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“So what? I’m still a Vampire!” – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ Season Finale “The Departed”

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NOT choosing between all these hot vampires, who love me unconditionally, all season was EXHAUSTING.  I need a nap!  Wake me before the final credits roll, OK?”

So what?  I’m still a Rockstar.  I’ve got my rock moves.  And I don’t neeeeed youuuuuu.”

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Pink’s classic single-girl anthem “Rockstar” initially seemed like an odd choice to kick off the Season 3 Finale of The Vampire Diaries.  For one thing, here’s a show that’s made a name for itself by specializing in sad and/or moodily haunting songs, written by virtually unknown artists, just on the cusp of making it big.  Pink is hardly an unknown artist.  And as for moodily haunting, “Rockstar” is probably one of her peppiest ditties to date.

Also, I don’t think there’s a woman on television who’s more patently un-accustomed to the Single Life than Elena Gilbert: She Who is Loved By All. Plus, let’s be honest, I’m kind of shocked they got the rights to play it.

However, in hindsight, the song choice made a lot of sense.  Because while the moody, mopey, perpetually waffling between two vampires, “Everyone around me is dying, let’s paint some walls,” Elena we know and love probably wouldn’t be caught dead (no pun intended) rocking out to anything remotely resembling a dance beat . . .

“Hey!  I resent that!  I do rock out . . . once a season . . . at my school’s annual Bloodbath Prom.   Take that, you mean recapper, you!”

 .  . .  her two-years younger, cheerleading, pony-tail wearing, Matt Donovan-dating, “Nothing bad ever happens in Mystic Falls” self absolutely would!

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And when you think about it, that’s really what “The Departed” was about . . . comparing Elena’s pre and post vampire worlds, and recognizing that they might not be quite as different from one another as we originally thought . . . You know, aside from the whole “Constantly in Danger / On the Verge of Death,” thing . . .

So tighten up your ponytail, hike up your skirt, and take a nice long drive off the very short Wickory Bridge, because it’s time for another TVD-cap .  . .

(Special thanks to my good pal, Andre for providing me with an entire season of the most amazing screencaps ever invented.  If you were a vampire, I’d put your soul into somebody else’s body, so you wouldn’t ever have to croak.  That’s how appreciative I am!)

“Caroline thinks my ponytail lacks zchuzz” (By the way, I must have sat for at least ten minutes, trying to figure out how that word was spelled.)

Like so many episodes of TVD, this one begins with Elena groggily waking up to the sound of her alarm, and undoubtedly looking like she wants to slit her wrist on her bedside table . . . usually because one of her friend’s (or an attractive guest star) died in the previous episode or is destined to die in this one.

“I told you not to wake me until the end credits, DAMMIT!” 

But wait!  Are my eyes deceiving me?  Is our girl Elena actually . . . smiling and bobbing her head up and down to pop music?

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Oh, I get it!  This isn’t regular Elena, it’s her sassy alter ego, Ponytail Elena.   This makes a lot more sense now . . .

But why is she wearing the Glee Cheerios uniform?

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QUINN: “I hate that b*tch.  She stole my man.”

SANTANA: “I hate her too.  She stole my woman.”

BRITTANY: (offscreen) “Unicorn?” 

Clearly, I’ve stumbled into some Alternate Universe Crossover Fanfiction of some sort.  Either that, or this is the start of another . . . wait for it . . . Flashback Episode.

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That’s right, Fangbangers!  Meet Elena Gilbert, the peppy popular high school cheerleader, with the clean-cut jock boyfriend, the twerpy little brother, and two uncommonly hot parents, who both love and support her unconditionally.

“Aren’t you glad both of us will be dead, long before we could ever get wrinkles?”

 I feel like I’ve stumbled into a Tampon Commercial .  . . or one for Teen Spirit Deodorant.  Now, all I need is for Elena to say something like, “At school, I work hard, but I also PLAY HARD!”

ELENA: “Psst . . . Matt, I’m not wearing any underwear under my skirt.”

MATT: “Psst . . . I’m wearing a skirt, under my underwear.”

BONNIE: *judging you*

“Caroline thinks my ponytail lacks schuzz,” Elena pouts, as she walks toward Mystic Falls High with fellow cheerleader Bonnie Bennett.

Matt’s there too, with his varsity jacket,  butterfly kisses, and references to the dreaded L Word.  In short, he’d be the Greatest Boyfriend Ever . . . if his mere presence didn’t seem to put Elena to sleep.

Bonnie chastens Elena for “stringing Matt along,” when it’s quite clear she doesn’t share his feelings for her.  In other words, Bonnie is judgmental in Flashback Land too.  Something NEVER change . . .

“I’m so going to give that Recapper a piece of my migraine!” 

