This is it, everyone. This is the moment we say goodbye to our favorite vampires, witches, and humans in Mystic Falls. Boy, is it an emotional one. Countless sacrifices are made, a hero rises, and another falls, but most importantly… everyone finds peace. So, let’s not waste any more time and get straight to what happened in this epic series finale. Get your tissues ready.
The episode picks up where the last one left off, Stefan trying to revive Bonnie after Vicki ringing the Maxwell Bell sent her to the floor. He tries and tries, but Bonnie just isn’t ready. Instead, we see her in her in-between. She sees Elena and they share a sweet moment until Elena realizes what’s really going on. She remembers the spell that Kai put on them, linking their lives together, and how Elena can only wake up when Bonnie dies. She refuses to let this be the end for Bonnie, and urges her to wake up. Bonnie tells her that it’s okay because she’s ready to be with Enzo again, but then Enzo appears and agrees with Elena. They both convince her that it’s not her time and she wakes up, informing Stefan and Caroline that she saw Elena.
There’s No Stopping Vicki
Damon goes to the clock tower to try to convince Vicki to stop ringing the bell, but she refuses to. Katherine enlisted her to ring the bell 12 times, or every 5 minutes, until 10 pm, bringing hellfire to encompass Mystic Falls and burn everyone in it. If she did this, Katherine promised her a get out of hell free card. Damon tries to go with plan B by trying to kill her multiple times, but she just keeps coming back… because she’s still technically “dead as a doornail.” So, Damon then enlists Matt to convince his sister to stop, but even that doesn’t do it, forcing him to call another “gas leak” evacuation and Damon to go home and try to find another way to stop Katherine with Stefan.
When the brothers return to the Salvatore mansion, they notice that Elena’s casket is empty and she’s standing there awake. Her and Damon embrace, but not so fast… this isn’t Elena, it’s Katherine, messing with the Salvatores once again. She gloats about how she’s had Cade under her spell the moment she was sent to hell. The brothers ask her where Elena’s body is, but she doesn’t divulge that information just yet. Stefan manages to find her in the boiler room of the high school, but she’s stuck since Katherine enticed Kai cast a spell, locking her in there with no way out. Ugh… of course.
Katherine Can’t Be Killed & The Better Man
The Mystic Falls gang thought Katherine could be killed by a dagger made from her bones, and while it kills her for a bit, it doesn’t keep her killed. She wakes up with the same attitude she always has. She brags about how her plan to burn Mystic Falls to the ground is about to work out perfectly. Damon tries to fire back, claiming that she’s just still jealous of Elena because he and Stefan would choose Elena over her every time. The comment doesn’t seem to faze Katherine though as she fires back that Elena, herself, and any other woman, would always choose Stefan because he’s “the better man.” OUCH. She really knows how to punch a guy in the goodies, but I think Damon knows that Elena’s heart lies with him.
After looking through some of Alaric’s research, Bonnie figures out a way to truly kill Katherine. She wants to let Vicki ring the Maxwell Bell so the hellfire will come, but she wants to immediately send it back to hell through the underground tunnels. Seems simple. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come without a major sacrifice as someone will have to make sure Katherine gets down there and stays down there, ultimately killing whomever takes on that task. Ugh… I do not like where this is going, y’all. It leaves us with an argument between the Salvatore brothers. Being the hero that he typically is, and wanting to atone for his sins, Stefan steps up to the plate. But Damon wants to be the big brother, or rather, the better man, that he’s never really been. UGH! Why do you do this to us, Julie Plec?!
Stefan: “You get to safety. Family first.”
Caroline: “We’re family now. Okay? You and me and the girls. It’s just please, please, don’t make me leave you.”
Stefan: “Please. If I want to convince Damon, I have to move fast, and I can’t do that unless I know you’re safe.” …. “I love you so much.”
Caroline: “I love you, too.”
Bonnie: “I’m gonna go save the world.”
Caroline: “Just don’t do anything stupid, Bonnie Bennett.”
Who Makes the Sacrifice: Stefan or Damon?
