'The Vampire Diaries' recap: A tearful reunion and a tearful goodbye in 'Monster's Ball'

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"The Vampire Diaries" should probably just change its name to "All of the Tears," because Thursday (Oct. 31) night's emotional hour was jam-packed with tearjerking scenes. Long lost mother-daughter reunion? Check. Heartbreaking breakup? Check. Devastating confession? Check.

As you can tell, a lot went down in "Monster's Ball," and while others were out trick-or-treating (for kids) or partying (for the older kids), we were sobbing our eyes out on the couch. Let's discuss, shall we?

Last week's cliffhanger -- Dr. Dickfield killing Jesse to create a new vampire -- was tackled first thing. After keeping Jesse strapped to a table for three days without allowing him to feed, Dickfield has been performing tests and experiments on poor Jesse. He won't even talk to him or help him out. He's just a test subject for the scientist. Dickfield seems satisfied with his results, and he calls Jesse a "perfect candidate." What kind of mad scientist is he?

Unfortunately, that's all the answers we get about Jesse, as the rest of the episode focuses on Elena and her problems (of which there are many). It's been four days since Bonnie's funeral, and Elena is still grieving ... but she is honoring Bonnie's wishes and is back at Whitmore. She is even writing in her diary again! She may have burned her house with all her old diaries, but she didn't burn the habit. Apparently, she has also been avoiding Damon, but he surprises her at school to escort her to the historical ball on campus.

Caroline is also going to the ball, and is being escorted by her own boyfriend. That's right, Tyler and his chenille blanket are back at Whitmore! But although he's been showing Caroline how sorry he is for being so MIA, he's acting super shady whenever she wants to talk about his college plans. Why is he avoiding the subject? That can't be a good sign ...

Remember Megan? Elena and Caroline's late roommate who didn't make it through her first frat party without dying from a vampire bite? It looks like the Whitmore students have forgotten about her too, since her memorial keeps getting smaller and smaller. One student seems really upset that no one is asking questions about Megan's apparent "suicide," since he knew her growing up and doesn't believe Megan killed herself. He also won't tell Elena his name, which of course intrigues her.

Nadia is still keeping Katherine hostage in a hotel room, while also keeping her safe from Silas. Katherine -- annoyed at being kept against her will -- tells Nadia to just hand her over to Silas so he can drink a sip of her blood and she can be on her way but Nadia clues her in on a terrifying fact: Silas needs to drink every last ounce of Katherine's blood to be cured, meaning she'll die permanently. That goes against everything Katherine stands for -- a.k.a. surviving -- so she obviously drops that plan from her agenda. Smart girl.

Damon, sick of grieving over Bonnie, comes up with a plan to bring her back from the dead. Since Silas wants to completely destroy the Other Side so when he finally dies, he'll be with Amara, Damon wants to use Silas' death to bring Bonnie back. A life for a life. Jeremy takes liberties with the game of telephone, and though Bonnie doesn't agree to Damon's plan of working with Silas, Jeremy tells Damon she's in. You see, Jeremy isn't okay with not being able to feel Bonnie anymore, so he's willing to risk everything for Damon's plan.

There is one slight hiccup with this plan: Silas wants Damon to kill Stefan in return. It turns out, that as long as Stefan is dead, the connection between their brains is severed and Silas can once again use his psychic powers. He knows that Tessa is going to be at the historical ball, so he uses her interest in Stefan to his advantage. Damon keeps on snapping Stefan's neck so Silas can use his psychic abilities to figure out where Tessa anchored her spell to create the Other Side. If he finds and destroys the anchor, he destroys the Other Side and can die and be with Amara.

Silas outsmarts Tessa by pretending to be Stefan and flirts with her, and figures out that she doesn't even know where the anchor is. She's only at the ball to find her pendant that will extend her powers to do a locator spell to find the anchor. Side note, the anchor is totally going to be Matt/Gregor's blade, right? The Travellers have apparently been hiding the anchor, moving it around and protecting it, and Gregor told Matt his friends are going to be looking for it. So it's obviously the anchor. End side note.

Tessa performs her locator spell once she finds her pendant, but before Silas can read her mind to find out where it is, Stefan fights back against Damon and snaps Damon's neck, so Silas loses his psychic powers. Stefan then finds Silas, punches him the face, takes his daylight ring back (Silas had been wearing it to impersonate Stefan), and tells Tessa that everything Silas said was a lie. Pro tip: when your ex-girlfriend has been holding a 2,000 year grudge against you, don't lie to her and use her again, because when she finds out, she will be pissed. Tessa is the original woman scorned, after all. In her rage, she desiccates Silas.