RECAPPER: *takes an Aspirin*

Meanwhile, in the FUTURE . . .

“Have I told you lately how much I appreciate your not being the dumbest brother on Earth?”

Future/Present / Non-ponytail Elena wakes up in a hospital bed after the dramatic, nosebleedy faceplant she did at the end of last week’s episode.

Ahh . .  . waking up miserable.  Now THERE’S the Elena I know and love . . . 

(At this point, Jeremy probably has the ambulance on speed dial.)  Mini Gilbert is understandably concerned about his sister’s newfound tendency to make out with home flooring.  However the Only Doctor in Mystic Falls, Crazy Nanny Carrie, tells him not to worry.   “Just a itsy bitsy concussion . . . nothing to worry about.”

“I’ll just bash her face in with a hammer, like I do all my other patients.  She’ll be good as new in no time.”

Jeremy calls Elena’s two vampire lovers to let them know what went down.  Both Stefan and Damon are absolutely furious with Jeremy for trusting traditional modern medicine.  (Clearly, they must be closet Christian Scientists or something.)

STEFAN: “I think we’ve spent about half the season in this car.”

DAMON: “Tell me about it.  It’s a good thing vampires never have to pee.” 

“Get her out of there,” they exclaim practically in unison, realizing that keeping Elena in a public place makes her a sitting duck for .  . . oh, I don’t know .  .  . EVERY VILLAIN WHO’S EVER BEEN ON THE SHOW, EVER!  (Then again, it’s not like they all don’t know where she lives.)

 

Did I mention that Damon and Stefan are still roadtripping to make Klaus’ body swim with the fishies hide Klaus’ body?  Honestly, in hindsight, I’m kind of glad The Brothers Awesomesauce decided to scrap their original, wetter, plan to dispose of Klaus.  What if Klaus’ dry, flaky, desperately in need of lotion, body was devoured by a hungry shark . . . or a really ambitious school of goldfish?  Then, the whole entire cast would die, and they would have to rename the show “Ghost Diaries.”

“I ain’t afraid of no ghost vamp.”

Upon getting off the phone with Jeremy, Damon, who’s been especially brother-bondy with Stefan lately, praises the latter’s intelligence .  . . or, perhaps more accurately, his lack of utter stupidity. “Have I ever told you how much I appreciate the fact that I don’t have the dumbest brother in the world?” Damon quips.

Awww!  That’s sweet.  You know, it’s really too bad that no one ever decided to make Brother’s Day a national holiday.  Because, that would have made a really great statement for the inside of a Hallmark card.

Back at the hospital, Nouveau Ric has gotten wind of Elena’s whereabouts . . . though he may have had to show some poor lonely EMT his Chunky Monkey to get that information . . .

“My eyes aren’t the only part of me that has vampire compulsion powers.” 

He corners his erstwhile sex buddy Crazy Nanny Carrie and demands that Elena be released to his custody, as her legal guardian.  He also tells her that P.S. she’s fired.  WHAT?  You can’t fire Crazy Nanny Carrie, Alchy Ric!  I told you, she’s the ONLY DOCTOR IN MYSTIC FALLS!

“You can’t fire ME!  I’m Paul Wesley’s wife Meredith Fell!”

Also . . . I hate to break this to you Nouveau Ric but uhhh . . . you’re dead and have no authority whatsoever.

Nevertheless, to add insult to injury, Nouveau Ric quickly locates Crazy Nanny Carrie’s healing vampire blood stash, and DUMPS IT ALL ON THE FLOOR!

“How dare you fill these shot glasses with a non-alcoholic beverage!  That’s just wasteful!” 

Crazy Nanny starts to cry, thus proving she’s not quite the cyborg we always thought she was.

You know I’d have a heck of a lot easier time feeling sorry for the Good Doctor if she didn’t hide her Most Important Medical Miracle, in an UNLOCKED FOOD MINI FRIDGE, right next to her Lean Pockets and Dannon Yogurt Cups.

Honestly, she would have been better off putting it inside her bra or down her pants.  After all, I’d willing to bet that, since Alaric “died,” no one has ventured inside there at all.  Also, not to nitpick (just kidding, I’m totally nitpicking), but did you see how little blood she had left in there?  I’ve had shots of tequila with more total fluid ounces than her entire stash!

Where did this woman go to medical school that she thinks this is an appropriate amount of blood to take from someone? Munchkinland?

Crazy Nanny Carrie’s apparent incompetence aside, by the time Nouveau Ric reaches Elena’s hospital bedside she’s . . . wait for it . . . already long gone.  SURPRISE!

“Nothing wrong with free will!”

