If I were Steve R. McQueen, I’d be quietly furious that my farewell episode on the television series I’d starred in for nigh on six years also happened to be the episode that Steroline was made manifest. That said, if I were Steve R. McQueen, I’d also have a neck wider than my head, tattoos for days, and an aw-shucks grin sure to land me many a gig. Also Steve McQueen (the real one) would be my relation, so ultimately I’d take it on the chin like the champ I’d been raised to be.
This week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries was all about goodbyes. We lost Jeremy to “art school” (which is what I’m now going to call sneaking out of state to murder vampires for always) and we lost Liz Forbes to cancer. Although I knew they were going to pull the trigger (as it were) on both characters leaving, I perversely hoped that Liz would beat the odds and be one of the few, the proud, the adults the CW allows to live. Sadly my wish was not granted. But if Liz had to go, I’m glad she got to spend her final episode palling it up with Damon. I’ll be real — if we’re talking OTPs, Liz and Damon forever. How many nights do you think they sat up drinking and watching Casablanca? Is your answer “all of the nights”? Because it damn well should be.
In a show characterized by its romantic passions, the dynamic between Liz and Damon has always been striking for not going there. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they lack chemistry — but it’s of a different variety. That their final moments involved Liz sending Damon to get her a drink was utterly heartbreaking. Very often we see Stefan show his true age in his interactions with other characters on the show. It’s rare that we see petulant, beautiful, man-child Damon show his. But that’s something we saw with Liz. It’s something that will be missed.
It was in no way difficult to let Jeremy go. I felt not a pang. I don’t think this is because I’m lacking a sensitivity chip either. Jeremy has been perpetually miserable and perpetually at risk for years. Getting him out of the way and giving him a mission of his own seems as good a way as any to get him the heck out of Dodge. The silver lining to his whimper and not bang? We got to see Elena stoned and eating french fries, which I think we can all agree is maybe the best thing ever.
Speaking of best things ever, Stefan and Caroline and the solar flare and the making. After all the buildup, it was a relief (to the say the least) to see these two locking lips. But their beginning is cloaked in suuuuuch sadness and Stefan is sooooo much older (in so many ways). I can’t help but have major misgivings. But then again, perhaps I am a serious killjoy. Only time and Julie Plec will tell.