So many vampires to kill, so little time

The Vampire Diaries Season 7, Episode 19 (“Somebody That I Used to Know”)
Michael Malarkey, The Vampire Diaries

After a three month break from covering The Vampire Diaries I am finally back! Before starting this episode I spent some time just trying to remember what exactly had been happening. This show always has a lot going on and taking a break this close to the end of a season is probably not the best choice. But I am happy to be back and had a lot of fun watching this episode and diving back into one of my favorite shows.

Now that all of those vampires have been released from the Phoenix Stone, Rayna is being bombarded with visions of them. Damon, Enzo, and Bonnie agree to hunt them all down and kill them for her if she agrees to give Bonnie her last mortal life. Bonnie is dying from the anti-magic pills the Armory made and this is the only way to save her. Rayna is tired of her life and just wants peace. She agrees to the trade but there are a lot of vampires to kill and Damon realizes he is going to need backup.

One thing I really liked about this episode was seeing the two vampire killing teams. Bonnie, Enzo, and Damon and Stefan and Alaric. Seeing them all work together to save Bonnie’s life felt like the show getting back to its old self again. A big issue I have had with the last half of this season is how separated everyone has been. Caroline and Alaric are in Dallas, Stefan has been running around the world with Valerie, Bonnie and Enzo were doing their own thing, and Damon has been hopping around as well. Despite Alaric’s objections, I’m ready for the band to get back together.

Another delightful part was the flashbacks filling us in on how Bonnie and Enzo got together. I don’t know that we really find out that much new information but it does help the audience to get on board with their relationship. When we first saw them together in the flash forwards at the beginning of the season the pairing seemed really random and weird. And so far there has been very little build up to their relationship. There were a couple of flirtatious moments earlier in the season but nothing that really made you feel like these two belonged together. But filling in that gap and actually getting to see how they fell in love helps at least this viewer to actually care about their relationship. They share some very sweet moments and it reminds us that Enzo really can be a good guy when he wants to be. Indeed he is often misunderstood by the other characters. They make him out to be the villain when all he has ever really wanted is some sort of family. But when he realizes that the people he is actually related to are pretty terrible, he abandons them and chooses to protect a good person. His relationship with Bonnie also anchors him to the group in a way that his sometimes friendship with Damon never did.

Something I didn’t really care for this episode was Alaric and Stefan’s reunion (outside of the vampire killing montages). Stefan shows up in Dallas to find Caroline but when she isn’t there he hangs out with Alaric instead basically not hiding the fact that he wants to get Caroline back and that he thinks he can. Honestly Stefan is a bit of a jerk to Alaric in this episode and it is definitely not his best look. Alaric hasn’t done anything to him. He didn’t steal Caroline away from him. Stefan is the one who left. Even if he didn’t want to have to leave, he can’t be mad at Caroline for trying to move on. When he notices that Alaric and Caroline sleep in separate bedrooms and that they are getting married at the courthouse (a very un-Caroline thing to do) he is pretty mean to Alaric about it. Alaric knows that Caroline isn’t in love with him and doesn’t need Stefan rubbing his nose in it.

Neither Salvatore is looking great this episode and Alaric’s denial about wanting to get back in the game is tedious. We all know he is going to, look at how much fun he had killing those vampires! At this point Enzo is the best guy on the show, not something I thought I would ever say. Damon still has a long way to go in getting Bonnie and everyone else to forgive him. Stefan’s focus on getting Caroline back when it doesn’t seem like she wants to hear from him seems kind of out of character. But I have hope for these guys. Stefan usually tries to do the right thing and no one can stay mad at Damon for too long. Here’s to hoping that saving Bonnie will bring everyone back together!

Episode Grade: 7/10

Other Thoughts:

  • The vampire killing montage to “Kiss This” by The Struts is one of the most delightful sequences this season.
  • Virginia killed Lucy Bennett (the witch from Season 2, Episode 7 “Masquerade” who helped Katherine and then turned on her) who sealed the vault 4 years ago with their sister in it. This is why they need Bonnie to open it.
  • They find the heretic Beau in another body while running down Rayna’s hit list and though Enzo and Bonnie want to spare him, Damon doesn’t hesitate.
  • Body Count: This is a difficult episode for the body count with all of the montages and just piles of bodies. A lot of them were team kills as well but I mostly just went with whoever did the actual dead. Sticking to just those killed by the main characters we have a total of 10.
    • Damon: 5, including Beau
    • Enzo: 2
    • Bonnie: 1
    • Alaric: 1
    • Stefan: 1

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