Friday, November 4, 2016

The Vampire Diaries "You Decided That I Was Worth Saving" Review

The CW couldn’t make this final season eight episodes instead of sixteen? Nothing’s happening. Sure, it seems like things are happening. Sybil forced Bonnie to choose between Enzo and Damon. Stefan had to choose between Damon and Enzo. Bonnie doesn’t like Stefan for choosing his brother over the guy who used his second-to-last remaining relative against him in a weird revenge plot, and her feelings conflict with Caroline’s feelings because she, Caroline, is so in love and ready for a June wedding. It’s as the world turns on The Vampire Diaries.

By the end of the episode Sybil’s locked in the Armory after a less-than-action packed episode in which she followed the many villains before her by using the characters’ precious emotions against them, and they fell for it, but in case one thought Sybil would disappear from the narrative, Damon lets the viewers know that she’s “just getting started” after her capture. Great.

The episode hangs on Bonnie’s choice, a choice that doesn’t matter because Sybil’s a big bad and as soon as she gets what she wants she breaks her promise and orders Damon to kill Bonnie. Her desire for Bonnie’s death was the episode’s inciting incident, but “You Decided That I Was Worth Saving” was a distracted episode in places, like the out of nowhere ‘fight to the death’ plot point between Damon and Enzo. Bonnie’s Enzo choice wants to break hearts, and it probably broke the hearts of a certain demographic, but none of it matters. Mind control is about as bad as the humanity switch. It affords the writers a cop out. Bonnie chose Enzo and immediately explained to Damon that she knows a small part of his true self remains and that she’s sorry. Sybil has altered his most fundamental memories—the building blocks of his self—and we’re to think he’ll never return to himself without them. He will, though. No writer puts this much effort into protecting characters without a plan for marvelous redemption.

Of course, Damon seems irredeemable. Sybil made it so he never met Elena (she died in the crash). She replaced Bonnie in the 1994 loop world. For whatever reason the writers brought Tyler Lockwood for Damon to kill. Killing him, Tyler argues, means that Damon gave up. (He likely turned Tyler into a hybrid).  I don’t know why Tyler’s that guy for Damon. He’s barely a tertiary character now, but he is a character Damon could kill that fans would react to by saying, “Actually, yeah, that’s okay by us.”

I’d like TVD to ‘get on with it’, if you will. It’s the last season. This episode teased a return to the olden days when they beat a threat fast. Alas, the siren storyline will continue. I presume flashbacks will accompany her interrogation scenes next episode. The writers might cycle through the same themes and stall until the winter finale. The siren storyline’s not bad. It beats last season’s villains by far. I’m weary of villains talking and playing psychological games. Active storytelling beats the passive kind. Mind control eliminates action from almost all but the controller of minds. Alaric or Stefan, one of them, said if they mess up with the magic weapon then they’d lose their free will too. So, this story’s okay, but not great. Sybil mentioned hell and reminded Bonnie that Enzo’s headed there with Damon when they die, but Damon’s the only one terrified of it. It’ll fail to be an overarching issue for the others.

Other Thoughts:

-I forgot to check in on which cast members look checked out. Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder looked half-asleep.

-I didn’t know about the fan campaign for a Stefan/Caroline June wedding until I read a message board. The writers give fans that damn June wedding yet they ignored my polite request to write #218 six years ago.

-Alaric’s kids have a little mythic siren about them, eh? His intern saw the supernatural fight outside the high school.

-Chad Fiveash & James Stoteraux wrote the episode. Mike Karasick 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.