We sure hope Nina Dobrev got paid overtime for this week’s episode, which sees her play three different roles (kinda): Modern Day Elena, Modern Day Katherine, and Ye Olde 15th Century Katherine, AKA Katerina. But while Katherine’s backstory proved interesting enough (we’re waiting for the baby she birthed and relinquished in the 15th century to pop up again one of these days), this new subplot involving The Originals and the doppelganger sacrifice just keeps getting bigger by the week. But when will we finally meet Klaus?

Before “TVD” goes into a brief Thanksgiving hiatus (returning Dec. 2), it serves up a few new faces in the form of a vampire hipster nerd and a mysterious father and son duo with an unknown agenda. We learn that Klaus’s curse-breaking scheme might involve killing everyone and not just Elena, and that certain vampires have Twilight-esque special powers.

And for those of us so inclined, the show serves up a new potential love triangle AND a smattering of sexytime to tide us over during the break. It’s been so long since a Salvatore has taken his shirt off, we’ve almost forgotten what it feels like! Bear with the flashbacks as we sit through Storytime with Katherine and remember that there’s a light at the end of the episode, and its name is Ian Somerhalder’s Abs.

[Full recap of Thursday's (Nov. 11) "The Vampire Diaries," titled "Katerina," after the break…]

Bulgaria, 1490: Nina Dobrev is Katerina, who gives birth to a baby girl before her daddy takes it away and scolds Katerina for getting knocked up and bringing shame to the family.

Mystic Falls, Present Day: Elena has been summoned to the Salvatore Mansion to hear Rose share intel on the old timey vampires. Klaus is one of The Originals; Elijah was one of his foot soldiers. Yada yada yada, more stuff we already know. Rose thinks these old dudes are worth worrying about, but Damon and Stefan try to allay Elena’s growing fears that Klaus is now coming after her. “If you’re not afraid of Klaus, then you’re an idiot,” says Rose. Elena leaves for class because remember? She’s still in HIGH SCHOOL.

Over at Mystic Falls High, Jeremy and Bonnie are working on their budding romance. He kinda-sorta asks her out to play pool at the Grill after school and Bonnie agrees with some hesitation, since she’s still wrapping her head around the possibility of playing tonsil hockey with her best friend’s little bro. They’re interrupted by Luka, an attractive new kid who asks for directions and exchanges glances with Bonnie. Is there a love triangle in the making so soon for Jerennie?

Elena’s actually playing hooky from school today to secretly visit Katherine in the tomb to get answers about this Klaus guy, with Caroline along as her protection. Caroline muscles open the tomb door and a parched Katherine stumbles to the entryway, still trapped inside the doorway by Bonnie’s spell. Caroline reluctantly leaves the two in privacy and Nina Dobrev faces off against herself.

With Katherine weakened by thirst and trapped inside the tomb, Elena has the upper hand for once; she’s also got a bottle full of sweet, sweet blood to use as a bribe. Elena parses out a shot of blood and pushes it into the tomb, and Katherine starts talking.

Katherine’s history with Klaus dates back to England 1492, after her disapproving daddy kicked her out for being a slut. The baby was given away and Katherine was exiled to England, which is where she met Klaus – the first vampire of all-time history ever. When she found out the truth about him, she ran. Literally. Nina Dobrev is about to do a lot of running during this week’s episode.

FLASHBACK: “Katerina” flees through the woods, pursued by Klaus’s longhaired Number 2, Elijah. (Side note: Elijah sounds rather English to my ear, but is played by Canadian born-New Zealand raised actor Daniel Gillies, AKA Rachel Leigh Cook’s husband.) Elijah and his vampire goons are distracted by Trevor, Elena’s ill-fated vampire kidnapper from last week, who helps Katerina escape therefore incurring Elijah’s wrath for the next 500 or so years.

CUT TO PRESENT DAY IN THE TOMB: Katherine reveals that Klaus wanted to do to her exactly what he wants to do to Elena – sacrifice her and drain her blood to break the vampire curse.

