Classic TVD nostalgia.
Damon Remembers More.
Damon and Stefan working for Cade
Stefan teams up with Sybil
Stefan tells Caroline he doesn't want to stop working for Cade,
Sybil floods Damon with ALL memories, bad things he's done.
Alaric out of town with the twins.
A Dance to Remember, Broken Promises & An Eternity Together
On this week’s episode of The Vampire Diaries 8×09 titled, “The Simple Intimacy of the Near Touch,” everyone gathers for one last Miss Mystic Falls and as usual, things go awry. The episode begins with Damon (Ian Somerhalder) and Stefan (Paul Wesley) continuing their work for Cade (Wole Parks).
Damon gets a call from Sybil (Nathalie Kelley) asking for the iron ball he found at Matt’s (Zach Roerig) dad’s garage. So both Damon and Stefan decide to return to Mystic Falls. Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Enzo (Michael Malarkey) also return to Mystic Falls and she’s wearing a necklace containing Enzo’s blood. Her and Caroline (Candice King) agree to meet with Seline (Kristen Gutoskie) and like her sister, she’s searching for the missing pieces that make up the bell. She claims she wants to use the bell to kill Sybil but the ladies don’t trust her. So they ask Matt to find the piece Seline has been hiding because Caroline is in charge of this year’s Miss Mystic Falls pageant and must report for that.
Caroline arrives at the Lockwood Mansion for the pageant and learns Sybil invited herself. She and Bonnie are also surprised to see Damon and Stefan back in town and at the pageant as well. There, Sybil learns Damon’shumanity is fighting to break through and he’s beginning to remember Elena (Nina Dobrev). She wants control of Damon’s mind again. And even goes as far to wear a dress similar to Elena’s Miss Mystic Falls dress, but it doesn’t work Damon forces her out, so she teams up with Stefan because he doesn’t want Damon’s humanity to return. He wants to keep working for Cade. They plan to have Damon remember what “actually” happened with Elena at Miss Mystic Falls. Stefan tells Damon he was Elena’s second choice and they only danced because he had a relapse. He then escorts Sybil in her Elena-like dress to the dance floor.
Caroline sees what’s going on and insists Damon fight back. They join everyone on the dance floor including Bonnie and Enzo for the traditional Miss Mystic Falls dance. As they dance, Bonnie confesses to realizing that Enzo gave her the necklace with a vial of his blood in hopes she’d want to become a vampire. She wants to stay human and asks Enzo if he’d take the cure and be human with her. Sybil steals Damon away from Caroline and attempts to scare him into keeping his humanity off. They go upstairs so Damon can give her the bell piece, but he uses it to knock Sybil out. Stefan’s not far behind and kills his brother, so he won’t get in the way anymore.
Downstairs, Caroline rushes to get everyone out safe but realizes the contestants have been compelled to stay. Stefan joins and kills Violet (Sammi Hanratty). He reveals that he fed them his blood because he’s learned turning someone into a vampire is faster delivering their souls to Cade. Caroline decides she doesn’t any other option and kills Stefan so he can’t hurt anyone else. Then she tries to comfort Violet about transitioning into a vampire as Stefan waits for Cade to bring him back to life, Stefan wakes and informs Caroline he doesn’t want to ever stop working for Cade. This obviously hurts Caroline’s feelings and she returns her engagement ring breaking off their engagement.
Meanwhile, Damon has Sybil chained up intent on torturing her like she did to him. His plan backfires and Sybil forces his humanity to come flooding back. And elsewhere, Matt finds the part of the bell Seline’s been hiding but also finds Seline and Dorian (Demetrius Bridges) there, They seem to be working together and explain the bell is a “weapon of terrible power” that can only be used by Matt. A lot of drama went down in this week’s episode. Let’s not waste any more time and get right into discussing!
Like a BOSS!
This week focuses a lot on Caroline, especially her relationships; as a fiance, a friend and someone who’s been there before and can relate. Candice King is exceptional this episode illustrating to viewers the variety of emotions Caroline experiences and also shows what a strong independent woman she’s become. For years, Caroline’s obsessive organizing and neurotic planning have been sort of a running joke. This week she puts her compulsion for detail to the test and becomes the queen of multitasking, Not only does Caroline host and organize Miss Mystic Falls, she asks Matt to find the part to the bell Seline has. She also manages to keep her fiance’ turned ripper somewhat in check and reminds Damon why he needs to keep fighting for his humanity, for Elena. And she also finds time to console the newly turned Violet.
