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The Vampire Diaries Wiki

Family history. About a mother, who loved her children so much, she couldn't bear the thought she might lose them. So she turned them into vampires. One of them is Klaus.
Bonnie and Abby discuss the Mikaelson family history.

Bringing Out The Dead is the thirteenth episode of the third season of The Vampire Diaries and the fifty-seventh episode of the series overall.


A FAMILY DINNERSheriff Forbes delivers some disturbing news to Alaric and Elena about a weapon used in a recent murder. In the Salvatore brothers' escalating quest to kill Klaus, Stefan turns to Bonnie and Abby, while Damon reaches out to an old acquaintance for help in setting up an elaborate plan. Intent on a plan of his own, Klaus hosts a strange dinner party, where he reveals another story from his family's violent past until an unexpected guest brings the party to an end. Meanwhile, Caroline is heartbroken when she is unable to stop a tragedy from unfolding.



After Elijah has killed the hybrid, Klaus being surprised, makes him understand that he wasn't the one who undaggered him. After Klaus indicates that he did keep his promise and reunited him with his family, Elijah attacks Klaus out of anger. Klaus tells him that Mikael is dead, and that calms him down. But he is curious about why Finn is still in a coffin after 900 years, and Kol after over a century. Klaus says he needs his help to destroy Stefan, and once they have the coffin back from him, he will make their family whole again.


The next morning Sheriff Forbes visits Elena and Alaric, and informs them that Elena's fingerprints are on the weapon that was used to kill Brian Walters, the medical examiner, also a member of the council. Meanwhile, Damon is meeting with Elijah, who found the note that he left in his jacket pocket when he undaggered him. Damon asks him if he knows who or what might be in the coffin that is sealed with a spell, while Stefan is taking Abby and Bonnie to the secret Lockwood cave where they keep the coffin, so they can open it.


Back in the hospital, Meredith complains to Caroline that her dad should be more grateful for saving his life. Caroline says he always hated vampires so he hates the idea that vampire blood had saved him. Meredith tells her that she signed his discharge papers last night to shut him up, but Caroline says he didn't call her. So she calls him, but is surprised to hear his phone ringing somewhere in the hospital. She follows the ringing, only to find her father stabbed and murdered violently by the serial killer. She is devastated, but kind of relieved when she remembers he had vampire blood in his system so he will come back to life.


Back in the Lockwood cave, Bonnie tries to find the correct spell by searching the grimoire. Abby asks what all these carvings mean, and Bonnie tells her the genesis of vampirism. Later they find that in order to unseal the coffin, 2 generations are needed, like parent and child. If Abby can unlock her powers, they can open the coffin.

To buy them enough time, Stefan and Damon are prepared to visit Elijah and Klaus to negotiate a fake truce. When they arrive, after some conversation, Elijah and Klaus tell them about Tatia, who is the originator of the Petrova line, also known as the Original Petrova. Stefan is humored to learn both Elijah and Klaus loved the same girl. Meanwhile, Bill wakes up at the hospital, but to Caroline and Elena's surprise, he says he won't drink human blood and become a vampire. They take him home, and Elena calls Elizabeth and tells her what happened.


When she and Bill are inside, Elena tries to console her friend. Later, Matt comes and they hug. Elena and Matt leave and Matt walks her home. Caroline tries to convince her father that he can handle being a vampire, and says that she can't lose him, and begs him not to leave her. But he consoles her, and eventually dies. When Elena arrives home, she sees blood on the kitchen floor and then realizes that blood is everywhere. She follows the blood, and is shocked to find that Alaric has also been stabbed by the serial killer. Luckily, Alaric isn't dead yet, and tells Elena that she has to kill him, trusting that Elena being a doppelgänger, meaning supernatural species, that his ring will revive and heal him. She reluctantly agrees and kills him. Luckily, a few hours later he wakes up, healed. Back in the Lockwood cave, Bonnie realizes her mother's powers are blocked due to fear.

She tries to make her embrace her powers, as she is the only person who can help her, and they give one last try. They succeed, and the coffin is opened. After Damon gets the news from Bonnie by message, he offers Klaus his coffin back and in exchange asks him and his family to leave Mystic Falls forever. But Klaus has no intention to leave Elena behind. He suggests that it will not take time until one of the brothers turns her into a vampire, but Klaus needs her bloodline continue in order to have doppelgängers every few centuries, so he offers them her happy human life with Matt. Stefan is annoyed by the idea and says there is no deal, which makes Klaus angry.


