Vampire Diaries: Today Will Be Different

“So it was all for nothing?”

For seven seasons, Bonnie has been our Mikey. You remember Mikey, right? He’s the kid from the Life cereal commercials. He’ll try anything if his friends ask him to, just like Bonnie—until now.

Bonnie “went rogue” this episode, and it’s about damn time. She has sacrificed enough, and there’s no solid reason why she should prioritize helping Stefan and Caroline with their problems at the cost of neglecting her own.

Bonnie’s plan to rescue Enzo didn’t go well, though. (Of course it didn’t. This is TVD, a show whose guiding ethos is “Man plans, God laughs.”) But it gave us more information about how the siren (Sibyl) works: her mind control can cause brain hemorrhages, she can make anyone bow to her will, and she’s jealous about other people petting her darlings.

We still don’t know her master plan, but Satan and hell have both been name-dropped quite a bit. Are we going to meet Satan? Is he going to be a handsome twenty-something with well-groomed hair and the banal attractiveness the CW loves so much? Is he related to Stephen Amell? What is his realm like, and how does it relate to the Other Side? Is that where Katherine went all those years ago?

If hell is real on this show—and it seems to be—it sounds awful. It’s emotional torment and unforgiving grief and pain and cuneiform tattoos. Ugh! Hell sucks! The misery of hell gives death a new resonance; in a world of supernaturals, death is rarely the end. But it might be a torturous off-ramp on the interstate of soap-opera immortality.

We're not there yet, though: the core of this episode was focused on the misadventure of trying, and failing, to rescue Sarah Salvatore. Like Bonnie's plan, that ended badly and raised the stakes. Not just because Sarah is dead (sad) but also because now Damon doesn’t have a safe Elena-place to hide his free will. Stefan thinks Damon is gone. Is he finally going to stop rescuing his brother?

Probably not, if Alaric has anything to say about it. I am confused about so much that’s going on with Alaric. Where is the Armory—isn’t it in Texas or Georgia or something? Do his interns know that supernatural things are real? Is it a valid research institution? (Are they getting college credit?) Above all: what is going on with the nanny? Alaric told her exactly what he did during the day. Is she an enchantress mining him for information, or was that just a weird bit of dialogue?

That’s a solid question for most of this episode, which lacked the vim and whimsy of most TVD dialogue. A major exception is this lovely exchange between Damon and Enzo. It reminds me that these two have a history of killing time in unpleasant circumstances:

Damon: “Twenty questions.”
Enzo: “Go.”
Damon: “So I’m thinking of a person. He’s reasonably good-looking, charming accent, and he’d be the most amazing wingman if he just got rid of his martyr complex.”
Enzo: “That’s not how you play twenty questions. Regardless, your answer is either Jesus Christ, or me.”

Dialogue like that is fun, but with only 14 episodes left, I think I need a bit more. A show with an end-date—especially a show like TVD, which used to be so propulsive—should feel urgent and fast-paced, as though everything is both spiraling out of control and finally coming together. This episode didn’t.

Bites and Pieces:

• Alaric: “[The girls] are upstairs watching cartoons while eating big bowls of sugar. They have excellent lives.”

• Stefan’s speech about how all of his family is dead because of him was sad. But following it up with him providing a bedroom for Caroline’s daughters, and a ring for Caroline, was just creepy.

• I wonder if TVD has a permanent casting call out for beautiful brunettes with great eyes.

• Apparently there was a fan campaign for a #SterolineJuneWedding. I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that their engagement is not going to lead to a happily-ever-after wedding.

• If you don’t remember the Life Cereal commercial, this might jog your memory.


Two and a half out of four Sarah Salvatores.

Josie Kafka reviews The Vampire Diaries, 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?)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Im sorry fans of Steroline but that has been the worst part of the show since season 5..Bonnie and Enzo makes no sense but they have SPARK and CHEMISTRY, in a similar way to how Damon and Bonnie can just bounce off each other..
Stefan and Caroline...Wallpaper meet paint...and lets watch it dry.
That proposal was meant to be sweet and romantic and i just found myself laughing and rolling my eyes through the whole thing.

Everything else, although slow was surprisingly good..I liked Caroline and Bonnie's heart to heart. Good old friendship..Something the show forgot about in pursuit of stupid ships.

I might be the only one who thought Sara had potential as a human..Caught between Stefan and Damon but a family member rather than a girl to covet. Im hoping she comes back as a vamp or the female Blade.

Sybil has nothing on the 3 K's (Klaus, Katherine, Kai) but i found her bunny boiler/psycho siren act quite hilarious..The replacing of Elena was corny but amusing at the same time.

Billie Doux said...

Is he going to be a handsome twenty-something with well-groomed hair and the banal attractiveness the CW loves so much? Is he related to Stephen Amell? Lol, Josie. :)

I think I'm ready for the series to end because I'm already losing patience with Sybil, whose birth reminded me way too much of a similar character on True Blood whose name wasn't Sybil. What was it? Has it been too long?

Are they setting an Alaric happily ever after up with the babysitter or the intern from Warehouse 13? I vote for Warehouse 13.

Thomas Ijon Tichy said...

Count a second vote for the girl from Warehouse 13!

I thought as a separate scene the proposal was well done and the chemistry between Paul and Candice is splendid, but coming off a darker-than-night conversation about how he'd just lost "his last blood relative" felt both breakneck and really weird, as if they felt they just had to cram it in there and couldn't bother with pacing.

Still thus far I'd say season 8 is a step above season 7, but that's just because season 7 was an utter trainwreck.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I don't watch this show much, never to be honest, oddly enough my mother does. Usually I refrain from her teenage dramas and will leave the room when she decides to turn them on.

Now tonight was a rare exception when I happened to walk through the room while she was watching a recorded episode and a certain reference to cuneiform caught my attention.

When it comes to cuneiform and the culture of Sumer I know a bit more than any average person would want to soooooo I was seriously confused by the fact that they managed to scribble a very crude and frankly sad depiction of the symbol for An and we're trying to make a connection between it and the Christian New Testament idea of the underworld.

The symbol of An represents the sky God, heaven, all things pure and holy pretty much.

So did somebody just pick out a random symbol while watching Ancient Aliens and didn't bother to look into what it really means? Or are they making a poor attempt to reference an ancient culture they clearly do not understand and failing miserably in the process?

Josie Kafka said...

Well, I suppose the short answer to both your questions is probably yes.

Perhaps the showrunners are savvier than we realize, though, and it'll turn out to be a symbol of god/heaven rather than a symbol of hell. But that would be a surprise, especially since the symbol seems to be linked to Satan and the Sirens.