See? The final season should’ve been eight episodes. The first half of the season was overstuffed with filler, repetitive plotlines, retcons, and busywork, but now that the series is closer to the end, The Vampire Diaries may’ve found its groove again. “Nostalgia’s A Bitch” was a good improvement over the dreck of the last season and a half, but “You Made A Choice to Be Good” was the first good episode of the series in over a year, or more. Did season seven have one good episode? Maybe that ‘Damon’s Groundhog Day’ episode was good. I can’t remember.
The episode featured a lot of conversations about being human and being a vampire. Matt hates vampire still, but Caroline likes being a vampire. Enzo wanted to become human for Bonnie. Dorian considered becoming a vampire. Caroline hatched a plan to turn Cade mortal with the cure. It meant Bonnie sacrificed her chance for happiness, as always, but Elena would want her friends to do what they needed to save everyone. I think Elena would’ve urged Bonnie to use her chance to be happy, and that Bonnie still would’ve chosen the selfless thing. Anyway, the episode asked the question: who will be human at the end? Who will be a new vampire? Caroline hoped that Matt and Dorian would take her blood, but they resisted.
Cade established the stakes of the episode. He offered Damon and Stefan a choice: kill one hundred evil people or the love of the other one’s life. Damon chose the people after his Plan B and C failed, but Stefan chose Elena. Humanity-free Stefan wanting to kill Elena seems, oddly, out of character. His line about drowning her so that her life would come full circle—because he saved her from drowning—seemed less like Stefan and more like the writers wanting the fans to hate Stefan forever. It was a great line for a villain, though. His decision reflected his hatred for Damon. Killing Elena would rid Damon from his life. No more saving Damon from himself. No more Damon.
The pacing and plotting of the episode reminded me a lot of the early seasons. I thought that maybe Cade would be gone sooner than everyone thought, because doing things sooner than everyone thought used to be TVD’s trademark. Did anyone miss the Sirens? No. That last scene really brought the episode home though. Stefan ripped Enzo’s heart before he stepped into Bonnie’s safe house, where she moved Elena for safe keeping, and right before Stefan killed Bonnie and he asked her what she’d do, she told him, “Make you human.” As Bonnie held the dead Enzo in her arms, she wailed, and it looked like her power returned. Did they? Maybe?
The last scene marks a great turning point for the season. I love the turning point in a show’s final season. It means that the writers will cease wasting time with superfluous filler and return to what people liked the best about the show: the characters and their arcs. Finally.
-Who will kill Cade? My pick is Bonnie.
-It’s amazing Stefan let the realtor live. It’s also amazing that Cade didn’t find anything bad in Caroline in the Grille. She was part of a massacre years ago (in season three? Season four? With her humanity on!). When did she become a hostess, waitress, and bartender at the Mystic Grille?
-Celine Geiger & Melinda Hsu Taylor wrote the episode. Carol Banker directed.