If you aren't in tears after The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 14, well, then you are a stronger human than I. It might actually be time to check your pulse.
How is it that even when we know these deaths are coming, they still manage to shake us up inside?
Maybe it's because Liz Forbes was one of the last remaining humans living in Mystic Falls, or maybe it's because she was the last regular grown-up in the lives of these young adults, but wow. That was one powerful goodbye. (Alaric only counts as half a grown-up, what with the questionable decisions he's prone to making which we'll get to in a minute.)
Liz dying has been a moment I've not been eagerly awaiting. Despite knowing it would happen, I still held out hope that they would find a way to save her. In a lot of ways, though, it was time for her to go, and no one else is capable of writing a death scene quite like those sitting around the table for The Vampire Diaries.
It was a perfect choice to have Liz spend her last day with Damon instead of being futzed over by Caroline because what she loved more than anything besides her daughter was her job, even if that left Caroline and Stefan to become Staroline officially at the cabin. This episode and its execution were so well done I can't even be mad at the fact that we killed Caroline's mom in order to shove Stefan and Caroline together.
Yes, Stefan said he was there because he couldn't bear the thought that Caroline hated him and that is probably true. Humanity Stefan likes being liked. And in general, I like the idea of Stefan and Caroline together, but I hate that it feels like we lost Liz to make it happen.
That Liz wouldn't want to leave cold cases behind makes sense for the character, especially since she was the keeper of the vampire secret. At first, it was unclear why the Gilbert accident figured so prominently in this episode. It proved a perfect backdrop for Liz's revelation that she wanted their death to have been caused by something besides, well, life. If their death had a supernatural cause, then maybe her own death wouldn't be so meaningless.
Except Liz Forbes' death was anything but meaningless (minus that whole Staroline thing).
Death is a part of life and the sad part of being a vampire is that the humans they love will die. We've seen plenty of deaths on this series, but few of them have been so personal. Only Carol Lockwood comes immediately to mind. (Again, Alaric doesn't count. He didn't stay dead.)
While it's sad to be losing Marguerite MacIntyre, to show this facet of a vampire's life, someone had to die. It also allowed Stefan to show Caroline how to go inside someone's mind, a skill which isn't often used, thankfully, because to do so would cause it to lose its impact.
Tears started rolling when Tiny Caroline kept saying she wasn't ready to let go and Younger Liz said she was. Seriously Tears. There's probably mascara streaking down my face. Those tears were begun by Liz's deathbed confession that all she wanted was for Caroline to know she's extraordinary.
Annnnd, there go the tears again. RIP Liz! I'll have the tissues ready for The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 15 because I know Damon's eulogy – minus all the dirty parts – will probably have me crying again.
Liz Forbes wasn't the only character to say goodbye. We also lost our Jer-bear. Elena said goodbye to her baby brother, but this time she didn't burn his body up in an act of arson, so yay for personal growth!
Jeremy Gilbert left for "art school," aka he's headed out west to kill some vampires. That was a twist I didn't see coming, but man, is it a good one! Long gone are the days when Jeremy might have been capable of living a normal life. That ship sailed when Damon and Elena picked him up in Colorado and took him on a ghost-finding mission. Maybe even before that.
He's a hunter, plain and simple, even though we don't get to see that badass tattoo anymore. It's also perfect that Alaric, former hunter turned vampire-who-hates-vampires turned vampire-who-hates-being-a-vampire turned human, is the one who not only knows this secret but is actively encouraging Jeremy to pursue his destiny.
This will surely come back to bite Alaric (vampire pun intended) since he'll inevitably let it slip that Jeremy has been pursuing some interesting extracurriculars while away at school.
That also explains why Jeremy was so reluctant to leave with Enzo on the loose in Mystic Falls.
Enzo's story, this thing with Sarah Salvatore and being jealous of Stefan, is just about the dumbest thing ever. It gives Matt something to do, and I love Michael Malarkey, but the same amazing group of people who have given us so much wonderful content this season also gave us this abomination of a story arc.
It's like Enzo is supposed to be a villain, but he's kind of whiny and demanding and it just doesn't make sense. I don't want to see Enzo die, but I'd love to put a stake in this story ASAP.
What did YOU think of "Stay"? We want to hear from you, TV Fanatics! Did you love/hate Liz's death? How do you feel about Staroline's kiss? Are you shocked to learn that Jeremy's going west to hunt vampires? Remember you can always watch The Vampire Diaries online!
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.