Everything is set up for graduation on the football field at Mystic Falls High School, but the ceremony isn’t the only big event scheduled for the day. Kol is gathering a bunch of ghosts on the field to tell them that since the town’s so-called protectors were so eager to fulfill their selfish goals that they were willing to risk unleashing Hell on Earth, that’s what they’re going to get.
Over at Vamp Villa, Stefan and Lexi are blissfully unaware of Kol’s plans. They’re rocking out to Bon Jovi and enjoying their time together. (Music: “You Give Love a Bad Name,” Bon Jovi) Stefan invites Damon to join them to celebrate his 17th high school graduation. Lexi attacks Damon, who asks Stefan if he’s just going to let Lexi get revenge on him. Stefan tells him he’s reaping what he sowed. Lexi tells Damon she’s not wasting any of her little time left in the real world on him.
Damon notes that since Lexi, Alaric, and Jeremy are all still visible and have physical form, something must have gone wrong when Bonnie went to put the veil back up. So why are Stefan and Lexi just partying? Stefan sarcastically says that he should be sacrificing himself for others and grooming his “hero hair.” Damon guesses he’s drunk and takes his alcohol away. Is it Opposite Day?
Underground, Bonnie calls Caroline to tell her the plan to put the veil back up hit a snag. She’ll have to wait for the full moon that night so she can power up and finish what she started. That means graduation will be taking place in the middle of the expression triangle, possibly with a bunch of uninvited ghost guests. Bonnie suggests canceling, but Caroline wants them to have their rite of passage. Hell will freeze over before she gives it up. Bonnie tells her that kind of joke isn’t welcome right now. She promises that the gang will be together today.
After she hangs up, Sheila tells her to go be with her friends – she’ll make sure no one finds Bonnie’s body. Bonnie knows she needs to tell the gang she’s dead, but she doesn’t want to put them through another tragedy. Sheila encourages her to say her goodbyes.
In the cemetery, Elena has lunch with Jeremy and Alaric, who are enjoying being able to eat and drink. Alaric objects to the Gilberts drinking alcohol, but Jeremy thinks Elena should be able to live a little after all she’s been through. He also thinks he should be able to live a little because it’s not like he can get in trouble. Alaric jokes that if he were sent to juvie, he would have a place to live, unlike Elena. He’s pleased to see her happy for the first time in a long time. Jeremy shuts his sister down before she can cry over the horrible things she did while her humanity was off – they only have a short amount of time left together. But Elena says crying is good because it means she’s feeling something.
Elena takes a call from the Grill, thinking Matt’s calling. It’s actually Connor. Meanwhile, Alexander raids Connor’s RV for weapons. He’s brought Matt and Rebekah with him, and he’s placed Matt on top of a wooden platform attached to explosives. If Matt steps off, the bombs will detonate. Rebekah refuses to leave him. Alexander tells Rebekah he’s there to fulfill his destiny as a hunter.
Vaughn shows up at Vamp Villa with the same goal. He shoots Damon with a wooden bullet and says he has a message from Qetsiyah. Connor gives the same message to Elena: The hunters want Silas and the cure. Elena doesn’t know where they are and clearly isn’t scared of Connor. He threatens to start hurting innocent people until he gets what he wants.
Damon whines that Vaughn shouldn’t be hurting him because Damon didn’t kill him. Well, not directly, because Damon needed a loophole to avoid the hunter’s curse, but Vaughn starved to death because of him and probably would still be alive if it weren’t for Damon. Anyway, Qetsiyah found Vaughn on the Other Side and reminded him that as a hunter, his destiny is curing and killing Silas. But Vaughn won’t be killing anyone now, because Stefan has snuck up behind him and ripped out his heart.
