A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×21 (Caroline’s face says it all)

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Action speak louder than words, or so the old adage goes. On the eve of VD’s season finale, the group finds themselves at the mercy of the Travelers and their return to power over all magic. Some logic is thrown a little out of faze as several factors lead to the possibility of a major character death. Start holding your breath, because one Salvatore brother may not be returning after this season.

After Marcos bleeds Stefan and Elena of much of their blood, Maria frees them and later takes them back to Mystic Falls in the hopes of reuniting with Julian. Damon gain Matt and Jeremy’s help in taking all the Traveler’s original bodies back to the mansion to lure Marcos. The plan succeeds and Marcos arrives but states that even if the Traveler’s bodies are destroyed, it wont matter for his plan to work. Julian communicates a plan to Damon as he sneaks Julian the key to escape. Julian attacks Marcos but by that time all the Travelers in the city have begun the chant to their final spell which eliminates all spirit magic from the world.

Liv and Luke confront Elena and Stefan in the street with no choice but to kill one of them. They murder Maria and attempt to kill Stefan and Elena but their power begins to fade as Elena and Stefan’s rings no longer function in the daylight. They escape underground with Matt but then feel the effects of their first deaths. Their only hope is to flee from town before the spell spirals outward and catches them. Julian and Damon are forced to leave as well.

Bonnie believes she might be able to reenact Marcos’s ressurrection spell but needs Maria’s help. Enzo locates her on the other side but she is pulled away by the wind. Enzo tells Bonnie he lost her. Damon and Elena leave town together as Jeremy and Matt return to town. Julian finds Caroline and Stefan asking where Maria is. Stefan tells him that Maria was killed and Julian gets angry. Caroline tries to break Julian’s neck but he lashes out. Stefan tries to stop him but Julian rips Stefan’s heart out and leaves with Caroline screaming over Stefan’s death.

Stefan’s spirit finds Bonnie but she says her plan failed. With no recourse, Stefan passes through Bonnie and disappears.

I’ll start with the most obvious development and it’s the sudden death of Stefan Salvatore. It was a rugged and unexpected outcome that left Caroline sobbing uncontrollably and Bonnie deflated of any hope. It’s definitely a shock, but it’s more suspecting shock. Vampire Diaries is the kind of show that can play with death in several ways and one would think that killing Stefan for all time is a bold but negatively impacting move to both the show and the fans. I’ll say this much. Stefan was quick to accept his fate the moment Bonnie broke the news to him. I respect that for his character. I think Damon might have shown the same face only less stoic and more blazingly annoyed, but the fact is Stefan’s heart has been removed and Julian may be the only Traveler left who can shed any light on Marcos’s spell.

My theory for this segment is that there’s enough Travelers to bring either Enzo or Stefan back with the spell, but not both. It’s not that I don’t accept that Stefan’s dead/dead, but that there’s always a loophole and Stefan deserves a more fitting end than a random tantrum from a character we barely know inside the body of a character that doesn’t fit the description of a Stefan killer.

The next point I need to go over are the compiling amount of flaws that are introduced with this pure magic unraveling spell. Firstly, if the spell negates any objects created by spiritual magic, than wouldn’t it be more likely that Jeremy and Matt suffer the effects of their deaths now that the immortality ring they both once wore won’t work any longer? Maybe in this case it doesn’t apply because their human, but in a sense Jeremy is somewhat supernatural as he’s a Hunter. It’s a little bit a nitpick, but their heading back into the city and just seemed like something to bring up. Secondly, how will any of them get back into the city if the spell continues to grow? I know that’s better left for the finale to explain, but it’s worth noting now as a possible problem. And lastly, if Stefan’s dead, is it too late to negate the Traveler’s spell? I’m fairly certain Luke and Liv needed to kill either Elena or Stefan “before” the spell ran it’s course, but maybe there’s some kind of after effect that might come in handy. Probably reaching too much at this point.

Mikael from TO will have to be resurrected soon or else he’ll suffer the same fate as every other spirit locked in spiritual torment. Gotta keep with the continuity there.

There also didn’t seem to be a lot of reason for Julian to veer away from Marcos’s plan. I understand Maria’s perspective and the two want to be together, but there’s nothing suggesting Marcos’s plan would dissolve their ability to be together or maybe I’m just missing their neutral stance on the plan as a whole. Tyler doesn’t deserve to that kind of fizzled out end too, so I imagine the finale will have a lot of holes to fill before the next major cliffhanger strikes.

Another awkwardly place segment was Pam and her husband. It’s been established that the Travelers do what they have to to preserve themselves and Marcos’s plan, but that murder was entirely unnecessary given she could have easily walked away and none would be the wiser. The only effect it had later was to establish that her character was dead after the chanting ceased. It was an odd scene to throw in for a throwaway character of no importance.

Luke and Liv’s usefulness is also playing out. Their moment at the diner solidified that the coven they are a part of have a presence and can effect their lives if they don’t follow through with their desperate plan. In the finale, I’m not expecting much out of these two except a few woeful “sorry’s” and maybe an idea that could help stop the Travelers, but without their powers at close distance they’ll have to help from far away. That coven would surely be helpful right about now.

Could we be seeing the last of the Salvatore house in the finale? After several moments of admiration by Marcos and Damon’s longing stare before leaving the house with a gunshot wound from a few hundred years ago, this could be the foreshadowing of it’s ultimate destruction. It’s been his sanctuary and Stefan’s since episode one, and had housed it’s fair share of many debacles over the seasons. All of it could come crashing down in the midst of a Traveler massacre or uprising, however one would look at it.

Overall, the “will they-won’t they die” throughout the last few seasons has desensitized me a bit over Stefan’s ‘apparent’ death. They sold me on Jeremy until he was inexplicably brought back, then they duped me again with Bonnie’s. Now Stefan’s up for the trifecta of “Not sure if dead, or just trolling the fanbase.” This could have some repercussions between Stefan fans and Damon fans and which brother should be the one to die first. I’m not saying such an act is inevitable, but debate is debate and surely if a brother had to die, who would you choose? I think the writer’s made the right call. Unless There’s a romance in store between Stefan and Caroline, there’s honestly not much left for Stefan to do on the show unless he truly wants Elena back and he made it clear to her earlier in this episode that if she wants Damon then to just be with him.

I also peeked at the finale promo and I must say, it is edited in the most awful manner possible. Hot off the heels of Stefan’s demise and the promo treats the finale like some kind of Home Alone comedy montage. I don’t normally watch the promos so I’m not sure if those kinds of themes are rampant at the end of each episode, but this didn’t make any sense for tone at all. The episode got serious very fast and is not pulling any punches, thus far on killing long lasting characters. Will Stefan’s death be a fake-out for someone else? That’s happened in the past. Wait and see if this truly is Stefan’s last stand.

 

No more words

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