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03 May 2016 @ 10:52 am
7.20 - 'Kill 'Em All' Take Two (The Vampire Diaries)  
Coming back atch with some more thinky-thoughts.

So there was some discussion in the comments that had me thinking some more about Bonnie's situation and the whole Alaric thing that I wanted to expound upon. So I'm pulling out the whole 'Take Two' post.

First let's begin with Bonnie the Huntress. Well, there is something that is extremely important that Miss Rayna does not know about our gang and that is that they are well acquainted with Hunters. And there are two big differences between Bonnie and Rayna. The first is Bonnie's deep love for three vampires: her two besties, Damon and Caroline, and her boyfriend, Enzo. Secondly, well, let's go back to the whole Hunter-thing that our lovely group is familiar with and focus in on one particular Hunter: Jeremy Gilbert. Uh huh.

Remember, the gang has already been down this road and they actually know how to combat a Hunter and his issues with seeing a vampire and wanting, needing to KILL ALL THE VAMPIRES! Double uh huh! Jeremy, the Hunter, had to fight the urge to kill his own sister because she was a vampire, and they found a way around that. So... yuppers, they already have an upper hand here. They know how to fight this. They just need to figure out *which* person will be Bonnie's touchstone. For Jeremy it was Bonnie. For Bonnie who will it be? Enzo? Caroline? Damon? Or…

Matt? Matt, you say? Why would it be Matt? Well, I kept saying that there had to be a reason for all of those early scenes with them in the beginning batch of episodes, right? Right. We just finally got closure on the Penny/Matt story. (Thank goodness!) And, most importantly, Matt is (a) not a vampire, (b) not particularly fond of vampires himself. So the two will have that little bit of consensus of opinion to bond over. And, of course, they are life-long friends, he would be her one anchor in this sea of madness right now where everyone else around her is a hated vampire that she MUST KILL (or, OK, Alaric, but they were only sorta close and it has been three years since she's seen him now).

Now the interesting thing that could come out of this is two-fold. Firstly, we could get the beginning of Feelings which could lead to a triangle next season with Enzo, Bonnie and Matt. And that would certainly be spicy since we already have that history with Matt and Enzo! Ooh! And secondly, and more interestingly, Matt might actually find himself playing Devil's advocate for the vampires. Sure, he probably won't be defending Enzo or even Stefan all that much, but he will be defending Caroline and he might even find himself defending Damon without even realizing it. The whole black and white of how he has been looking at the situation will begin to fade in his mind and the reality of the grays of vampirism will again assert itself when Matt sees the starkness of the Hunter's philosophy control Bonnie.

Finally, this could also possibly lead to the return, albeit in a guest role, of Steven R. McQueen at some point because of this latest twist. And this could/would possibly finally give us some true closure with Jeremy and Bonnie. When Jeremy left, Bonnie was just too messed up from the post-traumatic stress disorder of everything that happened in the alternate world for her to deal with Jeremy or any kind of "relationship" drama. And Jeremy had emotionally checked out of dealing with Bonnie-related death/not-death trauma by that point. They were just done with each other and psychologically too spent, but maybe now could be the time.

Just like now could the time for the real Alaric Saltzman to stand up. I mentioned this in my initial write-up of this episode:

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 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. [...] 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.
Now I don't think think that the plan was to frustrate the hell out of viewers for nearly two full seasons and essentially make them not care a flying whit about the character of Alaric Saltzman at all. I truly don't. I think they wanted this great tragic love story for Ric with this woman he met and she was the perfect woman for him and they meshed and it was just beautiful and fabulous and viewers were supposed to fall in love with her and them, and AHHH! It's so perfect and wonderful and then it all ended so horribly and tragically. Oh, noes, so sad, we all wept over the pain and misery of it. And had Matt Davis and Jodi Lyn O'Keefe had chemistry, had O'Keefe's Jo worked really well as a character that story *would* have worked beautifully and all of the above would have happened exactly as I now think it was planned and it *would* have set this season up for what I now think the writers did plan.