Over at the Salvatore Mansion, Damon and Rose trade friendly barbs. He teases her for being sad over Trevor’s death; she ribs him for being in love with Elena. Damon wonders how Rose got in touch with Klaus, and she name drops yet another new vampire we have yet to meet: “A guy named Slater in Richmond.” (A guy named Slater, Rose? Is his first name, perhaps, A.C.??? We can only hope.)

Caroline catches up with Stefan, who’s on his way to check on Elena since he’s the kind of boyfriend who notices when you don’t show up at school. BECAUSE HE KNOWS WHERE YOU ARE AT ALL TIMES. Caroline confesses that she told Tyler the truth about her vampireness, which will piss Damon off.

Back at the tomb, Elena feeds Katherine more blood and finds out that Klaus wants a Petrova sacrifice because the original vampire curse was bound with Petrova blood and magick likes things to come full circle. The doppelganger was created, Katherine explains, as a way to break the spell -- like breeding clones to harvest organs. (Will clone-doppelganger Elena go all ScarJo in The Island or Carey Mulligan in Never Let Me Go?)

FLASHBACK: Katerina is STILL running through the forest. She comes to the cottage that Trevor directed her to and finds Vampire Rose and an older human maid lady under Rose’s control. Katerina has the moonstone in her possession, which she stole from Klaus before he could use it and her in the sacrifice ceremony. Rose schools Katerina on Klaus, telling her that nobody escapes from him. She locks Katerina in a room and plans on turning them both in that night.

PRESENT DAY: Rose takes Damon to Slater, the vampire at the bottom of the chain of command who can get a message to Klaus. Incidentally, it’s gonna be so hot when Rose and Damon get around to hooking up. They take the back entrance into a hip coffee shop with tempered windows (read: safe from burny sunlight) and meet Slater – a young-looking, scruffy, V-neck t-shirt wearing hipster dude who’s decidedly not the Slater I’d hoped for.  Slater’s a bit of a vampire history buff; he knows the details of Damon’s 1864 transformation by heart, which is sort of like a total stranger knowing when you lost your virginity to whatshisname/whatshername back in high school. 

FLASHBACK: Katerina has stabbed herself rather than return to Klaus. Rose, however, is determined not to let her just kill herself, and feeds her vampire blood to Katerina to heal her. NOW THERE’S VAMPIRE BLOOD INSIDE OF KATERINA! Trevor arrives just in time to admit to his BFF Rose that he loves Katerina, and if helping her angers Klaus then so be it. Katerina escapes and hangs herself in the next room, triggering her own transformation; knowing that Klaus would need to sacrifice a human Petrova doppelganger, she knew if she was a vampire she’d be free.

When Katerina wakes up newly vampirized, Rose and Trevor realize they’ve both been used. Rose attempts to stake Katerina but the wily newborn escapes after halfheartedly apologizing. Present day Elena chastises Katherine for ruining Rose and Trevor’s lives, but Katherine explains that she was and will always just look out for numero uno. Could Elena ever make the same choice?

Stefan and Caroline bond over salads at the Mystic Grill, which helps stave off Caroline’s “killing people” hunger. Stefan promises not to tell Damon that Caroline spilled the beans to Tyler, and admits that Caroline reminds him of his dead best friend, Lexi.

Over at another table, Bonnie runs into new kid Luka, who introduces her to his father, Dr. Jonas Martin. They’re from Louisiana, but OF COURSE Dr. Martin recognizes the Bennett family name… from his research in Salem, Massachusetts.

Damon and Rose catch Slater up on the latest happenings: Trevor’s dead, Elijah’s dead (NOT!), etc. Slater, it turns out, is a major nerd who’s taken the chance to use eternal life as an extended college term, collecting degrees left and right. Because he’s Mr. Smartypants, Slater knows how Damon and Rose can contact Klaus: Through Craigslist! There’s just one problem. Slater’s vampire phone tree ended with Elijah, who’s the only person that can actually reach Klaus. D’oh!

