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‘The Vampire Diaries’ Review: ‘Best Served Cold’


Has everyone recovered from the emotional punches to the gut the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries delivered? Not to mention that ending…or the beginning for that matter, but it’s safe to say the ending leads to the beginning making more sense, right?

Best Served Cold” might just be one of the show’s most insane episodes to date and that’s saying something because we already have six seasons of extreme under our belts. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Most of the episode centered on a party at the Salvatore mansion, thrown by Lily to show her sons and the rest of the town that everyone can live in peace now that Julian’s returned from the dead. While Stefan and Damon disagreed about when to kill him, Caroline attempted to usher Valerie out of town, and Ric dealt with Faux Jo. Let’s talk.

tvd-706-served-cold-035. Love and Drama and Heretics

I’m trying so hard to find interesting things about the new characters and just failing. We revisited the ‘Mary Louise doesn’t understand fashion and Nora judges her’ plot once more this week. I feel bad for Mary Louise and have no idea what she sees in Nora since she’s such a brat. But that’s the extent of my interest. Six episodes in and the show has yet to make it clear why the audience should care about them. So I do not. Julian’s searching for Oscar’s automobile, he encouraged Mary Louise to partake in eating the staff, and he’s most likely definitely behind whatever weirdness is happening at the high school. I’m vaguely intrigued by that part since it involves Bonnie, but all we know so far is the people from the party were compelled to go to the high school and hang out, probably to serve as human blood bags.

Speaking of Bonnie, she did not have nearly enough screen time in this episode. But we did get new Bonnie and Enzo scenes to make my shipper heart happy. They happened to show up to the party at the same time. Enzo told her she was his date. Bonnie remained unimpressed with Lily and then made a big show of playing with Enzo’s tie in an attempt to make Lily jealous. But who cares about Lily because the chemistry and banter between Bonnie and Enzo is one of my new favorite things in the world. Oh, Enzo also knows Julian is shady and that will probably come into play next week.

4. Ric Loses Jo Again

Obviously this story was never going to end well since Jo had the wrong soul in her body. But I am surprised to see it end so quickly. Faux Jo started getting ill and Valerie deduced her basic human body was rejecting the vampire soul. So Ric, who’d passed time watching his wedding video (seriously, who went through the carnage and saved the video?), had to lose Jo all over again. Kudos to Matt Davis and Jodi Lyn O’Keefe for tearing my heart out with the goodbye scene we never got the first time around (thanks, Kai). But before she passed away, the vampire recalled her name was Florence and she’d been stabbed through the heart with a sword, which should not have killed her since it was silver instead of wood. I’m guessing this will play into whoever is chasing our heroes in the future.

tvd-706-served-cold-043. Caroline + Stefan + Valerie = Trouble

How cute are Stefan and Caroline? She arrived at Lockwood Manor, found her boyfriend sleeping on the couch, and then Val appeared in a towel (awkward). Stefan explained she needed to hide out from Julian and Caroline began arranging travel to the ends of the Earth. Stefan appreciated her manipulative side and they kissed until Valerie returned to ruin it again (sigh). While Stefan headed to the party to murder Julian, Caroline suggested faraway places Valerie could go to along with a new name (Matilda Pettigrew). Valerie assumed Stefan told Caroline their secret, but since he had not, Val declined to share. Out of all the Heretics, I have come to care about Valerie the most (which is not exactly a ringing endorsement). I like that she seems to be on Team Hero for the moment and I don’t think she was being catty on purpose with Caroline so I’ll give her a pass on that (Caroline obviously gets one for all the snide remarks she made since the Heretics held her captive and Val turned her skin to vervain). When Caroline does learn the truth, I’m guessing it will be the beginning of whatever leads to her hatred for Stefan in three years and I don’t even want to talk about that.

