WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS!
“Life takes us to unexpected places… love brings us home.”
– Unknown Author
The Season 5 finale of The Vampire Diaries finds Mystic Falls taken over by Marcos and the Travelers. Bonnie races against time to prevent the Other Side from imploding. Damon’s explosive plan to rid the town of Travelers results in both triumph and tragedy.
As the episode opens, a dead Stefan (Paul Wesley) is lying on a couch in the Salvatore home with Caroline (Candice Accola) crying beside him. Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Elena (Nina Dobrev) run into the room and are shocked by what they see. Caroline tells them she brought him there because she couldn’t leave Stefan outside and asks repeatedly if Bonnie has a plan to bring him back from the Other Side. Damon and Elena don’t answer her. Damon mumbles about getting him back and then suggests they get Stefan away from prying eyes, and covers him up in a blanket.
Stefan, is watching them from the Other Side, looking concerned. All of a sudden, the wind that takes people into oblivion, starts up and tries to drag Stefan away, but he tries to hang on to anything he can grab. As he clings to a wall post, a female hand grabs his. It’s Lexi (Arielle Kebbel) and she pulls him off the post and to safety. She tells Stefan now that she’s saved him from metaphorical darkness and actual darkness, he now owes her a beer (Ghosts drink?).
Meanwhile, back at the Salvatore house, Damon is breaking everything he can lay his hands on while Bonnie (Kat Graham) asks him to stop. Damon replies that she told him she had a plan, that she had a Traveler to do the spell. Bonnie tells him she did, but like everyone on the Other Side, the Traveler was sucked into oblivion. Damon tells her to go find another one (Oh, like they’re just hanging out waiting for the opportunity, right?). She replies that they need a dozen Travelers willing to sacrifice themselves to overwhelm her and she’ll doubt they would do that for a bunch of supernatural strangers. Damon tells her she needs motivation as he sticks a sharp looking instrument at her neck. He reminders her that she will die too and that Stefan is over there. She acknowledges she knows that. She says she knows that and does he think she wants to die? He throws away the sharp pointer and reminders her that Alaric and her Grams are on the Other Side too. Someone coughs and Bonnie tells Damon that Enzo (Michael Malarkey) is there. Enzo tells her he’s at the top of the search and rescue list (Seriously doubt that!). Damon asks Enzo how it feels to lose his only hope of coming back alive after letting the Traveler slip through his fingers. Enzo (Or Butterfingers, as Damon calls him) says he has found a Traveler and a plan; he needs a witch to do the spell and asks Bonnie if she has one in her pocket.
Driving out of Mystic Falls is Liv (Penelope Mitchell) and her slow-on-the-gas-pedal brother Luke (Chris Brochu). Luke is convinced that Elena and Stefan whom they tried to kill, are not following them since Marcos stripped the town of its magic. Liv begs to differ as they see Elena step in front of their truck. They brake and see that Caroline is behind the truck. Liv notes that they are using their own tricks against them, and gets out of the truck. Liv asks Elena is she really wants to start up again, to which Elena replies that there’s no point since Stefan is dead. Liv says she’s sorry but Elena tells her she is going to help them bring him back. Liv says that will restart the Travelers’ spell and then her and the others will be dead. Elena says they have to kill the Travelers to bring back Stefan. Luke tells them they can’t risk it. Caroline breaks Luke’s neck, killing him. She tells Liv that he’s officially on the Other Side now, so can she risk it now? (Ohhh she’s getting to be one tough vamp!).
