Elena wakes up in the middle of the night and hears sounds somewhere in the house. Jonas is lurking nearby, but he’s not making the sounds she hears. A door slams somewhere, and Elena goes to investigate. She gets more than she expected when she runs into Alaric in just his underwear. The two of them and Jenna have an awkward conversation in the hallway while Jonas sneaks into Elena’s bedroom and takes a couple of her personal belongings.
Alaric exits the conversation with the well-thought-out comment, “Well…I’m naked…so I’m gonna go.” Jenna apologizes to Elena for having her boyfriend over so often, but Elena’s okay with it since she and Alaric are enjoying each other’s company. Jonas leaves before Elena goes back to her room, completely unaware that there’s an intruder in the house.
The next day, Stefan and Damon go to the tomb, then over to Gilbert Gables to tell Elena what they learned from Katherine. They ask Katherine for the moonstone, and she tells them she’ll give it to them if Bonnie frees her from the tomb. She’s so bored that she would rather go back on the run than sit around, doing nothing. Along with the moonstone, she’ll leave town forever. It’s a win-win, right?
The guys don’t believe her, and they tell Elena that they just want the moonstone so they can figure out how to destroy the spell in it that binds the sun/moon curse. They’re sure Bonnie can handle it. Stefan is also sure that they can steal the moonstone from Katherine. They just need Bonnie to lift the seal on the tomb long enough for the brothers to get the moonstone and get out before Katherine can escape.
Elena’s like, “Please tell me more about this genius plan, you geniuses.” She tells them she doesn’t want them to do this. Klaus is too big of a threat to her and everyone she cares about, including the Salvatores. Damon’s face: “She said she cares about me! Okay, play it cool.” Stefan thinks destroying the moonstone will take care of their Klaus problem.
At school, Bonnie chats with Luka about her newbie status as a witch. She confides that sometimes she has a bad reaction to magic, like a nosebleed or blacking out. Luka says she’s trying to do too much on her own. She can draw on nature and the elements to get more power, or channel another witch. If they put their energy together, they can double their strength.
He demonstrates by trading his necklace for her bracelet and using the jewelry as talismans. They’re able to summon a gust of wind that swirls leaves around them. Jeremy joins them when it’s over, clueless about what they just did. Luka leaves and Jeremy comments that he’s weird. Bonnie says he isn’t. She realizes she’s still holding Luka’s necklace.
Elena goes to Vamp Villa, where she encounters Rose, who definitely spent last night in Damon’s bed. Elena presents an idea to Rose, who objects to it. Elena thinks Rose owes her – she could have given Stefan and Damon the okay to kill her for her part in Elena’s kidnapping. Rose guesses that Elena’s trying to get her on board with her plan because she knows they wouldn’t be okay with this. They’re busy with their “moonstone caper,” so Elena can escape their attention for a little while.
Elena says that she’s not okay with Stefan and Damon risking her loved ones’ lives to save her. Rose tells her they’re trying to protect her. Elena knows that Rose doesn’t care about her safety, so she should be okay with Elena’s idea to go talk to Slater. Elena offers up a daylight ring as incentive.
At school, Matt finds Tyler playing basketball by himself and asks how he’s doing. (Music: “Only Happy When It Rains,” Kat Graham [AKA Bonnie] covering Garbage) Matt feels bad for picking the fight with Tyler that led to Sarah’s death. Tyler doesn’t have any hard feelings, which makes sense because that’s the least of his problems right now. Caroline approaches Matt, but he’s not up for a chat with her. She goes to Tyler next to see how he’s preparing for his first full moon as a werewolf. He says he has a plan, but he doesn’t want to share it. She can’t believe he doesn’t want her help, since she’s the queen of organization.
Back at Vamp Villa, Bonnie tells the Salvatores that she might be able to lift the seal so they can get to the moonstone. Jeremy notes that the last time she did that spell, it took both her and Sheila. Bonnie says she’s learned a few things since then. She worries that the guys are underestimating Katherine by thinking she’ll be weak because she hasn’t fed recently. (I guess they don’t know that Elena gave her blood.) Damon knows the plan isn’t perfect, but no plan is.
