Vampire Diaries: Nostalgia’s a Bitch

“Follow the clues.”

This episode was really good!

What do I love most? Is it the walk through Damon’s subconscious and the cameos from some long-lost friends? Or the fact that Cade killed the Sirens at the very end? Both, I suppose: the premise gave us a great episode and the surprise Sirenicide fixed one of this season’s worst problems.

And we got to see Sheriff Forbes again. Caroline found closure after her mother’s death, but it must have been wonderful to see her just one last time and get one last hug. Sure, there was some torture involved, but that all turned out okay.

Grams was a delightful surprise. I’d noticed Marguerite McIntyre’s name in the credits, but not Jasmine Guy’s. That Bonnie went to her for help was perfect, and that Damon’s subconscious has a place for her, is a great way for this show to acknowledge its history: my memory of Gram’s death is extremely fuzzy, but according to the Vampire Diaries Wiki, it had to do with the tomb and the seal and Katherine and Damon. So Damon might count Grams as one of his victims.

All in all, Damon’s subconscious was brutal, filled with victims and lost friends. The idea that his inner beast is Stefan, or his resentment of Stefan, or his inability to think of his own vampire self separately from Stefan’s complicity in the creation of that self…well, it’s complicated. When isn’t this show complicated? But if Damon forgiving Stefan means this show is going to ends its run with our group coming together rather than splitting apart, I’m all for it. Especially now that he and Bonnie have re-bonded over that letter from all those years ago.

If that’s where we’re headed, then Cade is our new Big Bad, right? All the nonsense with the mystical superbell (or MSB) led to a nice resolution between Damon and Matt, who is back in law enforcement after his ill-advised attempt to become a bell-ringer. The MSB is on its way out of town. Will it come back?

Will Alaric? I understand that TVD has to cut costs by not putting every actor in every episode, but Alaric’s role in Damon’s life has not been small. Bonnie, Alaric, and Sheriff Forbes are, or were, Damon’s closest friends. His presence is missed in a Damon-centric episode.

But that’s a small quibble about an otherwise excellent episode. This could be a flash in the pan, or it could signal—especially with the removal of the Sirens—a new turning point for the show, just when it needs it most.

Bites and Pieces:

• I loved that Bonnie was jogging. She said that she was so close to the life she wanted, and I think that’s a really healthy way for her to feel: she’s been so focused on caretaking her friends for the past seven years that choosing to focus on herself rather than her friends’ drama is the healthiest choice she could make.

• I didn’t catch it last week, but here it is: the Miss Mystic Falls vampire is a member of the Fell family. Logan Fell getting turned in “The Turning Point” was my turning point for this show, years ago, back when I was a young whippersnapper who never worried about gray hairs or saving for retirement.

• When Stefan callously pretended he still loved Caroline, the musical cue was hilarious: sweet, romantic, rising towards a climactic—shutdown.

• Sheriff Forbes, Grams, Vicky Donovan, Tyler Lockwood. Am I missing anyone?

• Remember how there’s a secret tunnel from the Armory to Mystic Falls? Will we return to that idea soon?

• Highlight this link for a casting spoiler for the series finale: Nina Dobrev is coming back!

This isn’t the best episode of TVD, but it’s the best in such a long time that I think it deserves:

Four out of four Mystical SuperBells.

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Of course, I enjoyed this one, too. It was so nice to get Damon back, and it made me feel a lot better about the direction of the finale. Great to see Sheriff Forbes with Caroline even if it wasn't real, too. Even Vicky, although I barely remember her. It fits the series beautifully that Matt is going to be sheriff of Mystic Falls. And hey! No more sirens! I absolutely hated them, and not in a "good villain" sort of way.

I also missed Alaric. He belonged in Damon's subconscious, on a bar stool.

Patryk said...

The Fells are basically the Huffelpuff of Mystic Falls.

Glad the Sirens are gone, but I think what bothers me the most about the show is that apart from Kai all the villians now are just attempts to create the next Originals and that every episode our heroes do deals with the villians instead of actually fighting them. And to add insult to injury they don't even get to kill the villians... Cade just pops in and deletes them.

Apart from that it was the best episode in a long time, mostly because of all the continuity nods and the focus on the characters. Let's hope they go out on a high note, maybe destroy Stefan and make Caroline switch to the Originals. I hear they have a blond vampire shortage there these days.