A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×22 (173 years on this earth)

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“Home” provides the vampire family with some of the more unexpected retcons in death while presumably trading Salvatore’s as the final chapter for the Travelers has been laid to rest. Like the end of season 5 of Lost, the final image is of the show’s logo only inverted with a white background. Is there light at the end of this tunnel for two of our major characters? Or is it time for them to exist in a new place called home?

There’s a remarkable sense of masochism with how much Elena and her closely knit family have to endure in the repeated loss of some characters. While the rule of permanent death is somewhat foggy when witches are around, one has to wonder how dreadfully destroyed Elena must be having to suffer loss over loss, sometimes with the same person. How will those who remain survive after what’s happened in Mystic Falls? With season 6 detailed as the (possible) final diary entry, let’s look at how we caught up.

Elena and Damon find Caroline back at the house where Stefan has been placed. Upset, Damon goes to Bonnie and nearly threatens her to find a way to bring him back. Enzo appears and tells Bonnie he has a plan and that they’ll need to find a witch.

Elena and Caroline capture Liv and Luke who try to leave the city. Caroline kills Luke in order to coerce Liv into helping them and bring everyone back from the other side. Meanwhile, Marcos has Julian taken outside the city’s magic zone where he loses his werewolf and vampire abilities and succumbs to Tyler’s original death. Caroline’s mother, Liz is watching in horror.

On the other side, Stefan is saved from being pulled away by Lexi. Together they search for Alaric. Bonnie is later confronted by her grandmother who refuses to return to life and says she’s proud of who Bonnie became and that she’s made her peace what the choice she made to help Bonnie, who doesn’t understand. They hug and her grandmother leaves.

Enzo reveals Silas to Bonnie, who helps teach her the Traveler spell in exchange for returning to life. Meanwhile, Damon prepares a plan to lure the Travelers to the bar and has Matt and Jeremy go underground and open the gas line. He intends to trigger the explosion which Elena protests against him doing. He assures her that he’ll return and that it’s his choice.

That night, Damon prepares to drive into the city as Elena joins him saying it’s her choice too. Together they drive into the city as their lives slowly begin to fade. He races his car into the bar as the entire place explodes, killing all of the Travelers, who were lured there by Liz.

Elena wakes up on the other side and is greeted by Alaric, who tells her he’ll find Damon but that she has to go and return to Bonnie. She leaves as Damon wakes up. Together they rescue Liz and track down Bonnie’s location.

As the group from the other side meet Bonnie, Luke returns first and attempts to force Liv to stop the spell. She won’t and continues chanting. Enzo passes next and then Tyler. Caroline and Tyler hug and he realizes, after cutting himself, that he’s no longer a hybrid. Stefan urges Lexi to return, but she won’t as Elena arrives. She won’t leave without Damon and Bonnie grabs Elena to force her return. After she stumbles, Stefan touches her and accidentally returns, realizing he left Lexi, Alaric, and Damon behind.

Bonnie can’t hold on much longer and tells Lexi to pass through her, but she won’t trade her chance for Damon’s. Marcos suddenly appears and attacks Lexi, who fights him off as the wind pulls Marcos away. Lexi then passes away peacefully.

Damon and Alaric arrive and Alaric returns leaving only Damon. Luke then forces Liv to stop the spell preventing Damon from returning. Elena and Bonnie find Luke and Liv are gone and realize they can’t save Damon. Elena is crushed as Damon’s spirit tries to say goodbye to her, saying Elena was the happiest part of his entire life. Elena can’t hear or see him but begs him not to go. Damon has no choice and is okay with saying goodbye.

Stefan mourns with Caroline over Damon’s death as Bonnie calls and tells Jeremy that she won’t survive once the other side vanishes. Jeremy can’t accept that and rushes to her. The others hear Jeremy’s screams for Bonnie and together they see Bonnie disappear to the other side. Once there, she and Damon hold hands and prepare as a growing white light envelops them.

 

I will say it’s difficult to lament a character’s passing when a loophole is staring at me with laser precision. Bonnie’s grandmother clearly insinuated that she did something to help Bonnie. My guess is that Bonnie will be able to survive wherever she and Damon went at the end of the season and this will lead to their return for season six. As I’m convinced those two are not done for the show, it just remains to be seen how long will season six sustain without them? In last week’s review, I mentioned that Stefan was the wiser choice of the two if one brother had to go. I stick to my guns, but it was good to see Damon’s acceptance of his fate, much like Stefan did when he passed through. There’s growth there, albeit a little because his true goodness is still roped around Elena and her charming sadness. Elena is sold that Damon is truly gone and there’s enough tears there between Bonnie, Jeremy, and now Damon to fill a small lagoon. Stefan will of course offer support, but their ship has sailed in the war of love. For once and final, Damon won that battle.

