Saturday, December 12, 2015

Vampire Diaries, Season 7, Episode 9: Cold as Ice

Oh yay, Christmas themed episode. Father Christmases everywhere. Did I ever mention how much I hate Christmas music? Because I really really hate Christmas music. I mean, really. I don’t think I like one single Christmas song. Not one.

Anyway we have Stefan and Damon trying to take down the much more powerful Julian by following him around and hoping lightning randomly strikes him or something. Honestly it’s the same tactic they’ve been using since they decided to kill various Originals – the brothers Salvatore have absolutely no concept of the idea that people can be more powerful than them. Ancient vampires, heretics, witches – if they ever came across god Damon would be first in line to try and strangle him.

It, predictably, goes wrong but the plot armour is strong with them. But the real point of this storyline is for Julian to remind us about his scary sword of anti-vamp-ness and for Stefan, Julian at al to repeatedly push Damon to be all sad-panda about Lilly. Look, can we not do this? Or if we are going to do this, can we at least have some acknowledgement that it’s cruel and wrong to try and force someone to reconcile with an abusive/neglectful parent or make nice with someone they consider an abuser. Yes we can argue about whether Damon is accurate in his depiction of Lilly, but we cannot argue that he sees Lily as complicit in the abuse he suffered as a child. It is cruelty to expect him to love her, comfort her or express affection for her – it compounds the abuse he suffered. Flesh and blood does not overrule abuse and this is just another way we hurt abuse victims.

As an extra lump of awful is the depiction of Julian. See Julian was an evil arsehole who kicked a pregnant woman until she miscarried and was trying to collect a full set of evil cards. That was concerning – but now we have to be REALLY worried. Why? Because he’s gone insane.

Yes, that trope AGAIN. Originals recently pulled the same thing. Never mind how evil all the apparently neuro-typical characters are, never mind the bodies they drop, never mind the torture and murder they indulge it – it’s the insane ones you REALLY need to worry about. There’s an added element that “insane” is usually the diagnosis here. Not any particular mental illness – just a generic violent psychosis with no real attempt to link it to real mental illness. I mean look at Julian – he has been “driven insane” by suffering a terrible ordeal. Ok… so he has PTSD? Hallucinations? Night terrors? Perhaps agoraphobia and anxiety, flashbacks even catatonia? How about actually examining a character with PTSD rather than just using “suffered trauma” as an excuse for “psychotic murderer.”

Damon ends up stabbed by the cursed hell sword. Can we have a plan next time they take on a vampire twice their age? The sword is supposed to punish Damon for all the bad stuff he’s done. Yeah, that’s not going to be fun for Damon.

Anyway because this is Mystic Falls, we always have a social event which is organised by Caroline (as always) and inevitably run by Bonnie (because she exists to serve) who is also occasionally bothered by Damon because she exists to serve (and, no, Bonnie snarking about people saying “Bonnie I need something” as a greeting to her doesn’t change that it’s still happening). Nora also joins her because we’re pushing her down a redemption arc towards team good guy and there was even (gasp!) possible flirting from her towards Bonnie (well expression of praise anyway). Don’t build up any hopes in that direction because Nora and Mary Louise alternate between being Officially Done and bonnie urging Nora to get over her (hey, your century old relationship ended yesterday on the same day as your engagement – get over it already. Yeah, Bonnie that’s terrible, I expect better from you) and then Nora being all outraged because Stefan and Valerie have decided to kidnap her-not-quite-ex

Yes, Mary Louise still supports Julian because the writers say so (this show never needs reasons). Anyway, Nora responds by knocking Bonnie unconscious and then stabbing Stefan with the guilt sword.

Oh gods preserve me from the angst we will have to endure from this! And I have a horrible feeling this is going to end with Nora or Mary Louise or both horribly murdered.

We also have a whole lot of time spent on Caroline and Alaric. Anyone in the audience care about pregnancy Caroline? Hormones, cravings, pregnancy classes… And Alaric? I mean, anyone? Anyone at all? Unsurprisingly there are whispers about how inappropriate it is for Alaric to be having a kid by one of his students – yet while there’s gossip Alaric hasn’t been fired yet, as he should be. And zero points for her trying to make a reasonable feminist point that women being irrational because of hormones is a complete sexist trope that needs to die – while being irrational and violent because of her hormones? This is the very definition of not helping

There’s also some future shot things which are getting tiresome.