2. Team Salvatore Forever

The Salvatore brothers did not see eye to eye when it came to their plans to murder Julian. Stefan wanted it to be immediate and Damon wanted to drag it out to give Lily more time to be happy with him to cause her extra pain. Damon managed to foil Stefan’s first attempt to kill Julian and used it as an excuse to rationalize with his brother and remind him Julian’s way older than them and it was not a bright idea (fair point and when Damon’s the rational one, you know Stefan is hanging off the deep end). But Stefan went to Plan B and had Matt bring Damon a bottle laced with vervain followed by a dart to knock him out. Damn, Stefan, that is cold and also brilliant. I loved it. I did not love the next part where Stefan’s plan failed and not only did Julian survive, he threw Stefan and Damon around like ragdolls. He would have murdered them both if Lily hadn’t intervened.

tvd-706-served-cold-02Speaking of Lily, where did that 180 come from? She went from barely tolerating her sons’ existence to warning Julian that they were off limits because she didn’t want to see them dead. I’m glad Lily’s come over to the right side, but what brought on the change of heart? It doesn’t really add up that she suddenly has motherly instincts after being the worst all this time.

When they returned home, Damon ordered Stefan not to take over his territory of being the evil one and Stefan’s head exploded a few seconds later when Damon teased him about V-card Valerie. After attacking Damon, Stefan finally told his brother the truth about Valerie being pregnant and Julian beating her. Then he admitted his one regret is that he could never be a father and he hadn’t wanted Damon to mock him (Paul Wesley, you guys). Damon told Stefan about the fantasy plans Elena and he had discussed so he understood. They agreed Julian reminded them of their father and then Damon offered to help Stefan kill Julian, tomorrow, tonight, right then, and is there anything better than these two brothers being there for each other? No, there is not. I could have watched an entire hour of their teasing, bickering, all out fighting and best of all, the way they protect one another.

1. Three Years From Now + Gemini babies = Caroline and Ric?!?!?!

Damon began the episode by asking Ric if he’s heard from his fiancée because the hunter’s back and she might use Caroline to get to Stefan. Because Caroline is Ric’s fiancée. Sure enough, he turned on the TV and there was Caroline being forced to make a plea to get Stefan’s attention. Caroline and Alaric are engaged in the future. Did people assume that would be the most insane thing to come out of this episode? Because guess what? It didn’t even come close.

Remember how Ric was watching his wedding video? Normally, he stops before the massacre part. But he left it playing and Valerie discovered it after Caroline mentioned she should have a little more compassion for his current situation. Caroline wanted to turn it off, but Valerie made them leave it on because the Gemini Coven was not attempting to send Kai to a prison world as he presumed, but they were casting a spell that would preserve the future generation. Valerie believed Alaric’s twins were alive. Caroline had her doubts, but we all know how desperate Ric’s been. He gave Valerie some of his blood and she did a spell that would show them where the twins were. But it didn’t seem to be working since the blood was going off the map. Caroline attempted to throw it away and it caught on fire. Valerie couldn’t believe it since it’s not possible, but she told Caroline the twins were inside her.

That’s certainly one way to accommodate Candice King’s pregnancy. Yes, it’s insane, but here’s the deal: when it comes to supernatural shows, we all go into them with suspended disbelief. We agree to believe vampires and witches are real and people can come back from the dead and a 1,000 year old hybrid could impregnate someone so it’s not that much of a stretch to buy into the coven magically transporting the babies to Caroline. I assume their magic also explains how she can sustain their lives inside her dead body. Sure, it’s twisted and insane, but this is The Vampire Diaries. That’s basically their motto. Now I can’t help questioning whether Ric and Caroline fall in love over the babies, which could make sense, or if they’re just pretending to live a normal life (or maybe that’s just the Steroline fan in me rationalizing). Either way, give us more of the future and less of the Heretics, please.

Next week, it’s Thanksgiving and there’s murder on the menu. Julian’s big plan is to bind himself to Lily so if he dies, her sons will kill her too. Clearly he hasn’t gotten the memo that they won’t mind.

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.

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