Everyone’s having a bad day when The Vampire Diaries returns on October 11. Season 4, Episode 1, “Growing Pains” starts off with a gasp and ends — how else? — in tragedy. The CW released the synopsis for the premiere, and it has us worried for all our favorite vamps, new and returning.

Elena (Nina Dobrev) wakes up, though she probably wishes she’d stayed asleep. The world girl is a vampire, a fate she’s always feared. Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Bonnie (Kat Graham)
vow to find a cure, but the witch’s choice has terrible ramifications.

Damon (Ian Somerhalder) needs a punching bag — he’s not happy Stefan let Elena die — and uses poor Matt (Zach Roerig) as a convenient scapegoat. Shouldn’t he be blaming the Wickery Bridge architects/rebuilding committee and, oh, we don’t know, Rebekah (Claire Holt)? 

Speaking of the blonde OV, her romantic little heart goes pitter-patter when she sees the lengths Stefan is willing to go for his girlfriend. 

New foes Pastor Young (Michael Reilly Burke) and the Town Council start picking up vampires and their protectors, which ends pretty badly. For whom? We’re not sure. 

Full synopsis:
ELENA’S WORST NIGHTMARE — Elena (Nina Dobrev) awakens on the morning after the accident to find the thing she dreaded most has come true – she died with vampire blood in her system and now must go through the terrible transition to become a vampire…or face certain death. Stefan (Paul Wesley) promises Elena that he and Bonnie (Kat Graham) will exhaust every possible way out of the situation, but Damon (Ian Somerhalder) is furious with his brother for letting Elena die in the first place. Bonnie pays a terrible price for her attempt to change Elena’s fate, while Damon takes out his frustration and rage on Matt (Zach Roerig). In a rare moment of empathy, Rebekah (guest star Claire Holt) is deeply touched by Stefan and Elena’s devotion to one another. Finally, Pastor Young (guest star Michael Reilly Burke) and the Town Council members begin rounding up the vampires and their supporters, leading to an unexpected tragedy. Steven R. McQueen, Candice Accola, Michael Trevino and Joseph Morgan also star. Chris Grismer directed the episode written by Caroline Dries.

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