Temis the Vorta wrote:
I haven't been watching - did Ric die for real this time?
Yes. When Ester turned him into a vampire she used Elena's blood and tied her life to his--so when she died he'd die. Rebekak caused Matt to crash into a river--Stefan shows up and he only had enough time to save one and Elena wanted Matt saved so Stefan obliged.
Elena drowns so when she died Alaric died--later he shows up to Jeremy--who can see ghosts and Alaric is back to his nice self.