I have a secret. I have a big one, but I've never said it out loud. I mean, what's the point? It's not gonna change anything. It's not gonna make me good. Make me adopt a puppy. I can't be what other people want me to be, what she wants me to be. This is who I am, Jessica. [...] Because, you are my existential crisis. Do I kill you, or do I not kill you? [...] But I have to, Jessica, because I'm not human. And I miss it. I miss it more than anything in the world. That is my secret. But there's only so much hurt a man can take.
DOOM, GLOOM AND PERSONAL GROWTH — Stefan has his own ideas about Elena’s new plan for the future. While Damon tries to get the truth out of Jules, he asks Elena to keep an eye on Rose, a situation that turns unexpectedly dangerous. Caroline and Matt try to be honest about their feelings for one another and Tyler’s reaction to Caroline’s generosity comes as a surprise to her. Damon struggles to hide his true feelings when a life-and-death crisis hits him harder than he expected.
This episode opens with Jules, who wakes up naked in the woods, laying next a big pile of dead, dismembered bodies. The blood smeared near her mouth indicates that she killed them the previous night during the full moon. She strips one of the bodies of their clothes, puts them on, and is just about to burn the bodies when a park ranger named Jerry drives past. She begins to fake cry as the ranger approaches, and says that a wolf came in the middle of the night and slaughtered her friends. He asks her if she is okay and she admits that she is, but her friends are dead. As the ranger calls for back-up, she runs up behind him and swings a large piece of wood at his head. As he falls to the ground, she swings the wood back again for another blow.
Meanwhile, Elena and Stefan discuss Stefan's idea to call Isobel. Elena thinks it is a bad idea, because she's afraid it will anger Elijah. Stefan retorts that she has a deal with him, but he doesn't. Elena prepares a glass of water with a few drops of vervain in it, takes a sip and asks Stefan if he really wants to drink it. He says he needs to build up his tolerance now that they know Originals can compel other vampires, especially since they don't know what other skills they have. He drinks the water and chokes, falling to his knees. He eventually stops coughing, and goes to leave to see if he can get in touch with Isobel, kissing Elena before she can argue further.
Downstairs, Damon walks into his room and sees Rose sitting on his bed, looking pale. She tells him that she is 560 years old, so she lived enough and should be ready to die. Damon checks her werewolf bite, which has grown in size and become very inflamed and infected, but lies and says it looks better. Rose looks at him skeptically when Elena walks in. Damon asks her if she agrees it looks better, and Elena lies poorly as she says it doesn't look bad. Damon asks Elena where Stefan is and she tells him her concerns about contacting Isobel. Damon stops her and tells her he agrees with Stefan on this. He leaves to go track down Jules and see if she knows of a cure and tells Elena to keep an eye on Rose to prevent her from continuing to argue. Elena follows Damon to the door and asks if Rose is going to die. He admits that she probably will, as the werewolf bite caused an infection that's getting worse, and emphasizes that since he's not an expert like Isobel, he doesn't know what is going to happen, to further convince her that contacting Isobel is necessary and leaves.
Tyler and Caroline meet near Mystic Falls High School, and discuss his transformation the night before. Tyler tells Caroline that he's still really sore, but Caroline reassures him that it'll get easier and complements him on making it through the first without hurting anyone. Tyler reminds her that they don't know that it will get easier for sure, but Caroline tells him to be proud of small victories. Tyler thanks Caroline again for helping him, and tells her he doesn't know what he would have done without her. Caroline smiles and awkwardly segues into planning for the next full moon, suggesting that they should reinforce the wall and the chains, since Tyler nearly bit Caroline and tries to tiptoe around the fact that he could kill her. He senses her hiding something, and gets her to confess that werewolf bites are fatal to vampires. Tyler is curious how she knows this and she lies that she read it somewhere. Matt walks over and asks to talk to Caroline, interrupting their conversation and Tyler takes his cue to leave.
Caroline reassures him again that there is nothing going on with her and Tyler and Matt quickly says that he believes her. He goes on to say that she's not a liar and that she has always been honest with him. She smiles and he says that she knows how tongue-tied he gets, but he doesn't like what's going on between them, and he wants to fix it; then, he leans in to kiss her. Caroline reciprocates for a moment, but then pulls away and tells him he can't kiss her. Matt starts to stutter and she tells him no again before running away.
Jules is at the Mystic Grill to speak with Sheriff Forbes. She introduces herself and asks if there is any news on Mason Lockwood, but the Sheriff says no, but assures her that she has opened a missing persons investigation and promises to let her know when she learns more. Alaric is sitting at a nearby table and calls Damon to inform him that Jules is at the Grill. Stefan enters the Grill and sits at the table with Alaric and asks him if she's the werewolf. Alaric confirms that she is and explains that he left Damon a message. Stefan asks if he's doing Damon's dirty work now and Alaric brings up the fact that they want to find a cure for Rose. Stefan gets to the point and asks if he knows how to contact Isobel and explains that it's not about Rose, but Elena and the sacrifice. Alaric softens at Elena's mention and offers an old phone number that he's not sure is still in service. Stefan thanks him and leaves to call the number.