Back at the Gilbert house, Caroline, Tyler, Jeremy and Matt are all babysitting Elena.  Caroline offers the recently concussed and drained of blood tea and vodka to help her sleep.  (Mix in some soda, a little triple sec, and a bit of that tequila she had last night, and she could have a Long Island Iced Tea.  It’s just what the doctor ordered!)

“All the best tea comes from Long Island.” 

Wait . . . correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t you NOT supposed to sleep when you get a severe brain hemorrhage concussion?  I swear I remember reading that somewhere.  Man, Crazy Nanny Carrie really is the worst doctor ever!

But hey, it isn’t TVD, if Elena isn’t constantly in danger right?  So, sleep again, Elena does.  When she awakens, Caroline and Tyler have left on an emergency call (more on that later), leaving Matt as the soul Mr. Mom of Casa Gilbert. (Jeremy, the “breadwinner” is out getting food.)

With her flashback / dream still fresh in her mind, Elena chooses now to apologize to Matt for sort of/ kind of leading him on when she was 15.  It does seem like a rather odd time for an apology.  And Matt quickly conjectures that this whole conversation really has less to do with Elena’s and Matt’s relationship, than it does with Elena’s and her vampire entourage.

Now, not to bash Elena or anything, but am I the only one who found Elena’s apology a little insulting from Matt’s perspective?  I mean, sure, she used some “nice” words to say it.  But when it came right down to it, wasn’t Elena really telling her ex this:  “I’m sorry I continued to suck face with you, even though you, quite honestly, bored me to tears.  And I had no romantic feelings for you whatsoever.  Now would you mind helping me choose between the two men I REALLY love?”

“You’re right, Recapper!  WTF!  Now I’m pissed.” 

My own interpretations of the situation aside, Matt seemed to take the whole thing quite well . . . acting all “understanding and supportive,” through the whole monologue, until Stefan came bounding through the door, in true “speak of the devil,” fashion.  (Then again, Matt did purposefully drug Elena later in the episode.  So, maybe  just maybe, he wasn’t quite as OK with all this rejection, as he pretended to be . . .)

It looks like Matt might have accidentally drugged himself too . . . 

Meanwhile, over at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, Nouveau Ric (for whom this is probably his first time at the bar sober) promptly corners Jeremy.  He then makes a surprisingly convincing case for the latter turning over Klaus’ body, and getting Elena out of dodge for a “Vampire Free Life.”

Super Hero Hair on Super Villain Head

Vampire the Vampire Slayer even volunteers to allow Bonnie to desiccate his body, so that Elena can live out her natural life, and he will no longer be a threat to anyone (Then again, all the IMPORTANT vampires . . . except Elijah and Rebekah . . . will pretty much be dead anyway, so an un-desiccated Nouveau Ric would just be bored).  Jeremy, who’s been becoming more than a bit anti-vampite himself lately,  seems more than a bit receptive to Nouveau Ric’s suggestion.

“You just look so different, Vampire Ric.   Have you gone tanning recently?”

But would he be willing to betray his sister and everyone she loves, in order to accomplish it?  We’ll know soon enough . . .

Back at the Gilbert House, an old familiar friend has stopped by to catch up.  It’s ELIJAH!  And dare I say, he’s looking fabulous . . .

Elijah has come to . . . wait for it . . . make a deal, with the Scooby Gang, in return for Klaus’ body.  Wait a second.  I think I heard this joke before.  And I didn’t particularly like the punchline.

Don’t get me wrong, I love you, Elijah.  You will always be my favorite Original.  But let’s be honest with ourselves.  Your “deals” always SUCK ASS!

“Lunch?”

Damon, who’s been conveniently dialed into the meeting on speaker phone seems to agree with me . . .

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That said, you’ve got to admit that, just like Nouveau Ric, Elijah drives a hard bargain. (Then again, maybe it’s just the hypnotic sound of his super sexy voice that makes me want to just mindless agree with everything he says.)

Elijah offers total and complete protection from ALL the Originals for the rest of Elena’s natural life, and the lives of her children and grandchildren.  (In hindsight, all this talk about Elena’s “natural life” and her “having babies,” were like neon flashing lights over her head that just SCREAMING Soon-To-Be-Vampire.)  Only when Grandkiddy Elena finally croaked would Elijah finally reawaken Klaus.   “You have my word,” he said . . . again.

(Note: If there was ever an Elijah Talking Doll, one of the phrases it would always say, when you pulled the string on it’s back, would be “You have my word,” the others would be, “There is honor in revenge,” “You cannot beat me,” and, my personal favorite, “Hello Elenaaaah.”)

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“It’s a shame you and I never hooked up.  We would have the most polite and sophisticated sex ever.”

