Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 6: Handle With Care

Kathrine is celebrating the fact she’s alive and not eaten (alas) with a big breakfast (there’s far too much healthy fruit in that breakfast for it to be a celebratory breakfast. It needs at least 80% more bacon) though her buzz is brought down by the realisation she has a grey streak in her hair.

Damon and Elena are trying to enjoy some peace while Damon predicts there’s no way it will last – and Silas comes through the door, greeting his Frenemies. Peace ends. He also opens the curtains with a gesture – he’s regaining his witchy powers (having taken the cure) and really happy because he’s going to die! Yaaaay! But elena’s wary that Silas, being evil and all, may not be that trustworthy – this is an excuse for some exposition. All powerful with Silas will bring Bonnie back, destroy the Otherside (the purgatory that Qetsiyah/Tessa created it trap him in limbo) and then kill himself so he can be reunited with his dead love, Amarra (the original form of Elena the doppleganger). But to achieve that he needs the “anchor” which Tess made to create the Otherside.

And the anchor is in New Jersey which everyone snarks (given the givens, I’m still waiting for an explanation for the anchor being in North America, let alone New Jersey). Jeremy shows up for more posturing with weapons and Silas plays with fire – kind of reminding everyone that he’s probably more dangerous as a non-immortal but extremely powerful witch than he was as an immortal, semi-vampire. And from that point of power he has an ultimatum – he doesn’t want Elena around (I can understand that) because she’s a direct clone of his one true love and finds that to be really really really freaky. They refuse, he shoots her in the leg.

Meanwhile Stefan wakes up all confused next to Tessa who is over the moon – Silas took the cure! That means he’s a witch and killable! After some nasty slut digs at Amara (Tessa needs therapy in the worst way) she explains that the Travellers (who we still know very little about) want to keep the Otherside around. They have the anchor, keep moving it and won’t let Silas have it – and even if he does get it, he can’t break it anyway... She’s confident she has everything in hand, she’s planned for everything – but can’t leave the cabin. Silas has spelled her. Oops.

Elena calls Stefan to see what’s happening and gets through to Tessa who comments on Elena’s whineyness and taunts her a little. Tessa’s definitely getting me on side. Elena calls Damon to let him know Stefan is with Tessa and Silas spills the beans on the whole neck snapping thing. Oops. Elena decides to go on over to make peace with Stefan (ignoring the rather quixotic witch with the super powers who quite literally hates her face – because she’s Elena). Silas makes jokes about killing the mayor because he is, as Jeremy puts it, a dick.

Elena goes on her little trip and gasps at Stefan that sleeping with Tessa cannot possibly make things better! Stefan is confused because he didn’t. Everyone have a shocked moment that Tessa may have actually exaggerated just a tad. Are we shocked? Is anyone shocked? Elena turns to leave and can’t because of Silas’s spell.

Over to Damon who may be the only sensible person left – he both snarks Silas’s hair (deserved) and mocks the whole idea of “fate” bringing Silas and Amara (and their dopplegangers) together: Silas is quite literally moving heaven and earth to be with Amara, that’s not fate. That heaven and earth seems even larger when it turns out the anchor is in a full warehouse – and Silas has no idea where it is or what it looks like.

Bonnie drops in to be duly sceptical about everything working the way they hope and Jeremy insist she wish on her lucky star and think happy thoughts. Damon and Silas snipe some more and Tessa calls Damon to tell him to kill Silas before he destroys the anchor. Damon’s not a fan of that idea but then realises Elena has wandered into the very obvious trap. Tessa will kill Elena at sundown unless Damon kills Silas.

Elena snarls at Tessa about her destroying her chance to have Bonnie brought back to life because there’s no way Damon will help Bonnie rather than save Elena because he always puts Elena first, even over his whole life. Just him and, well, everyone else in Mystic Falls, the Town That Revolves Around Elena.

Of course Elena is right and Damon plans to kill Silas, Jeremy disagrees, clinging to Bonnie coming back but falls on the side of preserving Elena, especially when Bonnie jumps on the Save Elena train as well (deciding she’s “meant to be dead”. Because Elena is precious!). Any plans to kill Silas are delayed by the Travellers arriving. Faced with chanting witches, Damon decides to respond with a slow, careful stalk (rather than, say, super speed neck snap) and their chanting manages to turn off his daylight ring. Thankfully, he learns and zooms forward and grabs one witch’s heart, pointing out he was about to kill Silas. The other Traveller says they don’t actually want Silas dead yet - which confirms to Damon that the Travellers are a problem so he throws a knife at the second guy. Problem solved!

