SPOILER ALERT: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 13 of The CW's The Vampire Diaries, entitled, "Bringing Out the Dead."
Are you still breathing? Because I'm not so sure that I've regained full use of my lungs yet. Bravo, Joseph Morgan. That was one of the most compelling performances in the history of The Vampire Diaries and one of my favorite episodes ever.
It was like a scene out of Julius Caesar, watching Klaus fall at the hands of those he thought he could trust most: his family. It was an incredible scene, watching each Original inflict their own sense of revenge on their hybrid brother. And yet even though they were justified in their anger, I couldn't quite bear the thought of knowing how much pain Klaus was really in.
For as long as he's been alive, Klaus has sought acceptance. In the absence of family -- and love -- he created an army of hybrids. Not only would they protect him, but they would also be his confidants.
After Elijah's return, it really seemed as though Klaus wanted a relationship with his brother. He even told Elijah that he was the one who killed their mother, the Original Witch. So for Elijah to turn on Klaus was a punch in the gut, not only for the hybrid, but also for us.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels this way, but Season 3 has made me fall absolutely in love with Klaus. Sure, Joseph Morgan's pretty easy on the eyes -- and that accent! -- but Klaus is one of the most interesting and complex characters in TVD history.
He's an empathic antihero, and even though we should hate him, we root for him -- even when it means an even bigger headache for Stefan and Damon.
In the biggest twist of the episode, we find out that the person in the fourth coffin is none other than the Original Witch herself. (I don't know about you guys, but I thought that the Original Petrova was a pretty believable option, too.)
You see, Stefan forced both Bonnie and her mother to find a way to open up the coffin, so they had to find a way to work together (and trust one another) in order to crack the lock. It looks like the witches can be useful for some things, because they eventually opened the coffin and released the Orignal Witch in all her ethereal greatness.
And just when we think that it's all over for Klaus -- for the record, he did, too -- the Original Witch, in front of all of the Originals, tells Klaus that she's there to forgive him. Because that's what family does. They forgive.
She forgave Klaus, just as Stefan needed to forgive Damon for kissing Elena, Bonnie needed to forgive her mother for leaving, and Caroline needed to forgive her father for his decisions.
In the final scene, we're left with the Originals, once again whole -- once again a family. Whether you're a fan of Klaus or not, it was a beautiful moment. Hopefully, this means that we get to know all the Originals better and, more importantly, how they all work together.
Up until this point, we've only seen Klaus interact with one family member at a time, but now, it's going to be like Keeping Up with the Originals in Mystic Falls. Let's just hope that Klaus can avoid an ill-fated, 72-day marriage (watch out, Caroline!).
Meanwhile, "Bringing Out the Dead" was also a big episode for fans of Stefan/Elena -- and Damon/Elena -- as both brothers confess to each other that they love the henley-loving doppelganger. So Stefan loves Elena, and Damon loves Elena, but who does Elena love? Something tells me that she enjoyed Damon's and her midnight porch kiss more than she wants herself to believe.
We also discovered that another pair of brothers went through a similar love triangle centuries ago. While hosting an intimate dinner party for brooding vampire brothers, Klaus reveals the story of the Original Petrova.
Klaus and Elijah both fell in love with Tatia, the Original Petrova. Is this starting to sound familiar? This obviously means that Nina Dobrev is the most beautiful women ever. She's like the face that launched a thousand daggers.
So it was the Petrova's blood that the Original Witch -- Klaus' mother -- forced her family to drink, which means that it was the Petrova's blood that turned Klaus and his family into the Original vampires.
After story time, things start to get real. Klaus needs Elena -- well, more specifically, her doppelganger blood -- to create more hybrids, so he's not complying with Damon and Stefan's demands that he leave Mystic Falls.
Klaus isn't one to boss around, so in a surprise move he attacks Stefan, restrains him, and threatens Damon that he'll burn his brother if he doesn't bring the fourth coffin to him. So Damon goes off with Elijah, and little did Stefan know that his brother was going to betray him and awaken their siblings.
