Stefan: It's the blood. The bloodline. It has to be. Think about it. Finn turned Sage, Sage turned Troy. They're all part of the same vampire bloodline that originated with Finn.
Caroline: Wait, so, when an Original dies, every vampire turned in their bloodline dies along with them? Because, that would mean...
Elena: If the Originals die, so do all of you. The entire vampire species would just be dead.
Stefan, Caroline, and Elena learn of the sirelines

The Murder of One is the eighteenth episode of the third season of The Vampire Diaries and the sixty-second episode of the series overall.


SAVIOR OF THE CURSED AND THE DAMNEDDamon and Stefan focus on a new project that will bring them closer to destroying Klaus, and they quickly bring Elena, Caroline and Matt in on the plan. After Klaus threatens someone close to Bonnie, she has no choice but to work on the spell he needs. Meanwhile, Klaus and Rebekah find the perfect motivator to convince Finn to cooperate with them, but Rebekah is more interested in her own brutal plan to take revenge on Damon. Stefan's emotional turmoil leads him to a dangerous confrontation with Klaus and, later, to a heartbreaking moment with Elena.


The episode starts with Elena knocking on Alaric's door bright and early. Elena has come to his loft with muffins in hand to check on him — and to make sure he didn't kill another person overnight. Damon meets Elena at the door and refuses to let her in. He assures her that the history teacher is okay. She suspects he is up to something, but eventually takes his word. After she leaves, we learn that Ric is more than okay. He, Stefan and Damon have spent the night turning the old Wickery Bridge sign into O.V.-offing white oak stakes. While they worked, Stefan and Damon came up with a plan to end Klaus and his kin. They text their Scooby gang and tell them to meet in the woods to get the deets.

On the way to the rendezvous point, Elena tells Caroline that Alaric killed her father Bill. Surprisingly, Caroline takes the news in stride. When Elena and Caroline reach the rendezvous point, Stefan hands out the 12 stakes he and the boys made. The plan, he says, is for Caroline to distract Klaus so that they can go after Rebekah. The way he explains it, she is clearly the weakest link and the plan sounds like it might work. While Elena and Co. plot to kill Klaus, Klaus himself goes off to find Finn. As Finn walks down some street in some city, Klaus approaches and asks him to help undo the binding spell that ties their fates. "I have no wish to help you," Finn says. "Only to see you dead." Never one to accept 'no' for an answer, Klaus threatens to re-dagger Finn again if he won't come home. Rather than continue to argue, Finn vamps off up an alley. But Rebekah stops him. Klaus knocks him out and the siblings take their brother home by force. But it's not all bad news for Finn. His girlfriend Sage is waiting for him at Casa Klaus.

Sage is reunited with Finn.

While Sage and Finn catch up, Rebekah unveils some plans of her own. Apparently she's more than a bit miffed at Damon for sexing her up, then using Sage to read her mind. So she sneaks into the Salvatore house and knocks Alaric out. Before Damon can figure out what's happening, Rebekah's within kissing distance. "Hello lover," she growls. Then she stabs Damon in the gut. Across town, Elena is starting to worry about Bonnie. "Is it weird that Bonnie's not returning my calls?" she asks Matt and Caroline. Matt looks up and spots Finn and Sage taking their reunion stroll. "Is it weird that Klaus' brother is here in the middle of town square?" he replies. Elena immediately calls Stefan to tell him about the sighting. Back at Casa Klaus, Rebekah strings Damon up like a side of beef. Her plan, she so graciously tells him, is to bleed all the vervain out of his body, then compel him to kill Elena or Stefan. To show him that she means business, she slices his chest, then his throat. But Damon isn't the only captive in the house. Bonnie's there, too. Klaus has out-and-out kidnapped her and he's forcing her to undo the binding spell. If she refuses, he'll kill Jeremy. To prove he's got a helping hand in place to do the job in form of his brother Kol, Klaus shows her streaming real-time video of Jeremy on his phone.

