I've got a time crunch this week so I've got to go with a condensed recap. Ready? Let's go.
It's Elena's 18th birthday. Caroline is giving her a party. Sheriff Forbes is giving her leads on where to find Stefan. Damon is giving her her vervain necklace back, a full view of his birthday suit, and the run around regarding the whereabouts of his brother and Klaus. Tyler is giving her a hard time about Damon liking her. Alaric is giving her an invitation to his self pitying soiree. Jeremy's giving her a headache by getting stoned again. Matt's giving her a drunken kiss on the cheek. Stefan is giving her agita by being gone and also killing a lot of people. Bonnie apparently doesn't give a shit because she's out of town.
Stefan and Klaus are road tripping through Tennessee. Seeing the sights. Getting a taste of the locals flavors.
Damon takes the tip from the Sheriff (who has apparently decided to accept the vampires as her friends and help them, which is something I'd like to see happen but...alas) and Alaric and heads to Tennessee where he finds the bodies of two of Stefan's latest victims. It seems that Stefan likes to disassemble and then reassemble. Stefan and I both find jigsaw puzzles relaxing. Before Damon covers his brothers enormous and revolting tracks (guys, at one point he literally took a bite out of one girl's neck and chewed on it. So. Gross.) by setting the place ablaze, he discovers a cellar decked out with chains and shackles. All the better to hide a werewolf, my dear.
Jeremy is still seeing the ghosts of girlfriends past here and there and everywhere but he's not telling anyone because he just doesn't know how his nearest and dearest would react to the news that strange things are afoot in Mystic Falls.
Matt still knows the score but isn't ready or willing to accept and embrace the truth about how everyone he knows is kind of magic or magic-adjacent so instead he's pouting and avoiding waiting on Caroline and Tyler when they're at The Grill. He's also kind of bonding with Jeremy because they work together and he's out of options unless the show wants to cast someone else to be his friend. Which they don't.
Alaric is pouting because of how all the ladies he sleeps with end up really super dead. Sidebar: remember when Alaric first came to town and he was all sad and angry 'cause his wife was a vampire and he had really good hair? Then he met Damon and fell in love and started dating Jenna and he was happy and his hair looked like deep fried ass? But now his girlfriend is dead and he's got this drinking problem and he feels sort of useless and really, really sorry for himself and his hair is all emo and really quite hot on him. You guys, the hair math tells me that the attractiveness of Alaric's coif is inversely proportionate to his inner pain. What I'm saying is, the next time his hair looks like something you might pull out of your bathtub drain, we should kill someone he loves. Problem solved.
Caroline and Tyler are BFFs now. They're both horny and several people think they're doing it. They're not but their sexual tension is like a character all by itself right now. In fact, I think I heard it ask Jeremy for an Arnold Palmer.
Stefan and Klaus have tracked down Simon the Werewolf at a bar where they torture him with vervain darts because Klaus has some weird plan about turning a bunch of werewolves into werepires just for fun. Special K needs so much therapy. Anyway, then Klaus hears that Damon has cleaned up another of their messes and he's decided it's time to kill Damon a little but Stefan like JUST got done ruing everything to save Damon's life so he'd rather that life last longer than a minute so he skips off to have a chat with his brother.
Damon and Alaric drink. Alaric makes sad noises about how pathetic he is for attending a rager at his students' house. He has a point and his hair looks fantastic.
Jeremy is tired of seeing dead people so instead of trying to get to the bottom of why Anna and Vicki are haunting him, he's decided to get high. Matt is tired of seeing live people that he loves making sex eyes at each other so instead of telling his ex-girlfriend that he loves her no matter how alive she's not, he's decided to join Jeremy for a toke. Once they're both good and high, Jeremy starts to confide in Matt that ever since Bonnie mojo'd him back to life, he's been seeing some crazy shit. Then Matt's off to be awkward and drunk with Caroline.
Caroline and Elena find a map and some other investigative clues in Damon's closet. I would have guessed actual skeletons or, like, ladies underwear but I don't judge.
Tyler is rubbing up against "Slutty Sophie" while Caroline watches jealously. Matt drunkenly confronts her for...being friends with Tyler and then leaves. That gets Caroline in a bit of a snit so she compels Sophie to leave. Then Tyler is like "woman, I have been wanting to do dirty, sweaty things to you since that time you awesomely risked your life to comfort me when I turned into a werewolf. If you are into it, fucking tell me already because lifting cars is way to damn easy when you've got super-human strength." And she's like, "um..." and then sticks her tongue in his mouth. Good call, Care. Good call.
Stefan tracks down Stormy Weather at the TV station where he uses her phone to text Damon and request he pick her up. Damon, ever the chivalrous fake boyfriend, arrives to find her compelled to stand in the rafters by his brother the Ripper. Stefan politely request that Damon back off, then has Stormy Weather kill herself which is really sad for Damon and for me. RIP, Stormy Weather.
Jeremy tells Matt that he's being haunted by his dead girlfriends. Matt kind of thinks it's a metaphor. Matt walks home with a pint of ice cream and no spoon. Matt is going to be very hung over and very sticky tomorrow. Aaaand there are the dirty thoughts.
Damon arrives home to a lecture from Elena. She's pissed he's been tracking Klaus's kills this whole time and didn't tell her. He's like "woman, are you NEW? I'm tracking STEFAN! And also, why are you wearing a nightgown to your birthday party? That's just weird!"
Klaus turns Simon Camden into a werepire.
Stefan calls Elena but lacks the balls to say anything. She still knows it's him though so gives him a pep talk that sets his chin to quivering. The entire audience cries like we just lost our puppy. We kind of did.
Caroline and Tyler go back to his place to get seductively naked with each other and have the hottest PG13 sex allowed on the CW during the 8:00pm hour. Once he's asleep, she slips out of the bedroom and down the stairs only to be confronted by Mrs. Interim Mayor who has sprinkled vervain over Caroline's purse so when she reaches for it, it burns her hand. Then Mrs. IM shoots a few vervain darts into Caroline.
Mrs. Interim Mayor is public enemy number two with me now. The CW Promo Department is number one for putting together a promo for 3.02 that is entirely about werepires with no mention at all of Vampire Barbie's fate.