The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 14 – TV Review
After letting Arrow and The Flash (and Legends of Tomorrow. And Vixen?) get away with crossovers while they sat on their hands, it’s time for the TVD-verse shows to finally unite for two connected episodes.
Will The Vampire Diaries be buoyed by the current good run of its spin-off sister, or will it shine even duller in pale comparison?
Oh, honey. Have you even been watching this season? Duller, obviously.
TL;DR TVD fails to do anything exciting with the crossover, settling for having Stefan run to Klaus for a bit of a chit chat; Bonnie and Damon ally with Enzo and the secret organisation; they almost die; Caroline decides to stay on with Alaric at his new home.
Nothing sexier than a man who used to date your best friend’s aunt and two endlessly screaming babies that aren’t yours. Sploosh.
So the crossover part of the episode is laughably weak, as Stefan flees to New Orleans on advice from Valerie to seek out that bar with the magic protection zone around it (remember the one they hid Hope in near the tail end of The Originals last season?). To null Rayna’s mystical tracking powers. He and Klaus snipe at each other a bit, and Klaus isn’t too happy when he notices Stefan’s injury and realises Rayna could be coming to fuck up the town. He and Stefan eventually confront and kill her, but she has regenerative powers, so Klaus whisks Stefan back to his place to seek help from Freya. Meanwhile, Enzo tells Bonnie and Damon about the secret organisation he’s working for: The Armory. They seek powerful, supernatural objects to keep them out of the wrong hands, and he’s working for them because they’ve promised him information about his family. He initially convinces Bonnie and Damon to work with them to recapture Rayna, but when the duo ends up agreeing with Stefan and Ginger’s plan, Enzo turns on them. He locks Damon in a room with a soon-to-turn Tyler, and Bonnie has to chop Enzo’s hand off to get access and let him out. Damon has a realisation about how he’s always putting his loved ones’ lives at risk; Tyler escapes; and Enzo ends up okay, and it’s revealed that his family founded The Armory. Meanwhile, Caroline accompanies Alaric on his trip to his new home. You know, just to help out. But when she gets there, she doesn’t want to leave. And Sporty and Baby are captured by The Armory to make sure they don’t get out and have their own, unique subplots.
I’m undecided as to whether The Armory sounds more or less ridiculous than Augustine.
Apart from the little sniff of soul-searching we get from Damon at the end, this is a whopping disappointment of an episode.
It’s lame enough by TVD season 7 standards. But to have it be the leading half of the TVD-verse crossover event is a bloody insult.
And we still don’t get a good reason for why Rayna ran away from the Salvatore brothers last episode, despite having them dead to rights.
Why I hate this episode:
Rayna is such a plot weasel. She exists only to provide a reason for Stefan’s separation from Caroline. But this is a soap opera, so that’s not surprising. What really sucks is that she’d be so easy to overcome if the characters had any creativity. Forget her defeat at the Salvatore brothers’ hands last episode: this week Klaus actually kills her. Unluckily, she has the power to regenerate or something, so it’s only temporary. But all they’d have to do is steal her currently-dead body and, like, bury her in concrete or something. Use your imaginations, people. Torchwood did it.
The excuse for having to leave her dead body is that the fight occurs in werewolf territory, and Stefan and Klaus couldn’t possibly take the two seconds to vamp whoosh over to her body, pick her up, and run away. Good heavens, no.
Part of Enzo’s growing appeal as a character in this show was that he was a nobody. He was a random vampire who was Damon’s cellmate at Augustine and was sicced on him in the present. Then his backstory expanded to him having been sired by Lily, Damon’s mother, in an enormous coincidence. But that happened during the golden era of season 6, so we can forgive it. But now it’s been pushed several bridges too far with the reveal that Enzo’s father founded The Armory, and its current leader, Alex, is his relative. What the fuck, TVD?
Caroline’s decision to stay on with Alaric isn’t surprising given the flash forwards, but it’s still yuck. You ruined your friendship with Stefan to have an epic romance with him, and you’re going to pass him over for Jenna’s old dildo? Slut.
The Armory set is a very, very clearly redressed version of the Whitmore bar/cafe set. Like, wow, it stuck out. It’s a worrying sign of a dwindling budget.
Why would The Armory recruit a vampire to capture a legendary, and undefeatable, vampire hunter?
Oh, and Ginger and Matt get obligatory screentime by having a few scenes where they reluctantly work together to help Stefan get to the safe house/keep away from Rayna. Is it awful that I already care more about Ginger than Matt?
But it’s not all bad:
Ginger’s plan to use the magic protection bar is pretty impressive, especially considering it was only introduced in The Originals. Again, way to use existing lore instead of making up some new shit. Sorry, The Armory.
The stuff at The Armory is the strongest thread of the episode. Bonnie and Damon’s original decision to agree to Enzo’s plan to lure Rayna in using Stefan as bait is sensible. And things get even better when Enzo turns on them after they renege.
Damon’s dilemma in the locked room with Tyler provides him with the opportunity to realise that he can try as hard as he wants to keep from doing anything that will disappoint Elena when she wakes up (like killing Tyler to save himself), but it’s inevitable that he’ll fail. Because he’s Damon.
And Tyler’s not the only one at stake: if Tyler turns and the room is opened, then he’ll be able to get out and hurt Bonnie, too. So Damon demands Bonnie not free him so that she can stay safe.
Bonnie’s not into having a man tell her what to do, though, and opens it, anyway. Besides, she already had an awesome scene where she cut Enzo’s hand off with an axe, and a severed biometric lock key hand is a terrible thing to waste.
As predicted, Tyler does end up hurting Bonnie. Badly. And having been dosed with a magic nullifier by Enzo, Bonnie cannot be healed with Damon’s vampire blood. So Damon is forced to wring his hands while she recovers at a regular hospital.
This gives him enough time to really think about what he does to the people around him, and he ominously announces he’s going to do something to put all this danger to bed. Suicide-by-Rayna?
Klaus has a similar hard truth to give to Stefan near the end of the episode: Stefan will always be risking his life and hurting his loved ones in order to save Damon. Klaus equates what Stefan’s doing to what Elijah’s always done for him, and that hits home.
The reason Klaus gives Stefan this speech is because he wants Stefan to let Caroline go. Not because Klaus wants Caroline for himself, but because he does still care about her, and it’s better for her to go play happy families with Alaric. Away from all this vampire hunter bullshit. I know, right?
Stefan may be a waste in New Orleans, but Klaus brings his usual intensity. He answers Stefan’s phone when Caroline calls, and the longing between them is just as fresh as if they never separated. Klaus gives her baby advice, and he pledges to keep Stefan safe (he had thrown him out moments earlier after discovering the Rayna mark) for her sake. Aww.
Interestingly, the episode begins as flash forward Caroline arrives in New Orleans three years from now. She asks the bartender at the magic protection bar where she can find Klaus (Caroline has realised she doesn’t know where he lives), and the bartender says Klaus has been MIA for three years. Dear God, no.
Matt whinges at Ginger about how the Heretics massacred the police force way back when. I lol’d at the memory.
Ginger warns Damon that The Armory is dangerous and will use every form of deception to get what they want. Which leads me to believe that maybe Alex’s “we are family” pronouncement may not be true, and TVD isn’t that shameless.
Oh, and Klaus gives the perfect face to represent the quality of this episode as a much-hyped The Vampire Diaries/The Originals crossover.