Vampire Diaries: This Woman’s Work

“Oh, that is just perfectly reasonable.”

It’s been a long time since an episode of The Vampire Diaries made me cry. This one did.

Let’s start there, with the tears. They happened twice:

First, when Stefan jumped in front of Damon to save his brother from the Huntress. Stefan, who just can’t stop Stefaning, has apparently gotten over the Phoenix-Stone Hell that convinced him his relationship with Damon was a problem. He’s even gotten over his anger about Damon (allegedly, see below) killing Elena. He instinctively saved Damon, because that is what he does.

I wasn’t quite yet crying. That came moments later, with the short montage of Stefan and Caroline as he realized that he had to leave her in order to save her. It’s a cheesy trope—one that evokes many of the debates we’ve been having in the Flash reviews about keeping people “safe” in stupid ways—but I do think Stefan is making the right choice for Caroline and the babies. So, of course, I cried.

Then I cried again, or just cried more, when Alaric and Caroline were busy loving their babies. This show has so few happy moments that safe, healthy babies really are a miracle, especially given all the madness surrounding their birth. The flashforward only made it more emotional, as Caroline drives her toddlers (who are exactly as well-behaved as you would expect Caroline Forbes’s babies to be) to see a “friend” in New Orleans. (I assume that friend is Klaus? Is this setting us up for a crossover with The Originals?)

The end-of-episode tears weren’t all that happened this week, of course. There was a delightful amount of peril at the hospital, from the babies feeding on Caroline to the Heretics helping. Then Beau started bleeding, the hospital ran out of cream for coffee, Nora Louise decided to keep living out the “bad rerun of the L Word” that is their lives, and only Valerie stayed to help. If I didn’t know better from the flashforwards, I would nominate her for a Most Likely to Be a Nanny award.

And that’s still not all! We found out what I’ve suspected since it “happened”: Elena is not dead, Damon was not in his right mind, that was a decoy coffin. Color me the opposite of surprised. (I don’t know what color that is. Puce, maybe.)

And there’s more! What on earth is going on with Enzo? He’s under orders from the Huntress and working with Tyler. Seriously, what’s going on? What has he been up to? Did I miss an episode or forget something important?!

Speaking of Enzo: he blackmailed Damon into giving the Huntress her sword back. That scene was awesome, especially Bonnie’s joke about the Hunger Games. Damon saving her life without a second thought would be more touching if he thought Elena was still revivable, but whatever. Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. Is this why everyone is so angry at Damon in the flashforwards?

And…wait for it…there’s more! In addition to all that madness, all that forward progress, two new babies and lots of gore, we got some pretty darn good flashbacks about Rayna Cruz, Huntress extraordinaire. The father/daughter bonding was very sweet, and I like the way the show made judicious use of Julian as a motivational tool. (Perhaps Nora and Rayna can bond over that someday.)

Rayna’s got a lot going on. No magic can touch her, and she has the “singular lives” of at least five people floating around in her. I wonder how that works. Is it cat logic? Does she have five lives, plus her own, before she really dies? Does she have to die for us to achieve narrative satisfaction? I sort of like her and her motivation.

All in all, this was definitely one of the best TVD episodes in a long, long time. Last week, I posited that we’d look back at “Postcards from the Edge” as a pivot episode, and it looks like I was right. Hooray for TVD getting back on track with some jam-packed fun, peril, and hijinks!

Bites and Pieces:

• I might be biased, but I think Baby Josie is cuter than Baby Elizabeth.

• Stefan doing the mindwalk thing with Caroline was really sweet.

• Damon is still out of bourbon. That bourbon might be the longest-running Most Obvious Symbolism object we’ve ever had here at Doux Reviews.

• The song that played over Krystal (with a K) and Damon in the morning was Elle King’s “Ex’s and Oh’s.” I dare you not to dance to it. Also, did you know that she’s Rob Schneider’s daughter?!


Four out of four marcas del cazador.

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?)

2 comments:

Patryk said...

You didn't miss anything with Enzo. The writers just stopped explaining stuff. I guess he's working for the hunters that Matt handed him to in the winter finale and they also had him find and "reset" Rayna.

Billie Doux said...

Color me the opposite of surprised. (I don’t know what color that is. Puce, maybe. Yeah, really. But congratulations, Josie! They named a Vampire Diaries witch baby after you! :)

I am usually rah rah TVD, but I wasn't as happy with this one. Maybe it was the introduction of the Huntress, who looks way too much like Nina Dobrev; that bothered me a lot. I did like all of the Stefan/Caroline stuff, and I'm a sucker for Damon's friendship with his Bon-Bon, though. And I love the idea of Caroline and her twins going to Klaus for help. I assume it would have to be Klaus.

Here's the big question. Are they going to skip ahead three years on The Originals, too? If so, will they all go back again or is the three years forward thingy going to be permanent? That is, if either or both series are renewed.