Not only did the CW's biggest supernatural thriller deliver on its promise of death: It delivered in a big way. The Vampire Diaries' Damon Salvatore is dead. Like really dead. Like walk-into-the-light-while-holding-hands-with-Bonnie dead. After he, Elena, and just about everyone you love took a little trip to the Other Side, every one came back one by one, save for our resident unkillable witch and the funniest, most intriguing Salvatore brother.
But that can't be it. It simply can't. We know that Ian Somerhalder is contracted through Season 6, so he can't be erased from our television screens. That means he needs to come back somehow. And beyond the material world, he and Elena finally admitted how important they are to each other. We can't just let all that fighting and arguing and figuring it all out go to waste, can we? Certainly not.
So, we need to figure out just how Damon will make his way back from the Other Side — which will be a tough task, because it basically looks like that ship has sailed. White light is pretty damn final. But this is The Vampire Diaries, you guys. There is always another way — like Elena has said time and again. Some magical solution that no one could have possibly conceived pops up and suddenly, there's a tricky, but slightly doable (if everything goes just right) solution available to them. We've gotten out of impossible scrapes before, TVD fans. We can do this.
How do we get out of this horrible reality where Damon Salvatore isn't part of our favorite show? There are a few possibilities:
Damon Lives Out His Days As a Ghost
Lord knows Bonnie got to rock this privilege over and over for almost no logical reasons. Hell, even Vicki Donovan comes back here and there and nobody likes Vicki Donovan. (After what she put young Jeremy through? Hell no.) This would be tough, because it would mean that Elena would really have to come to terms with the idea that she and Damon aren't meant to be — unless they decide that the Righteous Brothers and some clay pottery-making sessions are their future:
Not likely to happen for a real relationship. This could bring up the question of the series' endgame: Is Stelena the one true couple? Perhaps, but that might become tough now that Lexie has alerted Stefan to Caroline's affections, as the rest of us have suspected for two seasons now. This could actually be good for Elena: For once, she wouldn't have her two vampire lovers fighting over her. Instead, she'd be forced to sit on her own for a bit and really think about all this before finally making a decision. Of course, if Season 6 isn't the last season, as some suspect, this question could drag on.
They Get By With a Little Help From Their Friends
There is a fluidity between The Vampire Diaries and The Originals, its spinoff series. If Klaus can come back and forth, why not The Originals' powerful witch Davina? Perhaps she gets tired of all the nonsense down in New Orleans — couldn't she stop by Mystic Falls on a sabbatical from the French Quarter? Sure, there's been nothing to indicate that being likely, but this is Julie Plec's world, where anything can happen. And fans have already started debating whether or not she's more powerful than Bonnie.
There's also Liv. If Bonnie is all used up as our resident witch and human voodoo doll, then why not pass that torch to Liv? There are too many mega powerful witches in this TVD universe for one or two of them to miss out on an opportunity to team up and fix this terrible tragedy. Get it together, ladies.
Something Completely Different
TVD is notorious for revealing supernatural rules we didn't think were possible. The concept of hybrids, the cure, the doppelganger issue, every bit of magic Bonnie has ever conceived, the fact that Jeremy still hasn't managed to stay dead: it's all pointing us to one final solution for this Damon problem. The solution is probably something we'll never guess because it's going to be an invention all TVD's own. Look, the producers know we love Damon and that we probably won't be as inclined to tune in without him. They're not stupid. Hell, even Lexi could get behind Damon's survival — homegirl risked her chance to come back in order to give Damon a shot and he's the one who killed her.
Let's let them be the mad geniuses they are and come up with some completely shocking solution that will take a half a season to execute. Deal?