Elijah may be winning over his fanbase, but a good percentage of the Scooby Gang is still not down with his plan.  Damon wonders out loud, whether inhaling all the pain fumes last week gave Elena brain damage.  I’ve wondered this about Elena a few times myself.  And Matt, who’s been pretty quiet up until this point, suddenly looks like his eyes are about to pop out of his head, and roll across the kitchen floor, like in those old Bugs Bunny cartoons, when the pretty girl bunny walks by.  “WHY SHOULD SHE TRUST YOU?” He yelps.

“Duuuuuuude . . .” 

Why indeed .  . .

But Elena’s question for Elijah goes a bit deeper than that.  “Why do you want his body, so badly?” She wonders.

“He’s my brother.  We remain together,” Elijah replies matter-of-factly.

Oh, that was smooth, Elijah! You know full well that this crowd can’t turn down a statement of “brotherly love.”

Elena’s heart immediately turns to mush.  She’s blinking a lot, and making googly eyes at her brother.  Before the words, “You have a deal,” come out of Elena’s mouth, we already know that Team Original has won . . . this round, anyway . . .

Later, Jeremy gripes to Stefan about the ridiculousness of Elena’s decision.  Once again, Stefan clearly disagrees with a choice that Elena has made (Heck, everyone in the gang seems to disagree with it, except her and Elijah.). And once again, he says nothing.  Wussy pants  “Nothing wrong with free will,” Stefan explains sagely.  “You’d understand that if you ever had it taken away from you.”

“Anyone have a bib I could borrow . . . or a neck?” 

But Stefan’s been this way, since long before Klaus compelled him to turn on his emotions.  He always seems to blindly go along with Elena’s half-cocked plans, so as to seem agreeable, and not to start a fight with her.  It’s a fundamental difference we’ve seen between Damon and Stefan, one that the two of them discussed briefly back in “The Last Dance” episode,  and will discuss again before the episode is over.

In fact, Stefan willingness to ALWAYS go along with Elena’s wishes literally costs her her life at the end of the episode . . .

I don’t know.  I feel like there has to be a happy medium in relationships between strong arming and bullying your beloved, just because you can, and rolling over and playing dead, every time your better half makes a controversial decision.

To me, the best couples are the ones that fight and duke it out about the things that matter to them most . . . trying to get the other person to see their way, for better or worse.  .

Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.  But not getting your way, is not the same thing as not having free will.  Not by a longshot . . .

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OK, now that I’m off my soapbox, it’s time for some FORWOOD!

“Just you . . . and maybe a curling iron.”

Last week, Nouveau Ric outed Mayor Lockwood and Sheriff Lizard Forbes for harboring vampire /hybrid kids.  The heads of the Vampire Killing Council (that never, ever kills any vampires) both breastfed future vampires!  Oooh!  Que Escandalo!  This is some seriously juicy stuff . . . like the Mystic Falls equivalent of a sex tape leaked on YouTube.

“Wait until they find out about our demon baby lovechild . . .”

I found it kind of funny and ironic, how the Mayor and the Sheriff encouraged, even INSISTED that their barely legal children run off together to lord knows where, for a life of nonstop sex, and blood drinking.  I mean, of course, they didn’t want their kids pitchforked by the members of their own town.  But the fact that neither parent even thought to offer to come WITH their kids, was kind of strange, and  a little shocking to me.

“We promise to call you from the road . . . after we’ve robbed a few banks for shopping money.” 

And of course, the newly reunited Forwood pair was just ecstatic about the concept of running away together.  In fact, they barely managed to refrain from ripping one another’s clothes off, while their respective moms were still in the room!

You know, I teased Caroline and Tyler a lot this season, about having a sort of puppy-in-heat-leg-humping relationship . . . lots of hot sex and very little talking, apart from the occasional grunt and growl.

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But these past few episodes, have included a lot of really fun relationship moments for these two!  In short, these horny puppies are growing up . . . though, arguably, in that last scene between them . . . well . . . I’m getting ahead of myself.

Anywhoo, once apart from their parents, Tyler and Caroline begin to chart out their future as Bonnie Vampire and Clyde Hybrid.  They discuss what they need to pack . . . a few clothes and a curling iron.  (Hey, at least won’t need condoms!)  “Let me protect you,” Tyler says, solemnly, grasping his lover by the shoulders.

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But Caroline can’t leave town yet, because she has to . . . wait for it . . . SAVE ELENA.

The minute Tyler and Caroline made a pact to meet one another in two hours,  I knew things were about to go south.  I mean, come on you too, don’t you watch TV?  Don’t you know that by planning to meet at some indiscriminate future time, you are pretty much GUARANTEEING that one of you won’t make it?  I mean, let’s face it “I’ll see you in two hours,” is the romantic drama movie equivalent of horror movie classic lines like: “I’ll be right back.”  or “Let’s split up,” or “Come drunk girl with big boobs, let’s go out into the woods and have sex.  It will be FINE!”

