Friday, February 12, 2016

The Vampire Diaries "Postcards From The Edge" Review

One Big Bad Down; one Big Bad to go.

“Postcards From The Edge” took care of Julian, perhaps TVD’s second worst villain. Anguished Damon tried to use Julian for killing him after he, Damon, burned Elena in the coffin. Julian, delighted to hear what hell did to Damon, let him live for awhile. Actually, he took Damon under his wing, brought him to the fight club, and let him work out his aggression by brutally killing his opponents. It’s a strange thing the circles writers create for themselves to run. They have to figure out why Julian can’t die for several episodes. When it’s time to make way for a new Big Bad, the good guys ably defeat the bad guy. Why didn’t Valerie and Stefan use magic and cloaking to kill him after he killed Lily? Ah well, it’s not worth nitpicking.

The title belongs to Damon’s fractured mental state. He did not flip his humanity switch because he felt he deserved to feel pain, and he felt he deserved death. Damon invited Julian to kill him. Julian would’ve obliged, if not for Stefan. The question since, well, last week was what would terrible thing would Damon to do to make Stefan turn away from him. Killing Elena did it. Damon’s admission about what he did to Elena motivated Stefan to forget about the challenges around killing Julian. It was played as a significant choice for Stefan. Valerie looked beset by a strange kind of grief, while Stefan seemed taken aback by his choice. Perhaps I misread it. Damon sulked home and lit a large fire where he met the pretty brunette stranger from the fight club. She threw him the stake, which he used to kill Big Sam. They made out after he examined her face because she looks like Elena.

Meanwhile, Nora, Bonnie, and Mary Louise hunted The Huntress after receiving the threatening postcards sent not by The Huntress but by Enzo. Anyway, I already mentioned the writers impressive ability to create circles for themselves to run. They twist character introductions in a tight knot to unlock it only after already trying multiple times. The Huntress’ introduction is a good example. Her name’s Rayna. Shamans imbued her with gnarly vampire killing power and a long, long lifespan. The women found her in a hospital, old and unaware of herself. Damon met a stunning brunette at Julian’s fight club. She tossed him weapons and gave him drinks. The two Heretic girls searched the hospital for the real Rayna. Bonnie stayed. The Huntress tried to kill her. Enzo saved her. Damon continued fighting folk. The Huntress did not save Damon as Julian hovered over him ready to rip his heart of his chest. I thought she would as a way to take care of an old enemy while endearing herself to Damon as a person she could trust before doing whatever it is she does three years now from now. I was wrong. Valerie and Damon saved her. Enzo stole away the body from the hospital while Bonnie left the room to update Nora and Mary Louise.  We’re meant to think The Huntress is dead, and we’re meant to forget the stunning brunette. She disappeared for the latter half of the fight club scenes. Of course, this is season seven, so we’re meant to suspect that The Huntress is not dead, because Mary Louise and Nora drink in celebration of her death. It’s never that easy until it is, which I already covered. Enzo burned Rayna’s body. Damon made out with the stunning brunette. The stunning brunette rushed to the glass inside the glass cell Enzo burned her in. Damon and Rayna made out in front of a large, roaring fire. Also, magic doesn’t affect her. See how convoluted that was? The break in the room for it must’ve been tedious monotony.

The Huntress immediately improved on the Big Bad problem of season seven. Julian was a dramatic bore. The Huntress brings mystery to the narrative, some because of her introduction, and some because of the flash-forwards. Three years from the present day, she has Damon chained in the news room. Matt helped her, but reminded her he did what was asked. Rayna told him to live his life. Why wait three years when she could’ve killed Damon in his house? How could she be in two places at once? Magic? The gray hair look seemed a thing of magic. We all know The CW would never let a gray-hair person recur as the Big Bad. Compared to Julian, Rayna possesses infinite possibilities. I didn’t want to know anything about Julian, except for when would Stefan, Damon, Valerie, and Bonnie solve how to kill him.

Questions continue because Enzo re-appeared free from Matt’s secret jail. He schemed to free Rayna from her elderly guise. Bonnie asked where he’d been. He predictably replied, “It’s a long story, love.” Yes, of course. Bonnie and Enzo love each other in the flash forwards, yet she’s attending group meetings. Hm. The narrative lacks clarity. Episode twelve of a season sets up and teases and dangles ambiguous plot threads, convoluted or not.

“Postcards From The Edge” returned to the overall slog of season seven. Halfway through the season doesn’t lack the supernatural melodrama, wild plot turns, and what-not, but it’s all not very good. Elena’s “death” did not send Damon into a mad mania. He killed a guy in his old style (lying on the road in the dark). Stefan punched Damon for killing Elena. He punched his steering wheel and slightly cried. Her death needs a monumental feel because she’s Elena, the heroine of the show, the love of both Salvatore brothers lives. Damon and Stefan sort of feel the monumental impact of it. Damon, though, the violent reactor of the two, either speaks or lets Julian speak for him about the pain he feels. He tells people how badly he feels instead of showing everyone. He half-tells and half-shows. The writers seem somewhat tethered by Nina’s absence. They’re going for a big, bold story. It sort of works, and it sort of doesn’t. That’s how every episode is. It works. It’s not terrible, but it’s not great. The specific problem with Elena is that she can’t be dead. Similar to the problems of the switch, whatever fallout Damon experiences from burning his one true love be reversed and corrected by her magically recovering from the burning.

Elena’s dead, and, amazingly, it doesn’t matter.

Other Thoughts:

-Nora and Mary Louise developments: Nora used Bonnie to make Mary Louise jealous.

-Matt’s Matchupsingles update, or whatever the name of the fake dating app is, update: While in prison, his phone blew up with matches. His future girlfriend, Penny, told him no one matched with her. He told her about the supernatural fun in Mystic Falls. She responded by drinking. Appropriate, yeah?

-Flash-forward update: The writers already contextualized Matt’s actions to retain his good guy characteristic. He acted mean to Caroline, though. He also injected something into Stefan’s neck that incapacitated to him, for Rayna to do with him what she will. Enzo sent the cards to the Heretics.  

-Caroline is quickly desiccating because the babies siphon her blood. By the end of the episode, she’s turning to stone. Alaric spent the episode off-screen interviewing in Dallas.

-Rebecca Sonnenshine wrote the episode. Pascal Verschooris 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.