The Vampire Diaries – The Simple Intimacy of the Near Touch
By: Luke Joseph
The episode opens up with Damon (Ian Somerhalder) in some run down bar once again holding Elena’s necklace and completely transfixed by it. Stefan (Paul Wesley) enters with a new victim to deliver to Cade (Wolé Parks) asking if Damon wants a bite. Stefan must do the dirty work and rip away. The sound of Damon’s phone interrupting the moment finds Sybil on the other line (this chick has no friends). It looks like Sybil (Nathalie Kelley) needs Damon to deliver her the iron bull and since he can’t tell her no he accepts the request. Does this mean that he finally gets to ditch Stefan? Nope. Stefan is joining him on this trip back to Mystic Falls because he has his own agenda in mind.
Romantic Yet Grotesque Gesture
Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) has returned back from Paris and she has stars in her eyes thanks to Enzo (Michael Malarkey). What else does she have? A vial of Enzo’s blood hanging around her neck. Nothing says “I love you” like wearing your lover’s blood around your neck. Caroline (Candice King) seems to be at a loss for words as she stares at the vial around her friend’s neck. Caroline seems to share the same thoughts as the viewers wondering if it means that Bonnie will eventually turn. “Don’t worry I’m not turning into a vampire anytime soon,” Bonnie reassures Caroline. Soon? Meaning she might?
Before the girls have a chance to really have a heart to heart chat, Seline (Kristen Gutoskie) rings Caroline up requesting her help. What is up with these needy sirens? Can’t they do anything on their own? Caroline has something she needs (tuning fork) and Seline has something she needs (the bell). One more item needs to be added to this to make it all work and that’s the striker, which Damon has.
My Heart Leads Me Back To You
The moment that Damon stepped through the threshold of the doors it’s almost as if he’s taken a trip back to the past. Even though he can’t remember, he’s still feeling Elena’s presence nearby. It’s felt the moment he’s upstairs and finds himself watching the pageant goers rehearsing a dance he’s all too familiar with, all the while he remains holding the necklace as he looks on. A shadow of a smile pulling on his lips as he’s hit with the memory of dancing with Elena (Nina Dobrev). Sadly, Sybil breaks the moment as she puts her grubby siren fish like hands on Damon.The whole reason she’s here is to collect the Maxwell striker. Smug as ever she expects Damon to hand it over like the good henchman that he is but instead he says no. This in turn only adds to Sybil’s irritation resulting in her getting inside of Damon’s mind.
Meanwhile, in Damon’s mind he’s reliving miss Mystic Falls the same way that the viewers are. Entering the changing room, he spots Elena preparing to get herself ready for the dance. A look of peace crossing his dark features and her name slipping past his lips as if she’s an unanswered prayer finally being answered. But because Sybil is in his head she takes over reminding Damon to get a grip. Oh Sybil, silly Sea Witch you shouldn’t have done that. Ever since he started holding that necklace it serves as a reminder of his love for Elena and because of it it’s helping him resist Sybil’s orders. Rather than obeying, Damon takes a step forward and does what every fan has wanted him to do since the introduction of Sybil. He grabs ahold of her face and smashes it against the mirror. The action alone is enough to get Sybil out of his head and look at him in complete awe. Clearly, the siren is shook.
My Fiancé the Ripper
“The year I won Miss Mystic Falls you spent your day in the woods trying not to kill Amber Bradley.” Glad that Caroline brought this up. Can this be brought up among other past Ripper events each time Stefan deems himself to have control?
Stefan finds Sybil giving him a peace offering in the form of a compelled human or in Stefan’s eyes a snack. Considering it’s from Sybil, he turns down the meal and sends it back to the chef. Sybil ends up bringing to Stefan’s attention that Damon was able to resist her. Obviously, knowing who’s to blame for this, his tone dripping in annoyance before filling her in on the details. “He’s able to resist you because of this place, Miss Mystic Falls. This stupid pageant is the day that Damon realized he could take Elena from me. In his mind this place, this event was the beginning of their vomit inducing love story.” What you consider vomit worthy Stefan many fans think the opposite, perhaps even award worthy? Stefan then adds in how Elena Gilbert never really goes away (damn straight) causing Stefan and Sybil to team up corrupt Damon. So, pretty much the two most useless and problematic characters are teaming up because they have nothing better to do, awesome.
