Caroline: Don't let go, Mommy.
Liz: I won't. Until you're ready.
Caroline: Don't let go, I'm not ready.
Liz: Yes, you are..
Liz helping Caroline to learn to ride a bicycle when she was little

Stay is the fourteenth episode of the sixth season of The Vampire Diaries and the one hundred and twenty-fifth episode of the series overall.


GOODBYE, MYSTIC FALLS — It's Jeremy's last day in Mystic Falls and Elena puts on a brave face as they reminisce about their past. Stefan and Caroline find themselves growing closer as they prepare Caroline's family cabin for her mother to live out her final days. While packing up her office, Sheriff Forbes turns to Damon for help solving one of her remaining open cases involving Elena's parents. Elsewhere, when a violent confrontation with Enzo leaves Jeremy wondering whether he should leave or not, Matt finds his own life on the line after Enzo lures him and Sarah Salvatore into his dangerous plan. Lastly, Caroline rushes to the hospital after learning her mother has taken a turn for the worse. Alaric also appears.


Sheriff Liz Forbes packs up her office, remembering the night she got the call about the car crash that killed Elena's parents. The case is still open and it bothers her.

Elena and Damon sit down with Jeremy's principal to try to convince him to let him graduate early to go to art school. The principal isn't buying it, so they try it Damon's way. They already compelled him into art school, so they compel the principal to let him go.

At the Grille, Alaric and Matt toast Jeremy on his last day in town (so long, Steven McQueen, who is leaving the show). Matt is distracted by hearing from Enzo, followed by Sarah Salvatore walking in the front door. She got a call from the "manager" to take pictures for the website and thinks it's owed to Matt. Damon and Elena bring Jeremy the good news that he "graduated," although Elena 'fesses up to the compulsion. Damon even got him a going away joint.

Caroline and Stefan unload the car at the cabin they're setting up for Liz to live out her last days. There's an awkward moment when Stefan's phone rings in his front pocket and, with boxes in his arms, he asks Caroline to fish around for it. It's Liz calling to see what they're up to. Caroline tells her she heard Liz ask Stefan to look out for her.

Damon finds Liz in her office with her open case files. Damon helps her close a few by confessing to most of them. She worries that Damon is behind Elena's parents' death, too, but he promises he's not. She plays him an urgent message Miranda Gilbert for her two hours before her death.

At the Grille, Jeremy steps out back to enjoy Damon's good-bye present, but Elena busts him. Alaric had to leave because he worried someone might recognize him when he's supposed to be dead. Elena has a change of heart and borrows Jeremy's lighter.

At the cabin, Caroline is excited when she finds the pike girly bike she learned to ride on. She didn't know her mom kept it. She sees Stefan fixing a light, looking like a sexy handyman, and takes note. She gives him an out to leave, but he says there's nowhere else he'd rather be.

In her office, Liz asks Damon why he and Stefan were in town the night of the crash. He came to lay flowers on his mother's grave. Liz doesn't entirely believe him, but he changes the subject to why the Gilberts were on Wickery bridge when it was out of the way, pointing out there were no skid marks and the trunk was full of luggage. They were going somewhere. Liz calls Elena and Jeremy, but Elena is too stoned to answer. When Damon calls, he tells her to sober up and get to Liz's.

Enzo shows up to lurk by Jeremy. Enzo calls Matt to demand he bring Sarah to a tunnel. When Matt resists, Enzo reveals that he's using Jeremy as leverage—he has Jeremy pinned to the ground with his boot over his face.

At the cabin, when Caroline starts to have a meltdown about the responsibility of choosing what could be her mom's last book, Stefan steps in for book duty and Caroline hits the booze.

At Liz's office, Elena doesn't know why her parents took Wickery Bridge and is surprised there was luggage in the trunk. Elena was texting with Bonnie when they crashed so she doesn't know why there were no skid marks. Elena leaves to find out what Jeremy knows. Damon sees Liz get light on her feet.

Matt leads Sarah to the tunnel Enzo directed him to. Sarah mentions she doesn't have a boyfriend. Enzo calls and leads Matt into the middle of the road—then he runs him over, flipping him up onto the roof.