Back at Mystic Falls, the town sign is being moved and the residents are leaving. Sheriff Liz Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) drives up and is greeted by Marcos (Raffi Barsoumian). She tells him it took her all night to evacuate around the town square. He says the gas leak story was clever and thanks her for her cooperation. She says it won’t keep the residents away forever. Marcos says they’ll think of something. Forbes ask why the sign is being moved. Marcos explains that since their plan to stop magic everywhere “hit a snag” (A dead doppleganger more like), they’re moving the sign back to where the spell begins since Mystic Falls is now their home. Forbes reminds him this is a town full of vampires to which Marcos says it would be unwise for Damon or her daughter to come save the day and demonstrates why. Out of a near-by parked van, two Travelers drag Tyler (Michael Trevino) or better known as Mr. Identity Crises. Forbes thinks it is Tyler, but Marcos tells her it’s Julian, a Traveler traitor (say that fast 3 times) who killed a doppelganger and stopped the spell (Forbes looks at him like, huh? what?). He calls Tyler a big tough vampire hybrid captured with a bit of vervain and wolf’s bane. Tyler confronts Marcos saying he doesn’t buy into what he’s doing. Marcos tells Forbes that the spell the Travelers cast over Mystic Falls eliminates spirit magic, and the Travelers will have access to the purest magic. Tyler, however, will have everything stripped of everything the witches did to him (Uh-oh, this isn’t going to be pretty). He says without the vampirism and hybridism, Tyler will be just a boy with a werewolf gene…with a broken neck. Tyler is dragged kicking and screaming to a spot on the other side of the Mystic Falls signage. As a shocked Forbes looks on, Tyler’s horrific transformation takes place and he drops dead.
Luke appears to Bonnie and makes his way through her to the Other Side. Enzo is in the room and tells her the list of those to bring back is getting uncomfortably long. Bonnie says it would be cruel if they used Liz for the spell and didn’t bring her brother back. Just then, Tyler’s voice calls out to Bonnie. A shocked Bonnie asks if he’s really Tyler and he says yes and asks how he got there. She tells him he’s dead and that Caroline was right; dying eliminated his passenger (Julian). Tyler is surprised she says he’s dead. She says to trust her, that she can bring him back. Enzo (the Grumpy Ghost) mumbles “and the list keeps growing” as Tyler looks at him confused (Like what’s going on and who is Mr. Happy over there). Tyler asks if he has a choice, to which Bonnie holds out her hand. He takes it and passes over.
Meanwhile, somewhere dark and in a classroom like setting, Damon, Matt (Zack Roerig) and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) figure out on the city map, where the magic border is. Jeremy tells Damon where his hunter instinct ends (not his biceps or brains, per Damon) when he walked around Mystic Falls. Damon determines that the cemetery is outside the magic perimeter and a couple of unpopulated areas. He’s interrupted by Caroline on speaker (his cell phone is next to the map) saying they have to see the map. Matt sends it to her and Elena. Back at Liv’s truck, Liv is tending to her brother’s body in the truck. Elena tells Damon that she and Caroline need to be there. He replies no, they need to keep an eye on Liv (Who he affectionately calls Crazy Locks). Matt then pulls out a map of the underground area of the town and Damon points out a large gas pipe that runs under the full length of Mystic Falls. He says this makes Forbes’ story about a gas leak believable for the residents. If it did leak, it could be deadly as in explosion. Matt argues that they can’t blow up the town with Elena agreeing (from her cell phone). She says they only need to get the Travelers all to one spot and Caroline asks how. Damon says her mother will lure them inside somewhere and at 7 pm, Jeremy and Matt will turn on the gas. After 10 minutes before anyone notices, the gas will explode, the resurrection spell will begin and loved ones will return. Everyone agrees to the plan.
Elsewhere, ghost Lexi takes ghost Stefan into Mystic Grill looking for a history teacher turned vampire. Stefan questions why she’s looking for someone she barely knows. She says he’s cute and so is his name – Alaric. She comments on the potato skins sitting on the bar as the food she has to look forward to when she comes back. She asks him why he never made it up to Portland, and he explains about Silas and being locked in an underwater safe for three months. He asks her to say what’s on her mind. Lexi is surprised that he doesn’t see it with Caroline. He asks her what it is he doesn’t see (Men! Oblivious when a woman is interested!). Just then, Sherriff Forbes walks in with Marcos. He tells her they won’t tolerate her rules. She tells him the Travelers could gather at the Grill and there’d be an open bar Stefan tells Lexi she’s trying to gather the Travelers; they (Damon and cohorts) are planning something.
