Reviews

‘The Vampire Diaries’ Top 5 Moments from ‘Yellow Ledbetter’

Is there anything better than a dinner party on The Vampire Diaries? Perhaps a trip back to 1994 or maybe a walk down romance memory lane to find that exact moment everything changed? Or maybe the best thing is the characters themselves and finally getting to spend some time in their heads instead of just watching them run from one problem to the next?

It’s hard to choose because “Yellow Ledbetter” was a fantastic episode from start to finish. It was the first episode in a long time that made me anxious and excited for the next episode the second it ended. There are new mysteries to be solved – ones I can’t immediately guess the answer to and suddenly I feel like I’ve traveled back in time with Bonnie and Damon except for me, it’s to the early seasons of this show where my life was basically just what happened between episodes.

The producers promised this season would be a return to the roots of the show – more character driven stories and less mythology. So far, they’re delivering and I could not be happier about it. While last week was about our characters being sad, this week delved deeper into what’s actually going on with them and why they feel the way they do and that made things so much more intriguing. So let’s talk about the five biggest moments:

  1. Honorable Mentions (aka there are too many great moments to narrow down to just five so I’m cheating)

-Caroline’s reaction when she realized she was basically the only person trying to fix things was perfect – I love when Caroline gets to let go of her perfect group cheerleader mode and actually let out some anger.

-Enzo’s reintroduction to the show (seducing information out of a witch in a coat check closet) was awesome because it was a fun, lighthearted moment and instantly brought some humor back to the dark world.

-Jeremy paying Bonnie’s cell phone bill (with her mother’s permission) so he could hear her voice and rant on her voicemail about how angry he is. Jeremy might not be my favorite and I still think Bonnie deserves better, but he does love her and learning over the phone she was going to die seconds before she did, was terrible. I like that even though Jeremy is behaving super badly all day, every day, he still feels something and wants to be close to Bonnie, even if it is to rage.

-Damon cooking breakfast while drinking and dancing to “Whatta Man” only to stop the second Bonnie walks in so he can pretend to be normal was hilarious. Stefan using his vampire speed to cook dinner and then casually grabbing a blood bag from the hidden spot in his refrigerator was fun too. We need more Salvatore brothers’ cooking scenes.

  1. Tripp is a Fell (His name is Tripp Fell and that will never stop being funny)

Since we tend to root for the vampires on this show because they’re the main characters and we love them, I think it’s safe to say that most of us are instantly suspicious of humans – specifically the ones in an authority role. Tripp wanting to guard Mystic Falls and his suspicion of Liz’s motives last week made me side eye him because he could be trouble to my favorites. And honestly, that just shows how skewed my logic is when it comes to this show because in reality, not wanting to be dinner for vampires is actually a good thing?

But again, I’m here for the vampires and I’m not sorry about that. I was super excited when Tripp revealed that he was a Fell and then played dumb when Matt asked if he knew about the founding families and their secrets. He was actually in the process of driving a van of vampires into Mystic Falls so they could be stripped of their magic and then die horrifically. Yup, this guy is definitely trouble and I’ll be counting the days until our ‘heroes’ can best him – or make him one of their own like Liz and Alaric and countless others who came to the ‘good’ side.

  1. “He was my boyfriend. I loved him and he died.”

Alaric and Elena’s ‘remove Damon from her brain’ therapy got off to a slow start for me. I really loved Jeremy’s sarcastic reaction to it because Elena wanting to literally erase her problems so she can stop doing drugs and move on was kind of ridiculous. We’d all like to forget the bad things that have happened to us in life, but somehow, it’s even worse that out of everyone Elena’s lost, Damon is the only one who she can’t deal with losing. I’m not one of those people who feel like TV needs to send moral messages, but this one is very, very messy.

That being said, I started to enjoy the scenes after awhile (maybe I was being brainwashed? Or maybe it’s just because Alaric is the best?). I like that Elena kept trying and failing to find the right moment because she didn’t want to admit to herself when it actually happened (her birthday party in season three after spending the summer searching for Stefan and then Damon returned her necklace). Some people might argue that moment was too soon or a betrayal to Stefan and maybe it was, but that’s how love triangles work – one person falls in love with two people. I love that Elena called back Katherine’s words to her about how it was okay to love them both and that made her feel even worse.

