The Vampire Diaries Recap

The Vampire Diaries Recap: Life Swap

Friday’s Vampire Diaries was like a Christmas stocking full of everything this show does so well: There was a little romance, lots of action and even some good ol’ fashioned heartbreak. As for the body count, I stopped tallying when I ran out of fingers.

Following their reluctant team-up, Damon and Enzo convinced Rayna to transfer her last remaining life to Bonnie in an attempt to reverse the effects of the Armory’s pills. Rayna was surprisingly open to the idea — like most of us, she just wants a few days to eat cheeseburgers by the sea — under one condition: They had to kill every last vampire that escaped from the Phoenix Stone to allow her a final moment of clarity before biting the big one.

From that point on, it was pretty much an episode of Rayna’s Angels, with two conflicted teams — Alaric was no more eager to work with Stefan than Bonnie was with Damon — hunting down renegade vampires using Rayna’s less-than-consistent clues. And nothing was about to get in their way; Damon didn’t even think twice before killing a just-released Beau, despite Bonnie’s insistence that they keep him alive as a thank-you for saving Caroline.

We also finally learned what’s chillin’ in the Armory’s vault: Alex’s other sister Yvette! She was apparently still inside when Virginia had Lucy Bennett seal it with her magic, and despite Enzo’s assertion that she’s probably dead by now, Alex insisted that “something” has been keeping her alive. (OK, there might be more to this vault that we still don’t know.)

But because we — much like the characters — aren’t quite done living in the past just yet, the episode also featured flashbacks to Bonnie and Enzo’s time in the woods, where their initial spark quickly grew into a (metaphorical) forest fire. There was a romantic New Year’s Eve dinner, a lovely little dance and even a sensual guitar lesson. I’ll admit, I was initially among those who couldn’t wrap their heads around this pairing, but after seeing their romance blossom, I’m ready to co-signing.

On the other end of the romantic spectrum, Caroline and Stefan finally reunited this week… and it was rough. I’m not even sure she acknowledged him; instead, she kissed her fiancé and told him she could put the girls to bed. That’s it. Not even so much as a mention of the handsome, vaguely familiar-looking vampire standing in her doorway.

But can you really blame her? Alaric’s story about how Caroline used to park by the river so she could cry alone was like a gut punch. And even though I see the obvious cracks in their relationship, Stefan did himself no favors by bringing up the fact that they sleep in separate beds. (Side note: The more Alaric distances himself from his former friends, the more I wonder if he’s long for this show. Why would he stick around for Season 8 if he’s living in another town and not talking to any of his undead pals?)

I’m sure you’ve got your own thoughts about this episode, so drop ’em all in a comment below.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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54 Comments
  1. Judy says:

    Has Ian’s acting always been this bad? That stare down with Enzo was just embarrassing lol

    • Karen says:

      Yes, it’s always been eye rollingly bad. For some reason most people can’t see it. I’m sure that was why he was written off Lost so quickly.

    • french5851 says:

      I don’t think so at all… he is more believable then Alaric is when he protests that he doesn’t want his old friends anymore. Although, part of the problem with that is the writers not convincing anyone that Alaric wants to live with a vamp(Caroline) but doesn’t trust vamps? (his old friends)

    • Belle says:

      Guys that is called acting…the character of Damon is complex, and he’s pretty much an enigma. Where you see it as bad acting by Ian, I see it as Ian portraying the character of Damon, and he’s been like that consistently for 7 seasons of playing Damon :) Geez.

      • Pete says:

        I see it as Ian doing a poor job of playing a complex character. He’s all eyebrow gymnastics and every line of dialogue he had is over acted. No nuance, no subtlety, no complexity. The character may be complex but Ian’s portrayal is incredibly one-note.

        • Mac says:

          Ha, ahha. I agree with your analysis @Pete, I’ve always found Ian’s acting lacking. For 7 seasons he’s been about eyebrow and eyeball “gymnastics”. (I’m going to start using this for him from now on btw) The only reason people go ga-ga over him is because of his looks. Damon is far from a complex character, he’s a whiny manchild who throws fits when he doesn’t get his way and has been focused on way too long.

    • EFMB says:

      Exactly! Everything he knows about acting is how to make ironic face and say poorly written jokes. Why do people like him I never understod. Look at Michael’s character, you can really see how he evolved and Michael did that excellent! About Paul we don’t even need to talk how amazing actor he is! And so are Kat and Nina!

