While Vickie continues to ring the bell, Matt evacuates the town as Damon and Stefan confront Katherine who intends to watch the town finally burn. After recovering, Bonnie helps Alaric and the twins return to the armory and discovers Alaric’s “hail mary” plan to destroy hell with mystical energy. She intends to use the hellfire to do the job. After informing the brothers, each of them wants the other to leave town to survive, but it’s Damon who uses compulsion to make Stefan leave, finally atoning for all his past sins. With vervane in his system, Stefan leaves but returns with a syringe of his blood and injects Damon, turning him human. With the help of witches from the past, Bonnie funnels the hellfire back through the tunnels engulfing both Katherine and Stefan. In the aftermath, Stefan encounters Elena within the spell and gives her a message for Caroline before saying goodbye. Stefan finds Lexi in the afterlife as the two embrace. Some time later, Bonnie finally counteracts Kai’s spell and Elena finally wakes up. She reunites with Damon and Caroline as the group move on with their lives. Alaric and Caroline open the school with Jeremy assisting and Caroline receives a check and a letter from Klaus hoping one day they meet again. Bonnie begins a life of traveling and Damon and Elena continue their lives together. Further in the future after lives past, Elena reunites with her parents and family as Damon returns home to find Stefan welcoming him.
Eight seasons later, all diaries have been written and the group from Mystic Falls have each fulfilled their lives to the fullest. They indeed saved the best for last, marking the way for the spin-off to conclude in ways we’ve yet to see. But for now, Elena finally returned to Damon, and Stefan made the ultimate sacrifice for the good of all. The series finale contained an insurmountable warmth that took its time to carefully examine the pieces that made these characters become the best they could in understanding and in compassion. Everyone said good-bye in their own way, continuing their lives as they should have, and well after. The concluding moments were given a very Lost-esque ending, but those are the ones that matter, when characters and find the ones they’ve lost and be with those they love. Once you make a family, you’ll find them even at the end. A crisp and heartfelt episode, that made every fan lament in happiness and thankful for the journey these vampires, witches, werewolves, doppelgangers, sirens, gypsies, and humans gave us. A damn fine job ending this series.
I have to say, not an ounce of this episode was wasted. Everything leading up to the climactic finale with Bonnie pushing the hellfire into hell was crafted with a lot of care. Right down the witches that came to help Bonnie give her the strength she needed. It culminated in the destruction of Katherine, who maintain the final role of the villain and rightly so. Her plan went as far as it could, the rest was left to the group to turn the plan back on her and so they did. Now that hell is destroyed, all souls are free to roam and move on as intended.
Damon and Stefan’s war of brotherly sacrifice had come to a head with Damon seemingly winning that argument only to be undone by Stefan’s guile and ultimate sense of purpose. We knew Damon wouldn’t be the one to go, after all, he had to see Elena again and there was no way that wasn’t going to happen. The moments that led to and from were captivating and drew in the bonds that made them so memorable as characters. Each were willing to be the martyr, but Stefan won the unspoken duel. The rest was left to fate and a hope that one day they’d see each other again.
Nina’s dual run as Elena and Katherine scores as usual. She was the original sarcastic villain, always the jealous fit who tried to find every loophole and ability to exist in and around the afterlife. Elena’s return was as though she never left at all. Two seasons and the young actress didn’t skip a beat. Her natural charisma and heart came through complete with Katherine’s raw hatred of both brothers. One would think the two would have crossed paths one last time, but it wasn’t in the cards. Still, Elena returning capped off the show as it was meant to. Welcome back, for the final time.
Of course everyone (Almost everyone) returned to cameo in the finale making this a monumental good-bye including Lexi, Jeremy, Vickie, Tyler, Liz, Elena’s parents and aunt, and everyone else who affected their lives. Thank you for giving them a chance to do that, and do it in a way that really capitalized on those tears that likely came for the entire fanbase. It was one of the warmest sendoffs out there.
The only no-show was Elena’s biological mother, Isobel, played by Mia Kirshner. I thought she might walk through the door with John, but sadly, I guess she wasn’t available for the scene. That’s okay. Isobel didn’t really play that big of a role in Elena’s life and though she was compelled by Klaus to perform a lot of villain acts, I’d like to think she redeemed herself in some capacity. In any case, I felt there were no other flaws on this episode whatsoever.
I’ve been saying it for years and when Stefan walked out of the school and saw Lexi out there waiting for him, I had my moment, that necessary moment I wanted since Lexi’s last appearance. She was always my favorite vampire on this show and seeing her one last time was the perfect sendoff I needed personally. Thank you for that. And reuniting her with Stefan was also very appropriate. Excellent goodbye to those who thought she was awesome.
Ever the tough one, but this cast did a lot so let’s give it to all of them. Stefan made the ultimate sacrifice, Damon made the choice to try, Bonnie held off the hellfire, Matt and his father said goodbye to Vickie, Caroline chose to be with her daughters along with Alaric. Everyone played a part to make the best of an ending to this kind of drama and without the cast as they were, none of it would have happened. Thanks to the team of Mystic Falls for delivering that last momentous push to stop evil.
I would have thought Katherine might have gained some semblance of Cade’s power as the new ruler of hell, but being the new ruler doesn’t mean being powerful as Cade was, since he was a psychic and Katherine wasn’t. I get it, but still seemed strange that she couldn’t actually put up a fight against the Salvatore brothers.
Klaus’s letter reads “Dearest Caroline, I have often imagined the paths your life might take, but your chosen future is more noble than I ever fathomed. Please accept this contribution to your virtuous cause. I do look forward to thanking you in person someday…However long it takes, Yours, Klaus.
This was our one and only link to The Originals and it does bring some speculation that maybe we’ll see Caroline in an episode toward the end of its final run. I’d like to think someone from TVD will show up in TO, and Caroline is probably the person who it should be. After all, she’s the last vampire standing on this show, very strange considering if I was given a choice on who that would be from way back in season 1, I probably wouldn’t have picked her. Funny how that works out.
It’s interesting wondering what kind of occupation Damon would have undertaken now that he’s human. During a “flashfoward” Damon suffered the human fatigue of boredom and longed for the vampire life again, yet as we see him now, grown, mature, and saturated by those he cares for, I can imagine he became someone who Elena was proud of, whatever that thing ended up being.
10 out of 10. The team behind the show did their best to produce a finale that clutched at our hearts and brought finality to the group in nearly every way possible. Katherine’s last note of vengeance of denied to eternity and Stefan finally carried with him the burden of sacrifice he had been longing for. Damon’s return to humanity and reuniting with Elena was the moment everyone needed to see since everyone speculated their coupling and it was given to us along with a multitude of cameos and cherished moments to fill a whole soundtrack with. As this chapter closes, there’s one last story to tell in the world of vampires, but for now, the Salvatores and the citizens of Mystic Falls say their goodbyes to us in harmony and love. Their best episode because they helped make us care and in turn cared back. Thanks for the memories and all 8 years of neck-snapping craziness. Thanks for reading. We’ll see you next time on The Originals.
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