A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×13 (This fall, from the producers who brought you TVD comes, The Cannibal Divas)

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SUMMARY

Kai bargains with Damon that if he can fully escape hell, he will bring back Elena. Meanwhile, Bonnie discovers that Enzo still exists within a pocket dimension she created psychically after he died. When she finds him through Cade’s help, Enzo warns her that Cade is searching for him. Outside of town, Dorian holds Stefan at gunpoint and makes him dig a grave while remembering that Stefan killed his family years ago to prove himself to Klaus. Dorian shoots Stefan but regrets it and calls on Matt for help. Stefan is saved but tells Caroline he intends to find his atonement alone which frustrates her. At night, Caroline meets with Alaric and the twins as they begin showing signs of hostility and magic using. Damon tries to convince Kai to bring back Elena as a means to redeem his soul, but Kai instead siphons Damon to the point of death and leaves with Elena’s coffin to an unknown location.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Going through the motions, TVD begins putting all the remaining pieces in place for whatever finale it intends to draw out. Twice Stefan takes a wound to the gut and both teams he’s stabilized. I’m sure he’ll be radically right as rain by the next episode. Kai, always the humorous villain of sorts steals his moments if not a bit overzealous and hyped on all the caffeine known to man. Enzo’s pocket dimension can mean a lot of things moving forward with all the hells and heavens there can be, but I doubt this will get much more scientific then who has more psychic power, Cade or Bonnie. The twins and their tempers are likely associated to Kai’s return, but whether it’s that or a greater disruption in the magic paradigm we won’t know until next week, possibly. All this and the everlasting tease that Elena is inbound. Not a bad episode, but not the greatest either.

 

THE GOOD

Bonnie is quickly becoming the one character who has a shot at defeating Cade, notwithstanding the dagger that Damon found and proclaimed as the killing weapon. It may not be as simple as stabbing him with it because that realm of hell he created may continue to exist forever, but therein lies the infinite realm of possibilities between Bonnie’s psychic draw and Cade’s infernal machinations. I’d like to think this battle between them could become epic, but it should come down as a total team effort by the cast to rid Cade and probably Kai too at this juncture. There’s individual strength, and Enzo and Bonnie’s love may be the key to bringing everyone together on this final ride.

 

Kai is still a fun character to hate and laugh at. Always behind on the pop-culture loop, but forever jaded as the odd-villain out. Bringing him back to release Elena was probably the best call they could make that didn’t involve Bonnie’s death, however there’s always a chance that’s still going to happen if the only way for Bonnie to be with Enzo is to die. Why else would she have been so enthralled by him if not to present a situation like this? Kai may in fact be the red herring here.

 

THE BAD

Stefan’s atonement felt oddly out of place. He’s still in rough shape, physically and mentally, still new to being human again and full of regrets. He doesn’t want to let go but he can’t exist with happiness knowing there’s too many he hurt out there. It’s self-induced limbo, the heart of all sullen masochism. So long as there’s those out there who won’t forgive him, he won’t forgive himself. What seems contradictory is that he probably should have let go when Cade went to him. He instead remained stubborn and came back, only to tell Caroline he needs to whine and dine alone. She has every right to be upset with him, and if it doesn’t set him some great big decision to assist in the finale, Stefan’s subplot will just feel a bit like filler.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

As entertaining as Kai is, I think what stood out was Bonnie’s ability to find Enzo in the dimension she created. There’s a lot of potential in what she can do and with what Enzo’s going through, it stands to reason that whatever trials they are going through, their love will transcend through it, much like Damon is trying to with Elena and Stefan is with Caroline. Bonnie’s crisis though has a bit more weight to it because it directly conflicts with Cade the main villain. I do like the fantasy element to it all and am wondering how far they intend to take it.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Let’s give it to Kai by simply being Kai. He’s easily still a loose cannon, able to be good-natured and then evil at the drop of a hat. He’s perfect ambiguity driven by the goal to survive. He won’t put his trust in anyone but his own hands and now that he still has power, he’ll manage it however he can to keep away from Cade’s hell. Everything he’s doing makes sense from his perspective and with Cade being a very bland and uninteresting evil-doer, Kai is a good back-up bad guy to have on hand.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Kai is playing the convenient card and ends up right where he needs to be, first in Mystic Falls and then in the caves where Alaric and Damon were. I guess he still knows how to do locator spells. But in all fairness to Cade, why can’t he know someone’s missing and where he is? If Cade can sense and appear where Stefan is dying, why can’t he show up where other humans actually are dying that Damon is killing for Kai? Consistency maybe?

 

Did Damon move Elena’s coffin from the house to the crypt? Did anyone? I might have missed how that thing went from point A to point B.

 

This may be a long shot, but how interesting would it be if Hayley somehow showed up near the tail end of the finale to help bridge the gap between TVD and The Originals. She’s the only character capable of crossing over given the finale and she needs a lot of help to find her cures for everyone. You’d think they’d maybe give it a shot for all time’s sake.

