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The Vampire Diaries - I'm Thinking of You All the While (Season Finale) - Review

It seems as if Season 6 just started yesterday, so it's hard to believe I'm reviewing the season finale!  The season sped by for the most part with exciting storylines such as Bonnie and Damon's 1994 prison world and budding friendship, the emergence of Kai as a formidable big bad, and the intriguing, gradual development of Caroline and Stefan's romance.  Along the way, Alaric had a chance to build a family and find happiness, until it was tragically stolen from him.  And not content with that cruel deed, Kai stepped up his evil game in the final season 6 episode by separating Damon and Elena while punishing Bonnie.  I was half dreading the idea of watching the finale, as I couldn't quite fathom a satisfying way for Elena to make her exit from the show.  Even though the showrunners promised it would be satisfying, let's be honest: we've all heard that before, with decidedly mixed results.

I'm thrilled to say that the episode was an amazing hour of television that, for this viewer at least, did deliver a departure for Elena that was beautiful and touching instead of pointless and heartbreaking as I feared.  I am deeply grateful to the writers for the clear love and thoughtfulness that went into Elena's final episode.  Truly, they care about the fans and their strong feelings about this main character. That is something to be admired and appreciated.  

While Elena's exit was the biggest deal, this episode had so very much going on, so let's review and discuss for the last time until the Fall!

The aftermath of Kai's wedding crash: To my infinite sadness, poor Jo and the twins didn't make it after Kai's brutal attack.  The look on Alaric's face as he held his slain bride was truly heart-wrenching, and worst of all, this character has already lost so much in his life that it's hard to imagine him getting through this latest blow intact.  Kai confronted the rest of the Gemini coven with a simple reminder that by accusing him of being a terrible and useless person, they have condemned him to become so - and then he killed himself to trigger all of their deaths.  Naturally, of course, Kai had turned himself into a Heretic / witchpire, and would soon revive.  But the rest of the Gemini gang weren't as lucky, and that included Liv.

The scene between Liv and Tyler was intensely strange and surprisingly powerful, even if I can't quite believe Tyler (or almost anyone) would be able to smother someone he loved even to save himself.  Still, Liv's sacrifice and Tyler's subsequent turn into a werewolf once again yielded a new advantage in the good characters' fight against Kai (it also yielded a purely delightful text: "Ty: werewolf. Kai: vampire."  Loves it).  While it had its starts and stops due to the writers' inability to maintain their interest level in Tyler, I liked his relationship with Liv and am sorry to see it, as well as her, gone from the show.

Also facing problems within the rubble of Kai's destruction: Damon, who found Elena in perfect health but unconscious, and nothing would wake her up.  Once he got her to the hospital, Bonnie was elsewhere explaining to Matt that Kai had communicated to her his evil plan regarding Elena.  Enraged with Bonnie for leaving him in 1903 and apparently quite spiteful against the scoobies in general, Kai had linked Bonnie's life with Elena's.  Elena will sleep until Bonnie dies, and if anyone tries to tamper with the spell, like by trying one of the show's well-worn "loopholes," deadly consequences will ensue.  So Elena will sleep for approximately 60 years while Bonnie lives out her life.  This situation was supposed to present Damon with a mean-spirited challenge: kill Bonnie or wait for Elena to wake up after Bonnie dies in old age.  Too bad Kai is incapable of understanding the true meaning of friendship or love, because Delena and Bamon triumphed in spite of his machinations - in other words, Kai: ha!

"I am in a very volatile place right now and I will start beheading people that I don't like, starting with you, if she doesn't wake up."  Well, Damon warned Kai pretty clearly, which seems more than fair to me!  As Kai left Bonnie on death's door and urged Damon to pick between saving Bonnie or having Elena wake up immediately, Damon pretended to abandon his new bestie, playing on the gullibility brought about by Kai's complete lack of comprehension of loyalty.  I loved it when Damon swept back in to nonchalantly rip Kai's head off and then assured Bonnie he would never leave her all alone before saving her.  Kai was a spectacular villain, but after what he did to Jo, he absolutely had earned the death so swiftly dealt to him in this episode.  One aspect I am a bit fuzzy on is what happened to the good qualities that had been transferred to Kai after his merge with Luke.  How exactly did he shed his newfound conscience?

