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‘The Vampire Diaries’ Review: Of All the Gin Joints in New Orleans

the-vampire-diaries-paul-wesley-joseph-morgan

“Klaus Mikaelson. As I live and breathe.”

How awesome was the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries? The first real crossover episode since the Mikaelson family left for New Orleans, “Moonlight on the Bayou” rekindled one of the greatest relationships ever written: the complicated “friendship” of Stefan Salvatore and Klaus Mikaelson.

While I would have happily watched an entire hour of Stefan and Klaus drinking, catching up, and arguing, the episode featured other compelling stories as well. We learned the fate of a few story loose ends, the future we’ve been glimpsing continued to take shape, and Bonnie and Damon shared plenty of screen time (an automatic win in my book).

I loved this episode from beginning to end (and the second hour of the crossover. But we’ll save that for The Originals review). For now, grab a drink, perhaps a medieval sword, and let’s talk about the highlights.

#5 Checking in with the Guest Stars (and Matt)

Tyler’s not dead! Obviously we knew that since we’ve seen him three years in the future. But now we know he’s been working with the Armory. They rescued him after Damon left him bleeding in the railyard. Thankfully, his werewolf side will heal him as soon as the full moon rises. Unfortunately, that’s happening as Damon’s trapped in a cell with him (we’ll get back to that later).

Valerie, in between playing Siri for Stefan, warns Damon the Armory cannot be trusted. Matt’s around to hear her end of the conversation and looks a little panicked at the notion he might have trusted the wrong people. Of course he did because Matt only makes bad decisions.

Meanwhile, Nora and Mary Louise are arguing/getting re-engaged in a convenience store when Armory operatives sneak up and take them both down. They’re not dead, but it seems odd the Armory would go through so much trouble to collect them (Or I’m just wondering why we can’t be rid of them for good).

#4 Enzo’s Lack of Loyalty/All About the Armory

As for Enzo, why’s he doing their dirty work? Because they promised to tell him all about his family. Enzo opens up to Bonnie about being abandoned and trying so desperately to find a home only to end up with a terminal disease followed by eternal life as a vampire. I like Enzo a lot more than I used to (thank you, Bonnie). But it’s still super lame. I get wanting to belong and know where you come from, but remember last season when Enzo was so protective of Damon? To the point he wanted to ruin Stefan? Now he’s betraying Damon at every turn. Can we please get some character consistency?

Alex, the person who seems to be in charge, tells Enzo his father started the Armory and she’s his family. Seems a little suspicious. I’m going to listen to Valerie and take this with a grain of salt. They might just be telling Enzo what he wants to hear so he’ll be a loyal soldier. Also, I’m still traumatized by last season’s Sarah Salvatore mess. No more long lost relatives, please.

the-vampire-diaries-paul-wesley-joseph-morgan#3 Caroline Gets Parenting Advice…from Klaus

Ric stopped by to visit Caroline in the hospital (side note: why is Caroline still in the hospital? She said herself she’d healed). He’s taking the twins to Dallas immediately (smart). Since Caroline’s worried about Stefan and super attached to the babies, she offers to road trip with Ric to help them get settled. While Caroline can handle nannies, house hunting, and feeding schedules, she’s struggling with the actual baby care part.

That’s where Klaus comes to the rescue. He answers Stefan’s phone when Caroline calls and he’s got some tips on the baby front. The phone call scene was fantastic. It gave TVD viewers a chance to see how much Klaus has grown (if you’re not watching The Originals, you are missing out). He understood Caroline’s connection to the babies and assured her it was okay to love what she couldn’t explain. Caroline seemed to take his words to heart because once they arrived in Dallas, Ric told her she could stay as long as she wanted. We don’t need the flash forwards to confirm she would take him up on that. The look on her face said it all.

Speaking of the flash forward, Caroline opened the episode by bringing the twins to St. James Infirmary (aka the magic free bar in NOLA). The bartender informed her no one’s seen Klaus for three years. As a fan of The Originals, I’m terrified and excited to find out how and why this happened.

#2 Team Bamon Forever

Circling back to the Armory, Damon was running out of time. The full moon triggered Tyler’s werewolf side and only Enzo could open the door. Too bad Bonnie knocked him unconscious (after he’d done the same to her. When exactly does this “love” story start taking shape?). Bonnie found a way to rescue Damon (by chopping off Enzo’s hand. BAMF). But Damon didn’t want her to because Tyler might have hurt her. Which of course is exactly what happened. Bonnie freed him, Tyler attacked, and Bonnie got her head bashed in. Damon attempted to revive her with vampire blood, but Enzo had done something to prevent magic from working (just pretend it makes sense).

