As we all know by now, weddings can be dangerous affairs on The Vampire Diaries, and Caroline (Candice King) and Stefan's (Paul Wesley) June nuptials, while beautiful and romantic, were sadly no different.
Upon learning that Katherine (Nina Dobrev) was the reigning queen of hell after Cade's demise, the recently reconciled couple decided -- upon Damon's (Ian Somerhalder) suggestion -- to move up their wedding in order to draw Katherine out. While everyone's favorite villainess didn't make an appearance as the couple swapped their heartfelt vows ("I will always remember this moment. A hundred years from now I will remember this moment for the both of us"), there was at least one surprising guest at the wedding. And no, we're not talking about all the strangers Damon compelled so it wasn't quite so obvious the wedding was a trap or that almost literally everyone these people know is now dead and gone.
As revealed in promotional pictures a couple weeks ago, Matt's (Zach Roerig) disaster of a mother (Melinda Clarke) returned to Mystic Falls seemingly out of nowhere this week and after pretending to have turned over a new leaf, eventually revealed she was under Katherine's control after the two women bonded in hell. She attacked Matt's father (who miraculously didn't die after lying in the weeds for hours after having his throat slashed?), disconnected a gas line and then left a propane tank in a fireplace, which of course caused a massive explosion during the wedding reception.
The good news is that the explosion didn't kill Bonnie (Kat Graham) -- who eventually agreed (thanks to a little encouragement from Enzo) to attend the wedding because she wanted to be part of Caroline's happiness. Also safe were Caroline and Alaric's (who couldn't bring himself to attend the wedding) twins because they were protected via spell by Valerie. The twins actually siphoned Bonnie's magic -- that's right, she still has magic! -- and the trio were able to escape without harm.
The bad news, of course, is that this is The Vampire Diaries and nothing is ever quite that simple. The episode toyed with viewers by making it seem as if Katherine was in town and the devious one moving in the shadows of the night, but the woman who was aiding Kelly was actually Vicki (Kayla Ewell). While everyone else was at the wedding, she rang the bell for the twelfth time at which point Bonnie collapsed, just as it looked as if she was going to forgive Stefan for killing Enzo.
Despite the episode's major cliffhanger -- is Bonnie the main character who dies in the finale? -- "We're Planning a June Wedding" was an emotionally satisfying hour of The Vampire Diaries. Fans were treated to the #SterolineJuneWedding they've been wanting for years, Elena was present at the wedding in the form of her trademark necklace, and the late Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) even received a touching tribute from Damon on the eve of her daughter's wedding. If you had any tears left by the end of the episode ... how?
Watching Damon officiate the wedding of his younger (and human) brother -- he became ordained online, of course -- drove home just how far the Salvatores have come since Damon's entrance at the end of the show's pilot. They've come so far since Damon was the show's antagonist and Stefan's diaries were actually a thing. They've saved each other, they've stabbed each other, they've loved each other, they've hated each other. We know all anyone can talk about these days is Nina Dobrev's return as Elena in the series finale, but the beating heart of The Vampire Diaries will always be the relationship between the Brothers Salvatore, and if they both don't survive the finale next week, we might need more than one box of tissues.
Man, we're going to miss this show.
The Vampire Diaries series finale airs Friday, March 10 at 9/8c on The CW following an hour-long series retrospective.
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