We say goodbye to Elena, Tyler, and more and hello to an old character or two; Stefan and Caroline have a good talk; Lily is reunited with her family; and time jumps....
If you're going to write the central character off of a show, this is the way to go. By making it so that Elena's waking is linked to Bonnie dying, the writers have opened the door to whole loads of mischief. As long as they keep Bonnie alive, Elena remains gone, but they can also bring her back at any point by the simple expedient of killing Bonnie. That was well done and completely unexpected. I honestly thought that they were going to make Matt and Elena leave together to live a normal human life. I didn't see Damon leaving, so that was never really an option as far as I was concerned. Of course, having Elena gone also allows the writers to return Damon to his seasons 1 and 2 self, which were a whole lot of fun to watch because Ian does snarky and smarmy better than most.
Of course, having Elena go away also meant that we got a whole load of touching goodbye scenes as each of her friends entered her mind and had a chance to see what she wants for them. I think that Bonnie got the best of the bargain. She has lost and sacrificed so much over the past few years that's it's nice to see someone else choose to make a sacrifice for her. I don't know if this is going to do much for her relationship with Damon given that he had to choose between Bonnie and Elena, but I think he made the right decision. Elena wants Bonnie to live a long life and Damon won't age, so he will just have to survive without Elena until Bonnie passes away. Of course, given the intensity of his feelings, that may be easier said than done. I also really appreciated that they brought back Jeremy for a goodbye scene. I wish they'd bring Steven back for next season, but I don't see that happening. Oh well....
We also got the chance to say goodbye to one of the best villains that The Vampire Diaries has ever had: Kai. He was a world class sociopath, but he was loads of fun to watch. Tonight, he just went off the deep end and took his entire coven with him. That was quite the impressive body count for your swan song. Coming back as a heretic vampire was quite the twist. Of course, he was doomed, particularly since he was attacked by Tyler. But his final death was one of the greatest scenes, just as we thought Damon had abandoned Bonnie, he decapitated Kai and saved her. Sort of disgusting, but it was a wonderful exit for an awesome character.
It was also nice to see Stefan and Caroline have a good, honest talk. It will have to be the first of many, but it was definitely a good start. Since I don't see Damon having a love interest any time in the near future, we'll probably have to depend on Steroline for our romantic storylines. Speaking of romance, never *EVER* date Alaric Saltzman. Every woman he has ever loved has ended badly, which seriously sucks for him. Gotta wonder how he's going to recover from this one.
Then we also have Lily reunited with her "family". Given that ending, that cannot be a good thing. We obviously jumped forward an uncertain amount of time and Mystic Falls looks like it has undergone an apocalypse. I wonder if the heretic vampires and Lily are to blame for what happened or if this is Damon going on a rampage after losing Elena. Then again, it could be a mixture of the two.
I know that I've been hard on this show recently, but I am now excited to see where the show is going in the fall. If the really bring back old Damon and have the heretic vampires tearing around town, we have the possibility for some serious fun next season.