Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Vampire Diaries "The Lies Will Catch Up to You" Review

Ever since Kai cast his sleeping beauty spell on Elena, The Vampire Diaries’ writers made redemption a key aspect of the final two seasons. Can Damon and Stefan atone for and redeem themselves after over a century of murders and evil acts? Their afterlife looks bleak because of the deal they struck with Cade. The souls of the Salvatore brothers belong to Cade. Stefan and Damon said in “The Lies Will Catch Up To You” to Cade and Kai respectively that they hope they can use their time now to make up for their evil. Is that possible? It’s the show’s question to its audience; not my question to myself and my imaginary readers.

There are varying levels of being good and bad, of atonement and redemption, in this fictional world. There’s Kai who owns that he’s not a good person after half-heartedly pursuing an escape route from hell during the episode but who ultimately decides to continue being the bad boy by disappearing with Elena after he desiccates Damon. There’s Dorian, the intern, whose father and sister were murdered by Stefan during his bloody road trip with Klaus seasons ago, who thinks killing Stefan will be the justice he seeks (only it isn’t). Then, there’s the Stefan and Damon. Stefan can’t change the past; he can only make up for it with his remaining days.  He essentially pulled an Angel in his hospital recovery bed when he told Caroline that he needed to leave Mystic Falls alone and atone for his past, or if not Angel, he’s Jules at the end of Pulp Fiction, recognizing that he is the tyranny of evil men but now trying real hard to be a shepherd. And Damon wants to be good for Elena.

Sometimes, maybe at all times, people who’ve hurt others in their past can only forgive themselves, because it is impossible to return to the past and change it, and resolve never to do those hurtful things, whatever those are, again. “Be the change you want to be in the world,” to use Gandhi’s words. But TVD’s so consistently wishy-washy with morality and its gray characters. These characters personify the inequities of the selfish that Jules quotes from Ezekial. They’ve been driven by self-preservation of their supernatural pack. Humans have always been collateral damage. When Alaric scolds Damon for dragging Bonnie into his bad plan with Kai, Alaric becomes a hypocrite. Damon’s tactics helped him and everyone along their way. It’s not a moral stance when it doesn’t work for you anymore, as Jake Tapper said on Thursday after a presidential press conference. The last two seasons of redemptive introspection has been a bit of a chore to watch.

“The Lies Will Catch Up To You” wasn’t a great episode. Chris Wood in his full episode return as Kai was great, though Kai and Damon mostly meandered around town until he, again, made it harder for Damon to achieve happiness with Elena.  The Dorian/Stefan storyline repeated Stefan’s story from “I Went to the Woods” last season. Caroline and Matt spent their part of the episode undermining the whole ‘moral redemption’ theme of the last two seasons as they systematically re-wipe the memories of all the citizens who’ve lost someone because of Stefan. Bonnie and Cade served to enlighten us about the private dimension Bonnie created in her grief, and the uncontrollable twin siphoning seems like a setup for the Cade endgame that could happen as early as next week if we’re lucky.

TVD still hasn’t hit indulged in that sweet, sweet nostalgia in its final episodes, but there’s still three episodes to go. Who else is ready to stop hearing about bells, sirens, and hell?

Other Thoughts:

-The CW aired a short preview teaser for the March 10th finale in the middle of the episode that showed Elena and Stefan in what looked like the halls of Mystic Falls High. This teaser made moot Kai’s autonomy as a villain. For anyone who didn’t already know, now they know Elena will wake up. We don’t know how, of course. Perhaps Bonnie dies and Elena wakes, but that’s not bloody likely.

-I laughed hard at the scene with the twins at Caroline’s.

-In 2 days, Stefan was impaled and shot. He's not good at being human.

-Kai was tremendous. Everything Chris Wood did was gold: that scene when Damon called Bonnie and Kai said, “Let her know I said ‘hi’’; the physical comedy of him leaving the back of Damon’s car; the detail about Kai tweeting again that Alaric gave.


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-Tony Solomons directed the episode. Neil Reynolds wrote it.

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Originally, I titled the blog Jacob's Foot after the giant foot that Jacob inhabited in LOST. That ended. It became TV With The Foot in 2010. I wrote about a lot of TV.