'The Vampire Diaries' recap: Bonnie gets more than she bargained for as we say goodbye to 3 major characters

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Huge spoiler alert: some major s*** went down in Thursday (Nov. 14) night's all-new episode of "The Vampire Diaries." If you haven't watched yet, avert your eyes now. We warned you ...

In this week's "The Vampire Diaries," we had not one, not two, but all three doppelgangers in the same room at one time. And because of that, we also had not one, not two, but three major character deaths in "Death and the Maiden." So who bit the dust permanently, and who kind of came back from the dead -- but with dire consequences?

We started off the hour at some random bus stop in Philly where Silas is stranded. Since he was left in New Jersey after Amara drained him of the cure, he is making his way slowly back to Mystic Falls, and taking out all his anger on unsuspecting people in love. He's whiling away his time, enjoying learning about mundane human lives (yeah, gas being more than $3 is definitely something we humans freak out about, thank you very much), and lets Damon know over the phone that he now wants Amara to die since she took the cure and is the anchor to the other side.

Silas wants Amara to finally be at peace after 2,000 years (she's one crazy nutbag as of now, even going so far as biting through her own wrists in an attempt to end her own life ... ew), and now that she can die, they can spend eternity together in the afterlife (since as she dies, so does the Other Side, and they'll finally be together). Silas doesn't care about bringing Bonnie back from the dead anymore ... pretty much just to spite Damon. He tells Damon he's coming straight to kill her, so they're forced to come up with a new plan before he can do that: get Tessa to make Bonnie the anchor instead.

Now, why would Bonnie volunteer for that job? Both Bonnie and Jeremy learned a new, interesting fact when Jeremy brought Amara some dinner. Since Amara is the anchor, she has one foot on both sides of the veil, meaning she can see and speak to both the living and dead, and can touch both the living and the dead. If Bonnie's the anchor, she doesn't have to come back to life, but can still live her life. They wouldn't need to find a way to bring her back to life anymore. All they need is Tessa to agree to do the spell.

And of course Tessa agrees to do it, because that means the Other Side will still be intact when Silas kills Amara, effectively separating them for eternity when they both die. Tessa needs something powerful to draw on for the spell, and uses the doppelganger blood from all three doppelgangers.

And this was the scene we've been anxiously awaiting, with Amara, Katherine, and Elena all together in one room. This was truly a testament to Nina Dobrev's acting skills. Even without the different hair and clothing, it was obvious which doppelganger was which, as they all have different mannerisms and ways of holding themselves. Truly excellent work, here. Also, important to note: Katherine only agrees to give up some of her blood in a trade for Tessa to do some sort of spell to stop her rapid aging (more on that in a bit), and Amara agrees to it so she can finally die. Tessa uses Bonnie's grimoire as the talisman.

As Tessa is about to complete the spell swapping the anchor from Amara to Bonnie, Silas interrupts and blows the fuse on the Salvatore mansion (pissing Damon off in the process), and in the ensuing darkness, Tessa goes after Silas, Stefan steals Amara, and calls Silas to threaten to keep her alive until everyone else hunts down Silas and kills him.

Silas finds Amara tied up in the woods, but before Silas can kill Amara and then himself, Stefan interrupts. This whole episode, Stefan has been struggling with his newly returned memories, and wants to just kill Silas and thinks that will make everything better. As long as he can get rid of the one person who is to blame for all of his issues, then everything will be okay (he's clearly enrolling in the Tyler Lockwood Revenge 101 course). So Stefan kills Silas (RIP Paul Wesley's best incarnation, we'll miss your constant snark), and Amara then kills herself (RIP our least favorite Petrova doppelgänger ... or actually, would that be Amara doppelganger, since she came first?).

But! All hope is not lost for Bonnie, as Tessa worked her magic in the nick of time. As Bonnie was saying goodbye to Jeremy (she knew Amara was dying and thought the Other Side was about to disappear), even trading tearful I Love Yous, the swap spell worked. That's right, Bonnie's (kind of) back! Not going to lie, we got the chills and had tears in our eyes as Elena and Caroline saw Bonnie for the first time in months. They hugged, tears streaming down their faces, and Caroline's immediate plans about Bonnie coming to Whitmore College so they can finally have their perfect freshman year together was the perfect Caroline reaction!

