Elena wakes up and almost immediately calls Stefan. (Music: “Poison & Wine,” the Civil Wars) He’s writing in his journal and decides not to answer, so she leaves him a message asking him to call her back. Then she calls Damon, who ignored a bunch of calls from her the night before. He tells her he’s been busy. Elena says that if he’s mad at her, he needs to get over it. He tells her he is. He hangs up, then lies back down next to Rebekah.
Later in the morning, Damon sees Rebekah out of Vamp Villa (he’s shirtless, she’s in her dress from the night before). They agree not to make a big deal out of their night together. Elena’s at the front door when Damon opens it, so…that’s awkward. She thinks Damon stopped taking vervain and Rebekah compelled him into being with her. She’s upset that Damon would willingly hook up with someone who just tried to kill her. Damon wants to move on, but Elena’s not done. She asks if she can expect him to lash out like this again the next time she does something he doesn’t like. He replies that maybe this had nothing to do with her. Uh-huh, sure. I bet he didn’t think of her at all while he was with Rebekah.
Elena informs Damon that Esther has linked her children and is going to kill them all. Damon’s happy, and he doesn’t get why Elena isn’t. Elena doesn’t want Elijah to die, and she thinks Damon should care enough not to want Rebekah to die, either. Damon doesn’t, and he warns Elena not to do anything to screw things up. Stefan joins them and agrees that all the Originals need to die.
At the Haus of Klaus, Elijah finds the sage Esther burned to keep anyone from eavesdropping on her and Elena. Kol taunts Rebekah about her night out, hoping she found someone better than Matt the “commoner” to spend it with. Kol’s bored and wants entertainment, but he also wants company. He tries to convince Klaus to go out somewhere with him.
After they leave, Elijah tells Rebekah that Esther’s acting weird. He knows that the sage means she did a privacy spell. Rebekah suggests that he ask Finn what Esther’s up to, but Elijah doesn’t trust him, since he’s always hated that the siblings are vampires. Rebekah says that Esther came back to unite the family, so there’s no reason to think she’s up to anything. Elijah’s just looking for trouble.
At Gilbert Gables, Elena, Bonnie, and Caroline are trying to recreate the anti-listening spell, with Caroline outside the room while Bonnie tries to block sound with sage. Elena complains about Damon sleeping with Rebekah and being so proud of it. Bonnie’s not having any luck, so Caroline can hear all of Elena’s complaints from the hallway.
Bonnie reveals that Esther came to see her and Abby. She wanted to introduce herself to the witches who brought her back, and whose ancestral blood line she’s channeling for power. Elena asks if there’s a way to stop her from channeling Bennett magic. She wants to find a way to keep Elijah alive, just like he did for her when she was facing Klaus’ sacrifice. Caroline comes back in to say that the spell still isn’t working, and Elena shouldn’t feel responsible for Esther’s actions. Bonnie says it’s too late anyway – Elijah and his siblings will be dead by the end of the night. Esther will be harnessing that night’s full moon, and she wants Bonnie and Abby to join her when she kills her children.
Damon offers Stefan a drink so they can celebrate the Originals’ impending deaths. Stefan doesn’t want to jump the gun. Damon’s happy because he and Stefan are on the same team again, even though it’s against Elena. Stefan guesses that Damon still thinks she’s going to screw things up. Damon knows she won’t listen to him right now, so if Stefan wants to try to change her mind, he’s on his own. Stefan knows that Elena was hurt by Damon’s night with Rebekah, but Damon is acting like he doesn’t feel bad about it. He points out that now Stefan can win Elena back. Stefan says she’s better off without him, and definitely better off without Damon. Damon says that neither of them will be with her, then. But Stefan still needs to make sure she doesn’t screw up Esther’s plan. Damon exits, leaving a glass of blood behind like we’re back in “Under Control.”
Elijah goes to Gilbert Gables and asks Elena to go somewhere with him. He takes her to the woods and gives her a history lesson: Mystic Falls High School was built on a native burial ground, and the natives would gather to worship in the spot where the town square is now. He’s brought Elena to a cavern that leads to the underground tunnels. That’s where the humans would hide when the werewolves were out during the full moon. He mentions the necessity of a balance in nature.
