Oh, Show. You’re such a tease. You spend a season making me bash my head on the wall and just when I’m about to lose consciousness you manage to pull things together.
I think my favorite thing about the season finale of The Vampire Diaries is that the goddamn Cure has finally been dealt with and won’t be in play next season. They found one of the two or three ways to end that storyline that weren’t absolutely horrible; if almost any other character had taken it the fallout would have been wretched and really, really difficult to watch.
I’m not sure how I feel about there being another doppelganger situation, though. On the one hand I welcome a chance to see Paul Wesley act as something besides a boring good guy. On the other…really? Another one? Is there something in the water in Mystic Falls that causes ameba-like reproduction? My hope is that the two are related somehow, like the Petrova doppelganger was involved in the Silas origin story and for whatever reason both came of the same spell. Otherwise…really? Another one?
I kind of have to wonder why the characters seem to save all of their finest moments for the end of the season; we could have used some of this back around “Into the Wild.”
Mystic Falls High’s Deeply Meaningful Football Field
We begin with an artsy sort of moment focusing on banners, chairs, and other graduation accoutrements. Then of course Kol has to ruin it all.
KOL: Blah blah revenge blah. Rise, my mostly dead minions! We shall get revenge on…well, on people who didn’t actually have anything to do with our deaths…except the Witches, who are pretty justified in going after Bonnie and Caroline…but the hybrids really have nobody but Klaus to blame, and maybe Hayley…oh, screw it, we’re bad guys and we’re dead and we’re not very nice about it.
The musical intro is just about the best thing ever – “You Give Love a Bad Name” blasts out over the title card and for just a second the entire audience goes, “What the FUCK is going on here?” until they remember: Lexi’s back.
Salvatore Den of Antiquities
Lexi shakes her ass and Stefan, who is on the couch drinking, does that lip-biting frat boy head bang thing to the dulcet tones of Mr. Bon Jovi and his merry band of large hairdos.
Then of course Damon has to ruin it all.
DAMON: What the hell are you doing? Are you…having fun? Dear God, the world is ending.
LEXI: Oh, look, the dickbag who murdered me. Threatening powers activate!
DAMON: This would be way scarier if you weren’t just flailing around like Cyndi Lauper on a meth binge. Wait…weren’t you wearing a dress when I killed you? Do they have Forever 21 on the other side?
Stefan is positively hilarious in this scene, mostly because he’s drinking. I think he should be either drunk or evil in every single episode. Oooh, maybe both!
DAMON: So if all you dead bastards are still hanging around, I guess that means Bonnie borked the spell.
Boiler Room, or Something, of Ex Witches
BONNIE: Damn, I borked that spell.
Hey, remember when Bonnie had that nice wavy hair without those horrific bangs? Those were good times.
Ghost of Grams looks on while Ghost of Bonnie talks on the phone to Caroline. Caroline is as usual relentlessly Type A about graduation.
As much as I love Caro I think if I knew her in real life I’d smack her at least once a season. She goes on about how graduation is “the most important event of our lives,” which I guess is true when you’re 18 and haven’t had any other important events like marriage, childbirth, divorce, buying a house, graduating college, or, you know, any day after graduation. Graduation is like SAT scores: important for exactly as long as you need it to open the door to the next phase of your life, and then forgotten almost entirely.
Her pep-squad desperation is both annoying and telling given how uncertain the future is for everyone around her – and that’s without even knowing Bonnie’s dead.
Bonnie, for her part, just sounds tired, her eyes falling on her own body while she listens to Caro talk; she gives Caroline an affectionate smile and an “I love you” as they hang up. Strangely, being dead makes Bonnie way more enjoyable to me; I found myself actually moved by her plight when for most of the run of the series I wouldn’t have given a damn if she died.
GRAMS: I’ll keep your body safe from marauding critters and necrophiliacs.
BONNIE: Great, something else to worry about.
Cemetery Picnic Area
Only in Mystic Falls, y’all.
Our All-Dead Family Gilbert enjoys a nice lunch at the graveyard. I spend most of the scene begging the TV gods to bring Alaric back for good.
ALARIC: Well, it’s a good thing it’s a nice day out, considering we don’t have a house to eat in.
For just a second, she has a sense of humor, but then she thinks about how Eeeeeevil she was and all the naughty things she did.
ELENA: I totally killed people and made everyone miserable.
ALARIC: You just described every character on this show. Don’t sweat it.
Then of course Connor has to ruin it all.
CONNOR (on phone): Who’s got two thumbs he can’t feel because you broke his neck? THIS GUY.
Some Trailer Park…?
