While Caroline brings Tyler's blanket and pillow to her couch, Tyler idly looks around her room. He notices Klaus's OMG CAROLINE + PONIES sketch on her bedside table. "Klaus drew this for you? That's pretty creepy." Caroline agrees. Klaus is creepy, even when he's aiming for charming. Tyler's all, "Charming? Does Klaus have a thing for you, or something?" Caroline: "No! As far as I'm concerned, he is incapable of real feelings." Tyler seriously wants to know what happened while he was gone. Caroline assures him it was nothing. Tyler wants to know why she kept the etching, if that's true. Caroline doesn't know. Hell, I know. When a guy draws an OMG YOU + PONIES picture, it's really hard not to love it, even if you don't love him. Tyler shakes his head and looks down at the drawing. "I think I'm gonna find someplace else to spend the night." Caroline calls out after him as he leaves, but to no avail. Seriously, Tyler? I can't even. I was so happy you're back, but now? You don't deserve the awesomeness that is our Vampire Barbie, Caroline. Don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya.
Caves, No Vampires Allowed Chamber. Rebekah stands at the doorway and orders Ric to get the stake. He does. His face is still bleeding. Gag. Does no one have a face cloth? Grabbing the stake, Evilaric sits down on Esther's now vacant coffin. "Why would I give you the one thing that requires everyone to keep me alive?" Rebekah says if they're bargaining, she'll need to know his offer. Evilaric: "There's only one stake out there, which means only one Original has to die. Help me, and I'll make sure it's not you." Rebekah declares his offer tenuous, but gives him points for effort. I think I'll let the lady speak the rest of her lines for herself...
Rebekah: You see, I don't want one Original to die. [She looks down at her feet and crosses into the No Vampires Allowed chamber.] I want them all to die.
Evilaric: [rising, nervously] How the hell did you do that?
Rebekah: It was easy to fool Niklaus, but I thought you, of all people, would understand. After all, my son did use your body at one point.
Evilaric: You're not Rebekah.
Not Rebekah: No. My name is Esther, and we have a great deal in common.
Audience: Holy shit, Evilaric. It's Eloise Hawking. Run!
So that happened. I flirted with the idea of changing my grade from an A to something lower (mostly based on all my complaints in the above sidebars). I decided not to because I enjoyed the heck out of this episode. I love the Esther/Rebekah switcheroo. I've read complaints that since Klaus-in-Alaric could enter houses without an invite, Esther-in-Rebekah should not be able to enter the No Vamps Allowed cave chamber, but I don't care. It's likely Esther cast the No Vamps Allowed spell on that chamber, so I can accept that she knows where there's a backdoor. I still wish Elena and Damon had said something to the Germ about the ring and that Damon had reversed his compulsion, but those are annoyances (to me), that's all. We have movement on the Damon/Elena front. Stefan has taken a giant step forward. And most importantly? There are only (please God) a few more episodes until the Son of White Oak storyline is dead and buried. All in all, I'm in a good place, and feel like my show is back. Next season, I still want a return to normally revelatory conversations. And well, there's a whole wish list here, but I'm out of time and out of wine.