Nice cliffhanger at the end with a tease of Bonnie and Damon's whereabouts.
Character development seen in Elena, Stefan, Alaric and Matt.
New side of Stefan seen in a new setting.
Introduced five new characters.
Great performance by Nina Dobrev.
No details on Enzo.
Not enough development on Damon and Bonnie. Would have liked more.
Also Jeremy not explored enough.
Picking Up the Pieces After the Devastating Events of the Season Five Finale
The season six premiere of The Vampire Diaries we discovered how the Mystic Falls gang is coping after the loss of Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Damon (Ian Somerhalder). Some are handling things a little better than others, but overall it’s safe to say none of our beloved characters are dealing with things well. Especially, Elena (Nina Dobrev), who has been using witchy drugs to hallucinate Damon and a side-effect of insatiable hunger that makes her act reckless. Stefan isn’t any better. He left town, cutting all ties with his old life except for Alaric (Matt Davis). And in true Caroline (Candice Accola) fashion, she is obsessing. Obsessing over a way to lift the Travelers spell from Mystic Falls. Obsessing over Stefan (Paul Wesley), where he is and why he isn’t returning her calls. And obsessing about reuniting her friends and them finding a way to bring Damon and Bonnie back to life together, Speaking of Bonnie and Damon, despite only appearing in the episode’s final scene, besides Damon appearing in Elena’s witchy drug hallucinations, they still have us scratching our heads wondering where the hell they really are and how if ever they’ll make it back. So let’s get to it and discuss this week’s episode because man oh man it’s good to have TVD back on our screens each week.
“I See Dead People”
First, let’s talk about Nina Dobrev’s performance this week. Just when I think I’ve seen every side possible of Elena Gilbert, the writers and Nina pleasantly surprise me again. This episode showcased an Elena all new to viewers. Unlike, an Elena sans her humanity, she is usually a level-headed, rational and sane vampire, who looks out for her friends and loved ones. But the loss of Damon has brought forth a reckless new side of her, who goes so far as to use witchy drugs to hallucinate Damon. Different from when she was sired to Damon in season four, Elena has the choice to use Luke’s blend of witchy herbs to see her boyfriend again. The scene when Elena goes to the cemetery and shares her day with ‘Damon,’ Nina really uses her facial expressions and tone of voice to convey the state of euphoria she is experiencing from the drugs and from the belief she is seeing Damon again. And when she meets Luke (Chris Brochu) after class at Whitmore, we really see Elena display behavior similar to an addict. Nina does a great job illustrating the level of Elena’s desperation for the witchy concoction by portraying Elena with an increased irritability and almost having a tick as ‘jonesing’ for more.
“I`ve tried to grieve him, Caroline. Trust me, I know grief. I`ve got grieving down to a science at this point and I`ve tried… but every time I let it sink in that I’m never going to see him again, I feel like I`m going to die.” – Elena.
The most poignant scene by far, was her portrayal of Elena using the drug one last time to say goodbye to Damon. Nina does an amazing job conveying to viewers just how deeply Elena misses Damon. At first she appears angry and clears the table of candles and such. Then by throwing the bowl through the glass window before breaking down, falling to her knees and sitting on the ground in a full onslaught of tears. Nina illustrates for the audience perfectly the notion that Elena misses Damon so much it hurts.
Welcome Back Ric!
Alaric’s (Matt Davis) return this season was probably the one of the best after effects of Damon’s crazy plan last season, well besides Stefan. Enzo (Michael Malarkey) and Tyler (Michael Trevino) returning to the land of the living, but did anyone really think they’d stay dead? Anyway, I was really wondering how Alaric would fit back in the mix after being dead for two seasons, but he eased right back in as if he’d never left. Viewers will be happy to see the bond between him and Elena still in tact. It was endearing when he reprimanded her quietly in class under his breath for drinking blood in class. It was funny, but also pointed out to the viewers the struggles he is facing assimilating to life as a vampire. And when he attended the Whitmore pep rally, he filled his flask with blood. Before we never really saw him has as a ‘normal’ vampire, just as a ruthless, psycho vampire programmed to hunt and kill all vampires. However, despite being a newbie-ish vampire, Alaric still reprises his role as a parental figure in the show.
“As the only sober person here, trust me when I tell you this Tyler. That girl is so not into you.” – Alaric.
