Elena stops by Alaric’s apartment with breakfast, but Damon won’t let her in. He assures her that Alaric’s back to his normal self. He rushes her off so he, Alaric, and Stefan can go back to their secret project: turning the Wickery Bridge sign into white oak stakes.
While Stefan and Damon whittle (Stefan criticizes Damon’s technique), Alaric plans to turn himself in as Brian and Bill’s killer. He wants to take responsibility for his crimes, unlike some people in the room. Damon calls his bluff, saying if Alaric really wanted to turn himself in, he wouldn’t tell Damon. Stefan thinks Alaric should stay quiet, since his dark side has been suppressed and they have bigger issues at hand. They need him to focus on killing Klaus instead. Damon tells him to put his Gilbert ring back on, since they’re going vampire hunting.
Caroline is back in Mystic Falls, and Elena has just filled her in on what’s been going on with Alaric, including the news that he killed Bill. Elena feels horrible about it and knows Caroline can’t just brush this aside, but she needs to remember that Alaric didn’t act willingly. It’s just like how Abby was forced to turn, and how Tyler was turned into a hybrid. Caroline acknowledges that she had no say in becoming a vampire, either. Elena doesn’t plan to turn her back on any of her friends. Caroline calls her the “savior of the cursed and the damned.”
The two of them are in the woods, and they run into Matt, who’s been summoned along with them to meet up with Stefan and Damon. Bonnie’s sitting this one out because Abby left again. Damon announces that they found some white oak, and thanks to the guys’ arts and crafts project, they can all arm themselves with Original-killing weapons.
Klaus finds Finn in some town somewhere and asks him where Esther is. Finn says she’s looking for another way to kill all her children. He plans to offer himself up as a sacrifice again when the time comes. Klaus requests his brother’s assistance with something back in Mystic Falls. He says he has a witch who can undo the spell Esther used to link all the siblings to each other. Finn declines, but Klaus isn’t asking, he’s telling. If Finn doesn’t help, he’ll go back in his coffin for another 900 years. Finn points out that daggering him would incapacitate all the Mikaelsons, so Klaus would lose Rebekah, too. Klaus doesn’t care.
It turns out Rebekah knows what Klaus is up to, and she’s come on this trip with him to wrangle Finn. She’d rather work with Klaus and risk being daggered than let Finn and Esther succeed at killing all of them. Klaus slams Finn into a couple of brick walls, saying he won’t let his brother and Esther take everyone down with Finn.
Back in Mystic Falls, Stefan tells the gang that for once, they have an advantage over Klaus. They just need to kill one Original to take all of them out. They’ll need to keep their eyes open for the best opportunity to act. Damon wants to go over some scenarios, so he tells Elena to play Klaus. (Insert joke here about Damon wanting to role-play with Elena.) The plan is to separate him from Rebekah so they can kill her. Caroline will be bait again, but for now, she’ll play Rebekah.
Damon tells Matt to distract Rebekah with friendly conversation. She won’t be suspicious since she’s lonely and desperate. Caroline quips that she’d have to be, since she slept with Damon. Elena’s amused by that. Anyway, while Rebekah’s distracted, Damon will grab her and hold her still so Stefan can stake her. They’ll only get one shot, so they all need to carry stakes with them and be on the lookout for a chance to kill.
Damon warns everyone (but really just Elena) not to develop any last-minute pity for any of the Originals. Elena says she won’t, considering what happened to Abby. Caroline’s on board because she wants to free Tyler from his sire bond, and Matt figures he doesn’t have a choice not to participate, so he’s also in. There are 12 stakes, which gives the gang 12 chances to kill an Original. Odds are pretty good that they can pull it off.
Klaus and Rebekah drag Finn back to Mystic Falls, planning to find a way to persuade him to give them some of his blood instead of forcing him to help. Klaus has found Sage, which means Finn now has a reason to live. Kol is standing by for his part in the unlinking spell, but he’s not in this episode. Rebekah tells Klaus she has unfinished business with Damon, so other than providing her blood, she’s not going to participate much.
