The Vampire Diaries: The World Has Turned and Left Me Here

“Have you never portal-jumped through an eclipse before?”

As the world’s throbbing, beating heart beats on and on like a perky metronome of viscera, we are forced to reckon with the fundamental questions of the tragic corn maze that is human existence: Is it ever right to fall in love with your brother’s girl? Is it ever possible to move on? Is sarcasm ever an unexpected response?

This episode had a lot of great dialogue, some overblown compliments, and one deliciously underblown compliment. Important stuff happened—Damon’s back!—but some of the major plot points seem either hackneyed or out of character.

Like how Bonnie is, once again, stuck in an impossible self-sacrificing situation that doesn’t make much sense. 1994-world is the same day on a loop. Damon and Bonnie could have easily put the ritual on pause, figured out a way to immobilize Kai for 24 hours, and tried to get back home safely the next day. Bonnie’s wounds might have even disappeared; the rules for the re-set aren’t 100% clear. But no: Bonnie sacrificed herself to save Damon, and Damon let her. Bonnie sacrificing herself is par for the course, but I wish Damon had made more of an effort not to be saved. I think his character has grown past that sort of selfishness, hasn’t it?

Stefan’s decision to abandon Ivy and Caroline seems equally out of character. He has been disengaged from everything for a while, and we know from last week how important the rituals of moving-on are for him. But does Stefan really need to abandon someone that he is responsible (Ivy) and abuse the trust of someone who has been his friend for so long (Caroline)? Even Alaric is angry at Stefan.

Will Damon’s return fix Stefan? I hope so. We’re five episodes into this season, and no true villain has emerged, although Tripp (and the threat of discovery) is a contender. But I’m starting to wonder if the villain is the group: like the theme of Buffy’s fourth season, the real threat is a lack of unity and communication among our heroes. If Damon can be Stefan’s point of re-entry into the TVD madness, then the plot-wheels will start to move a bit more, right?

Damon’s return just might fix Alaric. Then again, he’s doing okay on his own. Sure, vamp-angst and hunger pangs. But Damon can help Alaric get his drink on, and the sexy, un-compellable doctor is both okay with his drinking and impressed with everything else. Just witness her hyperbolic and tipsy declaration of affection: “I think you’re great. You’re brave, funny, not to mention maybe the most attractive man I’ve ever seen…and call me crazy, but I think I was meant to know you.” Aww.

That wasn’t the only over-the-top declaration of love this week. Elena’s decision to take her own advice and remain happy has left her…happy. Almost normal happy, which I frankly find a bit creepy; I’m not used to the characters on this show doing regular college-student things like dating regular people in regular ways. And Elena seems to be really into that guy whose name I still can’t remember: “You were a hero tonight. An absolutely, jaw-dropping, out-of-this-world hero. That’s my type.”

But the best declaration of affection was the low-key interplay between Bonnie and Damon, who have managed to put six seasons of animosity behind them without any dramatics:

Damon: “I’m sure there are about a billion people you’d rather be here with.”
Bonnie: “Not exactly.”
Damon: “Hmm.”

I assume—I hope—that Damon will do everything in his power to get Bonnie out of 1994-hell. Hopefully this Gemini coven, and/or Liv and Luke, will be of some assistance there. And maybe this can be Bonnie’s last death. She’s like the Kenny of The Vampire Diaries.

Bites and Pieces:

• Ivy: “I used to be a decent person. I got good grades. I went home for Christmas. I had a freaking Etsy store!”

• Ivy: “You know, the real tragedy of all this? I read He’s Just Not That Into You, and...”

• Elena: “You are like one hoodie and three missed haircuts away from becoming Professor Shane.”

• Alaric: “Are you asking me to help you with a breakup?”

• Can you grow corn in Georgia? Isn’t that more of a cottony place?

• Ivy saying “Erase!” to her victim was hilarious. It’s not an iPhone command, sweetheart.

• Tyler kept claiming that the car accident was, in fact, an accident. He certainly didn’t intend for it to happen, but he was texting while driving. I wish he’d taken a bit more responsibility. Because now Liv has to.

How many bottles of Zima out of four?

Josie Kafka reviews The Vampire Diaries, True Detective, Game of Thrones, and various other things that take her fancy. She is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

5 comments:

Billie Doux said...

...the tragic corn maze that is human existence... LOL, Josie. OMG. And other three letter abbreviations. :)

I think Damon did try his best to stop Bonnie from (once again, sigh) sacrificing herself. And of course, we didn't see her dead and there's the resetty thing, so I doubt Bonnie will ever, ever die.

Let's hope Alaric gets a little emotional shot in the arm by Damon's return and what's her face the non-compellable woman (that was a fun scene). I was just thinking that if TVD finally ends soon, Alaric might be a fun crossover character on The Originals. Which might make him miserable since I had read somewhere that the actor is tired of playing Alaric. I'm not tired of Alaric.

Loved your review. I must have laughed out loud four times.

topher darling said...

Best episode of the season so far. The chaos in the maze was exciting and I actually for once liked a Tyler moment in the show. And that was the first time I've enjoyed Liv as a character.

What you said about Bonnie and Damon just waiting made sense but I wonder if the device had already been triggered by Bonnie's blood and therefore it was now or never for a trip back. Or maybe Bonnie just really loves being literally self-sacrificing? Maybe she's part Winchester?

As always, thanks for your reviews!

lisa menaster said...

I don't understand why Tyler wasn't arrested. I know Liv was the one to kill that guy, but the cops wouldn't have believed that. They would've assumed the guy who ran him over killed him.

Patryk said...

If Matt Davis tired of playing Alaric why did he agree to come back instead of asking for his character to be erased like Lexi...

Billie Doux said...

Patryk, it's likely that much like all of us, Matt Davis needs money. :) And maybe they promised to do something cool with his character?