Back at the Salvatore Boarding House, Rose is laying down on Damon's bed, and Elena is sitting beside her. Rose laments her illness, explaining that she's a vampire and hasn't had a cold in five centuries. She goes on to say that vampires don't get sick, and that when they die, it's quick, not drawn out like an illness. Elena assures her that she's not going to die, and Rose retorts that that is a very human thing to say. The conversation turns to Damon's bedroom, which Elena has never been in before. Elena snarks that she figured Damon would have silk sheets and the girls laugh. Rose tells Elena that she's lucky to be so loved and says Trevor was her best friend, and she never had time to put down roots since they were always running. She tells Elena that she's not trying to live and says that Elijah's plan is her easiest option, but not the best option. Rose then begins to fall asleep, before she starts shouting to prepare the horses and acts like she is talking to Trevor. Elena gets worried and tries to re-orient Rose to her surroundings. Rose sends Elena for some more blood. When she takes a sip, she immediately throws it up. Elena runs to get a wet washcloth for her face and when she returns, Rose is gone. She turns around and Rose is behind her, pouncing on her and pushing her against the wall. Rose shouts, "It's all your fault, Katerina! You did this!", and Elena shouts that she's not Katherine, she's Elena. Rose realizes she's hallucinating and apologizes to Elena, telling her not to be afraid of her. Elena puts her back into bed and has Rose tell her about her home in England to relax her and help her sleep.
At the Grill, Stefan leaves a message for Isobel and runs into Damon, who has come to talk to Jules. Stefan tries to talk him out of starting something with her and Damon assures him that they're just going to have a chat. He joins Jules at her table and she snarks that he's the one she meant to kill last night. Damon tells her she won't live to another full moon if she doesn't tell him how to cure a werewolf bite. Jules says "Bite me." and reminds him that she isn't afraid of him. He tells her that she's being stupid and Jules tells him that the werewolf venom will melt holes in Rose's brain, causing hallucinations before she becomes completely rabid and informs him that the only cure is a stake in the heart before she swans off.
Elena brings in some clean sheets, but Rose isn't in bed. Elena hears a noise downstairs, so she heads towards the basement and sees Rose gulping down blood bag after blood bag in front of the fridge. When she sees Elena, she starts shouting to "Katherine" again and chases her. Elena tries to stop her a few times (by throwing some obstacles into her path, by plunging her fingers in her werewolf bite's wound and opening the curtains to reveal the sun and burn Rose). She finally escapes from her in Stefan's room by blocking the door, and fashions herself a stake in case Rose busts in.
At school, Matt talks to Caroline about why she left earlier. She accidentally says that she loves him, which causes him to ask her what the problem is. He tells her he knows she's hiding something from him, and that if she really does love him, she would tell him. A girl named Dana asks him to help her get more burgers, and when Matt tells her that it's not a good time, Caroline had already disappeared.
Elena finally leaves Stefan's room with the stake in her hand. When she gets downstairs, she runs into Damon, who asks her if she's okay and asks where Rose is. Elena admits she doesn't know and sighs.
Rose is at the high school, outside near a dumpster and gets nauseous. She starts to vomit and a maintenance worker asks her if she's okay. Rose looks at him with her "game face" and attacks him. The sheriff calls Damon when they find the maintenance worker's body and says that they have another vampire on the loose. Elena leaves a message with Stefan, telling him that it was an emergency and asks him to call her back. Damon hands her a stake and tells her they need to go.
A couple, Eddie and Jill walk out of the bonfire party at the school, gossiping about how a maintenance man had dropped dead of a heart attack. Jill gets into the car, but when Eddie takes a while to get in, she gets out to see what's happening. Eddie's body falls on the hood of the car and she screams. Rose attacks Jill and Damon and Elena show up and yell at Rose to stop. Jill's body slumps onto the ground and Rose realizes what has happened. Rose asks if she did this and cries that she never meant to hurt anyone. Damon assures her that they know, but Rose continues to apologize to him and Elena. Damon tells her that they need to go home and Rose cries that she doesn't have a home and hasn't had a home in so long. She continues to cry to make it stop, so Damon wraps his arms around her and they all leave.
At the Salvatore's house, Rose is in Damon's bed again and Damon is sitting with her. He says hello and she apologizes. Damon tells her that sometimes people go on murderous rampages when Elena enters. Rose apologizes again to Elena and tells her she's never liked taking human life. Damon tells Elena that she shouldn't be there and Rose goes on that the hunt and need to kill is the worst part of being a vampire and that she never meant to be evil. Damon jokes that she needs to stop talking about it and Rose sort-of jokes back that Damon is just like her and that he wants to care, but ultimately runs away. Rose tells Elena that she knows that Elena is scared, but she needs to fight. She begins to cough and Elena comes over to comfort her. When Rose asks her why Elena is so nice to her, Elena jokes that she's human and Rose reminds her to never forget what it feels like to be human, and says it haunts her. She tells Damon it doesn't hurt as much anymore, but then begins to cough again suddenly and screams in pain. Damon tells Elena to go, assuring her that he's got it covered and Elena eventually leaves as Rose shrieks in pain.
