Previously on The Vampire Diaries, “Kill ‘Em All”
Bonnie Bennett is the kindest, most selfless friend anyone could ever hope for. She’s loyal, determined, and constantly sacrificing herself for those she loves. Much like Damon finally admits, I admire the hell out of Bonnie, but I’ve grown very tired of seeing her character written into the same corner time and again. Why must she always be the one to die, or at least have to contemplate that decision, for the sake of others? Of course, I would expect no less from her; given the choice between waking up with a powerful desire to kill her friends, and just not waking up, Bonnie would absolutely choose the latter. It’s just extremely unfortunate that those are her only two options. What’s worse is that even when she makes that noble decision, no one accepts it. They actively work against it, effectively ignoring the little autonomy she has left.
I suppose some credit is due to Caroline and Enzo for at least trying a third option. They both take a trip inside Bonnie’s head in the hopes of persuading her to focus on the fact that not all vampires are bad, and that she even loves some of them. This idea seemed futile from the start, but at least they made the effort. Bonnie’s new life’s purpose proves to be stronger than any bond, however, because both of them end up “marked” by her stake. So, that left Damon as the final hope. For what feels like the thousandth time, he completely disregards what Bonnie wants and does what he thinks is best. High on his own advice that when you love someone you sometimes need to go to extremes, he manipulates and provokes Bonnie until she wakes up.
While it’s easy to dislike everything that led up to it, having Bonnie alive and kicking ass is an awesome outcome. The fight scenes between her and Damon were thoroughly enjoyable, and almost therapeutic at times – it felt as though she were releasing seasons worth of pent up anger towards him. Despite this excitement, and Kat Graham’s seemingly effortless transition into an almost entirely different yet convincing character, the bulk of this scene ultimately fell flat. Yes, everything Damon told Bonnie about her being a survivor and always coming back stronger was both true and well deserved. It was just way too little, way too late.
Thankfully, Bonnie doesn’t back down. Regrettably, Matt stops her from killing Damon, which was truly a lazy way of getting him out of trouble. Matt has been so hell bent on getting rid of vampires, it’s hard to believe he would save Damon, even if it might matter to Bonnie again someday. And there is a chance that someday could be soon, too, and Bonnie could be saved from living with the same plight as Rayna. It involves shifting the focus back to The Armory, though, and just when I thought we had washed our hands of that mess.
If having one Salvatore brother ignore a woman’s decisions wasn’t bad enough, TVD doubled down with Stefan following in Damon’s footsteps. Caroline didn’t want to run from Bonnie, regardless of the fact that she’d been marked, but hero-hair Stefan thought some vervain to the neck and a little abduction might change that. It doesn’t, of course, but watching them hash out their unresolved issues was great. Caroline’s dialogue was quick and cutting, digging at Stefan in all the right places. What’s more is how she dealt with knowing he was right about having to run. Her acknowledgement of that, without immediate forgiveness, felt very true to who Caroline has become over several seasons. I’m still not here for their reunion, but it’s obvious that Caroline isn’t all-in for life in Dallas with Ric. Sigh.
The Vampire Diaries S7E21 = 7.5/10