This review contains spoilers.
7.19 Somebody That I Used To Know
I think we’d all agree that so far in season seven, the hardest thing to swallow has been the relationships. A huntress we’ve never heard of before? A secret Initiative-like evil corporation? That’s all par for the course, but seeing Caroline and Bonnie hook up with randos has been a lot more difficult to get over.
Of course, Enzo and Alaric aren’t exactly new characters, but they are characters who’d had little to no interaction with our main ladies before this. Alaric had once been Caroline’s teacher, for a start, and I’d have been more on board with Bonnie and Matt than Bonnie and Enzo.
Imagine my surprise, then, that this episode kind of left me a semi-fan of their relationship. Obviously both Enzo and Bonnie are hopelessly in love with Damon, but that doesn’t mean they can’t pass the time with each other while he’s desecating and/or making things up to them. Their conversation about how much Damon has hurt them, respectively, was catnip for me, and I have to admit they do have more than a little chemistry in practice.
The main thing, though, was the thought that maybe Bonnie can finally make Enzo relevant again. She can tie him to the main group in a way he never was before, and her own experience with character rehab last year might boost his standing among the fans. Basically, there was nothing to lose when going into Somebody That I Used to Know, and the show actually got me on board.
But that’s just the flashbacks! There’s tonnes of fun stuff in present-day, too.
Guilty Damon was never my absolute favourite version of the character, but when he’s grovelling to Bonnie it’s somehow so much more endearing. That he kind of has the higher ground after Enzo unknowingly poisoned Bonnie with Rayna’s blood pills is even more interesting, and lends a tension to the group dynamic beyond the age-old ‘everyone’s angry at Damon’ stuff.
But everyone’s angry at Damon, no one more so than Stefan despite the fact his brother saved his life a couple of weeks ago. Yes, he also abandoned him for three years, but what’s three years when you’re a vampire?
Alaric is also not too pleased with Stefan, largely because he’s insecure about his own relationship with Caroline. Apparently, despite creepy old man Alaric falling for his former student, step-daughter’s best friend and children’s surrogate, Caroline sleeps in a separate room and really only agreed to the wedding because it made sense for the kids. That’s pretty sad, on Alaric’s side, but also really tragic for Caroline.
At least they can put aside their differences long enough to deliver one of the show’s most fun sequences. Rayna has agreed to offer her remaining life to Bonnie as long as the gang wipes out the remaining Phoenix Stone escapes, and so we’re treated to a murder montage of awesomeness. It’s a shot in the arm for a show that rarely treads new ground anymore and, with new names added to that list, hopefully we’ll see more like it.
There’s no way of telling with a show that moves as fast as this one, but my guess is that this (and whatever the heck’s going on with The Armory) will be what takes up the rest of the season. That’s promising, because this episode was fun, and my hope is that it leads us into a blockbuster final season.