Welcome to the future.
It took 15 episodes, but the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries ended up where the season began: on the flipside of a three-year time jump. “I Would for You” brought us long-awaited answers. It also opened up new possibilities and held a few secrets back—what fun would it be if we knew everything after just one hour of TV, right?
As expected, the episode played with our emotions. Relationships cracked left and right as new ones forged in their wake. Everyone ended up in different places with the common theme they were better off in these fresh realities. But judging by the glimpses of the future we’ve seen so far, I’m guessing that won’t turn out to be the case. Let’s talk about the “past”.
#5 “And the world yawned.”
Thank you, Damon Salvatore for my new favorite description of Matt.
Look, I know the character has plenty of fans and I respect your right to have a different opinion. But each episode reminds me why I find Matt to be the worst. Girl Matt Penny is not wrong. Matt’s been part of the problem every time he sides with the vampires. But he’s also been part of the problem every time he’s tried to save the town only to get into a deeper mess and run to the vamps for help.
He can’t have it both ways. He can’t choose to be friends with them when he wants something and then turn his back on them and threaten to expose them to the world. The fact that Stefan didn’t tear his heart out on the spot proves Stefan’s a better person than me. And now we know why they’re not allowed to go back to Mystic Falls—because Stefan values his home and thinks it deserves better.
#4 Stefan let’s Caroline go…without telling her
We also know now why Caroline “hates” Stefan in the future. And even as a card carrying member of Team Stefan, I can’t blame her. Because she deserves more than just a stealth drive by (side note: how did Stefan get into Ric’s house to drop off Damon’s letter?) without knowing it’s most likely a final goodbye. I’m guessing Stefan just stops answering her calls so she can be happy with the babies. It’s noble of him and it is the right thing to do—Caroline’s always wanted a family and now she can have one—but it’s also a dick move, as Damon would say.
Caroline hurt Stefan when he asked her to run with him and she declined. But she followed up by suggesting he move to Dallas too. She wants him to be a part of her new life. However, Stefan correctly told Damon he couldn’t risk the babies and he’s always going to be on the run because Rayna could escape from the Armory at any moment (more on that later). My problem lies with Stefan not sharing that with Caroline. In Stefan’s eyes, he’s doing the right thing by her. Except the right thing would be giving her all the facts and not just disappearing into the night.
Of course if he did that, there’d be less drama, less angst, and less reason for Stefan to brood. I’m not even going to get into his rebound relationship with Valerie—we’ll save that for future reviews (along with how Stefan’s going to win Caroline back).
#3 The Huntress/Armory plot thickens
There were so many highlights in the Damon vs. Rayna scenes I don’t know where to start. I enjoyed her matching his sass and I love how thorough Damon was when disposing of his enemy (the Mikaelson brothers should take note). Of course Rayna popped back to life because immortal huntress and all that jazz, but it turned out there was a limit to the Phoenix magic.
Thanks to Bonnie’s sass filled return to the Armory to chat with Enzo (“Did it grow back or…?”), we learned the rest of the tale. The Everlastings who gave their lives to extend Rayna’s decay each time one of her lives ends so she only has eight chances. A tidbit Bonnie shared with Damon so he could get to killing her again (Team Bamon getting things done). But then Enzo ruined the fun by pointing out the spell also made sure once Rayna dies for good, every vampire with her mark dies too…big problem.
I have so many questions. Why does the Armory care if vampires die? Enzo aside, aren’t they humans? Is there a specific vampire they’re trying so hard to keep alive? Why’s Enzo determined to keep Stefan alive? Does he just want Bonnie and Damon on his side? You’d think after all the effort he went through last season, he’d sit back and let his least favorite Salvatore die (but Enzo’s never been a consistent character). Does Rayna know her life is linked to all the vampires she’s chasing? Wouldn’t she just kill herself and take them all out at once?
#2 Team Salvatore Fractures
Speaking of things not making sense, I stand by my theory from a few episodes back. I don’t think the Phoenix Stone told the brothers the whole story. Between Damon taking himself out of the equation in the present and the time jump to him offering to do it in the future, these plans are going against the premise of the show. The Salvatore brothers are stronger together. They balance each other out and they need one another to survive. Stefan asked Damon not to leave him in his time of need and Damon did anyway. Skip to the future and Damon’s offering to trade his life for Stefan’s.
First, why would Rayna agree to make that deal? She could have just killed Damon as soon as Stefan arrived. Second, why does Stefan keep getting hit over the head with needing to let Damon go? If his life was going to be better without Damon, wouldn’t the three years between the present and waking Damon up in New York have been amazing for Stefan? Rayna’s in captivity and the scar on his chest is an early warning system. So Stefan could have stayed with Caroline and just made a run for it when it opened up or he could travel the world with Valerie and still know when it was time to move.
But Stefan’s first choice is to wake up Damon…and instead of staying together, they separate and both end up captured by the huntress. That’s not a coincidence. With seven episodes to go in the season, I suspect we’ve yet to hear the full truth behind this stone and its powers.
#1 All hail Bonnie Bennett
Kat Graham OWNED this episode. From the beginning in her hospital bed, Bonnie was all about finding solutions to their huntress problem. She didn’t want Damon going out on his own and when he went ahead and did it anyway (sigh), Bonnie turned to Enzo and the Armory for assistance. But this was not an act of a desperate woman—it was a smart woman who knew not to trust these people and used them to help Damon get the job done. Then when she learned the rest of the story, she alerted Damon and saved the day once again by giving him time to save Rayna’s life before Stefan lost his.
We’ve grown accustomed to Bonnie being a BAMF over the years and it’s never something I’ll tire of seeing. Bonnie in hero mode with brains and sass in her personal armory is the best. But how awesome was emotional Bonnie? This is a woman who’s suffered more than her share of loses over the years, including her beloved grandmother, her father, her mother (sort of), her best friend, and her own life one too many times. But Bonnie believes in her friendship with Damon. They’ve come through for one another over and over again and ever since the prison world, they’ve been an unbreakable team. So of course Bonnie’s going to tell Enzo to shove it when he tries to suggest Damon doesn’t value their friendship the way she does.
And then Damon breaks her heart. Like Stefan, Damon’s reasoning is sound. He’s not trying to hurt Bonnie—he believes she’s better off without him. But also like Stefan, he took the coward’s way out. Caroline might not learn of Stefan’s decision right away, but Bonnie did not let Damon go gently into his vampire nap. She followed him to New York and told him to his face how much he hurt her. She wanted him to remember her pain and her tears and the look on her face while he rotted in his coffin. It hurt like hell to watch and now another part of the future makes sense: why Bonnie decides to trust Enzo. And considering Alex’s cryptic comments, I think we can all agree anything having to do with the Armory will be a mistake.
Now we just have to sit back and wait for Bonnie and Damon to be reunited in the future…or the present? Either way, see you guys when the show returns April 1.