The Vampire Diaries is one of my favorite shows on The CW, so when I was asked to review the Season Six Blu-ray, I jumped at the chance! A lot has happened over the past six seasons; the series has explored pretty much every type of supernatural experience imaginable: human-to-vampire transformation, vampire-to-human transformation, resurrection from the dead, ghosts, werewolves, witches, hybrids, dimensional prisons. The list goes on.
Season Six had its ups and downs. For the fans, it’s been a roller-coaster ride, as favorites pair, break up, die, or succumb to a fifty-year slumber at the hands of the enemy. While we all laugh, cry, scream and argue on social media passionately defending our points of view, one thing can be said…we are a loyal fanbase.
The Blu-ray has some great features, including audio commentary by Julie Plec for episode 15, “Let Her Go.” I always find it very interesting to hear some of the behind-the-scenes decisions made by the creators. Although this is the only episode with commentary, the Blu-ray includes deleted scenes from several episodes:
Episode 4: “Black Hole Sam” –Damon and Bonnie realize they’ll have to look to the past for clues on how to get home, out of 1994.
Episode 5: “The World Has Turned and Left Me Here”—Elena, who has no idea exactly who Liam is or what his plans are, asks him to the Homecoming Corn Maze party.
Episode 7: “Do You Remember the First Time?” – Alaric and Jo grow closer after she confides her tragic story. Meanwhile, Damon stumbles upon a clue.
Episode 8: “Fade Into You’- Bonnie is still trapped in 1994, the girls prepare for “Friendsgiving” and Kai has some demons he remembers.
Episode 11: “Woke Up With A Monster’- Elena is held captive by Kai who is still learning how to use his new magic.
Episode 12: “Prayer for the Dying’- Caroline is terrified of losing her mother after the plan to save her doesn’t work.
Episode 14: “Stay’- Sheriff Forbes is nearing the end. Stefan tries to help Caroline and they get closer. Jeremy leaves Mystic Falls.
Episode 15: “Let Her Go’- Caroline has turned off her humanity switch after losing her mother. Damon remembers his mother, Lily.
Episode 17: “Bird In A Gilded Cage’- Bonnie sends Damon a present from 1994. Damon returns to 1903 to face his mother, while Enzo and Alaric attempt to keep Caroline in check.
Episode 22: “I’m Thinking of You’- After Alaric and Jo’s wedding is left in shambles, a decision involving Elena rips Damon’s heart out, as well as the rest of her friends.
The added scenes make it well worth rewatching these episodes, and I think the scenes put a little more perspective on the storyline.
Not only does the BluRay/DVD include unaired scenes, but fans who never get a chance to go to the San Diego Comic Con will enjoy watching The Vampire Diaries Panel from 2014. It’s always fun to hear some of the questions fans ask and get a better idea of what life is like for our hard-working cast, as well as crew.
My favorite special feature is “Best Reactions Ever.” Cast members read some fan posts from Twitter and the result is hilarious! I’m guilty of Tweeting some of the same things, and to hear Nina, Candace, Kat and Zach read them makes us kind of sound insane! The Vampire Diaries fans are an easily excited, vocal group, especially while watching the show. What’s also cool, is that they thank fans for showing their spirited love.
The Blu-ray includes a farewell to the four cast members who left the series after the season, including heartbreaking goodbyes to Nina Dobrev (Elena Gilbert), Steve McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert), Marguerite MacIntyre (Sheriff Liz Forbes) and Michael Trevino (Tyler Lockwood).
At the time the DVD was made, the producers were not yet aware that Trevino would not be back for season seven. However, Julie Plec says we may see Tyler return at some point. “His goodbye was kind of a see ya later because we decided we weren’t 100% sure where we wanted the Tyler Lockwood character to go,” she explained. So if season seven is The Vampire Diaries’ final season, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see him again. There are also goodbyes from Ian Somerhalder (Damon Salvatore), Steve McQueen (Jeremy Gilbert), who “won’t miss fighting [Trevino] over chocolate chip cookies,” Christopher Charles (Kai Parker) and Zach Roering (Matt Donovan).
