This review contains spoilers.
6.10 Christmas Through Your Eyes
If anyone, like me, had assumed that the Vampire Diaries mid-season finale would see Bonnie finally reunited with her friends, then we would all have been wrong. No, the show had decided that its first fully-committed Christmas episode would be a sad one, full of tragic reveals, sad callbacks to a simpler festive season and absolutely no progress in getting Bonnie out of 1994.
But it was a good episode nonetheless, maintaining the quality that the last nine weeks have brought us.
Firstly, let’s just appreciate having a proper bad guy, with no ambiguous motives or mystical connection to our main characters. Kai is evil and crazy in the purest sense of the words and, while that might be awkward and boring on another show, Vampire Diaries really needed to take a break from the doppelgängers and grey-area villains.
Any chance at a redemptive arc for Kai seems to be gone but, then again, Klaus killed Aunt Jenna and then got his own show, so what do I know?
Kai does now have Jo, the twins and Elena, which will likely force through a showdown in the mid-season premiere. I’m not sure how I feel about Elena being targeted, since I can already see how things will play out and it’s going to pull focus away from Damon’s valiant efforts to rescue Bonnie, but I guess the writers needed some way to engineer some relevance for their heroine.
Kai also has magic, serving the dual purpose of bringing down the Mystic Falls no-magic barrier and making Kai a much more threatening presence in a world full of vampires. Jo has magic too, though, and a huge part of me is hoping that all four of the Gemini clan will make it out of the season alive.
Alaric needs a girlfriend who doesn’t die immediately, Kai’s a brilliant character, Liv and Tyler is working well so far, and it’d be a shame to lose Luke just because he’s the least interesting. I say that merely because the writers have decided not to bother with him this season, which is incredibly unfortunate if they’re expecting us to care about his fate at some point down the road. After all the fuss they made about creating their first gay character, it’s weird.
As well as the main plot, there was also fun Christmas stuff that the show hadn’t really been able to play with before. Other than the adorable scene between Stefan and Damon at the end of the episode, there was also the notion that Caroline and her mum would spend time with each other at Whitmore even though the former couldn’t actually go back home and the flashbacks to a time when Caroline, Elena and Bonnie didn’t know what trauma awaited them just a few months down the line.
But then the ‘real’ world came in a ruined things, as we discovered that Sheriff Forbes is actually dying of cancer. Vampire Diaries has been doing relatively well at not copying Buffy/Angel storylines this year, and Caroline’s reaction to the bad news was incredibly moving, but this feels like an homage to Joyce’s death on the aforementioned show. It’s not a bad thing to copy, given that these characters live in an even more heightened existence than most, and the fact that none of them can save her despite their vampire powers could make for some interesting storylines next year.
So it wasn’t the happiest of Christmases in Mystic Falls, but at least the gang can now hang out in their own homes, and there’s plenty of drama both fantastical and human to look forward to when we return. The big thing to take away is that Vampire Diaries is back on track, and it’s looking to stay that way for the foreseeable future. See you in 2015!
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, I Alone, here.
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