    • Jackie says:

      I guess some of you don’t get that Ian is playing a character, one many people love. It is valid to talk about not liking an actor or character just like story lines we like or want changed but if someone hates the lead actor who has millions of fans and is the reason many people have enjoyed the show from the beginning I can only conclude the person really doesn’t get it. Ian himself has made fun of Damon’s crazy eyes since day one and explained his humor and his faces are a cover for pain.

      Damon has shown many faces through the years and Ian has shown great depth in playing all of them believably. But in this episode the writers were clearly asking him to go back to the Damon who has to get a job done even if everyone hates him, which results in his most snarky persona. Which, by the way, is a favorite with many people. You might prefer his serious side – go watch the episode where he helps Sheriff Forbes when she is dying – but for hunting vamps he played Damon the way his fans like him.

      I have seen this actor in other programs play completely different people with no eyebrow raising or funny faces but that isn’t who Damon is. Even in this episode his phone calls to Stefan were completely different than the bravado he put on in front of Bonnie and Enzo. I just don’t see how anyone can watch all seven seasons and not get that Ian is playing Damon just like he always has in these situations.

      • shauna says:

        Ian has played Damon consistently for 7 seasons. In this last episode, he played a believable frustrated Damon (the scene with Bonnie). And he was also quintessential, snarky Damon which is the Damon we see the most. As for Ians acting skills, that is subjective. Is he a Dicaprio, maybe not. But he is the only actor who I think could pull off Damon Salvatore.

      • shauna says:

        Ian has played Damon consistently for 7 seasons. In this last episode, he played a believable4 frustrated Damon (the scene with Bonnie). And he was also quintessential, snarky Damon which is the Damon we see the most. As for Ians acting skills, that is subjective. Is he a Dicaprio, maybe not. But he is the only actor who I think could pull off Damon Salvatore.

    • Ouch…but um I thought I was the only one who felt this way, haha.

      He has his moments but is inconsistent and honestly iffy at best. TBQH, while they are still super fun to watch together, I find Michael Malarkey is really very good and it increasingly highlights Ian’s shortcomings. In acting chops, in appearance… #sorrynotsorry

      But at the end of the day, it’s soap opera. Bad acting is permissible. Great, even good, acting is the pleasant surprise.

  2. K says:

    I’ve missed seeing Steroline on screen so bad! Happy they’re back but Stefan has some work cut out for him if he wants to earn her forgiveness. I’m here for it. ❤️

    • Yuckkkkkk says:

      Have you watched Flowers in the Attic?
      Brother and sister making out.
      Like the creepy Caroline and Stefan.
      Damon and Tyler have more chemistry than Caroline and Stefan.

  3. marydspain says:

    HERE FOR STEROLINE

  4. anny says:

    I loved the Steroline Reunion. It hurt so bad but they said so much with just one look. These 2 are the best <3

  5. Amanda says:

    The Steroline reunion was AMAZING!!! The way they looked at each other and how they could barely speak! It was lit! Plus it looked like the wind was knocked out of Stefan! Can’t wait til the next episodes!

  6. Sleaze says:

    Please keep steroline togetherness. So there wont be a klaroline. They are already killing my girl cami off. To be keep the shippers happy.

    • Stacy says:

      Killing Cami off has nothing to do with Caroline. They’re on 2 different shows with a 3 year difference. It was probably a network decision since most people are apathetic to her character. And if your sole reason for shipping Steroline is for keeping Klaroline apart you’re not a true shipper. I love Klaroline and want them endgame. But I like LP and feel bad for her character and I am not shipping Stelena just because of Klaroline. Thankfully JP has finally aknowledged that Klaroline is a great ship and there is a potential for them together again. Ship who you want but don’t blame the Klaroline fans for Cami’s demise, blame the writers.

    • storys19 says:

      If she dies, I think it would be less about the ship and more about the fact that they haven’t done well with Cami’s storyline since turning her into a vamp. I don’t want to see her go but it does appear as if they are going in that direction. Plus Michael N has made it very clear that he does nothing for any particular ship. In fact, I’d say he’s not a fan of them in general. While I would like the Klaroline stuff to stop, I’d say the same about the shipping overall. Not everyone is bad about it but TVD and TO seem to have some of the most toxic shipping back and forth with fans I’ve come across from any show. Again, not everyone but there is a lot and both shows are so much more than just the relationships. I keep the hope that Cami will some how make it through or get brought back but I don’t know there is much in our favor. And I don’t think the audience in general dislikes her character, I just think a lot of people dislike the lack of real purpose outside of Klaus that she has been lacking. It was much better the first half of season three but again, they messed up with how she has been as a vamp. So much potential…here’s to hope for a good outcome.

