There were plenty of moments during tonight’s Vampire Diaries where it seemed like the writers were speaking directly to the audience. One of them, of course, was Quetsiyah telling Damon that he’s basically used to dramatize another romance. We know that Damon and Elena love to prove to themselves that they are beyond fate and circumstance, but time and time again, the actual series provides to us that Elena and Stefan are somehow epic. This is always my main concern with love triangles. I remember watching Lost Girl this summer and thinking the same thing, but vice-versa. In that show, one side of the love-triangle was never going to happen because of a spell, which was just used as some sort of greater and epic obstacle for their inevitable love story. Here, given that there has been such an insurmountable amount of evidence about the “epic” Stefan and Elena romance, one can’t help but think Damon and Elena are entering a relationship that’s doomed. In a show that has set up relationships as the ultimate prize for heroism, it’s going to be weird to see how Damon’s story could end without Elena. I can’t imagine a high-note ending for himself without her, myself; no other viable love interest prospects have popped up throughout the entire series’ run. And yet, I can see an ending for Stefan that’s positive where Elena isn’t in his life. Basically, as always, they’re on a thin line here.
But more importantly, it was the reveal of another original doppelgänger in Imara. Tatia who? Never mind her because The Vampire Diaries isn’t concerned with what it has actually already set up — which is that when the original vampires were created, they needed a blood source and that was Tatia, which is why the universe created doppelgängers in the first place. (I suppose that this could be briefly shooed away with some sort of, “Oh but we thought….“)
With the reveal of Stefan being Silas’ doppelgänger last season, we knew even more retcons were coming. And they have arrived. Though, you have to admire the show’s ingenuity here. In some weird way, the “shadow selves” theory makes some sort of sense. When an entity who was supposed to die suddenly becomes immortal, the universe creates doppelgängers to balance it out. OK, then.
So for centuries, Stefans and Elenas have continued to draw themselves to each other. And, apparently, whenever there was a Stefan and Elena, there was a love triangle in the mix. With Imara, Silas and Quetsiyah (excuse me, Tessa) were the other side of the triangle; with Tatia, there was Klaus and Elijah on either side; with Damon and Stefan, there is Katherine and Elena, respectively.
Show to audiences everywhere: If you were tired of love triangles, too effing bad. The Love Triangle is a fabric of the entire mythology. It is embedded in everything that has ever happened with the show — and that’s the way it is. So change the channel, or keep watching. Either way, the love triangle stays — for good. It may not be the show we want exactly, but it’s the show that The Vampire Diaries is. And there’s really nothing we can do about it.
However, I will say that this has been the most fun episode to watch, in my opinion. The first two episodes of the season were retreads of episodes past (as is this one in a way, but whatever) with anti-climactic twists and unintentionally hilarious scenes. There’s probably a reason why I liked this episode which featured no college setting and no Bonnie plainly mentioning she’s dead.
At this point, one of the better elements of The Vampire Diaries is watching everyone just playing a whole bunch of people and having fun. Katherine continues to throw out amazing one-liners. My personal favorite this episode: “Anything to [drone out] the sound of eggshells cracking.” Not exactly a punchy one, but weirdly clever. And though The CW very blatantly lied to us about Ripper Stefan returning, was anyone else extremely impressed with Zach Roerig’s stint as New Lady’s lover? That was fun! Plus, Janina Gavankar’s portrayal of Tessa was just terrific, in my opinion. She really had fun hamming it up there, and I was very grateful for that. I mean, when you give someone a line that very obviously states the essence of their character (“I’m paranoid. I’m crazy.”) and they still deliver it without anyone second-guessing it, well damn!
Besides, I also felt like this episode was transitioning more to its roots. Sure, Katherine being the cure was probably guessed by all of you, but whatever! Everyone wanting doppelgänger blood: check! A “history lesson”? Yes! People just talking at each other and it somehow being dramatic? Classic TVD. This was a much more fun episode than the previous two is all I’m saying. Even with the retcons.