Damon hides a white oak stake in a fireplace at Vamp Villa, which Alaric thinks is an idea just as horrible as hiding the moonstone in a bowl of soap. They hear noise downstairs, and as Damon goes to check it out, Alaric suddenly gets thrown down the stairs. Rebekah is in the house with a big knife, which she sticks in Damon’s gut.
Elena can’t reach Bonnie, which is making her worry. Matt thinks it’s more worrisome that Finn and Sage are hanging out in the town square. Caroline eavesdrops on them as they reminisce. Sage still loves Finn, and she doesn’t want him to die. Elena calls Stefan, who’s just arriving at Vamp Villa, to tell him that Finn’s back and is downtown with Sage, so they have a chance to take out an Original. He tells her not to try anything herself, since she’ll never be able to take on Sage. He finds Alaric, who tells him Rebekah paid a visit.
She’s taken Damon to the Haus of Klaus and has chained him to the ceiling and put animal traps on his hands. She’s displeased that he teamed up with Sage to trick her, so she’s going to bleed the vervain from his system and then compel him to kill either Stefan or Elena. Since his wounds will heal every time she cuts him, this will take a while. Klaus joins them and suggests that Rebekah hang Damon upside-down for more efficient bleeding. She’s fine, thanks, and she tells him to return to his witch…Bonnie.
Bonnie’s not familiar with the unlinking spell, and the stress of being kidnapped and forced to help Klaus isn’t helping her learn it any faster. Klaus warns that he’ll kill anyone who tries to rescue her, so she’d better not use her magic to send a distress signal. Bonnie says she’s not strong enough to do the spell, but Klaus disagrees, since she was able to help Esther do the linking in the first place. As incentive, he calls Kol, who’s in Denver, keeping a watchful eye on Jeremy. If Bonnie doesn’t cooperate, Kol will make a move.
Caroline checks on Alaric, who’s recovering from his encounter with “Buffy the vampire.” (Nice.) She gives him his next dose of the herbs that are keeping his dark half at bay. She tells him she knows he killed Bill. He doesn’t know what to say other than that he’s sorry. Caroline tells him that she killed someone right after she turned, and she liked it. They both have blood on their hands. She’s going to make like Elena and choose to believe that Alaric can be saved.
Elena meets up with Stefan while Matt keeps an eye on Finn at the Grill. Elena thinks they should put their plan on hold and rescue Damon from Rebekah first. Stefan disagrees, since they can’t give up this chance to kill Finn. He knows Damon would want them to follow through. Elena tells Stefan that if he were in Damon’s position, Damon would stop everything to save him. Stefan notes that just because Damon would want them to kill Finn right now doesn’t mean they should do it. He won’t back down, so he says he’ll figure out how to kill Finn without Elena’s help.
Damon’s not doing great. Elena arrives to rescue him, but he’s too weak to make a quit getaway. She refuses to leave him and offers him her blood. After he’s restored his strength, they kiss.
Ha ha, not really! It was all a dream Rebekah vampcepted in Damon’s head as revenge for having Sage do a head-dive on her. But the joke’s on Rebekah, because Damon enjoyed it. She’s still mad that Damon manipulated her, which he thinks is ridiculous because she couldn’t have thought he was really into her. He says she just wants attention because she’s spent the past 1,000 years hanging out with Klaus. Rebekah shuts him up by stabbing him again.
Elsewhere in the house, Bonnie hears him yell with pain. She slams Klaus for the way he uses people to get what he wants. He offers to help her find Abby…or, if Bonnie doesn’t cooperate, he can have her killed. He supplies her with blood from himself and his siblings so she can do the spell to unlink them.
Finn and Sage are still at the Grill, and Stefan has joined Matt to keep an eye on them. A guy named Troy greets Sage, who tells Finn that she turned him so she could have some backup in case Klaus and Rebekah target her. Matt comes by to bus their table, and Sage grabs his hand, but she just wants to order more tequila. Stefan passes Matt a vial of something when Matt comes to clear his table.