When Alaric took away the necklace memory and Elena instantly recalled Damon snapping Jeremy’s neck for the hell of it, Nina Dobrev showed us once again why it’s a crime The CW is ignored by all major award shows. Her entire demeanor changed, all the love for Damon immediately stripped away and replaced by anger and ‘ugh that guy’ indifference. Alaric asked the question again. “He’s Stefan’s brother. He’s a monster and he died.” Seriously, that moment gave me chills. Well done, show.

  1. We’re all neck people (aka Enzo’s coming to dinner to ruin Stefan’s life)

Seriously, this show throws the best dinner parties. And by best, I mean the most messed up because someone always ends up bleeding or dead or both. Enzo brought Caroline to Stefan’s new place in Georgia where he was having dinner with his new girlfriend Ivy. Naturally, Caroline was upset to see that Stefan had dropped his ‘investigative job’ and Enzo wasn’t amused by how easily Stefan had given up on his brother and proceeded to stab him with a fork. Caroline compelled Ivy to forget and Stefan and Enzo started attacking each other until Stefan broke his neck. Then he overheard Caroline’s phone call with Alaric about when Elena fell in love with Damon and she felt bad, but Stefan didn’t care. And that’s when the real heartbreak began – Caroline wanted to know why Stefan stopped caring and ignored her frantic calls for a friend and then she realized he didn’t actually listen to her messages.

I was super proud of Caroline for calling him a dick and walking away because that’s exactly what he was. Don’t get me wrong – I feel terrible for Stefan. He lost his brother and he’s trying to deal with it by running away and starting over. But that doesn’t give him a free pass for treating his BEST friend badly. She’s grieving too – she lost Bonnie, someone she loved like a sister. Stefan at least owed her the courtesy of picking up the phone. As Stefan cleaned up the mess, Enzo found Caroline crying in the car and then proceeded to go back inside and teach Stefan a lesson by killing Ivy and making it clear that he wanted to take up Damon’s vow to make Stefan’s life miserable because he gave up on his brother. Then he snapped his neck too (neck people).

Obviously, I am Team Stefan first and foremost, but I absolutely loved Enzo in this episode. Yes, it was terrible that he killed Ivy because she’s an innocent girl – he easily could have compelled her to run away instead. But that’s not Enzo’s style. He’d rather make a point with murder (I’m not sorry she’s gone because this canvas is too crowded). They needed to give Stefan a reason to get back in the game and now he has one – revenge against Enzo. It’s not any healthier than abandoning his entire life, but that’s the point. Stefan’s supposed to be messed up right now – he’s a fallen hero who needs to find his way again (and that way better include making things up to Caroline for hurting her when she just wanted to help).

  1. Bonnie and Damon are living like it’s 1994 – May 10, 1994 to be specific

If someone would have told me there’d come a time when Damon and Bonnie’s story would be my favorite part of the show, I would have laughed at them. But after these past two weeks, you can go ahead and put me down in the Team Bamon camp. And it doesn’t have to turn romantic (I mean it can – they’re already married), but their dynamic is so much fun to watch whether they’re snarking at each other, making meals together or doing a crossword (See? Married) as they try to figure out where the hell they are and whether or not it’s actually hell. And if it is hell, which one of them created it? Obviously Kat Graham and Ian Somerhalder are having a blast in these scenes and that makes them even more fun for the audience.

Seriously though, why are they back in 1994 and reliving the same day over and over again? Bonnie realized her grandmother saved her and she saved Damon by holding his hand as the Other Side collapsed (thank you for validating my theory, show). But why would Grams send them back to this specific date? Could it be because of the solar eclipse? Bonnie pointed out that magic brought them there so magic should be able to get them out, but she still can’t do magic. Full credit for this theory goes to my sister, but it seems very likely Bonnie needs to somehow channel energy from the solar eclipse – a rare phenomenon – to set them free and back to their decade.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy watching them play house and steal things (Bonnie going back to retrieve her lost teddy bear was adorable) and of course Damon finding Elena’s necklace as she had her memories wiped was poignant (in an over the top way, but still). Of course the real mystery is who finished Bonnie’s crossword – who knew the random Pearl Jam song/title of the episode? Is it someone we’d recognize from the Other Side? Or is it someone completely new? How and why is this person trapped with Bonnie and Damon? I have so many questions that I cannot wait to learn the answers to (I missed this feeling so much).

Now that I’ve gushed all my feelings, it’s your turn. Did you enjoy the episode? What was your favorite part? Do you have any guesses on the mystery person? Or why 1994? Where does this dinner party rank among your TVD favorites? Hit the comments below and share your thoughts and theories with us!

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.