Speaking of Best Laid Plans . . .

“You know what else was her idea?  Everything bad EVER!”

Jeremy and Matt, the sole representatives of Team Human, have a little pow wow on the Gilbert Porch.

They discuss the possibility of “going rogue,” and ratting out where Team Scooby buried Klaus.  Shortly thereafter, we see what we THINK is the result of that pow wow, when Jeremy calls Alaric with a location.  “You are doing the right thing for your sister,” Nouveau Ric says, in a voice that’s oddly paternal for a soulless sociopath.

Jeremy agrees, as he hangs up the phone.  Oooh . . . Jer Bear!  Bad Boy!  Judas of the Vampires!

But wait!  The camera just panned back, the whole Scoooby Gang is there.  It was all a trap!  You got me, TVD!  My faith in Team Human has been restored . . . for now, anyway.

Meanwhile, Damon and Bonnie, who have been surprisingly chummy, ever since she gave  the vampire brain freeze, and fed herself to her history teacher, are in a storage locker retrieving Klaus, toasted body, so that they can turn it over to Team Original, as part of the Great Vampire Truce of 2012. Damon gripes to Bonnie about how the rest of the gang is letting this happen AGAIN . . .

 Hey look!  It’s Klaus’ new apartment.  I wonder if he’s going to invite me in?”

“It’s Elena’s call,” Bonnie says diplomatically.

“You know what else is her call?   Everything BAD ever,” Damon quips.

Truer words have never been spoken.

“Yay . . . wait .  . . that was an insult, right?” 

Creepiness ensues, when they open Klaus’ coffin, and his eyes pop open.  Wasn’t expecting that.  All chained up, and pale, Klaus suddenly sort of looks like whatever vampire Johnny Depp is playing in that new movie Dark Shadows.  It’s not a good look for him.

Someone should really consider bringing this coffin to the tanning salon where Nouveau Ric’s been going . . . 

There’s this really weird moment that follows, once Bonnie is left alone with Klaus’ coffin.  She starts talking to him about how he’s very likely the source of the bloodline of all of her vampire friends . . . her mother’s blooline.   “I can’t kill you,” she says morosely.

Later on in the episode, we will learn just how far Bonnie will go to stay true to that statement . . .

“That’s the difference between you and me.”  Oh, and also, I’M AWESOME!

Back at the house, Stefan and Elena are having a moment.  He’s promising to come back to her.  She’s contemplating telling him about her Big Boyfriend Choice.  (Yeah . . . uh . . . Elena, this isn’t really the time for that.  We’ve still got Nouveau Ric problems.)  And yet, for a second, it seems like Elena might be prepping to kick Stefan to the curb.  My Delena heart is beating faster.  I’m excited.

Then Stefan rushes back to her room, and starts kissing Elena.  It’s probably one of the more impulsively passionate things we’ve seen the younger Salvatore brother do all season.  But it hasn’t changed my mind about who Elena should choose, of course.

“Tastes like chicken.” 

Speaking of Damon, he’s waiting outside to have yet another brotherly chat with Stefan.  As I mentioned, this conversation is a kinder gentler echo of the one they had back in “The Last Dance.”  Damon notes that he will always do whatever it takes to keep Elena alive, even if he has to drag her kicking and screaming to her salvation, and even if it makes her hate him.  Stefan . . . well . . . we all know how Stefan feels about this.  “That’s the difference between you and me,” remarks Damon thoughtfully.

That’s not the only difference, Damon . . .

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But it is a BIG difference, one who’s specter promises to haunt Season 4 in a BIG WAY . . .

Beef-jerkified Original

Now, we are back at Save-a-Vampire Storage Center.  Damon is waiting for Rebekah, so that he can hand over Klaus’ crunchy baked tortilla-like torso.  Unfortunately, someone else has crashed their party.  It’s Nouveau Ric!  He breaks Damon’s neck . . . again. Seriously, how many times has this poor guy had his head popped out of it’s socket, this season.  He must be practically a Pez dispenser by now . . .

Eventually Beks does find a now re-necked Damon.  But Nouveau Ric is still on the prowl.  So, Damon does that sexy kidnapper thing, where he wraps his arms around her, and covers her mouth to keep her save.  The fact that I always find this kind of behavior hot, disturbs me.  But hey, at least this time, it’s for a good cause . . .

