A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×09 (Grief, it’s what’s for dinner)

tvd-8x09

SUMMARY

Sybil orders Damon to return to Mystic Falls and give her the striker (ball) while Stefan begins to realize that Elena is still deeply embedded in Damon’s mind and makes plans to rectify that. Meanwhile, Matt searches for the bell at Seline’s house as Dorian distracts Seline with the tuning fork at the grill. At the Founder’s celebration, Sybil and Stefan work together to distract Damon while Caroline struggles to keep Stefan from murdering the guests. Bonnie and Enzo return to aid Caroline while also dealing with struggles of their own regarding Enzo’s subtle request to turn Bonnie into a vampire so they could be together forever. Stefan makes a young woman into a vampire stating that vampirism is his key to making any innocent being become evil for Cade. Damon subdues Sybil after several mental obstructions and later attempts to make her suffer but instead, Sybil relinquishes all of Damon’s guilt within his humanity to overtake him. Matt recovers the bell as Dorian brings Seline to him regarding the necessity of a Donavon bloodline to activate the bell properly.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

Sometimes there are flashes and a remembrance of what came before, and then there’s flat-out ripping off their own plots from season’s past. It makes sense from a storyline’s perspective in helping Damon understand his dilemma, but we can only come full circle so many times before the writing becomes oddly redundant in its own capacity. If nothing else, the audience is getting beat in the head by its own striker to make us remember how much Elena meant to Damon for the sake of this season’s dragging calamity. Fear has never been the best of weaknesses for Damon, but since Elena herself can’t be present, his constant angst and anxiety over ending up in hell is vastly becoming a trademark right under his beguiling looks and never-changing stare-offs. When it’s endearing, his situations write themselves rather artistically, but the struggle has become too internalized for us to really understand what his problem is. His humanity is being guarded by Sybil’s literal mind games and so far the toughest moments to watch are how he deals with the opposition when he himself can’t decide what he truly wants to do. He’s in the grayest area of his life, neither good nor evil, just a walking philosophical nightmare that can’t wake up, and it’s about time he did.

 

THE GOOD

I want to put this out on top but it was very logically sound that Bonnie and Enzo had this inevitable conversation about her becoming a vampire. It makes sense and every vampire who has loved a human goes through this drama because love and passion are endlessly and chaotically bound to the mortal coil. What stands out is that Enzo isn’t going to force her or make a situation happen that binds her fate, he’s willing to deal with the mortal confines just as Bonnie conjures an idea about the somewhat forgotten cure, a device in this TV formula that hasn’t been spoken of since the days of Damon’s struggle with taking it or not. Bonnie remembers it and now she’s thinking of putting it to a more proper use. That has loads of potential to muck things up between a these pair of relationships and I’m actually more interested in that turnout than the bell-plot at hand.

 

Regardless with out we back-peddled into another Founder’s dance-off scenario, Stefan is still holding his own as the resident villain for the moment. He should absolutely be unpredictable even to his own brother who’s busy dealing with his own internal mess. Stefan turning innocents into vampires is, on paper a good idea but at the same time it doesn’t in a way remove the choice of killing from their hands most definitely if any new vampire turns their switch off. What would really set him apart from other megalomaniacs of the past is if he went and started turning entire cities creating a vampire epidemic, but this story is very centralized and isn’t going to be dealing with a world-wide apocalypse. But still, he’s thinking in the right direction.

 

THE BAD

Any excuse to get the cast in some suits and dresses because next to the standard Mystic Fall’s annual “whatever-we-want-to-celebrate” angle surely makes for some elegant-fuel for the predictable fire. This episode showed that Caroline does care about tradition and is now the center for continuing those traditions that she cared about. I’m not certain we needed a main character going through this mode in constant reminder of showing us why the town is so great and how she’s essentially a control-freak of her own creation. She’s has some odd responsibility quirks and in a way it’s possibly a scenario she cooked up to deal with the grief of letting go of the twins. There small fixes in my opinion because she’s not dealing with that grief and the other grief of losing Stefan. She hasn’t truly broken down since the loss of her mother and by not doing so, she’s re-treading on familiar plots that we’ve already seen because she needs to relive those good times, or some semblance of it. In conclusion, this show somehow tries to make it about her, and it shouldn’t.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

When Bonnie started warming up to the idea of becoming a vampire. It was unexpectedly a delightful moment that I think needed to happen to help cement the legacy of their relationship. She lamented on how her perception of her vampire friends went through many struggles while dealing with the vampire tendencies that come with the package. In the end, she turns the idea around on Enzo, much the way Elena and Damon went through this, and while the parallels are there, Enzo is less like Damon in that he isn’t likely to waste too much time thinking about it her proposal.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Damon is sitting front and center this time around. He’s making efforts even if he doesn’t really understand the reasons behind them, and for the most part is doing well enough not joining in on Stefan’s journey back into ripper territory. He’ll be force to make more drastic decisions, but for now he’s baby-stepping in the right path. Now he has to deal with all that guilt circling back into his psyche.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Now we’re aware that the Donovan bloodline seems to be the only ones capable of utilizing the true purpose of the bell. So the Donovan’s can only kill the sirens. That seems plausible, but does that mean that Sybil is aware of this? If so, why didn’t she just kill them to begin with instead of looking for the pieces? We might be missing some other key pieces of information here.

 

Would it be in character for Stefan to hold onto the ring that Caroline returned to him? Wouldn’t he just drop it or throw it away immediately after Caroline walked out on him? He’s not subdued by inkling’s of humanity pressed within objects like Damon is. I can’t see him holding onto it on purpose if not to use against her in a later time.

 

It was an interesting take on how Caroline helped the new girl deal with becoming a vampire. She really encouraged the brighter side of it while in the past most new vampires deal with the negative side and struggle with the drinking blood aspect to seal the deal.  Caroline is simply glossing over that detail and concentrating on more practical things that come with living forever. It was a change from most instances, however I don’t expect the new vampire to last long in this final season. I give it one more episode.

 

In all fairness to the ripper personality, Stefan should be in berserker mode from here on out. He gave in, that means he’s killing anything and everything, he shouldn’t be back to safe and calm-evil Stefan. Every time there’s a group of people, he should be feeding like he did in the previous episode. Now safety precautions, no segments where he’s normal-ish and can control it. He should be lashing out at least once in every episode from here on out.

 

OVERALL SCORE

6 out of 10. Enzo and Bonnie made the episode more uplifting than it deserved to be. It gave the aura of a repeater where too many elements from a previous episode make its way back into the new one and somehow giving us more nostalgia than necessary. We know Elena and Damon were going to destined for each other from that dance, their eyes gave it away long ago. If Damon’s sort-of humanity state can’t grasp that concept fully by now, it’s time he moved on per Stefan’s message. We’re leading into a perceived final showdown between Seline and Sybil which should hopefully wrap up in time for Cade’s even bigger showdown to come. Mostly mildly entertaining with a few touching moments and future plot guaranteed to involve the vampire cure. Will Enzo consider it, or will Bonnie be fated to become immortal like all her friends. We’ll see. Thanks for reading.

 

 

No more words

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