The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 9 – TV Review
I mean, I knew the Sirens were tedious and arbitrary.
But did they have to shed that same arbitrary tedium all over our main characters, too?
TL;DR I’ve just about given up pretending to care about anyone, because nobody’s motivations make sense; except poor Caroline, who is our only light in the darkness; TVD goes back to the Miss Mystic Falls well again in a vain effort to rouse our fond memories of seasons past; Stefan’s murder spate continues to feel meaningless.
“We spent all our writing budget on extras and fake blood.” -TVD
So it’s off to Miss Mystic Falls again, as all our college-or-older-aged characters somehow manage to fit in effortlessly at a beauty (?) pageant for high school girls. The goings-on largely concern this super bell weapon, which everyone wants. Our heroes, led by Caroline at the pageant, and Matt in the field, want it to use against the Sirens, and Seline, oddly, offers them help to put it together. And by episode’s end, with additional help from Other Intern, Bonnie, and Enzo, the gang does gather all three pieces (the bell, the Hell tuning fork, and the metal ball thing). Which is nice. Meanwhile, Damon and Stefan end up dragged to Miss Mystic Falls by Sybil in her own quest for the bell parts. It turns out Damon does remember Elena, but Sybil’s mind fucking severed his emotional attachment to her. But it’s fighting back, and he eventually rebels against her and then locks her up to torture her and then she gives him emotions back so he’ll feel bad. Who cares? Meanwhile, Stefan’s taste for blood does not abate, which Sybil finds amusing or something so they bitch at each other/team up to grief Damon. I forget. Anyway, Caroline’s not impressed, and she breaks up with him. Who cares? Meanwhile, Enzo tries to pressure Bonnie into becoming a vampire so they can be together forever (and she doesn’t exactly refuse). Oh, and Stefan sires one of the pageant girls, so Caroline is going to take her under her wing. Because TVD hasn’t had enough Teen Girl Becomes A Vampire And It’s Hard storylines.
I don’t know how many more times I need to tell this show that it doesn’t have time for this shit. This is Sage from Gossip Girl’s final season all over again.
You know, despite April’s bullshit win, the Season 4 Miss Mystic Falls callback episode was still pretty great. If there’s anything the CW is usually good at, it’s having episodes with big party scenes.
But with Stefan and Damon, our two lead characters, stumbling around with no consistent, sensible motivations, I just don’t fucking care.
How do you fuck up a beauty pageant episode, TVD? What the fuck?
Why I hate this episode:
My complaints about Damon’s memories of Elena still existing, despite Sybil’s mind fucking, get answered this week: she didn’t erase his memories of Elena. No, she only blocked his emotional connection to them. So then why did the visual representation of this always show us Sybil replacing Elena? Even TVD doesn’t know what it’s doing anymore. I thought Damon was frustrating when he was acting out of character while under Sybil’s spell. I think this sudden, bullshit turnaround might be worse. What the fuck is happening on this show?
On a less frustrating level, but on a much more “who gives a shit” level, is Stefan. He’s doing the old It’s Good To Be A Ripper dance, and I just don’t have any investment in it. More swaths of extras end up dead, and it doesn’t matter. The worst consequence of his rampage is that Caroline kind of broke up with him. The justice system should pay attention: don’t sentence prolific mass murders to jail or death or anything. Just have their girlfriends kind of break up with them.
Also, there is no way that Stefan and Damon’s road trip of death wouldn’t arouse any law enforcement suspicion. I’m sick of TVD living in a world where nothing has consequences outside of a stern talking to by a loved one.
Bonnie and Enzo are back, and their epic love is worse than ever. Now their relationship is so monumental that Bonnie “I’ll never become a vampire” Bennett pretty much wants to become a vampire. The only thing stopping her is that she’s worried the Sleeping Beauty spell on Elena, which can only be alleviated by Bonnie’s death, might fuck up if Bonnie tries to become a vampire. Kai warned them not to try loopholes. So Bonnie’s only reservation towards becoming a vampire is mechanical, not moral. That’s kind of fucking insane for her character, right?
Once the super bell is completed, only someone from Matt’s family’s bloodline can ring it. Sometimes I lose hope that my eye roll magnitude record won’t be bested. Thanks, TVD.
God, I hope that sired pageant girl isn’t going to be a recurring character.
Oh, and in retaliation to Damon’s defiance, Sybil undoes all the mind fucking she did so he’ll be flooded with bad fee-fees. But then she also explicitly mentions that he’ll “remember” the bad things he did while under her Siren influence, like killing Tyler. But bitch, I thought you weren’t erasing memories, only emotional connections? Consistency? What’s that?
But it’s not all bad:
With his memories/emotional connections/whatever restored, we might get the real Damon back. So that’s promising.
And Sybil, haphazardly used as she is, is still a cunty, fabulous diva. Again, she’s no Katherine. But in this barren hell of a season, I’ll grab onto anything tasty that I can. And Sybil is it.
Seline, too, comes in with a save for the major plot. Evidently still on her quest for redemption, she pledges her help to our heroes, eventually joining forces with a skeptical Other Intern, who hears her proposal and closes out their time in the episode by relaying it to Matt. We don’t get to hear what it is yet, but it’s some forward momentum, so thank fuck.
Caroline puts on her worn event planner boots and is in charge of Miss Mystic Falls. Sadly, we don’t get to see a lot of her in Plannerzilla mode, but it’s good to see Caroline in her element.
Oh, and Ezno looks dapper in a suit (as per usual), and isn’t afraid to binge drink in public. I see at least half of myself in him.