Bonnie starts the spell as Finn asks Sage how many people she’s turned. She says it’s a lot. Finn isn’t happy since she’s let her passions overtake her morals. Stefan texts someone to get ready as Bonnie continues the spell and Stefan starts to leave the Grill. Sage and Finn take tequila shots and realize there’s vervain in them. Finn spots Stefan leaving and follows him out, just as Stefan wanted. Meanwhile, the unlinking is starting.
Outside the Grill, Stefan tries to hold off Sage with one hand and stake Finn with the other. Sage throws him to the ground and Stefan fumbles the stake, which falls down the steps into the alley. As Finn goes after it, Bonnie finishes the unlinking spell. Elena and Matt burst out of a storage room and Elena shoots Finn with a crossbow. Then Matt rushes him and stakes him. He and Elena duck back into the storage room as Sage runs to Finn, who dies looking at her. He desiccates and his body goes up in flames. Sorry you waited 900 years for this reunion and it lasted less than a day, Sage.
Rebekah encounters Bonnie and Klaus as he’s walking her out of the Haus of Klaus. Rebekah snarks that she’ll see Bonnie in physics. Bonnie spots Damon chained up behind her, and Klaus says that he hurt Rebekah’s feelings. He offers her the chance to save the guy who turned her mother into a vampire, but Bonnie can’t bring herself to help Damon.
Elena and Stefan meet up with Caroline at Vamp Villa, hopeful that killing Finn took care of their pesky Originals problem. No such luck: Bonnie calls Elena to tell her that a) Klaus has Damon and b) he forced her to unlink all the siblings, so Finn’s the only one who died. She’s overwhelmed by the threats Klaus made against Jeremy and Abby, as well as the knowledge that she keeps getting pulled into situations where she has to help vampires.
Stefan wants to go rescue Damon by himself, but Elena thinks that’s a bad idea. He’s acting on his anger toward Klaus. Stefan tells her that anger gets things done, but she’s more worried that it’ll get him or Damon killed. “Klaus does not get to survive this,” he seethes. “Not after everything he took from me.” After he storms out of the house, Caroline says she misses when he was well-adjusted.
Stefan comes flying back into Vamp Villa, thanks to Sage. She wants to fight him for a while before killing him, but she’s not going to get to do either. Her nose is bleeding and she starts choking. Troy, who’s there as backup, can’t provide it since he’s choking, too. They both cough up blood, then desiccate.
Instead of rushing out the now clear doorway to go save Damon, Stefan and Elena stay put and try to puzzle things out with Caroline. How did two vampires who seemed perfectly fine just drop dead out of the blue? Stefan thinks it has to do with their bloodline. Finn turned Sage, and Sage turned Troy. Once Finn died, so did they. That means killing an Original kills everyone in their sireline. Killing all the Originals would also kill every vampire in the world.
Stefan finally goes to the Haus of Klaus to save Damon, who’s a little disappointed that his hallucinations about Elena didn’t pan out. Stefan announces that Finn is dead and offers Klaus eight white oak stakes in exchange for Damon. He says they’re the last stakes in existence that can kill the Originals, but Klaus is skeptical about that claim. He tells Damon to leave, and when Damon refuses, Klaus compels him to go.
Caroline returns to Vamp Villa after burying Sage and Troy’s bodies, and Elena tells her that Stefan is handing over most of their stakes. The gang still has three, so they’ll just need to figure out whose sireline Stefan, Damon, and Caroline belong to and kill the other siblings. They’re all in the same sireline, since Caroline was turned with Damon’s blood, and Stefan and Damon were both turned by Katherine, who was turned by Rose. Unfortunately, they have no idea who turned Rose. Elena hopes it wasn’t Klaus, so they can kill him, but Caroline realizes that Tyler is part of Klaus’ sireline.
Damon hasn’t been able to leave the Haus of Klaus since his hands are still stuck in animal traps. Still, Klaus has determined that the vervain is out of his system, since he’s compellable, which means he can be forced to tell the truth about the remaining stakes. Damon reveals that they have 11 stakes left. Stefan promises to get Klaus the other three, but Klaus isn’t dumb enough to take his word for it. He’s upset that Stefan isn’t taking advantage of the opportunity to point all of his rage and hatred at Klaus instead of turning it on himself. Klaus gave Stefan’s life purpose, and Stefan should be grateful.
