Previously on Vampire Diaries: Shit got complicated.
So, you might have noticed that we lost our effing minds over this episode. Because it was AMAZING. But now I’ve had time to digest, and it’s time for our last (*WEEPS*) recap of the season:
We open on Elena in her bed. Her alarm goes off and she is awfully smiley for 6:45am. She puts her hair up and puts on a cheerleading uniform. Um, what? Downstairs, Jenna is making breakfast. Oh, this must be a dream!
Another woman enters and it turns out to be Elena’s (super young) mother. They all make a such a happy family picture that I’m about to go into a sugar coma. (Except, as we find out later, this is actually the morning of the day her parents die, so it’s all rather depressing.)
Suddenly, Elena wakes up in a hospital bed. It’s still the night of her collapse.
Outside her room, Meredith is telling Jeremy that his sister will be fine — she just has a concussion. She asks Jeremy if she has anyone to call, but it turns out the only people has now are Stefan and Damon. Talk about depressing.
The boys (okay, Damon — in usual form) give Jeremy crap for taking Elena to the hospital because the originals know that Alaric the Vampire Vampire Hunter’s life is tied to hers, and will be wanting to want to kill her ASAP. They decide to turn around from their mission, but realize that one of them needs to hide Klaus’ body so that Alaric doesn’t kill him for good and end their blood line.
Back at the hospital, Meredith is surprised by evil!Alaric. He is not cool with her use of vampire blood to heal patients (FORESHADOWING) and is getting the council to get her medical license suspended. He also plans to take Elena, since he’s still her legal guardian. Dun!
Fortunately for Elena, her friends have already come and taken her home. Caroline offers her vodka because it makes everything better, natch.
There’s a photo of Elena in the previously mentioned cheerleading uniform. We cut to her wearing it again — this time, she’s at school with Bonnie (also in uniform) and cute!Matt, who’s sporting a letterman jacket and holding Elena’s hand. She’s telling them both that she has to skip out on the bonfire that night because Jenna’s in town, but Matt wants her to skip out on family time instead. He gives her a kiss–which is weird–and leaves the girls to talk about him behind his back. Bonnie promptly calls Elena out on not having feelings for him anymore. Seems these must be flashbacks, not just dreams.
Elena wakes again to find present-day cute!Matt sitting next to her. She admits she was dreaming about sophomore year and apologizes for not being honest with him then, when they were dating. She realizes she’s doing the same thing with the Salvatore brothers and needs to let one of them go. This is Stefan’s cue to come in and rain on my parade.
They brainstorm a bit about how to handle the latest crisis. Matt thinks it would be best to just leave town, but Elena doesn’t want to run for her life. So, Matt decides to bypass her completely and argue with Stefan about how to handle the situation. Um, okay. Apparently, every man on this show gets his turn to be an equal opportunity dick? Because now Matt is advocating trying to make Elena leave town against her will.
(Stefan, to his credit, advocates for free will, but he’s still awfully smug about giving Elena the choice, which wins him the d-bag prize in my book.)
But before I can strangle Stefan through the television for being the smuggest smug to ever SMUG, Elena breaks up the douche-off to let them know that everyone’s favorite original has shown up at the door. ELIJAH!!! Yay!
Meanwhile, it seems Jeremy has been dispatched to the only bar in town to get something to eat. Of course, he is immediately accosted by evil!Alaric. Uh-oh. This can’t be good. (Also, guys? Do they not have delivery in this town?) Anyway, evil!Alaric is trying to squeeze info from Jeremy: he wants to know where Klaus’ body is. And even though Jeremy doesn’t know, it seems like he might be convinced to find out. Oh noes!
Back at the Gilberts’, Elijah is trying to convince Team Elena to help the remaining originals get the magic stake from Alaric — after which, they will scatter to the ends of the Earth, leading him on a merry chase away from Mystic Falls.
One catch: he wants Klaus’ body. Not to wake him up; just because he’s family. And in fact, Elijah promises not to wake Klaus up during Elena’s or her children’s lifetimes. Matt seems to have his doubts about the deal, which are echoed by Damon’s vocal (and hysterical) histrionics via cell phone. Despite the voices of opposition, Elena agrees to the deal.
While all this is going on, Tyler and Caroline have been summoned by their mothers, who break the bad news that Alaric outed them all to the council — meaning the kids now need to leave town post haste or risk being killed. Crap!
Chez Gilbert: Jeremy and Matt, aka Team Mortal, are out on the porch talking about how maybe they should be making a deal with Alaric. (Nooooes! Don’t do it, boys!) Of course, Jeremy doesn’t listen to me. Soon, he’s on the phone with Alaric, telling him he knows where Klaus’ body is.
Except–psyche! Jeremy was playing him. It is all part of the group’s plan to lure Alaric into a trap! (Might as well get used to this. This is the least of the surprises in this episode.)
