A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 8×14 (That was a lot of 90’s references)

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SUMMARY

After Kai bargains his freedom from Cade using Elena, Cade sends Damon to retrieve the dagger from Kai. With Stefan’s help, they stop Kai but when Stefan reveals his plan to use the dagger on Cade, Damon intervenes to protect Elena. Meanwhile, Kai is held at the armory but his siphon power allows him to escape as he subdues Caroline and hunts for the Gemini twins. Stefan knocks out Damon and confronts Cade alone while Alaric uses the bell to incapacitate Cade. It almost works until Alaric is called back to the armory to stop Kai. Damon arrives and Cade forces him to choose between saving Stefan and Elena whose coffin is on fire. Damon chooses himself as Cade makes him stake himself. Afterward, Cade meets Damon in the afterlife but is found by Bonnie who attempts to stop Cade with her psychic powers. She struggles until Stefan successfully stabs Cade with the dagger, ending his immortal existence. Alaric and Kai fight in the caves until Caroline recovers and stops Kai. Damon later convinces Stefan to stay and atone with those he loves which causes Stefan to return to Caroline and propose to which she accepts. Kai is later seen in a new dimension created by Bonnie for his eternal torment. Before she leaves Kai informs her that he lost a bet in believing he’d be the next ruler of hell after Cade when in fact the new ruler is Katherine. Bonnie tells Damon and the two realize the vengeance they’re in for when she finds them.

 

INITIAL THOUGHTS

I had been holding out hope that Katherine would make one final appearance ever since the scene when Georgie was pulled into hell occurred. The situation was too eerily similar and called for the theory outright. Now we know for sure that Nina will be once more both Katherine and Elena in the final episodes of TVD. As far as the climactic finale with Cade and Damon’s sacrifice, it was an awesome convergence of moments mostly there for Damon’s most prolific act as a sacrificial hero. Stefan got to deliver the killing blow to Cade and also swear featly to the great Caroline…er, I mean propose to the woman he loves. Our wedding episode is finally on the horizon and the promise of greater evil to arrive. All in all, it was not too shabby of an episode which included a few zingers from Kai and a new torturous hell for him and him alone.

 

THE GOOD

Damon’s reached the pinnacle of his character, he might have a few more drops of solace before he and Elena are reunited, but for now, I’d say he’s hit the peak of his development. When he’s the one passing the wisdom of atonement to Stefan, you know the world has gone crazy, but in the grand scheme of vampire experience, he’s right in every detail. If anyone believed for a second that Damon was going to be permanently killed this close to the finale, then they were tricked, because it wasn’t going to happen. I will say that his majestic reappearance was completely ridiculous, but this show can seriously do what it wants as there are only two episodes left. His body was staked, it shouldn’t have been healed regardless of Damon’s soul getting thrown back into it.

 

Kai embellished the nature of his evil and for that, he gives all his scenes more flavor than what we’re used to seeing and that really pompous villains with sarcastic quips. At least Kai is referential and amusing to a fault. His original death was sudden but adequate; however this new ending for him is much grander and returns him back to the mental anguish he had been condemned with since his first appearance. The scope of this punishment is much more deserving even though he thought he’d have the last laugh.

 

THE BAD

Cade should have thought forward enough to bring hell on earth. But that would have been too expensive and so the closest we got was the potential annihilation of Mystic Falls by way of 11 bell chimes. There should have been more with this wicked villain, but there wasn’t. He was nothing more than a very personalized bad guy who was more concerned about the solitary punishment he wanted to give rather than the global one. I promise had the situation called for a moment of Armageddon, Katherine could still make an impression through that fiery drama. Aw well. Cade served what little purpose he had in putting Stefan back on the right course. Now nobody is afraid of hell.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

There was a few that stood out, but you can’t deny the chilling atmosphere brought on by Damon’s calling of Katherine’s name as Bonnie peppered the act with her own warning on the subject. You couldn’t have asked for a more captivating segment, the kind fans need to really feed into that delicious moment when the most devious vampire makes her return to rattle the Salvatore’s one last time. Now we can theorize that Katherine will kill Caroline by the end. Unless this show wants all the happy endings.

 

CHARACTER MVP

Damon absolutely deserves it. In choosing himself, he relents on that happiness and confronts hell face forward, something he had been dreading the entire season. This culminated into act of staking himself, something we probably never thought we’d see. And he didn’t really think twice on the matter. Using a piece of Elena’s coffin has some poetry in it, but suffice it to say, he put his best vampire foot forward and stuck it where it counted instead of using some clever loophole or trick to stop Cade. Hat’s off to the man for staying true.

 

ENDING THOUGHTS

Those 90’s references include the following:

  • Kai sung the instrumental version of Guns N Roses “Knockin on Heaven’s Door” which was from the album “Use your Illusion II,” produced in 1991.
  • Kai said to Caroline “Hello Clarice” a reference to Hannibal’s line to Clarice Starling in the film “Silence of the Lambs” also in 1991.
  • Cade tells Stefan to “Go to hell” in which Stefan replies “You first”. Now this is a rather cliché line, but more importantly it’s the same lines used in the film “Lethal Weapon 3” when Riggs confronts and kills Travis in the finale. This film was released in 1992.
  • And finally…Kai’s song of choice in hell was “Two Princes” from “The Spin Doctors” off the album “Pocket Full of Kryptonite” which debuted in 1991.

If the bell had the ability to disrupt Cade, why didn’t he have someone dismantle it? Did he forget that it was still around after it brought him back? And come to think of it, why did it have any affect on him at all? Maybe this is why he never had it rung 12 times again by Matt or his father. Seems oddly convenient it could hurt him at all.

