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‘The Vampire Diaries’ Review: ‘Mommie Dearest’

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Thanksgiving is a new tradition on The Vampire Diaries. After years of ignoring the holiday, last season gave us Friendsgiving (Stefan’s probably still bitter about not getting an invite), and this year, the show brought us two Salvatore Thanksgivings. A flashback to 1851 served as a reminder that Stefan deserves a medal for killing his father, and in present day, Stefan and Damon held Lily hostage with vervain ropes.

Mommie Dearest” also provided the resolution to last week’s cliffhanger as to whether or not Caroline was actually pregnant with Ric and Jo’s twins. Bonnie and Enzo had a chance to team up, Caroline picked an unexpected ally for herself, and the Salvatore brothers learned some new details about their mother. Let’s talk.

5. Checking in on the Future…and What’s Up with Matt?

Following the season’s pattern, the episode kicked off three years from now. Damon and Alaric raced to the station in Damon’s car to try and prevent Stefan from walking into the hunter’s trap. The plan was for Damon to rescue Caroline and for Alaric to hit Stefan with vervain darts when he inevitably came to play hero. But this future hunter is wise to their games. Not only was Caroline not being held at the station, Damon ended up getting shot. Seriously, when do we jump into the future full time? I want to go there.

Since we haven’t seen his flash forward, is it too much to hope Matt’s dead? (Sorry, but I’ve never been a fan and the way he spoke to Bonnie tonight? How dare you?) It seems more likely that Matt might be why Caroline and the others presumably aren’t allowed to return to Mystic Falls. The reason I’m bringing Matt up at all is because he mentioned he was working on something with Tyler and Jeremy. Since we’ve seen Tyler in the future (and I actually like him), I’m mildly interested in this story (enough to mention it anyway).

vampire-diaries-707-mommie-024. Bonnie and Enzo Discover the Sword and the Stone

Bonnie and Enzo teamed up to investigate Oscar’s missing car and find out what Julian wanted. It turned out to be a small sword in the trunk. Bonnie wanted to take it and search her books for its meaning while Enzo wanted to stab Julian with it. Both fair points, but Bonnie stated again that Lily was not worth Enzo’s affection. Enzo ignored her and went to take on Julian anyway. But for those of us who have been sailing this ship, the episode delivered the banter and not-so-subtle flirting that’s making this pairing so fun to watch. The actors’ chemistry helps, but there’s also something cool about watching a love story in reverse. We can already see the seeds starting to take shape – Bonnie being happy Enzo “lost” Lily and Enzo noticing that Bonnie’s happy and hearing her say he deserves better. I approve.

On a non-shipper note, this sword turned out to be important because it’s connected to the Phoenix Stone. But without the stone, it’s just a sword that can’t harm a vampire. So now we know how the vampire in Jo’s body was killed with a silver sword. It just removes the soul and sends it to the Phoenix Stone. So when Enzo (and eventually Damon) attempted to put Julian down with it, all it did was knock him out for a few minutes. But will this leave a scar like the one Stefan has in the future? Has he been stabbed with the sword? I’m intrigued and need answers, show. Also, huge points loss for Enzo when he punched Damon. Not cool.

vampire-diaries-707-mommie-013. Lily Sees the Error of Her Ways

We learned more of Lily’s backstory tonight after her sons, specifically Stefan, tried to teach her some harsh truths. Stefan told her about Val’s pregnancy, but she didn’t believe Julian would do that. Through a series of flashbacks (we got adorable young Damon this time along with the return of adorable young Stefan) we were treated to Giuseppe Salvatore being the absolute worst. He made Damon kill and eat his pet turkey and then when he accused the boys of stealing from him, Damon took the blame to make sure he wouldn’t hurt Stefan (my heart). But it turned out Lily was the true culprit. She explained to Stefan that she’d been stealing and hiding money because she wanted to run away with the boys. Unfortunately, her husband found out, beat her, and made sure she couldn’t leave and take his sons (Can we all take a moment to praise Stefan for killing him?).

