In the interest of full disclosure please know that I cried throughout roughly ALL OF THIS EPISODE OF THE VAMPIRE DIARIES. Why? Well yes, my feelings about Elena and Damon winding up together are intense, it wasn’t Elena’s drugged stuporific attempts to connect with Damon that got me, it was the fact that I got dumped on Wednesday night and was maybe seeing a little bit too much of my own life in a show about immortal teenagers. Yeah. That happened. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that at one point I didn’t wailingly text a friend, “I wish I had magical herbs or a vampire friend who could compel me to forget I ever knew hiiiiiiim”, because it was just one of those nights. I’m not proud of this. But I will not let it color my review *pauses to wipe snot and tears from monitor*.
The sixth season of The Vampire Diaries is the partial re-boot the series needs. Damon and Bonnie are dead and gone (blast you “the other side” and your wicked, wicked ways), no vampires are allowed in Mystic Falls, and Elena is — can we call this what it is? — stoned most of the time. It’s like a massive boulder was dropped on the show, and instead of (Grey’s Anatomy-style) completely killing all the ants it fell on, it only killed a few and left those alive maimed, reeling, and struggling to put their lives (of a sort) back together.
The most dazzling thing about this show is how it has managed to sustain its central love triangle for the better part of a decade. The fact that they’ve managed to do this without making Elena seem flaky or unfaithful is a testimony to their skill. She’s the Archie to Damon and Stefan’s Veronica and Betty. No matter who Elena is with, we know she loves them absolutely. We also know that she lives in a world, however, where who she loves absolutely can change massively through no choice of her own. If your boyfriend flips off his humanity switch, or you become a vampire, shit’s gonna change that might not have changed otherwise.
My money is on that central triangle shifting again, and not just because Damon’s dead (When has death ever been a hindrance to any relationship on this show? Answer: It never has been). Elena’s demand that she be compelled to forget Damon is proof that the writers are toying with the idea of redirecting her affection. Given how close Caroline and Stefan have become (I’m totally team Steroline, FYI) over the years, the time is now ripe for Elena to re-focus on Stefan just when the timing with Caroline could finally be hitting right-o’clock.
As always, I remain quietly flummoxed by the fact that Matt and Jeremy are both alive, doing broads, and working on their abs. I was delighted when Jeremy was killed off previously (not because I don’t heart Mini McQueen and his bull-like neck) but because it felt necessary to the story. The fact that Matt’s even around anymore is confusing and pointless. I was going to say the same of Luke and Liv, until it became Clear that Tyler and Liv have sparks flying. This is reassuring because it means I’m not delusional about my Steroline plans: The writers are trying to set up Tyler with a rebound. Now if only they could do the same for me.