Jeremy offers to do the mission – he has his Gilbert ring, so Katherine won’t be able to hurt him. Damon laughs at the idea of a child participating in this plan. Yeah, he’s a whole year younger than Elena. What a baby. Damon asks why Jeremy’s even there. Good question, actually. Bonnie thinks she can help ensure success for the Salvatores, but she’ll need something that belongs to Katherine.
Elena has worn Rose down and gotten her to take her to Slater. Of course, we already know that Slater’s dead, so they made this trip for nothing. But he still has a ton of information on his computer that they might be able to use. They’ll just need to get his password. They realize someone else is in the apartment, and Rose finds Slater’s girlfriend Alice hiding in case his killer returns.
Stefan gives Bonnie his picture of Katherine, which she burns for a spell – she can blow the picture’s ashes onto Katherine to incapacitate her so the Salvatores can get into the tomb. Doing the spell makes Bonnie’s nose bleed.
Tyler and Caroline head to the old Lockwood cellar, talking about how Caroline thinks she can’t be with Matt because she can’t let him know she’s a vampire. She pretends she’s unfamiliar with the cellar where her mother once almost killed Stefan and Damon. Tyler thinks Mason was trying to hide out there during the last full moon. It looks like werewolves have been using the cellar as a transition space during full moons for a long time. Caroline finds a notebook where Mason kept records of his transformations, as well as a recording.
Back at Vamp Villa, Stefan and Damon gather weapons in case they have to fight Katherine off. Jeremy doesn’t think Bonnie’s strong enough to protect them at the tomb. She promises that she’ll be fine. They’re just about over the line separating friendship from romance, by the way. Bonnie’s collected some of the ashes from her spell, and when she’s not looking, Jeremy gets some for himself.
In Richmond, Rose quietly tells Elena that Alice is only pretending to be upset that Slater’s dead. She was only dating him because she wanted him to turn her. Elena has compassion for her anyway, or is maybe just pretending so she can question Alice about Slater’s contacts. Alice is offended when Elena asks for Slater’s password, so Elena barters the information for the possibility of Rose turning Alice.
Slater’s hard drive has been wiped, but he kept everything on a remote server, and Alice is able to access it. (His password is “Kristen Stewart.”) Rose tells Elena there’s no way she’ll turn Alice. Elena knows, but she’s going to dangle the idea in front of Alice anyway. They find a bunch of contacts’ names, and Alice agrees to call someone who might have a connection to Klaus. Elena’s message: There’s a doppelganger willing to surrender. Rose is shocked that Elena’s willing to let Klaus find out where she is. She realizes this was Elena’s plan all along – martyr herself to protect her loved ones.
Jeremy goes to the tomb and asks Katherine to give him the moonstone. When she tells him to come in and get it, he fires a stake into her side, then throws ashes in her face. This knocks her out, but she doesn’t have the moonstone on her, so Jeremy has to go further into the tomb to find it. On his way back out, Katherine attacks him. He manages to toss the moonstone outside the tomb.
Stefan, Damon, and Bonnie arrive in the cemetery as Rose calls to tell Damon that he needs to get to Richmond. Stefan and Bonnie spot the moonstone on the ground outside the tomb, and Katherine reveals that she’s holding Jeremy hostage. She knows she can’t kill him because of his ring, but she can at least torture him until they let her out of the tomb.
Jonas uses Elijah’s blood and the things he stole from Elena to power a spell to locate her. In Richmond, Elena sees Elijah’s reflection in a window. Since Elijah was just in Slater’s apartment, he recognizes her location.
Thanks to Jeremy’s blood, Katherine has her strength back, which means Stefan and Damon may need to alter their plan. Bonnie gives Stefan the ashes while she gets to work on lifting the seal. She still has Luka’s necklace, so she uses it for power. At home, he feels it.
Tyler and Caroline watch Mason’s recording at Fort Forbes. It’s a documentation of his first transformation, and it and his notebook provide a bunch of tips for how to restrain yourself during a full moon. He tied himself up with caribiners and drank diluted wolfsbane in hope of weakening himself. Tyler and Caroline grow more and more distressed as they watch Mason’s hours-long transition. Tyler knows he can’t suffer what Mason went through.
Damon arrives at Slater’s apartment, thrilling Alice but angering Elena. He tells Elena they’re leaving, and she’s not allowed to make decisions anymore. “Who’s going to save your life while you’re out making decisions?” he asks. Elena says she doesn’t want to be saved if it means Klaus will kill everyone she loves. Damon orders her to come with him or he’ll throw her over his shoulder and carry her out. He grabs her arm, but she says no and tries to punch him. He catches her fist and tells her to never try that again. People who want the two of them together start chanting, “Kiss! Kiss! Kiss!”
