‘Vampire Diaries’ bites the dust with disappointing finale

September 12, 2017 — by Francesca Chu

There are two brothers and a girl. One brother dies to save her, while the other gets his happy ending. This cliche storyline is what the audience watched on March 10 when “The Vampire Diaries” aired its eighth and final season finale on the CW.

I loved the first few seasons, but the finale and Season 8 were pretty disappointing. Simply put, the show is about the Salvatore brothers, Stefan and Damon, and their struggles being vampires and loving the same human girl, Elena Gilbert. These three characters were each unique yet complemented each other perfectly, and that chemistry was what I, and the rest of the fans, fell in love with in the beginning.

However, as the show went on, the dynamic among them slowly unraveled. Nina Dobrev, who played Gilbert, left the show after the sixth season, and with her departure, the love triangle was officially over. By the final season, Elena was gone, Damon was heartbroken and Stefan had moved on.

Then all of a sudden, for the last episode, Damon was reunited with Elena, and Stefan saved everyone by sacrificing himself. It was nice to see the three of them together again, but the ending was very predictable.

There was no shock factor, since Stefan was always the one who would do anything to save people, and it was obvious Damon was going to get the girl. It was disappointing for such an enthralling show to end in an unsurprising way.

Sadly, the finale that aired was not the ending that writers Julie Plec and Kevin Williamson had come up with back in Season 2 when the love triangle was in full swing. According to Plec, had Dobrev not left the show in Season 6, it would have ended with the two brothers both losing their lives and looking down on Elena from the “Other Side” — the place supernatural beings end up in when they die. It would have been sentimental and nostalgic as Damon and Stefan watched her live a simple and happy life, but also reflect on their relationship with her and wonder what could have been.

If Dobrev stayed, I would have prefered the alternative ending over the one that was actually aired. We would have been spared the cliche love story where one guy sacrifices himself so that the other guy can get the girl.

Also, the writers tried to stretch out the love triangle between Damon, Stefan, and Elena for far too long, and by Season 6, it felt like they were holding on to a relationship that was no longer there. It would have been interesting to see Elena be able to live without Damon and Stefan, since their characters were always so intertwined.

In an ideal ending, I could picture Elena imagining her life with each brother and envisioning how different it would be. With Damon, it would be dangerous, but exhilarating at the same time. On the other hand, being with Stefan would be less action-packed, but full of love and trust.

Unfortunately, Dobrev did leave the show, and the characters’ fates were sealed. Although the ending was not ideal, there is nothing else to do except remember and reflect on the best moments from the past eight years. And by “reflect,” I mean binge-watching the whole show again on Netflix.