I sound like a broken record, but Damon and Bonnie scenes are constantly one of the best parts of this show. Their bond is deep and unbreakable. They can say everything they need to say with one look. Or they can destroy my emotions with a few heartfelt words as they take turns pulling out all the stops to save each other’s lives. They’re beyond ride or die at this point. They’re part of each other and neither is going to let go.

Except Damon’s planning to make a sacrifice. Val’s harsh words combined with his own guilt are proving too much for him. He’s tired of watching Stefan and Bonnie pay the price for his actions. He’s done watching those he loves get hurt and he’s prepared to erase himself from the narrative. He told an unconscious Bonnie he’d heal her and then he’s going to do something stupid (I’m paraphrasing, but it’s true. Stefan and Bonnie will not appreciate him abandoning them).

the-vampire-diaries-paul-wesley-joseph-morgan#1 Stefan and Klaus Reunite (and it’s EVERYTHING)

Without further ado, let’s journey to New Orleans. Stefan arrives at the magic free bar Valerie sent him to (side note: how did she know about it?). Klaus appears beside him and wants to catch up with his old friend. Despite his sarcastic tone, Stefan looked pretty happy to see Klaus. Maybe it was just Paul Wesley projecting his excitement to work with Joseph Morgan again, but I’ll take it. It’s been far too long since these two shared screen space. And the scenes did not disappoint.

Klaus asked about Caroline and Stefan ordered more alcohol. They remained cordial right up until Stefan’s wound started bleeding. Then Klaus flipped out because how dare Stefan bring a dangerous huntress to his family’s home. Stefan pleaded for help and Klaus ordered him to leave. His reaction was beyond over the top and out of character. Since when does Klaus Mikaelson fear a vampire huntress? Or anyone?

So Stefan fled once more and Val told him the huntress was on his trail. She ran him off the road in the middle of the bayou and nearly killed him until Klaus arrived in the nick of time and killed her (with next to no effort—all the more reason not to be such a brat in the earlier scene). Since they were in the middle of werewolf country during a full moon, Klaus ordered Stefan to run for it instead of taking the time to collect Rayna’s temporarily dead body (again, don’t think too hard about why Klaus couldn’t do it himself while Stefan waited in the car…).

The topic returned to Caroline once more. Stefan didn’t want to discuss his feelings (spoiler alert: he’s more open on The Originals). But Klaus offered sage advice once more: if he’s going to keep putting Damon first, he needs to let Caroline go. Klaus had watched Elijah suffer on his behalf for far too long. Again, I love Klaus’ growth. And I love that Stefan listened. No, I’m not happy about the pain it’s going to cause him and Caroline, but we’ve seen the future. Now I’m just wondering what exactly Stefan says/does to leave Caroline claiming to hate him in three years.

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.

  • Jada

    Even though this show sometimes makes zero sense this episode was phenomenal. You were on point with everything but I want to talk about this Enzo/Bonnie thing. My main thing is “WHY”?

    WHY, after the beautiful build up of Bonnie and Damon over the years, is Enzo even an option for Bonnie?

    WHY, after it took Bonnie literally years to grow from hating Damon to loving him, does Enzo get a free pass for Bonnie’s affection after doing absolutely nothing to earn it?

    WHY, after that flash forward Benzo kiss, was the entire first half of the season spent building tension and romance between Enzo and Lily if they really wanted people to ship them?! Truly, wtf?!

    WHY, after all the shady crap Enzo has done so far this season (this episode especially) does Bonnie feel Enzo deserve better?! Been waiting for this explanation.

    WHY, after having Enzo almost kill Damon, knock tf outta Bonnie, and Bonnie chop off Enzo’s hand, do they still think people are gonna get behind this ship?!

    At this point I’m truly offended. We’re not that gullible. And I’m also truly confused as to WHY Bonnie and Enzo are still gonna be a thing. This episode showcased perfectly why it should be Bonnie and Damon. Enzo will never compare.

    Team Bamon Forever

  • spythagorus

    I never was a fan of Klaus’ on TVD, but I thoroughly enjoyed watching him and Stefan play off of each other in this episode so I’m gonna agree–more of that would have been great. I totally agree that Enzo does come off as more interesting in this episode than he has ever been (to me), but…I still found his characterization inconsistent. By far, the best thing about this episode was Bonnie and Damon. Once again, they delivered the goods and it left me feeling a little resentful because we could have been watching them play wonderfully off of each other for the entire season (and duration of the series, really). When Bonnie unflinchingly and without hesitation CHOPPED ENZO’S HAND OFF for Damon, I screamed and clapped. LOL. Team Bamon Forever, indeed. They really are ride-or-die. I can’t wait to see more of that when they’re reunited after his desiccation.

