Previously on The Vampire Diaries, ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me, Kill Me’
Three years from now
In Chicago, Stefan is preparing to confront the mysterious woman who’s holding Caroline and Damon hostage back in Dallas. She already has two people he cares about and he’s not about to let her get a third, which is why Valerie has to stay put. Yep, that’s right; Valerie and Stefan are an item in the future. I’m pretty cool with this development but I’m also prepared to hate it later. Since the buildup between Stefan and Caroline was better than anything we’ve seen from them in an actual relationship, the same doom could be headed for him and Valerie.
“I’m feeding for three now, so I get cravings.”
Quintessential type-A Caroline is over prepared for her pregnancy, in theory. She has more pregnancy books than someone can read in 9 months, and she basically wins the birthing class she and Ric attend by being the most eager mom-to-be ever. Her specific situation however, is unlike anything that’s ever happened before. There’s no guide on how to handle the wildly heightened cravings and hormones caused by being both pregnant and a vampire. She’s having trouble controlling the vampire side of herself; when she overhears someone at the birthing class mistake her and Ric for a shady teacher-student relationship, she nearly rips their heads off before Ric can stop her. She’s not even sure if drinking blood, which sustains her life, is healthy for the babies. With no one to turn to, Caroline visits her mother’s grave. She has a sad, one-sided conversation about how she wishes her mother were there to help her through this.
“Hi. I’m levelheaded Damon.”
Thanks to a locator spell from Bonnie, Stefan and Damon track Julian’s whereabouts to a place called Sunbury. The quaint little town is in the midst of a Santa themed pub-crawl, which Damon is taking full pleasure in. See, he’s not as invested as Stefan is in finding Julian. In fact, he’s pretty OK with his mother being dead and couldn’t care less about revenge. Damon would rather spend his time teasing Stefan about how he’ll fit into Caroline’s future. Will he be the twins’ uncle? Or maybe, “creepy dude who hangs out with mom, who’s not dad.” Perfect. They stop at another bar when Damon’s cup runs dry and inside they find a room full of dead Santa’s. The wounds are still fresh, which means Julian can’t be far.
Stefan is pissed they didn’t find Julian sooner, believing they could have stopped the Santa massacre. Damon is thinking logically though – which is starting to become a trend for him this season – and points out that they could have easily been just another two bodies amongst the dead. He thinks they should slow down and consider getting some backup because Julian is clearly “off the proverbial rails.” It’s a good point too, why didn’t they bring Valerie, Beau, or anyone who has a better chance against Julian? Damon calls Bonnie, hoping she can help them get more information on Julian and Sunbury.
Before the brothers hear back from Bonnie, a very wasted Julian arrives at the bar looking for his cell phone. He demonstrates, yet again, his aptitude for smashing stuff and then presents the brothers with the completed Phoenix Stone Sword. He explains how he spent 100 years trapped inside his own hell and how Lily was the one thing that kept him “sane” after returning from it. Stefan is ready to make his move but Damon stops him, after a text from Bonnie warns that Julian very likely has backup on the way. Backup in the form of some very old friends, well, and that one guy Julian met last week. When Stefan won’t back down Damon moves to plan B: start a fire and get the hell out of there.
Damon is ready to head home but his brother won’t back down. Stefan tries to shame Damon into getting on board with the plan, telling him he’s being spoiled and a coward. Damon truly doesn’t care about avenging Lily though; just because she’s dead doesn’t mean he forgot about all the shitty things she did. Damon is still making all the sense. Stefan is going about this in all the wrong ways. Let’s face it, a big part of the reason he wants Julian dead is because of his unborn baby, maybe he should be using that angle to get Damon on his side. It’s for this exact reason he knows Valerie will work with him, when Damon abandons the cause.
Without thinking of how this could backfire on everyone, Stefan and Valerie knock Mary-Louise out with vervain and hold her hostage to force Julian into coming home alone. Damon is at the mansion, burning Lily’s clothes, when Julian arrives. What follows is one of the best scenes of the episode and it’s the first time I’ve enjoyed Julian as the antagonist. The conversation here between Julian and Damon is excellent. Damon’s persistence in his hatred for Lily, no matter how hard Julian tries to break it down, is a lot of fun to watch. The intensity kept growing as the dialogue flowed perfectly with the fight sequence. It was easy to believe Damon would be stabbed with the sword right up until the last moment, when Stefan intervened.
Unfortunately, Julian ends up getting the better of the brothers and manages to stab Damon with the sword after all. Well, shit! We get a short glimpse into Damon’s personal hell and he’s reliving his time in the Civil War, when he fought for the South. Stefan is distraught, finally realizing Damon was right about backing off of Julian. He won’t be able to make things right though; just as Caroline shows up to help, Nora shows up to stab Stefan with the sword as well. Looks, like I was on to something with that “x-scar” being linked to the Phoenix Stone. How will Damon and Stefan make it out of this one? What are the chances Elena/Katherine will appear in either of their personal hells?
“A pity friend is still a friend.”
Bonnie is overseeing the Whitmore College charity event when Nora shows up with a “toy for a tot.” Bonnie is skeptical at first but Nora seems genuinely interested in turning over a new leaf. Without Mary-Louise to hold her back, she wants to explore the world of the 21st century. She’s enrolled at Whitmore and wants to do her part for society with a little charity work. Bonnie eventually plays nice when she needs information on Julian, and as the episode goes on they start making what feels like more than just a pity friendship. While delivering the toys to a nearby hospital, Bonnie offers Nora some much-needed tough love about moving on from Mary-Louise. Later, after Nora ends her relationship/engagement for good, Bonnie is there for her again. Even despite the fact that the heretic is using her clothes as tissues. Have I ever mentioned how nice Bonnie is? Like, way too nice? Nora gets a text from Julian that Mary-Louise has been taken hostage, and just as quickly as she a Bonnie became friends they become enemies once more.
The Vampire Diaries S7E9
I had a feeling The Vampire Diaries would be able to hook me back in just as I was becoming bored. Even though I’d much rather be watching the adventures of Damon and Bonnie, more focus on the Salvatore brothers is the next best thing. It’s always fun to watch these two when they’re at odds; it makes for very enjoyable banter and an earned emotional payoff at the end. Which is huge this time around. With both brothers trapped in the Phoenix Stone, who is going to lead the show? I don’t expect they’ll be trapped for too long, but until they make it back it’s going to be interesting to bring some other characters into focus. My suggestion? A Bonnie-centric episode, of course!
I’m so glad this episode shed some light on how Caroline is dealing with her pregnancy. After being so concerned last week with how Stefan would handle the news, the chance to see her point of view was desperately needed. This is one of the more out-there plots TVD has taken on and, so far, it’s being handled very well. Caroline, who excels at planning, organizing, and being in control, is the perfect character to explore this situation. Not only that, it manages to feel really fresh in a show that’s been around for 7 years.