by Josie Kafka
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.”
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?)