Tonally dissonant, with lots of CW-level special effects and more Spin Doctors than you ever wanted to hear in this millennium, The Vampire Diaries’s antepenultimate episode had more twists than a loaf of challah and more surprises than an Easter basket.
Like the scene between Bonnie, Cade, and Damon. Wow—those effects took me back to the Buffy era, although I suppose they’re no better or worse than Supernatural or the Berlantiverse these days. Perhaps I was reminded of the 1990s because of Kai, perhaps because the melodrama of that scene was a bit too much to stomach.
It all ended well, though: Elena’s not dead. Damon was killed then unkilled. Bonnie battled Cade and didn’t lose. Stefan—or is that Stephan?—came out of nowhere, and Damon now knows that his two besties are willing to put their lives on the line to save him. It was touching.
Of course, Cade’s death left a power vacuum in Hell. (I really thought his death would open up Hell, since that’s what he implied last week when he described how linked he was to his psychic dimension, and what Kai said this week to Stefano. I was fooled!) Katherine will fill that power vacuum. (Better to reign in Hell…?)
Bonnie, Damon, and even Kai described Katherine as the biggest and baddest. I don’t really understand that. Katherine likes mayhem and love compulsion, but she’s not actively evil. She does evil for selfish purposes, not just for the heck of it (like Kai) or out of a misguided sense of righteousness (like Mama Salvatore or Silas). But, within the small goldfish bowl of our show, I suppose she is the flashiest villain, and I am quite excited to see her again.
I am less excited to see Alaric open up a school in the Armory for magical children, mostly because I have two serious questions:
1. Can somebody help me make a Harry Potter joke?
2. Are there other magical children out there who need a school?
But, despite those reservations, I do like the idea of Alaric and Caroline working for a common goal. Caroline is so goal-oriented, and I get the impression that her talking-head career isn’t really fulfilling her life plan these days.
I’m also excited that the show seems to be—with a lot of emphasis on the “seems”—setting us up for at least a few happily-ever-afters. Caroline married to Stefan, Alaric running a school: although their world is madness, our heroes are looking ahead for the first time in…well, years, really.
That could mean a monster comeuppance is on its way. Or it could mean we might get a satisfying and not-too-deadly ending. I guess we’ll find out soon, with only two episodes left.
Bites and Pieces
• How many times do you think someone on this show has uttered the lead quote: “But first I need your help?”
• Goodbye, Kai. May you enjoy your tiny hell dimension and its terrible music.
• Was Caroline’s hair excessively curled this week?
Three out of four Spin Doctor Hell Dimensions. Because next week looks fun:
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?)
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