The Vampire Diaries “I Could Never Love Like That” Review (Season 6 Episode 18)

I Never Could Love Like That

In the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” back from a near month-long extended hiatus for March Madness and hot off the revelation that this would indeed be star Nina Dobrev’s final season, Damon rushed to resolve the whole Stefan and Caroline situation, with a little help from his recently retrieved mother, Lily (Annie Wersching), in “I Could Never Love Like That.” We began with Stefan and Caroline tormenting, maiming and outright killing any number of people, for the most part in and around the Whitmore campus.

Hilariously, they’ve made a bet, the result of which is that they have to head next to a karaoke bar so that Caroline can belt out some of her favorite tunes. Even when she’s evil, Caroline can’t help but be Caroline in some ways, I guess. Faster than you can sing “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” Caroline is busting out her best Pat Benatar, while Stefan kills some attendees and compels others to listen. I think it’s safe to say I would have gone with option B- there are worse things in the world than listening to Candice Accola sing, and death would definitely be one of them.

Alas, Tyler and Matt arrive to put some salt in the terrifying twosome’s game, but perhaps needless to say, things don’t exactly go their way, and they end up in a coin flip toss between the two to determine which dies at whose hand. However, before that can happen, Tyler challenges her, and Caroline tells him to, um, hit her with his best shot. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) Ducking out of the way when he springs at her with a stake, he makes the mistake of mistaking Matt instead. Whoops!

Before things can get any hairier, Damon arrives, mother in tow, stopping Stefan dead in his tracks. Caroline, upon being told who it is, realizes where this is headed and stakes Stefan before bolting out of there. Using a pre-prepared speech given to her by Damon, after she admits to having no real feelings for anyone anymore in her state- including her own sons- she does indeed manage to lull Stefan out of his Ripper state.

While she might have been fed the spiel, it’s not all hokum, as Lily admits that the Ripper gene comes straight from her and she blames herself for that. It works and Stefan becomes himself again. Shortly thereafter, Damon sends him after Caroline and Tyler rushes to the hospital with Matt. Once there, he refuses Elena’s help via her vampire blood, having had quite enough vampire assists for a lifetime, even from so-called “good” ones. That’s pretty bad when you’d rather have a big hole in your chest than be healed! I think Matt’s clearly reached his breaking point with all this vampire nonsense, and who can blame him?

Throughout the episode, Elena expresses reservations about her own vampire state, and yet Damon can’t quite bring himself to tell her about his possession of the cure, knowing that it will likely cost him her in the process. How much you want to bet, in light of Dobrev’s news of her exit, she’s going to end up with that cure eventually? Now that’s a bet I would take. Anyway, speaking of vampire burnout, who can blame Dobrev from suffering from it a bit herself?

After all, at this point, she’s been a human and an evil vampire doppelganger, another doppelganger and a vampire version of her main character. I’m not sure what more there’s left for her to do at this point, much less the show itself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on the show, but when your leading lady bails, that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Not to mention, it’s a rare feat for a show to survive such a thing as losing a lead character. “NYPD Blue” and “CSI” managed it, but I can’t think of any others off the top of my head, and those are crime procedurals, so it’s hardly the same thing. (I’m not counting shows like “Lost” or “The Walking Dead,” where there’s like a hundred characters, and besides, most of those shows didn’t really kill leads off- yet. “Game of Thrones,” on the other hand…)

Beyond that, we had a series of flashbacks involving Lily’s past, as it related to Enzo, who, as it turns out, was on that fateful ship with Lily that she was captured shortly after leaving. Meeting Lily as she boarded, and being refused admission at first because he was clearly suffering from consumption and they were already filled to the brim with such sufferers, Lily did the compulsion thing on his behalf and got him onboard. Unfortunately, the doctor onboard was a quack and lied about having a cure, and was only bilking ailing people for cash.

Lily opted to take care of that, giving Enzo- then Lorenzo- her blood and then proceeding to slaughter most everyone on the ship. With one exception- the doctor, who she had slit his own throat, to ensure that Enzo fed and completed his transition. Who says Lily was heartless? After Enzo ran into her at Damon’s, intending to drop off Sarah, he bolted before she recognized him and tried to compel Sarah to forget everything. However, Sarah had managed to inject herself with vervain, rendering her immune to compulsion. She then injected him with something and tied him up, questioning him about who she really was and what was really going on.

Already aware about what he got up to with Matt (hitting him with a car so that he could “revive” him in front of Sarah), she asks what he really wants of her. Enzo admits he planned to make her a vampire like himself, as revenge against Stefan, but was foiled when Stefan went “bad.” So, given that, he had planned to compel her to forget it all, but she refuses. She says she wants to remember, so that she can know better than to have anything to do with the Salvatores. That works for Enzo, so he doesn’t and lets her go, even though by then he’s gotten the vervain out of his system and has escaped.

We also learn that Lily was put into a sanatorium by her own husband, and went crazy, before she was later turned into a vampire. Fearing that she’d kill her own children if she returned, Lily admitted that she had no intention to come get them, and had instead flipped off her emotions and gone into Ripper mode, killing her way across the world until her capture by the Gemini Coven. Though Damon had originally no plans to give her the Ascendant, he has second thoughts after spending time with her, and ends up giving it to her after all, so that she can go and revive her friends.

Unfortunately, as Jo informs Elena later on at the hospital- after breaking the joyous news about her pregnancy by Alaric, that is, much to Elena’s excitement- this was a dire mistake. It turns out that Lily’s pals are so-called Heretics, aka part vampire/part witch, which makes them even worse than Kai. Now, thanks to Damon’s misstep, there’s about to be the equivalent of six vampire/witch combos on the scene, plus their mother, who by her own admission, is completely and utterly lacking in empathy and feeling, even for her sons. Well, that can’t be good, right?

While part of me hates that the Stefan situation was resolved so quickly, I suppose we’ve been down that road already before, so I suppose that Caroline escaping while still in evil mode is a decent enough outcome. Factor in the newly-minted vamp/witches and the future still looks reasonably dark. My only fear is that the newcomers will end up being a thinly-veiled attempt to resurrect the fun of the Originals which will fall flat. Still, you never know, so I’m willing to give the show the benefit of the doubt. Besides, it can’t be any worse than Kai, right?

All in all, a decent episode for the first one back, with enough promise to hope for the future, which is something, in light of the distressing news that Nina Dobrev is bailing. Whether the show should have quit while it was ahead remains to be seen, but we shall see. I guess the real test will be what happens next season, obviously. Until then, I’m good with the current set-up thus far, though the jury remains out until we meet these new enemies. Here’s hoping they’re formidable in the mold of the Originals, but if not, at least reasonably as engaging. I can live with that.

What did you think of the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries”? Were you surprised by Lily’s back-story? Is she as bad as she thinks she is? Will she return to her Ripper ways? How about Enzo’s back-story? What will he do now, without a vengeance plan? Will he and Lily cross paths again? Do you think Sarah will be back, or will she stay out of it, like she said? What will happen when Stefan catches up to Caroline? Are you surprised Damon hasn’t told Elena about the cure as of yet? Do you think he will give it to her sooner than later? How do you think the show will write Dobrev off of it? Will you miss her? Sound off below, and see you next week!