The Vampire Diaries Recap: What If?

The Vampire Diaries -- "I Never Could Love Like That" Photo: Tina Rowden/CW
The Vampire Diaries
Episode Title
I Never Could Love Like That
Editor’s Rating

We’ve been on a journey together for a long time, guys. Six seasons. Over 100 episodes, countless deaths and breakups (and sexy make ups); our emotions have been heightened, we’ve cried and laughed and lusted after all of these beautiful people on our TV screens, week after week. But that journey is about to take a different turn. Our beloved Elena Gilbert is flying the coop, as revealed last week in a touching Instagram post by her portrayer, Nina Dobrev. These next five episodes are the start to one very big good-bye. We don’t know how Elena’s story will end, but we do know our lives will not be the same without her. No one will be able to fill her shoes.

But note: I didn’t say the journey is over. As you all know, TVD is indeed coming back for a seventh season, with (most of) our favorite characters. One door closes and another opens! So let’s spend these next few recaps celebrating Elena and Nina, and the stories we have shared with them — starting with tonight’s recap.

Who is this dude? What is this bar? What year are we in? (Okay, blaming the loss of Nina a little bit on this instability right at the get-go.) Minus 6.

I love how Caroline is still Caroline even without her humanity: still trying to one-up the competition, have the cutest hair, be the best at scaring people to death … you know, the usual. Plus 8.

“I’m Caroline, this is Stefan, and that was … delicious.” Pretty sure this is the catchphrase of Steroline’s future cooking show. Plus 12.

“So you know what we do now.”

“Unfortunately, I do. Karaoke.”

TVD is the most profound show on television. Karaoke is exactly what happens when your human soul leaves your body. I know this for a fact. Plus 4.

Enzo! I heard a rumor you’re going to get interesting this week. Looking forward to that. Plus 10 for optimism.

Turns out, when Enzo tries to do good and turn Sarah Why-Do-We-Care Salvatore in to the brothers, he runs into Mama Salvatore … who is the one who turned him into a vampire! Plus 10.

Are Damon and Elena dancing naked in the bathroom? Are they having a sex dance? Plus 25.

Can Damon please learn his lesson already that hiding things from Elena is exactly how you end up with what you were TRYING to avoid in the first place? She is 1000 percent getting that cure. Damon, get your shit together. Minus 8.

Speaking of the cure, I don’t know how I feel about it. Minus 12 because it means Elena can be happy and human elsewhere not on my TV screen, but … plus 18 because she deserves to be happy and human anywhere but Mystic Falls.

“I turned a few years ago.” Oh, so it’s been years? I’ll trust her on this, because if I try to do the math I’m pretty sure I’ll end up like the dude in A Beautiful Mind, only scribbling words on a chalkboard like “cure for vampirism” and “Delena.” (Do you guys even know what a chalkboard is? It’s like an iPad on a wall, only it takes actual effort to … ugh, never mind.)

Enzo had consumption before boarding a ship in 1903, but was rescued by none other than Mama Salvatore. “And by the time we docked in New York, everyone on the ship was dead. Including me.” Well, that just cured any desire I ever had to go on a cruise. Minus 6.

“Hey, Taylor Swift!” If Caroline had her humanity, she would have taken that as a compliment. Minus 5.

“My dearest Elena, I hope this finds you well.” Wow … Mama Salvatore really thinks this show is about diaries. (I mean, to be fair, a show called The Vampire Blogs probably wouldn’t have made it past season two.) Plus 6.

This scene with Elena and Jo was sad. Elena wants to be happy so badly — that’s what makes her her, that optimism, that hope. But Jo’s pregnancy is just another reminder that Elena will never have what she has. It’s also another reminder that the second Elena finds out Damon has that cure, she is hightailing it out of there. Minus 30.

“Let’s play Caroline trivia!” Find me one girl who hasn’t had the fantasy of playing trivia-or-I-kill-you with all of their ex-boyfriends. Plus 10.

But also, let’s not kill Matt or Tyler — the latter of whom is also leaving TVD at the end of the season, but I wouldn’t put it past our show to just kill him off right now. Minus 12.

Not a huge fan of Mama Salvatore, I gotta say. She straight up admits she wasn’t coming back to reunite with Stefan and Damon in 1903 after they’d turned? She was just like, “Nah, I got better things to do?”  Minus 50.

Caroline goading Tyler to try and kill her with, “He’s a wolf, it’s his resting face.” Plus 20.

Brave Matty steps in the way and takes the stake for Caroline. I swear to God, show, if you take Nina from us and kill Matty Blue Blue in this episode, I will never forgive you. Minus 80.

When Damon said Elena had never abandoned him, I was like … uh, remember the time she got rid of all her happy memories of you? Probably the definition of abandonment. Also, is there a place I can go to and have that procedure done? I need to forget some high school fashion choices. Minus 4. 

That guy slitting his throat on the ship was the most interesting scene Enzo’s been in all season. Plus 15.

“If Matt dies, are you going to start peeing on hydrants again?” Sing the song with me, guys: This girl is on fireeeeeeee … (You get it? Because hydrants?) Plus 10.

Thank you, Julie Plec and Co., for giving us the beauty that is the Stefan Salvatore crying face. The minute his mom walked in the room, I knew his humanity was rushing back in. Our hero is back! Plus 50.

But of course, Caroline got out of there quick, knowing her humanity would be next the minute Stefan got his back. And it is next, if Stefan is correct — “I don’t need a night. I’ll find her." — something tells me this won’t be a sexy reunion for Steroline. Minus 10.

Matt refusing Elena’s vampire blood was apparently the last straw — he finally admitted that he hates vampires, and basically ended his friendship with Elena because of it. If I were Elena, I’d want that cure pretty bad right about now. IF ONLY SHE KNEW ABOUT IT, DAMON. Minus 45.

“What if things could be different? What if you could change everything?”

“They’re not and I can’t.”

Instead of doing what he should have done and told her right then, Damon told Elena he loved her. I get it. When we love someone, we want to hold on to them as tightly as possible. But sometimes, to truly love someone, you have to let them go. #ninawewillmissyou. Minus 25.

For now though, I’m glad Elena is still a vampire: We’re going to need as many vamps as we can get round these parts, since Mama Salvatore’s “friends” still trapped in the prison world are about to be freed, and apparently they are as bad as Kai times one million. (Okay, then how bad can they really be? I kinda miss Kai!) Minus 30 because these “heretic” witches are coming for our gang; Plus 15 because maybe we’ll see Kai again.