The Vampire Diaries knows how to shatter our hearts into a million tiny pieces...in the best way, of course.
The CW supernatural drama has become an expert on tugging on our heartstrings and punching us right in the gut over the past six seasons, and all that culminated last week when (spoiler alert!) Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) succumbed to her battle with cancer and died in the hospital, after Caroline (Candice Accola) spent the day sprucing up their cabin to make her mother's final days more comfortable.
Sure, Caroline was able to give her mother a happy memory to leave with, but she wasn't able to spend her mother's final, conscious moments with her, and that's going to be tough for the blonde vamp going forward.
"Yeah, if you thought it was going to get easier and happier and jollier, it's not," Accola tells E! News. "It's definitely going to be an emotional episode this week as well. Thank God for waterproof mascara!"
Although her character has been through a lot this season, Accola is happy with Caroline's journey so far.
"I thought it was a really powerful move by the writers," Accola says of Caroline losing her mother. "There has been so much death on the show, a lot of it from really supernatural reasons, like Caroline's father passed away when he refused to complete his transition to become a vampire. Everyone has found a lot of solutions to a lot of these deaths, these very gruesome, bloody deaths, and this was just as real and non-mythology-based as it gets."
She continues, "Caroline's mom dies of cancer and there's nothing they can do about it. They just have to accept it, and I knew it was going to be really emotional and we're hitting the peak of it with this funeral. I'm excited for fans to see a really honest episode about death and what it's like for someone to lose a parent."
So how is Caroline handling her mother's death when the episode, "Let Her Go," begins?
"We'll see Caroline being the exact same Caroline we've seen the past six seasons: she's focused, she's making lists of tasks, she is ready to plan this funeral like she's planned anything before," Accola says. "She's just trying to be really strong to honor her mother in the way that she knows her mom deserves."
And Caroline fans are going to be happy when they see how she's handling one of the toughest days of her life.
"I think the most surprising thing is that she really is strong through her grief, and she's accepting the support of her friends," Accola says. "It's a really beautiful moment in the episode, where all her friends are around her and when she needs help, they're there. They're ready to give their hearts, they're ready to complete the tasks she's given them, they are ready to support her. It's so sweet and special."
Thanks to that support and Caroline's own strength, don't expect her to be wrestling with the idea of flipping her humanity switch and turning off her emotions to help cope with her loss like we've seen other characters do before.
"Caroline is just as focused as we've ever seen her, and she's also focused on the support of her friends," Accola says. "She knows they're there and so any decisions she makes are positive in honor of her mother. She's trying to accept her strength and accept her weaknesses."
Of course, a good way to distract herself is by thinking of that epic kiss she shared with Stefan (Paul Wesley) when she was getting the cabin ready for her mother, the timing of which could not have been any more complicated.
"I loved that moment, but I think it's so tragic, and I love the tragedy of it," Accola says. "Caroline has been on pins and needles to be with her mom, always right by her side, checking in on her, but the one moment that Caroline finally lets her guard down and lives in a present-minded moment with Stefan, that's when her mom passes and she's not there to say a true goodbye, or the goodbye she would have wanted. It's heartbreakingly tragic."
So where do the two BFFs-turned-something-more stand in the wake of their kiss and Sheriff Forbes' death?
"The death of Caroline's mom will definitely have an effect on Caroline and Stefan's relationship," Accola teases. "Most importantly, the first thing they need to do is have a talk. Whatever moment they had was obviously cut short by the fact that Sheriff Forbes was in the hospital."
She continues, "They need to talk and figure out what this is and what's happening. At this point, Caroline is really focused on the funeral when we begin the episode, but we will see them have a conversation at some point in the future and the result of that conversation is going to say a lot."
What Accola is most excited for fans to see is Damon (Ian Somerhalder) delivering the eulogy at the funeral like he promised Sheriff Forbes.
"I love that Damon ends up doing the eulogy," Accola says. "I think it's such a sweet moment. I've always loved any scene between Sheriff Forbes and Damon. It such a funny friendship that they have, so it's only fitting that Damon gives the eulogy. It's such a special moment that affects him as a character and there's a really sweet moment that's acknowledged between him and Caroline."
The Vampire Diaries airs Thursdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.