It’s a TVD mid-season finale, which means three things: blood, death, and … holiday cheer. It was actually Christmas last night! Not just some random candle celebration with fake snow in the middle of August (actual thing that has happened on TVD).
I can’t say enough good things about this Kai/coven/Jo and twins plotline. It’s just so good. Seriously, one of the best story lines this show has ever done. And the totally crazy thing is? It doesn’t affect ANY of our lead characters. Yep, that’s right. TVD introduced a bunch of new characters, made us fall for them, and then gave them a plotline that took over the entire show. If that isn’t badass, I do not know what is. Very impressed.
For the last time in 2014, let’s recap:
It’s Christmas! (Plus 200 right off the bat; this is about the happiest our show will get tonight. It’s all downhill from here.) Also: This opening scene reminded me of Clooney-era ER.
I like a girl who can go from swoony and doe-eyed to career-winning badass in a hot second. Jo, please stay forever. #RoleModel. Plus 20.
Kai showing up on the stretcher made me actually gasp, and this was before title credits. He’s ba-aaack! Plus 18.
Flashback time. Our cue card, as always: Elena with straight hair. Apparently she and Bonnie had celebrated this holiday in the past with an overwhelming number of marshmellows. Minus 10 because the then-juxtaposition of Bonnie dragging a tree through the empty school parking lot was just cruel.
“Everyone knows Christmas is your favorite time of year.” I thought Miss Mystic Falls was Caroline’s favorite time of the year. Eh, plus 8. I’m feeling generous.
Can we just holler for a second at how amazing this mother-daughter relationship has become? We always say Caroline becoming a vampire was the best thing to ever happen to her, but … it happened to Mama Forbes, too. They have both grown so much! And now look at Sheriff Forbes — roping Stefan in to help hang twinkly lights. That’s like giving her blessing for marriage, P.S. Plus 40.
“The little ones, obviously.” Spoken like a woman in love. Plus 10.
“Not to give you boyfriend lessons or anything …” I would really like all future boyfriends to apply for the “Damon Salvatore Boarding School for Boyfriends.” Stefan can give a guest lecture called “How to Clench Your Jaw and Other Essential Boyfriend Tricks.” Plus 12.
Time for Hot or Not! Tyler wanting to protect his girlfriend, Liv, with whom I am obsessed: hot. Tyler making a plan that puts him in direct opposition to our Scooby gang: also hot. Sorry, but Tyler is sorta right. Everyone else just seems pretty self-serving, and they’re not even the actual ones in mortal danger. Plus 8.
Can we all just agree that Damon should not be the one who hides important mystical artifacts? “Mystical Artifact-Hider” is no longer his job. He is fired. Minus 18.
Bonnie sure knows how to make lemonade out of … wait, wrong metaphor. How about a Christmas tree out of a pile of ashes. Yeah, let’s go with that one. Plus 25 for Bonnie. Bonus points are about all that’s positive in her world these days (always).
Caroline’s dad’s “friend” Stephen needed help “moving a couch.” Uh-huh.
Bonnie and Elena stuffing popcorn into their faces — plus 20.
“Anyone can be friends when they’re hanging Christmas lights.” Ah, Caroline. I respect you for holding your ground here, but still … can you cut the guy a break? He feels bad enough that your MOM got roped into helping you two make up. Truce, please. Minus 20.
And of course Stefan vamped back when Caroline’s mom fainted. Because he’s our hero. Now, forever and always. Plus 30.
Kai is so intense. Seriously, I couldn’t take all the stabbing. Stabbing is not the new biting. Please, enough with the stabbing. Minus 20.
“He’s always been there for you when it mattered.” Caroline is talking about Damon here, but even though she has selective memory (Damon’s never going to outrun his season-two Jeremy neck-snap decision, is he?), she does have a point. The Salvatores would move mountains for the people they love. Plus 15.
“Is this Damon? Why don’t I have your number saved.” I don’t know, maybe because of product placement on this show you guys change phones every couple of weeks and it’s hard to keep track? No points, because I’m currently engaged in my own personal round of hard-to-get with T-Mobile, so I get it.
“I thought you unfriended me …” I’m about to unfriend you, Enzo. Why are you even still here? I don’t understand why Enzo is so obsessed with Stefan? Unless … OH. Minus 18, but then also maybe plus 18.
