The Vampire Diaries: “Stay”

So, I went into this episode of The Vampire Diaries ready for some sadness. Not sadness about Jeremy Gilbert’s departure, of course – that’s been long overdue. But Liz Forbes’ time is almost up, and everyone knows what’s coming. The crew starts by preparing in different ways. Caroline prepares cabin for Liz to stay in, which of course involves Stefan in a tight shirt fixing things and requires Caroline to awkwardly retrieve his phone from his pocket. Damon actually spends the time with his friend, helping her out with open cases before she gives up the role of Sheriff forever. And Elena and Jeremy smoke some pot.

The first shocker of the episode is that Sheriff Forbes thought that the Gilbert car crash may not have been an accident. It’s an interesting idea, bringing back a storyline all the way from season 1, and it involves bringing the pain back for Elena and Jeremy. But Elena is a lot more grown-up now, and she gives deserving props to Liz for taking care of her and Jeremy.

Meanwhile, Matt and Enzo have a pretty big role in this episode (I’ve realized that Enzo has an extremely weirdly-shaped head). Otherwise, it isn’t too boring of a storyline. Basically Enzo lures Sarah Salvatore to Mystic Falls to flirt some more with Matt. Then he forces them to hang out in a tunnel and hits Matt with his car, then subsequently saves his life with vampire blood. Right in front of Sarah. So that’s certainly exciting

But back to Sheriff Forbes. Caroline is dealing with her mom’s impending death the way Caroline would, by trying to control everything that she can. So Stefan steps in to help her, and Caroline responds by breaking out the alcohol. I’m pretty sure at this point we have a bunch of vampiric alcoholics on our hands. Anyway, Stefan is so helpful that Caroline makes googly eyes at him, and he makes googly eyes back, and, yes, my yelling of “make out already!” at the screen finally works on them. It’s quite the romantic kiss, too, with the sun silhouetting them and everything.

The best interaction of the episode is nonetheless between Damon and Sheriff Forbes, though. The two bond over cold cases until they realize that there was nothing malicious or purposeful about the Gilbert car crash; it was simply a horrible accident. At this point Sheriff Forbes is just Liz Forbes, and her disappointment is palpable – as is her exhaustion. Damon has to put her to bed, where she speaks as if she’s saying some of her last words. “I’m exceptionally ordinary…Caroline is anything but.” She also asks Damon to give the eulogy at her funeral, something he never did for his own mother. The whole thing is sweetly tragic. Then it becomes heartbreaking.

Liz loses consciousness and Damon has to rush her to the hospital, where Caroline later bursts through the doors. Damon tries to explain what happened, but everything surrounding Caroline Forbes is gone. She didn’t get to say goodbye to her mom. She cries this as she reaches her bedside, knowing that Liz has a DNR and isn’t going to wake up.

Stefan comes to the rescue once again. He reminds Caroline of vampires’ ability to influence dreams, and creates a beautiful way for supernatural and human to come together. Caroline and Liz together remember the day little Caroline Forbes first rode a two-wheel bike, and her mother sent her off knowing that she would succeed: just like always.

The ability to make fun of The Vampire Diaries is a large reason why I write these reviews. Sometimes it’s simply a hate-watch, sometimes I’m in it for Ian Somerhalder, and sometimes I’m just a typical fangirl. And then there are episodes like this, where a show on the CW can evoke such emotion and be so truthful, despite its unrealistic premise. The entire cast was on point in this episode, but I want to give major props to Candice Accola’s ability to break my heart right along side that of Caroline Forbes. There were plenty of campy moments, from the kiss to the story of the bike, but who cares? This episode was worthwhile.

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