Episode 3.05 TVD – “The Reckoning” or “Once Upon a Time…” (10/20/2011)

After so many months of wondering just what was going to happen to Matt, he turned out to be the most important character in this episode – and proved that he loves his friends enough to make the ultimate sacrifice for them.

Matt and Bonnie accidentally happen upon Klaus in the gym, just after he’s killed “Not Now Dana.”   Klaus informs Bonnie that he needs information from the Original Witch on how to make his hybrid army – and promptly forces his blood into Tyler’s mouth and snaps his neck to add a dash of urgency to his request.

The look on Matt’s face when Klaus snaps Tyler’s neck is priceless – go Matt!

Despite feeling alone and isolated, Matt determines that if Jeremy could talk to the dead after dying and coming back, so could he.  He then trusted Bonnie’s skill with CPR and stepped off the deck and into the pool, with a big old weight hooked to his belt.  He drowned, but before he is completely dead, Bonnie is able to save him, and he gives her a message from Vicki – so that Bonnie can save Tyler.

If Caroline is the character who represents cheerful perseverance, Matt is the one who represents genuine loyalty.  It is going to be interesting to see what happens now that he can communicate with the dead.  Vicki’s motives – despite her love for her brother – are clearly suspect.

Matt’s story arc – and specifically the information he gets from Vicki before Bonnie successfully revives him – provides key information for Klaus.  And I am left marveling at how the writers have – once again – made the best use of all the characters to weave an irresistible story that, once disclosed, not only explains the past but moves the plot forward yet again, all while dropping yet more interesting clues as to what may happen next.

It seems that the Original Witch hated Klaus, and told him that the doppelgänger needed to die in order for him to become a hybrid.  Vicki tells Matt that Elena must die in order for Bonnie to save Tyler.  But Klaus suspects the information and tries an experiment.  Rather than killing Elena, he has Tyler drink her blood – and Tyler, unlike the other hybrid attempts – does not get the bloody eyes, go rabid, and die.

Rebekah reflects that the Original Witch is still screwing with Klaus after a thousand years.  But Klaus says it makes sense if you look at it from her point of view.  The intent was that Klaus would be alone for eternity.  The Original Witch hated him.  So this isn’t about balance at all – this was revenge.

But for what?  I have a theory on that – read further please.

Now that he knows he can breed his hybrid army with Elena’s blood (a supply of which he is taking by compelling hospital staff),  Klaus reveals to his sister Rebekah that the whole point of creating a hybrid army was not for power, but so he would not have to be alone.

The look of pain on Rebekah’s face is perfect.  Klaus had a loving family – one that he apparently can’t completely abandon because he’s carrying them around with him.  But Rebekah knows that Klaus destroyed it.  And now he wants to turn around and create a new one.  Klaus is ashamed in the moment and tries to hide his shame from his sister, who walks away – just as Damon shows up.

From Damon and Katherine’s road trip (with Jeremy in the trunk) we learn that Katherine’s friend Pearl knew about Mikael the Vampire Hunter, but did not divulge the information to Katherine – only to her daughter Anna – thus the need for Jeremy.  Anna tells him (with a little persuasion from Damon) that Mikael is asleep and you don’t want to wake him. But Damon tells Klaus that Mikael is on his way to Mystic Falls.

Klaus is so terrified that he leaves, presumably with only the blood he’s managed to get from Elena so far, because he leaves without Elena and his new hybrid, Tyler.

Damon carries Elena home from the hospital, returns the Original Witch’s necklace to her, offers to compel her to forget (this is progress for Damon – he asked her permission), which she refuses, and tells her he will never leave her again.

But Stefan unexpectedly enters the room, takes a drink, and announces that he’s Klaus’s watchdog – and Damon and Elena are free to “carry on”.

I strongly suspect that Stefan has not “turned off” his emotions at all.  I think it’s an act.  Klaus is gone, but little sister Rebekah remains behind and will undoubtedly be reporting back to her big brother.  Klaus himself said he’d never seen anything like the love Stefan has for Elena – and regardless of what Elena thinks she saw happen, I don’t believe Klaus was truly able to compel Stefan to turn off his emotions completely.

After all, Klaus’ test of the compulsion was for Stefan to feed on Elena – and Elena’s still alive.  What happened to the Ripper?  My suspicion is that Klaus – now a hybrid – has lost some of his Original Vampire power, including the power to compel another vampire.  Or it could be something else?

Mind-control vs. compulsion?  Where have we seen that before?

At the end of the episode, we see Katherine and Jeremy (how’s that for an odd pairing) at a crypt with the name “Pickett” on it, in the oldest wing of the largest cemetery in Charlotte, NC.  Mikael was apparently entombed there in the 1990’s by a witch.  (I’m betting that witch was Sheila Bennett, Bonnie’s grandmother.)

