Friday, May 17, 2013

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Graduation

It’s been an interesting—and at times enormously frustrating season. I do not think season four of Vampire Diaries will go down as my favorite, from the uneven storytelling to the overabundance of some characters at the expense of others to the beating of some storylines like a dead horse, there were moments of great cheer and moments of throat clutching disappointment, and when I honestly felt some of my passion for this show wane, my bafflement at the choices seemingly being made often left me with a feeling of “really?” rather than “OMG” at the end of every episode.

Thankfully, with the airing of the backdoor pilot for The Originals (and that’s a story for another day) – the last three episodes felt like we actually got back on track with the series focus where we should have been all along and last night’s finale was the proverbial toss of the hat into the air.

Damon & Elena

Yes, I am absolutely starting with my favorite couple. I have been a fan of Damon since he swaggered into Mystic Falls at the end of the pilot, greeting his brother and giving him that wild, wicked grin. But more than that, from the first time Damon and Elena interacted the air between them was electric. At the end of season three, Elena told Damon she was choosing Stefan—but I never thought it was because she didn’t love Damon, I always believed it was because she was scared of what loving Damon meant.

He will never be easy and loving him won’t be easy. Elena’s journey as a vampire has been fraught with one cluster f*ck after another. She couldn’t drink animal blood, she couldn’t drink bagged blood, she could only take it from humans, oh and let’s not forget Connor’s joyful arrival and reign of terror that led Elena to snapping Connor’s neck. Let’s not forget Stefan making everything about Elena’s transition about him or that when she finally admitted that he looked at her like she was broken and needing to be fixed…but there was Damon, always Damon who loved Elena for who she was—human or vamp, perfect or flawed—he loved her.


We got thirty seconds of Delena finally being together, but their lovemaking was interrupted by Caroline’s ranting that Elena was sire-bonded to Damon so immediately casting doubt on how her feelings could be real, and despite all the clues offered:

Sire bonds only happened when the person has REAL feelings for the one turning them
That she loved him before, but was too scared to admit it
That she wanted to be with him, and she didn’t care about the sire bond

No one was certain it was true as long as the bond existed and then Jeremy died and Elena came apart at the seams. Damon told her to turn it off because he couldn’t take her pain and she’s already been dancing on the edge of suicide and thus began another painful set of episodes as Elena without her humanity is very Katherine-esque which makes sense, they are after all Shadow Selves.

Never a fan of torture, I have to admit the scene where the guys have to torture Elena to get her humanity back on was brutal for all of them, but Damon wouldn’t relent and he wanted HIS girl back. By the end of the episode, she was and then we rolled into Bonnie letting the ghosts out.

Every interaction drove Damon and Elena closer to a resolution, but he kept avoiding the conversation and I know he dreaded her telling him that she was going back to Stefan (trust me, I was dreading it right along with him). Still, from my perspective, they showed us her love for him repeatedly even if he couldn’t see it and the others argued against it.

The Moment of Truth

I know some will say it’s the “I’m not sorry” speech when the moment of truth finally occurred, but it actually happened before that. The moment Elena realized Damon had been shot with a bullet laced in Werewolf venom. He was dying and they had the cure. She wanted him to take it and Damon stared at her “What happened to saving the world? And everyone in it?” He snarked, after all, he got the damn cure for her and she didn’t want it, not when it would cost so many others their lives. But missing the point entirely, he stormed out with Vaughn after giving him the cure to take him to Silas—you see the point he missed was that Elena chose Damon’s life over the rest of the world.

Damon didn’t give a damn about anyone but Elena and in that moment, Elena proved she didn’t care about anyone but him. She loves him. I was happy, but for the rest of you came this scene:

And yes, it was damn squee-worthy!


Rest in Peace Bonnie Bennett

Confession time: Bonnie used to be one of my favorite characters, but over the last couple of years she became virtually unrecognizable. I hated the fact that everyone blamed Elena for Bonnie’s misfortunes or that Bonnie lost so much because of Elena. Only in one instance did I see Bonnie “forced” to do anything because of Elena and at the same time, it was almost always her choice. Over the course of the series, Bonnie’s magic became the Deus Ex Bonnie of the series, have a sticky plot point? Let Bonnie witchy our way out of it. They showed her as fickle and flighty, her brief romance for Jeremy crashed and burned because she couldn’t accept he still had feelings for his dead girlfriends and then we came to this season and the whole Shane/Silas storyline.

Gag.

I’m sorry, Bonnie’s death was a fistpump moment for me because never was a truer story of power corrupting than what we saw her do. Time and again she did these spells even when her Grams told her ‘don’t—it’s a bad idea’ and time again she didn’t listen, she wanted Jeremy back in the land of the living—she willed it so and nature slapped her down by making her trade places. She gave Jeremy back his life and took her own in the process.

At least it gave her death meaning and she had time to come to terms with it. The scene where she trapped Kol was awesome, where she played along with graduation, where she got to say goodbye to her friends and when she finally said goodbye to Jeremy.

I felt for Jere in that moment, because he’d made his peace. He got to say goodbye to his sister and save her one last time, but now he’s alive and Bonnie isn’t. Beautiful symmetry and almost enough to make me forgive the uneven pacing of Bonnie’s story.

But I don’t think she’s gone for good. After all, Jeremy can see ghosts and he can look through the veil and see Bonnie.

