Writing this recap is going to prove challenging, since we’re currently in a puddle on the floor of our living room yelling “WHHHHHY” as our cat licks the tears and mucus from our faces. That said, we’re professional. We do not let little things like, ‘overwhelming shock and grief’ stop our literary prowess. That noted, let us begin.

The Vampire Diaries Season 4, Episode 22, “The Walking Dead” opens on the new and re-feelings-having Elena (Nina Dobrev) smashing cinderblocks with Stefan (Paul Wesley). He’s trying to get her to stop being so desperate to kill Katherine (Nina Dobrev), but to no avail. Having been through all this before, he tries to explain that she’s using her hatred for Katherine as an excuse to keep the tidal wave of blocked emotions from drowning her. (See? Literary prowess.) Elena has no time for Stefan’s help. She kicks a cinderblock and does some pull-ups, clearly wishing she was getting her murder-on instead.

Don’t forget, it’s May! That means in addition to it being the perfect time to lift the veil separating this world from the world of the dead, it’s also graduation season. That’s right, the gang is graduating — when they aren’t banishing evil, faceless immortals to their deaths. Rebekah (Claire Holt) is still trying to cozy up to Matt (Zach Roerig). She tries not to seem super flattered when he opens up about not expecting a check for graduating from his long absent mother.

Caroline (Candice Accola) has many reasons for not being diligent in sending out her graduation announcements. Being Caroline, she is on it anyway, addressing envelopes and applying stamps. She’s also trying to distract Elena to keep her from continuing to hunt down Katherine. Their friendship is still far, far from good. But they don’t talk about it. They talk about how Elena has no real relatives and how Caroline has no idea where Katherine is. Elena is getting a little wild-eyed about finding her double. It’s awkward.

Having stripped us of one Thelma and Louise-style duo, the gods (and Julie Plec) have given us another: Katherine and Bonnie (Kat Graham). They are hanging out in the woods. Bonnie’s meditating and harnessing energy and Katherine is bored and annoyed. Us? We’re loving it. Bonnie takes a moment to explain to Katherine that she is busying charging each of the three points of the Expression circle. Katherine doesn’t care, until Bonnie reminds her that she won’t be able to grant Katherine true immortality unless she does this spell. Katherine still seems suspicious. Also she is wearing a great leather jacket.

Back in town, Sheriff Forbes has invited Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan to the hospital. There have been five vampire-related deaths, and she turns to the foxiest amateur detectives she knows for answers. The brothers quickly determine that the murderer was Silas. The big baddie must be preparing for something epic — like the full moon the following night. The brothers, while exceptionally bright in a sort of junior gumshoe way, still think the veil is being lifted in 24 hours. They are wrong.

Katherine is getting incredibly impatient. She threatens to storm off and then goes for it, only to hit a proverbial if invisible wall. Bonnie knows that Katherine has the attention span of a fruit fly and has linked them for the day. That means — for those who need refreshing — anything that happens to one, happens to the other. Frankly, this always involves maimings on the show. We’re thinking they need to try this at sexy parties instead, you know? Anyway.

It’s a regular (not sexy) party at the Grill. By regular party, we mean there seems to be an insane storm brewing outside, Rebekah is still fawning over Matt, Elena is still feeling the need to kill Katherine in an obsessive way, and Caroline has decided now is the perfect time to confront Elena about all the terrible things she said when her humanity was turned off. If we were patrons at the Grill on this night, we’d say, “I’ll have what none of you are having”, a classic riff on the movie When Harry Met Sally, wherein we imply that the awkwardness of this evening makes us want to do every possible thing but have sex.

It took him awhile, but Stefan is back on his Point A detective game. With the help of some excellently rendered maps courtesy of the Sheriff, the guys realized that the power outages in this funky storm are aligned with the location of Silas’s massacres. This means Bonnie is hella lowering the veil tonight. The Sheriff blinks vacantly at them throughout all of this and then straight up says she has no earthly idea what they are talking about, and we love her for it. The brothers realize that the central point between the points delineated by the expression triangle... Is Mystic Falls High School. School’s out for never! Twisted Sister reference, topical!

The gang convenes on Mystic Falls High to find Bonnie. Elena sends Stefan inside, and he and Caroline begin their hunt. They slowly realize that while Bonnie and Katherine are there, they are far, far underground. While they are realizing this, Elena is trying to convince Damon to give up Katherine’s location. Seriously, “Where is Katherine?” is the new “Where are my dragons?” Quote us on that one.

Damon refuses to let Elena go inside, because he knows she’ll only go for Katherine and get hurt or killed herself in the process. Elena tries to manipulate Damon further by saying that if she kills Katherine, she will return to being who she was before — the vampire who loved him. Damon is not fooled by this, and so Elena gut-stabs him and runs away giggling.