“Is it just me, or does that look really bad?” I don’t know, Elena, don’t you now live at the hospital doing “rounds” for “premed?” Minus 5.
“Glioblastoma.” This was where my jaw dropped to the floor. Cancer? Not Sheriff Forbes. Not Caroline. She’s been through so much … our girl wonder can only be strong for so long. Minus 200.
“How many people need to die for us to face the fact that vampires also kill people?” Matt is making some excellent points this season. But so was Jeremy. Would he do it to Elena? To Stefan? No one mentioned Damon.
Liv convincing Jo that she could totally beat Kai in the merge was exactly the pick-me-up I needed after the horrible news about Caroline’s mom. I want our gang to fight. I want them to win. I want to keep Liv and Luke. Plus 12.
“We’ve dealt with every kind of evil there is, and we always have a plan.” Even the infallible, the immortal, and the monsters can’t win over human evils. Paul Wesley is acting his heart out in this episode, so I’m giving him plus 8.
Alaric and Damon bro-bonding — plus 30, even if Alaric is still pissed at Damon for compelling him. Remember when Alaric was dead for like three seasons? Weird.
“People are gonna die and it’s gonna be our fault.” —Luke. He learns fast.
“We always have a plan. But this. If Caroline loses her mom …” Can’t they just give her vampire blood? Becoming a vampire is suddenly a big deal now? This cancer thing is intense, but I was having a hard time really believing the stakes. Minus 12.
“Can I ask why we continuously compromise logic for some girl you just met?” No, Pot, YOU’RE black — Kettle. Plus 8, though. I’m not choosy about the scenes these two share.
Kai pulling magic from the town border is smart. I love how we keep waiting for the shred of humanity inside Kai (like we found in Klaus and in Katherine), but there is just … none. He’s pure evil. I love it. What an actual worthy villain. Plus 27.
2009 was a very different time. But wait, I’m confused. Didn’t Elena mention her parents in one of these flashback scenes? Then why was Stefan around, handing out snow globes? No points, but hmmm.
Matt listening to country music while driving a pickup truck. Stop trolling my fantasies, TVD! Plus 22.
Enzo lives to have an irrelevant plot another day. Just really unclear why Matt needs to get all wrapped up in this.
Check it: Kai’s witchy woo-woo has left Mystic Falls ripe for the taking. They can go home now!! Not sure why they would want to, because Mystic Falls is the worst, but hey, misery loves company, so why not all get together and live in one town? Plus 25.
“Come over, I’ll cook you dinner and we can talk about our crappy days.” That is love, and the look on Elena’s face tells me that she knows it. I hope she gets her memories back, but I have a feeling she’ll be just as happy with Damon soon enough even if she doesn’t. Plus 12.
Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson’s “Winter Song” playing in the background of Stefan telling Caroline about her mom is just breaking me. Plus 10 for the music director, Chris Mollere, who must have been keeping this song in his back pocket for the last six years, waiting for this moment.
Vampire blood doesn’t cure cancer, but they could still make Sheriff Forbes a vampire, right? Those are different things. I don’t know, just seems like a decent alternative to dying, but what do I know, I’m mostly here for the 22-year-old psychopath.
Caroline and Stefan hugging when she accepts her mom is dying is the saddest thing. You know what is even sadder, though? Gifting her dying mom that crappy snow globe. Minus 20.
“Don’t die again, those fenders were a real bitch to find.”
The light in the storm is that, at long last, the brothers Salvatore are (dare I even speak the words?) happy. At peace. They love each other, and they both love their own girl. Plus 20.
That happiness was short-lived, of course — just as Elena walked up to see Damon and the door opened … Kai cast a cloaking spell over her. And then proceeded to kidnap her. Say what you want about Kai but he got the memo: When in doubt, kidnap Elena, because everyone is definitely willing to die for her, even if she has approximately zero to do with this particular plot. Plus 50.
Well, we won’t know what Kai’s plans for Elena are until January 22, which means he’s sticking around for the second half of the year — I’m so glad. Here’s wishing you all have a happy, healthy, and binge-filled holiday season! See you back here in the New Year. And in the meantime: @RebeccaASerle