With all the season finales piling up, I really hope the summer offers us some great new drama while we wait (toes tapping and A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls in hand) for The Vampire Diaries season three to arrive.
This finale, “As I Lay Dying,” was phenomenal—definitely worth a second watch. But pause that DVR while A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls contributors Bree Despain and Heidi R. Kling dissect this episode (and predict what’s to come next season)!
(Also, seriously, don’t miss their finger puppet episode re-enactment. The video’s embedded below!)
Bree: Ok, let’s jump into business. Oh my goodness, what did you think of that very first scene where Damon shows up in Elena’s house to apologize for trying to turn Elena into a vampire?
Heidi: I thought it was hot. And endearing. Damon, other than the snapping of Jeremy’s neck thing, can do practically no wrong in my book. I wanted to yell at the screen, “WEREWOLF BITE. He has one! You must forgive him!”
Bree: Yeah, I thought it was a great moment for Damon. So endearing to see him admitting to doing something wrong and actually being SINCERE about it.
Heidi: This season for sure … instead of demanding, he asked; instead of being inpatient, he said he’d give her the time she needed. Even though he, and the viewers, knew there was no time left.
Bree: I know! Wasn’t that so heart wrenching? Knowing he didn’t have more time. Love the character development with Damon this season. It was actually one of my favorite moments of this whole show so far. I knew I was in for an awesome episode with that opener.
Heidi: So what do you think about Klaus? I mean, they should have killed him last episode. Way to go guys!
Bree: All season long, hubby and I kept wondering how they were going to top the threat of “Klaus the Original” in season three–now I know: “Klaus the Invincible Were-Vampire”
Heidi: He is also scary.
Bree: Oh, and a whole family of Originals just waiting for revenge.
Heidi: Speaking of, what did you think about the Indiana Jones-esque body warehouse at the end? Do you think they will all wake up?
Bree: Oh yes, you can’t have a whole warehouse full of originals and NOT wake them up! I bet Elena and Stefan have to wake up all the originals in order to take out Klaus.
Heidi: Or Bonnie will revive them all? And what about Elijah? Third try a charm? Is he dead for good?
Bree: Might be. I mean, how many times can you kill a guy?
Heidi: In Mystic Falls? Apparently, over and over again.
Bree: Or will he have to lead the Originals in fighting against Klaus?
Heidi: I hope that’s what happens. Poor guy. Klaus is a horrible brother. He makes Damon seem like Brother of the Year!
Bree: Seriously, how did Elijah not see that betrayal coming?
Heidi: He wasn’t thinking straight. It’s the blood thing. Like Stefan foreshadowed when they spoke, it would be extremely hard to kill one’s own brother.
Bree: Hard to do–unless you’re Klaus! Okay, back to the episode. I love how much civic pride Mystic Falls has. I really want to live in a town like that, with all the founder’s parties and movies nights.
Heidi: I know, the town is adorable. It reminds me of Mystic, Connecticut.
Bree: Except the parts with the vampires–it’s a great place to live!
Heidi: You may be staked or mauled, but we have rad parties! But what about Gone with the Wind picnic night, post-funeral?
Bree: Yeah, I DID find it kind of unbelievable that they would go to movie night right after Jenna was sacrificed.
Heidi: Two days after your guardian/sweet aunt dies and you’re out watching movies?
Bree: I know! Movie night? I’d be curled up in my room crying for at least a week! I am hoping she comes back as a ghost. They still need someone to take care of them–why not a ghost guardian?
Heidi: That would be awesome if Jenna came back. I heard Alaric was their new guardian, in an interview with the head writer Julie Plec. Which will rock!
Bree: Okay, let’s talk about the big moment that made me scream … the moment WHEN JEREMY GOT FREAKING SHOT!
Heidi: I thought he might be dead for reals. Dead dead, not come-back-in-a-few-minutes dead.
