Damon spirals out of control, again

The Vampire Diaries Season 7, Episode 12 (“Postcards from the Edge”)
Ian Somerhalder, The Vampire Diaries

This is not the first time we have seen Damon in a downward spiral. But it might be his most pathetic. In the past when he has reached his lowest points he has always had some sort of mission or supernatural threat to obsess over to keep himself from having to focus too much on the pain. When Katherine returns in Season 2 and he snaps Jeremy’s neck out of frustration he knows that he has potentially ruined any chance he might have had with Elena. But instead of allowing himself to focus too much on that pain he turn his attention to figuring out what kind of supernatural creature Tyler is. In fact he spends a lot of Season 2 in an existential crisis trying to decide if he should be the good guy or the bad guy. But this generally only resulted in him maybe killing a random stranger and then getting over it. In Season 5 when “Elena” breaks up with him, he focuses on getting his revenge by killing off the Augustine Society. But now there is no supernatural threat to obsess over and he only has himself to get revenge on.

Damon believes that he has killed Elena and is torturing himself by getting in fights with Julian’s biker gang vamps so that he can feel physical, rather than emotional, pain. Basically he is in major self pity mode. Immediately doubting that he ever could have changed for Elena. That he would always be a danger to her. He refuses to turn off his humanity, but seems like he is kind of hoping that someone will just kill him. It has been a while since we have seen Damon in this mode where he hates himself so much that he wants others to hate him too. This is exactly what he and everyone was afraid would happen without Elena, and he seems to get a sense of relief when he proves people right. It is much easier than constantly trying to be better than your instincts.

Thankfully, when Stefan finds out he does not blame Damon as much as he could. He instead blames Julian for Damon’s actions, which is somewhat fair. He sent Damon into the Phoenix Stone, forcing him to suffer the after effects. Stefan will always look for an excuse for Damon’s behavior, which may be his real issue. Even when Damon wants Stefan to hate him, Stefan refuses. But in this case I am glad he chooses not to blame Damon, because it leads to him killing Julian once and for all. And it is definitely time for him to go since his role on the show is now the leader of a vampire biker gang. This entire plot had me asking “What. Is. Happening?” the entire time. The entirety of Julian’s plot since Lily died has been insane, and not in a fun way. He too is spiraling out of control and has somehow recruited a bunch of vampires to take over Mystic Falls, drink all day, cause destruction, etc. Now he has set up a fight ring for them so they can fight over real estate. I wish I was exaggerating or making this up, but sadly I am not.

Meanwhile, the other characters are actually moving the next plot forward which is much more interesting. Nora, Mary Louise, and Bonnie go to Ohio to find Rayna Cruz, the vampire hunter that has been teased all season to whom we finally get a name and face. We learn a little more about her but she is still largely clouded in mystery. She was spelled to be a hunter, similar to The Five. She is also quite literally a phoenix. When she gets old she burns and is reborn as a young woman again. The part that made much less sense was how Enzo is now involved in this plot. We learn that he is the one that sent the postcards to the Heretics so that they would lead him to Rayna. How he knows about her or what he wants with her is not clear. He also briefly mentions that he has been in captivity by Matt’s mystery group but never really explains that.

This episode was definitely over the top, but I am thankful that Julian is dead and we are about to move into the next major plot, Rayna Cruz. This also means that the two timelines are going to start merging a lot more which I am also looking forward to. I am just not interested in the “Damon kills Elena” plot or anything that is happening with Julian. For so much of this season the smaller storylines have been the more interesting ones, but luckily those smaller plots are going to become the dominant ones very soon.

Episode Grade: 6/10

Other Thoughts:

  • Damon also seems to think that he left Tyler for dead but wouldn’t Tyler have healed from that? I know as a werewolf he is not invincible but he does heal pretty easily. Also if Tyler were dead I think someone would have noticed.
  • The babies in Caroline’s womb are siphoning off her vampire magic which is desiccating her.
  • Matt tells the lady officer, Penny, about vampires. They are setting her up to be a love interest for Matt which I think is long overdue. Other than his fling with Rebekah, he hasn’t had a girlfriend since he and Caroline broke up in Season 2.
  • Three Years in the Future: When Stefan shows up at the news station, Matt vervains him then tells Rayna that his duty to her is done. This kind of turns the previous episode on its head when it looked like Matt was siding with her. Maybe he just owed her something? We also see Rayna has Damon tied up in a cell somewhere.
  • Body Count: 6! Damon kills 4, the guy he used the road trick on and three of Julian’s biker vamps. Stefan kills Julian. Matt kills a random vampire.

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