Vampire Diaries: Coming Home Was a Mistake

“All this trauma.”

Midway through this episode, Sybil tells Damon that he still has shred of humanity left. He doesn’t know why Sybil wants him to sever ties with his friends. He doesn’t know why she wants him all to herself. All he knows is that he did something bad, and he feels bad.

I feel bad that I don’t feel bad about Tyler’s death. Alaric said that Tyler “was one of us. He was family.” That’s the best way to say it, since I’m not sure we could say that Tyler had been friends with most of our remaining characters. Not for a long time. But he had been around since the beginning (remember when we were all wondering if he’d turn out to be a werewolf?), so I suppose I understand why Team Mystic Falls is so upset.

Put another way: their grief feels earned. Ours doesn’t, since Tyler has been MIA for so long. In fact, earnedness—the quality of narrative that allows the viewer to react due to solid plotting and character development, not just watching their heroes feel sad—is one of the challenges of this season. The past few seasons, perhaps. I think that’s why so many people are anti-Steroline.

TVD gets some things right, though, like Bonnie and Enzo’s relationship. Ironically, we didn’t see that develop the way we saw Steroline emerge from Stefan and Caroline’s friendship. But it works, in no small part because Bonnie’s character has more depth than Caroline’s. (I love Caroline—and Candice King continues to rock the house—but sometimes she’s a collection of control-freak tics and little else.) Given Bonnie's willingness to sacrifice herself, again, it’s sort of perfect that she wound up with someone willing to do the same for her.

The situation Enzo and Damon find themselves in is fascinating in its own way. With knowledge of a literal hell, they’re forced to feel unbearable fear for their past deeds or turn off all feeling. That raises an interesting question about the nature of guilt: do people in general only feel remorse if they know there will be consequences?

Stefan’s post-funeral conversation with Caroline and Alaric gives us a hint. For Damon, it’s less about having an internal moral measure; he outsources his superego to Elena, or at least his idea of what Elena would want him to do and to be. Stefan said that, even if they save Damon from Sybil, they’ll still need to save him from himself. I wonder what that will mean.

And I wonder how they’ll accomplish it, since Sybil is loose and Seline has the magical twins.

Bites and Pieces:

• Enzo: “That grief you’re trying to hide is giving you this beautiful glow."

• Damon to Matt: “You know, it’s shocking that you managed to stay human this long.” Yes, we’ve all noticed that.

• Bonnie: “You’re stuck with me forever.” That was the moment in this episode where I teared up a little. You know, in a manly way.

• We got a map! I am so delighted. The Armory, it turns out, is a fair distance from Mystic Falls by car, but only seven miles if you go under some mountains. Okeydokey. I’m not sure that makes tons of sense—what mountains?!—but I’ll take it.

• Did Alaric plan to keep his intern working 24/7 ringing the Magic Tuning Fork?

• By the way, what do you think the tuning fork tunes?

Two and a half out of four goldfish.

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?)

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Unsurprisingly, I don't care about Tyler, either. But you're right that it works that our characters do. Especially non-supernatural Matt.

I'm okay with Steroline. I'm glad that the show moved away from the Stefan and Elena permanently forever together through history and reincarnation and acknowledged that the strongest chemistry existed between Elena and Damon, because shows rarely do this. I have liked and will always like Caroline so much that making her part of a pair that works is fine with me.

And speaking of pairs that work for me, over the seasons I've become deeply fond of Bonnie and I love her with Enzo. So this episode made me happy, just for that.

Patryk said...

I think the internet sadly proves that people don't feel remorse if there are no consequences.

As for the idea of hell I'm not completely sold on it. It just looks like another afterlife dimension of which we saw at least 3 in the combined VD/Originals verse. (the afterlife ment to trap Silas and other supernatural beings, the prison dimension for Kai and wherever the New Orleans ancestor witches dwell) This "hell" sounds just as fabricated and destroyable as the other 3. Probably will dissapear when Cade is Destroyed. The only problem seems to be that he actually destroys the souls he gets.