This review contains spoilers.
6.6 The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get
When The Vampire Diaries got good again this season, it was hard to put our finger on exactly why it was so much less frustrating, irritating and repetitive. This week, with the return of Damon to 2014 (or whatever year they’re currently in), it’s become a little clearer.
And the show knows it too – Damon and Elena’s love story had hit a dead end and now the writers are desperately trying to dig a new road for them to go down. There are rumours everywhere that one of the central trio will be exiting at the end of this season, and this move either means that it’ll be one of them (the most likely) or that we’re supposed to be rooting for the union again in time for Stefan to make a swift exit.
But for now we have to deal with a desperate, stalky Damon and a memory-wiped Elena, both knowing about their epic love story but with only one actually feeling it. On paper, that’s more or less where we stood in season one and two of the show but I may have reached by limit on how many times these two can be torn apart and put back together. Blame season five for that one.
The rest of the episode still kept up with the generally elevated quality of season six, even though the unadulterated joy of Bonnie and Damon’s 1994 adventures was absent from the hour. In fact, Damon and Stefan have agreed not to tell the others about Bonnie still being stuck there, which is news that Jeremy in particular didn’t want to hear. Poor Jeremy has just been a little bucket of angst this year, but at least we got a Matt/Jeremy bro hug out of it.
Damon, in general, didn’t get the welcome he was expecting, what with his girlfriend no longer in love with him and his best friend being responsible. Just seeing Damon and Alaric share a drink together – the very first thing they did, of course – was a wonderful blast from the past, but Damon was having such a bad day that he felt compelled to phone Bonnie’s voicemail that Jeremy has been paying for. She’s his best friend now, and she’s literally a world away.
Matt is still working away in the background, being somewhat useful without taking any of the credit. He’s in Tripp’s good books, which counts for a lot, and he’s instrumental in the half-hearted Enzo rescue mission at the centre of the episode. His line about not knowing which vampires they’re supposed to hate and which one’s they’re supposed to like was priceless, and there’s a general sense this year that Matt is done with his friends’ drama in general.
Said rescue attempt was pretty darn cool, though, as an unfortunate crash meant that Stefan, Damon, Enzo and Alaric ended up on the wrong side of the town border. We knew that none of these characters was really going to die, but having a genuine threat like this has upped the stakes a lot.
The big twist, though, was that Alaric is now human. Before actually re-dying while in Mystic Falls, Jo – who’s in on the supernatural world – saves his life. This means a few things, but the one that Elena is most concerned with is the fact that he can’t restore her memories of Damon anymore. Her stepfather has his life back, but she’s more upset about that fact that she’s going to have to live with the consequences of her hasty decisions.
And that’s something Stefan is also dealing with, as his apology tour doesn’t have the results he was hoping for. Like Elena, he made some bad decisions while thinking Damon was dead, and now he’s trying to make amends. Voluntarily crossing the border to save Enzo and Damon went a long way with audiences, I’m sure, but Caroline isn’t jumping back in with him so quickly.
The final scene is open to debate – will merely coming face to face with Damon bring back Elena’s memories? Will he continue to stalk her until she falls for him again? If this is the Delena storyline we’re getting, then it’s not the worst in the world, and at least there’s an end-goal for them to reach by seasons end. Now we just need to rescue Bonnie.
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