Previously on Vampire Diaries: Stefan lost his heart. And I don’t mean that in a metaphorical way for once.
Caroline’s at Chez Salvatore, sobbing over Stefan’s body when Elena and Damon come frantically running in. Stefan’s ghost watches sadly from the other side. The oblivion wind nearly sucks him up, but Lexi shows up at the last second to pull him back. Yay, Lexi!
Damon makes a terrible face when he sees his brother’s corpse. But it slowly hardens into determination as Caroline asks about Bonnie’s plan. Cut to: Damon throwing a fit as Bonnie explains the way the plan crashed and burned when Maria was sucked into oblivion.
They have an emotional confrontation, as he reminds her that Alaric and Grams are over there too. Um, like Bonnie could forget? Before they can get too despairing, Enzo shows up to explain he’s found a new Traveler spirit who’s willing to help. But he still needs the help of a witch in the living world.
Speaking of: Liv and Luke are trying to get the hell out of dodge when they’re ambushed by Caroline and Elena. Liv tells Elena she’s real sorry about that whole ‘trying to kill you’ thing, but they can’t help bring Stefan back — his death is the only thing keeping the Traveler anti-magic spell confined to Mystic Falls.
Caroline, who is no longer playing around, responds by snapping Luke’s neck. Damn, girl. If Liv cooperates he’ll be able to cross back over with the others.
Sheriff Liz meets up with Markos at the new edge of town, where the no-magic spell was stopped. It turns out she was busy evacuating the remaining 5 regular citizens on a phony gas leak alarm during the last episode. Seriously, now: WHY DOES ANYONE NORMAL STILL LIVE IN THIS TOWN? To her horror, Markos has captured Julian/Tyler and tosses him across the spell boundary, where he promptly unvamps and dies from the snapped neck that originally killed him…
… and shows up in front of Bonnie, fully himself again. Enzo is dismayed that the list of people they have to bring back just keeps growing. Dude, you are the dead character I care about least. Cram it.
He’s also figured out Bonnie can’t exactly pass back through her own body. Bonnie dodges the question (as usual), but before he can interrogate her further, their new mystery Traveler ally shows up. And it’s Silas! Okay, I did not see that coming and it’s actually kind of clever. Bonnie’s horrified by the thought of unleashing her father’s killer back on the world, but they don’t have any other options.
Damon briefs everyone on his big plan: lure the Travelers into one place and blow them up, setting the resurrection spell in motion with their “sacrifice.” I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s willing? Seems dodgy, Vampire Diaries, but I’ll allow it.
Lexi and Stefan are ghosting around at the Grill, looking for Alaric. Because why wouldn’t he be hanging out by himself in a bar where he can’t actually drink anything?
When they don’t find him, she takes the opportunity to needle Stefan a little about Caroline. Stefan either plays dumb or really just is incredibly dumb. (Even odds.) But their bestie teasing is interrupted by Liz, trying to convince Markos to hold a town meeting at the Grill that night. Stefan realizes there must be A Plan afoot.
Meanwhile, Silas, Bonnie and Enzo are hanging out in a shack in the ghost woods while he teaches her the resurrection spell and quips about Stefan’s sad puppy face. Aw, Silas. You were fun when you weren’t boring me to death. Bonnie finally learns the spell just as the oblivion wind picks up again. She helps anchor Enzo to a tree and acts like she’s about to save Silas too… but nope! She lets him get blown away. Nice! And that’s why you don’t kill people’s dads, Silas.
Everyone’s got their watches synchronized to start the plan rolling at 7:00. The big Traveler party going on at the “town meeting” at the Grill, and Liz is trying to make her getaway. But Markos intercepts her, clearly suspicious. He wants her to stick around in town to help keep law and order; she explains that, duh, a place where her daughter can never set foot without dying doesn’t really feel like home anymore. Meanwhile, Matt and Jeremy are in the tunnels below, sabotaging the gas line.
In a new stage of personal growth, Damon confesses the truth to Elena: this plan requires that someone go on a suicide mission to set off the explosion, and he’s planning to do it, then hitch a ride back from the other side with the rest. Elena’s not having it until he uses the “respect my choices” line. Hah! Dirty pool, Damon.
