Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 19: Man on Fire

Elena is studying with Stefan. Yes we are actually maintaining the dubious fiction that Elena is involved in education. They also appear to be drinking coffee and not neat bourbon. Who are these people? Bonnie arrives to join the study session – well, actually to exposition. See, with the Other Side falling apart, Bonnie’s existence is also in jeopardy, if the Other Side collapses, the Anchor will also die. Bonnie has apparently accepted death but Elena talks her out of it.

Anyway to the Traveller invasion (we nearly spent 2 seconds on Bonnie’s problem and Matt and Jeremy realise the Traveller Knife is missing and that Liv’s assessment of them and Tyler as the three stooges actually gave them waay to much credit. Damon arrives for the knife and to randomly threaten to kill them with his keys (they won’t invite him in. And I am always amused by Damon’s nicknames for Jeremy). Damon, realising the peril of working with the less-than-brilliant pair, calls Enzo for some competent help against the Travellers, but he has other plans.

Tyler, possessed by Traveller Julian, is chained up with Markos in their new hideout (they keep moving, also, Hybrids are hard to keep possessed). Markos reminds us of the case that keeps his people nomadic and how they intend to break it – first test on doing that is to have Sloane drink Tyler’s blood and then have her throat slit. Their plan is to become vampires/hybrids?

Personally I think the Travellers lost to the witches because all their magic requires something special to bleed or a whole back up group to chant along with you. I also think that cattle are not the first creature that comes to mind when I think “roaming”

Daisy is actually a jetsetting world traveller, thank you very much.

Anyway, Enzo joins Elena and Stefan (for a brief moment we nearly saw Bonnie talk to Liv about saving her life but the camera-man realised Elena wasn’t in shot and quickly jerked back round). Anyway, Enzo wants to talk about Maggie, the woman he developed a Stockholm-Syndrome-like attachment too because, unlike his other captors, she refrained from eye-stabbing. Awwww, how sweet. He hasn’t seen her since 1950 and apparently that’s because someone beheaded her. Enzo isn’t amused that someone killed the object of his creepy domestic fantasies. She died in Mystic Falls in 1960 and Enzo thinks it was Stefan because Stefan killed people as well. Stefan denies it

So Enzo whistles up Liv to use her witchy powers on Elena and Stefan – because Enzo has Luke captured by mind controlled rugby players (wait, wait, Luke is a witch? Ad 2 normal humans can hold him prisoner? We’ve seen witches just look at people and cause brain-haemorrhaging migraines… but Luke can’t?) and threatens to kill him if Liv doesn’t obey.

Stefan and Elena are tied up (Elena showing her scintillating intellect and being duly mocked for it by Enzo) while Enzo reads aloud from his prison guard’s diary. She loved her little imprisoned pet vampire really and it was so sad that she assumed Enzo was a dead lab rat and not her own personal lab rat. Oooh booo hoo sadness. Enzo uses Bonnie’s phone to fill Damon in because, I don’t know, convoluted rescue I guess.

Anyway, flashback – Maggie did meet Stefan when she died. She’d been looking for Damon and introduced herself to Stefan after seeing him feed. We learn from this that Maggie is a very odd woman because a) she decided to go looking for the vampires her evil organisation imprisoned and tortured, b) she thinks introducing herself to a vampire is sensible and c) she thinks Stefan is the handsome brother. Really, be fair Enzo, this woman was too foolish to live. Maggie tells Stefan she wants to kill his brother and is shocked when the vampire objects…

…really, this woman had a death wish. C’mon.

Stefan claims to have not actually killed Maggie, he just scared her. Enzo threatens to kill Bonnie so Stefan “confesses”. So he lets Bonnie go upstairs and be dragged away by Liv – and Bonnie confronts Liv about acting since this is win/win for Liv – if Enzo kills Stefan or Elena the Travellers lose their special blood (whyyy does Liv have to go through so much convoluted planning to kill them when it was she who incapacitated them both in the first place?!)

Meanwhile, Damon checks with Sheriff Liz about old police cases and finds Maggie’s body – oops, she was one of his kills. (Got to love how Sherriff Liz is just so totally blasé about murder confessions these days).

Time for a flashback, Maggie did get tired of being an accomplice to evil torture and asked Enzo to turn her into a vampire to rescue him (this would assume that the Whitmores didn’t realise what had happened and stake Maggie’s body before she had chance to raise. Or that the people capable of holding Enzo and Damon couldn’t handle a baby vamp). He objects because of Twu Lub (Stockholm syndrome) and compels her to head for the hills.

