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8 Ways Nina Dobrev Broke Our Hearts in This Week's 'Vampire Diaries'

OK, now we're really starting to believe she's leaving and OMG, pass the tissues already.

You guys. It's starting.

Nina Dobrev's imminent departure from "The Vampire Diaries" is beginning to take shape, and we seriously cannot handle it. Noooooes.

This week's new episode - titled "Because" because, well, just because - has put the end of Elena Gilbert's time among our Mystic Falls crew into view. Which means heartbreak. Heartbreak everywhere.

See, there was a lot of talk about Elena Gilbert being meant for a life more mortal, and since Damon (Ian Somerhalder) totes has easy access to the Cure and a guilty conscience for not immediately giving her the choice to down it or not ... well, you can probably guess where this is all headed, right? There's practically a giant neon exit sign looming over Mystic Falls right about now. Frowny face.

To cope, we've been savoring every juicy drop of Elena these last few episodes of Season 6 have to offer, and tonight she was especially tuggy with our heartstrings. Let's review.

  1. First there was the adorably awkward moment she found out about Stefaline knocking boots.

    OK, so she doesn't have any room to go there with any "who did what with whom when"s, especially when it comes to Stefan (Paul Wesley) but her interest was clearly more than piqued when she learned of her ex-love's maybe-escalating fling thing with her best (not to mention, beautiful and blonde...) friend.

    Yeah, she was not jealous at all. Sure.

    CUTE.

  2. Nevertheless, she was still all in for Team Save Caroline from the word 'Go.'

    Sure, she might have had a blushing brush with the green monster when she found out exactly how Stefan would be "convincing" Caroline he's still a humanityless wretch.

    But that didn't stop our girl from jumping on-board the Save Caroline Train, minute one. Not even a little bit. But what else would we expect?

  3. Oh, and she's still hilariously shy.

    This lady is a frickin' vampire who's gone toe to toe with ancient indestructible hybrids and evil doppelgangers and yet she still gets squeaky when she walks in on a grown up couple necking in the hallway.

    It's all just so adorable we want to cry in our ice cream bowl right here and now.

  4. And also there was the small matter of how she imagines her five-year plan ...

    "With you." D'awwwwww. She would.

    And now we're actually weeping.

  5. Plus, how about that little 'Fantasy Land'?

    Elena's idea of a life worth living is one in which she remains, as (almost) always, a healer at heart.

    See, when she imagines the future she and Damon apparently can't have together as immortal and beautiful vampires for some reason (but whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy), she's of course enrolled herself in a surgical residency so she can be the do-good doctor and save bunches and bunches of people from impending doom.

    It's like, here's the mold and there's where she broke it.

  6. And then when she took the high road because Elena.

    Caroline in desiccation mode is mean as sh*t. And she knows exactly how low to go with her blows. Namely, she goes straight for the gut when she points out all the ... inadequacies of the status quo with Delena.

    But, bless her, our girl Elena didn't budge an inch from her front row bleacher seat rooting for her BFF to snap out of it. And she didn't take the bait of tossing back any nasties either.

    Atta girl. See, this is why we love her. She doesn't quit on her people.

    Seriously, what are we going to doooooooooooooo? ::Huff puff::

  7. But then the dirty, sneaky truth came crashing down on her.
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    Meanwhile, Mommy dearest Lily Salvatore decided it was high time Miss Gilbert found out the truth about the existence of the Cure. And though when Elena first got her hands on it, her eyes literally lit up like a kid on Christmas, finding out Damon had it in his back pocket the whole time was a knife twist like no other and that expression of sheer disappointment was devastating. Yow.

  8. But then THAT happened.

    Of course Elena didn't bolt out in a fit of betrayed anger and make a break for it with her new shiny vial. Of course she didn't.

    Instead, she thought about (1) how it would affect Damon if she took it herself and (2) how many other people -- er, vampires -- in her life might kill, pardon the pun, for the chance to down that magic juice. But behind secret thought door number three was the option for her AND lover boy to take it together. Boom.

    "You're going to take the cure Elena, and I'm going to take it with you. I don't want to face my future without you. I'll become human too," he oh-so-swoonily said, in essence offering up his immortality on a silver platter for her so that she could have her dream life. Weep. So much weep.

    NOW WHAT?!