Meanwhile, Jeremy is on the phone with Bonnie saying he should go with her. Bonnie (with Enzo in tow) tells him that if she steps into Mystic Falls, it’s good-bye magic and her. She explains to him what an anchor’s role is. She tells him how it will work once all the Travelers are dead and Liv does the spell. The anchor (she) will be a gateway that works both ways and everyone from the Other Side will be able to come back through. He asks what will happen to her; she says she will no longer be the anchor and she’ll be fine (Oh such a good liar, girl!). After she hangs up, Enzo asks her what her plan is; she tells him she knows what her role is and his sucks at the spell and she should be on the road. As she turns around, a voice says, “I’m late, aren’t I?” and goes on to explain being entertained watching people being blown into oblivion. Bonnie smiles at him, thinking it’s Stefan, but Enzo introduces him as their one way ticket out of there – Silas (Paul Wesley). She immediately says he killed her father. Silas says he’s there to help her get back her friends, and she’ll bring him back as well – “What do you say? By-gones?” (No negotiating with this snake, Bonnie).
Back on the Other Side, Lexi and Stefan haven’t found Alaric. Lexi thinks maybe he’s found peace. Stefan asks her why she hasn’t; Lexi replies that maybe there’s something that she’s supposed to do, like earn her stripes (or is that wings?). Stefan makes a “death peace pack” with Lexi – if they’re stuck on the Other Side because the plan fails to bring them back to life, they’ll find peace together and not let what happened to the others, happen to them (be blown into oblivion!). Lexi takes him arm in arm and as they walk, tells him not to miss out on his coming back to life until he’s had his first date with Caroline. To which Stefan replies, “oh, shut it”.
At the cemetery, inside the Salvatore mausoleum, Stefan is teaching Bonnie the spell, correcting her enunciation. She tells him she’s nervous about letting loose a plague on humanity. He likes that he’s been upgraded to a plague and says he will kill a lot of people once he’s alive again. He asks how his shadow self (Stefan) is doing; he says he’s too good looking to be sad all the time (Truth!). Bonnie tells him to shut up and teach her the spell. Just then, Liv and Elena appear and ask if Bonnie found someone to teach her the spell. Bonnie tells Elena (interrupted by Silas) that she found a kind of senile old lady. Silas doesn’t take that too well. Elena goes off to call Damon and tell him they’re ready.
Somewhere under Mystic Falls, Jeremy (carrying a humongous map) and Matt are looking for the gas line under the Grill. Matt questions why they want to blow up the only place “dumb enough to hire them” (too funny) and then he laments about how safe and normal Mystic Falls would be again if there were no vampires and blood rituals. Jeremy comments that he wouldn’t be able to have his girlfriend over. Matt states there are worst things than visiting your girlfriend at college on the weekends (These two are like a budding comedy team). Jeremy finds the valve they’re looking for.
Above their heads in the Grill, Sheriff Forbes is watching her cell for the countdown to 7 pm. While the place is rowdy with drinking and eating Travelers, Marcos notices Forbes and asks her where she’s going. She tells him she’s taking her own orders and evacuating. He tries to convince her that they aren’t lawless; that this can be her home too; they could use her. She replies it’s not a place where her daughter can visit. He blocks her from leaving and insists she stay and have a drink with him instead. Forbes gives him a chilling stare.
Meanwhile out in the woods somewhere, Elena and Damon meet. Damon says if Jeremy can tell the difference between a water main and gas main, he’s good with the plan. He tells her that he didn’t want her angry with him after he saves the world (Got his super hero hair on!), so he’d come clean now. He says Project Kaboom (perfect plan name) needs someone to trigger the explosion, and he’s volunteering, much to Elena’s dismay. She asks him if he sees a future with her; he says from the moment he laid eyes on her. (He says that he’ll come back with everyone else from the Other Side. She replies what if something goes wrong? He tells her he’s made his choice and she needs to respect it. Damon then promises Elena that he’ll make it back to her.
As the oblivion winds from the Other Side blow, Enzo, sitting outside the Salvatore mausoleum, calls out if everything is all right. Bonnie emerges and says they’re good but Silas is a crappy mentor (He’d take that as a compliment). The winds begin to get stronger; they notice the trees whipping around. Enzo comments that “It’s back”. Silas comes out and says Liv is ready and to get on with it. Just then, the wind snatches Enzo and he slides back into a tree, hanging on for dear life. Silas goes to help and is swept up too; he grabs hold of a tree. Bonnie grabs Enzo’s hand and braces him against the tree. Behind her, she stretches out her hand to Silas to grab, but he can’t reach it. She drops her hand and says to him “By-gones” and watches him swept away to oblivion. (Yes Bonnie! Was his ego so big he thought she’d save him?). Inside the mausoleum, Liv kneels on the ground and lights the massive amount of candles in front of her. She looks at her phone that says 7:59 pm and begins the spell. Luke, the ghost, appears behind her and tells Liv she can do it.
