That's all, folks! Season four of The Vampire Diaries has wrapped up with a bang — excuse me, several bangs. This finale is action-packed — there are a couple of love confessions, more than one make-out, someone takes the cure, a dead person comes back to life, and there is a doppelganger reveal that basically blew my mind. Plus, everyone graduates! It almost seems like small potatoes compared to the other huge changes for everyone in this episode. There are major developments for Elena, Katherine, and Stefan especially — though not all of those changes are positive.
Even though there are a lot of jaw-dropping twists in the season finale, there's also so much mushy, awesome romantic stuff. There's definitely a lot here to keep me wondering all Summer long about what's going to happen next. So let's just get to it: read the good, the bad, and the bloody after the jump.
- With graduation coming, Kol and the other vengeful undead are ready to wreak havoc on the event, but I'm glad we get one more episode with Alaric and Lexi. Alaric is a badass, and Lexi is having the time of her life getting Stefan drunk and dancing her hair off. Also, it's Alaric who winds up saving Damon from Vaughn and the kids in the bar from the other vampire hunter, Connor. Long live (sort of) Alaric!
- Guys, I love Matt and Rebekah! So maybe their romance isn't as epic as Damon and Elena's, but who cares? It's nice to watch a fledgling romance develop. They have their first kiss when Matt is the trigger for a bomb set up by her undead ex (and you thought you had ex-boyfriend problems), and they also make some plans for what sounds like an awesome European vacation. When they're out of the scary bomb situation, Rebekah comes by to say she understands if he doesn't still want to go. Matt is adorable as he agrees to go on the trip, redeeming himself from sounding rude when she first shows up.
- Jeremy is alive! Not just "back from the dead while the veil is lifted" alive, either — like, really alive. It's Bonnie's last deed before she signs off to her very real death after spending the whole episode as a ghost pretending to be alive. Farewell, Bonnie — that's quite an amazing parting gift.
- Klaus is missing for way too much of this week, but boy, does he know how to make an entrance. He puts an end to the terror-at-commencement scene by slicing off a hybrid's head with a graduation cap, and then he has the best moment with Caroline. True, I feel cheated that the only kiss they have is a chaste peck, but his little speech gave me goosebumps. He says Tyler is her first love, but he intends to be her last. Hopefully we'll see Caroline pop up next season on The Originals.
- So Damon doesn't want the cure, nor does Stefan, so Elena gets it — but doesn't take it. She saves it for the most opportune moment of all: when Katherine is about to kill her. Elena force-feeds it to Katherine, and bam — Katherine is now human. I'm thinking what she'll probably think when she opens her eyes: now what?
- And now on to the most romantic, best scene of the whole episode: Elena's declaration of love. Damon almost dies of a werewolf bite and refuses to take the cure because he says he'd rather have death than a human life without Elena. He says he's selfish, but this is stuff Elena knows, as she makes it clear with what she says next: she's in love with him. She's in love with him! There's no sire bond, no weird loophole. Just love. And I love that look on Damon's face. He got the girl.
- But there's emotional fallout. Poor Stefan! He tells Lexi what he really feels about Elena — she's the love of his life, but if she doesn't feel the same way about him, he'll take off. Stefan overhears the whole Damon/Elena conversation (and ensuing sexy make-out), so he makes good on his earlier promise and gets out of town. But he doesn't make it to Portland. When he stops to dump Silas in the water, Silas reveals his "true form." And dun dun dun: it's Stefan. They're doppelgangers, just like Elena and Katherine, only weirder!
- Things get worse for Stefan when Silas locks him in a safe and drops him into a watery grave. So he loses the girl he loves, finds out his doppelganger is an evil immortal, and gets buried alive, essentially. What a crappy week to be Stefan!
- Bonnie wants Jeremy to pretend she's alive for the Summer? How's that going to work? Also, that dude's going to have the weirdest transition period ever. How will he explain this to the neighbors, the extended family? He doesn't need one extra secret.
- It's so nice to see that Stefan hasn't forgotten how to rip out a heart. Kudos!
- Again: Klaus slicing off a head with a hat is truly breathtaking. Especially for that hybrid.
What did you think of the season finale?