Okay, so, Rebekah’s Five boyfriend…Alexander, I think is his name? has Bex and Matt captive and Matt is standing on some sort of “tilt this and kaboom” device. Alex and his terrible accent wax annoying about modern weaponry and how Connor has extract-of-werewolf (EVERYBODY RUN, CHEKOV’S GOT A GUN!) in his trailer.
I found this situation a bit jarring considering they were just in the town square – I know time has passed, but two characters got into an intense dramatic situation just out of the clear blue nowhere it seems.
Meanwhile, over at the Den of Antiquities, Damon answers the door (why do they even do that anymore?) to find…shit, what’s his name? Flynn Rider?
FLYNN: My equally aggravating accent, Qetsiyah, and this pistol say hey baby.
And Connor threatens everyone in the Grill:
CONNOR: Bring me the Cure and tell me where Pet Rock Silas is or all these nice relatives in town for graduation get to find out why nobody ever leaves this stupid ass town.
Back at the manse Flynn Rider tells Damon (who is digging a bullet out of his shoulder) that after starving to death on the island, he met Qetsiyah, who reminded him of the purpose of the Five and the point of all this. Acutally I wouldn’t mind a word with her myself at this point.
FLYNN RIDER: Aye, and then she gae’ me renewed porpoise and told me ‘bout mah destineh.
STEFAN: Dude, just…stop talking. I’ve got a bitch of a hangover and your voice is like nails in my brain. *heartsnatch*
CONNOR: *threat threat threat*
ALARIC: Motherfucker did not just threaten my bar.
Oh, how I love Badass Alaric. As menacing as Connor is, Ric is not at all intimidated, and ghost-whooshes Connor out before the explosives he’s wearing can kill everyone in the bar.
Trailer Park of Gloorious Destineh
We discover that six of the abandoned cars surrounding Bex and Matt are rigged to blow.
MATT: Don’t think about my likely explodey death. Let’s talk about all the places you want to take me when I don’t go splodey.
BEX: Shouldn’t we be thinking of a way out of this?
MATT: Not nearly as romantic. Paris? You should see the world.
Matt, honey, she’s like a thousand years old. She’s already seen it.
I guess the point of this is that Alex is waiting for Connor and Flynn Rider to come back with the Cure and Silas, and that blowing Matt up is just for kicks.
Despite his extensive warrior training Alex has a really short temper and throws a knife at Rebekah, which results in both her and Matt standing on the explodey cabinet door.
Mystic Falls High School
Bonnie, in cap and gown, heads down the hall and who should show up but Katherine, who is pissed that circumstances beyond Bonnie’s control kept her from getting True Immortality, extra funny considering how this episode ends.
KATHERINE: My life sucks these days, and Elena is the author of all!
BONNIE: How, exactly?
KAT: Not important. She hates me, I hate her, it’s mostly just to set up our “epic confrontation.”
BONNIE: Yeah, I don’t think you’re going to like where that goes.
KAT: Elena’s living a great life! I’m mad about it!
BONNIE: Elena’s entire family is dead, her house is gone, she’s a vampire who just killed some people, half her friends are dead or vampires of some kind, one of her boyfriends is loaded with self-loathing, and the other one is Damon. You keep using the word “great.” I do not think it means what you think it means.
It’s kind of weird to me that all this time Katherine has been very calculating, always a step ahead, but now she’s going kind of berserk – and why, because a long shot fix for her Klaus problem didn’t pan out? It doesn’t seem like her. I guess part of it could be losing Elijah.
Den of Antiquities
Damon’s shoulder doesn’t seem to be healing up as neatly as vampire shoulders are wont to do.
ELENA: So I guess now that I’m all Feely Girl again and the timing isn’t inconvenient at all, we should have a nice talk.
DAMON: Oh, yeah! I’ve got a present for you!
ELENA: A blood suppository?
DAMON: No, it’s the Cure! For you! Despite my earlier concern about the whole hell-on-earth thing, never mind!
Damon tries to use his Sire Wiles on her, which THANK GOD don’t work; that settles that question, which won’t be at all important later. He tries to enlist Jeremy’s help, but death has apparently mellowed the Littlest Gilbert about the whole vampire thing, and he’s all “Whatever you choose, I love you, sis.”
Meanwhile in the Big Ass Fireplace Room, Lexi and Stefan consider what to do with Flynn Rider’s body and eavesdrop on the goings-on with Elena. Stefan sort of suggests that letting Elena choose whether or not to take the Cure is a bad idea – I don’t think that’s how he meant it, but that’s how it sounded to me.
STEFAN: Elena’s the love of my life. Which I think means I need to get a life. (ACTUAL DIALOGUE) Maybe I’ll move to Australia. I can live in a yurt.