While Klaus forces Bonnie's hand, Caroline's busy babysitting Alaric — a.k.a. the man who killed her father. It's a sketchy situation. Alaric apologizes and Caroline tells him, "I have blood on my hands too. We all do." Bleeding like a stuck pig, Damon dreams that Elena has come to save him. When he wakes, he realizes that Rebekah planted the thought. Disappointed that it wasn't real and angry that she pushed his buttons so easily, he calls her a desperate b-word then says "If Klaus bossed me around for a thousand years, I'd be a little desperate for attention, too." Snarking his captor proves to be not a wise move.

Rebekah promptly cuts him some more. In town at the Grill, Sage introduces Finn to tequila while Stefan, unnoticed by the duo, sits on the other side of the room, listening. As the couple drinks, one of Sage's sires, Troy, passes by, and we discover that she has brought him back up to town. Working a new O.V.-killing Plan B, Matt slips vervain into Sage and Finn's drinks — which they notice right away. Before they can attack him, Stefan lures them outside. While Sage easily kicks Stefan's butt, Elena steps out of the Grill's kitchen and shoots Finn with the cross bow. Before he falls, Matt runs over and stakes him. Then they both duck back inside. Finn stiffens, then bursts into flames while Sage cries over his body. While Elena, Matt, and Stefan go after Finn, Bonnie is busy working the unbinding spell. She mixes all the siblings' blood in a goblet, then pours the blend on the table in the middle of a requisite circle of candles.

Next she recites an incantation that causes the bloodlines to separate. They part just as Finn gets stabbed. So Finn doesn't take the rest of the Original Family down with him. Because the spell seems to have worked, Klaus lets Bonnie go. As she passes the living room, she sees Rebekah torturing Damon. Klaus offers to let Bonnie save the man who turned her mother into a vampire, but she chooses to leave instead. Remorse hits Bonnie before she clears the circle driveway. So she calls Elena and tells him what Klaus made her do and that he has Damon. As she speaks, the rest of it — her mother's abandonment, the Jeremy predicament, and the mess that her life has become — hits her and she crumbles in the driveway, bawling.

Stefan gets the rage when he hears Klaus has Damon. Before Elena can calm him down, Sage bursts in. She's outraged, too. She knocks Stefan down and pimp-slaps Caroline across the room. "I'm not here for you. I'm here for him," she says. Then she kicks Stefan. Elena tries to run out. But Troy blocks the door. It looks like Elena's going to have to watch Sage box the vampirism out of Stefan. But then something strange happens. Her nose starts to bleed. She throws a punch at Stefan. But he easily blocks it. She falls to one knee, coughs, and spits blood. She goes ashen and calls for help. But the same symptoms hit Troy. Next thing, they're both laying on the floor, dead. It takes Caroline, Stefan, and Elena a bit to figure things out. "Wait. So when an Original dies, every vampire turned from their blood line dies along with them?" Caroline asks. "That would mean..." If all of the originals die, so does the whole vampire species, including the Salvatores. This revelation changes everything.


Stefan marches over to Casa Klaus. He drops a bag filled with eight of the remaining stakes on the floor, tells Klaus and Rebekah that Finn is dead and offers to trade the weapons for Damon. It sounds too easy. So Klaus compels a nearly drained Damon to go home. Before Damon amputates his own hands in an attempt to free himself from the chains, Klaus tells Damon to stop. Then he compels the eldest Salvatore to tell him how many stakes really exist. "Eleven," Damon replies without hesitation. This prompts Klaus to make a big old speech about how he gave Stefan's life purpose by giving him something to hate. He's so full of himself that Stefan can't help but try to kill him. Klaus easily squashes his attempt. Then Rebekah frees Damon and tells Stefan that if he turns in the remaining three stakes, she and Klaus will let them live. Klaus looks at her incredulously.