This season was set up for him trying to recapture "normal Alaric that worked with Jo" before the real "Indiana Alaric" came busting through. Alas, Jo and Alaric didn't work. They didn't have this sweeping, beautiful romance that took our breath away. And we needed that to make Alaric's arc last season to work, leading into this arc. Jo didn't work. We *really* needed her to work, to make the change in Alaric (and their love story) work to make last season's arc and this season's arc work. So, basically it all boils down to… sorry, show, bad casting on Josette last season. Bad casting screwed up two seasons worth of a character's arc. *sigh* However, I can now see (if I'm right) what the plan of season 06 and season 07 was/is for Alaric Saltzman. So that gives me hope the real Alaric is coming back and we'll have him for the last season at least. Yay!

Lastly, I figured out what has been missing this season. (Although, I still contend the season has been great overall.) Yes, we all miss Elena/Nina Dobrev terribly, but she's not the missing piece. As awesome as she is, we do have leading ladies in Bonnie/Kat Graham and Caroline/Candice King, the both of whom, at least combined, can fill the leading lady slot. The missing piece—which I mentioned at the start of the season but really hit home the last few episodes—is a central love story. Stefan and Caroline were broken up early on. Bonnie and Enzo were hinted at and were given one episode (beautiful though it was) and will be together for a handful at the end. Alaric and Caroline aren't even really a couple. Mary Louise and Nora? Barely showcased, peripheral at best. Damon and Elena are *still* the central love story of this show and Elena is not even physically present. They needed to either introduce and showcase a new burgeoning hot push/pull couple this season, or really push Stefan/Caroline. They didn't. I hope for the show's sake that Nina Dobrev planned on only take a year off and she's coming back next season to finish the show out, and they go all out with Damon and Elena, while playing with the pieces of the other entanglements. After all, like I said, Damon and Elena are still their main love story. And the show needs that main love story.
 
 
 
Bogwitch: TVD - Punk Damonbogwitch on May 3rd, 2016 10:49 pm (UTC)
I think it’s more than just losing the central love story and Nina, though both of those are big factors, there has also been little else to ground the viewer in the universe we have invested in over the past seasons either. Mystic Falls has been barely there, neither has Whitmore or the Boarding House. Where do people even live anymore? (I know, the Lockwood mansion, but they haven’t all been there). We fell for a twisty vampire love story set in this intriguing Virginia town, now everyone is all over the place and we no longer know their worlds anymore. I agree the writing quality is still up there, but we are almost watching a different show.

Ok. If Alaric is due to become Indiana Alaric again, what happens to the kids, does Caroline get saddled with them? I wonder if everyone will be human by the end of the show, so Caroline will have a ready made family (which Stefan will presumably slot into before or after Alaric’s death, in the near or far future) and Damon will have his life with Elena.

I really, really hope Bonnie doesn’t end up with Matt.
Arabian: Bonnie07arabian on May 4th, 2016 12:07 pm (UTC)
there has also been little else to ground the viewer in the universe we have invested in over the past seasons either. Mystic Falls has been barely there, neither has Whitmore or the Boarding House. Where do people even live anymore?

I started to agree with you, but then... I don't know, I think that's been intentional. We had that the first half of the season. They were in Mystic Falls, but then everything was taken away. Damon went into hiding, Matt kicked them out of Mystic Falls and basically cut himself off from his tribe, Caroline/Alaric went to Dallas, Bonnie went into hiding, Enzo was 'working' with the Armory, Stefan went on the run. They were no longer a family; there was no community. So I think the very idea was to make the viewers feel as untethered as the group. And them coming back together, coming back to Mystic Falls, coming home will be the climax, so to speak.

Which brings us back to... we needed that love story to root for and long for and be invested in (that actually had both parties on screen) this season.

