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The Vampire Diaries “Graduation” 

Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/The CW
Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/The CW

Well, damn. Turns out we’re not quite done with Silas, and because they’re wicked (benevolent) like that, they waited until the VERY last minute to drop that on us. Like I said, DAMN. Nothing quite went the way I thought it might, and for the most part it was a solid finale, but the upendedness at the end sort of trumped the rest of the proceedings.

First, yes, Bonnie is well and truly dead but she decides to take advantage of the veil to faker her way through graduation as a living member of the class of 2013 and nobody’s the wiser. Lexi, Alaric, and Jeremy are biding their time til the veil is restored. Elena shares graveyard burgers and fries with Alaric and Jeremy–her family restored–and she starts to come clean about what she did while she was turned off until Jeremy reminds her time is precious. Later, when she tries to avoid graduation, it’s Jeremy who convinces her to go. Back at the house, Stefan and Lexi are working their way through bourbon and Bon Jovi.

Matt and Rebekah end up in a pickle outside the Grill when he’s marooned on a pressure plate bomb until Rebekah smooches him off of it. It’s actually a very sweet moment where she distracts him with promises of travels when they get out of there and then she kisses him and rotates him off the plate and herself onto it. He runs off to graduate and she steps off the bomb no worse for wear. Sidebar: he mentions he’s still wearing the magical undeading ring but Rebekah points out he’d still be bits o’ guy if the bomb went off.

Damon gives Elena the cure and she says she doesn’t want it. He has more pressing issues because Vaughn shot him with a werewolf bullet which is starting to be a problem, so Damon all or nothings it and takes Vaughn out to where he dumped Silas only to be pumped full of a few more bullets before Alaric takes care of business and manages to save the cure. The Silas situation is a ruse, though, because they’re still carting around his petrified bones.

Caroline calls Klaus to ask him to help Damon and then focuses on her graduation and marvels that she, Elena, Bonnie, Stefan, and Matt all made it. Then we have the obligatory grad scene where Bonnie gets to tell her dad a final goodbye. Strangely there is no Liz in the episode to see her daughter graduate.

Kol shows back up during the ceremony to threaten Bonnie while other hybrids stand by and she lures him away to show him that she’s also dead but then traps him in a spell and goes to find Jeremy. Back at the school, Klaus shows up in time to scare off the hybrids and Caroline’s not unhappy to see him.

At the Salvatores, Elena gives Stefan the cure and tells him he should be human more than any of them. Then she goes to Damon and tells him despite her better judgment she loves him. Then they kiss and kiss in front of the massive fireplace (again, where they first clinched earlier this season).

Stefan overhears all this and later tells Damon he’s unhappy for Elena’s choice but he’s not unhappy for him. Then he and Lexi leave with Silas’s bones and Alaric toasts Damon for getting the girl. Down in the catacombs, Bonnie and Jeremy say goodbye and wait out the veil. At the house, Alaric disappears while Damon chatters away to him. In the car, Lexi disappears while Stefan talks about maybe seeing Portland. Elena goes to find Bonnie and runs into Kol, who jumps her and then disappears.

Bonnie and Jeremy kiss before the veil closes and then wait and he coughs a bit and asks her what happened and she tells him he’s alive. He’s thrilled until he realizes he can’t feel her anymore and she tells him it’s OK. She’ll be with her witches and Grams, and she can see him anytime. He’s not having it but she tells him it’s how it is, and she asks him to tell their friends that she’s gone away for the summer so they can have their summer without any new grief and then she walks off hand in hand with Grams.

At the school, Klaus and Caroline talk and she asks how he got there so fast and he tells her he was already on his way. He shows her the graduation announcement and asks if she expects cash. And she laughs and says that, or a mini fridge. He tells her he wanted to bring her to New Orleans but he knew she wouldn’t accept so he’ll give her something she will accept—Tyler’s freedom to come home. She asks him why and he smiles at her and tells her very genuinely, “He’s your first love. I intend to be your last…however long it takes.” She’s shocked to hear it but she doesn’t protest. He congratulates her for graduating and kisses her cheek and suggests they move along in case of looming hybrids and they walk across the field together.

Elena gets to the school and finds herself in a bitch-off with Katherine, who is raging because Bonnie reneged on immortality. Katherine starts to get the upper hand on Elena and is bleeding her out when we flash back to the rest of the conversation between Elena and Stefan and see that he wouldn’t accept the cure and handed it back to Elena, telling her it’s her choice if and when and it’s not for anyone else. We flash back to her life draining out of her as Katherine hold her down. She fishes the cure out of her picket and slams it into Katherine’s mouth, forcing it down. Katherine drops beside her and Elena takes a breath and tells her to have a nice human life.

Rebekah comes to see Matt and he won’t let her in and she doesn’t push it. She tries to deflect their kiss and the promises of travel as in-the-moment and he surprises her and says if the offer still stands, he’ll go, but whatever happens, and whatever they are on the road stays on the road, that his life and love life have to be a low-vampire zone (hah!). She’s already turned to leave when he says yes so we see her perfect, happy smile, but he doesn’t, and it’s the first reminder in a long time that at the end of the day, Rebekah is still a teenage girl.

Out on the bluff, Stefan is preparing to dump Silas when he discovers the bag of bones is now shattered pieces of concrete. Elena approaches and starts talking and he realizes it’s Silas. He says the spell didn’t hold because the witch who cast it died (it’s ALWAYS the fine print, y’all). Stefan has about ten seconds to absorb the news that Bonnie is dead when Silas says now he can also show his true face.

Stefan sucks in his breath that Silas is another Petrova doppelgänger and then Silas shifts into a mirror image of Stefan and says no, that’s his real face. Stefan is horrified and stunned and a thousand other things. Silas asks Stefan if he knows what it’s like to starve for 2,000 years and then he superspeeds Stefan into the safe and drops him over the cliff. Water starts to fill it while Stefan sinks and screams. And Fini! Another freaking finale ending in the water.

So, first of all, I didn’t get my Storybrooke version of Mystic Falls (Boo!). I didn’t really expect that we’d have anyone take the cure and it’s an interesting turnabout to now have Katherine be human, but frankly, I was ready for Elena to kill her, because I haven’t missed Katherine. I have missed Alaric. I still hope there’s a way to have him pop up here or on The Originals come fall.

Jeremy being alive is complicated because they proclaimed him dead, buried him, and gave him a grave marker, so I wouldn’t be surprised if his being alive didn’t still mean that he has to leave Mystic Falls. I’m glad Bonnie got to go out with a big arc, because I’m not sure the show knew what do with her in the long haul. And we’ll see if we really get Tyler back now that he can come home. The way they left things with Klaus, I’m guessing he’ll still bounce back and forth between Mystic Falls and New Orleans next season.

As for the triangle choice, I was OK with either one, but there will be the larger issue in the fall of who will actually realize Stefan isn’t Stefan. I’m glad Paul Wesley gets to take the gloves off again, but the whole Silas thing was such a yawn for me, and I don’t want to have to play “who is this really” next season.

When I chatted with Carla Day and Laurel Brown for the TV Diehard podcast this week, we discussed the shortcomings of having a full-season arc devoted to the cure and Silas and how it essentially derailed the season because it was never dropped.  Since TPTB didn’t see fit to truly wrap both storylines, I can only hope that they get back to the mini-arcs and fork the Silas thing and dry out Stefan before the November break.

We’ll see you in September! The Vampire Diaries will keep its Thursday timeslot, and surprisingly, The CW put The Originals on Tuesdays instead of right behind TVD, so look for that this fall, too. Have a great summer! Thank you for reading.

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