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TV Review: The Vampire Diaries 7.5 “Live Through This”
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The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 5 Cover

The Vampire Diaries
Season 7 Episode 5: “Live Through This”
Directed by Kellie Cyrus
Written by Rebecca Sonnenshine
Created by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec
Starring Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham, Candice Accola King, Zack Roerig, Matthew Davis, Michael Malarkey, Annie Wersching, Elizabeth Blackmore, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Todd Lasance, Tim Kang
The CW
Air Date: Thursday, November 5, 2015, 8pm

Hi friends. I, like many of you, have finally settled down for the evening and curled myself on the couch with a nice glass of wine to watch my weekly indulgence, The Vampire Diaries. Sweet relief. Forget about your day, your responsibilities, your stresses, and enter the world of Mystic Falls.

As always, SPOILERS AHEAD for The Vampire Diaries 7.5: “Live Through This”

Three years from now, we see Bonnie (Kat Graham) in a support group within a rehab facility. We aren’t told what put her in there, but I am willing to bet it’s alcohol. They’ve been setting that up ever since she was alone in the prison world. She definitely has a drinking problem. She reveals the theme of the episode when she says to her group leader, “I’ve been thinking about the past and how one stupid decision can” ruin your life, and then, “I made a mistake and lost someone I loved and I would do anything to take it back, but I can’t. All I can do is try and find a way to live with it.” Who did she lose?! Did she lose them to death, or perhaps they just lost their soul? Damon does seem pretty evil in the future.

Skipping right to the end of the episode (SORRY, OKAY?!), when Damon (Ian Somerhalder) finds out from Valerie (Elizabeth Blackmore) that it was Lily’s (Annie Wersching) idea to cast the spell that put Elena (Nina Dobrev) in her comatose state, he almost loses it. He tells Stefan (Paul Wesley) he’s fine, but shows his notorious crazy eyes and sneer. More importantly, Bonnie shares a drink with him and tells him he’s “doing right by Elena” to go after Lily. This is my best guess: Bonnie made the decision to encourage Damon down the winding path of revenge and it ruins him.

Did I mention that Enzo (Michael Malarkey) and Bonnie make out in the future?! YES! Now that’s an idea I can get behind! Back in the present day, Enzo and Bonnie verbally spar (it’s more of a witty banter) in the Salvatore house, get chased and trapped by a rabid Oscar (Tim Kang), and fight over the Phoenix Stone. When Enzo finds out it could bring back Julian, he still wants it, and is able to procure it when Bonnie drops it and Oscar stupidly jumps after it, getting himself staked (to death). The biggest things I take from this interaction are: 1. We find out Julian is going to be brought back today. 2. Enzo says that his Heretic friends have “tracked him [Julian] down with some sort of heretic malarkey,” which is OBVIOUSLY a nod to Michael Malarkey’s real name, which is just FUNNY wordplay, and I’m a dork for liking it so much, and 3. Bonnie tells Enzo he deserves better than hoping to “pick up the scraps” from Lily and they look at each other intriguingly. MEOW. Meowmeowmeow. Amirite?!

When we first see Jo (Jodi Lyn O’Keefe) in this episode, she is sleeping peacefully and Alaric (Matthew Davis) is watching. Overly cutesie, lovey, calming acoustic guitar music is playing as Alaric and Bonnie chat (it’s Alaric who hands over the Phoenix Stone to Bonnie originally because he has gotten all his heart desires). Jo wakes up with no memory and Alaric very gently tries to remind her of who she is. It isn’t until the topic of how she died is broached that she starts to get irritated and runs away. Long story short, Valerie tells Damon who tells Bonnie who tells Enzo and Alaric, respectively, that the Phoenix Stone has very specific souls in it, and both Oscar and Jo were not brought back as Oscar and Jo, but with the souls of random vampires. How do they come up with this stuff?! In the end, Ric tells Jo she’s not his wife, to which she agrees, but he says she’s not alone and he will help her figure everything out. What a creepy storyline. Alaric is 100 percent going to fall in love with a different person in his wife’s resurrected body.

Caroline (Candice Accola King) and Stefan are introduced to the episode with the same lovey-dovey music as they are seen cuddling in bed in Caroline’s dorm room. Damon barges in and makes a reference to the “ridiculously small bed,” which is a statement to which I think everyone who has ever lived in a college dorm can relate. I LOLed a little inside. Love that guy. Vampire Diaries does a nice job of juxtaposing absolutely insane, ridiculous urban fantasy horror storylines with completely relatable teenage/college life themes. I love it.

Now down to the real stuff. Damon and Stefan stop Valerie as she is on her way to destroy Julian’s (Todd Lasance) perfectly preserved body. She and Stefan exchange a meaningful gaze when they first see each other. On a very awkward road trip thanks to Damon (who mentions there is a “no hanky panky” rule loudly when Stefan talks to Caroline on the phone), Valerie avoids discussing what really happened between Julian and her. She does tell them Julian once went through killing a whole coastline of people on Christmas Day in 1897, but that’s just NOT ENOUGH to convince them she’s not just killing for sport. Or is it? Because they go with her anyway. When Valerie tries to light Julian’s body on fire, it doesn’t work, and the annoying little catty vamp girlfriends, Nora and Mary Louise, show up. Lily is enraged that Valerie would try to kill the love of her life! Lily explodes a bunch of coffins on Damon, Stefan, and Valerie, who are now chock full of splinters.

I honestly worried this would be another episode in which Valerie takes f-o-r-e-v-e-r to tell the truth to Stefan, and although it took until the end of the episode, it was so fast paced with such an interesting storyline, that it worked well in building anticipation for the final reveal. When Valerie does tell Stefan everything (as he carefully removes the wooden shards out of her body), he is visibly upset. After finding out he could have had a child he asks about Julian, “What did he do to you?” to which she responds, “He made sure it [the baby] wasn’t a problem.” Valerie almost starts to ask and Stefan interrupts by admitting that, yes, of course, he would have wanted a child. For the first time, it seems the life he could have had with a child flashes before his eyes, but one action by one person changed it all. Back at Stefan’s place, he vows that if Lily brings Julian back, Stefan will kill him himself.

“It’s funny how one event can change the outcome of your entire life,” Valerie says poignantly. In this moment, even with all of the evil she has done, we as humans relate to Valerie in one way or another. All of us have had one event, whether caused by us or something that is completely out of our control, that has changed our lives. It has changed the way we think, the way we react, how we approach relationships, and how we live our daily lives. Valerie, get better. We’re here for you. Suddenly, I’m team Vefan. Stalerie? Stal? And I ruined the moment.

At this point, Enzo has given the Phoenix Stone to Lily because he is not vindictive or manipulative (amazingly) and I believe he wants her to make the choice herself. The only thing he is guilty of is naivety that he even had a chance with her. Along with her “children,” Lily resurrects Julian, but only because Damon wanted her to. As he explains to Bonnie, he wants Lily to experience true happiness so he can snatch it all away from her and make her feel what he felt when he lost Elena. Lots of healthy family and friend relationships going on here, TVD friends!

That’s all for this week. I’m signing off! I hope you enjoyed my ramblings of the week!

The Vampire Diaries | Live Through This Trailer | The CW

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