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‘The Vampire Diaries’ Review: Top 5 Moments from ‘Never Let Her Go’

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Last night, The Vampire Diaries delivered a stellar follow up episode to the fantastic season premiere. “Never Let Her Go” opened with a flash forward and then brought us back to present day Mystic Falls in Blair Witch style. It turns out that closing down a town makes people curious to discover things that go bump in the night, which of course leads to Heretics killing them. There’s a lot to talk about this week from the Heretics torturing Caroline over fashion to Bonnie attempting to talk some sense into Ric and the Salvatore brothers continuing to be the absolute best.

5. All the Little Things

Call it cheating if you want, but too much happened in this episode to limit it to a Top 5. So in no particular order, some highlights from the episode that don’t fit into categories: Bonnie and Damon’s phone call (because all of their BFF interactions are the best), Sassy Stefan mocking Beau for being mute (rude, yes, but he tried to stake Stefan last week so I don’t care), the Heretics each talking about why Malcolm mattered to them – I always appreciate the show for giving the villains depth (I still need them to die though), Michael Malarkey playing the guitar (no need to elaborate), and Enzo making it clear he’s crushing on Lily (it’s not so much that I like that, but it seems worth mentioning).

vampire-diaries-702-never-044. Alaric and the Phoenix Stone

Sometime between last week and this episode, Alaric confessed his plans to Damon, who of course told Bonnie because that’s what BFFs do. Bonnie offered to take a look at the stone and at first, she couldn’t see the magic, but when she dug deeper, she started having flashes of blood and death and terrible things, basically. I love Bonnie, I think she’s someone people should listen to more often, but she dropped the ball this week by trusting Ric when he said he’d get rid of the stone himself. I do think Alaric considered it for a half second, but his grief over Jo is calling the shots. So he resurrected some random guy to prove the stone works. And it does, which is super creepy, even for a show that regularly brings people back from the dead. Nothing good is going to come from this, Ric.

vampire-diaries-702-never-033. Operation Rescue Caroline

Once Stefan learned Lily had Caroline, he sent Damon to fix things. But that Blair Witch scene in the beginning turned out to have a bigger purpose. The Heretics kidnapped Matt, drained his blood of vervain, made him the owner of the Salvatore house and compelled him to forget. So that meant Stefan and Damon couldn’t go inside to rescue Caroline. Instead, Bonnie came up with the plan to kill Matt (I approve!) Of course she meant only for a minute (10 seconds) so she could stop his heart and break the spell. Damon went to distract Lily (we’ll get to that) and Stefan went to help Caroline. But Valerie turned her skin into vervain (rude) so Stefan couldn’t touch her without getting burned (who else swooned when he planned to carry her out though?). Stefan grabbed a jacket and they were about to leave when the house basically ejected them, Stefan through the window and Caroline down the stairs, where Enzo asked the housekeeper to invite her in (ugh, this guy). After passing out from another vision, Bonnie woke up Matt, who was all bent out of shape and spouting about Stefan and Damon being the worst. Bonnie fessed up that she helped Damon kill Malcolm and came up with the plan for Matt to die (she’s the best). So that sort of got Matt on board with working together again at least until the next time he feels the need to whine about vampires (sorry, Matt fans, my dislike is strong this week).

vampire-diaries-702-never-022. Salvatore Brothers above All Else

(This would normally be #1 because nothing is more important to me on the show than the Salvatore brothers and their bond, but the flash forwards are so cool). Remember Damon going to distract Lily? Enzo, the traitor that feels slighted because people don’t like him or something, told Damon how much Malcolm mattered to Lily and that she planned to bury him in the family crypt next to Elena. Because whoops, Heretics syphon magic so Bonnie’s protection spell was about to be toast. Lily told her crew to dump Elena’s body under the falls (whether that happened or not remains to be seen) and then she taunted Damon with the opposite of motherly love. She reminded him of how she’d hide his toys when he was little and that was the only thing that broke him. So he asked what she wanted in exchange for Elena. Then he returned home (Lockwood Manor) and met with a rage-y Stefan, who wanted to know why Damon left him instead of helping him rescue Caroline (big brother let him down). Damon explained his reasoning and reminded Stefan of how Lily used to take away his toys too to punish Damon because Damon couldn’t stand to see Stefan cry and that’s when he would give in (OTP, you guys, brotherly love forever and ever). The two realized Mama Salvatore was trying to pit them against each other so they’d turn on one another, but they’re too smart for that. Damon planned to leave town at her request, but his real mission is to find the sixth Heretic and use him as bait to get Elena back while Stefan goes to Mommy Dearest and says how Damon is the worst so he can get Caroline back. Smart plan, boys.

1. Flash Forward and Flashback

The episode opened three years from now with Caroline working as a news producer in Dallas (love, love, love). Someone came to tell her that her fiancé called and wanted to go to Mystic Falls. She was confused because they’re not allowed to go back there. As much as I wanted it to be Stefan (Team Steroline), I wasn’t surprised when the second flash forward had the guy telling Caroline she received another call – this time from a Stefan Salvatore. Future Caroline did not appreciate hearing that name so obviously something major went down between the two of them and I need to know what it is. How do they go from the beginning stages of love to having Caroline hate him (as if) in three years? These flash forwards are going to kill me. But we didn’t get an answer since the hunter showed up and put Caroline (and the messenger) down.

Finally, we need to talk about the last present day scene. I think we all guessed Valerie didn’t save Caroline from Nora and Mary Louise’s torture out of the goodness of her heart. Instead, she made her skin poison to Stefan’s touch. Sorry (terrible) new show, Valerie’s getting the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend award this week. Nora explained to Caroline how Valerie is a liar and then handed over one of Stefan’s journals from 1863. Valerie’s been carrying it around since she landed in the prison world and Nora told Caroline to read the entry from July 15 (my birthday, I feel honored, show). It turns out that’s the day Stefan met Valerie and went all heart eyes for her at first sight. But clearly it didn’t work out so I can’t wait to see how and why and what will happen when they finally come face to face in present day (Season seven is so awesome).

About the author

Mandy Treccia

Mandy Treccia has served as TVSource Magazine’s Executive Editor since 2016, formerly as Editorial Director from 2012-2016. She is an avid TV watcher and card carrying fan girl prone to sudden bursts of emotion, ranging from extreme excitement to blind rage during her favorite shows and has on more than once occasion considered having a paper bag on hand to get her through some tough TV moments. Her taste in TV tends to rival that of a thirteen-year-old girl, but she’s okay with that. Follow her on Twitter at @SourceMandy.

  • Platynum

    Thank God it isnt Stefan,they have no chemistry and its the worst pairing ever on this show.She regresses to a whiny needy character when drooling behind him.Anyhoo She belongs with Klaus…intend to be your last and all.