The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 2 – TV Review
I feel like I should point out that Enzo’s actor’s name is Michael Malarkey.
I’d never noticed it before now, but I’m glad I did.
TL;DR Enzo and Caroline track down Stefan, who is pathetic (as per usual); Elena has Alaric erase her love for Damon from her memory; Damon and Bonnie find out they’re trapped in a time loop in an empty version of the world from twenty years ago; Jeremy and Matt deal with z-tier domestic drama.
And there’s a new founding family member on the scene. Everyone start taking bets now to see how many episodes he’ll last before he’s dead.
The major plot of the episode is Elena’s endlessly melodramatic decision to have Alaric compel away her Damon lovin’. And just because Elena’s love life is so super dooper special, this isn’t a simple task: we’re forced to endure Elena recounting all the things Damon did to make her fall in love with him until they can pinpoint the Big One, which Alaric can then tamper with. It’s a slog, but they eventually do get there. Maybe Elena might liven up a bit, huh? Meanwhile, Enzo and Caroline go road tripping to find Stefan, and they interrupt his little bit of backwoods denial with bland girlfriend Ivy (who I don’t think is a witch after all). Enzo kills her, naturally, and Caroline cries because Stefan is a turd. Nothing unexpected there. Meanwhile, that chick Elena attacked outside of Mystic Falls last episode is hanging around and dating Jeremy. She mentions that she has an absentee father who lives in town. This might be related to Trip, the older guy from Matt’s crew who turns out to be a long lost Fell. And we get a quick catch-up on Bonnie and Damon’s last five months: they ended up in a version of Mystic Falls from twenty years ago, and are also stuck in a loop of the same day. Bonnie hunts for a grimoire that might show her how she can use magic again while Damon cooks breakfast a lot.
And they also might not be alone.
If you can mentally block out all the Elena stuff, this is actually a very solid episode.
But you can’t mentally block out all the Elena stuff. Because it’s insistent and overwrought and doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up.
Just like Elena, then.
Why I hate this episode:
Naturally, she also lies to Alaric (and herself! Oh the angst!) about what the moment was when she knew she loved Damon. So we’re subjected to flashbacks and teary remembrances for nothing for most of the episode.
Of course, the moment was when she was still dating Stefan (it was from the season 3 premiere episode with the killer party). Elena was in denial about this because she thinks of herself as so moral and faithful. God, Elena should really consider being a comedian. Doesn’t she know this whole show is about her infidelity?
Stefan’s subplot comes to an abrupt and anticlimactic end. I thought he must have been pulling some kind of long con on Ivy, who I figured must have been a witch. But nope, Stefan just got sick of his search for a remedy for Damon and Bonnie’s erasure from existence being so fruitless, and settled into this humdrum little mechanic’s life because he’s a big baby.
He also reveals that he never even listened to any of the messages Caroline left for him. God, Stefan’s not even worth it, you know? Caroline shouldn’t be wasting her time pining over him. Hell, I’m so fed up with Stefan’s sookery that I’m almost switching to Team Damon as far as Elena’s romantic future is concerned. Now that’s terrifying.
Sarah, the girl Elena attacked last episode, is plain as hell. Go meet your mystery daddy already and maybe I’ll give a shit about you.
Trip tips Matt off that Sarah is a car thief, which Sarah later confirms for Matt and Jeremy. She claims that she stole it from her boss because he was handsy. It sounds like she and her boss deserve each other with that kind of behaviour.
Also, I know that Trip himself makes a joke about how his name is Trip Fell, but what the fuck, TVD?
Oh, and the flashbacks made me realise just how much I miss Elena’s old eyebrows.
But it’s not all bad:
With her memory now blocked out, we might get a tiny reprieve from the Elena Grief Show. Please.
And props to everyone (except a horrified Caroline) going along with the insane idea to alter her memories. Especially Tyler, who although isn’t seen this episode, is apparently a soulless party monster. So I can finally empathise with him.
The highlight of the episode is Caroline’s emotional showdown with Stefan, when he makes it clear how little he really cares about her. Caroline earns herself second best line of the episode with this astute observation: “You’re a dick.” Mmm hmm.
Caroline goes and has a big cry alone in the car. Enzo is about ready to leave Stefan’s place, but Caroline’s tears spur him into action; action of the neck-snapping variety. He starts by murdering Ivy jsut to hurt Stefan, then has a big speech about how Stefan doesn’t deserve Damon as a brother. Because Stefan is a defeatist ingrate. He concludes with promising to steal Stefan’s happiness for the rest of his life, and when Stefan lunges to attack, Enzo just snaps his neck, too, and leaves. Hot.
Enzo’s avenging of Caroline adds to their teasing banter that builds for most of the earlier parts of the episode. If Caroline can get over Stefan, I wouldn’t mind seeing her turn her attentions towards Enzo.
Bonnie and Damon’s circumstance is more compelling than I expected it to be. Why are they twenty years in the past? Why do they happen to be stuck on a day with an eclipse? And who’s the mystery crossword enthusiast who figured out Yellow Ledbetter? Intrigue.
I’ll give Bonnie some points for not moping about for five months and properly doing research to find a way to restore her magic. Damon contributes by cooking mountains of breakfast food, for which I can’t fault him, either.
Alaric finds out when Elena fell in love with Damon because Caroline is like “It was when she was dating Stefan. Because she’s a slutty slutty two-by-whore. Duh.” Caroline: using her gossip for good, instead of evil.
Elena gets best line of the episode when Alaric confronts her with this knowledge. He says something to reassure her that it’s not the worst thing in the world to love both Stefan and Damon, and Elena has an epiphany: “‘It’s okay to love them both.’ That’s what Katherine used to say. How sad is it that my own evil doppelganger was smarter than me?” Not sad at all. Nor shocking.
When Matt finds out Trip is a founding family member, he asks if Trip knows what he, as a founding family member, should know (ie. vampires). We learn he definitely does, as Trip ends his segment of the episode by driving a paddy wagon full of vampires into Mystic Falls, then opening a sun roof and burning them all to death. I’m not sure if Trip knew about the anti-magic zone, though. Because then he wouldn’t have needed the sunlight to kill the vampires. And if he did know about it, how did he know?
I suspect Sarah’s dad is Trip simply because it would make things nice and neat. But you never know. There could be another sneaky older man hiding in Mystic Falls. We do need some new villains, you know.
Jeremy keeps paying Bonnie’s phone bill so he can keep leaving her voicemails, which allows him to kind of talk to her, and also hear her voice on her voicemail prompt recording. When he isn’t fucking random skanks, Jeremy’s sho shweet.
Oh, and Bonnie and Damon do just the right amount of hate-flirting. Which is the kind of flirting I’m most responsive to. Obviously.