Back at the Salvatore Boarding House, Elena and Caroline try to reconstruct the brother's family tree so that they know which Original not to kill. The Salvatores were sired by Katherine, who was sired by Rose. But who sired Rose? Stefan does not know the answer. He returns home a bit defeated. He tells Elena that he spent too much time hating and plotting against Klaus. He regrets pushing her away and blames himself for the feelings she has developed for Damon. Actually, Stefan uses the word "love," which Elena immediately denies."I will always love you," Stefan tells Elena. "I just want you to look me in the eye and tell me that you don't feel something for him." Elena can't do that. "I don't know what I feel," she says. Rebekah, however, is not so ambivalent about her feelings. Alone with Klaus, she realizes that her brother doesn't care for them as much as the Salvatores care for each other. "At least they know what family means," she says. "You destroyed us." Klaus responds by telling Rebekah that he plans to take Elena and leave Mystic Falls "to create a new family of hybrids." When Rebekah suggests that she will stay, he says, "Then you're just as pathetic as Finn." Eager to be free of Klaus, Damon goes over to Alaric's to get the last stake. But Alaric can't find it. It's been moved from the hiding place behind the bookshelf. After snarking Ric for hiding it in such a cliched place, Damon asks, "Are you telling me that your vampire-hating alter ego has a stake that can kill an entire line of vampires, possibly mine?" Alaric responds "That's exactly what I'm telling you."


Main Cast

Recurring Cast



  • Antagonists: Niklaus Mikaelson and Rebekah Mikaelson.
  • Bonnie is forced by Klaus to undo Esther's linking spell, but not the sire line spell, as this wasn't known to exist until Finn was killed by Matt, causing Sage and Troy to die shortly afterward.
  • Finn and Sage appear in this episode.
  • Caroline makes a comment to Alaric about Rebekah, referencing Buffy The Vampire Slayer. This is the second Buffy reference on the series.
  • This is the first and only episode in which Caspar Zafer is billed as a Guest Star.
  • It is revealed if an Original is destroyed, their entire bloodline of vampires will die a short time after.
    • Since the revelation in this episode that if an Original is destroyed so is their entire bloodline, it means that if Mikael in his time as an Original vampire created any other vampires from his blood, they died when Klaus killed him in the episode Homecoming.
  • Although he was mentioned three times, Kol doesn't appear in this episode.
  • This is the first time Elena is questioned about being in love with Damon.
  • This is the first episode Finn appears without Kol.
  • This episode marks Matt's first kill, as he kills Finn.
    • Sage also dies in this episode, along with the rest of Finn's bloodline, due to the bloodline rule.


Body Count

  • Finn - Staked; killed by Matt
  • Sage, Troy and Various Vampires - due to Finn's death


  • Bill Forbes was mentioned by Alaric and Caroline. He was last seen in Bringing Out The Dead.
  • Finn was last seen in All My Children.
  • Matt was last seen in 1912.
  • Damon and Rebekah's tryst was mentioned by Caroline and Rebekah herself. It was first seen in Dangerous Liaisons.
  • Klaus was in contact with Kol by phone where it was shown that Kol was keeping an eye on Jeremy in Denver. Kol left Mystic Falls in All My Children.
  • Rebekah mentioned Sage's sneaky attempt (twice) to Klaus and Damon. It was first seen in Break On Through.
  • Abby Bennett Wilson was mentioned by Klaus, Bonnie and Elena. She was last seen in Break On Through.
  • Finn mentions how he was willing to sacrifice himself for his mother's plan to kill his siblings all over again. His first attempt to sacrifice himself was seen in All My Children.
  • Alaric mentions the moonstone and the events that happened in the Season Two episode Know Thy Enemy to Damon.
  • Esther was mentioned in this episode. She was last seen in All My Children.
  • This is the last episode that we see the last of Finn until his return in From a Cradle to a Grave, possessing Vincent Griffith's body.

Cultural References

  • "A Murder of One" is a song from the band Counting Crows. The name of the band came from a line from this song. A group of crows is called a "murder", so a murder of one is a group of only one crow.
  • "Kink sex" refer to sexual practice that goes beyond what is considered conventional as a mean of heightening the intimacy between partners. In this case Damon could be referring to Bondage, the practice of bonding one of the partners for sexual or aesthetic pleasure.
  • "Mile High City" is the nickname of Denver, Colorado, because it's elevation is exactly 1 mile above sea level.
  • Caroline asks Alaric if he had a run with "Buffy the vampire". This is a reference to "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," a campy and popular series that ran from 1997-2003. Buffy was a vampire in the episode "Nightmares."
  • "Tequila", the traditional Mexican beverage made of Blue Agave, was first produced in the 16th century, so Finn could not possibly have tasted it because he was daggered for 900 years.
  • "All ten rounds" is the length of a regular boxing match.
  • Klaus speech to Stefan, "I gave your life purpose", is similar in tone to that of Jareth's speech to Sarah in the film Labyrinth, in which he states, "I am exhausted from living up to your expectations of me."


