Saturday, March 14, 2015

Vampire Diaries, Season 6, Episode 16: The Downward Spiral

Humanity-less Caroline is drinking and invoking her dead mother so as not to be cut off. It’s harsh and nasty – and still not even slightly as tasteless as asking whether Stefan likes her in front of her mother’s open casket. Anyway because she has no humanity, dead mumsy no longer features but tight shoes are still a pain. Being humanity-less means she’s also happy to flirt with Liam (who is very hot, it has to be said – this is one of Elena’s brief cast offs)

Snack food time!

Stefan and Elena are looking for Caroline – and Bonnie appears! Champagne time as Bonnie finally gets to change her clothes (and a nice touch of Bonnie not being completely unscathered – a champagne cork startles her). They also explain Jeremy not coming back because they’re not going to tell him so he can have a normal life

Don’t stare at this storyline too much, it’s too fragile. Instead Caroline comes home and, obviously, isn’t all emotional about Bonnie’s return because she hasn’t experienced true happiness and got her soul back has switched off her humanity. Anyway, Caroline didn’t kill Liam because while she is delightfully evil, she’s also practical and doesn’t want to deal with the police or body disposal both of which are just sooo annoying.

Anyway, this is Caroline’s deal – since she has proven she can handle her evil and she is smart enough not to want Elena to arrange an intervention, she wants a year. A year where Elena et al lets her be evil trusting that even if she’s not moral enough to be good, at least she’s smart enough not to be evil. She will go evil if anyone tries to make her human before that

Stefan’s angsty. Damon’s generally not caring all that much. Stefan goes investigating Caroline’s non!rampage which means asking Liam questions about his kissing technique.

Kai is still around. Oh dear gods why is Kai still around? And he is still telling us how all this guilty stuff is annoying. He’s annoying Damon who apparently wants Kai around while he digs up his dead mother to try and be sure if she is actually dead (something Damon is rooting for because he’s not up to dealing with vampiric magical imprisoned mummydearest) This show has had far too many mothers in coffins lately. Unsurprisingly, she isn’t dead

So probably is a magically trapped vampire and likely evil. Kai agrees to help Damon get to his (very likely evil) mother, in exchange for a meeting with Bonnie so she can beat him repeatedly with a lead pipe until only mush remains he can say sorry.

Enzo is still ingratiating herself with Sarah Salvatore who just learned about vampires last week. Ye gods does anyone, anywhere in the entire world actually care? Sadly we’re dragged along anyway while Enzo shows off his powers and reveals he’s a vampire. She’s weirdly unimpressed – and Caroline drops in for more fun. Enzo rolls his eyes over

Time for inevitable party time. Yes even evil Caroline organises parties. It’s like some deep seated compulsion with her. If she were ever trapped in a Gemini prison dimension she would have the whole place festooned with streamers.

To the party and Caroline is… partying, but generally behaving herself. While Bonnie burns a guy who gets far too grabby for her liking. Bonnie is still awesome. Elena, in a moment of actual common sense, thinks that Caroline may actually be in control and maybe they don’t have to do anything – but Stefan can’t have that he’s consumed by the guilt weasels! Because it’s all his fault!

Yes, Caroline turned her humanity off because Stefan rejected her. Not because her mother died. Wow… that’s some really special kind of ego right there. I’m impressed. Even Elena rarely reaches that level of ego and her ego eclipses that of several gods

Thankfully SOMEONE recognises that Bonnie may need a moment – and it’s Damon. He calls her and they have a really excellent interplay with lots of snark and her difficulty of adapting – all ruined by Damon asking for a favour; yes he wants her to meet Kai. Except Bonnie is really not buying new-and-redeemed Kai. Not even slightly.

Kai doesn’t let it go and tantalises Damon with lots of secrets about his mother – fear the power of vampires with parental issues. Is there a reason why Damon isn’t brutally torturing Kai right now? Y’know for funsies? And information I guess.

Back to the party and Stefan’s declaration of love for Caroline does not bring her humanity back. It does piss her off though since it was her one rule. She goes to point out the obvious to Stefan – the only way Sarah could be so utterly indifferent towards and bored by vampires is if Stefan had compelled her into it to protect her. She also tries to flirt with him but he’s not interested when she’s “not really” herself.