At the cabin, Stefan tries to reassure Caroline that her mom's final moments aren't what matter—it's the light that came before. He knows she was just looking for a measure of control. He takes her hand. She brings up the fact her mom asked him to look after her and, as they stand in the perfect late afternoon sun, staring at each other, he tells her that's not why he's there. He says when she told him she hated him it was the worst thing he'd heard in awhile. "I think we both know I never really hated you," she says. After a long moment, Stefan steps closer and kisses her. Neither of them knows what to say.

Back in the tunnel, Sarah waits panicky for the ambulance to arrive. Matt tries to tell her to leave, but Enzo strolls up, saying he was in the area. Matt is in bad shape, and tells Enzo to fix him. Enzo puts on his best altruistic act and tells Sarah to remain calm, then he vamps out and feeds Matt his blood, then runs off.

Elena finds battered Jeremy back at the Salvatore house. After checking that he's OK, she tells him about Liz's questions and asks about the message from their mom. Jeremy remembers his mom caught him smoking pot in his room that night and put on a big show of getting mad and calling the sheriff. Elena relays the news to Damon, who tells Liz. The luggage was from a planned surprise trip to the lake house that was ruined by a storm. Liz remembers the storm also put a power line across the shorter route home, which is why they were on Wickery. The bridge had a drainage issue before it was renovated and was probably slick, thus no skid marks. Liz sadly realizes there's no mystery. She asks Damon to call Caroline and tell her she can surprise her tomorrow. Liz leaves her badge on her desk and walks out.

At the Salvatore house, Elena gets the update from Damon but urges Jeremy to go on with his plans to leave town. Alaric offers to take him to the airport.

Damon gets Liz settled into her own bed. He can tell she's disappointed there's no bigger reason for the Gilberts' death. Liz allows herself a few moments of self pity and gets upset that she's lived a life as a good person and is still dying. Liz tells Damon to tell Caroline how proud she is of her, but he says she can tell her herself. Damon tucks her in and takes her hand. Damon shares that he wrote his mother's eulogy but then didn't go to the funeral. Liz asks him to write her—just nothing dirty. Liz asks for a drink. Damon turns around to get it but when he turns back, Liz is unconscious.

After getting Damon's call, Caroline arrives frantic at the hospital, but she's too late, Liz has slipped into a coma. Stefan calls Tyler to come back to town. The doctors say it won't be long. Caroline cries over the fact she wasn't with her mom to say good-bye. Stefan suggests she still can.

Alaric drives Jeremy to the "airport," which turns out to be a bus stop. He hands over Jeremy's bag of vampire-killing tools and gives Jeremy leads on "animal attacks" near Santa Fe. Jeremy is leaving to be a vampire hunter and they're in on hiding that fact together. Alaric promises to send him leads and let him know if Bonnie ever comes back.

Back at Liz's bedside, Stefan guides Caroline through how to live in Liz's memories. Caroline remembers back to the day she learned how to ride her bike, a happy day for her and her mom. Elena, Stefan, Damon and Matt are all there when Liz slips away.


