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It's incredible how much gets covered on one episode of The Vampire Diaries, isn't it?

This week, we meet Ben. He's a bartender at the town's main restuarant that flirts with Bonnie. He's also a former student from the high school and seems like a nice guy, but come on. This is Mystic Falls. Of course he ends up being more than just a nice guy. At the end of the episode, we get dealt a major shock:

Ben is working with Anna (the girl who helped Jeremy study last week) to get into the tomb because... they're both vampires! So was Noah, the hooded sweatshirt dude that Elena ran into on the street to close 2009. But Damon and Stefan took care of him (via a stake through the chest) at the school dance.

Before he was killed, Noah revealed to the brothers and to Elena that it was possible to get into the tomb. The answer lay in the Gilbert ancestor's journal, which was now in the hands of Alaric after Jeremy gave it to him. Stefan promised Damon he'd help him rescue Katherine, but he later told Elena that was a lie.

As for Alaric? He tried too hard to get to know Damon at the dance, raising that vampire's suspicions. Later, Damon tried to hypnotize Alaric in order to learn more about him, but the history teacher was ready for it. Holding vervain (unbeknownst to Damon, of course), he innocently answered all inquiries about his life. But viewers learned a major one near the end of the episode:

Alaric's wife's name was Isobelle. According to what Jenny told Elena about her birth mother, her name was also Isobelle! She was a 16-year old that showed up at Elena's father's hospital, scared and pregnant, years ago. Dr. Gilbert doctored the birth certificate and he and Mrs. Gilbert adopted Elena without telling many people she wasn't naturally their child.

We also got more information about the Gilberts in general: they were one of the first families to fight back against the vampires in town. Stefan handed Elena a compass from her family's collection. It pointed toward vampires any time one was around.

In less exciting news, Caroline and Matt had issues because she made some snobby comments. But just as it seemed like these two might never try dating, Matt planted a major kiss on Caroline. Compared to the rest of the show? Snoooooooze!

Overall, though, another fabulous, intriguing episode that provided us with answers AND created new questions.

The Vampire Diaries
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The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Episode 12 Quotes

What is this, a threesome now? You and the Salvatore brothers?


Stefan: I could help you.
Damon: You? Help me? Seems a little unnatural.