Once Upon a Dream
After her short encounter with Stefan, Caroline continues to run the Miss Mystic Falls Pageant making sure the contestants are ready to go. Upon their exit, she finds Damon standing once again by the mirror and inquires why he’s there. Caroline tells Damon that he needs to hand over the iron bull and he isn’t too compliant because if Sybil die’s his head won’t ever be fixed. Caroline’s tone and expression alone display her distaste for him as he brings up his frustration over the necklace she had given him. She simply replies that it was Elena’s, but it’s not good enough for him. The hardened expression she had been wearing suddenly softening as she finally sees that Damon is suffering.
Finally, Caroline decides to cut him some slack and reveals the real reason for why she had gifted him the necklace saying, “I gave you that necklace because it is as powerful and as magical as the love you and Elena have for each other. Being here and feeling what you’re feeling proves that a love that deep and real can win over anything.” Nice to see that she’s finally joined the winning side. Damon; however, is still hesitant to believe it and quickly points out the only reason why Caroline is saying this is because she’s holding onto the faith her and Stefan will be okay suggesting, “Find that place Damon, fight for her or spend the rest of eternity trying to figure out what happened to the best part of you.” The words clearly striking Damon as he eyes Caroline for a moment before making his exit.
She Used To Be Mine
The Salvatore brother’s standing at the end of the stairs as the pageant contestants are announced and make their way down. Stefan confesses to Damon that he’s not the brother he hoped he would be. Stefan is quick to remind Damon that he is to blame for him falling off the wagon the last time they were here noting, “You were standing here falling for Elena as she walked down those stairs.” The comment alone draws Damon back into the past. Back to when his brother’s name was announced but nowhere to be seen as he made his way to where Stefan was supposed to be. Eyes casting up at the angel descending and even as a vampire his very breath had been stolen from him. “You think this is where your love story began, but the truth is, Damon, Elena would have never looked at you twice if I had been there that day,” snarks Stefan. Without another word Stefan snatches the necklace from Damon. “You know when I gave this to Elena it was to protect her from you,” he throws out. Yes, Stefan, you gave it to Elena so that Damon would stay out of her mind but maybe he should have been more concerned about Damon getting into her heart. Crushing the necklace, Damon’s moment of nostalgia broken. No longer is Elena walking towards him, it’s Sybil. Once he couldn’t help but stare at Elena and now he can’t help but wish Sybil would fall down the stairs. It’s like its own meme of what you order online vs. what you actually get.
Thankfully, Caroline had witnessed not only her fiancé escorting Sybil to the dance floor, but the last flicker of hope is taken from Damon. Refusing to lose Damon, she grabs his arm and leads him outside to the dance floor. Caroline explains, “You did this dance with Elena. It meant something to you. This event, this place, it only means something to you because of the feelings you attached to it. Your lizard brain is trying to remind you of the truth.” Of course, Damon isn’t understanding how a stupid dance is supposed to remind him of feelings he’s forgotten. There’s also another way to fight Sybil and that’s them using the striker because maybe just maybe it could break Sybil’s influence over Damon.
A few dancers away from them, Sybil and Stefan look on clearly amused with the turn of events. Stefan is as smug as ever and happily taking the credit for screwing his brother over. “I’ve never seen a war between the conscious and subconscious before,” Sybil comments deeming whatever will follow next to be interesting. Even Bonnie and Enzo have the chance to share a dance together and the only thing Enzo is focusing on is would his lady love Bonnie become a vampire for him had Elena and Bonnie not been linked? “A year ago I would have been offended,” Bonnie notes. With Bonnie no longer having that obligation and guidelines, could she have a change of heart? She explains how she watched all her friends struggle with it and sees how hard it all had been. So what changed? “I fell in love with a vampire who makes me feel alive.” It seems that the idea of having an eternity with Enzo is something Bonnie would happily take. For the first time in years she’s accepted the thought of turning, but she can’t. Realizing that the necklace might be a promise of eternity, it’s something she can’t give as she in turn gives Enzo the necklace back.