One of the toughest storylines for me to watch Caroline’s (Candace Accola) mother Liz (MacIntyre), succumbing to brain cancer. Although some fans groaned because her illness was sort of used as a mechanism to bring Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Caroline closer, it pulled at the heartstrings and gave MacIntyre and Accola some incredible scenes. Julie Plec said making the decision to kill off the Sheriff was bittersweet, “I think one of the reasons it was so sad and moving, I said to some of the cast members, it feels like the beginning of the last chapter.”
There are more goodbyes to MacIntyre from the entire cast and it does feel like the series is coming to a close. MacIntyre addresses the fans, “To the fans of The Vampire Diaries, the greatest fans ever, thank you so much for six amazing years. And for being so loyal and so passionate and so cool.”
Steve McQueen is one of my favorites on the show, so when he was written out of The Vampire Diaries, it really made me sad. I think he sort of anchored Elena, especially after she became a vampire, so to see the character leave Mystic Falls was tough. I do think Jeremy has been through so much and sort of came full circle, so it was time for him to leave the nest. However, I loved Jeremy and Bonnie! They were adorably sweet and I bawled my eyes out when Jeremy was told she had died. I really will miss that relationship.
Of course, the biggest news to hit social media was the Instagram picture posted, then tweeted out of Nina’s farewell party on set. It was really a shock to me because ever since the show’s inception, it’s been about Damon, Elena, and Stefan. How will the show go on without Nina and Elena Gilbert?
Dobrev herself describes her character, “Elena is a multidimensional person.” I’ll say! Not only has Dobrev successfully portrayed Elena Gilbert, but she also had to play the devilishly devious Katherine Pierce, her doppelganger, as well as different versions of Elena over the past six seasons. I’ve always said I thought she was one of the most under-appreciated actresses in Hollywood. When I met her during the press room at San Diego Comic-Con 2014, one of the first things I told her was how brilliantly she did each character. Each had their own distinction. Incredible. I know she’s got a very bright future ahead of her no matter where she ends up after TVD.
I am a huge Delena (smush word for Damon and Elena) fan, so when I heard Ian and Nina were dating in real life, I couldn’t have been happier. I was sad to hear they broke up, but throughout it all, both of them maintained the chemistry they have between their characters. I was so glad that they didn’t break up for some reason and found a way to keep them in tact. The season finale had all of us in tears that’s for sure, as we saw our Delena dance for the final time before she was tucked away for the next fifty years!
From watching the “Good Bite and Good Luck” feature, it’s clear it was also very emotional for Nina to say goodbye. She had this to say to TVD fans, “It’s been a crazy, awesome, beautiful journey and I can’t believe it’s now going to end. I couldn’t have imagined or predicted that six years later we’d be sitting here talking, we’d have finished 100+ episodes of a television show. It’s been great. You’ve been on this journey with me and it’s been so exciting. Thanks for coming on this ride with me.”
Cast members also talked about Dobrev. One thing that Somerhalder says is that they are a huge family, though somewhat dysfunctional, but a family. Accola recalls working on fight scenes with Dobrev and really enjoying it because they both take it so seriously. Wesley reminisces about when Elena and Stefan’s first meeting, how he wanted it to seem like they’d never seen each other before.
The Vampire Diaries BluRay/DVD is definitely one that fans of the show should get for their library collection. I give the release a solid “A.”
And, if you buy the Blu-ray, you automatically get a code to add the Digital HD version to your library, to watch anywhere, anytime. For someone like me who is on the go, it’s great to have the season available to view on my mobile devices.
The Blu-ray and DVD both have a gag reel and deleted scenes, which are fun to watch. I always wish they’d give us more on the gag reel because seeing the cast screw up their lines or goof around is one of the best things to watch. The gag reel is about five minutes in length.
*Don’t miss the Season 7 premiere of The Vampire Diaries, Thursday, October 8 at 8 p.m, followed by the Season 3 premiere of The Originals at 9 p.m., on The CW.[amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00T5D4KS6][amazon template=iframe image&asin=B00T5D4KS6]