So, last season ended pretty dramatically – let’s see if this season undoes everything that happened.
And now we open with a double freak out – teenagers in the woods not actually being murdered (and Sherriff Liz Forbes being rather bored) looking all safe. Hah, no they all get mauled.
Now we have to go to Elena (alas) who is now getting a medical degree and training to be a doctor (wouldn’t that have required her to have attended at least one class in her entire academic life?) she’s also providing is with a vast info-dumpy voice over to recap the last season.
Alaric’s back and is a vampire and now a college professor as well (one of Elena’s no less) because of various plot reasons (but, I think, mainly because Cult fell through). Mystic Falls is still a mystical free zone – including vampires. Matt is working out (and I recognised his trainer so that’s a new character) and Jeremy apparently making out with a woman which troubles Elena (while many sisters would be weirded out thinking of their baby brother’s sex life, remember Elena had no problem with under-aged Jeremy and Vicki who was older than Elena) so I predict lots of angst-sex is happening there. Stefan has become a mechanic (seriously? When did Stefan pick up those skills in between killing people and moping?) though Elena thinks he’s looking for a necromancer or medium.
Tyler’s in college with Elena, Caroline has dropped out and is lurking around Mystic Falls unable to enter. Caroline is obsessing on breaking the spell on Mystic Falls and/or maybe getting Damon and Bonnie back and upset that Elena isn’t more upset about Damon (ok, Caroline, you need to make up your mind whether you like Damon or hate him because this is getting weird). Caroline’s also spending lots of time with her mother which is starting to creep Liz out – but she gets away when she hears of the two dead teenagers with neck wounds – why it looks like a vampire attack (both teenagers were POC so are we sure it wasn’t Caroline, returning to her old feeding habits?)
Elena is dealing with all of this to drink some kind of potion and spend her time with Damon – apparently there and in the flesh.
To class in which Alaric is teaching about the occult – why Elena who wants to be a doctor is in this class is a little beyond me (or why a vampire feels the need to take a class on the occult for that matter) but she’s actually in class so I suppose we should give some credit. Liv is also in class because… reasons? Why are Luke and Liv in college with Elena? For added bonus, Alaric is very much resisting the urge to eat his class.
Elena catches up with Luke after class because he’s been supplying her with the potion she took, against his coven’s orders (as I recall, their coven kills law breakers) which lets her see Damon. He also made Alaric his daylight bracelet. And you wondered what everyone would do without Bonnie to serve their every whim? Why they’ve got a new serving witch!
Time to do an angst round up. Caroline is upset Stefan hasn’t called her or said goodbye. Jeremy is dealing with his angst with computer games and casual sex (where do these people get their money from, again?) and not doing anything else – certainly not being a Hunter (magic-less town = nothing to hunt). Matt is part of some kind of defence force which looks like a creepy militia without guns that the town has set up AFTER it became magic proof. Great timing guys.
Anyway Luke is nervous about giving Elena more of her potion so she appeals to friendship – uh, he’s not actually your friend Elena? Since when is he your friend? And do all your friends give you happy pills? When appeal to friendship fails (he protests he cares – since when does he care about her? Why does her care about her?) she goes to threatening violence. Sadly, Luke is a special kind of witch where all his magical power can’t protect him (he was kidnapped repeatedly last season) only make shinies for Elena. Elena gets her happy hallucination pills and even her hallucination tells her that this is a bad idea. Her hallucination Damon also disapproves of elena snacking on random passers by, she’s having problems controlling her appetite and nearly killing people. Caroline arrives to distract her this time – and her victim gets away, managing to make it to Mystic Falls where Elena can’t follow. Caroline realises that Elena’s probably the vampire prowling the borders of Mystic Falls. The whole magic potion thing is revealed and Caroline disapproves of this non-way of handling grief.
The girl runs into town and collapses into Matt’s hands – with the rest of his little defence force joining them led by Trip who is very disgruntled when Liz and Matt run her to the hospital rather than treating him as some kind of official force in the town.
Time for another little revelation – Tyler has being brought back to life has reset his werewolf curse – which means he isn’t a werewolf until he murders someone again. Tyler’s also crushing on Liv though she isn’t interested. So that’s definitely going to happen.
Over to Stefan who is being screwed over by his oh-so-compellable-boss and semi-dating/sleeping with a woman called Ivy who has noticed how mysterious (secretive) he is.
And Alaric’s love interest is established as Dr. Jo, one of Elena’s teachers/mentors/whatever. Both of them are awkward but Alaric is 8 times more so.
Elena, all devastated, calls Stefan looking for hope and he says nah it’s all hopeless, so hopeless he even gave up looking. This may not be exactly what Elena needed to hear
Meanwhile, Caroline calls Tyler and they blame Elena’s problem on Luke before Matt brings the girl who was attacked to the edge of time so Caroline can mess with her memory (Matt also has a huge long speech about why he wants to protect people after being mangled quite thoroughly for the last five seasons). Tyler finds Luke and attacks him (again, that pesky magic problem where only has power when it comes to serving Elena) – Alaric has to move in and save him.
Liv goes to Tyler to object to him abusing her brother for Elena’s dependence (and, again, Luke is blamed for not sacrificing Liv to save everyone) which instead turns into Tyler’s angst and more of him trying to get in her good books and him pouting because she outrageously doesn’t want to be his friend/love interest/whatever
Elena tries to say her last goodbyes to the Damon hallucination which doesn’t quite work out well. She goes to Alaric and for a brief moment it looks like Elena is concerned about someone else’s feelings but it’s a preamble to her asking him to use his kina-Original-ness to compel her to forget she loved Damon
To Damon who makes Bonnie breakfast. Wait.. what? No, don’t end there, for a brief second we were separate from Elena angst?!
Aaargh this episode epitomised so much of what I hate about this show – ELENA Elena Elena Elena, everything revolves around Elena. She is the grieviest griever who ever grieved and she repeatedly says how much she knows grief and everyone marvels about how much she’s lost and – yeah, she and everyone else on this show! This is an ongoing problem – we may have hints of other people being upset or having issues or not being in a good place but it is all overwhelmed by the yawning black hole of Elena angst that drags everyone in – and everyone’s willing to accept it. Everyone runs with the idea that Elena’s pain hurts the most, Elena’s grief is the saddest, Elena is the chief sufferer.
Elena gets over her grief by hallucinating Damon. Bonnie? Hello, Bonnie? No? (And don’t even try to talk about the month Elena apparently spent being sad in the downtime because shoving grief off-screen is such a major cop out). Damon is the pain she just can’t get over… Bonnie? Meh, dealt with that.
Then again, Bonnie is in a better place. Otherwise she’d be doing Luke’s job! Seriously, they had the Black serving Witch and now they’ve got the gay serving Witch! He’s there to provide magical help and services and he isn’t even their friend! I mean, they were utterly awful friends to Bonnie but they always held onto that friend excuse as it grew ever weaker. Since when is Luke their friends? He was sent to hunt down dopplegangers and stop the Travellers – not risk his coven’s wrath giving out happy drugs to Elena and daylight bling to Alaric. He’s doing all this because he wasn’t willing to sacrifice his sister for the sake of Elena? Which has bonus points of him being an abuse magnet as well. The minorities-as-servant trope is getting old generally and doubly so on this show (and it’s spin off, Originals).
I don’t like the Tyler/Liv thing because she’s disinterred. Hopefully it will end here, but I bet it won’t and they’ll end up together and we will have another fictional portrayal of female sexual disinterest being just a temporary obstacle to inevitable humping. Maybe I’m being cynical… but I doubt it.