A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×22 (173 years on this earth)

Image

“Home” provides the vampire family with some of the more unexpected retcons in death while presumably trading Salvatore’s as the final chapter for the Travelers has been laid to rest. Like the end of season 5 of Lost, the final image is of the show’s logo only inverted with a white background. Is there light at the end of this tunnel for two of our major characters? Or is it time for them to exist in a new place called home?

There’s a remarkable sense of masochism with how much Elena and her closely knit family have to endure in the repeated loss of some characters. While the rule of permanent death is somewhat foggy when witches are around, one has to wonder how dreadfully destroyed Elena must be having to suffer loss over loss, sometimes with the same person. How will those who remain survive after what’s happened in Mystic Falls? With season 6 detailed as the (possible) final diary entry, let’s look at how we caught up.

Elena and Damon find Caroline back at the house where Stefan has been placed. Upset, Damon goes to Bonnie and nearly threatens her to find a way to bring him back. Enzo appears and tells Bonnie he has a plan and that they’ll need to find a witch.

Elena and Caroline capture Liv and Luke who try to leave the city. Caroline kills Luke in order to coerce Liv into helping them and bring everyone back from the other side. Meanwhile, Marcos has Julian taken outside the city’s magic zone where he loses his werewolf and vampire abilities and succumbs to Tyler’s original death. Caroline’s mother, Liz is watching in horror.

On the other side, Stefan is saved from being pulled away by Lexi. Together they search for Alaric. Bonnie is later confronted by her grandmother who refuses to return to life and says she’s proud of who Bonnie became and that she’s made her peace what the choice she made to help Bonnie, who doesn’t understand. They hug and her grandmother leaves.

Enzo reveals Silas to Bonnie, who helps teach her the Traveler spell in exchange for returning to life. Meanwhile, Damon prepares a plan to lure the Travelers to the bar and has Matt and Jeremy go underground and open the gas line. He intends to trigger the explosion which Elena protests against him doing. He assures her that he’ll return and that it’s his choice.

That night, Damon prepares to drive into the city as Elena joins him saying it’s her choice too. Together they drive into the city as their lives slowly begin to fade. He races his car into the bar as the entire place explodes, killing all of the Travelers, who were lured there by Liz.

Elena wakes up on the other side and is greeted by Alaric, who tells her he’ll find Damon but that she has to go and return to Bonnie. She leaves as Damon wakes up. Together they rescue Liz and track down Bonnie’s location.

As the group from the other side meet Bonnie, Luke returns first and attempts to force Liv to stop the spell. She won’t and continues chanting. Enzo passes next and then Tyler. Caroline and Tyler hug and he realizes, after cutting himself, that he’s no longer a hybrid. Stefan urges Lexi to return, but she won’t as Elena arrives. She won’t leave without Damon and Bonnie grabs Elena to force her return. After she stumbles, Stefan touches her and accidentally returns, realizing he left Lexi, Alaric, and Damon behind.

Bonnie can’t hold on much longer and tells Lexi to pass through her, but she won’t trade her chance for Damon’s. Marcos suddenly appears and attacks Lexi, who fights him off as the wind pulls Marcos away. Lexi then passes away peacefully.

Damon and Alaric arrive and Alaric returns leaving only Damon. Luke then forces Liv to stop the spell preventing Damon from returning. Elena and Bonnie find Luke and Liv are gone and realize they can’t save Damon. Elena is crushed as Damon’s spirit tries to say goodbye to her, saying Elena was the happiest part of his entire life. Elena can’t hear or see him but begs him not to go. Damon has no choice and is okay with saying goodbye.

Stefan mourns with Caroline over Damon’s death as Bonnie calls and tells Jeremy that she won’t survive once the other side vanishes. Jeremy can’t accept that and rushes to her. The others hear Jeremy’s screams for Bonnie and together they see Bonnie disappear to the other side. Once there, she and Damon hold hands and prepare as a growing white light envelops them.

 

I will say it’s difficult to lament a character’s passing when a loophole is staring at me with laser precision. Bonnie’s grandmother clearly insinuated that she did something to help Bonnie. My guess is that Bonnie will be able to survive wherever she and Damon went at the end of the season and this will lead to their return for season six. As I’m convinced those two are not done for the show, it just remains to be seen how long will season six sustain without them? In last week’s review, I mentioned that Stefan was the wiser choice of the two if one brother had to go. I stick to my guns, but it was good to see Damon’s acceptance of his fate, much like Stefan did when he passed through. There’s growth there, albeit a little because his true goodness is still roped around Elena and her charming sadness. Elena is sold that Damon is truly gone and there’s enough tears there between Bonnie, Jeremy, and now Damon to fill a small lagoon. Stefan will of course offer support, but their ship has sailed in the war of love. For once and final, Damon won that battle.

