A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 6×20 (Mommy dearest, mother fearless)

TVD-06-20

Anticipation of certain said events can lead to monumental scenes that turn standard moments into classic ones. There is also the adverse effect and tonight’s episode of TVD brought everything down a few pegs by seeing one vampire through to humanity, but not the other. Yes ladies and gents, Elena Gilbert is now mortal again, however, for the moment, Damon had not undergone the change himself due in major part to having a vengeful mother wreck house and threaten close friends because of Bonnie destroying the ascendant.

There was a lot of temperamental strangeness in this episode. Very much a “calm before the storm” approach yet, the calm consisted of a bachelor/bachelorette party and a waning vampiric mother who is steadily losing her hold on her ripper persona. Through this ordeal, Damon helps convince Elena to take the cure and everything goes without a hitch there. Simple enough, and after a few seasons it’s interesting to see her get all her compulsion memories back. It doesn’t change much except a memory that details Damon’s reaction the last time she asked him to take the cure with her. After hearing enough, Damon is no closer to taking the cure now than he was last week. There’s conflicting emotions all around stemming from selfish needs to compassionate understanding. The whacky world of vampire love treats the stigma of being a vampire the same with letting go of one’s most pressing vice. Damon isn’t as prepared as he thought and with enough external distractions including Stefan, Enzo, and Lily, it appears he’s going to stay very bitey for the time being.

The remaining pieces of the episode go over Jo finding out that she’s having twins and becoming fearful that her coven and Kai will try and take them away or worse. Lily is eventually subdued but promises to wreak havoc on Stefan for practically betraying her. Enzo sticks around and gives us some foreshadowing that as part of the family, he’s likely siding with Lily but hasn’t made his move yet. All this and Tyler punches Matt in an attempt to help Tyler control himself. It was laughable at best but at least Matt’s trying. Kai is also seen in the 1903 prison world making breakfast for the witch-vampires and declaring that it’s time to return home.

There was a real mixture of focus here, which began with a basic concept that the two vampires in questions were lamenting on what it would mean to become human and if they really want that. Jo’s party was missing Caroline for obvious reasons. All I could think was when did Bonnie find time to stop being psychotic and be with Jo and Elena like everything in her world was A-okay? Her situation the last time we saw her seemed undoubtedly abysmal. I guess destroying the ascendant was the key to returning her to normal with barely a side effect remaining.

Stefan trying to empathize with Lily stood out more so I thought than Elena’s eventual trek back to human-land. Even though Lily saw through Stefan’s subterfuge at one point, he made strides to be truthful about understanding her pain and stressing that he’d help her. It’s too many shots in the dark and ultimately the effort is futile because Lily is stark-raving crazy. Once that was a point of no return it settled the situation for the Salvatore’s even though Stefan claims enough time will make her see him for who his is, her son.

While Elena’s transformation was indeed profound and mildly emotional, it wasn’t her everyone wanted to see change. It was obviously “will they/won’t they” with Damon. Of course it was too good to be true and for reasons listed above, he’s still a vampire and what’s more, Elena called him out on an old memory where he refused her offer to take the cure with her last time. I had forgotten about that bit but Elena bringing it up does strike up old issues with Damon’s grip on vampirism in general. Is his greatest flaw humanity and the fear of being weak again? He admits all the cool things about being immortal and as much as he loves Elena he’s still struggling with it. In one aspect, it shouldn’t be a question. She went through with it, now it’s time to pay dues and go through with what love taught him, to endure and to remain compassionate to the needs of the loved one. But on the other hand, what is a TVD show without Damon specifically as a vampire? It’s a trick question wrapped in a catch-22 with a side of MacGuffin. Damon can’t turn human because his charm will be completely cut in half and since Ninja Dobrev is leaving the show anyway, it makes perfect sense that her path is to become human again. Shows have a way of teasing you when you know too well what will and won’t happen. (Yes, I wrote Ninja)

FAVORITE MOMENT

It was short, but when Lily went after Jo and realized she was pregnant with twins. It was fast and touched on Lily’s emotions which pretty much saved Jo from possible evisceration. There needed to be a moment that still called on Lily’s humanity as well as the zinger that Jo was having twins. That really should have been super obvious but it never quite occurred to me because Jo’s screen time as of late has been very little.

CHARACTER MVP

Elena edges out the cast tonight. In the end, she took the cure, very plain and simple. It brought her flurry of memories back including all her original love for Damon and now she’s left with the possibility of not getting human Damon out of the agreement. All in all, she’s taking it rather well considering what her memories showed her.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Stop making us care whether Tyler becomes a werewolf again or not. It’s becoming overtly cliché that he goes through these spurts of anxiety every small scene he’s in. The only clear “Holy crap” moment that will work is if Tyler really does accidentally kill Matt and that triggers his change again.

I still want these witch-vampires to be a season 7 villain cast. There’s a lot that can be done with that kind of plot so I hope they don’t waste it in a two episode frenzy that erases them at the almost the start.

Stefan? Why aren’t you killing Enzo? He’s clearly going to break Lily out. Do you not see that? Kill him already!

I’m actually really curious with how Kai intends to get back to normal reality with his new friends. Now one thing of note is I don’t believe we actually saw Bonnie destroy the ascendant even though we’re pretty sure she did. Unless I missed something. Though that doesn’t really help Kai with his situation, so again, it’ll be interesting to see if he actually has a plan. Maybe all that witch magic from the 1903 group have enough juice to get home on their own. Just needed to feed on Kai long enough.

I don’t think Stefan’s issue with Damon becoming human again was really handled to the degree it should have been. In seasons past these two brothers accepted a lot of who they were and how they would continue to exist as family. This episode was missing a few key scenes that reminded us of how the Salvatore’s matter in each other’s lives and what it would really mean for Stefan if his brother became human again.

OVERALL SCORE

6 out of 10. Not a fantastic episode. The build up was only half-met as Elena changed, but not Damon. Lily rambunctious behavior isn’t indicative with how a ripper would act. She trying to maintain some control, but at this point I don’t understand why. If her mind is already made up about lost hope, what is there left to hold onto? Revenge? Guess as easy as any other motive. Whether the episode was missing Caroline or whether there just wasn’t enough focus on Stefan and Damon as conflicted brothers, I just felt this episode was missing too much while we wait for the inevitable doom of the 1903 squad. Events need to pick up and the group is one vampire short in a must necessary win they’ll need to make it to season 7 alive and undead.

No more words

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