Bonnie was the lead in the A-story, while Stefan (the real Stefan) was the focus of the B-story—and that was certainly interesting as the writers gave me what I was asking for in the last episode indeed. But first let's turn to Bonnie.
OK, I take it back, yeah; Bonnie and Enzo (Kat Graham and Michael Malarkey) do have chemistry. Actually seeing the two fall in love, having those scenes play out over the three years with the two of them basically in captivity, showed the chemistry. However, I still contend that I don't see how this couple is endgame though when we only get their journey to love in flashbacks showcased in one episode.
Also, how they fell in love doesn't necessarily work in the real world. They fell in love in isolation. Bonnie fell in love with an Enzo who was essentially her "savior," and he held all the power. He was also the only person she felt she had on her side. Caroline was in Dallas, living her new life. Elena is off in a coffin playing Sleeping Beauty. Matt hates all things supernatural. Bonnie and Stefan were never particularly close and have been drifting further apart since Elena left and Bonnie became team!Damon. And then there's Damon… the best friend that Bonnie is really, really upset with.
Oh, yeah, he's also the same guy that Bonnie is bonding with Enzo over—yet another building block of their love story. So what happens when Bonnie forgives Damon and their besties again? Because you know that's going to happen. At the beginning of the episode, Bonnie wasn't talking to Damon. Halfway, through she is even if it's only in snarky insults. And by the end, she's already expressing words of anger and pain. Definite progress. Oh yeah, she's going to forgive him. And way, way more quickly than Enzo and in a much deeper and everlasting way than Enzo ever could. Will Enzo understand that or feel betrayed? Because he still can't understand what Damon did sixty years ago.
And I'm sitting there, going, 'Dude, Damon would have DIED with you. That wasn't the plan.' He literally had to turn his switch off in order to walk away and he kept that switch off for the next sixty-some years. Would Enzo really have done any differently than Damon? I highly doubt that he would have stayed and burned to death trying to helplessly get Damon out of the cage had the positions been reversed.
But Enzo has a victim complex (understandable given his history), and I wonder when Bonnie forgives Damon if Enzo will turn on her, making her choose sides. Hmm… possible. We'll see. Again, they fell in love in isolation without any of the real world situations that would make or break a relationship so we'll see.
As for the other relationship that we didn't see happen but was discussed (or rather discussion of was most avoided), let's turn to Stefan and Caroline and Alaric.
Firstly… YAY! CAROLINE IS BACK! YAY! (And congratulations to Candice King and her husband on their baby.) My precious Caroline is back. Yay! Now, oh Stefan. Stefan, Stefan, Stefan. He is being quite the major douchebag that I talked about the writers letting him be in the last episode with Valerie. For real. I mean, dude, really? Alaric is TOTES totally right about Stefan. But, sadly, I'm also TOTES team!Stefan because I just don't give a flying fig newton about this version of Alaric Saltzman anymore. I mean, who the hell is this guy? He's not MY Alaric Saltzman. He's not Damon's best friend. He's not Elena and Jeremy's guardian. He's not the guy who came to Mystic Falls that I fell in love with. Nope, he's the dude who came back from the dead messed up by Esther after his time on The Other Side, fell in love with Jo and basically sucks.
And just about every time he's on screen he proves that he sucks. I mean, why couldn't he stick up for Damon to Stefan? Would it have been that hard? He's pissed at Stefan, I get that, so be the snarky, awesome Alaric we remember by needling Stefan by throwing all that Damon has done for Stefan in his face. Or better yet, be a snarky, awesome badass and throw the fact that he's got Caroline in his face. Why have they made Alaric so... blech? And bland? And lame?
Ugh! What am I even talking about? I said it above. This isn't Alaric. This character that Matt Davis is playing hasn't been the Alaric Saltzman I loved from the moment he came back in season 06. He just has the same name and is played by the same actor. The writers lost the pulse on the character and what made him so awesome. *sigh* That ship has sailed.
