A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 7×08 (It’s more like bringing a toothpick to a flamethrower fight)

TVD 7x08

 

SUMMARY

With a forward plan in motion, Stefan, Lily, Damon, and Valerie attempt to convince the heretic family of Julian’s devious nature while Mary-Louise and Nora celebrate their anniversary as a couple. Matt takes steps to ensure that Enzo is no longer a threat to his town, and Caroline comes to grips over finding out she’s pregnant with Jo’s twins. As the Salvatore’s converge on Julian, Lily is forced to make a choice between saving one of her daughters or one of her sons.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Sappy and lackadaisical come to mind after watching tonight’s episode of TVD. There was an attempt to reel in the heretic family as a functioning family that cares as much if not more than the Salvatore brothers do on their best days. It’s not a stretch considering Damon’s abstract and heartless behavior as of late, but the fact remains, it’s not very consistent with flip-flopping the heretic family as cold, vicious, and evil one moment and then radiant with happy, compassionate personalities the next. Damon’s anger toward Lily is making him purposefully rotten which has some payoff but in the present doesn’t help his case with Stefan who genuinely wants to forgive Lily. It was a very disconnected point in the heretic arc that didn’t help by having a major character death on the show. Assuming it sticks.

 

RECAP

In order to convince Mary-Louise, Nora, and Beau to help take down Julian, Valerie intends to tell them what happened to her when she lost her baby. Damon remains indifferent if Lily survives Julian’s death or not. Meanwhile Julian throws Mary-Louise and Nora an anniversary party with all the captured humans compelled to enjoy it as food and company. Mary-Louise later proposes to Nora who is ecstatic and says. They are then confronted by Valerie who gathers her siblings and with Lily tells them what happened to her. Caroline writes in Elena’s diary about her pregnancy and eventually tells Stefan who supports her. After Enzo fails to convince Lily to run away with him, he returns to the Mystic Grill where Matt confronts him and then captures him with a group of unknown allies. At the party, the family agree to help Valerie but after Julian is captured, Mary-Louise has second thoughts and stops Valerie and Damon. After Julian is free he forces Lily to kill either Valerie or Damon. She instead stakes herself believing it will kill herself and Julian but doesn’t know that Julian already had Mary-Louise remove the binding spell. Julian flees as the family comforts Lily as she slowly dies with splinters in her heart. In her last moment, Damon professes that she made her bed and to lie in it. This angers Stefan who wanted Damon to forgive her. In the future, Damon wakes tied up in the TV studio with werewolf toxin in his system. He sees Lily and apologizes to her over what happened but the woman laughs as we see Damon is hallucinating. This unknown woman then knocks him out.

 

THE GOOD

Lily’s self sacrifice may have been telegraphed but having her make such a profound choice was essential to her arc and solidified that she really did believe in Valerie and her sons and wanted to be free of Julian. I honestly thought she was faking it, but it turns out she wasn’t. Out of all the heretics, Lily was the only one who remained the most believably consistent in her personality and convictions and truly wanted to make things right. Her noble end, though over-dramatic in its delivery, was the only real touching and cathartic moment of the episode.

 

Matt capturing Enzo was a long time coming. Even in the face of performing mildly positive acts with the incentive of love, Enzo isn’t a very convincing protagonist and is entirely too selfish of his own feelings to understand what Lily is facing. He can’t support her so in his damon-esque moment of vampiric tantrums, he’s taken out by Matt and a group of humans who don’t seem to like vampires too much. I’m fine with this development. Why Enzo is being kept alive isn’t known, but I imagine Matt has a good reason.

 

THE BAD

Pretty much everything else. Mary-Louise and Nora’s proposal and party was entirely beyond campy and overdone. Are we to believe that the couple never bothered to “marry” themselves within those 133-ish years of being together. Whether in limbo or not, that shouldn’t matter to exalted characters such as themselves. I doubt they’re beholden to the American matrimony system, and I really doubt they were ashamed of their love for each other. Their dynamic is based on positive notions, but the characters are still misguided and fundamentally flawed. This much serene happiness doesn’t fit with their egos.

 

Damon shouldn’t hold this kind of grudge for Lily for this long. It’s self-serving and won’t bring back Elena and he should be evolved enough to understand that concept considering all the other strides he’s broken through to elevate his character status on the show as the lovable anti-hero. If it wasn’t for Damon’s apology in the future, I’d think the show was trying to maintain some status quo with keeping Damon a relentless dick for at least half the season or more. Damon’s growth spurts have no traction when he reverts back to this kind of pettiness. Sometimes I’m surprised Stefan hasn’t staked him for real, only sometimes.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Matt captured Enzo. It was a little unexpected but easily a welcome sight to see the vampire get a bit of what’s owed. Matt hasn’t forgotten what Enzo put him through and I don’t blame him. What’s the extent of this capture going to entail? I’ve no idea, but it won’t be a straight kill, because somewhere in all this, Bonnie and Enzo still hook-up. So we have that looming over our heads for the rest of the season. Oh bother.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Lily deserves credit for turning herself around in this episode. Most of my points for choosing here are mentioned earlier, but to reiterate, she’s trying to make up for what she’s done and even though in the past her words of not loving her sons any more always struck a chord with me, it’s good to know she can change that perspective and do in her mind what’s right and not be controlled by Julian, who is just as a confusing character and Damon once was and usually still is.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Let us not forget that at some point, Damon puts himself in a coffin with the intention of staying in slumber until Elena awakens. Will his mother’s death be the grief needed to start that process? Or are other dark tragedies in store for him? It seems too early for that unless the future is something that will be wrapped up in storyline by the mid season.

 

Not that Caroline needed alone time to deal with her pregnancy situation, but I would have thought she’d be spending some more time with Alaric, or at least he be the one hounding her to make sure the babies are alright. He has to be questioning how those twins are being sustained in her womb considering her undead nature.

 

Even though we don’t know the full details with why Beau can’t talk, couldn’t he push air through his mouth and whisper? Or write something? His looks and mannerisms are fine, but there has to be other ways a mute can communicate other than stern expressions.

 

Now that future-Damon is exposed to werewolf toxin, does this mean he’ll need blood some a certain hybrid original to survive? This out to be interesting if that’s the case.

 

 

OVERALL SCORE

5 out of 10. Lily’s death is unfortunate given the circumstances and Stefan’s newfound relationship with her, but Damon’s poor choice of attitude and that horrendous make-shift party made this episode very difficult to watch with any real enjoyment. The pacing and exhibition was relatively on point for this show’s routine, but I also find it odd when other mainstay characters are mysteriously absent such as Bonnie and Alaric who are still important enough to at least give them some off-screen explanation. This has been my least favorite episode of the season thus far, but Enzo’s capture seems to have some promise, though I can’t imagine why keeping him alive is important. Julian will likely have his own fallout to deal with in keeping the heretic family together as Mary-Louise is the only one on his side at the moment. Her relationship with Nora or lack thereof is a non-issue to me right now and won’t matter if they mend their broken engagement or not. The future is still interesting, but teetering on too many short vignettes to continue being as relevant as the present. We need more scenes to entice us with what’s going to happen to our resident vampires. One more episode next week may help with that before the big winter break. As always, thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

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