If last week's episode was a bit lacklustre, "The Hybrid" more than makes up for it. It was full of all kinds of fun tension, plot twists, and the sorts of storylines that have become TVD's signature. The tentative toes in the water of the season are done and the show has now dived right in. I'm a happy fan.
"The Hybrid" begins with Damon taking down the remnants of his investigation into Stefan's whereabouts. The news is on in the background reporting on Andie's death. Suddenly Elena is there pouting that Damon's been avoiding her calls. It doesn't help that he's still not interested in finding Stefan even after she tells him about his late-night call and that she had it traced back to Tennessee. As she leaves Damon begins burning the papers in the fireplace.
Elena tries Alaric next, basically guilting him into telling her what he and Damon learned. When she finds out werewolves are involved she goes to Ty for more information. He gladly gives her directions to a known full-moon hangout spot in Tennessee (he figures he owes her one since Stefan wouldn't be in this situation if Ty hadn't bitten Damon). Elena then convinces Alaric to go with her to find Stefan even though they'll be on werewolf turf on the full moon. When did he get so whipped?
As Elena and Alaric hike through the Tennessee mountains she stops for a moment of bonding and gives him his immortality ring back. Suddenly Damon is there pushing Elena into the water. He is not happy that she decided to hike into the mountains after Stefan, Klaus, and a pack of werewolves a couple of hours before the full moon. Yeah, in retrospect it does seem like a pretty stupid idea. But Elena refuses to get out of the water until Damon agrees to keep looking for Stefan, which prompts him to go into the water after her and makes for a ridiculously sexy scene considering everyone is fully clothed. Since we all know Damon is Elena's bitch he relents and agrees to keep searching for Stefan, as long as they're out of there before the full moon (he's not about to risk another werewolf bite).
Meanwhile Stefan and Klaus find Ray's pack just in time for Ray to wake up. Klaus susses out the lone human and feeds Ray some of his blood to complete the transition to vampire (werepire?) He then proceeds to turn the rest of the pack. The only problem is that Ray, the first to fully turn, isn't looking so good. Among other things he's bleeding from his eyes. Klaus isn't overly concerned--until Ray suddenly takes off running with vampire speed. He orders Stefan to go after Ray and bring him back. But Ray is already half turned and he bites Stefan and runs again. Before Stefan can continue the chase he hears Elena and Damon. As their presence sinks in Klaus shows up. Stefan distracts him so he won't realize the others are there but Klaus is too busy threatening Stefan anyway, telling him he won't heal him from the bite until Stefan brings Ray back.
Ray, sick as he is, has managed to find Elena, Damon, and Alaric. As soon as he sniffs out that Damon is a vampire he attacks. They manage to knock him out but it ain't easy. They then use every bit of rope and chain they have to secure him to a tree. Only Ray starts turning while the sun is still up and they know he won't be held for long. Suddenly Elena is terrified and she insists they get out of there now. Even Damon runs this time. Unfortunately it doesn't take Ray, now in full wolf form, long to catch up with them. In order to protect Elena, Damon gets Ray to chase him. Elena doesn't want to leave Damon but she doesn't have much of a choice.
As Alaric points out to Elena, Damon can take care of himself. Once at a safe distance he stops running and starts fighting. He's doing pretty well too, but it's hard to fend off a creature with vampire strength and speed whose bite can kill you. Just as Ray's about to get the better of Damon, Stefan shows up and bashes Ray's head in with a rock. Stefan tells Damon that he has to give up on him because he's never coming home. Then he orders Damon to get Elena home and keep her there. As Damon returns to the car and he, Elena, and Alaric prepare to leave, Stefan watches from a distance.
When Stefan returns to Klaus it turns out all the other weres are dead too. Klaus either had to put them down because they "went rabid" or they bled out. Klaus is infuriated that turning them didn't work and he can't understand why. It's implied that Elena still being alive could be the problem, which makes it even more imperative that he never find out she didn't die permanently. It's also implied that Klaus is just a lonely guy. After healing Stefan he comments that Stefan is the only comrade he has left. Maybe all psychos like Klaus really need is a hug.
