Previously on The Vampire Diaries, “One Way or Another”
In stark contrast to last week, “Somebody that I Used to Know” allowed TVD’s most interesting character to shine in the spotlight, giving us a Bonnie-centric episode that did not disappoint. Though it would have been nice to see more of Bonnie throughout this entire season, I certainly can’t complain about spending the large majority of the hour with her. Especially when that hour was jam-packed with so much greatness.
As we watch the present day’s events to save Bonnie’s life unfold, we’re also given the opportunity to fill in the blanks from the last three years of her life. Much of her time was spent in hiding while researching The Armory, learning guitar, getting over the loss of Damon, and eventually moving on to Enzo. Bonzo – oh, Internet, how I love your wacky portmanteaus – was already convincing enough as a couple without the backstory, but this week’s glimpse into their growing bond really kicked things up a notch. Yes, the beginnings of their 3 years together feels a little weak. The idea that Enzo would help Bonnie simply because he knows The Armory is shady isn’t quite solid enough, but everything that follows works well to overshadow that.
A significant turning point for these two is when they bond over Damon’s selfishness, having both experienced the gut-punch of his abandonment. Wanting to help her heal quicker than he could, Enzo touchingly reassures Bonnie that Damon’s decision in no way reflects poorly on her. Damon has always looked out for himself first, and that’s just the way he is. From this interaction we discover that Enzo has a great deal of respect for Bonnie, which isn’t something she often sees from other characters. When he remarks on her passion and undying loyalty, how a woman like her deserves so much better, I couldn’t help but cheer. Seriously, he told Bonnie damn near everything I scream at my TV every week she gets sidelined, or is a no-show entirely. If this is the writers’ way of acknowledging how great Bonnie is, good, but it’s a little late, no?
Nevertheless, Enzo and Bonnie’s slow transition from having a reluctant but mutually beneficial truce, to being real friends, and finally into a having romantic relationship was something to be excited about. The restraint from the writers to not have them immediately hooking up, despite their ample chemistry, was a very smart move. They actually took the time to make their attraction both believable for the characters, and completely desirable to the audience. Even when the first realistic opportunity arose, the scene in which their New Years Eve dance becomes quickly passionate, they were able to reel it in at just the right time and leave us wanting more. So when they couldn’t keep their hands off of each other any longer, the moment was so well deserved. And I’ve officially stopped waiting for Bamon.
Unfortunately, it looks as though Damon is starting to realize what a mistake he’s made. That’s always the way, isn’t it? As soon as you can’t have something, it’s all you want. It’s painfully obvious how jealous he is of Bonnie and Enzo. Who wouldn’t be? Their constant canoodling and the way they make each other laugh is really touching. I don’t think we’ve seen Bonnie this happy in a very long time. Thankfully – and I honestly can’t stress this gratitude enough – Bonnie is not here for any of Damon’s shit. Where Ric’s anger towards Damon last week felt a little hollow – it’s as though Ric blames Damon for every supernatural bad thing that’s happened to him and that’s just not the case – Bonnie’s feeling of betrayal is beyond warranted. She may be willing to have his extra helping hand in saving her life, but it doesn’t mean anything between them is okay. Even when Damon tries to get the upper hand by accusing Enzo of being responsible for Bonnie’s sickness, she shuts that shit down, fast. Enzo may have made a mistake but he was trying to protect her, and even if she does die (dear God, please no) she’s not worried about being abandoned, again.
Where the episode falls apart, is the impetus for Bonnie and Enzo to even need Damon’s help. Bonnie believes transferring Rayna’s final mortal life into her body can save her. So, they should just tie Rayna up and make it happen, right? Wrong. First they have to find all of the Phoenix Stone’s released souls and kill them, and then Rayna will go in peace. First of all, how the hell did so many of those vamp souls get so lucky as to find suitable vampire bodies? Stefan’s soul hopped into a human’s body when the plot required it to, and I suppose it’s the same extremely faulty reasoning here. While it was mildly amusing to watch a montage of decapitations and hearts being ripped out, it was all for nothing really. The most regrettable part was when Beau reappeared, in a different body, only to have Damon callously kill him. That poor man finally got the chance to speak and all he got was his heart ripped out. What a shame.
I really like how Enzo wasn’t swayed by Alex’s offer to help Bonnie in exchange for her opening the vault. This is the kind of deal Damon would make without thinking of the consequences, but Enzo is wiser for not trusting his shady relative. When he’s not relegated to being the one-note bad guy who nobody knows what to do with, Enzo is actually quite an engaging presence.
Stefan and Ric’s storyline served as a great, albeit much less compelling, parallel to what’s going on with Damon and Bonnie. Though Ric is clearly a little threatened by the idea of losing Caroline, it’s nice to see him express this by defending his fiancé’s point of view instead of getting overly macho and protective. When Stefan and Caroline finally come face to face it’s evident that she, like Bonnie with Damon, isn’t here for Stefan’s shit. After years of watching men fight over Elena, or even Katherine, it’s refreshing to see our other female characters get some attention. Even if it is mostly centered around dudes.
The Vampire Diaries S7E19 = 8.5/10