Main Cast

Recurring Cast



  • Antagonist: Enzo.
  • This episode marks Jeremy last appearance before Steven R. McQueen leaves the show. As far as anyone else knows, Jeremy is leaving for art school. However, unknown to anyone but Alaric, he has actually decided to be a full-time vampire hunter instead. Alaric sent him away with a cache of anti-vampire weapons and plans on sending him tips about potential vampire attacks around the US. At the end of the episode, Jeremy leaves for his first stop, which is Santa Fe, New Mexico, where several animal attacks have been reported.
    • Before Jeremy leaves, Alaric tells him that if Elena finds out that he let him leave to hunt vampires, she'll kill them both.
  • This episodes establishes the series' current timeline as 2013 with the mention that Jeremy started his freshman year in 2009. It is further established by the comment that Elena and Jeremy's parents died in the car accident almost four years ago.
  • Elena proves that she can sneak up on Jeremy without him hearing her by using her vampire abilities.
  • Elena gets high with her brother Jeremy before he leaves, or at least gets buzzed by smoking the joint that Damon gave him as a going away present. This is the first time Elena is seen smoking pot, because, like most of the vampires she knows, her "drug of choice" is alcohol.
    • When Elena later goes to see Damon and the Sheriff, she doesn't appear to be inebriated any longer, implying that while vampires can technically get high, the effects of the drugs are shorter-lasting than they would be with a regular human. This fits in with canon, as it has also been established that vampires have much higher tolerances for alcohol because of their accelerated healing.
  • Jeremy asks Elena if he can have her SUV, and argues that she could easily compel herself a better car. Though Elena initially rejects this proposal, she eventually agrees to ship her car to Santa Fe for him to drive.
    • While they discussed this, they also go over each car that their family has destroyed over the course of their lives.
  • Liz dies in this episode with Caroline, Stefan, Elena, Matt and Damon at her bedside. In order to be with her comatose mother in her last moments, Caroline enters her mind with Stefan's help and brings back her happiest memory with her mother: when she taught her to ride a bike without training wheels.
    • Liz is the first recurring character to die a natural death in the series.
    • Stefan taught Caroline how to use her vampire mind-control abilities to "get inside someone's head" by using a form of telepathy to induce a dream or vision. In this case, Caroline uses it to replay her favorite memory of her and her mother together.
      • Caroline is the first vampire turned from Damon's bloodline to demonstrate this ability, as Elena has yet to be seen doing so.
  • Liz spends her last day with Damon investigating cold cases, including one about Miranda and Grayson Gilbert. Liz was concerned that she had missed something in regards to the accident, because the night they died, Miranda left an urgent voicemail for Liz saying they needed to talk, and the fact that there were no skid marks on Wickery Bridge suggested something suspicious was going on. In addition to this evidence, Miranda and Grayson were shown to have luggage in their trunk, and the route through Wicker Bridge wasn't the most direct way to return to the Gilbert House. Because of these unanswered questions, Liz suspected foul play, and admitted to Damon that she never brought it up to Elena and Damon because they were still grieving.
    • Liz and Damon eventually discover that the message was just a joke played by Miranda and Jenna, who had caught him smoking marijuana in his room that night and wanted to scare him into dropping the habit. The luggage was also explained to have been in the trunk because the family meant to take a surprise trip to their lake house, but a storm prevented them from going, and also why there were no skid marks on the bridge, as the bridge had poor drainage at the time, something only later fixed. Finally, the detour was explained to have been because a tree had fallen across the most direct route.
  • After Damon confessed that he was supposed to give the eulogy at his mother's funeral and chickened out at the last minute due to nerves and an inability to write his speech, Liz asks Damon to give the eulogy at her funeral so he can make up for it.
  • It is revealed out that the reason Damon was in town the night of the Gilbert car accident was because his mother died around that time, so he came to leave flowers on her grave, as he did every year when his humanity switch was on.
    • This suggests that Damon's initial appearance in Mystic Falls in May 2009 had nothing to do with him coming to free Katherine from the tomb.
  • Stefan and Caroline share a kiss for the first time in this episode while they are preparing the lake house.
  • It is revealed that Alaric can no longer go to Mystic Falls out of fear that he could be recognized, since his death was very publicized and he was dead for two years before he was resurrected.
  • Because of Enzo, Sarah learns that supernatural beings exist who can heal people with their blood and run very fast, as Enzo purposely hit Matt with his car to demonstrate these abilities to her just enough to make her curious to learn more. It's unclear if she knows about vampires, or the fact that Enzo is one.
    • In The Downward Spiral, it was revealed that while Sarah did not right away assume that Enzo was a vampire after seeing Enzo heal Matt, she was still not impressed when Enzo revealed his identity to her, as Stefan had previously compelled her to not fear or be interested in vampires as a way to ensure her protection.


Body Count


Behind the Scenes

  • This episode had about 1.52 million viewers in the USA.
  • This episode marks the final appearance of Steven R. McQueen as a series regular.
  • "The original pitch was a bucket list, but she'd take a turn for the worse before she could do the last thing so Caroline would go into her mind and give her that last thing. Once we broke the investigative story line involving the parents and we realized the closure in that mystery put her to sleep we went this way. In the midst of all the pain and sadness, there is a beauty and peace to be found in your last moments and to send somebody off feeling like a character gave them that is really important." [1]
  • Hashtag during the airing is #ByeJerBear

Cultural References

  • "Stay" (full title: "Stay (I Missed You)") is a song by Lisa Loeb released as a single in 1994 and featured on the soundtrack for the movie Reality Bites.
  • "Stay" is a thriller/drama movie released in 2005.


"I would write... Dear Diary"

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