Elena tells Connor she’ll find Silas and get the cure. As he hangs up, Alaric joins him at the Grill to confront him for threatening an 18-year-old. Connor notes that that 18-year-old snapped his neck. Alaric replies that he taught her how to do that. Connor reveals that he’s strapped a bunch of explosives to himself, but Alaric isn’t about to let anyone blow up his bar. As Connor detonates the trigger, Alaric grabs him and zooms him into the back of the restaurant, away from all the humans.
Rebekah’s considering doing something similar with Matt – she could zoom him off his platform and be far away from the bombs before they go off. Alexander knows she’s thinking about it and wonders Matt would survive. They’re in a parking lot and Alexander has apparently also rigged some cars to explode, so Matt would have to avoid them, too.
Matt tells Rebekah to ignore Alexander and think about her post-grad plans. She should see the world. Rebekah vows to show Matt parts of the world he’s never been to. They’ll start at the church in Italy where she was supposed to marry Alexander. They’ll be able to go anywhere they want because they’ll be alive, not stuck on the Other Side like the ghosts are. Alexander’s done with Rebekah’s sass, so he whips a knife at her and Matt. She catches it, then steadies Matt so he doesn’t fall off his platform.
Bonnie gets ready for the graduation ceremony and goes to the school, where she runs into Katherine. She wants the immortality Bonnie said she would get Qetsiyah to supply her. Bonnie says Qetsiyah never showed, so too bad. Katherine complains that Elena keeps getting all the luck that should be Katherine’s. Her “shadow self” is living a better life. If Katherine doesn’t get her immortality, she might kill Elena. Bonnie threatens to kill Katherine before she can, but some people are approaching, so Katherine has the chance to get away.
Elena goes to Vamp Villa to have a Big Talk with Damon. Before they can start, he gives her a graduation present: the cure. She doesn’t want to take it if it’s the only one. Plus, the hunters are going to start killing people if they don’t get it. Damon tells her to take it anyway. Elena gives it back to him, which confirms that the sire bond is really gone. Jeremy joins them and Damon asks for a united front, but Jeremy tells Elena that he’ll support whatever decision she makes. “How is it even when you’re dead, you’re the bane of my existence?” Damon asks.
Downstairs, Lexi wonders how long it’ll take for Vaughn (whose body the guys have just left on the floor) to die, go back to the Other Side, then come back to the real world, assuming the veil stays down. She tells Stefan he’s missing his chance to give his opinion on whether Elena should take the cure. He knows telling her it’s her choice is a bad idea. He thinks it’s funny that Damon and Elena are talking about the cure instead of which brother she wants to be with. Lexi asks what Stefan will do if she chooses him. Stefan says he would go back to her in a second – she’s the love of his life. But if she chooses Damon, maybe that will motivate him to leave Mystic Falls and build a life somewhere else. Just then, Vaughn revives.
As Damon, Elena, and Jeremy continue their conversation about the cure, Damon indicates that he’s in pain. Elena tells him to take off his shirt. “Elena, there are children present,” he quips. She sees that the wound he got from Vaughn’s bullet isn’t healing. Damon reveals that the bullet was laced with werewolf venom. Klaus is in New Orleans, so Damon’s in a bit of trouble here. Jeremy has a solution, though: Damon could take the cure. If he’s human, the venom won’t hurt him. Instead, Damon gives the cure to Vaughn and invites him to come along to get Silas’ body, which Damon threw in the quarry.
Matt tells Rebekah that since he’s wearing a Gilbert ring, he could survive the bombs if Rebekah detonates them. She doesn’t want to chance it, but she acknowledges that to truly live your life, you have to do what you’re most afraid of. She kisses him, both because she wants to and because she needs to distract him. By the time they stop, he realizes she’s edged him off the platform and taken his place. Now he can go to graduation and she can set off the bombs without anyone getting hurt. Matt runs off as Alexander emerges from the RV too late to stop him. “I finally chose one of the good ones,” Rebekah tells Alexander before stepping off the platform.