He checks in on Stefan in his new life, assists Caroline in her research to lift the Travelers’ spell on Mystic Falls, stops Tyler from surrendering to his rage and is there for support when Elena needs him. This really shows us how Alaric is putting the others first, despite really struggling in his own life.
Fresh New Faces
The season six premiere introduced several new characters as well. We were given just enough of tease to peak the viewers interest about how each fits in and what they bring to the series. We were first introduced to Elena’s med-school professor and doctor, Jo (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) in a brief clip of Elena’s current life. Elena later then mentions her intent to set Alaric up with her instantly causing us to be curious about her. We then saw an awkward scene between her and Alaric at the pep rally teasing a possible relationship between the two. A handsome co-ed (Marcos James) was also introduced when Jo was and we see a brief interaction between him and Elena linking the two. so we wonder how he fits in and let’s be honest any guy linked to our warrior princess is instantly very intriguing. Another newbie I found quite interesting was Tripp (Colin Ferguson). He was shown with the lovable Matty Blue Eyes in Mystic Falls leading some kind of defense class. Later seen when a traumatized vamp-bitten girl runs into town for help. He demands to know the whole story and raises a red flag with viewers who immediately wonder if he knows about vampires or might have a connection to the Travelers. And the girl who ran into town, a seemingly innocent, girl next door type, that in a lapse in judgment Elena fed on, was later revealed as Sarah (Gabrielle Walsh) She did a great job conveying to the audience the depth of her fear in the scene where Matt takes her to be compelled. She appears to be shaking from fear and tell him that she does not trust anyone, leading us to wonder about her past. Does she know about supernaturals? What happened to her? I definitely cannot wait to find out more about her. And lastly, we met Ivy (Emily C. Chang), who was shown in the reveal of Stefan’s whereabouts and his new life. She stopped by his work to see him and then before we could blink they were shown in bed together. It was surprising to see how the writers used the introduction of Ivy to illustrate a character shift in our usual safe, level-headed and sensitive Salvatore. Naturally we immediately wonder how their relationship came about because honestly Stefan doesn’t seem like the friends with benefits type of guy. Or maybe its all part of the new Stefan. Color me intrigued.
Overall, “I’ll Remember” was a great episode to kick off the sixth season of The Vampire Diaries. Writer, Caroline Dries did a great job giving us just a taste of each of the characters lives and how they’re coping or avoiding the loss of Damon and Bonnie. Audiences may have loved the scene like I did, when Elena tried so say goodbye to Damon and she incorporated a nod to couple’s first meeting that was revealed in the season three finale after she chose Stefan because she ‘met’ him first. Elena recites a version of Damon’s back to him, saying;
“I wanna say thank you for giving me everything I always wanted. A love to consume me, and passion, and adventure. There’s nothing more I could ever want than for it to last forever, but it can’t.” – Elena.
Dries knows just how to tug at the heartstrings of viewers, no matter what ‘ship they support. I especially loved director, Jeffery Hunt’s choice to show Elena looking through the broken window after throwing the bowl through the window to symbolize just how broken Elena is. However, I must confess I was quite disappointed with the lack of clues to wherever Bonnie and Damon have gone. Besides Damon appearing in Elena’s witchy drug haze, he and Bonnie were only seen for one scene in the episode’s end. I really hoped and I am sure the entire TVD Family agrees, to see a little but more of a tease to where they are, but hey, kudos to Dries for peaking our interest and ensuring viewers tune in next week.
Thoughts, Questions, Comments, Concerns…
- What in God’s green Earth is going on between Tyler and Liv (Penelope Mitchell)? Does that boy have a thing for blondes or what?
- Was it just me or did Bonnie and Damon give off an old married couple vibe? Who knew Damon could make pancakes. Thought the only breakfast he served up were naked ones? And how cute was the vampire pancake?
- I liked that despite Matt’s ‘let’s prepare ourselves’ new mentality, he still protects his friends. Like how he hid the fact Sarah was bitten by a vampire from Tripp.
- And speaking of Tripp what kind of power trip is he on questioning our beloved Sheriff? I cannot wait to see what kind of Kool-aid he’s serving to he community outreach members.
- Nice to see despite Damon’s absence that Liv took the reigns with the cheeky comments
The Vampire Diaries 6×02 airs THURSDAY, OCT. 9th at 8/7c on the CW
The Vampire Diaries 6×01 “I’ll Remember” Review