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'Vampire Diaries': What's the most memorable death from season 2?

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Vampire Diaries
Quantrell Colbert/The CW; Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries‘ upcoming 100th episode centers on our favorite evil vixen in what could be her final moments. After Katherine Pierce had a heart attack and fell down the Salvatores’ stairs in the mid-season finale, we’re scared that it might finally be time to say goodbye to the woman who once loved both Salvatore brothers but never loved anyone more than herself. So to honor what could potentially be the most memorable death (or near-death) scene in season 5, we’re reliving similar moments from the past four seasons.

Join me and my fellow TVD-lover Mandi Bierly as we walk down a tear-filled memory lane and pick out our most memorable death scenes leading up to the show’s return. Today, we pick things up with season 2. And as avid fans of the show know, season 2 started killing people as early as episode 1. From Damon snapping Jeremy’s neck to Katherine’s decision to smother Caroline with a pillow, season 2 was full of near-deaths, actual deaths, and the TVD specialty, the resurrection. But here are the moments that have stuck with us the most:

Samantha’s pick:

For me, the thing that jumps out the most about season 2 — other than meeting Elijah — is Klaus’ big sacrifice ritual. The biggest, baddest vampire in the history of time was about to become the biggest, baddest hybrid in the history of time, and we all knew that it wasn’t going to be a drama-free event. For starters, in order to complete the ritual, Klaus had to kill Elena. But believe it or not, it wasn’t Elena’s death that put me so on edge. I was confident the show’s main character wouldn’t actually die, which is why the ritual’s most memorable death for me was Aunt Jenna.

No one saw it coming: Klaus decided to turn Jenna into a vampire solely so that he could use her in the ritual. It was ruthless and cruel and completely unexpected. And as if it wasn’t enough to lose Jenna, my favorite snarky parental figure, we were forced to watch Elena lose Jenna. In Jenna’s final moments before Klaus staked her, Elena told her to, “Turn it off. You won’t be scared anymore.” Oh my God, I’m crying just thinking about the poor teenager trying to comfort yet another parent that she’s losing.

Then, once the tears were already flowing, we were treated to another serving of misery: Watching Stefan’s face as Klaus drained Elena of all of her blood. I knew she wouldn’t stay dead, and yet, for me, watching Stefan get upset did me in. He had to lay there, unable to get up, and watch as this Original vampire sucked the life out of his girlfriend. At that point, I didn’t think I could take any more. But wait! Just when you thought it was over, John Gilbert did something nice for a change and sacrificed his own life to bring Elena back. I didn’t like John … until that moment, and then I had to say goodbye. It was all very touching and, more importantly, emotionally exhausting.

Watch the sacrifice below, and relive John’s death here:

Honorable mention: Jessica Conan. I know you might not recognize the name, but Jessica is the poor innocent girl Damon killed after Rose died. So why does she get an honorable mention? Because Damon’s speech about how he misses being human “more than anything in the world” is one of my all-time favorite Damon moments, and one of Ian Somerhalder’s greatest performances.

Mandi’s pick:

We all guessed Rose (a pre-Walking Dead Lauren Cohan) was not long for this world after being bit by werewolf Jules, and that at some point, Damon would have to stake her. We assumed it would be to save Elena during one of Rose’s bouts with dementia, but in the end, he did it just for Rose – his friend. She’d begged him multiple times to make the pain stop, and still we cried when he finally staked her — holding her in his bed, tears in his eyes, giving her a peaceful dream of the two of them enjoying the sun in her favorite childhood spot in the English countryside. She was the first person to truly believe that Damon could love Elena and be deserving of her love in return.

As much as Vampire Diaries likes its quick twists and surprises, the handling of Rose’s death showed that the writers understood the power of building emotional suspense, too. After Damon buried Rose’s body, he returned home and Elena was waiting for him, to make sure he was okay. He didn’t want to admit that he cared. But he did. “I feel, Elena. Okay, and it sucks. What sucks even more is that it was supposed to be me. Jules was coming after me.” Elena believed he felt guilty, but Damon said that was a human emotion and he wasn’t human.

As Samantha admitted, what came next remains one of Damon’s finest scenes: Jessica Conan stumbled upon him laying in the middle of the road. He told her what’s still the core of his character: “I can’t be what other people want me to be. What she wants me to be.” Jessica asked if he was going to hurt her. “I’m not sure,” he said, in a voice that was frightening. Then he touched her face. “Because you are my existential crisis: Do I kill you or do I not kill you?” he asked. She begged for the latter. “But I have to, Jessica. Because I’m not human, and I miss it. I miss it more than anything in the world. That is my secret. But there’s only so much hurt a man can take.” He needed to do something that cruel to erase the pain of losing a friend, the pain of knowing he cared, and the pain of knowing he couldn’t handle caring, which meant – sorry, Rose — he still wasn’t worthy of Elena.  Ian Somerhalder (who shot this episode at the end of a two-month battle with walking pneumonia) found just the right level of unglued — terrifying, but vulnerable enough that we could still care about Damon. Without Rose, he’d never be the man he is today.

Now it’s up to you! Which of season 2’s biggest deaths was the most memorable? Or is there another death you want to add to the mix — perhaps you were a Brady lover? Vote in the poll and hit the comments below!