Well this episode was certainly a night of goodbyes, huh? Jeremy decided it was time to move on and follow his true path, but is it art school in California or is it hunting vampires? I’ll tell you in a bit. We also tragically lost Liz Forbes tonight to her battle with cancer. That’s right, the only living (biological) parent of our core group is gone. She had such a beautiful journey from where she started in season 1 to now, and her relationship with Caroline will go down as one of the sweetest and most honorable ones on this show.
This episode begins on the night that Elena’s parents died in the car crash on Wickery Bridge. Liz Forbes was busy sending officers to check up on Carol Lockwood and wherever the kids were throwing their bonfire that day. Basically, it was back when supernaturals were not causing problems in Mystic Falls. She sees Elena get rolled in on a hospital bed and when she hears the news of Gilbert’s her face immediately turns to heartbreak, knowing that these kids will have to grow up without parents.
We cut back to the present day where Liz is finishing up cleaning her office. As she is on her way to go visit Caroline a box catches her eye. Turns out it’s a box that contains all of her cold cases. She doesn’t want to leave them all unsolved prior to her departure and gives her favorite vampire a call to hopefully come and help her solve some of them.
Damon is a little busy however, compelling the high school principal to allow Jeremy to graduate early. Apparently he has missed too many days of classes, which from my end looked like he missed every day of class for about the last two years. I digress. They compel the principal and Jeremy is given the okay to move out to The Overnight Acceptance Art School of California.
Once they go to give him the good news the two discover that Alaric and Matt are already celebrating with him over a bottle of liquor. Tyler is missing the little bro-sesh, but it’s okay because of what’s going on with Liv. I’m not sure why Tyler isn’t in this episode but he certainly should be. Two of his best friends really need him and it just doesn’t seem right for him to be absent.
So, what are Caroline and Stefan up to this week? Well the duo are busy setting up an old cabin retreat for Liz to come and spend her final days. It’s a beautiful scenery and Caroline is certainly setting the place up to feel homey and safe for her mother. The sparks continue to fly when Caroline catches Stefan fixing some old wires on the porch with this…well defined arms.
It’s natural to think that Stefan is only there because of the promise he made to Liz to watch over Caroline, but he swears that there is no other place that he would rather be than with Caroline right now. She (and I) both believe him.
Back inside Caroline is struggling with the pressure that everything in the cabin will be a last for her mother. Mainly, she can’t decide what book to put on her bedside table. It could potentially be the last book she ever reads, or she may not finish it or even like what Caroline picked. Stefan agrees to help pick a book since he’s probably read them all more than once over his lifetime.
Now, I bet you are wondering why I haven’t freaked out about this more, but I am ready to now. Stefan and Caroline finally kissed in this episode! It was amazing. Some could argue that the timing is a little bit off (and I would be one of them) but some could argue that the timing is perfect ( I am also one of them). Sometimes the best distractions aren’t distractions at all, but something real. It proves that life continues on even in the hardest of times…and even if you didn’t even take the time to notice.
Stefan follows Caroline out to the porch and tells her that life is all about the moments that lead up to the last one, not the last one itself. Caroline understands and agrees with what he is saying, but if we have learned anything from that spitfire it’s that she just wants everything to be perfect for her mom. He takes her hand, which is totally their thing, and tells her that if anyone could control death it would be her.
Caroline again mentions that Stefan is only there because of what he promised to her mom and when he goes to deny it again she tells him that she’s glad that he made that promise. *Queue the romantic song and setting sun in the background* She’s not sure how she would get through everything if he wasn’t there.
Stefan once again tells her that he’s not there because her mom asked her to. He’s there because he is her friend, he knows what it’s like to lose a mother, and when she told him she hated him it was pretty much the worst thing that he had ever heard. They both know that she never hated him. He reached down and grabbed her hand once more and leans in for a kiss. It’s beautifully shot with the sun shining through the trees, casting a shadow onto their faces.
Caroline: “One of us should probably say something.”
Stefan: “Go for it.”
Caroline: “Not that.”
And then there’s a commercial break which reminds us all that we don’t get commercial breaks in life and that this conversation would have to continue and would probably get really awkward.
Damon is in Liz’s office helping her solve the old cold cases. It’s actually relatively easy considering pretty much all of them were him. Liz, however, is only concerned about one case- the car accident on Wickery Bridge that killed the Gilberts. She plays a voicemail that she received from Miranda Gilbert two hours before the accident saying that she had something urgent she needed to tell her.
Damon is suspicious of the call as well and wants to do whatever he can to help figure out if what happened that night was really an accident. Liz is suspicious too though. She wants to know why both Damon and Stefan were in town the night of the accident. Damon promises that he had nothing to do with the accident and you can see the desperation in his eyes for her to believe him. The night of the accident was a day or two around to the night his mother passed away and that sometimes, if he had his humanity on, he would go put flowers on her grave. That’s why he was in town.
