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Has it Sunk in Yet? ‘The Vampire Diaries’ Season Finale Review

By on May 11, 2012
Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert in The Vampire Diaries. Photo: Annette Brown – © 2012 The CW Network.

Nina Dobrev as Elena Gilbert in The Vampire Diaries. Photo: Annette Brown – © 2012 The CW Network.

While it can be tempting to use the words ‘game changer’ when describing any Vampire Diaries episode, it is most accurate to use them for episodes like this week’s season finale. As usual, the show was fast-paced and full of twists and turns. There were heartbreaking moments, nostalgic flashbacks and shocking plot developments. Major spoiler alert here – don’t read on if you haven’t watched it yet. In proper finale form, the whole episode left us with pressing questions and a lot of emotions. Basically, The Vampire Diaries writers know what they are doing.

Seeing as we last saw Elena unconscious and bleeding, it was surprising to see her smiling as she woke up to her peppy alarm clock. When she wandered downstairs to greet her parents and Aunt Jenna (returning guest star Sara Canning) it became clear that it was a flashback to happier times. These flashbacks were a recurring theme throughout the episode.

Evil Alaric terrorized just about everyone throughout the episode, beginning with Dr. Meredith Fell (guest star Torrey DeVitto). After harassing her about her tendency to heal with vampire blood, Alaric found Jeremy and attempted to extract details about Klaus’s whereabouts. Acting on a plan he devised with the rest of the group, Jeremy gave Alaric false information about where Klaus was being hidden. Unfortunately, Alaric had half of Mystic Falls on the lookout and later realized that Jeremy was lying.

Guest stars Sara Canning as Aunt Jenna and Erin Beute as Miranda Gilbert. Photo Credit: The CW Network.

Damon and Bonnie went to the storage locker where Klaus was being kept and Bonnie asked for privacy to do her hiding spell. The plan was to make sure that no witch could help Alaric locate Klaus with a simple locator spell. However, Bonnie actually used her time alone with Klaus to do a body-switching spell (aren’t those annoying?). Somehow she put Klaus into Tyler’s body and chose not to tell anyone about this.

Another returning character this week was Elijah (guest star Daniel Gillies), who, despite Damon’s protests, struck a deal with Elena. He offered to keep Alaric alive by running from him until Elena’s natural human life was over. In return he asked for his brother’s body so he could revive him. He also promised he would wait a while before waking Klaus in an effort to teach him some manners. Good luck with that, Elijah.

While Damon was waiting for Rebekah to come and claim Klaus’s body, Alaric showed up and snapped his neck (always unpleasant). Lucky for Rebekah, Damon woke up and snagged her before Alaric could. The two of them made a valiant effort to get Klaus’s body out of there, but Alaric found them and put the ultimate stake through Klaus’s heart. Rebekah screaming for her brother while he was lit on fire made for a very tragic scene. Almost as touching was Damon immediately telling Rebekah to run and making a lunge for Alaric. He couldn’t stop him, but he gave Rebekah time for a getaway. With Damon, though, ‘no good deed goes unpunished’. Unable to catch Rebekah, Alaric returned for Damon and began a very brutal beating.

While all of this was happening, Elena was being kidnapped by Matt – for her own good, of course. Earlier in the episode, Matt and Jeremy devised a plan to drug Elena’s tea (the audacity!) and drive her out of town. Obviously Elena receiving the phone call that Klaus was ‘dead’ changed things. Since any of the vampires could be dropping dead within the hour, Elena was given the choice of which Salvatore brother she wanted to drive to for a potential goodbye.

This brings us to the much awaited love triangle advancement. Elena called Damon and they shared a painful conversation about Elena’s decision to return to Stefan.  Earlier she had confided in Matt that being with Stefan made her glad she was alive, but being with Damon ‘consumed’ her. Apparently Elena preferred the former, as she told Damon that it was impossible for her to ‘unfall’ for his brother.

Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) receives a tough phone call. Photo Credit: The CW Network

Tyler and Caroline had several very emotional scenes through the episode, though the last one was actually a scene between Caroline and Klaus/Tyler’s body. Mayor Lockwood and Sherriff Forbes urged the two lovebirds to leave town, and Caroline told Tyler all she needed was him and “maybe a curling iron”. Later on, Klaus’s supposed death made their runaway impossible. When Caroline heard Klaus had died she tearfully told Tyler the news, unaware that she was really talking to Klaus. It will be interesting to see how long Klaus keeps that little bit of information a secret in the next season.

Since Rebekah thought Klaus had died, she decided the deal between Elena and Elijah was off and planned to kill Elena. In an awfully poetic fashion, the hurt vampire stood in the middle of the road that Matt and Elena were driving on. Matt swerved off the bridge. Even with all of the dreadfully sad moments in this episode, by far the most somber of them was this car crash scene. The present-day crash was mixed with flashbacks from Elena’s first Wickery Bridge crash with her parents. Just like with the first accident, Stefan appeared to save her. This time, however, Elena insisted that he save Matt first.

Throughout the series, a continued source of angst for the Salvatore brothers has been the debate about whether or not Elena should be allowed to make her own decisions. As Stefan put it quite simply earlier in the episode, one does not realize the importance of free will until it is lost. Damon, on the other hand, continued to argue that Elena should be overruled (forcefully if necessary) when she makes a ‘bad’ decision. In Damon’s opinion, it is what is needed to keep her alive. True to his nature, Stefan obeyed Elena’s demand and saved Matt. This resulted in Elena drowning. Is anyone else wondering why Stefan, the vampire with supernatural strength, can never pull two people out of the water at once?

That leads us to the most shocking part of the episode – yes, there’s something even more startling! When Damon showed up at the hospital frantically looking for Elena, Dr. Fell informed him that Elena died with vampire blood in her system. Elena is in transition. She’s becoming a vampire.

Phew. Has all of that sunk in yet? If so, it is time for speculation about the upcoming fourth season. An interesting thing to note is that this episode revealed yet another memory Damon compelled Elena to forget about their relationship. Since Elena will most likely choose to complete her vampire transition, those lost memories will return to her. What will that mean for her and Damon?

Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) share an intimate moment. Photo Credit: The CW Network.

Bonnie showed a very defiant aspect of her character in this episode when she chose to save Klaus. She did this in secret and was quite combative when Klaus suggested her spirit friends might be angered by it. In the previous episode, Bonnie experimented with some dark magic despite her mother’s warnings. Could that dark magic be altering Bonnie’s perspective? It might be the beginning of a very intriguing path for her character.

Stefan’s decision to save Matt instead of Elena could be something Damon takes serious issue with. Damon has always made it clear that Elena is his priority, so he may be a little peeved his brother acted in a way that resulted in Elena’s ‘death’. Of course, there is always a possibility that Elena already knew she had vampire blood in her system and would survive the drowning. We, possibly very deliberately, were never shown Elena receiving the vampire blood.

Enjoy discussing all of these fascinating possibilities Vampire Diaries fans – we’ve got some time to kill!

One Comment

  1. brianhen

    May 11, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Nice one. However, you maybe should have mentioned that Evil Alaric is good and dead now since Elena “died” and that he came back for a goodbye as a nice ghost and is now moving on to his new series. LOL! I only started watching TVD because it came on before TSC, so I don’t have all the history of true fanatics. Seems to me the one she chose does’;t really matter because that friction pretty much is the show and will continue. What happened to Tyler? Now that his body is being occupied by Klaus. where is Tyler’s “self” residing? That wasn’t clear. Of the few episodes I have seen, this one was the best and I think Ian S. was especially good and multifaceted.