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Last week, we saw Damon save Bonnie,  despite the fact that she’s often such a crazy b*atch, where he is concerned.  This week, we see him do the same thing for Beks.  It’s noteworthy, especially considering, how, at this point, Damon is pretty sure that he comes from Klaus’ bloodline, which would give him no personal motive for saving Rebekah.  It’s just the nice, Southern Gentleman thing to do . . .

But let’s not get too comfortable, folks.  Because Nouveau Ric has just found Klaus’ coffin.  And he wastes no time, popping it open, and shoving that Big Bad Dagger right in his heart.  It’s kind of a b*tch move, I’m not going to lie.  I mean, if stabbing someone in the back, so they can’t see you coming is cowardly, stabbing them when they are covered in 100 pounds of chain metal is Wuss Incarnate.

Hey look!  It’s a TUMS Antacid commercial.  Product placement anyone?

Still, the shock of seeing Klaus, Big Bad for Two Seasons Now, erupt into flames, without a single villain monologue, or fist-shaking declaration of revenge was probably the most shocking moment of the Season.  Rebekah is inconsolate.  It’s heart-wrenching to watch her like this.  Her history with her brother is complicated.  But, through it all, there was never any question that she loved him deeply.

Damon’s pretty depressed too.  I mean, he saw what happened to Sage, after Finn died.  It certainly didn’t look like a party.  Now, suddenly, he’s gone from the Man with the Plan to Undead Man Walking.

Then Nouveau Ric closes the coffin, without waiting to see if Klaus actually finishes burning.  Nouveau Ric is a MORON . . .  But we like morons on this show.  They keep our heroes alive.

“Sorry . . . I over honeyed.”

Back at the Gilbert house, Elena is still having her extended Golden Girls mini episode with Matt.  Hey Matt, newsflash, the rest of your friends are out fighting vampires, while your home putting too much honey in Elena’s tea.  Don’t look, now. But I think you might have just sprouted a va-jay-jay.

“And afterward, we can paint our toenails, put on mud masks, and sing Katy Perry songs into our hairbrushes!” 

In hindsight, the fact that Elena’s tea tasted crappy was meant to be “foreshadowing.”  But at the time, I was just thinking.

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“This tastes like our relationship.”

What guy puts honey in their tea, in the first place?

Matt, ever the glutton for punishment, wants to know what Elena loves so much about the Salvatores.  We’ve heard this one before.  Stefan makes her feel safe when he’s not threatening to bite her neck,or drive her off the Wickory Bridge.  She met him at a time when she needed him.  She sees their love as something “true and constant.”

Damon, on the other hand, gets under her skin.  When she’s with him, he consumes her.

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Which kind of love would YOU choose?

“You have a beautiful future ahead of you. Me?  Not so much . . .

It’s angst time, on TVD.  There’s lots of bad news to be spread, and uncomfortable conversations to be had.  Damon calls Stefan with the bad news.  It’s soulful crying all around.  Though both men are a bit confused as to why they aren’t bleeding from the nose or coughing like Rebekah was.  They know that one of them has to break the news to Elena that everyone she ever loved, more or less, might very well croak, within the next hour.  Or WILL they?

Stefan gets the honors, “Say goodbye for me,” Damon says solemnly.

Meanwhile at La Casa de TV Recapper, there’s a whole lot of Ugly Crying, and snotty sobs going on . . .

Over in the Sex Cave, Caroline and “Tyler” reunite.  She’s bawling her eyes out.  “Klaus died,” she sobs.

And we all know what that means for Tyler . . . and possibly Caroline too.  But this isn’t the “Tyler,” we met back in Season 1 (in more ways than one!).  This Tyler isn’t immature, or selfish.  He’s not going to place blame, or break down.  He stays strong for Caroline’s sake.  “You’re going to be fine.”  “Tyler” reassures Caroline. “I’m a lost cause.  But you are strong.  You have a beautiful future ahead of you.”

OK, in hindsight, this was a rather loaded monologue for our Alpha Male.  I never really considered Tyler the kind of guy, who would ever use the word “beautiful,” to describe anything without tits.

In fact, this sounds a lot more like something ANOTHER one of Caroline’s suitors would say . . .

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But in the moment, I genuinely felt the chemistry, the passion, the love, loss and longing of the scene.  It seemed real to me.  So, I ignored the warning signs.  I suspect others did too.  And that Presumed Last Kiss .  . . WHEW! Smokin!  We’ll get back to that a bit later.

Then “Tyler” starts coughing, presumably starting to feel the “death” effects of Klaus’ demise.  But Caroline is just peachy, which undoubtedly causes fans to wonder if her bloodline might have begun with another Original, after all.  Ever the stalwart girlfriend, Caroline is determined to stay by “Tyler’s” side, until his death, just like she did during his first werewolf transformation, nearly a year ago . . .