  7. Callie says:

    Can Steroline just please work things out? I miss them so much. 💔

  8. ZiaS says:

    Sorry Bamon still have more chemistry than Bonenzo or whatever. Also Damon seemed totally jealous. Also LOVED Stefan being savage, Alaric is being a little too entitled for my liking. The Steroline eye contact at the end gave me all the feels. Cant wait for their confrontation.

    • Amy says:

      Damon is super jealous! For the first time in his life he doesn’t have Bonnie’s undivided attention. And what is worse, someone else has it. It stings in a way he didn’t anticipated. And that’s on top of the fact she’s dying and he’ll never get the chance to win her back, or figure out which are her favorite flowers, her favorite drink or the song she likes.

  9. Pam says:

    I was very doubtful of the Bonnie/Enzo pairing, but I am actually starting to enjoy it. Bonnie deserves someone in her corner. The Steroline moment was awesome. Mostly because she ignored him. I don’t support Ric/Caroline and hopes that she remains single. Love the fact that both Salvatore brothers were seeking redemption.

    • Amy says:

      I think Stefan underestimated the love of the family Alaric has to offer. And Enzo underestimated the way Bonnie and Damon are bound together. Even mad at him, Damon has always been part of Bonnie. Even in love with Stefan, Alaric And the girls will always be part of Caroline.

  10. I’ve missed Stefan and Caroline SO much. I’m so ready to see their scenes in the last three episodes.

  11. TVD FAN says:

    I loved this episode. Well done to Julie and team. I love that all of the main characters are the focus point of the story now. I liked the heretics but is it bad that I’m glad they are gone?

    Yes to the team all working together to save Bonnie

    Yes to Bonnie and Enzo. Bonnie deserves all the love and happiness in the world and it looks like Enzo makes her happy.

    Yes to Bonnie and Damons friendship, I’m glad that Bonnie is not making it easy on Damon ( but also I want to give Damon a hug)

    Yes to Stefan returning for Caroline. The reunion scene was so heart breaking. I’m looking forward to scene with Stefan & Caroline now that Caroline is now no longer pregnant. You can tell that the writers held off on Stefan and Caroline’s ‘romance’ because of the actresses real life pregnancy (understandable as it would have been awkward for the actors) bring on Stefan fighting for Caroline.

    I’m so excited for the next few episodes and for season 8

    Bring it on!

  12. Sharon says:

    Free Caroline. I would rather see a single, happy Caroline then be with either Alaric or Stefan. I’m sorry Stefan is the worst. And can we please get some scenes with Bonnie and Caroline. I remember when Caroline was trying so hard to bring her best friend back from the other side….could she not visit Bonnie in that special cabin?

    • Stacey says:

      Yes! Absolutely how I feel! We need more Caroline and Bonnie and letting Care be single for a while away from Stefan and Alaric!

    • Beth says:

      Yes, I want independent and strong Caroline! The situation with Alaric and the twins is beyond bizarre, and Stefan should go back into the friend zone. I have my fingers crossed that this season will end with an “I choose me”-scenario. Caroline should embrace her immortality again and enjoy the world. I want her to focus on her career and friendship with Bonnie next season.

    • Mac says:

      Yes free both Stefan and Caroline from the most awkward pairing of TVD!

    • THIS so much. I’ve really enjoyed Caroline in the past, and I think the character has taken a turn for the worse since her interest in Stefan has been amplified. It sucks. Let’s chalk it up to mourning for her mother, that it turns out he’s bad for her, whatever. But let’s let it go.

      I would also love to see Bonnie & Caroline reunite in person for some serious bonding and venting time. Let the guys watch the kids? Hopefully that’s coming soon…

      Sigh, episodes of this show may rarely pass the Bechdel test, but at least everyone on the show is pretty hot, amirite? :|

  13. Stacey says:

    I liked this episode a lot. Good scenes between Enzo, Bonnie, and Damin, and I liked the Benzo dynamic but I like Bamon too. Even better there was little Stefan, he has become my least favorite character, plus he was petty this episode. Hope Steroline is over, I miss them as besties, they ruined a beautiful friendship for a subpar romance.