Speaking of: Tyler and Caroline are trying to process what their mothers told them. Caroline is hesitant at first, but eventually exuberantly says she’ll run with Tyler and spend the rest off her life with him. But after she helps out their friends with this Alaric ambush. They agree to meet back in two hours. Oh no! Don’t leave, guys!
Cut to Damon, who’s complaining about Elena’s deal with Elijah while he leads Bonnie through the storage facility where they’ve got Klaus stashed. Klaus, by the way, is actually conscious, which is super creepy. Damon wants her to hurry up and do the spell to hide his coffin, but Bonnie asks for some time alone with him. She’s conflicted because she now knows that Klaus’ life is tied to many of her friends, and to her mother, too. Oh, right. I forgot about that. Sux.
Back at the House of Emotional Turmoil, Elena is nervously asking about Jeremy’s role in their latest plan. She admits that she is concerned that anyone who leaves the house will never come back. Poor woobie and her fear of abandonment! Stefan reassures her and I am so bored by him I can barely keep my eyes open. He turns around for a kiss. I know by the music that this is supposed to be passionate, but meh.
Damon calls Stefan and for the umpteenth millionth time (there are a LOT of phone calls in this episode) to give him a hard time for letting Elena make her own choices. It is soooo awful to let a woman make her own decisions with her lady brain, you guys! They confirm the plan is getting the stake and getting out of there as quick as possible. Damon hears a noise and thinks it’s Rebekah… but it’s actually Alaric! Dun!
Alone again, Matt brings Elena some tea and tries to initiate more girl-talk. Hee! So she tells him how Stefan saved her life when her parents died in the car accident — not just physically, but emotionally afterward. She cares for Stefan because he makes her happy to be alive. But she cares for Damon, too — he “consumes her” when she’s with him. And she can’t pick one of them because she will lose the other. Poor, poor little Elena.
Back to flashback land! Where Elena appears to be at the bonfire Matt wanted her to attend, so it’s later in the same day we’ve been flashing back to all along. She’s calling home for a ride. Jenna answers the phone at the house (hi, Jenna!) before handing it off Elena’s mom for some real talk about Matt. Mom encourages her to tell him to the truth to set him free, and promises she won’t lose him if she does. Oh, I see what you did there, show!
Present day: Elena wakes up to find herself in Matt’s truck. Turns out he put something other than honey in her tea. Not cool, Matt! Not cool at all.
Back at the creepy storage facility, Alaric is searching the containers for Klaus’ body when Rebekah shows up looking for Damon. She wanders, oblivious to the fact that Alaric is skulking around… and the whole thing is creeping me out. Suddenly, she’s grabbed from behind–but it’s just Damon. They take Klaus’ body and nearly get away, but Alaric catches up… and effing stakes him! WTF! Oh, shit.
Rebekah’s screaming, but Damon–still not sure if she’s the sire of their bloodline–tells her to run, and provides enough of a distraction for her to get away before Alaric takes off after her. Holy crap.
Defeated, Damon calls Stefan to share the bad news. Stefan points out that if Klaus did sire their bloodline, Damon won’t have enough time to get back to say goodbye to Elena before he dies. Except… Elena isn’t in Mystic Falls, of course; she and Matt are still on the road. And guess what? They’re pretty much halfway between the two Salvatores. So, ladies and gentlemen: Elena has to make a choice! Whoopie!
Aaaaand… Damon gets a call; she’s going home. Not just to Stefan, but to all their friends. Of course, Damon pushes it and wants to know who she would have chosen if it was just between the two of them.
Elena finally makes a choice! And that choice is: she will always love Stefan, but she cares enough about Damon to let him go. She adds wistfully that maybe if she had met him first things, would be different (IRONIC FORESHADOWING). Dejected, Damon gets off the phone. And who’s waiting for him? Alaric, back from chasing Rebekah!
Back in Mystic, Caroline is running to find Tyler at their meeting place. When he shows up, she’s in hysterics as she tells him that Klaus was staked. Tyler immediately starts to reassure her, but she’s not worried about herself; she’s worried for him. Oh, Tyler. How did you become my favorite? You are SO DOOMED.
I really like the parallel here between Damon and Elena’s reactions to him possibly dying and Caroline and Tyler’s. Tyler is so loving and supportive. It is all about her. *swoon* Damon may be the prettiest, but Tyler is the hottest at this moment. [Well, “Tyler” since we know it’s really Klaus. Damn it. But the point stands — Tenillypo] This is where our interpretations diverge, I would prefer to believe that he is still Tyler at this point, however the possibility that this is Klaus is reluctantly noted.
ANYWAY, they kiss and I have already started crying, you guys. This is not good. Tyler screams in pain and buckles over. Caroline admits that she doesn’t feel anything. Tyler tries to get her to leave, but she refuses. He starts writhing as if he is turning into a werewolf and finally Caroline runs. Okay, seriously. They CANNOT kill Tyler.
