WARNING: If you don't want to know what happened in this episode, don't read this photo recap!
Looks like the mystery of the Red Door everyone is seeing in their creepy vampire dreams will be solved faster than we thought, and we don't even need to wait for Axel to tell us where it is. Vanessa's own dreams (complete with not-dead-Susan) offer one answer: it's back at the underground lab. Right under their noses the whole time. Plus, super creepy skeletal vampire guy is back but only in the dreams.
Since everyone is on their own version of the Road Trip from Hell (though none more than Doc and Axel) it's about time folks start finding each other. First up: Doc and Vanessa nearly running face first into each other in the woods. They're mostly happy to see each other? Feelings are mixed.
Axel, of course, is just behind her and he would really like to get turned back into a human now. Vanessa, though, is a little hesitant to break out her vampire healing bite, considering the last time she bit someone it was Dylan who then got all sorts of dead. She and Doc argue about their many sins as Doc tries to convince her to fix him.
Dimitri also seems to be having dreams of the Red Door variety, despite the fact that vampires aren't supposed to be having dreams at all. But he's a special vampire who knows a whole lot more than he's letting on. For instance, apparently Vanessa has awakened an "elder" and changed the course of her destiny (and presumably everyone else's).
Doc and Julius, for all their differences, are making a valiant effort to keep Axel alive despite the fact that he's a vampire who refuses to drink live blood. They're trying Julius' blood now, but it's still terrible and still not sustaining him. After some panic over whether or not he was (re)dead, Axel picks himself up and staggers after Vanessa.
Doc and Julius, meanwhile, are on the post-apocalyptic road trip that apocalypses were made for. He's all bright and shiny and optimistic because he's a human again. Meanwhile, Doc is surly and sarcastic. They are a perfect pair. And they're on a possibly futile hunt for fuel and a vehicle so this should be loads of fun.
Doc literally trips over a trip wire because it's THAT kind of road trip. It's a very poorly constructed trip wire, by the way, since a fully grown woman got all tangled up in it and it did not explode. She panics as things get loud and scary and Julius manages to toss the explosive just as it goes off.
Vanessa manages to make her way to the underground lab surprisingly quickly but before she can follow the scary red light, she is confronted by the forest ninja! Forest ninja takes off their mask and IS A WOMAN! GASP!
After a brief exchange of pleasantries, a wild Axel appears! He gets stabbed like super fast because he's basically dying and she is a forest ninja and then Vanessa jumps in and there is some pretty excellent fighting. They do know they're basically on the same side, right?
After a stalemate due to choking and grenades, forest ninja finally introduces herself as Scarlett Harker and they get on with the business of finding the door. Axel tries to warn her about the door but he's still feeling pretty stabbed so he passes out instead.
Dimitri has sent his little minion off to gather support in his war against Vanessa, it seems. He's stumbled upon a whole new crew of terrifying vampires. They are all ladies, though, so they get points, and they're wearing outfits we would expect to see at a death metal concert so ... it works.
With Axel out of commission, Vanessa and Scarlett head off to the red door without him. Turns out the password to the door is "Van Helsing" so that's not ominous or anything. Of course, when they enter they don't seem to find anything but an empty room and more hallways.
Now that they've investigated the door, Vanessa wants to get to know Scarlett. Turns out, her family were basically doomsday preppers and trained her as a kid to hunt and kill and fight. She was actually attacked by a vampire long before the Rising ever happened.
Conversation is cut short, though, when they finally make it to the next room and it's made to look like a nursery in a hospital. Probably has something to do with the fetus in a jar. Vanessa thinks it's a human/vampire hybrid and starts to wig out but Scarlett stops her from bailing entirely.
Doc and Julius are still the best. They're bonding over who they are/were as people. Like, for example, how it makes sense that Doc was a pathologist because she sucks with living people. Or how Julius, despite being a badass vampire, is terrified of needles.
Next stop on the Vanessa and Scarlett House of Horrors is a functioning server room where Vanessa realizes she has, in fact, been here before as a little kid. She's now convinced that she was created in that nursery and she is pissed.
Finally, they end up in an office with an observation room where a trip down memory lane let's us know that this is where Vanessa grew up. Her mom (also a Van Helsing) wanted to keep her safe and place the "key to everything" in a mural in the playroom.
The whole time Vanessa is remembering, so is Scarlett because DUN DUN DUUUUUNNN … Scarlett and Vanessa are sisters! Scarlett does not take this as well as Vanessa does, but then, Scarlett has a family and a history of her own.
The key, by the way, is far less metaphoric than you might think. It's a literal key. A really big, very real key hidden in the wall behind the mural. Also real? The super creepy phone in the office which rings and delivers a message from a strange voice.
Of course, now is the perfect time for all hell to break loose. Howling and alarms and broken glass signal some visitors. Axel is nowhere to be found, so Vanessa thinks he's made it out on his own. Meanwhile, Dimitri has reached the lab, and it's time for a vampire on double Van Helsing showdown.