Introduced to a new character.
Bonnie gets her magic back.
Slowly learning more about Tripp and Sarah
Nice cliffhanger with Enzo
Caroline and Elena's friendship.
Stefan is being a dick
How Bonnie Got her Witchy JuJu Back in Gram’s Alternate Universe
The Vampire Diaries continued the throw back to the 90’s theme of season six with the episode titled, “Welcome to Paradise.” This week Stefan (Paul Wesley) returned to Mystic Falls hell bent on revenge on Enzo (Michael Malarkey), While, Elena (Nina Dobrev) was on a mission to get the gang all back together and decided a party at the local swimming hole was just the place to do so. Meanwhile, in witchy purgatory Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) suspicions were confirmed as she and Damon (Ian Somerhalder) discovered they’re not alone. A mysterious new character named Kai (Chris Wood) was introduced and in an unconventional way he helped Bonnie get her juju back. I’m sure the audience squealed in delight, as did I, to have our beloved Bennett witch back in action. A lot happened on this week’s episode, so let’s not waste anymore time and get right into discussing.
Yippie Kai Yea M*therf*cker
First thing first, let’s talk about the latest addition to season six, Kai, and wow, what an introduction. Chris Wood’s portrayal of Kai gives an uneasy feeling to the audience. The way he tilts his head to the side as he talks and gives his eyes a hint of crazy in them conveys to us he probably should not be trusted. From the moment we met Kai in the supermarket, he wasn’t afraid of Damon at all, which instantly makes viewers question if he has some kind of supernatural ability or something. Not to mention he had the balls to take on Damon using a very well thought out plan and reminding viewers of the one and only diabolical Katherine Pierce. We instantly question his motives and to be totally honest the first impression of Kai is somehow Katherine has been reincarnated as a dude. We get the impression that Kai seems like he’d go to great lengths to get what he wants, a master manipulator. Ultimately, his attack on Damon did prompt Bonnie to tap into her inner witch and get mojo back, but the question we must ask is if Kai is going to be a friend to Bonnie and Damon or is just using them as a means to an end. He definitely is a bit of a wildcard, so we’ll have to wait and see.
What Goes Around Comes Around
Stefan made his way back to Mystic Falls this week, but unfortunately it wasn’t for a reunion or to check up on his friends. He had only one thing on his mind, revenge. Stefan returned determined to make Enzo pay for killing his girlfriend, Ivy (Emily C. Chang) and I must confess we see glimpses of the Rippah (Klaus voice). Much like when Klaus (Joseph Morgan) compelled him to protect Elena in season three, Stefan had one singular goal in this episode and it definitely gives viewers a little bit of Rippah deja vu. Nothing to the extent of the insatiable blood lust, sans humanity Stefan we saw in season three, but his ‘I don’t care about anyone or anything attitude’ is the total opposite of the Stefan Salvatore we’ve grown accustomed to over the years. Honestly, in the scene in the woods, how could he not say something…anything to Caroline (Candice Accola), his best friend, as she practically begged him to admit he cares? This scene was as hear breaking to viewers as much as it was to Caroline, no matter what ‘ship flag you fly. He just stood there stone faced, emotionless as if he didn’t see how much pain Caroline was in. And who can forget his betrayal to the entire vampire species in the dinner scene with Tripp (Colin Ferguson) and Enzo? Stefan shocked viewers when he showed up out of nowhere and shot Enzo with a gun loaded with wooden stakes. He aided a vampire hunter capture one of his own and condemned him to death, which pretty much solidified the notion that Stefan is not the same sensitive, compassionate vampire as before.
Thank You For Being a Friend
Lastly, it’s nice that amid all the grief, pain and individualized story lines of each character dealing with the loss of their town and their friends, the show has still maintained its overall theme of friendship and family. It may not be a typical family most of us imagine, but despite all the Mystic Falls bunch has been though and we can all agree it has been a hell of a lot over the years, they are a family. An unconventional and totally dysfunctional family at times, but no matter what they all look out for one another. Who else checked the channel when Damon actually admitted caring about Bonnie when in the supermarket with Kai? Yes, we’ve all known for years they’re not each others biggest fan, but its kind of like its okay for you to pick on your little sister, but you’d be damned if anyone else does. Bonnie coming to Damon’s rescue in the supermarket really shows viewers that despite their constant bickering they have the other’s back. The audience really gets a sense of their family dynamic during the scene in the woods when Elena gathers Caroline, Matt (Zach Roerig) and Tyler (Michael Trevino). She reminds them of the good times they shared at the spot. She attempts to reconnect everyone suggesting they take jello shots and relive old times. Its almost bittersweet for viewers because it also points out how much they’ve grown apart recently.
This week’s episode was a nice change of pace from the previous two episodes. All of the characters, with the exception of Damon and Bonnie, were together. Stefan came back to town, even if it was for revenge, Matt and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) left Mystic Falls, Tyler took a night off from football and all went to the swimming hole. Brian Young, who wrote the episode, keeps the theme of friendship present throughout “Welcome to Paradise,” while still developing each character’s individual story line. His reveal of Kai in the supermarket, coupled with his face off with Damon was a really clever way to have Bonnie’s magic return. Michael Allowitz did an exceptional directing this episode and capturing the emotion of each scene. For example, the scene in the supermarket as Damon lay vervained on the floor, Allowitz used just the right camera angle to make us feel as we’re on the floor with him looking up as Kai looms overhead. Choosing warm lightning coupled with precise camera angles in the dorm scene between Caroline and Elena conveys beautifully just how deep their friendship runs between the girls. And let’s not forget the conversation scene in the woods between Stefan and Caroline made us really feel Caroline’s state of mind the way Allowitz utilized just the right camera angles to capture the emotion of that scene. That coupled with Ashley Nite’s “Say Anything” playing in the background, chosen by music supervisor Chris Mollere’s added to the somberness of the scene and tugs at the heartstrings. Mollere’s music selection for that scene and for the entire episode was spot on. As always he knows the perfect song to fit into each scene to heightens viewers emotions and allowing us to immerse ourselves into the episode. Thursday cannot come soon enough when we’ll learn more about Kai and Tripp especially how he plans on taking care of Enzo because I don’t think he’s going down without one hell of a fight!
Comments, Questions, Concerns:
- Holy sexual tension Batman! However, the almost kiss scene between Tyler and Liv (Penelope Mitchell) seemed a bit off at the end.
- Very interested to see how Matty Blues Eyes handles his situation being a member of Tripp’s vampire hunter army.
- WTH! How did Kai watch Bonnie and Damon for months and Damon not know with his vamp hearing?
- And speaking of Kai, how and why is he get stuck in 1994 with them?
- I cannot get enough of Damon and Bonnie’s bickering! Can we please have a spin-off? ‘The Supernatural Odd Couple”
- Very interested in learning more about Sarah (Gabrielle Walsh) especially now that we know her compulsion wore off when she left Mystic Falls.
- P.S. Love seeing Elena and Caroline’s friendship grow..
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES 6×04 airs THURSDAY, OCT. 23 at 8/7c on the CW
The Vampire Diaries 6×03 “Welcome to Paradise” Review