The Vampire Diaries Season 8 Episode 15 – TV Review
No, really. I am concerned.
Katherine isn’t in this episode. Which means we only have next week’s finale left, and I’m gonna guess there’s a strong chance that Nina Dobrev will need to spend at least a little bit of that episode as Elena.
I want more Katherine than we’ve gotten, is what I’m saying. And a fuckton less of Matt’s fucking family.
TL;DR Melinda Clarke finally gets her cameo, but grossly outstays her welcome; Vicki’s back, too, but who cares?; Stefan and Caroline get married; Bonnie loses Enzo because of some convoluted magical nonsense; and the twins are still here.
Again, I’ll take some Katherine (or even some more Kai) over all these losers. What the fuck, TVD? Stop wasting time.
So with Kai gone and Katherine apparently on the prowl, our heroes devise a scheme to throw Stefan and Caroline’s wedding to lure Katherine out and kill her. To kill her, they theorise that they should be able to forge a dagger made from her bones, which is where Peter comes back in. And he’s brought a suddenly-here Melinda Clarke as Matt’s mother, Kelly, for a visit, too. Except psych, Kelly is actually on leave from Hell, not unlike Kai was, and has made a deal with Katherine or something to fuck with the gang while Vicki, also on leave from Hell, rings the Hell Bell to incinerate Mystic Falls. The success of that plan is yet to be seen. Meanwhile, Stefan and Caroline do actually get married (by Damon, as celebrant) when Katherine fails to appear at the ceremony, so much of the episode is spent with everyone giving each other warm fuzzies and stuff (Damon and Caroline reminisce about Liz; Damon is proud of Stefan; Alaric wrings his hands but gives his blessing; the twins are there to be flower girls). Meanwhile, Bonnie, evidently quick to renege on her seeming progress to forgive Stefan from last episode, whinges about how she can’t be at the wedding of her true love’s murderer. However, Enzo brings her around. But then Kelly blows up a house with Bonnie and the twins inside, and the twins have to siphon Bonnie’s magical psychic dimension thing to save them all, so Enzo’s gone for good now. I think (hope)? Oh, and Ginger Spice’s “cameo” is just a lame name drop.
At least they didn’t forget her altogether. That’s something, right?
I mean, this episode is cute enough. The wedding felt like an important event, and the characters have a handful of touching moments.
But as the penultimate episode of the entire series, it’s an insult that so much time is devoted to the fucking Donovans in what is mostly a run-of-the-mill scheme episode. And one that doesn’t feature Katherine, which is the only thing anybody actually wants.
Were you sitting around since the season began hoping that Kelly and Vicki Donovan would come back to arbitrarily murder people as TVD’s final farewell?
Why I hate this episode:
No. I was sitting around since the season began hoping that Katherine would come back to arbitrarily murder people as TVD’s final farewell. And as Kelly and Vicki’s commander, I suppose that’s technically what’s happening. But it doesn’t count without her on-screen in all her glory, TVD.
And at this point, I’m now legitimately nervous that we won’t get to see Katherine at all. Can you imagine if Nina only showed up to play Elena? Nobody wants that.
Also, where’s Jeremy?
Speaking of belated cameos: poor Ginger Spice. Sure, she’s a reminder of the embarrassing Season 7. But she’s still better than Sybil and Seline. At least she got a shout out for putting the protection spell on the twins.
That spell obviously doesn’t protect them from gas explosions, though, as we’re treated to a truly bizarre sequence where the twins siphon Bonnie’s magic to keep the flames at bay. Bonnie and Enzo have some back-and-forth about how she’s magic, and I think he was referring to the psychic dimension, and then the twins have to siphon it out of her to cast the spell to quell the fire. The combination of Bonnie and Enzo’s still-tenuous Pair The Spares love story, the horrible child acting from the twins, and the “magic does what we say it does” resolution doesn’t impress.
Vicki already had her cameo, TVD. Enough.
Kelly slits Peter’s throat, but he doesn’t die. For fuck’s sake.
Other Intern is back. Again, this is how the penultimate episode chooses to spend its screentime?
If we’re to assume that everyone who was on the Other Side went to Hell when it collapsed, then why the fuck is Vicki the only one TVD decided was worth bringing back? Jesus Christ. And this also makes my several seasons-long conspiracy theory about Katherine’s suction into darkness being different because she never actually crossed over to the Other Side, which was seemingly proven correct about five seconds ago when Kai confirmed she was in Hell, invalid.
Oh, and I thought that the house where the wedding was being held was Lockwood Manor, but then I realised it wasn’t (right?). That was upsetting.
But it’s not all bad:
Nice location, though. The whole wedding, except for the fact that all the guests are compelled nobodies, is a dashing affair. The gang purposely trump it up because they want Katherine to fall for the big spectacle.
Damon’s plan to lure Katherine out for the wedding is delicious. He knows the thing she’s most obsessed with is Stefan, and seeing him get a happily ever after with Caroline, of all people, would surely drive her mad and force her hand. I admire the pragmatism.
Sadly for us, but gladly for Katherine, it doesn’t work. Kelly just keeps everyone busy, while Vicki slinks up to the bell tower to ring the Hell Bell. I’m a little underwhelmed that Katherine’s big revenge is to incinerate Mystic Falls; I would have liked something a little more personal, like an intimate murder of Elena or something. But hey, she might still surprise us.
I don’t think TVD even has the budget to show Mystic Falls getting blown up. But the fact that this is the series’ end means anything is possible. A Katherine victory is on terrible odds, but I’ll hold out hope. Let it not be said that I’m not an optimist.
Kelly comes in way too late in the season and takes up way too much time, but I’m happy Melinda Clarke got her chance to return. And points for slashing Peter’s throat. We were all thinking it.
Damon ends up with the best moments of the episode. The first, and my favourite, is his low-key big brother pride and happiness for Stefan’s marriage to Caroline. Playing around with Katherine’s rotted skull was a bonus.
Then he and Caroline have a drink together, and they toast Liz. The Liz/Damon friendship was always one of the most sincere. I still think Damon and Caroline’s relationship glosses over their dark, rapey beginnings. But I’m grateful for any tributes to Liz. She was a cool mum.
Damon as celebrant for the wedding is also genius. He holds a big pause during the Let Them Speak Now part, as they expect Katherine would butt in. It’s funny.
I loved how, when Kelly grabbed the mic during the best man toast, Caroline seemed unfazed, as drunkenly interrupting a wedding reception is typical Kelly Donovan behaviour.
The reveal that she died two years ago and no-one noticed is also a nice touch. Kelly’s evolution into serial-killing Katherine accomplice is a big leap. But her lamentations about nobody caring about her, even when she died, ring true. Ouch.
Caroline receives a gift of a necklace as the “something old” for her wedding, and assumes it’s from Stefan (he’s too drunk at the time to deny her thanks). I recognised it immediately as Katherine’s, so relished Caroline’s obliviousness, and Stefan’s panic when she walks down the aisle wearing it.
Is it too much to hope that Enzo is gone for good?
Oh, and I should say that the wedding is pretty and Caroline and Stefan made and it yada yada yada. Whatever. They’re not what I’m here for.