'Vampire Diaries' Recap: 'The Sacrifice'

"The Vampire Diaries" is back with a bang after a suspenseful two-week hiatus. We were pleasantly surprised to notice that some of our faux Thanksgiving episode predictions came true, though! Luka uses magic to edge out Jeremy in the quest for Bonnie's affections. Caroline and Tyler continue their supernatural bonding. Unfortch, Jonas Martin and Mrs. Lockwood don’t cross paths (yet?!), but Stefan does manage to find himself in serious trouble! Let's start at the beginning.

Elena wakes from a restless sleep and notices her door propped open. A dark figure lurks in the doorway, but just as she sits up, he disappears. She goes to investigate in the hallway as creepy music crescendos, climaxes and AHH!! Oops, it’s just super-smokin’ hot shirtless Alaric eating Chunky Monkey! The real dark figure—Dr. Jonas Martin, Luka’s warlock poppa—sneaks into Elena’s boudoir and snatches her hair brush, jewelry and a picture, sneaking out the front door before anyone notices. Duh duh duh!

Damon and Stefan plan to destroy the curse by "de-spelling" the moonstone, but of course, they need to get it from Katherine first. True to form, Kat offers to hand over the moonstone and leave Mystic Falls forever if they let her out. They don't concede.

Bonnie and Luka bond in the schoolyard over their shared magical powers. She confides that she’s been having issues with her powers, like nosebleeds and fainting, so he teaches her how to "channel." They swap jewelry, close their eyes and work together to create a windstorm! It’s a thrilling moment that Bonnie thoroughly enjoys. Right on cue, Jeremy appears as Luka leaves. Bonnie realizes that she’s still clutching Luka’s dog tag necklace as he walks away.

After the magic lesson, Bonnie tells Damon, Stefan and Jeremy that she can temporarily break the tomb spell. She uses witchcraft to create a special ash that''ll incapacitate Katherine momentarily so they can grab the stone and get out. When Bonnie isn’t looking, Jeremy scoops some ash into his fist. What're you up to, little Gilbert?

Off to the tomb on his own, apparently. Since he knows how dangerous magic is for Bonnie, he takes matters into his own hands. Literally. Jeremy throws the magical ash on Katherine and finds the stone, but in true dramatic "TVD" fashion, he fails to escape before the ash wears off. Katherine immediately goes for the jugular, though Jeremy is able to toss the stone outside the protective barrier just before Bonnie, Stefan and Damon arrive. Thankfully (or not so thankfully?) Jeremy has that special ring, so Katherine can keep draining him, and he just won’t die. Of course, she won’t hand Jeremy over unless she’s set free as well. Tricky temptress.

While poo’s hitting the fan at the tomb, Elena enlists Rose to help her find Slater. Rose reluctantly agrees, but when they arrive at Slater’s apartment...he's dead. With the help of Slater’s very freaked-out human girlfriend, Alice, they break into Slater’s files. Password? "Kristen Stewart. God, was he obvious," Alice quips. Love it!

Elena asks Alice to send Cody, one of Slater's contacts, a message for Klaus: "The doppelganger is alive, and she’s ready to surrender. Now Rose realizes Elena plans to sacrifice herself. (Commenters are going to hate me for this, but…er…third wife?) Rose calls Damon for backup, so he immediately leaves the tomb to come save Elena. Naturally, she refuses to leave. In fact, Elena starts to take on hints of Katherine’s butt-kicking, sass-talking, fire-in-her-eyes personality, and we love her for it!

Turns out Jonas wanted Elena’s belongings to perform some witchcraft (warlockcraft?) for Elijah. In a freaky turn of events, Elena sees Elijah’s face in the window reflection for a split second in the moment he’s able to locate her via magic. Moments later, Elijah bursts into Slater’s apartment. "I killed you," Damon stammers. "You were dead." "For centuries now," Elijah replies. Rose immediately bolts, and after seeing that the doppelganger is alive and well, Elijah disappears as well. Hmm.

In the tomb, Bonnie channels Luka's powers to try to break the spell, but it’s too much for them to handle, and they collapse (Luka's at home the whole time, very confused!) before it's broken. As Katherine threatens to feed on Jeremy again, Stefan impulsively jumps in to push Jeremy out of harm’s way, leaving himself stuck in the tomb with Katherine. Talk about a sacrifice!

Jonas freaks out when Luka collapses. Once he’s in bed, Elijah returns to Jonas and explained that he spared "the Salvatore" because he knows he’ll keep Elena safe until they need her. For the first time, Jonas looks conflicted over his involvement with Elijah. As you should be, buddy! Don’t you know he’s the bad guy?

Jeremy and Bonnie are annoyed at each other for how things went down. She tells Jeremy not to have feelings for her, but he retorts, "Don’t act like this is one-sided, like I’m some kid that has a crush on his sister’s friend." He tries to kiss her, but she turns her head and leaves. We hope that ring can protect him from a broken heart!

Damon brings Elena home, creating some déjà vu with the season one finale. The sexual tension is INTENSE, yo! Jeremy tells them what happened, prompting Elena to run to the tomb, with Damon right behind her. He promises to find a way to get his brother out, but once Elena leaves, Stefan asks him to keep Elena away. "Promise me no matter what happens, you’ll protect her," Stefan says. After Damon agrees, Katherine snarkily comments, "That right there was the biggest mistake you’ve ever made." Foreshadowing?

Just because the Caroline-Tyler-Matt subplot isn’t part of the main action, doesn’t mean this triad’s been idle. Caroline offers to help Tyler handle the impending full moon, and they find a journal in Mason's cave which documents the entire transformation in explicit detail, complete with a memory card containing video of the process. After watching the excruciating hours-long pain that Mason endures, Tyler freaks out and questions Caroline’s motives for helping him. She confides that she killed someone during her own transformation and doesn’t want him to have to go through it alone. Matt rings the doorbell at that moment to tell Caroline that he misses her. Just when it seems that things might look up for the exes, Tyler comes to the door, giving Matt the impression that his ex and his best friend are an item. Jeez!

How will Damon and Elena get Stefan out of the tomb? Will Damon’s promise to keep Elena safe end up biting him in the butt? Will Jonas stay loyal to Elijah? Is Klaus going to grace us with his presence in the mid-season finale next week? Tell us what you think in the comments and on Twitter.