|“||All Jeremy feels when he sees a vampire is a burning desire to kill them. Even if consciously he doesn't want to, as in your case, it's his subconscious that's calling the shots. [...] Think of it as kind of a conditioned response, right? See vampire, kill vampire. What I'm doing is creating a kind of middle step. It's like a detour where his subconscious learns to recognize you as someone he loves, someone he wants to protect. And that gives him a choice. He can choose to take the detour instead of the conditioned response.||”|
A WINTER WONDERLAND IN MYSTIC FALLS - As a Winter Wonderland-themed party fills the streets of Mystic Falls, Stefan and Caroline find themselves at odds with Tyler over his plans for Klaus and his hybrids. When Caroline proposes a solution to their problem, Hayley finds a dramatic way to make it clear that she is not on board. Later, Klaus makes a discovery that leads to chaos and violence. Meanwhile, Elena and Damon retreat to the Gilbert Lake House to help Jeremy conquer some dangerous inner demons with the help of Bonnie and Professor Shane, who reveals a piece of ancient history that leaves them all speechless.
Damon and Elena are lying in bed together fully clothed, but they have not slept together due to Damon being a perfect gentleman. Damon reminds her that her feelings might not be real due to the Sire Bond and that he should have invoked the bond by asking her to leave. Elena challenges him to let her go, but he can't. Just as they're about to kiss, Elena gets a text from Bonnie, who is at the Gilbert Lake House trying to teach Jeremy not to kill Elena. Elena invites Damon to come along with her. Meanwhile, Stefan arrives at Klaus' house, where Klaus is shown painting his contribution to the Winter Wonderland charity event.
Klaus shows Stefan the sword as proof that he has found it. In the cellar, two of the unsired hybrids are complaining about having to take orders from Klaus. Hayley reveals that she has found a witch who can save their lives. At the Winter Wonderland fair, Tyler tells an unhappy Caroline that he is going to use the body jump spell to put Klaus' body into his own and then encase it in concrete, until the hybrids have all safely disappeared, where Klaus can't find them. Elena and Damon arrive at the lake house, where Bonnie and Jeremy are waiting. Elena also invited Professor Shane to help them. They convince Jeremy to invite Elena inside, but then Jeremy tries to stake her. Caroline wants the sword soon, because the hybrids are taking down Klaus later that night.
Stefan breaks into Klaus' house to look for the sword, but finds a collection of letters instead. He calls Damon, who tells him that he invoked the sire bond by letting Elena go. He doesn't tell Stefan that they are together. Back at the lake house, Bonnie, Professor Shane and Elena have hypnotized Jeremy and Elena tells him family memories of the lake house. However, the plan does not work and Jeremy still wants to kill Elena. Stefan wants Tyler to postpone the plan so he can get the sword, but the hybrids refuse because the cure is of no interest to them. Damon realizes that if Jeremy connects his emotional feelings to someone other than a vampire, he can think of those feelings when he sees someone like Elena, therefore keeping her safe.
Damon suggests that he attaches his emotions to Bonnie. Professor Shane reveals that he has already visited The Cure and can lead Damon and Elena to it - the cure is buried with Silas who was mentioned in his lecture during a previous episode. Tyler tells his mom about his plan, and she reluctantly agrees to support him. As Shane is revealed to know where to find the cure, the sword is not needed and therefore Tyler's plan can go ahead. Caroline tells Tyler that instead of using his body, they can put Klaus' essence into Rebekah's body and bury the siblings together. Hayley is not happy about this. As a result, when Caroline receives confirmation from Bonnie, she snaps Caroline's neck. Meanwhile, Jeremy can be with Elena again, and the two reunite.
It turns out that the letters Stefan found are from Klaus' victims, and Klaus reminds Stefan that the reason they keep souvenirs is because they are always going to end up alone. April visits the bathroom and finds Caroline lying on the floor with no pulse, but much to her surprise, Caroline wakes up and warns Stefan about Hayley. Shocked, April insists that Caroline was dead and starts questioning the situation. Caroline then compels April to forget everything that she heard and saw. Later, Matt reveals that April was wearing vervain and cannot be compelled. Hayley tells Tyler about her lies and tells him that 12 hybrids were needed for a sacrifice.
Klaus kills all 12 of the hybrids. Damon finally sets Elena free. Stefan discovers that Damon and Elena are together, and is distraught. Damon tells Elena to leave and she says that leaving feels right. We find out that April was hidden in the cellar where one of the hybrids was killed, and she opens the coffin containing Rebekah's body. Klaus drowns Carol in the fountain, because he knows that Tyler's mom was the only person he had left and he wanted to make sure Tyler´s suffering.
- Antagonists: Niklaus Mikaelson, Atticus Shane and Hayley Marshall.
