Saturday, April 25, 2015

Vampire Diaries, Season 6, Episode 19: Because

Stefan’s master plan to catch Caroline and make her human again!

First convince her he’s still humanity less (this would mean Musty Stefan pretending to be Fun Stefan and not whining, Already this plan has flaws). They explain this plan to Elena who is completely oblivious to Caroline and Stefan’s feelings for each other (hey didn’t Caroline angst about these feelings to Elena a few episodes ago? Minus 10 friend points Elena!). Damon is also snarking especially since Stefan and Caroline’s first time having sex together was after the humanity switch flipping

Stage 2 involves torture and blood draining. Stage 3 involves nostalgia and sad panda memories.

Step 1 works. As does the kidnapping part of Step 2 (because of Damon and towels). He also darts Stefan for reasons unknown and we next see them waking up in a blood stained bed 3 days later. Messy

And Damon decides to bring coffee to Bonnie and talk about how he totally hasn’t told Elena about her vampire cure (can Bonnie actually have a conversation not about Elena?) Oh and Damon gave the Ascendant to Mummy Dearest for “safe keeping” and Bonnie is not impressed by this given the whole Heretic vampire/witch hybrids (or witchpire as Damon dubs them). As an added bonus since Lily needs Bonnie to cast the spell to let the witchpires out, that means Lily is going to go looking for Bonnie. Bonnie is furious and tells Damon to fix it AND “don’t show up here pretending to care about me.”

About time you said it Bonnie!

Alaric and Jo still exist. Someone in the world may care. And they are alien people who have nothing in common with me. Move along to Caroline and Stefan being locked in a vampire-proof B&B and my contemplating the fact I just typed “vampire-proof B&B”. They’ve both been drained of blood so have no energy.

As if Caroline isn’t suffering enough, Elena enters the scene. Caroline instantly snarks about all the terrible things Elena did when she turned her humanity off (Stefan, pretending to have lost his humanity, plays along). Elena gives Caroline a letter from her mother that Liz wrote before she died but Caroline knows full well what that’s for – and tells Stefan to burn it. He tries to weasel out of it but eventually does so.

Elena is very briefly sad a this failing before Damon reassures her and they have another scene about what-if-Elena-were-human-ness. Listening to the sappiness does succeed in torturing Caroline. And then Damon takes over, interrupting Caroline trying to get Stefan have sex and growing suspicious. He goes for full out “what would your mother think!” guilt. This circles back around to Elena as Caroline mocks Damon for not being able to give Elena the human life she mysteriously wants.

And after some more time together, Caroline realises Stefan is all human again because he’s just not that good a liar to hide the mustiness. She breaks his neck and batters her way out of the not-so-vampire-proof B&B. Until she is stopped by her mother in full uniform – yes she’s still captive and her dreams are being manipulated by Stefan (remember that vampire power? It’s one they pull out of the box roughly once a season). Caroline responds by stabbing Stefan so he throws memories at her (somehow) of Liz telling Stefan how she totally hopes he’d have hot dirty monkey sexy with her daughter one day (it’s possible I’m paraphrasing here).

The super sad and poignant memories of her mother break into Caroline’s humanity and she sobs over the letter, the last words of her mother, that she burned. She also has the files of all the people she killed that Damon prepared to try and get through to her guilt.

She also needs to not be around Stefan.

Back to Bonnie – she plans to have lunch with Lily at the grill – but Enzo gets there before she does. She’s all happy to see Enzo – but he visibly flinches from her touch. They sit down to dinner and Lily is super awkward since she knows nothing about restaurants and has never been to one before. She also tells him that she was imprisoned and that’s why she abandoned him as a new vampire, neatly popping all his pouty anger. This conversation takes a brief stop in why she doesn’t feel much maternal connection to Stefan and Damon but is so loyal to the witchpires.

That flips Enzo’s side and they go to Damon and Stefan’s house – where Bonnie is, looking for the Ascendant which she takes. Much to Lily’s rage as she tells Enzo that the witchpires are her family and the only thing keeping her from going Ripper; Enzo pushes her to play mumsy with Damon and Stefan. She’s not a fan of that

She calls Damon, interrupting his and Elena’s latest angst-over-being-human talk. Lily demands the Ascendant back or she’ll destroy the vampire cure.

Bonnie is planning to destroy the Ascendant or, as she tells Damon, “finally putting me first”. Yes Bonnie! YESSSSSSSS! She is pretty scathing about Damon’s promises or how mean it is for his mother to manipulate him. I cannot say how many times I cheered Bonnie here. She has an epic rant to Damon – if she gives him the Ascendant she is sacrificing herself, AGAIN, risking her life AGAIN, to die for them AGAIN. She further hits back that if the cure meant that much to Damon he would have told Elena about it. She also hits at his obvious fear of what would happen if Elena became human again – an Elena that would choose Stefan, not Damon. With all that thrown at him she offers him the Ascendant. He walks away without it.

So Lily gets her revenge – she burns the box but the cure isn’t inside. She’s left it for Elena to find and then tells her that Damon was hiding it. Lily is good at revenge.

Of course, now without her “family” to cling to, she returns to her Ripper ways and is now comforted as she cries with Enzo to comfort her

Damon and Elena are surprisingly mature – Damon confesses to almost letting his mother destroy the cure, how he panicked and was scared about losing Elena. He sets out his conflict – he wants Elena to have her human fantasy life, he wants that for her – but he also can’t stand to lose her. Elena considers giving it to someone else so they don’t have to deal with the complexity

But Damon insists she’ll take it – and he’ll take it too because we’re going to ignore an entire season’s worth of conflict over this thing and decide there’s enough for TWO!?

I really am tired of the whole should-Elena-be-human storyline. As I’ve said before, it’s a storyline with no pressure because there are no downsides to being a vampire. It’s a terrible thing for the characters to angst about, it’s a ridiculous thing for them to want  and it all feels so… genre-led. Like the motif of the sad and angsty vampire that wants their humanity back is such a staple in our genre ever since Louis de Pont Du Lac spewed his virulently purple prose on the page that it has become assumed without ever considering whether it’s appropriate for the setting. You can’t have “vampires and sad and want their humanity back” as a motive just because it’s a genre staple – it has to be supported by the setting

And, like so much on this show, it inappropriately centres the plot on Elena – and, no, this isn’t Elena’s doing this is Damon’s. It makes Bonnie’s remark about Damon pretending to care very poignant. She is going to be hunted not just by a vampire, but by a Ripper – and Caroline is stuck in evil mode but Elena and Damon are playing “what if you were human” right there. This one incident wouldn’t be so notable if it weren’t such a common thread for the entire series.

I am glad it is out in the open now and Damon is very open with his conflict and he and Elena can discuss that together rather than constantly have Damon be the one gatekeeping the choice. I also find Elena’s reaction very accurate – it’s such a hard terrible decision for her (though, again, I question the attraction of humanity)

BONNIE! Oh Bonnie! An entire extra fang went into this episode for her finally, finally, FINALLY drawing a line

Caroline – Caroline facing that she’d burned the last words of her dying mother needed more time – but was a devastating moment.