Elena’s a little impatient for Elijah to get to the point of this field trip. He tells her that she reminds him of the qualities he valued before he became a vampire. He knows she’s not usually a liar, but he also knows she hasn’t told him the truth about her conversation with Esther. Elena again tries to convince him that Esther just talked about wanting a fresh start. But Elijah can hear her heartbeat, which jumps when she lies. He wants to know the truth.
Elena says she never wanted this to happen – the gang was expecting a weapon against Klaus. She met with Esther because she thought they wanted the same thing. But while Esther wants Klaus dead, just like the gang does, she’s not going to stop at just him. Elijah realizes that all the siblings are at risk because Esther wants to undo the evil she brought into the world. Elena says she wishes there were a way she could help. Elijah tells her to be careful what she wishes for. Then he stomps on the ground, making it cave in, and grabs Elena and jumps into the tunnel below them. He ditches her there with no cell signal and no way out.
Damon has been unable to reach Elena, so he calls Alaric, who hasn’t heard from her – well, not since she told him that Damon and Rebekah slept together. Damon complains about Elena’s “attack of conscience” about letting Esther kill all her children. Alaric doesn’t want to judge Elena for that, and Damon says he doesn’t have to – he should just find her and tie her up so she can’t interfere. Alaric says he’s busy, but he won’t tell Damon why. Damon guesses that he’s with “the sexy psycho doctor.” As they hang up, Damon notices that his glass of blood is still where he left it, untouched.
Alaric’s at the Grill, and yes, he’s with Meredith (and yes, she knows Damon still thinks she’s a serial killer). She tells him that his x-rays from being stabbed don’t show anything helpful that would help them ID his attacker, like their height or which hand they used. Alaric wonders why he can’t remember anything. Meredith says he didn’t have a head injury, so maybe he was compelled to forget. That would make the killer a vampire, which Meredith thinks makes sense. Klaus and Kol join them, and Klaus chastises the humans for pointing fingers at vampires.
Bonnie and Abby go to Hex House to meet with Esther and Finn (whom Abby astutely calls a “creepy, lurky guy”). Abby wonders what Sheila would think about them trying to help balance nature. Bonnie figures she’s watching them from the Other Side and screaming at them for getting involved in vampire stuff.
Esther’s happy to work with Abby, who locked Mikael away, and Bonnie, who took on Klaus. She explains that she’s drawing from the whole Bennett bloodline, both living and dead witches. But she needs a living mother and daughter for this next part of her plan.
Elena wanders around the tunnels until she finds an exit, but before she can take it, Rebekah blocks her. She’s there to make sure Elena stays put, though if Elena tries to run, Rebekah’s allowed to kill her.
Stefan and Damon have been out looking for their girlfriend, and when they get home, Elijah’s waiting for them. He tells them that Elena’s with Rebekah, and if they want to keep her alive, they need to stop Esther. They can’t kill her, since the spirits of nature kept her alive before and will do it again, so Elijah tells the guys to break the Bennett bloodline. He’d do it himself but he doesn’t know where Bonnie and Abby are. Plus, they would know he was there to harm them. If Stefan and Damon do the job, the Bennetts will never suspect what’s coming. Elijah gives them until 9:06 p.m., the minute before the moon is full and Esther has the power to kill her children. If they don’t stop her, Rebekah will kill Elena.
Rebekah wants to make a hostage video of Elena to send to Damon and Stefan. She’s equally hoping the Originals will be saved and that the Salvatores will fail, which will give Rebekah permission to kill Elena. Elena says this isn’t her fault – she just wanted to kill Klaus, something Rebekah also wanted once upon a time. She didn’t know about Esther’s plans. Rebekah’s tired of everyone always wanting to save Elena, though at least that makes her the perfect leverage. She tells Elena to sit down and shut up.
Stefan contemplates a human blood power-up as he and Damon try to figure out what to do. Stefan thinks they should call Bonnie and have her do something. Damon doesn’t have enough details about Esther’s plan to consider that a good idea. His plan: kill the Bennetts. Plan B: dagger Elijah, which will take out all the Originals. Stefan notes that they don’t know if that will also take out Klaus. Plus, vampires can’t use the dagger, so they’d have to bring in a human.
Damon calls Alaric, who reports that Klaus and Kol are still drinking at the Grill. Damon sends in a “blonde distraction” in the form of Caroline. She pretends she’s not interested in any contact with Klaus and leaves the Grill as soon as she sees him. He follows her out and tries to make up with her after their disagreement at the ball. She tells him that he and his jewelry and drawings need to leave her alone. Klaus wants to get to know her better, and she agrees to talk, though she warns that she’s too smart to be seduced by him.