Elena's farewell tour: The intricacy of Elena's dream sequence goodbye scenes to each of her loved ones was fantastic.  Each encounter, with Alaric, Matt, Bonnie and Caroline, Stefan, and Damon, was inspired by an actual scene from a previous season, with careful references being made to those past events as Elena bid farewell to her friends against those lovely emotional backdrops.  Alaric's grief during his scene with Elena in the woods was tragic, and Elena's gentle embrace and wise words regarding how to get through such pain were amazing.  Matt's scene was interesting because it saw him acting like his old supportive, loving self towards Elena instead of the bitter and whiny individual he's been for quite a while now.  

The slumber party scene with Bonnie, Caroline, and Elena was terrific as well, as Elena explained that she and Bonnie will both be able to have what they want in life, just not at the same time.  It's a sad, yet far from hopeless situation, and seeing Bonnie and Elena's probable last conversation was extremely poignant.  Elena's comment that finally she could sacrifice something for Bonnie was excellent and on point.  Caroline's goodbye was less sad as it is temporary, but very memorable all the same.

Not only was the scene with Elena and Stefan's goodbye perfectly emblematic of their relationship and its ultimate meaning, but what Stefan said to Caroline in the hospital put it into words even better.  By loving Damon, Elena showed Stefan that his brother was capable of redemption, and this brought the brothers back together in otherwise impossible circumstances.  As much as Stefan had needed Elena in his life, he needed Damon more.  What a rewarding scene for all of us who love the brotherly bond and complex relationship between Damon and Stefan.
Finally, Damon and Elena's goodbye, with her urging him to live his life and assuring him that she knew he would make the right decision about Bonnie, was a sweet, romantic, and wonderful last scene for the two.  I loved Elena telling Damon, "I knew that the love of my life would stand by his best friend even if it meant having to live without me for a little while."  Um, sob!  And of course, that special dance, eloquently referencing the Miss Mystic Falls dance from Season 1, was the perfect way to see this couple out.  Even though I felt the sadness of their parting, the hope in the knowledge that it is not permanent made a huge difference and allowed me to enjoy Elena's final scene more than I had thought possible.

"I understand if I have to wait for you. And I will. I'll wait. And when you're ready for me, I will be ready for you."  Stefan and Caroline's love story hasn't exactly been of the hot and heavy, full throttle variety - except, of course, for their brief jaunt without their humanity.  As their normal selves, these two have been dipping their toes into the waters of this new relationship with a large amount of caution and tenderness.  This tone was further established in this episode, with Stefan's speech to Caroline, telling her how much he cherishes her special friendship and affection.  He appreciates everything about her so much that he can wait for her.  Caroline's little smile at the end of that scene was pricelessly beautiful and telling.  Finally, after a season with plenty of turmoil and anguish for her, she feels a glimmer of the happiness that lies ahead.  
Lily and the Heretics: Despite Stefan's remonstrations, Lily spent the episode searching for her friends, since Kai had told her he brought them back with him from 1903.  After a fruitless search spanned much of the hour, Enzo helped Lily find a previously hidden building which did indeed house the Witchpires.  After seeing these shadowy figures and hearing Lily's dramatic tales of their importance - plus Jo's description of their frightening natures - I can't wait to see who will play the roles in Season 7 and what trouble they may bring to Mystic Falls.  I also enjoyed seeing more of the uncomfortable, complicated relationship between Lily and Stefan, with his common sense again colliding with her tersely obsessive nature.  Enzo had very little to do in this episode, but after seeing the error of their ways regarding the character's treatment in Season 6, I hope the writers have more interesting material in store for him in Season 7.

That mysterious, wonderful ending!  I didn't know what to expect when we started seeing the years (?) fly by in front of Elena's tomb at the end of the episode.  But what we got was a short and incredibly fascinating glimpse at the future we'll be experiencing next season: Matt driving around in his police car through a dark and troubled-looking Mystic Falls, and Damon sitting on the clock tower looking brooding and pensive, and ready for something - but what?  How much time are we jumping here, and what will the world of Mystic Falls be like in Season 7?  I thought the quick and beguiling nature of this ending was fabulous.

What did you think of the season finale?  Any hopes and predictions for Season 7?  Share your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast for Spoiler TV. She enjoys obsessing over films and pop music - in addition to tv shows, of course! You can find her blog, SugarRushed, at and her Twitter handle is @VMaeFontana
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