“Cold as Ice” had two big moments: one at the beginning, on at the end. In between, it was all snow, drunk Santas, and Bonnie looking adorable in her elf hat.
Let’s start with the second big moment: the final (for now) battle between Julian and the Salvatores. Julian stabbing Damon with the Stubby Sword of Vampire Karma was a fun moment. Fun, because we know Damon won’t stay dead; we’ve seen him in the flashforwards, and he’s one of the stars of the show. But fun, also, because Damon and Stefan don’t know that—but they do know that any vampire stabbed with the sword experiences a personalized hell. Looks like Damon will be reliving the Civil War.
Stefan getting stabbed by the brunette component of the Nora Louise entity was just as delightful. When he looked so sad mourning over Damon’s body, I realized just how far Paul Wesley had taken his deadpan mug of disapproval: I’ve seen complaints elsewhere that it seems like he has been phoning it in this season, but I choose to see his recent actorly restraint as more of a decision to view the world from a weirdly unemotional perspective. Like Stefan is taking an inappropriate antidepressant that just puts him in a fog, even when he’s pledging bloody revenge for his mother’s death. Maybe his stint in a personalized hell will give Paul Wesley—and Stefan—a chance to flex his actor muscles when we return from the midseason hiatus.
This episode wasn’t all death and karmic swords, though. The flashforward had a huge surprise: Stefan and Valerie are, apparently, a couple three years from now.
I’m not sure how I feel about that. I don’t tend to be a vociferous shipper for any show, so I was okay with Stefan and Caroline dating (although I regretted the loss of their friendship, which was a more original pairing). But Valerie doesn’t do much for me. She is the least-awful element of Team Heretic, so that’s one for the plus column. But the idea of a long-lost love who isn’t Katherine seems to diminish a lot of the groundwork this show laid for oh-so-many years.
On the other hand, I do like Caroline and Alaric together. Call me old, jaded, and still single, but there’s something to be said for a couple that bonds and commits over shared responsibilities rather than dramatic, fated love. We’re seeing that with Calaric. She’s carrying his babies, he’s reading her pregnancy books. It’s only a hop, skip, and a mystical birth away from them settling down into a sedate life of married blissful boredom.
Domestic bliss still seems miles away for Nora Louise, though. The brunette’s attempt to make friends with Bonnie was sweet, if a bit rushed. Her sudden but inevitable persecution mania and concomitant betrayal was less sweet. At least Bonnie appears to be okay, although she may be without her magic.
That leaves our heroes in a sticky situation. Caroline is pregnant, Alaric is supportive. Stefan and Damon are mostly dead. Bonnie is mostly out of magic. Enzo is, presumably, being held captive by Matt and his new compadres. Julian is free, with no one to hold him back. And we’re still not any closer to finding out who the mysterious vengeful pursuer is. Any guesses?
Bites and Pieces:
• Sunbury, home of the Santa Pub Crawl, certainly lived up to its name. It looked very sunny, especially given the amount of snow on the ground.
• I thought Caroline’s pregnancy anger and pregnancy eating (blood and marshmallow fluff!) was hilarious.
• There is something very disturbing about the idea of someone looking at a Barbie doll and thinking it looks just like their girlfriend.
• Caroline talking to her mom was so sweet. I’m glad TVD took a few moments to acknowledge how important her mom would have been in Caroline’s pregnancy, if she were still alive.
• When TVD returns in January, it will air on Friday nights. Maybe it’s really headed for the end. I think it might be time.
Two out of four drunk Santas?
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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