Back in the cabin, Stefan the amnesiac assures Elena he will protect her from Tessa because… reasons (she’s Elena, of course he will) and Tessa calls Damon for an update on the dead Silas thing. Damon asks why the Travellers want to keep Silas alive – simple! The Travellers hate immortals, Silas now has the cure for immortality in his veins so they want to drain it and use it on another immortal. Wait another immortal? Ah – as Tessa has explained, the anchor needed to be linked to something that would last as long as Silas. Something indestructible and something he couldn’t bring himself to kill…

Damon is impressed, damn impressed. The anchor is Amara – she’s not dead, just encased in stone. Silas feeds her blood from one of the Travellers. She wakes up and they stagger outside (both speaking English for… reasons). She learns the cure is in Silas’s veins – and stabs him in the neck to drink it – she cannot live another day. She staggers away from Silas, apparently arguing with the voices in her head until she reaches Damon

As sunsets the spell holding them in the house fades and Stefan grabs Tessa, stabs her in the stomach (no neck snap?) and he and Elena run. They arrive back at their house for some awkward not!flirting and Stefan may have no memory but he knew Elena didn’t deserve to die (could there be greater proof of his lack of memory?). She joins Damon and Jeremy and they clock up Stefan not hating them as a victory. Bonnie tries to get Jeremy to tell Elena that not bringing her back is for the best and Jeremy refuses because it’s so unbelievably untrue (and can everyone stop fawning on Elena, please). Damon is definitely going all glass half empty and adds they need to protect Amara in order to preserve the Otherside where Bonnie now resides. Amara is locked in the boot of Damon’s car – and does not deal well with seeing Elena her doppleganger.

Tessa is upstairs in Stefan’s bedroom. She doesn’t want him to heal her stomach – she wants to remember what Stefan/Silas really is. Tessa is not happy and begins to express that unhappiness by restoring Stefan’s memories – all those painful memories and self-hate, all the torture while sealed in the quarry and that neither Elena nor Damon rescued him.

Damn, Tessa’s good at this.

While all this is going on we have a second storyline. At the university dorm, Katherine has just dyed her hair and Caroline breezes in talking about packing since they just were threatened to get out last episode by creepy Dr. Maxfield. Katherine tries to play Elena for a little while but Caroline sees through it and grabs her by the throat, as everyone does on the Vampire Diaries to be menacing. She makes a deal with Caroline – she gets to crash and she helps Caroline investigate Maxfield rather than run away. WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?!

Maxfield is doing his little vampire tests when Caroline steals his recorded with super-speed – and Katherine injects him in the neck with knock out juice. He wakes up tied up with Carole and Katherine figuring out how to drain the vervain from his blood so they can compel him to forget them. Their loose maths and inexpert grasp of the practice worries him rather more than being at the mercy of vampires. When Katherine puts a knife to his throat he tells them there’s a secret society, it’s meeting at Whitmore House and they were going to invite Elena before they thought she was a vampire: Katherine loves that idea, she just has to convince people that “Elena” isn’t a vampire? And they even have a vampire proof threshold!

Katherine goes to the event, pretending to be Elena and Diane Freeman, who we have seen in passing greets her – and is a little surprised that Katherine can cross the threshold. And then makes a b-line for the food (Katherine is all about eating since becoming human) which she devours at great speed, watched by Aaron (Maxfield’s ward, well, would-be-ward if anyone used words like “ward” any more). Her completely useless questioning is interrupted by Katherine losing one of her teeth.

Caroline has finished draining the blood out of Maxfield (after he reminds her not to bleed him to death and she pouts that she’s just broke up with her boyfriend and is distracted. Priorities, Caroline!). Questioning exposition – the Secret Society is called Augustine, they’re made up of legacy members or people with special talents like the brilliant Maxfield and he covered up Meghan’s death because she was killed by the Augustine Vampire. Caroline can’t ask more questions because Diane shows up. Caroline hurriedly compels a cover story and the fact they’re not vampires, lets him go and runs

Diane asks why he thought Elena was a vampire and he says he doesn’t know and that he was wrong – under Caroline’s compulsion.

Later Katherine returns Maxfield’s recording device, reveals she knows about the Augustine vampire and his little experiments all as a blackmail prelude. She shows him her tooth – she thinks she’s dying and Maxfield needs to fix that.

So Caroline can just leave the college, she can go to any other college anywhere in the whole of America (with glamour) and happily begin her education without a professor who knows about vampires and ominous threats being held over her. Instead she decides to stay and investigate because she has Katherine as a sidekick? Katherine? Newly human Katherine with no powers at all? Katherine who has been your archnemesis for 4 seasons now? Whyyyy? WHYYYYY?

Elena goes to see amnesia Stefan completely assuming that Tessa would not actually have any problem with her? Why? I mean, this is a woman who has spent quite literally thousands of years plotting revenge on a cheating fiancé (who you are HELPING), is immensely powerful and hates your face… even by Elena “let’s go look for werewolves in the woods during full moon” standards this idea is ridiculous.

At first glance Tessa’s plan looks crafty… but I’m trying to parse it and it doesn’t make a lot of sense. Amara and Silas, both alive, both immortal, both sealed in different places. They’re apart – there’s no need for the Otherside and the cure etc to keep them apart but if this is to make Silas kill himself and join Tessa in the afterlife I can kind of see it. Kind of. But… now? They could just run off together and be together! The whole point of Silas wanting to destroy the anchor and die was to be with Amara – so Tessa has thwarted his plan to be with Amara in death by allowing him to be with Amara while still alive?

Yes, eventually Silas would age – but he could then cure Amara (or, as happened, Amara will also hate immortality and kill Silas for the cure) which would then end up with them both in the afterlife together (either the Otherside or normal, since both would be together it doesn’t matter). I don’t see why Tessa feels her goal has been achieved by this.

There are now 3 Elena’s running around. I’ve said it before and I’ve said it again – she’s not bad at that, but this season may have been more impressive before I watched Orphan Black, I’m just saying.