If you feel guilty stepping on a bug then imagine how Elena (Nina Dobrev) feels after killing a man with her bare hands. Can you say, “Guilty squared?” Elena Gilbert can.
Season 4, Episode 6, “We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes” opens with Elena literally losing her mind. She’s hearing things. She’s seeing things. And she can’t sleep because every time she closes her eyes, slain hunter Connor Jordan (Todd Williams) pops up to taunt her. At one point she gets up and goes downstairs to nuke some blood (or tea, we’re not sure). The hunter follows. Elena tells him (and herself) that he’s just a ghost. Then she calls Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) to confirm. Before her lil’ bro can arrive, Connor snatches Elena by the throat. They fight. Elena grabs a knife and shoves it into Connor’s neck. Only the minute he starts to drown in his own blood, reality kicks in and E realizes she has just knifed her little brother. Thank goodness for the Gilbert family ring.
The best accessory
“What am I going to say to him?” Elena asks Damon (Ian Somerhalder) the next morning. Still bloody from the night before, she paces and waits for Jeremy to wake from the dead. Damon replies, “How about thanks for not ditching the family ring even after it drove ‘Ric crazy.” True that.
Damon’s not good with the emotional stuff. So he repeatedly suggests Elena call Stefan (Paul Wesley) to come help her deal. But she refuses, saying, “He’s been lying to me and hiding things from me. He compelled Jeremy to forget God knows what.” A second later, Stef walks in. Apparently Damon called him. But Elena’s boyfriend cannot talk her down off the guilt ledge. Looks like stabbing your kid brother is a hard thing to forget.
Across town at the Lockwood Manse, Tyler (Michael Trevino) and Hayley (Phoebe Tonkin) dull the pain of losing Dean with an all-night hybrid/wolf booze bender. Don’t ask where Mayor Lockwood is during all this, because we don’t know. Some time in the wee hours after Ty went to bed, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) joined the party. And Hayley seems OK with that.
Caroline (Candice Accola), however, is not OK with Hayley. She crushes their memorial buzz by making an early-morning delivery of a box of Tyler things. Klaus can barely hide his pleasure at this unfortunate turn of events. Instead of a wake-up call, Caroline’s making a breakup call. Or so it seems.
Fake it like a pro
The minute after Klaus and his hybrids leave, Car and Hayley smile at each other. Turns out it’s a fake fight. The ladies want Klaus to think Caroline and Ty have broken up and that they’re feuding over him so that the Original vamp won’t suspect what’s really going on. You see, Hayley is the Harriet Tubman of hybrids. She stealthily helps them break their sire bond. Her latest client, Chris, has been assigned to Klaus’s current security detail.
Back at the Gilbert house, Jer wakes up and gets the heck out of Dodge, heading straight to the last place we’d go after coming back from the dead — school. Meanwhile, Damon cleans the kitchen and Elena tries to shower off the memory of stabbing Jeremy. But she hallucinates that the water turns to blood.
Klaus knows what Elena’s going through. When he calls Stefan to reprimand him for not keeping Connor alive, the OV explains that when one of The Five is killed his spirit stalks his murderer until they off themselves. Klaus knows this because the brotherhood subjected him to 52 years, 9 months and 4 days of “endless never-ending torture” after he killed its inaugural members. He suggests that Stefan allow him to take care of Elena during this, shall we say, trying time. Of course, Stefan is not OK with this. But it doesn’t matter. While he and Klaus talk outside the house, Connor tortures Elena inside until, exasperated, she runs out the door. The minute she steps onto the porch, Klaus grabs her and vamps off.
Over at Mystic Falls High, Jeremy tells Matt (Zach Roerig) that he has a hunter’s mark like Connor. Before the weight of that can sink in, they spot creepy Professor Shane (David Alpay), who’s presenting an occult exhibit at the school. “Why does he look so familiar?” April (Grace Phipps)l asks when she sees him. Hmm.
Shane’s so-called exhibit includes “the world’s first tombstone,” which looks just like a rock to us. After presenting this major find, Shane tells his packed audience the story of the witch Silas who cooked up an immortality spell then foolishly shared it with the wrong woman — aka not his girlfriend Ketzia. So Ket killed Silas’s mistress then buried him alive. Now he’s waiting to rise again. From the way Shane tells this story, we think Silas will be the new Big Bad. The same story helps April realize where she knows the prof from. He’s an associate of her father’s. They met when her dad taught theology at Whitmore. Duh, duh, duh.
Insane in the membrane
Back in Klausville, the OV has locked Elena in one of his many lavish rooms. He tells her that he has imprisoned her to keep her from killing herself. Elena, of course, swears that is something she will never do. But then Connor visits again. For his fourth appearance, Mr. Jordan guilt trips Elena, talking first about his family, then turning to her parents “They died because of you,” he says. “You’re a monster, and you deserve to die.” Elena keeps it in check until Connor morphs into Katherine (Nina Dobrev). The hallucinated Lady K then proceeds to tell Elena that now that she’s a vampire, Stefan is going to hate her, too. This sends E over the edge.
