The Vampire Diaries returned from its month long hiatus with a (bloody) bang. As promised, the show began with a flashback to 1912 when a serial killer was wreaking havoc on the founding families of Mystic Falls. Viewers were quickly taken back to the present day where history seemed to be repeating itself.
Before the Vampire Diaries took a break, the audience was left wondering if Alaric Saltzman (Matthew Davis) was going to survive a gunshot by Dr. Meredith Fell (Torrey Devitto). Spoilers revealed that everyone's favorite Mystic Falls teacher was going to pull through, and sure enough he did. Alaric wakes up behind bars to learn that Dr. Fell is framing him for the founding family murders that have taken place within the past couple weeks. With his gunshot wound healed by vampire blood, and the evidence mounting against him, it doesn't look like Alaric will be breaking out anytime soon.
Meanwhile, everyone's favorite vampire brothers are being a little moody. Damon (Ian Somerhalder) is pushing the always caring Elena (Nina Dobrev) away, while Stephen (Paul Wesley) is suffering from withdrawal from vampire blood. Even though neither brother seems to want to be bothered with Elena, they surprisingly have set their differences aside to work together in discovering who the Mystic Falls serial killer is.
Another flashback to 1912 shows viewers a side of the Salvatore brothers they have not witnessed. Damon and Stephen are reunited at a family member's funeral (a victim of the serial killer) after being apart for 50 years. It's in 1912 that Damon and Stephen encounter a butt-kicking red-headed vampire named Sage (Cassidy Freeman), who original vampire Rebekah (Claire Holt) described as a trashy little thing.
The present day seems to be getting more complicated for the residents of Mystic Falls. Rebekah is on a mission to find a white oak tree that could eliminate her entire family of original vampires, but discovers that the information she needs is right under Damon and Stephen's nose. Elena learns from Dr. Fell that her guardian, Alaric, was arrested four times under the age of 21, and her birth mother, Isabel, had filed two restraining orders against him while in college. On a mission to save Alaric's good name, Elena enlists the help of Matt (Zach Roerig) to break into Dr. Fell's home to find evidence of his innocence. Their investigation is cut short when Dr. Fell returns home and catches them. Matt saves the day though, stealing a journal from 1912 that belonged Elena's relative, Samantha Gilbert.
Viewers were able to learn a little bit more about Sage's influence on the Salvatore brothers. From the flashbacks it seems that Damon's womanizing ways began when he met the beautiful red-head, who told him that women shouldn't just be used for their blood. I do not need a woman for pleasure, I am spoken for, Damon retaliates, referencing Katherine who was supposed to be stuck in a tomb for 100 years. Obviously Damon didn't need too much more convincing, and Sage dares him to seduce (and kill) Elena's relative, Samantha Gilbert. Damon's new outlook on feeding from humans encourages him to bond with Stephen, who had stopped drinking from humans. Convincing him to just have a little bit, Stephen goes overboard, ripping off the head of a woman belonging to a founding family. It's in 1912 that viewers get to see how Stephen turned into the ripper.
Present day Mystic Falls finds Alaric being released from jail after a piece of evidence linking him to a murder is deemed false. Audiences also see history repeating itself, with Damon convincing Stephen to have some human blood, after all, you can't go cold turkey brother. Unfortunately for Stephen, Elena and Matt just happen to be walking down the street and find him with blood dripping down his mouth. Upset by what she saw, Elena confides in Matt that she always felt safe with Stephen, but is now starting to doubt it. But what surprised viewers the most is Elena's admittance that she is indeed in love with his brother Damon. Damon just sort of snuck up on me, Elena tells Matt, Whatever I do I just can't shake him.
It seems that Stephen can't shake Damon either, because the generally feuding brothers finally have a moment that could possibly end their hatred of each other forever. Whenever you go too far I will be there to pull you back, Damon tells Stephen. Cause right now your all I got.
While the Salvatore's finally settle their differences, Alaric returns to Elena's, only to gets a surprise visit from Dr. Fell who wants to explain why she shot him and had him thrown in jail. I think you're sick and I want to help you, Dr. Fell tells Alaric. Dr. Fell thinks that Alaric, who has been able to cheat death numerous times due to a magic ring, is going insane due to the piece of jewelry. The audience learns that almost 100-years-ago the same thing happened to Samantha Gilbert. Elena's relative had survived being bled dry by Damon because of a magic ring, the same one that Alaric now wears. Cheating death had eventually driven her insane and leads her to murder founding members of Mystic Falls.
In a shocking twist, Vampire Diaries viewers learn that Alaric is indeed the Mystic Falls serial killer. Samantha Gilbert's journal explains her symptoms, the same that have been occurring for the present-day teacher.
Vampire Diaries fans will have to wait one more week to actually see Alaric in one of his murderous moods. Previews for the next episode also show a present day visit to Mystic Falls from Sage, who has supposedly returned to find her love, original vampire Finn.