The Vampire Diaries “Kill ‘Em All” Review (Season 7 Episode 20)

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On the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” the gang divided into various groups to help hunt down the many vampires on Rayna’s ongoing list, as Alex and the Armory closed in on Bonnie to aid them in opening the vault that Alex was convinced held her sister, Yvette, in the aptly-titled “Kill ‘Em All.” (Cue the Metallica flashbacks…)

So, the first question on most fan’s minds going into this was, of course, would Benzo still be a thing by the end of this episode? Sadly, if not unexpectedly, such was indeed the case. I’ve discussed this at length elsewhere- see the article here, in case you missed it- so I won’t go into detail in this review, but my loyal readers know where I stand on this one already.

That said, if they had intended to render Enzo as impotent as possible over the course of a couple of episodes, mission accomplished. I mean, seriously, did he even kill a single vampire in this episode, or the last one, for that matter? Yes, I know a lot of vamp killing was going down off-screen, but they couldn’t have shown him kill even one freaking vampire?

Instead, all he did was whine about Bonnie and how Damon was getting a little carried away with his overkill of the vamps in question. Um, how about you address your under-kill before you cast any stones, bro?

Seriously, are the writers trying to transform Enzo into a total wet blanket now? Because if so, you’re well on your way towards being pretty convincing in that goal. At least when he was a raging douche-bag he was somewhat interesting.

All the while, Damon is only proving us Bamon supporters right as he does the hard stuff, even at the risk of turning Bonnie completely against him. “I can live with Bonnie hating me, just as long as she lives.” Indeed.

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Hell, at one point he actually sends Enzo home because he was proving so useless, and even that was just so Bonnie wouldn’t die alone if they all failed in their mission to finish off Rayna’s list. Even while he sends another man off to spend time with his female bestie, he’s still being chivalrous. That says a lot about a guy who still thinks of himself as inherently selfish.

What’s more, at one point Bonnie finally forgives Damon for leaving her and he actually turns down her forgiveness! The reason being, he knows her all too well and knows the sound of Bonnie falling back into bad, self-destructive habits yet again. This isn’t a girl fighting to survive, this is a girl saying her goodbyes because she’s convinced she’s doomed.

And who can blame her? Like Damon says, hasn’t she died three times at this point? But take a wild guess who almost always ends up saving her ass over the years, be it from danger or even literally death itself? Yep, you guessed it.

It’s really all the proof you need for Bamon to happen, and it’s like the writers are just glossing over the fact, even as they make a case for it unintentionally- and I do think it’s unintentional, sadly. How else to explain them making Damon look like the picture of a great friend, while all but neutering the man that’s she’s supposed to be in love with? You gotta wonder.

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Other stuff that happened: Bonnie visited Virginia at the institution again, this time to get a more coherent idea of what was going on in that vault Alex was so desperate for her to open. Virginia tells her how, way back in 1882, her own grandfather first opened the vault, only to get possessed by evil spirits or something, causing him to lose all compassion and empathy and kill everyone in sight.

Virginia points out the obvious: if Yvette is even alive, Lord knows what shape she’s in after being trapped down there for four years straight. As such, Virginia makes Bonnie promise her that she won’t help Alex open that vault, and Bonnie does just that- and what’s more, keeps that promise in the end.

Stefan was forced to team up with Matt, which neither one were too happy about, as Matt is still convinced Stefan killed Penny and is lying to him about it through his teeth- with good reason, as it turns out. Matt finally gets his flashback, as we see him planning to propose to Penny, just after he gets a promotion as Sergeant and her intercepting him and accepting before he even had the chance.

Is it bad that I bought this relationship more over the course of this single scene than I did the whole Benzo thing over the course of an entire episode and some change? I think so. Too bad it didn’t last, as Zach Roerig and Ana Nogueira have chemistry for days, at least in this one scene.

Matt says he’s told that Penny died in a car accident, but he has evidence that proves otherwise. It seems that his police camera not only caught him and Stefan talking on camera on the night Penny died, but the audio proves that Stefan compelled him to forget something to boot.

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Stefan finally admits as much, but says that Matt really doesn’t want to know what happened as much as he thinks he does. Of course, Matt insists on Stefan telling him, at which point we find out the horrible truth- it was Matt himself that killed Penny, accidentally shooting her after he mistook her for a vampire.

Granted, it probably wouldn’t have gone down at all had Stefan not broke the rules and came to Mystic Falls to visit Caroline’s grave, hoping to catch her doing the same, but still, this was all Matt. Naturally, he doesn’t see it that way, opting to continue to blame Stefan for it all the same, but at least now he knows what doesn’t add up about what happened. Be careful what you ask for- you just might get it.

Bonnie returns to the cabin, where she remains doubtful that Rayna will be true to her word of giving up her final life to Bonnie like she says. Rayna says she’s been longing for a normal life for seven lifetimes at this point- one that she ironically had before it was all taken away by vampires and her subsequent quest for revenge. Now she just wants peace of mind, period.

Bonnie gets her magic back and freaks out a bit, demanding that Rayna give her a dose of her blood directly via a syringe- a much purer injection that the pills she was taking, which could well hasten her death. Remember what I said about that death wish?

Also apparently determined to bring about her own demise is Alex, who vows to her sister that she’ll get into that vault and save her. Soon enough, opportunity knocks via Damon, who makes Alex a deal: he’ll deliver Bonnie to help her open the vault if she sends her Armory faithful to help them take out the vamps on Rayna’s list, which is proving to be a tricky prospect with their limited resources.

