The Vampire Diaries “Because” Review (Season 6 Episode 19)

Because

On the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” with Stefan fully out of Ripper mode, it was time for the crew to focus their efforts on Caroline, but that would prove easier said than done, in “Because.” So, Stefan concocted a plan whereby he would pretend that that Lily’s influence had failed to turn off his humanity switch, on account of her being a not very loving mother. Then Damon would come along and tranquilize the two of them, lock them in their room and starve them until Caroline cracked and also turned on her respective humanity switch, with a little not-so-subtle prodding from all concerned. Though the gambit ultimately worked in the end, it certainly took some doing.

For one thing, it was fairly obvious it was a set-up, which would have been fine, but then everyone made the mistake of focusing their efforts on Caroline to the extent that she couldn’t help but notice it. To make matters worse, Elena’s “trump card”- aka a note from Liz’s mother that she had delivered to Caroline posthumously, was summarily burned at her behest- though Caroline would come to regret that big-time later on. Then Caroline eventually realized that Stefan was faking being in Ripper mode himself, and that didn’t exactly help matters, either.

Indeed, she finally figured it out when Stefan kept spurning her advances, at which juncture she promptly snapped his neck and seemingly successfully attempted an escape. However, this proved to be a nightmare, only becoming obvious when Caroline was pulled over by a cop as she fled the scene- a cop who turned out to be her late mother, Liz.

Realizing it was a trick by Stefan, she snapped out of it and stabbed Stefan, for real this time. But Stefan persists, and gives her a vision of his last major interaction with Liz, as he admitted he had feelings for Caroline to her, but felt it wasn’t quite the right time to act on them. Faced with a real-life vision of her mother, Caroline finally cracked, and down came the tears as her humanity flooded back in.

Needless to say, Caroline was more than a little overwhelmed by what she felt, between feeling the full weight of her mother’s loss and the fallout of her own actions and the people she’d hurt or killed while in Ripper mode. In the end, confronted with what she had done and devastated that she’d destroyed the last interaction she and her mother ever would have had, she told Stefan they were basically done, more or less, if only for the time being. Maybe the time would come where they could be together, but that time wasn’t coming anytime soon. Sorry, Stepholine ‘shippers! Better luck next time, assuming there is one…

As all this was going on, Damon was likewise struggling with his own feelings for Elena. Not so much whether he loved her than whether he loved her enough to let her go, at least in a sense. Plying her with various questions about what she would do with her life if she were human and whether they would even be together and so forth, Damon wasn’t exactly getting the encouragement he wanted, in order to feel comfortable going ahead and giving Elena the vampire cure Bonnie had presented him, even if he still had possession of it.

Meanwhile, Lily was holding the cure hostage, saying that if Damon didn’t deliver the Ascendant as he promised, she wouldn’t give it back, and the question would be moot anyway. (Raise your hand if you were confused by the last episode, where it seemed as if Damon had already delivered on that promise and given the Ascendant to her- I could have sworn the episode ended with her back in the prison world, getting ready to bring her witchpire buddies home, but I guess that was a dream sequence or something.)

So, in order to get the cure back, Damon had to get the Ascendant back from a not-exactly-cooperative Bonnie, who had no desire to bring Kai back, much less the so-called “heretic” bunch. In the end, ironically enough, both of the women called Damon’s bluff, with Bonnie pointing out that, if Damon had really wanted to give Elena the cure, he would have done it already; and Lily realizing that the real punishment to Damon if he didn’t deliver the goods wouldn’t be to refuse him the cure, but to go ahead and give it to Elena, which is what she ended up doing.

In the end, Elena confronted Damon about it and he admitted he’d kept the cure from her because he was scared of what might happen if she took it. Surprisingly understanding, she first suggested they simply give it to someone else, and then Damon asked her what if they both took it? I did always wonder if it was enough for more than one person. I guess we’ll find out next week, assuming they do indeed both take it. Either way, this was the best possible outcome, as it ended up keeping the Ascendant away from Lily and led to a very necessary conversation between Elena and Damon.

Lily, in turn, had to come to terms with her predicament and the sort of person she really was, which was driven home by an incident that took place after all this drama, when she, grief-stricken that she wouldn’t be able to reunite with her friends after all, was nearly run down by a motorist. She then proceeded to break down crying in relief, only to end up attacking and killing the driver, much to her own horror.

She then turned to Enzo, with whom she’d earlier shared the story of what really happened to her on the ship they’d met on, when she first turned him into a vampire- she’d been cornered by the Gemini Coven and cast out into the prison world along with her friends, rather than abandoning him. It seems the car incident might have caused her to flip her own humanity switch, leaving her likewise horrified with her own not-so-illustrious past. Does this mean she’ll abandon her plan to retrieve the heretics? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

That was about it for this episode, but it was pretty solid one, if admittedly more than a little bit of a transitional episode overall. Still, Caroline’s cured, and that’s good, and so might be Lily, which is also good, if it proves to be the case. Damon and Elena had a much-needed discussion on their future, and Bonnie stood up for herself, finally. All notable developments, but also fairly expository. The real drama will begin next week, as we head into the final episodes of the season.

So, what did you think of the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries”? Are you happy with the resolution of the Caroline situation? Or should they have kept it up at least a little longer? How about the scenario with Lily? Will she abandon her quest to bring back her friends? If she does bring them back, what will happen next? Will Bonnie continue to put a stop to it before it begins? Are Damon and Elena doomed, or will they both end up taking the cure? Sound off below and let me know what you think!