'Vampire Diaries' Season 3 Finale Recap: 'The Departed'

by Cassie Title

Honestly, I’m not even sure how I’m writing this right now. I mean, I know that I’m sitting on a dining room table, my fingers are typing, and I’m alive and everything, but considering the MASSIVE AMOUNT OF HOLY SH-- moments that occurred during last night's "Vampire Diaries," life just seems so unreal. Because the show seems so unreal! I don’t even think I’m real! I am losing my grip on reality, and I don’t know how I’ll continue functioning without parsing everything I care about concerning "The Departed." So, it’s a good thing that I write these recaps. Or else I would just be writing into my computer screen, addressing paragraphs to no one, and asking myself: Self, what is reality?

Okay, enough of this nonsense. I was not looking forward to this episode for obvious reasons (it was the season finale) but mostly because I knew that we wouldn’t be learning anything history-wise, or mythology-wise, or Original-wise. But I still managed to scream at my TV and scare my neighbors, despite this very serious lack. And that is saying something! It is saying something, indeed.

Let’s get it out of the way, now. Three paragraphs in. Do not read on if you haven’t watched. It’s going to be just awful for you, I know it. Kind of like that time that I decided to reread every "Harry Potter" book before reading the sixth and my idiot of a friend told me, despite the fact that I put my fingers in my ears and shouted at her that I had not yet read it, that Dumbledore died. Because, guess what. People died. Two of them, at least (although it’s kind of murky). Let’s go with at least one. And that one is...

ELENA. Yes! You read that right. It’s crazy, isn’t it? Hasn’t she “died” so many times before? BUT THIS TIME IT IS REAL! Elena freaking died! I legitimately can’t believe it. I’m still in shock. Somebody reach through cyberspace and pinch me! Here’s how it happened:

Top Shocker: After Elena fell and knocked her head last episode, Jeremy took her to the hospital, where Meredith treated her. Everything seemed to be fine, the operative word being "seemed." That’s because she actually suffered a brain hemorrhage, and Meredith gave her vampire blood to heal her. Nobody knew this, though, not even Stefan, when he tried to save Matt and Elena from drowning in Matt’s car when Rebekah stood in the middle of the road and caused them to crash off Wickery Bridge. In a nice parallel to when he saved her when her parents’ car crashed, Elena told him to save Matt first, just as her father did for her. And Stefan, being Stefan, obliged. So when he brought Elena up to the surface, she was dead. Then she was in the hospital, and she was still dead. But then her eyes opened. It was just like Bella’s at the end of "Breaking Dawn," which upset me, because "Twilight" is not my favorite (apologies to all you Twilighters; it’s just that "TVD" as a show is INFINITELY BETTER). And now, oh my, oh my god, OH MY FREAKING GOD: ELENA IS A VAMPIRE!

Shocker No. 2: Bonnie’s a sneaky little witch! She asked Damon to leave her alone with Klaus’ coffin to savor his demise. Except, it seemed suspicious to me at the time, and I was right! Bonnie pulled a Greta and switched Klaus’ and Tyler’s bodies! And Alaric staked Klaus! Except he really staked Tyler! So Tyler’s dead? Right? He has to be? Oh no? I understand that Bonnie did what she did to save Caroline and her mother, but if Tyler is truly dead (actually, even if he isn’t), and when Caroline finds out (and believe you me, she will find out) Vampire Barbie is NEVER, EVER, EVER going to forgive Bonnie.

Shocker No. 3: Maybe not too much of a shocker, but Elena chose Stefan. What was cool about the choice was that when we thought Klaus had been staked, Damon was an hour away from Mystic Falls, and Elena was with Matt, en route to see him. So Elena was actually forced to make the decision: Who was she going to say goodbye to? She called Damon with a heartfelt goodbye, and told him that no matter what she felt for him, she’ll never un-feel for Stefan. So she did the famous Katherine/Elena line: It’s Stefan. It’s always gonna be Stefan. And my heart died a little bit for the third time, and then she said: Maybe if I had met you first. Which leads me to:

Shocker No. 4: This is the coolest, most amazing thing of this episode. Because never once did I think that Damon had met Elena first. But he did! Amidst all the flashbacks to the night that Elena’s parents died, we had one that occurred not too long before Stefan saved her from drowning. And what happened literally blew my mind. I’m not kidding, my brain was on fire. Damon saw Elena, mistook her for Katherine (obviously) and then they talked! And there was instant chemistry! And he told her that she wanted a love that consumed her (which is funny, because she describes Damon as consuming her), a love that was passionate, and a love that was a little dangerous. And then he told her that he wanted her to have everything she wanted, and then he compelled her so that she didn’t remember meeting him, because that would upset his whole getting Katherine out of the tomb thing (too bad we all know how poorly that worked out.) But HOLY SMOKES! DAMON MET HER FIRST! CAN YOU IMAGINE HOW THINGS WOULD’VE PLAYED OUT IF SHE KNEW THAT? DO YOU THINK EVEN STEFAN KNOWS THAT? OH MY FREAKING GOD.

Other things, that are probably not as shocking as the above shockers:

Since Elena died, Alaric died, too. Goodbye, psycho Ric. Goodbye, lovely history teacher. You shall be missed, in all your forms.

Since Evil Alaric had outed Tyler and Caroline to the council, the Mayor and the Sheriff urged their offspring to skip town. Which they planned on doing, before Caroline found out who she thought was Klaus died, and who she thought was Tyler convinced her to leave the cave because he pretended to transform. All of this happened right after who she thought was Tyler told her she had a great future ahead of her, and she was strong, and could live without him and such, and it was all very reminiscent of Klaus’ slightly creepy I-can-show-you-the-world Aladdin speech to her, and guess what! It’s because it really was Klaus, mwahahaha!

Everyone was so confused about why all our fave vamps weren’t dying once Klaus bit the dust (because they would’ve died if Klaus, who sired their bloodline, died.) And that’s because it was really Tyler! AGGH!

Elena’s a vampire. Okay, so REALLY IMPORTANT. And already mentioned. Just needed MAJOR, MAJOR, INSANE EMPHASIS because HOLY HELL I don’t believe it.

Until twenty-thousand days from now (at least that’s what it feels like)...

Are you still in shock? Were you surprised by, well, everything? Is Tyler actually dead? Can you believe Elena’s a vampire? How will this affect her, considering she really did not want this? Did choosing Stefan end the triangle, or has us finding out that she actually met Damon first and her becoming a vampire changed things? Can you believe Bonnie did what she did? When will everyone find out, and will she be forgiven? When is everyone going to find out that Klaus is now in Tyler’s body? Is Klaus gonna milk it for all it’s worth and try to get freaky with Caroline? Is Matt okay? Are Rebekah and Elijah going to figure out what really happened, or go after our fave vamps because they’re still alive?

There are so many more questions! Please ask them. And answer them! I NEED YOUR THOUGHTS BECAUSE I CAN’T HANDLE MY OWN! We have so much time to discuss in the comments, or on Twitter, or on any other social media engine you may desire. Because we all have thinking to do! And guessing to do. And none of us can handle our excitement or our obsession or our unwillingness to wait however long we have to wait to watch new episodes. So converse with me, friends, all summer long! Then we won’t miss anything at all.