 

Will Bonnie in fact be a descendant of Cade in some capacity? There aren’t any direct signs that point to this other than both being psychic, but maybe that reveal would have already come out if that was the case. It shouldn’t hold any bearing other than a slight distraction if they decide to go that route. Bonnie at this point will do almost anything to save Enzo, assuming that’s even still an option at this point.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Kai brought some levity to an otherwise topsy-turvey emotional rollercoaster of an episode. The big take-aways here are that Bonnie does in fact have the power to create new realities like Cade and Enzo is in one. Stefan has this fool’s quest to atone on his own, and Damon is back to obsessing over Elena’s return because as always she’s his only real shot at happiness. When Elena does come back, she should probably do the same thing as Stefan and bail town to wander the earth. Maybe even Jeremy should cameo just to really confuse things. A generally mild episode with some moderate moments of climactic building. Don’t shoot or stab Stefan in the stomach anymore, that’s starting to get tired. And don’t show Elena in the final promo of the series, just let her come back naturally on screen. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×12 (Bro, do you even chronological order?)

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SUMMARY

In chronological order, six years ago, Crowley give two artifacts to a prince of hell named Ramiel, one being the lance of Michael and the other, the colt. Ramiel refuses to become the new king of hell, giving the opportunity to Crowley himself and wishing for him and his sibling, Dagon and Azmodeus to be left alone. In the present, Mary is instructed by Mr. Ketch to retrieve the colt in a remote location. She conjures a story to distract her sons and a new hunter into killing a demon. Along with Castiel, they set a trap at the house but when the demon arrives he easily deals with the group and reveals his yellow eyes to Mary. With the lance, Ramiel deeply wounds Castiel as other demons sent to watch over Ramiel arrive and kill the new hunter. Mary and the others hold up in a barn where Crowley arrives to try and bargain with Ramiel for the lives of the Winchesters. Ramiel refuses and confronts the brothers, demanding back what was stolen. As they fight, Sam gets the upper hand and stabs Ramiel with the lance destroying him. Crowley then breaks the lance which causes Castiel to instantly heal. He then disappears back to his lair where he talks to an imprisoned Lucifer, once more played by Mark Pellegrino. At a diner, Mary gives the colt to Mr. Ketch after threatening him the next time he puts her and her sons in harms way.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Wow. Just when you thought you knew the hierarchy of hell, they go and give you one more layer to peel off. Where the knights of hell were feared, the princes of hell are even more dangerous, equal to Azazel in position and power. I’m not bothered by the least that these creatures haven’t been mentioned in over 11 years on this show, but relating them to Azazel really does help bring the series into a circular pattern, one that sees a tone and personality akin to the beginning of this show. I can’t help but applaud that kind of return and I’m truly fascinated where this tale goes next, including the natures of our two missing princes, Dagon and Azmodeus. It’s like I’m playing Diablo II all over again, looking for those prime evils and their lesser evil servants.

 

THE GOOD

In the past few years, the demons had been watered down into less than humorous complexions of their former badassness. Now, with the inclusion of the princes, it seems that they can once more take on an evil shape that makes the Winchesters fearful of what they originally hunted way back when. Ramiel is the new template for the old demons that continue to live on Earth, unencumbered by Heaven or Hell’s plans with Earth itself. Ramiel may not be actively evil, but that doesn’t mean his siblings harbor the same idea of retirement. In any case, there can be no greater return to form then to struggle against a new threat likened to Azazel.

 

THE BAD

Okay, let’s get this one out of the way. The unapologetic association with Tarantino-isms wasn’t necessary to fulfill the episode with its splendor and supernatural awesome-ness. The disjointed chronological plot device mixed with the black and white title bumpers hardly seemed to fit the overall point of the story. The real conundrum was how they wanted to keep Mary at the forefront with her shady background and strange reasoning for keeping her sons in the dark about her alliance with the men of letters. I’m not certain if the ideas were too similar and they just decided to go full-monty with it, or whether that was their intention all along, but in all fairness to Sam and Dean, the box with the golden aura, the slow walk to the diner, the ramblers and the rambling, the ally with the wound in his gut, all of it just felt too distracting and out of place. I get the homage and it was done well, for that I have no complaints, I just don’t think it was needed with exception to Castiel’s development and acceptance with dying.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

There was a lot to choose from here, but I favored the part more when we got our initial flashback from six years prior. It was a brief but laced attempt to fill in several gaps such as Crowley’s unexpected rise to the king of hell, and the mysterious reappearance of the colt. Ramiel commanded much of that sequence and rightly so. He set the tone for the power level of the princes of hell and all he had to do was not care about the role he was given freely. It was an excellent set up and again I want to see these two other princes sooner than later.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It was short, but Crowley pulled through for the Winchesters in a way they probably never expected. These are the reasons why he is such a mainstay, because he too has more layers than most villains on this show given his understanding of both a balance to most things and a necessity to keep valuable allies close to heart. He could have very easily let Castiel die, but Crowley enjoys that debt, knowing he does need to matter at times to people like Dean and Castiel. Maybe he’ll never be redeemed, but he certainly can work toward being accepted and maybe that’s enough.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS
There’s no real way Mary will be able to make her sons understand the choices she’s making behind their backs. At this point, we can’t really ascertain those reasons either. Vetting the Men of Letters is one thing, but handing over powerful artifacts like the colt seems really fishy even though she’s received enough help to save a lot of people.

 

I may have lamented once about this, but I want to see an episode that details the actual creation of the knife and its path to becoming in Ruby’s demonic hands. Knowing it was forged by the Kurds is one thing, but I want to see it through the ages in a historical backdrop that covers moments we never got to find out until now. Make it happen season 12!