NOTHING IN THE UNIVERSE: *is funnier than that line*
Unfortunately Flynn Rider wakes up to ruin everything.
Back in the bedroom they’re still arguing over the Cure when Damon winces and looks a bit peaked for a second.
ELENA: Take off your shirt!
MY LIBIDO: YES PLEASE DO THIS.
As you might have guessed, the bullet Flynn Rider shot Damon with was soaked in werewolf venom, so once again, he’s kind of fucked.
JEREMY: Hey, he could take the Cure!
ME: NOOOOOOOOOOOO. Just take your shirt off!
ELENA: But why couldn’t you just take it, not die, and then have one of us turn you back into a vampire later?
Actually she doesn’t say that. Damon walks back into the living room, tosses Flynn the Cure, and is all, “Let’s mount up and go find us some Silas!”
FLYNN RIDER: Ah…okeh.
Mystic Quarry Or Whatever It’s Called
DAMON: See, this is a great place to throw a body – deep water, no people, too deep for animals.
FLYNN: But where did you put the body?
DAMON: Am I speaking Farsi or something? IN THE WATER.
MATT: I have on the Gilbert Ring – if you blow me up I’ll come back.
But…isn’t a Hunter a supernatural creature too? So he’d come back either way, wouldn’t he? I guess it’s literal, not based on who put him there but based on who actually sets the thing off. Never mind.
BEX: If you blow to Matt-Jam the ring will blow up with you! Hold still, I’mma kiss the bejesus out of you!
MATT: Well since you put it that way.
In the process of the bejesus kissing, Bex nudges Matt off the cabinet door so she’s the only one standing on it; she commands him to run off and graduate, and unlike just about anyone else on this show, when someone tells him to get the hell out, he does.
Bex then vamp-whooshes off the bomb.
BOMB: *GOES ALL SPLODEY*
Den of Antiquities
ELENA: The Angels have the phone box and Damon’s gonna die!
STEFAN: They’re not going to find Silas – he’s still in the tunnels. It’s only been one day, remember?
ELENA: Shit, do you think I keep track of the timeline on this show?
STEFAN: I’ll go to New Orleans and convince Klaus to not hate all of us for a minute. Maybe I’ll bribe him with a pair of Caroline’s undies.
ELENA: Where did you get…wait, I don’t want to know.
JEREMY: It’s time for graduation! Go graduate!
Mystic Falls High
CAROLINE (On phone): Klaus, get your ass back here and I’ll give you a pair of my undies! We have to save Damon because…I guess I’ve decided I don’t hate him for the moment. Move it, buddy!
Bonnie, Matt, Elena, and Stefan arrive in their gear, giving us the whole poignant “awww, our babies are all grown up and mostly dead by now” moment.
CAROLINE: We’re all here and it’s awesome for like five minutes! Plus vampires can get whatever we want, so we can get Elena into college and all share a dorm room and it’ll be just like Being Human!
After that is the graduation ceremony, led by the Mayor rather than the high school principal because I guess they don’t have a principal (they don’t have teachers…or students, really…so it’s not that far a leap). The only really moving moment comes when Bonnie walks across the stage and hugs her dad.
ME: Who are all those other teenagers in caps and gowns? Did they bus them in from the next town over?
Then of course Kol shows up to ruin everything again.
KOL: Hey, Bonnie…there’s a bunch of Witches and hybrids up in here who really want to get revenge. Also, I’ve decided I don’t want the Veil back up, so that should work out well.
Bonnie leads Kol into what I guess is the school boiler room, where her body is being kept – is a steamy warm room really the place to keep a corpse, Bon?
KOL: Wait…that’s you.
BONNIE: Did I mention I’m dead? Oh, and freeze, motherfucker.
She Witch-locks him into an energetic cell so he can’t cause any further mischief until the Veil goes back up.
So…are any of the ghosts aware of each other on the Other Side? If so, Kol could pretty much torment her for all time if he wanted. It sounds like they’re each alone, but they haven’t really gone into it.
Now that Flynn Rider has finally caught on to the fact that Damon was lying out his ass about Silas, he decides the best way to proceed is to shoot Damon several times with werewolf bullets.
ALARIC: *WHOOSH* *ASSHOLE SMACKDOWN* *FLING* I leave you alone for five minutes…
Over the phone Alaric tells Stefan he can’t get Damon to take the Cure, and there’s no time to do anything else – should he shove it down Damon’s throat?
Before Stefan can reply, all the vampires are hit by Witch Migraines as the dead Witches come for their comeuppance.
