The Vampire Diaries returned from holiday hiatus with an underwhelming midseason premiere.
Before diving into the nitpicky stuff, let’s give Ian Somerhalder a round of applause for his final turn as director. It’s always a joy when one of the actors gets behind the camera, and Somerhalder gave us a beautifully shot and acted hour of TV.
Unfortunately, the script fell flat.
“We Have History Together” pushed plenty of nostalgia buttons (Founder’s Day! Wickery Bridge! Mystic Falls High!). It also filled in mythology, and potentially gave us a glimpse of how the heroes will defeat the sirens.
All vital things, but the episode lacked the urgency we should feel as we race toward the finish line.
None of the reveals came close to the OMFG moments of past seasons.
We expected Ripper Stefan. We knew Matt’s father was shady. Of course Sybil messed with Caroline’s head. Seline came out on top without even appearing in the episode. Elena’s necklace is getting to Damon.
Filler episodes happen every season, but when we’ve got a shorter season to begin with and it’s the last season ever…maybe give us more than exposition sprinkled with tiny bits of new information.
On that note, this week’s Top 5 is actually a Top 3.
#3 And the Dullest Dad Award Goes to…
After some prodding, Peter filled in the blanks for Matt. It turns out the Maxwell family played a major role in the founding of Mystic Falls. Then the rich families came in and took all the credit so Peter stole the bell his family created, and tossed it off Wickery Bridge on his way out of town.
Matt didn’t appreciate being abandoned and even as someone who will never be Team Matt, I can’t say I blame him for this one. But I do appreciate the writers tying all the families together.
Also, thanks to Dorian (Ric’s non-dead intern), we know the bell, along with the tuning fork, and one more missing piece, could be the key to killing the sirens.
I love mythology puzzles as much as the next fan. I just wish they’d found a more intriguing way to deliver the information.
#2 Exposition History: Siren Edition
Trying to keep her mind off Stefan and her kids, Caroline concentrated on work, which sent her to Mystic Falls High School to write a story connected to Founder’s Day. Caroline discovered Sybil masquerading as a history teacher.
The siren went through all this trouble because she wanted Caroline’s help finding the bell. As leverage, she compelled the kids to burn themselves alive—just like the 100 witches who died on the spot back in the day.
Again, cool use of the show’s mythology, but I’m so tired of Sybil’s smug face. She played on Caroline’s two biggest fears: her kids’ lives and Stefan staying a ripper—then she combined the two, and painted an ugly picture of Caroline’s potential future.
Seriously, someone find that bell. Well, technically someone did. Seline. She confiscated the bell from Caroline’s garage at a previous time—and left a note to make sure her sister knew.
#1 Please Kill My Brother, Elena-lite
Thanks to Caroline’s Christmas present, Damon’s not quite as humanity-free as he was when he murdered Tyler. And Stefan, who attempted to keep his inner ripper in check, noticed, and decided to manipulate his brother using a pretty young doctor—with a striking resemblance to Elena.
Alexandra Chando (who else misses The Lying Game?) is the latest in the line of doe-eyed brunettes TVD’s paraded onscreen since Elena fell under the Sleeping Beauty spell. For me, she’s also the one who comes closest to resembling Ms. Dobrev, so she’s the perfect candidate for a similar backstory.
Stefan targeted Tara to mess with Damon’s head since she’s a young doctor who lost her parents in a car accident. He appealed to her dark side while Damon attempted to guide her toward the light (nice role reversal from the brothers in Season 1 with Elena). Ultimately, Stefan won, but it didn’t last (also like in Season 1).
Damon killed Tara and tossed Elena’s necklace out the window. But he went back to retrieve it while Stefan went to the hospital again, and released the ripper. Now it looks like Damon will have to pull Stefan back from the edge.
Maybe it’s just me since I’ve always preferred Hero Stefan to Ripper Stefan, but this just adds to the anticlimactic feeling of this episode. The second he struck the bargain with Cade, Stefan doomed himself to another turn on the ripper cycle. Not exactly the most exciting cliffhanger.
At least Bonnie and Enzo will be back next week—and it’s time for Miss Mystic Falls. Where everything is guaranteed to go wrong.