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'Vampire Diaries' Season Finale Recap: Is Elena Really [Spoiler]?

Thu, May 10, 2012 11:59pm EDT by Andy Swift 286 Comments

I think it’s safe to say things will never be the same in Mystic Falls again. (So much for Elena’s dream of a vampire-free life!)

I believe I have the five words that perfectly sum up every viewer’s reaction to the final moments of The Vampire Diaries‘ third season finale: “Did that really just happen?!” And the answer is “yes, it did.” And it was awesome. Sure Elena (Nina Dobrev) finally made her choice between Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley), but by the time the credits rolled, I didn’t really care anymore.

My mind is now on one thing and one thing only: Elena Gilbert is a vampire. Meredith (Torrey DeVitto) gave her vampire blood, and then she died, and now she’s a freakin’ vampire!

OK, now breathe… and rewind: Like the most effed-up game of high school dodgeball ever, Alaric (Matt Davis) and Elijah (Daniel Gillies) created two teams this week, selecting each member individually — but unlike high school dodgeball, no one picked Matt (Zach Roerig). Also breaking the rules of organized sports, Alaric tracked down Klaus’ (Joseph Morgan) body and staked him, sending everyone in Mystic Falls into full-fledged panic mode. “We all gonna die!” they thought, which led to so many moments of unspeakable beauty.

Only they didn’t die because, wait for it… Bonnie (Kat Graham) cast a spell to swap Klaus and Tyler’s spirits! But does that mean that Tyler is dead, and Michael Trevino will now play Klaus, meaning Joseph Morgan is off the show for good?! I guess we”ll find out when the show returns in the fall, but for now, I’ll get started on my J-Mo memorial shrine.

And now we can talk about the choice! After three incredibly long, drawn-out seasons, Elena finally decided to go with Stefan. Now grab your tissues, kids, because I obsessively wrote down Elena’s entire consolation speech to Damon — and it’s a doozy:

“I love him, Damon. He came into my life in a time when I needed someone and I fell for him instantly. No matter what I felt for you, I never un-felt for him. … I can’t think about always. All I can think about it right now. And I care about you, Damon, which is why I have to let you go. … Maybe if you and I had met first. You’re going to be fine, you hear me? You’re going to be OK, and I’m going to see you soon.”

Of course, her little speech took on a whole new level of dramatic irony when Damon had a little flashback of his own: It turns out he did meet Elena first! He met her the night she and her parents drove off Wickery Bridge — before they died, of course — only he compelled her to forget because he didn’t want anyone to know he was back in town.

And speaking of the bridge, Elena experienced a little déjà vu this week when she and Matt drove off it to avoid Rebekah. But unlike last time, when her dad told Stefan to save his daughter first, Elena told Stefan to save Matt. I’m not entirely sure why he agreed to do it, but he did, leaving Elena to literally drown to death at the bottom of the lake.

I actually still haven’t decided how I feel about Stefan letting Elena die. Yes, he is a noble gentleman and believes that his lady should be free to make her own choices — but did he really need to let her die?! And couldn’t he have handled pulling two little humans out of a car at once? He’s supposed to have crazy strength, but tonight, he just seemed plain crazy.

Elena’s death meant the end of evil Alaric, but as we all saw, she very quickly returned to the land of the living — as a vampire!

Even though Stefan was obviously this week’s winner, let’s just humor ourselves with a complete breakdown:

  1. Elena hugs Stefan. He smells her hair. He seems to enjoy it quite a bit. (+5 points)
  2. Stefan and Elena kiss “in case there is no later.” I’m not going to lie, it was crazy hot. (+20 points)
  3. Elena tells Matt to drive her “home” to see Stefan. (+10 points)
  4. Elena straight-up chooses Stefan. (+10,000 points)
  5. TOTAL: 10,035 points
  1. Damon says he cares more about protecting Elena than having her like him. (+10 points)
  2. “When I’m with him, he consumes me,” Elena tells Matt. (+15 points)x
  3. Elena tells Damon things might have been different if they she had met him before Stefan. (+10 points)
  4. But wait… A flashback reveals she did meet him first! And he gave her a beautiful speech about the kind of love she needs in her life! (+40 points)
  5. TOTAL: 75 points


Well, there you have it. Another incredibly epic season finale down the drain, leaving us with a million questions to ponder until the fall: Is Tyler really dead? Is Joseph Morgan off the show for good? And, of course, what the HELL is Elena going to be like as a vampire?! I’m literally beside myself right now, so let’s just hash it all out in the comments section. Now!

— Andy Swift

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