But in the words of Schmidt from New Girl, Tyler “White Fangs” Caroline by wolfing out on her ass, so that she will leave.

He seems determined to die alone.  Or DOES he?

Meanwhile, Rebekah and Elijah share a quiet tearful embrace over the loss of the brother they’ve known and loved for over 1,000 years, despite his many flaws.  (But wait . . . where’s Kol?)

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After the initial cryfest though, Rebekah and Elijah get down to the brass tacks of Plot Explanation.  They both admit to not being the sires of Scary Mary.  Neither, for that matter is Kol.  So, Klaus is the source of the Salvatore Bloodline after all!  But then why did Tyler “die,” while Caroline and the others are still alive.  The plot thickens . . .

“Maybe, if I met you first.”

More flashbacks . . . Elena’s at a party.  She had a fight with Matt, because she doesn’t want to get married and have babies at age 15!  (See?  I told you he was a woman.)

Speaking of Matt, Elena wakes up in a car next to him . . . destination unknown.  “You drugged me with crappy ass tea,” she says incredulously.

“Is this what you have to resort to in order to get laid these days?” 

“I’m getting you out of Vampire Town, once and for all,” Matt explains, more or less.

Then, they both get the call . . . the Dead Friend call . . . Suddenly, this isn’t just your average kidnapping . . . it’s a mass funeral.  “We have to go back!” Elena proclaims.  (How very Dr. Jack from Lost of her.)

The question is back to WHO?  Damon is back at the Save-a-Vampire-or-Watch-Him-Burn storage site, and Stefan is back home.  Elena has to  . . . wait for it . . . CHOOSE BETWEEN THE BROTHERS.  She calls Damon, to tell him she won’t be seeing him, before he croaks . . . if he croaks.  Ouch!

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But Elena has a good excuse.  Back home she has three-soon-to-be-dead friends: Stefan, Caroline, and Tyler (four, if you count Bonnie’s mom . . . which nobody does).  There, she just has one, super hot vampire lover.

However, Damon isn’t letting her off the hook that easily.  He wants to know what her choice would be, if it wasn’t just a matter of numbers.  She tells him.  Over in La Casa de TV Recapper, shoes, pillows and soda cans are thrown at the television screen.  You’re not going to actually make me say it, are you?

“I love him Damon.  I never unfell for him,” Elena expains.  (Oh, come on!  Un-fell . . . now that’s just bad grammar!)

“I care about you, which is why I have to let you go.  Maybe, if it was you I met first,” she explains, as she hangs up the phone.

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Damon morosely looks up from his own cell phone, and sees Nouveau Ric.  It’s time for another installment of Vampire Fight Club . . .

But wait . . . first Matt has to find out from Elena (who found out from Caroline) that “Tyler” died.  He may be a Golden Girl, but Matt Donovan’s surprisingly attractive cry face broke my heart.  “This isn’t how our lives were supposed to be,” Matt complains.  I agree, Matt!  Elena was supposed to pick Damon.  And you were supposed to NOT DRIVE ELENA OVER THAT DAMN BRIDGE.

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Elsewhere in “Everything is going to Hell Land,” Rebekah unilaterally decides that Klaus’ death means the brokerage of peace between Team Original and Team Regular Average Joe Vampire is officially over.  She vows to avenge her brother’s death, by killing Elena.

“May I wash your windows for a $1.00?” 

But wait . . . check this one out!  A not-so-dead Tyler meets up with Bonnie.  It turns out, he’s not Tyler at all, he’s KlausiTyler, who was conveniently witchily inserted into Real Tyler’s body shortly before that whole “burning thing.”

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Yeah, so remember last week, when Tyler said this . . .

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That didn’t work out so well for him, did it?

I must say, this was pretty clever, as far as plot twists go . . . (not to mention, probably the most daring thing Plot Device Bonnie has done all season). The writers got to keep Klaus as the sire of the Salvatore Bloodline, without actually killing ANY of the main cast.  Also, the fact that we never saw Klaus’ body fully burn, leaves an opening for HIS return as well . . . the question is, who will “Klaus” be when that happens?

Also, this little bit of intrigue just made that seemingly run of the mill, angsty death scene between Caroline and Tyler SOOO MUCH more interesting . . . not to mention slightly creepy.  I mean, after all, what we just witnessed was the first time Klaus and Caroline kissed, and she didn’t even know it was happening!  (Plus, something tells me that Mr. Hornball-My-Character-Never-Gets-Laid-on-this-show Klausityler is going to take a heck of a lot more advantage of this situation, than just kissing Caroline in the coming episodes.)

“Suck on that, Elena!”

So, it’s a win for both Team Klaroline, and Team Forwood!  Speaking of a win for both teams . . .

“You want a love that consumes you.”