So Stefan douche away, I'm still on your side. At least I still love you and I get where you're coming from. "Alaric" is just blah. And we do know that Stefan *was* protecting Caroline... he just went about doing so in a silent, suffering, shitty non-communicating way. But, hey, this is Stefan we are talking about. Plus, Caroline and Stefan actually truly love each other. Also, so completely a marriage of convenience on Caroline's end for the girls. Justice of the peace wedding! Bwah! Stefan's so right… as if Caroline Forbes would EVER get married like that if she was in love. Hah! As for Alaric—he has just convinced himself that he loves her, and *I* remain convinced that he has done so for the girls as well, and to protect his own heart.
He ain't going through that again. No siree, Bob. Hey, I guess they figured they'd keep some remnant of Alaric in character from pre-death days. So nice.
Speaking of characters being in character... Damon, my beloved Damon. How do I love thee? So very much. He was a supporting player in Bonnie's story, but I wanted to comment on a few specific Damon-related things if I might.
Damon killing Beau was awesome and perfect and totally the RIGHT thing to do. (Erm, "right" in the landscape of The Vampire Diaries world. Hehehehe.) Proving once again that Damon Salvatore GETS SHIT DONE! (Because he is awesome.) He may be the "bad guy" for it, but when push comes to shove, Damon does what needs to be done even if he gets judged the bad guy while others get the huzzahs for hesitating.
Rayna wouldn't hand over her last life to save Bonnie's life unless they finished off her kill list (more on that later) so therefore gone goes Beau's heart. Damon has his list of people who matter and in order of priority: Elena, Stefan, Bonnie are at the top of that list… in that order, followed by the rest of the gang, probably Jeremy, Alaric, Matt, Caroline, Enzo, Tyler—if he's asked nicely.
And can I just say I love that we got the reiteration from Damon to Enzo the same that he'd say to Stefan from seasons ago that he may be hated for doing the "bad" things, but he'll save lives in doing so. Yes, yes, I'm sure there are people out there clutching their pearls because he said that about Elena to Stefan and he's saying it to Enzo about Bonnie now (triangle alert!), but that wasn't the point. It wasn't about being in love. It wasn't about a triangle, or getting the girl, or proving oneself better.
It goes back to what I said in the last couple of write-ups. Damon had opened himself up to/for Elena to being that better person. Yes, this thing he did wasn't "good" (ripping Beau's heart out), but it was a "good thing" and he did it for someone other than Elena. He's stepping outside of that Elena/Stefan only comfort zone. AND he's letting other see that he's willing to step outside of that Elena/Stefan only comfort zone. He's willing to show that he *will* do his version of good, he *will* protect, he *will* love others. That is a huge step for Damon Salvatore.
OK, now randoms –
- So Rayna is not long for this world; sigh. I like(d) her. Damnit!
- OK, so yeah, Bonnie has been taken the pills for as long as Mary Louise. Got it.
- Damon blaming Enzo for Bonnie's illness isn't really fair, but it makes sense. Enzo gave her the pills that came from the Armory for goodness' sake. However, Enzo *was* trying to protect her. On the other hand, the Armory was still researching their effects on witches. Shouldn't that have been a little hint that maybe, just maybe it wasn't quite the best protective idea.
- WAH! Lucy is dead! Stupid Virginia St. John killed Lucy! NOOOOOOOO! I loved her!!!! NOOOOOO!!!!! Not cool!
- So uhm, Alex's sister, after four years, is still in the basement somehow? Oh, yeah, that's not creepy at all.
- I didn't find Damon being yucked out by Bonnie/Enzo as him jealous, but rather like an older brother who was all 'No, do not want to see my sister like that, especially with him! Need brain bleach!'
- So my idea that season 08 would be about tracking down the Hellstone vampires seems a bit premature now... hmm! Unless there are one or two big bads that wind up getting away? I mean, that was quite a few pieces of paper at the end there, right?
- I miss Matt.
So good episode. I think they did a really good job filling in Bonnie and Enzo's love story. Damon remains my favorite forever (shocker, I know!) Stefan was a douche this episode (I DON'T CARE!), Alaric is whatever (Blech!) and my precious Caroline is back. All is good and we've only got two more episodes left. WHEEEE!!!!