I agree the writing quality is still up there, but we are almost watching a different show.

That I don't agree with because we still have the characters. Take this other show that just came back, Person of Interest--yes, it's changed drastically, but the characters are still there and it's the characters and the background has evolved believably to the change where it is. The same thing has happened on TVD. It makes sense why and where we're where we are at right now. The evolution has made sense.

Ok. If Alaric is due to become Indiana Alaric again, what happens to the kids, does Caroline get saddled with them?

As Caroline said, the girls are supernatural too. Kids can be part of the supernatural life. And if anyone can make the arrangements, details, etc. to make sure that happens correctly, it's Caroline.

I wonder if everyone will be human by the end of the show, so Caroline will have a ready made family (which Stefan will presumably slot into before or after Alaric’s death, in the near or far future) and Damon will have his life with Elena.

I don't think so. Caroline doesn't want to be human. "I Went Into The Woods," actually showed Stefan he doesn't particularly want to be human. I don't think that Enzo/Bonnie will last, so I don't see anything there or any reason for Enzo to want to be human. Plus, I don't see how Caroline, Stefan, Enzo become human. It will just be Damon with Elena.

I really, really hope Bonnie doesn’t end up with Matt.

I know you don't. And, hey, I could be wrong. I have been before.
tj2013tj2013 on May 5th, 2016 12:30 pm (UTC)
You haven't done the" Take twos" in a while, LOL.

Oh, I like the idea of Matt possibly being the one keeping Bonnie from her huntress-instincts. They are working so well together, just remember Matt killing himself in the pool and Bonnie rescuing him in ... 3x05, was it?

And we needed that to make Alaric's arc last season to work, leading into this arc. Jo didn't work. We *really* needed her to work, to make the change in Alaric (and their love story) work to make last season's arc and this season's arc work. So, basically it all boils down to… sorry, show, bad casting on Josette last season. Bad casting screwed up two seasons worth of a character's arc.

Yeah... too bad. Jo was mainly annoying.

I hope for the show's sake that Nina Dobrev planned on only take a year off and she's coming back next season to finish the show out, and they go all out with Damon and Elena, while playing with the pieces of the other entanglements. After all, like I said, Damon and Elena are still their main love story. And the show needs that main love story.

This. Three times this.
Arabian: Matt02arabian on May 6th, 2016 04:41 pm (UTC)
You haven't done the" Take twos" in a while, LOL.

Well, I haven't had this many extra thoughts post-write-up to have to have a 'Take Two.'

Oh, I like the idea of Matt possibly being the one keeping Bonnie from her huntress-instincts. They are working so well together, just remember Matt killing himself in the pool and Bonnie rescuing him in ... 3x05, was it?

Yup, that was the episode, "The Reckoning." I just think that there had to have been a reason for so much Matt and Bonnie in the first batch of episodes and then the sprinkling of them continued throughout up until present day, you know,?

Yeah... too bad. Jo was mainly annoying.

And she really needed not to be in order for the WHOLE DARN thing to work!
tj2013tj2013 on May 11th, 2016 07:19 am (UTC)
I just think that there had to have been a reason for so much Matt and Bonnie in the first batch of episodes and then the sprinkling of them continued throughout up until present day, you know,?

Yes, I can't imagine the writers doing that for no reason. The chemistry between them is not so insane as with Damon and Elena (not possible, LOL), but I agree, there is something brewing...
Arabian: Matt01arabian on May 11th, 2016 03:02 pm (UTC)
Well, we don't know what their chemistry is like because we've never seen them in any kind of potential romantic situation at all. We'll see... we'll see. If I'm right.
Florencia: DE (I Promise You)florencia7 on March 13th, 2017 09:33 am (UTC)
RE: 7x20 Take Two
"Secondly, well, let's go back to the whole Hunter-thing that our lovely group is familiar with and focus in on one particular Hunter: Jeremy Gilbert. Uh huh." - I have to admit, I didn't even think of Jeremy during this storyline which would make me feel incredibly guilty if it wasn't for the fact that even the show didn't use this opportunity to throw Jeremy one more honorable mention this season.