 

We’ve been given two small glimpses into the other princes namely how Ramiel references Azmodeus’s hobbies and Dagon’s toys. So it would seem they have more active roles in society, probably an evil and playful nature with humans unlike Ramiel who just wanted to be left alone. I’m curious as to who will play them and how powerful they actually are. Two are dead, two remain.

 

Now that the colt is back, will we be given the remaining things that the gun can’t kill outside of Lucifer himself? One would think Death, God, and the Darkness would be on that list, but since Death is gone, we could still see one or two more entities that can’t be destroyed. I doubt the princes make that list considering Azazel was destroyed by the colt. Still, now that it’s resurfaced, we should know more about its limitations.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. This was undeniably a fun tribute even though it seemed a bit much. Mary’s ordeal, Ramiel’s origin, Castiel’s plea, and Crowley’s quick wit all served a grand purpose and reuniting the devil with Crowley, now in reverse positioning was a great way to end the episode, complete with Mark as the original bad angel. We don’t know yet why he is in that vessel or how it survived, but for now, just savor in the fact that this season is in great shape. The best is yet to come as the ultimate plan of the Men of Letters becomes more clearer as they collect even more powerful objects than before. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×12 (Headless Kai is…not so headless)

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SUMMARY

Now human, Stefan flees after killing Enzo but is later pulled over and arrested under suspicion of murder. Caroline finds him at a precinct and compels the police to release him as they search for the wounded woman Stefan used to switch deeds on the house. Meanwhile, Damon is told by Cade to retrieve Matt’s ancestor’s journal or lose Stefan at midnight. Damon arrives at the armory where Alaric and Dorian help Matt reach into the past through hypnosis and the Donavon necklace that links him to his ancestor. Within that hypnosis, Matt discovers are the sirens were trapped after his ancestor and a Bennett witch helped keep Mystic Falls from being destroyed by the bell that Cade manipulated for his own dark purpose. Damon steals the book and returns it to Cade as Stefan and Caroline save the woman. Bonnie reunites with her estranged mother and discovers she may have a connection to Enzo still, but her mother burns Enzo’s body believing Bonnie was suffering a horrific spell. Later at night, Damon returns to Alaric and shows him in the caves that a dagger forged from Cade’s ashes is what will destroy the devil. Kai suddenly appears relaying a different set of plans. Stefan goes to Bonnie’s house to apologize about Enzo, but is subdued by a hooded figure.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Human Stefan and actually dead Enzo, who would have thought they’d stick with their plan after one episode? This may be a long con considering the finality of the situation, but suffice it to say, tonight’s episode slightly repaired some bridges while keeping the core of loss intact. Bonnie’s grief is overshadowed by a sense that she can still reach Enzo in the afterlife, but right not it’s playing very much on the backend to Stefan’s newfound humanity and Matt’s elevated importance with the key to killing Cade. TVD is properly escalating the sense of dread and continues to throw in key surprises in the name of old villains and heroes, this time from the crazy witch-man himself, headless Kai. We have zero information on his resurgence, but one can fathom it has to do with the afterlife and its ever-shifting temporal mechanics and dimensional weirdness. Not a bad turn out tonight, better than average, but quite less impacting than last week.

 

THE GOOD

If some of Elena’s blood can cure one vampire, imagine what a whole 10 pints could do to the remaining cast. Stefan is the example with how becoming human prior to the ending climax will work for the main cast, a prelude to the idea that everyone should be human by this series end. Their vampire stories have always had tragedy embedded into their hearts and I can’t think of one reason any of them would remain bloodsuckers if each human love had an expiration date. After Cade’s fall and Elena’s rise, we’ll hopefully be seeing everyone make some tough choices and return to that human world with marriage and togetherness intact, leaving the Originals to wrap up the supernatural world with their final season. This fits and there’s no real reason to unfit it.

 

Matt’s ancestral backstory continues to intrigue and enlighten which includes a reveal on how Sybil ended up trapped and Ethan as well. I’m fuzzy on how Seline found her way out, but I’m sure that’s loose thread that isn’t quite as necessary to tie up at the moment after all, Kai is back! The charismatic villain returns but more than likely on the side of good. If anything is to be trusted by next week’s promo, he’ll be a big key into returning Nina back on the show.

 

THE BAD

Bonnie’s situation is still very much a confusing one, and tonight’s key moments with her really didn’t help shed any light with what happened, where Enzo actually is, and what she did when she ignited during the final scene last week. Her mother didn’t help matters by burning his body, but at least we got clarification that Enzo won’t be returning in any physical means. They teased us with Stefan going to her only to be denied by someone tazering Stefan, someone who either knows he’s human or doesn’t and wants him captured anyway. If we’re going with the hooded figure then I can only guess whoever attacked him is related to someone he recently killed. If it’s someone we know from his past, then it better be a good twist on that, otherwise, they’re wasting our time.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Even though it felt kind of rushed, I did like the flashback that solidified past events and brought closure to the creation of the help and its transformation into Cade’s use of it. Most all things have come full circle and this is likely one of the last flashbacks we’re getting on this show ever unless more is to be revealed about Cade or another event that can lead to his demise. At the end of the day, someone should cut a definitive history flashback including all of the Original footage as well. There’s some good stuff in there.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Matt’s going to get it tonight due to his dual performance and his heartfelt moment with Bonnie, who, more than anyone, understands the human aspect of loss and what it’s like to be powerless against it. It’s almost ironic that everyone is crying for Bonnie over her loss but not for Enzo himself who hadn’t really connected with anyone else on the show except Damon back in the day. Still, Matt understands and is trying his best to be there for her even when he’s gone through some crazy scenarios as of late.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Damon’s hand-me-the-literal-answer-to-destroying-Cade was entirely a “gimmie” moment that must have been frustrating to write because he had to have a loophole in knowing how to kill Cade even after the book was destroyed. Because we can’t have Cade still worrying about what can destroy him otherwise he’ll keep sending Damon on the hunt threatening to kill Stefan every day until everyone loses their minds on the show. This will essentially give us a slight reprieve from Cade until he decides to up the stakes and try and destroy Mystic Falls again.