Why is Mikael – a vampire – hunting vampires?  I think he cultivated his reputation as a vampire hunter for the sake of fear, but that his true mission was to kill Klaus before he could remove the curse and become a hybrid.

I am also guessing that the Original witch hated Klaus because she was aligned with the Original family BEFORE they became vampires.

So here is my theory.

The Original Vampire Papa is Mikael, and his last name is Saltzman, and his descendants include Alaric Saltzman, Mystic Falls’ resident Vampire Hunter.

The Original Vampire Mama is Esther, and her last name is Petrova, and her descendants (through her daughter Charlotte) will be the Petrova doppelgänger.

Her best friend was the Original Witch, whose descendants will be Bennetts, and the origins of the Bennett animosity towards vampires is explained further below.

When they were human, Mikael and Esther had 7 children, but Mikael was not the father of one of them.  Esther’s secret shame is that she sired a son by another man (who happened to carry the werewolf curse).  This son was Klaus (who has inherited the werewolf curse).

When the family was still human, Klaus fell in love – with the daughter of the Original Witch.  Klaus’s older brother was also in love with Original Witch daughter (the proverbial triangle).

Two events occurred that altered both families in profound ways.

First, the Original Witch discovered Esther’s shameful secret.  Mikael – outraged by his wife’s betrayal, tracks down the other man and kills him and his entire family, thus creating the seeds of animosity between the werewolves and vampires.

Second, Klaus, as a result of being “outed” by the Original Witch, is now a virtual outcast from his family.  He attempts to kill her daughter (who, once the secret was revealed, wants nothing more to do with Klaus, isolating him even further.)  The Original Witch intervenes in order to save her daughter – who escapes.  The Original Witch, however, is mortally wounded.

Feeling betrayed by her friend, and angry that her daughter had been put in danger because Klaus’ lineage and attempted murder, and knowing her end is near, the Original Witch puts a curse on the entire family, turning them into vampires.

But Mikael begs the Original Witch for help.  He wants to know if there is any way to kill a vampire.  He will take care of exacting revenge on Klaus.  She tells him that she only way to kill an Original Vampire is with a dagger carved from the wood of a white oak tree.

Mikael, following the witch’s instructions, attempts to kill Klaus with a dagger carved from white oak, but because of his werewolf blood, Klaus is completely unaffected.  Stunned by his Father’s attempt to kill him, and angry with his family, Klaus sets the white oak tree on fire.

Enraged, Mikael comes after Klaus again, but Klaus side-steps him and Mikael plunges the dagger into his wife, Esther, who dies instantly.

Now, knowing that her spell will be ineffective on Klaus, the Original Witch curses him further and very specifically.  Although his werewolf blood is protecting him from death by means of the white oak dagger, the Witch suppresses his werewolf attributes with a curse, which she seals with the blood of a Petrova –Esther.

Klaus – knowing that she is dying – forces the Original Witch to tell him how to remove the hybrid curse.  She reveals that he will need a vampire, a werewolf, a witch, and to drink the blood of a Petrova doppelgänger (who will come from Esther’s Petrova lineage through her daughter, Charlotte) until she is dead.  Klaus then kills the Original Witch and fleas his home, accompanied by his loyal brother Elijah.

Klaus, whose sister Charlotte had children, now begins a hunt for Charlotte in order to track the Petrova doppelgänger – while the Petrova family members take pains to protect Charlotte and her descendants.  In 1490, Katerina Petrova – a doppelgänger – gives birth to a baby girl.  The baby is immediately removed before Katerina can even hold her.

Katerina is banished and winds up in England, where she meets Trevor, who recognizes her as a Petrova doppelgänger. Wanting to ingratiate himself with Klaus, he introduces her to his brother, Elijah, who immediately knows who she is, and who is struck by her resemblance to his sister Charlotte.

Klaus, believing he has found his doppelgänger, makes plans for her sacrifice.  Katerina thwarts his plans.  Klaus goes on a murderous rampage, killing everyone in her family.

But he doesn’t stop there.  He then starts killing off members of his, Original family.  Believing Elijah has betrayed him, Elijah becomes his first intended victim.  But Elijah escapes Klaus’s wrath.

Those in his family who can do so escape.  Klaus spends centuries hunting them down and killing them with daggers dipped in white oak ash, but places them in individual coffins and carries them with him wherever he goes.)  Due to his hybrid lineage, using the dagger and white oak ash doesn’t kill Klaus when he uses it to kill his vampire family members.

Mikael, however, eludes Klaus at every turn.  Mikael becomes the first in a long line of Vampire Hunters, tracking Klaus across the centuries in order to get his family back, and to prevent Klaus from becoming a true hybrid and creating a hybrid race.

I can hardly wait for the next few episodes for those breadcrumbs that the writer put into each episode as they continue to weave the story of these people and their families.  I don’t care if I am right or wrong about any of my speculation.  The Vampire Diaries is like a great book that you can’t put down.

Best Show On Television!!!!!

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