Caroline giving Stefan the engagement ring back is heartbreaking for viewers to watch. While Stefan appears quite pleased with himself and the work he’s doing for Cade, Caroline is not. She looks disgusted by his behavior. Her body language exudes strength to the audience as she knows killing him is the only way to keep the rest of the pageant girls safe. And when he comes to, Caroline lets Stefan know in a stern tone she not willing to stand behind or be associated with his actions, We see in Caroline’s eyes how much it pains her to do this, but she stays strong.
“One day you’re going to wake up and realize that… you don’t even remember what happiness is. Not “fun.” But happiness. Until then… just stay away from me.” – Caroline.
Let’s not forget Caroline also finds time to console Violet, who desperately doesn’t want to be a vampire, but knows she is in transition. Caroline’s expression shows viewers she’s genuinely empathetic with her because she was her years ago. Caroline’s eyes are caring and her voice comforting as she tries to get her to see this could be an opportunity. This touching scene between Caroline and Violet is very sweet and reminds viewers how well Caroline handled vampirism compared to so many others. It’s also quite reminiscent of how Stefan was there for her when she turned. Candice King really shines in this week with so much focusing around Caroline. She does a fantastic job taking viewers through her emotional journey this episode.
Dreaming of Delena
To viewers’ delight, Damon’s memories of Elena keep popping up. Honestly, how could they not, given all the reminders he encounters in this week’s episode? While he might not exactly know what all the pieces of memories flashing through his mind mean, he does know they’re important to him. Ian Somerhalder does a wonderful job illustrating the ongoing battle inside his head. Each time Damon gets a glimpse of an Elena memory, his face softens. Sybil sees what’s going on and she tries to mess inside his mind again. This time Damon is pissed and resists her meddling. His expression and tone of voice turn angry. Then he knocks her out with the piece of the bell.
“The more you try to push her out the more I understand she’s never going away and there’s not enough room in my head for both of you.”- Damon.
That doesn’t stop Sybil from trying again and she teams up with Stefan. Even dressed as Elena did when she competed in Miss Mystic Falls, Damon envisions Elena coming down the stairs. His lovestruck expression is the same as it was years ago and he realizes now as he did then that he loved/loves Elena. But Stefan tries to mess with his memory and insists Damon was her second choice. For a second, Damon’s expression looks sad and defeated, but Caroline steps in to dance with him. Viewers squeal in pure delight when Caroline insists he keeps fighting and reminds Damon what he’s fighting for.
“Fight for her or spend the rest of eternity trying to figure out what happened to the best part of you.” Caroline.
She’s not always been a fan of Elena and Damon being together but has come to realize they belong together. Caroline knows Elena is the key to bringing Damon’s humanity back and fight off Sybil. She understands the significance of the dance Damon and Elena shared at the pageant and doesn’t want Stefan and Sybil’s little bullshit reenactment to sway him any differently. And it’s a win-win for Caroline too. She knows she needs Damon’s help to bring Stefan back and Elena will have her boyfriend when she finally wakes.’
Bonnie and Enzo return from Paris this week’s episode and seem to be even more in love then when they left if that’s even possible. Viewers can see Bonnie so happy and in love. She’s practically glowing. Her eyes filled with joy and a permanent smile on her face. Bonnie also returns with a new necklace raising both Caroline and viewers’ eyebrows. It has a vial of Enzo’s blood. Instantly, we assume Bonnie’s decided to turn into a vampire so she and Enzo can spend eternity together.
Viewers’ minds are left spinning. How could Bonnie Bennett choose to become a vampire? The girl who once hated vampires, who even refused to talk to her lifelong best friend when her mom was turned into a vampire because of her association with vampires. Not possible. And let’s not forget what that would mean for Elena, whose life is tied to hers. Kai (Chris Wood) was clear there’s no witch-y work around and if they tried both Bonnie and Elena would die.