Bree: I was so mad, I was too busy screaming at the TV to even notice they were showing a sneak peek of the new Harry Potter film in the commercials
Heidi: Hah! Now Voldemort may give Klaus a run for his money…
Bree: I kept screaming: “But Elena has no other family left. You can’t take Jeremy too!”
Heidi: When he didn’t take the blood? Sad. I’m so happy Bonnie revived him … but at what cost?
Bree: I knew Bonnie was going to have to tell the witches that she loved him in order for them to save his life.
Heidi: Did you? How come?
Bree: Mostly … because that’s how I would have written it!
Heidi: Nice! I love that … writer’s intuition.
Bree: It drives my hubby crazy–I’m always predicting what’s going to happen based on what a writer would think. He’s always, “Shut up! How did you know that was going to happen?”
Heidi: So what about Bonnie? What did she unleash on Mystic Falls?! Will all the dead rise? Or just jealous girlfriends? Cuz this, I can’t wait to see! It’s like Mystical Bachelorette!
Bree: Man, I love Bonnie, but I’m always afraid that someday one of her spells is going to have uber-bad consequences. I’m afraid this was the one …
Heidi: How can we wait all summer?!
Bree: Seriously! The writers and actors of this show are totally brilliant. I like to watch TVD for lessons in how to turn up the conflict volume to maximum in a story.
Heidi: They are! The plotting is so perfect. BUT I wish they hadn’t killed Mason.
Bree: Yeah, sometimes I think they kill characters a little too freely in this show. Just when someone gets interesting–bam, you’re dead!
Heidi: Exactly! Rose too. Rose and Mason would’ve been good to stick around for the long haul. But I know many a fan who will be thrilled to have Anna take back her role again. Many were upset at her untimely demise.
Bree: I liked Anna and Mason. But I was happy to see Vicki go–she was so bad for Jer. Rose was cool too.
Heidi: Yeah, I can’t stand Vicki. Though she did stand out as unique in that perfect-girl-world as flawed, you know? And that’s a good thing!
Bree: Yes. She was a nice contrast.
Heidi: Some diversity in perfectness. Elena/Caroline/Bonnie couldn’t be more put together. Even when they are bawling. I don’t look like that. On my best day. LOL
Bree: But I really like the way Jeremy has grown since Vicki’s death. He’s a pretty awesome character. And he keeps getting cuter.
Heidi: Doesn’t he? Vicki won’t even recognize this new Man-Jer.
Bree: I bet Vicki’s ghost will shake things up a bit.
Heidi: Heck yeah. But … do you think this means that Jeremy is sort of undead? Like, he’s alive, but in purgatory or some such? Otherwise, why the girls?
Bree: Maybe the ghost of some of the people who were close to him hitched a ride back to the mortal world with him?
Heidi: Hmm maybe. We’ll see! We need to still talk about Stefan’s bloody rampage and more importantly–the Damon/Elena SMOOCH.
Bree: Yes, important things to discuss. Let’s take on Stefan first. Did you see that coming?
Heidi: I did not see that coming! But I found it compelling and spot-on as far as a “How do we logically get Damon and Elena closer” plan. Answer: Get rid of Stephen WHILE making him more sympathetic because he sacrificed everything to save his girlfriend-stealing bro.
Bree: Yeah, I knew they’d have to get rid of Stefan for a while, but I didn’t know how they were going to do it–perfect plan!
Heidi: It really was! And now DELENA will have to road trip it to try and save his soul or some such. TVD‘s road trips are my fav. Maybe they’ll go to Italy! (Hint, hint writers!) And it also keeps Elena and Damon not-together because they will both be drowning in guilt over Stefan. Brilliant. So the do-they/don’t-they chemistry will last another season. Organically.
Bree: Man, that moment when Klaus first told Stefan to drink the blood, I could see Stefan thinking, “Ha! No big deal. I’ve built up an immunity to this stuff…”
Heidi: Yeah RIGHT, Stefan. Once an addict, always an addict.