Meanwhile, in the basement of the school (otherwise known as a prehistoric dinosaur cave), Bonnie and Katherine are taking care of business, Elvis Presley-style. Katherine remains wary, even though all the points of the triangle have been activated. Bonnie squeezes Silas’s tombstone that Katherine’s been lugging around, reactivating all the calcified blood from her long dead ancient witch relative. It is all very disgusting and magical. In a matter of moments, and with less ceremony or spooky effects than you’d think, the veil is down. We got a lowered veil here, people!

Damon is the first to meet someone from the great beyond. He’s stumbling through the high school, all annoyed that his maybe-girlfriend gut-stabbed him and who should he see but Alaric (Matt Davis)! A choir of angels begin singing a song of friendship as Alaric proves he isn’t Silas by revealing he knows about Damon’s secret liquor stash in locker 42. If this is the lowered veil, we love it.

At the Grill, the power’s out. Rebekah, having read one to many issues of Cosmo, has lit many candles. She tries to get romantic with Matt but is cockblocked by her dead brother Kol (Nathaniel Buzolic) . In our notes we wrote “now Kol is there and the other half of the internet that wasn’t screaming before when Alaric walked in starts screaming.”  Kol doesn’t care that his murderer is dead; he’ll settle for Elena in Jeremy’s (Steven R. McQueen) place. Matt makes a threatening sound, and Kol sasses him about being a quarterback before thorowing a broken booze bottle into his shoulder. Texas forever, amiright?

Back in the cave, we’ve got Bonnie and Katherine. Katherine’s snarl-face is on point, and boy has she been snarling a lot this episode. Katherine can hear someone prowling the caves and goes to investigate. She’s expecting Silas, but it’s Elena.

The girl is in rare form, squeezing Katherine’s heart and then burning her face against a hot pipe as though this were a prison movie. Because they are linked, this all of course hurts Bonnie, too. Caroline stays with Bonnie while Stefan goes and pulls the two ladies apart. Katherine meows and saunters away because she is a cat, basically. Elena is so mad that she hits Stefan in the face and storms off in a strop.

At the Grill, Rebekah is holding out hope that if she successfully removes all the broken glass from Matt’s arm, he will want to make sex with her. She offers her blood to heal his wounds, and he makes a sweet speech about wanting to be human when he graduates, acknowledging that this puts him in the vast minority of the student body. It was at this point that we looked over our shoulder to see if Julie Plec was there, reading our notes. Sadly, this was not so.

Rebekah trots to the back to find the first aid kit and finds instead a mesmerized Caroline, trying to cut off her own hands! We screamed the scream of the ancients at this sight, then we shook our fists at the heavens and cried, “Damn you, Silas!” Rebekah and Matt quickly wake up Caroline. She comes to when Rebekah slaps her and calls the Original sis a bitch. Everyone had a good laugh, then Matt got on the horn to Damon to let him know what was up. Damon takes this news in stride, he and Alaric have a good powwow about Damon’s dating life, and we briefly wish that Alaric Saltzman hosted a relationship chat show. We would watch it.

At the cave it becomes clear to Bonnie that Silas is still toying with her. He takes the forms of not just Stefan and Caroline but also of the deformed monster he showed her before. It turns out even that was a lie; he has never shown Bonnie his true face. Then he chokes out Bonnie with magic and scuttles off, having taken the form of Alaric, which doesn’t seem fair. Poor Alaric’s form.

This doesn’t last for very long, Damon immediately recognizes Silas for who he is and restrains him with a chain. This gives Bonnie just enough to have a pep talk with Grams and harness all her magic to go and turn Silas into stone. Bonnie has so much power and so little emotional stability. Still, this was awesome, and we all breathed a huge, if only temporary, sigh of relief.

Elena has gone to Jeremy’s (Steven R. McQueen) grave to mourn, but doesn’t get the time she needs because Kol shows up to kill her. Just as he’s about to finish the job, Jeremy appears, back from the dead to save her — with an assist from Stefan, who kills Kol again so that Jeremy won’t have to do it a second time.

Damon and Bonnie make their way to the gravesite. Bonnie promises to give Elena all the time she needs with Jeremy and leaves the two to talk. Damon and Alaric pal around town, disposing of Kol’s body. During this tête-à-tête, Alaric gives the cure to Damon, instructing him to use it to “get the girl.” They hug, we hug ourselves and pretend it’s them. They are our bros. At the Grill, Caroline and Stefan make use of the sexy candles and Stefan is about to admit how sad he was Lexi never showed — when she does! They go for a walk, and Lexi intimates that Stefan has eyes for Caroline. We am writing this because it happened, not because it’s a ‘ship we’re promoting. It was in the script, you guys, so calm down. Also, Stefan shrugged this off. In the cave once more, Bonnie ignores her Grams. The younger witch is sure that harnessing Expression she can bring back Jeremy for good. Her Grams tries to stop her, but Bonnie goes all Dark Phoenix on her and tries anyway — with heartbreaking results. The spell proved to be too powerful, and Bonnie Bennett, of the Bennett witches, died. We can write no more of this, for lo, we have taken to our beds. Discuss it all at your leisure in the comments. We’re going to build a small shrine and cry for a while.