So, now that Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) have found the white oak, it will be easy to kill Klaus, right? Well, no, because this is “The Vampire Diaries,” where nothing is simple and every action has unexpected consequences. This week’s episode, “The Murder of One,” was especially cruel in the vicious twist department. Stefan and Damon’s old-timey skills include whittling. They turn the white oak sign into a dozen perfect stakes, which ought to be as traumatic for a vampire as a cow making a hamburger patty. Remember, they only have to kill one Original and all the other will also die thanks to the binding spell.
They are still babysitting Ric (Matt Davis) who wants to turn himself into the police for killing a bunch of people. Given that Damon and Stefan are responsible for the deaths of many more humans, they tell him to shrug it off, that snitches get stitches even when the person that you are snitching on is yourself. Elena (Nina Dobrev) persuades Caroline (Candice Accola) that Ric is no more responsible for having a psychotic alternate personality than she is for being a vampire. Ric apologizes to her, knowing it’s inadequate. She tells him about the stranger she killed right after she vamped, saying she has blood on her hands, too.
Damon and Stefan pass out the white oak stakes to Elena, Ric, Caroline and Matt — who is now officially one of the un-scoobies. There are a dozen stakes, and Elena will get to practice her crossbow skills. Meanwhile, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) tracks down Finn (Caspar Zafer) and brings him back to the family mansion where he reunites with his ex, Sage (Cassidy Freeman). After 900 years, they are really excited to see each other Now that’s an epic love story. Suddenly, Finn has a reason to live.
Rebekah (Claire Holt), angry Damon seduced her just so Sage could read his mind, chains him to her ceiling. Even Damon points out that it’s kinky. She tortures him with vervane and knives. He blacks out and fantasizes that Elena rescues him and lets him drink from her.
Klaus kidnaps Bonnie (Kat Graham) and orders her to undo the binding spell, saying that if she does not help him, he will kill all the people she cares about. He gives her the blood of all his siblings, including biting his own hands to give to her. She starts to cast the spell as Stefan and Elena track down Finn, whom Sage is introducing to tequila. Finn gets staked — but it’s seconds after Bonnie’s spell took effect. Operation White Oak has succeeded at killing the one Original who was no threat to anyone, while Klaus is fine. Oops.
It gets worse. Sage comes after Stefan but she drops dead before she can hurt him. So does her friend Troy. Stefan realizes that every vampire Finn turned died with him — and if all the Originals die, so will all the vampires. If Klaus dies, so does Tyler. That’s quite a conundrum. Killing the Originals would means killing themselves. They do not like the idea of suicide as much as Finn did.
Stefan learns from Bonnie that Damon is living an S&M nightmare, and offers Klaus eight white oak stakes in exchange for Damon’s freedom. That is the most disingenuous magnanimous gesture since Tom Sawyer gave his friends the opportunity to paint a fence. Klaus compels Damon, who admits there are actually eleven stakes. Klaus is truly hurt that Stefan lied to him, saying he has given them all something to hate — him — so they won’t hate themselves. He manages to make creating a hybrid army sound noble. Rebekah frees Damon and tells him to bring her the stakes. There’s only one problem: Ric has misplaced his stake. Only his alter ago knows where it is. Who thought giving the weapon to the mentally ill killer was a good idea?
In shipper news, Stefan tells Elena he still loves her. He asks her to look him in the eye and say she feels nothing for Damon. She says she doesn’t know what she feels. In other words, she lusts after Damon.