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The Vampire Diaries – S6E16 – The Downward Spiral

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, ‘Let Her Go’

Caroline has flipped her humanity switch and is actually dealing quite well, considering. While drinking at the local Whitmore bar she sees Liam – who we all she had forgotten about – and takes him outside to hookup. She also eats him but has enough restraint to stop before he dies and the good sense to compel him to forget. This is way more control than we’ve seen from any other vamp with the switch off. She proposes a deal with her friends. Leave her alone for a year, don’t lock her in a cell or try to trigger her humanity back, just let her have fun, and she won’t kill anyone. If they do try to interfere however, she’ll become their worst nightmare. Caroline’s ability to retain her rationality while her humanity is off, is a welcome and necessary twist on this overused plot device.

After following her to a rave and seeing that she can in fact control herself, Elena warms up to Caroline’s request. Caroline hasn’t hurt anyone, not in the fatal sense anyways, and she restocked the dorm fridge with blood bags. She may actually be able to handle herself. Stefan, of course, blames himself for who Caroline has become and believes if she does kill anyone, it’s on him. I take issue with the idea Caroline only made this decision based on Stefan; she’s her own woman and she can do what she likes. I do like where his motivation takes the story however, so I can forgive it. Stefan admits to Caroline how he truly feels for her and recognizes from her response that he may be able to bring her back. Stefan broke the rules though and now she’s pissed.




Earlier that day Caroline had run into Enzo and met Sarah Salvatore – who it turns out, has been compelled by Stefan to not care about vampires. When Caroline sees Enzo at the rave she pretends to hit on him but actually just steals his phone. Now she has access to Sarah and she’s about to advance this plotline more in one night, than Enzo could do for months. Stefan’s punishment will be listening to Sarah scream while a compelled Liam performs shoddy surgery on and eventually kills her. That, or Stefan can turn his humanity off too. Elena tries to find Liam and Sarah, leaving Caroline and Stefan to fight. Caroline pins Stefan down fairly quickly and orders Liam to forget about Sarah’s spleen removal and get right to the heart. Elena manages to find Liam just in time to save Sarah but it’s too late for Stefan. He’s joined Caroline in a humanity-less, margarita-filled bliss. There’s a chance he could be playing her, in order to bring her back, but either way this is going to be fun to watch.

It’s nice that The Vampire Diaries can be so self-aware sometimes. When Elena welcomes Bonnie home, Bonnie remarks they should be used to this kind of reunion by now; acknowledging she’s come back from the dead (or another dimension) at least three times. Her latest stint in retro realm has had a big effect on her. As happy as she is to get out of all that flannel, adjusting to the current time and place is proving difficult. Granted, a rave filled with hundreds of people probably wasn’t the best place for her to ease back into the swing of things. But you know, she has to deal with her friend’s shit first, as usual. After burning a dude’s hands – for good reason but kind of out of character, which is indicative to how she’s struggling – she finds an empty space to collect herself, when Damon calls. She wonders how he dealt with returning to the present day and it’s clear she has a comfortable connection with him. Unfortunately, that’s about to change.


Damon & Kai


When Damon found out his mother was trapped in one of the Gemini Coven’s hell dimensions, his first reaction was denial. His mother died in 1858 and even if she were somehow trapped in the year 1903, she’d be in her 70s. The woman on Bonnie’s camcorder was not in her 70s. So Damon decides to dig up his mother’s grave and big surprise, her body isn’t in the coffin. Good thing they kept Kai around because Damon will need him for transport to the hell dimension. Kai needs the matching Ascendant first and he can get it, but he wants Damon to arrange a meeting with Bonnie first. Kai wants to apologize. “Feelings are hard.”

Bonnie thinks anyone who buys Kai is a changed man is an idiot and Damon resolves to deal with his mommy issues without involving her. That is until Kai starts to give away what little information he has, in order to keep Damon enticed. He has a lead on the Ascendant and knows Lily Salvatore was captured in 1903 on a dock, in New York City. Damon takes the bait. He brings Kai to the rave and face-to-face with Bonnie. As Kai is apologizing, Bonnie has flashbacks to all the terrible things he did to her. It seems as though she may be dealing with something similar to PTSD, if not that itself. Bonnie warns Kai to step back and leave her alone, otherwise she’ll melt his face off.




At the dorms, Damon tries to apologize and explain to Bonnie why he’s working with Kai. She doesn’t care what the reasoning is and she’s going to show him exactly what Kai did to her so that maybe he’ll understand why. Bonnie inflicts the same wounds on Damon that Kai gave to her, but the one thing she can’t show him is how lonely she felt when everyone else had gone back home. Things end badly when she screams at him to get out. I still have hope for this friendship, but I can’t blame Bonnie for not giving a fuck. After all she’s done for him and everyone else, it’s time for this girl to get her own. She calls Jeremy, for the first time since returning, and tells him that she’s changed and she needs time to figure herself out. Good.

Though Damon delivered on his end of the deal, Kai won’t help him get Lily back.

Score | 8/10She’s a vampire, a ripper to be exact, and bringing her back would mean risking a lot of lives. Turns out she faked her death – looks like Damon’s off the hook for not writing that eulogy – became undead and fled to Europe. After learning that she’d killed nearly 3000 people, the Gemini Coven made it their duty to trap her in a hell dimension. Damon is very distraught by this information, which is striking. He’s killed hundreds of people after all, as has his brother. It could be that his mother was a very different person in her human life so it’s just a huge shock, or perhaps there’s more we don’t know of their past. Does anyone else kind of want to see Lily and Stefan in ripper mode together?

About Jasmin George (185 Articles)
An avid reader of TV Guide in her youth, Jasmin has been a fan of all things television since she can remember. She’s very passionate about story, especially the kinds that use cameras and actors to convey them. When she doesn’t have her eyes glued to the tube, you can find her listening to podcasts or reading reviews about, well, TV. Yeah, Jasmin might have a slight addiction but she’s perfectly happy to coexist with it.
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