Vampire Diaries: Postcards from the Edge

“This isn’t some hell-survivor’s support group.”

This episode took a while to get where it was going. But once it got there, it was worth the wait.

Damon’s sadness spiral felt a bit like a retread to me. Damon acting out. Damon playing fight club. Damon looking for pain. We’ve been there before, haven’t we? We’ve also been to the “Stefan saves Damon from himself” place, although that’s a locale we’re more comfortable with.

It’s what came next that I thought was most interesting: Stefan punching Damon for having burned Elena alive. (Or, properly speaking, having burned her asleep.) It’s nice to know Stefan’s forgiveness has its limits—he was becoming a bit too saintly. And, sure, Damon’s actions are definitely not his fault, since—as Stefan noted last week—Hell can play tricks on your mind even once you’re out of it. But rationality goes out the window when Elena comes into play.

Will the rift between Stefan and Damon relate to the flashforwards? Will Stefan’s grief push him into Valerie’s arms? Will his angst prevent him from being there for Caroline when she needs him most? I’m getting antsy for answers as to how on earth we get to the events three years from now.

Like Bonnie and Enzo. Enzo’s sudden reappearance was interesting, especially since we haven’t seen Matt interacting with the group that abducted him at all. What’s going on there? Was Enzo promised his freedom in exchange for double-crossing Bonnie and revivifying the Huntress?

Speaking of which: who is a bit disappointed that the Huntress is not someone we know? The actress playing her looks so much like Nina Dobrev that I was truly disoriented. But the fact that we don’t know her diminishes some of the tension in the flashforwards: there is no longer a question of who might turn into a hunter. There’s just the question of how our heroes will defeat her.

That also might be a question of how they’ll defeat Matt. Matt, who finally has a storyline! Matt, whose storyline sadly pits him against other characters we care about. And: Matt, who (also finally) has a love interest! There were some big moments for Matt tucked into the corners of this episode. I hope we get more of those in the back half of the season.

Since the winter hiatus, we’ve spent perhaps too much time moving into Phase Two of this season. But I think that, in retrospect, we’ll be able to see this episode as the pivot point for some real forward movement on this show. And that makes me happier than a cookie.

Bites and Pieces:

• Bonnie and the Nora Louise love-triangle thing was a bit awkward, as Bonnie being snarky in the car just didn’t seem to fit into Bonnie’s character as we’ve seen it.

• I really liked Valerie and Caroline bonding over the babies, and Caroline sending Valerie out to rescue Stefan. It was a nice girl-power moment, however badly it seems to have turned out.

• Is anyone else bored by Julian’s leather-clad minions?

• So, Damon’s acting out with inappropriate sex and tequila, huh?

How many postcards out of four?

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?)


TheShadowKnows said...

I liked the connection between the "phoenix" stone and the Huntress burning and rising from her own ashes. A little more subtle than usual for this show.

sillyrabbit said...

I felt Kat Graham was just acting like herself, not Bonnie in that car scene. Off putting, really as it didn't make sense for Bonnie to be so chummy with Nora who siphoned her the last time they 'bonded' after she killed Kai for doing the same to her last season and Malcolm just in the first episode of this season.