"And secondly, and more interestingly, Matt might actually find himself playing Devil's advocate for the vampires." - I think by the end of it all Matt got to as good a place as it was possible for him.

"And this could/would possibly finally give us some true closure with Jeremy and Bonnie." - I was never particularly into them as a couple, maybe that's why the lack of closure didn't bother me too much. Which is not to say that I would mind a 2-hour long final episode with several extra conversations, Jeremy/Bonnie scene among them ;) However, I'd say that we didn't get this particular one, because no closure was necessary. They both survived, so they probably met again. So I'm sure they did get a closure, eventually.It's just that we didn't get to see it.

"Bad casting screwed up two seasons worth of a character's arc. *sigh*" - Yes, you're right. I think Olga Fonda was the worst casting choice, but this one was a close second lol

"The missing piece—which I mentioned at the start of the season but really hit home the last few episodes—is a central love story." - Now I think that maybe it wasn't missing. It was intentionally let go off, so to speak. The focus has shifted, and that's how the finale played out too. In the end it all fit together.


"After all, like I said, Damon and Elena are still their main love story. And the show needs that main love story." - As someone at twitter very correctly pointed out (yeah, because I may not have an account there anymore, but I totally went there to randomly scroll down hundreds of comments to see how people were feeling about the finale lol), Damon and Elena was THE ONLY couple that got a truly happy ending. They were literally the only endgame that survived it all ♥ I don't think there's a better way to honor the main love story. (Which, btw, is one of the reasons I don't understand how anyone can be upset about the finale. I recommend a re-watch and a cold shower, not necessarily in that order lol)

ETA: I uploaded one of your beautiful icons, and I chose it as the icon for my comment, but for some reason LJ doesn't let it show up :[ Weird.

Edited at 2017-03-13 09:34 am (UTC)
Arabian: Jeremy & Bonnie03arabian on May 2nd, 2017 01:00 am (UTC)
Re: 7x20 Take Two
The Jeremy-hunter lack was disappointing to me. I have my list of issues (it's not long) and his petered out storyline is one on it. Talking about vampire hunters and not bringing up Jeremy as a hunter, and the fact that Bonnie was actually used as his calming place was just... *sigh* Yeah.

I was never particularly into them as a couple, maybe that's why the lack of closure didn't bother me too much.

I wasn't into other couples like say Stefan and Elena, but they got closure and it was good and necessary. TV couples should get closure. If they don't, it's unfair to fans when an actor leaves (unlike with how Nina left because something like that pretty much never happens) and fans of that character want to see them move on, but they want closure for their couple so that the pairing is shown respect. It matters.

So I'm sure they did get a closure, eventually. It's just that we didn't get to see

But we should have. Bonnie and Jeremy weren't just any couple. They were two of the show's major characters for the first 5 seasons. They were one of the main couples from season 02 on. And they were shafted in season 06. Bonnie came back, McQueen was there for the finale and it was more important to give us a freaking Tyler/Elena scene--I don't care if both actors were leaving the show as series regulars it didn't make sense as those two CHARACTERS barely interacted--than to have Bonnie and Jeremy even share a second of screen time.

I think Olga Fonda was the worst casting choice, but this one was a close second lol

And as you know I am now re-thinking this. While I do think that a different actress might have made the inconsistencies in the writing and issues with Ric smoother, the main issues (i.e., the inconsistencies, the lack of integration with the other characters, Ric's putting Jo above EVERYONE ELSE!) were in no way Jodi Lyn O'Keefe's fault. That was all on Julie Plec and (sobs, sorry!) Caroline Dries.

"The missing piece—which I mentioned at the start of the season but really hit home the last few episodes—is a central love story." - Now I think that maybe it wasn't missing. It was intentionally let go off, so to speak. The focus has shifted, and that's how the finale played out too. In the end it all fit together.

