The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 18 – TV Review
This episode features a lot of stuff.
But at the same time, nothing really happens.
At least the Spice Girls have now officially disbanded.
TL;DR Damon harangues Alaric into saving Stefan and putting him back in his body; Ginger helps, and then leaves forever; Bonnie finds out about some nebulous evil thing that The Armory has, and it involves Bennett witch bullshit; Enzo abducts Rayna; Bonnie is not happy to see Damon.
He’s gonna have to work hard if he wants to be as enticing as Enzo’s accent.
So we’re picking right back up on the Save Stefan campaign, as our heroes converge on Ambrose, the vampire currently inhabiting Stefan’s body. Rayna is unexpectedly taken out of the race by Enzo, which leaves Damon to drag Alaric along with him, while Ginger Spice preps for the body swapping spell. Ambrose terrorises a college frat party and demands Damon kill Rayna in exchange for the body back, but Damon can’t get it thanks to Enzo. But Ambrose recklessly goes out after Stefan, anyway, and is caught by the boys. Ginger almost dies doing the body swap spell, but she succeeds. And then leaves Stefan because she’s realised he still loves Caroline. Duh. Damon then gets not one, but two harsh reality checks when Alaric tells him he’s been happier without him in his life, and, upon finally getting back to Bonnie at the end of the episode, she slams the door in his face. But he brought you flowers, bitch! Meanwhile, Bonnie’s turn in the asylum turns out to be a scheme to get close to Alex’s little sister to find out why The Armory has been after her. Li’l Sis says there’s a big, bad vault in The Armory’s basement, and they need a Bennett witch to open it. Oh, and it turns out Alex was right about Enzo stealing the Rayna blood pills: he gave them to Bonnie to suppress her magic so The Armory couldn’t use a locator spell on her. But he didn’t know they were fatally poisonous, and Rayna confirms the effects are irreversible.
So Bonnie might finally die. Again.
Like I said, there’s a lot going on in this episode. There’s a lot of stuff.
But the major plot, the Save Stefan campaign, is purely utilitarian. It’s just something that we have to do because Stefan’s life is in danger. It does little to serve any arcs or character development, save for Alaric’s “My life wouldn’t suck without you” hit single, and Ginger’s abrupt breakup with Stefan. And both of those things could have happened without Stefan’s life on the line.
And then the other plot, Bonnie’s mission, is also purely utilitarian. She just wants to find out why The Armory is hunting her, resulting in the turd of a reveal of The Armory’s vault.
Maybe Katherine’s in there?
Why I hate this episode:
The vault thing, unless the contents really do impress and/or link back to established lore, is the perfect example of late-season TVD. It’s just another external thing to keep everyone in peril. God forbid these characters have any human conflict amongst themselves.
And I’m still not jazzed on the whole The Armory thing. If this organisation is as tenacious and competent as they’ve been talked up to be, why have we never heard of them before? Again, it’s an example of late-season TVD. Remember when werewolves were so rare that Katherine, a vampire of several centuries, thought they were a myth? And then a couple of seasons later they were literally a dime a dozen?
I’m not sad to see Ginger go, but her reasoning is pretty lame. In all the years she spent with Stefan, it took her until now to realise he’s hung up on Caroline? Come on, bitch. And Stefan and Damon would be insane to let a magic siphon ally walk away into the night. Yeah, she couldn’t suck up a Phoenix Sword scar, but think of all the other situations she’d be able to help in. She can suck the magic out of werewolf venom, for goodness’ sake. On second thought, Klaus should give her a call.
Li’l Sis obstructively chooses not to tell Bonnie what’s in the Vault of Nebulous Doom.
Oh, and I can’t believe TVD is trotting out another “Bennett witches only” clause.
But it’s not all bad:
Li’l Sis does namedrop Lucy Bennett as the only other Bennett witch The Armory knew about, and says that she disappeared four years ago. About the same time Damon got her blood for the Ascendant?
With Rayna officially a joke, being so easily captured by Enzo, it looks like the baton truly has been passed to The Armory as the villains to close out the season. Their lack of development means that the gang can really go to town on them. So the finale might be bloody, at least. Not even Enzo cares about Alex at this point.
With TVD officially spruiking Caroline and Stefan’s relationship through Ginger’s realisation, I’m going to hold out hope that Stefan could be back in the game. Alaric and babies be damned.
Ambrose’s slaughter of the frat party was pretty cool.
The episode gives itself some cred by leaning on established vampire lore, as Damon is unable to enter the frat party because he hasn’t been invited inside. It comes back again when Stefan struggles to get away from a pursuing Ambrose, and takes shelter in a random house. Ambrose then takes a page from the Klaus playbook and starts throwing things at Stefan from outside. I appreciated it.
The reason Ginger struggles, almost to her death, with the body swap spell is because Gemini spells usually require two witches. Now that’s some solid logic work, show. Where’s that been all season?
Ambrose mentions that he turned Rayna’s boyfriend into a vampire as one of the reasons why he suspects she’ll come after him, and why he tasks Damon with killing her. Cool.
Bonnie’s going to die again. That’s good.
Alaric’s cruel announcement to Damon that his life has been better without him isn’t a shock, but it’s rough for Damon to hear all the same.
But it’s Bonnie’s snap reaction to Damon that hurts the most. He brought her flowers and everything.