Back in 1912, Stefan and Damon's nephew Zachariah is a councilman and is murdered on his way home by an unknown assailant.
Present day, we find Alaric waking from his gunshot wound to find himself in prison, accused of attacking Meredith with a knife. It appears that she has framed him for the murders happening in Mystic Falls.
Elena is desperate to help but finds herself rejected by Damon, who pretends not to care. However, he goes home and searches through Stefan's diaries, finding familiarity in the murders.
Meanwhile, Rebekah is desperate to find the white oak tree that will kill the originals. She learns that the Salvatores kept the records of all the trees in Mystic Falls so she feigns interest in the brothers' quest for answers to the murders in 1912. Damon recalls a vampire he knew named Sage, who tried to convince him to find pleasure in women as well as blood.
Elena and Matt break into Meredith's apartment and find evidence that she falsified a time of death on one of the murders. However, Meredith catches them and covers herself by retracting her statement against Alaric.
Damon isn't happy with Stefan trying to come off human blood cold turkey. He and Rebekah attack a woman in front of him and try to tempt him to drink from her. He gives in and Elena sees everything. She leaves devastated. Stefan is furious with Damon.
Elena sits down with Matt, who confides in him that she felt safe with Stefan. She knew he would never stop loving her. He would never die, like her parents did. She also admits Damon snuck up on her and she can't shake him. Matt suggests that she's in love with Damon. He gives her her family's journal, which he stole from Meredith's.
Damon insists he wants to help Stefan control his craving for blood. Back in 1912, he tempted Stefan to taste human blood again after years of sobriety. Stefan gives in but he kills his victim unintentionally. He's full of remorse and tries to put the victim back together. He's furious with Damon and tells him he doesn't need his help, just like he does in the present day.
Damon regrets letting him walk away, letting him go over the edge and doing nothing to stop him. He believes he could've helped him but he didn't want to. He wants to now. He will be there whenever Stefan goes too far. Right now, Stefan is all he has.
Alaric thanks Elena for what she did but he doesn't want her getting into trouble because of him. They agree to take care of each other. The diary is of Jonathan Gilbert's daughter, Samantha Gilbert.
Stefan does some research of his own, Samantha Gilbert admitted to the murders ten years after they occurred. She was presumed to be crazy, Damon thinks this is bizarre because he is almost certain he killed her.
Meredith shows up at the Gilbert house, much to Alaric's fury. She insists she framed him, then cleared his name so the police would look elsewhere. She promises to explain if he lets her in.
If Samantha came back to life then she would have to have a ring. Only two were made, one Jeremy has and the other is Alaric's.
Meredith tells Alaric that it is him behind the murders, but he has no recollection, just like Samantha. The ring has brought him back so many times, it's possible that the ring has changed him. Meredith wants to help him. Elena comes in and agrees with her. We see Samantha Gilbert killing Zachariah.