Yes Katherine, There is Justice

Katherine’s been a thorn in many a side for over five centuries. She’s the doppleganger who got away and left a hell of a body count in her wake. She turned Elijah and Klaus on each other, she turned Damon and Stefan on each other and cost them their lives and humanity. She’s fought, clawed, and scraped her way through the centuries and she killed Jeremy Gilbert and created her worst enemy in Elena. But still she hated that Elena kept getting everything Katherine wanted, and when Bonnie failed to give her the immortality spell, Katherine had enough.

She planned to kill Elena once and for all and it might have worked, except Elena still had the cure courtesy of Stefan turning it down and Elena shoved it down Katherine’s throat.

Now the vixen can have Elena’s life—her human, mortal life.  It’s an ironic sort of justice and I know we’re not done with Katherine, she’s too much of a survivor and it’s interesting to note, I don’t think Silas is done with Katherine either.

“…I intend to be your last…”

I don’t know if the writers got it together where Klaus was concerned, but the character is finally starting to seem like the man he should be. I’ve made no secret of my disdain for Klaus’ mercurial whining, this is the biggest bad in town, but he whines like a little girl when he doesn’t get his way. It’s annoying. His interest in Caroline and her slowly beginning to see a spark of something with him has been a great parallel to the early Damon/Elena interactions, but it seems he took his heart to heart with Damon seriously.

Stop being a douche. If you’re going to do bad things, do it with a purpose.

Klaus arrives in time to save the gang from the 12 angry witches, decapitating one with a graduation cap (awesome arrival) along with the snarky delivery of his line. He then hands over his blood to cure Damon of the werewolf bite (off camera, but he did it) and later Caroline thanks him (remember she was calling him as she lined up for graduation ordering him to get his ass there and prove he cared and save Damon).

Caroline was surprised that he got there so fast, but he’d already been on his way, he received her graduation announcement (very passive aggressive of you there Caroline) and he teased her about expecting cash or a ‘mini fridge’ as she retorted. But he gave her something else.

Tyler’s freedom.

Tyler was free to return to Mystic Falls because “he’s your first love, but I intend to be your last, no matter how long it takes.”

Okay, that swoon-thud was all the Klaroline fans hitting the floor. Klaus is off to the Originals next year (picked up by the CW and airing on Tuesdays at 7 in the fall) with his brother Elijah (YAY) and Rebekah (Yay), but the door is wide open for crossovers and romantic potential.

So well done, it only took them three years to make me like the character and it’s partially because they remembered why he was supposed to be a bad ass and made him a douche with a purpose.

Ghostly Encounters

Having Alaric back was amazing. From the moment he reunited with Damon in the previous episode to taking Connor out at the Grill because that’s “his” bar to saving Damon from Vaughn—I MISS Alaric. He’s Damon’s best friend and his disappearance as Bonnie closed the veil was poignant. But he was there for his buddy and got to tell him “You got the girl.”  So at least we know Rick approves and he’s hoping the two of them will be okay.  It was good to see Lexxie tell Stefan that Elena may have been the one, but she isn’t the only one. He will find love again and  her vanishing as the veil closed was bittersweet, too.

As for the other ghosts – yeah, I was good with all the Hunters going bye bye, I didn’t like Connor the first time and Alexander wanted his destiny oh well.  Interestingly enough, Rebekah and Matt got the best benefit from that and Rebekah proved how far she’d come when she saved Matt at the end. I was proud of him for not letting her in Tyler’s house and even more so when he took the chance to say “show me the world.” I hope they have a rocking good time! Matt really did make it, he made it out of high school alive and human.

Doppleganger Hijinks

So, Silas’ true face is Stefan. The creation of the immortality spell meant nature needed balance and created a doppelganger. So does that mean that Katherine and Elena are doppelgangers of Silas’ one true love? I’ve been speculating that from the beginning. Immortality meant a shadow self that could die.

I had my bets that Silas’ real face would be Damon and I have to wonder if somewhere out there, there is indeed a Damon and Elena “original” couple that’s together. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the whole Queszia smoke screen was another bait and switch? Like the Sun and the Moon Curse?

After all, doesn’t it always come down to the love of a woman? Two brothers in love with the same woman and Silas was the one who lost out on the girl. Or was it that she couldn’t choose between them and refused and because Elena finally did, definitively, it broke something?

Either way, Stefan is locked in a safe and at the bottom of the Falls. Silas will now take over Stefan’s life—that will make next season interesting.

So kudos to the writers and everyone else, I’m definitely back in next season and it should be a wicked fun ride! What did you think? Sound off below.

Point of Order: If Silas created the immortality spell and it demands a doppleganger - where are the dopples of the Original Family?

2 comments:

  1. Love, love, love!
    I've missed Alaric.
    Bonnie needed to die - thankyouverymuch.
    Damon & Elena finally getting it was great but I have to say my swoon moment came when Klaus gave Vampire Barbie her big wish and then delivered that fantastic line. After all these many years of immortality, I think Niklaus is finally growing up.

    I'm looking forward to seeing The Originals next season. I want to see Klaus grow as a character and please, oh, please...give us more Elijah!

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  2. Can't wait for The Originals next season. Klaus always was one of my favorites. Loved his proclamation to Caroline. Hope we see more of Matt and Rebekah. Elena choosing Damon surprised me, but I'm glad because Stefan was getting too annoying. How they "got rid" of Katherine was great! I agree, the season finale was great.

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