As it turns out, there is a little bit more to the Gilbert accident than what everyone knows. There were no skid marks on the bridge, there was luggage in the trunk, and that they normally would have taken a different bridge any other night. Liz just didn’t want to put Jeremy and Elena through an investigation since they were young and grieving. Damon thinks that it’s a good idea to bring Elena in to see if they can get any insight from her.
Elena is a little busy getting high with Jeremy and having some last minute brother sister bonding. Damon had given Jeremy so pot from Jo’s stash as a graduation gift. Elena wanted to share a normal experience with him since so much of their recent history is drama and death. It was a nice and well-deserved moment between the two.
Elena finally makes her way to Liz’s office where she learns that the car accident may have not been an accident at all. Unfortunately, she didn’t know about the luggage and she was distracted and texting Bonnie at the time of the accident. She’s really no help to the case. She hopes that Jeremy will have an answer, which he does.
The voicemail that Liz had been holding onto for years ended up being a joke of sorts. Miranda Gilbert had caught Jeremy smoking pot and wanted to teach him a lesson by calling the sheriff and getting him in trouble. They also found out that a big storm had blocked their normal route, which led them to Wickery Bridge where the roads are slick and that’s why there were no skid marks.
Liz has to accept the fact that it was indeed an accident that killed the Gilberts and that all of her cases are closed and she can finally shut the door on her sheriff days. She begins to feel dizzy and almost collapses. She just wants to go home. Caroline’s cabin will have to wait another day. Things are not looking good for the town sheriff.
Now this is where it gets interesting for Jeremy, who by the way was kidnapped by Enzo earlier as collateral to get to Matt. Snore. This is seriously one of the most boring story lines to happen to this show. There are so may other more important things going on right now! So, Matt brings Sarah Salvatore to a tunnel to take some artsy pictures where Enzo all of the sudden hits Matt with his car. He has his ring on so he will be fine, but Enzo wanted to be able to feed Matt vampire blood in front of Sarah. She naturally freaked out and ran away. Girl should just keep running.
Okay, so back to Jeremy. Even though he wants to stay and see what happens with Liz, Elena tells him that he has to go and start his journey to art school. Alaric volunteers to take him to the airport. Actually, they go to the bus stop. Why? Because Jeremy isn’t going to art school in California. He is going to Santa Fe where Alaric had heard reports of suspicious animal attacks. He hands Jeremy his back of hunting tools and tells him that he is proud of him and his choice. Being a vampire hunter is who Jeremy is and what he enjoys doing. That is his path, not art school, and you can’t help but support that. Alaric promises to call if Bonnie ever makes it home.
We get one final scene with one of our favorite duos, Damon and Liz. Their friendship is really one of the most unique considering the early seasons of the show. He tells her that sometimes horrible things happen to the most amazing of people and that she can find solace in being one of the few parents or people for that matter to die an ordinary death in Mystic Falls.
Liz is okay with being ordinary just as long as Caroline remains the extraordinary person that she is. She wants Damon to tell Caroline that she is so proud of her if by some way she doesn’t get the chance to. Damon also tells Liz about how he was supposed to give the eulogy at his mom’s funeral but skipped it and has felt guilty ever since. She says he can write hers as long as it isn’t dirty. Liz passes out and is rushed to hospital.
I am freaking out hoping that Caroline can get to her in time!
She is barely alive, but stable, when Stefan and Caroline arrive. Candice Accola is once again being phenomenal. She puts out great work and really shows her true acting abilities when she is given these grittier and more heart breaking scenes. Caroline runs in and just breaks down crying knowing that she did not get to say goodbye to her mother or share a final conversation.
Stefan tells her that she is still alive and there is still a way that she can spend her final moments with her mom. Caroline grabs her moms hands and is treated to her mom’s final memory. It’s Liz teaching little Caroline how to ride a bike. It’s such a tender moment. Caroline is pedaling with her mom holding on to her seat running beside her, keeping her stable.
Liz looks as Caroline continues riding her bike down the driveway.
“Yes, you are.”
After that moment, Liz passes away.
I actually got chills just writing that. It was the perfect memory to match what was going on in the present day. Caroline was ready to let go of her mom and her mom was ready to let go too, knowing that her daughter will be okay.
Some concluding thoughts. I was really saddened about the decision to kill Liz off. I think she stood for so much more than Caroline’s mom or the sheriff. She was the only mom. The only parent still living that hadn’t been affected by something supernatural. I think that the show and of course Caroline will have a hard time adjusting to this death.
I also thought it felt rushed to get rid of Jeremy so suddenly. I understand the necessity to move him on and trim down the main cast, but before Bonnie is even back or before a woman that took care of him and looked after him passed on? I’m not sure about it. Jeremy will be fine and I’m sure he will pop back up from time to time. He just hasn’t been the same character since before his original death.
It was tough saying goodbye to these two beloved characters, but watching the fall out of this episode will surely be a journey for us viewers.