Saturday, May 16, 2015

Vampire Diaries, Season 6, Episode 22: I’m Thinking of You All The While

After a brief aside of Damon and Elena being cute in a completely-unfitting-to-the-scene manner, we return to the scene of destruction where the entire Gemini coven can do little more than scream and die when faced with Kai and Kai alone – and Damon tries to wake up the unconscious Elena. He tries to give her vampire blood but I don’t think that works with the cure. Among the wreckage Alaric sobs holding Jo who has completely ruined that dress with her blood.

Damon zooms Elena to the hospital and Kai breaks Caroline and Stefan’s necks to get them out of the way (the room is literally scattered with shards of broken wood – it would actually be easier to stake them than anything else).

The Gemini finally decide to do something – prison world time. Seriously, get a new trick. Like stabbing him in the head! To be fair, in this one instance it makes sense not to stab Kai since, as coven leader, killing him would kill all the Geminis (which I am totally ok with). Kai makes an attempt to explain himself – Jo’s kids would be competition for his position (expected to merge and become the next leader). And his previous attempt at redemption is hand waved – since his family decides he’s irredeemable, he’s decided he might as well be

Kai then stabs himself in the neck. Well that’s one way to get rid of a villain on the last episode of the season when you have no grand arc for them.

We have some angsty dream scenes with Elena and Alaric which I think will be a theme and a recovered Bonnie calls Damon in the hospital for some recapping. Elena’s unconscious (without any physical ailment according to the doctors), Jo is dead and Damon needs Bonnie to do something to fix it all.

Liv, along with the rest of the Geminis, is dying from dead-Kainess and Tyler has a big shard of glass in his stomach. Tyler declares how much he loves Liv and she insists that he kill her – she’s dying anyway, it’s a full moon he will heal his wounds if he turns into a werewolf. They kiss, there’s more “I love yous” back and forth – and she holds his hand over her mouth and nose. He starts shifting as he desperately calls Matt to warn all vampires to run – there’s a venomous wolf on the run.

Enzo has grabbed Caroline and Stefan for a road trip so he can add to the recaps (Kai is dead as well now – and all the Geminis are “going down with him”) and Enzo needs their help. He takes them to Lily who is looking for her witchpire friends who Kai promised he would bring back with him. Stefan points out that Kai is not the most trustworthy of fellows. Honestly Stefan, you might want to stop building up this whole mother connection, this isn’t a genepool to be proud of. But he keeps trying, keeps trying to get her to side with her son over the people she calls family. She doesn’t even hesitate.

She also reveals she gave Kai her blood

Which means Kai is now rising as a proto-vampire (he has to drink blood to complete the change). His dying dad will do.

Alaric decides to load his deceased wife’s body into the back of his car… what are they so used to hiding bodies in Mystic falls they now do it habitually? Granny’s just snuffed it, let’s go out to the woods in the dead of night and dig a shallow grave?

When Kai emerges Alaric decides to shoot him. It doesn’t do much against a witchpire – yes, Alaric, ALARIC of all people, is not packing wooden bullets. Alaric then tries to shoot himself but has run out of bullets. Damn Alaric, this really isn’t your day but kudos for some excellent acting of utter drunken despair there. Alaric’s day gets a little better when Tyler leaps on Kai and bites him.

Kai staggers his way to Damon to ask why he is feeling so bad (just after Damon gets the text to Beware the Werewolf). Damon demands the cure for Elena – and Kai tells him it. What is it?

Wellll… Matt catches up with Bonnie who has found a video message from Kai explaining how he escaped and how he wants everyone to suffer now, especially Bonnie. He has cursed Elena so that she will stay asleep so long as Bonnie is alive. And they’ll both die if they try a magical get out (doesn’t mean a cure doesn’t exist). Matt realises Bonnie has to head for the hills because Damon is probably already on his way to snap her neck.

More angsty dreamy goodbye scenes from Elena

Caroline and Stefan talk by Elena’s bedside and Caroline has already seen a kind of loophole in the curse: Bonnie is human and mortal and Kai specifically said Elena will remain young while under the sleeping curse – so Bonnie lives her natural span and when she finally kicks the bucket (and has her body hidden in the woods somewhere per Mystic Falls tradition) Elena wakes up and rejoins her friends, most of which are unaging vampires. (Or maybe Bonnie could become a vampire which, if Kai is anything to go by, satisfies the whole “death” part).

Stefan reflects on his relationship with Elena and thinks the best thing about meeting Elena wasn’t about loving her, but the way her ability to love Damon brought his brother back into Stefan’s life. Which is really touching – the Salvatores don’t get enough brother moments. He and Caroline then discuss their relationship by Elena’s bedside (that’s karma, right there Elena).

Bonnie catches up with Kai to torture him a little (for him to undo the spell but also for funsies). Kai can’t undo the spell, it’s permanent with his death. Unfortunately, Kai’s power to suck magic, a Heretic/witchpire’s power to suck magic means he can drain the magic from the werewolf venom and therefore cure himself. He knocks Bonnie across the room with magic

Damon arrives to find her injured on the floor. She’s dying – and Kai encourages Damon to let her die. Damon apologises to Bonnie… and walks away

Even Kai is a little put out that Damon made the decision so quickly – he was supposed to angst over it. Then zoom, Kai gets his neck broken and Bonnie gets a drink of vampire blood. AND NO-ONE TAKES THE 10 SECONDS NEEDED TO STAKE KAI!


