It’s been teased. It’s been hyped. I was prepared. Unfortunately, I was left somewhat unfulfilled. Let’s wade through the ridiculousness together, one last time. The external knowledge that Nina wouldn’t be back to reprise her role as exhibited on instagram all week inspired more heartache than the actual depiction of goodbyes on the show! And the show has the added benefit of music overlaying actions, which, in my experience, assaults one’s senses even more. So, the artfully presented episode should have been more depressing than the instagram, right? Idk. Tough call. Look at all these pics! Suh cyute. Anyways. Enough of the instagram journey. Amid the frequently scattered-feeling and bizarre (even for TVD) episode, there were a few moments that got me, but in a show that—for me—has consistently (surprisingly) managed to make me cry, I was left feeling robbed of a true emotional breakdown. Where was the crisis of faith?! Where was the sobbing? Sure, there were red eyes and artful tears, but I wanted a good body-wrenching sob. It better happen next season. Perhaps the grief is taking awhile to set in. But, truly, when did these guys become so mature and accepting of goodbyes? Before I expound on Elena’s exit, let me quickly recap the other apparent deaths that deserve our attention (and the characters’ attention) and will hopefully be at least addressed (or proven to be false alarms) next season. Jo and her unborn twins are dead. That was rough. Poor Alaric :/ I think a funeral for her would have been waaaaaay more depressing than Elena’s goodbyes. It was so dramatic! And she was pregnant!!! Lordy. What a way to go?! Pregnant woman murdered by twin brother while standing up to be married! Then Kai kills himself… but wait— —he comes back as a vampire with magical power. There’s also Salvatore Mama Drama… and, look, I know I am supposed to care because I’m sure they’re setting up big stuff for the next season, but, I’m just not invested yet. Also, there was a super effing weird moment where Alaric just like carried her out of the wedding and put her in the back of his SUV. It was very serial killer of him. Yes, he was distraught, but like, it was weird to see him lay her out in the back of his car. I just don’t think that’s where you should put someone you loved, even if they are dead. You should put the body in the backseat, at least!!! Or simply carry her out to a patch of earth with your manly strength and lay her to rest in Mother Nature’s womb. Just. Not. The. Trunk. Never the trunk! Okay, lesson learned. And Alaric almost committed suicide because he regretted
putting her in the trunk that his love and unborn children were dead. But he didn’t! Yay! Who else died? All of the coven, due to Kai killing himself! Including Liv… Because Tyler killed her! Ty is about to die, too, apparently. So, she’s all, kill me so you can turn into a werewolf! Even though she was already going to die… it was still effing creepy. First of all, Tyler and Liv suffered from an under-developed story, an unconvincing relationship, and rather annoying personalities. So they had a lot of things working against them. But then they professed their undying/dying love for one another (sure) and she asked him (she didn’t even have to beg) to simply speed up the process and kill her to save himself so that he would turn and survive. He did not need enough convincing. Girlfran, if your man agrees to suffocate you with his bare hands and kill you—red flag!
Yes, Liv presented him with a logical argument and asked him maybe, like, twice, but still. Anyways, like the gentleman he is, he complies. So, Liv is dead, too. With Jo. And the rest of the coven that no one cares about. Then we have Kai.
