The theme of Vampire Diaries’ As I Lay Dying was definitely that nothing is more painful than goodbye. The season two finale had it all…love, forgiveness and the kiss that Damon fans having been waiting for since the beginning of the series. As I Lay Dying opens with Elena looking in on a sleeping Jeremy and then Jenna’s now vacant bedroom. Damon appears in the hallway and tells her that he’s come to apologize. Feeding her his blood was wrong. He doesn’t deserve her forgiveness, but he needs it. Elena says she needs time. Damon, knowing that is one thing he doesn’t have, tells her to take all the time she needs.
Damon returns to the boarding house as the opening notes of Ingrid Michealson’s Turn to Stone begin to play. The song is perfectly placed as the scene plays out. Damon pours himself a drink and examines his werewolf bite before opening the drapes and flooding the room with sunlight. He sits down his drink and removes his ring, allowing the sun to burn him. He’s suddenly knocked to his back and into safety by Stefan.
Damon is determined to take his own life. He saw what happened to Rose and he had to end things for her. Stefan isn’t willing to accept that conclusion. He locks Damon in the cellar and says he isn’t dying today. He has Bonnie looking for a cure.
Always the hero, Stefan. Just tell me goodbye. Get it over with.
Klaus comes to in the sunny woods. Elijah tosses him some clothes and tells him that he’s been busy. He was a wolf for almost two days. The full moon came and went, so he seems to be able to change at will. Elijah has been cleaning up his mess and now wants to call in his end of the bargain. He wants to be reunited with the rest of their family.
Klaus says he won’t break his bond, even though Elijah tried to kill him. Now, no one can kill him. He tells Elijah that all is forgiven. He tells Elijah that he’ll take him to them soon enough.
Stefan calls Alaric, who is at the grill nursing a bottle. Stefan asks for his help and Alaric says he must be confused with someone else.
You see I’m not allowed to help, just idly sit by while my girlfriend gets sacrificed on an altar of blood.
Once he hears that Damon is dying, Alaric changes his tune and asks Stefan what he needs.
Elena and Jeremy arrive at a showing of Gone With The Wind in the park. Elena says they need the distraction, a three-hour escape from their reality. They have to start living again until one day it’s just not as hard anymore. Caroline shows up with a picnic in her typical cheery party mode. She says they’re going to take a page from Scarlet and persevere in spite of everything.
Bonnie and Stefan are trying to do a seance to see if any of the witches have information that can help Damon. The candles light and pulse as Bonnie chants and begins to hear whispers. Emily takes over her body. She refuses to tell Stefan anything that will help to save Damon. She says that nature has a balance for everything and perhaps it is his time to die. Stefan begs her to help him.
Bonnie collapses in pain. The witches don’t want them there. They think she is abusing her power. Stefan is sure that they know something they aren’t saying. Bonnie says she heard them say a name…Klaus.
Carol Lockwood is back to work. She asks the Sheriff where they are with the vampire situation. She says there have been some developments but she’s handling it. Carol is skeptical and tells the Sheriff to either take care of it or she’ll find someone else who will.
Stefan meets up with Elena and the group in the park and asks her to take a walk with him. Stefan explains that he can’t put off this interruption of their daily drama into the distraction of movie night. He tells her the story of how Damon was bitten by Tyler. Elena is shocked to find out that he’s dying. She realizes why he came to apologize that morning. Damon didn’t want her to know, but Stefan thought Elena might want to talk to him.
Stefan tells Elena that he isn’t given up on saving Damon. He thinks there is a cure, but he has to find Klaus to get it. Elena is immediately against the idea, afraid that Klaus will kill Stefan. Stefan says he had the chance already and didn’t kill him. He has to try.
Whatever Damon’s done, whatever’s lead him here, I’m the one that made him become a vampire in the first place. So if there is a chance for a cure, I owe it to him to find it.
