Since they discovered the writings in the caves, Elena, Alaric and Damon have been trying to piece the story together of the original vampires. When they eventually hit a dead end, what better way to complete the story than by going straight to the one original in town: Rebekah.
After Elena confronts Rebekah in the hopes of breaking Klaus's hold over everyone, Rebekah decides to share the history of the Originals and how their inception wasn't the glamorous story it may have seemed to be. Apparently the founding families weren't the first ones to Mystic Falls and Rebekah and her family discovered that neither were they after meeting the local werewolves. At first they were just neighbours but after Klaus and his younger brother snuck out in the middle of the night to watch them shift, only one of them came back alive. When the local witch would not save his son, Michael took matters into his own hands and turned himself and his children, Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah into the original vampires. For the better part of a thousand years, Michael has been hunting the three of them and as Rebekah will soon find out, his reasons for revenge are not as glamorous as they may seem.
After spending the better part of a season with the originals we finally receive a glimpse into their history in Ordinary People. There have been several flashback stories throughout the course of The Vampire Diaries and Ordinary People easily had to be the weakest thus far. In the effort to retain the focus on Elena, Damon and Stefan, the show constantly leapt from past to present in a jarring way. This never quite worked as the back story of the originals was more engaging and needed more time to give it the service it needed.
Rebekah's story, while interesting, still does little to explain the reason she remained in Mystic Falls. Besides the will of her brother to stay, Rebekah continues to involve herself in the world around her out of sheer boredom and her rationale for telling her story to Elena makes even less sense. For someone that has been truly loyal to her brother above all else, it took very little prodding from Elena to get the answers she was looking for.
The highlight of Ordinary People was definitely Elena's realization that Klaus had killed Rebekah's mother and not Michael as they had originally believed. Even though he had so little time on screen we found out that Michael has been on a mission to kill Klaus for revenge of the death of his wife. It's uncomplicated motive but brings so much pathos to his character that he would stop at nothing to protect his family and destroy those that would seek to do so, even if that person was a member of his family. Though it was a great revelation, the timing would have probably been better towards the end of the season when the odds would have seemed hopeless for the show's heroes for a last minute momentum shift.
Overall, Ordinary People was a good episode but could have been so much more. And is it just me, but is the show starting to get complicated with everyone's history and every third vampire/witch/whatever being an original? At times the history can take away from a powerful, emotional story that we haven't seen enough of this season. We'll see what happens next week when Klaus returns in Homecoming.