“No, you’re right. 70 years with the right person can be forever. It’s just the “after” part I’m worried about. I spent an eternity waiting for you to walk into my life. What will I ever do without you?” – Enzo.
It’s not until Bonnie and Enzo share the traditional dance at the Miss Mystic Falls pageant that we get some answers. As much as viewers are concerned about Bonnie possibly becoming a vampire, it’s sad to see her return the necklace to Enzo. Her expression turns solemn and her tone sad she explains why she cannot fulfill the promise wearing the necklace represents, to become a vampire. Bonnie has obviously thought through the notion of her and Enzo spending the rest of their lives together and shocks viewers suggesting Enzo take the cure. What? Delena shippers, pick your jaws up off the floor. It could actually work. Enzo could drink the cure from Elena’s blood. Then once Bonnie dies of old age, Enzo lets Damon drink the cure from him and Enzo could die alongside Bonnie. And Damon and a newly awoken Elena can live out their human lives together.
Can we please talk about the chemistry between Bonnie and Enzo? It is off the charts. Both Kat Graham and Michael Malarkey do an amazing job conveying Bonnie and Enzo’s love and passion to the audience. They speak to one another in a soft, loving tone. As they gaze into each other’s eyes, their eyes are warm and filled with love and their facial expressions exude happiness. And their body language shows viewers the pair is completely comfortable together and just so in love. The relationship between Bonnie and Enzo is filled with genuine emotion and a delight to watch.
“The Simple Intimacy of the Near Touch” takes viewers to one last Miss Mystic Falls pageant, an honored tradition in Mystic Falls’ that dates back as far as to when the Salvatores were still human. Neil Reynolds and Penny Cox penned an episode filled with as much nostalgia as there is suspense, drama, mystery and even romance. As much of a pain in the ass, Sybil has become, having her attempt to impersonate Elena is a clever way to show viewers Damon’s remembering Elena more and more. He might not remember exactly what she means to him yet, but his memories are more frequent. Episode director, Geoff Shotz, does a fantastic job seamlessly blending Damon’s memories of Elena and the same scenes in present day with Sybil. Actually, Sybil’s plan backfires, which reinforces the change in Damon. His humanity is intensifying.
Switching up the interactions between characters is a welcome change from Reynolds and Cox. Stefan teaming up with Sybil to keep Damon’s humanity in check is super annoying. Honestly, I’m over both of them at the moment, but it is an interesting change of pace because it’s a dynamic we’ve never really seen before. But I really enjoyed seeing Caroline and Damon together. Both Candice King and Ian Somerhalder work well together and do a wonderful job bringing Damon and Caroline to life. I loved seeing Caroline step in before the Miss Mystic Falls dance. She serves as an advocate for Elena. Caroline tries to trigger his memories by dancing with him and reminding Damon of he and Elena’s dance. Not only does this serve as a trigger for Damon, it also cleverly reminds viewers of their relationship.
Director, Geoff Shotz, again does a wonderful job capturing the beauty of the dance. Beginning with a focused shot of Damon and Caroline, he slowly pans out to show the pair standing on the porch step and the row of couples lined up on the dance floor. Shotz then alternates shots of Damon and Caroline, Stefan and Sybil and Enzo and Bonnie on the dance floor. Add Sara Bareilles’ “She Used to Be Mine,” a musical selection from music supervisor, Chris Mollere, and the mood is captured perfectly. Damon desperate to regain his humanity and the best part of himself. While Caroline struggles to hold onto hope that Stefan can come back from this. Sybil does end up giving Damon all his memories back… the question is now how is going to handle everything he’s done? It’s certainly going to be quite interesting finding out.
Questions, Comments, Concerns:
- I’m totally digging badass Matt Donovan, but something;’s telling me he should be very cautious trusting Seline and Dorian.
- Do the sirens still want that twins? If the tuning fork affected them…wouldn’t the bell too? And if it’s a super weapon, would the distance matter?
- And what about Bonnie? The bell would surely affect her too because the tuning fork did.
THE VAMPIRE DIARIES 8×10 airs FRIDAY, JAN. 27 at 8|7c. on The CW
The Vampire Diaries 8×09 “The Simple Intimacy of the Near Touch” REVIEW