This episode was truly enjoyable. Not only because Damon was Damon-like and Caroline and Tyler were back (hurray!) but because it was just plain entertaining.
Kevin Williamson must have had some say in it, because the horror was definitely more played up than usual, which was fun because mostly it was Rebekah who was scared, and she's virtually un-killable.
When Jeremy got kidnapped, I thought to myself, 'Oh Jeremy. You just HAD to do that, didn't you?' That, for me, was one of the funniest parts of the episode. That, and that Bonnie's tracking spell that was basically a giant wildfire. Shame on you, Bonnie. Don't start fires.
Damon pretty much acted like Damon has these past few episodes, moping about Elena and torturing people for answers. Typical Damon. His getting caught by that Vaughn guy was sorta predictable. He's alone in the woods, this episode already had a little horror to it . . . BOOM! Yeah, kidnappings were really popular this week.
As for Rebekah, I think her rivalry with Elena was great. Highlight of the episode by far. Though I think Rebekah won. She made several great points about how even though Rebekah was a thousand years older than Elena, Elena probably had a higher death toll on her head. Also, Rebekah was just trying to protect her family (and get revenge, which is, in essence, what Klaus is doing. I think people give the Originals a lot of attitude about the fact that them protecting the people they love is getting in the way of everybody else doing the exact same thing. THAT is the most annoying thing about this show. Everybody trying to make you think THEIR loved ones matter more than other people's.
Klaus's plot line was irritating to me. He didn't really give us any new information, and he basically just yelled at Tyler and then did something awful to Caroline which made me SO MAD. But then he fixed it, and their plot line didn't go anywhere. Except, apparently, Klaus has feelings. Which, OF COURSE he has feelings. His love for Caroline has been his main emotional arc this season! But it was good seeing Caroline and Tyler again.
Learning about Shane's past was fun, but these flashbacks were hardly a thousand years ago. This was last year, which in The Vampire Diaries' timeline, was about 2009. Rebekah and Klaus's flashbacks were better, fun wise.
Overall, I was impressed with the episode, even though I just ranted about it for a whole bunch of paragraphs. I was kind of angry that Tyler's relationship with Hayley apparently hadn't gotten anywhere, but I didn't mind April not being in this episode. As always, I hope Elijah and Katherine are having a good time shirtless hugging in that-guy-who-bit-his-tongue-off's apartment. Team Kalijah!!!! Another episode without any mention of the mysterious 'fourth team' from two episodes ago . . . Kinda worried.
But all the good parts just made me forget about the bad, which is the mark (Hunter's mark) of a great episode of The Vampire Diaries, which was DEFINITELY what this was!