At Hex House, Esther and Finn set up the spell, which will reverse the one she did to make her children vampires. Then she’ll kill Finn, which will in turn kill all the Originals. Finn is ready to die because he feels shame about being a vampire. Sacrificing himself is actually a gift.
Back at the Grill, Kol tries to flirt with Meredith, who wouldn’t be the least bit interested even if she weren’t acting as bait. Alaric comes to her rescue and daggers Kol. In the tunnels, Rebekah goes down as well, which allows Elena to run away. When Finn goes down at Hex House, Esther realizes something’s wrong. Klaus feels what’s happening, though he doesn’t know why, and he demands to know what Caroline did. Then he realizes he needs to check on Kol.
Alaric drags Kol out the back door of the Grill as Stefan and Damon arrive. Klaus runs up, pulls the dagger out of his brother, and knocks out both Alaric and Stefan. Rebekah revives as Klaus faces off with Damon, who tells him Esther’s trying to kill him. Before Klaus can attack Damon, Elijah stops him, saying they still need Damon. He has Rebekah on the phone, and he tells Damon to reveal where Abby and Bonnie are or he’ll tell Rebekah to kill Elena. It’s not 9:06 yet, so Damon protests.
Of course, he doesn’t know that Rebekah can’t actually do anything to Elena right now, since she’s lost track of her. Elena’s on the run in the tunnels, with Rebekah on her trail. Though Rebekah catches up to her, Elena has an advantage – she’s found the No Vamps Allowed Cave, the perfect hiding place.
Meredith takes Alaric to her apartment so she can make sure he doesn’t have a concussion. He’s embarrassed that he got beaten up by a vampire while they were on a date. Meredith jokes that he shouldn’t pick fights with guys 30 times his age. She tells him to rest and let Damon and Stefan rescue Elena.
The Salvatores go to Hex House on a hunch, though Damon notes that if they do nothing, Klaus will die, which is all Stefan wants. Elena would be the only collateral damage, and she would be willing to sacrifice herself if it meant Bonnie lived. Damon must be testing Stefan’s humanity here, because there’s no way Damon would consider sacrificing Elena.
The other option is killing the Bennetts, which the guys know would make Elena hate them. Damon notes that she could only hate one of them – they don’t both have to act here. Only one of them has to take out only one Bennett. They decide to flip a coin. “Awful lot of effort for someone who pretends not to care about her anymore,” Stefan says. “Pot, kettle, brother,” Damon replies. He flips the coin.
Elena’s found a flashlight in the No Vamps Allowed Cave, but all it does is let her see Rebekah returning with a can of gas, which she splashes into the cave. She taunts that Damon likes her spontaneity. Rebekah lights a match and throws it in the cave, giving Elena the choice between burning to death or leaving to face Rebekah.
The fires don’t stay lit, so Rebekah will get to play this game for a while. She asks Elena how it feels knowing she could die soon. Elena notes that Rebekah’s in the same boat, thanks to her own mother. She sees that Rebekah’s still wearing Esther’s necklace. Rebekah takes it off and tosses it into the cave in case Elena wants it back. Elena says Esther isn’t doing this because she hates Rebekah. She just doesn’t have another choice.
Rebekah doesn’t want pity, and she’s itching to kill someone, but Elena calls her bluff. Rebekah won’t kill her if there’s a chance Esther doesn’t finish the spell; Rebekah will lose her only shot at revenge. Rebekah’s just mad that Elena pretended to be friendly, then daggered her. That has to be why she slept with Damon and is tormenting Elena. She got her feelings hurt. Rebekah lets the next match burn out instead of throwing it, and she tells Elena that acting tough doesn’t suit her.
At Hex House, Finn hears his brothers coming and warns Esther. She sends Bonnie and Abby away, and she and Finn stand in a pentagram of salt that her other sons can’t enter. Kol taunts Finn for sacrificing himself, but Esther says he’s virtuous. Elijah says that Esther might think her children are abominations, but killing them would be an atrocity. Esther’s only regret is that she let them live for 1,000 years.
Klaus tells Esther to proceed already before he sends her back to Hell. Esther says she’s watched him for 1,000 years and felt the pain of all his victims. Elijah, the supposed noble one, is no better than the others. They’re a curse on the world over multiple generations. If they want to plead for their lives, she won’t listen.
