The Ultimate Overly Attached Girlfriend: A Review of The Vampire Diaries 601
The last season of The Vampire Diaries was confusing, overdramatic, and kind of unnecessary. I almost didn’t want to come back, but then they made what may be their most dangerous decision of all: killing off the best character (Damon). Bonnie and Damon are trapped in some new dead-supernatural-being afterlife, and everyone’s dealing with the loss in their own ways. So how did Season 6, Episode 1, “I’ll Remember,” show them dealing?
First there’s the couple making out in the woods who, by the end of the opening, get attacked by some dark female figure. No surprise there. The opening credits finish and we come back to the original Elena voiceover. Elena’s doing fine, it seems, though there is plenty amiss. For one, the girl’s premed, despite the fact that I would never trust Elena Gilbert to be my doctor. But hey, at least she has free access to blood bags.
And there’s Alaric! I would like to take a quick aside to say that the return of Alaric is the best thing to happen to The Vampire Diaries since Damon Salvatore. I’m even willing to overlook the fact that becoming a vampire somehow qualifies him to teach Occult Studies.
Here we get a glimpse of Stefan… the mechanic? Instead of bringing back the fun brother like he should be, he’s living in a cabin, sleeping with a human, and ignoring Caroline’s calls! Is any friendship on this show safe?
Apparently not. Jeremy and Matt are still living together, sure, but while Matt gets out there ready to save the world, Jeremy lives the couch potato life with booze, girls, and video games. Here is the point where I would mention Tyler and his anger, but no one cares about Tyler and his anger. So along we go.
Of course the shocker of the episode is Elena the Drug Addict. Her drug? Her dead ex. The concept is a little try-hard, not unlike most of last season. And yet somehow, no matter how little sympathy I may have for Elena, no matter how bad the writing for her has gotten, Nina Dobrev somehow still manages to make me care. Her inability to quit Damon cold-turkey and subsequent breakdown is the greatest and most tragic moment of the episode. It brings a little bit of reality into a show that constantly forces its audience to suspend all belief, by reminding us that quitting doesn’t come as easy as one decision.
Caroline is the MVP of this episode, only because we don’t get enough Damon. Once again, she is the only character who still uses common sense. Vampire Barbie will fix things. I have faith. Damon, though only a part of Elena’s subconscious, is perfect as always. He had the best line of the night: “This conversation is pretty much the smart, levelheaded ‘you’ talking to the irrational, possible drug addict ‘you.’ Which is clear evidence of your insanity.” Elena’s insanity seems to know no bounds, since she ends the episode asking Alaric to help her forget ever loving Damon. Cue collective audience gasp.
And then there’s the shocker of the night: Damon and Bonnie are somewhere eating pancakes! With any luck, the lovebirds should be reunited this season. Of course, given Elena’s fateful decision, we may have a whole new problem. Though why wouldn’t we? This is The Vampire Diaries, after all. Angst is part of the deal.
A generous grade, maybe, but a major step up from last season.