“All My Children” opens with Elena waking in bed alone. From the look of things, she slept in most of her clothes because something heavy’s on her mind. She calls Stefan. He’s up journaling. And he sees her call. But he doesn’t answer. She leaves a message then dials Damon.
Turns out, it’s the 11th time Elena has called Damon in one night. The elder Salvatore picks up. “If you’re mad at me, Damon, you need to get over it,” she says. “Oh, I’m over it,” Damon replies. He hangs up and rolls over in bed to Rebekah. The vamps are clearly post-coital. Wait. Damon and the Original Sister? Oh, yeah. We forgot about that.
Undeterred, Elena gets dressed and rushes across town to the Salvatore manse. As she’s about to knock, Damon opens the front door to let Rebekah out. And, just like that, the bloodsucking fling is out of the bag.
After E picks her face up off the ground, she tells the Salvatore bros about the binding spell Esther put on Klaus and her other kids. Elena’s upset over the spell’s totality. She feels bad that Elijah, who once went out of his way to save her life, will be killed along with the rest. Damon and Stef don’t share her concerns.
Neither, we soon learn, does Bonnie. Later that morning, as the magic mama tries to recreate the sage privacy guard spell that Esther used, she tells Elena that the Original Witch came to see her and Abby to ask for help killing her kids. The Bennett witches agreed to do all they can. With a full moon scheduled to rise, Original Mama scheduled her infanticide for midnight that same night. Once again, Elena is appalled.
Across town at Casa Klaus, Elijah’s playing with a little sage too. He found the herbs his mother burned during her meeting with Elena. He was already suspicious. But now, he knows something’s up.
Meanwhile, the Salvatores head out to the woods. Before they get out of the car, they discuss who should kill Bonnie and/or her mother. Damon leaves murder up to a coin toss. ”Heads, I do it. Tails, you do it,” he says. It comes up tails. Not that it matters. Once the brothers reach the mansion, Damon grabs Bonnie’s mother, force feeds her his blood, then breaks her neck. Esther feels the break happening and she seems to blow up or disappear. Elijah immediately calls off Rebekah.
When they return to the Salvatore manse, Stefan asks Damon why he killed Abby, knowing it would turn Elena against him. Damon answers, “Because I’m not blind. I see what’s been going on around here.” By “what” he means the fact that Stefan has quit drinking human blood and seems to be willing himself back to nice-guy territory again. “I thought I could win her from you fair and square,” Damon says. “But she didn’t want me. It’s for the best. I’m better at being the bad guy anyway.”
Speaking of Elena, she tries to go see Bonnie to offer support. But Bon-bon doesn’t want to see her. Elena can’t believe it. Caroline asks E to give the witch some space. After all, everything that’s happened to Bonnie has been Elena’s fault.
Meanwhile, Klaus is busy throwing his own pity party, burning all the portraits he drew of Caroline. Rebekah walks in and shows him the video she made of her kidnap session with Elena. Turns out she wasn’t shooting our girl after all. Instead she was focusing on the hieroglyphs on the wall behind Elena. Not only do the glyphs tell the story of the Original Family and the White Oak tree, they show a surprising addendum: After the family burned the tree to the ground, someone else planted a sampling. Another tree exists. Beks and Klaus vow to find and destroy it.
While all this is happening, Doc Meredith takes Alaric back to her house to wait for his infinity ring to do its job. It does. When he wakes, she’s asleep in the other room. He walks into her kitchen for a drink, then spots crime scene photos on her table. They’re of the string of murders that happened in town. They include the picture of a knife that must’ve been used in one of the murders. Underneath that photo lies the real weapon. Alaric lifts it up, just as Meredith walks in, handgun clocked. “You weren’t supposed to see that,” she says. Then she shoots Alaric.
When Rebekah returns still wearing yesterday’s clothes, she has to do the walk of shame in front of brothers who haven’t gotten any in eons. “Out all night? What a scandal!” Kol says. When he spots Klaus obsessively drawing portraits of Caroline he invites his big bro out to have a little fun of their own. “Our sister is a strumpet,” he says. “But at least she’s having fun.”
