'Vampire Diaries' Finale: Death Comes Knocking

Does Stefan stay dead? THR highlights the biggest moments from Thursday's season-five closer.
Annette Brown/The CW
"The Vampire Diaries"

[WARNING: Spoilers ahead from Thursday's season finale of The Vampire Diaries, "Home"]

The Vampire Diaries finished its season with permanent deaths (or should it be "permanent deaths"?).

Since the beginning, the series has toyed with the definition of being dead. Nearly all characters in Mystic Falls, if not all, have seen the light (at least once, if not more times) and have somehow prolonged their life on the show in one form or another, whether it be through spells, resurrections or as ghosts.

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Thursday's finale, "Home," attempted to do away with the show's propensity to toggle between life and death, instead permanently shutting off the . The instability of the Other Side remained the focus of the second-half of season five. The complete disintegration of the Other Side and those unable to pass through during the brief resurrection spell window would find themselves trapped permanently dead. Death came knocking for two of Mystic Falls' own.

The Hollywood Reporter highlights the biggest cliffhangers and tear-jerker moments from the season-five closer.

Stefan's "death"

Stefan's stay on the Other Side is only temporary. While on the Other Side, Stefan reunites with his best friend Lexi, who saves Stefan from being forever taken. "I think you owe me a beer." Meanwhile, in the world of the living, Damon isn't taking the news of Stefan's death well. (This will come back around at the end.) Obviously, Damon, Elena, Caroline and Co. don't accept Stefan's death so easily. So they begin to a hatch a plan.

The #SaveStefan plan

Slightly convoluted, but here it is in a nutshell: They'll intentionally create a gas leak at the Mystic Grill, per Damon. That way the Travelers, who want to take over Mystic Falls and rid it of the supernatural (vampires, werewolves, etc. included), are terminated and the resurrection spell begins, which means all their loved ones can return from the Other Side. Caroline (awesomely) kills Liv's brother Luke to force her to help them enact the spell -- this after the Travelers' leader Markos changes the Mystic Falls town limit to where the spell begins. But who will be the person to cause the explosion?

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Damon is the trigger for "Project Kaboom"

Damon has to break the news to Elena in the town cemetery that he's the one who will "trigger the explosion" at the Mystic Grill. Elena isn't having it and then asks him the big question. "Do you see a future with me because that's all I see." Damon says he's seen it "since Day 1," asking her to "respect" his choice to sacrifice his life for the others. Then, he makes a promise he probably shouldn't have made: "I will make it back to you. I promise." Just as Damon's about to drive through the Mystic Grill in a blaze of glory, Elena jumps in the car. "You said to respect your choice. Now you can respect mine," Elena says. Seconds before the car plows through the town hotspot filled with the Travelers, Damon and Elena give each other one last longing look. "Damon?" "I know ... I know ... "

Race against the Other Side

After Damon and Elena appear on the Other Side following the Mystic Grill explosion (R.I.P.), Elena bumps into Alaric (welcome back!) but she's hell-bent on locating Damon. Ric, instead, tells her to focus on finding Jeremy, who was at the Mystic Grill during the explosion. Meanwhile, Damon wakes up and locates Sheriff Forbes under a collapsed column. Struggling to free it, Ric comes to his rescue, saving Liz from the clutches of death. In no time, the two best friends go back to their banter like years never passed. "Friendly advice: When you finally get the girl, don't blow her up," Ric tells his friend, an old callback. Everyone races to the cemetery as the spell has a limited shelf life, but Damon isn't there yet.

Coming back to life

Everyone who's been a major part of the second half of the season is there. Enzo, Damon's other friend, is the first to pass through Bonnie and come back to life, bumping into Caroline, who is beyond shocked. Next is Tyler, who notices that things feel a bit different. Translation: He's back to being human. While Elena fights to stay until Damon returns, Bonnie forces her friend to pass through, as she grows weaker and falls over, which causes Stefan to inadvertently come back to life. Ric passes through too. (Yay!) Lexi is next, but she's not about to take Damon's spot; instead, she helps kill Markos before being taken herself. Luke stops Liv from continuing on with the spell, abruptly cutting the Other Side off -- with Damon still stuck on the wrong side. Uh-oh. But he's not alone: Bonnie's there with him. Remember, once the Other Side's gone for good, she's going with it.

The ugly goodbye

"I lost them both," Stefan says, mourning Lexi and Damon's deaths at the cemetery as Caroline listens. "Damon finally had everything he wanted. He was happy. He should be here." Elena's grief is unbearable and she struggles to string together words of significance as she slinks down to the ground and cries ... and cries ... and cries. "You lied to me," she says, as ghost Damon appears in front of her. "Even if I wanted to apologize, you couldn't hear me, so I won't," he says, stroking her face, even though she can't feel his presence. "You are by far the greatest thing that has happened. ... The fact that I got to die knowing I was loved... is the epitome of a fulfilled life. ... It is never going to get better than this. I peaked." Elena makes one small plea: "Please, please come back to me." Someone else from her past does come back to help console her: Ric. (Matt Davis will be a series regular in season six.)

Hello death

Bonnie and Damon stand next to each other as the Other Side comes toppling down around them. Even though they haven't seen eye-to-eye on many matters, it doesn't matter anymore. "[I'm] sure there a million other people we'd rather be with, but ... ," Bonnie says before she takes his hand. They face a blinding light as it begins to consume them. "Do you think it'll hurt?" Damon's last words: "I don't know ... "

Other observations and notable quotables from the episode:

- Even though the likelihood Damon and Bonnie's deaths will stick is slim, experiencing Elena's utter heartbreak over losing her true love is gut-wrenching. For now, there is no loophole or spell or temporary fix to bring Damon and Bonnie back to the living. One wonders just how they'll get them back to Mystic Falls, or what's left of it, and one wonders just how drastically this will change Elena and Stefan's outlooks on their lives.

- Elena needs a parental figure, badly. About time Ric returned.

- R.I.P. Lexi, Silas and Grams. Possibly forever.

- "Is it a crime for someone so good-looking to be so sad all the time?" - Silas

- "Your biceps shrunk and your brain got smaller?" - Damon

What are your thoughts on the finale? Do you think Damon and Bonnie will come back to life? If so, how?

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