Katherine brings Jeremy back to the door of the tomb as Bonnie works on lifting the seal. Jeremy tells Stefan to stop Bonnie, since she’s not strong enough to do the spell on her own. Katherine thinks she might be. Meanwhile, Luka tells Jonas that Bonnie’s channeling him. Turns out Jonas told Luka to bond with her, which is why he showed her how to use talismans. His nose starts bleeding, as does Bonnie’s.
Jonas says some magic words to break Bonnie and Luka’s connection. Bonnie’s disappointed to realize that she doesn’t have the power to lift the seal, even with Luka’s help. Katherine starts to chomp on Jeremy’s neck again, so Stefan zooms into the tomb and shoves him out. The good news is that Jeremy’s safe. The bad news is that Stefan’s now trapped with Katherine.
Caroline tries to give Tyler some encouragement about getting through his first transformation. He asks why she’s helping him, since they’re not that close. Caroline just thinks he needs someone to go through this with him. She was alone when she became a vampire, and she had no control over herself. She doesn’t want Tyler to go through the same thing. Matt shows up then to tell Caroline that he misses her. When he realizes Tyler’s at her house, he’s not quite as happy to be there.
Just as Damon’s about to drag Elena out of Slater’s, some vampire minions arrive to speak to Elena on Klaus’ behalf. Damon tells them to leave and threatens to break Elena’s arm if she tries to approach them. If you’re trying to convince people that you don’t actually love her, it’s working, you maniac. Elijah appears and kills a minion. Rose wisely zooms away. Damon’s confused, since he was pretty sure he’d killed Elijah. The minions explain that they were going to take Elena to Klaus. After determining that no one knows the minions are there, Elijah kills them both, then leaves.
He goes back to Jonas and lets him know that he found Elena. Jonas guesses that Elijah killed Damon, but Elijah’s plan is different from what everyone thinks. He doesn’t want to hurt Elena – he wants her protected. He let Damon live because he knows the Salvatores will keep her safe.
Bonnie takes Jeremy home to make sure he doesn’t do anything else dumb. She’s frustrated because she can’t get Stefan out of the tomb. Jeremy’s mad that she went through with the Salvatores’ plan. She says she didn’t have a choice, and he says he didn’t, either. He wanted to make sure Bonnie didn’t get hurt. She tells him he can’t have feelings for her, as if he’s the only one interested here. The risks they took today seem to have fueled their feelings, and they almost kiss, but Bonnie says she can’t do this.
Damon drives Elena back to Mystic Falls, since Rose abandoned her in Richmond (though Elena gets that she’s scared and doesn’t blame her for running away). They wonder why Elijah let them go. Damon tells Elena that her stunt today was stupid, though she thinks the only stupid part was getting caught. She doesn’t question why he and Stefan always try to save her, so they shouldn’t question why she wants to save her loved ones.
Jeremy finds them on the porch and gives them the news about Stefan. They both rush to the tomb, and Damon tries to stop Elena from going in, which would be another stupid move for the day. She fights off his hold on her, as if she really thinks she’s stronger than he is. He holds her until her tantrum passes, then lets her go and sends her away.
Damon slams Stefan for being dumb but promises to get him out of the tomb. Stefan’s not concerned about himself; he tells Damon to work with Bonnie on removing the spell from the moonstone instead. Damon makes a sarcastic comment about Stefan being a martyr and leaving him to work with Bonnie. Stefan tells him to keep Elena away from the tomb and protect her no matter what. I don’t think he needs to make a formal request about that second part. After Damon leaves, Katherine tells Stefan he’s just made the biggest mistake of his life.
Significant item update: The gang has the moonstone.
Etc.: It’s funny that Alice looks down on Slater for using “Kristen Stewart” as his password when she’s the one who’s so obsessed with vampires that she wants to become one. At least he’s leaning into his circumstances. Embrace it, Alice! Find the fun in being an immortal being!
Someone who knows about werewolves should start a business making custom transition spaces for them.
I can’t believe Stefan didn’t offer to take Jeremy’s place as Katherine’s hostage. It’s totally something he would do.