After Kol and Klaus leave to drink The Grill out of business, Elijah tries to convince Rebekah that their mother is up to no good. But sis only wants to think the best. This doesn’t stop him from coming up with a plan…
While the Salvatore brothers talk about Elena (and how Damon slept with Rebekah to piss her off), Elijah goes to pick Elena up. “I want to show you something,” he says before driving her out into the woods to property their family once owned. He tells her Mystic Falls High was built on top of the former site of an Indian village. Then he shows her the site of their family’s old cabin, most specifically the spot over the opening to the series of underground tunnels they used to escape the werewolves.
After his short walk down memory lane, Elijah asks Elena why she lied about her conversation with his mother. “I can hear your heartbeat. It jumps when you’re being dishonest,” he says when she starts to fib again. Beaten, Elena tells him the truth: That Mommy Weirdest wants to off him and all his kin. Hurt and pissed, he stomps an opening into the tunnel below then he drops Elena inside.
Elijah’s plan is to ransom Elena’s safety. He tells the Salvatores they’ve got until 9:06 p.m. to stop the Bennetts from helping his mother or Rebekah will kill Elena.
To Elijah’s face Damon and Stefan agree to do whatever it takes to get Elena back. Then later, when they’re alone, Damon tells Stefan that he’s worked out a plan to have Alaric take out the Original Siblings by stabbing Kol with a white oak-dipped dagger.
Damon sends Caroline to The Grill to distract Klaus. When Blondie walks in the O.V. immediately ditches his little brother and follows her out of the bar, begging her to “take a chance, Caroline.” He wants her to sit down with him and have a talk. She agrees, saying, “Just to be clear: I’m too smart to be seduced by you.” This, of course, is a turn-on for Klaus. “Well, that’s why I like you,” he replies.
Meanwhile Bonnie and her mom meet with Esther out in the woods. The Original Witch has drawn a pentagram on the drive outside of an abandoned mansion. Her son Finn lights five torches and places one in each of the star’s points. (In case you’re wondering, that’s one candle for each of Esther’s kids.) Fin then goes to stand in the center. When the Bennetts ask why he’s so willing to die he says, “My mother’s released me from an eternity of shame. It’s not a sacrifice. It’s a gift.” Ooookkkaaay.
Back at the Mystic Grill, a drunken Kol starts to hit on Doc Meredith. When he refuses to take no for an answer, Alaric stabs him with the dagger. “Next time,” the history teacher says, “take a hint.”
As Kol calcifies, his siblings start dropping like rocks. Finn falls and Esther starts to panic. When Rebekah falls, Elena takes advantage of her down time and runs away. But she gets lost in the tunnels.
But the binding spell doesn’t have the same effect on Klaus. It seems to give him only a bit of heartburn. He turns on Caroline. “What did you do?” She’s not lying when she answers, “I didn’t do anything.” Then he remembers his brother. Klaus vamps back over to The Grill just in time to find Alaric dragging Kol out the back door to a waiting Stefan and Damon.
Klaus knocks Alaric out, removes the dagger from Kol, then turns on the Salvatores. He’s about to attack them when Elijah stops him. Elijah needs the Salvatores to go stop Bonnie and her mother while he, Klaus, and Kol handle “Mother.”
When Elijah pulls the dagger out of Kol, Rebekah wakes up and takes off after Elena. She grabs the doppelganger from behind. But Elena uses one of those self-defense moves Alaric taught her to kick her way free. She then dives to safety inside the cave the Original Family used to use to hide from the werewolves. As you’ll recall, that cave has been bewitched so that vampires cannot enter.
Rebekah’s disturbed by the cave’s protection spell but unthwarted. She leaves Elena for a few minutes then returns with a canister of gasoline and starts shaking the liquid into the room. When she successfully gets gas all over Elena, she lights a match and says, “Come out or burn.” Elena chooses the unspoken option C and starts talking her way out of the fiery mess.