The Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 23 recap

It is a great luxury and a great relief to say that I can’t really breathe.

The internet is a minefield today. Between Rob Ford (if you don’t know, please google ) and the Office finale and the VD finale and the Scandal finale, I had to pick my way around very carefully. Especially since I don’t know if you follow Retta on Twitter, but man, did she get excited about this. It was dramatic.

So yes, graduation happened – and it was exactly as trite and truncated as I hoped it would be. Sure, Bonnie’s dad officiated at graduation, why not? Sure, they graduated.   I liked Stefan more than I have in weeks, and part of the reason is that he still gets all suited up in cap and gown, as though someone would really be upset if he didn’t?

Having said that, the threat of those 24 dead at graduation was dispensed with really quickly and far too easily. I am more charmed than I ever thought I’d be by Klaus coming back, and doing everything he does for Caroline – but really, I could have used at least the illusion of a fight. Klaus is such a threat that he’s able to stop his brother’s planned attack with one well-tossed mortarboard? It’s also worth noting that clearly the show is more interested in having Klaus and Caroline connect than it is Klaus and Kol – and I’m more interested in that too, so I guess it all works out.

These two are improbably adorable with one another, and I have to say that even though Tyler was allowed to come back, it was Klaus who did. Actions speak louder than words, and I love that he wants to be her last – no matter how many thousands of years it takes. Lord, wouldn’t it be nice to know the one you love would wait for you forever…literally? And it wouldn’t matter because you’d both be as young and hot as the day you made the promise?

Anyway. I’m going to do it again. I’m going to dismiss Bonnie’s death with a shrug.   She’s a ghost, but she’s not gone, she’ll be back all the time from what I’m told, and we get Jeremy back, too. I’m not saying I’m not happy about it, because maybe now Elena will appreciate him, but when all’s said and done, I’m tired of death meaning less and less. It doesn’t hurt anymore, and that’s got to have consequences in the coming years.   If none of us fear death – and I mean us the viewers – what are they going to have to shock us with?

Still, it wasn’t all dour. That smile of Elena’s.  It’s another one that warms you up. And yes, she’s back and feeling something and I wanted to eat McDonalds (you know that’s what they were having) in a sunny graveyard. I don’t begrudge her these moments. And as annoyed I was with Elena’s humanity gone, and then back, and the dourness for all that that entailed, I’m not a MONSTER. I appreciate her being happy.   You do too.

Oh God, I can’t come at this in a logical manner. Of course she loves Damon. Of course she does. I’ve been saying it all year.   Not to brag –just happy that things turned out the way they needed to. We are intrinsically selfish about the people we love. We want them with us. She wasn’t going to take the cure so how could she want Damon to, either? Elena learned she was flawed – more flawed than Stefan, she thinks, even though she didn’t have quite the same trail of dead he did. But flaws want flaws. As my friend Andrea would say – you want your own brand of crazy.

So I buy it, several times over. She needed him to love her as she was, and so he has, and so he will get to. Damon’s greatest weakness – not needing himself, or anyone else, to be better, is now his greatest joy – he gets to love her, and she him. It’s kind of sweet.

And we’ve long acknowledged a bias for loving Nina Dobrev on this blog, so consider disclosure paid in full, but I would be too biased the other way if I didn’t point out how truly spectacular Nina Dobrev is playing against herself (and with a turn as Silas, as well). This is such a taxing thing, and the fact that Katherine is cured – Katherine! (which, braggily, I think I asked-for-but-did-not-expect last week) - means she won’t be going too far, and no we’ll need to see how this affects her. Which means more continued hard work and general awesomeness from Dobrev.

And, it appears, from Paul Wesley. Elena’s not the only one with a doppelganger. So Silas’ true face is Stefan’s, and if you didn’t freak out a little bit as he drowned in that safe, I don’t know what’s wrong with you.   That’s got to be one of the most horrifying things to shoot, and I bought the panic – panic that started as worry that someone was out there with his face and quickly transformed as he realized he was not getting out of this. The Vampire Diaries is fond of water deaths, it seems. I’m excited about this because the actor gets to play some real emotions, some real sentiment – and after just saying he was "fine" with Elena and Damon together (sorry, but just a little SQUEE again, for the five minutes it will last before something comes to mess up their lives), "he" will now be able to f*ck with them with abandon. That’s something that we can easily wait all summer for.