Arabian (arabian) wrote,

7.20 - 'Kill 'Em All' (The Vampire Diaries)

I know! So shocking! My write-up for the new episode is up in less than 24 hours! Wow!

Killer ending. Too bad that quite a bit of the episode was more of the 'sleeping through life' kinda things, you know? *sigh* It's not that the writing or the direction was off, really. And I'm not putting this one on my usual whipping boys, writers Chad Fiveash and James Stoteraux. I blame it completely on the execution and thought behind the episode and some severe lack of chemistry between two actors. Let's talk about that first.

Wow. Paul Wesley and Zach Roerig really suck together. Can we never, ever, like EVAR have these two be alone in scenes together for a whole episode ever, ever, ever?! Pretty please. No chemistry. None. Zip. Zero. So bad. The idea that Matt's hyper-paranoid hatred for vampires had his reflexes in a shoot-first mode made perfect sense. It was tragic and beautiful. Well, it should have been tragic and beautiful… but the two actors together? My goodness, so wooden, so anti-feeling. They just had nothing between them. It was like two magnets repulsing each other. Complete and utter anti-chemistry. There was no connection, no believability. I felt nothing and everyone knows that I love, deeply love, both of these characters. I should have been eating this up. Instead I just wanted it over.

I don't believe it's because the story was told in flashback. I thought that the Stefan and Valerie story was well-done even if I didn't feel anything for it. I liked Enzo and Bonnie's and actually do feel for them. But this, it just didn't work and I really believe it's because the actors just don't work together. Again, the idea behind it is wonderful and completely fits Stefan, fits Matt, fits the character of Penny we know—the little of it. All of the pieces fit, the writing fit… I just—I don't know. It felt like Paul Wesley and Zach Roerig were acting in two different scenes. I didn't connect with either one at all because they weren't connecting at all.

{Shakes it off} I'm just glad it's over. And I can talk about what I loved about their scenes… because, yes, I'm me and I can always find the silver lining in even things I don't like in Vampire Diaries-land. :D I love that Matt, of everyone else, has never worn the rose-colored Stefan shades. He's always seen Stefan Salvatore as he truly is. So when Stefan plays the perfect, suffering martyr, Matt's all 'whatevs, dude. You weren't supposed to be there, but you didn't care what I wanted. You didn't care what Caroline wanted. No, you only care what *you* wanted and people got hurt because of it.'

Now to be fair, it's not really Stefan's fault that Penny is dead. But Matt does have a point. Stefan did do what *he* wanted regardless that it was against the direct wishes of people he purported to care about, a person he claimed to love. And because of that circumstances arose that *did* lead to Penny's demise. That is a fact. And that's Stefan—he be selfish. And Matt's never been blind to that.

I ♥ Matt, not so much Penny, though. Sorry, Matty-blue-blue. (He was so cute trying to find the perfect way to propose, though.) I'm glad she's gone. I didn't like her. She was annoying. You deserve better. {small voice}Rebekah gives her regards.{/small voice}


You know who also deserved better? Viewers. Viewers deserved better than having to watch an episode that spent like about half of it repeating what the previous episode did. For reals. I thought the last episode was cool with all the killing of Rayna's Hellstone vampires… but, erm, that *was* cool, you know, in the last episode. I figured when we got the final scene with Damon that it meant we would see it spread out or some new plan made. (Cuz, we know this group and plans! Hah!) I certainly didn't expect another episode that was basically filled with… the exact same batch of scenes just with, oh, different characters having slightly different conversations—with the exception of Stefan and Matt. And we know how *that* turned out!

I mean, instead of Damon, Enzo and Bonnie killing vampires, while bemoaning Bonnie's fate and ragging about Damon, we got Damon and Enzo killing vampires while bemoaning Bonnie's fate and ragging about Damon. Ooh, exciting. Not. Instead of Alaric and Stefan killing vampires and ragging about what an asshole Stefan was to Caroline, we got Alaric and Caroline killing vampires and ragging about what an asshole Stefan was to Caroline. Ooh, exciting. Not.

And remember this praise I offered up about the last week's episode:

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.
Way to just, you know, repeat the same damn bloody thing, show! I mean, WOW! He just did that. He already proved that. He. Just. Freaking. Did. It. We didn't need him to do it again. And then repeat a variation on the same damn speech when he just said it. Dear sweet baby Jesus.

I take it back. I am blaming some of this on the writers, Fiveash and Stoteraux. They could have taken the idea behind this episode and not have repeated so very much of the previous episode. I am disappoint, show. I am very disappoint. (Please don't bring these two back next season. They've produced one great episode, just one. The rest have been decent to, well, this.)

