This is one busy return from the winter hiatus. I suppose it has to be, so that we can set things up for the last arc of the season. We’re still involved in reconnecting the flash-forward to the status quo, except now we’re “today” and “three years ago,” so we’ve finally caught enough up to begin flashing back. We’re still missing some steps along the way, though, as for example why Matt is the one who set Rayna free from the Armory compound, and why he hates Stefan more than ever. All this jumping around is flashy and complicated, but is it leading anywhere? Certainly not for Alaric, Bonnie and Caroline, only the latter of whom makes even a vocal appearance, literally phoning in a question to Damon. Enzo may have stashed Bonnie somewhere safe away from the prying Armory, and he also finds a way to question Matt and help Nora, whose lover Mary Louise has been experimented on nearly fatally by the Armory. For years. The missing three years has been a convoluted way of getting all our characters to different places, but how changeable are these immortal monsters, anyway? Nora and Mary Louise are still selfish and miserable, Damon is still reckless and unreliable, and Stefan is still fleeing for his life. Though apparently he and Valerie have gotten close in this forced flight, expending a lot of down time in locales around the world, including the Philippines. The beach setting of that sequence is particularly unconvincing, and never seems to go anywhere, other than for the two vamps to have a kind of sequel to their flirtation begun two centuries before. I don’t dislike Valerie in this sequence, even when Damon forces her to admit she could have switched Stefan’s mark with him at any point, saving him from Rayna’s immediate pursuit. But neither she nor Damon come off looking very good, as he also resists taking the mark until the last minute. Which is a minute too late, because Rayna finds Stefan at last, and skewers him with the Phoenix sword (which steals vampire souls). Haven’t we already done this? Did he not learn well enough that he has to let Damon go in order to free himself? Did Damon learn anything about the deaths he caused? The mythology of the stone remains murky, which is unfortunate, as it keeps driving the plot in so many unclear ways. Seems like next week we’re not going to spend a long time exploring his hell visions, as Stefan is quickly up and around, albeit with the wrong soul. That must have something to do with Nora and Mary destroying the sword, which they steal from Rayna, using the Gemini Witch stealth vanishing tricks. It’s unclear how exactly, but they destroy it and themselves in a fiery car accident, that almost works as semi-tragic, since Nora at least became marginally likable that time last month she didn’t kill Bonnie, right? When Enzo is your most focused and energized character, things have gone deeply off track. So far this season, we’ve lost Lily (who went from hating her sons to loving them when she realized she was an abused wife at the last minute), Beau and Julian and Oskar (mixed bag there), almost Tyler and Bonnie, and even unkillable Rayna seems confused. Spending so long pursuing Stefan has made her like him, since they’re psychically bonded now (last minute information there), but she still has to kill him because of the whole sword compulsion thing, which she did to him and initially agreed to because she hated vamps so much. Except now some are marginally cool (to be honest, this is Stefan’s usual survival affect, no one can resist) after all? I don’t know if you can have a Big Bad who doesn’t even know what she wants. So, I guess that means Damon is actually the Big Bad at last? At least seen from Valerie’s point of view, he always wants to have his cake and eat it too. The Vampire Diaries 7.16 “Days of Future Past”Shawn's Rating2.5Overall 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.