Back at Vamp Villa, Elena’s anxious about Damon giving the cure to the hunters. Stefan tells her he’s just stalling – Silas’ body hasn’t been buried yet, so his trip to the quarry with Vaughn is a waste of time. Elena notes that Damon’s still dying. Stefan says they have time, since the bullet only had traces of venom in it. If necessary, he’ll go to New Orleans himself and ask Klaus for his blood. Uh, I would send Caroline. Jeremy announces that there’s plenty of time for Elena to go to her graduation. She doesn’t want to go without him (why can’t he just wear a disguise so no one recognizes him? Whatever), but he says he’ll hang out with Lexi.
Caroline has heard about Damon’s predicament, so she’s leaving Klaus messages every ten minutes until he comes to save Damon. I’d like to apologize on her behalf to whoever has to sit near her during graduation. She, Bonnie, Matt, Stefan, and Elena meet up as everyone lines up for the ceremony. Elena hugs Bonnie and thanks her for the extra time she got with Jeremy. Caroline is thrilled that they’ve all made it to the end of high school together. Bonnie’s emotional, knowing this is the last time they’ll all be together.
Elena admits that she missed the deadlines for college applications (she didn’t care so much about higher education while her humanity was off). Caroline notes that since they’re vampires, they can go wherever they want. The two of them and Bonnie could get a triple dorm room together. Bonnie just says she’s happy they’re all there. Caroline demands a group hug, making Stefan participate even though he doesn’t hug.
Rudy welcomes everyone to the ceremony, which appears to just be a reading of people’s names and the handing out of diplomas. He’s happy to get to acknowledge his daughter’s successes. She thanks him for everything, since this will be the last time she sees him. Matt, Caroline, and Elena are also honored, which means Matt must have passed his finals (thanks, Rebekah).
Kol appears behind Bonnie and points out that Aja and Adrian are also in the crowd, along with various other angry supernatural beings who want revenge because they were sacrificed to create the expression triangle. When Kol gives the word, they’ll attack. Bonnie notes that the veil will be going back up that night, so Kol should find something better to do with his limited time than bug the gang. But Kol wants Bonnie to drop the veil completely so they can all stay.
They sneak out of the ceremony and into the boiler room, where Bonnie points out that Kol was very against this exact thing happening just a few months ago. Kol says that was before he was on the Other Side. He sees her body on the ground and she tells him she’s a ghost now. She wants the same thing he wants. She wants to be with her family and friends and have a normal life. But she knows that’s not how things should be. She’s done a spell to trap Kol in the boiler room until she puts the veil back up and all the ghosts go back to the Other Side. He reminds her that she just named a bunch of things she wants, a bunch of reasons to keep the veil down. “We don’t always get what we want, do we?” she replies.
At the quarry, Vaughn notices that the werewolf venom in Damon’s system is spreading. He didn’t even realize the bullets he was using (which he got from Connor) were laced with venom. He shoots Damon again and accuses him of taking him on a fool’s errand. Vaughn demands to know where Silas is, but Damon won’t talk. As Vaughn’s about to shoot him with more venom, Alaric tackles him and shoves him into the water. “Oops,” he quips. And not only did Alaric just save Damon, but he also managed to grab the cure before Vaughn went over.
Elena, Stefan, and Caroline have left the ceremony, and Stefan’s on the phone with Alaric, who says Damon still refuses to take the cure. Caroline calls Klaus again, but Alaric reports that they don’t have time to wait for him to get there from New Orleans. The choices are to let Damon die or force him to take the cure. Stefan’s trying to decide when Aja and her coven approach the gang and give them all magic migraines. But before they can get any revenge on Caroline for killing them, Klaus arrives and whips a mortarboard at Aja hard enough to decapitate her. He welcomes the other witches to stick around and face the same fate.