From a plot’s perspective, things moved very quickly. Liz barely needed to convince Marcos to gather the Travelers at the bar and Matt and Jeremy ran into no trouble busting the gas line. In truth, everything worked too well. It needed to if the last fifteen minutes were to concentrate on how to shuffle dead souls back to the living. Does this mean that Elena’s smoldering corpse just disappears as Elena and the other appear whole at the cemetery? Not much for needing to answer those logistics I suppose. As glad as I am to have Alaric back on the right side of existence, I really wanted Lexi to return and would have easily chosen her over him. Lexi’s cameo gave us the chance to witness her love for Stefan shine as she battled Marcos and stayed behind to leave peacefully of her own will. I believe her departure means we’ve seen the last of her. I appreciate that Stefan realized what Lexi likely did to help them and I’ll miss their interactions together. I also enjoyed how Lexi tried to explain to Stefan his attraction to Caroline. Stefan understands, but he’s still too introverted to admit how he feels. This is a basic bullseye that in season six, Caroline and Stefan will hook up. It’s a done deal, it’s happening. They’re the new “let’s get these two together” like Damon and Elena were for the last 4 seasons.

I also think I understand why Tyler lost his hybrid ability. It was bugging me at first, but then I remembered that Every vampire who died and came back, Stefan, Elena, Enzo, died when they became vampires, while Tyler died as a werewolf and only recieved his vampire half later one. This means only the vampire side of Tyler should be gone and his werewolf gene should still be active to turn him…once he kills again I’m guessing. I only think that because if his werewolf gene was still activated, he’d heal from his cut he showed to Caroline. We’ll find out next season I’m certain.

Not much else stuck out as phenomenal or really noteworthy. Elena’s breakdown at the end with losing Damon continues to show how Nina can push her character into new depths of worn grief. It’s an old jacket that she keeps putting on and the tears flow, and the lips quiver. As powerful as she can be at feeling loss, I felt more for her when Jeremy “originally” died and Damon was forced to tell her to turn her emotions off to survive. Elena didn’t go through a moment like that. It does mean she’s learning how to deal with loss even if someone like Damon is leaving her life. It was a good performance nonetheless.

I’m certain we’ll see Luke and Liv again. There’s an entire coven that watched from a distance and that coven could easily be a force in the next season as well as new characters who either predate the Travelers who are something entirely different than what we’ve faced thus far. I also wasn’t too terribly surprised that Silas was the Traveler that helped Bonnie with the spell. It made sense and I was glad to see his cameo remain one as Bonnie left him to be pulled away. One thing I wonder is whether being yanked away truly means those characters are destroyed. I still can’t shake the feeling that Katherine exists, which would mean Marcos, Vicki, Silas, and several (including one other Original vampire) others would exist too. I’m game for that if they decide to go that route.

Overall, the finale was satisfactory. I’m truly not convinced we’ve seen the last of Bonnie and Damon, and expect a semi-quick resolution to their situation for season six. Caroline will do her best to put everyone’s foot forward and some old characters will get fresh starts like Tyler and Alaric, who will no doubt help Elena any way he can. Enzo will likely peek around when it’s convenient, but with his emotions turned off, I’m not going to expect anything more than a watered-down Damon who has no plot to offer except mischief and mayhem. Jeremy and Matt will remain bro’s as he deals with Bonnie’s loss in his own way. I’m guessing it won’t take long for Stefan to handle how he needs to ad progress with his next chapter. It’s possible he could grow obsessed with finding Damon, but at the same time, I can see him passively letting his brother go. Maybe the writers will do something different. In al fairness, they should. If season six is the final one, they need to truly shake things up. Until 6×01 begins this fall, thanks for reading my reviews and I’ll be there again at the next Mystic Falls daily, weekly, annual, bimonthly, tri-special occasion, gift basket reason, party!

 

No more words

 

Image

“And this one time…on Lost, at the end of season 5, we did this white background thing and I—”

“Shut up Boone.”

Advertisements

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×21 (Caroline’s face says it all)

Image

Action speak louder than words, or so the old adage goes. On the eve of VD’s season finale, the group finds themselves at the mercy of the Travelers and their return to power over all magic. Some logic is thrown a little out of faze as several factors lead to the possibility of a major character death. Start holding your breath, because one Salvatore brother may not be returning after this season.

After Marcos bleeds Stefan and Elena of much of their blood, Maria frees them and later takes them back to Mystic Falls in the hopes of reuniting with Julian. Damon gain Matt and Jeremy’s help in taking all the Traveler’s original bodies back to the mansion to lure Marcos. The plan succeeds and Marcos arrives but states that even if the Traveler’s bodies are destroyed, it wont matter for his plan to work. Julian communicates a plan to Damon as he sneaks Julian the key to escape. Julian attacks Marcos but by that time all the Travelers in the city have begun the chant to their final spell which eliminates all spirit magic from the world.

Liv and Luke confront Elena and Stefan in the street with no choice but to kill one of them. They murder Maria and attempt to kill Stefan and Elena but their power begins to fade as Elena and Stefan’s rings no longer function in the daylight. They escape underground with Matt but then feel the effects of their first deaths. Their only hope is to flee from town before the spell spirals outward and catches them. Julian and Damon are forced to leave as well.

Bonnie believes she might be able to reenact Marcos’s ressurrection spell but needs Maria’s help. Enzo locates her on the other side but she is pulled away by the wind. Enzo tells Bonnie he lost her. Damon and Elena leave town together as Jeremy and Matt return to town. Julian finds Caroline and Stefan asking where Maria is. Stefan tells him that Maria was killed and Julian gets angry. Caroline tries to break Julian’s neck but he lashes out. Stefan tries to stop him but Julian rips Stefan’s heart out and leaves with Caroline screaming over Stefan’s death.