The town square clock strikes 7 pm and Matt (with a wrench) takes off the cap to the gas pipe under the Mystic Grill. Jeremy undoes another pipe and they both take off back down the tunnel as the gas leaks into the Grill.
Back in the woods, in the cemetery, Bonnie looks at the graves of those passed on, waiting for her Grams. When Grams (Jasmine Guy) appears, Bonnie says she has a plan, but Grams already knows about it. She warns Bonnie that she won’t survive having all those people pass through her and even if she does, she’s still the anchor and when the Other Side goes…. Bonnie replies that she knows what she’s going to say, but Gram says she doesn’t. She says it’s been a privilege to watch her grow into the beautiful woman she is. Bonnie replies that she must pass through her when the ritual begins, but Grams says she won’t. Bonnie says the Other Side is imploding and taking everyone with it. Gram says Bonnie isn’t the only family member who knows how to make a sacrifice. Bonnie says she doesn’t know what that means. Grams says she’s going to be fine that she found peace because she made sure Bonnie found hers. Bonnie doesn’t understand. Gram says it isn’t her concern; only to remember that she looked out for her. She gives Bonnie a hug and tells her to stay strong; that she loves her. Gram turns and walks away. Behind Bonnie in the distance, is Stefan and Lexi, watching.
Meanwhile, the clock has struck 7 pm in the town square. Inside the Grill, Forbes and Marcos are sharing a table. As Marco is eating, Forbes turns over her cell phone as it rings. He remarks that it’s been ringing for 5 minutes. She asks him what’s she doing there, he asks her the same thing. He finds it suspicious that she evacuates the town yet she stays behind to lecture them on civic duties. He believes she’s up to something. Just then, Forbes asks him if he smells gas. He sniffs the air and looks around. She leads him into the kitchen and to a vent. She tells Marcos there’s a leak coming from there and as Marcos looks at it, she hits him several times in the head with her the butt of her gun (I guess a gunshot would have roused the merry makers). She texts to Damon that the Travelers are there and to go now. But as she leaves, Marcos grabs her ankle (no surprise there; that would have been too easy to subdue him).
Sitting on the hood of his car on the other side of the Welcome to Mystic Falls sign, Damon takes a drink from an almost empty whiskey bottle. Forbes’ text comes through and he raises his bottle, drinks the last of it, and gets into his car. Elena gets into the car to his dismay. She tells him to respect her choice like she has his. He warns her she’s going to feel everything once they cross into town. She’s going to go back to the night she died a human. She tells him she knows what she signed up for and she’s all in. She tells him to quit staring and drive. (Yeah, come on Damon, time’s a wasting!). As they enter town, Elena tells him to hurry so they can die while they’re still vampires, but she starts to choke. Damon urges the car to go faster as he pushes the pedal to the floor. As they close in on the Grill, Damon grabs her hand. The car smashes through the Grill’s front window, demolishing part of the wall. The Travelers scream as glass and debris fly. Seconds later, the Grill explodes into a huge ball of fire.
Meanwhile, Luke encourages Liv to keep going as she chants the spell. In the woods, the dead Travelers converge on Bonnie. Marcos tells her that she can do this all day long; he’ll just come right back through and kill her friends. He tells her he looks forward to the déjà and goes through her, along with all the Travelers. Elena and Damon (now dead) find Bonnie. She tells them to find their bodies when they pass on through to the Other Side and to get back to her as fast as they can.