Some torture of Stefan follows and Liv is bothered by it – Bonnie gives her snarky eyebrows (this is Mystic Falls lady, toughen up) and Bonnie asks if Liv knows anything about saving the Other Side (again, not for her sake because that would be wrong!)

And Damon arrives for dramatic confession time. Flashback! Maggie hunted down Damon and tried to inject him with vervain. Damon killed her. Big dramatic scene where Enzo announces, tearfully, that if he hates Damon then that’s it, he has nothing left. Leaving one option – turning off his humanity.

The humans are allowed to leave, Liv gets bitten and we get lots of vampire squabbling – ending with Enzo leaving with Elena. Damon follows, alone and injured while Stefan stays to heal Liv.

Hey remember the Travellers? While Tyler is still imprisoned and Julian is still having trouble controlling him. Sloane begins to transition and Markos reminds us that vampires created witches and the prophecy says they can use doppleganger blood to break witch magic. They give her the last of their doppleganger blood.

Elena tries to reach Enzo with his humanity turned off which really doesn’t work - but Stefan zooms in before he can stake her. Vampire battle! Enzo nearly sets Stefan on fire but Stefan grabs Enzo’s heart. Enzo realises how amazingly angsty everything will be if Stefan kills Damon’s best friend so jerks back, forcing Stefan to kill him. Let the WOE follow!

Damon finds Elena and carries her back to safety (it had to be him to remind us that the whole “I never want to see you again” really means “for one episode. Two tops”). He disappears before she wakes up. He checks his phone and Stefan checks Enzo’s just to remind us how close the two were.

Stefan joins Elena and they worry about Damon spiralling into angsty monsterhood – Stefan presents the idea of lying to Damon and claiming that Enzo just left (Elena is torn, after 5 seasons of Vampire Diaries, she is aware of the limitations of believable acting on the show)

Back at the bar, Liv and Bonnie have a moment. But Liv tells her she knows of no way to stop the Other Side collapsing and that Bonnie needs to say goodbye.

Bonnie goes to see Jeremy and Matt who have stayed at home lest Damon twist off their kneecaps (a good idea). Bonnie takes a moment to try and tell Jeremy about impending doom but the writers quickly realise we’re in terrible danger of focusing on Bonnie for 10 seconds so Stefan calls to draw her into the “Enzo’s dead, let’s lie to Damon” plan. Of course she has to be part of it because Enzo passes through her to the Other Side, but not before promising revenge.

Back to the Travallers who complete the spell on Sloane – she isn’t a vampire. They have used magic and Doppleganger blood to cure vampirism.

Ok, let us poke some of the endless Bonnie problems with a stick. Bonnie has “accepted” her inevitable demise? Can we drop the endless self-sacrificing nonsense from her (because this is a pattern – the whole reason Bonnie died in the first place was for Jeremy)! It is actually ok for Bonnie to want to live, no, really, it is. And it’s not like they’ve tried everything and simply cannot think how to save her. They just found out last episode, they have tried nothing, they haven’t even brainstormed ideas – it’s far too soon for wise acceptance. And then, the kicker, Bonnie changes her mind when Elena “can’t lose her again” and for the sake of the other people on the Other Side (wouldn’t they just go to another afterlife – y’know, the one NOT designed to be an isolated hell dimension?) – because Bonnie is allowed to be motivated to live if it will save other people (and spare Elena’s fee fees).

And how is Vampire Diaries treating it’s new gay character? About as well as can be expected – weak, helpless liability who, while being the twin of a witch, apparently isn’t much of a witch himself.

Oh Damon is evil for killing people. Y’know there are innumerable reasons for calling Damon evil, but hunting down and killing people who took part in his imprisonment and horrific torture for years is not one of them. Maggie was part of something truly evil, one of her victims got revenge. This is me not moved to moral outrage. Especially since this was quite literally unambiguous self-defence.

And why is Enzo even here anyway? Look I don’t hate the character, but with everything else going on his whole storyline and presence is incredibly surplus to requirements. And now we have a time bomb of super-duper-angst when Damon inevitably finds out the truth.

Maggie may actually have set a whole new record for ridiculous decisions and lack of intelligence on this show. And this is The Vampire Diaries! Frankly, this episode had so many holes the script must have been printed on lace.