Stefan’s spirit finds Bonnie but she says her plan failed. With no recourse, Stefan passes through Bonnie and disappears.

I’ll start with the most obvious development and it’s the sudden death of Stefan Salvatore. It was a rugged and unexpected outcome that left Caroline sobbing uncontrollably and Bonnie deflated of any hope. It’s definitely a shock, but it’s more suspecting shock. Vampire Diaries is the kind of show that can play with death in several ways and one would think that killing Stefan for all time is a bold but negatively impacting move to both the show and the fans. I’ll say this much. Stefan was quick to accept his fate the moment Bonnie broke the news to him. I respect that for his character. I think Damon might have shown the same face only less stoic and more blazingly annoyed, but the fact is Stefan’s heart has been removed and Julian may be the only Traveler left who can shed any light on Marcos’s spell.

My theory for this segment is that there’s enough Travelers to bring either Enzo or Stefan back with the spell, but not both. It’s not that I don’t accept that Stefan’s dead/dead, but that there’s always a loophole and Stefan deserves a more fitting end than a random tantrum from a character we barely know inside the body of a character that doesn’t fit the description of a Stefan killer.

The next point I need to go over are the compiling amount of flaws that are introduced with this pure magic unraveling spell. Firstly, if the spell negates any objects created by spiritual magic, than wouldn’t it be more likely that Jeremy and Matt suffer the effects of their deaths now that the immortality ring they both once wore won’t work any longer? Maybe in this case it doesn’t apply because their human, but in a sense Jeremy is somewhat supernatural as he’s a Hunter. It’s a little bit a nitpick, but their heading back into the city and just seemed like something to bring up. Secondly, how will any of them get back into the city if the spell continues to grow? I know that’s better left for the finale to explain, but it’s worth noting now as a possible problem. And lastly, if Stefan’s dead, is it too late to negate the Traveler’s spell? I’m fairly certain Luke and Liv needed to kill either Elena or Stefan “before” the spell ran it’s course, but maybe there’s some kind of after effect that might come in handy. Probably reaching too much at this point.

Mikael from TO will have to be resurrected soon or else he’ll suffer the same fate as every other spirit locked in spiritual torment. Gotta keep with the continuity there.

There also didn’t seem to be a lot of reason for Julian to veer away from Marcos’s plan. I understand Maria’s perspective and the two want to be together, but there’s nothing suggesting Marcos’s plan would dissolve their ability to be together or maybe I’m just missing their neutral stance on the plan as a whole. Tyler doesn’t deserve to that kind of fizzled out end too, so I imagine the finale will have a lot of holes to fill before the next major cliffhanger strikes.

Another awkwardly place segment was Pam and her husband. It’s been established that the Travelers do what they have to to preserve themselves and Marcos’s plan, but that murder was entirely unnecessary given she could have easily walked away and none would be the wiser. The only effect it had later was to establish that her character was dead after the chanting ceased. It was an odd scene to throw in for a throwaway character of no importance.

Luke and Liv’s usefulness is also playing out. Their moment at the diner solidified that the coven they are a part of have a presence and can effect their lives if they don’t follow through with their desperate plan. In the finale, I’m not expecting much out of these two except a few woeful “sorry’s” and maybe an idea that could help stop the Travelers, but without their powers at close distance they’ll have to help from far away. That coven would surely be helpful right about now.

Could we be seeing the last of the Salvatore house in the finale? After several moments of admiration by Marcos and Damon’s longing stare before leaving the house with a gunshot wound from a few hundred years ago, this could be the foreshadowing of it’s ultimate destruction. It’s been his sanctuary and Stefan’s since episode one, and had housed it’s fair share of many debacles over the seasons. All of it could come crashing down in the midst of a Traveler massacre or uprising, however one would look at it.

Overall, the “will they-won’t they die” throughout the last few seasons has desensitized me a bit over Stefan’s ‘apparent’ death. They sold me on Jeremy until he was inexplicably brought back, then they duped me again with Bonnie’s. Now Stefan’s up for the trifecta of “Not sure if dead, or just trolling the fanbase.” This could have some repercussions between Stefan fans and Damon fans and which brother should be the one to die first. I’m not saying such an act is inevitable, but debate is debate and surely if a brother had to die, who would you choose? I think the writer’s made the right call. Unless There’s a romance in store between Stefan and Caroline, there’s honestly not much left for Stefan to do on the show unless he truly wants Elena back and he made it clear to her earlier in this episode that if she wants Damon then to just be with him.

I also peeked at the finale promo and I must say, it is edited in the most awful manner possible. Hot off the heels of Stefan’s demise and the promo treats the finale like some kind of Home Alone comedy montage. I don’t normally watch the promos so I’m not sure if those kinds of themes are rampant at the end of each episode, but this didn’t make any sense for tone at all. The episode got serious very fast and is not pulling any punches, thus far on killing long lasting characters. Will Stefan’s death be a fake-out for someone else? That’s happened in the past. Wait and see if this truly is Stefan’s last stand.

