Klaus asks Damon, "Where's the fourth?" When Damon doesn't answer, Klaus screams, "Show me," at the ceiling. Damon says, "Well, here's the thing. They can't. It's not here." Klaus asks Damon what he's done. Damon: "Well, Bonnie gave me the heads up. I didn't have enough time to get all four, but I did have time to get one." Klaus threatens to tear Damon limb from limb. "And only then, when you're a writhing mass of blood and flesh, will I rip your heart from your chest." Damon is unimpressed. "Sorry. Same rules apply. Leverage and all. I know you want your family back, but something tells me you want what's in that coffin a lot more."
Abby's Abode: Elena starts digging the wood out of Stefan's chest. It's as gory as it sounds. It's also painful. The mean part of me hopes Elena is enjoying that part of the job. Stefan tells her she's changed -- that she's stronger, now. Elena says, "You're not the only one who changed, Stefan. We all had to." Stefan: "That's good to know." With his blood still on her hands, Elena chooses this moment to tell Stefan that she kissed Damon. And that's how she says it: "I kissed Damon," which is telling, because early on in the episode, Damon tells Bonnie about the kiss. Once the girls are on the road, Bonnie asks about it, and Elena words it differently. "Damon kissed me." I'm glad she's owning her own willing participation in their decidedly not one-sided kiss, particularly in this conversation with Stefan. Once Stefan is free of the wooden buckshot, he gets up and walks off, without saying anything.
Elena eventually goes after Stefan. He apologizes for kidnapping her, forcing his blood on her, and threatening to drive her off Wickery Bridge -- he says he went too far. I wonder if he thinks she kissed Damon after that, because oh no, Stefan. She kissed him well before the moment you think you went too far. You went too far, when you didn't care if Klaus killed her little brother, if caring meant it would mess up your wacky Coffin Contrivance vengeance quest. Anyhow, Stefan then says, that Elena shouldn't have lied to him, today. She knows. She just wanted to give Bonnie a moment with her mother, "Without everything else getting in the way." Stefan: "Without me getting in the way." His smile is sad as he considers her face. Elena finally says, "I didn't plan on kissing him." Stefan: "You're better than him, Elena. You're better than both of us." Well yeah, because she's not a blood sucking fiend. He then gets in his car and drives away. I go into more detail in the recaplet, but suffice it to say, it finally feels like they've had their breakup scene. Elena has severed the ties that bound her to Stefan. There's sorrow and regret, but there's relief and acceptance, as well. Hats off to Dobrev and Wesley.