THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: 5.22 “Home”
I felt it only fair to come back here and share some more lucid thoughts on the heartbreaking season five finale of The Vampire Diaries. If you haven’t already, you can hop over to the post I wrote last night, which was very reactionary, very emotional, and very OMGOMGOMGWHATJUSTHAPPENED.
But now that it’s been 24 hours, I wanted to come back and share some comments that I’ve actually processed. Did Damon die? Is he coming back? Did Bonnie die? Is she gone forever? I don’t have the answers to these questions. But I do have some thoughts.
Let’s start with Bonnie. The struggle with Bonnie is that there’s really nothing left for her. And it’s been like this for a couple seasons now. There’s a reason that we’ve tried killing her off before. Bonnie is one badass witch — but we’ve sort-of run out of stories for her. I love Bonnie. I love seeing her and Jeremy together especially. There’s just not much left to do with her. So when the Other Side collapsed, taking her with it, there really was nothing left for her. I don’t see what could bring her back, other than loyalty to her friends. And while I would love to see the character again, it almost feels like an abuse. She really shouldn’t come back. She’s gone full circle, and I don’t know what they’d do with her.
And I think the writers might just know that. She said it herself: she’s been on borrowed time. And so has the character. So I think she might just be dead. And that’s it. Elena just lost her best friend. And Jeremy her love. (And by the way, the way that everyone realized Bonnie’s loss was just fantastic. Jeremy’s desperate screams of her name, while everyone overhears it — you can almost see the lightbulbs go off in their heads. They know what’s about to happen. It made for a highly intense and emotional scene.)
Now for more intense emotion: Damon. First of all, his good-bye to Elena was just unbelievable — and I must commend both actors on that scene. Elena was pleading with him not to leave her, while Damon just accepted what was about to happen: “Please…please come back to me.” “I love you. Good-bye.” (If you want to remember exactly what Damon said in his speech — and break your heart again — just read it all here.)
Here’s my problem with this scene. It was a good-bye speech. Damon himself said that he peaked. And when you peak…what’s left? Damon said his good-bye. He explained how his life was complete. And when that happens…what’s left for you?
Now, as a TVD fan, I naturally want to argue that, of course, Damon still has stuff to do. He’s not with Elena yet. He’s still got an opportunity for redemption. He still adds a lot to the show! But as someone who has watched a lot of series that kill characters off, particularly shows that understand when a character has, well, peaked — that might not make sense. As I said in my reactionary post, supernatural shows hate happy characters. Damon did find the love of his life and ended up with her in the end. Elena and Damon, in their own way, got back together. We got to see them tell each other what they mean to each other and prove it to each other. Damon made peace with his brother a long time ago — and again after he got together with Elena. And in blowing up the Travelers and Sheriff Forbes, he’s redeemed himself as a good person. He sacrificed himself for his brother and for the town. He really did go full circle. What’s really left for him?
Logically, I’m trying to understand how this show would continue without Damon, if that were to in fact happen. It seems impossible. Somerhalder has an amazing fanbase (not including eyes that pop off a promotional poster). But we just added two new series regulars: Alaric and Enzo. Could we have just traded one guy for two others?
Ultimately, I hypothesize that Damon will somehow make his way back, but Bonnie won’t. We may see Bonnie again, briefly, somehow, long enough to explain why she’s gone for good. But I do think that she’s gone. There’s just nothing left for her, and as someone who’s more in tune with the ways of life, death, and nature, I can see her accepting her fate more than Damon, who does have that love of Elena to cling on to. How we’d get Damon back? I don’t know. But I just feel like somehow that’s going to happen.
Either way, I have to admit that they did an amazing job with that finale. Just seeing that screen turn white with the TVD logo dripping (almost like a tear this time, not blood) while the two said that they were happy to be going into the next stage of the afterlife (or oblivion) together — the fear they had and the unexpected cutoff of Damon’s final line — it all just hit close to home with our own fears of what’s going to happen next. And generally not knowing. Plus, in cutting them off, we didn’t even get the solace of taking a breath and accepting what was happening. It just happened.
To read more, with comments based on an EW interview with EP Julie Plec, read after the jump below. Potential hints and/or spoilers included.
I’ve been scouring the web today, waiting to see reactions and interviews with cast and crew members of TVD to get any additional information on the show. I’m wildly impressed that so many people have been quiet. But I finally found an interview with executive producer Julie Plec. And while it doesn’t explicitly say what happened to Bonnie and Damon, it does tell you a little bit about whether Somerhalder and Kat Graham would be around next season. Of course, in reading this interview, it did change some of my thoughts, but not necessarily my ultimate hypothesis above.
Basically, Plec told us Somerhalder and Graham will be around in season 6. But in what capacity, who knows? TVD has not shied away from flashbacks, and with Stefan still alive and well, I can certainly see us flashing back to when those young lads were still alive or even early vamps. Somerhalder could very well be in the show in that capacity. There are also dreams, visions. Both Bonnie or Damon could be in those (in fact, I almost wonder if we’ll see them both in dreams, calling out to Elena for help, potentially).
And there is the obvious. Maybe we’ll see where Bonnie and Damon went and see them (or one of them — see above) get out. And maybe once both (or one) get out, maybe they won’t be the Bonnie and Damon we know. Plec did say the context isn’t clear.
There are a million ways this can go. And as much as I want to trust that our two main characters are still going to be hanging around Mystic Falls, I’m still skeptical. As I said above, they both peaked. They both said their good-byes. They both accepted their fate. That all adds up to a solid — and permanent — TV death.
But I still hold firm on my hypothesis above. And I’m still desperate to see what their new fates look like, if we get the chance. Is it all white and happy? Is it a black hole of nonexistence? Maybe we won’t even see it. Maybe it’s just dreams and visions until someone miraculously appears with no memory, a la Angel in Buffy season 3. I guess we’ll have to see.
But Plec does reference some other interesting things: Tyler is now human with a wolf gene. Alaric is an Original Supervamp. So there’s definitely some changes amuck for our little group in Mystic Falls. Plus, who knows what The Grill is going to look like once they rebuild. And who knows what mourning will look like — will we jump right in with Elena and Stefan mere hours, days after the big death? Or will we jump ahead and see how they’re all moving on? It seems as though season 6 already has a lot of questions that will be going round and round in our heads all summer.
But isn’t that always the way? TVD certainly knows how to do season finales. I’ll admit, after this episode, I said this one was right up there with the big reveal that Elena died and woke up in a morgue. TVD knows how to keep us on the edge of our seats — even if we’re hunched over and crying over two character deaths all summer long.