What had been a nice change of pace watching Damon and Caroline dance together is ruined when not only Stefan but Sybil cuts in. With their partners now changed, Damon must endure dancing with the Sea Witch. The second Sybil attaches herself to him it’s easy to see he suddenly looks desperate to get back to Caroline so that he can find nostalgia again. “When this is over, Damon, you are going to thank me for sparing you so much pain…Oh please, if this little Elena girl is the voice of your humanity I’d be afraid to face her, too.” Sybil is getting inside his head and going after his insecurities. Still though, Damon continues to hold onto the belief that Elena is right there dancing with him. Having flashes of brown meeting blue, they circle around each other never once removing their intense gazes from the other. Sybil begins to taunt Damon about every awful and horrible thing he’s done coming back to the surface and his humanity flooding him with guilt. Shut up Sybil! Clinging onto the memory of Elena allowing himself to remember the feel of her in his arms and how right it was. Flash after flash, taunt after taunt until he can’t take anymore and finally agrees to hand over the striker to Sybil.
With the intention to keep everyone safe, Caroline explains that there is a gas leak yet Stefan has compelled all the girls competing to stay. Meanwhile, Sybil believes that Damon is finally being compliant, but she’s about to be greeted to the hard truth as Damon takes the striker and literally strikes her with it knocking her out cold. The feeling of victory not lasting long as Stefan saunters into the room telling Damon he’s hitting the road because he doesn’t have the brother that he wants.
Remember that part about Stefan wanting to get ‘that’ woman out of Damon’s head? Yeah it wasn’t Sybil, it’s Elena. Stefan as a Ripper is just an arrogant douche boasting on how he’s made for Cade’s work and Damon is holding him back. Not having time for his brother Stefan stabs Damon and takes the iron bull. Is he doing it to get in her good graces? Either way Stefan tosses the striker to Caroline. Yeah he’s not earning brownie points, killing Violet (Sammi Hanratty) right before Caroline’s eyes. Adding to the ante revealing to Caroline that he’s fed the contestants his blood. Letting it sink in that more deaths will occur Caroline “kills” Stefan to buy some time. In the meantime, Caroline consoles Violet who honestly could be Caroline 2.0 about becoming a vampire. It reminds fans of how Caroline handled vampirism and how much she’s grown up. The scene is quite tender, but hopefully this isn’t another introduction to a new character as with it being the last season it should focus on the core characters. When Stefan finally comes to he finds Caroline waiting at his side. It seems she’s already sticking by him and they haven’t even said ‘I do.’ Caroline is willing to get blood on her hands, suggesting Stefan only go after the bad individuals. They do this for a year and all is well. Stefan is quick to inform her he’s in this for eternity and he’s not stopping anytime soon. Heartbroken that he’s not even fighting for her she slips off her ring and tosses it back to him, breaking off their engagement for the second time.
Somewhere off in the woods Bonnie and Enzo’s conversation isn’t over. Instead of talking about being a vampire Bonnie ends up presenting Enzo with the question on if he’d take the cure and become human with her. What? That would that mean Enzo has to drink from Elena. Bonnie kicks the bucket and then Damon takes the cure from him? Sounds like a lot of technical jargon and they need to be careful of those loopholes.
Torture Gone Wrong
There was nothing more glorious than Sybil waking up and finding herself chained up and not in the fifty shades of Sea Witch way. No, no this was done with the sole purpose of torturing her to make up for all the hell she had caused Damon. “I know why after two thousand years you have nothing because you are nothing, nothing but a spiteful, insecure and unlovable little girl…don’t forget I’ve seen you the real you.” Damon’s cold words draw a tear from Sybil, but unfortunately the plan back fires on Damon and hello humanity, welcome back old friend. By: Luke Joseph