On an emotional level, this episode took it all over the map. It’s not often but there are times when a show can mash up anger, intrigue, passion, and somberness all within a single hour. “Stay” pretty much nailed that, but not without it’s flaws. It was a send off of sorts to one of the shows most endearing human characters, Sherffi Liz Forbes, mother of Caroline, passed away with her daughter and friends beside her. It was something we all saw coming and each scene lent more easy speculation until the inevitable occurred. What led up to the final scene was a cornucopia of teases, goodbyes, and twisted plans extending between foes.
While Damon and Elena compel a man to allow Jeremy entry into an art school, Liz attempts to make sense of some old case files including one involving Elena’s parents and the car accident with a few unanswered questions. Two things stand out here.
- By now, the vampires on this show have to realize what compulsion can really do for them. It’s the Jedi mind trick x10 and considering how many times they exploited it’s use, why haven’t they really dived in and abused it to their advantage? I suppose life is simple in Mystic Falls and one needs to look no further than the one Salvatore home that’s open to any called friend.
- Liz and Damon literally spend an entire scene going over old case files (murders most likely) that Damon jokingly admits to causing. And Liz just dismisses them with an “aw well” shrug. Now, one can theorize that Damon really was just kidding, but he’s also known for taking a little bit of pride in his own work. If they’re all from his doing I just find it hilarious that nothing is to be done about it because he’s a “good” guy now.
With the subplot of Elena’s parents, I just have to say, way too little and too late to be bringing up that old bit of mystery. At no point was I expecting this to pan out the way we might of thought. And of course, they delivered a half-hearted trump card where all the pieces added up to nothing and there was no foul play at work. That felt a little cheap, because we all wanted there to be something interesting and in the end, there wasn’t. Let’s not go through that ordeal again.
Our next big can of fireworks came with the sunset kiss between Caroline and Stefan, After spending oodles of time at the cabin preparing it for Liz as a surprise, Stefan passes his sage advice and then finally tags Caroline with the coolest high-five you’ll ever see…okay no, they actually kissed. In the breadth of the sunlight, they shared that “Get it over with, please” moment that was long coming. It was set up well, and the payoff was probably what I’d expect, including the intense rise of the music and the slow pan of darkened figures wrapped in the natural light. Will Caroline attach even more with Liz gone? I’d say it’ll work out differently. Stefan will continue his support and one by one, the cast will be informed of their coupling, and all should probably be well, for the short term. Elena and Caroline will finally have something interesting to talk about. I doubt Elena will kick up any fuss over it. She might do that strange stare off to the side for a moment as if pondering if Caroline made the right decisions, but she’ll be fine.
Next, we have the dark machinations of the vampire scumbag, Enzo. Only beginning his master plan, he forces Matt to take Sara to a tunnel by town where Enzo runs Matt over and then heals him with Sara watching everything. I’ll admit, the car was a clever idea, but let’s not kid ourselves, Enzo is on a path of certain death. There really should be no vampire camaraderie here. The second the Salvatores find out about this, Damon needs to do what Damon needs to do, with Stefan helping. I even want Katherine back beating Enzo down.
And finally, we have Jeremy’s departure from town and essentially the show. Alaric saw him off with the promise that if Bonnie returned, that Jeremy would be the first to be called. I’m okay with this kind of departure. Not all characters leaving a series need to do so under threat of death. Besides, Jeremy died before that fool me once scenario won’t happen again. The writing on this subject you could tell was pretty shoe-horned in but the fact is Jeremy lost his sense of path and nothing was going to put him back on short of becoming some maniacal uber hunter, oh wait, they did that already. Until he returns in some reunion episode, so long kid.
Stefan showing Caroline how to help her and Liz relive an old memory was very sweet and caring. They got to share that final moment and say goodbye in a way that works and didn’t oversell the situation. I’ll admit, I thought for sure, Liz would have passed away while in the bed with Damon, but that didn’t happen and Caroline got to have her seen. Well done.
In a way, this episode was really about Liz and her nature at tying loose ends and making sure everything is in order, much as a Sheriff in a small town is designed to do. She gets the MVP tonight. While Matt is now the last human character (Alaric really shouldn’t count anymore) to interact with the crew, Liz was the most practical and seasoned one there was. And if Damon can show true friendship and caring toward that kind of human, you know they’re worthwhile.
LONG TERM THOUGHTS
This can easily be the breaking point where Matt says “screw it” and tells the brothers what’s been happening with Enzo. At this point, it’s too risky not to, and even Matt almost backed Enzo into a wall when he belittled the idea that his mother would still be in danger. With Jeremy gone, what does Enzo really have hanging over his head?
Could Liz’s interest in the car accident be foreshadowing over an darker event that actually claimed the lives of Elena’s parents? I would think they wouldn’t just throw that in this late in the show and not at least consider the possibility. After all, did they rule out why there was luggage in the car?
Now begins the race between brothers to see who will end up losing their GF first. My money is easily on Stefan and Caroline. It’s new, but seriously untested. Either one could be forced into a situation where staying with the other would be more damaging than helpful. Time will tell.
Will it be that easy for Bonnie to get back once she has access to the magic in Nova Scotia? Or will there be some opposing force to keep her once more trapped in limbo?
I’d laugh if Tyler accidentally/or purposefully killed someone off screen and came back in the next episode already wolf-triggered. Maybe he ran off to New Orleans again for another go at Klaus. That would go over real well.
A very high 7 out of 10. Enzo’s ludicrous antics aside, this episode had a lot of good things going for it and managed to pack in a lot of poignant scenes. Caroline and Stefan’s kiss was long overdue and was handled with the kind of care I’d expect from this show. Liz’s passing and Jeremy’s departure were expected strikes but also done with enough care that they had meaning and weren’t wasted moments. It’s truly time to move forward, though all we have are Bonnie’s subplot in Limbo and Enzo’s subplot with Sara. Not much else going on unless Kai relapses and becomes super evil again. He’s still alive right? And Jo and Alaric have been completely disregarded lately. Seems like an odd thing to do. Moving forward though, that’s the key. We need a new villain for the final arc. Bring him/her on!
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