I’m going to go out on a limb—it’s scary up here!—and say this episode is about love, in all its messy splendor. Damon and Elena, Stefan and Caroline, Mama Salvatore and Damon. And Enzo. And her new “family.” Love may keep us together, but it also tears us apart.
Take Bonnie. Since her return from the prison world, her struggle has been with her own impulse to self-sacrifice. As she pointed out to Damon, she has died and almost died one too many times; she puts herself second (or last) far too often. And it never works out, especially not for her. Now that she’s realizing A) no one is looking out her as she looks out for them, and B) Damon tends towards the manipulative edge of the spectrum, she’s starting to lay down the law and protect herself.
That has interesting results for Lily Salvatore, who is—like her son—willing to manipulate almost anyone to stay with the person(s) she loves. Damon is selfish in his love for Elena. Lily is selfish in her love for a coven of “witchpires” (the PC term) who keep her Ripper tendencies under wraps. In other words, they’re both really co-dependent.
By the end of the episode, Lily had rediscovered her inner Ripper. That’s got to mean an Oedipal moment at the end of the season, right? It’s also an interesting parallel: just as Caroline stops being an inhumanpire, we get another threat. It’s almost like TVD is straining to up the stakes.
That’s more complain-y than it needs to be. This was a good episode, especially the dream-walk in which Caroline got to see her mom, as well as her sadness at having burned the letter from her mother once she regained her humanity. If Caroline does wind up being the focus of the show in the upcoming season, I think Candice Accola can pull it off. I’m curious to see what happens with her relationship with Stefan. After all they’ve been through the past few episodes, can they be friends? Something more? Do they even want that anymore?
Those questions are the ones we’re going to be asking about Damon and Elena over the next few episodes, too. I think. Lily’s love for her “new family” led her to manipulate Delena; she revealed the cure to Elena right when Elena happened to be most vulnerable to it. Elena becoming human truly would take something valuable away from Damon. But Damon becoming human? Does he love Elena enough for that?
And: Would they still love each other as humans? Elena explained her switch from Stefan to Damon in terms of becoming a vampire, oh so many seasons ago, although it was later revealed that she had feelings for him before that. But the transition from human to vampire does tend to change people. Not to mention that the health risks are important: Katherine got a bunch of illnesses she’d been immune to after she became human. Will Damon?
Bites and Pieces:
• Mama Salvatore to Damon: “Clearly, you’ve learned the art of hiding from your mother.” Thank goodness the show is acknowledging just how bad Damon is at hiding things!
• Alaric and Jo planning their wedding was adorable.
• Poor Matt.
• Enzo still feels very removed from the main plot.
Three out of four B&Bs
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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