The season three finale of the Vampire Diaries is finally here, and it started with a blast from the past.
Last week's episode ended with Elena passing out. This week finds her waking up -- but waking up in a time when her parents and Aunt Jenna were still alive. The flashback is only a dream, though, as Elena really wakes up in the hospital, a location where she is definitely not safe.
According to Dr. Fell, Elena is only suffering from a slight concussion; unfortunately the rest of Mystic Falls is suffering from a lot more. Now that Alaric has made the council aware of the vampire/supernatural situation in town, Mayor Lockwood, Sheriff Forbes and Dr. Fell are all being fired for hiding information.
Jeremy moves Elena back to the safety of their house, but her mind is still troubled by flashbacks.
Meanwhile, Stefan decides to return to Mystic Falls to watch over Elena while Damon continues driving off with Klaus' body. Damon doesn't get very far, because long-lost Elijah shows up with a proposition.
Alaric also has a proposition for Jeremy, whom he runs into at The Grill. If Jeremy tells Alaric where Klaus' body is, he promises to kill Klaus, and the rest of the vampire species. Alaric even tells Jeremy he will chain himself up and let Elena live a long life, and die when she dies of old age.
Elijah has a similar request for Elena and the rest of the gang. In return for Klaus' body, he will steal Alaric's stake, and the original vampire family will go on the run. Elijah promises that he won't let Klaus out of his coffin in Elena or her children's lifetime.
Of course no one trusts him, as Elijah has gone back on his word numerous times, but Elena agrees to Elijah's proposition (despite Damon on speaker phone repeatedly saying, 'No, no, no'). The gang, with Jeremy's help, gives Alaric a fake location for Klaus' body. The plan is for Rebekah to take Klaus from Damon at a storage unit, while Elijah and the rest of them fight Alaric in the woods.
While they get the plan into place, Caroline and Tyler are meeting with their parents, who tell them that Alaric has told everyone about their secret. Their parents beg them to leave Mystic Falls, and they agree, but only after helping their friends.
At the storage unit, Bonnie is with Damon, putting the finishing touches on their plan.
Meanwhile, Stefan is saying goodbye to Elena, as he, Jeremy and Elijah go into the woods to fight Alaric. As he goes to leave, he turns back around to give Elena a passionate kiss (can anyone say cheating for her affection?!). As usual, though, the plan backfires, and Alaric ends up at the storage unit to take Klaus' body.
Elena is now left alone with Matt, when she finally starts to reveal her true feelings about the brothers. Stefan helped her figure out how to live after her parents died, she tells Matt. Her feelings toward Stefan are something that she's always going to have. Meanwhile, she explains her feelings towards Damon. When I'm with him, he consumes me, she tells Matt. I know I can't love them both, I know it's wrong. I don't want to lose anyone else.
Elena's chit chat with Matt doesn't last too much longer. In true Mystic Falls fashion, Matt drugs her in order to get her out of town for her safety.
With Damon out of town at the storage unit, Rebekah finally turns up, unaware of Alaric's presence. Luckily Rebekah has Damon, who hides her from Alaric, and manages to get the coffin out of the unit before Alaric opens it.
Damon and Rebekah aren't quick enough though, and Alaric fights them off, getting his hands on the coffin. Wasting no time, Alaric plunges the dagger into Klaus's heart, causing the original vampire to burst into flames.
As Rebekah runs to avoid a similar fate, Damon has to make the phone call everyone dreads. Bad news brother, he tells Stefan. Alaric staked Klaus. He's dead.
The Salvatore's take the time to say their goodbye's on the phone, fearing the worst that Klaus is dead, and soon they will be too due to the end of the bloodline.
As Elena wakes up in the car with Matt on her way out of town, she discovers what has happened to Klaus. Matt asks her to make the big decision. Does she want him to drive her to say goodbye to Damon -- or Stefan?
This is the moment Vampire Diaries fans have been waiting for. Elena has finally made her choice, calling Damon to say goodbye, and telling him that she's turning around to go back to Stefan, Caroline and Tyler.
I love him, Damon, I fell for him instantly, she tells him on the phone. No matter what I feel for you, I never unfell for him.
Pulling the ultimate, It's not you, it's me, Elena tells Damon, I care about you, which is why I have to let you go. As if those words weren't breaking his unbeating heart, she finishes it off with Maybe if you and I met first.
While having his heart broken by Elena, Alaric reappears, and the only way to describe what he's doing to the aching Salvatore brother is beating the stuffing out of him.
Rebekah has long fled the storage unit, running to Elijah. He's gone, she tells him with tears in her eyes. There was nothing I can do to stop it.
Those weren't the only goodbyes being said. Caroline rushes to Tyler, who has no idea that his sire has been staked -- and ultimately he too will die. As Caroline and Tyler embrace, he starts to feel the pain of what he and viewers think is his death.
The Vampire Diaries also knows how to surprise viewers, though, and it turns out that Bonnie was at the storage unit transferring Klaus' body to Tyler's just in case the situation at hand occurred.
Klaus is not dead, but currently living in Tyler's body, which means that none of the Salvatores of Caroline and Tyler will die.
Unfortunately none of the original vampire siblings of Klaus know that, and Rebekah decides to kill Elena so that she won't have to spend years running from Alaric.
Rebekah stand in the middle of the road, the same location that Elena's parent's car went off the road two years ago, killing them.
Not thinking that he can't kill a vampire by hitting it with a car, Matt swerves off Wickery Bridge, causing Elena to have a déjà vu flashback of the night her parents died.
As viewers witness Elena's dad fighting to break the window of the car, Elena does the same thing in the present day, trying to save an unconscious Matt. Between flashbacks, Stefan appears again to save her from the same fate she faced years ago, only this time she forces him to take Matt up to the surface first, not her.
During Elena's flashbacks, Damon has a flashback of his own as Alaric is close to staking him. Fans see an interesting clip: It turns out Elena met Damon first, not Stefan.
The pair meet on the Wickery Bridge, where Damon believes she is Katherine. Talking with her he discovers that she isn't Katherine. Damon and Elena talk love, and a fight she had with Matt, which drew her parents out to pick her up. You want a love that consumes you, Damon tells Elena. You want passion and adventure, and even a little danger.
Before Damon can answer her question of what do you want, her parents appear to pick her up, but not before Damon makes Elena forget that they had the conversation.
The flashback helps Damon fight back, but unfortunately, Alaric doesn't have much fight left in him as Elena slowly drowns, which means that she slowly kills vampire Alaric.
When Alaric dies in Damon's arms, it's then that he comes to the horrible conclusion that Elena has died.
Damon isn't the only one to realize that Elena is dead. Jeremy gets a visit from Alaric's ghost. There shouldn't be a dry eye in the room as Alaric tells him I will always be here to look after you. You won't ever be alone.
Oh my God, you're a ghost, Jeremy says to Alaric in disbelief. If you're dead that means Elena is dead.
Having a main character die doesn't seem like a smart move from the show creators, but Vampire Diaries show runners are way too good.
Damon rushes back to town, appearing at the hospital and demanding that Dr. Fell show him Elena. It's there that Dr. Fell tells Damon that a slight concussion isn't really what caused Elena to collapse last episode. Instead, Elena was suffering from brain hemorrhaging. In a shocking twist, Dr. Fell tells Damon she did the only thing she could do to help save Elena from the bleeding in her brain: She gave her vampire blood.
As the last seconds of the third season come to a close, Elena wakes up...a vampire.
What did you think of the season three finale of the Vampire Diaries?
Amanda Remling studied journalism at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, NJ.
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