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The Vampire Diaries – I Was Feeling Epic (8×16)

Where do I even begin? Julie Plec really wasn’t kidding when she said the last episode of The Vampire Diaries would be an emotional roller coaster. I haven’t cried that much in… well ever. But that’s a good thing. If I hadn’t been a complete wreck, the writers would have failed me and a dedicated fandom that stuck around through the highs and lows for 8-years.

They gave us an episode filled with love, family, redemption and peace… it was epic, just like the series. And before I continue let me reiterate what Plec said – death doesn’t have to be sad. Sometimes, it’s necessary for closure and with no revival plans in mind, closure was necessary.

We begin things in Mystic Falls. Hellfire is about to explode as Vicky is ringing that bell like her dead life depends on it and Katherine is running the shots. The bell isn’t affecting anyone yet except Bonnie, who collapsed to the ground as her heart stopped beating. As Stefan and Caroline try to revive her, she enters what seems to be purgatory where she sees Elena sleeping comfortable on a bed in the forest. Definitely much better than that coffin.

Now before I continue I will say the episode was a bit confusing to me at times because it wasn’t concrete. They never actually told you if someone died flat out… it was more fluid, many times allowing you to interpret the scene however you wanted. Kind of like a choose your own adventure with an outlined path.

As Bonnie and Elena reunite in purgatory, the latter realizes that this must mean Bonnie is dead. Bonnie tells her that it’s totally okay because “she’s ready” to be with Enzo but then he pops out of nowhere to tell her that it’s not her time. She’s still got a lot of saving the world to do that little Bon Bon.

Back at the Salvatore house, Stefan and Damon come home to find Elena’s coffin empty. Stefan thinks it might be because Bonnie’s heart stopped beating and suddenly, Elena comes out surprising them both. What could have been a much needed reunion between Delena was hindered by the fact that this wasn’t actually Elena… it was Katherine! The return of the baddest bitch in hell.

Katherine was back to get her revenge, which included burning Mystic Fall to the ground and taking Elena with her. When she wouldn’t reveal where she’d hid her body, Stefan stabbed her. Then, the search was on – they had approximately half an hour to find Elena before the whole town went up in flames.

Matt started the evacuation due to “another gas leak.” Alaric and Bonnie grabbed the kids and headed for the Armoury where he could keep them safe. Caroline promised to join them as soon as she helped her new husband find Elena but it was a tough choice to make for her. Does she got with her daughter and baby daddy or does she stay with her new husband and help him find her best friend?

That’s when Bonnie came up with the most brilliant plan and of course, it involved her being a martyr once again. Ric wanted to eliminate hell completely by creating enough energy to blow it up. Difficult but not impossible, especially with Bonnie’s new found power. There was a catch though – to get rid of hell, they had to make sure Katherine was in it so that they would kill her too. And that meant, someone had to sacrifice themselves.

Both Damon and Stefan were eager to take on the burden of death. Both brothers felt like they deserved it, but of them wanted to find redemption by doing the “right thing” and being the better man. Ultimately, Damon decided to be the “bigger brother” and compel Stefan to walk away and live a good human life with his wife. And surprisingly, Stefan obliged. Thankfully though, he wasn’t on vervain and pretended to listen only to trick Damon and save his life. Seriously, when will Damon ever learn that those around him aren’t as stupid as he believes?

As Vicky rang the bell for the final time, Bonnie prepared to fight with hellfire. She sucked it from the bell tower into the tunnels and then sent it right back into hell where it would destroy everything in its way. And she didn’t do it alone – she was joined by the whole Bennett witch coven in one of the strongest and most beautiful moments in TVD history. Magic has always been the most powerful in this town and it was fitting that Bonnie, along with her Grams and ancestors, was able to save the day.

As the fire was coming back for them, Stefan injected Damon with his own human blood and pushed him out of the way, sacrificing himself so that his brother could finally be the man he’d wanted him to be for so long.

While all of this is happening, Ric tells Caroline the plan in the car. She orders him to pull over to the side as tears stream down her face and she leaves Stefan a voicemail saying that she’ll love him forever and that she understands. The theme of family was always important in the series and it was quite the force during the finale. Caroline had to leave Stefan behind to put her family first and she understood that his decision was putting his family first. Despite the sad outcome, they both knew it had to be done.

We found out only when we saw Stefan and Elena come face to face one last time as she rounded the corner in the school hallway, where they first met. He told her that he fed Damon the cure because he  finally saw him being the man he was before he turned him and he wanted her to get to know that guy. And after years of thinking Damon was the villain and trying to redeem him, Stefan realized that his brother had always been the better man. “He’s the right man,” he adds, contradicting Katherine’s statement to Damon earlier in the episode. Also, season 2 Damon telling Elena “you would have liked me if I was human” anyone? Now she gets to.

So death was Stefan’s ultimate sacrifice, the penance he paid for being the ripper. As he says goodbye to Elena, his highschool sweetheart one last time as their hands separated the way they have so many times before. The moment between exes was so raw and real and a tribute to their relationship and a fitting end to their love story. There’s definitely a nod to the triangle here that was so prevalent throughout many of the seasons but there’s no longer a bad taste to it.  It’s simply the realization that their epic love is over but it’s not Elena choosing between them – the choice was now up to Stefan and he made the ultimate sacrifice once again. Maybe, Stefan was always meant to be the guy who kickstarted Elena’s life and made her feel alive again so in that sense he was the “one.”