 

Alaric knows now that the armor needs to be emptied before of all that magical stuff before it becomes a school, right? Who technically owns that property now that everyone in that family was killed off?

 

I do hope they give enough of an explanation for Katherine’s return that she has both motivation and ability to wreck shop when she returns. Not that I would ever complain to have Katherine back I just think it could be a weak argument that she just happens to be “next in line” after Cade’s fall that would make it feasible for her to rule hell after his death.

 

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Cade’s story is done and now we have a few more dimensions which includes one that Enzo is currently stuck in. If the romance fits, Bonnie will end there with him when she eventually passes which brings anyone’s guess as to how Elena will be brought back outside of that specific condition. Things could get very murky in the finale notwithstanding Katherine’s revenge which we’re all just happily waiting for. Tonight’s episode was a gift for Damon to face his fears and make choices that put him as one of the truer heroes on the show regardless of his historic and violent past. The Salvatore’s deserve peace in their own rights and soon they’ll either achieve it or die in the attempt. Now that Damon’s already done that, we’re ready to see if Stefan will follow, or live happily in matrimony with Caroline, who is absolutely ready to marry that guy. I expect a lot of subplot wrap-ups next week and plenty of good byes. Who knows, maybe we’ll get an extra cameo or two, and for the sheer will of it, I’m hoping Lexi is one of them. Thanks for reading. Two more to go.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 7×01 (Dear Elena, I refuse to get a tablet because my calligraphy rocks!)

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If ever there was doubt a show like TVD could handle itself without the mainstay principle character, then let this premiere be the convincing factor that yes, it absolutely can. The seventh season of TVD begins with a portent of sorts and delivers on exceptional ruin as Lily and her family of vampire heretics run head to head against Damon, Stefan, and the gang for their right to claim Mystic Falls as their home. With each tip of the episode bringing us a glimpse into a strange future involving the Salvatore’s, one thing is certain; There were way too many diary entries in one episode. Really, that was a lot to deal with.

I’m actually impressed with the presentation and the fallout of this premiere. By skipping ahead 3 years we effectively have a new narrative that will keep us guessing as to the events that shape up. Is 3 years too much? Will time catch up during season 7? Or will this take literally 3 seasons to fully tell the story? My gut tells me we’ll resolve these three years rather quickly, which paints an interesting picture on how The Originals will chase this major plot device if they intend to at all.

Damon, Alaric, and Bonnie spend their days in Europe helping Alaric cope with Jo’s death while Caroline, Matt, and Stefan play status quo in Mystic Falls. Stefan continues to give Caroline space as Lily travels to New York in the hope of gaining Enzo’s help in the recovery of a stone she says is related to her family. Enzo kindly refuses. Meanwhile, the vampire heretic family, a miserable bunch of bored folk consisting of Valerie, Nora, Mary Louise, Beau, and Malcolm begin massacring the townspeople after Caroline and Stefan attempt to blow them up in their house. After Matt’s graduation with becoming a deputy, the family wreck bloody havoc until Lily forces them to stop. Stefan and Caroline barter a truce and give up the Salvatore home in exchange for no more killing. The town is abandoned through subterfuge as Damon, Alaric, and Bonnie return. Damon and Bonnie attack Malcolm and kill him leaving the family distraught and vengeful. Alaric is seen having the stone that Lily is looking for which he intends to use in some manner for a resurrection spell on Jo. He has been keeping her body on ice. And finally, in both the beginning and end of the episode, a flashforward reveals 3 years have past and an injured Stefan revives a bloodless Damon who quarrels over being awakened. They are then seen being hunted by a female who has a crossbow and has considerable advantage over the brothers.

The beginning was fantastic and really kept me interested not to mention Damon’s resurrection had a nice guitar riff in it. I liked this concept because it sets up something different on the show we’re not used to seeing. The only downside to this is knowing that Damon will eventually succumb to his heart’s desire and force himself into a coffin with no blood. I can’t recall how long it takes for a vampire to go torpor of that magnitude but it lends evidence that there will be a massive jump in storytelling at some point. Questions and theories will be painted across the sky on how events lead up to it with one of them likely being involved with Bonnie and Damon’s obsession with straddling the fence over her life. Damon is considerably toying with his frustration and Bonnie narrowly puts up with it for the sake of their friendship, but make no mistake, she’s not a pushover and the two still work nicely as a team. But since last season, the seeds have been in place for a possible Damon/Bonnie romance and if ever there was a time to play with that maelstrom of an idea, now’s the time.

Speaking of romances, it was good of the writers to not dilly-dally over Caroline and Stefan’s apprehensive state of flux as by the episode’s end Caroline relents and gives herself, essentially to Stefan. It’s a wiser move than most because we can now see how these two truly co-exist as a couple. This may not have been written in the cards in season 01, but I do believe there is enough chemistry to make this work. Caroline is a lot more reserved with Stefan, but she’s also growing as a character. No more party party party party party party, but rather a real approach to her situation as an adult. In a way by showing her in the opening scene after the title, she’s effectively taking over as the principle character next to the brothers, of course. I’m fine with that. Give characters growth and believable reasons to change, for the good or bad, and you’ve got my vote.

Enzo is…still a dick. Moving on.

Onto the vampire heretic family. I’m sorry, but you had me, then you lost me with them. The transition from Caroline’s narrative to Valerie was actually very well done and offered a kind of mirror-like quality to their shared stories of adjustment. It would have played nicely if Valerie was an opposing main character on the evil side who gets to go through her own trials and tribulations of evil adapting to the world…then we met the family; the generic, bitchy, (Originals rip-off) family. No, Valerie isn’t a main character of sorts, but rather the part of a whole mess of personalities that somehow adapted to present day with enough sense become suburban pests with too much power on their hands. Though, ffter watching Falling Skies, it is good to see Scarlett Byrne back in action as the vampire heretic, Nora. As a whole, they’re really nothing much to look at personality wise and one of them already had his heart ripped out which was a bit predictable after he was labeled as the brown-noser.

