Previously on Vampire Diaries: Twin drama that no one really cared about! Also, I got so fed up with this hot mess that I couldn’t even blog about it anymore.
Buuuuuut… I promised I’d have a reaction if there were any hot make outs, and this sort of qualifies. So here we go: we open on a flashback to Sheriff Liz the day the elder Gilberts died. Present day Liz pulls out the case file for the accident and looks determined.
Over at the high school, Elena and Damon are meeting with some cranky dude about letting Jeremy graduate early so he can start art school. You know, mid-semester, as you do. At first, I thought this was just typically shoddy Vampire Diaries logic, but having seen the ending, I now realize Elena is just really, really gullible.
Anyway, the dude from the school is basically “LOL, no” to letting the kid who faked his death for four months graduate early, so they compel Jeremy a diploma the same way they compelled him an acceptance letter to Bullshit Art University. Meanwhile the littlest Gilmore is over at the only restaurant in town doing goodbye shots with Cute!Matt and Alaric. Enzo calls Matt, and Jeremy wants to know why he’s still alive. RIGHT THERE WITH YOU, LITTLE J.
Enzo gives Matt his instructions just as Sarah Salvatore walks in, thinking she’s been hired for a photography job. I hate this entire stupid Enzo plot so I’m not going to recap it other than to say it involves him running poor Matty Blue Eyes down and then pretending to be a good Samaritan vampire and healing him in front of her. Blah blah, vengeance, blah blah boring.
Damon shows up at the police station to see how Liz is doing and tease her about literally working on her deathbed. I love their friendship so much, guys. Liz explains that she’s just trying to solve 20 years of cold cases before she leaves for the day, no big. So Damon does her a solid by going through the pile and confessing to pretty much all of them. Except the case of Elena’s parents. Liz explains that she wasn’t able to look into it too thoroughly at the time and after she became besties with Damon, she was afraid he might be involved.
Damon assures her quite sincerely that he had nothing to do with it, and then helps her go through a series of suspicious seeming evidence. I was annoyed by the writers retconning the story of the accident after all this time, but then — spoiler alert! — it turns out there’s an explanation for everything and it really was just an accident after all. Well played, Vampire Diaries.
While all this is going on, Caroline and Stefan are at her palatial family summer “cabin,” getting things set up for Liz to spend the last days of her life there in peace and tranquility. Caroline being Caroline, she is adorably control freaking all over every detail. She’s also under the impression that Stefan is only there because of the promise she overheard him make to her mom.
Stefan, by the way, is being all helpful and sexily fixing stuff and sexily listening to her freak out about which work of literature should be the last book her mom ever touches. (Um, a Terry Pratchett novel, obviously. When I go out, I want to be laughing.) Caroline tries to let him know he shouldn’t feel obligated to stick around, but he says there’s nowhere else he’d rather be.
They end up on the porch at the end of the day. Stefan gives her a wise pep talk about how we die not being as important as how we lived. Caroline acknowledges she’s just trying to control death.
CAROLINE: I know that she asked you to look after me. And I’m okay with it. Really. I’m glad, actually. Because I don’t know if I’d be able to get through this one my own.
STEFAN: I’m not here because your mom asked me to look after you.
CAROLINE: Then why are you here?
STEFAN: Well, because you’re my friend. Because I know what it feels like to lose a mother. Because when you told me you hated me, it was pretty much the worst thing I had heard in a long time.
CAROLINE: I think we both know I never really hated you.
This entire conversation takes place while they’re holding hands, by the way, and it is adorable. After she whispers the last line, they get slowly closer and closer, and — just when I was afraid this would be yet another fake out — finally kiss.
And it’s very tender and soft, and exactly like you probably should kiss someone you love whose mom is dying. Which is to say, not the most grandly passionate first kiss in existence. But it made me happy. Afterward, they stare at each other and laugh a little at the awkwardness.
Back in Mystic: Elena catches Jeremy with his goodbye present from Damon — a joint, which: hah! At first she confiscates it, but then she decides to get stoned with him instead. They have a sweet conversation about how she feels like she failed him by falling apart when their parents died. Jeremy assures her she’s never let him down. And then they giggle a lot and get the munchies, as you do.
When it comes time for him to leave, he considers delaying because Liz is sick and Enzo’s on the rampage. But Alaric and Elena tag team to convince him he should go and finally get to be a normal kid again. Elena stays to be with Liz while Alaric takes Jeremy to the airport. Only the the “airport” is actually a bus stop in the middle of nowhere. Because “art school” is actually “vampire hunting road trip.”
Turns out Alaric is going to play Bobby to Jeremy’s one man Winchester brothers act and send him leads on suspicious deaths to check out around the country. This seems… really irresponsible, even for one of this show’s parental figures. “Oh, well, you’re an adult now, I guess!” Alaric says. “So try not to die horribly and alone while your sister thinks you’re safe at art school.”
He also promises to call Jeremy if Bonnie ever makes it out of fake 1994, so I’m guessing we’ll be seeing a guest appearance at some point. But for now: so long, Little J. You were often annoying and your hair is really stupid. But I’ll probably miss you a little.
All right, back to the real tear jerker: Liz is feeling tired after a long day of non-crime solving, so Damon takes her home, tucks her in, and only makes one joke about finding her PJs sexy. He can tell she’s slightly disappointed about the Gilbert accident; part of her was hoping that if it was supernatural, there would be some meaning there. Instead, bad things just randomly happen to good people.
She laughs that there’s some comfort in being one of the only people in Mystic Falls to die of ordinary causes, and says she doesn’t mind being ordinary. Caroline is the special one. Damon holds her hand as she cries and promises that she’ll get to tell Caroline how proud of her she is. He confesses that he promised to write his own mother’s eulogy but then didn’t even go to the funeral. Liz says he can write hers so long as it doesn’t have anything dirty. Aw! I am seriously going to miss this relationship, which has been one of my favorites since season one.
She asks for a drink but falls unconscious before he can get it. Cut to Caroline running into the hospital in a panic, followed by Stefan. Liz is pretty much in a coma, it looks like. Damon says the doctors can make her comfortable, but Caroline snaps that she’s not comfortable, she’s dying. She’s devastated that after trying to manage every step of this, she didn’t even get to stay goodbye or tell her mom anything she meant to.
Stefan talks her through going into Liz’s mind, and Caroline slides into a memory of her mom teaching her to ride a bike. Baby!Caroline keeps telling her not to let go because she’s not ready, but of course Liz does without Caroline noticing. She slowly falls behind as present day Liz dies in the real world. And I’m bawling because mom feels are the WORST KIND OF FEELS. Damn it, Vampire Diaries. I need to go call my mother now.
Next time: Damon gives a eulogy at Liz’s funeral, Caroline falls apart, and I probably won’t be recapping, but rest assured, I will be a blubbering mess.