Vampire Diaries: We're Planning a June Wedding

“Live your life, Bonnie Bennett. All of it.”

Do you remember the Community episode “Social Psychology”? It’s the one with the Duncan Principle. Professor Duncan, played by a still-shaggy John Oliver, runs an experiment on unwitting students to prove his hypothesis: that waiting endlessly for a payoff that never comes will drive you crazy.

This episode drove me a bit crazy. It made me wonder if it was all worth it. The time spent each week watching the show. The time spent reviewing it. The relationship of the quest for closure to the near-certainty that I don’t really care what the closure will be. Whether or not I should paint my nails in a gray neutral or go with the more traditional red. Whether or not I should avoid ever reviewing another show that looks like it will continue for eight seasons, given that the writers of this show—a show I used to love so much—seem to have either given up or turned us all into unwitting victims of a vicious psychology experiment.

Are people still watching this show? If I weren’t reviewing it, I wouldn’t. I’d occasionally browse recaps online and tune in for the finale out of curiosity. I wonder if you, Dear Reader—yes, you! I’m talking to you! Hi!—are doing just that. If so, you might want to know the following:

Stefan and Caroline move up their wedding date in order to lay a trap for Katherine, who is both Queen of Hell and presumed to be in Mystic Falls.

Damon presides over the wedding. Caroline looks beautiful. Her daughters are supercute. Alaric gets some mopey moments sans bourbon as he considers what a disaster his life is now and has been for so long, thanks to his ad hoc, bloodlusty “family.”

Kelly Donovan, Matt’s mom, shows up. If you, like me, adore Melinda Clarke, then this was kinda fun. If you haven’t watched The OC and therefore have not developed an affection for Melinda Clarke, it was probably a wet fuse.

Until…dramatic voice…wait for it…It turns out she’s evil. She died, went to hell, and escaped during Cade’s death. Katherine tasked her with blowing up the wedding.

More specifically, Katherine tasked her with blowing up the reception hall adjacent to the outdoor wedding, putting only three people at risk: Bonnie and the mystical Gemini twins. The fire is a wet fuse, too, although it did explode. Its purpose is to make Bonnie realize she has her magic back. And she has to let Enzo go in order to save herself.

Three points:

• I think I like Enzo and Bonnie so much because he is the only person that asks Bonnie to put herself first. If she can just internalize that idea…
• When did Bonnie get her magic back? Does it matter? Do we care?
• Bonnie also looked beautiful.

But it turns out that Kelly Donovan was just part of a larger scheme: there was a sultry, recently-enhelled vampire in town, too. It just wasn’t Katherine—it was Vicky, Matt’s sister and one of Damon’s earliest kills (in terms of show-time, not Civil War times). As part of the Maxwell bloodline, she can ring the Big Bell.

And she does. To bring Hellfire.

(We don’t see the Hellfire.)

But the Bell does knock out Bennett witches, so Bonnie drops.

Cut to black.

It was an effective ending, I suppose, since now we have to tune in next week to see if Bonnie survives. But it was also oddly staged: with Damon and Matt busy interrogating Kelly Donovan, Stefan was the one near Bonnie as she fell. It should have been Damon.

And logical—as well as directorial—inconsistencies abounded. Caroline got her somethings old, new, borrowed, and blue. One was Katherine’s necklace, one was Rebekah’s talisman. Creepy. Damon listed all the Big Bads he and Stefan had lived through, but didn’t mention his own mother. Alaric didn’t go to the wedding and didn’t drink.

Small quibbles, perhaps useless quibbles, but quibble is all we can do when we’re waiting, waiting, waiting.

Just 45 minutes to go.

(Note: the "parrot who works at the bank" line is Oliver's own description of his appearance from some episode of Last Week Tonight.)

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?)

7 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I sense just a little bit of frustration in your review, Josie. :)

I'm still watching, mostly out of habit and fondness, although there is no question that this last season has been less than what I would have wanted and that maybe they should have wound up the series when they still had their lead character. But yes, I'm ready for it to be done, too.

TheShadowKnows said...

This review made me laugh. My wife was finishing a project on Friday when TVD came on, and she told me to go ahead and start watching without her because "I probably won't miss anything in the first half hour anyway." She lost track of time and didn't come in until almost the end, whereupon I informed her, "You still didn't miss anything."

Josie Kafka said...

I think the best part was the song that played over Vicky ringing the bell, which was like a gritty indie-rock version of "I Put a Spell on You."

Anonymous said...

Vampire Diaries has become so frustrating its causing existential crisis's.
What the hell happened to Ric man.I think they were were trying to blind us from the Steroline by reintroducing that silly Alaric and Caroline connection...I did like his monologue though.
Caroline and Damon scene was 3 seasons late.
Bonnie is in peril...again..She has literally been floating between life an death since season 5 and before that her character was sooo badly written she was universally hated or seen as 'boring'.
I liked Vicki being back..They killed her way too early and i always thought her personality would suit being Katherine's disciple.
Melinda Clarke is always welcome..Shes great in pretty much everything, i particularly like when she plays evil though...The evil Julie cooper days and Amanda on Nikita...

Anonymous said...

Why yes, I am a dear reader who really only reads the reviews at this point BECAUSE I intend to tune into the finale out of curiosity. BUT!- your reference to Katherine being the Queen of Hell was enough for me to go "what the what!?!", and watch the full season before the finale. I will give it this: for someone who stopped watching nearly immediately post Nina Dobrev, I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe my expectations were incredibly low, and it's not the show we loved, but once the PTB really faced "this is it", their attempt to honor the original greatness of this show did not go unappreciated and is apparent. Each episode in the season was never entirely engaging, but each episode included at least one throw back element that we've sorely missed. It really feels like the season was driven by an true appreciation the writers and creators have for the faithful fans, and that is maybe the best we could have asked for after the show just really lost itself after Dobrev's departure. Kudos to them, but also to you, Josie! I'm glad your reviews this season were enough to have me revisit this show and these characters, I would have missed out otherwise!

Patryk said...

So maybe Boonie will die for a minute so Elena can resurrect and that's how the writers will get out of the corner they written themselves into.

I guess they killed Enzo for good. No time for a another resurrection in the finale. Right now the only thing I'm looking forward to is: who else will not survive the end.

Marianna said...

The most ridiculous part of this episode--did they entrust their rings to a couple of four-year-olds!?

I thought Damon's scene with Caroline was sweet! In contrast with Stefan and Caroline's vows, which were kind of lame.