Goodbye The Vampire Diaries

Over the last couple of years I have been asked a very reasonable question: “Why the hell are you still watching The Vampire Diaries?”

Fair.

My relationship with The Vampire Diaries has been troublesome to say the least. I thought about giving up on it a few times because it was the story was getting stale, main cast members were leaving and it introduced characters that weren’t the slightest bit interesting. It made me resent the show a little bit. Why beat a dead horse? But then they announced that Season 8 would be the last and I rejoiced. It meant that I could get some closure. One more season to watch. A proper ending instead of a cancellation. I hated what The Vampire Diaries has become over the years but I wanted to see it end on a high and on it’s own terms.

This past Friday was the series finale and here are my thoughts: obvious spoilers ahead.

First things first: how did Katherine become the Queen of Hell?

Seriously. Why? Other than being a convenient plot device with which to end the series; it made zero sense. Sure, Season 8’s big bad villain, Cade (The Devil) died – don’t get me started on that shit – but there is no reason for Katherine to be next in line. She’s a cruel vampire, sure. But why not let Hitler or Jack the Ripper be next. Is she the most qualified?

Of course, the showrunners Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson would be amiss if they brought Nina Dobrev back for the finale and didn’t write both Elena and Katherine back into the story, but the whole Queen of Hell 2 episode arc was too convenient. I understand why the writers included them. It started with both these characters and their relationships with the Salvatore brothers. It should end with it. Good idea. Dumb execution.

Damon kills Vicki again.

Yes, she’s already dead. Yes, she’s trying to destroy the town. But they legit hate this character. I guess there is some poetic symmetry in her dying by Damon’s hand just as she did in the very first episode. It was funny until I realised how sad it was. They fucked this character around so much. Not as much as Bonnie of course. But we’ll get there.

Elena is back… Meh

I felt a huge sense of disappointment when Elena and/or Katherine came back. I thought I started to dislike this show because she left, but Dobrev’s return wasn’t all that memorable. Damon and Stefan has always been the core of The Vampire Diaries. I think they knew it too given that the show continued even after Dobrev left. Elena was always just a catalyst for this story but she was never the crux.

“Hello brother”

I’ve said it before but Stefan and Damon are endgame. Whatever happens, they’re destined to end up together and it made sense that the last shot was of them. Also, it was perfect that the last words were “Hello Brother” as this was a line that Damon said in the pilot. Back then it was said with hostility but this time it was heartfelt. I enjoyed that.

Bennett(s) to the rescue

If I told you someone prevented the town from being destroyed by hellfire, you’d put your house on it being Bonnie. And you would be right. But this time they added Grams, and other Bennett witches to conquer the hellfire together.

She also breaks the bonding spell so that she didn’t have to die in order for Elena to wake up. Naturally. She is the MacGyver of this fantasy world but is somehow the unluckiest and most mistreated character in the show’s entire run. But in the finale she was brave, bold, saved the town and survived. Most badass character in The Vampire Diaries in my opinion.

How did Matt last this long?

Honestly. He’s survived through mostly being a friend of vampires, werewolves and witches. But I really enjoyed the fact that they gave him and his bloodline a substantial part in the series’ final season and the town’s history. Long overdue and actually gave us a reason as to why he has been a mainstay in the series.

Crowded with Villains

The final season began with sirens and I genuinely believed that would be it. Then they introduced The Devil and I was like, ok, that’s a good way to end it but then they killed him because of course there is a weapon to kill the Devil. There is always a weapon. Then they brought back Kai the siphon witch for a couple of episodes, mostly because of Elena I imagine, and then, Katherine usurped The Devil and the ring leader in hell because reasons.

Oh! And there was another ripper Stefan arc!

A Salvatore dies

I know a lot of people who hate Stefan Salvatore as a character – and, probably, Paul Wesley as a human being. Sorry but that’s just how that shit works. He’s been regarded as one of the most annoying characters in the show’s run but one thing that cannot be denied is that if he had to go, it would be for Damon. Stefan dying, being the martyr, needed to be done. And I’m so glad they didn’t try to get Bonnie to resurrect him or something.

People never die in The Vampire Diaries but in the last few episodes, Tyler, Enzo and Stefan did. Stefan’s death was the most important though. He died to save his brother, gave him the cure, destroyed the new Devil and his old flame (no pun intended), saved the town (but mostly Bonnie) and gave up his own happily ever after with Caroline.  It was necessary to give his character some sort of redeeming quality after being shit on by a big group of The Vampire Diaries viewers. I don’t know if it worked – it probably didn’t because the cynics will say he stole Bonnie’s thunder – but it was a nice try.

All the cameos!

So many people returned for a smile and hug and a letter which could spark an old romance and a possible spin off – Team Klaroline for the win! Caryn, that was just for you.

It was a fitting end to The Vampire Diaries. Dope score too. I could tell you about it, but here’s an actual clip of it.

In summary

The Vampire Diaries has been a rollercoaster. Eight years later and I stuck it out. The last season had some familiarity, some disappointments, some surprises and a lot of nostalgia. A fitting end to my terrible relationship with this show. Thanks for the memories, Mystic Falls.

 

What did you think of the season and series finale of The Vampire Diaries? Did it end the way you thought it would? Were you disappointed or happy? Let us know in the comments below.

Dean Ravell

Aspiring writer/director. Fascinated with all kinds of film and just wants to be part of the wonderful world of cinema. #AlmostFamous

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