If you were like me, you went into this series finale hoping there would be a last minute save, a last minute Mikaelson miracle, and that all the Mikaelson’s would come out of this alive.  (Well, as “alive” as they get)

Well, our hopes turned to dust.  (Pun intended) The crazy thing is, I ended up being sort of okay with it by the end.  It was done beautifully.  I know it’s going to haunt me for a while as one of the best series send-offs I’ve ever seen.

And now for the top six moments from the finale . . .

(1) Goodbye Daughter 

Hope did her best.  She tried to save Klaus.  She tried to find a way for everybody to be together, but in the end, nothing worked.  In the end, all she could do was say goodbye.  She told him she loved him.  She tried to comfort Klaus that she’d go onto a happy life.  She’d go onto meet boys, have jobs, and she’d never forget him.  With a touching of foreheads, father and daughter parted.  The last image we get of Hope is her painting, like her father, as a ghost of Hayley looks on.

(2) A Mikaelson After All . . . 

Kol might have resisted being there for Klaus’ final day on earth, but in the end, he came.  He hugged his brother and he shared in stories and then he went off to join Davina.  Kol may not have ever been as dedicated a Mikaelson as the rest of his kin, but when it mattered, he was there.

(3) That’s Going to be a Wacky and Loved Kid 

Freya asked Vincent to help her and Keelin have a child.  At first, he was terrified.  He had lost so much and had his heart broken so many times.  In the end, he changed his mind.  He agreed to help the two women start a family.  His hug with them was touching and perfect.  Vincent may have lost a lot of love in his life, but now he’s helping create something instead.

(4) The Most Heartbreaking Dinner I’ve Ever Seen

I’ve come to the conclusion that a dinner party in a season/series finale is always a disaster in the making.  It always precedes trouble or will be looked back on later with an ache in the chest.

Everyone was there, including honorary Mikaelsons Keelin and Marcel.  The family ate and talked.  They shared stories.  It was so strange to see such laughter from characters who so rarely laughed on the show.  It was even harder to watch, knowing what was coming.

Or at least, what we thought was coming.

(5) Getting What She Wanted After All 

Rebecca realizes, through help from Kol, that happiness is a choice.  She has only ever wanted a family, a human life, and when Klaus tells her he has found the cure for her, she gets just that.  She goes to Marcel, who has finally come to terms with how much he loves the Mikaelsons too.  Rebecca asks Marcel to marry her, with the catch that he must be willing to watch her grow old and one day draw her last human breath.  She then hands him the envelope from the series premiere, which says “in case you say yes.”  He tells her “I do” and thus set off on their future together, away from New Orleans.

(6) Losing Them Both . . . and Somehow Being Okay With It

I didn’t see it coming.  I worried it would be one of them, but I had no idea it might be both of them.  Elijah has spent his entire life helping Klaus redeem himself and now he thinks Klaus has succeeded.  Sure, Elijah could run off to find Antoinette, but he doesn’t belong there.  He belongs here, at his brother’s side, finding out what awaits them on the other side of death, together.

What’s amazing is that I wasn’t the only one to realize that.  The Mikaelson clan didn’t fight Elijah when he told them what he was going to do.  They saw the rightness in it too.  Klaus had to be persuaded, but he came to see it as well.

With the white oak stake snapped in two, the brothers stake each other.  Some fans (such as me) might have expected a post-death scene such as with Josh.  Perhaps Cami and Hayley might welcome them with open arms, but no.  Instead, the brothers die and their ashes drift up onto the wind.  It is beautiful and perfect and heartbreaking.

In the words of Elijah Mikaelson, it had been a truly marvelous ride.