So... Bonnie is permanently a ghost. Jeremy is alive. Delena is a go. Mebekah is a fling. And Stefan is Silas' doppleganger?!?
Yes, The Vampire Diaries Season 4 finale gave our Round Table team a great deal to chew on. So let's open up wide and take a few bites, shall we?
Join Matt Richenthal, Leigh Raines, Miranda Wicker, Steve Marsi and Dan Forcella now as they break down "Graduation" with an extended discussion:
What was your favorite scene from the finale?
Matt: Alaric and Lexi sitting around, drinking and talking. I seriously love those two - both the characters and the actors behind them - and may have toasted the TV screen with a bourbon-filled tumbler as I fought back tears.
Leigh: When Klaus told Caroline his gift was letting Tyler come back because Tyler was her first love... and he intends to be her last. Wow. Who knew I was a secret Klaroline supporter?!?
Miranda: Gah. Klaus and Caroline were so sweet. Damon and Elena has been a long time coming. But I'm going with Matt and Rebekah. Finally! FINALLY! Matt's cashing in those vacation days and enjoying life. Finally. I really, really like the two of them together and hope all that time in Paris makes Matt decide to throw in with Rebekah for the rest of his human days.
Steve: Stefan's awesome double-negative comment to Damon. I loved this scene so much I immortalized it in meme form (below).
Dan: I have to agree with Steve, but with the added touch of Damon's "Thanks, brother." Of course these two have their most emotionally gratifying scene right before one of them is locked in a safe and thrown into the water.
Do you care that Katherine got The Cure?
Matt: No. Except that the loss of her vampire speed will perhaps make it more challenging for her to randomly appear and disappear throughout a season.
Leigh: Yes. I thought it was an awesome twist. Katherine as a human will be like a baby deer trying to use its legs.
Miranda: YES! This is going to be perfect! She wants a life? Well, now she's got one. Except now she's still on the run from Klaus because now she's the doppelganger and now he can make more hybrids. This has the potential to be awesome.
Steve: Yes and no? It was a bit anticlimactic after a season-long debate over whether Elena could or would take it, and momentarily believing Damon of all people would have to. That said, it will be fun to watch Katherine of all people adjusting to human life. I actually think she'll fit in well in a culture of narcissistic, self-obsessed millennials. She's probably already posting selfies on Instagram, freeloading off of her parents and Twerking at clubs.
Dan: Absolutely. I've cared about this whole Cure idea more than most. In and of itself, the Cure is ridiculously significant to The Vampire Diaries because it could severely alter the life of one of these characters. Just as life-changing as it was for Elena to become a vampire, it would have been equally crazy if Damon would have become human. So yes, I cared about who got the Cure. Am I excited about the prospect of Katherine being that individual? Not so much.
What graduation gift would you give to Caroline?
Matt: [Keep it clean, Matt... keep it clean, Matt...] I guess a mini-fridge, considering she apparently lacks on. [Fist pump!]
Leigh: Probably like a gift card to the Container Store. That girl loves to organize! If I had Klaus-like power, I'd get her her own city or small country to run.
Miranda: A Kegerator. Or a Savings Bond. Caroline seems practical like that.
Steve: Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss. Although let's be honest, our girl probably reads that every night before bed.
Dan: I would murder Tyler so that she can be with Klaus... a real man.
Did Elena make the right choice?
Matt: Absolutely. The decision was dragged out about one season too long, but did you hear those impassioned words from these two? Do you doubt their feelings for each other? Do you want to see another Delena sex scene that isn't interspersed with with Caroline talking to Stefan about the sire bond? You heard us, Julie Plec!
Leigh: There is no right answer to this question. I just hope it's not awkward for Nina and Ian next season now that they've broken up!
Miranda: YES! YES YES YES! I've been pulling for Damon and Elena since the beginning so YES. But ditto, Leigh. I hope their real-life break-up doesn't cause the chemistry to crash in their on-screen romance.
Steve: Don't you guys read celebrity gossip sites? They are "consummate professionals" who will never let their real-life breakup impact the show. Just be glad you get to see more of that on-screen chemistry next season - sire-bond free!