Stefan rushes Klaus and tries to stake him, but Klaus tells him to back off or he and Damon will both die (kind of ironic since Stefan and Damon will both die if Stefan DOESN’T back off). Klaus takes the stake from him, leaving just two for Stefan to bring. Rebekah’s done watching the boys fight, so she releases Damon and says they’re playing by her rules now. She tells Stefan that if he brings them the remaining two stakes, he and Damon will both live. He can take Damon as a sign of good faith. Klaus adds that if they don’t get the last stakes, he’ll start a war against all of Stefan’s loved ones.
Later, Rebekah takes a moment to mourn Finn. Klaus doesn’t see the point; he was an embarrassment. Plus, he was in a coffin longer than he was alive, and he was just a “lovesick fool.” He’s better dead. Rebekah asks if Klaus would say the same thing about her if she died. He replies that since she let the Salvatores go and they still have two white oak stakes, they might learn the answer to that question pretty soon.
He wants to know when Rebekah started taking pity on Stefan and Damon. She says the brothers would die for each other because they know what family means. Klaus destroyed theirs. He says he wanted a family, but they didn’t want him. Since they’re unlinked, they can go their separate ways. As soon as he gets the last two stakes, he plans to leave town with Elena and make a new family for himself. If Rebekah doesn’t come along, she’s as pathetic as Finn was.
Damon goes to get Alaric’s stake back from him while Elena checks in with Stefan at Vamp Villa. She tells him he scared her by trying to go up against Klaus on his own. He says he learned it’s not worth it. He wasted time and energy hating Klaus, and it got him nowhere. Elena disagrees – Stefan went through Hell because of Klaus, but he came out the other side. He beat Klaus by being better than him.
Stefan notes that he lost a lot in the process. It was easy to hate Klaus; it gave him a distraction from everything else he lost. Now he’ll have to face it. He wants Elena to admit that she doesn’t love him anymore. She tells him she never stopped. Stefan knows, but he also knows that she’s in love with Damon, and it’s Stefan’s fault. He tells Elena he loves her, he always will, but he knows she can’t say that she doesn’t feel something for his brother. Elena admits that she doesn’t know what she feels.
Damon asks Alaric for his stake, which he stashed behind some books on a bookshelf in his apartment. Unfortunately, it’s not there anymore. Alaric was the only one who knew it was there…sort of. His dark half knew, too, and that dark half – who would love to use the stake and see all vampires disappear from the world – is the only one who knows where it is now.
Keep in mind: When an Original dies, so do all the vampires in their sireline.
Etc.: I’m not sure why Damon kept Elena out of Alaric’s place while the guys were making the stakes, other than to just be difficult.
I like to think of Stefan’s instructions for everyone to be on the lookout for the chance to kill an Original as “if you see something, say something.”
As far as plot devices to keep the Originals around go, the sireline thing is pretty good. In a lot of TV shows, it makes no sense that long-running villains survive as long as they do, but here, there’s a reasonable twist.
If only Elena were logical enough to realize that Stefan’s not technically choosing to kill Finn instead of rescue Damon because killing Finn would lead to Rebekah being neutralized, which would make Damon safe. It’s like Homer finding money and being upset because he wanted a peanut instead. The money is better because it’ll buy you peanuts. In other words, Stefan was right and I use weird metaphors.
While I object to the gang letting a human take part in killing an Original, it’s awesome that Matt is the one who takes Finn out. He’s only the second person (after Klaus) who can put “killed an Original vampire” on his résumé.
I’ve never really thought about how weird it is that the gang goes to school with Rebekah, one of their enemies. Like, Rebekah could try to kill Elena on Sunday and then get stuck working with her on a group project on Monday.
I’m disappointed that we don’t get to see a) Meredith trying to help out the gang while dealing with the fact that Alaric almost killed her, or b) Elena with Damon after he was rescued. We should have seen her try to hide how worried she was about him.
I love that Stefan was worried about Elena ruining the plan by having a crisis of conscience or pity, but Rebekah was the one who wound up showing pity.