Behind the Scenes

  • This episode had about 2.44 million viewers in the USA.
  • Hashtag during the airing is #TheCullensAreJealous


Damon: (to Stefan and Alaric about Elena) "Walking down the stairs, opening front door...and she's gone!"

Alaric: (to Damon) "I have a homicidal alter ego. Unlike some people in this room, I would like to take responsibility for the people I've killed!"
Damon: "If you wanted to turn yourself in, you wouldn't say it loud."

Damon: (to Alaric about Stefan) "His morals get very questionable when he has revenge on the brain."

Finn: (to Klaus about Esther) "Gone to find another way to end our abominable lives and when she does, I will sacrifice myself all over again."

Finn: "I have no wish to help you. Only to see you dead!"
Klaus: "Let me rephrase. You will come back with me, or I will put you back in that coffin in which you rotted for nine hundred years!"

Finn: (to Rebekah about Klaus) "You're siding with him!? Rebekah, he stored us in boxes!"
Rebekah: (to Finn) "At least he's not trying to make us extinct."

Rebekah: (yo Klaus about Finn and Sage) "What do you know? True love prevails!"

Rebekah: (to Klaus) "I have some unfinished business with Damon Salvatore. Ask Sage what he did to me, then you'll understand why retribution is in order."

Alaric: (to Damon) "I mean, did you learn nothing from the moonstone and the soap dish?"

Sage: (to Finn) "I took care of myself, but I never stopped loving you, Finn. I don't want you to die."

Damon: (to Rebekah) "I gotta admit, even for me, it's a little kinky."

Klaus: (to Rebekah about Damon) "If you're trying to bleed him of vervain, don't you think it would be easier to hang him upside down?"

Caroline: (to Alaric about Rebekah) "I hear you had a run-in with Buffy the Vampire."

Alaric: (to Caroline about him accidentally killing her father) "Caroline...I am so sorry. I don't even know what else I could say."

Caroline: (to Alaric) "I'm going to take a page from the Elena Gilbert handbook...and choose to believe that you can be saved."

Elena: (to Stefan about Damon) "What he would want and what we should do are two different things."

Bonnie: (to Klaus) "Well, it does bother me. You bother me!"

Sage: (to Finn) "You've never had tequila before? That's embarrassing. Seriously I'm embarrassed for you."

Finn: (to Sage) "Ah! I am truly awed by the evolution of mankind."

Sage: (to Finn) "My passions overtake my morals on a daily basis. It's called living life to the fullest."

Rebekah: (to Klaus about Damon) "Nik, he is my plaything, not yours!"

Rebekah: (to Klaus) "The Salvatores may fight like dogs, but in the end, they would die for each other, at least they know what family means, you destroyed ours."
Klaus: (to Rebekah) "I wanted a family, they just didn't want me."

Damon: "We found some more white oak."
Elena: "White oak? You have a weapon that can kill Klaus?"
Stefan: "Nope, we all have a weapon."

Finn: "What happens to one, happens to all."
Klaus: "Wouldn't be the first time."

Stefan: "Klaus does not get to survive this."

Caroline: "Elena Gilbert, savior of the cursed and the damned."

Damon: "It's a long story. Wait for the movie."

Stefan: "I'm not gonna miss because you can't whittle."

Finn: (to Klaus) "Bother someone else with your hollow charms."

Elena: "I never stopped loving you."

Stefan: "I'm talking about the fact that you're also in love with Damon."



Last.fm_play.png "Demons" – Sleigh Bells
Last.fm_play.png "Shame And Fortune" – Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Last.fm_play.png "On Your Way" – Alabama Shakes



See also

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