The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 15 – TV Review
The amazing, resurrecting Rayna Cruz turns out to be surprisingly easy to dispatch, after all.
But doing so would mean the death of a TVD loved one.
So, two birds, one stone, right?
TL;DR Rayna’s immortality is limited, but if she dies, so does Stefan; Rayna ends up in The Armory’s custody; Damon decides to let himself dessicate until Elena awakes; Stefan leaves Caroline to go on the run with Ginger Spice; we finally move completely into the flash forwards.
As long as we stay out of flash sideways territory, we should be okay.
So we’ll start with Stefan. Because someone has to throw the poor thing a bone, you know? He and Ginger are on the hunt for some more herbs to keep that Rayna-blocking paste from Freya fresh. But, sadly, it doesn’t exist anymore. But Stefan’s still got Caroline to keep up his spirits and go on the run with him, right? Sadly, their relationship doesn’t exist anymore. So he takes Ginger with him, instead. Meanwhile, Rayna comes vampire hunting in Mystic Falls and Matt, dutiful to keeping Stefan alive, rats her out to Damon. Damon captures and kills her a couple of times, but she bursts into flames and resurrects after she dies, even when you chop her into little pieces. Meanwhile, Bonnie goes bitching at Enzo for his betrayal last episode, and finds out that Rayna’s immortality is linked to the eight shamans who made her: each time she dies, she loses a life, and when all eight shamans’ preserved corpses have been expended, she’ll die for good. And take any Phoenix Sword-marked vampires with her. Uh, oh, Stefan. Damon reluctantly keeps Rayna, on her final life, alive, and The Armory snatches her up. Damon also enacts his “keep my loved ones from getting hurt because of me” plan he spoke about last episode, which is him just deciding to dessicate alongside Elena until it’s time for her to get up. Stefan and Bonnie aren’t amused. Meanwhile, Penny is confused by Matt’s allegiance to some vampires but not all vampires, and nags him into forsaking all his vampire friends. And as we catch up the entire continuity to the flash forwards, Rayna makes a proposition to a captured Stefan: she actually wanted to kill Damon back when Stefan got marked, not him. So Damon is offering himself to her or something, and she’ll let Stefan go? I think?
Why not just kill both the vampires at your mercy? That is your life mission, right?
Baffling ending aside, I appreciate how plot-forward this episode is. With most of the Heretics and their “are they or aren’t they villains” melodrama out of the way, we can take care of business with Rayna.
Yeah, she’s, again, a real pushover when it comes to fighting Damon. But their banter is a lot fresher and more fun than the agonising, forced flirting between Stefan and Ginger. Or the age-inappropriate romance building between Caroline and Alaric.
And Damon, again, reminds us that Rayna totally resembles Elena. With the revelation that Rayna at one point had a vampire boyfriend, could Rayna be the new love interest that Damon so desperately needs if he’s to stay relevant in a vampire soap opera?
Why I hate this episode:
I seriously don’t understand the ending. Rayna has made it perfectly clear that she lives to kill vampires. She even blithely admits to having killed her vampire boyfriend. So then why is she not interested in killing Stefan in the flash forward? She has a song and dance about how he seems like a decent dude, and she’s impressed that he managed to evade her for so long, but so what? Stefan is a mass murderer, after all. Why doesn’t she just Phoenix Sword stab him and Damon right now?
Even more absurd is her proposition to transfer the Phoenix Sword mark from Stefan to Damon (at Damon’s suggestion, apparently). The mark’s only known (to us, at least) use is to track a vampire. But Rayna already has Stefan and Damon within stabbing distance. What the fuck?
I don’t think I’ll ever warm to the Caroline and Alaric relationship. It’s Aria and Ezra all over again.
Matt is such a mush head. He instantly caves to Penny’s whining about how he shouldn’t help vampires, and makes the kind-of-awesome threat to Stefan of exposing him as a vampire by releasing surveillance footage to the press of him doing vampire stuff. All from one episode’s worth of “wah wah wah” from Penny. Pussy whipped.
Double demerit points because Stefan was going, anyway.
Penny is even dumber than Matt. Her precious little mind is unable to fathom that some vampires are nice, and some vampires are not nice. Vampires are people, remember. “What, you’re saying some people are different than other people? Slow down, Einstein.” Jesus Christ.
She’s also one of those girlfriends who forces her boyfriend to abandon all his friends. So fuck you, cunt.
I’m disappointed that Klaus didn’t recommend putting Rayna in a shipping container and throwing her into the ocean last week. Because we know that’s in the Originals’ wheelhouse.
Is Ginger not concerned for her missing Heretic sistahs?
Oh, and in a worrying creep back to the “magic does what we say it does, now” woes of yester-season, Ginger is unable to siphon the magic out of Stefan’s Phoenix Sword wound. Because Heretics can siphon literally the magic of vampirism, a spell on an entire town, and the magic power out of a werewolf bite, but not this. Because the plot says so.
But it’s not all bad:
Say what you will about Ginger (and I do. Frequently), but she’s a better option than a baby-crazy Caroline. And now the Steroline naysayers, of which I was one back in the day, can rejoice.
The saving grace of the episode is the surprising chemistry between Rayna and Damon. After Damon rips her heart out, chops her up, and throws the pieces in a well, she flames on back to life, and they get to chatting. He makes it clear she looks like his One True Love, and she seems quite at ease giving a little sexually charged sass to a prospective Phoenix Sword victim. Could this be the Latina answer to Elena’s absence?
After Bonnie finds out about Rayna’s limited lives, she sneakily alerts Damon, and he just shoots her dead in the well again. He then uses a variation of my “just bury her in cement” suggestion and buries her in the ground, reasoning that even when she does flame back to life, she’ll immediately drown in dirt. I love it.
Of course, once he finds out Stefan will die, too, he has to dig her up and revive her. She, naturally, immediately tries to kill him, but The Armory sends out a strike team to tranq and bag her. Thanks, Enzo.
Alex tells Enzo that The Armory wants Bonnie, too. Which would work out great for Enzo.
Early in the episode, Matt and Penny are on a vampire hunt and get ambushed by Krystal and a goon squad while they’re distracted flirting. I would have been happy to see Matt and Penny get shredded, but Rayna happens to arrive and murder all the vampires. Which confirms that Krystal will not be evolving to Actual Character status. Thank goodness.
Stefan is kind of miffed that Damon is abandoning him for the next several decades, but Bonnie is the one who turns on the real hurt. Because, if Damon’s dessication plan is successful, she’ll never see him again (Elena will only wake up when Bonnie dies, remember?). She knows she can’t stop him, but she makes sure to tell him exactly how much his selfishness hurts her. So he can’t lie in his little coffin and imagine her being okay with it: she’s not okay with it, and she wants him to know. Maybe Bonnie/Damon will turn out to be the epic female/male platonic friendship TVD will produce, given the collapse of Stefan/Caroline?
During Stefan’s failed phone conversation to convince Caroline to come with him, Caroline turns the tables and suggests Stefan come live with her near Alaric when Rayna’s been defeated. Stefan is like “Ummmmmm…” I lol’d.
Oh, and Caroline is the perfect Stepford Smiler. To no-one’s surprise.