He threatens Stefan, which makes Damon give up and agree to bring the coffin. But to everyone's surprise, him and Elijah undaggered the remaining originals. After Finn, Kol and Rebekah arrive, Elijah tells Stefan and Damon that they are free to leave. Damon and Stefan visit Bonnie and Abby only to find them on the ground, passed out. They are still alive, but Damon is not happy with seeing whatever inside the coffin is gone and will be no good to them. In Klaus' house, Rebekah, Elijah, Finn and Kol tell Klaus that they are leaving him forever. Their heated argument ends as Esther , their mother walks in to everyone's surprise. Klaus is scared that she is here to kill him, but she tells that she is here to forgive him, and it is about time for them to be a family again.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast

Guest Cast



  • Antagonist: Niklaus Mikaelson.
  • Katherine, Jeremy and Tyler don't appear in this episode.
  •  The last of the The Originals (Kol and Finn) make their first appearances in this episode.
  • Klaus hosts a dinner party in this episode like Damon did in The Dinner Party. Likewise, both episodes featured an Original.
  • Meredith meets Caroline in this episode.
  • Abby meets Stefan in this episode.
  • Bill Forbes chose not to complete his transition into a vampire. This is the first time a vampire dies from not completing their transition.
  • Both Elijah and Klaus tell Stefan and Damon the story of Tatia, whom they believed was the first Petrova Doppelgänger, and whom they both loved before they were turned into vampires. They also explained that since she couldn't choose between the two of them, their mother killed her to end the brothers' fighting and to use her blood in both the spell that turned them into the Original vampires as well as the spell that bound Klaus' hybrid curse.
    • However, in Red Door, it was revealed that it was actually Elijah, not Esther, who killed Tatia, and that she had actually chosen Elijah before he had lost control of his newborn vampire bloodlust and fed on her until she died.
    • It was also later revealed in Original Sin that while Tatia was the first doppelgänger, she did not create the Petrova doppelgänger line with her blood being used to bind the hybrid curse—it was actually Amara, lover of Silas and handmaiden of Qetsiyah, who was the progenitor of the Petrova bloodline.
  • In this episode, the name of the first Petrova doppelgänger is revealed: Tatia.
  • It is the first episode where the majority of the Mikaelson family members appear: Niklaus, Elijah, Kol, Finn, Rebekah and Esther. Only FreyaHenrik and Mikael do not appear, as the latter two are deceased and the former is in her century of sleep required by the spell that gives her immortality and invulnerability.
  • This episode marked the first appearances of Original vampires Kol and Finn.
  • This episode marked the first modern day appearance of Esther.
  • Klaus told Elijah that he murdered their mother a thousand years prior to the episode. However, it was shown in The Axeman's Letter that Elijah had known since 1002 C.E, but this knowledge was locked behind his red door.


Body Count


Continuity Error

  • When revealing his history with Tatia, Klaus claims she was the progenitor of the doppelgänger line. However, Season Five reveals Tatia herself was a doppelgänger of Amara.
    • Of course, it is very likely that Klaus did not know this, for he likely never put any effort into discovering if there were more doppelgänger's prior to Tatia, considering he had more interest in the current ones who could help him break his curse, and sire more hybrids.
    • Any doppelgänger's prior to Tatia would have been around before the Mikaelson children were born and it is very unlikely that there was anyone still alive with knowledge of the original Petrova during their time, as she existed 1,000 years before the Originals did.

