The Vampire Diaries “Requiem for a Dream” Review (Season 7 Episode 21)

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On the latest episode of “The Vampire Diaries,” things with Bonnie came to a head, as the gang fought tooth and nail to bring her back from her unconsciousness, despite what it might bring, in “Requiem for a Dream.” We also saw what it looks like when someone ignores the elephant in the room in favor of pretending it doesn’t exist- and I’m not talking about the scenario, I’m talking about the writers, lol. But we’ll get to that soon enough.

First, a brief recap: We began with a decent-enough fake-out, as Bonnie revived, seemed relatively fine…then proceeded to break Enzo’s neck, toss him in the fire and decapitate Caroline. I can’t decide if this was the writers’ version of what they think our wish fulfillment would look like or just standard dream sequence fodder.

For the record, I’d be onboard with Enzo, maybe, but Caroline, not so much- though, to be clear, I don’t hate Enzo, just what the character has become as of late. I also have no problem with the actor, Michael Malarkey, who is doing the best he can with what he’s been given, such as it is. If anything, he deserves better, in what is rapidly becoming a thankless role.

After that, we got the reality of the situation, as Damon arrived and filled everyone in on what was really going on, courtesy of Rayna and her shaman in the last episode. Enzo suggests that maybe Bonnie isn’t coming back because she knows on a certain level she’ll hurt them and is resisting that urge, which essentially proves to be true.

Everyone concerned comes up with a plan to do that thing whereby they hold the hands of the unconscious and are able to enter their minds or whatever, in hopes of connecting to Bonnie there and convincing her that all vampires aren’t so bad, the way that Rayna herself learned along the way via her connections to certain vampires, like Stefan.

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Alaric wants Caroline to go home to the kids while he stays to help, but Caroline argues against it, saying that if anyone can bring Bonnie back, it’s her, as her oldest friend present. So, he leaves and she stays, volunteering to try first.

This proves to be a dreadful mistake, as Bonnie’s subconscious is not a great place for her to be, as her brain is being inundated with bad vampire imagery. Bonnie is happy to see Caroline, but warns her she’s fighting a losing battle. It then occurs to her that Caroline has kids now and they could be in danger from Caroline, as a vampire.

This sets her off and Bonnie attacks Caroline, severing the connection between them. The problem is, when she returns to reality, Caroline has a mark from Bonnie’s faux attack, which proves to be the same as if she were marked in the real world.

This, of course, means that Caroline is in immediate danger from Bonnie if she does wake up, as she won’t stop until Caroline is dead, as with all of Rayna’s marked victims. By extension, this also puts her loved ones in potential danger, as when Bonnie comes after her, she could potentially harm Alaric and the kids as well, which won’t do.

Stefan recognizes this immediately, and warns her against going home, eventually injecting her with vervain and getting Caroline out of there and to a hotel to plan their next move. Eventually, she realizes that Stefan is right and she has to go on the run, just as Stefan did before her with Valerie.

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At first, she resists Stefan coming with her, but she caves when she comprehends the difficulty of going on the run alone. Though Caroline is not ready to forgive Stefan just yet, despite his making a decent enough case for himself and his reasons for going on the run, she comes around just enough to cooperate with him in planning their itinerary in the short-term, after saying goodbye to Alaric and the kids, but making it a point not to tell him where she’ll be for their own protection.

Meanwhile, Matt gets wind of movement at the Salvatore house and goes to investigate, where he finds Enzo getting drunk and feeling sorry for himself, not unlike Damon used to do, interestingly enough- though that doesn’t make it any less pathetic. Matt tells him they need to leave “his” town, but Enzo says it’s not about them, it’s about Bonnie and he should want to help her, which he agrees to do.

Enzo does the linking thing with Bonnie next, as Damon frets about having to do it himself, if it comes to it. We get a sweet episode of “Bonnie the Vampire Slayer,” complete with the return of her adorable HS-era bangs and a sexy cheerleader outfit, which was pretty awesome. Is this her fantasy world or mine, lol?

At first, she’s thrilled to see an arriving Enzo, and the two re-bond over music, which helped bring them together- right before she bashes his guitar and stabs him with it. That’s going to leave a mark. Which, of course, it does. Two down- one to go.

Enzo reports back, saying it’s worse than they thought- Bonnie is actually more inclined to let herself die than to come back and be like Rayna. It’s that old Bonnie death wish rearing its ugly head once again, in other words. Stefan checks in with a status report to Damon about Caroline, which he agrees was the right thing to do. “If you’re agreeing with me, I know I’ve really screwed up,” laments Stefan.

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Damon prepares for his turn, deciding that perhaps the reverse psychology route is the one to take instead of the loving approach of his predecessors. So, he adopts the tough love gambit, telling Bonnie that he’s glad she’s letting herself die, as it will only reunite him with Elena that much quicker.

He presents her with the note she returned to him, unopened and asks her to finally read it. She tears it up and throws it at him, so he tells her what is supposedly in it: that all of what happened over the last few years can be traced back to her and that she’s the real cause of all their problems, not him, so dying is the best thing she could possibly do.

While this is all clearly BS, it does the trick and Bonnie not only adds Damon to the list of people she’s marked, but it finally revives her to consciousness once again, for better or worse. Damon says to catch him if she can, and the hunt begins, with Bonnie calling and warning Caroline she knows where she is and will come for her, too- but only after she’s finished with Damon.

Bonnie calls Damon next, saying that she knows he only did what he did for Elena, knowing that if he’d let Bonnie die, Elena would have never forgiven him. But Damon forgot one thing: if Bonnie kills him, she wouldn’t have to worry about Elena forgiving her because Elena wouldn’t come back until Bonnie was dead, anyway.

