- Stefan compels Andie to kill herself: In order to convince Damon that he is beyond saving, Stefan forces Damon’s human girlfriend, originally a compelled distraction for him that actually turned into a decent relationship, to fall to her death at the TV station in which she worked.
- Caroline is tortured by her own father: In a creepy attempt to halt his vampire daughter’s need for blood, Mr. Forbes locks his daughter in a chamber and tries to torture the taste right out of her. The saddest part? Once she is rescued, her biggest concern is that her father hates who she is now, not the fact that he’s a lunatic.
- The deceased Anna and Pearl reunite: Since their separate deaths in season one, Anna and Pearl have been wandering the afterlife without each other. They have a tearful reunion once all of the ghosts become physical in the mortal realm, and you can’t tell me that didn’t get to you just a little bit.
- Elena stakes Rebekah in the back: After being devastated by the knowledge that her brother was the one that killed their mother 900 years ago, all Rebekah wants to do is have a chance at being a normal girl and go to the Homecoming dance with Matt Donovan. After explaining all of this to Elena and really pulling for the sympathy, Elena regretfully stakes her in the back, shattering the smidgen of trust and friendship developing between the girls.
- Elena and Alaric send Jeremy to Denver: After Jeremy beheads a hybrid on their front porch, Elena and Alaric have Damon compel Jeremy to try to live a normal life in Denver. Elena gives up another member of her quickly shrinking support system, and I weep openly since Jeremy doesn’t return for several episodes.
- Mr. Forbes chooses not to complete the vampire transition: After finding him stabbed seemingly to death in a hospital, Caroline is relieved when he wakes up. The vampire blood Meredith Fell gave him allowed him the option to continue on in his life as a vampire. Mr. Forbes does not end up completing the transition, giving Caroline a well deserved speech about how she’s the daughter her parents always wanted. (Side note: poor Caroline had a very rough season last year, what with the torture and the general tragic family issues)
- Alaric chooses not to complete the vampire transition: Not wanting to add vampire strength, speed, and bloodlust to his serial killing-alter ego’s repertoire, Alaric decides that he isn’t going to complete the transition to become a vampire. This meant that Elena and Jeremy lose another (adopted) member of their tiny family and Damon loses his best friend. When he walks out of the tomb to see all of his friends holding candles in tribute, I die. I just DIE.
- Elena chooses Stefan (for the time being?): Personally, I’m not all that concerned about which Salvatore brother Elena ends up with, but watching Damon’s face while Elena tells him that she would choose to say goodbye to Stefan instead of him is quite upsetting.
- Elena drowns: In the EXACT same situation in which her parents died. She refuses to let Stefan help her, instead making him rescue Matt. The interspersing of the flashback of her parents’ deaths and hers is really what made this scene.
- Jeremy realizes Elena is dead: Jeremy gets a visit from Alaric’s ghost saying goodbye before he moves on. The look of recognition that comes across Jeremy’s face when he realizes that the presence of Alaric’s ghost means that his sister is dead was devastating. While Elena has vampire blood in her system and will most likely be completing the transition, Jeremy has basically no family left alive. It’s a wonder more of the characters (particularly the Gilbert siblings) on this show haven’t gone insane, really…
There’s some of the highlights from the mental anguish caused by The Vampire Diaries last season! Here’s to fourth season being just as painful. For me, stranded in Cablevision city sans CW and therefore with no way to watch it in real time, the mental anguish starts even earlier.