The season finale of “The Vampire Diaries” did not match the intensity of the penultimate episode’s sacrifice ritual. But it still packed a wallop. It was romantic and tragic just like “Gone With the Wind” — which was referenced throughout the episode. By the end, it was unclear which Salvatore brother was Rhett and which was Ashley. If Season 2 was the season of sacrifice, Season 3 will be the season of role reversals.
Damon (Ian Somerhalder) began the episode apologizing to Elena (Nina Dobrev) like a twelve-stepper making amends. She, understandably, was not ready to forgive him for forcing her to drink his blood so that she would become a vampire when Klaus (Joseph Morgan) killed her in the sacrifice ritual. Damon was so scared of dying a painful death from a werewolf bite that he attempted to commit suicide via sunbeam. Instead, Stefan (Paul Wesley) locked Damon up in the basement cell, determined to find a cure. Bonnie used her witch powers to speak to her ancestors and learned that Klaus knew how to cure Damon.
Stefan begged his mortal enemy for help. The solution turned out to be incredibly simple: drinking Klaus’s hybrid blood cures werewolf bites. However, Klaus, who would make a great lawyer, negotiated a very high price for his blood. Stefan had to agree to become his wing man, his partner in crime. He forced Stefan to drink multiple pints of human blood until he was totally strung out and willing to attack and drink from a living human. Stefan was cognizant that he had sacrificed his humanity to save his brother. Shall we call him Stefangelus?
Klaus also rid himself of his actual brother, stabbing Elijah (Daniel Gillies) with the magic, original-killing dagger, and storing his casket in a warehouse along with the coffins of the rest of his family. Elijah should have specified that he wanted to be alive when he had his family reunion.
Damon escaped from his cell and wandered around the GWTW screening hallucinating that Elena was Katherine and he was still human. He tried to bite her, then had the epiphany that he was wrong to blame Stefan for his fate. He chose to love Katherine. Elena took him home, and got in bed with him — fully clothed. She told him she forgave him, and even gave him a friendly kiss. Katherine arrived with Klaus’s blood in the nick of time. After Damon drank the magic hybrid elixir, Katherine told Elena that it was okay to love both men, she did. Damon/Elena shippers, it looks like it is going to happen.
The biggest shock of the episode came when Liz (Marguerite MacIntyre), feeling the pressure from the mayor to stop the vampire menace, attempted to shoot Damon and hit Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) instead. His ring offered no protection since Liz is human. It was up to Bonnie to use her powers to raise him from the dead. He seemed totally fine, until he saw his dead girlfriends Vicki (Kayla Ewell) and Anna (Malese Jow) standing in his living room. Holy “Sixth Sense,” Jeremy has powers!
For those of you playing a “Vampire Diaries” drinking game, there were multiple reasons to chug.
Gratuitous Male Nudity: When Klaus wakes up in the woods, after spending two days as a wolf, there’s a lingering shirtless shot of the vampire-wolf hybrid. He gives both Salvatore men a run for their money. Perhaps in season three we will get an explanation for why Mystic Falls’ werewolves lack body hair when it’s not the full moon.
Costume Party: An outdoor screening of “Gone With the Wind” features numerous extras dressed like Scarlet O’Hara in giant hoop skirts. Given that the Civil War was a time of mass vampire killings and church burnings in Mystic Falls, the town’s Antebellum nostalgia is a little odd. Caroline (Candice Accola) is the character who compares herself to Scarlett, though Elena is woman who is in love with the good boy but can’t fight her attraction to the bad boy.We also see Damon and Katherine in 1860s attire via Damon’s hallucinations.
Major Characters Who Are M.I.A.: Neither Tyler (Michael Trevino) and Matt (Zach Roerig) appeared in the finale. There is plenty of obvious story for werewolf and mayor’s son Tyler. The future of Matt, who decided he wanted a normal life instead of romance with a vampire in the prior episode, may be less certain. Bianca Lawson, who plays Emily, was listed in the opening credits, but did not appear. Apparently her scenes ended up on the cutting room floor.
Back From the Dead: Damon, who was cured from his werewolf bite via Klaus’s blood. Jeremy, who was killed from actual, real death via Bonnie’s witchcraft. Vicki and Anna, who are back as ghosts who can be seen by Jeremy.
Body Count: Elijah, though it has been established that once the dagger is removed he can be revived.
Cringe Inducing Product Placement: After Jeremy dies he uses bing to search for “Back from the Dead.” For the record, this query’s top match is a Spinal Tap album, though this episode was the top news item. Maybe Jeremy should have googled.