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×20 (Never have I ever seen a cabin not stocked with boardgames)

Image

Fresh on the heels of an emergence in Enzo poltergeists, Stefan and Elena are once again targeted by Marcos and his Travelers, who are looking to break their curse once and for all. While Caroline suspects Stefan and Elena are getting friendly again, Damon continues to struggle with his feelings toward being around Elena.

On the other side of the equation, Bonnie’s grandmother warns her that the spirits are continuing to disappear and will pull Bonnie away and she needs to tell Jeremy the truth. Tyler escapes from the Travelers and has Matt and Jeremy summon and torture Julian for Marcos’s whereabouts. Meanwhile, Julian’s wife is sent to find and burn Julian’s body in an effort to seal him within Tyler permanently.

And finally, Enzo discovers he has the ability to touch physical objects and makes an attempt at Damon and Stefan’s lives, while Elena reveals to Damon the secret she and Stefan are hiding about Enzo’s death.

This episode throws a bit of necessary story development on a shelf for the time being in an effort to muddle more of Damon and Elena’s post break-up frustrations. The love triangle is always primary to the supernatural chaos that surrounds them, that much has always been certain. But with the other side crumbling every day, there doesn’t seem to be any kind of emphasis in dealing with it. Even Matt has all but forgotten Vicki’s haunting message to him as she was torn from his grasp. Bonnie is helpless and chooses to ignore sensible advice from her grandmother. It seems like the other side dissolving isn’t that big of a deal except the side effects that existing ghosts have.

For one, Enzo has no issues staying on the mortal plane. Why is that? He passed through Bonnie yet remains. Is he the only one? Will other dead supernatural entities remain on Earth as well? And I assume Enzo keeps his vampire strength or else how could he keep another vampire, like Elena, trapped in the bathtub, forgetting that she doesn’t need to breathe at all?

Looping back into the revolving love triangle, A lot of this episode basically restated the same facts we’ve been very familiar with the past few weeks. Damon is struggling, over and over again. It’s starting to feel slightly tired. He acknowledges that once again, he can only subside his murderous tendencies for Elena’s sake, proving to us that he hasn’t grown much since the initial break-up. His choice for not killing has yet to be because of himself and it doesn’t seem like that’s a lesson he’ll absorb any time soon. He does deserve merit for realizing he can’t hate his brother. I’d like to believe that’s more of a conscious inner-self decision, and not due to Elena being the reason.

Tyler’s escape and unwitting sacrifice has also left a few questions about his fate. If Julian’s burned body leaves his essence to take over Tyler completely, what’s to be done? If there isn’t a loophole, spell, or new weapon to draw Julian out, maybe the death of Marcos will somehow retract all Traveler spirits from all their human bodies. Either way, this would be a grim death for Tyler considering he’s the only part-werewolf character on the show.

With Rebekah still a no show, I’d say it’s safe to say she won’t be returning to TVD and will return to TO for the finale. If anyone needed help, she’d be a force to assist our charade playing protagonists.

This also has set the climactic tone on Caroline and Stefan’s on again, off again, will they, won’t they, should they, relationship. Either Caroline is becoming Stefan’s bro, or Stefan is becoming Caroline’s sis. All they’re missing is the “Let’s just accidentally lip-lock and see what happens” moment. It’s been dragging in uncertain territory for quite a long time. As far and deeper friendships go, this one is just plain confusing. The stem of it comes from the scene when Stefan attempts to tell Caroline that he tells her things he doesn’t tell Elena. He jokes at first but reveals that he didn’t want her to think less of him because he killed Enzo. Caroline shot him a “of course I wouldn’t” look and the rest is up to us to either roll our eyes or root him on. As soon as one of them figures it out, it’ll be more interesting to see how they deal with it. I’d like to think Caroline would come to the realization first because Stefan has more of a brick for a brain than Caroline does, but at the same time, if he really gets pushed into a fit of apathy, he could just say “screw it” and go for broke. Either way Caroline will be there for him, and she doesn’t have any other perspective choices flocking her way. Even Stefan commented on her “attraction” to Enzo, and that’s only something surrealistic jealous-type people act like.

Overall, The Traveler buildup wasn’t very strong, their chanting and Marcos’s impatient behavior isn’t reflecting strong finale-type villains for the season. One can argue these aren’t evil people, they’re just ancient and tired of the lifestyle they’ve been given for centuries. But is seems all the villain charisma has been siphoned onto Enzo, and he’s nothing more than a really large thorn in Damon’s gut right now. If anything I’d expect Damon to bring Enzo back just so he can properly kill the guy. I agree with Gramm’s, that Jeremy should be told the truth. Bonnie is very afraid, but that fear is going to cost her and ruin his trust forever and that’s been their theme for quite a while. Of course, if she ends up being dragged away, he’ll be more distraught and hurt than angry over her choice to conceal the issue. Elena’s feelings for Damon are clearly evident and that’s fine. When the curse is finally lifted. one way or another, she’ll be truly free to choose who her significant other will be, and as long as long as she continues to let Damon make his good-natured decisions on her behalf, her next developmental stage won’t start either.

