Saturday, May 10, 2014

Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 21: Promised Land

Elena and Stefan have been kidnapped by Travellers because they were too busy love triangle arguing than actually handling shit and now Damon is dealing with this the way he deals with everything – torturing people. Caroline also drops in so they can exposition everything.

Stefan and Elena are both being drained by the Travellers but some helpful person frees Stefan and despite both of them being hardly able to walk, they manage to escape. Travellers, I’m not impressed. They top up their blood with “squirrel slaughter” (Elena’s not a fan) and call Damon, not for rescue but so he can hunt down and kill Markos since he has a huge bucket of doppleganger blood and can do all kinds of mischief with it. Stefan and Elena begin the long walk home, frustrated by the fact they’re so low on blood their vampire mojo is failing (to prove this, Stefan tries and fails to blur for Elena’s amusement – also lots of angst. Lots and lots of angst).

And Damon gets stabbed. That’s Enzo’s way of getting Damon’s attention and reminding us, through Bonnie, that Damon promised to find a way to bring him back. And he’s driving Bonnie up the wall until he gets his way – and wasting perfectly good booze (well, insofar as American booze can be perfectly good). Hey, Enzo, this is Mystic Falls, people drink booze instead of water – you can’t be wasting it. Damon’s plan is for Enzo to latch on to whatever spell Liv is planning to cast to save Bonnie from the Other Side collapse – Bonnie disagrees but no-one listens to her.

Live and Luke have a meet and greet where the coven they belong to is really pissed (this is the coven that thinks stopping the Travellers getting the dopplegangers is major important but has only sent 2 young witches to deal with it) and is blaming Luke for Elena and Stefan’s blithering foolishness – and sending unpleasant migraines to make their point. Last option is to kill Elena and Stefan.

See, I’d have made it the first option.

Random cameo from Pam, who is possessed by the Traveller, Karl who gets a vial of doppleganger blood from the postman (you can get ANYTHING off amazon or ebay) then stabs Pam’s husband in the neck for completely failing to realise his wife has been colonised by a total stranger. Also he’s Black and lacks any useful woo-woo so he was never going to live long on this show.

Stefan and Elena are still annoying and are now saying how wonderful Caroline is, they get a ride. Not because of Elena’s breasts (which she deploys to aid hitchhiking) but because it’s Maria, the Traveller wife of Traveller Julian and she’s the one who freed them. Because she thinks I haven’t suffered enough, it seems.

She wants Julian – in Tyler’s body (she says Tyler is gone). She wants to leave with him to spend his last moments with her. Yes, last moments, because the spell will strip Tyler of his vampireness and then kill him.

Damon has the stooges (Tyler and Jeremy) drag in the “husks” of all the Travellers from the cave (my idea – admittedly mind involved axe murder). Caroline and Damon snark back and forth for a while, ending with Caroline telling Damon to not torture Julian/Tyler because “she doesn’t abandon the people she cares about”. A direct hit that woman! Though it has to be said until very very recently she was quite happy for Damon and Elena to break up. Caroline checks with Julian who confirms that Markos wants to remove all witch magic – including daylight rings and vampirism.

Caroline goes to Bonnie with a plan – kill Julian/Tyler and then latch TYLER onto the Other Side spell as well. Damn they’re going to have a full bus at this rate. But Bonnie finally cracks, there is no spell; there is no way to save the Other Side, everyone in it and Bonnie. Problem? Enzo overheard this.

Markos drops in on Damon, looking for his missing people. Damon wants to do the hostage thing, sadly Markos and all his people are not-very-sensible fanatics so he’s quite happy for all the Travellers to die to break the curse. He stabs one to prove his point. He reminds them AGAIN that this is NOT ABOUT TAKING OVER MYSTIC FALLS (ye gods like this town is so important), it’s about destroying all witch magic. Everywhere. All of it.

Seriously this is like 3 times we’ve been told this

Markos has also transfused his blood with Doppleganger blood so is super strong and fast and can’t just be vampired. Because Traveller magic now = super strength. Apparently. It’s an upgrade from the usual “we need blood and a whole chorus line”.

All around town, Travellers break vials of doppleganger blood and begin chanting the curse breaker.

Maria, Stefan and Elena return to town – and run into Luke and Liv who have decided to kill the dopplegangers. Given the givens, this is a great idea. Apparently Luke is actually a witch and finally uses magic (or it could be all Liv, I guess). They wreck the car (knocking Maria out) and each take a doppleganger.

Enzo has a little tantrum at Bonnie about how he’s not accepting his inevitable demise (wish Bonnie would get some of that) and Maria appears, dead from the car crash and asks her to tell Julian she tried.

Julian apparently senses that and uses vampire senses to communicate with Damon, he’s all willing to bring Markos down now. Showing Markos the wine cellar (no, really, they do a house tour), he slips Julian the key to his chains.

Liv and Luke’s plan fails because they spend far too much time being apologetic and dramatic than actually killing, the Traveller curse kicks in and their magic fails. They would be vampired to death, but the daylight rings also fail so Elena and Stefan have to head for shade. The Travellers also appear to be dying, judging by the blood oozing from their ears and noses.

Mat leads Elena and Stefan through the tunnels under the bar – but Elena starts coughing up water. She became a vampire when she drown with Damon’s blood in her system, her vampirism is failing. Stefan staggers from the bullet wound that killed him.

And Markos gets bitten by a hybrid. Personally I’d have gone with a neck snap. It would have been great – until Julian loses his fangs because of the magic down. Damon’s daylight ring fails. Travellers, or the vessels, begin dying en mass from the chant; their bodies begin waking up in the Salvatore home, as Damon also falls from the bullet wound that changed him and Julian begins choking from Tyler’s death injury. Damon and Julian run to try and buy some time.

Bonnie has an inspiration on how to save the Other side – but it needs Enzo. The Salvatore brothers, Matt, Jeremy and Elena meet up and go on the run, trying to flee ahead of the spell.

On the Other Side, Enzo talks to Maria to ask if she knows the spell they used to resurrect Markos. She does – but it takes 24 Travellers dying to cast. Enzo is sure they can fill in the details. Unfortunately she’s pulled into the sky void – well that’s inconvenient. A snag as he puts it – but Julian/Tyler drops in on Elena, Stefan, Caroline and Damon looking for Maria. He loses his temper – and rips out Stefan’s heart declaring that a dead doppleganger stops the spell


Stefan then appears before Bonnie – and she tells him she has no solution

The Travellers want to purge the world of allll magic. Why? Because if they were just breaking the curse then we’d actually be on their side. I think it’s a sloppy writing technique for many shows (Alphas, for example) where the “bad guys” are made almost comically-melodramatically evil because if they weren’t we’d be hard pressed to decide whether they are actually the villains – and such greyish morality is not all that popular.

Ok so I am going to use my super psychic powers and predict a saving of the other side, a returning of the dead to life – which includes Stefan.

Snark aside, that was some decent drama with only a few holes. Nicely done, Vampire Diaries - and I take it back about Enzo's irrelevance. Ok he was still kind of irrelevance, but nice to bring him back into the main plot again.

In fact it would have been an awesome episode, with potential for an awesome season, if we still didn't have the endless Elena/Damon/Stefan angst all the time. It's a distraction, it's tiresome, it's not needed