Elena loses her chance to get her memories back

The Vampire Diaries Season 6, Episode 6 (“The More You Ignore Me, The Closer I Get”)
Nina Dobrev, The Vampire Diaries

So much of the first part of this season has focused on the characters’ grief over losing Bonnie and Damon and how they dealt with it. Now Damon has returned from the prison world, without Bonnie, and the episode really focuses on how this affects everyone else. Stefan and Elena are forced to reckon with the choices they made that hurt the people they love. They both abandoned him and others in the process. Alaric is psyched to have his buddy back but also has to defend his choice to help Elena forget Damon.

Elena is pretty happy with the delusion she has created for herself. She is actually enjoying her time at college. She has the beginnings of a romance with a normal, human guy whose biggest fault is being a normal, human guy. She is also learning to be a vampire doctor. Somehow. She is terrified that if she gets her memories about Damon back that will somehow ruin the life she built in his absence. But this life is a lie. Ignoring your past doesn’t make it go away and now that Damon is back it is unfair to him for her not to even give him a chance. She ultimately realizes this and is ready to get her memories back, but unfortunately stalling cost her the ability to get them back. Alaric becomes human again and therefore cannot lift the compulsion.

Obviously this is The Vampire Diaries and they were never going to make it that easy. She made a choice while in grief and now that is going to affect her forever. Damon tries to be understanding of why she did it but he is really hurt that she chose to forget him. After everything he had to go through to get back, learning that she would rather forget him than deal with his death is a knife in the gut. I don’t particularly like this development because it seems like such an obvious tool to keep her and Damon’s relationship in question, and six seasons in we just don’t need it anymore.

Stefan has to deal with the fallout of the way he has been acting all season. Though Damon is mostly forgiving of him, he is mad at himself for giving up on his brother when he was still alive. He also turned Enzo over to Tripp and now has to get him back. Enzo is kind of right when he questions why Stefan is always seen as the hero, even when he fails. The show constantly puts Stefan up as the hero and Damon as the one who drags him down, but then turns that concept on its head. Sometimes Stefan just doesn’t do the right thing and there is often less consequences for that. But as Stefan himself has pointed out, is he really that much better than the so called “bad” vampires of the show? The answer is probably yes. Everyone makes bad choices sometimes but he generally has a good heart, which is why he is always forgiven. This time though Caroline is not letting him off the hook so easy. She tells him that she doesn’t want to be friends anymore after the way he treated her and its hard to blame her for that. That stance will likely change in time, but for now he is going to have to figure out something better than “can’t we get past this?”.

The most forward plot movement we got in this episode was the revelation that Jo is a witch and that she knows that Alaric and Elena are vampires. As much as Alaric has tried to distance himself from her to protect her, she is not deterred by what he is. So much so that she follows him when he goes on his Damon/Enzo rescue mission and ends up saving his life. Alaric is thrown over the town line and Jo saves him from dying from his human injuries. Without the magic he is no longer a vampire, he is able to become human again. Which of course happens about two seconds after Elena says she wants her memories back. Though this sucks for Elena, it is great for Alaric. He hated being a vampire and now he gets a chance to start over again.

This episode was mostly just dealing with Damon’s return and setting up how the season is going to progress. Elena is going to be stuck without her memories of Damon and so will have to proceed with only a piece of the information. Stefan isn’t going to just seamlessly slip back into his life with his friends, at least not with Caroline. Though the anti-magic border served Alaric well in this episode, it still needs to be dealt with. And we sure haven’t seen the last of Bonnie and Kai. This season has been off to an uncharacteristically slow start but with Damon back things are likely to pick up.

Episode Grade: 7/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Damon tells everyone that Bonnie was never in the 1994 world with him. He is pretty certain that she died when she let him get out and he doesn’t want them to have to know that.
  • Jeremy seems to be the only one that is really affected by this. Damon’s return without Bonnie causes him to lose the little hope that he had that Bonnie was still alive.
  • Matt: “I was confused about which vampires we like and which ones we don’t”. It is difficult to keep up – especially when it  comes to Enzo.
  • Body Count: Tripp officially kills Ivy by driving her across the town line – along with two other people (3)

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