Saturday, April 18, 2015

Vampire Diaries, Season 6, Episode 18: I Could Never Love Like That

Caroline and Stefan are playing with a poor hapless bartender for funsies. They are kind of fun when they’re evil. Also they’re showing the power of compulsion which is both a) really awesome and b) would have been incredibly useful in the last 6 seasons.

Enzo decides to dump Sarah Salvatore (throw in Matt and we have the three most pointless characters on this show) on the Salvatores out of some weird need to no longer be responsible for her (or you could just LET HER GET ON WITH HER LIFE) and the door is answered by Damon’s mother. This causes a pretty terrified reaction from Enzo.

He flees and explains to an ever more confused Sarah that he met Lily Salvatore in 1903 – she’s his maker. Time for more exposition for Sarah including her messed up family and evil uncles and a flashback to when he met Lily:

He was human, sick, looking for a doctor and to get on a boat which a uniformed man was hassling him over when Lily killed the man and helped him bypassed quarantine. The doctor there, however, is a fake and Enzo is dying of consumption. Enzo and Lily bond over being abandoned, her in a sanatorium, him in a work house. She turns him into a vampire and massacres everyone on the ship – though she abandoned Enzo.

Enzo then tries to take it all back but Matt has decided to give Sarah vervain so she’s now uncompellable – and can inject Enzo with it. He ends up as her prisoner. Briefly – he escapes, ties her up and seems to plan to change her. Or seems to  - at the last minute he changes his mind and sends her off, uncompelled.

Inside naked Damon and Elena argue about Lily, Elena wanting Damon to give her a chance and Damon making jokes about his mother killing babies. He’s also hiding the humanity cure in his drawer and still hiding it from Elena because he totally is the one to decide whether Elena gets to use it

Lily talking about whether Elena misses her humanity over breakfast doesn’t help (sure! I miss not having super powers, not living for ever and not being eternally young!) she also continues to push to free her undead buddies in the prison world which, we know, isn’t happening

Stefan and Caroline keep causing minor mayhem and Matt and Tyler walk into the middle of it. Caroline starts playing evil but slightly nifty games with them.

Elena heads to campus to ride to the rescue working with Jo to help heal and cover up some of the carnage – and spread the word that Damon’s mother is running around (and that Kai is now imprisoned – really someone could have kept Jo in the loop). Pregnant Jo is so thrilled to hear Kai is out of the picture. She also looks at all the carnage and… makes it all about her! Elena is epicly good about making this all about her! Yes, she wonders at the evil that lurks inside of her because she knows if she switches her humanity off she’d do the same. Yes, walking wounded all around and Elena makes it about her existential crisis.

Damon and Lily travel separately so they can talk about the cure – yes Lily overheard about it. And all of Elena’s angst has to be seen in the context of there being a “cure” for immortality. As they get closer to Stefan Lily has doubts she can connect to Stefan, that her being his mother is enough after 150 years apart, after 150 years of not being that woman and that she simply doesn’t FEEL what she once did for her sons. And more painful revelations that she wasn’t returning to her family in the first place.

Pain aside, Lily is still Damon’s only real solution

Back to Stefan and Caroline being evil – Tyler decides to fight back while Matt tries to stop him. When he tries to stab Caroline she uses Matt as a human shield. Did I mention that Caroline is good at evil?

Damon and Lily arrive and Damon gets Tyler to get Matt out – the extras are not needed here (they didn’t even give Matt vampire blood. They get him to Elena and Jo where Matt refuses Elena’s vampire blood). When Stefan announces who Lily is, Caroline realises this is an attempt to activate Stefan’s humanity and then get hers – so she stabs Stefan and runs for it. Damn she’s good at evil.

Lily tries to get through to Stefan, basically reciting the lines Damon feeds her. It gets through and Stefan has his humanity back and goes after Caroline.

In the hospital Elena asks Matt about refusing her blood – he points out all vampires are evil, just 1 flick of the switch away – and he can’t hate vampires and use them when it helps him (I disagree but can see his point).

This is more fuel to Elena’s humanity angst. But now for more drama: Jo wants the ascendant back, the one Damon gave to Lily to assure her of his good faith. See those mummy friends of hers are evil outcast Gemini coven witches who she turned into vampires and are now impossible vampire/witch hybrids. They’re siphoners like Kai so need magic from another source – but as vampires they ARE a source of magic.

And there’s 6 of them which Lilly is freeing

Tune in next week to hear how siphoning vampires make Elena feel and cause her great introspection and angst. And maybe Bonnie appearing because she may be useful

Vampire Diaries broken, inconsistent morality has now actually become hilarious to me. Listening to Damon’s moral outrage over his mother’s killings or concern over Caroline and Stefan killing people is so ridiculous as to be actually funny

This whole humanity cure has been broken sine it was first introduced in Vampire Diaries because the show has never established a downside to being a vampire. They can go out in daylight (yes they can, these daylight rings are sold in bulk on ebay), they can eat, have sex and acquiring blood appears to be a minor concern. There’s no downside to vampirism. Even the weaknesses Elena tries to raise (I can turn my humanity off and become a monster! Well… don’t) (I can’t have babies… there are other routes to parenthood) (I will watch children grow to be adults… because of ETERNAL YOUTH) all seem so lacking. And don’t even try to sell the hunger because, really, in 6 seasons this “insatiable craving” seems rather satiable.

Flashbacks are interesting ways to add flesh to characters, especially ancient characters like vampires and it also lets you play dress up. But I don’t see the point of adding all this history to Enzo when we’re still missing the actual POINT of Enzo. Not just in a narrative sense – what does Enzo’s character add to any of the narratives – but in a basic motivational sense. Why is Enzo here? Why does Enzo care so much about Sarah and Stefan? Why is Enzo even slightly interested or involved in this story.

Can we also question the whole appalling idea that Sarah has a morbid fascination with death because of how she was born? Really?

Elena made other people’s suffering all about her! And Jo’s pregnancy all about her! You have to be impressed by this!

Far more compelling to me is Lily – we have a ridiculous pedestal we put mothers on – mothers are ever loving, all compassionate, all forgiving. Mothers are eternally, endlessly, overwhelmingly dedicated to their children, mothers are selfless avatars of love and devotion – mothers cease to be people and can never ever ever be anything less than perfect. Yet here is Lily who has gone through a lot, experienced a lot AS Lily and she can’t just pull the mother role on after 150 years apart. Not for wont of trying, not because she doesn’t want to – but because she is no longer that woman, because she has changed and grown and it is ridiculous to expect the arcane power of motherhood to transcend that.

The vampire/witch hybrid is also interesting in that it makes sense. Sure, Lily is a ripper but was she REALLY worth imprisoning rather than just, say, killing? Vamp/witch hyrbids make much more sense

This also means Kai may actually be one of them now not just lunch