Grams finally shows up at the clearing where Bonnie’s waiting for the spell to begin. She knows exactly what Bonnie’s doing — and that she won’t survive it. Bonnie wants her to pass through with the others when the time comes. But Grams says that she’s found peace and made a sacrifice of her own to look after Bonnie. They have an emotional goodbye and, yes, I sniffled a little.
It’s time! Liv starts her part, which involves — shocker! — more chanting. Back at the Grill, Matt and Jeremy have gas wafting up through the fan into the restaurant. Poor Cute!Matt wonders if it’s a great idea to blow up the only employer dumb enough to let two underage boys tend bar. Jeremy reminds him that even if this works, the town will still be a kill zone for all vampires, i.e. literally everyone they know. Matt… does not seem terribly bothered by this thought.
Upstairs: Markos still refuses to let Liz leave. So she tricks him into the kitchen and then pistol whips him. Liz is the best, y’all. She texts Damon the go ahead, but Markos recovers enough enough to grab her ankle as she starts to leave.
Just as Damon’s about to start his suicide run, Elena jumps in the car, because true love or stupidity or whatever. He can’t talk her out of it, so they Thelma and Louise it across the town line, plow into the Grill, and the whole place explodes.
(And… okay, show. I am enjoying this episode a surprising amount, but could you at least try to maintain some internal consistency for the space of one hour? Like, we just saw Tyler’s body die about five seconds of crossing the magic line. And yet Damon and Elena are able to drive all the way from the border into the middle of town and they’ve barely started to be affected? WHATEVER.)
On the other side, Elena wakes up next to her blackened corpse and ALARIC IS FINALLY THERE! He sends her off to find Bonnie while he looks for Damon — who’s in the back with what appears to be Liz’s body. Damon’s as upset by this as I am. (Spoiler: VERY). But then Liz is somehow alive and Alaric finds him and they have a boyfriend reunion and I’M SO HAPPY RIGHT NOW, YOU GUYS.
The spell is really taking a toll on Liv, so Luke crosses over, followed shortly by Enzo and Tyler. The latter has a nice reunion hug with Caroline — and quickly discovers he’s now human again. Iiiiiiiinteresting.
Both Elena and Stefan want to wait for Damon, but end up forced through as well, leaving just Lexi on the other side to fight off Markos. Which she does by kicking him into oblivion. Oh, thank God. I couldn’t take another season of the boring Traveler menace. Bonnie’s now obviously struggling, and Lexi refuses to pass over because she doesn’t want her to die before Damon can get there. Um, Lex? Considering he killed you, maybe this is taking the BFF loyalty thing a little too far?
But it looks like this sacrifice is enough to finally bring her peace, because she lights up and disappears. Does that mean no more Lexi visits? I hope not.
Just then, Alaric and Damon come running up. Because she is awesome, Bonnie immediately grabs Alaric. THAT’S MY GIRL. Back in the real world, Liv is really suffering. Luke disrupts the spell just as Bonnie reaches for Damon. And… he’s stuck.
Caroline comforts Stefan. Elena is in hysterics. Bonnie tells her that Damon’s there with her, and she should say goodbye. Then we’re treated to a long scene in which he monologues about love while watching her sob. And I guess it’s sweet, but she can’t see or hear him so it’s also just kind of awkward? My soul is dead, you guys.
Finally, Alaric comes in to give her a hug. BECAUSE ALARIC IS ALIVE AGAIN. REPEAT: ALARIC IS ALIVE AND MATT DAVIS IS ON CONTRACT.
THIS IS NOT A DRILL
Outside, Bonnie has called Jeremy to break the bad news that oops, she’s totally about to die. He comes tearing in, screaming her name just in time for the other side to completely fall apart.
Bonnie takes Damon’s hand and tells him she knows there’s probably about a million people they’d both rather be with right now; he smiles and says her it’s only a couple thousand at most. (OH MY HEART.) Everything goes white as they disappear.
And that’s it. Wow. Um. I’m… kind of flabbergasted by how much this finale is giving me everything I’ve wanted? And I’m assuming the sacrifice Grams talked about is going to end up saving Bonnie and Damon somehow. But if next season has the two of them forced to interact only with each other for a while and the Stefan/Caroline thing actually happening and Alaric alive again… well, damn. I might actually get excited about this show again.