 

There’s no telling where Enzo is, but one can fashion that Bonnie did something similar to Cade and unknowingly created some pocket dimension where Enzo’s spirit resides and perhaps only she has access to it which is why he can speak to her. Otherwise I’m not certain what they’re pulling here since the actual veil was annihilated last I checked.

 

At this point, I’m kind of surprised that Caroline didn’t automatically offer up the solution to become human using Elena’s blood. I can’t imagine the dose Bonnie gave Stefan was the only time it could be done. It’s a good moment for Caroline to face because up until now she’s been pretty satisfied with the idea of staying a vampire until the end of days at this rate. She needs more catharsis outside of missing her mother and returning human should help with that.

 

With Kai returned, will the Gemini twins play any more part to this interesting development? Where Kai goes, witch trouble always follows and Alaric will probably do his best not to mention the twins to Kai, who may or may not have dark agendas of his own. After all, if Cade brought him back to find the dagger, maybe it’s all a ruse and he doesn’t plan on helping them.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Stefan is still human and Enzo is still dead. I honestly expected one of those situations was going to be retconned or rectified, but so far, they’re sticking with these major shockers and I applaud the effort. The episode also held a decent backstory and a small win for Stefan, who was all but in defeatist mode until he and Caroline saved the mother. There’s still a lot of forgiveness to go around, but I doubt any more vampires will be losing their humanity from here on out. Kai’s reappearance is likely a result of Damon’s question to Cade about anyone earning their way out from hell, but the cameos keep coming and with it, more opportunities to fill the remaining season with some awesome moments. Keep them coming and thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

 

 

A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×11 (Remember Sammy…Winchester?)

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SUMMARY

After chasing a wounded witch for killing a local accountant, Dean inexplicably becomes the victim of a spell that causes him to forget most aspects of his life including basic and long-term memories. Sam calls on Rowena for help and arrives after she recognizes the wounded witch who later had been found dead. His two siblings also find and take the body to prepare it for a spell of resurrection as Sam tracks them to their house alone. After being captured, Rowena brings a forgetful Dean to the house and attacks the sister as Dean unwittingly helps kill the remaining witches with Rowena’s help. Rowena then restores Dean to normal and leaves the brothers who admit to owing her a small favor in the future.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

It was an obtuse look into Dean’s more innocent outlook on life as we followed his rather frustrating journey into the mystery of his ailment. Rowena’s background was further explored giving her a few more sympathy credits and Sam maintained his Sam-like behavior all-throughout. A few chuckles came and went along with some interest on a book that may or may not come into play later. The examples of both long and short-term memory loss were in abundance paired with a few recognizable references to likened plots of the other media, but as a whole, “Regarding Dean” won’t be the most remembered episode of the season.

 

THE GOOD

Rowena’s presence may be fractal, but she’s been an established alignment-neutral witch for long enough that this season she’s finally assisting in ways that make sense. It’s fun watching her develop and reveal layers of humanity that over time had caused her to be callous and cynical well beyond the mere definition of it. She may not be a witch with a heart of gold quite yet, but given time, she may actually prove her worth enough to impress even her little king of hell.

 

THE BAD

There may have been a deeper meaning behind Dean’s comedic reversion into a simple-minded amnesiac, but the tone and behavior was routinely inconsistent. His memory loss came and went, probably as intended, but the true horror of Sam’s realization about losing him to something akin to Alzheimer’s was the only raw moment that should have been exemplified but wasn’t. It was more about making Dean’s reactions humorous and somewhat trivial as he stumbled around trying to remember things. The balance seemed incredibly off between the funny and serious aspects of the episode, brought together by one basic comment that Dean preferred to carry the weight of his guilt rather than be purged of it. We’ve known that for many seasons.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

Hands down, when Dean showed the post-it right before he shot Catriona. A very worthy and laugh-out-loud moment that was the perfect payoff for the entire episode’s set up. It was almost cartoony in its delivery and Dean’s dead-pan look sealed it.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I’d like to give Rowena the stage for opening up to Dean in a way that seemed more therapeutic to her than anything else. Some walls are beginning to break down as we found out a bit more with her past and reasons why she had became so bitter and alone over the years. I’d like to think there’s more to discover and even worth going into some flashbacks for in future episodes. We’ll see.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Shout out to the grenade launcher in the trunk. The writers haven’t forgotten about it and neither have we. Its time is coming, and something is going to get blown up this season. The question is who is going to do the launching?