Inside the demolished Grill, Elena finds the smoldering remains of Damon’s car. Elena looks at her charred body in the passenger seat (Where’s Damon’s body? It’s not in the car!). She sees a charred hand on the gear shift. A voice says, “Did you seriously wear a seat belt?” (aha! Damon was thrown from the car). She looks up and sees Alaric (Matt Davis). He tells her she must get out of there but she insists on finding Damon. Alaric says he will do that, she needs to get home and back to her brother. Elena agrees and takes off and Alaric turns around to look for Damon. Damon comes to next to a dismembered bloody arm (ewww). He gets up and notices Sherriff Forbes unconscious and pinned by a brick pillar of the building and tries to lift it off of her (a ghost can do that?). To his surprise, Alaric raises it off Forbes and Damon places something underneath it to keep it off her. Alaric tells Damon his advice to him is when you get the girl, don’t blow her up. Damon tells him it’s good to see him; Alaric says likewise. Forbes starts to come to, and they help move her out of harm’s way. (Why isn’t he telling Damon to haul his butt back to Bonnie, like he did Elena?)
Meanwhile, back at the mausoleum, Liv is struggling to keep going with the spell, as it is beginning to take its toll on her (bloody nose is not a good sign). Luke runs out to Bonnie and tells her the spell is too much for Liv and they need to start returning. Stefan tells him no, they have to wait and go together, and Damon hasn’t arrived yet. Luke says he doesn’t care, and grabs Bonnie, sending him back. Luke goes to Liv (who’s happy he’s alive again) and tells her she must stop as it’s going to kill her (and kill everyone for good if she does!) but Liv says no, she promised and she’s going to keep going.
Outside, Tyler asks Bonnie what about everyone else after Luke goes through. Enzo says he doesn’t have to be told twice, and grabs Bonnie (Of course he’s not waiting!). He comes out on in the land of the living, walks past Caroline and with a smirk says, “See you ’round, gorgeous”. Caroline angrily looks at him. Tyler is next to come through and runs into Caroline’s arms. Tyler quickly backs away and says that it felt different. Caroline asks what he means and he grabs a rock. He cuts his palm and Caroline notices he’s not healing. Tyler replies that he’s not a hybrid anymore (uh-oh, will everyone come back human?).
Bonnie tells Stefan and Lexi they need to grab her hand and go, that time is running out. Stefan refuses, wanting to wait for Damon, but Lexi argues that he must go. Elena comes running up to them and says she can’t find Damon. Stefan tells her to go, that he’ll wait there for him. Elena refuses as Stefan tells her the place is falling apart. Bonnie then grabs Elena and sends her back, where Caroline is happy to see her.
Elena asks why Bonnie did that to her, that she can’t leave without Damon. Bonnie tells her they’ll find him and when Caroline asks what happened, Bonnie starts having a coughing fit. As she bends over and coughs up blood, Caroline and Elena are worried. On the Other Side, Stefan instinctively grabs Bonnie as she falls, which of course, sends him back. Caroline is happy to see him, but Stefan is devastated; he said she he was only trying to help Bonnie when she fell; Damon isn’t there yet. Elena starts to cry, not believing what is happening. Bonnie assures Elena that everything will be okay; that she can do this.
Back on the Other Side, Lexi calls out to Bonnie and she turns around. She asks Bonnie if this is killing her. Bonnie holds out her hand to her and says she can hold on. She asks Lexi to come through, but Marcos appears and tries to get to Bonnie. Lexi and he traded punches as they wrestle on the ground. With Marcos on top of her, Lexi smiles at him, gives him a big push off his chest and into the wind which takes him to oblivion (Yay Lexi!). Bonnie helps her up and tells her to go through. Lexi says everyone who goes through is killing Bonnie and what kind of a best friend would she be if she went through before Stefan got his brother back. As the wind blows stronger, she smiles at Bonnie, turns away, lifts her arms and closing her eyes says, “You’re not going to get me,” and vanishes in a white light (Did she find peace?).
Meanwhile, Luke is watching the life drain out of Liv as she continues with the spell. Luke tells Liv to screw them and stops the spell as Liv finally collapses. In the woods, Damon and Alaric finally arrive and Bonnie sends Alaric back. (Why not send Damon first?). Damon asks Bonnie where Elena is and she tells him that she made it through. Bonnie then grabs him to send him through and nothing happens. She grabs his arms three more times, but to her shock, nothing happens. Damon says, “Will you look at that?” realizing that he isn’t going back.
