It was all about choice on the season finale of The Vampire Diaries.
While Damon's fate was never really a question this week - yes, this show kills off more characters than any other on TV, but the odds of Damon dying are lower than Lindsay Lohan turning down a drink - we were left to wonder just how the brooding, sarcastic Salvatore would be saved.
And the answer was an exchange I never saw coming, just one of many choices that highlighted "As I Lay Dying." Let's review them all, along with their consequences...
Stefan trades a sibling for a soul. Might as well start with the biggest of them all, right? The series gave us a glimpse into Stefan's dark past on "The Dinner Party," but I never dreamed we'd see that side to him again. Remember his conversation with Elena on that episode?
Elena: He described you as a monster.
Stefan: That's what I was.
And that's what he now is again. It was shocking to see Paul Wesley with blood tricking down his mouth this week, a sight only made more disturbing by the faint smile on Stefan's lips as he embraced the beast that had been bottled up for so long.A noble act to save his brother? Perhaps. But Katherine pointed out the other side to that seemingly benevolent coin upon delivering the cure to Damon: didn't Stefan also abandon Elena by doing so? And how many innocent lives, starting with that girl Klaus served up, will now die as a result of Stefan's decision?
No matter how much you love Damon, you have to wonder: is his life really worth all that?
Damon chooses to accept his fate. Oh, the cruel irony. Just as Stefan was paying the ultimate price for what he deemed to be his ultimate mistake - turning his brother - Damon was realizing that he has no one to blame but himself for the events in 1864.
He was manipulated by Katherine back then, he made the decision to love her anyway and it was that triangle which sealed his and Stefan's future. An amazing job, as always, by Ian Somerhalder, bringing every painful emotion to the forefront as Damon lay dying.
Elena plants one on Damon. Because he was literally on his death bed? Out of pity? True feelings? Only she knows for sure. Actually, she probably doesn't.
Bonnie decides to save Jeremy. My biggest problem with the show is how it has occasionally used Bonnie's powers as a crutch. There seems to be a spell for every scenario, as we witnessed last week when she suddenly discovered a way to save Elena.
But, wow, it's hard to complain too much when the spell results in such a What-the-Hell-just-happened-and-what-could-it-possibly-mean development as we saw to conclude this finale. Jeremy sees dead people?!? Are Anna and Vicki actually alive again? Are they merely visions? Will they be joined by others?
Caroline's mother accepts her daughter, fangs and all. A nice family moment here, and one that also leaves the door open to storylines on season three. Will Liz now use the power of her position to defend the supernatural beings in Mystic Falls?
A few more observations from an incredible final episode:
- Jeremy has now died twice. Might he eventually be revealed as a cat? Seven more lives to go, buddy.
- You've gotta love the spirit in Mystic Falls. The only busier people than the vampires in this town must be the costume shop owners.
- RIP, Elijah. Probably. We think. As we've seen, it takes A LOT to kill this guy.
- Will Alaric adopt Elena and Jeremy? There was definitely a fatherly vibe to the way he cared for the latter.
So, the only piece of good news following such a riveting finale? We have plenty of time to discuss it before a new episode airs. Do so now in the Comments section and/or our Vampire Diaries forum!