Although Kai is the obvious villain—especially now that the threat of disclosure has been diminished—the real Big Bad of this season of The Vampire Diaries might be bad luck. Jeremy isn’t wrong: nothing ever works out the way it is supposed to. Did everyone break a mirror just before the pilot episode, or something?
Just think about how much our heroes have suffered in the past few years. And then think of how they’re still, constantly, trying to make things better with the age-old tricks of lies, compulsion, hiding, planning, etc. Are we really surprised that the quest to save Bonnie from 1994 hell resulted in sobbing and despair?
That scene—in which Bonnie realizes that something went wrong, tries to maintain a brave face, and then collapses—was incredible. Kat Graham knocked it out of the park. So far out of the park that I feel bad about mentioning that Damon and Elena probably should have met her halfway between Muncie and Mystic Falls.
Oh, well. That probably wouldn’t have worked out either. Kai seems to have epically good timing to go along with his chattiness. He also seems to have a penchant for making awful first impressions: annoying the cabbie (then killing him), asking Liv for a Zima (that was mildly funny), even munching on pork rinds back when he met Damon and Bonnie the first time.
I’m having a hard time caring deeply about Kai. He annoys me. And his violent tendencies have so little to do with our heroes—they’re just caught up in this Gemini-coven nonsense due to plain bad luck—that I’m having a hard time caring about Liv and Luke, too. I care about Jo, but only because she and Alaric are so cute together.
The Enzo plot is mildly more interesting, if only because he’s such a wildcard. He likes the killing, doesn’t he? I’m not quite sure why: he said a few episodes that he wanted to make Stefan’s life a living hell to punish him for being a bad brother, but that’s a really weird motivation. It may be the weirdest motivation ever.
I’ve been fairly critical of this season, and I’m going to say something that I’ve avoided saying for a while: the writers seem to be operating without a plan. On the one hand, that’s a stupid idea—I doubt they said to themselves, “Oh, let’s just wing it!” On the other hand, think of the alleged Sarah Salvatore: she’s been lurking around the borders of this story for a while, and we just found out that she’s not a Salvatore. She’s a con artist. What is the point of her in this narrative? To give us a reason to flashback to Damon’s massacre in 1994? To introduce the possibility of the real Sarah Salvatore? Or is she just a thread that got dropped?
Lack of pointfulness, to coin a silly word, might be part of my discontent with the Kai narrative. It's hard to care about Luke and Liv when we rarely see Luke. It's hard to care about Jeremy's sadness for Bonnie when we rarely see Jeremy. Even Caroline was missing--again!--and that's never a good thing. I understand that budget constraints dictate cast availability, but they're starting to dictate the story's impact, too.
Bites and Pieces:
• Kai: “Why are jeans so tight when phones are so big?”
• Damon: “It turns out that if you spend time with someone and you don’t kill them, you actually become friends.”
• Alaric’s and Jo’s relationship is utterly perfect and adorable. Perfect and adorable make me nervous: I really, really hope that nothing happens to either of them.
• I like the way the Mystic Falls un-magic border has become a useful tool.
• If 1994 Hell resets every day, wouldn’t that porch swing reset to squeaky each new day?
Two out of four pagers, those ancient forms of telecommunication.
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?)
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