While all the action is going down, Elena's totally unaware of all of it. She's been having the worst time at the ball feeling guilty about having the summer of her life while Bonnie was dead, so she decides that she's going to make it up to herself by solving Megan's murder. She confronts Dr. Dickfield about covering up Megan's murder, and once again he doesn't even try to lie about it. Instead, he threatens to tell Elena's secret to the wrong people asking the right questions, and tells her to leave Whitmore.

Before she can decide what to do about Dr. Dickfield, Elena once again meets the student who wouldn't tell her his name. Elena compels him to tell her why he's so upset about Megan and if he killed her, but it turns out, he has just lost everyone in his life, and thinks there's he's cursed. He feels guilty about Megan's death because he has survivor's guilt. Satisfied that he had nothing to do with Megan's murder, Elena compels him to forget her questions. He finally tells her his name -- Aaron -- and leaves, but you can tell she felt a connection to his whole "death curse guilt" thing.

Another interesting fact about Aaron? Dr. Dickfield is his legal guardian. Say what? How much do you want to bet that Dickfield's the reason Aaron keeps losing all his loved ones?

Elsewhere at the ball, Tyler and Caroline share a dance before Tyler finally comes clean about why he's acting so shady. He breaks it to her gently, but it hurts just the same: he didn't come to Whitmore to enroll, he came to say goodbye to Caroline. He wants to hunt down Klaus and destroy his life like he destroyed Tyler's. He can't move on because the only reason he can be with Caroline is because Klaus gave him permission, and he can't live like that. Back at her dorm room, as he's packing his things to leave, Caroline begs him to stay, and the tears start falling as witness yet another heartbreaking Forwood goodbye scene.

Caroline: "Stay. Be the love of my life. Love me more than you hate him."

Tyler: "I'm sorry, Car. I can't do that."

And then Caroline utters the words that break so many Forwood shippers' hearts: if Tyler leaves this time, then it's over for good. No more surprise reunions, no more second chances, no more long-distance, no more Forwood. And Tyler, tears streaming down his face, leaves. So many times we've seen this scene play out, whether Tyler was there in person or just in voiceover, but this time was different. There's chance of reconciliation down the road. This is it: the official end of Forwood.

And that wasn't the only tearjerking moment of the hour, either. We finally learned why Nadia was so determined to get Katherine. She actually became a vampire in order to track down Katherine because Katherine killed her mother 500 years ago ... when Katherine killed herself. That's right, Nadia is the baby Katherine gave up as a human back in Bulgaria. What?!?

Nadia spent her whole life searching for Katherine, but Katherine only had one question for her: where was she in 1498? Nadia was only 8 years old, so she didn't really know, but it turns out that Katherine went back to Bulgaria to search through every village to find her daughter. Katherine was telling the truth, and Nadia could tell, and both fierce, strong women had tears in their eyes for the long overdue mother-daughter reunion. Should we be worried that these formidable ladies found each other? They are surely going to be a force to be reckoned with.

We don't have to worry about that, anymore, since Damon called Katherine over to the Salvatore mansion so show her Silas' dessicated body. Katherine starts to celebrate, before she sees the look in Damon and Elena's eyes, and knows she's screwed. They need Silas to be a mortal again, after all, so they can kill him to bring Bonnie back. Damon forces Katherine into Silas' mouth, and he drains her of all of her blood. She dies, and Silas becomes a witch again. We actually started to feel bad for Katherine at this point, because watching Damon hold her down forcefully while she slowly died, it was hard not to pity her. She had just found her daughter, had survived for over 500 years on the run, but was so vulnerable that she couldn't do anything as her blood was drained. 

But then, much to Damon and Elena's surprise and disappointment, Katherine comes back to life. How? She was a human, so she should have died, but we still don't know the fine print that comes with taking the cure. Can Katherine not die? Is she forced to live life as a weak human, unable to protect herself, but unable to stay dead? That's kind of worse, isn't it? And clearly, Katherine has no idea what's going on, since she thought she was in hell when she woke up. What is going on?!?

So what did you think of "Monster's Ball?" How many times did you cry? Let us know in the comments below.

"The Vampire Diaries" airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.

Photo/Video credit: The CW
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