Nouveau Ric and Damon are kicking the crap out of one another, just like old times!

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 Damon takes a nap for a little bit, and wakes up in his very own flashback.  We find him lying in the middle of the road in Mystic Falls . . . a tactic we’ve seen him use many times in the past, to get chicks . . . and eat them. 

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He runs into Elena on the road, and, of course, mistakes her for Katherine.

It’s your classic Meet Cute, complete with flirty comments, and a whole lot of Damon’s trademark “Eye Thing.”  Not-Ponytail-Wearing-But-Still-Perky Elena looks like she wants to rip Damon’s clothes off, right there in the road.  So,  of course, the two start talking about Elena’s dreaded soon-to-be ex, and why he isn’t cutting the mustard . . . in the bedroom or otherwise.  “You want a love that consumes you . .  . passion, adventure, danger . . .” in short, everything she has with Damon now . . .

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Then the elder Salvatore Brother compels Elena to forget ever meeting him, promising her that she will get everything she desires, in the future.  And she does . . . well . . . once she gets through that whole, my parents are going to drown in about 10 minutes thing . . .

P.S. Elena met Damon first.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it SUCKAS!

“Glug, Glug, Gurgle, Glug . . . Cough, Cough, GASP!”

Back in real time, Rebekah is standing in the middle of the road, and Matt Donovan, Worst Driver Ever, swerves WAY TOO WIDE to miss hitting her, and sends the car he’s driving with Elena careening into the water below.  (Moron!  She’s a vampire!  Hit her with the friggin car!  It’s not like she’s actually going to die or anything!)

The scene then begins to intercut back and forth, between Stefan’s rescue of Elena, from the backseat of her parents drowning car, and Stefan’s rescue of Elena in present day.  Back then, as we’ve all heard, Elena’s mom died right away.  But Elena’s dad held her hand for one last goodbye.  We also know that Stefan tried to save Elena’s father first.  But he refused to be helped, until Elena was safe on dry land.

Sidenote: This kind of reminds me of that question jealous siblings always ask of their parents.  “If me and [insert sibling name] were both drowning, and you could only save one of us, who would it be.”

“I’d save you both,” the parent inevitably say.

Which we know is something no HUMAN would be able to actually do, if the situation occurred in real life.

HOWEVER, I would argue that Vampire Stefan, totally could have saved both Elena and her father back then . . . and now . . .

Stefan finds himself faced with another’s Sophie’s choice.  Now, Matt’s unconscious.  And it’s Elena who’s refusing to be rescued, until Matt is safe and sound.  Stefan ultimately follows her orders.  He’s her bitch after all.  Damon would’ve probably given her the middle finger under water, and then actually rescued them both .  . . just saying.

But Damon wasn’t there.  So, we have to watch Elena die . . . and we know, for sure, she croaked too, because over at Vampire Fight Club, Nouveau Ric croaks too.

Poor Damon!  Not only is losing his former best friend again, but he’s facing the loss of yet another lover . . . There’s a lot of heartbreak in this episode.

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And there’s about to be more.  Back at home, Jeremy gets a visit from Ric . . . not Nouveau Ric . . . the real one . . . complete with gelled up, Nice Guy hair, and a trademark Chunky Monkey smile.  Upon seeing him, Jeremy comes to the sad realization that his sister is gone.

Alaric promises to look out for Jeremy, so he’ll never be alone.

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It’s a sweet gesture, not to mention the writers clever, if short-handed way of redeeming a character they pretty much made mincemeat of, these past few episodes.  But still  . . . I don’t know . . . would you want a dad-type “looking out” for YOUR every move .  . . watching you sleep . . . and eat . . . go to the bathroom  . . . have sex?

I just totally killed that perfectly nice moment, for you, didn’t I?  Sorry, Alaric!  We’ll miss your well-meaning, but with inappropriate relationships with his students, goofy stalker, ass! 🙂

Back at the hospital, an inconsolable Damon is begging Crazy Nanny Carrie to tell him where Elena’s body can be found.

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It’s then that we find out, what many of us suspected, that Elena’s injuries, from MASSIVE BLOOD LOSS, PAINT FUME INHALATION, AND FACEPLANTING, were way worse than your run-of-the-mill concussion.  Her brain was bleeding (kind of makes Damon’s comments about Elena’s brain damage earlier offensive, doesn’t it), and she needed vampire blood to survive . . .

AKA . . . Elena died with vampire blood in her system . . . AKA the TVD writers just Breaking Dawned Elena Gilbert . . .

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But more importantly, now she’s going to remember all the wonderful things Damon did for her,  that he compelled her to forget.

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Game on Team Delena!  Godspeed Vampire Elena!  Until next season . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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