Emptying the town was the most risky move they’ve done on this show because it sets up a lot of different circumstances, though I wonder if the town will stay empty for long consider the stakes have already risen after the death of Malcolm. Will blood spill on both sides? I’m thinking yes, which leads us to the finale.

Someone is chasing Stefan and we know it’s a woman. Is it Valerie? I don’t think so, considering she used a cross-bow and unless she lost her witch-powers, this has to be an entirely different character. I was really hoping Stefan and Damon were in New Orleans, but that’s because I’ve been clamoring for a cross-over event since the sister show started a few seasons ago. Who knows, maybe we’ll still get that chance. I think doing episodes like this for this arc is a good idea, but don’t drag it the entire season.

FAVORITE MOMENT

The scenes in the future. It’s quick, intense, and you know absolutely nothing except that the Salvatore’s are alone and in trouble. It’s formulaic in some genre’s but TVD using it isn’t a bad thing. Just don’t use time travel…Felicity used time travel and we all know how that turned out. If you…watched Felicity that is.

CHARACTER MVP

Tough call. Everyone on the good team had their moments to shine and show their dramatic flair. The one who I think tipped the scale would be Caroline. She narrowly gets it because she was admittedly still in grief mode and made a conscious choice to be with Stefan because she’s trying to move on. Damon is still struggling with this even though he showed the kind of Damon-style remorse that only tends to last for an episode or two before he reverts into a jaded mess again. His epiphanies are only temporary, but Caroline I believe is a bit more permanent because she wants to heal. It’s debatable, but I think she gets it this time.

ENDING THOUGHTS

Alaric is most definitely obsessed, but really, why go around pretending to be drunk so he can punch fake mediums? It showed he was desperate for contact but in the end he didn’t find it. He just ended up back in the morgue nowhere closer except the stone that we don’t know what it does or why he has it and why Lily wants it too. It’s morbid but I’m not getting the impression Jo is meant to be risen. I’ve been wrong before, but that’s my initial thought on this matter.

So, the insinuation is that Mary Louise and Nora are a thing, if I read that right. There wasn’t any further development so I’m not sure if that was just to test the waters with the audience or not. Villains in relationships never last. Oh, who am I kidding, hero relationships don’t either. The problem is they essentially have the same personalities and are not easy to distinguish from each other than their looks. It’s only one episode though. Let’s give them enough air to breathe and work their vampiric magic.

Matt’s got his work cut out for him. I do not envy Matt.

Damon mentioned that Stefan is the reason why the woman is after them after something he did. He has a cross-shaped wound over his heart that “re-opened” suggesting a number of things. Most notably, does he still have his heart? Probably considering he was trying to stay out of harm’s way, but is he cursed or connected to this character? Again, we really know nothing and speculate on sheer crumbs of evidence.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Had the vampire heretic family been less cookie-cutter villain type, mainly the children, not necessarily Lily herself, this would have gotten a 9 easy. Outside of them, I thought this was one of the better premiere’s this show has ever done. It zeroed in on a crazy segment and promised all hell will likely break loose before those 3 years are up. All of the important characters had their moment to shine and Bonnie’s hairstyle is the best it’s been. Every mainstay character so far is doing a great job, except Enzo…he’s still a dick. Let season 7 reign, the era of Nolena. That’s no and Elena put together to spell…okay, I’m shutting up now. Thanks for reading!

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 6×21 (Domesticated Damon dislikes doing disagreements)

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The eventual wedding episode has arrived and with it, the causality that all TV show weddings begin and end with drama and death. Wait, people don’t always die at weddings. Then again, if you’re in this vampire realm, there’s risk to any gathering and tonight’s penultimate episode proved, just because you’re the bride to be, doesn’t mean you’re off the hook.

TVD brought the cast together and dealt with each of their current woes, some with laughable results, and others in more intimate discussions. Though some aspects are tiresome, such as Caroline’s flight and defense mechanism, one thoroughly good outing was handled by the primary brothers of the show. The show’s natural cliffhanger’s didn’t disappoint and leaves plenty asking all the pertinent questions like “What will Elena and Damon’s kids look like” and “Liv and Tyler are still mad at each other? Oh noes!

As Alaric and Jo’s wedding dawns, Stefan takes Damon to suburbia and lets loose on a flurry of flash-forward scenery dealing with possible dismal outcomes should he become human to test his resolve. Caroline returns to help Jo get the best wedding she can while Bonnie continues to babysit Lily. Unfortunately Lily escapes and finds Enzo, who is only so happy to join her cause. Damon, despite the possibility of losing Elena, still chooses to become human and tells Elena, who is overjoyed at his decision. Caroline struggles with her acts from previous episodes and refuses to let Stefan in. The wedding proceeds and is interrupted during Jo’s vows as Kai appears and repeatedly stabs Jo in the back. Kai then disrupts the entire room with explosive magic leaving Jo’s fate dismal at best.

The die has been cast and Kai is back with a cunning vengeance, carving his evil back into play. Bonnie’s initial nightmare showcasing Lily who mentions finding a loophole and somehow, Kai exploited his own. It shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that the witch-vamps were heavily involved in the return and likely bled out anything that kept Kai in check. That or he’s been compelled to be himself again, but I’m sure the possibilities are numerous. Going straight for Jo during her wedding was ultra-sinister, an act that anyone who watched will have dealthy intent including Alaric, who unfortunately, as a human won’t be able to exact any retribution. It’s not time for Damon to turn human yet, there’s a bad guy to stop.