Since there was so much on repeat, I don't have much more to add. But I did want to talk about Alaric, and Alaric and Caroline. Was I wrong? Is there an Alaric-shaped light at the end of the tunnel? See the thing is that ever since he came back from the dead he's been trying to be "normal." He's been staying away from the whole supernatural business as much as possible, right? But remember when he went on his little run with Enzo—ah, compare Matt Davis/Michael Malarkey to Wesley/Roerig… it's like night and day—and he couldn't help but admit how much fun he was having? And now we have Caroline calling him out on the fact that he was having fun.

Damon kept trying to get him to admit he was having fun too when he was working with him a few episodes ago. And, now that I think about it, I was so stuck on my 'LEAVE DAMON ALONE!' pity party when Ric told Damon that he didn't want to go back to like it was that I missed out on the fact that Ric *did* stop, he did pause, he did turn back and give Damon the information on Bonnie. It was him relenting. It wasn't much, but it was something.

So maybe… maybe, Caroline will be the one to bring the real Ric back. And on that note… {gulp} I can't believe I'm saying this, but I really, really liked that final scene between Ric and Caroline. I liked the honesty from Ric. I liked the honesty from Caroline. Well, as much as she was willing to give because you know she believes she's being honest cuz girl is totes lying to herself right now about Stefan. I loved, loved, LOVED what she basically said to Ric about the fact that they are fooling themselves about living normal lives. And isn't that what it comes down to when it comes to Ric for these last couple of seasons? He's been fooling himself ever since he came back from the dead? Trying to be normal, first with Jo, and now with Caroline and the girls.

So maybe there is light at the end of the tunnel. Maybe.

OK, not so much miscellaneous as it all revolves around Damon, so let's call it Damon minutiae!

- Awww! Matt still is Damon's minion! He still clearly does what Damon tells him to do even when he don't wanna. Good boy, Matty, good boy.

- When Damon was telling Enzo that he has to think of the needs of the person he loves and not his own… aww, he was clearly thinking of Elena. Double aww!

- Seriously, how can anyone not see that Damon and Bonnie are nothing but besties?

- Bwah! I laughed so hard and loved it so hard when Damon was all 'No, I do not accept your forgiveness!' to Bonnie because he knew what it meant. And another aww! that Bonnie couldn't die without forgiving Damon. See? Besties! So adorable.

- Of course, Damon made a deal with Alex. Of course, he did.

- But Alex is so not gone for good. Nor is that "thing" going to stay in there.

Which brings us to that ending… great ending. Much, much better than the rest of the episode. It was a surprise ending that made absolutely perfect sense once it happened. As Bonnie lie there dying, and Damon walked Rayna and the Shaman to the fire, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop. I knew *something* was coming. I just didn't knew what—and when it happened. Dayum. Good one. How the hell are they going to get out of this one? And… of course. Also, back to my last bullet point, will Bonnie go and unleash the Armory "thing" to aid what is her quest now?

*sigh* I will miss Rayna. I enjoyed her snark and interplay with Damon and Matt. And I really did like her explanation to Bonnie about why she wanted to give her life up, but it was also so sad, because it made it clear that she hadn't ever fully lived. We saw her life before she went on her quest. She was on guard constantly, she was living in the woods, in danger. She hadn't experienced non-familial love, the simple joys and pleasures of life. It was really sad. She was a great character, but like most great characters on The Vampires Diaries, they come, they are awesome, they die. Some too soon. {OSCAR! SLATER! LUCY!}

We've got two episodes left. I am expecting them to be awesome as the majority of this season (and, well, this series) has been. This episode is very, very much an exception to the rule, and it's not like there wasn't a lot to enjoy in it still (duh, Damon!). It was just having the black hole of chemistry that was the b-story of Stefan/Matt paired with so much retread in the A-story. *sigh* Well, we've had better. Although to be fair, other than last season's “I'd Leave My Happy Home For You,” episode 20's have never been particular favorites of mine, so there is that. On the other hand, 21 and 22's have generally owned my soul. Yay! Still, you know what I always say: A subpar Vampire Diaries episode is generally better than most TV EVAR! So there. I love my show, I love my show, I love my show! Wheee!!!
Tags: alaric saltzman, bonnie bennett, caroline forbes, damon salvatore, damon/bonnie, damon/elena, damon/matt, ep discussion-tvd, matt donovan, matt/rebekah, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries, tv

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