And as he leaves Elena much like he did when she told him she loved Damon for the first time, he crosses over to heaven where he’s reunited with his best friend, Lexi. “That was beautiful,” she tells him. “I was feeling epic,” he responds as they run into each others arms. Peace does seem to exist after all.

Next we see Elena, waking up in Damon’s bed as her “Dear Diary” plays over it. She echoes her episode 1 sentiments “Dear Diary, today will be different.” Well for starters, she’s finally alive again because Bonnie got the “witch thing down” and was able to break the curse set forth by the evil Kai. As they embrace, she asks where Damon is and Bonnie tells him he’s with Caroline at Stefan’s grave.

At the Salvatore crypt we see both of them mourn as Elena echoes yet another sentiment that resonates with the series – to feel pain is to be human. Damon and Caroline share a bonding moment and she reassures him that he’ll see his brother again even though he believes that he’ll never find peace cause they’ll reopen hell for him. “Don’t be so sure,” Caroline tells him.

As they walk out of the crypt, they see Elena and all the fans brace themselves for that long-awaited reunion. Elena reunites with her three best friends, her epic loves in a way, and tells Caroline that before he passed, Stefan asked her to tell Caroline that he got her message and he will love her forever as well. Seriously, still balling my eyes out here but also, what cell provider does he have that he’s getting voicemails while he’s burning in hell?

The show then pays their final goodbye to Stefan and they do goodbye’s so well! Caroline leaves her snow globe of Mystic Falls that he gave her, Damon leaves him his daylight ring since he won’t need it anymore. And Elena leaves the necklace he first gave her. And then her voice brings us to a reality check – “life goes on.”

And so it did.

The final scenes show us where everyone is after Mystic Falls has found its peace. Matt is being honored for his efforts as sheriff and both Vicki and Tyler are watching over him proudly.

Bonnie is keeping her promise to Enzo and living life to the fullest by gearing up to travel the world. Enzo will be there with her in spirit and even reminds her to grab her passport.

Ric and Caroline finally opened the Salvatore Boarding School for the Young & Gift – a tribute to Stefan’s final wish. Jo is watching over both her “husband” and her daughters in the scene while Caroline’s mom is standing by her daughter’s side. And Jeremy Gilber tis back in town to help children learn things like being a hunter and what not.

The school also received a 3 million donation from Klaus Mikealson. Yes, we even got some closure on that relationship front… or should I say the writers left an open door because Klaus writes that he can’t wait to see Caroline again “however long it takes.” And then Ric’s voiceover says that “it’s the beginning of another story,” which basically translates to Caroline is headed to New Orleans to be Klaus’s love interest on The Originals. Cami is dead after all, which means Klaus is ready for love with his OG blondie.

As for Elena, she’s right back where we met her in season 1, in the cemetery and writing in her diary. She visits Stefan there and her entry explains that she went to med school and returned to Mystic Falls to “grow old” with Damon, who appears in the cemetery with his CROW. THE CROW IS STILL ALVIE.

“And that’s my life: weird, messy, complicated, sad, wonderful, amazing, and above all, epic. And I owe it all to Stefan. When I met him, I had lost my parents and I was dead inside. But he brought me back to life, and I’m going to live it as best I can for as long as I can,” she says paying major tribute to Stefan.

 

As they both walk away, we see Elena wearing a wedding ring.

We then flash to another scene of the couple together, walking through the neighborhood and her voiceover tell us Damon is worried he won’t see Stefan again because he hasn’t found his redemption so he doesn’t believe he’ll ever attain peace.

But Elena is certain we’ll “one day, after a long life, we find each other again,” and that’s exactly what happens in the scene. Damon’s hand withers away from hers insinuating that Elena has died in her old age (although she still looks the same) and as she looks back at her front porch she sees the people she’s loved and lost – Aunt Jenna, her mom, her dad and even Uncle John, all calling her back home. All has come full circle.

As for Damon, he dies at some point too and finds his peace with his family. The camera cuts to Stefan standing at the Salvatore house and when he opens the door, he comes face to face with Damon who has finally come home. “Hello brother,” he says.

As they hug, my tears flow because the show has put emphasis on the brotherhood first and foremost.

Damon and Elena were able to live their full human lives together and in death, found the ones they lost, found peace, found eternal happiness. After years of torment and loss, the series found the complete opposite. It’s cheesy sure but isn’t that what they’ve been looking for this whole time? Even as vampires. The series honored every single relationship and love story ever created, even the ones that characters had within themselves.

My only flaw is that we don’t know what happened to anyone else.I’m assuming if both Damon and Elena died, they reached old age. That would mean Bonnie, Jeremy, Alaric would all have died at some point too. Why didn’t we see their closure? And then, the only person still left alive is Caroline. Her twins would be adults and she would still be young, definitely giving that Originals storyline a possibility.

So tell me, are you satisfied with the ending of the series? What would you change?

 

The Vampire Diaries – I Was Feeling Epic (8×16) Reviewed by on . Where do I even begin? Julie Plec really wasn't kidding when she said the last episode of The Vampire Diaries would be an emotional roller coaster. I haven't cr Where do I even begin? Julie Plec really wasn't kidding when she said the last episode of The Vampire Diaries would be an emotional roller coaster. I haven't cr Rating: 0
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