 

It would have been appropriately humorous if we got to see who was being affected by the voodoo doll that Dean was playing around with. At least he remembered how the needle-thing worked.

 

I have to say, the end sequence had me confused for a moment considering the atmosphere and overall review of Dean’s experience before and after being hexed. His cheery demeanor and carefree lifestyle wasn’t a unique experience even through he harbors some dark issues with guilt. He always finds the time to live in the moment and find that sugar rush in almost anything he does. It was odd how they decided to reflect on that subject given we’re so used to seeing him be that way regardless of being hexed or not.

 

One would think the spell would have a more consistent affect on Dean. He forgets a lot of basic things like firearms and then proceeds to use one at the end rather convincingly having lost his speech and memories of his own brother. Rowena explained the effects of the spell rather well, but Dean’s reactions either meant he was fighting in ways we couldn’t perceive, or he just had some odd luck knowing what to do with the weapons at his disposal.

 

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. It feels rather generous a score, but given a different approach, this could have been a much more dramatic and fitting episode about Dean’s aspect with losing his sense of self along with Sam’s fears about losing his brother in a very relatable way many people in the world have to deal with. It’s funny because Dean’s reactions make it so, but realistically, this should have taken a darker turn. There was a moment when Dean was in the bathroom staring at himself in the mirror that locked in exactly how damaging and confusing losing one’s memories must feel like. He really nailed that scene, but it was surrounded by so many whimsical segments, it just got lost in the mix of things. In any case, this will stand as a filler episode that gave us more backstory into Rowena’s past. That alone was fulfilling if not shortened to a single scene. Back to the road. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×11 (It was over the second Bonnie mentioned the “bucket list”)

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SUMMARY

Cade helps Stefan escape and given two choices offers to find and kill Elena while Damon struggles when presented a similar choice between killing 100 humans or Caroline. Bonnie helps Enzo fulfill a personal wishlist while on their way to a house containing Elena and the cure which is intends to take. Back in Mystic Falls, a time capsule is unearthed that some of its contents prove to be connected to Matt’s family line which Dorien helps decipher. When Damon learns of Stefan’s plan, he leaves town to try and stop him while Stefan manipulates the transfer of Bonnie’s house to another human complete with an invitation. At the house, Bonnie speaks to Damon on the phone and agrees to use the cure to help stop Cade and turn him mortal. Stefan arrives however and kills Enzo before being injected with Elena’s blood, presumably making him mortal. Bonnie then holds Enzo’s desecating body and emits a psychic burst signifying a reconnection to her witch powers.

INITIAL THOUGHTS

You know that moment when you think to yourself “Nah, no one’s going to die this early,” and then it happens. The Vampire Diaries is notably horrible when it comes to convincing the audience it can permanently kill its main cast but Enzo has been an outsider looking in for quite a while. Aside from a routine episode depicting a Mystic Falls event and a struggle to stop a seasonal villain from wrecking havoc among the town, nothing truly became gripping until those final moments when an inhuman Stefan pulled the heart of one Enzo St. John, forcing Bonnie to instinctively save herself by using the cure on Stefan and likely reconnecting to her abilities through that grief of loss. As a whole, the direction and plot is mild at best, but its climax is one for the TVD ages.

THE GOOD

There should never be a shortage of careless looks that Stefan can give. They almost equal the amount of eye-brow raising, eye-popping moments Damon is entirely known for outside of that smirky-smirk. If there was something that Stefan could do to really convince the world his heartless self was capable of anything including killing Elena, killing Bonnie’s love is a close third. The stakes (no pun intended) have to be higher than they ever have before on this show. Giving us a strange villain who is obsessed with souls is fine and dandy, but not there hasn’t been enough real risk until now. Killing familiar characters can only raise that anxiety so far which means Enzo was conceivably next in line, someone who has been around long enough but not quite reached the main cast roster. I’ve disliked Enzo for every season sans this one and for once, it was a moment I shook my head and decided no matter how much he’s grown, it was probably for the best to finally inject some real life into this last season. What makes it unreal is how sudden it was and that was probably the best move instead of making it some awkward self-sacrifice that most of these lovingly vampires are known for.

THE BAD

Cade is laughably un-likable, even for a bad-guy. He’s a demonic villain with no human ties to the world and he can make jokes and be snarky with the best of them, but in the end, there’s no intensity in his purpose and that’s what’s sorely missing in a final villain. What we’re getting is very routine and feels like a season 8 bad-guy out of a 10 season show. Forcing our heroes into impossible decisions is one thing, doing so with the ferocity of a truly spiteful and evil being is what he needs to start displaying. It’s hard to take him seriously when he’s ordering coffee. Maybe this is all a warm-up act, who knows. Everything he’s asking for in his servants seems arbitrary at this point in time.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Who can honestly say the last scene wasn’t the moment where everything changed? We were given three distinct elements that all can amount to several conclusions. Enzo’s heart was ripped out, Stefan has been injected with some of Elena’s blood, and Bonnie is somehow connecting to her powers again. Is any of it truly set in stone? I’ll theorize a bit below. But yes, any fan should be talking about this for the next week while trying to rationalize what’s happened, or enjoy it for what it’s worth. Not everyone was on board with Enzo or Stefan these days and I get that. It creates chaos and chaos is rampant.

