How do you even go about recapping an episode like "Homecoming," The Vampire Diaries' midseason finale? We could be here all night just listing all the scenes where someone stabs someone else in the back. All the reversals, all the betrayals, all the twists.
It would be easier to list everything that doesn't happen in the episode: Klaus and Stefan don't suddenly start making out. Neither do Katharine and Elena. Nobody has a date for Homecoming. There are no monster truck rallies. Umm... what else? No zombies, no nuclear explosions, and no spaceships. Nobody goes to work as a supermarket bagger.
What actually does happen? Spoilers ahead...
Honestly, I really did think about turning this recap into just a list of all the times in the episode that someone gets stabbed in the back or otherwise betrayed. There are about 500 betrayals in the episode, and yet, it somehow doesn't feel too cluttered.
Instead, let's start at the end and work our way backwards. Stefan is still a total dick at the end of the episode, and he's still being manipulated — but now he's a much more interesting dick, and he's being manipulated by Katherine, not Klaus. And Katherine, of all people, wants Stefan to reconnect with his humanity and turn his feelings back on — as if she was some kind of expert on the benefits of giving in to your weakness.
Katherine woke Stefan up after Mikael drained him of blood, and gave him a bloodbag to bring him back to the land of the (sort of) living, so that Stefan could stop Mikael from killing Klaus. Because Katharine believes Klaus when he says that his hybrids will kill Damon if anything happens to him, and she claims she still loves Damon. (More likely, there's some other nefarious Katharine thing going on, where she's decided it's better to blackmail Klaus.) In the end, Katherine puts Stefan up to stealing all of Klaus' daggered, inert relatives.
It's worth pausing a sec just to contemplate how fascinating Stefan's journey has been this season in terms of his relationship with Klaus — from guilty, tormented sidekick to emotionless, blood-crazed thrall , to a total dick who wants "revenge." The show managed to cover an insane amount of ground with Stefan's character in just nine episodes. (And now we know the answer to the question I asked Joseph Morgan over at Comic Con: How long it would take for Klaus to become Stefan's bitch.)