Vampire Diaries Finale Recap: A Stefan Twist, a Cure for One Vamp and [Spoiler]'s End

Vampire Diaries Season 4 FinaleWarning: The following recap contains major spoilers from Thursday’s season finale of The Vampire Diaries. Proceed at your own risk!

If there’s one thing you can count on from a Vampire Diaries season finale, it’s a crazy-unexpected cliffhanger. And this year’s conclusion — featuring a humdinger of a twist that might even eclipse Elena becoming a vampire — did not disappoint.

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Let’s review the major bombshells:

DOUBLE TAKE | After appearing as many different incarnations, the gang’s immortal foe Silas finally reveals his true self, and hey, he sure looks a lot like… Paul Wesley! As Stefan prepares to dump Silas in the ocean, he finds that the baddie has broken free of his stone prison. The spell that bound him was performed by a living witch, and now that Bonnie’s a goner, he’s free. Taking on the form of Elena, he explains that he created the immortality spell thousands of years ago so he could never die. But nature needed something to balance that, a shadow self that can die. Stefan takes this to mean that Silas is one of them, the Katherine/Elena clones, but actually Stefan’s the freakin’ doppelganger! As if that’s not enough, Silas locks up the real Salvatore brother and throws him into the ocean. Season 5 wacky impersonation hijinks, here we come!

BEING HUMAN | Katherine decides she’s had enough of Elena, who’s living a better life than she is, and attacks her. The two duke it out. Right before Katherine is about to take out her own doppelganger, Elena shoves the cure, which has exchanged many hands during the episode, into her mouth. Our favorite sassy vamp is human now (and can be killed much more easily, gulp!). “Have a nice, human life, Katherine,” Elena sasses.

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GHOSTLY ACTION | Bonnie keeps her new ghostly state secret from her friends so they can have a normal graduation. Ha! The gang succeeds in getting their diplomas, but not without some supernatural interference. Bonnie gets the veil back up and thwarts Kol and the other angry ghosts. But her most impressive feat: She successfully resurrects Jeremy, who tells her he can’t feel her hands. While the little Gilbert is back — can we keep Alaric, too, please? — the witch is dead (presumably) for good. She makes one final request — that he tell Elena and Caroline that she’s spending the summer with her mother so they can enjoy a little normalcy.

MATTERS OF THE HEART | On the romance front, Elena finally chooses her Salvatore, declaring to Damon, “I am not sorry that I’m in love with you,” as Stefan eavesdrops on their conversation. Lexi reassures him that you can have more than one epic love, especially as a vampire. And in a nice brotherly moment, Stefan tells Damon, “I’m not happy about Elena, but I’m not not happy for you.” Meanwhile, Caroline makes repeated calls to Klaus after Damon gets shot with a werewolf venom-laced bullet (or three). Just when it appears that the Original has forsaken his favorite blonde, he shows up at graduation in time to decapitate an angry ghost witch with a cap. You can always count on an Original for a good decapitation scene, can’t you? Then, not only does he save Damon, he also gives Caroline one hell of a present: Tyler is now safe to return to Mystic Falls. “He’s your first love,” he says. “I intend to be your last – however long it takes.” So exactly how long are we talking here? Season 2 of The Originals?

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TRAVELS ABROAD | Finally, we’ve got Rebekah and Matt, yet another would-be couple soon to be torn apart by a spin-off. When Alexander traps Matt on a bomb, Rebekah declares, “The first rule of living: Do the thing you’re most afraid of,” and kisses him. While they’re making out, she takes his place on the bomb and tells him to go to graduation. Alexander wants to know what she’s done. “I finally chose one of the good ones,” she replies. And he may have chosen her back because Matt agrees to travel the world with her since he has no other future plans. “Whatever happens on the road, stays on the road,” he says, warning her not to get any ideas about turning him into a vampire. “It’s time I start truly living.”

Vampire Diaries fans, what did you think of the big Stefan twist? Isn’t Paul Wesley’s excitement radiating off the screen? Are you looking forward to human Katherine? Hit the comments with your thoughts and grade the episode below.