CHARACTER MVP

This was still a bit of Bonnie’s journey, mostly attributed to the decision she made to use the cure on Cade instead of Enzo. She was surely mad enough while making that decision, but her heart is and has always been in the right place when it comes to those kinds of choices. If anyone deserves a break from the monotony of death it’s her bar a long shot. And anyone willing to help their love actively complete their bucket list should be considered a keeper for life. Bonnie has grown furiously charismatic and it’s no wonder a vampire like Enzo eventually fell for her. She’s done great this season.

ENDING THOUGHTS

We’ll start with the shocker of Enzo’s death. Is it truly for real? Can Bonnie somehow change Enzo’s deathly fate if her powers have returned? For the sake of this show having some gall, I’m voting to keep Enzo out from returning. These last five episodes need to escalate toward a gut-wrenching finale that will make us remember how this show came and went over the years and sometimes killing characters and giving them their journey’s end is necessary to fit the bill. Rather than come up with scenarios to bring Enzo back I’ll quietly except his passing and remember him and a changed vampire who redeemed himself enough to warrant a warrior’s funeral.

Is Stefan in fact human now? This is tricky. There are online rumblings that it won’t be possible to re-turn Stefan because the cure won’t let him and it’s also possible that not enough blood went into him to fully make him mortal. It’s hard to come down on either side but I will say that turning him human this early seems risky. Unexpected, but risky. Could the amount of blood erase his inhumanity but keep him a vampire? That would be cheap in my opinion since every vampire who got their humanity back did so through emotionally charged moments that they finally connected to. Damon shouldn’t be human, but if he, then I approve because again, this show needs to do more daring things that we won’t expect. I’m all for big changes at this point.

Does Bonnie have her powers back? If so, what can she do and will it be enough to take down Cade? I’ve no doubt Bonnie is fully a witch again out of sheer will. It’s romantic in a big way because grief is a powerful motivator. What’s interesting is the lack of a witch presence this entire season when witches would come in handy against a strange being like Cade. Bonnie will level this playing field in many ways, and who knows, maybe she can affect Stefan and maybe even Enzo in ways she never knew until now. But as always, stick with big decisions and move forward. Don’t tease us death and change and then take it away in the very next episode. TVD doesn’t need to be cheap like that anymore.

It also seems Matt has one more big part to play with his family line being more important than he ever knew. It’s hard to speculate what Dorian is translating and what the necklace represents, but if there’s any more power to be had, Matt will need it to become a real threat to Cade and what he represents. I don’t expect Matt to die during all this, but he has the makings of someone who would sacrifice himself to save the town. He’s quite literally the last human left who is truly human, and so it would be ironic if he turned out to be something else entirely based on these new objects.

Also, bonus points for the ambient build up of music throughout and at the end of this episode. The cheesy lyric inducing drama music has been done to absolute death, and the choice in lamenting Enzo’s fate was epic and served to help really solidify Bonnie’s intense moment she went through. More of that please.

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. What began as a means for Damon to save his brother ended with Stefan shocking the fanbase by eliminating Enzo from the playing board. It quite possibly cost him greatly, but then, that’s how final arcs are supposed to roll. This didn’t deliver with eye-popping excitement until the last moments, but when it did, it was effectively worth the wait. Always keep us coming back for more. No show has had quite the cliffhanger conundrum than TVD which is now finally turning up the heat with a villain who can literally turn up the heat. Great ending that should resonate for a while. Now just follow through and turn everyone up to 11 and we’ll be in for a grand treat. Thanks for reading.

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A Sashurai’s Review: Supernatural – Season 12×10 (Mz. Fury, the honorary 6th member of the Fox Force Five)

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SUMMARY

After an angel is murdered by a vengeful woman with angelic abilities, Castiel and the Winchesters follow a short trail leading to other angels led by Isham who, with Castiel once took part in the execution of one of their own over a century ago involving the forbidden creation of a nephilim. After the woman, Lily, kills again and wounds Isham, Sam and Dean track her down and discover the truth. Lily’s daughter was in fact human and Isham killed her as punishment for Lily, who had sought an escape from Isham’s obsessive behavior over her. Dean later confronts Isham but is overpowered as Lily and Sam intervene. It is Castiel who kills Isham and accepts his fate should Lily decide to revenge against him in the future. Afterward back at the bunker, Sam, Dean, and Castiel prepare for what’s to come should Lucifer’s child be born.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

This is one of those episodes that I wished had been written back in the 4th or 5th season when the angel craze was at its peak. This was powerfully written and masterfully directed past the angel prime, and though this won’t necessarily breathe new life into the angel paradigm I really found this tale enjoyable and softly heartbreaking in its basic tone. Just when you think you’ve discovered all of Castiel’s layers, he reveals yet another somber piece of his life that helped build his character even after years of seemingly reaching the height of his form. And the supporting cast did well with the help of the gorgeous Alicia Witt and Ian Tracey, whose prior works includes the sci-fi series, Sanctuary. Anyone who has felt this show has dragged on too long hasn’t experienced what this awesome season has given us thus far and hopefully continues to do so.