Intentional or not, I still think it was an issue. Bonnie and Enzo or Bonnie and Matt could have been pushed as the central love story. Enzo, Sarah and Matt could (and damnit! should) have been a new triangle. Enzo and Sarah, and Matt and Sarah had chemistry. Gah, the idea of a new triangle with a human Salvatore in the center this time caught between a vampire and a human would have been so delicious and amazing. TVD was built on romance. As much as I adore the friendships and family and community, a central romance was needed that did not involve one half being under a Sleeping Beauty spell. Damon and Elena should have been one of the secondary love stories in the last two season with Nina no longer on the show. (I hate saying that, but, hey, having them even that with one of the actors not on the show is damn impressive still!)

Damon and Elena was THE ONLY couple that got a truly happy ending. They were literally the only endgame that survived it all ♥ I don't think there's a better way to honor the main love story.

And I can pettily love that as a Damon/Elena fan, but for the show, having more than one couple have a on-screen, no holds-barred happily ever after would not have been a bad thing. It actually would have been pretty damn awesome. My dream endgame would have been Damon/Elena, Stefan/Caroline, Matt/Rebekah (or Matt/Bonnie, or Matt/Katherine, or Katherine/Elijah), Tyler/Liv... ie, more than one happily ever after couple.
Florencia: DE (The Wreck of Our Hearts)florencia7 on May 12th, 2017 03:44 pm (UTC)
Re: 7x20 Take Two
"TV couples should get closure." - Maybe Bonnie and Jeremy didn't get a closure, because their story was left open-ended? And the writers didn't want to unambiguously imply whether they'd get back together or just stay friends.

"Damon and Elena should have been one of the secondary love stories in the last two season with Nina no longer on the show." - We'll just have to agree to disagree about that ;) Besides, I don't think it would've worked even if the writers would've tried to do it. No love story could've top DE, so I think reconciling with that was a better choice than trying pushing some other couple too hard.

"Katherine/Elijah" - will always be mourned :[
Arabian: Elijah & Katherine04arabian on May 14th, 2017 05:12 pm (UTC)
Re: 7x20 Take Two
Maybe Bonnie and Jeremy didn't get a closure, because their story was left open-ended? And the writers didn't want to unambiguously imply whether they'd get back together or just stay friends.

PERISH THE THOUGHT!!! Bonnie and Jeremy had their chance! Bonnie got her white picket fence with Matt Donovan! See... that's another reason that Bonnie and Jeremy should have had their closure, damnit!

No love story could've top DE, so I think reconciling with that was a better choice than trying pushing some other couple too hard.

It wasn't about topping D/E because you're right, no other story could have topped that. It would have been about having another couple simply to root for, building another love story to occupy the space while we waited for Elena's return... while still giving us Damon/Elena tidbits (as we got), letting us know that their love story was not forgotten.

"Katherine/Elijah" - will always be mourned :[

Yup, and the idiocy and ugh-ness of Elijah/Haley over on TO isn't helping.
Florencia: DE (The Wreck of Our Hearts)florencia7 on May 28th, 2017 07:04 pm (UTC)
Re: 7x20 Take Two
"Bonnie got her white picket fence with Matt Donovan!" - I was never implying she didn't! lol

"It would have been about having another couple simply to root for" - I guess in that sense the writers must've thought they succeeded haha
Arabian: Matt & Bonnie01arabian on July 1st, 2017 05:18 pm (UTC)
Re: 7x20 Take Two
I was never implying she didn't! lol

Good to hear (read). LOL!

I guess in that sense the writers must've thought they succeeded haha

I guess so, I mean, they left the door open for Caroline/Klaus (especially in thinking that TO was cancelled--and how awesome in that thinking that was the case Elijah/Hayley were NOT endgame, LOL!) and Matt/Bonnie, so it's true.