Last week on The Vampire Diaries, there was a mysterious fourth coffin with unknown contents. Bonnie was at the old witch house trying to open it with spells since it was sealed shut using magic. However, it seems that Klaus is on their trail since he has his hybrids lurking around in the area. Luckily, the Salvatore brothers are there to circumvent any trouble.

Meanwhile in the real world, Elena and her friends are struggling to be normal teenagers and celebrate Caroline’s birthday. Like typical high-schoolers, Elena and Bonnie are decorating Caroline’s locker when Elena confesses to Bonnie that she had Jeremy compelled to leave town. She wants to give Bonnie a chance to say goodbye.

The birthday girl pulls up to school where Tyler is waiting for her. He tells her that even though he wants to put her first, he’ll never be able to because of his sire bond to Klaus.

Damon and Stefan try to figure out how to play their next move. They still can’t open the fourth coffin and use whatever is in it against Klaus, so they’re trying to strategize. Damon doesn’t want to draw attention to the coffins, but Stefan’s all about being the bigger villain. Stefan believes he has the upper hand and that Klaus should do whatever he wants, so he decides that he wants to call Klaus’s bluff. Sounds like he’s turning a little into Klaus himself.  

Stefan pays a visit to Klaus, making the demand that Klaus removes his hybrids or else he’ll remove them himself. They’re going head to head and the tension is even worse than it was during the Cold War. When Stefan threatens to drop Elijah in the middle of the Atlantic, Klaus retaliates with Damon’s life. Stefan doesn’t seem to care at all and he leaves with flair after decapitating one of Klaus’s hybrids.

After that emotional run-in with Tyler, Caroline plays hooky and goes home. Like the good friends that they are, Elena, Bonnie and Matt bring the surprise to her. But Caroline doesn’t even want to celebrate her birthday, considering it’s just a reminder that she’s dead and stuck at 17, an age she doesn’t even like. So instead of a birthday party they have a funeral instead. Man these kids are way far from normal.

Klaus calls on Tyler, who isn’t happy to be there. It seems like he’s getting a little tired of being Klaus’s lap dog. Klaus wants him to bite Caroline but he’s strongly defiant. He refuses to hurt her and surprisingly, Klaus backs off and nonchalantly says fine, whatever, free will—he’ll find another way to strike back at Stefan. Hm…

Damon and Rick go to a council meeting, where Rick runs into Dr. Fell from the hospital. Turns out, she’s very well aware of the supernatural in Mystic Falls, having come from a long line of Founders. She’s not the only familiar face they run into at the meeting—Klaus is there trying to sweet talk Carol Lockwood—and its working. He says he’ll protect Tyler and the city as long as Stefan backs off.

During Caroline’s birthday, err, funeral, celebration, Elena and Bonnie get into it. Bonnie’s angry about what Elena did to Jeremy even though she was trying to do it for his own good. She says that Elena is taking away his freedom of choice and she threatens to tell Jeremy the truth and then she leaves. Tyler crashes the party saying he needs to talk to Caroline. He’s all happy because he can resist Klaus when it comes to Caroline. He tells her he loves her and they’re all happy and kissing and then all of a sudden—of course—he bites her.

At the meeting, Rick runs into Dr. Fell again. This time, she’s having an argument with some guy who turns out to be her ex-boyfriend and co-worker. Rick tries to intervene on behalf of the pretty lady and her ex warns him that she’s a psycho case. We see Stefan lurking around in the back, looking like he’s up to no good. He’s about to decapitate another one of Klaus’s hybrids when Damon stops him. This guy is really off his hinge.

Matt and Elena go searching for Caroline since she hasn’t returned. Stefan appears out of nowhere and kidnaps Elena. Next thing you know, they’re speeding down the road somewhere. It becomes clear that Stefan wants to take away the source—which is Elena. Without her, Klaus can’t make any more hybrids. He’s not going to kill her—instead he’s just going to turn her into a vampire. He feeds her his blood and tells Klaus that he’s going to drive off a bridge if he doesn’t move his hybrids out of town. Klaus is backed into a corner and agrees and Stefan stops the car at the last possible second.

Elena storms out of the car in tears. She’s beyond upset because it’s the same bridge that her parents drove off of and died – the same place that Elena almost died—and Stefan knew that. Stefan says that all that matters to him is destroying Klaus because that’s all that he has left. In tears, Elena tells him that he still had her. But Stefan says that he lost her the minute he left town, she just hasn’t been able to admit it to herself yet.

Matt carries Caroline home, where she’s quickly dying. Klaus soon shows up at her doorstep, asking to be invited in so he can use his blood to save her. In return, he asks for the sheriff’s support. She agrees. When he goes to see Caroline, Klaus apologizes and says that she’s just collateral damage, nothing personal. Somehow, I don’t think that comforts her. Klaus gives her a choice: he can let her die if she wants to, but he can also help her live. She doesn’t want to die and Klaus doesn’t let her. It’s a strangely intimate and tender scene and we see a kinder, more humane side of Klaus—we’re just not sure if it’s genuine.

Damon brings Elena home to make sure she’s okay. He admits that as bad as Stefan was, he helped win this round for them. They look like they’re about to kiss again but she says that it’s not right. Damon looks at her with a gentleness that we only see when he’s near Elena and says that it is right, just not right now. AWWWWWW.

The next day, Elena’s sending Jeremy off.  Bonnie shows up, but instead of telling Jeremy the truth, she says goodbye. Caroline wakes up to a gift from Klaus. She opens it and it’s a diamond bracelet. Is this a “forgive me” present? Or something more?

Matt meets Elena on the bridge, where she tells him that she feels like she’s been holding onto the girl that should’ve died. She’s afraid that she might be disappointing her parents. Like a good friend, Matt puts in his two cents, telling her that she’s doing a lot better than she thinks. With a toss of flowers into the river below, they say goodbye to the Elena of the past.

 All seems temporarily well in Mystic Falls, until a body was found staked in the woods. It was identified as Brian Walters, also known as Dr. Fell’s medical examiner ex-boyfriend. At the same time, she shows up at The Grill where Rick is, telling him that she just lost a patient. Anyone putting two and two together?