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×19 (Damon did it. What a twist)

Image

Love quells all bestial intent. Both Enzo and Damon have discovered that without an ultimate love to care for and share with, there is nothing but a savage careless nature to contend with. Tonight’s episode of TVD finally gets to the heart of Enzo’s plight to find Maggie, only there’s secrets of murder to be uncovered, and blame to redirect accordingly. Parts of this episode have candid emotional moments, but it’s often the wrong character for the wrong focus. And it also appears that turning your emotions off carries over into the other side.

Marcos keeps Tyler’s body chained up while Sloan admits herself to a test by drinking Tyler’s blood and then dying. Meanwhile, Elena and Stefan are together at a college study hall along with Bonnie and Liv. Enzo arrives claiming that Maggie died in 1960 by Stefan’s hands.

After being told by Jeremy and Matt that they lost the Traveler knife, Damon discovers Enzo’s plot for vengeance against Stefan and goes to the sheriff for answers on what happened to Maggie in Mystic Falls when she died. After viewing the file, he remembers that he’s the one responsible for killing Maggie.

Enzo ties up both Elena and Stefan and tortures Stefan until he admits to killing Maggie. Enzo is upset until Damon arrives and says he’s the one responsible. Enzo can’t force himself to hate Damon and turns his emotions off. No longer feeling any care in the world, he begins destroying things around him until Damon helps Stefan escape and Enzo flees with Elena. Stefan later finds Enzo and they fight until Enzo gains the advantage. He toys with setting Stefan on fire until Stefan thrusts his hand into Enzo’s chest. Enzo then hopes Damon will destroy Stefan for killing him and Enzo pulls his body away, leaving his heart in Stefan’s hand.

Damon finds Elena incapacitated and takes her back to her dorm, where she wakes up with Damon already gone. Stefan later sees Elena and says Enzo is dead but plans to keep it a secret. Elena agrees. Stefan informs Bonnie of the plan as Enzo’s spirit arrives and passes through her with intentions to exact his vendetta. Damon and Stefan talk back at home and Damon mentions how much Enzo’s help back in the 50’s when they were captured meant to him and won’t give up on him. Enzo’s spirit is then seen watching them.

Katherine and Enzo have oodles in common. They’re both relatively self-driven characters that are the anti-anti-heroes who have issues staying dead. Somehow Enzo was able to pass through and stay in the mortal plane as we see him at the end of the episode plotting for Damon to enact a vendetta for his death. At first it made little sense, but with the other side in peril of it’s existence, it stands to reason the ghost world is very much in flux and Enzo currently has a passive get-out-of-jail free card. Enzo’s entire worth was based on his he handled himself throughout this episode. Much to the chagrin of his more poignant personality, Enzo decided to “Damon” the whole situation of Maggie’s death at Damon’s hands and do away with his emotions. He even mocked the situation by over emphasizing how much he wasn’t feeling, after the fact. That was the poorest writing of the episode. Reactions are better served in the doing and not the statements of what’s being done and what’s verbally being felt. The second Enzo turned his emotions off, It was painfully obvious his character wasn’t going to survive the episode, at least not physically.

The problem with Enzo, since day one, was that he was Damon’s competitor. He was a tool to show Damon that the only kind of person he can get along with and understand is essentially himself. And Enzo was just a slightly variation of Damon, including the accent. The two weren’t meant to co-exist for very long. I think there was some hope that Enzo could be a stronger player if his motivations weren’t so predictable, it just didn’t pan out in his favor. His struggle to find Maggie, only to yearn for vengeance would be no different if Damon lost Elena and was forced to blame Stefan and deal with the situation then. We caught a glimpse of what it may be like when brother truly clashes against brother. I’m not in any way sad by Enzo’s death. If anything, his spirit will be an annoying plot piece while it buzzes around the Traveler’s growing power.

Was magic used on Sloan to kill her the second time? She appeared stabbed in the back, but no one was behind her. And her throat still looked slit too, did someone forget to heal when they came back to life? Not sure, makeup looked off. In any case. Tyler appeared to have stayed away Julian’s presence long enough to watch and see what Marcos is planning. He’s the only one who understands the dilemma and will have to work to escape and warn the others. Also, drinking hybrid blood and being brought back only makes you a vampire? I suppose that’s logically sound, given she didn’t kill anyone to trigger the wolf curse. Not sure how that’s supposed to play out, but Sloan’s dead so it doesn’t matter. Marcos killing her seemed like a bad villain tactic, just to take her out because she had no magic and was useless. Devoted patrons are never useless, and given’s Sloan’s loyalty I’m sure she could have done a number of things to help slow down the crew. Marcos has spent too much time dead.

What else seemed very transparent was that Damon killed Maggie. Enzo feigned her fate until this episode and the second Stefan denied killing her, the obvious answer went straight to Damon. This is a plot twist that’s literally been repeated twice in the same season including the Whitmore family deaths. Damon needs to stop being the one who’s effortlessly killed other character’s important loved ones from the past. Both Salvatore brothers are equally guilty in many regards. Nothing will be surprising if either one of them is responsible for another person’s death from way back then. As long as it was the Ripper doing it, Stefan doesn’t need to feel guilty. As long as Damon had no emotions doing it, he doesn’t need to feel guilty, save for this last one.

