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The Vampire Diaries - We're Planning a June Wedding - Review

The end is indeed nigh, my fellow TVD fans!  The penultimate hour of the show centered on a lovely wedding sweepingly romantic enough to delight Steroline fans, and around that event pivoted the game pieces that are preparing for the final battle our characters must face.  Katherine is back, and she had some special helpers scampering around Mystic Falls creating all kinds of mischief to pave the way for her own appearance.  Damon was still in wise, badass mode, while Bonnie struggled with knowing how to feel about the wedding (so did Alaric), and an impromptu Donovan family reunion led to a crisis-laden final moment.

Dearly beloved, a wedding between Caroline and Stefan was a surefire way to lure Katherine out into the open.  So the scoobies quickly assembled the event, with Caroline annoyed that her big day was being rushed amidst their latest adventure.  Damon and Stefan retrieved Katherine's bones to make a knife that could kill their foe, and meanwhile Damon dispensed some poignant advice to Stefan.  Although killing Enzo is something that will weigh on Stefan forever, Damon urged his little bro to remember it wasn't the real him who committed that crime.  Later, right before the wedding, Stefan mentioned that he is hoping one day to see Damon marry Elena and get his human happily ever after.  There was no shortage of sweet and adorable Defan interactions in this episode!

Damon also found time, surprisingly, to bond with Caroline.  The two shared a drink and toasted to the memory of Liz, and then Damon gave Caroline "something borrowed": Elena's necklace, so that her best friend would be at Caroline's big day in spirit.  Another necklace was left for Caroline as well, one she assumed was from Stefan.  But since poor, human Stefan came home from his hang with Damon quite inebriated, he wasn't able to correct her on that.

Bonnie felt conflicted about having her own happiness taken from her by the very man Caroline was about to marry, and felt as though she couldn't bear to be at the wedding.  Caroline understood and felt incredibly sorry for the painfully tragic twist of the situation, and assured Bonnie how much she loves her.  This was a very moving scene that emphasized the genuine affection and deep bond between Bonnie and Caroline.

Alaric also wasn't able to bring himself to watch Caroline marry Stefan, and this was harder for me to buy because I never bought that Ric was in love with Caroline in the first place.  Yet Ric's words about how he started out, with the loss of Isabel and hunting Damon, on the journey that would bring him through so much more love and loss, and the discovery of a wonderful chosen family along the way, showed that he has an admirable sort of emotionally intelligent acceptance of the flow of life. Resilient is perhaps one of the words that best sums up Alaric Saltzman. His speech eloquently expressed the feelings of the group of friends coming together to see Caroline and Stefan get married.  

"We’ve all made terrible mistakes in our lives, done things that no apology can heal, but you just have to keep going, trying to find some new happiness — no matter how much you’ve lost. The strange thing is, losing those people is what brought us together. It’s how we found each other. It’s what made us family."

Better yet, Damon had become internet ordained to perform the ceremony!  His use of compelled guests was also pretty funny.
Stefan and Caroline's improvised vows to each other touched on the friends-to-lovebirds trajectory of their relationship over the years, as well as acknowledging the sadness looming over their future: Caroline vowed to remember this day in 100 years, for both Stefan and herself.  Their kiss and interactions at the ceremony and reception were exceptionally romantic and doubtless left Steroline fans very happy indeed.

Reunited, and it feels sooo bad.  Although Kitty Kat didn't show her gorgeously nefarious little face at the wedding or reception, someone else unexpectedly did...Matt's mother, Kelly, who announced her sudden intention to reunite with her two hapless pawns son and ex-husband.  However, Kelly had black nosebleeds and a new penchant for murdering random bystanders, revealing that she, like Kai, escaped Hell with the ringing of the bell.  Now, Kelly was doing Katherine's bidding, causing a drunken distraction ("now it's a wedding," Caroline quipped of Kelly's rude interruption of Damon's best man speech) after setting up a fire to take out the house with Lizzie, Josie, and Bonnie inside.  

Though Caroline rushed to the house too late to prevent the blaze, the girls and Bonnie survived thanks to the fact that Miss Bon Bon still has some magic in her (as previously hinted by Enzo's theories as to why Bonnie can see him).  The little witches siphoned Bonnie as she spoke with Enzo's spirit.  While using the magic to ensure their escape meant that Bonnie might not be able to see Enzo again, there was no other way.  The beautiful and sob-inducing exchange between Bonnie and Enzo here was just another lovely moment between the two, along with an earlier dance scene at the wedding that was enough to make the stoniest of hearts shatter.
But why the need for such a massive distraction?  Well, the lithe and bouncy-haired vixen flouncing around Mystic Falls dropping bodies throughout the episode wasn't Katherine, as one might have surmised.  Instead, it was actually Vicky Donovan, the only person besides Peter and Matt who could bring the bell to its twelfth ring and light Mystic Falls up with hellfire.  When Vicky rang the bell, Bonnie fell to the floor unconscious!  One thing is for sure: the town and the world are in very, very dire trouble, and only the Salvatore brothers and friends can stop the rage of hell and Katherine Pierce in all her fury!

Elsewhere in the episode: Damon's quips kept coming fast and hilarious.  I loved his gag with Katherine's skull, as well as his speech recapping basically everything the gang has been through since the beginning of the show, noting that Katherine was the spark that set it all off from the get-go.  He also made for a very dashing and cute justice of the peace.

Overall thoughts: I appreciate that the writers took time in this episode to let almost every important relationship in the show shine (still waiting for that full-on Dalaric reunion), and designed dialogue to nicely hint at a feeling of coming full circle and approaching an ending.  

Even the over-use of Matt worked to move the plot along and wasn't too annoying.  

Theory/Hope: After recovering from the siphon, Bonnie still has some magic in her.  And Katherine is going to face the consequences of that.

Theory: next week's episode is going to be epic.

What did you think of, gulp, the next-to-last episode of TVD?  Share your thoughts in the comments, and I'm sure I don't need to remind you to watch the series finale next Friday at 8/7c on the CW!

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing The Vampire Diaries for Spoiler TV. Fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and romance are her favorite genres, especially when they collide! Some of her favorite current shows aside from TVD include Doctor Who, The Originals, The 100, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Arrow, Blindspot, Killjoys, and Dark Matter.

You can find her blog, a night to remember, at http://helplessteenageheartilostthatnight.blogspot.com and her Twitter handle is @VMaeFontana
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