Synopsis: Everyone gets their happy ending, Katherine is defeated, Mystic Falls is saved, but one of the Salvatore brothers dies in the process.
I know that I’ve been rough on this show, but it’s only because I used to love it so much. For the past eight years (eight years!!), TVD was one of the only constants in my life – it took me through my awkward teen years into my equally-awkward mid-twenties, so it’s sad to finally say goodbye. Even though the past few seasons and this finale weren’t great.
The finale felt a little rushed, and I wish the writers used Nina Dobrev more, but it was a solid farewell for fans even if it didn’t pack the emotional punch it has for other characters’ goodbyes. The entire episode read kinda like the epilogue to the Harry Potter series: everyone grows old, pairs off in somewhat incestuous matches, and dies happy.
Before we get there, we have to kill Katherine Pierce. She’s back and has convinced Vicky Donovan to ring the Magic Bell until it destroys Mystic Falls with hellfire.
Luckily, Bonnie has conveniently regained her magic and she plans to funnel the hellfire back into hell to destroy Katherine (because somehow the new Devil can be consumed by her own hellfire…?).
Unfortunately for the Salvatores, one of them has to sacrifice themselves to make sure Katherine is stabbed and sent back to hell when Bonnie funnels the fire. After arguing, Stefan incapacitates Damon with The Cure and sacrifices himself. What that says about his marriage to Caroline we’ll never know.
Everyone is sad, but we don’t really mourn that much, because guess what? Bonnie magically discovered how to break Kai’s unbreakable, non-loophole spell in all of twenty minutes after Stefan’s death to wake Elena’s sleepy butt back up. How convenient.
Anyway, Elena reunites with Damon, we play a few sad songs for the funeral, and then we time-jump to an indeterminate future, where Elena is an MD and is journaling about her bright future. After another indeterminate time jump, Elena and Damon presumably die, because they are reunited with old members of the cast from Seasons 1 and 2 along with Stefan. (Yaaaas Lexie and Aunt Jenna!)
Back in Mystic Falls, Bonnie lives a nomadic life traveling around the world, Enzo still visits in spirit occasionally, Caroline opens Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters with a donation from Klaus (now that’s a spinoff I’d like to see!), Vicky redeems herself, Matt is crowned Sheriff, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Except Stefan, because he was objectively the worst.
Bye, Mystic Falls!