So, Stefan meets Damon and Katherine in the tunnel and they argue a bit over who’s going to be the one to sacrifice themselves to save the town. Damon states that he’s doing it for Elena, to pay for his past mistakes. Stefan makes a point that it’s not something that he wants considering he just got married, but he argues that he’s fought to turn Damon “into the man who deserves the happiness that’s out there right now.” They exchange “I love yous” and then Damon compels Stefan to leave, saying he’s sorry he wasn’t a better big brother until now.
Caroline’s Heartbreaking Voicemail
Caroline: “Stefan, please call me. Please. I need you to know that I understand. I love you. I will love you forever. I understand.”
Bonnie Bennett Saves The World
Even after reconnecting with her father, Vicki still rung the bell 12 times, and Matt and their father were forced to watch the bell tower explode with her still in it while they stood on the ground below. Fortunately, with the help of all past Bennett witches and Enzo, Bonnie’s planned worked, and she was able to send the hellfire back to hell through the tunnels. Way to go, Bon Bon!
Grab your tissues, y’all, because things are about to get real emotional! Damon may have compelled Stefan to leave the tunnels, but what Damon didn’t think about was the possibility of Stefan being on vervain. We learn this information when we see Elena and Stefan in the in-between that Bonnie saw her in, only this time, it’s in the high school. When Elena asked what happened with Bonnie, Stefan said that he didn’t know and tells the story of how he went back to the tunnels and gave Damon his blood, making him human, which left Stefan as the one to sacrifice himself. EXCUSE ME WHILE I SOB UNCONTROLLABLY! (Although, I’m not sure how human Damon escaped the hellfire?) Stefan then tells Elena why he did it; he saw the Damon that he knew when he was a boy, and he wanted Elena to be able to get to know that Damon. He also whispers to Elena a message for Caroline, but we don’t find out what it is until later. He then closes out by saying that it was good to see her “one last time” before walking into the white light. MORE TEARS!
If there’s one thing we all wanted for these characters that have endured so much, it’s that they all find peace. By the end of the finale, literally everyone has found peace in one way or another, and it’s a beautiful thing. As soon as Stefan walked through the high school doors, into the white light, his BFF, Lexi, was waiting for him by his beloved vintage car. Lexi made a comment about how his conversation with Elena (or maybe how he sacrificed himself for Damon?) was beautiful, to which Stefan responded with, “I was feeling epic.”
We’re then taken to Bonnie finding the loophole, that wasn’t supposed to be there, in breaking the spell with Elena and Elena wakes up! They meet up with Damon and the rest of the gang who are saying their goodbyes to Stefan at the family crypt, Damon and Elena have a beautiful reunion, and Elena gives Caroline Stefan’s message, confirming that he got her voicemail and that he’ll love her forever too. UGH! My Steroline loving heart!
Then we seemingly jump to the future a bit and see how everyone’s doing. Matt is still the Sheriff and possibly running for mayor. As he’s accepting a bench in the park in his honor, we see that Vicki and Tyler have found peace together in the afterlife. We then see Alaric and Caroline opening that boarding school with the help of Jeremy, Dorian, and a $3 million donation from Klaus: Salvatore Boarding School for the Young and Gifted, at the Salvatore estate. We also see sweet moments of Jo watching over Alaric and the girls and Caroline’s mom watching over Caroline. Bonnie’s finally taking that leap to see the world while Enzo watches over her. Damon and Elena survive through her medical schooling and then move back to Mystic Falls.
Elena in her journal: “I know peace exists. It lives in everyone we hold dear. That is the promise of peace. That one day, after a long life, we find each other again.”
I’m not clear on how much longer they live after that, apparently they get their long and happy lives together, but we see Damon and Elena finding peace in the afterlife as well. Yes, even Damon, who still believed he was going to hell and would never see his brother again. He was wrong, though. Elena reunites with her family, including her parents, Aunt Jenna, and uncle/biological dad John. Damon finally sees Stefan again at the Salvatore house and we get the saying we all know too well, “Hello, brother” Before the series comes to an end.
Job well done to the entire cast, crew and writers of The Vampire Diaries. Thank you for sharing this supernatural world, for making us laugh, weep, and get emotionally attached to fictional characters for 8 seasons.