Klaus heals Damon off-screen, so we skip ahead to Damon going home and cleaning himself up. Once Elena’s sure he’s okay, she slaps him. Downstairs, Alaric and Lexi eavesdrop, and Alaric says he taught Elena that swing. Stefan chastises them for violating their privacy. Elena joins them and asks where Jeremy is. Alaric says he went to see Bonnie before the veil goes back up.
Elena pulls Stefan out of the living room for a talk, leaving Lexi and Alaric to chat. She thinks there’s something else out there besides the Other Side. Silas wanted to find peace with Amara, so whatever “peace” is,” Lexi thinks they can move on to it once they’ve served their time. Alaric asks how they’re supposed to move on when their idiot friends can’t get their lives together.
Elena thanks Stefan for not giving up on her while her humanity was off. He says he owed her one. She gives him the cure, since he’s the only person worse than her at being a vampire. She assures him that the rest of them will be fine – he taught them how to be. He deserves whatever he wants out of life.
Caroline and Klaus are still at the school, though the ceremony’s over and everyone’s left. He reveals that he was already on his way to Mystic Falls when she started leaving him messages – he got her graduation announcement. She tells him she’ll accept cash or a mini-fridge as a gift. He’d rather buy her a ticket to come to New Orleans with him, but he knows she wouldn’t accept it, so he thought of something even better: Tyler’s freedom. He can return to Mystic Falls and be with Caroline again. “He is your first love,” Klaus says. “I intend to be your last, no matter how long it takes.”
Back at Vamp Villa, Elena’s ready to fight with Damon again, but he heads her off by saying he wanted to apologize. (Music: “Belong,” Cary Brothers) To clarify: He wanted to apologize, but he’s not going to because he’s not sorry. Elena thinks he would rather die than be human. Damon says he’s selfish because he makes bad choices that hurt her. Yes, he’d rather die than be human. But he’d also rather die right now than only get a few years with her before he dies, or spend his last years remembering how good he used to have it. That’s who he is and he’s not going to change, so he won’t apologize for being this way, even if it means he’s wrong for her.
Elena says she’s not sorry, either. She’s not sorry she met Damon or that knowing him has made her question everything. In death, he’s made her feel most alive. Yeah, he’s a terrible person and makes bad decisions, and this will be a bad one for her, but she’s not sorry to be in love with him. They make out, finally, officially together.
Lexi catches Stefan eavesdropping from elsewhere in the house.
Sometime later, Stefan loads Silas’ body in his car so he can dump him in the quarry for real. Damon offers to come along, but Stefan says Lexi will be with him. He admits that he’s not happy that Damon and Elena are together, but he’s not not happy, either.
Jeremy finds Bonnie underground as she’s about to put the veil back up. He’s ready to go back to the Other Side, and he wanted to be with her when it happened. He didn’t say goodbye to Elena in person; he left her a letter she can read after he’s gone. Bonnie starts the spell.
At Vamp Villa, Alaric notes that the moon is full. He’s proud of Damon for finally landing Elena. Now he just has to try not to screw things up. Damon says that with Alaric looking out for him, that’s not possible. But the veil is back up, and Alaric’s gone.
Stefan drives to the quarry as he and Lexi brainstorm places he could go next. She encourages him to go live his own life. He worries that Elena was the one. Lexi says she was, and she’ll always be “an epic love,” but that doesn’t mean she’ll be Stefan’s only one. To find another, he has to let go first. Then she disappears.
Elena must have found Jeremy’s letter already because she goes to the boiler room looking for him and Bonnie. Instead, she runs into Kol. He attacks her but vanishes before he can actually hurt her. Unfortunately, Katherine’s also there.
Jeremy had a bunch of things he wanted to say to Bonnie, but now that he just has a little time left, nothing seems right. They kiss instead. The torches she’s lit in the tunnels go out and Jeremy starts gasping for breath. Bonnie realizes that her plan worked. The veil is up, but Jeremy’s still there, not on the Other Side. He’s alive again. The bad news is that Bonnie is now on the Other Side, and Jeremy can only see her because of his ability to see ghosts.