Cultural References

  • Bringing Out the Dead is a 1999 movie by Martin Scorsese with Nicolas Cage and Patricia Arquette about a paramedic plagued with visions of the victims he could not save.
    • The title of the movie is a reference to a phrase believed to to have originated during the black plague. Men with carts would shout: "Bring out the dead" so that corpses could be collected and disposed of. There is some doubt if this is historically accurate but it has become a fairly common depiction in modern films and literature.
  • "Always and Forever " is the vow said frequently by Rebekah, Elijah and Klaus. It means to love somebody unconditionally and with forgiveness. It has been used as title for several songs and albums.  It also went on to be the title for the first episode of the vampire diaries spin-off show The Originals which centres around Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah.
  • Alaric claims to have "Whiskey dialed" Meredith, as a variation from "Drunk dialing." It could be a bit of foreshadowing when he said that "it was a weird night", because he was already under the influence of the ring.
  • Foreshadowing: when Elena says that Meredith did not kill the medical examiner. Also, Meredith did not yet know of Alaric's "night job" as a vampire hunter, nor of his stash of weapons.
  • "Bunny Snacks " are rabbit shaped cookies consumed during Easter. It is also the name of a trend to give incentive to kids to eat healthier by eating what bunnies eat: carrots and leaves.
  • "To Clean up Nicely " usually refers to somebody that is mostly seen sloppy and unkempt shows up surprisingly handsome and well groomed. In this case it is used with irony, because Elijah is usually well groomed, and was unkempt only while daggered...
  • "XOXO " means hugs and kisses and it is also a reference to CW's show Gossip Girl in which character says "xo.xo.Gossip Girl" in each episode.
  • "Pace yourself " means that you should not over-exert yourself in the beginning, on the risk of being too tired in the end. It's used in the context of a marathon, for example.
  • Trouble in Paradise  is a 1932 movie about a thief and a pickpocket lady who join forces to perform a long con. Now a days the expression is used to indicate trouble where everything used to be perfect.
  • "Aged to Perfection" usually refers to wine but can refer to any drink or food that has to be aged (in this case, used ironically, because the young woman is not really aged).
  • "Slasher" is A slasher film is a subgenre of horror film, and at times thriller, typically involving a mysterious psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims usually in a graphically violent manner, often with a cutting tool such as a knife or axe. Although the term "slasher" may be used as a generic term for any horror movie involving graphic acts of murder, the slasher as a genre has its own set of characteristics which set it apart from related genres like the splatter film. Horror films like Halloween, Urban Legend, Friday the 13th, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Scream, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Sorority Row.
  • Matthew Davis, who played Alaric Saltzman in The Vampire Diaries, he also played Travis/Trevor in the slasher film Urban Legends: Final Cut, Mike in Wasted Away, O'Dell in Below and Sebastian in BloodRayne. He is the Scream King.
  • Writer and producer Kevin Williamson has been involved on horror and thriller-themed projects before—such as the Scream series, Cursed, Venom, The Faculty, Teaching Mrs. Tingle, Glory Days and The Following.
  • "Whodunit" whodunnit (for "Who [has] done it?") is a complex, plot-driven variety of the detective story in which the audience is given the opportunity to engage in the same process of deduction as the protagonist throughout the investigation of a crime. The reader or viewer is provided with the clues from which the identity of the perpetrator may be deduced before the story provides the revelation itself at its climax. The investigation is usually conducted by an eccentric amateur or semi-professional detective.
    • Perhaps the most well-known author of whodunits was Agatha Christie, a celebrated British writer of novels, short stories, and plays. She is best remembered for the 66 detective novels and more than 15 short story collections she wrote, most of which revolve around the investigations of such characters as Hercule Poirot, Miss Jane Marple and Tommy and Tuppence. Among her plays is the world's longest-running play, The Mousetrap. She also wrote six romances under the name Mary Westmacott.

Behind the Scenes

  • This episode had about 2.74 million viewers in the USA.


Elijah: (to Klaus) You seem surprised to see me? So it wasn't you who removed the dagger from my chest?

Klaus: (to Elijah) "Help me destroy Stefan, and I promise you that our family will be whole again!"

Damon: "Elijah, my favorite Original, back from the dead."
Elijah: "You left something in my jacket pocket."
Damon: "Yeah; "Dear Elijah, let's get together over the destruction of your brother. XOXO..."
Elijah: "...Damon."
Damon: "We're not gonna have a problem, are we?"
Elijah: "Well, I'm here, so let's talk."

Damon: "Get dressed, we're going out."
Stefan: "Yeah, sorry, I'm not interested."
Damon: "I didn't ask. Elijah and I have scheduled a very old-fashioned sit-down with you and Klaus. I was thinking the black. Makes you look all villain-y."
Stefan: "Klaus won't make a deal, Damon."
Damon: "He doesn't have to. All we're doing is buying a little time to give our wicked witches a chance to pop the top of the coffin."
Stefan: "So that's your, uh, plan? Stall Klaus?"
Damon: "If you didn't go postal on his hybrids, then maybe we'd have some options."
Stefan: "So you unleash an Original to help him out?"
Damon: "Undaggering Elijah was smart, Stefan! Are you kidding me? After what Klaus did to him, he's in vengeance mode! Perfect."
Stefan: "Nothing smart about trusting Elijah, Damon. He screwed us over the last time he promised to kill Klaus."
Damon: "And the way you've been acting, I trust him about as much as I trust you."
Stefan: "Hm.. Well I guess that goes both ways, doesn't it?"
Damon: "Oh yes, this is about me kissing Elena. Just remember if it wasn't for Klaus, you wouldn't become such a dick and that kiss would never have happened. So get ready, and get happy, we are going to negotiate a fake truce, and I don't want your attitude screwing it up."

Klaus: (to Damon) "Bring me my coffin before I burn him alive."

Stefan: "I love her, Damon."
Damon: "So do I."

Klaus: "I'm the hybrid. I can't be killed!"

Elena: "I'm a doppelgänger... That makes me supernatural."

Finn: (to Klaus) "You're staying behind."
Rebekah: (to Klaus) "We're leaving you, Nik. Right after I kill that doppelgänger wench. Then, you will be alone-- always and forever."

Esther: (to Klaus) "Look at me! Do you know why I'm here?"
Klaus: "You're here to kill me."
Esther: "Niklaus, you are my son. And I am here to forgive you.  I want to us to be a family again."



Last.fm_play.png "Lullaby" – Sia
Last.fm_play.png "With Wings" – Amy Stroup

Last.fm_play.png "Hate N' Love" – Jack Savoretti



See also