You know what probably sucks the most about being a vampire? It’s not having to drink blood, or never seeing the sun again. It’s all the magical spells and curses you inevitably get caught up in. Stefan found himself pulled into the Phoenix Stone Sword yet again last week, and this week wakes up in a body not his own. How’d he get there? Mostly, witches. Now, witches are important to this show, and less offensive since they have decided to diversify from only being black women. The Civil War/slavery era focus that gave birth to Damon and Stefan can be a little too heavy for the fanciful hijinks of this melodrama. But now the witches have gotten as convoluted and twisty as the vampires. We don’t just have Bennet witches, we have Gemini witches. Who hail from the West Coast and who are prone to sneaky vanishing spells. And we don’t only have Gemini witches, we have Heretic Witches, who are kind of their mutant offspring who have no magic of their own but can absorb it from other places, and are kind of really really mad about the trouble that takes. And it gets even worse when they get killed and rise again as Vampire Witch Heretics. Which is what Lily’s chosen family was, that almost included Enzo (though not a witch, as was neither Lily), before Rayna killed Beau, and Stefan and Valerie killed Julian, and Valerie killed Oskar, and last week Nora and Mary Louise killed themselves. By blowing up the Phoenix Sword and Stone. Which Rayna had foolishly thrown at them in a moving car. They were able to take its magic and supercharge it into a big final boom, which ended up freeing all the souls trapped within it. Great news for Stefan, who didn’t spend very long in a hell dimension. Not so great for everyone else, because all these evil souls fled to the nearest dead bodies, which means Stefan’s body is reanimated by a serial killer, and our erstwhile heroes (and Rayna) now have a quest to go kill a long list of potential villains whenever an adventure might be required. Poor Stefan, because he ends up in the body of an alcoholic bus driver, after the horrific crash that killed him. Which results in a Stefan surviving in a wintry woods story that slows down enough to really make him suffer (mostly by starvation and freezing, but also self-injury and withdrawal) every step of the way. It’s good to spend time with Stefan in this crucible, because he can seem all too powerful and detached from other’s pain and suffering at times. He’s completely humbled by human frailty here, and guess who saves him? That’s right, Damon, driving through the snow in the woods to find his missing brother, even though the show has spent all season telling us what a burden Damon is to his little sibling. Which might have made sense a few seasons ago, but Damon has become the ipso facto den father to their crew of humans with benefits, protecting and saving at least as often as he endangers and destroys. He’s not the brooder his brother is, moving from joy to anger without Stefan’s usual stop at depression in between. With Elena gone, they need each other more than ever. The reason they survived over a century in order to meet her was because of each other, no matter the many epic fights, breaks, flights, disagreements and betrayals they may have experienced. They always come back to each other. Stefan should know that. Valerie doesn’t have to, because she’s jealous. Bonnie knows it, but thinks she matters to Damon, too. Which she does. Caroline has plenty of reasons to hate Damon all on her lonesome, but sadly her affair with Stefan never really took off. Hopefully the show we’ll figure out the real dynamic at play as well, and stop heading in the wrong direction. Because the filial affection that leads Damon like a beacon to his real brother, and enables him to see through the imposter using his body, is part of the mythos. And it makes this episode much more poignant than any in weeks. Stefan trying to escape from big brother is making me lose sympathy for him, maybe not as much as brooding Matt, who’s in mourning for a death he blames on Stefan. Yep, apparently Stefan killed Penny. That bastard! The Vampire Dairies 7.17 “I Went to the Woods”Shawn's Rating3.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.