Previously on Vampire Diaries: Red wedding, VD style!
We open a surprisingly decent finale to a real mixed bag of a season on the first of many dream sequences. Damon is laying out on the road where he and Elena met, still dressed in his wedding finery. Elena walks up and asks how bad it is, but he deflects.
Meanwhile, back in the real world… it’s pretty bad. Alaric sobs, clutching at Jo’s body. RIP, Jo! You were pretty awesome. Meanwhile, Damon’s frantically trying to wake Elena up. But his blood no longer works, so he speeds her off to the hospital.
The remaining Gemini witches are preparing to send Kai away back to the prison world when he stabs himself in the neck. Such a drama llama! The Geminis all begin slowly dying — including Liv, who’s lying next to a severely wounded Tyler. She convinces him to smother her to death to bring on the change and save his life, which he reluctantly does. RIP, Liv! You were much less awesome than your sister.
Only, psych! Kai’s not really dead because Crazy Momma Salvatore gave him some of her blood and now he’s a heretic witch vampire. (So, are all the heretics magic siphons like Kai? Is that why they’re able to keep their witchy powers after being bitten when all other witches can’t?)
Alaric shoots him, but of course it does nothing. So he tries to shoot himself in the head, but luckily he’s out of bullets. (For a second there, I thought they were actually going to kill Alaric again after doing absolutely nothing with him all season and I was REALLY PISSED.) Tyler runs up, half wolfed out, and takes a bite out of Kai before wolfing off into the night. Prompting Alaric to send this hilarious text to his boyfriend:
Elena won’t wake up even though the doctors say there’s nothing physically wrong with her. Bonnie calls Damon, who’s relieved to hear Kai didn’t hurt her. She promises to come help Elena, but first finds a parting gift from Kai — a video of him explaining that Elena’s in a magical coma because her life’s been linked to Bonnie’s; she’ll only wake up if Bonnie dies.
Kai, meanwhile, is explaining the same thing to Damon at the hospital, including the fact that Elena will stay young and healthy in her magical coma, frozen in this moment without aging. Well, that’s… handy? Seems kind of like you’d want her to be aging if you really wanted this spell to torture everyone, but what do I know about evil revenge plots?
Kai leaves and Damon goes after him, leaving Caroline and Stefan to have another heart to heart about their non-relationship. She’s worried he won’t be okay if they can’t find a way to break Elena’s sleeping spell. Stefan admits that he loved Elena a lot, but he’s realized she came into his life not to be his soul mate, but to bring him and Damon back together. So he hopes his past with Elena isn’t what’s holding Caroline back. Caroline realizes discussing this literally right over her friend’s body is in poor taste and bugs out.
Cute!Matt is sure that Damon will kill Bonnie in a heartbeat to save Elena, and urges her to run. But Bonnie can’t let Kai win. She finds him back at the site of the wedding and begins torturing him with magic. Until he figures out that werewolves are magical and he can siphon the magic out of the venom in his blood and heal himself. Then he wipes the floor with Bonnie.
Damon rushes in to find her slowly dying from a collapsed lung. Kai helpfully explains that all he has to do is nothing and Damon will get Elena back with his hands clean. After a moment of agonizing indecision, Damon tells Bonnie he’s sorry, kisses her forehead, and walks away. The look on her face is horrible. Even Kai seems shocked at how cold that was.
…until Damon sneaks back and BEHEADS HIM mid-monologue. That was awesome. Then he speeds over to feed Bonnie his blood and jokes that he’d never leave her and sweeps her up in a bridal carry and OH EM GEE, YOU GUYS. That was so good for me, I can’t even.
(Although I have to say I’m a little confused why no one even floated the option of Bonnie getting vamped, which would presumably be the loophole that would let them both “live” — she could even become human again by drinking Elena’s blood, so it wouldn’t even be a sacrifice.)
ANYWAY. At some point the next day, Elena’s laid out Sleeping Beauty style in a casket in Chez Salvatore. It seems the plan is just to let her sleep in stasis until Bonnie dies a natural death. Which means the immortals will see her again, but everyone else will probably be dead when she wakes up. They’re taking turns entering her dream to say goodbye.
First up: Caroline and Bonnie, who find themselves in her old bedroom. Elena asks them to keep diaries of everything they do in their lives so she’ll know what happened to them. It’s called Facebook, Elena. It will probably rule the world in 60 years, so you can catch up then. She asks Caroline to take care of everyone, and tells Bonnie that she has sacrificed herself for everyone else so many times, and now it’s Elena’s turn to do it for her.
OKAY, I CRIED.
Elena dreams Cute!Matt in a Sheriff’s uniform on the old Wickery bridge, and hopes that he’ll stay human and good, and that they’ll see each other again.
She dreams Alaric in the woods where they used to train, and gives him a pep talk about living through grief. Well, I guess Elena would know. When Alaric comes out of the dream, Jeremy is there! He tells Elena that when she wakes up, she can know that he spend his life doing exactly what he wanted, and was happy. And that’s… seriously all we see of Little J.
Look, I realize that there’s a lot going on in this episode and also that I hated their relationship, but it’s a little weird that Jeremy came back and we didn’t get to see any sort of reaction to Bonnie being alive, right?
I mean, as far as we know, he still has no idea she’s even back. They couldn’t have cut one earlier dream sequence to make room for a reunion hug?
Anyway, Tyler gets a dream with a dungeon and chains. Elena tells him he needs to leave Mystic Falls and go make peace with the wolf.
Stefan cries as he enters the dream and finds himself in a memory of a hike he and Elena took years ago. She thanks him for being a part of her life and looks forward to seeing what he’s made of himself in 60 years. He cracks that he definitely won’t be in high school anymore. Hah! THANK YOU, SHOW. Vampires that voluntarily hang out in high school don’t deserve eternal life.
Oh, and in case you’re wondering what’s up with Momma Salvatore and Enzo — and who wouldn’t be, as they are both SO compelling! — she’s been searching all night for her heretic witch bros, but in the morning, a building appears that wasn’t there before. Presumably because it was cloaked while Kai was alive. Inside, she’s finally reunited with her creepy family, although we don’t get to see their creepy faces. I’m sure that will end well!
Meanwhile, Elena’s casket has been moved to the Salvatore family crypt, where it will be spelled shut to protect her from other vampires looking for the cure. Damon gets the last goodbye, of course. Back at the road where they met, he wonders how Elena knew he would make the right choice. But, duh, she knew there’s no way he’d betray his BFF Bon Bon like that — even for Elena. (MY HEART!)
While they dance their last dance, we cut to Stefan giving Caroline a list of all the ways she’s made his life better. He tells her he’s willing to wait if she needs time, but when she’s ready for him, he’ll be ready for her. After he walks away, Caroline allows herself a little smile.
THIS WAS ALSO GOOD FOR ME
Time passes around the crypt until we cut to a future where Mystic Falls appears to have become a post-apocalyptic wasteland? Cute!Matt patrols the ruined town in a Sheriff’s SUV, while Damon perches at the top of the clock tower like Batman. I have no idea what’s going on, but I’m kind of into it. Cliffhanger!
So that’s the end of Elena Gilbert! As endings go, it wasn’t terrible. Less contrived than her leaving willingly, but gets her out of the way without bogging everyone down with grief for half the season. It’s hard to picture this show without Elena, but then again, she hasn’t exactly been the best version of herself these past couple years. I wish she could stay and just be written like the girl I cared about in the first couple seasons. But if we can’t have that, then maybe this at least means some of the other characters might actually get a plot that doesn’t suck?
(BONNIE/DAMON 4-EVA, Y’ALL. THE DREAM IS REAL.)