Damon is beginning to hallucinate. He’s remembering Katherine from 1864. Elena invades his fantasy, telling him that Katherine was toying with him, that he had a choice. He comes to, realizing that he’s alone in the cellar.
Stefan goes to Alaric’s where Katherine is still waiting. She says it’s been two days. Klaus is supposed to be dead by now and she should be free from his compulsion. Stefan tells her that there were complications and he needs to find him. Katherine pins him to the wall and puts her finger to her lips just as Klaus opens the door.
Stefan tells Klaus that he needs his help, for Damon. Klaus says whatever it is, it’s going to have to wait. He has an obligation to his brother that requires his immediate attention. Elijah tells Stefan that he understands how important family is or he wouldn’t be there. He saved Klaus because he gave his word that he would reunite him with his family. Klaus proceeds to do just that, by shoving the dagger into Elijah’s chest.
With Elijah taken care of, Klaus turns his attention to Stefan, staking him next to his heart. Stefan tells Klaus the witches said he had a cure. He’ll give him whatever he wants in exchange for the cure. Klaus removes the stake and leaves Stefan lying on the floor. Klaus pours himself a glass of blood and ponders whether Stefan is of any use to him in his current state.
Alaric goes to the boarding house cellar. Damon tells him that his subconscious is haunting him and asks if he has something for that. Alaric pours him a double shot and sits it on the windowsill, along with Damon’s ring. They discuss Stefan’s efforts to find a cure.
Damon tells Alaric that he should want him dead, it’s his fault that Jenna died. Alaric says he doesn’t blame him for Jenna. Damon points out that he was also the one who turned Alaric’s wife into a vampire. Alaric asks for Damon’s glass to refill it, he says neither one of them is drunk enough for this conversation. Damon walks over to the door and grabs Alaric by the throat. He begs him to kill him, but Alaric sticks him in the arm with a syringe of vervain. Damon collapses calling for Elena.
Elena arrives at the boarding house and hears a noise on her way inside. When she turns to investigate it, she is grabbed by the sheriff and her deputies. Alaric goes to get blood for Damon and Sheriff Forbes holds him at gunpoint, asking where Damon is. Alaric tells her it’s not a good time and warns her repeatedly not go in the room. Because Damon is laid out on the floor, she thinks it’s safe. The deputies unlock the door and she goes in, but Damon isn’t on the floor anymore. He steps out from behind her and slams her against the wall.
Alaric calls Jeremy in the park looking for Elena. He tells him that Damon has escaped and he thinks he’s coming to look for her. Bonnie says if Damon is off the rails, there is nothing Jeremy can do to stop him. She wants him to let them handle it. Jeremy says they left him behind before and Jenna still died, so he’s going to find Elena.
Stefan is lying in the floor at Alaric’s as Klaus circles him with a glass of blood. He tells him the story of a vampire he’d heard of, on and off the wagon for decades. When he was off the wagon, he was magnificent. A true ripper, he wiped out an entire migrant village in Monterrey in 1917. Klaus asks if that sounds familiar. Stefan says he hasn’t been that way in a very long time. Klaus says that is the kind of vampire he can make a deal with. That’s the kind of talent he can use when he leaves Mystic Falls.
Klaus calls Katherine over to him. He grabs her arm and bites her. The damage of the werewolf bite is immediately evident on her arm. Klaus then bites his own arm and feeds his blood to Katherine. He looks at Stefan as the bite heals almost instantly. Klaus’s blood is the cure.
Damon is stumbling through the crowd in the park. The movie and the people in period dress meld with his hallucinations and confuse him. He thinks he sees Katherine. Jeremy finds him and helps him out of the crowd.
Elena is being kept at the sheriff’s office. Liz wants to know why she even cares what has happened to Damon. She tells her that they are murderers and won’t listen to Elena’s protests otherwise. The deputy comes in and tells them that Damon was just spotted entering the grill. Elena begs to go with them, explaining that Damon is sick, but the sheriff will not allow it.
