The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 9 – TV Review
Well, my smarmy assertion last week about TVD’s fall against The Originals’ rise seems to be holding true.
The Originals had a powerful, knockout episode this week.
And poor TVD had to dangle the deaths of its leading men in an attempt to force us to feel anything about this once great soap.
TL;DR Stefan and Damon pursue Julian to kill him, but both end up on the receiving end of the Phoenix Sword; Damon continues to deny any feelings over Lily’s death; Baby properly dumps Sporty; Caroline and Alaric get prepared for the babies; Enzo does not appear this episode.
The only exciting thing last episode was his abduction at the hands of some mystery organisation. So, being TVD Season 7, that will be left in the cold while we find new ways to fail at killing Julian.
Let’s get through the flash forward stuff first, because we’ve got another Bonnie/Enzo and Caroline/Alaric schizophrenic pairing: Stefan and Ginger are together. Not as WTF, but just as disappointing. Meanwhile in the present, Stefan and a somewhat reluctant Damon relentlessly run down an on-the-run Julian. They eventually corner him at a town he used to live in, and it turns out Julian has another ragtag group of villains for the audience to not care about (could they chuck us a couple of gay dudes this time? Or a transgendered person?), so Stefan and Damon are forced to flee. They enact another scheme by kidnapping Sporty Spice and luring Julian back to Mystic Falls, but he wins in the tussle again, stabbing Damon through the heart with a completed Phoenix Sword. Damon’s off to hell, and Stefan soon joins him when Baby Spice defects from her minor jaunt to the light side and stabs him, too. Baby defects because, despite some gal pal time with Bonnie and a breakup with Sporty, she still isn’t a fan of the boys (plus Ginger) kidnapping Sporty. Obv. Meanwhile, Caroline and Alaric crush their pregnancy preparations, but Caroline suffers some vampire mood swings. And Scary Spice is nowhere to be seen. Not even at Lily’s funeral.
I suppose he wouldn’t make a very effective eulogist, would he?
The fact that the Heretics are barely even villains now just makes the absurdity of having Julian, a garden variety vampire, be this obstructively hard to kill. For six and a half seasons, we’ve seen Damon and Stefan tear and stake their way through swaths of vampires and hybrids.
Just. Fucking. Kill. Him.
Why I hate this episode:
The worst example of TVD’s insistence that Julian not die this episode is when Stefan and Damon manage to get Julian drunk and alone in a bar. Instead of immediately vamp whooshing over and killing him, they stand around to posture at each other, which gives Julian the time he needs to announce his vampire brethren backup. For fuck’s sake.
This is made more frustrating by Baby’s demonstration at the end of the episode of how easy it is to vamp whoosh and impale someone. Because that’s exactly what she does to Stefan.
In addition to their banal journey to murder Julian, Stefan and Damon’s time is spent bickering about whether Damon cares about Lily’s death. Damon continually protests that he doesn’t, which Stefan, ever the bleeding heart, cannot accept. Damon is vindicated, though, as the short glimpse we get of his Phoenix Stone hellscape is of an injury he suffered on the battlefield during the Civil War; and not of Lily. So shut up, Stefan.
Stefan and Damon’s “deaths” are instantly trivial, because we know exactly how to resurrect them thanks to everything that went on with Julian. I thought destroying the Other Side would curb arbitrary main character deaths, but nope.
Stefan and Ginger’s confirmed relationship status in the future is just, like, no.
Scary Spice is bizarrely absent this episode. His no-show at Lily’s funeral is just insulting. I was never Lily’s biggest cheerleader, but I thought the one seemingly unselfish Heretic would attend.
Baby Spice puts some admirable work into breaking free from Sporty, Julian, and her Heretic lifestyle. But then one text from Julian, who we know is a liar, a baby-squasher, and suffering from Phoenix Stone madness, sends her back to Team Wrong in a heartbeat. I think it’s time for TVD to bury its gays. Because they’re shit.
Sporty Spice expects Baby Spice to apologise to her for her proposal turnaround when they meet up this episode. As further proof that she’s unsalvageable.
Oh, and Caroline and Alaric attend a birthing class together, and Caroline is outraged that people from the class who recognise them as professor and student would whisper about an inappropriate relationship. Well fucking duh, honey.
But it’s not all bad:
Caroline and Alaric slay at getting their reading done for all this baby shit. Which doesn’t come as much of a surprise with Caroline, really.
We also get some minor tension with her unusual mood swings. And Caroline reasonably wonders whether drinking blood is good for the baby. Hell, is gestating inside a vampire womb good for the baby? Fair point.
The highlight of the episode is, surprisingly, Bonnie. She’s surly and jaded while helping organise some “toys for sick kids” charity thing that Caroline lets her handle while she’s off with Alaric. Baby Spice turns up and offers to help, as she’s seeking a new leaf following her troubles with Julian and Sporty. She’s even enrolled at Whitmore. Bonnie isn’t keen to see her, but puts on the best fake smile she can muster.
Damon later seeks help from Bonnie in narrowing down Julian’s location, so Bonnie fakes it up with Baby for the deets. Baby’s onto her, but she’s happy enough just to have someone to talk to.
We also get a teensy bit of ship tease for Bonnie/Baby, too. Enzo better get his butt back here to keep his woman off the V.
Baby Spice’s dumping of Sporty Spice is also pretty fabulous, but it’s undercut by Baby’s instantaneous defection later on.
Damon might not be able to handle Phoenix Stone hell, but Stefan should be fine. He spent months drowning over and over in that safe, remember? Although, I predict TVD will not remember that, just so we can have more drama. Whatever.
It turns out the Phoenix Stone was not designed to save vampires: it was designed to punish them. Typical. It’s probably got some Bennett witch blood lock in it somewhere, if that’s the case.
Best line of the episode goes to Damon, who is resolute in his apathy towards Lily: “She didn’t deserve my forgiveness.” I concur.
Caroline visits Liz’s grave and laments not being able to ask her for advice on being a mum. Aww.
Oh, and I’m looking forward to seeing just how zealous Bonnie is in restoring Damon (and Stefan, obligatorily) back to life. Does the fire still burn?