Before we get started, I'm assuming all of you have read about the "Vampire Diaries" spin-off? If not, just skip the following paragraph. I can't really say there are spoilers, because we know very little about the show. But if you watch "The Vampire Diaries," it's hard not to come to certain conclusions about how it might impact the original, no pun intended.

POSSIBLY A SPOILER ALERT! BUT MAYBE NOT! JUST FOR THIS REALLY LONG PARAGRAPH! Okay, so, we can now safely discuss the idea of what "The Originals" (at least that's the working title) will mean for "The Vampire Diaries." We know that in the new show Klaus heads to New Orleans after he finds out someone is plotting against him, and there ends up getting reacquainted with a vampire he once knew, Marcel. Rebekah and Elijah could be appearing on the new show, though that still seems to be up in the air (we'll know more when "The Vampire Diaries" sets up the spin-off in its April 25 episode). While it's also unclear how Phoebe Tonkin (Hayley) will move into this new world, she's also making the move to "The Originals." So what can we conclude about what all this means for "The Vampire Diaries"? I'm assuming we'll see lots of crossover episodes, but with Klaus in New Orleans (and the star of this new show), I'm betting we won't be seeing a lot of him in Mystic Falls. That means no torrid, long-running affair with Caroline (I know, that was unlikely to happen anyway, but I had hope), Hayley's  involvement with Mystic Falls will be wrapped up (will she follow Klaus to New Orleans for some reason?), and we'll have yet another antagonist cycling through "The Vampire Diaries." I haven't been disappointed with any of the show's big bads, really, but I will say Klaus has been one of my favorites, and one of the most complex and interesting we've seen. The bar is high, so I'm hoping we get someone just as dark and gleefully malevolent -- and more interesting than the creepy-for-all-the-wrong-reasons Professor Shane. Anyway, here's hoping that this spin-off is more, say, "Angel" than "Joannie Loves Chachi." Just kidding. But are you excited? Or worried? Discuss!

But let's get to the recap. We start with Mayor Carol Lockwood's candlelit school assembly, which is beautiful but I can't imagine anyone passing out lit candles to a bunch of high school students, as all it takes is one clumsy kid to create a pile of litigation. Anyway, Tyler can't stand to sit there and pretend his mom's death was just a terrible accident, unless Klaus somehow fell onto her with his mouth open, so he stalks off. Unfortunately, that means he doesn't get to enjoy the real purpose for this two hour event -- the announcement of the new interim mayor. Mr. Rudy Hopkins will be taking the reigns -- and he just happens to be Bonnie's dad.  

Now that Rebekah is back in action, she's using clueless stooge April as bait to start rounding up all our favorite vampires. First, she snags Elena by smashing her against a wall after April sulkily informs her she knows she's a vampire. "Was that really necessary?" April asks.  

"No, but it was fun," Rebekah shrugs. I have to say, I miss Rebekah when she's away. Good to have her back. Not that I'm happy she smashed Elena against a wall. But hey, with vampires, no harm, no foul, I guess. 

Soon, Rebekah has used Elena as bait to lure Caroline and Stefan to the school, where she compels them to sit at uncomfortable desks and listen to April whine about being compelled and how Rebekah has told her all sorts of things. Sorry, but I don't have a lot of sympathy for April being all pouty because her friends were never honest about being bloodsuckers and witches. Get with the program, kid. 

Far, far away, Damon is holding Vampire Hunter camp for Jeremy, which is mostly letting Jeremy and Matt wrestle. When Jeremy complains that he's not learning anything, Damon cuts off his pizza supply (and compels the cute blond pizza delivery girl to go away for a while). Only hunger will make him want to hunt, not pepperoni and extra cheese!

Anyway, let's get back to Rebekah, who has an agenda but also a desire to amuse herself with her poor, sad, compelled playthings. She wants the cure, and seeing as Elena is still a vampire, she's getting the sense that this Scooby gang never got it. So, what's going on? Caroline finally blurts out that Stefan and Elena broke up. Rebekah, who at heart is a mean high school girl who can make people tell her gossip, smells an opportunity. But even she is shocked when Stefan, compelled to blurt details, says Elena slept with Damon. 

Rebekah, absolutely delighted by how juicy this little powwow has become, decides she wants to play Truth or Dare. She dares Elena to tell Stefan the truth about Damon. Elena grudgingly (compelling-ly) admits being with Damon makes her happy, and she feels free with him. With Stefan, she feels like a project, a problem that needs to be fixed. "When he looks at me, all he sees is a broken toy." I'm picturing Elena on the Island of Misfit Toys, maybe as the dolly in the polka-dot dress who never looks particularly misfit in any way. Anyway, Elena says she still loves Stefan, but isn't in love with Stefan. 

Ow, ow, ow, ow. Let's say it together -- OW. We knew that, but the idea she HAS to say this to Stefan, and that he HAS to hear it, is just horrible. And Stefan grudgingly (compelling-ly) also has to admit this hurts. Then, Elena admits she's in love with Damon. DAMN. This is not getting any nicer, is it? Whether you're Delena or Team Stefan, you can't deny that this is just wrenching. I'm surprised Stefan doesn't just keel over or cry. I wouldn't blame him if he did, either. 

Finally, Caroline gets things back on track. None of this has anything to do with the stupid cure. Unfortunately, that just motivates Rebekah to get Tyler a call and order him to come down to the school if he wants to save Caroline. Once Stefan admits that Professor Shane knows where the cure is, she no longer needs Caroline, Stefan or Elena around -- and, if anything, they're competition for the cure. After all, whoever gets it first controls what happens to it. So, when Tyler walks in, she compels him to turn -- and kill his pals. Rebekah may be many things, and sadistic is one of them. 

