Now that the news that Nina Dobrev is leaving The Vampire Diaries has rocked our little fandom, each and every episode between now and the finale puts more emphasis on the character of Elena Gilbert and how this story ends for her.
And she wasn't even really the focus of The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 18.
Elena's narrative was firmly B-plot squished in between the A-plot of Lily Salvatore helping bring Stefan back from his darker self and the C-plot of what we can only hope and pray is an end to the travesty that has been Enzo's story this season.
The question of the night was whether or not Lily Salvatore would be able to help bring Stefan back to his guilt-ridden, moping, subdued self. For a while there it seemed like she might not be able to pull it off, what with the reveal that she no longer loves her sons because that life was just so long ago.
Seriously. How much would it suck to hear that after knowing what it's like to long for someone or something for 150 years yourself? If Damon had snapped her neck and walked away to let her wake up on her own, no one would have blamed him.
They wouldn't have been able to get Stefan's humanity back, but still. No one would have blamed him.
She essentially traded her real family for a group of super-witches, former Geminis all like Kai with magic and vampire powers. These heretics became her new family, but was that because she grew addicted to the power they possess, or because she was legitimately looking for family? Is there something about their power which keeps her from turning into a Ripper?
Not gonna lie, I'm pretty interested in where that story is going. She'll still need Bonnie to help her get to the prison world, and Bonnie is crazy reluctant to do that, so Lily might have a fight on her hands in order to get Bonnie's assistance. Bonnie will not help willingly so there will have to be a damn good reason for her to think about going back to 1903, especially after she hears about the new breed of witch waiting there.
Plus, there's a good chance Kai will be one of those heretics when we meet him unless something in absorbing Luke makes it impossible. Now my wheels are all spinning about what is, essentially, a subplot.
Lily succeeded in turning Stefan's humanity back on, and I have to say I was pretty disappointed with how easy it was. Stefan the Ripper is always more interesting than regular Stefan, so I wanted to see his and Caroline's murder spree continue for a while. A supernatural Bonnie and Clyde, you know?
But he's back to himself and soon Caroline will be too. That was fun while it lasted.
Now we'll move right along to the Elena Gilbert portion of this review...
From the moment Lily asked Elena whether or not she misses being human over breakfast, it became exceedingly clear that Nina Dobrev will bow out of The Vampire Diaries because Elena Gilbert will take the cure and ride off into the human sunset leaving the vampire world behind her.
She might even take Matt Donovan who is so fed up with vampires feeding on people he won't even let one of his oldest friends help him NOT DIE even though dying would curse his other best friend into life as a werewolf.
The theme of "Does Elena like being a vampire?" continued as she learned about Jo's pregnancy and mourned for the life she'll never have. It's clear to everyone, Damon included, that he's her consolation prize. Her first choice life is a human one. She's said that since The Vampire Diaries Season 2 when Klaus came to town to kill her.
Why can't they return to the 1903 prison world and grab another cure? Then Damon can take it and they can live happily ever after. (Or he can ship it to New Orleans and give it to Rebekah once she gets back into her regular body.)
Finally, Enzo's story both began and ended.
We saw his vampire origins with Lily Salvatore, which was an interesting spin. It seemed odd that she was so compassionate, but maybe she saw a bit of Damon in him because they both had dark hair. Who knows. She was gathering outcasts, but he didn't possess the same qualities as the others she'd collected, so Enzo as part of her new family was an interesting choice.
The best part of the Enzo-Sarah interaction to date has to be the very end when it wasn't clear whether he would turn her, compel her, or kiss her before he just took the ropes off her wrists and walked away.
We're done with that story but we're not done with that story, you know? And now she probably does want to become a vampire so Enzo's plan worked even though he was trying to give up on his plan.
I only care because I think an Enzo-Sarah hook-up would be a great little wrench in the Salvatore's story. Plus, MAYBE something interesting could come out of this by the end of the season. Maybe. We'll see.
What did you think of "I Could Never Love Like That"? Were you surprised that Lily Salvatore said she no longer loves her sons? Will Caroline turn her humanity back on next week on The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 19?
Grab some popcorn and watch The Vampire Diaries online to find out.
Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.