Jeremy almost carries Damon into the grill. He steps aside to make a phone call and Liz comes in. When Damon sees her with a gun aimed at him, he musters enough vampire speed to get out of the way and her bullet strikes Jeremy in the chest. Liz rushes to his side and radios for paramedics.
Caroline and Bonnie run into the grill. Caroline asks her mother what she’s done. She remembers that Jeremy has his ring and thinks that will save him. Bonnie reminds her that it won’t work because Liz is human. Caroline bites her arm and feeds her blood to Jeremy in an attempt to save him but they can’t get him to drink it.
Alaric finds them all around Jeremy on the floor. Bonnie says she knows what they need to do and asks Alaric to bring him. Liz tries to argue that it’s a crime scene, he can’t be moved. Caroline tells her to let them go.
Klaus fills a bottle with his blood. He asks Stefan for a decade-long bender in exchange for saving his brother. He has big plans for Stefan when they leave town. Stefan says he isn’t like that anymore. Klaus says that’s too bad and starts to pour his blood down the drain. Stefan reconsiders. Klaus passes him a bag of blood and tells him to drink all of it. In order to save Damon, he has to do everything that Klaus says. Stefan finishes the bag and Klaus tosses him a second one.
Bonnie has had Alaric take Jeremy back to the witch house. She says there is a spell that can save Jeremy if the witches will give her the power for it. She begins to chant, but it suddenly disappointed. She says the witches are angry at her for coming back, they say there will be consequences. She continues with the spell, trying to bring Jeremy back. The witches grow louder and Bonnie cries out to Emily for help, saying that she loves him. Suddenly all is quiet and the candles go dark. Bonnie begins to sob. Jeremy’s eyes start to flicker and he comes to in her lap, asking what happened.
Elena opens the shutters in the sheriff’s office and escapes by throwing a chair through the window. Damon finds her in the park and the reality of Elena in front of him immediately begins to blur with his memories of Katherine. He remembers begging Katherine to feed him her blood so that he can be with her forever. She says that she won’t feed him, but it’s his to take. She promises not to tell Stefan.
Elena is struggling against Damon in reality, but he can only see his memories of Katherine. When he starts to bite her and she says no, he says that he has to if they are to be together forever. Damon bites Elena. She tells him that he’s hurting her and begs him to stop. He pulls away and suddenly realizes that it is Elena standing in front of him. He collapses to the ground.
Caroline and Liz are standing in the grill waiting for news. Bonnie calls and tells them that Jeremy is alive. Liz said she thought she killed him and Caroline tells her that she did. Liz says she doesn’t understand and Caroline says that she explained it to her all once, but she had to make her forget because she was so scared of what she might do. She doesn’t want to do that anymore. She doesn’t want to lie and be afraid of her. Caroline says that she’s still her little girl and hugs her. Liza hugs her back and starts to cry.
Jeremy is in his room searching for “back from the dead” on bing. Bonnie video messages him and asks what he’s doing. He says he feels different. She says he was dead, he shouldn’t feel normal. Jeremy says he doesn’t know how to thank her.
You can thank me tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that.
Alaric checks in on Jeremy before he leaves. Jeremy says he thinks he’s good. Alaric reconsiders and says he’ll just crash there if that’s okay. Jeremy thanks him for everything, to which Alaric replies…
You can thank me tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that…and the day after that.
Damon wakes up in his bed with Elena on watch. He tries to get her to leave, afraid he will hurt her. Elena says she’s there until the very end. Damon starts to writhe in pain and Elena climbs into bed behind him, leaning his head against her chest. She tells him it’s going to be okay, but Damon says it’s not. He blamed Stefan all those years, but no one forced him to love Katherine. It was his choice and he made the wrong one. He asks Elena to tell Stefan that he’s sorry.
