After watching this episode, I just sat there for a moment, mind-fucked. Yes, I found Carol's death very saddening, but I was completely deluded by how excellently this scene was executed! Playing Holy Night - or whatever Christmas hymn it was - in the background was just so poetic. Joseph Morgan did a terrific performance.
However, I'm so over this freaking love triangle. It has just gotten so tedious that I didn't even care when we discovered Elena was sired to Damon and I don't care that Damon compelled her to be free.