d better hurry. That bite looks nasty.”

Understandably, Stefan ran after Ray like his life depended on it. This left the original vamp alone in a circle of corpses that were one by one waking up with a case of the supernatural meanies. Before they could organize and attack, Klaus took them out. “It appears you’re the only comrade I have left,” the O.V. (original vamp) told Stefan when his lackey finally returned with Ray’s lifeless body.

Credit: Quantrell D. Colbert/The CW Photo: Elena Cools off in Season 3, Episode 2: “The Hybrid”

Alaric, Elena, and Damon go after Stefan

While Klaus was busy biting werewolves, Elena was doing what she does best — marching into the epicenter of trouble. As soon as she learned that Stefan was heading for the pack’s meeting in the Smoky Mountains she hit Alaric up for a road trip. But he declined.

“If you don’t come with me I’m going by myself,” she threatened. “What? You’re the one who told me I could handle things on my own now.”

“I meant like frozen dinners and SATS,” Alaric replied. Then he caved in.

But you know ‘Ric doesn’t roll alone. Before they left for the mountains, he smartly called Damon for backup. As soon the elder Salvatore arrived on the scene he tossed Elena into the nearest stream. (Hello gratuitous wet T-shirt shots!) But their little wade in the water didn’t change the fact that they were miles away from Nowhere Ville on a full moon. It was a point driven home when newly turned Ray attacked. The neophyte hybrid nearly took Damon out. Afterwards, they tried dosing Ray with vervain and wolf’s bane and chaining him to a tree. But he started changing in the middle of broad daylight and holy-aha-moment they realized that, not only would their tie-up not hold him, none of the weapons they brought would work. “We’ve got to get out of this mountains now!” Elena said.

See what we mean about the research? Because they didn’t pause to think things through, the trio had to race the setting sun down the mountain. And they lost. As soon as darkness fell, so did Elena, and werewolf Ray appeared out of nowhere, growling and slobbering inches from her head. “Here doggie-doggie,” Damon taunted. Then he vamped off with the wolf hot on his tail. Hybrid Ray easily caught Damon and he would have gotten the best of the sexy vamp if Stefan hadn’t showed up and snatched the dog’s heart out of his chest.

“Fancy meeting you here,” Damon said.

“What part of ‘Don’t follow me anymore,’ got lost in the translation?” Stefan replied. No kidding. But hey, at least the look-at-the-birdie distraction bought time for Elena and Alaric to get back to the car safely.

Later, Damon came to Elena’s room to admit that he was mistaken about his brother, Stefan. “I thought Stefan was gone but I was wrong,” he said. “He can be saved.” Then he proceeded to drill E about why she changed her mind about staying in the Smoky Mountains. And, long story short, she decided to leave and stop risking their lives because she was worried that Damon might get hurt. But man, getting her to admit it was like pulling teeth.

Caroline’s father comes home

While all this other stuff’s been going on, Caroline’s been M.I.A. To be more exact, we should say she was in a basement somewhere, drugged out of her mind, and chained to a chair that was bolted to the floor. When she finally woke up, Blondie tried to free herself in vain. Then the door opened and the mysterious Bill walked in. Caroline looked up.

“Daddy?” she said.

“Caroline,” he replied.

We yelled so loud our neighbors called to complain.