The mean and potatoes of this episode dealt with Damon coming to terms on his decision to be human. Stefan wisely showed him a possible future, one where Elena and Damon inevitably drift apart as a means to make him understand the gravity of his choice. Damon has a few moments of pause but after seeing an elderly couple being affectionate to one another, he makes the call and reveals to Elena his decision. The scenes from the future were interesting fuel and mostly revolved around Elena’s lack of relationship effort and Damon’s incessant drinking causing issues of empathy. It’s interesting that those were the only two substantial points to be made between the two, as though other examples of spousal dissention wouldn’t have painted a better picture. I think the main key was that Damon drowns some hidden issues that may root from wanting to shun responsibility and Elena’s focus is well past being a wife/spouse and more on her future as a provider and independent most of all. Essentially, the two would likely stop communicating instead of supporting each other and that can lead to all sorts of yelling matches that would inevitably tear them apart. Lot’s of different ways at looking at it. But in the end, Damon doesn’t care. He’ll run the risk if it means the possibility of perfect, long happiness.

Caroline’s speech to Stefan should have been something more, but it seemed rather flat and two-dimensional. Mentioning to Stefan what she needed and didn’t get prompting her to lose her emotions was something Stefan already understood, but the idea that clinging to control is her only blanket left seems rather selfish and borderline neurotic. As a vampire, neurosis can change over the course of many decades, but Caroline is still a baby vampire, with only a few years under her belt. What she’s dealing with are very human issues and though Stefan nailed her problem, Caroline confessed it’s all she have, because at this point, she can’t stay open to Stefan’s affections…for some reason, be it guilt or a desire to handle her own emotions. In the end, she’s holding onto her solitude and isn’t expecting to be chased for the time being. Does this mean Stefan and completely lost his chance with her? He’s shown he supports her, but he also really didn’t do much more than listen and identify her problems, which half was the right thing to do, but not necessarily the second half.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Damon’s visions of the future. They had only a few minutes to drive home how bad and bland it could get for Damon if he became human, but they worked, especially when he was drinking alone in the end with no Elena in sight. Everything leading up to Damon asking Stefan what he should do was the proof needed to get him really thinking about his choices. Moments that break Damon’s suave and cool exterior don’t always happen a lot, especially if he’s afraid and he clearly had that look for a short moment.

CHARACTER MVP

Again, it goes back to Damon. By the end of his vision quest, he convinced Elena that he still wanted to go through with it which the show is still teasing considering how different the dynamic would be if that were to actually happen. Still, Damon almost completely shifted into someone who wants the change for himself. Though he still stated to Elena that the he’s doing it for “us” but at least clarified what that really meant for him.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Liv and Tyler, get a room. Actually, get separate rooms, and never come out of them again.

Enzo was rather passive aggressive this time around which really doesn’t fit his character so late in the game. He generally will find a way to get what he wants, and if he doesn’t really want Lily free, then his purpose as a character is virtually extinguished. He’s got nothing else left to offer except a position as Lily’s family. I don’t see him fitting well with the witch-vamps thought when they arrive.

I would have expected Lily to do a little bit more damage to Bonnie, even going so far as to take her life. She shouldn’t have much of a reason to hold back herself given her captivity and longing to be with her family again.

Lily likes Earl Grey Tea, just like Picard 🙂

OVERALL SCORE

7 out of 10. Weddings never ever ever go well, and this was no exception. Some very well placed moments with Stefan and Damon dealing with choice and the return of Kai were the highlights all around. Damon has to grow up and he’s finally choosing to after almost two centuries. And, if I’m not mistaken, next week will be Nina Dobrev’s essential final episode. Imagining how things will play out makes the finale that much more sophisticated, but if I were a betting man, I’d say they should just go for broke and take Elena out of the picture leaving vampire Damon to run rampant in season 7, much like Stefan did in season 3 but without the ripper construct. Tune in next week.

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 6×19 (I’ll become human too…)

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I know the first thought in my head was, “Wait, how?” Is there enough of the cure for both Elena and Damon to take and become humans so that in five years they can do the owning a bar-2 kids-distractions galore, thing? I’m also skipping to the end here, so let’s backtrack a bit.

Tonight’s episode of The Vampire Diaries settles in on Caroline’s zero hour as Stefan attempts a foolhardy plan to restore her emotions while Damon confronts his desire and fear with giving the cure to Elena. Bonnie steals the ascendant from Lily and Enzo gives Lily a second chance at their relationship. There’s a mixture of deep sentiment and lasting decisions that could affect the mythos of the show from here on out. There’s plenty at stake and none of it has even fully dealt with the imprisoned witch-pires, not to be confused with witch-pyres, which are just witches…on fire.

One half of the episode deals exclusively with Stefan and Caroline as he and the team subdue her in hopes to helping her regain her emotions. Stefan fakes being unemotional with Caroine to sell the story and Caroline eventually finds out, but not before having Stefan destroy a letter written by Liz that Elena was certain would be the key. Stefan eventually shares a memory he had with Liz which compels Caroline to seek the letter’s contents only to realize she’s responsible for it’s destruction and breaks down, finally feeling again.

Like Elena, Caroline is a mess of tears but eventually stabilizes. Her current state with Stefan is shaky at best leaving the two on uncertain ground. Everything Stefan did to help Caroline was very well done. The memory was a nice touch and added more to the romanticism that these two desperately needed to convince me they belonged together. Knowing they were eventually going to settle as a couple was not at inspiring to watch as Stefan actually fight for Caroline in such a way. Now he’s ready to pursue her if they still want to entwine their feelings. I wouldn’t be too surprised if Caroline didn’t want to, but hopefully it’s more of a conscious decision and not because of the knee-jerk reaction she may feel for a while with him around. Either way, I feel they’re now convincing of an actual chance.