Bonnie’s fib to Jeremy that Liv was planning on helping to save her from the other side’s hold on her life was meant to foster that fear and anxiety with what’s to come. I don’t blame Bonnie for reacting like that, but in a way she’s going against her own rules to Jeremy about trusting each other. I understand Bonnie doesn’t want to give up, but there’s better strength in loving characters dealing with the truth instead of hiding from it. This will only conflict with Jeremy in many ways and what’s worse, if Bonnie does end up dying again, Jeremy will likely blame himself for not being able to help when he could have, in his mind. She’s not being smart by hiding the truth, and for once, I’m on Liv’s side. She should just tell him.

Overall, “Man on Fire” had more issues than merits and only served to be a bridge between Damon’s recent loss of Elena and their inevitable confrontation with the Travelers. Enzo has now become a reckless self-centered ghost of revenge, and that doesn’t spell great quality considering his character has nothing left to accomplish, feel, or matter to anyone who’s still alive. Damon came off as more annoying then usual with his snarky bits. He now casually plays at murdering Matt and Jeremy just because they lost track of the Traveler knife, which is something a character like him shouldn’t be doing while his emotions are still intact. He’s the world’s greatest satirical sarcastic vampire, but it shouldn’t keep going to his head like this. Elena had nothing going for her this time, which is fine. Main characters need a break from time to time to let the supporting cast shine. Liv keeps flip-flopping between nice and near-miss. I predict Luke will be the next to go on this season before the end.

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×18 (You don’t hide the wedding ring in the junk drawer!)

Image

Every villain deserves a moment to blurt out the why’s and how’s of their motives and machinations. Usually it’s when they have the hero tied up and on the verge of victory. This was more passive as The Vampire Diaries instill more drama between the love triangle that’s carried the show for almost five full seasons.

While Elena and Stefan are having visions of a mortal life and a blissful relationship, Bonnie’s grandmother warns her that someone escaped the other side and the witches there are scared of what’s happening. Liv tells Matt, Jeremy, and Tyler that the witches have been tracking the Travelers’s for thousands of years and that sometimes they stop and take over towns by possessing the people in them, as seen as current residents of Mystic Falls are possessed including Caroline’s mother.

Matt investigates and finds the sheriff who stabs and kills him. On the other side, Matt finds Cole, who is worried about what’s been happening there. Matt searches for Vicki and finds her, but she’s pulled away by an unseen force. Cole urges Matt to stop what’s happening. When Matt reawakens, he remembers everything for the first time.

Luke arrives at the Salvatore mansion to explain about Marcos returning. During a vision, Elena discovers where Marcos is and Damon and Enzo leave to investigate. Upon finding Marcos, he leaves with Damon and tells him about the schism that created the witches who cursed them to never gather again. In a show of good faith, he ends Elena and Stefan’s visions also saying it was he who put a spell on the doppelgangers to begin with. Damon returns to Elena but declares they can’t be friends. Saddened, Elena accepts it and leaves him. Tyler is then revealed to be possessed by a Traveler who gives Marcos the last knife that can expel them and Marcos burns it in a fire and destroys it with a chant.

As a good humorous friend must do, Enzo teases Damon over and over with thoughts of Elena and Stefan shagging in the visions. I find it amusing because Damon is currently in “whine” mode while still trying to maintain a sense of justified rebelliousness. Throughout episode it became clear, no matter what, Damon rubs his own face in putrid defeat even in front of Elena. Secretly, it’s obvious he wants Elena to throw herself back on him and give in, yet even then, there’s no guarantee that Damon would feel it’s worth pursuing. Stefan’s haunting message with people being friends or in love but not both, summed up their situation to a T. With Damon representing more the “chaos” role between the brothers, I can see him disassembling that statement in the coming episodes, one way or another.

Bonnie jealousy toward Liv escalated as expected. For the moment, Bonnie and Jeremy have patched a minor wound regarding a lapse in trust, yet, I think things will digress if Liv continues to stick around him. While I don’t think Liv will do anything on purpose, I still think happenstance will be the key in ruining a rather bland coupling. Liv still has a role to play in that, my belief anyway.

My favorite moments were when Matt crossed over into the other side. This is his second time, and he’s been given a raw sense of importance as he tried to navigate through the rough conditions of the afterlife. It was good to see Vicki again. I always through she was taken out of the series too soon (Like Lexi) and now she’s wherever Katherine ended up when she was pulled away, although that’s not completely proven quite yet. Original vampire, Cole also made an appearance which seemed appropriate for a moment, but seeing his fear was a bit off for some reason. I get that the other side is in shambled, but Vicki alone was enough proof I needed. Cole was there just to solidify that fear because it’s rare when an Original gets that scared, except when you’re Rebekah fleeing from Klaus.

I haven’t kept count, but Matt should be somewhere close to “completely darkfiend insane” with as many deaths as he’s been taking in. I hope they at least reference it if the plan isn’t to have him go mad. I don’t think his character deserves it, but when all else fails, rehash old plots.

