"The Vampire Diaries" finally caught up with the real Elena in the episode "The Five." After Stefan has been angsting over his vampiric fate for a century, it seemed odd that the girl who never wanted to be a vampire was so cool with her transformation. It turns out that Elena's conscience is alive and well, but her human nature might just destroy her.
With Stefan's "ripper" tendencies, it's impossible for him to help his girlfriend with her blood lust. That leaves Damon, who leads her carefully down the path of luring, controlling, and gorging on humans at a college frat party. Dancing provocatively with Damon, blood streaked on her face, Elena only breaks out of her new happy-vampire state when she catches Bonnie staring at her in horror.
The elder Salvatore gets his heart stomped on again when Elena makes it clear that while her vampire nature agrees with his life philosophy, the dominant part of her doesn't want to be anything like him. Both brothers know, however, that Elena's gentle soul will shrivel when she inevitably takes a life, and she will no doubt switch off her emotions -- permanently.
That reality drives Stefan to unite with Klaus, once they find out the true nature of The Five. Back in the 12th century, a witch gave swords and power to five men to become vampire hunters. Rebekah fell in love with one of them, but he betrayed her, staking her and her siblings. Klaus' werewolf blood kept him safe, and he returned the favor, murdering all five hunters. He thought they'd been wiped out, until Connor showed up.
While the original Five's magically created tattoos were visible, Connor's can only be seen by Jeremy. Threatening his life as always, Klaus gets the young Gilbert to draw a representation of Connor's tattoo. Rebekah reveals to a stunned Stefan that the tattoo is supposedly a map to a cure for vampirism. In Connor's case, however, his markings are incomplete, though they expand each time he kills a vampire.
As evil as she's been, one can't help feeling sorry for Rebekah at this point. Motivated by helping cure Elena, Stefan gains his former girlfriend's confidence and smooth-talks her into revealing the location of the original vampire hunter's sword, which holds the key to deciphering the tattoo map. Once again Rebekah has had to pay for trusting a man, and she gets staked by her brother for the 400th time, though he actually seems a bit remorseful this time.
While the vamps are embroiled in their own drama, Bonnie is cozying up to a hot professor who gives intriguing lectures on witchcraft and the supernatural. To his classroom he claims it's all mythical, but in private he confesses to Bonnie that he's a true believer. When he asks if she practices, she feels comfortable enough telling him that she's a former dabbler but stopped due to the "consequences." He tells her he has no magic himself.
Truth and lies get jumbled up when Connor kills his hybrid guard and escapes Klaus' clutches. He presented himself as a loner who wasn't quite sure what all this "Five" nonsense was about. But when Jeremy passes along the info about the changing tattoo to Klaus, the hunter almost seems pleased, as if he knows they've taken the bait. Then he reports in to someone who asks him why he's not in Mystic Falls killing vampires, and it turns out that someone is Bonnie's professor.
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