On the other side of that coin is Damon and his issues with fear and desire relating to the cure and keeping both Bonnie and Lily in check. At the end of the day, Elena is satisfied with staying a vampire to be with Damon forever, but Damon isn’t so convinced anymore and decides that if she’s going to be human, he’s going to be human right along with her. Wow. For once, Damon’s choice wasn’t completely telegraphed and there’s real concern with not only the possibility, but the repercussions of such an act. Nevermind the difficult procedure, because I’m sure there’s going to be a big catch here, but since we know Nina is leaving the show, what could this mean for Damon? I have a few theories on that one. We’ll get to that.

Bonnie’s reactions, though understandable, seem a bit off with her character as of late. Her demeanor is that she’s growing more centered on her survival due to the fact she’s having issues trusting people and what’s worse, she’s hardly had any screen time with Elena, who as a best friend, should be helping to support her. I’m not entirely sure where Bonnie is heading, but from the look’s of things, not a terribly great place. She still has the ascendant, but I’m fairly certain she hasn’t disposed of it yet. Because there’s a lot of cool sounding villains waiting in the wings, and it’d be a surreal let down if they never showed up to shake up the foundations of the show.

Last, and a bit least in my opinion, is Enzo and Lily rekindling their trust for one another. Well, more Enzo, than Lily since she is only now remembering him from when she turned him back in 1903. Now we know she didn’t just abandon him and he understands that as well. Yet, due to the ascendant missing, she has a slip of the Ripper and eats a driver’s head off. Enzo consoles her and we’re left wondering if this is the start of Lily’s rage or something worse. I imagine we’ll spend an episode dealing with her frustrations until somehow the ascendant will be put back in play and reuniting Lily with her vampire-witch family. Bonnie certainly won’t adhere to this so there’s some clever storytelling that will be needed to keep everyone conveniently alive.

FAVORITE MOMENT

It was sweet to see Caroline find her emotions again. Stefan found a palpable way to turn her and in the end, she broke down as she was meant to since the build up was a few episodes long. I hope she doesn’t bounce back too fast because she needs time to process, but for what it’s worth, the feelings for and around Caroline were genuine and I believe she knows it too. Plus it was good to see Liz one more time.

CHARACTER MVP

Caroline gets the gold start this time around. She had one last hurrah as a smart unemotional vampire and almost escaped again, if not for Stefan’s wit and last ditch efforts to get her crying again. Still, she showed a lot of range and met her destiny head on as she was meant to.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Here’s one wild theory: Damon somehow takes the cure with Elena and the finale ushers in a new future for the lovebirds, then something or someone is forced or by choice makes Damon a vampire again and he’s left with letting Elena go because he refuses to turn her. She leaves because the pain of staying in contact will be unbearable. Too much?

I’m not saying Jo and Alaric don’t deserve a well-thought out wedding, but let’s not let it be the focus of the finale. Finale weddings are never any real fun, even the sitcom ones, and this wouldn’t end well because, reasons.

Regardless of the justification, if Enzo sides with Lily and helps her regain the ascendant and return the witch-vamps to normal reality, he’s going to get a fist full of Stefan and Damon and he’ll very much deserve it. Maybe put a stake or two in heart for good measure.

I am looking forward to all the apologizing Caroline will be doing in the near future, especially to Elena for all the means things she said, and of course for all those people she killed.

If they quietly sweep Tyler and Liv under the rug of attention, I’m pretty sure no one will notice. In all seriousness, they’re not really a part of this show anymore. They had a million chances to make Tyler stand out and instead they decided not to let him turn into a wolf again and it’s just not working.

OVERALL SCORE

8 out of 10. Very entertained. Caroline had a good finale to her evil-self and was brought back by the right person. Damon’s choice to be human with Elena is opening up a lot of doors to possibilities and that’s a good thing for the show. The final villains of the season are still pending an official appearance, but maybe they’re saving them, for an early season 7 war. After all, there’s more than a few and maybe they all have stories to tell. Then again, this could all be over in the next few eps. We shall see.

No more words

A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 6×18 (Why can’t vampires with no emotions desire to take over the world instead of doing karaoke?)

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I have to hand it to the writing team for being as creative as they are with reinventing the villains on this show. With vampire/werewolf hybrids a practical norm these days one could have theorized that vampire/witch hybrids were not too far off. Enter the heretics, outcast Gemini coven witches all turned by Lilly, mother of the Salvatores. Tonight’s episode of TVD “I could Never Love Like That” culminates with Lily confronting Stefan as well as the origin of Enzo’s vampire birth being revealed. All of this and a tiny conflict of interest regarding the vampire cure.

Damon and Lily search for Stefan while he and Caroline hold up at the college torturing students until Matt and Tyler show up. Matt is wounded but Damon finds them and Caroline escapes knowing Stefan’s mother will likely turn him back to normal. She succeeds even though her words are just what Damon told her to say because she in fact doesn’t love her children anymore. Meanwhile, Enzo reveals to Sara how he became a vampire in 1903 while sailing away from Europe. With Stefan returned to normal, he searches for Caroline while Damon has conflict over telling Elena that he has the vampire cure. Jo then tells Elena and Damon that Lily is responsible for turning a group of outcast Gemini witches who, as vampires have an endless supply of magic at their hands. Damon reveals he already gave Lily the means in which to return to the dimensional prison where they are waiting.

A bit all over the map, but there are segments that are rich with temperamental drama and one could almost feel sorry for Enzo’s vampiric upbringing if not for the sheer fact that he’s treating Lily like an unsavory beast of a creature when all she really did was abandon him after he turned. It may not have been ideal, but his situation could have been plenty worse. And I wonder why Lily doesn’t at least recognize Enzo since he was probably one of the last people she met before being exiled to the dimensional prison. Vampires can have good memories and she should remember the last person she turned considering the care she went into trying to keep him alive. It’s really moot considering the other plot points of the episode, just seemed out of place.

