The Vampire Diaries 4×23 – Graduation

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After a messy year, I’m thankful to report that the season finale of The Vampire Diaries was an excellent affair that rearranged the show’s chess pieces in some captivating ways.

The faceoff we’ve all been waiting for between Elena and Katherine finally happened, and it was epic! In fact, it was probably the best fight scene the show’s ever done (because for once it didn’t end in three seconds). The banter between the two, the remarkable editing (how did Nina do both sides of the fight?), the brutality – it was all pretty magnificent. And then, it all culminated with one heck of a twist: Elena force-fed Katherine the cure! Truly my mind was blown as the show’s original status quo got effectively reversed. The glorious possibilities at the writers’ disposal are now too numerous to fathom. Nina Dobrev is going to have a whole new set of challenges next season, and I have a feeling she’s going to continue to astound us.

I think we were all wondering how the hell Bonnie was able to subdue Silas so easily last week, so the reveal that her death had set him free was definitely a welcome development. The real bombshell came when Silas revealed his true face: Stefan! While this twist does somewhat detract from Elena’s rare doppelganger condition (who’s next, Damon?) it was a a well-executed move that’s brimming with potential. Paul Wesley is at this best when he’s playing evil, so he’s bound to have a lot of juicy material next season. However, Silas trapping Stefan in an underwater coffin was much too similar to Angel‘s season three finale. If only the writers were a bit more creative here, as the similarities between Stefan and Angel are getting a bit much (the broodiness, the evil past, the hair, and now: underwater confinement in a box).

So Bonnie is gone for good (or as gone as could be on TVD). I can’t say I’ll miss her, as she was never more than a convenient plot device. Admittedly, her final kiss with Jeremy was quite beautiful, and I pretty much loved how she brought him back to life. Yes it cheapens death on the show, but at least the witch’s been offed so it’s not a total loss (pardon the pun). The tidbit with her telling Jeremy to lie to her friends about her summer with her mom was appropriately selfless and commendable. Goodbye witchy witch. Please don’t drop by often.

The episode’s standout sequence was undoubtedly Elena professing her feelings to Damon sans sire-bond. Ian Somerhalder delivered an incredible speech about not wanting to apologize to Elena, and our heroine countered it with her own heartfelt declaration of love. I have to say it though: how awkward is this going to be for Nina and Ian who recently broke up? Nevertheless, these two have really cemented themselves as the endgame couple for the show, and I wonder how TVD could ever end without these two together. It just wouldn’t feel right to ever have Elena with Stefan again. But I guess that’s the brilliance of a well-executed love triangle (which admittedly stumbled a bit this season).

Bits & Bites

– Awesome moment: Lexie dancing to “You Give Love A Bad Name” while Stefan got drunk.

– I didn’t realize how much I missed family scenes on the show. I loved Alaric, Elena and Jeremy laughing and eating burgers together. Dobrev’s delivery of “I feel happy” broke my heart.

– Great little moment with Rebekah kissing Matt and taking his place on the explosive before setting it off.

– The group hug before graduation felt poignant, but I wish Stefan wasn’t part of it.

– Klaus decapitating the witch with a graduation cap was badass.

– Oh lord, Tyler is coming back. And Klaus still thinks he’ll be Caroline’s “last love”. Charming.

– Very honest moment with Stefan saying he’s “not, not happy” for Damon. And Alaric was naturally proud of Damon although I think he should stop referring to Elena as “the girl”. She’s practically his daughter after all.

– It was heartbreaking to see Stefan listening to Damon and Elena’s profound speeches. I did find her giving him the cure to be a pretty touching moment though. He really is bad at being a vampire.

– Why couldn’t Lexie stay? Her dynamic with Stefan is always amusing.

– What’s the point of even developing Matt and Rebekah if she’s leaving for The Originals spinoff? A pity. I was starting to like them together.

– Seriously the doppelganger fight was brutal with Katherine viciously stabbing Elena. Can you imagine how difficult this must have been to shoot? You could barely spot the stunt doubles (my favorite past-time).

– Didn’t Nina look absolutely gorgeous in that Silas scene at the end? Wow.

Vampy Zingers

Stefan: I should be upstairs grooming my hero hair.

Katherine: I don’t think red’s really your color bon bon.
Bonnie: And here I was hoping the ghost of anyone would have killed you already.

Elena: Stefan, The only person worse at being a vampire than me is you.

Stefan: What if Elena was the one?
Lexie: She was one. And she will always be an epic love. Contrary to popular belief, there are actually multiple ones, especially for a vampire. The only way to find another is to let go. Move on.

Katherine: (to Elena) Happy graduation cupcake.

Elena: Kicking someone when they’re down. Classy till the end Katherine.

Must Download Tunes
You Give Love A Bad Name by Bon Jovi
Gone by Olivia Broadfield
Belong by Cary Brothers

Conclusion
Graduation is an explosive finale of The Vampire Diaries that impressively sets the stage for a (hopefully) riveting fifth season.

 Nad Rating
A

4 comments

  1. I'll just preface my comment by saying that Katerina Graham is going to be a series regular next year! So she'll still be sticking around.

    I loved that fight sequence, as well. And the ending was a great twist. It'll be interesting to see how Katherine deals with her humanity. Hopefully the show will keep her around a lot next season. I like that she wanted to keep her death a secret (now that Stefan is trapped underwater, and he's the only other person who knows other than Jer, it might stay that way for a while).

    I thought of Angel straight away when Stefan was thrown into the quarry, but I don't think it's going to be a problem for them differentiating the two. Hopefully he'll stay underground a long while, just so we can see Silas messing around with everyone in Mystic Falls.

    Great review, can't wait to see what a revamped season 5 looks like!

  2. I didn't know about Graham and now I'm actually disappointed that Bonnie is coming back. That means both Jeremy and Bonnie aren't gone which really is “cheapening” death on the show in my opinion. No one STAYS dead on TVD!

    Thanks for your kind words though. Always a pleasure to read your thoughts!

  3. You know when you need a really good season finale. Just one of those days. Well I finally had time to jump back into TVD. And Julie plec is a genius. She's grown up watching the same shows as us. She knows the making of a good finale: return of old favorites, overdue confessions/confrontations, rapid action, great dialogue, amazing music and a killer twist. Every scene was bursting with life, and fulfilled some kind of wish the fans expressed at one point. The journey was long and convoluted this year, but we got to a good place. We got the payoff we asked for.
    PS: Props to the lighting crew, and the DOP, I couldn't take my eyes off the screen.

  4. I totally forgot to respond to this! I agree, this finale really salvaged a tiresome season. Here's hoping the show can regain it's throne next year now that The Originals will be taking all the characters I do NOT like. (Never return Klaus!)
    The finale was superb for all the points you mentioned. Can't wait for the premiere; you got me quite excited again!

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