The Vampire Diaries returns right where we left off since the break and delivers a bookend to Elena’s dilemma involving Kai and his newfound magic having absorbed the Traveler’s border spell. Caroline attempts to prove her blood can cure her mother’s cancer, and Enzo discovers the real Sarah, who Stefan has been watching for the last 18 years. What began as a typical quest of rescue turned into a rather bitter and somber end knowing Caroline’s refusal to heed Stefan’s warning may cost her mother an early departure from the show.
To start with, I almost enjoyed the interactions between Elena and Kai as he found creative ways to torture and control his magical abilities. Now, most of their dialogue was very cookie cutter-esque, but Elena did get rather creative with using that Bunsen burner and a fiery hand to sway off the villain. I try to understand more of Kai’s personality and not completely write him off as a pointless villain of the series. To be stuck in limbo for so long, there has to be a point when you’re talking just to hear yourself talk so you don’t go truly insane. He’s still crazy, but his humor is rooted in that sense that there’s an absurdity to his dry wit. Real life people are no different than mannequins to him and he’ll dispatch them the same either way.
One of the more puzzling moments came with Enzo and his discovery of Stefan and Sarah at an art gallery. My first thought was that wondering why Enzo wouldn’t just capture and/or kill Sarah to truly make Stefan suffer? He monologues about having patience and all that jazz so I’m guessing he’ll get around to it in a future episode. I hope this leads to something where Damon is forced to kill Enzo for the sake of saving Sarah who he’ll find out about and have major guilt for having killed her parents. Stefan is his usual supportive self and doesn’t offer too much tonight except the concern that what Caroline is doing won’t actually save her mother. Since he never observed a case where vampire blood cured cancer he’s very weary, but at the end, she “solves” the mystery herself and cures an unknown patient. Little do they know that the patient suffers later from an adverse effect. Now the patient didn’t technically die at the end of the episode, but one can infer that either he will die or he’ll suffer a more dramatic transformation. Bottom line is Caroline’s mother drank her blood and will be going through the same effect sooner rather than later.
Another small subplot involves the mild return of Luke, who steals Liv from helping Damon save Elena and Liv discovers that Luke is the stronger sibling between them. She knows now that if they merge, she’ll die. This prompts Luke to defy their father and not take part in the merging, which puts Liv and Tyler at ease. I say good for Luke in not going through with something that Jo and Kai will be doing anyway. Tyler is still a bit bull-headed with his approach to courting Liv, and somehow they’re remaining interested in each other. It’s not a very useful and compelling relationship mainly because Tyler isn’t going through any conflict of his own. This will likely change when that eventual murder goes down and he is forced to become a werewolf again. Then there will be conflict-a-plenty.
Probably the most baffling scene in this entire episode was the trolling Elena did on Damon as he removed the make-shift stake he accidentally threw into her. She pretends that a splinter is near or stuck in her heart which freaks Damon out as he plunges his hand inside her wound to try and remove it. She laughs and the two stare longingly over the whole ordeal. I don’t know why but I found the scene oddly misplaced and horribly inserted. I get the idea of going against the typical grain on moments like these, but it was such an odd response for Elena considering if she wasn’t careful he might have done something really drastic. In the end, it was a mini-test that he basically past in showing his feelings for her, something he’s been doing consistently anyway. I guess if anything this proves Elena can lighten up when she needs to. Now all she needs is a new daylight ring and she’s back to square one. Can’t be that hard to make, right?
The turmoil involved with the last scene brought both the heartache and desperation of an undead daughter trying to explain to her mother why she still needs her, and the audience knowledge that what she’s doing won’t work. It helped produce a mixture of emotions and I think worked rather well. You should “hopefully” feel for Caroline in her plight and she demonstrates that desperation well.
Caroline gets the award tonight. She continues to utilize her single-minded nature to drive home that she intends to save her mother at “most” costs. There’s a moment when she realizes the connection she still has with Stefan as he takes her hand and almost shows that as soon as things wrap up with her mom, it’s all good to commence relations with Stefan. Her range isn’t necessarily getting bigger, but the emotional states she’s exhibiting are getting more believable and in that case, she’s growing as an actress.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
With the rumors that Jeremy will be soon leaving the show, I wonder what his send off will entail? Will he embark on a personal journey, or will be become just another part of those left behind in death? Will he get to reunite with Bonnie before he goes? Tough to say.
Speaking of Bonnie, she was a no show this time around. Does this mean she won’t make another appearance until someone finds a way to save her, or will she find a way to save herself?
How long are they seriously going to make us wait before Stefan and Caroline handle their business? I swear, it’s like they know they have this in the bag, but they’re taking their sweet time with it for some unknown reason. It’s not like they’ll be in a lasting relationship like Damon and Elena are in. It will be a hot mess and then someone will have to move on, just make it happen already.
I can see Kai’s involvement will take them into a mid season climax, but not sure where the remainder of the season will push our main guys and girls. Still no sign of any kind of crossover with TO, but maybe we’ll get a cameo sometime. Someone needs to show up and spice things up a notch.
Was Liv complimenting Damon’s taste in clothes based on her knowledge of guy clothes or just the fabric itself? When it sits in a drawer, how easy is it to make such declarations?
Almost gave it a 7, but felt it got a strong 6 out of 10. Elena being kidnapped wasn’t anything new, and Kai had but a few moments that set him apart from the typical villain. He has motivation and a willingness to do whatever it takes to maintain his existence, yet, beyond that the only real heartfelt moment was Caroline’s ending scene with her mother, knowing it was doomed from the get go. It leaves us with wondering if this will be the same result, but it’s tough to say, because the world of vampires means anything can change fate these days. Enzo is still a waste of time and space and needs to get a better hobby if he’s ever going to mean something on the show again. Stefan and he just need to do their final battle and call it a day. Hopefully soon.
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