With this plot failing, Stefan decides he and Elena need to kidnap Caroline and make her love him. Caroline has a better plan – let Stefan know that she’s lured Sarah to an isolated location and plans nefariousness. That nefariousness involves compelling Liam to perform horrified amateur surgery on Sarah. I kind of have to applaud Caroline’s evil. She’s creative. Elena protests that Caroline will regret it – like she did. To which Caroline wins every award ever by saying

“I compelled a student to perform surgery on Stefan’s niece and you made this about you! God you really have a gift Elena”

Oh evil Caroline, never ever leave us again! But evil Caroline is far more cunning than that. She recognises that emotional Stefan CAN bring her humanity back. So she will spare Sarah – if Stefan turn his humanity off. Instead, Stefan uses his old compulsion on Liam to be honest to force him (over the phone) to tell him and Elena where he is. Elena blurs to the rescue. Sarah is doomed. Stefan and Caroline fight. Caroline impales Stefan to the floor

Elena completely fails to rescue Sarah so, in desperation after telling Elena to bring him back, Stefan turns off his humanity. Elena does manage to get Sarah blood to save her at least (and breaks Liam’s wrists). Too late – Stefan goes evil. Evil Stefan and Evil Caroline are going to be so much fun.

Back at the rave, Damon decides to just spring Kai on Bonnie. Kai apologises while Bonnie flashbacks every terrible, violent thing he did to her. She then tells him she will melt off his face if she sees it again. I approve heartily of this response.

Bonnie goes home in a fiery (literally) rage and Damon follows. She furiously recites all the things Kai did to her while magically inflicting them on Damon and gives us some brief insight into how much Bonnie was hurt by being abandoned and isolated.

At the Salvatore house Kai tells Damon about his mother – and why she won’t be released. See, the Gemini Coven only ever created two prison worlds. One of which was for Kai. Logic (oh such a rare resource) demands that SOMEONE should have asked WHY Mummy Salvatore was locked up. She’s a ripper – just like Stefan. She killed 3,000 people. Damon is devastated by the revelation of her crimes (what? You and your brother have done much the same?).

Bonnie finally calls Jeremy and leaves a message – she’s back, but changed by her time in isolation that she’s not sure of them being together any more. She wants to work herself out before reuniting and working on them.

I love that Bonnie’s back, but her opening line “you look like you could use a friend” is awful. It’s awful because, flippant and light though it is, it is a literal representation of their “friendship” – what Elena can use. And no, I’m not snarking the word choice, I’m snarking the terrible treatment of Bonnie that has me unable to not see the double meaning

Particularly the way Bonnie is back – she came back in the very last seconds of the last episode… and as the beginning of the next one starts Damon is focused on his dead mother and everyone else is focused on Caroline. There was barely a breath of acknowledgment of Bonnie’s return.

But there WAS a task list. Save Caroline, meet Kai, help get Damon’s mother out. She returned from the otherside without a second to adapt and is already being set to work.

Ye gods, they took a woman who had been entirely on her own for the best part of a year and then dumped her in a crowded rave?! And just springing Kai on her? I would be shocked and appalled but it’s kind of typical of how Bonnie is treated. This is disgusting – Bonnie needs to get out of this town. Or even back to the prison dimension – even that was better than this.

Also, really, WHY is Kai still around? He has a coven to lead/tortured/eat in Washington somewhere, he has no ties or interests in middle-of-nowhere, Virginia and a whole lot of people here who loathe him (in theory, but they all seem willing to tolerate him for some reason) but he’s still here. WHY?!

I’ve also seen some clumsily written off characters before – but they’re not going to tell Jeremy Bonnie is back for the sake of normality? This guy dived into a pit of self-destructiveness over here and now they’re just going to keep it secret because the writers don’t want to think of a more convincing way to write him out of the show without 11 episodes of Elena angst/resurrection/etc? I know, let’s just have Bonnie decide not to tell the man who desperately loves him that she’s not dead! YAY!

Oh no, Caroline’s evil! Pffft, Caroline has actually shown more restraint without her humanity than most of the cast shows with it. She’s also kind of fun without her humanity. Though maybe Enzo “oh you didn’t” and humanity-less Caroline have a chance of being a little fun. And Caroline is surprisingly good at evil. Really really good

Aaargh I loathe what is happening to Bonnie, like that she is rejecting it and showing that, yes, she is severely hurt and wounded (and lashing out at people who sorely deserve it) and  love evil Caroline.