Damon and Stefan were forced to race against the clock this week in order to save Elijah, after he forced Elena to tell him the truth about his mother's plan and then kidnapped her and gave the brothers an ultimatum:
End the bloodline of the Bennetts by 9 p.m. - when the full moon is high and his mom will have all her powers to kill the linked children - or Rebekah will kill Elena. (Oh, and Elena also walked in on Rebekah pretty much doing the walk of shame out of Damon's that morning.)
Damon and Stefan came through in the end, with the former turning Bonnie's mom into a vampire in order to short circuit the witch connection. He did it so Stefan would have one less thing to feel guilty about. Abby is now in transition and Bonnie is very sad.
We concluded the episode with Finn and Esther having scattered, along with Kol on his own. Rebekah showed Klaus a videotape she had taken of Elena in the cave and behind her were ancient drawings, one that proved another white oak tree - the kind that can kill them - had apparently grown after they destroyed the original.
The final shot? Meredith firing at Alaric after he discovered evidence that makes it look like she's the town murderer.