I’m uncertain how I feel about Marcos’s debut. He seems carefully driven and sly with his agenda all the same. He’s the proof that the universe doesn’t control love, or at least Elena’s anyway. He doesn’t seem like the kind of character that will drop to fisticuffs, which could be a shame, since Damon needs another supernatural figure to beat the tar out of. With Tyler out of the picture, Marcos has a hybrid on his team. That will prove to be disastrous for our heroes soonly. And is it me, or did the shadowy figure from the last episode not seem like the same guy that we know as Marcos? Just a thought.

We’ve now moved into a stage where Elena sees both Stefan and Damon as friends. This is a critically shaky spot to be at and won’t do the show much good if Elena doesn’t reignite passion with one of the brothers. It’s far too late to introduce her to someone else and it’s also less likely that Elena will truly end up alone. Now more than ever the fanbase will be torn on which brother should be with Elena. I tend to root for Stefan because good-natured Damon is boring-natured Damon. He needs to let loose but for better reasons than the whiney ones he’s been recently exhibiting. Enzo has digressed into the tag-a-long buddy who remains snarky no matter the scene. He had a single charming moment with Caroline when he explains that he only wants to “thank” Maggie when he finds her. It’s not enough to turn him around into a quintessential good guy, but it’s a start. If Maggie still lives, they should give him the scene he’s been quietly yearning for, then see how he acts with the crew afterward. Does he have longevity? Maybe, if he stops being a twit to Damon.

Overall, I liked the episode. The flashbacks were key scenes as well as Stefan’s attitude toward convincing Elena that what they went through was real regardless of the fantasies they experienced. He’ll always have the mature perspective, something that Elena respects and appreciates. What kills the friendzone effects is when she softly rests her head on his shoulder. Not to the friends! Never do that to the friends! Matt’s experience with the other side mixed with Vicki’s cameo were the best scenes in the episode. Though, too many people were stabbed and no actual deaths. We now know a bit more of the Traveler vs. Witch war. It’s only Liv’s coven that seems to have been tracking them. I highly doubt the witches of the French Quarter give to hayfeathers as to what the Trueloves are up to. Maybe they should show up in New Orleans sometime. Give them a real party. I want to see where this tale with Marcos goes. There’s not much left in the lore to explain or go over. Unless we ask ourselves, who made the Travelers?

 

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×17 (Doorknobs. That is all)

Image

Elena and Damon struggle with their feelings for each other as they attend Jeremy’s parent/teacher conference at the high school and learn of Jeremy’s misdeeds. Caroline and Enzo discover Stefan’s doppelganger, Tom, held and sedated in Atlanta by a witch, Hazel. After Enzo kills her during a trance, Caroline escapes with Tom and tries to help him leave town, but Enzo finds them and kills Tom. Meanwhile, Luke informs Liv of Hazel’s death and she finds Elena at the school and tries to kill her. Damon stops her and tries to torture her for answers but Jeremy, having spoken to Liv earlier, intervenes and offers to help Luke and Liv protect Elena from the Travelers. Caroline returns to Stefan and they are witness to the Traveler group drinking Elena and Stefan’s blood. Sloan then lights the, all on fire as they all burn and die. Their spirits pass through Bonnie as she collapses from the onslaught. Her shadow disconnects and becomes a human figure, presumably Marcos, the leader of the Travelers. Elena and Damon formally end their relationship as she plans to return to college.

For nostalgia kicks, Elena and Damon flirt, flounder and day dream with sexual moments giving it the old high school retro try out. Man pushes woman up against locker, locker crinkles while woman looks torn and worried but with a shade of want. Man hesitates and absorbs the moment. Ah, high school. Beyond that, their bickering and lustful stares led Elena to force the breakup to remain true. For once, Damon didn’t fight the end result showing he too can grow when absolutely necessary. I think he went along with it because he doesn’t really feel like it’s a break up like we know it’s not really a break up. Give it a short amount of time and they’ll be love stricken and forced to partake in more shenanigans.

The Tom doppelganger fiasco came and went with little more than the usual obvious format. I’ll say that watching Caroline day dream with letting him choke to death on a waffle was an interesting moment, though not very convincing. Her good nature is beginning to tie directly into Stefan in ways that continue to stack up on the “Are they getting together or what” camp of fans. More and more their casual jabs and teases during bits of conversation are better highlights than any expositional flub they keep hammering us with every first ten minutes of every episode. More scenes like the one in the car at night right before they were caught sleeping in cuddled position are what we need to see more of. Not just of those two, but of are principle characters in general. As for Stefan and Caroline, come sooner or later, they’ll need to have their moment, whether accidental or purposeful, it needs to happen.

What I also consider a positive is how Jeremy stood up to Elena in this episode as well as his involvement with helping Luke and Liv. If his past as a hunter can accentuate his character in the Traveler’s plot then I say let it. It keeps him close to Liv and will continue to bring to light Bonnie’s concern, assuming she recovers from her recent event. In a way, Matt and Tyler have become his new posse which can also help flesh out more of their scenes as well. These characters need motivation and protecting Elena, right now, is as good as any. Liv’s role is sharpening up quite nicely. I expect a sibling to fall in this season one way or another. My bet is currently on Luke.
The plot with the Travelers showed a clever moment as Sloan set fire to them after they drank the vampire blood. By being set aflame, they can’t resurrect as vampires themselves leaving their count pretty low. I thought it would have made sense for them to become immortal, but their grand scope scheme has yet to truly reveal itself. What will Marcos do that he’s been set free? Was he trapped to begin with? Is he the shadow that pulled Katherine into the veil? All will hopefully be revealed soon.