Speaking of psychos who need love, at home again Damon pays Elena a surprise visit. He tells her there's hope for Stefan after all and he'll help her bring him back. But first he wants to know why Elena suddenly changed her mind back in the forest and wanted to leave. She eventually admits she was worried about him and asks why he needs to hear her say it. Damon's response is probably one of the best lines ever about a love triangle. He tells her he wants her to say these things out loud because when he brings Stefan back to her he wants her to remember what she felt while he was gone. Watch the scene and tell me it didn't give you shivers. I hope Damon and Elena never do end up together--it would be a real shame to lose all this brilliant tension.
In other news Jeremy finally convinces Matt that he really is seeing Vicky. Then he manages to convince Matt to help him contact her properly; Jeremy needs to know why she asked him to help her the last time she appeared. Since Bonnie is off visiting her dad's family for the summer Jeremy doesn't want to bother her--besides, he read all about contacting the dead on the internet! I notice no particular search engine was mentioned for once so maybe the overt product placements are finished. One can only hope. When Vicky shows up this time she tells Jeremy that he can help her come back to life. Interesting...probably not good... But then Anna materializes and tells Jeremy not to trust Vicky. Now what? My guess is that Jeremy will help Vicky and wackiness will ensue.
The last time we saw Carol Lockwood she was shooting Caroline full of tranquilizer darts. In this episode she has a change of heart, although it's definitely a case of too little too late. After testing Ty with vervain to make sure he's not also a vampire she calls "Bill" to ask for his help with her vampire problem. It doesn't take long for Bill to show up and reassure her that she doesn't need to get her hands dirty dealing with vamp-Caroline: he'll take care of her. Meanwhile Ty figures out that the off taste in that morning's coffee was vervain and he confronts mom on Caroline's whereabouts. When she insists he can't be with Caroline because she's a monster Ty realizes his mom has no idea about what he is. He drags her to the old Lockwood
The episode ends with Caroline locked in a room and shackled to a chair. A moment later Bill arrives, ready to slay the demon. And by the way, turns out Bill's her dad.
Its no real surprise that Stefan is going to be redeemed but how Klaus will ultimately be defeated promises to be interesting. On top of that the moments between Damon and Elena are just getting better--more please! I'm also curious to see what happens with Jeremy's ghosts, although I still think this is a storyline we could have done without. And what's up with Caroline's dad? He didn't even flinch when Carol told him the vampire was Caroline. Is it just me or are the parents in this town a little too eager to kill off their kids? Billy missed curfew again--go fetch the shotgun. But it'll be fun to watch her get out of this one; I have the feeling it won't be because Bill has a change of heart. Tune in for more exciting adventures next week!
Appearance: Pale human until the vampire emerges, then dark/red eyes, dark facial veins and sharp fangs.
Strengths: Super strength, speed. Heightened senses. Ability to compel humans (Klaus can also compel other vampires). Fine-tuned skills of brooding and intimidation.
Weaknesses: Werewolf bites (Klaus's blood is the only cure). Vervain.
Mythology: To be turned a person needs to die with vampire blood in their system; to complete the transition they need to feed on human blood, otherwise they'll die permanently. As the hybrid, nothing can hurt Klaus.
Stefan: I get that we're stuck together but if we could maybe just skip the chitchat that would be great.
Klaus: So much brooding. Your self-loathing is suffocating you, my friend.
Were girl: [to Stefan] Who are you?
Klaus: The important question is who am I.
Ray: You said it was gonna feel better. Why doesn't it feel better?
Stefan: Some master race.
Klaus: Lose the attitude.
Carol: Vervain? What are you talking about?
Ty: Let's skip the part where we pretend we don't know about the vampires in this town.
Elena: [re: Stefan] Damon, is he okay?
Damon: No, he's not okay, Elena. He's an insufferable martyr who needs his ass kicked. But he can be saved.
The Vampire Diaries, Season 3 Episode 2 "The Hybrid." Written by Al Septien and Turi Meyer. Directed by Josh Butler. From The CW.