If we just accept that The Vampire Diaries is just a pale shadow of its former self, we can see that this episode was a lot of fun precisely because it seemed to be aware of its decline: various characters—and some elements of the direction—pointed out the weirdness of what they were doing, the oddness of the circumstances, and the general (and perpetual) insanity of the lives of our heroes.
Take, for instance, the great sequence of Bonnie trying to raise Oscar. The quick shot of Damon on the phone, turning towards the table, and the flames rising behind him was hilarious. It shouldn’t have been—fire, zombies, and Sadaric are not funny things—but the show seems to be more willing to throw up its hands and just admit, as Caroline says, that “Our lives are weird.”
Their lives are also sort of stuck. Damon is stuck on Elena. Caroline is stuck worrying about Valerie. Alaric is stuck on Jo. Valerie is stuck worrying about Julian while Mama Salvatore is stuck worrying about Julian in a different way. Even Mary Louise and Nora, whose relationship is drastically boring, are stuck trying to figure out if they are stuck. Can they thrive in the twenty-first century? Do we care?
I don’t, which makes the Whitmore scenes less than exciting for me. Caroline and Stefan are a couple now, which…okay, I’m fine with. Caroline seems happy, and that matters more than my own happiness. I’ll try not to spend too long on wondering why Caroline and Stefan didn’t kill the Heretics while they were unconscious. Sure, it’s honorable to stick to your word, but in some situations a little creative obfuscation is appropriate, especially when dealing with immortal bitchy badasses.
Except Oscar, of course. He’s off-limits—for me, that is. Resurrected as either a rage zombie or just a really hungry version of his regular self, Oscar killed an entire small tour bus of people. In the plus column, though, he’s back! I hope he does go back to some version of himself, since that was 100% wonderful last week.
His resurrection doesn’t really bode well for Jo’s, though. I’m reminded of last season, when Caroline failed to do sufficient research into the effects of “curing” her mother’s cancer. What made Alaric and Bonnie think that resurrecting Jo without proper research was a good idea? But maybe it does all work out okay—Alaric does have those adorable twin daughters in the future (even though it’s not clear if Jo is alive three years from now).
No matter how it turns out, at least it’s movement forward. Each person became unstuck, in some fashion, by the end of this episode. Damon gave Elena’s body to Tyler (thanks, brah!). Alaric and Bonnie raised Jo. The Heretic Mean Girls reunited, Caroline and Stefan united, and Mama Salvatore’s prodigal son returned.
Bites and Pieces:
• Oscar’s blood (on the exam table) looked so much like red paint. Do you think Heretic blood doesn’t congeal or turn brown?
• Damon: “I’ve been binging.”
Stefan: “And I’ve been judging.” This interplay reminded me of the episode of Person of Interest in which the Machine used preformatted dialogue descriptions rather than actual things a person might say. (And it was hilarious in both cases.)
• The Heretics keep asking Caroline for clothing advice. They have these weird moments of sisterhood during the clothing exchange, and then everyone hates each other again. Am I doing womanhood wrong? I don’t lend clothes to women I hate. Certainly not good clothes.
• I love the way that Caroline, Stefan, and Damon just tossed various Heretic bodies around like they’re bags of potatoes. I suppose they are unbreakable, but it always makes me laugh.
• Mary Louise actually said “I could think of nothing more futile than prattling away about one’s emotions” right before prattling away about her own.
Three out of four stories of why I drink bourbon.
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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