TVD says goodbye: Will Trevino and McQueen be back?

It definitely, definitely wasn't a Happy Valentine's Day for "Vampire Diaries" fans tonight. Though we've grown accustomed to saying goodbye to beloved characters at the end of every season, we thought we were safe after Kol's demise. Not so much.

In tonight's episode, all was not well in Mystic Falls… or on the mysterious Island where the gang presumed Silas is buried. The episode ended with Tyler (Michael Trevino) leaving town yet again to avoid Klaus' wrath, and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) presumably drained by Silas after being fooled by Katherine.

So let's break this down.

Of course, Tyler fans are used to saying goodbye to him each spring. In Season 2, he left with a werewolf pack, and in Season 3, he took off into the mountains to break his sire bond. Because "The Vampire Diaries" cast is so big, every character can't be in every episode, and writing Tyler out while he took personal journeys helped make room for other characters to get some face time.

This time, though, it's a different story. The poignant goodbye that he shared with Caroline was more emotional than we've seen them share before, as she begged him to move on, and he promised to be happy, and to forget her.

According to our very reliable sources, this absence will be much more extended than any previous ones. No decision has been made yet as to when or if Trevino will rejoin the cast, and whether it will be in a regular or recurring capacity. A return this season is very unlikely. Tyler and Klaus certainly have some unfinished business to work out, so he could, in theory, pop up as a guest star on "The Originals" spin-off in the future. For now, though, he bows out. If you ask us, it's pretty unfortunate that he leaves running from the man he's been trying to stand up to all season. It's a disappointing way to say goodbye to a character who has come so far and made extraordinary strides.

As for McQueen… things certainly aren't looking good for poor Jeremy. Next week's episode is a pivotal one, and unfortunately, until then, fans will just have to sit tight. Especially now that Jeremy's a hunter, losing him would certainly be a devastating blow. In particular, this will change things for Elena. She has said that her brother is the only thing that keeps her from losing her mind as a vampire, and with the possibility of being cured ripped away from her, Jeremy may be her only remaining connection to humanity.

Jeremy did get some great moments this season, and if this is his send-off, it's a good one. He and Bonnie managed to reestablish their former connection thanks to plenty of shirtless groping (and, fine, some hypnosis at the cabin, but mostly the shirtless groping) and watching him and Elena fight alongside each other to take Kol down was powerful. He died standing up for Bonnie, and that means something on this show.

If Jeremy is, indeed, gone for good — and Kat Graham has said in interviews that the most significant death since Season 1 occurs in these episodes, so we can assume that — that leaves us with only 6 regular cast members next season, assuming that "The Originals" gets picked up and Matt Donovan doesn't get out of dodge while he still can. With high school graduation creeping in, that leaves ample opportunity for some new faces in college — or wherever — next season.

© Zap2it: Carina Adly MacKenzie