The Vampire Diaries returns with new episodes this Thursday — finally, am I right? — January 5th, but The CW already sent out screeners of the episode to reporters and bloggers. One of those lucky sites was TV Fanatic, which released a savory teaser earlier today (Zap2It mentioned the same late last year): someone’s leaving Mystic Falls, and while it may not be indefinitely, there’s no door left open for a possible return.
The person leaving Mystic Falls is a “key character,” their goodbye makes perfect sense, and it will be a sad occasion. Other than that, we didn’t get any clues. So now we’re left with a few possibilities and no way to narrow those choices, except with good, ol’ speculation.
Given: The person is a key character; that probably excludes all parents (sans faux-dad Alaric). It will be a sad bon voyage, which means they like the person right? Klaus is out! It’s most likely not our core three because that’s just not going to happen. And the goodbye makes perfect sense narratively. All right, let’s speculate! (Just so you know, I’ll be posting spoilers — so steer clear if you don’t want to know!)
Last we saw: The last time we saw Bonnie, she was still hurt over her breakup with Jeremy because he kissed his dead ex-girlfriend Anna. Alaric gave her some words of advice (which made… no sense, to be honest, but whatever) about Jeremy and heartache. (She was also reeling from seeing her dead grandmother again.)
Key character: There’s no denying that Bonnie is one of the most significant characters on The Vampire Diaries. Now, that’s not to say she has much to do with the fabric of the show, but the writers basically need her (and use her incessantly) to undo what they cannot undo narratively. “Basically, we need Elena to not die…” “Oh, let’s have Bonnie whip up some spell!” See what I mean? Regardless, definitely a key character, especially considering she introduced us to the magic aspect of the series (and it appears a witch battle has just commenced from the other side).
Sad bon voyage: If Bonnie leaves, her best friends Elena and Caroline will probably sob more than Stefan during his breakup with Elena!
Sensical goodbye: Um…
Extraneous factors (aka spoilers): Bonnie’s actually getting a storyline this season — in fact, we’re meeting her mom! According to a press release for episode 3.12, one that will air three Thursdays from now, Bonnie will be having recurring nightmares about Klaus’ coffins which will lead her to reunite with her mom played by Persia White (of Girlfriends fame).
Conclusion: Not gonna happen!
Last we saw: The last time we saw Matt he attended the Homecoming dance with Katherine! Then, he helped Tyler get Caroline out of the house and into her own home. He was also reeling from having his dead sister try to kill his ex-girlfriend Elena.
Key character: Um…
Sad bon voyage: It’s unfortunate to say, but with regards to maybe Elena and Tyler to a degree, Matt’s level of friendship in Mystic Falls is at an all-time low. Caroline has shown she still cares for him (not wanting to hurt him by galavanting with Tyler) and there seems to be a budding friendship with Bonnie brewing, but that’s it.
Sensical goodbye: He’s got nothin’ else tuh do!
Extraneous factors: According to another press release, this time for episode 3.11 which will air next week, Matt is present for Caroline’s 18th birthday party.
Conclusion: Would make sense… but not gonna happen.
Last we saw: The last time we saw Jeremy, the wounds of his dead ex-girlfriend Anna leaving were still fresh — and apparently his feelings for her, the same.
Key character: Jeremy isn’t just Elena’s little brother — he’s also been an integral part of the story for season three in which he was able to see Vicki and Anna’s ghosts. The show has hinted at perhaps there being a fight from the other side… could Jeremy be a proxy to speak to it? Who knows!
Sad bon voyage: It would most certainly give Nina Dobrev and Steven R. McQueen a good scene to play off each other.
Sensical goodbye: Jeremy has just lost three girlfriends! One his first love, the second his true love, and the third his current love… all in one blow. Ouch. He could be suffering yet another identity crisis and may seek comfort outside of the same routine.
Extraneous factors: According to the same aforementioned press release, Jeremy is will at least be mentioned by name in episode 3.11 (who said this person left for more than one episode anyway?) but Elena wants to tell Bonnie of his “new plans.” His plans… to leave? Did everyone just get this episode wrong? Or perhaps he’s left already and she knows of other plans he has that he told her he seeks to execute once he’s gone for good and Elena’s just getting around to telling Bonnie during this episode. And along with Candice Accola, Steven R. McQueen is not listed to star in the following episode (3.12).
Conclusion: Would make the most sense, to be honest, and seems like a true possibility.
Last we saw: The last time we saw Katherine… she, well, had sort of said goodbye. She tried to help Damon defeat Klaus, only to have Stefan show up and foil their plan (thanks to apparently Katherine’s own work) and then she helped Stefan think of ways to get the upper hand on Klaus. Was she still with Stefan? Probably not.
Key character: Undebatable. Even though we didn’t actually see her in present day until the season one finale, Katherine is the entire reason Stefan went to Mystic Falls (indirectly) and started the Vampire Diaries tale. She shaped a love triangle more than a hundred years ago between the two brothers and apparently still has a deep-rooted love for Stefan.
Sad bon voyage: Um… with both Salvatore brothers apparently having dismissed any feelings for Katherine, it doesn’t seem plausible.
Sensical goodbye: Katherine already mentioned a sensical goodbye — she needs to be as far away from Klaus as humanly (er, vampiraly?) possible.
Extraneous factors: She hasn’t been mentioned, as far as I know, in upcoming episode descriptions, and so on…. Also, she doesn’t technically live in Mystic Falls — not presently, anyway, so…
Conclusion: It’s possible, but Katherine is way too good of a character (in my opinion) to waste on a goodbye. She cameos with a blaze of glory and if she ever leaves, she’ll go down the same way.
Those seem to be the only characters that make sense thus far. Tyler, Caroline, and Alaric have all been in promotional photos and in episode descriptions for episodes beyond this Thursday’s. I did mention that Candice Accola is apparently not in episode 3.12, but she has a stronger story for 3.11 (teased as “Birthday and goodbyes”) than Jeremy.
So who do you think is leaving? Someone we listed… or someone else entirely!?