Vampire Diaries: “Welcome To Paradise” Review

I have to say this week’s episode was a pretty nice foil to last week’s. Instead of constant dissolutions we had some pretty nice friendship moments- something that doesn’t happen a lot on a show that thrives on love triangles.

Badass Stefan is back, praise the Lord, and I can’t help but enjoy watching him order his jerk boss around. It was a good start to the show, sure, but the first jab of frustration came soon afterward when Elena told Caroline that Stefan’s dead brother was a “soulless homicidal maniac.” Luckily the episode wasn’t centered on the forgetful Elena Gilbert. Instead we got the spotlight on an audience (and personal) favorite- Caroline Forbes.

It took some convincing, but new happy Elena persuades Caroline to come to a kegger by the lake. Later that same day, she invites some new guy she calls “Cute Brag” to come meet her friend. Something tells me he’s not going to get the Caroline he’s supposed to expect.

Enzo’s still there, which is just great. At least Caroline is starting to see the light on this one, especially when he jokes about taking a bite out of a customer there diner where Caroline likes to yell at people. Let’s hope she cuts him out of her life before the hate sex and tension-filled subsequent meetings.

Damon and Bonnie are arguing about the existence of that mystery “Yellow Ledbetter” person, and at this point Damon, in one of my favorite lines of the night, tells Bonnie exactly what he would tell Elena upon seeing her again: “Sorry I killed Bonnie, but she was the most annoying person in the world.” The pessimism doesn’t last long, though, because suddenly… his car appears! I don’t remember him ever loving his car this much, but the simulated driving noises are too adorable to complain about.

Turns out Bonnie was right (weird, right?) because a few scenes later Damon runs into some guy named Kai, who promptly tries to kill him with vervaine in his Bourbon. Cue Bonnie’s arrival, and the best line of the night: “Oh, the useless one is here. Thank God.” Right? Is this not what I’ve been saying for seasons and seasons of Bonnie angst and witchery? I, like Damon, am pretty ready to eat my words by the end of that scene, though, because the witchy flames are back and Damon’s life is saved. I’ll even give her MVP of the night for the awesome mix of power and sass. The two get ready for some torture, but Kai is already forthcoming with his answers. He wasn’t really going to kill Damon, silly! He was bringing Bonnie’s magic back so they could get the hell out of this… hell! All I can say about that is… well, Bonnie and Damon as friends is actually pretty cute.

Stefan, meanwhile, has spent most of this episode trying to find and kill Enzo. Instead he gets a fight with Caroline that has everyone ready to stake the guy. Caroline lays herself bare, sure that some part of Stefan came back because he knows that she needs him. And what does he do? Walk away. Caroline is crying, Elena is there to hug her, and I’m cursing out my least-favorite Salvatore. That’s the second time he’s made Caroline cry, and I can hardly blame Enzo for the angry girlfriend-killing (well, yes I can, because he’s Enzo and he sucks). Elena is finally there for Caroline, true, and I’m glad to see that relationship, despite Elena’s slight forgetfulness, is doing well.

Back in the real world Jeremy’s new playmate might not be so ignorant about who attacked her. Tyler and Liv get their flirt on, Matt is adorable as always. Oh, and Caroline admits to Elena that her feelings for her best friend might have been a little more than friendly. There goes that beautiful relationship, perfectly constructed into an against-type guy/girl friendship. But what did you expect?

The cool new vampire hunter from last episode confronts Enzo in the diner, but Stefan is the one to shoot him in the back. And now Scary Guy thinks that he’s got a “human” Salvatore on his side. Can’t wait to see how that blows up in his face.

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