Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Vampire Diaries 6x06 -- Proving They Can Still Surprise Me

Going into the sixth season of the Vampire Diaries, while I still really enjoy the show, I wasn't sure which direction the show was going to take; either a sad plunge into suckiness, or continuing at a steady drama-fueled pace until the CW decided that the show had run its course and didn't renew it for another season. In the Delana Ships That Aren't Shipping, But Totally Should Be post I did last year, I even said that I had to wonder what else could possibly happen to these people that hadn't already. Well, I probably should have gotten a clue from the way season five ended; with Ric returning, among other dead people, while Bonnie and Damon got obliterated by a huge white light.
I expected when season six started that eventually Damon and Bonnie would find their way back, and in the meantime this would be some serious angst fodder. But I couldn't have imagined the sequence of events that followed, events that worked so well and were so logical story-wise, that I had to write this post to say well done to the writers, because they actually surprised me, which is pretty hard to do these days. Usually I can see a twist coming in a TV show a mile off, but I sure didn't see the one coming in last night's episode.
So, after losing Damon and believing he was gone forever, Elena went off the rails, and then when she had a moment of clarity in which she saw how bad she'd gotten, she asked Ric to compel her (because Ric became a vampire through the Original vampire spell, and could therefore compel other vampires) and erase her memories of loving Damon. Now, I thought this was totally extreme, and wasn't very happy about it. Surely Ric could have compelled her to maybe just feel better about losing Damon, or something that would still mean she loved him, but didn't hurt as much any longer. But no, those memories had to go until she only remembered that Damon was the psycho killing brother of her ex-boyfriend. Of course, this illusion didn't last long, because Stefan soon told her what she'd done, when she was giving him a particularly ironic lecture about not dealing with things.
So, that was all fine and dandy. Except whoops! Damon came back. Without Bonnie, I might add. She sacrificed herself so that Damon could get through the magical portal thing that they needed to get back from the weird space-time, alternate universe place that Bonnie's grandmother had somehow sent them to. I'm sue Bonnie's going to turn up at some stage, but that will probably be a twist in itself. Like, she won't remember who she is or something.
Anyhoo, so Damon came back and was understandably stunned to find that Elena had erased her memories of loving him. All he wanted was to see her, but of course she avoided him, and since she couldn't remember all the good Damon parts, thought her fake-compulsed happiness must surely be better than whatever she'd felt when she remembered him. Bravo, Elena, because that makes so much sense. Most of the time Elena doesn't bother me too much, but occasionally she has these moments where you just want someone to slap some sense into her.
So Damon spent the rest of the episode alternately lurking and pursuing Elana, until he got nabbed by the latest crazy vampire hunter to hit town (side note; why are the vampire hunters on this show always ten kinds of crazy. Aside from Ric, I suppose, but he wasn't exactly stable himself). And Elena did everything in her power to avoid him, including jumping out of a window. Until she realized Damon had been taken, and of course that was what woke her up to her own stupidity. As she waited with Caroline to intercept the van the hunter was driving Damon and Enzo in, she told Caroline that she was going to have Ric restore her memories. So the audience was cheering, and no doubt envisaging a passionate Delana reunion before the end of the episode. Except right here is where the writers decided to screw with us in a spectacularly brilliant twist.
The van came up on where Stefan and Ric were waiting. And you would think, being the smart vampires that they are (not, apparently) they wouldn't park their decoy broken down car so freaking close to the magical vampire killing town line. But they did, so when the hunter pulled up and realized he'd driven into a trap, he was just one accelerator-stomping car-ram away from getting those pesky vampire over the line so they could die.
Stefan was the last man standing, and wasted precious seconds on the phone to Elena telling her what had happened. And then he had a decision to make; save Ric, or save Damon? Actually, it wasn't much of a choice. Sorry Ric, but family first, and all that. So Stefan walks over the line, and immediately starts bleeding all over the place, re-suffering the wound that had killed him when he became a vampire. He manages to get Damon and Enzo free, and then they all stumble across the town line again to heal.
Meanwhile, a new player in town, a doctor (I think her name is Jo) who they conviniently found out in this same episode was a witch, randomly turns up to stem Ric's bleeding. He tried to tell her she needs to get him over the town line, but she just spouts off some medical stuff and then gives him CPR when he passes out. For a minute there, we all think Ric is dead again. But then he wakes up, and in that second, it hit me exactly what the writers had done.
Doctor Jo saved Ric with actual medicine, and the magic town line had stripped away all the magic, meaning Ric was human again... which meant he had no vampire powers, like, oh say the power of compelling other vampires.
That's right. In a stroke of evil brilliance, the writers have taken away Elena's ability to get her happy memories of Damon back. Seriously, this Delana ship is so twisted. Now, Elena doesn't feel anything for Damon except for maybe mild disgust and loathing, and she's fixated on the fact that once many years ago, Damon killed Jeremy. Look, the kid is fine, maybe she should be more worried about how screwed up he is over losing Bonnie. If that's not enough, Elena has become interested in another guy, fellow med student whose name I can't even remember, but next to Damon, is totally white bread. In the preview for next week's episode, it seems Elena is going to pursue this relationship, despite knowing what it'll probably do to Damon, which is kind of a bitch move if you ask me.
But anyway, we all know it won't last. The Delana ship is like fate, and nothing can stand in between it for long. There's already been some talk that the feelings they had for one another could be stronger than the compulsion, so at some stage, I'm sure some uber-dramatic thing will happen that will cause Elena's memories to come flooding back, and all will be right in the Delana universe for another five minutes, until the next catastrophe strikes.
So, bravo to the Vampire Diaries writers, because just when I thought there wasn't anywhere else to take things, they went way outside the square to totally rearrange the lay of the land. 

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