The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Episode 4 (“Black Hole Sun”)
Traditionally, flashback episodes of this show are some of my favorite, but it has been a long time since we had a good one. The last really great one was probably the New Orleans one in early season 4. This one however was fantastic. We see what was probably the last time Damon and Stefan saw each other before the pilot episode (in the pilot they do actually say it has been 15 years since they have seen each other which is probably why the chose 1994 as the year for them to get stuck in). Even though Stefan and Damon aren’t interacting in present day, it connects with how Stefan is dealing with the loss of Damon. This flashback, combined with Stefan’s grief over Damon, really brought the brother bond back in a way that we haven’t seen on the show in a long time.
In the 1994 world, Kai forces Damon to explain why he thought he was in his personal hell. In the flashback we learn that Damon had tried to make amends with Stefan by returning to Mystic Falls and living with him and Uncle Zach. Stefan is weary of Damon’s attempt to turn a new leaf but he gives him a chance. However, eventually Damon starts feeding on Zach’s girlfriend causing Stefan to kick him back out. Damon feeling rejected by his brother once again, retaliates by killing all of the boarders including Zach’s girlfriend who was pregnant at the time. We later learn that the baby survived, though Damon doesn’t know that. He believes he killed the pregnant woman and her unborn baby and considers it the worst thing he has ever done.
As horrible as that is, the more interesting part of the story is why he did it. Stefan feels that every time he makes a better life for himself, Damon comes along to tear it down. He cites three instances that we have seen in the show, in 1912 when Damon caused Stefan to become a ripper, in 1942 when they met in New Orleans, and in 1977 when Damon left Lexi on the roof to burn. Damon on the other hand sees those events differently. He didn’t make Stefan become a ripper, he just accidentally woke it up in him. If you give an unknown alcoholic their first drink that doesn’t make it your fault that they are an alcoholic, they just hadn’t discovered that part of themselves yet. Of course we already know that Damon abandoned Stefan in New Orleans to give him a chance to better himself. And he wanted Stefan to be the one to save him when his humanity was off, not Lexi.
The brothers have been through so much over the past 200-ish years. Though they have spent most of that time estranged, they always make their way back to each other because in truth each can’t live without the other. Damon resents the idea that he drags Stefan down. Everyone sees Stefan as the saint and Damon as the evil force that makes him bad. Over the past five seasons though we have learned that that is an over simplification. All Damon has ever wanted is for Stefan to accept him for who he is and for them to be in each others lives. But Stefan has always judged him and probably been jealous that he doesn’t have Damon’s restraint. Damon can “snatch, eat, erase”, Stefan can only kill.
In present day Stefan is being such a dick to everyone because he can’t cope with the idea that he will never seen Damon again. Even with their unstable relationship, he has always been a part of his life in some way. He was always out there. There was always a chance at reconciliation. Now that he doesn’t have that, how does he continue living for eternity? When Elena tries to call him out on his bad coping mechanism he breaks down and tells her how she compelled away her feelings for Damon. It’s hard being without his brother. It is even harder hearing the girl they both loved act like he isn’t even worth mourning.
Also in the 1994 world we learn more about Kai and exactly where they are. Kai is a sociopath who killed all of his siblings, except the one whose spleen he just cut out (“You can live without your spleen!”). He was a member of the Gemini coven and they were so outraged by what he did that they created this 1994 world as a prison to keep him locked away forever, stuck in the day that he killed his siblings. Kai is also kind of a witch, but he can only channel power from other magical beings, he doesn’t have any of his own. Kai gives them everything they need to get out, a fancy ascendant and a spell that Bonnie can do now that she has her magic back. When Bonnie learns about who Kai is though, she doesn’t want to bring him back. But, he threatens to take Bonnie’s magic and kill her if they don’t. This cements Kai as the first true villain of the season. And one of my favorite villains of the series. He is an unpredictable sociopath, but he is also hilarious. He presents a real danger and lacks any potential sympathy, but he is kind of lovable all the same?
Episode Grade: 9/10
- 90s things
- Damon only wears flannel now and Bonnie is wearing overalls
- “Black Hole Sun” is a Soundgarden song from 1994. It was released on May 13 which is only three days after the day they are living on a loop.
- Stefan was in Mystic Falls in 1994, only 15 years before he returns at the beginning of the series. Did he compel everyone to forget him? Surely there would be plenty of people who remembered him when he came back.
- We meet a young Liz Forbes in the flashbacks and she has some awful fake hair. But she and Damon were hitting it off even then.
- Stefan tells Elena that you have to reinvent your life every 30 years but even that seems like a stretch, wouldn’t people notice you not aging? I feel like at most you could get away with 15-20 years if you are in your late twenties/early thirties when you turned.
- Enzo didn’t kill Ivy, he turned her. Going to make it harder for Stefan to start over again.
- Alaric helps Jeremy to get past his resentment towards Bonnie and everyone. He is mad that Bonnie knew she was going to die and told him over the phone. And that everyone else got to come back. Alaric tells him he can’t hold onto all of that, you have to move on. He could resent Damon for turning his wife but in truth it wasn’t really Damon’s fault.
- Zach’s daughter is Sarah the girl that Jeremy has had hanging around.
- Tripp hasn’t killed Enzo yet, he wants to make him rat out the other vampires first.
- Body Count: 9?, Damon kills Zach’s girlfriend plus a bunch of boarders which I counted to be 8. Also this brings Damon up to 52 total kills in the series, making him number one and finally surpassing Klaus!