Stefan and Caroline did their best to be especially insensitive and condescending around Matt and Tyler as they played games with who lived or died. Unemotional vampires are the epitome of the sloth and the lustful making Stefan and Caroline’s recent trek through boredom and singing the final nail in the dull-plot coffin. It was time to finally nix the pair as an evil duo and thankfully, Damon was close by to seal Stefan’s return as the face of the show. He’ll search for Caroline, who is slightly more amusing as a baddie even though I wonder what traits Stefan will showcase to Caroline to get her to return to normal again. It’s funny that all of Caroline’s evilness came from not wanting to deal with her mother’s death, and she may end up actually getting someone killed before she reverts to normal again. I just hope it happens before the heretic plot becomes the focus during our final arc of the season.

I wasn’t going to really discuss Elena’s sudden debacle with thoughts of being human again, but after recent discovery that Nina is leaving the show after this season, the jury is out on whether she’ll leave as a human, or as a corpse. I can see why the vampire cure was introduced and it would be such poetic tragedy if she chose to become human only to be accidentally, or purposefully killed to really throw Damon into the realm of despair. It’s not a positive flow to the series, but imagining season seven without Elena is rather difficult. It means the characters around her have to become more important, but at the same time, she could leave the show in multiple other happy fairy tale ways that keep her open to cameo in the future. We’ll see what happens. Death is never final on TVD, unless your Lexi. I miss Lexi.

FAVORITE MOMENT

The last scene which set up the heretic plot was a good cliffhanger. This show is known for abrupt endings and “gasp” moments to leave you wanting to get to next week, and I like this one because I honestly felt Lily’s purpose and friends were going nowhere new, and I was certainly glad to be wrong. There’s a lot of potential coming up and I hope they do it in a way that’s equally as unique as the reveal was.

CHARACTER MVP

He didn’t get a lot of screen time, but I’m giving it to Matt this time around. His conversation with Elena helped explain his attitude toward vampires and her in general. It’s rough for humans to be in a vampire-centric plot and Matt understands more than any mortal what kind of hardships are brought on by having vampire friends. He’s trying to stick to a moral code and he should get the bonus points for trying even under threat of death.

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Stefan is going to have to get really creative if he’s going to bring Caroline back to her emotional state. He’s usually pretty resourceful so I imagine he’ll figure it out, but she won’t make it easy for him. If anything, she might even try the same trick twice on him, though I hope the days of unemotional Stefan are long gone.

Are we going to get a flashback with Lily meeting the heretic witch group before they were turned? She’s showing a lot of ties toward them and it should include the story with why. I’d like to see how that developed. She’s talked a little bit about it, but nothing really concrete.

Will Kai still be alive when Lilly and/or the others find them? Does it really matter if he lives? He’s not entirely a golden goose even with good emotions flowing through him. Still, he had his moments of humor and craziness that wasn’t always eye rolling to witness.

This is really turning into the season of witches on both TVD and TO. I want this to have an explosive cross-over, but I highly doubt it will come to that. In fact there really hasn’t been much of anything in the way of crossing over talent since last season. Shame.

Tyler almost became a wolf again. It’s dragging on far longer than it should. His situation won’t be monumental, but they really should just have at it so he can be a force for something, again.

OVERALL SCORE

A 7 out of 10. Most of the characters were very split up and handling separate plots until Stefan finally met his mother. It’s bittersweet because his return is based on a lie issued by Damon who had no choice because Lily is too hung up on her heretic group. Enzo’s flashback almost made up for his lack of character development, but honestly, it’s too little too late for him. I’m just surprised Damon still hasn’t found out about this yet. Most of the rest of the plot was decent and the cliffhanger was a good sign of things to come. I’m not saying the heretic group will be an interesting bunch, but it’s fresh and there’s power there that can mop the floor with all our good guys and gals. Things are getting interesting and Elena, Bonnie, and the bros will have their hands full relatively shortly.

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 6×17 (What if the kid wants to stay at home till he/she’s 25?)

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While Caroline should be awarded points for trying, her attempt to maintain normalcy in her new world of emotion-free college was shattered by evil Stefan’s age-old mantra “Stop caring about anything for any reason.” Pranks and stabbings ensue until she finally succumbs, more or less to Stefan’s way of thinking and they share in the blood and lust of true vampire freedom. In the worst ways, their relationship has plummeted into a pool of guiltless anarchy and the only solution to returning them back lies in Stefan’s mother, Lily, who may or may not be entirely up for the challenge.

Tonight’s episode “A Bird in a Gilded Cage” brings Damon in touch with his vampire mother in the second dimensional prison, with the help of Bonnie and Kai. Elena accompanies them where in a snowy 1903, they encounter Lily and a group of desicated vampires who apparently taught Lily to manage her bloodlust. The trip has a dual purpose as Bonnie injures and leaves Kai stranded in the prison, left to deal with the desicated group, one of which had been reawakened. Damon’s mother is calm, respectful and appears to have mended her evil ways. There’s a lot to question, but at the same time her attitude toward reuniting with her children versus saving the ones she called family leaves her nature to be rather dubious. She’s grown to take in others as her family and if she finds out Damon has no intention of returning tot he prison, she may be forced to refuse help to Stefan.

I’m also convinced that Stefan won’t be very swayed by Lily’s appearance. His relentless acts in turning Caroline completely against humanity all but succeeded and I don’t see a spark of humanity igniting if Lily’s heart just isn’t in it. In fact, it’s entirely possible that Stefan may move on from Caroline now that he’s won her over to the real dark side. I originally thought the blood and mayhem would be immediate, but Caroline still wants to keep a low profile, and that’s completely alien to Stefan. There’s no telling how the two will react next, but you can rest assured their body count will only increase as time goes on.