While Elena was losing it, Damon was busy convincing Bonnie (Kat Graham) to introduce him to Shane so that he could gather more info on the vampire cure. Damon shows the prof a drawing of the hunter’s mark. He tells the teacher it came him in a dream, but Shane knows better. Shane tells Damon that the person who kills one of The Five will be cursed to “walk the earth in torment” until a new hunter replaces the old. Damon immediately calls “Little Gilbert.” And they hatch a plan to free Elena.
For the plan to work, Caroline needs to distract Klaus so Tyler’s new hybrid friend Chris can help Stefan steal into Elena’s dungeon. Chris knows what happened to the last hybrid who tangled with Elena and co. so he’s not too keen on helping. But Tyler talks him into it. Chris dismisses the guards outside Elena’s dungeon then allows Stefan to enter. There’s only one problem: By this time she’s a factory grade nut. When Stefan walks in, Elena thinks he’s Connor Jordan and reacts accordingly. Stefan tries to talk some sense into her. She responds by stabbing him in the gut and running out. If you’re counting, that’s two assaults with a deadly weapon in one day.
A bridge over troubled water
Elena finds herself once again on the Wickery Bridge, looking down at the water. The hallucinations continue. This time her mom appears next to her. “This bridge is where your life should have ended not once but twice,” Mama Gilbert says. “You know exactly what to do.”
“I’m a monster and I deserve to die,” Elena says as she takes off her daywalker ring and drops it into the murky waters. Seconds after it hits the water, she thinks of Jeremy and how she can’t leave him. When she voices this fear, the hallucination of her mother says, “Jeremy is better off without you. You’ll be a ghost who helps him not a monster who hurts him.” Ouch.
Minutes later Damon walks up. Stefan sent his big brother to find Elena while he a) heals from the stab wound and b) tries to find a vampire for Jeremy to kill so that the little Gilbert can become the next hunter and take Elena off the crazy train.
Back in town, Klaus is not amused to discover that Chris has allowed Elena to escape. He storms into Tyler Lockwood’s house just as Chris is about to skip town. Poor Chris. Everything he feared would happen starts to happen right then. First Klaus lifts him up and starts to choke him out. Hayley and Tyler try to cover for Chris, saying it was their fault. Which it was. Hayley even goes as far as to tell Klaus to kill her instead of Chris. Lucky for her he doesn’t. Whatsmore, the OV lets Chris go.
Chris is crying, he’s so scared. Shaking, he can’t believe his luck, and he heads out the door. Before he can step a foot onto the porch, Stefan marches in followed by Jeremy, who ruthlessly stakes Chris then beheads him while Tyler and Hayley watch in horror.
After he does the deed, Jer stands there and watches as the hunter’s mark inches up his arm. Just as it does, the sun rises over the horizon and Elena’s skin starts to sizzle. When it seems like she might get the death she no longer wants, Damon grabs her and dives into the water.
Later Elena wakes up in bed next to a sun-filled window, unfried, wearing her daywalker ring. The curtain blows gently in the breeze. Damon sits nearby. “You know what they say about teenage suicide,” he says. “Don’t do it.” And this is where we pause to cheer the Heathers shout-out.
Elena tells Damon that the last 24 hours were like a really bad dream. She thanks him for saving her. They hold hands. Then Damon tells her that Stefan was only lying to her to save her. “Everything he’s been doing, he’s been doing for you,” he says before adding that there might be a cure for her vampirism.
Over at Casa Lockwood, a boozed-up Tyler sulks while Hayley sleeps. They’ve lost two hybrid/wolf brothers in one day. “I told him we had his back!” Tyler says to Caroline. Then, he stops to look at her as if it’s her fault. He asks what Caroline did to convince Klaus to sacrifice another hybrid. “I agreed to go on a date with him,” she says. Upon hearing this, Tyler fills a glass with whiskey then throws it at the wall.
Downtown at the Mystic Grill, Damon orders two drinks — one for himself and one for Alaric (Matt Davis). It’s a strange ritual that Matt interrupts when he comes up to tell Damon that he’s figured out “some stuff about the fire at the Young farm.” With a hook up from the Sheriff, Matt looked over Pastor Young’s phone records. Turns out April’s dad called creepy-cute Professor Shane every day of the last month before his death. And he dialed Shane’s number 10 times on the day he died.
Speaking of the devil, Bonnie has headed back to Whitmore College with Professor Shane. This time she finally gets around to asking about his academic credentials. “I’ve been around the world 10 times over. I’ve studied every supernatural creature known to man,” Shane says. Then he flips the script by telling Bon-Bon, “When your new hunter, and I know you have one, completes his mark, then you’re going to want to come to me because I’m the only one who can help. “ Bonnie nods silently.
Back in Mystic Falls, Elena apologizes for stabbing Stefan in the stomach. Then she asks her boyfriend why he sent his brother to look for her instead of coming himself. Stefan’s answer surprises us. The Nice Guy Salvatore tells Elena that lately she has trusted and listened to his brother more, so it made more sense for Damon to approach her.
Elena does not disagree. Instead she talks about vampire self, saying how that she has changed and “Something has changed between Damon and me.” Apparently vampirism has amplified her feels for Damon. Stefan listens, and he does not seem surprised. “Before, when I was the Ripper, I understood why you cared for him,” he says. “I mean, I practically drove you to it. But now, I can’t do this, Elena. Not anymore.” Elena replies, “I know.” And just like that, they break up. Possibly for real this time.