She assures him that she’ll be fine. She has Sheila and other witches to hang out with on the Other Side. And since Jeremy can see ghosts, they’ll be able to talk whenever they want. She asks him to tell her friends that she’s spending the summer with her mom. She wants them to have a little more time being happy before they find out she’s dead. She promises Jeremy again that she’ll be okay, then goes off the Other Side with Sheila.
Rebekah checks on Matt at Lockwood Landing, though he won’t invite her in because he promised Tyler he wouldn’t let in too many vampires. She tells him she understands if he doesn’t want to follow through with the plans they were discussing earlier. Matt says a relationship between the two of them would never work. Like the house, he needs to keep as many vampires out of his life as possible. That means whatever happens during their trip stays on the road. She’d better not try to turn him into a vampire so she can marry him in Italy and spend eternity with him.
Rebekah’s surprised that he really wants to travel with her. Matt says it’s time for him to stop seeing himself as stuck in Mystic Falls. He has no plans and no idea what the future will bring, but he wants to start really living. Since Rebekah’s the one who almost killed him, he figures she should be the one to show him how.
Back at the school, Katherine throws Elena around and complains that she didn’t get what Bonnie promised her. Elena manages to tear off the door of a locker and smack Katherine with it. Katherine’s annoyed that Elena got a prom, a graduation, and a bunch of other stuff Katherine didn’t. Hon, you were born in the 1400s. You weren’t going to get a prom when you were 18. Katherine thinks Elena stole her happiness. Elena notes that Katherine killed Jeremy, so maybe they’re even.
Katherine smashes Elena’s face into a glass display case, then grabs a broom handle to stake her. She sticks it in Elena’s neck and twists it until Elena starts to pass out. Elena flashes back to her conversation with Stefan, when she gave him the cure. He tells her that everything he did to get the cure was so she could have it. She gets to decide whether or not to take it.
As Katherine is about to finish off her doppelganger, Elena pulls the cure out of her pocket. She shoves it in Katherine’s mouth and makes her bite down and swallow it. Katherine passes out and falls to the floor next to Elena. “Have a nice human life,” Elena tells her.
Stefan reaches the quarry but realizes something’s not right. The bag he thought held Silas’ body holds rocks instead. Silas appears, looking like Elena, and tells Stefan that the spell that turned him to stone had a loophole, just like every other spell. It was bound by Bonnie, and now that she’s dead, the spell is broken. Silas continues that he, not Qetsiyah, created the immortality spell. Because he could never die, nature found a balance – a version of Silas that could die. A shadow self, better known as a doppelganger.
Stefan asks if Silas is another Petrova doppelganger and is finally using his real face. Nope! Silas turns into Stefan and greets his shadow self. Then he shoves a stake in Stefan’s stomach and asks if he knows what it’s like to starve for 2,000 years. He traps Stefan in the safe the Salvatores used to torture Elena, then throws the safe in the quarry. Stefan bangs on the walls surrounding him, but there’s no one to hear him as the safe sinks and the water engulfs him.
Keep in mind: Stefan is Silas’ doppelganger.
Etc.: How did any of these kids graduate when they never went to class?
Matt agreeing to spend the summer with Rebekah doesn’t make sense to me. I know he’s become pretty liberal about when he wants to enjoy the benefits of knowing vampires and when he doesn’t, but this is extreme.
If only Elena had found Katherine earlier in the day. She could have killed her, waited until she came back from the Other Side, and killed her again.
It’s so cute how proud Alaric is of Elena for applying things he taught her.
I can’t imagine what Lexi and Jeremy would have to talk about. Maybe how much they hate Damon.
I love how, after all the buildup to the ghosts’ revenge, they barely did anything. Even when the witches were about to get something started, it lasted five seconds before Klaus shut them down.
Stefan also being a doppelganger is dumb. And they barely do anything with it!