- This is the final episode of the second chapter of Season Four, The Hunter Chapter.
- April finds a daggered Rebekah hidden down in the tunnels and finally learns the truth about vampires and other supernatural beings.
- It was revealed that Hayley never wanted to free the hybrids from Niklaus' sire bond. Shane had always intended to trick Klaus into killing his own hybrids so that their deaths could be part of the sacrifices in order to enact Silas' ultimate plan. Hayley was manipulated by Shane to help him in this task in exchange for helping her find information on her biological parents, who she has been looking for since she became a werewolf.
- Niklaus kills twelve unsired hybrids in this episode.
- Though the Winter Wonderland-themed party is superficially similar to the Winter Party from the novels, which took place in The Fury, the two events are very different.
- The title card at the end of the episode had a snowflake falling instead of the usual falling drop of blood.
- Klaus kills Carol in this episode by drowning her in a fountain in punishment for Tyler's betrayal.
- Stefan finds out from Caroline that Elena and Damon slept together, which causes him to fly into a rage.
- This is the first episode where the Sword of Alexander is seen being wielded (in this case, by Klaus) in combat.
- This is the second mid-season finale in which Klaus has killed someone. The first time was in Homecoming when he killed Mikael.
- This is also the second mid-season finale with a failed attempt to kill Klaus.
- This is also the second mid-season finale that Klaus has killed a parent of a hybrid.
- Elena, Stefan, Damon, Matt, Caroline, Tyler and Bonnie are the only characters to appear in four mid-season finales thus far.
- Damon admits to Elena that Christmas used to be his and Stefan's favorite holiday when they were humans, but they never celebrated it after they turned.
- Kimberley and Adrian were among the victims in Klaus' massacre of the hybrids.
- This is the second time that Susan Walters is credited as a Guest Star, and not as a Co-Star.
- Carol Lockwood - drowned, killed by Niklaus Mikaelson.
- 12 Hybrids - decapitation and heart extraction, killed by Klaus Mikaelson.
Behind the Scenes
- This episode had about 2.81 million viewers in the USA, which was 0.39 million more than the previous episode.
- The scene in which Carol drowns was done by a stunt girl. The moments when you see Carol's face underwater were filmed in a tank on the stage.
- There were two deleted scenes in which Carol was drunk.
- This is the first mid-season finale to feature April, Hayley and Shane; the second to feature Rebekah, Carol and Klaus; the third to feature Jeremy, and the fourth to feature Elena, Stefan, Damon, Matt, Bonnie, Caroline and Tyler.
- The Gilbert Family Lake House was last seen in Season Two's The Dinner Party.
- This is the second time Damon goes to the lake house. He previously visited there in The Dinner Party.
- Klaus, Carol, Matt, April and Jeremy were last seen in My Brother's Keeper.
- Rebekah was last seen in The Five. However, she only appears as a daggered corpse in this episode.
- The first scene with Damon and Elena in bed mirrors the opening scene from We'll Always Have Bourbon Street. But to stress the change in status, they are somber and clothed.
- Elena has been practicing fighting and self-defense, first with Alaric, then with Stefan. It paid off when Jeremy tried to stake her, but failed.
- Jenna Sommers and Logan Fell were both mentioned by Elena while at the lake house. Jenna was last seen in flashback in The Departed, and in person in The Sun Also Rises. Logan was last seen in The Turning Point.
- It's the second time that Caroline tells Klaus that if she needs to be nice to him, she'll need booze—and, both times, she was distracting him while the gang was up to something.
- Tyler reminds Stefan and Caroline that they were responsible for the death of Chris, who was both first seen in We All Go a Little Mad Sometimes and was killed by Jeremy to activate his hunter legacy in the same episode.
- Carol Lockwood says she is channeling Tyler's father, Richard Lockwood, who died in Founder's Day.
- April Young's title as Miss Mystic Falls was referenced at the party. She was chosen to be Miss Mystic Falls in My Brother's Keeper.
- April was unable to be compelled by Caroline because of her vervain bracelet. Jeremy gave April his vervain bracelet after Connor died and he subsequently gained the Hunter's Mark in The Killer. He knew that as a supernatural hunter, he could not be compelled anymore.
- This is the second holiday episode seen in the series.
- Mystic Falls, Virginia
- Tyler and Hayley have a Zany Scheme, a very complicated plan to rid them of Klaus. It not only does not work, it backfires!
- On the other hand, Hayley's Unspoken Plan with Shane works like a charm!
- Hayley kills Caroline using the ever reliable Neck Snap.
- Alas, poor Kimberley and Chris, we hardly knew ye.
- All the other ten hybrids were part of the Red Shirt Army: expendable extras whose names we did not even learn.
- Carol Lockwood on the other hand, was a Sacrificial Lion. Her death is unnecessary to the great scheme, but will produce shock waves in the story, and may alter the behavior of certain characters.