From a plot’s perspective, things moved very quickly. Liz barely needed to convince Marcos to gather the Travelers at the bar and Matt and Jeremy ran into no trouble busting the gas line. In truth, everything worked too well. It needed to if the last fifteen minutes were to concentrate on how to shuffle dead souls back to the living. Does this mean that Elena’s smoldering corpse just disappears as Elena and the other appear whole at the cemetery? Not much for needing to answer those logistics I suppose. As glad as I am to have Alaric back on the right side of existence, I really wanted Lexi to return and would have easily chosen her over him. Lexi’s cameo gave us the chance to witness her love for Stefan shine as she battled Marcos and stayed behind to leave peacefully of her own will. I believe her departure means we’ve seen the last of her. I appreciate that Stefan realized what Lexi likely did to help them and I’ll miss their interactions together. I also enjoyed how Lexi tried to explain to Stefan his attraction to Caroline. Stefan understands, but he’s still too introverted to admit how he feels. This is a basic bullseye that in season six, Caroline and Stefan will hook up. It’s a done deal, it’s happening. They’re the new “let’s get these two together” like Damon and Elena were for the last 4 seasons.

I also think I understand why Tyler lost his hybrid ability. It was bugging me at first, but then I remembered that Every vampire who died and came back, Stefan, Elena, Enzo, died when they became vampires, while Tyler died as a werewolf and only recieved his vampire half later one. This means only the vampire side of Tyler should be gone and his werewolf gene should still be active to turn him…once he kills again I’m guessing. I only think that because if his werewolf gene was still activated, he’d heal from his cut he showed to Caroline. We’ll find out next season I’m certain.

Not much else stuck out as phenomenal or really noteworthy. Elena’s breakdown at the end with losing Damon continues to show how Nina can push her character into new depths of worn grief. It’s an old jacket that she keeps putting on and the tears flow, and the lips quiver. As powerful as she can be at feeling loss, I felt more for her when Jeremy “originally” died and Damon was forced to tell her to turn her emotions off to survive. Elena didn’t go through a moment like that. It does mean she’s learning how to deal with loss even if someone like Damon is leaving her life. It was a good performance nonetheless.

I’m certain we’ll see Luke and Liv again. There’s an entire coven that watched from a distance and that coven could easily be a force in the next season as well as new characters who either predate the Travelers who are something entirely different than what we’ve faced thus far. I also wasn’t too terribly surprised that Silas was the Traveler that helped Bonnie with the spell. It made sense and I was glad to see his cameo remain one as Bonnie left him to be pulled away. One thing I wonder is whether being yanked away truly means those characters are destroyed. I still can’t shake the feeling that Katherine exists, which would mean Marcos, Vicki, Silas, and several (including one other Original vampire) others would exist too. I’m game for that if they decide to go that route.

Overall, the finale was satisfactory. I’m truly not convinced we’ve seen the last of Bonnie and Damon, and expect a semi-quick resolution to their situation for season six. Caroline will do her best to put everyone’s foot forward and some old characters will get fresh starts like Tyler and Alaric, who will no doubt help Elena any way he can. Enzo will likely peek around when it’s convenient, but with his emotions turned off, I’m not going to expect anything more than a watered-down Damon who has no plot to offer except mischief and mayhem. Jeremy and Matt will remain bro’s as he deals with Bonnie’s loss in his own way. I’m guessing it won’t take long for Stefan to handle how he needs to ad progress with his next chapter. It’s possible he could grow obsessed with finding Damon, but at the same time, I can see him passively letting his brother go. Maybe the writers will do something different. In al fairness, they should. If season six is the final one, they need to truly shake things up. Until 6×01 begins this fall, thanks for reading my reviews and I’ll be there again at the next Mystic Falls daily, weekly, annual, bimonthly, tri-special occasion, gift basket reason, party!

 

No more words

 

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“And this one time…on Lost, at the end of season 5, we did this white background thing and I—”

“Shut up Boone.”

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