SPOILER ALERT! If you haven’t seen tonight’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, stop reading now. While you await our full recap of the rollercoaster hour (UPDATE: It’s now live!), let’s do a poll to see if 100 percent of viewers who have watched it cried.
I teared up multiple times. The first was after Esther used Elena’s doppelgänger blood to begin Alaric’s transformation into Mikael 2.0, a vamp vampire hunter with a white oak stake that can be used repeatedly since she bonded it with his ring. Because only the humans could leave the high school’s Roaring ’20s Decade Dance, thanks to Esther’s boundary spell, crossbow-carrying Jeremy and shotgun-toting Matt had to go to the old cemetery and try to stop Esther. Esther used magic to make them point their weapons at each other. After Caroline’s speech to Matt earlier in the episode about how people who fancy Elena tend to get caught in the crossfire, I thought we might finally lose Young Blue Eyes. But then Esther got staked from behind. It was Alaric, who’d awoken as Good Alaric and had no memory of what just happened. My eyes welled up, but no tears actually fell.
The next misty moment: When Alaric broke the news to Jeremy that he wasn’t going to complete the transition because his dark side would be too powerful if he was truly immortal. Jeremy said he didn’t want to hear a speech about how he’d need to step up and be the man of the house. Alaric said he wouldn’t give him one. Instead, he just hugged him. And… my tears began to flow. Elena told Alaric it was her fault: She’d forced him to take back his ring and take care of them after Jenna’s death. But Alaric told her taking care of her and Jeremy was the closest he’d ever come to the life he’d wanted.
The next tissue scene: When Alaric and Elena walked out of the tomb to find everyone standing in the cemetery. This is when I lost it. My body was actually heaving, I was sobbing so hard. I’m tearing up again just thinking about. I lost my father seven months ago, and there really is nothing more powerful than having the people you love surround you as the end nears. I guess they borrowed Esther’s candles, and placed them throughout the cemetery — it was an unforgettable moment, staged even more beautifully than Anna’s reunion with Pearl (which also made we weep). Alaric didn’t speak. After we panned to everyone — some fighting back tears, some losing the battle — he just nodded and went back inside the tomb with tears in his own eyes. Watch it below.
I somehow stayed dry-eyed during Elena and Stefan’s scene in the gymnasium, when she broke down telling him she had no one in her life, no one to take care of her and Jeremy, and he said she had him. But Damon’s goodbye with Alaric got me. Alaric had insisted that he wanted to be alone in his final moments, but Meredith knew he was lying. Damon went in and sat down beside him. They shared one last bottle of bourbon and a few jokes. When Alaric shed a few simple tears, I shed a single one. The sound of his breathing stopped, and Damon looked at him. It really does take a strong person to be there. But Damon wasn’t strong enough to stop Bonnie, who’d been visited by Esther in her dreams and told that she must finish the work that Esther had started. Looking semi-possessed, she gave Damon a debilitating headache and went inside to Alaric. She used the stake to cut her hand and fed her blood to him. Alaric transitioned, showed his fangs for the first time, and bit her neck. We know she lives from the promo for next week, which shows that Damon and Stefan will want to team with Klaus to stop Alaric. Okay, the idea of that does cheer me up a little.
What was your tear tally?
EW’s recap of this episode: To Mr. Saltzman, With Love
Best of 2011 (Behind the Scenes): ‘The Vampire Diaries’ EP Julie Plec talks moments that made her cry
‘Vampire Diaries’ poll: Which Original do you hope can’t be killed?