The episode begins, and Rebekah returns to the house and presents Klaus with the stake. He throws it on the fire and tells her to pack her bags, they're leaving town and taking Elena with them. Rebekah convinces him to stick around for the Decade dance tonight. She has big plans. Damon calls Alaric. He doesn't know if he turned over the stake, he woke up alone. He's going to leave town for a few days because he keeps blacking out so he's still a threat to everyone. He says he's taking Bonnie's herbs. Alaric gets off the phone and Rebekah joins him. It's bad Alaric, lying to Damon. She tells him Klaus burned the fake stake without a second thought.
She has Esther's body in a coffin and plans to return to it with a little magic and some help from a vampire hunter. Alaric takes the dipped dagger from her and stabs her. She crumples to the floor, dead. Moments later Esther gasps awake in her coffin. Prepping for the dance, Caroline teases Elena about making out with Damon but suggests she invite Stefan to the dance. Bonnie is going with Jamie, her mom's surrogate son. Caroline nags her to give Stefan a chance. Back home, Elena calls him. She works up to asking him to the dance. He'd love that. Damon overhears. At the hospital, Damon finds Meredith. He shows her the full jar of herbs Bonnie made for Alaric; he's not taking them. Esther takes Alaric to the place where Klaus tore her heart out of her chest, the cemetery. The violence of her death marked the ground forever.
She wants his ring, to bind it to the stake to keep the stake from burning up in its first victim. He hands it over and she recites a spell, and then dips the stake in it. She pronounces it the ultimate weapon, for the ultimate hunter. Elena gets ready in her best flapper gear. Stefan shows up in a suit, with a single rose corsage. At the dance, Caroline checks that Matt knows Elena is taken. Tyler shows up, jealous of Klaus and prepared to act sired if he has to. Elena asks Stefan to show her some moves, but he protests he was blacked out for most of the 20s. They end up dancing to a slow song. Elena starts to tell Stefan about Damon and the Denver trip, but he tells her he doesn't need to know. They're having a moment when Damon shows up. Jeremy sees the three of them walk out follows. Bonnie stops him, asking why he's still wearing his ring given what happened to Alaric.
He doesn't plan to take it off till his sister stops hanging out with vampires. Damon briefs Stefan and Elena on the situation with Alaric and suggests they mercy kill him. Jeremy hears and storms out. Elena follows and promises nothing will happen to him. Esther shows up, telling Elena to come with her. Jeremy gets the boys, but she's gone when they come outside. They can't leave. There's a salt ring around the school, a boundary spell. Bonnie and Jamie sneak off to a classroom. She kisses him, but Damon interrupts. Esther takes Elena to see Badlaric. Esther says she's going to remake him using dark magic -- the vampire to end all vampires. She says she spoke to Alaric on the other side each time he died, cultivating his darkness. "Vampires took everything from him, now he's getting his vengeance," she says.
Klaus shows up at the dance and asks to cut in. Caroline says no, Tyler says yes. Klaus dances with her and tells her he's leaving town tomorrow, he invites her to join him in a year or century, when she's ready. He doesn't think the small town life will be enough for her. Klaus leaves the dance, leaving Rebekah a voice mail. He sees the salt. Stefan tells him his mother's back. Bonnie recites a spell, trying to break the boundary spell. Alaric chokes Jamie to make her work faster, but Stefan bluffs that she's only trying to help Caroline and Tyler, she doesn't care about anyone else. Elena tries to talk Alaric out of going full vamp, but he's determined. Esther uses magic to slice open Elena's hand to complete her spell. Alaric drinks her blood. Then Esther stakes him. Bonnie uses Jeremy's blood on a map to locate Elena.
She's still mad at Damon for turning her mom into a vampire. Bonnie announces Esther's fighting her and has more magic than usual. She's channeling a hot spot. Klaus knows where she is. Matt and Jeremy, the only humans, are the only ones who can leave. Tyler suggests maybe they should let Esther kill Klaus, even though that would mean his death, too. Elena removes the stake from Alaric. Esther warns her he'll be himself for a moment when he wakes up. Esther makes her case for getting rid of all vampires, invoking Elena's aunt Jenna's name. She tells her that even though Jenna turned, she's at peace. Esther leaves the crypt and finds herself in the sights of Matt's rifle and Jeremy's crossbow. She easily turns them on each other. They have no control and things are about to go very badly when Alaric stakes her from behind. "Where's my ring? Tell me what happened," he asks.
Back at the dance, Klaus and Stefan realize they're on the same side for a moment. Damon joins them and Klaus brings up Elena. Bonnie breaks the boundary spell. Stefan thanks her. Jeremy tells Alaric and Elena that Klaus took Esther's body. Alaric breaks the news that he's not going to complete the transition; he thinks he'd be too dangerous as a vampire. Jeremy hugs him but leaves angry. Elena blames herself. Everyone waits outside the crypt, including Meredith. Alaric comes out to say good-bye, and then shuts himself inside. Back at the house, Klaus unstakes Rebekah and taunts his dead mother, saying he'll build an army to protect himself. Bonnie and Jamie head home.
He thanks her for protecting him. Her dad's out of town. He asks if she'll be OK by herself. She won't. At the Grille, Matt pours Jeremy a shot and they toast Alaric. Elena packs up all Alaric's vampire slayer stuff from his apartment, not wanting to deal with the loss of Alaric. Stefan asks her to come with him. He takes her back to the gym. He tells her biting her after Klaus compelled him was rock bottom. He reminds her she told him then that emotions are what make us human. "I don't have anyone anymore," she cries. "You have me," he says, holding on to her. At the crypt, Meredith gives Alaric a sedative and assures Damon he'll go quickly. Damon offered to snap his neck, but Alaric passed. Damon thinks he wants to be alone, but Meredith points out that's nuts.
Damon joins him, apologizing for killing him; twice. Damon offers him a drink, Alaric jokes he's been thinking of cutting back. Bonnie wakes up (fully clothed) in bed with Jamie. Esther appears before her. "Your sisters need you to finish what I started, Bonnie," she says. Jamie shakes her awake, saying she was dreaming. Alaric falls asleep in the crypt. Damon finishes his whiskey and heads outside. He sees Bonnie there, but she ignores him and walks by him, then she cripples him with blinding head pain and walks into the crypt. She stabs her hand, and then puts her blood in Alaric's mouth. Suddenly, he's awake and feeding on her. He picks up the stake, in his entire vampire, vampire-hunting glory. The episode ends at this point.