WITCH: *gesture of headsplodey*
Whereupon Klaus appears and BEHEADS HER WITH A MORTARBOARD.
KLAUS: Excuse me, have you seen my diploma? It’s the one that says Bad Motherfucker on it.
Hot damn he looks good in a suit. I hope that graduating doesn’t mean the boys won’t all wear suits as often, because yum, suits. Anyone remember Jeremy in that James Bond tux in Masquerade? I felt like such a dirty old lady.
Den of Antiquities
We finally get our shirtless Damon moment; Elena strides in in one of her trademark doily dresses and, upon finding out he’s okay, slaps the crap out of him. He’s not that alarmed, most likely because every woman he’s ever known has slapped the crap out of him.
Back in the living room Lexi, Stefan, and Alaric are drinking (take a shot!) until Elena returns and asks for a moment with Stefan. Half the fandom cringes, the other half perks up.
LEXI: So being dead kind of blows, right?
LEXI: Still, eventually we’ve got to find peace and go to vampire heaven or whatever, right?
ALARIC: But if we do, who’s going to stand around and wave their arms at our friends who can’t see or hear us?
I wish I could lean through the screen and tell them about Anna and Pearl. Meanwhile:
ELENA: I just wanted to say you’re awesome and you should have this.
She tries to give him the Cure, but he doesn’t want it either.
ELENA: Seriously, you suck at vampiring. Even more than I do. Besides, you deserve to get old and die like you want to since you’re not going to get laid for a while.
ELENA: Nothing. *chucks him on the shoulder*
At the remains of graduation, which only Caroline seems interested in cleaning up (I guess they don’t need a cleanup committee since they have her), she and Klaus have an adorable conversation about graduation gifts before he gives her the one she’s been wanting: Tyler can come back to Mystic Falls.
Klaus’s explanation is something along the lines of “you love Tyler now, but you’re immortal and eventually he’s going to get crazy boring or go hump somebody’s Malamute or something, and when that happens, look me up” only so much more romantic, in that slightly creepy Klaus kind of way.
PANTIES OF AMERICA: *SPLODEY*
Den of Antiquities
In the Big Ass Fireplace Room, Damon has a nice brood until Elena shows up, whereupon he gives her an “Isn’t it Awfully Nice to Be a Penis” speech.
DAMON: Yeah, so, I’m totally not sorry I didn’t want to be turned into a human, even though you had just said you didn’t want it either even though this whole damn season has been about fixing you.
ELENA: Yeah? Well, you’re a terrible person!
And that day Damon was amazed to discover that when Elena said “You’re a terrible person,” what she meant was, “I love you.”
HALF OF FANDOM: *PRIMAL SCREAM*
OTHER HALF: SQUEEEEEEEE!
(I use “half” loosely since there are plenty of people, like myself, who refuse to ship.)
Naturally Stefan is eavesdropping so he overhears various declarations and slurping.
Later, Stefan loads stoner Silas, who is wrapped up like a dead Christmas tree, into whoever’s SUV they stole back in the day, and he and Damon have a nice Brother Moment.
STEFAN: Yeah, um…I’m not thrilled about this whole thing, but it doesn’t suck that it doesn’t suck for you for a minute.
The Cave of Blunders
Jeremy arrives to say goodbye to Bonnie while she does the Veil-raising spell.
JEREMY: I couldn’t say goodbye to Elena, so I thought I’d come hang. I’m okay with being dead.
BONNIE: Yeah, about that… *magic*
Den of Antiquities
Alaric stares out the window; Damon pours him a drink, and Ric gives him a mischievous grin.
ALARIC: Way to go Tiger! Now don’t screw it up.
DAMON: Dude, have you met me? Screw it up is my middle…oh.
Alaric has vanished. I got teary-eyed there, just because of how Damon looks around the room like any second now Ric will reappear. Man, those two need each other. I think they’re the only couple I really rooted for.
On the Road Again
Lexi and Stefan drive stoner Silas out of town, debating where Stefan should relocate to in that far-away day that will never, ever happen where he moves on and leaves Mystic Falls.
LEXI: You know you can have more than one Great Love, right? Maybe this time you could find someone who’s, like, a grownup and knows what she wants.
Stefan starts to suggest Portland, but when he looks back at the passenger seat, Lexi has vanished.
Elena wanders around the boiler room but doesn’t, for some reason, stumble over Bonnie’s body. I guess she moved it back to the cave?
KOL: I KEEL YOU!!!
ELENA: OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT–
A wild Katherine appears!
KATHERINE: I KEEL YOU!