In one of the more disimpassioned sub-plots, Enzo comes to realize that without a humane Stefan running around, there’s no game in forcing Sara to play at wanting to become a vampire. Don’t mistake his sentimental attitude toward the end, he’d snatch up the call in a heartbeat if he knew Stefan was capable of suffering again, but as it stands, Enzo’s revealed to Sara her lineage, albeit in name only. Where will that lead this unexciting pair? Not sure. There was never a grand Stefan versus Enzo climax, or at least it’s been delayed for the time being. This wasn’t a catchy part of the plot, and for Enzo’s sake, he better step up his gameplan or he’ll be completely left out in the dust of Noone-cares-about-you-land.

I would expect Kai to become food for the desicated group left behind. Whether he survives or not may depend on his magical abilities and the group’s rationing of the only human left in that world. And unless Damon is forced to return with Lily, there won’t be much reason to venture this story any longer. It will happen and it does raise plenty of open-ended questions about who they are, how powerful are they. Are they in fact good or evil characters and why teach Lily to control her bloodlust?

I’d almost forgotten about Alaric and Jo. She makes a compelling argument to Alaric about staying out of harm’s way until their child moves away, and that’s pretty much it. Alaric got in some random danger when Enzo tried for two seconds to find Stefan and Caroline to capture them. Once interest was lost, Jo nursed his wounds and chastised him for doing what he did. It’s a fair argument and also a way to write Alaric out of the show if need be. I don’t believe the show would do something so cruel as kill Jo, so I imagine the pair will find a way to weave themselves out of the big vampire plots unless the invisible Gemini coven require Jo for some reason.

The episode ends on a similar thread from a while ago. Bonnie found the vampire cure from her prison and returns it to Damon, presumably as a means to cure Elena. Damon predictably voiced his concern that he may not want her to have it and Bonnie shrugs it off as it’s his choice regardless. There’s an easy decision to be made here and that’s Elena won’t become human again. To return her to that state would erase a lot of character development and risk returning her into a fragile state that Damon won’t be able to love forever. No, someone else is going to get it. Damon’s mother perhaps? Certainly not the Salvatore brothers and likely not Enzo. Caroline is a possibility. I think the answers may with whomever can’t be returned to their humanity. The cure would easily solve that dilemma.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

The last scene. Nothing about Damon meeting his mother impressed me since they decided she wasn’t going to be stark raving mad and ravenous. At first, the idea of returning the cure plot to the show seemed ill-thought out, but it does have an uncanny ability to keep everyone on their toes with who’s going to get it. Katherine had hers, now it’s time for someone else.

 

CHARACTER MVP

I think I’m giving it to Stefan this time. It’s been a while since he’s shown the evil side and there’s an interesting dynamic to play with now that Caroline’s fallen through that way as well. Stefan finds ways to prove a point whether good or bad as he convinces Caroline to give up the act of staying humane.

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

If Caroline can get annoyed/angry with Stefan for ruining her chance at keeping a low profile, shouldn’t it be possible that negative emotions still be a key to finding that spark of humanity? Does it only have to be love and caring that solves the case every time?

With humanity now available to Lily for consumption, will she maintain her strict diet or go full furious ripper again without the aid of her desicated family? Will this prompt Damon to return and save them for the sake of helping his mother?

Now that Bonnie’s played her part and vanquished Kai, for lack of a better word, what are her plans now? She’s not senile and her voicemail to Jeremy really doesn’t hold up now that she seems back to normal. Maybe a road trip is in order, an off screen road trip to her ex-boyfriend and handle matters the way they should be.

I guess it’s a good thing Lily’s vampire tree didn’t lead back to Finn or Kol from The Originals or else she would have never survived. Or maybe being in a dimensional prison negates that as an issue.

Since Kai is stuck in another prison and his life is very much in jeopardy, how will this affect the Gemini Coven as their leader is not on their plane? Does he need to be? Will they survive without him?

 

OVERALL SCORE

6 out of 10. At time, this episode flirted with a few fun moments between Caroline and Stefan. It didn’t capsulate Damon’s reunion with Lily in a way that felt memorable or unique. Her attitude was very run of the mill until she confessed about needing the group to help her. It wasn’t a disappointing episode, but there wasn’t enough to keep me interested the whole way. Enzo’s showing a lack of enthusiasm with his plan making anything he does from here on out likely very bland. The set up at the end adds a new element of intrigue, but like all cliffhangers, they project awesome things to come and not a strong resolution of what actually transpired.

 

 

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A Sashurai’s Review: The Vampire Diaries – Season 6×16 (Mr. and Mrs. Self-Destruct)

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It’s time for some vampires to run amok and tear the shackles of their emotions away. The return of The Vampire Diaries see fit to reinvent the emotionless wheel as Caroline reverts to her more sinister supernatural persona complete with enough reason to make Elena and Stefan’s lives a complex hell. Damon barters a deal with Kai to find out about her mother but it backfires when Bonnie suffers from the stress of seeing Kai again.

This was an explosion waiting to happen that inextricably compounds the Salvatore brothers as well as Elena and Bonnie and to an almost equal degree Sarah, the only human surviving relative left from the Salvatore line. The episode keeps a steady pace and appropriately jumps into the deep end by reuniting Caroline and Stefan in the worst way imaginable. Worse being for those who get in their way from here on out.