Before Tyler can start tearing about the library, trying to fight his inner werewolf, Rebekah takes a break to deal with Professor Shane. He's just informed Bonnie she doesn't need his help anymore, and he's given her a graduation gift -- a creepy, ugly necklace made out of human bone! Oh, you shouldn't have! Anyway, Bonnie doesn't even realize she's walking past Kol as she leaves Shane's office -- until it's too late, and he's gone. 

At the school, Shane is so psyched to be meeting real Originals! Even though they're holding him hostage! This is the ancient mythologies equivalent of being abducted and shaken down for information by Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber or something! When Rebekah tries to compel him to reveal where the cure is, he proudly tells her he's immune to compulsion, so Rebekah just orders Kol to beat him until he spits up the info. Sometimes, Professor Shane is nowhere near as smart as he thinks he is. 

As Kol waterboards the good professor, Bonnie shows up at the school and bumps into April. "I know you're a witch," April says smugly. Bonnie mostly ignores her, as she's busy trying to get a spell of protection together for Professor Shane using the ugly bone necklace. Unfortunately, this somehow links Professor Shane to April, so she starts spitting up water as Professor Shane gets dunked. I don't mind this at all, because at this point in the episode I kind of want to drown April myself. 

What Professor Shane finally admits to Kol and Rebekah is that he wants to raise Silas, who is buried with the cure (which he couldn't care less about). Kol and Rebekah are appalled, but Shane is so excited about his crazy plan. By bringing back Silas, he'll bring back every soul that ever died on his behalf! How... wonderful? Kol decides to stab Silas and put this crazy talk to an end, which infuriates Rebekah. She needed him! He was the only one who knew where the cure was! Stupid Kol! 

Oh, and by stabbing Shane, Kol kills April. Again, not too upset about this. 

Anyway, Tyler rips up the library, but enlightening reading material is no barrier to compulsion, so Stefan and Elena must run from him and barricade a door against Tyler, who snarls outside. But then, the snarling stops, so Stefan and Elena must find Bonnie, Stefan must save April (boo) and Elena must tell Stefan she wants to Talk. Stefan, however, doesn't want to talk. There's really nothing Elena can say, I think, so I can't argue with Stefan on this point. This relationship is in tatters, whatever there was left of it. 

Rebekah finds Stefan and Elena alive, which doesn't seem to bother her too much now that the cure is forever out of reach (or so she thinks). "Why are my least favorite people always the most durable?" Rebekah asks, before making a proposition. "There's a solution to all your problems, you know," she says to Elena. "I can compel him to forget every memory he has of you... I could take away every bit of love he has for you."

Elena isn't interested -- but Stefan asks her to do it. I guess if Elena asked she was willing to do it, but she won't do it for Stefan. Having him suffer with heartbreak is her payback for him making Klaus forget about her. In a sense, it's also Stefan's way of letting Elena know exactly how much she's hurt him -- enough for him to want to forget every good thing that's happened between them. 

Back at Vampire Hunter camp, Klaus drops in to see how Jeremy is doing -- and is very disappointed to find his body count is very, very low. After Klaus and Damon spar a bit (and Damon shoots Klaus "for Carol Lockwood," just for kicks), Klaus quickly determines that Damon has decided to take a moral high road to impress Elena, and that's why Jeremy isn't killing. So, Klaus has made the proper "corrections," one of which seems to be getting the pizza girl (who is a damn vampire, who knew?) to come back to the house. She, of course, attacks Matt and Jeremy kills her -- but that's hardly the end of it. 

Elena checks in with Damon after her long, horrible day of true confessions. So, why stop with the ones Rebekah forced out of her? Why not say something she wants to say? "You can say it's the sire bond, but it's the most real thing I've felt in my entire life," Elena says. "I love you, Damon." 

Damon is deeply moved, and swears to Elena he's going to get the cure for her -- but she may not like what he has to do to make that happen. Then, he asks her to come to him as quickly as she can. Yes, there will be hot vampire sex tonight! But not on the show tonight. Just, you know, it's implied.

In other romantic news, Caroline finds Tyler, changed back to human form, in the gym next to all the candles for his mom's ceremony (and all I can think is, didn't someone think to put those out? What a fire hazard!). And Tyler, literally and figuratively naked, weeps that he should have saved his mom. Caroline comforts him. Poor Tyler. 

That doesn't mean this episode ends on a sweet note, however. We see April telling the sheriff and Bonnie's dad that Professor Shane masterminded the town council killings and she wants justice. Of course she does. But then, we see Rebekah dropping by Stefan's house. What? Stefan wants to join forces with Rebekah so they can work together to find the cure. After all, everyone else has someone -- Damon has Elena, for example -- and they're by themselves. He also tells Rebekah that Professor Shane is alive thanks to Bonnie's protection spell. Amazingly, it's a deal. 

Finally, Damon, Jeremy and Matt meet Klaus at a bar, where everyone is dead -- or really, in transition. It's time for Jeremy to kill, and Damon has decided that, despite his initial desire to make sure Jeremy has "ethical" kills, he's finally seen the wisdom of Klaus' methods. I'm just wondering what Elena will say when she finds out. 

What do you think of the new interim mayor? What did you think of Rebekah's game of Truth or Dare? Were you surprised to see Stefan and Rebekah team up? And are you looking forward to the spin-off?