  14. Luli says:

    Finally Caroline is back!! :D I need Caroline and Bonnie scenes.

  15. J says:

    If they have to kill every last vampire who escaped the stone to save Bonnie then wouldn’t that mean they’d have to kill Stefano technically?

  16. Michelle says:

    Really? The bonnie and enzo was so underwhelming like the passion in that one Bamon argument scene completely made me forget about them. But hey you’re into what your into. Still here for a Bamon romance, so obvious Bonenzo is a play on the dynamic Bamon has.

  17. Lea says:

    Bonnie and Enzo were not as vomit inducing as I was expecting. It was actually pretty sweet, but I was waiting for them to mention the fact that she cut off his hand not too long ago. Nevertheless I am still waiting for Bamon. Bonnie needs to reflect on why she is still so angry, and Damon can continue to be jealous of Enzo and Bonnie.

  18. Henry Waller says:

    There needs to be some scenes where Damon flashes back to special times with Elena. He still misses her and that wold be so right for the flashbacks. Been waiting for some to come along on the show.

    • Amy says:

      No Salvatore as jealous of another man as Damon and Stefan have been in this episode could still be missing Elena.

    • bobbysgurl says:

      Can you just settle for Elena being mentioned in just about every episode of the season so far. And, let’s not forget the times her coffin is dragged out.

  19. Jacqueline Case says:

    Love the vamp hunting! It is great the gang is coming back together.

    Idea: they have too many vamps to kill to do it themselves so next week should be a crossover episode with Supernatural. The Winchesters could visit to help take care of the list. (We would have to assume they won’t kill our gang.) Wouldn’t that be fun? I think pairing up Damon and Dean would be hilarious.

    Short of that; please keep teaming up Damon and Bonnie as much as possible!

  20. DarkDefender says:

    I didn’t get it until this episode… But I love Benzo. They are awesome.

  21. TEVA says:

    Love Bonnie and Enzo together! !!!

  22. Lee says:

    I agree with the comments about Ian’s acting. It is indeed one-note. It’s silly and disgusting actually. The head thrown into a trashcan like a basketball, ugh! Really, a bit much. Maybe CW will find a new cast and start over with a new Vampire Diaries that everyone enjoys once again. Maybe a contract for the new hires that says not to date cast-mates would be a good thing to include in their hiring.

  23. Nemo says:

    About Enzo and Bonnie : “….where their initial spark QUICKLY grew into a forest fire.” ???? How was 1,5 years quickly?… and that was just time spent in that cabin because they had sparks even when Lily was around. I just don’t like how they presented development of Bonenzo relationship trough that flashbacks. I think it would be much better and easyer for viewers if they let us see that time like present. I just hope there won’t be another love triangle because repeating same story is not very creative. Just like that one about great friendship ending romanticly. We had all of that and I think that this show devided their fans too much.

    • Andy Swift says:

      Quickly in the span of the episode. I get that time passed, but it was all contained within the hour.

      • Nemo says:

        I get it 😉 ….and that is exactly why they should have stopped with these flashforwards&flashbacks after a while. But you have to admit that their story, when you look at it from the beginning, is very good and beautifull. They got to know each other first and fell in love with time, despite of physical attraction they had.
        P.s. please less pictures of Damon in your headers for TVD 😑😣

        • Cassie says:

          Oh, please no, he will only show sterobore and I’ve had enough pics and scenes of them. How about just using neutral pics please!!

  24. Bobby says:

    We feel so ready to let go of Vampire Diaries. The whole, “3 years from now”. “1.5 years ago”, “present day”, “today”, two weeks from 3 years from now someone has a memory about 5 years ago about having a memory 2 years in the future.

    Are the writers just bored shirtless or what?

    STOP! It’s ridiculous. Tell a linear story and get it over with. Put a stake in Vampire Diaries before you make it SO bad that we have to quit it.

  25. chantall says:

    For a refreshing change everyone is teaming up to save bonnie. At first I found the enzo and bonnie thing really weird but in one episode I’m starting to like them he was spot on when he told bonnie its not you its damon its just who he is, when danced with her touched her, but then damon showed up and I was like hello! Team bamon is back! And was I sensing a little bit of jealousy from damon he was all up in enzos face. I like the fact that bonnie has two guys fighting over her.