Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Vampire Diaries "I Could Never Love Like That" Review

The Vampire Diaries’ writers could’ve left the Enzo/Lily flashback on the whiteboards. Enzo was once Damon’s best pal; now, his best pal’s mother sired him. Enzo has tried for awhile to turn her great-great-great granddaughter against him in a bizarre filler plot of revenge. Memories of Lily provoke Enzo to turn Sarah into a monster. Lily’s a terrible mother and a terrible sire. She left her children without intention of returning for them. Enzo was turned and never saw her. Lily loves more than her children and her Lorzenzo-again a poorly chosen flashback to write-her crew of witch-vampires in the 1903 prison. Jo compared the villains for the final five episodes of season six as Kai times six. Damon parted with the ascendant in exchange for Lily to playact affection for Stefan that did not return to her after her turn.

Stefan switched humanity to on after Lily connected with him as her mother, with Stefan returned in soul-time but not time-space or space-time to the day of her funeral when his angel came to him. Damon gave her the words to save his humanity, which is one of the sweeter brotherly moments between the boys. Damon exchanged the ascendant and a Kai-free/witch-vamp free existence for his brother’s humanity. TVD has had many love stories between lovers, between siblings, between parent and child, and etc., but the greatest love story is the fraternal one between Damon and Stefan. Stefan won’t spend a night in a shame spiral, because he’d like to find Caroline and save her.

Stefan and Caroline gleefully murdered and maimed the Whitmore student populace. Eventually Matt and Tyler wandered into the student bar-grill-coffee house at Whitmore for a bite to eat and then see Caroline and Stefan causing horror and havoc. Caroline is in the depths of her humanity-free experience. Her ex-boyfriends play a game where the winner lives and the loser dies. She recalled her mother’s death in a somewhat subtle scene. Matt and Tyler knew her birthday and that she didn’t have a favorite color, but they couldn’t see her mother’s final memory. Stefan did, and he told her it was of Liz teaching Caroline how to ride a bike. Though evil and sadistically murderous Stefan is the trigger, a truer love than Matt and Tyler, and, as always, the only character that sees.

I disliked much of “I Could Never Love Like That.” The interminable Enzo/Sarah scenes, in particular, and the dramatically mute flashback was bad. Enzo’s a character the writers love to write and a character without a story. Stefan, Lily, and Damon salvaged the Stefan/Caroline slaughter fun story. Elena remembered her own brutal humanity-free experience as more injured students entered the hospital for treatment. They’re all bad without their humanity, but none of the characters change because of their inhumanity. Caroline will turn back, flagellate herself for an episode, and plan a party after the self-flagellation episode. I hit the same points in my review of the last new episode a month ago. Tyler or Matt needed to die, but TV writers do not want to take a character to an irredeemable place. A worthwhile beat in the Caroline/Matt/Tyler plot point was Matt’s refusal to take Elena’s blood. All of his friends tried to kill him without the switch turned on. He doesn’t want to use what he hates to live.

Elena soul-searches during her shift at the hospital as her fellow Whitmore students try not to die. The return of the vampire cure is convenient and deux ex machina for an actor that decided to leave the series. I can’t remember when Elena accepted her vampirism and stated that she wouldn’t look back, but she did. The cure becomes a moral symbol for Lily and for Damon. Lily used Damon, the cure, and his affection for Elena to retrieve the ascendant from him. Jo’s pregnancy reminded Elena of the life she longed for as a human-a family, a small family practice, and aging. Damon didn’t tell her he has the cure. Elena won’t wish for a cure because it doesn’t exist. Bonnie won’t tell her about the cure, because that isn’t dramatically interesting or a source of conflict. My least favorite line of the Damon-Elena storyline in “I Could Never Love Like That” is Damon’s about Elena being the only girl who’s never abandoned him-not because it’s untrue but because it’s why he won’t tell her about the cure, and it’s uninteresting, dramatically stale, and romanticizes-again-Damon’s worst quality, which is selfishness, and also his self-indulgence. For a character arc and a character changes through troughs and ridges. Perhaps that’s it. Lily essentially told him not to act selfishly

The worst writers can do on an older series is filler storytelling. Season six largely improved on a lackluster season five; however, season six is loosely tied by the Gemini coven. In between the Gemini coven has been Duke road trips for nonsense, the random death of Caroline’s mother, and Elena’s romance with tertiary character A. Network TV executives need to consider decreasing episode orders for their shows. Season six will, I think, have only 13 episodes of honest storytelling, honest characterization, etc. “I Could Never Love Like That” is one of those filler episodes that could be discarded if executives cared more about quality than the devil dollar bill.

Other Thoughts:

-Paul Wesley’s the best actor on the show. His acting during Stefan’s reunion with Lily was understated and amazing. He became that little boy from the flashback in an instant.

-Enzo’s line about saving him an awkward conversation with Matt about a text was my favorite of the episode. It was the only good part in that dreadful C story.

-Tyler’s hair is more ridiculous looking than Enzo’s now.

-Chad Fiveash & James Patrick Stoteraux received a teleplay credit. Matthew D’Ambrosio received the story credit. Leslie Libman directed.

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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.