Vampire Diaries
Credit: Annette Brown/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

It was pretty epic.

The Vampire Diaries eight-season run has come to a bitter-sweet end, and in typical Mystic Falls fashion, not everybody made it out alive. The episode, nostalgically titled “I Was Feeling Epic,” marked the end of an era in the small Virginia town.


The heart wrenching two hour episode revealed the fates of all our favorite vampires and humans alike, and finally gave us some much needed closure to some of the television’s most iconic relationships.

So, after years of brotherly love, sacrifices, love triangles and broody stares, we’ve broken down the best and worst moments of the “epic” series finale of The Vampire Diaries.

**********SPOILERS**********

 

Best Moments

5. Stefan Reunites with Lexi

We suspected that Stefan’s martyr mentality would one day get the best of him, but as heartbreaking as it was, his reunion with old pal Lexi once he passed made it almost worthwhile.

4. Elena and Stefan’s Final Goodbye

TVD began as an epic love triangle between two vampire brothers and one lost girl. From day one, many believed that the destined couple of the show was clearly Elena and Stefan. It was not until much later that fans realized that Stefan was not Elena’s soulmate, but her first love. Instead, it was (sorta) reformed bad-boy, Damon, that stole her heart and ours. While Stefan and Elena may not have been endgame, their friendship and love for each other never wavered. The two may have only been able to share a brief moment on their way to separate worlds, but watching Stefan gush about his big brother and call him “the better man,” just about sums up why the Salvatore bond is so sacred.

3. “Forever Yours”

What’s a CW series finale without pre-episode interviews? TVD‘s “Forever Yours” hour provided everything you would expect from the fourth longest running CW series ever, clocking in at a whopping 171 episodes. The special gave fans a chance to look back at some of the show’s best moments, highlight critical characters and relationships, and even refreshed everyone on the rules of vampirism. Side note: Has anyone ever thought about the fact that the rules and practices we know of vampires all come from TVD? What would Edward Cullen think?!

2. Damon Finally Steps Up, But Stefan Goes Down

All our Damon love aside, it’s no secret that Stefan is generally the reliable brother that comes through in the clutch. Not this time, though. Well actually, yes, but hey, Damon tried! When it came down to one of the brothers sacrificing his life to ensure the safety of Elena and Mystic Falls, they both jumped at the chance to save the other and it seemed like Damon would come out on top. Being a vampire and all, he compels his little brother to get out of danger, “Because I am the big brother,” he says tearfully. “I’m sorry I wasn’t better at it until now.” The emotional moment was a long time coming, and proved how much Damon really has changed from the ruthless, selfish man he once was. Unfortunately for him, Stefan was on vervain and when Damon least expects it, Stefan is the once who makes the ultimate sacrifice, injecting his brother with the cure so he can live a full human life with Elena.

1. Katherine Fools the Boys One Last Time

There’s no denying the evil that is Katherine Pierce, but let’s get one thing straight. She ROCKS! Seriously, there is no character more conniving, brilliant and outright amusing than Elena’s doppelganger. She totally had us fooled when she masqueraded as Elena acting as though she had just woken up and jumped into his arms. It wasn’t until he spun her around and dropped her to the floor that we realized that Katherine had tricked us, yet again. Nina Dobrev’s ability to fluidly move between the polar opposite mannerisms and personalities of Elena and Katherine impress us every time, so when Katherine reacted with a sassy “rude,” you could say we were a little excited. Easily the best moment of the entire finale. Thanks for the last laugh Katherine!

Worst Moments

5. So Much Vicki, So Little…Everyone Else?

We knew that the finale would bring back many old faces, but we were not expecting this. Vicki Donovan, aka Matt’s dead sister, not only hasn’t been in the show for years, but was never really that important to begin with. We get that Matt’s family was given new life this season, but was such a Vicki-heavy plot necessary for the series finale? Vicki aside, what about all those other guest appearances? Tyler Lockwood and Jeremy Gilbert were main cast members and crucial parts of the family, yet they both appeared onscreen for approximately two seconds each, with no lines. The same can be said for the ghost appearances of Sheriff Forbes, Jenna and Joe. Not to mention a complete lack of Original vampires! Tisk tisk TVD.

4. Elena’s Reunions

This was one of the most disappointing aspects of the finale. Elena Gilbert was the center of TVD for its first six seasons, so it’s no surprise that fans have been eagerly awaiting her return ever since the day she left. While Nina Dobrev returned as Katherine at the beginning of the episode, we’re forced to wait until there were fifteen minutes left to even see Elena! She did have a great reunion with Stefan, as well as with her family, but that was pretty much it. Bonnie woke her up, but their time together was short of emotional. It almost seemed like she and Caroline might have a moment until Damon appears behind her. They shared a passionate kiss, but honestly, nothing to write home about. Oh and again, where’s Jeremy!?

3. Let’s Talk About That Ending

Let us be clear: We have no problem with the decision to kill Stefan. That’s not really the ending we’re talking about (though we’ll talk about that more later). We’re talking about the part where Elena and Damon walk down the street after living a full life and then go their separate ways. Elena reuniting with her family was very sweet, and of course Damon would go see Stefan, but why wouldn’t Elena go with him? TVD thrived on its ensemble cast of best friends that would do anything for each other, but in the end it was only Stefan and Damon. An ending without Elena seemed to make her and Damon’s love seem less important and critical to the story. We felt cheated and a bit confused.

2. Stefan Choosing Damon (& Elena?) Over Caroline

Like we said before, we totally understand why Stefan had to die, but why this way? Not only is Caroline arguably the best character on the show, but she was so good to Stefan. Too good actually. Caroline stayed with him through his no humanity, ripper periods, when he constantly put her down and made her feel horrible. How does he repay her? By sacrificing his life to save his brother and his ex-girlfriend. Stefan always puts Damon first, but what disturbed us a little is how much it seemed like he was also doing it for Elena, and with practically no regard for his wife.

1. The “All About Elena” Theme Returns

It’s safe to say that we missed Elena, and were so excited to see her back in Mystic Falls. It’s also safe to say that the reason we missed her so much was because we were granted a two season break from her. Elena is fine, but the idea that everyone around her should chop off a limb if it means saving her is not. Through six seasons, we watched as every character, humans and vampires alike, would put their lives on the line as if Elena’s is somehow more important. Unfortunately, the series finale returned to that theme with vigor. In the end, Elena and Damon get their happy ending at the cost of Caroline’s husband. If you remember, Elena was also the cause of the death of the love of Bonnie’s life, numerous of Alaric’s girlfriends and countless others throughout the show. Sure, Bonnie is traveling the world alone, Matt is a MF cop, Caroline opened a school with her co-parent and Stefan is dead, but who cares because Elena got married to her soulmate and became a successful doctor. Not cool TVD.

HONORABLE MENTION MOMENT

KLAUS WRITES TO CAROLINE?

Spinoff potential? The creators left open a possibility of a Caroline and Klaus reunion, when Klaus makes a generous donation to Caroline’s new school. In the note he writes “I do look forward to thanking you in person someday…However long it takes,” as the voiceover teases “But that is the beginning of another story.”