Caroline and Klaus continued their walk in the woods, and he told her he'd leave Mystic Falls without gloating over Katherine's corpse in return for one small thing. "Scandalous sex!" I screamed. (Champagne!) He wanted a confession. About him. He said as soon as they were done there, he was going to leave and never come back. She'd never have to again cover their connection with hostility and revulsion or loathe the darkest parts of herself that care about him despite all that he's done. He just wanted her to be honest with him.
I will admit, she had me thinking we WEREN'T gonna get the sex. "I'm in college. I'm building a life for myself. I have plans, and a future, and things that I want, and none of those things involve you, okay, none of them." Hurt, Klaus said he understood. But Caroline said he didn't: He's right about her covering up what she wants, and if he was serious about walking away and never coming back, she'd be honest about what that was. He took a step closer and promised. She took steps closer and said, "Good." Then they kissed. They stopped for a second, just long enough for him to smile that trademark smirk, and then he vamp-speed pinned her against a tree. He ripped down her shirt -- GOOD GOD. As previously mentioned, there was screaming and rewinding, plus the kind of adrenaline rush that makes you sit up in your chair and then slouch back down, emotionally spent, when you finally concede that it's time to watch the rest of the episode. So worth the wait. Do we really think that's the end for Klaus and Caroline? What lovely, steamy closure.
Damon finally arose, just in time to trade watch duties with Stefan. Stefan sat down on the bed and told Katherine to close her eyes. He was there to say goodbye. She said she wanted to see him. He said she would. He touched her face and saw the memory of her finding her family dead. She said Damon told her she deserved everything bad that had happened to her, and he was right -- she didn't deserve to be loved. Stefan asked her to open her mind to him. He took her murdered family and the blood out of the scene. He told her none of it was her fault. She was just a 17-year-old girl.
We heard a baby cry. I got chills. Katherine was crying, and if you looked at Stefan, he was fighting back tears. (Such a beautiful moment for Nina Dobrev and Paul Wesley.) Katherine went to the crib, which had her baby in it, and a bright light shined up at Katherine's face. Peace. Stefan kissed her forehead. "Goodbye, Katherine," he said. Elena was there and asked if Katherine was gone. Not yet, he said, but with those drugs in her, she wouldn't wake up again. HAVE YOU PEOPLE LEARNED NOTHING ABOUT KATHERINE?
The Salvatore Brothers shared a nice moment drinking outside and Stefan said whatever was going on with Damon and Elena, Damon needed to fix it. Elena was the best thing that ever happened to Damon, Stefan said, perhaps knowing that Elena was the only one who'd bring his brother peace in the end. Damon said he couldn't live without Elena, but that she'd be better without him. If Katherine was having a selfless moment, wasn't he allowed to? Ha. In the end, Damon said Stefan should remember he was the one who tried to talk Damon out of doing what's right for all of mankind. Noted.
Caroline arrived back at Salvatore Mansion, where Matt was quizzing Bonnie about who she sees on the other side. She said she sees Grams, the other witches, Vicki. Vicki was there and told Bonnie to tell Matty that she loves him. I thought that was his only bone, but no, TYLER showed up. He said Rebekah told him to tell Matt that he's her parting gift. Nice to see Matt smile, but you know, it's going to take me a while to forgive Tyler. Let's start with some shirtless scenes. Stefan and Damon came inside and realized that they'd all gone through four bottles of bourbon. "Would someone tell these idiots to lay off the booze?" IT WAS ALARIC. Next to the Klaus sex, this was the moment that got the biggest cheer from me. Wasn't he supposed to be off finding peace? "Do you honestly think I'd leave Damon in charge and never look back?" Alaric cracked. Damon could tell from Jeremy's grin that Alaric was talking about him. Jeremy said that Alaric had called Damon a dick. Believable enough. "Cheers, buddy," Damon said. "Cheers," Alaric answered softly. Man, I almost burst into tears right there. Sometimes friendships are more beautiful than romances: Romantic love can blind you and make you feel like you're powerless to resist. But with friendships, you choose to be that close.
Bonnie saw Katherine, which meant Katherine was dead -- until she realized she wasn't ready to go and started her own heart again. Elena was sitting on the bed. Katherine said she had unfinished business -- what? Elijah! -- and Elena said she did, too. She told Katherine she forgave her. She wasn't born evil; her life had made her that way. Did you think, for even a second, that Elena's kindness would keep Katherine from doing what we all guessed she was going to do the moment she woke up? I didn't. Katherine asked Elena to give her one more shot of sedatives, and that's when Katherine grabbed Elena and spoke those words the Traveller had taught her. Elena collapsed. Katherine's body died. The phone rang, "Elena" answered it, and the Traveller spoke the word to bring Katherine forth. Nadia took the phone and asked if Katherine was there. She wanted to know if it had worked. So that had been the plan all along? "Of course it worked, I'm Katherine Pierce. I survive." Katherine went to the mirror and admired her young body. She practiced saying she was Elena Gilbert.
From the promo for the next episode, it seems as though it won't take the Salvatores too long to figure out what Katherine has done, and they'll try to keep Nadia from making the situation permanent. One would think there's no way we'd lose Elena Gilbert, so how will the writers get out of this in a way that is as exciting and satisfying as this episode was? Theories?
P.S. Check out this piece, if you haven't: The Vampire Diaries' bosses reveal the seven biggest debates from the writers' room, and the two smallest.