Bree: But when Klaus kept making him drink packet after packet … I knew he was a goner. So sad.
Heidi: Klaus is so wicked. “Again.” And wasn’t that interesting about Katherine? How she just took the back seat and observed? If she loves Stefan like she claims, why didn’t she try and stop Klaus? Is it because Katherine will join them on their rampage?
Bree: Nothing bugs me more than when a show spoils the chemistry too soon. I was shocked (and oh so happy) when Katherine actually brought the cure to Damon.
Heidi: I knew she would.
Bree: She could have run, but she didn’t. It goes against her extreme selfishness
Heidi: She owed him, and they left that thread untied there. One thing TVD does is throws us some foreshadowing bones.
Bree: Yeah. I was shocked she did it–but also knew she would.
Heidi: Well, in Damon’s flashback this time, it showed she may have cared for him more than she lets on in present time. And how could she not? He’s DAMON. He must live!
Bree: Okay, so moment of truth. What did you think of THE KISS?
Heidi: Loved it. I was bawling like a baby. I made a noise, like a Clare Danes at the end of Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet sob cry thing. I scared my child.
Bree: Nice! All I can say is that they must have great chemistry for me to be chanting, “Kiss him! Kiss him!” even though he was SO SWEATY!
Heidi: The sweat bit was a tad distracting, but the dialog was perfection.
Bree: Awesome dialog. But I really wanted Elena to use that towel to wipe off his face!
Heidi: Come on, baby, use your shirt sleeve, at least!
Bree: I was like, “Wipe his face–and then KISS HIM!”
Heidi: On a more serious note … the dialog was so tender and true.
Bree: I loved the “You should have met me back in 1847, you would have liked me then.” Great reminder that Damon used to be a sweet, good guy.
Heidi: That’s the thing about Elena and Damon–they understand each other in a way I don’t think Elena and Stefan do. They have a quiet, undeniable bond. She just finally admitted to Damon what us the viewers, already knew.
Bree: I know. I loved it when she said, “I like you now.”
Heidi: Yes. Perfect example. He’s like, “I was good before.” And she’s like, “You are still good now.” Heart-clench-sigh. (They didn’t say that; that’s my inner dialog, but you know what I mean.)
Bree: And that’s why Stefan’s sacrifice to save Damon was so perfect. Because Stefan was the one who turned Damon bad.
Bree: I love that Stefan has that deep down, dark guilt inside of him. Otherwise, the way he protects Damon–even when he’s off his rocker–wouldn’t make any sense.
Heidi: And how great that Damon finally took credit for his own actions and stopped blaming Stefan. The line, “Tell Stefan I’m sorry” or whatever, proved how much his character has grown. Stefan does. And rightly so. But Damon taking his own part is huge. Right?
Bree: That is BIG! Because I don’t think Damon is really capable of loving until he can take responsibility for his own actions.
Heidi: Right. That whole adage you must be a complete person yourself before you can love another. Includes forgiving yourself, admitting past wrongs, etc.
Bree: He has to get over his selfishness too–which seems like he has in this episode. Otherwise, every good thing he does is only to get Elena–not because it’s the right thing to do.
Heidi: My prediction based on that? Next season: Damon = Hero / Stefan =Adversary. Basically a role reversal between the brothers.
Bree: Yes! And it will be awesome. Can’t wait!
Heidi: I cannot wait. And if the TVD writers need some fresh blood? You have two writers right here willing to take the plunge. Right, Bree?
And if you like your recaps in video form, a hilarious finger puppet video enactment of the series finale!
Thanks, Bree and Heidi!
For more on The Vampire Diaries, see A Visitor’s Guide to Mystic Falls, including essays by Bree Despain and Heidi R. Kling, and Smart Pop’s recaps for each episode of season two (they make reruns more enjoyable!).
And keep an eye out for more TVD fun with Smart Pop this summer!