Well, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good: Elijah’s alive, because he’s outside the café playing with some loose change. The bad: Elijah’s alive. And he’s not happy.

You know who is happy? Jeremy. At least until Luka crashes his billiards date with Bonnie and makes it three’s company. Elsewhere, Stefan knows that Caroline’s hiding something else. Thanks to the “girlfriend code,” Caroline isn’t talking. Sisters before misters!

Thanks to her own sense of self-preservation, Katherine’s not being too chatty, either – but she confirms what Elena guesses: That she came to town to hand Elena over to Klaus herself as a peace offering and used Mason to get the moonstone. Katherine also needed a werewolf (Tyler), a witch (Bonnie), and a vampire (Caroline) to sacrifice to Klaus.

Over at the nerdiest coffee shop in town, Slater tells Damon that if a vampire breaks the Sun/Moon curse, the werewolves are stuck with it forever and vice versa.  Damon wants to neutralize the moonstone so it can’t be used at all, but before he can convince Slater to help him Elijah takes his pocketful of change and flings it at the shop windows, shattering them all and exposing our vamps to the sunlight. As Rose and Slater burn in agony, Damon and his magical protective ring look for Elijah but Eiljah is nowhere to be found.

Well, well. After a season and a half of missed connections and lame romantic opportunities, Bonnie’s got TWO fellas vying for her attention. As Jeremy obliviously shoots pool, Luka reveals that he and his dad are also magical witchy folk. Luka can make grains of salt levitate! He prefers the term “warlock.” It sounds more manly than witch or sorcerer or boy wizard.

Stefan finds Elena on her way out of the tomb after her tete-a-tete with Katherine. Stefan wants to protect her from the old evil sacrificin’ vampires, but Elena’s worried that he’ll die trying. Katherine emerges and tells Stefan that he can’t do anything to stop it, before launching into One. Final. Flashback. She reveals that when she tried to flee from Klaus, he retaliated by slaughtering her entire family, and he’ll do the same to Elena -- unless, of course, Katherine gives them the moonstone. Stefan accuses Katherine of lying about everything just to trade the stone for her own freedom, but the way she sees it, the enchanted tomb is the only hideout in Mystic Falls because no other vampire will enter it knowing they’ll be sealed inside. When Klaus comes to town and kills everyone, she smartly observes, “I’ll be the safest psychotic bitch in town.” Katherine retreats into the shadows as Stefan and Elena realize she’s right.

Back at home, Damon’s feeling the futility, too. Rose tells him he reminds her of Trevor because of his doomed sense of loyalty to Elena. They agree they’d both be better off not caring about anyone, and commence to hooking up.

Back at the Grill, Jeremy sees Bonnie deep in conversation with Luka and wonders how their first date got hijacked.

Stefan walks Elena to her front door, where she breaks down in tears. She’s even more upset now that she’s learned that all of her supernatural buddies will have to die to break the curse – and it’s all her fault. For existing. Or something. Inside the tomb, Katherine finds a drawing of her and her parents and tears well up in her undead eyes.

Newfound friends with benefits Rose and Damon chillax after having sex. She admits that after enough time spent as a vampire, you can no longer just shut off your emotions. Slater calls to say he doesn’t want to be involved in their plans, but tells her they can destroy the curse if they get a moonstone and a witch. Slater hangs up and we see that Elijah’s there with him, then we learn something new: Elijah somehow has the power to compel other vampires, which is how he got Slater to make the call – and how he gets poor Slater to stake himself.

But wait, there’s more! After Slater dies, an accomplice of Elijah’s enters the room. It’s DR. MADISON!! Is he being compelled by Elijah? Or is he Elijah’s personal warlock, like Bonnie is Elena’s and Lucy was Katherine’s? WHAT IS GOING ON, PEOPLE??

After a brief hiatus, “TVD” returns Dec. 2: Damon and Stefan get Bonnie to cast a spell to save Elena by apparently magically MacGuyvering together fire, Katherine’s photograph, and some scotch. Also: Bonnie has another witchy nosebleed!