Stefan is on the floor at Alaric’s with his mouth and chin covered in blood as he drinks yet another bag dry. He says he won’t drink anymore until Klaus gives him the cure. Klaus gives him a choice. He can stay in Mystic Falls and continue living his life as he has been or leave town with him and save Damon’s life. Stefan stares at the bag of blood in Klaus’s hand and reluctantly takes it.
Klaus gives the bottle of his blood to Katherine and tells her to take it to Damon then come right back. She repeats his instructions to leave and is out the door before Stefan can protest. Stefan knows that she’s been drinking the vervain so she’s no longer under Klaus’s control once she’s out the door. He tells Klaus that Katherine will never take it to him. Klaus doesn’t seem concerned one way or the other.
Damon says he’s made a lot of choices that have gotten him where he is and he deserves to die. Elena starts to argue with him, but he says it’s okay. If he had chosen differently he wouldn’t have met her. Damon says he’s sorry he’s done so many thing to hurt her. Elena says she forgives him.
I know you love Stefan, and it will always be Stefan. But I love you. You should know that.
Elena lays with her head on Damon’s chest, tears rolling down her face and tells him that she does know that. He says she should have met him in 1864, she would have liked him. She says she likes him now, just the way he is. Damon closes his eyes and Elena looks at him for just a moment before leaning in to kiss him. Damon whispers thank you and Elena says you’re welcome.
Well it’s me you should be thanking. I mean, I’m the one who brought the cure.
Elena turns to see Katherine standing in the doorway. She takes the bottle over to Damon who is surprised that Katherine got free and still came to him. She pours the blood into his mouth and says she owed him one. Elena asks where Stefan is. After goading her about whether or not she actually cares, Katherine says that he’s paying for the cure. He gave himself over to Klaus and she shouldn’t expect him anytime soon. Elena asks her what she means.
He just sacrificed everything to save his brother, including you. It’s a good thing you have Damon to keep you company. Goodbye, Elena. Oh, it’s okay to love them both. I did.
Klaus is standing over a casket holding Elijah’s body with the dagger still in place. He tells him he’s reunited with the family, as promised. He closes the casket and says to put him with the others, they’re leaving town tonight. It appears that Klaus’s family is all being stored in their caskets in wooden crates inside a warehouse.
Stefan’s phone goes off in his pocket, but he ignores the call from Elena. Klaus asks if Katherine made it in time. Stefan tells him that he won’t see her again and Klaus says because shes’s on vervain. He’s been around a long time and is rarely played for a fool. He says that Stefan will help him see that she doesn’t get far. Stefan asks what Klaus really wants from him. Klaus says it will all be explained once they leave Mystic Falls, but they aren’t quite ready yet. Klaus has a gift for him.
Klaus wants to make sure that Stefan honors their deal. He brings out a girl and bites her in front of Stefan, leaving her bleeding. He says he could have compelled her to behave, but a real ripper enjoys the hunt. She takes off running and screaming. Stefan seems to try and fight the urge for a moment, but gives in. He isn’t able to resist feeding on her, dropping her lifeless body to the ground.
Jeremy wakes up after hearing a noise and starts to wander through the house calling for Alaric. There is a female figure behind him in the hallway. He looks around but doesn’t see anything. As he starts down the stairs, Vicky appears in the bathroom and follows him. Alaric is asleep on the couch. Vicky speaks to Jeremy but isn’t there when he turns around. When he turns back around, Anna is standing in front of him and now Vicky is behind him again as well.
Caroline and her mother appear to be reaching an understanding. Elena kissed Damon, who is now cured from the werewolf bite. Stefan is returning to his ripper ways and hitting the road with Klaus. Jeremy is seeing his dead ex-girlfriends. Quite the season finale!
What was the biggest shock of the night for you? Where will all these story lines go in season three? Can Jeremy see all dead people or just dead vampires or only dead vampires he has dated? Could this open the door to seeing Jenna again?
Season three begins on September 15 which seems like forever. How will you pass the time during the new episode drought?