Tyler is waiting for Caroline in front of her house. When she walks up to her porch, he asks her where she's been. She tells him she's been at school and asks what's going on. He tells her they need to talk, and she asks what's wrong. He tells her he doesn't understand one thing: why would she risk getting bitten and dying, just to help him? Caroline tells him that he needed her. He repeats that he could have killed her, and she repeats that he didn't. Frustrated, Tyler says he doesn't understand her. Caroline, also frustrated, asks him loudly why it's so hard for him to let other people help him, and he says that's not it. She shouts that it is, and that he acts like he doesn't want anyone to care about him and apologizes for caring and overstepping her boundaries by actually giving a damn about him and he quickly leans in and kisses her. Again, she reciprocates for a moment before pulling away, telling him he can't do that. When he apologizes, she yells "Everyone just needs to stop kissing me!" and runs inside, slamming the door shut.
Damon is still with Rose. He uses his powers to get into people's heads to create a dream of her home, with lots of horses, rolling hills, and lots of sunshine. In the dream, they are sitting on a hill, talking, with Damon's arms wrapped around her. She smiles and talks about how warm the sun is and how much she's missed being in the sunshine. She wants to race with Damon, claiming she'll win since she's older. He challenges her, saying maybe he'll cheat so he can win, since he's in control. She tells him she's not afraid anymore. She counts to three. After the count of two, Damon drives a stake through her heart and a tear rolls down his cheek.
In the middle of nowhere, Damon meets the sheriff and tells her he's found the vampire, opening his trunk to reveal Rose's body. Sheriff Forbes asks how he caught her and he says it's not important, all that matters is that it's over. She thanks him for once again keeping the town safe and he replies that he'll deal with the body.
At the Grill, Tyler is sitting at a table with Jules. She thanks him for coming and he asks what she wants. She tells him that she wants to be his friend and says that Mason would have wanted that. She goes on to tell him that she knows about werewolves, she knows that he and Mason are werewolves, and that she knows that he was killed by vampires. Shocked, he tells her that Caroline is the only vampire in town, and Jules tells him that she lied to him because the town is crawling with vampires. She asks him why he couldn't sniff him out and realizes that he's a new werewolf. When she realizes that he has only turned once, she tells him she can help him and confesses that she has friends who are coming, and tells him that they will take care of the vampires.
Damon is drinking in the study when Elena comes over to check on him after Rose's death. When he says that he's fine, she tells him she knows him and doesn't believe it. He tells her that he didn't care about Rose and doesn't care that she's dead, and then takes it back, telling her that feelings suck, especially the guilt over Rose dying when it was supposed to be him. He again tells her to go home, telling him that there's been enough doom, gloom and personal growth for one night.
At home, she finds Stefan, who asks about Rose. Elena just shakes her head and Stefan admits that he called Isobel. Elena confirms that she knows and Stefan apologizes, saying that he had to. She asks if he found her and her biological father John Gilbert walks in, saying not exactly and then goes on to say hello to his daughter. Elena just frowns and replies "Uncle John".
In the last scene, Damon is laying in the middle of the road. A girl named Jessica stops by to help him and sees that he's not injured, just drunk. He gets up and continues talking to her and compels her not to move. He confesses to her that he has a big secret that he's never admitted before: he wants to be human and he misses it more than anything in the world, but he's not anymore. He says admitting it isn't going to make him good and laments that he can't be who everyone wants him to be. He goes on to tell her that she is his existential crisis and finally allows her to leave after she begs him not to kill her. She turns around to leave and he vamp-runs around, stopping her and feeding on her.
Damon: "Hi, Jessica. I have a secret. I have a big one, and I've never said it out loud. I mean, what's the point? It's not gonna change anything. It's not gonna make me good, make me adopt a puppy. I can't be what other people want me to be, what she wants me to be. This is who I am, Jessica. [...] You are my existential crisis. Do I kill you, or do I not kill you? [...] But I have to, Jessica, because I’m not human. And I miss it. I miss it more than anything in the world. That is my secret. But there is only so much hurt a man can take."
Rose: (about the effects of her werewolf bite) "I hate this. I'm a vampire. I haven't had a cold in five centuries."
Jules (to Damon): "How’s your friend, Rose? Was that her name? Have the chills started? The unbearable pain? Did I mention the dementia? It’ll eat away at her brain. Soon, she’ll be rabid. [...] You want a cure? I’ll tell you the only cure that exists. Take a stake... And drive it through her heart."