Exec producer Julie Plec has said that she viewed this season finale as a series finale, because there'd be so many changes come fall. And she wasn't kidding. Jeremy's alive, Bonnie's dead and gone, Klaus has agreed to let Tyler come back to town, Matt's having a summer fling with Rebekah, Elena and Damon are legitimately a couple, and Stefan is Silas' doppelgänger and buried alive when no one knows he's missing. To quote Crash Davis, "We're dealing with a lot of s---." Let's dig in.
We started with Kol motivating those who'd died in the massacres to make Graduation Day memorable, while Lexi and Stefan pre-partied at Salvatore Mansion to Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" -- appropriate considering her history with Damon. It was a dual celebration, really: Stefan's graduation (yet again) and the impending apocalypse. Stefan didn't feel like grooming his hero hair, so we cut to Bonnie phoning Caroline to tell her that she needed to wait until that night to have enough power to raise the veil again. Bonnie suggested they cancel graduation, but Caroline was having none of that. Bonnie wasn't ready to tell anyone that she was dead -- they'd been through so much, she said. Grams just told her to make sure she said her goodbyes before it was too late.
Jeremy and Alaric were spending quality time with a smiling Elena over greasy burgers and fries in that Salvatore Mansion courtyard none of us knew existed until this season. Jeremy enforced a no-crying rule, even though Elena's current tears were tears of joy because she was so happy to have those two back. Her mood changed when she got a call -- from Connor. Alexander had Matt standing on a bomb, and Rebekah refused to leave him. Vaughn showed up at the house (having starved to death in the well on the island) and shot Damon before delivering a message straight from Qetsiyah: The Hunters wanted the cure and they wanted Silas. Connor threatened to hurt all the loved ones in town for graduation dining at the Mystic Grill (well, it really is the only place to eat there), but before Vaughn could deliver another threat, Stefan ripped his heart out from behind.
Alaric made his way to the Grill and found Connor strapped with explosives. "This is my bar, pal. Nobody's gonna blow it up," Alaric said. Connor detonated the bomb, but Alaric had vamp-sped him away enough that the Grill was still standing. I guess we're happy about that?
Back to Matt and Rebekah we went: Alexander warned her that she couldn't pull that move with Matt. Matt tried to distract worried Rebekah by having her talk about her post-graduation plans. They're going to travel together, she decided. It's a date, he said. We all heard it Rebekah. We'll hold him to it! Katherine popped up at the school demanding the immortality that Bonnie promised her, and threatened Elena's life. Bonnie was about to crush her skull with that magical headache when other students dared to walk in the hallway and Katherine bolted.
NEXT: No one wants the cure now