On the road, Elena gets a call from Caroline to tell her that Tyler is dying. Matt has a mental breakdown about this. Oh God, you poor kids.
Rebekah finds Elijah and brokenly tells him that Klaus is dead. They are both perplexed because besides Tyler, none of the other vampires has been affected, and it seems the originals were all sure that Klaus was the sire of the Salvatore blood line.
So what actually happened? Bonnie enters the cave and finds Tyler! Except… it’s not? Nope. Turns out it’s Klaus. She somehow put him in Tyler’s body. Whhhha? What happened to Tyler?!??
Rebekah calls Stefan to tell him that she’s tired of running, the deal is off, and she’s getting rid Alaric, once and for all. And the only way to do that is to get rid of Elena. The shot widens to show us that Rebekah is standing in the middle of the road, just in time for Matt and Elena to come speeding toward her. They swerve to avoid Rebekah and drive off the side of that goddamned bridge. Sweet Jesus!
We see Elena in the water, but it’s her father with her, not Matt. WHAT THE HELL IS HAPPENING?
Back at the storage lockers of pain, Alaric is beating the crap out of Damon. He says that their friendship was what made Alaric weak. He has to hurt Damon because he loves him so much! (Wait, is that just me?) [NO, IT’S NOT JUST YOU – Tenillypo]
Another flashback — this time from Damon’s perspective! He’s laying on the ground in the middle of the road, a move he has used to kill people in the past, so I guess it’s good that he gets interrupted here. See, Elena is wandering out of the woods, talking on the phone with Bonnie while she waits for her parents to pick her up from the bonfire. Damon calls her Katherine, looking dumbstruck (which makes sense).
Elena is a little skeeved out to be alone with this guy, but not nearly as skeeved as she should be. They have a cute conversation about the future, in which Damon flirts a little and tells her that what she really wants is consuming passion. Of course she does. He then compels her to forget the whole meeting and takes off. YOU ARE SO SNEAKY, SHOW. Elena — looking a little dazed — heads off to get in her parents’ car and take a fateful ride over the Wickery Bridge.
Back in the present, Alaric continues to beat the life out of Damon. But just as he’s about to stake him, Damon appears to get a burst of energy/determination. (Maybe from the memory?)
In the present: Elena wakes up underwater and realizes Matt is unconscious. The scene is mixed with flashbacks of when she went over the bridge with her parents, and it’s all very dreamy and a bit confusing. In the past, Elena’s mother appears unconscious or dead while her father frantically tries to break a window. Past!Elena seems resigned to her fate, taking his hand and mouthing “I love you” before passing out. Present!Elena is frantically trying to break a window.
Past!Stefan shows up and is about to save Elena’s dad, but he waves him to the backseat to get Elena first. Present!Stefan shows up and is about to save Elena when she motions for him to take Matt instead. Amusingly, they have a big, underwater argument about it, before Stefan finally complies. Okay, seriously? He probably could have saved them both in the time it took to fight about this in underwater speak. Elena, instead of trying to swim out herself, just kind of floats, closing her eyes.
Back at the storage facility, Alaric stops mid-punch and starts choking. Damon, realizing what this must mean, freaks out as Alaric turns gray and collapses. Looks like evil!Alaric is dying! WTF! Wait, does this mean Elena is dying? I’M SO CONFUSED.
Back at their house, Jeremy is on the phone trying to reach Matt, who should have been back already. He turns the corner to find Alaric standing there — except it is clearly good Alaric. Oh noes. It is Alaric’s ghost.
(AGAIN, SHOW? AGAIN!!! I AM CRYING ALL THE TEARS. AGAIN! HOW CAN YOU TAKE ALARIC AWAY FOR GOOD? HOW CAN YOU KILL ELENA??? I AM HAVING A BRAIN ANEURYSM RIGHT NOW.)
Ahem. Alaric tells Jeremy he will never be alone. I hope T is right and this means he will be back next season, because the tears? The tears will come back!
The scene cuts to Elena lying on a medical table with Stefan standing over her, looking devastated. Seems Damon’s prediction earlier in the night — that the difference between him and Stefan was that he wouldn’t respect Elena’s wishes and she might hate him for it, but at least she’d be alive — was entirely accurate.
Speaking of: Damon comes storming into the hospital, demanding to see Elena. But Meredith stops him, telling him urgently that when Jeremy brought Elena in earlier that night, Elena was worse than Meredith let on to Jeremy. In fact, she had a cerebral hemorrhage and Meredith healed her with vampire blood. OH SHIT, YOU GUYS. HOLY FUCKING FUCKITY FUCK.
On the table: Elena’s eyes snap open. DUN!
Can Alaric really be gone for good? What the hell happened to Tyler? How can Elena really be a vampire?
HOW THE HELL ARE WE EXPECTED TO WAIT ALL SUMMER TO FIND OUT ?!?