Previously on The Vampire Diaries, ‘Because’
One of the biggest, game-changing moments in The Vampire Diaries history just took place in what was possibly the most boring episode of the entire season. Honestly, I’m at a loss for what went wrong exactly, but every aspect of this episode felt completely flat. With only two episodes left, I’m concerned about where this misstep will lead us.
With Ric and Jo’s wedding day around the corner, the guys and gals split off into groups to throw bachelor and bachelorette parties for them. Conversations about the Cure overshadow both celebrations, and Stefan leaves the festivities early on to track down Lily, before she can set out on a murderous rampage. Stefan tries his best to help his mother get through the ripper cravings but he’s prepared to use vervain and lock her away if necessary. In the end, after Lily attacks both Bonnie and Elena, the Salvatore brothers have no choice but to throw Lily in their cell.
Damon and Elena discuss their favorite perks of being a vampire and they’re both entirely honest about what taking the Cure means to each of them. With both of them on board, Elena takes the Cure. As soon as she does, Ric’s compulsion is reversed and Elena’s memories of Damon start flooding back. The most revelatory one being that she and Damon already discussed taking the Cure together, at a time when Damon was completely against it. Ignoring the fact that he may feel differently now – you know, because people change their perspectives on things every so often in life – Elena has decided for Damon that he won’t be joining her as a human.
The best part of the episode got about 30 seconds of screen time: Kai. His return will be interesting, to say the least. It’s hard to say if he’ll still want revenge for what Bonnie did when he discovers that Jo is pregnant with twins. Considering those twins could one day merge and strip him of his power, who is in the most danger of Kai’s wrath?
What Didn’t Work?
- The episode itself. Not even the adorable male stripper from Jo’s bachelorette party could improve this mess.
- Matt Donavan being an asshole. Season six has been building towards Matt becoming an antagonist to his vampire “friends.” We’re supposed to sympathize with him after all the shit he’s been through. Why make him a miserable drunk? That didn’t work with Tyler or Jeremy and it certainly won’t do any favors for Matt. He has every right to be anti-vampire and that storyline could be an interesting avenue to explore. He needs to get his act together and go back to deputy training.
- Lily and Stefan; I find their interactions very dull. Perhaps they lack chemistry. I like the idea of Stefan using his past experiences as a ripper to help his mother, even though she doesn’t love him. That’s consistent with Stefan’s character, to want to help despite not being appreciated. But something is missing. It could be the fact that knowing very little about Lily doesn’t allow for us as an audience to be invested enough in her recovery.
- Elena and Damon jumping off the clock tower. I suppose this was meant as one last hurrah for Elena as a vampire, but it was just a silly waste of time. (Bad pun intended.)
- Everyone telling Damon how he feels. Let the poor man make his own decisions! There’s a difference between giving advice or cautioning someone you love to make the right choice, and just outright telling someone how they feel or making their choices for them. Damon was honest in telling Elena that he partly wanted the cure because he was scared of losing her, but he’s also had the time to reflect and decide that he truly wants to spend his life by her side. Why does everyone, including Elena, have to force him in the opposite direction like they all truly know what’s best?
I’m well aware Damon isn’t leaving the show, so it’s not likely that he and Elena will have a “happily ever after.” Something has to come in between him and the Cure so that he and Elena being human together is no longer a possibility. Having Elena deny him the option feels lazy and doesn’t give Damon’s character the credit he deserves.
What Did Work?
- Enzo’s confusion on how to properly drink a Jell-O shot is definitely the best piece of material he’s had to work with all season. It’s certainly the most enjoyable I’ve found him in a long while.
- Elena taking the cure. I’m so appreciative that this wasn’t dragged out until the finale. We’ve already had a season-long Cure arc so it wasn’t necessary to retread all that ground. Also let’s face it, The Vampire Diaries is going to feel fresh again without Elena around.
- The fact that Damon called Bonnie to talk about his Cure conversation with Elena. A stronger, more prominent friendship between Bonnie and Damon taking center stage will be a very welcome change for the show.
- How everything fell apart at just the right moment. When Damon and Elena were finally on the same page about the Cure, Lily shows up and throws them off course. If only she had been able to feed from Elena. That would take care of the Lily problem – she’d be human again since the Cure is still flowing through Elena. It would also make it impossible for Damon to be human, a far more satisfying conclusion than Elena refusing to let Damon do what he truly desires.
- Bonnie standing her ground with Lily. While I’m still holding out hope for a huge, triumphant Bonnie storyline, it’s satisfying to see her character staying strong even in these small moments.
- Kai is back! Enough said.