Vampire Diaries: I Alone

“Let me the last minute, something went wrong, and it didn't work.”

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?)


Laure Mack said...

I had the same thought about Elena and Damon meeting Bonnie half way. It just seemed stupid for them to hang out for six hours when Liv outright told them there was a ticking clock.

I don't know what's up this season. It's been unseasonably hot in LA. Maybe the writers are suffering from heat stroke.

Billie Doux said...

Didn't the spell have to take place in Mystic Falls? I had the same thought about meeting Bonnie halfway, but Dan said it had to be Mystic Falls.

memz_ said...

Yes, Billie. I think the spell had to take place in Mystic Falls. It's why Kai left Bonnie behind and took off to make the spell. Remember Damon had to dig a hole in order for it to work, I think.

topher darling said...

Maybe it did have to be Mystic Falls and that's why Kai was there (in 1994 limbo and also in present day). That solves two of my questions:1) Why didn't they meet here and 2) Why did Kai go to Mystic Falls or Widmer or the bar? Did Jo not change her last name when she left the coven? If not, why didn't Luke and Liv know who she was sooner?

My other question is: Why didn't Damon impale Kai by tossing something heavy and sharp his way after they threw him over the magic border?

Adding this all to the number of times that Bonnie and/or Damon should have tied up an unconscious Kai makes me really question whether the writers are really putting themselves into the shoes of the cast anymore. Maybe all of the logical thinkers went to work on the Originals.

Or maybe I should just stop trying to look for logic in a show that features time-traveling vampires and witches....

The dialog is why I keep coming back though. My favorite line from this episode was Bonnie telling Damon that his concern would have been sweet if he hadn't needed to refer to her annoying.

And despite all of the logiclessness, I'm really enjoying rooting for Bonnie. Kat Graham's acting really did get to me at the end. I never, ever thought I'd see the day when Bonnie was my favorite part about this show.

As always, thanks for your review, Josie.

Juliette said...

Argh, Bonnie is still in 1994! Agreed that was great acting in the last scene though. And thanks for clearing up why they couldn't just meet her halfway (though I think I'd have wanted to do that anyway, just to see her!).

Although I loved the comment about skinny jeans... phones were a lot bigger in 1994! Love all the pager references though. My high school boyfriend was the height of cool because he had a pager. I hated it, couldn't work out how to use it...