Overall, some good things occurred during this episode. Damon will now deal with the new break up with a developed attitude. Elena will be forced to straddle the decision with her ever popular perplexed state of mind. Her relationship with Jeremy is straining for the first time ever and Stefan and Caroline’s support for one another continues to grow in fascinating ways. Marcos looks to be the final villain of the season leaving us with one final pair of questions. What will happen in season six after this plot is wrapped up, and will there be a major character death at the finale? We break for a spell and return on April 17th as The Vampire Diaries crosses over with Resident Evil!

Okay, joking. It’s “not” a cross over, in fact the episode is just called “Resident Evil.”….damn it.

 

No more words

 

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 5×16 (Vampires calling a relationship toxic is like saying a burrito is spicy)

Image

The virus inside Elena pushes her into a state of manic madness as the crew confine her in the empty college dorm through a seal. After several hallucinations and jaded thoughts of Katherine’s subterfuge, she escapes by injuring Liv and forcing Bonnie to get Liv to bring the seal down. Damon escapes from his cell and finds her only to tell her he was the one responsible for Aaron’s death after she blames herself. Meanwhile, Caroline encounters Enzo who lures her and Stefan to a trainyard where Sloan and other travelers reveal they have cures for both Elena and Damon. In exchange Stefan allows Sloan to perform a linking spell to find another of Stefan’s dopplegangers living as a paramedic in Atlanta. Her leader, Marcos, wants the doppleganger dead. After Enzo delivers the cures to Elena and Damon, Caroline leaves with Enzo to find and kill the doppleganger while Stefan stays behind with the travelers. After they are cured, Damon and Elena agree they are in a toxic relationship but continue to be sexual toward each other.

I consider this the “catch Elena up” episode which provided some variant but clever expositional moments for her. The entire focus was her belief that her friends, Damon especially, should have seen through Katherine’s ruse much quicker than how it actually happened. I’m glad Aaron’s hallucination didn’t provide her with the answer to his murderer and saving that for Damon to reveal. Unfortunately, it didn’t have quite the impact I was expecting. There was a soft connection between Aaron and Elena, according to her, and Damon’s self loathing seemed to masque Elena’s overall freak out mode. Agreeing to declare their relationship as toxic was probably the most intelligent choice the two of them could make…then the sexy time happened immediately after. It makes sense. Elena isn’t ready to separate from Damon and if she did, it’s another reason to blame Katherine and subconsciously Elena won’t let that happen. It’s going to psychologically damage her more than Damon, because he can handle the torment, but eventually, she will crack. Whether it’s due to more of Katherine’s ghostly interventions or not, who knows.

The arrival of another Stefan doppleganger feels a bit tired. I thought we were passed the doppleganger twists, but that’s not the case as there’s one in Atlanta. At the moment, I’m guessing he’s human, which would make it easy to kill. Caroline will have second thoughts. It’s too easy if she and Enzo have a singular path and there needs to be friction as Enzo is already hitting on her, big time. I don’t think she’ll buy into it unless he does some seriously heroic things to earn his place. Caroline has turned into a decent judge of character, at least from a supernatural standpoint. Still, she needs a new romantic interest and it appears Enzo is going to be that vampire.

Another reveal is finding out about Luke and Liv and their secret agenda against our main characters. Liv is a capable witch and her brother isn’t affected by compulsion. Beyond that, I’m in the dark on what their plans are. The set up so far is interesting, so I’ll bite and see where it goes, but I hope it gets explained in the next episode or very soon. Are they aligned with any other familiar enemies? Now I’m completely expecting Liv to makes moves on Jeremy without a doubt.

My only real complaint about this episode was how easily the viruses were shrugged off. In fact, it all happened off screen. Granted, we had a single episode to not only catch Elena up, but also to have her suffer from the effects of the elevated virus which only proved to make her psychotic and sick. I’m not sure what I was hoping for, but I guess it was a climactic battle of Damon versus Elena, in a knockdown tear em up fight. But, I guess the sexy time will do.

No sign of Rebekah yet, but Stefan did tease Caroline with the name. I want to say that was our hint, but then again, it could be a red herring. An original would do some good on TVD and she and Matt I think have obnoxiously good chemistry together. Matt gives Rebekah some of that youth she’s always craving for and if anything, she can be a force for good on the show’s remaining episodes. Just a thought.

Overall, the plot was decent and there were a couple of good moments that Nina shined on. I give her credit, she is a mirror of a thousand faces. I miss the evil-licious Katherine tone a bit more than I do the Elena pouty-complainy tone. All in all, her expressions can tell mountains of stories alone. Damon still stares with wide eyes. I wonder if he learned that on Lost. Stefan feels a bit faded at this point, and by faded,  I mean bored. His doppleganger has the same tone and personality that Stefan has leaving any chance to give his acting credit a blank slate. I’m not convinced he’ll die in the next episode, unless he dies in the next episode. And who is Marcos? Hopefully we’ll find out soon.

No more words