  • staytravelin

    This write-up is so accurate. I have to say that the Bamon scenes were EVERYTHING for me. Watching Bonnie and Damon go all-out for each other had me floating on a cloud. Even that very sad scene when he’s at her hospital bedside and decides to desiccate to keep her and Stefan safe had me in my Bamon feels. Kat and Ian are magical together, and I’m so happy that we’re FINALLY getting to see them play off of each other. Like most people, I’m stumped as to what “love” story could possibly come from Bonnie and Enzo’s current state, but to be honest…I don’t care enough about it to want to get to the bottom of it. It seems like a very contrived way to build a Bamon/Enzo love triangle (and we all KNOW how much TVD loves their triangles) but I’d rather just have my Bamon thankyouverymuch. I really enjoyed seeing the Klaus/Stefan scenes as well. They still play VERY well off of each other.

  • Candycola

    Bamon killing me on this episode. Tbh Damon and Bonnie slays the episode. I never thought Damon is willing to die so Bonnie can live. Its out of my imagination. Perfect added bonus, Damon’s confession to unconcious Bonnie. Bonnie axed Enzo’s hand w/o a blink. She’s capable.of doing anything eventhough she’s magicless. Damon and Bonnie completely willing to die for each other. I fall in love with Bamon now.

  • Sherri

    I really loved the episode, it’s probably either my 1st or 2nd favorite out of the season so far. I LOVED the Bamon scenes in this and just how far and how willing they are prepared to go to save one another, keep the other safe. I will say I’m tired at this point in seeing Bonnie being attacked, this is like the 4th episode in a row that it’s happened. Some might say its par for the course being it’s a supernatural show, but there needs to be a balance. We haven’t seen Bonnie get to do anything new with her magic, which is a real disappointment. But Bonnie definitely stole the episode for me. Even without her magic she improvised and someone lost a hand for it. What can you do? Kat did an amazing job, and her chemistry with Ian is BLAZING!! There’s a lot I want to say about Bonenzo, but I’ll just say that showing 50-11 episodes of Enzo being a shady turncoat and one (that I know of) upcoming episode of him being the perfect boyfriend is not the best way to sell me on a love story. Bamon is their own love story although yes, they are merely friends, but you can see they do love each other. Ships aside and a few questionable plot details that really didn’t add up, it was a very good episode.

  • Anthony

    I agree with all of your stuff up there.

    Why cant they build up Bamon and stop with this CoffinLena and Bozo things? Where’s Caroline Enzo friendship goes? Last time I remember, Enzo over protective of Caroline then suddenly their relationship gone! Out of Nowhere, Bozo suddenly happen. I saw no balance on his character. Its like when you wanna build up another triangle love, you need someone who can be the third person as obstacle without caring his development before. Bamon is so perfect, and their chemistry is beyond than any other relationship in TVD. Now we’re in the episode 14, Im still waiting for Bonnie real fight as a real witch. But nada- why cant they give Bonnie chance to be powerful like Davina? And when can we get Bennet Salvator real History? (Sigh)

  • Mari

    OMG! Your #2 is everything I love about this show right now. “They’re part of each other and neither is going to let go”…THIS is why I watch TVD, it’s for them.

  • You truly right almost all of it. and Yes The cross over between stef and Klaus so short.(I wish one day Bonnie will be include in Crossover) Oh Gosh! I AM SO TEAM BAMON! THEY ARE SO LIT AND KILLING ME! I do hve a thought how can Bonnie and Enzo fall In ****.
    I decline another “Bamon” 2.0. Tyler and Matt need more screentime. and I wish Bamon reunion soon will be epic as 4×15/6×15 as beautiful as they are.
    So far, the plot for Enzo really Out of blue. Why cant they hint it from the first time Enzo make appearence in the show? why throwing everything in one episode? Never make sense to me,also his whining over how much he needs attention and place for him (I’m so not pity on him even I Love enzo *not BonnieEnzo* because he got a chance before to choose side, yet he played for both. Poor written. Bamon always leaving us warmheart over their friendRelationship. I Wish they Explore Bamon Romantically, because its Clear Damon Is more Rational/Open/Human/ wise and Tolerable also he found his path of redemption and accept who really he is. Damon Is Bonnie Selfishness, Bonnie is Damon Selfless. Both Balance. Bestfriend always make a best Boyfriend and Girlfriend.

  • Michelle

    Bonnie and Damon are killing me. Beyond ride or die they are. Can we just skip over this “love” story with enzo and get to Bamon. I feel a romance brewing at least any smart TV show would go there.