Sometimes it doesn’t feel like weeks move that fast from Halloween to Xmas, but here we are at the annual VD themed episode wrapped in bountiful blessings and joy for all. And all the vampires and creatures have an early gift from Kai who absorbed the Traveler’s spell around Mystic Falls, becoming super strong and dissolving the magic barrier letting everyone in again. It’s a good news/bad news tale with a bit of sibling witchy-ness in-between.
At first I wanted to get a handle on how Kai’s abilities worked to determine if absorbing a spell of that magnitude was even possible. What I’m finding is that witch magic isn’t necessarily tied to the human body. One could argue the earth is a living spirit of its own and Kai was able to get the magic that way. Yet, couldn’t he just absorb Jo’s magic from the knife and give it back to her? Maybe he can’t disperse it at all or maybe inanimate objects don’t work like that for him. In any case, it was a tool to get rid of the darn spell, which I’m thankful for, and pushes the plot back into Mystic Falls. The irony is that there was this huge big annual gathering that was ripe for the characters yet no one but Jeremy could go to it. Hopefully the subtleties aren’t lost completely.
The Caroline and Stefan mild rollercoaster ride is sidelined in lieu of her mother’s sudden illness she neglected to tell anyone about. More irony here is that Liz has survived as a minor character longer than anyone else in the series and here she is being done in by her own body and not at the whim of a creature threatening Caroline. I can’t help but feel Caroline will be grasping at straws here with intentions to make her mom a vampire if it comes down to it. Of course the situation will be brought up and shot down and Caroline will have to abide by Liz’s wishes because she won’t want to become immortal. If they ignore it than Caroline will be missing a truly desperate moment and we all know Caroline is a little selfish in that regard.
Speaking of selfish, let’s give a round of applause to Damon for acting more like a pest than normal in this episode. Something about his tone and rock throwing really sold it for me when Alaric called him out on being selfish and caring about only his own feelings. I like when Damon can’t respond back with a witty remark. It just sucks because it’s not a lesson learned, it’s an “aw well, let’s move on” moment. Damon may have another epiphany later, but let’s face it, it’ll only happen because things eventually will go his way. Episodes central around Damon excel more when he does the right thing despite knowing it won’t get him what he wants. He just flip-flops so many times he’s turning into a real nutbar.
The main plot point was centered around Kai manipulating Tyler and Liv with getting Jo her magic back so he can absorb hers and kill the weaker sibling. I wasn’t a huge fan of this premise. Tyler didn’t show any compassion outside his own acts to save Liv from a darker fate. It’s another case of selfishness only in that he’s not thinking outside his sphere of influence and what will happen if Kai succeeds at his plan. I still think Tyler has to commit a murder here somewhere, I’m just at a lost on who. I also want to believe that Kai’s personality should be permanently stuck in the 90’s since he has no idea of the culture shift nowadays, but what’s done is done. We’ll have to endure his meta jokes a while longer.
What I can’t believe that all is Jeremy trying to talk Matt down from killing Enzo over some insipid fear that Matt will end up crazed over trying to kill vampires like Trip did. What amazed me even further is that Matt tried to use Trip’s method and drive Enzo over the magic barrier. I swear I thought I saw at least one stake go through Enzo, but maybe I was mistaken. Even so, why didn’t Matt just stake him right then and there? No logic in this. Zero. And our price for it, more Enzo wanting to do the same thing he already said he was going to do which is strip Stefan of all his happy things. I suppose this means using Caroline against Stefan at some point. That’s really the only bright spot Stefan has left. Elena will always be that cherished love, but I think with Stefan’s current investment it might hurt a little more if something were to happen Caroline.
Out holiday cliffhanger ends with Kai sneaking up to Elena and cloaking her before shortly knocking her out just as she was about to see Damon back at his house. I don’t know what Kai has planned or whether the magic he absorbed will last that long. Kai has a little evolving to do as a villain, but he may be on the right path if he’s meant to last more than half the season. We shall see.
Oh, and Bonnie lit a tree on fire.
Bonnie lighting a tree on fire.
Okay, I’m kidding. I actually liked that short moment when Jeremy went to the tree in town and Bonnie was at hers and they shared a moment without actually sharing a moment. Jeremy will do better as this kind of lonely character. He’s not quite beyond any brink of mental or social disaster, and I’d like to hope he’s past the point he’ll continue sleeping with random girls to get over his love. He does need more direction, but at least he’s mourning the right way now. Maybe it’ll stick.
I hate to say it but Kai was more entertaining this time around than any of the other characters tonight. Damon was annoying to me, flat out. His rock throwing was meant to be childish and it was. True he apologized to Alaric, but like me, he didn’t want to hear it. Kai tried to sell himself this time and even through the plot itself was rather dull, he at least tried to be a more charismatic crazy then a crazy crazy. I expect this to be his only win this season.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
This may sound a little mean, but if Liz doesn’t survive, Caroline and Stefan have no choice but to get together. And it won’t work if that’s the device they go with. Family tragedy isn’t a reason to bring two people closer together no matter how much raw passion you throw into it. It’ll fizzle and burn before they know it. They can however share a tender moment if it didn’t lead to rambunctious shenanigans later on.
I’m certainly glad that Elena forgot about all the horrible things Damon did and isn’t the slightest bit fazed by it anymore. Funny how compulsion works over time.
How in the world is Matt going to help Enzo do anything to strip Stefan of his happy things. I suppose compulsion is the key, but this subplot is super dry and extremely unwarranted. If anything, this only proves that Damon has to be the one to take Enzo down for good once he catches wind of this.
Unless there’s a quick solution to getting Bonnie out of limbo, we should probably keep her out of any episodes until it matters. She’s really a good character this season and showing her dealing with being alone in limbo really won’t help her case unless it helps with her escape. Save Bonnie for those moments that matter, don’t waste them with annual tree lighting ceremonies where snow doesn’t exist anymore.
Is this Luke’s departure from the show, or just a simple way to write him off for the time being? I don’t get his motivation as a character right now and he seems more like a complainer than anything. Liv currently is only marginally better.
Points for taking down the spell around Mystic Falls. Beyond a few tiny moments of flare and dramatic innuendo, I wasn’t very impressed by “Christmas through your eyes.” I give it a 5 out of 10. There just wasn’t enough happening to keep me interested and most of the subplots were drenched in awkward forced drama and a very strange scene that depicts Damon explaining he has the knife only to see it’s gone while, presumably, at the same time Luke and Liv are told to find it. This wasn’t smart time jumping, but at least Damon looked like an arrogant fool for showing an empty case. I’m not too excited with where this arc is going, but at least Kai seems more interesting this time around. We’ll catch up after the break.
No more words