I really enjoyed this one.
The Vampire Diaries feels particularly rejuvenated this year, because for the first time in a long time, I actually find myself looking forward to catching up with the gang every week.
While Stefan’s memory loss didn’t seem like the most promising development last week, I must say that Amnesia Stefan is a total hoot to watch. Not only does it give Paul Wesley the opportunity to play yet another version of Stefan, the character feels a lot less weighed down and dull. Although I prefer our heroine with Damon, this episode reminded me how charming Stefan and Elena could be together. I especially loved watching them reconnect – that is until she dropped the brother bombshell.
Bonnie however, is my main gripe with the hour: how are we supposed to mourn a character who hangs around every scene? The episode’s final sequence (the funeral) was beautifully realized, and yet I couldn’t fully invest in the sadness because Bonnie was standing there, reminding me that Kat Graham wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Imagine how much more impactful that scene could have been if we really had seen the last of the character. Instead, it was somewhat of a misfire, salvaged by some astounding performances.
On the bright side, Caroline’s getting one heck of a storyline this year. I actually found myself rooting for her and Jesse, so the final reveal with the Professor turning him into a vampire was inspired. I’m less excited about the charisma vacuum’s return (Tyler), but I’ll reserve judgement until I see where this subplot goes. It’s also worth mentioning that I kind of really, really want to see Stefan and Caroline become one of the show’s endgame couple. The two have some amazing chemistry, and that way Elena and Damon get to stay together. Everybody wins, no?
Bits & Bites
– Loved the debate over who the “fun brother” is, culminating in that badass car crash.
– Awesome moment: Damon hugging Jeremy tight after hearing about Bonnie.
– I don’t know if it’s just me, but it felt like there was a spark in Dobrev’s eyes which I hadn’t seen in a long, long time.
– Seriously every time Nina Dobrev has a breakdown, it moves me. I loved how she was set off by the fact that she didn’t have clothes to wear to the funeral (although Buffy tackled this before.
– The song, Gravity, which plays in the lake scene was also used in the show’s second episode during Stefan and Elena’s first kiss.
– Admittedly, Bonnie’s speeches to each of her friends were wonderfully written.
– Gorgeously-framed shot of Bonnie and Jeremy holding hands as we see the rest of the gang sobbing.
Stefan: Well I’m no shrink… right?
Damon: Tell me you found Bonnie because I have a hungry vampire who forgot he’s the hero of the story.
Damon: I don’t speak crazy person Jer, you’re gonna have to translate that for me.
Gravity by Sara Bareilles
Without A Word by Birdy
Apart from one grave misstep, this was a solid and highly effective hour of The Vampire Diaries.