The Vampire Diaries season 7 episode 5 review: Live Through This

Satisfyingly, The Vampire Diaries characters are being given new motivations to go after the bad guys in season 7...

This review contains spoilers.

7.5 Live Through This

I’ve gone on about this a lot over the last couple of years, but it really is magic how The Vampire Diaries has made me care about Bonnie so much that using her as the show’s de facto leading lady doesn’t even feel even slightly wrong at this point. Take Live Through This, for example – Bonnie touched almost every part of the episode from beginning to end and, despite having been a main cast member since the very first episode of the show, she manages to make absolutely everything feel fresh and exciting.

Which is necessary because, despite the abundance of new characters and new twists, everything’s a bit same old, same old this season. I’m still not on board with the Heretics, even as Valerie edges nearer and nearer to being a part of our gang of heroes, and the Caroline/Stefan romance was a lot more fun in theory than it is in practice.

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So it’s up to Bonnie, with no tedious relationship with a much younger man or crappy friends demanding weekly magic to hold her back, to save the day. We begin with the now regular flash-forward segment, which reveals that things for Bonnie aren’t going too well in three years time. She’s in some kind of institution, the kind that requires group therapy sessions, talking about a massive mistake that resulted in her losing someone she loved.

Theories? Well, we’ve now seen everyone but Matt Donovan in the future timeline, and I’m trusting Julie Plec when she said she’s never kill him off. Yes, showrunners lie and showrunners change their minds, but I don’t want to believe that we could ever be forced to watch a Vampire Diaries where Matt isn’t around.

No matter, the real reason for checking in with Bonnie here was to reveal that she is now in a relationship with Enzo, something I have huge problems with. Not because I believe with all my heart and soul that Enzo is actually gay, which I do, but because this is a classic case of pairing up the only eligible man and woman left on the show without taking into account things like chemistry and set-up.

So then we spent a large chunk of the next 40-minutes watching Bonnie and Enzo interact flirtatiously which, as much as I’ve come to enjoy this lighter version of Bonnie Bennett, felt transparent and annoying.

But then all of this was saved by the promise of seeing Bonnie and Damon pairing up to take down a now-resurrected Julian, helped no doubt by Stefan now that he knows the full story behind Valerie’s disappearing act. So far Julian’s been a poor villain even in theory, but I appreciate that Stefan’s grudge is very understandable and very dark even by this show’s standards.

It’s always interesting when The Vampire Diaries, or any vampire soap opera really, looks at the issue of procreation for the undead. One of the biggest things about Elena’s transition into a vampire back in season three was that it robbed her of the chance to ever have children, and now the fact that Stefan could have had his own child before Katherine ever came along has been dangled in front of him.

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Speaking of sad, lonely, childless men, we found out that Alaric and Bonnie’s resurrection experiment hasn’t brought Jo back from the dead as much as it’s put a random vampire soul into her body. Just another blow to Alaric’s soul, he actually takes it pretty well, vowing to help whoever has hijacked his dead wife to adjust to her (or his?) new life. That’s actually probably sadder than the alternative, but such is Alaric’s tragedy.

So things are probably being set up for whatever threat is hounding our heroes in three years time without us even realising, but really I’d still just rather get to the time-jump now. Things seem much more interesting there, and it would give the writers an excuse to cut out a lot of the baggage from the Elena years.

That said, I love that all of the characters are being given new things to care about and new, compelling motivations to go after the bad guys. After seven years on a show that moves through story faster than most, that’s an achievement in itself.

Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, I Carry Your Heart With Me, here.