Previously on The Vampire Diaries, “An Eternity of Misery”
“Coming home was a mistake” was Stefan’s confession to Elena in episode nine of season one. Just as Elena was coming to terms with Stefan’s “lifestyle,” he was deciding to leave town. There had been too much death since his return to Mystic Falls. Several years later and surprise, surprise, nothing has changed. Up until now, these season one throwback titles have worked fairly well in connecting to the themes of each episode. This one has me at a loss, though. It could be argued that this time around, the quote is directed at Matt. He definitely has no love for his hometown, but I don’t necessarily see his return as a mistake. Sure, he almost died and became a vampire, but he was just in time for the carnival! He also reconnected with the gang, albeit under tragic circumstances, and he revealed the true identity of Seline. Feels like a worthwhile visit, no? Maybe the true mistake here is wasting my time trying to figure this out.
Bonnie saved Enzo! I don’t even care that this seemed to happen very quickly and rather easily – like, way too easily – or that Bonnie didn’t really think the plan through. I mean, how was she going to blow out that candle if she passed out from smoke inhalation? And since she lit the cabin fire with the supernatural flame, wouldn’t the entire blaze need to be put out for Enzo to leave? Okay, okay, I honestly don’t care, because this relationship is the only good thing left about TVD. I don’t expect to see any major focus on Bonnie and Enzo – this show is masterful at sidelining great characters and squandering palpable chemistry. But, as Stefan reminds the gang, we have to live for those small moments. So that’s exactly what I’m going to try to do: enjoy every single moment of this Bonnie and Enzo greatness the show decides to give us.
The other intern, Dorian, is back! No mention of where he’s been since the premiere, but that’s to be expected. Since new characters have a history of inevitably being more than they seem, is it crazy to think he could be connected to Cade in some way? I guess he probably wouldn’t have kept hitting the pitchfork if he knew more than he was letting on, but I still think he could have a connection to the bigger picture.
Tyler’s final “gift” to Matt. This is so silly, you guys, and it’s just a convenient device for bringing Matt back into the fold. Sure, Tyler was never the brightest bulb of the bunch, but he had to know how important this information is. If he had been working so closely with Virginia on this Siren finding project, wouldn’t he have known how directly it’s connected to all of his friends? At least we can be thankful for that fact they didn’t drag out the Seline reveal. Of course, it would have been preferable to have Matt tell the gang about the box of treasures from Tyler – characters not talking to one another just so a plot can continue is lazy writing – but, having him see Seline in Caroline’s photos works just as well. Poor Matt though, the only sidekick left for him is his deadbeat Dad.
Damon’s never-ending struggle between salvaging his humanity and giving in to the darkness; I just don’t care anymore. It’s like I’ve said in past reviews, we’ve been down this road too many times. We’ve seen Damon (and almost every other vampire) turn off their humanity, go down a dark path of murder and chaos, proclaim they will never come back from it, and then promptly turn the corner onto redemption-story-arc lane. So, yawn, I’m bored. If only Stefan’s plan to keep Damon asleep while they figure out how to deal with the Sirens had worked. Taking a breather from watching Damon grapple with his internal conflict would have been a blessing. Do the writers really think repeating old themes and narratives is the best way to end this series? Probably. Excuse me while I go shatter some glasses against my fireplace, a la Stefan Salvatore.
Either there’s a continuity error at play, or The Vampire Diaries has given up on explaining how their shit works. How can Sybil use Elena to provoke Damon? When she warns him that turning the humanity switch back on will only cause more pain because of the immense guilt it brings along with it, she asks him to consider what Elena will think of him. First of all, Elena has forgiven him for a great deal already, so it’s not a stretch to believe that she’d do the same in this case. More importantly, didn’t Sybil do some serious damage to Damon’s memories? We spent an entire episode watching her replace Elena with herself in very pivotal moments and, eventually, Damon even said he had never met her. So, why then, would Elena even matter anymore? I suppose it could be argued that this memory tampering went poof when Damon’s tie to Sybil was severed, but it hasn’t truly been broken, has it? It seems to have worked for Enzo, but Damon is still out in the streets doing the Siren’s bidding. So what gives? From what I’ve seen, Damon shouldn’t give two shits about what Elena might think because, last we knew, he didn’t even know the girl. You’d think somewhere in Sybil’s overly verbose monologues, some type of explanation would come up, but nope. Her lips stay flapping, with nothing of substance coming out.
Why are the twins so cool about leaving a carnival to go bury a dead fish? Aren’t they supposed to be all of 3 years old? Who knows, maybe Gemini Twins are born being into morbid activities like this. Maybe they take after their uncle Kai – may he rest in peace. Truthfully, I don’t care about the rationale, because I think it’s hilarious. “This game is too hard!” “OK, let me score you gals this dead fish, and then we’ll go do a weird ritual with fire and stuff. Sound like fun?” “Yay!” Jo would be so proud.
- I’d rather watch Ric and the twins have a tea party for an hour – that shit was cute as hell – than listen to one of Sybil’s monologues ever again.
- Becoming essentially detached from the material of this show has allowed me to notice other things, like the direction. I was actually impressed with a lot of the visuals in this episode. The opening montage and the scenes in the cabin were particularly well executed.
- I completely missed the fact from last episode that the tunnels from The Armory lead to Mystic Falls. That’s kind of interesting.
- Damon needs a haircut.
The Vampire Diaries S8E5 = 6.8/10