This week’s episode of “Vampire Diaries,” ‘The Five,” which has nothing to do with the Fox News show, lays out the rest of the season’s myth arc in a way that would impress Joseph Campbell. It’s a game changer, and, potentially, a reset button.
Open with a flashback to 1100 A.D. A group of five shirtless men stand in the woods. The Fox News version of “The Five” would be more interesting if it were about five shirtless pundits performing magic rituals. It should come as no surprise to regular TVD viewers that in olden times the men were shirtless, with sculpted abs and waxed chests. We see the Original Witch casting a spell with a cauldron of fire and forging a sword with the same symbol that is on Connor’s tattoo. The shirtless dudes also have the same vampire hunter tattoos. Right now, someone is taking screen shots of this scene to take to their neighborhood tattoo parlor.
In the present, Damon (Ian Somerhalder), goes through boxes of Connor’s (Todd Williams) stuff that he stole from his trailer. Damon tells Stefan (Paul Wesley) that they didn’t find the body. They both conclude that Connor is alive. Stefan proclaims himself over their brotherly fight though he will always be angry that Elena (Nina Dobrev) fed on Damon. Damon tells him to find Connor because he will be busy teaching Elena to feed on humans. They are going on a field trip to a college campus where Bonnie is going to speak to a professor who took over Gram’s teaching load.
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Elena tells Stefan that she has to get Damon to teach her to feed because she almost killed Matt. She’s allergic to animal blood. The blood bags don’t work. She needs it straight from the source. This scene reminds me of my Mom’s stories about how when I was baby I refused to drink from a bottle. In a huge writer wank, she says she can’t study with Caroline because she is too good at self control and doesn’t understand her struggle. It’s one of those just-go-with-it-because-it-further- the-triangle plot points. Stefan is out because of his Ripper tendencies. So she has to work with Damon.
Klaus (Joseph Morgan) has Connor trussed up to a torture contraption. He is, of course, shirtless. It looks extremely kinky. Stefan arrives, having deduced that Klaus would not have bothered to hide Connor. Klaus tells him that his S&M device is left over from the Inquisition. Ha! I want to see Klaus’s collection of memorabilia from every era he has survived. I bet he has a pristine copy of the first issue of Superman. Connor won’t talk. Stefan asks Klaus what the Five is. We flashback to the 1100s. Klaus and Elijah (!) (Daniel Gilles) find witness Alexander, one of the Five, burning vampires in front of a crowd full of people. Rebekah (Claire Holt), of course, fell in love with him. Klaus will tell Stefan everything if Stefan gets Rebekah to make up with him.
Rebekah buys Matt (Zach Roerig) a new truck. He tells her to apologize to Elena instead. Klaus tells her she is trying too hard. Then he tells her the Brotherhood of the Five still exists. She refuses to reteam with him, since she still is angry. Matt is surprised that Rebekah and April (Grace Phipps) are friends. He says he’ll keep the truck. Stefan compels April to forget, then tells Rebekah to fake forgive Klaus. In turn, Stefan will forgive her for real, and get Matt to forgive her.
Rebekah joins Klaus or dinner. She and Klaus have a hilariously awful sibling argument. Stefan says, “Let me just name the million other people I’d rather be having dinner with.” Klaus tells Stefan about Rebekah’s fling with Alexander. In a flashback, he describes himself as part of a band of five dedicated to destroying all vampires. They have the ultimate weapon. Klaus says they need to solve the puzzle of the tattoo which is a map leading them to the weapon. He forces Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) to stare at shirtless Connor and draw the tattoo that only he can see. It’s a nice bit of continuity to bring back Jeremy’s art skills. Connor tells Jeremy he met someone with the tattoo years ago. The guy said he had it in his DNA to hunt vampires. If Connor could see it, he was a potential Hunter too. Then the tattoo mysteriously appeared on Connor’s arm. The more vampires he killed the more it spread. He doesn’t know what it means. Jeremy tells Klaus what he learned. Connor bites his hybrid guard, using the distraction to steal a tool he can use to free himself. He breaks free and decapitates the guard.
Klaus tells Stefan that Rebekah slept with Alexander to learn more about the tattoo. Alexander is hot. I don’t think that was the only reason she hooked up with him. In the past, she accepts Alexander’s invitation to leave with him while he follows the map. She sees his dagger which he describes as a weapon for a special kind of vampire. He daggers her while they are making love then daggers all the other Originals while they sleep. In the present, Klaus says the dagger didn’t work on him, of course, because he is a hybrid. In the past ,Klaus removes Rebekah’s dagger. She discovers that Klaus has killed the Five. In the present, Rebekah admits that the map supposedly leads to a cure for vampirism! Whoa!
Klaus doesn’t believe it. He exposits that the the Five’s tattoos disappeared when Klaus killed them. Rebekah realizes Klaus wants to find the cure so he can rehumanize Elena and make more hybrids. Klaus wants Stefan to get Rebekah to tell him where the sword that deciphers the map is. Stefan can save Elena if he works with Klaus. Rebekah tells Stefan that Alex promised to marry her. Oh, Rebekah. In 1000 years, of life, you have yet to read a self-help book. She tells Stefan that she can’t help Klaus get what he wants. Stefan says he would become human if it meant growing old with Elena. Rebekah, ever the romantic, says she buried Alexander with his sword in the chapel where they were going to be married. Klaus was, of course, eavesdropping. Rebekah angrily says she would rather love too easily than be Klaus. He daggers her. Klaus tells Stefan he needs to compel Jeremy to forget and must not tell anyone, not even Damon or Elena about the cure.
Meanwhile, Damon, Elena and Bonnie are going to college. Professor Shane (David Alpay), whom Damon refers to as “witchipedia” is, of course, super hot. Damon helps her pick out a potential victim, advising her to avoid stoners and geeks. Elena strikes up a conversation with a perky blonde, then compels her, but she sees a photo of the girl’s little sister, feels guilty, and compels her to go back to class. Bonnie scores an invite to a “murder house” costume frat party. Damon proclaims it perfect: douche central.
Damon dresses as Jack the Ripper, which is perfect, and Bonnie and Elena are his two victims. Professor Shane is at the party, which is a huge clue that he is not who he appears to be. Professor Shane tells Bonnie that he is a true believer. He says that there are other ways she can practice magic even though she has been stripped of her powers.
Elena sees a guy slipping a roofie into a girl’s drink. She’s going to be the Dexter of vampires. She compels him not to make a sound and drinks. Damon reminds her not to kill him but she has trouble stopping herself. Finally Damon gets her to let go. She compels him to leave. She is elated and tells Damon she wants more. She compels and drinks from a girl at the party. She dances with blood all over her face looking like a member of the Manson family. Then she and Damon end up doing the flirtatious pre-hook-up dance that is a ritual at every frat party. Elena suddenly comes down from the blood high. Elena tells Bonnie she should be with Stefan, not Damon. Damon tells Bonnie that Elena is like him. The reason he isn’t a ripper because he has fun being a vampire. Elena admits to Damon that deep down she thinks Damon is right but she doesn’t want to be like him. Elena returns home. She tells Stefan it was awful and she got caught up in it. She can’t live like this, fueling Stefan’s determination to find the cure.
The professor has a parchment with a picture of the tattoo. Connor shows up at his office and asks why he sent him to Mystic Falls.