You won’t get any dancing in Mystic Falls. It’s illegal! Okay, fine, no more dances in Mystic Falls, at least under the new reign of Mayor Rudy. A great ’80s-themed episode, A View to a Kill played to all the strengths of this series: it was fun and funny, scary and violent (I was legitimately concerned about Jer’s arms), full of excellent reusable turns of phrases (e.g., revenge sex handbook, villain bonding time, dysfunctional bickering lunatics…), and yet able to pull a punch emotionally.
The out-there supernatural and heightened situations were particularly well balanced by relatable moments. From the (perfectly soundtracked) Stefan sneak-out the morning after to the boys glued to their video game and the sink full of dirty dishes, to the actual parenting crackdown on Bonnie (parents! parenting! in Mystic Falls!), A View to a Kill was my favorite blend of TVD realness among the insane OTT scenarios.
Bonnie’s dad is taking an entirely different tack from event-happy Carol Lockwood: putting vervain in the water, sizzling the town’s vampires without warning, instituting a curfew, and cutting out extraneous fun. It’s like he has noticed that vampires love to pounce at a town-wide event. As hilarious as it was when Bonnie tried to argue that she was doing a great job of protecting the town (I mean, she tries but…), the conflict between her and her suddenly always-there father — not to mention her AWOL vampire mother popping back in town for a family meeting — felt like a proper teenage moment, despite the fact that the traditional “acting out” problem wasn’t the usual things but incredibly powerful, potentially earth-ending witchcraft.
While Bonnie’s parents worked together to control their daughter, over at the Gilbert household it was time for the Gilbert siblings to work as a team. That home was the only safe place for Jeremy and then that haven became a place of violence and then a prison for Klaus was an interesting twist. Elena and Jer work together to defend their house, their future, their family and the success of their plan is thanks to how they fight side by side, each willing to die for the other. But the greatest weakness of the plan is that same strength reflected in the Original siblings. As Stefan says to Elena on the phone, the Originals may bicker and dagger, but they are family forever and always, and by killing Kol the comfortable alliance they’ve had with Klaus comes to an impasse. Though Elena argues that they had to kill Kol, they all know it’s baloney and the wrath of Klaus is mighty. And I could not be more excited for a turn in this dynamic: RIP Kol and all (may you live on in flashbacks and spinoff flashbacks!), but the irrevocable action should have lasting consequences for the Gilberts, their allies, and the Originals. So exciting.
And how does it tie into the villain heart-to-heart between Klaus and Damon? Do bad things for good reasons, says expert Damon, if you want a chance at forgiveness. Is there honor in revenging one’s sibling? Certainly Mr. Honorable Himself, Elijah, thought so back in the end of season 2 days, when he plotted to kill Klaus. (What will Elijah think of Kol’s death? Eep!) In that wonderful scene between Damon and Klaus and in seeing his brother murdered, Joseph Morgan gives us that perfect moment of connection with Klaus — he’s still formidable and fearsome but, man, do we ever feel for the guy.
And add Rebekah to the list of Originals that just make ya feel for them. As a longtime Rebekah fan, this felt a nice payoff for her character. It’s like she’s owning her healthy skepticism and instead of being duped and daggered, she’s in charge. She knows what Stefan will do, but it turns out she also knows the way to not be betrayed by Stefan. She’s honest. I loved how straightforward she was about their hookup (and the potential for more), she calls him on his would-be trickier, and finally just opens up with him in the end. Her burning desire to go to a high school dance is not about boredom, it’s about getting what she most earnestly wishes for: the experiences the average 17-year-old girl takes for granted. The opportunity to make and keep friends, to love and be loved, to have fun, to grow up and have a family. And Stefan can’t full-on betray her; she doesn’t “deserve” to be daggered any more than one of the rest of them deserve that kind of treatment. Stefan can relate to Rebekah, and it seems like he’s having legit fun with her. Maybe it’s weird to be proud of a fictional character, but heck I was proud of Stefan for not betraying Rebekah and instead understanding that they have a lot more in common than visible at first blush.
Compelling moment: Jeremy’s Hulk-out. Amazing. Hilarious. The Best. Arms.
The Rules: Abby busts out the witch powder we saw last season, but it’s less effective against Super Expression Bonnie. Bonnie traps Klaus inside the house using a cool insta-version of the spell we saw in Masquerade. The hunter’s mark becomes visible to all once it’s complete.
Other thoughts & questions before Into the Wild (EP413):
- Let’s just all picture Stefan — alone — practicing the Breakfast Club slide. Or watching Say Anything. Or doing tequila shots with Bon Jovi and Lexi. Fan fiction writers, are you on this??
- Klaus mentions that Kol has stolen his daggers. With Kol R.I.P., where will these daggers ends up? Back in Klaus’s possession?
- What sort of revenge will Klaus take on the Gilbert kids?
- Map to the cure complete! Who’s excited to see where this leads us? (Me!)
What do you think of A View to a Kill?
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