TV Recap: 'The Vampire Diaries' Episode 423 - 'Graduation'



vampire diariesThe Vampire Diaries Episode 423
Written By: Caroline Dries & Julie Plec
Directed By: Chris Grismer
Original Airdate: 16 May 2013

In This Episode...

Bonnie needs to wait for tonight’s full moon before she can put the veil back up, so for now, everyone is spending time with their supernaturals. Elena is enjoying burgers in the cemetery with Alaric and Jeremy. Stefan is getting drunk with Lexi. Grams is helping Bonnie cope with being dead. But not everyone is having a good time. Vaughn shows up and shoots Damon in the shoulder. Connor threatens to kill everyone in town if Elena doesn’t hand over the cure. Alexander has Matt terrified on a pressure-sensitive bomb. And Kol is rallying the resurrected troops of massacred witches and hybrids. All the while, Caroline is still being Caroline, making sure that graduation goes off without a hitch. 

Let’s get some of the non-stories out of the way first. Connor is at the Grill when he calls Elena. Alaric goes there, discovers he is strapped with explosives, and hurls him out of the building where it explodes harmlessly. We do not see Connor again. Kol has planted his minions throughout the graduation ceremony and threatens Bonnie that he will unleash them should she not take the veil down for good. She takes him to the boiler room and shows him her corpse, promising that she wants the same thing - she’s not ready to die. Kol is pleased, but it is a trap. He remains stuck there until the veil goes back up. Rebekah decides to “live dangerously” and give Matt a big kiss. In doing so, she shifts him from the bomb mat and takes his place. He runs, and she blows up everything.

So Vaughn has shot Damon in the shoulder. Not a big deal, except the bullet (unbeknownst to Vaughn) was laced with werewolf venom. Elena suggests he take the cure. Sure, he will be human, but the werewolf venom won’t have any effect on him. (Though, I wonder, would it then turn him into a werewolf...?) Damon refuses, and instead takes Vaughn and the cure out to the falls where he “buried” Silas. Vaughn thinks it is a trick (it is) but when he realizes his bullets are werewolf-tinged, he shoots Damon several times more. As he threatens with a final, fatal bullet, Alaric shows up, snaps Vaughn’s neck, and tosses him over the cliff. He saved the cure, but Damon still will not take it.

Luckily, Caroline was able to get through to Klaus, who cures Damon. That night, he admits he came to town because he got her graduation announcement. His gift to her is Tyler’s freedom. He can return to Mystic Falls and won’t be killed. In what is perhaps the sweetest, not-cheesy line in The Vampire Diaries, Klaus says of Tyler, “He is your first love. I intend to be your last - however long that takes.” Damn, that is hard to resist. In other sappy storylines, Elena thanks Stefan for never giving up on her. He gives her the cure - it was all for her. Elena refuses it, doesn’t believe she is worthy of it. Stefan insists, leaving the option to her. Next Elena has to talk to Damon. She is mad that he would refuse the cure out of some stupid pride. He isn’t sorry - he would rather die than spend even one day as a human. He follows that up with some nonsense about how it would kill him to age and watch Elena remain Elena. The sire bond has been broken, but Elena is still hopelessly, madly in love with him. They kiss deeply. Stefan hears this, and is heartbroken. He would have gone running back to her in a minute if she would have had him. But he can’t hate Damon for “winning.” It is time for Stefan to leave Mystic Falls.

Okay, back to the good stuff. Jeremy wants to be with Bonnie when she puts up the veil. He wants his last minutes to be with her, because he doesn’t know how to say goodbye to Elena. He left her a note. So the veil goes up, but Jeremy doesn’t disappear - he gasps. Bonnie explains that she found a spell to bring him back to life, but she wouldn’t know if it would work until the veil went back up. Well it worked. Jeremy’s excitement is short-lived when he tries to embrace Bonnie - and can’t feel her. She promises that she will be okay, and since he can see ghosts they can still talk. She begs Jeremy not to tell anyone she is dead - tell them she is spending the summer with her mom. For the first time, she feels like her friends are safe and happy and wants them to enjoy it, at least for a little bit. Then Bonnie heads into the shadows with Grams.

But we’re not done yet. There is still the little matter of Katherine to attend to. Katherine is pissed off when Bonnie doesn’t have a hardcore immortality spell for her. In a paranoid rant of sorts, Katherine believes that her “shadow self” has all the luck, leaving none for her. So she attacks Elena. The girls battle fiercely, and I actually, for a moment, think that Katherine might kill Elena. But at the last second, Elena forces the cure vial into Katherine’s mouth - then slams her jaw to force her to bite it open. “Have a nice human life, Katherine.” On the plus side, now Klaus can create his hybrid army.

Frankly, I think that was a better place to end it, but we still have one more story to wrap up. Stefan, on his way out of town, is taking stone Silas to the quarry to be dumped. But the sack containing him is just broken concrete. “Elena” shows up - really Silas in Elena skin - and says that when the witch died, she took the spell with her. Stefan is confused - “Bonnie’s not dead” - but Silas doesn’t care. He created an immortality spell, so nature had to create a version of Silas that could die. He finally, finally, finally shows his “true” face - he is Stefan’s doppelganger. Silas locks Stefan in a man-sized safe and throws him in the water to face a similar fate that he was subjected to.

Dig  It or Bury It?

The Silas storyline was really unsatisfying. I never found him - or the specter of him - to be a good villain. I preferred Shane. But this whole doppelganger thing is a little too much. Four seasons and we are already repeating storylines? I just fail to see the point of it. If Silas is a shapeshifter, he could have disposed of Stefan and taken his place anyway. 

Otherwise, this was a really satisfying finale. It wasn’t “epic” like the commercials promised, but it really brought the season full-circle and tied everything up.