Stefan and Damon wanted Lily to see she made a habit of choosing bad men. But she ignored them and ended up leaving with Julian after she found out Damon would have let her die if it meant killing Julian (because she’s linked to him). Back at the Salvatore house, Lily questioned Julian about Valerie. He denied it, apologized, and asked for her forgiveness. She gave it to him, but one last flashback showed Lily pretending to forgive Papa Salvatore too. At the end of the episode, Lily returned to the Lockwood house and told Stefan and Damon she had a plan to stop Julian. Finally. This will in no way make up for all the stuff Lily’s done wrong, but like I said last week, she should side with her sons. Can they put Julian back in the stone without Lily ending up in there too? Or will they have Bonnie unlink them? Looking forward to see how this one plays out and if Lily would be willing to sacrifice herself to keep everyone else safe (doesn’t seem like it at this point, but character growth would be nice).

vampire-diaries-707-mommie-042. Damon’s Not Here to Forgive Lily

I am Team Salvatore forever and ever, but when it comes down to choosing between the two, it’s always going to be Stefan for me. That being said, I was 100 percent on Damon’s side this week. Lily might not be Giuseppe bad, but she still left her children in the care of a monster. Yes, she died of consumption and then she was a ripper, but even after she calmed down, she chose the Heretics and Julian over them, not only in the past, but right now up until the end of the episode. Stefan’s been trying to get through to her since she came back and she’s blown them both off at every turn. She didn’t even believe Valerie’s story over Julian. Valerie, one of her favored children.

So of course I don’t blame Damon for be willing to let Lily die if it meant killing Julian. He doesn’t want to hear the excuses or the sob story of a woman who let her husband burn her child for something she did (And I’m not downplaying Lily’s abuse or how little power she had as a woman back in the day. I’m just saying I understand Damon’s point. She had every opportunity to come back for them before 1903 and she didn’t). I know Stefan loves Lily and wants to see the best in her, but he needs to put Damon first, just like Damon put him first. If the only way to rid the world of Julian is to take out Lily too, so be it.

1. Secret Pregnancies Revealed

Caroline took the news of her magical pregnancy with a strong heaping of denial, even when she vomited, something vampires don’t generally do. As they waited for the results of a home pregnancy test, a desperate Ric attempted to rationalize how a vampire could be pregnant. She breathes and her heart beats so he believed she could sustain a baby. Remember what I said last week about suspended disbelief? I have to side eye this a little. We know their hearts beat and they breathe and that’s weird to begin with in vampire lore, but whatever. Universes set their own rules. That being said, all the show had to do was say the magic was allowing it. Magic can do anything on television. I would have believed the Gemini magic led to self-growing babies or whatever, rather than Caroline’s body functioning like someone who’s alive. But who knows? Maybe that’s still what’s happening. That’s what I’m going with in my head.

Anyway, Caroline didn’t believe it, the test was negative so Ric got drunk, and Caroline went to help Matt at the Grill. There were more compelled people there. Caroline called Val to get her so syphon away the compulsion. At first, Valerie just wanted to talk about the magic pregnancy, Caroline told her she was crazy, and then apologized and convinced Val not to leave. Valerie did her thing and then Beau showed up and attacked them for setting the food supply free. Valerie shielded Caroline with her trusty invisibility spell, and they made a run for it. Caroline assumed Valerie heard the spell wrong, but Valerie knew it because she’d tried it when Julian attacked her. But she wasn’t strong enough to do it since she didn’t have an entire coven behind her. Caroline put two and two together and realized Valerie and Stefan’s secret.

Even though I’m still not happy that Stefan kept the truth from Caroline, I liked these Caroline and Valerie scenes a lot. I love that Valerie protected Caroline and I’m glad she opened up to her about the baby. I don’t expect them to start sporting BFF necklaces or anything, but Caroline’s the best character to make another character likable. Caroline and Valerie might not trust each other, but they’re both putting that aside and working together for the greater good. Of course there’s going to be all sorts of problems once Caroline and Stefan share a scene again, but let’s worry about that in a later paragraph. Valerie realized the Gemini were smart enough to cloak the babies, she syphoned away the magic, and Caroline performed her own ultrasound so they could see the babies. I’m so sad Jo is gone, and yes, this is weird scenario, but I’m happy Ric’s babies are alive.

All right so now let’s talk about the preview. The show’s on hiatus next week for Thanksgiving, but when the vamps return, Caroline tells Stefan she’s pregnant and he does not handle it well. This angst is going to be the worst. Meanwhile, the Heretics are throwing a murder party and Julian is holding Damon and Valerie hostage. Here’s hoping we get to watch Julian die before the next holiday hiatus.

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.