This week’s episode of “The Vampire Diaries” begins with Rick and Elena trying to figure out what the cave markings underneath the Lockwood property read. They see names written in runic, a Viking script—And guess whose names they are? The original vampires: Klaus, Rebekah, and Elijah. This means that they’ve been in Mystic Falls long before the founding families. The last name on the wall? Michael. Michael as in the vampire hunter. Also as in, as Damon calls him, “Papa Original.”

To find out more about the history of the original vampire family, Elena decides to see if she can get any information from Rebekah. Armed with the threat of waking Michael, Elena forces Rebekah into a corner and gives in, telling Elena to come over later for a chat.

The episode is woven with flashbacks and we get a glimpse of the original family pre-vampire stage. It’s obvious that Rebekah, Klaus, and Elijah are the chummy trio. Klaus and Elijah are engaging in a friendly swordfight when their father, Michael, takes over Elijah’s place and fights Klaus. It seems like Michael doesn’t really like Klaus, as he fights and almost kills him with force. I guess that kind of explains why he’s been hunting Klaus.   

Damon pays a little visit to Stefan. Stefan tries to convince Damon to let him out by saying Rebekah is a threat to Elena, but Damon isn’t fooled. He lets Stefan out anyway. Why? Who knows.

Rick calls in some back-up to help with the decoding the symbols in the cave. Bonnie comes over and brings the necklace upon Rick’s request and they figure out that the symbol on the wall that looks like the necklace represents the original witch.

Elena goes over to the Salvatore house, where Rebekah currently resides, for story time. Rebekah explains that they moved to Mystic Falls to escape a plague in Europe. They had heard from a witch that this was the land where everyone was healthy and the people were blessed with speed and strength, aka werewolves. She said that once a month, their family would retreat underground while the wolves howled. We flash back to a scene where Klaus is carrying back the dead body of their younger brother. Klaus and Henric had snuck out to watch the men turn into wolves, which was forbidden, and her younger brother had paid the price.

Elena pushes some of Rebekah’s buttons, knowing that Rebekah is a little like your average girl who just wants to be accepted and have friends. Rebekah tells her that the necklace belonged to the original witch—the same witch who put the hybrid curse on Klaus and turned them into vampires.

The scene flashes back to her parents pleading a witch to help them turn into vampires. Vampirism was a form of protection, used to preserve their family line. Instead of running from the werewolves, Michael’s pride wanted to stay and fight against them. The witch refuses, saying that the spirits will turn on them. That’s when we realize that the original witch was Rebekah’s mother.

The original witch called upon the sun for life and the ancient white oak tree for immortality. They drank wine laced with blood, offered by their father, who also then drove his sword through their hearts. When they woke, Michael forced them to drink more blood to complete the ritual. But there were consequences, like the sun burning their skin and the oak tree, once a source of their life, could also cause their death. To solve that problem, they burned it. But the darkest consequence was their thirst for blood.

Damon and Stefan walk into a bar. No, this is not a joke. Stefan takes a shot of their bartender, the first human blood he’s had since the Lexi rehab plan. They take turns drinking whiskey and blood and having a party in the speakeasy. Damon tries to convince Stefan to turn against Klaus but Stefan is insistent that he can’t be killed. Cue Michael, who walks in all suave and clean and says he’s got the answer.

Back at the Salvatore mansion, Rebekah explains that Michael started hunting Klaus when Klaus’s werewolf gene was triggered, indicating that he was not his father’s son. To suppress the werewolf side, his mother put the hybrid curse on him. Angered and prideful, Michael went on a killing spree that ended with his wife, who broke his heart. Flashback to the burial of their mother: Elijah, Klaus, and Rebekah vow to stick together always and forever.

Michael is probing Stefan for some answers about Klaus: his whereabouts, the last time they communicated, what they talked about. Stefan says he’s been compelled to keep his mouth shut and that’s the way it’s going to stay. To give him a little bit of an incentive to talk, Michael shoves his hand into Damon’s chest (ew), clutching his heart. One wrong move and Damon’s dead. Michael almost yanks out Damon’s heart but at the last second, Stefan says he can bring Klaus back. Michael is pleased with his handiwork and leaves on the note that if Stefan fails, he’ll be driving a stake through him instead of Klaus.

Rick and Bonnie pretty much have most of the cave drawings figured out except one, the scene of the original witch’s death. Elena realizes that her death has been a lie all along and rushes back to tell Rebekah. In the cave, the markings indicated that the original witch died at the hand (or claw) of the hybrid. Klaus had been lying all along.

Next week is the mid-season finale of the show. Will Stefan follow through? Can Michael kill Klaus? Whose side is Rebekah on? Is Katherine dead? All of these questions will be answered next week— and at the Mystic Falls Homecoming dance too.