The Vampire Diaries Season Finale Review: “Graduation” (Season 4, Episode 23)

The Vampire Diaries

The season four finale of The Vampire Diaries was an emotion packed forty-two minutes that gave us the closure we were desperately seeking, and at the same time opened up a whole new can of ‘what the hell just happened?’ Appropriately titled Graduation, it was the end of one chapter in Mystic Falls history and the beginning of another.

It’s official. Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) is really dead. In case the shock of it all, and the still open veil may have confused you. As this season of The Vampire Diaries faded to black, Bonnie faded to the other side – or, more literally, walked extremely calmly there, holding her grams’ hand the whole way. In return for her brave sacrifice, or foolish over-reaching, depending on which side of the Bonnie pro/con debate you land, Elena (Nina Dobrev) will now get to dote on her little brother once again.

Like I’ve mentioned before, I was an avid supporter of the ‘let Jeremy rest in peace’ cause after Katherine used him as Silas food back on the island. There are so many opportunities for characters to be revisited, and it has been a huge benefit to past storylines, but Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) is one character that deserved to not be stuck in limbo with unfinished business for all eternity. After all, he was only marginally supernatural, if that. And, he really was a good kid. Despite my opposition, we now know he’ll be returning in all his human glory. It’ll be pretty hard to explain that one to his friends at school. And, Bonnie being dead – her body hanging out under the school – just complicates the entire situation. It’ll be interesting to see how they cover this up next season.

Luckily, that’s not the only thing that the folk in Mystic Falls will be talking about. In a genuinely heartfelt moment, Klaus (Joseph Morgan) returns to town to give Caroline (Candice Accola) a gift. Tyler is now free to return. It seems impossible that no one noticed his absence besides his close friends. At the very least, his disappearance must have been the topic of idle gossip, and now they’ll have more to say about it. As much as it would give me no greater joy then to see Caroline and Klaus run away to New Orleans together, this is definitely the next best option. It also gave us one final look at the Klaus we always wanted him to be. He may no longer be a resident of Mystic Falls, but he is definitely leaving on a high note.

Klaus has been a character that even when he’s tormenting someone, harboring the worst intentions, you can’t help but want to like him. When he first showed up in Mystic Falls, his arrival was paved in dead bodies. He sacrificed Elena’s aunt to break the curse and finally become a hybrid. He’s killed enough innocents since then to warrant it’s own tally chart. He compelled Stefan (Paul Wesley) into becoming the monster he used to be. The list of his evil-doings is probably longer than the list of Stefan’s victims in Chicago, etched on the wall in his closet. Yet, there’s something so compelling about him that you can’t help but root for him. Now that he’s realized who he can be – Caroline can probably take at least partial credit for that – New Orleans better look out because there’s nothing that seems to stop a determined Klaus, and he’s at the top of his game.

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