 

THE GOOD

Lily’s tragic story had the allure of mystery surrounding both her abilities and the nature of the nephilim child who Isham used as a ruse to manipulate his group of angels into finding her. At first, I wasn’t sold on the convenient flashback tale that involved a nephilim offspring that just so happened to coincide with this season’s recent arc, but the twist worked great and Lily’s pain was arguably justified. If it weren’t for the wrap up, I’d say she’s do for another follow up episode, but in a way I hope she stays far away from Castiel, for the sake of it.

 

Dean’s issue with Castiel’s choice to kill Billie and cause a future cosmic backlash is all-but guaranteed to happen now and dealing with the actions and potential consequences now between family is good not to drag out too long. The brothers settle their issues over several episodes but Dean and Castiel needed to hash out their differences now and not drag it out. It was done in fitting time and with both members on their own virtuous side of right, it was a compelling argument either way. Except we always knew neither brother would have been killed anyway, that’s just radically impossible.

 

THE BAD

I stated earlier that breathing new life into the angel plot is difficult because there are no more “famous” angels that can come out and play a pivotal role. Introducing Isham and making him somewhat of a revered warrior of the past seems redundant since he wasn’t an archangel nor was he ever mentioned in any angel episode prior. How many more awesome and powerful angels are there left that Castiel is leaving out of the plot who are supposed to matter to us? At least none in this group were goofy and obnoxious like most demons are these days.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When we discovered that May was human and not a nephilim. It was brilliant of the writer’s not to reveal a real hybrid that existed in the past. There might be a case in the future to tell a story that involves an actual nephilim from way back when that caused this forbidden rule to be put in place, but for now the idea that this would bring angels to earth when they rarely visited was the right approach, sealed even further when the angel Isham lied to find Lily. I enjoy it when moments like these aren’t easily discernable.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Alicia Witt’s journey as Lily was fun to watch. She may not have been more than a two-dimensional revenger all Kill-Bill style, but the act had me convinced of the price she was paying to stay true to the one she loved and lost. By the end I had hoped she’d settled the vengeance herself, but as Castiel has maintained, he’ll soak up all that pain and retribution for himself to save other the despair if he has to. Great performances all around.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

The idea of a nephilim having the ability to destroy the world isn’t new, but I wonder how Supernatural intends to explain just how exactly these nephilim possess that much power. They briefly commented that a nephilim born of an archangel would be immensely powerful, but how does merging with a human actually propagate that power when humans are generally designed to be powerless with the exception of having a soul? It’s not like combining the best traits from two species and creating something more potent, so how will humans prove to be the kinds of vessels needed to create this destructive force?

 

Lily’s abilities were born from her obsession and study of angels over the years and some glossed over moment when she gave up segments of her soul to use those abilities and stay immortal. It’s a great backstory but I think it lacked some more creative elements to it. I wanted to know more about what it took to accomplish that since no human before has ever done such a thing. Is she the only one? Maybe, maybe not.

 

This season deserves alternate episodes where we follow Mary Winchester concurrently while she has these one-off adventures. I want to see her take on this shapeshifter and discover what made her an incredible hunter. Now there’s another spin-off that would have worked far better than that Bloodlines attempt.

 

Realistically, how many angels are left on Earth after the fall? Generally, I’d get the sense that it could be somewhere in the hundreds of thousands, but I wonder if it’s much smaller than that and I also wonder if the Men of Letters from London have encountered any and treat them the same way they do monsters in their territory. Mr. Ketch might have a story or two about it perhaps.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” took an existing angel plot and inserted a very appropriate tale that reflected on Castiel’s decisions in the past and present while dealing with Dean’s frustrations over the cosmic consequences looming on the horizon. A tragic tale should never invest in major humorous moments and the writers took careful consideration with that in their tale which helped really give this episode a great quality even if it was typically a revenge-plot. Most angels are forgettable these days but every now and then we can understand the role they played a little better by giving humans enough reason to interact with them. They are a fickle bunch with issues we can hardly relate to except when it comes to Castiel and a few choice others. This felt like it needed to be elevated within the confines the major arc and that’s a great sign of a good crew producing a fine episode. Well done. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×10 (Adding Lexi would have made this a solid 10)

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SUMMARY

Sybil helps Bonnie and Caroline enter Damon’s catatonic mind to save him in exchange for the bell while Seline attempts to convince Stefan to force Matt into using the bell and destroy the city for Cade. As Caroline and Bonnie discover within Damon that forgiveness is the key it is Damon himself who must forgive Stefan for all the dark deeds that has happened in their lives. Before Stefan is pulled into this task he compels Matt to ring the bell at 9pm or forgive Damon for killing his sister Vickie which Matt is unable to do. His father attempts to stop Matt but is unwilling to leave or kill him. Stefan arrives and finds Damon inside his mind and returns the forgiveness in less than kind words. Regardless, Damon awakes from his state and stops Matt from hitting the bell its twelve time. Later, Damon apologizes to Matt over Vickie’s death and reveals to Bonnie the contents of the letter he wrote her expressing his reasons for leaving and not wanting to fail her and Elena both. With Stefan captured, Caroline reveals that she will somehow save him. Sybil and Seline meet at a diner and are then greeted by Cade who after hearing the bell ring 11 times has the brief ability to return. He sits with the sirens and promptly lights them both on fire.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

There’s no denying that the tenth episode of this season’s TVD is by far the best of the bunch and quite possibly one of the best in recent memory. One brother’s return to the emotional dawn will inevitably give way to the other, but for now, Damon’s returned humanity has been the high-mark I believe the fans have been waiting for thus far. With a mixed bag of cameos and revelations, we’re given a real heartfelt snapshot of what it means to forgive and move on to brighter moments in the lives of our Mystic Falls family. And if we’re extra lucky, the finality of the sirens is in full effect. Cheers to that.