- All these deaths are to re-affirm the writers commitment to Anyone Can Die, except when protected by Plot Armour or Contractual Immortality.
- Snow means Death - although Mystic Falls is naturally snow-free, it is covered in artificial snow as a foreshadowing of the massacre that is about to happen.
- After he kills the hybrids and goes after Carol Lockwood, Klaus is wearing a blood splattered White Shirt of Death. Also, fake snow keeps falling on the background, announcing Carol's death as well.
- With the rekindling of Bonnie's and Jeremy's romance, poor Jamie is all but forgotten. He did not die, so he is not a Forgotten Fallen Friend . He was not put on a bus either, so it is likely he suffers from Chuck Cunningham Syndrome.
- The title of the episode is the first verse of the English translation of the Christmas carol Adeste Fideles.
- Saved by the Bell was an American sitcom about high schoolers. The expression means saved by last minute intervention. The origin is from boxing, when a boxer who is losing can be saved if the bell announcing the end of the round rings.
- Postmodernism - as a philosophy is hard to define. It's a set of critical, strategic and rhetorical practices employing concepts such as difference, repetition, simulacrum and hyper realism to de-stabilise other concepts. Still, the painting looks like a giant, lonely snowflake!
- "Winter Wonderland" - a popular 1934 Christmas song.
- Stefan tells Klaus that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves.
- Tiny Tim is a character in Charles Dickens' famous work: A Christmas Carol. Dickens lived between 1812 and 1870. Klaus implied that he knew him personally.
- Both Caroline and Tyler refuse (at first) to have alcohol in public. This is the first mention in the series that the characters are below the drinking age of 21 in the state of Virginia.
- Damon says Klaus is MVP on the quest for the cure.
- Damon calls Shane Dr. Evil - the villain from the Austin Powers movies.
- Master Cleanse- a modified juice fast, that permits no food, only tea and lemonade made with maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It's a designed to eliminate toxins from the body and promote wellness.
- "Kumbaya" - an African-American spiritual song from the 30s. It is a standard camp side song.
- Old Wives' Tale - supposed to be wisdom, passed from older to new generations, but many times they are unverified claims with exaggerated, untrue or false claims.
- Noah's Ark - since the time of the Greeks, millions of dollars were spent financing countless excursions to Mount Ararat, looking for the physical remains of the Ark.
- Kill two birds with one stone - to solve two problems with a single action.
- Tyler: (to Kimberley and Adrian) "Tonight, we are taking out Klaus and setting you free."
- Stefan: (to Caroline) "Klaus is the only shot we have in finding the cure. We need him."
- Tyler: "Every moment that goes by that we don't do this, they're at risk."
- Stefan: "I can't let you do that."
- Klaus: "I heard you moved out of your house. Bit of a martyr move, hmm?"
- Stefan: "I'm not here to bond, Klaus."
- Klaus: "Oh, on the contrary. I think right now, I'm the best friend you've got."
- Bonnie: "Jeremy..."
- Jeremy: "They shouldn't be here."
- Bonnie: "They are here to help you. You trust me?"
- Jeremy: "Yeah, I trust you."
- Bonnie: "Let's go inside."
- Damon (to Elena): "What the hell is Professor Shady-Pants doing here?"
- Elena: "I invited him."
- Caroline: "Here to steal Tiny Tim's crutches?"
- Klaus: "Dickens was a dark man. You would've liked him."
- Caroline: "Nice snowflake, by the way."
- Klaus: "Is my work really that literal?"
- Caroline: "I'm serious. There's something... lonely about it."
- Klaus: "I'm gonna take that as a compliment. Can I offer you some champagne?"
- Caroline: "Can't. Too many adult prying eyes. Don't wanna be a high school cautionary tale in the next town meeting."
- Klaus: "Well! Then it's a good thing that the high school part's nearly over."
- Caroline: "If we're going to be nice to each other, then I will need that glass of champagne."
- Klaus: "Is that our thing?"
- Caroline: "We don't have a thing."
- Klaus: "Allow me."
- Stefan: "Well, Jeremy is the hunter, and he has to keep killing vampires to complete his mark, but we can't quite figure out how to keep him from killing us."
- Klaus: "Sounds like quite the chore, which is why I feel perfectly justified doing a little charity work."
- Damon: "This would be so much more fun if we were naked."
- Elena: "This was your call, not mine."
- Damon: "I was being a gentleman"
- Caroline: "How come the only time April Young isn't following you around like a lost puppy is when I'm lying dead with a broken neck?"
- Matt: "April saw you?"
- Caroline: "Yeah, it's okay. I compelled her."
- Matt: "No, she's-she's wearing Jeremy's vervain bracelet. She can't be compelled."