Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW ©2011 The CW Network, LLC Photo: Elena Holds Damon in Season 2, Episode 22: "As I Lay Dying"

The Season 2 finale of The Vampire Diaries, “As I Lay Dying,” haunts us still: There were tears (Bonnie’s, Elena’s and ours), human blood, and a darkly different Stefan. Plus, Sheriff Forbes accidentally shot Jeremy. Not that you could forget. But, in case you did, here’s a refresher.

When we last visited Mystic Falls, Damon was dying from Tyler’s werewolf bite. Tired of the pain, he tried to commit suicide by walking out into the sun sans ring, but Stefan stopped him by doing what the Salvatores do: locking him in the dungeon of their family home. “You are not dying today,” Stefan told his big bro.

He kept his word. But, considering what was to come, death might have been easier. In order to save Damon’s undead life, the nice Salvatore sold what was left of his vampire soul to Klaus, whose blood — as it turns out — is the only cure for a werewolf bite. The price was crazy-steep. In order to get the hemoglobin, Stefan had to kill a woman, O.D. on human blood, and go dark. Very, very dark.


Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW ©2011 The CW Network, LLC Photo: Klaus Prepares to Kill in Season 2, Episode 21: "The Sun Also Rises"

You remember Klaus, don’t you? Last season, our show’s biggest baddie staked Stefan and killed Jules and Aunt Jenna before draining Elena in his crazy I-want-to-be-an-all-powerful-vampire-werewolf-hybrid ceremony in the woods. Fortunately, Elena’s annoying uncle-daddy John sacrificed himself, so he died instead of E when Klaus drank her blood.

That last bit was all thanks to another miraculous Bonnie spell. And that wasn’t the magical miss’s last bit of mojo. After Jeremy died from a gunshot wound to the chest (courtesy of Sheriff Forbes, who’d been aiming for Damon), Bon-Bon called in a solid from the 100 dead witches. “Emily, please help me,” she begged. “I love him.” The witches complied, and Bonnie brought Jeremy back to life. But Elena’s little bro came back with company — the ghosts of his dead ex-girlfriends. Creepy.

Credit: Bob Mahoney/The CW Photo: Katherine Is Miffed in Season 1, Episode 22: "Founder's Day"

Of course, none of this would have happened if Elijah hadn’t shown Klaus a bit of mercy. After Bonnie knocked Klaus down, Elijah was supposed to kill him. That was the deal. But, believing Klaus would take him to their family, the original vamp didn’t keep his word. Elijah’s bro repaid him by stabbing him to “true death” (as they would say on that other vampire show) and storing his coffin in a warehouse with all the other family members he has killed. It was a sick O.V. family reunion of sorts.

But Klaus wasn’t through with the darkness. To prove his blood could save Damon’s life, he bit Katherine before sending her off to the Salvatores’ with the cure. In the end, she got there just in time. But not before dying Damon confessed his love for Elena and not before she crawled into bed and curled up with him, determined to comfort him as he transitioned to the other side… with a gentle kiss.

We said it in May, and we’ll say it again: Only in Mystic Falls could a night that starts with a “Gone With the Wind” picnic end with two resurrections and the murder of an innocent girl. But that’s The Vampire Diaries for you.