So while the three BFFs got their tearful, joyous reunion, Katherine went to find Tessa to collect her end of the bargain -- a spell to stop Katherine's rapid aging. But she finds Tessa right as she's about to bleed out and die. That's right, after we watched both Silas and Amara die, Tessa kills herself, because she won. Silas and Amara died when the Other Side was swapped over to Bonnie, so they'll be separated for all eternity. She got her revenge after 2,000 years, and so she's ready to die to torment Silas in the afterlife.

Tessa also doesn't care about helping Katherine extend her life span, since altering the course of nature was what got her into this whole doppelganger mess in the first place. So Tessa dies, and then ... reappears next to Bonnie? She tells the new anchor -- with quite the smile on her face, no less -- that Bonnie will feel her death as she passes through her to the Other Side, and she'll feel every supernatural death ever from now on. And it's going to hurt like a b****. Looks like Bonnie got a little more than she bargained for by agreeing to be the new anchor, as she wailed in complete and total pain. That's a lesson in reading all the fine print before you sign on the dotted line, amiright?

Out in the woods, Stefan was burying Amara and Silas, and Elena found him to ask him pretty much one of the dumbest and most naive things ever. She listed off how she's gotten pretty much everything she wanted (it kind of felt like bragging, to be honest) -- Damon, Bonnie, Jeremy, even Stefan's memory -- so she needed to hear that Stefan's okay now that he got what he wanted (Silas dead). And that's when Stefan finally revealed that he's okay with Damon and Elena being together ... but he hasn't forgiven them for not being the ones to save him from the bottom of the quarry. "I wanted it to be you," he said to Elena and Damon. "When that safe finally opened and somebody found me, I wanted it to be you. I wanted it to be both of you."

Damon and Elena left him to his grave-digging, and that's when things took a turn for the worse. Stefan had another panic-attack as he relived drowning in the safe, and he realized that killing Silas didn't end his pain. He may have his memories back, but he's definitely not okay.

So back to the Katherine of it all. What's going on with her rapid aging? Well, the unwanted grey streak in her hair and her lost tooth are only the beginning of her issues. She had Dr. Maxfield run tests on her, and he says everything came back clean. But due to the fact that she's 500 years old and is no longer a vampire, he correctly deduced that she's aging. And there's nothing he can do to stop it. According to Maxfield, it's just life running its course -- albeit quicker than normal, as she's only got a few months left. Plus, she's even more fragile than before: After she gave up some of her blood for the swap spell, Caroline offered her some of her vampire blood to heal her. But after she started choking on it, it became apparent there's no quick fix for her.

With all these depressing realizations, Katherine's daughter Nadia picked the absolute worst time to try to plan a Eurotrip for some quality mother/daughter bonding time. She even shows up at Caroline's dorm to find her mother, and though Katherine tells Caroline that Nadia is just her stylist, the truth comes out later when Katherine coldly tells Nadia -- in front of Caroline, who had the most hilarious reaction to finding out who Nadia actually was -- "I would rather rip my heart out than do mother-daughter bonding with you. I don't want to know you." There's no way she really means that after their tearful reunion in "Handle With Care," right? She must be trying to spare Nadia the pain of losing her mother after finding her after so many years of searching. Is Katherine actually being selfless? Shocker!

Also, Caroline spent some time in the episode trying to get a hold of Jesse, but he's not calling her back. Hmm, I wonder why? Maybe he's off trying to figure out why he's got a sudden thirst for bloooooood?

So, who else is incredibly sad to see Silas go? And Tessa? Now we'll have to rely on Damon for all of the snark (which he always brings to the table, anyway). Bonnie's back, and packing her bags to finally join Elena and Caroline at Whitmore College, meaning the action is probably going to shift to the Augustine vampire mystery full-time. Are you excited for more college adventures?

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

Photo/Video credit: The CW
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