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The Vampire Diaries recap: God & Monsters

Damon redeems himself, but it could be his worst decision yet

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Bob Mahoney/The CW

The Vampire Diaries

TV Show
run date:
Nina Dobrev, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley
The CW

Season 1 finale: Katherine returned. Season 2 finale: Stefan left with Klaus. Season 3 finale: Elena died. Season 4 finale: Silas doppelgänger twist! Season 5 finale: Damon and Bonnie “died.” Season 6 finale: Elena went to sleep. Season 7 finale: Damon and Enzo … go to the dark side?

The Vampire Diaries season finales are always some of its best hours. Whether they deliver on romantic moments — Bonnie and Enzo! Stefan and Caroline! — or absolutely break your heart — seeing Elena! Stefan and Damon! — they’re known for leaving you emotionally exhausted. And the season 7 finale was no exception.

Knowing that the team had to approach this as a possible series finale only made it more emotional for me. (That last image of seeing Stefan back at his desk writing in his journal? Yeah, that made me cry way too much.) But because it’s TVD, it had to end on a cliffhanger. Let’s get to it.

We start with an Enzo-Damon-Stefan/Caroline conference call, where Damon explains that they need to get into the Armory to kill the final Everlasting. That’s how they save Bonnie. But when an explosion doesn’t open the Armory, Damon has a back-up plan: Call Valerie. Yeah, that’s not an option. Plan C? Get Caroline’s daughters to siphon the seal, but Caroline gives that a hard no. So of course, Damon goes about making it happen on this own.

With that underway, Enzo pays Virginia a visit to find out what exactly is in the vault, but it’s information he doesn’t share with anyone. Elsewhere, Stefan and Caroline are still on the run as she Skypes her daughters from the car.

After she hangs up, she tells Stefan that Lizzie accidentally siphoned her the other day. But she’s still not ready to get them involved in the supernatural world. She wants them to have as normal a childhood as they can for as long as they can. And Stefan agrees. This is Caroline’s call.

Caroline thanks him but informs him that this does not make up for the things he’s done. Stefan may think he feels a thaw of her icy heart — he totally does, by the way – but Caroline keeps lying to herself informs him that he’s wrong.

Just then, Bonnie calls Caroline and asks Stefan to drive faster. Thanks to Matt’s police siren, she’s gaining on them. The problem? There’s a six-car pile-up blocking the road ahead. So Stefan pulls a Dominic Toretto and turns the car around and asks Bonnie to let them pass. But when Bonnie can’t — the urges are getting stronger — it’s Matt who saves the day. He gets out of his restraints in just enough time to grab the wheel and wreck the car, letting Stefan and Caroline pass.

By the time they both wake up, Matt realizes he’s pinned. If Bonnie helps him get out, he promises to keep stopping her from hurting their friends, but as she tells him, “You’re human, Matt. You don’t belong in this fight.” (He probably could’ve heard that a few seasons ago.) Bonnie then leaves him behind to try to get himself out, which naturally, only makes him bleed more.

Now with a little time on their hands — key word: little — Stefan and Caroline stop for gas. Stefan then hands Caroline the keys and tells her to keep running. The fact that they haven’t heard from Damon means Damon has a plan that doesn’t involve them, and Stefan has to stop him.

And stop him he does. Just as Damon and Enzo meet on a runway to fly to Dallas and kidnap Caroline’s kids, they realize that their pilot has gone home for the day. Yeah, Stefan called ahead and sent him away. Stefan informs his brother that the involvement of Josie and Lizzie is Caroline’s decision. And speaking of that decision, hearing the pain in Bonnie’s voice when she asked Caroline to drive faster, Caroline calls Ric about the girls. As he sees it, if the girls helping will reunite Caroline with her kids, he’s ready to do it.

NEXT: Stefan and Damon have a chat