Dan: Is anyone actually shipping Stelena? Damon and Elena has always been where it's at, even early on when people were trying to convince themselves she was better with Stefan. At least the writers knew the correct path to walk down, and I couldn't be more excited about it. DELENA!
Pen a eulogy for Bonnie.
Matt: Ding dong, the witch is unfortunately NOT dead. Word is that you'll remain a central character, despite being a ghost. Go buy yourself a pottery wheel and have at it, Jer.
Leigh: Oh Bonnie, normally you are a plot device when the show needs a witch, but I felt a soft spot for you this week. When you were at graduation and saying goodbyes without anyone knowing I felt really sad for you. I hope those witches on the other side aren't too pissed at you, but at least you'll have Grams.
Miranda: Bonnie Bennett. Best friend. Witch. Plot device. Now ghost. You're dead, but nobody is gone forever when it comes to Mystic Falls. Thanks for bringing Jer's biceps back to our lives.
Steve: Bon-Bon. It's like we hardly knew ye. Which is sort of true, as your character wasn't developed that well and just seemed to sort of show up whenever we needed some spell or supernatural rule change. But we'll miss you just the same. At least your swan song as TVD Plot Device Extraordinaire was your greatest of all, bringing Jeremy back with zero explanation at all. Well played, girl!
Stefan is Silas' doppleganger, Silas has now taken on his true form and Stefan has been shoved into a locked safe and plunged into the water. REACT!
Matt: I'm intrigued. I'm excited. I'm looking forward to The Vampire Diaries Season 5. But I'm not convinced it all makes sense. I get the feeling the writers were hoping we'd be too shocked to actually think about the steps that led to that cliff and I also can't get past this question: Damon was too busy to bury Silas' body?!? What, exactly, took priority?
Leigh: I consider myself fairly intelligent and I had to rewind this several times because... WHAT?!?! What about Qetsiyah? And Silas' Freddie Kruger face? Sorry I don't get it.
Miranda: OMG! WTF! <---My actual reaction. When he grabbed the bag of rocks out of the back of his car, I was super bummed that we weren't done with this ridiculous waste of a season. But then Silas revealed his true face and I was shocked and giddy at the possibilities. I love this because it's going to give Paul Wesley so much room to act, and he's said before that he really loves playing the darker side of this role. This actually redeemed about 84% of the Silas plot for me.
Steve: See Leigh's answer. It felt as if they decided they needed the obligatory cliffhanger "game changer" and thought that up in about 30 seconds.
Dan: What? Yes! Wait, who? Sweet! No!!!! How? Here's the thing about Silas. The show needs a big bad, and with Klaus gone, were they going to be able to find another one? Silas is the original immortal. Does it get bigger or badder than that? Let's let Wesley do some work, allow the character of Silas develop and this could work out for everyone.
Grade The Vampire Diaries Season 4.
Matt: B-. A terrific cliffhanger does not a terrific season make. We can all agree that the final few moments left us breathless with anticipation, but that doesn't make up the meandering Cure storyline, too much of a focus on Bonnie, too many layers of clothing on Rebekah and, it must be said one final time, the sire bond.
Leigh: C. Maybe a C+. There was a lot of BS between the sire bond, the cure, etc. That finale bumped it up a bit.
Miranda: I'll be slightly more generous than Leigh and give it a B- for the following reasons: Hot Delena sex, Jer's biceps, Klaus got to be both awesome and terribly scary (Finally. Still not over his hybrid slaughter symphony in the woods), and the promise of MORE hot Delena sex. There was unevenness all over this season, we got bogged down in that ridiculous search for the cure, but there was a lot of payoff tonight that redeemed much of what plagued the season. TVD continues to be can't-miss TV for me.
Steve: I'll say B- because it was all over the place at times, but you can't overlook the fact that it keeps you coming back, week after week, and you always feel invested in the characters even if certain story arcs drive you nuts.
Dan: Haters. A-. The Vampire Diaries is still better than 95% of television, and this season wasn't any different.
YOUR turn, TVD Fanatics: What grade would you give Season 4?