“Today will be different.”
Seven years ago, Elena Gilbert wrote those words in her diary in an attempt to convince herself to have hope. She didn’t necessarily believe them. Her day ended up having its share of ups and downs. The hope came when she least expected it.
Fast forward to present day and the final season of The Vampire Diaries. Hope is in short supply around Mystic Falls. Damon and Enzo are busy helping Sybil with her kill list (Hey, Rick Hearst!). Bonnie, Stefan, and Caroline are frustrated Enzo hasn’t left any new clues lately. Ric’s still trying to navigate fatherhood along with the secrets of the Armory.
Like Elena’s experiences in the pilot, “Today will be Different” paired its hopeful moments (Bonnie and Enzo reunited!) with its dire ones (Damon squeezed Enzo’s heart until Sybil saw Bonnie’s face). All hope seemed to be lost once again (Damon’s given up) and then a surprising romantic development lifted (some of) our spirits at the end of the episode (engagement!!!!). Let’s break it down.
#5 ALL SIGNS POINT TO HELL
Last week we learned our mystery evil was a siren. Now Georgie and Ric are bonding as they dig deeper into the villain mythology (I love the constant “oh, honey” looks Ric shoots her way every time she prefaces how “weird” or “out there” she’s about to sound). It turns out Georgie had a near death experience when she killed her best friend while texting AND driving drunk at the same time (never okay, people). She’s pretty sure she visited hell and saw a symbol there. She tattooed the symbol on her stomach as a reminder—and the same symbol happens to be showing up around the vault.
We’ve never explored TVD’s version of hell aside from Katherine getting sucked into an abyss. Maybe it’s because I’ve been binging Supernatural and never miss an episode of Lucifer, but so far, I’m feeling a little meh about this particular mythology. It’s just not grabbing me as much as the siren part of the story (I’ll be more than happy to eat my words if/when TVD gives us the most interesting version of hell ever).
As for Ric’s romantic life, Georgie continues to come on way too strong while Seline remains the perfect nanny. So Seline is likely connected to the big bad and Georgie will end up dying tragically. Just as Ric realizes he has feelings for her, right? Because his luck with the ladies is the worst.
#4 SALVATORE FAMILY REUNION
Did anyone have Sarah Salvatore at the top of their ‘please return for the final season’ guest character list? Me neither (Kai is number one on mine in case you’re wondering). Nothing against Tristin Mays, who is a BAMF on MacGyver, but the Sarah character never worked for me. But I get why Enzo risked sacrificing her to protect Bonnie. And of course it didn’t work.
We did get a great Salvatore brothers scene. Stefan gave Damon the backstory, and pleaded with him not to kill Sarah for many reasons, but mostly for Elena, and for Stefan. And Damon listened! Stefan saw the humanity left in his brother, and his hopes skyrocketed once again. Cue Sybil sauntering in to finish the job herself.
The other intriguing part of these scenes: we learned more about Sybil. Stefan snapped her neck, but she popped right back up, and took control of him. However, she didn’t make him a minion. She just wanted him to stay still until she got Damon away. Why is that? Why is she satisfied with an army of two? THIS is the mythology I want to see unfold.
#3 SYBIL SNATCHES DAMON’S LAST SLICE OF HUMANITY
That sound you hear? Not the siren’s song. The clamoring of angry Delena fans coming for Sybil’s head after the nasty trick she pulled. Once Sybil heard Elena’s name (thanks, Stefan), she took another dip into Damon’s mind. When she found his happy place, she inserted herself into the memory, and destroyed Damon’s grasp on his good side.
Sybil is not messing around, people. But what interested me about these scenes, is not so much what she did, but what she didn’t do. She doesn’t seem to want Damon or Enzo to love her. She’s not switching places with Elena so she can seduce Damon. She just wants them to be 100 percent loyal to her, and continue doing her murderous bidding. Again, it makes me wonder why she wouldn’t recruit as many people as possible.
As far as Damon goes, I’m choosing to hold onto what Stefan told Sybil: he’s stronger than she thinks he is. I believe Damon will fight for his redemption, and his happy ending with Elena. Eventually, something is going to trigger his desire to fight back (key word being eventually. For now, we have to suffer).
#2 JUSTICE FOR BONNIE BENNETT 2016!
I just want Bonnie to have nice things, okay? Love. Friendship. Happiness. Magic. Basically, anything and everything her heart desires. Hasn’t the woman suffered enough over the years? Apparently not because Bonnie’s feeling the crippling pain left and right.
Her reunion with Enzo hurt. Not only could he barely look at her in an effort to protect her from Sybil, but when Bonnie kidnapped him, Enzo pleaded with her to let him go back. My heart hurts. I am rooting for these two so hard. Unfortunately, Enzo giving into the temptation to kiss her and declare his eternal love (SWOON), put Bonnie smack in the middle of Sybil’s enemy list.
To add insult to injury, Bonnie got a lecture from an angry Caroline when she returned. Caroline was mad Bonnie went off script and accused her of being jealous of her happiness. Bonnie responded by telling her friend how she loathes feeling that way so much she wants to die. Caroline quickly realized how selfish/insensitive she’s been, and promised to get Enzo back no matter what.
(Dear Writers: Any time you want to give Bonnie more than a few seconds of happiness, we’ll be here waiting to savor it).
#1 DID THAT REALLY HAPPEN?!?!?!
(I’m not going to pretend I have anything constructive to say so non-shippers can just check out here—see you next week!).
Remember last week when I said it was a great time to be a Steroline fan? That seems pretty naïve in hindsight. Because this week? STEFAN PROPSED TO CAROLINE! What a time to be alive!
First, Stefan explained his therapeutic construction served a greater purpose: creating a room for Caroline’s kids. Because she’s his family now. Then, he suggested she check out the antique bureau. Inside, she found a little black box. A RING BOX.
HOLY OMFG, this is happening! I have to admit, even with the prominence of the #JuneWedding, I did not expect this. And it was so perfectly Stefan and Caroline (nice touch to have The Fray playing). Her wanting all the words (“Like a friendship ring?” cracked me up), and Stefan giving them to her because he loves her so much (and let’s be real: he’s the romantic type).
Lots of kissing, Caroline said yes, more kissing, and an entire fandom screaming and crying tears of happiness.
(We’ve still got 14 episodes to go. There will be obstacles. We’ll deal. For now, back to the fangirl screaming).