So you know that saying about how all good things must come to an end? The Vampires Diaries’ season six hot streak officially hit that point last night with “I, Alone.” While the episode did have some good moments and one unexpected twist, it fell short of the stellar season we’ve been having so far.
It’s hard to put my finger on exactly where the episode went wrong (although the return of Matt and Jeremy and lack of Caroline seems like a good place to start). A lot of stuff happened during the hour, but it felt a little too much like a setup episode. Sure, next week is the midseason finale and I expect a lot of drama to go down, but would it have been too much to ask to liven up this episode just a bit?
Basically, we had two main stories happening during the hour: the plot to bring back Bonnie and keep Kai away, which included sending Damon and Elena to 1994, Tyler and Alaric trying to protect their new lady loves and a lot of reunions. On the flipside, there was Matt wanting to introduce Stefan to Sarah with Enzo tagging along because they haven’t given him anything else to do other than hate Stefan for reasons that don’t really make a lot of sense. So let’s talk about everything and find the good things from the hour, shall we?
5. Stefan and Sarah’s bonding doesn’t go as planned
It’s not often you’re going to find me putting Stefan scenes at the bottom of the list and maybe that’s another issue I had with this episode – not enough for Stefan to do (yes, I’m biased – Team Stefan). Anyway, Stefan was chatting with his niece/cousin/I don’t really understand the family tree while Matt and Enzo hung out at the counter, Enzo hilariously mocking Matt the entire time. But then Stefan ordered milkshakes so the blender would interfere with Enzo’s vamp hearing and told Sarah that he wanted to leave because he knows she’s not Sarah Salvatore. How does he know she’s an imposter? He rescued the real Sarah Salvatore when she was a baby, made sure she was adopted by a good family, and has been keeping an eye on her all of these years. Stefan is the absolute best.
But there are some flaws in his heroics. He compelled fake Sarah (Monique) to forget everything and that’s when Matt showed up and wanted to know what happened. Stefan told him that she was a con woman and ordered Monique to leave, but Enzo swooped in and threatened to kill her if Stefan didn’t tell him why he was being so secretive (Oh Enzo…I feel like my love for you takes 10 steps back every time you get in Stefan’s face). In order to protect real Sarah, Stefan let Enzo kill Monique, which made Matt angry and anti-vampire. At the end of the episode, he rounded up Jeremy to go hunt Enzo, which put me right back on Team Enzo (I am a fickle fangirl).
4. Alaric and Damon’s friendship hit an ugly patch
Remember when Damon compelled Alaric to get the ascendant from Jo? I had mixed feelings on it at the time because I like Jo and I like Alaric and Jo, but I want Bonnie back so I kind of understand Damon’s ‘by any means necessary’ mentality. Naturally, it blew up in his face. Ric and Jo had a romantic night, he delivered the ascendant to Damon and Damon compelled him AGAIN to forget everything. When Jo realized it was missing, she assumed Ric took it, he denied it and she suggested Damon compelled him. Ric refused to believe it because Damon’s his friend and wouldn’t do that so Jo suggested they take a walk into Mystic Falls.
I love Alaric, but did he forget all the times Damon killed him? Why would he have doubts that Damon would compel him? It’s like he’s new. But that made things more dramatic and hurt Ric when he learned the truth and went to punch Damon a few times. Damon stood there and took it (which shows how much Damon’s grown), but I hate seeing them fight.
After complaining about skinny jeans, airport procedures and killing a cab driver, Kai showed up at Liv’s bar and made small talk with his sister about Twitter and drink choices until he finally pulled out an ID and she didn’t believe the date of birth (Was anyone else originally side-eying Liv when Kai sat down at the bar and started chatting with her and she didn’t recognize him?). Thankfully, that was explained away once he revealed himself and realized Papa Parker erased Liv’s memories of him completely. Kai attempted to kill her, stole some of her magic and then Tyler swooped in and got Liv to safety.
Later, Kai shows up at Tyler’s and offers him a deal with the devil – a way to keep Liv safe. I’m assuming this somehow involves Tyler making it easier for Kai to find and kill Jo and I am looking forward to seeing how this plays out. I love Tyler stepping up as a romantic hero, that’s my favorite Tyler, but I don’t think Liv would appreciate him making deals with her brother to sacrifice her sister, even if it spares her and Luke. Besides, Kai is insane and will probably kill them all anyway. Think about your life choices, Tyler. Speaking of – can we talk about how cute Liv and Tyler’s first kiss was? I really love these two together and need them both to stay alive.
2. Damon and Kai are reunited
Since Kai returned, Liv had to pull Damon and Elena back from 1994 before they could rescue Bonnie (which we’ll talk more about when we get into the best part of the episode – spoiler alert – it’s Bonnie). On the one hand, this really sucks because Bonnie is trapped, but on the other, I love that Liv and Tyler still took the time to follow through and get them back before they ran to safety in Mystic Falls. Elena attempted to follow them, but she started to die and that’s when Kai showed up and set broke the ascendant. Elena tried to piece it back together, but she ended up on fire and I probably shouldn’t be laughing, but the visuals were hilarious.
Damon barely noticed Elena was burning because he just wanted to kill Kai. But since he had Liv’s magic, it wasn’t a fair fight in the slightest. He even did the family invisibility trick and Damon managed to find him and kick him into Mystic Falls. Kai is insane, but he’s also awesome and the most interesting villain since Klaus. The question of course is whether he can be redeemed to the point he can stick around (like Klaus) or if he needs to just be all bad all the time and eventually die for his sins. I’m on the fence. I love Kai because he’s insane, but I do see redeeming qualities in him if they want to go down that road. Time will tell.
1. Damon and Elena time travel to save Bonnie
I knew their plan wouldn’t succeed because it would be much too easy, but these scenes were still the best part of the episode for me. First, Damon explaining to Elena how a pager works (and making me feel 100 years old) and then Damon and Bonnie’s brief phone conversation when he assumed it was Kai and started threatening him. They fell back into their banter and it was amazing and so fun. Then Elena took the phone and the two friends were so happy to hear each other’s voices and I loved it. The show might do a terrible job actively maintaining this friendship, but they’ve been friends since childhood and separated by ‘death’ so their giddiness and smiles were earned in my book.
Another great part of these scenes was Bonnie talking about how she hotwired a car and referring to herself as a badass – hell yes, Bonnie Bennett – you wear that BAMF badge proudly. While they waited for Bonnie to get to Mystic Falls, Damon and Elena killed time much the same way Bonnie and Damon did – with vampire pancakes and crosswords – and I’m sure I’m not the only one who did not appreciate that in the slightest. Damon and Elena have plenty of things that are theirs – was it really necessary to infringe on Bonnie and Damon’s bond? And then Elena freaked out and ran away when she learned what Damon did to Jo and Alaric because she assumed Damon was doing all of this to win her love (except remember in the last episode where she realized Damon cared about Bonnie? Maybe time travel gave her amnesia).
Damon had two really great speeches in this episode – first when he explained to Elena that he wasn’t doing this for Elena – he was doing it for Bonnie because she’s the reason he survived and they became friends after spending all of that time together. The second speech was far more heartbreaking – when Damon and Elena were back in present day and Elena was no longer on fire and Damon talked about how Bonnie sacrificed everything for them and they were supposed to be there for her. Meanwhile, Bonnie was racing to Elena’s porch in 1994 because Damon left her a note that they’d be there and they weren’t. Between Damon’s words and the look on Bonnie’s face as she realized she was all alone, I’m going to need a lot of tissues and chocolate to deal with my heartbreak.
Next week’s midseason finale looks incredible and I have no doubt it will make up for this week’s messy episode.