“I’ll Wed You in the Golden Summertime” neither marries a pair of characters nor does anything in the golden summertime. The closest to gold in the episode is Caroline’s golden blonde hair. Caroline, back from her regret-filled absence last episode, apologized for trying to kill her friends, for forcing Stefan to turn off his humanity, and for the other murders she committed. As always the humanity switch allowed the writers to demolish their characters for a span of episodes. Anyway, I digress.
The penultimate episode of season six is foreboding. Caroline worried that an event would ruin the wedding, She made certain the maid of honor and the best man would be at their spots, beside the bride and the groom. She made sure her friends wouldn’t miss the episode. If she saw glasses of champagne running low, she alerted the wait staff. The acts passed. No wedding ceremony began. Jo passed out. The doctor said she had a panic attack. Nothing more. Jo’s father surprised her, walked her down the aisle, after Damon and Elena barely made it. The hour seemed more lavender than golden, though Alaric and Jo chose a dim hall lit by candles and low lighting. Alaric said his vows. Jo began to say hers, but Kai sticking a knife in her back interrupted the wedding. Caroline forgot to consider the possibility that Kai would escape from the 1903 prison dimension and, thus, ruin the wedding.
The final two acts of the episode were structured and edited similarly to a B-horror movie. The wedding began, followed by a quick cut to Lily and Enzo walking into a truck yard, where she expected to find her family, followed by a quick cut to barely alive Matt and Bonnie, back to the wedding for the fireworks of Kai’s inevitable return to town for revenge. Bonnie even delivered the “It was…it was…” the way Jennifer Love Fefferman delivers the words in “And Then There Was Shawn”—which is Boy Meets World making fun of the tropes of horror films, and if Michael Jacobs skewers a trop that you, a writer, will use, then please think again—and it cut to the wedding where Jo nervously began her vows. How Kai knew about the wedding and where he found a tailored suit in only a few hours are questions the viewer should not expect to receive in the season finale. The tropey writing and editing of the end of the episode, because of the aforementioned tropes, had me wonder about the identity of the phantom strangling folk in a basement. I knew Kai would show his face, but for a moment I wondered what unexpected surprise awaited after the unnecessary build to the return of the show’s best villain since Klaus.
Kai stabbed his sister and left her for dead in the arms of her husband-to-be, after which he destroyed glass windows and brought the house down that included a chandelier that may’ve fatally injured Elena. Oh, Elena. Stefan brought Damon to the suburbs for the purpose of showing him the human life that awaited him. At Elena’s insistence Stefan was harsh. Damon saw through Stefan’s vampire mind mojo life with Elena as human two years into her residency, after her residency, and after her death. Damon led a drunkenly miserable life in all three. Stefan and Elena didn’t want Damon to choose a human life only because of her. There’s more to life than someone else. Impressionable teenage girls, and some teenage boys, may identify with Damon and think it so romantic that’d he sacrifice what he loves most for Elena. Mature Stefan reminds Damon all that glitters is not gold. Humans need more than one person for happiness. That special someone else matters, but he or she is not enough. Damon, though, believes in true love and vows he won’t hate her or himself for doing it because he’s doing it for them and their eternal connection, which will survive even beyond death. What convinced him to take the cure was an older couple he saw in the neighborhood. The writing for the couple was clichéd, uninspired, tropey. They bickered, but then they kissed and nuzzled noses after he ate her soul. No, he tapped her on the behind. Damon saw in them he and Elena. I thought of the scene in Inception when, as Mal dies, Cobb reminds her that they did have a lifetime together. Now, Damon and Elena had less than a lifetime together. Their story is interrupted, has barely begun, has been hurt by circumstances, all of which in teenage melodrama means the characters are meant to be.
Nina Dobrev’s departure looms over all the action in her character’s narrative. Sudden death can only stop Damon from taking the cure for them. Sudden death is it for Elena’s story? No, I doubt it. The Elena/Damon story always was flatter than Elena/Stefan, but I’ll have more to write about both stories after the season concludes.
My favorite part of the second-to-last full chapter in the story of Elena, Damon, and Stefan story is Stefan’s. Specifically, I liked him confiding in Caroline his feelings about his brother taking the cure. Damon would die, Stefan would lose his brother. The best love story in the show is the fraternal one between the Salvatores. I’d pitch to Julie Plec, Caroline Dries, and the room, if I worked in the room during the break for Elena’s goodbye, that in addition to the mind work Stefan does to show him life with her busy or life without another life without his brother. Stefan sort of mentions it. Essentially I want Elena to choose herself and leave the Salvatores together.
Anyway, “I’ll Wed You in the Golden Summertime” is all foreboding, clumsily so with its misleads about trivial wedding things, so of course the deadliest possible situations must arise. Kai’s back, he’s pissed off, he’s left for three women for dead, and has a whole room full of the people that sent him to his first prison and the people that sent him to his second prison. Now to reference another Mal who once remarked to a small town about to burn a very special girl about a man hanging from a helicopter pointing a gun at the townspeople: “Man’s lookin’ to kill some folk.”
-Unlike Arrow’s cliffhanger last night involving the deaths of Oliver’s crew, which was silly, because no actor will leave the show, the cast of The Vampire Diaries had six year contracts that ran out. I know some won’t return, but I don’t know all. So maybe Kai goes wild and kills important folk.
-Enzo is all hair.
-I wanted Damon’s possible life without Elena, after death, to involve him moving himself, his hormonal and angry teenage son, and young daughter, to a small mountain town in Colorado where he’d open a small private practice in Elena’s memory. In episode two he’d dance with himself imagining it’s her while at the fall festival. I’d call it Everwood and hope dumbass CW wouldn’t cancel it after season four.
-Liv returned sporting shorter hair. Unfortunately, any story with Tyler is the worst.
-I think Lily will return next season.
-So, how will Elena leave the show? I don’t really guess, but I’ll bet three beans on her not dying. She’s gotta return for the series finale.
-Brian Young wrote the episode. Michael Allowitz directed.