I agree wholeheartedly with everyone who said that was one of the best episode of the show: best since the finale of s3 which doesn't mean much (i know) because the quality decreased drastically since s4, but imo if felt nonetheless that it was on the same level than the best episodes written during the golden age of the show (s1-s3).
I felt like the absence of supernatural twist (except for the Matt/Sarah/Enzo storyline) in a episode which was about death and separation was ironically a breath of fresh air.
For me, the success of this episode rested entirely on the quality of Liz Forbes storyline and Margaret's spectacular acting.
Everything revolving around her disease and her last moments felt true and real, but was also very well paced and brilliantly tackled.
I loved how the writers linked her professional career and her personal issues over the Gilbert accident to show, that in fact in both cases there wasn't a satisfying answer, as much as Liz wanted closure and to give sense to her premature death.
It's been a long time since the writers have played so smartly with the mythology of the show, so i almost forgot that they could deliver efficiently a simple twist with minimal effects.
I loved the light and cinematography in the scenes filmed in Liz office: so soft and beautiful and yet hauting and carrying a feeling of sadness. This atmosphere of gravity was well emphasized by the choice to keep her inside doors with only one person and to let her mostly reminisce about her past.
I never liked her relationship with Damon because of what happened between Caroline and him, so i would have prefered to see Alaric at her side but i do get that the continuity with season 1 and 2 called for it, especially considering that Damon played the same role for Alaric and Rose (two other adult characters important for him).
The flasbacks with little Caroline were pretty much perfect: the actress was well cast and every technical aspect (light, photography, set, music, wardrobe) was used to make this moment as peaceful, warmful and symbolic as possible. The entire team nailed it.
I think that the dialogues were for once on par with the quality of the rest: the entire speech given by Liz in her bedroom about what she wished to say to Caroline and about being exceptionally ordinary is so moving that it deserves to serve as example for every writer of the show.
I was also touched deeply by Stefan's quote's (life not being about the final moments but the moments leading to them) and also of course Caroline's line: "don't let go. I'm not ready"
I'll skip the part about Jeremy because his scenes, especially with Elena and Damon, just looked like a rehash of the previous seasons where he left to move on or died and always came back at one point.
I don't think that Enzo's plotline is as random as it seems: his animosity against Stefan has been heavily exposed at the start of the season and it seems like we are in the middle of something growing enough to become a real war betwen the two men. I wish that means that Stefan and Damon's relationship will also come back at forefront, because the low play of the triangle this season has meant so far the almost complete disparition of their relationship on screen.
On Stefan/Caroline romance, i'm probably very alone but even though i'm a die hard fan of their relationship since s1 and under any form, i didn't buy their romance in this episode.
My problem is not the execution (in fact i found it well done) or the acting (Candice gave her one of the best performance of the show and her chemistry with Paul is perfectly exploited), but my distrust of the writers when it comes to romantic ships and few clues left here and here that make me think that the triangle is not dead. So i can't enjoy fully this ship, and in fact I have never been so anxious about a fictional couple.
Call me superstitious but are we sure that the death of Silas and Amara meant the end of this foolish plot based on the "universe" trying to reunite the dopplegangers? If so, why are the writers still mentioning Silas and Qetsiyah?
Also, we are on s6 and the writers still write dialogues in which new characters comment on how Elena and Stefan seem 'weirdly functional" while Damon and Elena are "dysfunctional"; baddies like Kai who couldn't be more alien to the concept of love is yet revolted by Damon/Elena's romance; and Damon confirmed once again in front of everyone that this relationship is toxic, that Elena is at her worst when she's with him and that she wouldn't have choose him if she didn't become a vampire.
I don't like this relationship at all but can't see the point of mentioning it over and over again if Damon/Elena are endgame?
Do those comments reflect the opinion of the writers on this romance and if so how they will manage to write them for the rest of the season (and the show) now that the character have reached a sort of agreement about the nature of their relationship?
The only twist that i can imagine (since angst is an obligation in this show) is the return of the triangle.
Or maybe I might have been traumatized by Paul: he mentioned during a recent interview that the writers could easily resurrect Stefan/Elena's feelings with one twist, wich makes me think that he's not sure himself of the writer's plan even at this point and maybe trying to warn us...