Cave of Wonders
As the spell finishes, Bonnie and Jeremy kiss, and then Jeremy falls back gasping. Bonnie realizes what’s happening – that her spell to keep Jeremy alive worked – and smiles bittersweetly; the balance of nature stayed true, a life for a life.
JEREMY: Wait, I’m ALIVE? Holy crap!
He goes to hug her, only to find he can’t feel her, and realizes she’s a ghost.
BONNIE: Don’t worry, you and I can still hang out since you see ghosts, and I’ve got my Grams and the Witches…
I assume she means her ancestors, since the other Witches involved in this don’t like her much. That answers the question of whether ghosts can see each other, though it does beg the question how none of them have run into each other while they’ve hovered around their living loved ones…not to mention what’s to stop the other Witches from coming after Bonnie now.
BONNIE: Seriously, don’t overanalyze it.
ME: That is kind of what I do.
Bonnie tells Jer to tell the others that she went to stay with her mom for the summer so that they won’t have to know she died; they deserve a little time without a major loss. Then, Bonnie takes Grams’s hand and they walk away into the caves.
Lockwood Donovan Manor
Matt finds Rebekah at the door.
REBEKAH: So, before I leave for my other show, I wanted to offer you a trip around the world.
MATT: Look, you and me as a couple isn’t going to work…but I’d be happy to be your kept boy for a while.
BEX: Rock on!
Katherine and Elena beat the shit out of each other.
KATHERINE: I blame you for everything wrong with my life!
ELENA: Yeah, well, I blame you for everything wrong with my life!
It doesn’t occur to either of them, as it hasn’t at any point yet, that the person who’s actually the source of all of this is Klaus, who tried to sacrifice Katherine so he could be invincible, causing the whole sordid chain of events to begin. Although I suppose we could trace it back to Mikael, since he was the idiot that turned his kids into vampires. I suppose that since Mikael is long gone and Klaus is essentially untouchable, they have to get their blame jollies somewhere.
So Nina Dobrev flings Nina Dobrev all over the place, and Elena rips a locker door down and beats her with it (which is brilliant), and there’s sniping and nastiness galore until Katherine grabs a broom handle and stabs Elena in the freaking neck. Harsh, Kat.
I’m still not sure what exactly Elena “took” from Katherine. Elena’s life, as we said earlier, has been a mountain of suck, and aside from her remaining friends and her moderately sociopathic boyfriend, she doesn’t really have a charmed life. Also, as Elena points out, Katherine killed Jeremy – or, at least, fed him to Silas, who killed him. Kat, it seems, has lost her damn mind. The way she’s talking it sounds like she plans to kill Elena and take her place.
As Katherine is grinding the broom into Elena’s throat, Elena (who has apparently learned sass this episode) flashes back to that moment with Stefan when she tried to get him to take the Cure, but he refused – and handed it back to her. The lurch in time is kind of an unpleasant narrative device in the middle of the fight; I think it would have served them better to wait until Elena made her move and then, as they both lay there, flash back. But anyway:
KATHERINE: *super-slow heartsnatch!*
ELENA: *Cureshove* *Mouthsmash* Bwahaha!
KATHERINE: Oh balls. *falls over*
The Quarry (I Think)
Stefan goes to unload Silas, something involving a big safe that was…in the SUV? Dude, I have no idea at this point.
Stefan notices, finally, that the body bag seems awfully clattery for one big rock dude. He opens the bag to find chunks of stone.
The look on Stefan’s face says clearly he’s aware how fucked he is at this moment, standing on the edge of the quarry with the Big Bad between him and any possible escape.
STEFAN: Wait, how did you get unstoned?
ELENA!SILAS: The spell only worked if it involved a living Witch, and Bon Bon is an Ex Bon Bon.
STEFAN: So regardless, eventually you would have been free anyway?
ELENA!SILAS: THIS IS NO TIME TO DEBATE TIMELINES. The point is, I’m going to wreak myself some nice havoc. Back in the day, I created the immortality spell, but because nature demands balance as long as it’s convenient to the plot, there had to be a version of me that could die, so bam! goes the doppelganger.
Silas then turns into Stefan, only much creepier.
STEFAN: Wait, wait…so I’m the version of you that can die? How many of me have there been? Did we know the Petrovas? If they’re not connected, what the hell kind of coincidence is that? And–
STEFAN!SILAS: Oh, shut up.
Silas stabs him in the gut (which in some vampires on TVD is where the heart is located, but apparently not Stefan) and then locks him in the safe that was in the SUV (I guess) and shoves him off into the Quarry.
STEFAN: Oh balls.
Actually he’s kind of drowning, so it’s more like
STEFAN: *glug glug glug balls*