As we know, they were not happy.
Even though things worked out in Klaus' favor, poor Caroline had a tough episode. We knew that someone was going to die in this episode, but I really didn't want it to be Bill. Caroline's lost a lot this season, and now she had to lose her father, too.
In "The Ties That Bind," Tyler mortally wounded Bill during his transformation, and Meredith -- Doctor Psycho -- had to save his life by injecting him with vampire blood. He may have lived, but he wasn't happy about it.
Well, how would you feel if you spent your whole life hating vampires and then your life is saved by the blood of the creatures you hate most?
But it looks like someone (Dr. Psycho!) didn't appreciate his complaining, so Bill ends up getting himself staked. He would have died -- again -- if he didn't already have vampire's blood in his veins.
However, that means that he's just about to turn into a vampire. For Bill, that's a fate worse than death, and he's not going to let it happen.
Unfortunately, for Caroline, this means that she has to watch her father die. Bill didn't want to be a vampire. It went against all his beliefs, but in his final hour, he could finally come to terms with his daughter's fate. As hard as it was for Caroline to say goodbye, at least she knew that her father loved her for who she is now -- and not who she was.
Back at Elena's house, it looks like a scene from CSI: Mystic Falls. Elena and Matt come home to find Ric staked and dying. The Mystic Falls ripper strikes again.
Now, even though I want to say that the serial stabber is Meredith, I'm not quite sure. Yes, Ric caught on to his "dirty little doctor" and went to accuse her of stabbing Bill, but didn't Ric tell Meredith about his ring? So if she really wanted to kill him, wouldn't she have found a way to get his ring off?
Either way, in order to save Ric, Elena turns into "Elena the Vampire-Hunter Killer."
The only was to save Ric was to kill him. Confusing, I know. But since Elena's a supernatural doppelganger, she was the one that needed to kill Ric. However, I'm going to have to agree with Matt on this one: Elena, that was messed up!
On a final note, why is Matt so perfect? Seriously, he's the perfect guy. He's always there when Elena or Caroline needs him. No wonder Klaus suggested that Elena marry Matt -- much to the dismay of Damon and Stefan, of course.
Hopefully, next week we start to see some Klaus/Caroline action, because I've grown strangely attached to the idea of this super-hot blond vamp couple. Maybe Klaus can help her deal with her father's death?
"I need you to stand by my side. Be my brother. Help me kill Stefan, and I promise you that our family will be whole again."
"Why don't you ask Ric if his dirty little doctor stole the weapon?"
"I refuse to believe that your luck is that tragic."
--Elena (oh, but it is)
"Makes me nostalgic for the time when my brother was a bunny-stroking pacifist."
"Elijah, my favorite Original, back from the dead."
"That's got to be hard, when you're dad hates the one thing that you can't change about yourself."
"We're just buying some time before my wicked witches find a way to pop it open."
"Just remember, if it wasn't for Klaus, you wouldn't have been such a dick, and that kiss would have never happened."
"Hey, Stef, remember when you killed Dad? You might want to dull down the judgement."
--Damon (oh, snap!)
"I hated him so much for what he did to me. So much. But now all I want to do is save his life."
"Gentlemen, the worst thing for Elena Gilbert is the two of you."
"It's this town, It's messed up. None of us should have to live this way."
--Matt, the voice of wisdom
"Matt Donovan, really?"
--Damon, who really doesn't like Klaus' suggestion as to who Elena should marry
"Caroline, my strengths are all in my beliefs."
--Bill Forbes (I want to cry)
"Please don't leave me, Daddy. Please don't leave me."
--Caroline (I really want to cry)
"This is life. This is what it means to be human."
--Bill (OK, I'm crying)
"I love her, Damon."
--Stefan, to Damon
"So do I."
--Damon, to Stefan
"You're free to go. This is family business."
--Elijah (I really love Elijah and his accent)
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.