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The Armory rise to the occasion, but with a catch, because of course there is. They nab Alaric and Caroline for bait, just in case Bonnie resists taking the deal and helping Alex. If she does the deed, no harm will come to them, if not, they’re both dead meat.

Ironically, Alaric had tried to talk Caroline out of coming, saying that she should stay with the kids, just in case something happened to him. Now, as he points out, they probably would have killed him if it hadn’t been for her. Alex knows better than to take out Bonnie’s best GF, though- at least without using her for leverage first.

Bonnie is naturally pissed, especially at Damon, who, as ever, isn’t above doing the hard thing, if it means saving his beloved Bon-Bon. But she nonetheless agrees to do it and true to her word, Alex lets her and her friends go. Bonnie doesn’t hesitate to get the hell out of Dodge, not wanting to stick around to see what lies in that vault.

Alas, Virginia called it: Yvette is long gone, leaving behind a very much dead corpse, which means that whatever was communicating with Alex wasn’t her. As to what it is, who can say, but either way, it wastes no time in taking people out, sending Alex running for the exit.

Unfortunately for her, not one to break a promise she made, Bonnie has already exited the building and is in the process of casting a spell similar to the one that locked the vault in the first place, effectively sealing the Armory like a vault itself. Whoops! Sorry, Alex- you made a really bad call, and as Virginia will attest, she can’t say she wasn’t warned.

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Damon tells Enzo he did what he did because he knew Enzo never would and he doesn’t care if Bonnie hates him for it- but Enzo does, which is exactly why he wouldn’t have done what Damon did for her. You’re welcome, loser.

Caroline frets over missing out on the kids’ May Day festivities and also complains a bit too much about Stefan, which doesn’t go unnoticed by Alaric. Alaric says that even if she claims she doesn’t need closure, he does. He needs her to be sure she really wants to marry him, rather than be with Stefan. Good luck with that.

I said that I thought that the Alaric/Caroline thing was well-thought-out before. Well, I officially take it back. The breaking point for me was when Caroline says that she’s not the only one who needs closure, but so does Alaric from being a part of the action, as evidenced by his relatively innocuous comments about a rare object at the Armory.

I haven’t heard such a weak line of reasoning since the moment that gave Batman pause when he was fighting Superman at the end of “Batman v Superman: The People vs. Superhero Burn-out.” I won’t spoil it for those who don’t know already, but suffice it to say, it’s flimsier than a nightgown at the Playboy Mansion, and so is Caroline’s argument. Ugh. It only gets worse, when Caroline tells him she thinks they should be together because of their problems with each other, not in spite of them. Whatevs.

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Things do take an interesting turn at the end, however- though, wouldn’t you know it: it involves making Bonnie suffer yet again. Seriously, “TVD” writers? What, did she shoot your dog? Is this some sort of “John Wick” scenario? (Or, if you prefer, a “Keanu” situation.) Whatever the case, we end with Rayna pulling a fast one, as she does a spell with an assist from a shaman, who not only transfers Rayna’s last life to Bonnie, but her whole Huntress thing as well.

Yep, it seems that Rayna hadn’t forgiven Damon for anything, despite her claims to otherwise. Now, when Bonnie wakes up, she’ll be cured from the blood curse thing, but she’ll also be a bloodthirsty vampire killer that won’t be able to rest until all the vampires in her life and otherwise are dead, baby, dead.

With that, Rayna stabs herself, bringing an end to her long suffering- and only making Bonnie’s worse in effect. Yes, she’ll live, but at what cost? Chances are, the minute she wakes up, she’s going to try and kill Enzo…hmm, maybe something good will come of this after all.

But that also means she’ll be coming after Damon as well, so all of you hoping for a happy Bamon ending, good luck with that, cause it most likely ain’t happening, not before the end of this season, at least.

I have to admit, it’s a clever twist, but it doesn’t exactly do the fans a solid in the process, as it only prolongs Bonnie’s seemingly unceasing suffering. One can only hope that Kat Graham lands a nice rom-com after all this. Honestly.

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That’s about it for this episode. Once again, it managed to be reasonably entertaining and frustrating all at once, which seems par for the course this season, am I right? I did appreciate the shout-out to Birmingham, though. Represent! Big ups to our neighbor to the north as well in Huntsville. Nice.

The Bamon-related stuff was rock solid, to the point where it seemed bulletproof from all the silliness of the Benzo thing, despite the writers’ best effort to contradict it. It’s almost as if Bamon has built-in Teflon armor to withstand all bad decisions made by the writing staff. Thank God for small favors.

I also appreciated the Matt plotline. If you were laying bets as to which plotline was least likely to have any sort of satisfying pay-off, I would have said that one, even over Benzo. Now it seems like the Carlaric (or whatever) thing wins that particular prize, at least this week. I was onboard when it was a marriage of convenience but now that they expect us to actually take this thing seriously, I’m out. I just can’t. Sorry.

What did you think of the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries”? Where do you stand on the various ‘ships at this point? Was it enough to almost make you long for the return of Valerie? (Okay, let’s not get crazy, lol. Nora, maybe, but Valerie, not so much.) What do you see going down in the finale? We’ve still got one episode to set it up, but maybe they can pull it off in spite of themselves. Stranger things have happened. We shall see. Until next week, thanks for all your comments and keep it up and I’ll try and reply as much as I can!