The Vampire Diaries: “Welcome to Paradise” Review
Bonnie and Damon are continuing to notice things that are off in their little loop. Most importantly, this addition is new as nothing had been changing until now. Rather than coming right out and confirming that there was someone wandering about the loop, they teased it out letting the characters get angrier and and lose hope until they split up. When we finally met Kai it felt strange. Yes, we already knew that he was there despite all the attempts to rationalize that he wasn’t. What didn’t make sense was the fact that they were seeing all the clues of Kai’s presence all of a sudden, yet they had been watched for a while. If Kai really wanted Damon dead, why suddenly make his presence known when he could have easily done it from the shadows. Fill Damon’s bourbon with vervain and leave it out knowing Damon would try to fall into the bottle. Lace the reservoir water with vervain so is showers burn. There were so many things he could have done to take out Damon without ever showing his face. It’s classic bad villain 101. Never make speeches when you could be killing.
What all of this led to was a real breakthrough in the Damon and Bonnie relationship. For years, they’ve been at each other’s necks. So much so that I’ve come to see their witticisms and insults as them caring about each other. It works for that relationship, but seeing this breakthrough as they work together is refreshing. The two characters are so similar as well as different. Bonnie and Damon have always proven the best at holding grudges, but working against their preferences for the better of the other people they care about. Together they can potentially be an interesting duo.
The relationship between Enzo and Caroline has been pretty much been telegraphed in for a while. Despite this, they reel against their pairing. It would be fitting that when they are finally starting to somewhat accept the others for who they are that Elena tries to set Caroline up with someone. Despite that budding potential relationship, Enzo was almost combo taken out between Stefan and Tripp. It would be a shame to see Enzo go so easily or so soon because he is one of the characters that is making the show interesting as he drives more than relationship drama, but also plot drama. Without Enzo we tumble into a drama land that will grow to become frustrating.
The Vampire Diaries as of late has come to focus far too much on romantic relationships rather than providing compelling stories that focus on situations involving and enhancing characters. It has been the major downfall of the show in the past couple of seasons. The show seems to no revolve around setting up, advancing, and complicating the romantic relationships on the show. Not everyone needs to be in a relationship and we certainly don’t need to see all of them play out. What we need is to see is relationships that feel natural rather than all of them.
Everything I noted above; the reveal and capture of Kai, Stefan helped take out Enzo for Tripp, and the vampires found out that compelling people loses its effect in mystic falls, making Jo all the more dangerous. Those are the plot threads that are carrying the story this season. Other elements are welcome, but the amount of focus on them needs to be adjusted.