This season’s penultimate episode of “The Vampire Diaries” brought it, action movie style. But, in the midst of all the violence and plot twists, all anyone really cares about which brother Elena wants to date. Because whether you are fighting supernatural creatures hellbent on destroying everyone that you love or competing in “The Hunger Games”, the biggest trauma of all is when two guys like you and you’re forced to reject one of them.
Ric (Matt Davis) is now an indestructible vampire on a mission to kill all other vampires. So, of course his first stop is his classroom at Mystic Falls High. He attacks Caroline (Candice Accola) and Rebekah (Claire Holt), who are on Decade Dance clean up duty. Rebekah escapes but Ric catches Caroline in the parking lot, his skin blistering in the sun. Esther did not bother with a daylight ring. He breaks her neck and drags her inside. Self-loathing vampire Ric is freaky!
Bonnie (Kat Graham) breaks the news to Stefan (Paul Wesley) about Esther’s spirit forcing her to turn Ric. Maybe she can now forgive Damon (Ian Somerhalder) for the whole turning her mother into a vampire thing. Bonnie points out that Ric was transformed by a spell, and there’s always a way to undo a spell.
Meanwhile, Rebekah tells Klaus (Joseph Morgan) about psycho killer vampire Ric. He wants to take Elena (Nina Dobrev) before fleeing Mystic Falls. Rebekah unsuccessfully tries to convince him that he doesn’t need Elena, just her.
Ric calls Elena and says she needs to come without telling anyone if she wants to save Caroline. She shouldn’t fall for that after all these years, but she sneaks out of the house alone. Her timing, however, is excellent because Klaus soon stops by Casa Gilbert to retrieve Elena. The Salvatores slam the door in his face. Klaus loiters outside before throwing a newspaper through the window followed by a fence picket, a ball, and a bunch of household objects. Before he finally gets smart and sets the house on fire, Stefan comes outside to break the news that Ric has Elena and Caroline. The enemies need to work together to stop Ric. Bonnie suggests the same spell that immobilized Klaus’s father Mikael for years. She will need all of their help. Klaus says if they don’t succeed he will leave at sunset and Ric will be unstoppable.
Bonnie resorts to asking her mother Abby for help with the spell. Abby warns that the spell will involve using dark magic. In order to stop the vampire’s heart, she will have to stop a human heart for balance. They go to Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen), owner of the other lifesaving ring. Bonnie makes them all drink her blood so they will be linked. As long as one of them is touching Ric’s veins or arteries while she casts the spell, his heart will stop. They prepare to drink Bonnie’s blood. Klaus claims he’s responsible for the Salvatore blood line, so they better not kill him.
Ric tells Elena she can free Caroline, whose has two pencils stuck through her hands, connecting her to a desk. He has also coated her gag with vervaine. He tells Elena that this is her chance to kill a vampire, like she always wanted. Ric cruelly says her parents would be ashamed that she undid all of their work on the Council. Elena splashes Ric with vervaine and frees Caroline, In the hall, Caroline encounters Klaus who sensitively tells her to go home and stay safe while he saves Elena.
Ric tells Elena he should kill her for helping vampires. She tells him to go ahead, but he can’t bring himself to do it. The Salvatores and Klaus arrive. They manage to stake him as Bonnie casts the spell that stops Jeremy’s heart. But the connection breaks as Ric beats up Klaus. Elena threatens to kill herself, realizing that if she dies, Ric will die too thanks to Esther’s spell which linked them together.
Klaus takes Elena to his place — how is not explained — and drains her blood, planning to take it all, both enabling him to create many more hybrids and killing Ric. Klaus tells Elena that she is reluctant to choose a guy because she knows it will split the brotherly bond. He asks as though he is doing her a favor by giving her a painless death. Tyler (Michael Trevino) sneaks in and frees her. Klaus catches him. He says “I’m not your little bitch anymore.” Meanwhile, Damon and Stefan wake up in the school hallway with Ric standing over them. He tells them to save Elena. Elena gets knocked out in the Klaus/Tyler melee, as the Salvatores arrive and join the fight. Bonnie’s spell starts to work — on Klaus. We hear his heart slowing down, which is a nice special effects touch. How come it never occurred to Bonnie to use this spell on Klaus before?
Elena revives and the brothers take her home. She tells them she’s scared to make a choice because she doesn’t want to lose either one of them. How about a “Big Love” type arrangement? That would be an original solution that might satisfy every fanbase. When she gets inside, she finds all of her friends there there for an impromptu victory party. Elena toasts to a Klaus free life. Don’t tempt fate!
The Salvatores throw Klaus in the car with plans to dump his body in the ocean. It’s a moment of brotherly bonding. The only problem is that they are both in love with the same girl. They agree that whoever Elena does not choose will leave town.
The sun sets. Ric convenes a council meeting. He reveals that Sheriff Forbes has a vampire daughter and the mayor has a hybrid son. This is probably not what Esther planned.
Alone, Elena falls to the ground in pain, apparently succumbing to the non-supernatural injury sustained when she got knocked out. The odds that Elena will die in next week’s finale: zero.