Liv was still chanting and bleeding from her nose now. Luke demanded they not wait for Damon to go together. He was starting the return trips. After Luke, Enzo went. "See you around, gorgeous," he said to Caroline as he walked past her. Tyler went through next. He hugged Caroline. Something felt different, he said. Tyler cut himself and he didn't heal. He's no longer a hybrid.
Lexi wanted Stefan to go. But when Elena showed up and said she wouldn't leave without Elena, Stefan said he'd stay.
Bonnie grabbed Elena and back she came. Bonnie started coughing up blood and almost collapsed. Nice guy Stefan went to catch her, and boom, he was back. Lexi could tell every body that passed through Bonnie brought her closer to death. She didn't want to go. But Markos did. Lexi kicked his ass and sent him flying into the abyss. Bonnie told her to pass through, it was her time. "What kind of a best friend would I be if you died before Stefan got his brother back?" Lexi put her arms out, and said to the abyss, "You're not gonna get me." She closed her eyes and got peace. I CRIED.
Damon and Alaric finally arrived, and Alaric passed through. Luke had seen enough of Liv suffering. He chanted and stopped the spell. When Bonnie went to touch Damon after he made sure Elena had gone back, nothing happened. Elena ran inside and found the candles out and Liv and Luke gone. Bonnie said that was it, it'd been there one shot. It's too late. Elena cried. I didn't because I was thinking they HAVE to try again in season 6. Damon can't be gone for what I imagine will be the final season of the show.
Damon watched Elena cry. Bonnie told her that Damon was there and she could say goodbye.
Stefan, meanwhile, was on a perfectly lit bench in the middle of the graveyard. Caroline sat down with him, and he said he'd lost them both -- the two people he's loved longest in this world. Caroline knew he meant Damon and Lexi. Stefan figured Lexi was responsible for Markos not coming back, and that she found peace. Damon finally had everything he wanted and he was happy. "He should be here," he said crying. Caroline held him.
Back to Elena. She wasn't ready for a nice goodbye. "You lied to me," she said to the invisible Damon. "Even if I wanted to apologize you couldn't hear me, so I won't," he said, touching her face. She could feel that though. Nina Dobrev was not vain in that scene. She let herself cry. "Please don't leave me," she sobbed. "I don't have a choice, baby," he said. "And you are by far the greatest thing that ever happen to me in my 173 years on this earth. The fact that I get to die knowing that I was loved, not just by anyone, by you, Elena Gilbert, that's the epitome of a fulfilled life." She sank to the floor and sobbed harder. "It's never gonna get any better than this. I peaked," he said and touched her face again. "I love you, Elena," he said slowly. I'm watching it again and CRYING AGAIN.
"Please. Please come back to me," she said, crying even harder.
"Bye," he said.
What I loved about that scene is how serenely Ian Somerhalder played Damon. He was already at peace. Damon was so fulfilled, so certain of his love for Elena that you forgot about all the drama of the past five seasons.
Bonnie phoned Jeremy to tell him she'd lied. There was never a way for her to stop being the anchor. When the Other Side goes, she goes to. She told him to take care of Elena and hung up. He needed to get to her.
Elena kept crying, and Alaric came in to comfort her. "He's gone," she said. Alaric held her. The CW has confirmed Matt Davis will be a series regular again next year. So that's something to look forward to. Their embrace was cut short because they heard Jeremy screaming Bonnie's name.
They saw her in the woods. We saw her on the Other Side. Damon walked up beside her. The wind was strong. The place was going down. Bonnie said there's a million people they'd each rather be with at that moment but... she took his hand in her hers. I CRIED AGAIN. "Couple thousand at most," he said.
"Do you think it will hurt?" she asked him, as the background began to turn white as though it was disappearing.
"I don't kno—" he said. And that was it. He was cut off. The screen went completely white.
In my mind, they found peace. Like I said, we felt it with Damon; Grams made it sound like she'd made a deal for Bonnie to move on, whether or not Bonnie genuinely felt it. It was pretty brilliant to have Bonnie and Damon go out together, because we all pretty much feel like the show can survive without Bonnie. So you have to ask if Damon is really gone for good, even if your gut says no way Ian is off this show.
But what could bring him back? The Other Side is gone, so they can't just find more Travelers to sacrifice and do the spell again. Are Bonnie and Damon in heaven? I can't imagine how they do it. It would be rude of whatever higher being to send Damon back because he wasn't part of Grams' deal.
And let's not forget, Tyler is no longer a hybrid. So does that mean everyone who came back from the Other Side is now human: Stefan and Elena, Alaric, and presumably long-gone Enzo? If so, why didn't they feel it as soon as Tyler did?
My head hurts. Look for a postmortem with EP Julie Plec posting on our Inside TV blog Friday afternoon. Until then, this is the only relief I can offer you: