4:51pm PT by Sydney Bucksbaum
'The Vampire Diaries': 7 Things That Need to Happen in the Final Season
The Vampire Diaries is officially ending after eight years of supernatural love triangles, emotional deaths and magical hijinks.
At Comic-Con, executive producer Julie Plec tearfully announced news that the upcoming season would be The CW's long-running show's last one because everyone — from producers to the cast to the network — had all made the decision to end the series after season eight. "It's bittersweet and emotional and we're all going to be crying in a minute," Plec said to a packed ballroom. "It's been a beautiful run. ... Get ready, because it's going to be an epic ride."
The final season, which sees series creator Kevin Williamson returning as showrunner alongside his former development head Plec, will also will be a shortened one and consist of only 16 episodes. With a limited amount of real estate left in the series, there are a lot of storylines that need to be resolved in order for fans to consider season eight, and as a result the entire series, a success.
From fan-favorite relationships to long-awaited returns, The Hollywood Reporter rounded up everything that needs to happen in the final season of TVD before the credits roll one final time.
Nina Dobrev exited TVD at the end of season six, and while the show felt creatively refreshed without her, she needs to return and reprise her role as Elena Gilbert before the series can end. Plec has said for years that she knew the way in which she wanted to end the series, and that includes Dobrev's Elena.
“Ever since she said goodbye, I’ve had a pretty clear ending in my head, which thankfully works wherever I put it,” Plec previously said. “Whatever gets us to that moment will change a lot of the next year or two, but that actual last sequence is pretty written in my head already."
According to Plec, Dobrev agreed to come back for the series finale before she left in season six, so she needs to make good on that promise, if only to finally give Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and the "Delena" fans the closure they all need. But that needs to be in a flash forward 60 years in the future to allow her best friend Bonnie (Kat Graham) to live out a full and happy life first, since their lives are tied together.
Caroline's Love Life Gets Resolved
No matter who Caroline (Candice King) was paired with over the past seven seasons, her chemistry with her love interest was off the charts, sparking some intensely passionate fanbases. First there were her high school sweethearts Matt (Zach Roerig) and Tyler (Michael Trevino), but her most recent two love interests inspired "ships" that took on a life of their own. The Originals' vulnerable villain Klaus (Joseph Morgan), while starring on a separate show, confessed that he would be her "last" love before he left TVD. But right now, she's happily together with Stefan (Paul Wesley), leading fans to hope that a "Steroline June Wedding" is in the cards. No matter which direction TVD wants to go, it's time to put the question of who Caroline will end up with to bed for good. Will she reunite with Klaus now that five years have passed giving Klaroline fans the happy ending they've been craving, or will she stay with Stefan and live happily ever after?
Matt and Alaric Finally Find Lasting Love
Have any two other men ever been so unlucky in love? Every time Matt and Alaric (Matt Davis) found love, it was brutally ripped away from them. Both of their fiancées were killed right in front of them. They just can't seem to catch a break in the love department. And since both of them are human, they have the chance to lead normal, happy lives. They deserve to find kind, caring women who, most importantly, aren't tangled up in the supernatural world.
Bonnie Saves Enzo
But even unluckier than Matt and Alaric is poor Bonnie. This witch has died and come back to life countless times, lost her magic, lost both of her parents and can never take a moment to just enjoy her life. She's only alive right now knowing that her best friend Elena is sleeping in a coffin until she dies. She's either sacrificing everything for her loved ones or needing to be saved by her loved ones. Right now, she doesn't have access to her magic and the love of her life, Enzo (Michael Malarkey), is being controlled by "evil herself." Before season eight comes to a close, Bonnie needs to get her magic back, use it to save both her boyfriend Enzo and her best friend Damon, and ride off into the sunset with everyone. Bonus points if she somehow gets to see Elena again before she dies.
Jeremy and Tyler Come Clean
Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) and Tyler also exited TVD in season six (although Trevino has since returned to make appearances on the series) to go vampire hunting together all over the country, following leads fed to them by Alaric. How cool would it be to get an entire episode dedicated to their new life on the road? And since Alaric is the only one who knows what they're really up to, they need to come clean to the rest of their friends at some point in season eight. Secrets never stay secret on TV, and this one is bound to have an incredible emotional impact on all their vampire friends. Talk about good TV.
Commit to Epic Crossovers
Ever since the Original siblings Klaus, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) and Rebekah (Claire Holt) left TVD to spin off their own series, The Originals, the two shared a universe that presented the opportunity to host fun crossovers. But unlike the Berlanti-verse of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, the vampire shows rarely featured crossovers. Now that The Originals has time-jumped five years to catch up with TVD, the two shows are back on the same timeline. With only one season left of TVD, it's time to commit to some epic crossovers. Give Caroline and Klaus an actual, face-to-face meeting. Maybe give Rebekah and Matt another passionate reunion. Show some more flashbacks to when Elijah and Katherine (also Dobrev) first fell in love. Time is quickly running out to pay off the fact that this is a shared universe.
Introduce More Flashbacks
Speaking of, one of the strengths of TVD is how it always found a way to use flashbacks. Since the two brothers at the center of the series are over 150 years old, they've lived through so many different eras, a lot of which have not been explored yet on the show. Take the brothers back a few decades, put them in flashback wigs and have fun with their relationship before viewers are forced to say goodbye to them for good.
The Vampire Diaries returns for its eighth and final season on Friday, Oct. 21 at 8 p.m. on The CW.