A birthday party, murder, mayhem and a brush with death. It’s just another day in Mystic Falls.

Damon is actually chipper for a change, because he finally kissed Elena and did not compel her to forget. Meanwhile, Elena is pummeling the heavy punching bag at Alaric’s house to work out some aggression caused by the same situation. It was entertaining to see the fall out after the Damon/Elena kiss and funny that Stefan would be suspicious of Damon suddenly not being angsty.

It’s Caroline’s 18th birthday and she is in no mood to celebrate after she realizes that she will permanently be stuck as a 17-year-old, because that is when she died. When she arrives at school, Tyler gives her a charm bracelet and tells her he understands that he can’t ever be with her as he will always put Klaus first and that’s not fair.

Bonnie is working on a spell to open the coffins when they suddenly disappear. She suspects she has company, but nobody answers when she calls out. At the same time Stefan and Damon show up and find a hybrid lurking around witch house, so they double-team him and Damon rips out his heart. This whole heart removal from body thing must be Damon’s signature move, because he goes with it often.

Stefan decides he has had enough of Klaus’s hybrids everywhere so he is going to force him to get them out of Mystic Falls. He decides to use Klaus’s family as bait, since he suspects that is his one weakness. He shows up at Klaus’s new house and the two have a stand-off. Each decides they have more claim to Mystic Falls than the other. Now that Stefan doesn’t care about anyone or anything, it’s easy for him to go toe-to-toe with Klaus. When Klaus doesn’t listen to Stefan, Stefan decapitates one of his minions and leaves.

Klaus summons Tyler and tells him to bite Caroline in retribution. When Tyler refuses, Klaus tells him he must do as he is told, because he is the one who sired Tyler. Tyler stands his ground, Klaus seems to brush it off and Tyler leaves.

After Caroline ditches school, Elena, Bonnie and Matt decide to surprise her and take her birthday party down to a crypt. Elena figures it will allow Caroline the opportunity to say goodbye to her human life and embrace being reborn as a vampire. It seems to work and everyone starts having a good time, right up until Caroline texts Tyler and Elena comments on it. Then, Bonnie gets in her face for trying to “control everyone’s life” because Bonnie thinks Elena sending Jeremy away is a bad idea.

Bonnie takes off and Tyler shows up and asks to speak to Caroline outside. He tells her he loves her and that he can and will resist Klaus. They kiss and he nips her. It looks like it is accidental, but Caroline tells him to get lost as she goes down. Perhaps that is why Klaus seemed so calm when Tyler defied him. He knows the compulsion to serve is more deep-seeded and will find a way to come out.

After a few minutes, Elena and Matt go looking for Caroline. They call out to her, but she doesn’t answer. Stefan breezes in, knocks Matt unconscious and grabs Elena. He had just told Damon that the only way to beat Klaus is to be the bigger villain. That means he is willing to kill Klaus’s blood source so he won’t be able to make any more hybrids if he doesn’t get rid of the others. He heads high-speed down the road toward the same bridge Elena’s family drove off, calls Klaus and tells him he will kill her or make her into a vampire unless Klaus complies. There is fast driving, screaming, demands flying and when they almost hit the bridge Klaus concedes.

Stefan slams on the brakes, stopping the car right before the bridge. Elena gets out of the car and flips out on Stefan. He completely traumatized her, knowing that is the same place her family died and he rescued her. Stefan said he knew Klaus would back down, but he had to convince him so he did what he had to. When Elena refuses to get back in the car, Stefan takes off and leaves her there.

Damon picks Elena up and brings her home. Not sure how he found her, considering Stefan threw her cell phone out the window. They share another tender moment on the front porch and Elena tells him that he can’t kiss her again.

Klaus shows up at the Forbes house and Sheriff Forbes invites him in so he can save Caroline. He mentions that she is collateral damage, but he doesn’t have any intention of killing her on her birthday. He is super sweet and tells her all she has to do is ask and he will give her blood to save her. The next morning she wakes up and there is a shiny bracelet from Klaus on her bedside table. Yeesh, wonder what he wants with her. There has to be an angle. With Klaus, there is always an angle.

Backing up a bit – it looks like there is a new player in town. Alaric runs into Dr. Fell at the founders fundraiser. She is still amazed by his ability to heal so quickly after just releasing him from the hospital the day before. It turns out she isn’t so new – her family is also one of the founding families. So she is well aware of the vampire presence in Mystic Falls. He later sees her having a confrontation with another man outside. Turns out he is her ex and the two work together. The ex warns him about sticking up for her, because she is a bad trip. Alaric bumps into Dr. Fell again at the Mystic Grill when they both go in for a midday adult beverage. His excuse is that he just put Jeremy on a plane. Hers is that she just lost a patient.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Forbes brings Damon to a murder scene to show him the body of a murder victim. This might be the first actual murder (not supernatural) in Mystic Falls and it is dun, dun, dun, Dr. Fell’s ex. He was stabbed in the chest with a stake, but he isn’t a vampire. Ooh, the plot thickens.

Alisa LukeTV
A birthday party, murder, mayhem and a brush with death. It's just another day in Mystic Falls. Damon is actually chipper for a change, because he finally kissed Elena and did not compel her to forget. Meanwhile, Elena is pummeling the heavy punching bag at Alaric's house to work out...