The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 13 – TV Review
With Julian thankfully and finally dead, it’s time for a new villain to rise.
And that villain happens to be an Elena-resembling, sob story-having wuss.
The season of Kai this ain’t.
TL;DR Rayna steps into her ill-fitting Big Bad shoes; her backstory is about how Julian murdered her dad and stuff; the Spice Girls help deliver Caroline’s baby, but Scary Spice is killed by Rayna; Stefan saves Damon from Rayna, but must flee now that Rayna can track him; Elena, predictably, isn’t dead; flash forward Caroline is headed to New Orleans, baby.
I’m salivating at the thought of her reunion with Klaus.
The plot this episode follows Rayna as, having been reborn into her strong, young body, she busts outta whatever shady organisation dungeon Enzo and co have her in, and uses Enzo to blackmail Damon into getting her Phoenix Sword back. Flashbacks to the 1800s show how Rayna was the daughter of one of the five hunters (like, the kind Jeremy is. Remember that?). Julian happened to run into them, and he compelled Rayna to kill her dad so he could avoid all that Hunter’s curse drama. So Rayna was imbued with powers from some shamans and has been hunting Julian and the Heretics ever since. With her sword back from Damon, she continues her Heretic hunt. Too bad Ginger Spice has called her family in to help Caroline deliver her siphon babies, who resist an ordinary C-section because they like sucking that vampire mummy blood too much. Scary Spice is killed at the hospital, Sporty and Baby flee, but Ginger stays on to make sure Caroline survives (Bonnie ends up helping, too). Meanwhile, Stefan is still pretty mad at Damon for frying Elena, but he saves him, anyway, by taking a non-fatal stab from Rayna’s Phoenix Sword. Sadly, this means she can now supernaturally track him, so he must flee from his loved ones for their safety. Meanwhile, Enzo later informs Damon that the Elena coffin was indeed a decoy organised by Tyler (Enzo and Tyler apparently know the same people, which I assume means they’re both involved with the shady organisation that Matt also apparently knows). And a flash forward shows Caroline, with twins in tow, fleeing from Rayna’s rampage and going to visit an old friend in New Orleans.
If it’s inappropriately older men Caroline’s into, then Alaric has nothing on Klaus.
This episode focuses a lot on delivering Caroline’s babies. Which is, naturally, tedious and schmaltzy.
But it makes the wise choice to immediately dump Julian’s vampire cronies, Matt and his soon-to-be-dead love interest, and all that Mystic Falls fluff, and efficiently sprint through Rayna’s backstory so the second half of the season can begin in earnest.
And an efficient episode is exactly the kind of thing this season of TVD has been desperately hanging out for.
Why I hate this episode:
There is one enormous and glaring moment of inefficiency that only occurs to further the plot, and that is Stefan and Damon’s pathetic choice to not kill Rayna when given the chance. After she’s gotten to the hospital and dispatched Scary Spice, Damon faces her in one-on-one combat. Surprisingly, given her mythical Huntress status as built up by the Heretics, Damon almost matches her. She ends up with the upper hand, and is about to finish him off when Stefan jumps between them and takes the stab from the Phoenix Sword to the chest. He then kicks her down. But instead of Stefan and Damon immediately vamp whooshing over to crank her head off, they just, like, don’t. Stefan runs away because now Rayna can find him. And Damon does literally nothing. What the fuck?
Worse, Rayna somehow vanishes from the scene during this momentary pause. The episode doesn’t show us how, though. She gets knocked down and falls off-screen, Stefan has some little flash of his relationship with Caroline that will now be in jeopardy, and then when we return a few seconds later to Stefan and Damon in the hallway, Rayna is just gone. Why did she give up, though? She had two lax vampires just lollygagging. Stab those bros up, bitch. What the fuck, scene?
And while I appreciate that the episode was streamlined by not involving the shady organisation that Enzo is working for, I would quite like to know who they are, please. Although, if Tyler and Matt are connected to them, they can’t be that impressive, right?
Poor Scary Spice is offed without so much as a single focus episode. No Gays In Mystic Falls seems to have been repealed, but No Black Men is still in effect, I see.
Watching the unborn babies magically fling away the doctors is a little bit too goofy.
Oh, and I find it hard to believe that Rayna’s dad, a vampire hunter, wouldn’t have his only daughter on vervain to prevent Julian from compelling her to kill him. Weak, dude.
But it’s not all bad:
His death scene is very cleverly devised, though. Julian has him down for the count and is about to finish him when Rayna intervenes. She tells him that her dad is one of the Five Hunters, and Julian can’t kill him, otherwise he’ll incur the Hunter’s Curse. So Julian just compels Rayna to do it, instead. That’s smart loopholing, but I also respect that TVD called back to established lore. It’s like an episode of The Originals around here.
Rayna’s transformation is aided by a group of shamans whose village was also wiped out by Julian. They all kill themselves to complete their spell/ceremony, and I loved Rayna’s like “whoa, man” reaction. I like her, already.
And Damon does mention during their duel that she resembles Elena. So I’m not crazy.
The fight between Rayna and Damon is the highlight of the episode. The choreography and cinematography really pull it together. It’s dark and moody. And Rayna turns out not to be a steamroller of an opponent, which makes you more invested in the fight because Damon has a chance. Compare that to the dull curb stomp boxing match between Damon and Julian.
Speaking of the boxing ring, our Boxing Skank is ushered out by Damon hurriedly when Bonnie comes knocking. I enjoyed that Damon wanted to hide his dirty hookup from Bonnie. And that Krystal, as her name turns out to be, doesn’t get any more screentime that will threaten to turn her into a real character.
Bonnie gets the episode’s best line when she discovers Krystal’s undergarments, and Damon has to tell her the truth: “Sounds like pure class. With a K.” Jealous, BonBon?
All the baby stuff is melodramatic and forgettable, but I do like the names Alaric chooses for the twin girls: Josie, after Jo. And Elizabeth, after Liz. Aww.
Elena is alive. Which means we may get that operatic death scene we’ve all been craving. When this bitch dies, she needs to really die, you know?
The reason the Heretics ended up with the Phoenix Sword is because Rayna came after them in England (which is what prompted their voyage to New York). She threw the sword into Julian as they were fleeing, killing him, but also leaving Rayna sans sword. It’s slapstick genius!
Bonnie accompanies Damon to the Phoenix Sword handover arranged by Enzo, but they arrive to find Enzo tied up (deliciously so). Rayna then confronts them and demands the sword. Bonnie is her snarky self, so an impatient Rayna just shoots her in the gut with a crossbow. Understandable.
Scary Spice isn’t just in the Phoenix Stone “dead;” Rayna also burns his body. So there are only three Spice Girls to go.
Oh, and if Caroline has to take a time out due to her actor’s real life pregnancy, than why not spend it with Klaus?