The whole cast gathers to have an Elena funeral. They’ve put her in a coffin? Wow, morbid much? Couldn’t you at least get a glass one? She’s not dead! She’s only resting! She doesn’t want to go on the cart! She feels fine! She thinks she’ll go for a walk!

Bonnie’s turn to have a goodbye vision – all of these are courtesy of the vampire dream-reading/manipulation power they hardly ever use but is down there at the bottom of the power list (along with “consume own wait in whiskey without having to urinate). Elena asks Caroline and Bonnie to write diaries for her to read when she wakes up. It’s a beautiful goodbye really – and Elena says goodbye to her by saying that Bonnie has spent her entire life making sacrifices for her – and now it’s Elena’s turn. Except she’s not exactly sacrificing but it’s a nice thought

Couldn’t they do the dream thing like 3 times a week or something? Is there a limit?

We have goodbyes from Matt and Alaric and Stefan and Damon and Jeremy - yes he returned for the goodbye – and Tyler (including her telling him to leave town and embrace wolfness)

Stefan and Damon box Elena up and put her in the crypt (NOT DEAD!) The rationale is they need to protect her from vampires who realise she has the cure (why do they want it? And how would they know, it’s not like it was that common knowledge?). Damon and Elena have their goodbyes – and interestingly she refers to Bonnie as Damon’s best friend.

Caroline and Stefan have a moment, with Stefan promising to wait for her until she’s ready.

Over to Lily who has finally realised she’s been had and Enzo goes to her. She worries he’ll think badly of her but everyone’s evil on this show so who cares? Except a new building appears – one that was hidden under Kai’s cloak. Turns out he wasn’t lying – her witchpire family are alive.

And we close to a fastforward montage of a lot of time passing, the town becoming very run down and Matt becoming a cop and Damon looking ominous

I feel… torn. Part of me feels that Elena is the protagonist on this show and, out of respect for Nina Dobrev (who is a more than decent actress and I hope will go on to roles that are so much better than this one. So very much better) I should commemorate her leaving or mark it or express some level of regret for this being her last absence (other characters have left and are leaving but Elena is the protagonist which is a pretty big deal).

But I have to say I’m actually quite eager. Again, no aspersion on Nina Dobrev who did a great job with often terrible material and pulled off the multiple-person thing really well (sure, not as well as Tatiana Maslany – but she is a freaky acting mutant. And she had much better material to work with) but the show’s focus on Elena has not been good. It has forced her into too many situations where she didn’t belong, but her front and central when it wasn’t necessary, dragged attention away from far more dramatic/important/meaningful scenes and characters. It wasn’t even a matter of Elena being self-centred (well, not always. There have been some STUNNING “make it all about me” moments) – it was the show being ELENA-Centred, no matter what was going on we were always dragged back to Elena no matter how relevant she was or how unimportant her storyline was (and, for so much time, her storyline is often love-interest-angst related).

Without Elena the show loses this black hole that sucks everything in. The show loses its protagonist and is, therefore, much more free to let the entire cast tell richer and fuller stories – because they don’t have to shoe-horn Elena into centre stage or dragging the camera away from them. Elena wasn’t just a character I didn’t like much, but her presence and the focus on her was becoming increasingly destructive on the entire show.

I am curious what Vampire Diaries will do now, and actually somewhat hopeful. And they did give her a beautiful send off.

This season seemed too much on many levels. There were too many characters – Matt, Tyler, Alaric, Jo, Sarah, Enzo, all ate more screen time than was necessary. There were too many plot lines which hurt many of the decent ones: Alaric & Jo, Kai, Bonnie in Wonderland, the vampire cure, Lily, dead sheriff Liz, trip the vampire hunter, Matt the wannabe hunter, Jeremy the whatever, Sarah Salvatore, the Geminis, Liv & Tyler, Enzo doing everything – SO MUCH STUFFED IN but no real overarching plot line holding it all together. Future seasons are badly in need of more focus

And better inclusion. We’ve already spoken about the appalling treatment of Luke. While I greatly appreciated the latter parts of the season where Bonnie FINALLY started pushing back against the constant use and abuse of her - It actually says everything about Bonnie on this show that when Kai explained his curse I expected Bonnie to be slitting her own wrists before the echoes had died. (Bonnie got to live this episode only ONLY because Nina Dobrev was leaving this show. Don’t even try to convince me Bonnie would have hesitated for a demisecond to sacrifice herself for Elena AGAIN if that wasn’t the case) – it followed a season where she was continually plot boxed. Locked away from everyone else and often forgotten and certainly not a priority – Bonnie was not a priority. Other POC were limited; we had Sarah Salvatore but I still have absolutely no clue what the point of her was. And that’s about it – we have Tyler Lockwood but while Michael Trevino is certainly a POC, I don’t think you can say the same of the role he is playing

Lily raise some interesting points about motherhood – and I respect her rejection of biology as the sole definer of family which Stefan continually tried to foist on her. Of course, it’s all rather undermined by the fact she and her family are, well, evil. We did have some strong female characterisation – really I think this was Caroline’s season. Even when she was evil she was immensely good at it. It actually worries me a little – are we going to see Caroline step into Elena’s black-hole shoes?