Back at the mausoleum, Elena sees that Liv is no longer there doing the spell. She asks Bonnie to restart the spell, but Bonnie tells her they can’t; it was their one shot. Elena says they have to; Damon is still on the Other Side. Bonnie replies through tears that it’s too late. Elena breaks down in disbelief. Bonnie sees Damon (his ghost) and tells Elena he’s there and she can say good-bye. Elena looks around as if she will be able to see him.
Outside, Stefan is sitting on a bench amongst the tombstones when Caroline joins him. He tells her that he’s lost both who meant the most to him in life. He said Lexi never came out and neither did Marcos, believing that was her unfinished business. He said as for Damon, he finally had everything he wanted, was happy and he should be here. He bends his head to cry and Caroline holds him.
Inside the mausoleum, Elena, through her grief and tears, tells Damon he lied to her. He caresses her face and says he won’t apologize even if he could because she can’t hear him. As her heart breaks, she begs him not to leave her. Damon replies he doesn’t have a choice. That she’s the greatest thing that happened to him in all his 173 years on earth. He says to know that he died being loved by her, is the epitome of a fulfilled life. Elena slides to the ground, Damon kneeling in front of her. She doesn’t feel him as he gently touches her face and arm and tells her he loves her. She begs him to please come back to her, but Damon quietly says good-bye and disappears, leaving Elena sobbing her heart out. (What a truly heartbreaking scene.)
Meanwhile, Bonnie calls Jeremy to explain that there never was a way for her to stop being the anchor and when the Other Side goes, she’ll go with it. She tells him that she didn’t want to tell him the truth because she didn’t want their last days together not to be happy, which they were. A shocked and upset Jeremy tells her not to leave, that he’s coming to her. Bonnie tells him she was given a gift and was glad not to have wasted a second of it. She tells him to take care of Elena and Jeremy tells her not to hang up on him. Bonnie says she loves him and then tearfully hangs up on him. As Jeremy stares at his phone in disbelief, Matt appears and tells him the main gas line is off. Jeremy tells Matt he needs to get to Bonnie and runs off.
In the mausoleum, Alaec finds Elena and she tells him that Damon is gone. He holds her without saying anything, trying to comfort her. Suddenly, they hear Jeremy’s voice calling out for Bonnie. Elena and Alaric meet up with Tyler, Caroline, Stefan outside the mausoleum where Tyler asks what’s happening. They see Jeremy running through the woods towards them, yelling Bonnie’s name. He stops when he reaches them and they turn around to see Bonnie. Jeremy walks towards her.
On the Other Side, Bonnie is joined by Damon as the wind gets stronger and stronger. Damon asks her if the place is going down, and she says yes, it’s falling apart. She says that there’s probably a million other people they’d both rather be with right now but….and she grabs his hand. Damon looks down at their clasped hands and says probably a couple of thousand at most (Hell, anyone but with someone you dislike!). They look at each other for a few seconds as the winds get more forceful and everything starts to shake and break apart. A misty white light starts to slowly appear around them.
Bonnie asks Damon, “Do you think it will hurt?”
Damon replies, “I don’t kno–”
And they disappear into the bright white light.
Take a deep breath and pass the tissues, please. What an heartbreaking season finale that was, with such a mind-blowing last few seconds. I feel like I crossed the finish line of a marathon and I came in last. It feels like the writers wanted a mulligan (a do-over) and decided to erase the past 4 seasons by bringing everyone back from the dead (minus two) and making Tyler human again.
How will the story carry on without one of its major characters? Will Damon and Bonnie stay dead or will they be brought back some how? (Grams kind of dropped hints when talking with Bonnie). Did Lexi find peace or will she be back? How will Elena cope with Damon’s demise? Will she run back to Stefan? Now they’ve brought back Alaric, how will he figure into the story? Why did Alaric not tell Damon to get his butt back to Bonnie right away, like he did Elena? Why did they take so long to get to Bonnie after they rescued Liz? Will he take care of Jeremy and Elena like before? How will Tyler cope with being just a boy with a werewolf gene? Will he turn again? Is everyone else a human or did they keep their vampirism since the Traveler’s spell was broken? Why did Bonnie put Alaric through first and not Damon, knowing that everyone was waiting for him? Would it really have mattered if Alaric didn’t survive? And what is Enzo going to be up to? Will Enzo be the new Damon?
Let us know your thoughts! What did you think of the season finale?