Matt intercepts Bonnie, saying he knows what’s going on and will help her stay in touch with her human side and keep her from attacking anyone she loves if he can. Bonnie says fine, for Caroline’s sake- note she didn’t mention Enzo- but that nothing was going to stop her from killing Damon. Pleading her case to Matt as to why he should be onboard with this, Matt says he’s good with that.

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Bonnie tracks Damon down to the woods nearby, and goes to confront him while Matt sets up a perimeter to make sure Damon doesn’t escape. Damon doesn’t think Bonnie has it in her to hurt him, but she begs to differ and proceeds to kick his ass all over the place. Damon buys himself some time long enough to point out where he’s led her: the memorial stump commemorating one of Bonnie’s “deaths.”

Here’s where the writers thoroughly blow it, and I’ll tell you why. Faced with the perfect opportunity to give the Bamon fans what they have long since wanted, they choose to ignore it entirely and gloss over it as if it weren’t even a possibility. Note the very calculated word selection here: Damon tells Bonnie he admires her, believes in her and loves her…the way that Elena does, as a friend.

Yep, faced with the probability of his own demise, in one of the most crucial moments of his life, Damon totally “friend zones” Bonnie. He might as well have written “Have a great summer!” in her yearbook, am I right? What a freaking cop-out on the behalf of the writers, and proof positive that they are hell-fire determined not to let these two be together at any cost- even on Damon’s potential deathbed.

Oh, don’t get me wrong- I didn’t think for a second that they were actually going to kill Damon off, just that the writers totally blew what could have been a fan-delivering moment to end all fan-delivering moments by throwing a soft-ball instead of a hard one. If ever I was convinced that Bamon was almost certainly never going to happen, it was in this moment.

But, Mark- say you Benzo fans- what about us? Don’t we count for something? Of course you do- you’re just in the heavy minority. Sorry, but it’s the cold, hard truth. Check out the comment section and any given IMDB message board and/or your Twitter feed, if you don’t believe me.

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But guess what? You win anyway, because I am almost completely convinced at this point Bamon isn’t going to happen, short of a last-ditch effort to remedy things if the ratings sink any further than they already are on the next season’s premiere. But even then, I’m not holding my breath. Ugh. I just can’t even. Moving on…

Damon tells Bonnie if he kills him, it’s his fault- he had it coming, anyway, at this point. All he wants is her forgiveness first. She responds by going to stake him, but Matt intervenes and tranqs her into unconsciousness yet again. He tells Damon he did it for her, not him, as he knew she’d never forgive herself for it, if only because of Elena.

He tells Damon he has maybe an eight-hour head start, so he better get going and try and fix this, because he might not be able to stop Bonnie next time. This proves absolutely correct, as Bonnie wakes up sooner than expected, knocks out Matt and takes his car and immediately starts pursuing Damon again, picking up where she left off.

The problem is: Damon went back to Mystic Falls, of all places, where he proceeds to do the drinking thing we all know so well, as Enzo arrives with some potentially decent news: he tracked down the shaman that helped Rayna transfer the huntress thing to Bonnie and tortured and questioned him until he got some answers, which sounds more like the Enzo of yore.

Although we didn’t get to see it, once again leaving the potential for Enzo being more typical Enzo an off-screen thing for the second episode in a row. Can you say missed opportunity? Regardless, Enzo says that if they can sever the link between Bonnie and the Great Everlasting, she might be okay again.

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Unfortunately, the only way to do so is to go back to the Armory and somehow get inside. Of course, the irony being, Bonnie made the spell to lock the Armory down, and is the only one who can re-open it, so what are the chances she’s going to do that? And even if they figured a way around it, what would they be unleashing if they did get past Bonnie’s barrier? From the looks of it, it isn’t good, as we see that the Armory has become a dead zone of insanity and well, death.

That is where we leave things, until the season finale, but more than ever, it’s not looking good for any of us Bamon fans getting our wishes granted anytime soon, if ever, which is too bad. If I had to predict an outcome, I’d say that Damon and Enzo will unleash whatever’s inside the Armory and it will only make things worse, setting up the Big Bad for the next, potentially final season.

As for Bonnie, I don’t think they will figure out a way to make her no longer a Huntress by the end of the episode, either, but neither do I think she’ll kill any of the major characters as of yet. At best, she might kill Enzo, but I don’t see that happening before the end of the season, frankly. Who knows, though? The show is known for crazy finales, so anything could happen, but those are my predictions.

All in all, it was an okay episode, with most of the best moments going down in Bonnie’s head, which meant that Kat Graham at least got to shine for an extended period of time for once, even if it kept up the tradition of her being tormented in the process. Still, it was fun seeing cheerleader Bonnie beating down bully vamps from her past and the scene in the classroom with Alaric in the classroom was pretty effective as well.

Props are due to the director, Paul Wesley, aka Stefan himself, doing the best he could with a decidedly tricky episode filled with some dubious plot points. Say what you will about some of the content, he proved, as ever, that he’s one of the more consistent and inventive directors on the show. But how much happier would I be if the show had actually followed through and delivered the goods? SO much more, obvi.

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Oh well, fingers crossed the finale is better than I think it will be, but we’ll see. Sometimes, this show can surprise you when you least expect it- or at least it used to. We’ll see if the finale is one of those times. Here’s hoping.

What did you think of the penultimate episode of “The Vampire Diaries” of the season? Did you like it more than I did? What did you like about it? Or actively dislike about it, for that matter? Were you impressed with Wesley’s direction? How about the twist at the end? What exactly do you think will be unleashed if they manage to get into the Armory? Is there hope for Bonnie? Hell, is there hope for Bamon?

Sound off down below, as per usual, and I look forward to seeing your commentary on this one! See you next week, in the meantime…