Again, he tried to steal the show. He does crazy sooo good! Every time he speaks it’s with a wink to the audience about his sociopath tendencies all wrapped up in comedic abilities. I love all of his one-liners. They are so absurd and intentionally villainous. He exchanges barbs with his dad—”Here’s to being different, dad”. After he comes back as a vampire (and his coven is dying), he also expresses insincere sorrow for Alaric and Jo. But.. hey… remember that psycho boyfriend of Liv, who just turned into a werewolf?? << insert bad doggy joke >> Luckily, as a werewolf, he can inflict a deadly-to-vampires bite on Kai! Surprise, surprise, Kai! Kai goes to the hospital to speak with Damon (like Damon would help him?) about the werewolf bite. Despite the weirdness of this decision, it presents a nice opportunity to explain to Damon that, somehow, and for some reason, he has linked Elena’s coma to Bonnie’s life. I’m sorry, what? How? Why? This makes zero sense. I thought this was super random, but it was the plot device the writers chose to allow Elena to exit the show (stays in a coma) and yet not die/move/etc. One of the conversations between Stefan and Caroline was pretty perfect, though. He explained that, yes, he loved Elena. She was his soul mate in a way. Primarily, he has realized, her role in his life was to reconnect Stefan and Damon. This is why he’ll always love her. Her (Elena’s) faith in Damon helped Damon and brought Stefan and Damon back together as brothers. I thought this was a satisfactory way to conclude the Salvatore-Brothers-and-Elena love triangle and remove one of the last barriers to Stefan’s and Caroline’s burgeoning love story . After Kai attacks Bonnie, Damon arrives on the scene. Everyone (Kai included) thinks that Damon is about to let Bonnie die so that Elena will come out of the coma (I mean, given their new friendship, it was doubtful; but, then again, the number of people Damon has killed for or because of Elena… wellllllll, it could have gone either way.) Kai is so bummed by this apparent outcome! He wanted this to be a unique form of psychological torture to everyone as they agonized over what to do, etc. As he is digesting this turn of events, BOOM, Damon beheads him… with his hand. I think, but don’t quote me on this, he might be true dead. But, as we all know, the rules of life and death are less than clear in this world. I am fairly certain a clean beheading is a safe way to ensure the person does not return to the land of the living, but who knows with Kai?! I for one hope he returns. So Damon saves the day and walks out with Bonnie like NBD. Throughout all of this episode, however, there are scenes in which Elena is speaking with her friends and seems to be saying goodbye. The first one appears only four minutes into the episode, which, again, made the entire episode hard to follow. These happen throughout, but they don’t really come together until the end when they place Elena’s-coma-body in a casket and say goodbye to her. (Side note: if they can do this, why don’t they just keep her around and talk to her in her subconscious whenever they want??)
These shared subconscious farewell vignettes were all chosen or “set” by Elena, featuring some sort of shared memory—she met Matt on the bridge where their truck went off the edge and she died and became a vampire so that Matt would be saved. Plus, she envisioned Matt as a sheriff. Matt makes sense as the new Carol Forbes (though with a less-developed sense of humor). She bonded with Alaric in a throwback scene when he was helping her train as a weak human with cute pink boxing gloves. She had a random and weird interaction with Tyler in which she is helping him chain himself up in a basement or something. It’s weird.
I think one of my favorite goodbye vignettes was between Elena and Bonnie where Bonnie performed Elena’s favorite parlor trick floating feathers. I’d probably think it was fun, too. Though, I think floating flower petals would be even better. I’m still undecided on whether these vignettes were too on the mark or nicely throwback.
In addition, I just wasn’t feeling the intense “blur” technique used to designate these little experiences. We get it. This is not reality. You don’t need to blur everything!
It frequently made Elena’s face look unlike herself, too. Like poorly-retouched senior photos.
I felt somewhat emotional by the time Stefan and Elena had their final goodbye, especially thinking back on their entire story. These scenes made me think back to when they were such babies—first meeting and bonding over leather and diaries.
And, surprise guest, look who shows up?! Lil Gilbert for a cameo!! Excellent timing, my dear. They share a subconscious sibling bonding moment during which Jer continues to lack real emotion or facial expressions.
And we have an awkward, stilted, formal dance between Elena and Damon, which is apparently how they want to spend their last minutes.
Okay, I get it, it’s another reenactment of their dance at Miss Mystic Falls. Memories, la-di-da. I think they had other memories even better.
Then, we get very subtle clues that time has passed (seasons!).
Then, boom. This is the new Mystic Falls! I’m assuming it’s not all because Elena is gone… because, I’m sorry, she’s not that critical to their fragile ecosystem. So ridiculous. I actually kind of loved it because it really went there with the stereotypical city-under-siege vibe. I hope they add a sort of magical-apocalypse plot point next season. Maybe they’re getting on the zombie train?! I don’t know. But it was so absurd that I had to laugh and feel somewhat excited to see what the writers try to get us to buy next. So, the only two characters we see are Sheriff Matt and then Damon standing on the clock tower looking down over the town. Did he contribute to this mayhem in his grief? Is he here to help?
So, friends. This season may have come to a close, and this post has come to an end, but the discussion lives on! I honestly haven’t even begun to dissect Elena’s exit. I couldn’t do it all in one post. So, this shall be the basic recap. And I’m almost done with a more in-depth look at how Elena’s goodbye fits with the other six seasons of TVD.
I know you’re excited.