The piece to dissect is the improved and carefree Caroline, who at last mark broke Elena’s neck to stop any distraction from shutting her emotions off. We don’t see the deed, but her wily and sarcastic nature fills the empty space between and before we know it, she’s marching on a new personality who knows all the old tricks that her friends will pull to get her back to normal. Who would have thought a from the first episode that a character like Caroline would grow so far from the proto-typical high school blonde to the over-eccentric, wicked-smart, and completely cunning vampire raver? By setting up a kill scenario for Sarah, she found a way to convince Stefan to shut his emotions off and now the two are dining on margaritas with no ties to anyone but themselves. I see good things happening here.

While Stefan’s turn to the wild side isn’t new, Caroline’s is, and her step down that dark path is quite an entertaining one. She has to be smarter than the other vampires who have gone through this and thankfully she is. This is no longer a “will they-won’t they” relationship snafu, but now they graduated to “Spike and Drusilla” mode which is sure to wreak shop on our current residential cast. It’s not the most unique plot twist, but it shakes things up and gives us some villains we want to see get saved. I’m all for this new development and can’t wait to see where they take it next.

On the other side of this coin is the dismantling of Damon and Bonnie’s bond as close friends. Did Damon screw up again by trying to weave his own way through deceit? Yup. Did he deserve Bonnie’s punishment. I’m not so sure he did. Reason being is, Damon showed absolutely real concern over how he treated the situation when he attempted to apologize for bringing Kai to her. And to the rave of all places. I suppose I can understand how bad Damon wants to find out about her mother so he won’t waste any considerable time. Kai could have eventually found Bonnie on his own, but he wanted Damon to smooth the meeting over and it failed miserably. And to top it off, Bonnie gave Jeremy the coldest most brutal vocal version of a Dear John letter I’d witnessed in quite sometime. One way to keep a guy off the show is to break up with him over the phone. I don’t particular enjoy that kind of forced writing because it didn’t feel realistic or sincere and now Bonnie’s dealing with this on-going travesty alone.

Relating to Damon’s obsession with finding his mother, we’re given the story that she is in fact a ripper. Kai didn’t say “The”, which I immediately started calling Damon’s mom Jaqueline the Ripper. Nice ring, but with a body count at 3,000 that just spells something even more bloodthirsty than any history lesson could teach us on serial killers. Now we know that Damon’s mother is still stuck in 1903 limbo and Damon will likely find some way to get her out, if nothing else but to assume responsibility because like it or not, Damon is once more the “good” brother of the two.

The episode ends with Elena saving Sarah just in time only to find out that Stefan shut his emotions off. He and Caroline partake in the margarita shenanigans at the bar and time will tell if they will stick around town to cause chaos or simply become the vampire Bonnie and Clyde duo. Stefan asked Elena to remember to bring her back. It’s a shame he didn’t leave a more descriptive clue considering there are few ways to bring a vampire back from an emotionless kick. Elena will figure it out. Or Damon will, if he isn’t too busy diving into early 20th century limbo land.

 

FAVORITE MOMENT

As much fun as it was watching Caroline do her thing, my favorite scene was when Sarah had no reaction to Enzo’s reveal of being a vampire. It was meta in the making and I thought Sarah’s delivery was spot on. It completely deflated Enzo’s ego and his plan all in the span of five seconds. Even though we found out later that it was a compulsion reaction set up by Stefan long ago, I still thought Sarah’s attitude was perfect considering reality’s reaction to someone saying they’re a creature of the night.

 

CHARACTER MVP

It’s an easy one. Caroline gets the props this time around. In the beginning her attitude likened to her high school persona all those seasons ago that I didn’t quite latch onto, but seeing her malevolent nature get darker as the minutes drew by, I started to see just how intelligent she had to be, in order to successfully stay careless and for lack of a better word, evil. And she’s not done yet. Will Stefan outdo her performance later? I doubt it. Careless Stefan can be somewhat entertaining, but right now he doesn’t hold a bloody candle to Caroline’s fascinating take on the subject. Still, go team.

 

LONG TERM THOUGHTS

Caroline may try to refrain from killing people herself for the sake of staying out of the criminal element, but I highly doubt that Stefan will follow such principles. He’ll open up a new door for Caroline to go through and before you know it, there’s lots of bodies to be had.

This would also be the perfect opportunity for Stefan to run into and ultimately through Enzo should they meet up again. With Enzo’s dastardly plan to seduce and turn Sarah basically in shambles, he’s back to square one. Unless Enzo and Stefan and Caroline team up for a trio of terror, which I don’t want to see. They should stake Enzo, together.

Damon is also going to be at the fulcrum in all this. Bonnie will pull him in one direction, his mother in another, and Stefan being the third, he’ll have his priorities tested. Will Kai be responsible for sending Damon back to 1903? Is that even a possibility? We’ll see.

Why do all vampires who are emotionless act the same? Wouldn’t there be at least one vampire who, void of all emotions, becomes something so dark that they don’t prance around being witty, sarcastic, bitchy, versions of themselves with no guilt, but rather a true husk of evil that unleashes a needle of hell on earth? That should usually be Stefan in full ripper form, and that works best for him. Not margarita drinking Stefan. That margarita should have been a severed head.

What made Damon’s mom go completely senile? Is the story true or is there something more strange going on that Damon will need to uncover? I like mystery, so for now I’m going for Damon doesn’t know the full story yet.

 

OVERALL SCORE

It took a few scenes, but the episode ramped up in a pressurized and compelling, exploding the end with a wicked evil pairing some probably didn’t expect. I give it a low 8 out of 10. Bonnie is on the fritz, Damon is genuinely worried, Stefan and Caroline are out of their minds, and now Elena is left with all the marbles to try and sort out. All this and an Enzo who hopefully doesn’t know what to do with himself anymore. Let’s see him switching sides for the sake of hilarity.

 

 

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