 

THE GOOD

The simple nature with Damon is that he finally dealt with his fears and his guilt over more or less his entire run as a vampire. He’s reached that peak where all that’s left is to finally decide how he’s going to deal with his brother and Elena which will hopefully culminate by this show’s end. The path to reach that enlightened state was built through his friends and allies with the exception of notable absences like Enzo and Alaric who in the past were regarded as his best buddies or near about. Having Bonnie and Caroline experience some emotional reunion within Damon’s mind was icing for them as they met they worked through some slight issues of their own however minute they were. These are the kinds of interpretive nostalgic throwbacks that are actually good writing and don’t feel incredibly forced, with the exception of Tyler who really should have been Lexi, but I’ll get to that later.

 

Stefan continued to be rather poignantly resourceful in how he dealt with the possible destruction of Mystic Falls. His state of mind seems less guarded around doing what Cade actually wants and just flooding him with souls whether they deserve to die or not. But putting Matt in a strange compelling state over ringing the bell or forgiving Damon was twisted and appropriate to fit within tonight’s main theme. I like the consistency there and Matt’s acceptance that forgiving Damon over Vickie’s death just wasn’t in the cards what-so-ever. Bouncing Stefan around this much wasn’t an optimal approach but I think given where he ended up the path he took was rigorously the right one.

 

THE BAD

Without Stefan’s humanity, Damon’s speech of forgiveness felt unintentionally hollow. There’s a certain circular logic that comes with each brother facing some fears alone and each one getting to be the bigger character by forgiving the other when they’re at their worst, but here it would have been that much more epic if Stefan had those emotions to share in this guarded reveal instead of mocking it once Damon had finished. We all know this will play out later when Stefan goes through his own last trial to be himself again, but we did get the message as it was meant for us to view it.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Damon recited his letter to Bonnie, word for word. That was very uplifting to see and Bonnie’s tearful response gave them a much needed break in the tragedy that continues to dominate their lives. It’s been awkward over the years watching Bonnie have strange relationships with people like Jeremy and whatnot, but her friendship with Damon and love for Enzo is finally paying off and makes sense. Good writing and a hell of a long wait to get us finally seeing her deservedly happy.

 

CHARACTER MVP

As much as Damon wrapped up the episode with his fantastical denouement, it was Bonnie who correctly discovered the method that was going to return him back to the realm of humanity. It could have taken a lot longer but she really connected the right dots and later finally understood what Damon said in that letter, helping mend their fragile bond as of late. There was a lot of forgiving going on tonight.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Tyler playing a small role in Damon’s guilt was fine for the short-term fanbase, but realistically, Lexi deserved a spotlight here for what Damon did to her and for who she represented in his life. Surely he still harbors guilt over killing her way back in season one. I only hope that maybe if this nostalgia spell this season continues that we’ll see her one last time before this series draws to a close.

 

Cade is wrapping up the plot of the sirens, and rightly so. This could transition into some punishment for them and not death, but TVD has been known to make abrupt calls and kill current villains to replace them with the actual main villain, which is finally about time. Cade should also set the record straight with his agenda in the next episode if he can. We need some form of apocalypse here to maximize on the intensity of the final story arc.

 

One small plot point that wasn’t wrapped up was Caroline’s knowledge that Bonnie wants to use the cure on Enzo. Two things don’t really sit well here, one, why was Sybil able to figure that out based on their situation with merging into Damon’s mind? Something seemed lost there in translation and how would Sybil pick up on such a simple thought like that? And second, is Caroline the bearer of this cure or is she the only one who has an opinion on the matter that it would affect her if Bonnie decided to give it to Enzo? Is it meant for Damon still or who has the most to gain/lose from this situation?

 

Seeing Vickie again continues to bring an old issue I had with this show in that Vickie was unable to handle her transition as a vampire while Caroline was and even thrived more so than most others when she was originally written as one of the worst type-casted supporting friends to Elena Gilbert. I’ll always be cross over how they handled Vickie because I always felt she deserved to be in the role Caroline is in now. But then Jeremy would have had a much different path as well I imagine. Strange things always amiss.

 

OVERALL SCORE

9 out of 10. When the write music and words hit, this show can sing and bring together a mountain of emotional throwbacks which happened here tonight as Damon came back in heroic style to the side of humanity. One brother down and one to go. Cade has come to tie a few loose ends and with any luck will be our final menace from this point forward. Forgiveness tossed around back and forth, cycling from person to person and showing us that nothing is truly forgotten nor are the sins of our favorite vampires. Damon is finally making right in a way that displays how mature he’s become over the years and I think it’s safe to say that his promise to Bonnie that he’ll never leave again is the truth…until Cade or someone else makes him break all his promises again, but that I leave to the final tales of this franchise. Great, almost perfect episode with the realm of vampire storytelling and with all eyes on Stefan now, we’ll see how he finds his way back like his brother did. Thanks for reading.

 

 

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