Abby and Bonnie hide in the house, knowing the witches will protect them from the Originals. They get separated as Damon and Stefan arrive. Stefan tells Bonnie that Rebekah will kill Elena if they don’t stop Esther from finishing her spell. Bonnie says she can’t stop Esther, so Stefan says he has to find another way to intervene. Bonnie realizes what he means and points out that since Esther’s channeling from the whole Bennett bloodline, killing Bonnie and Abby won’t stop her. Stefan says they’re going to cut Esther off. Elsewhere in the house, Damon feeds Abby his blood and breaks her neck.
Outside, Esther continues the spell, and the fires she and Finn have lit flare up. When they go out, Esther’s gone. Sometime later, Rebekah tells Elena that Stefan and Damon have solved things. Damon turned Abby, which stripped her of her magic and severed the witch line. Rebekah’s kind of impressed. She tells Elena she can go, but she’ll probably be facing some more suffering down the line.
Elena goes to Fort Forbes, where Bonnie and Caroline are going to help Abby with her transition. Caroline gently tells Elena she can’t stay; she needs to give Bonnie space. Elena wants to be there for the friend who’s always been there for her, but since Elena’s part of the reason Abby was turned, Bonnie probably won’t want to see her for a while. Caroline says that Bonnie loves Elena, but somehow, Bonnie’s always the one who ends up getting hurt. Elena’s upset, but she understands.
At Vamp Villa, Stefan confirms to Damon that Elijah kept his word and Elena is safe. He asks why Damon took his place – Stefan lost the coin toss and was supposed to be the one to turn Abby. Damon knows Stefan is barely holding it together and wants to be his old self. He couldn’t let Stefan add more guilt to what he already feels.
Stefan says that old self is gone for good, but Damon disagrees. He asks how long it’s been since Stefan had human blood. Stefan reveals that he hasn’t had any since the night he threatened to drive Elena off Wickery Bridge. He adds that Damon isn’t fooling anyone – it’s obvious he still loves Elena. Damon admits that he does, and he thought he could “win” Elena from Stefan, but she didn’t want him. It doesn’t bother him, though. He’s better at being the villain.
Elena finds a letter on her bed from Elijah. He’s not happy with how he acted today, and he knows Elena understands. “Your compassion is a gift,” he tells her. “Carry it with you, as I will carry my regret, always and forever.” At the Haus of Klaus, Elijah tells Rebekah that Esther was right. He’s not as noble as he pretends to be. He’s willing to kill and harm for Klaus, and he used Rebekah to get what he wanted. Rebekah thinks it was necessary, since they deserve to live. They’re better than others. Elijah says Esther made them vampires, but they made themselves monsters.
Klaus is burning his sketches of Caroline when Rebekah comes to see him. He’s surprised she’s sticking around, since Esther, Finn, and Kol have all split, and Elijah is planning to leave as well. Rebekah tells him that she hated him when she learned that he killed Esther, but he’s the only person who’s never left her in 1,000 years. She wants him to see something.
She shows him Elena’s hostage video, which has the cave drawings in the background. There’s one of a native worshiping at the white oak tree the Mikaelsons burned so it couldn’t be used to kill them. The markings next to it are from a calendar that shows the tree was there 300 years after the Mikaelsons left Mystic Falls. There must have been a second tree planted there from a sapling from the original tree. There could still be white oak in the world.
Alaric wakes up on Meredith’s couch in the middle of the night while she’s asleep in her bed. He goes to the kitchen to take some aspirin and finds files about his and Bill’s attacks. As he picks up the knife that was used to stab him, he hears a gun being cocked. “You weren’t supposed to see that,” Meredith says before firing at him.
Keep in mind: There’s still white oak.
Etc.: It’s funny that everyone considers Elijah the good Mikaelson when he was painted as super-evil when we first met him. I guess it’s all relative.
You know Rebekah really hates Elena since she’s willing to risk Klaus daggering her again for killing her.
Elena can’t imagine that Rebekah might have a reason to want to sleep with Damon other than revenge on her? How about the fact that HE’S HOT?
Damon asking Stefan, “How long has it been since your last drink?” gives me an idea: Vampires Anonymous, a 12-step group for vampires who want to abstain from human blood.