It’s a walk down memory lane to say goodbye to Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) in the sixth season finale of The Vampire Diaries. Is the goodbye worthy of Dobrev and her fans?
Let’s bitch it out…
Well folks, out of nostalgia, I decided to resume my post reviewing Nina Dobrev’s final episode. Like many TVD fans, I have been faithful from the beginning. Sometimes I’ve lost faith in the story lines, I’ve loved and hated the characters, but I’ve remained faithful to the show for six seasons.
Elena has been at the core of the show from the beginning. The relationship between the brothers, Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) is the heart of the show, but the backbone of the show has always been Elena. Both brothers wanted her love, both have killed for her and both would have died for her on numerous occasions. So is this episode worthy of her character’s legacy?
To answer that, we have to go back a little bit. Since Dobrev publicly announced her departure from the show, Elena’s storyline took a turn. The foreshadowing was extreme and obvious, and the traditionally well hidden clues were blatantly brought to the forefront, practically screaming at viewers. We get it: Elena never wanted to be a vampire and she wishes she were human again. For the past month, we’ve been forced week after week as the writers compete to drop the most obvious hint that Elena is going to be cured.
At the end of last week’s episode, we saw a newly human Elena, unconscious from Kai’s (Chris Wood) attack at the wedding. For a show that prides itself on surprising and shocking the audience, I knew that killing Elena from Kai’s blast at the wedding would be too obvious. And I was right. Clearly there had to be a completely random magical and supernatural way to let Dobrev leave the show while leaving it open for Elena to return at any time. I think what the writers did was clever, but I can’t say I’m overly impressed.
It just seems too neat and clean to me, especially after Kai was killed – which means that Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) tormenter isn’t even there to torment her anymore. So it’s not an ideal ending for Elena, in this reviewer’s humble opinion, but it is pretty true to form – Elena has never been allowed to be truly happy for very long, so why should this be any different? She had a human life planned with Damon where she would finally get everything she wanted, so it only makes sense that something would happen to ruin that. This is Elena Gilbert we’re talking about after all.
But I did enjoy the walk down memory lane that served as her goodbye to all her friends. For faithful fans, it was nice to be reminded of scenes we’ve seen before in a different way. The writers even have a throwback to the diary-writing that started it all! Plus, let’s not forget the most important goodbye of all: Little Gilbert returned!!!! Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) has returned to me, if only for a brief moment.
So, all in all, I thought the throwbacks were enjoyable as a way to say goodbye and thank the fans for their loyalty over the years. Even if I think the outcome is a little lame (yet not nearly as lame as that ridiculous, choreographed dance at the end. Awful!), I think it is a creative way to deal with Dobrev’s departure, as well as staying true to the character’s tendency to never get a happy ending.
- Kai’s death is a bit anti climactic. I did enjoy Damon’s double-cross and surprise beheading, but I expected Kai to torture Bonnie next season so I’m surprised the writers introduced it and jettisoned it in the same episode.
- From the moment Liv (Penelope Mitchell) said the words, I was wearing my “not impressed” face. Really? Tyler (Michael Trevino) killed his own girlfriend? Really? The whole time she helped hold a hand over her mouth, I was shaking my head at how dumb it was. Tyler is right back where he started, and he just killed his girlfriend (with very little argument I might add) to get there.
- Poor Alaric (Matt Davis). He legitimately cannot catch a break. He has had three loves in his life. All three have been killed by some sort of supernatural power. I am actually quite surprised that Jo (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) was killed. I assumed the babies wouldn’t make it, but I thought she would somehow survive. Honestly, I thought that because I figured the writers couldn’t POSSIBLY inflict any more emotional damage on my man Alaric. Boy was I wrong.
- I know it seems crazy to say, but I’m happy Enzo (Michael Malarkey) has finally found somewhere he belongs: a family. BTW, am I the only one who was amazed when it was revealed that Enzo is short for Lorenzo? So obvious, yet so surprising to me.
- If you read my reviews last season you will know that I am a huge Steroline fan. So I loved their final scene, with Stefan saying he would wait for Caroline (Candice Accola) until she is ready to love him and be with him. Yes please!
- I guess this whole Gemini coven storyline is cut and gone for next year since literally every one of them is now dead. It seems instead that we’re going all in on the Heretics.
- Finally, I loved the final moments of the episode. Clearly a lot has happened in the time since Elena has been asleep: Matt (Zach Roerig) is now the cop she dreamed he would be, the town is in ruins and Damon is on top of the clock tower. I’m betting this is all thanks to the Heretics. Season 7 bad guys, welcome to the show!
What did you think of Dobrev’s final episode? Did you enjoy the throwbacks? The goodbyes? The dancing (blegh)? Sound off below.
The Vampire Diaries will return for S7 in the fall on The CW.