The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 16 Review: “The Downward Spiral”

The Vampire Diaries

Emotionless Caroline turned out to be a troublemaker on The Vampire Diaries.  There’s not enough praise to be given Candice Accola for her performance as Caroline this season.  Truly she deserves all the awards.  That’s not to say she’s the only heavy hitter of late because Bonnie is proving to be one tough witch now that she’s returned from her prison world entrapment.  This season may have been slow-going for a while, but it’s really picking up the pace now, and everyone is stepping up their games!

Sweet Caroline isn’t so sweet anymore.  She flipped her humanity switch after her mom’s funeral, which that loss is great enough to warrant such a drastic decision.  After all, Elena did the same thing when she couldn’t bear the emotions felt when she stopped denying Jeremy’s death.  There’s just no way Stefan is entirely to blame, yet Elena doesn’t insist that he stops feeling responsible for Caroline’s rash decision.  Ultimately, his guilt causes him to give in to Caroline’s semi-stupid demand that he also switch his humanity off.  Now they can be wild Rippers together, but was it necessary?  Stefan knew Elena was close enough to finding Liam and saving Sarah.  Which she did just that, seconds or minutes too late after Stefan already turned bad again.  Even thinking more logically, once he would have turned emotionless, he wouldn’t have cared whether or not Caroline called Liam off his mission to remove Sarah’s heart.  As bone chilling as that last shot of the episode was with Caroline on top of the bar and Stefan sipping a margarita without a care in the world, I have to wonder what the point of all this will be.  Turning both characters’ humanity switches off just to give other characters a problem to solve seems questionable.

Some characters, like Bonnie and Damon, have more prevalent issues at hand.  Ever since she suffered at the hands of Kai in his prison world, Bonnie most definitely wants nothing to do with him now.  Only thing is he weirdly wants to be forgiven because post-Merge Kai experiences feelings of remorse.  He’s still a little weasel though since he tries to bargain with Damon to only help him with locating information on his mother’s prison world if he gets Bonnie to hear his apology.  Damon springs Kai on Bonnie in a public place at least, so she can’t overreact but she is not pleased at all.  Now Damon owes her his own apology after she literally made him feel every tortuous moment that Kai made her suffer through after he escaped.  If anything, the Bonnie and Damon friendship is better off now.  He’s fully aware of the rage and anger she should rightfully feel, and yet he still has that newfound platonic love for one of his best friends.

Luckily, Kai didn’t insist on playing anymore games with Damon, and he willingly told him everything he learned about Lily Salvatore’s prison world.  Stefan isn’t the only Ripper in the Salvatore family.  In fact, he takes after his mother without ever knowing it.  When Damon and Stefan were led to believe their mother died of consumption in 1858, she actually was turned into a vampire then and fled to Europe.  She became notorious there with a body count totaling over 3,000.  For some unknown reason, the Gemini coven at the time took it upon themselves to contain her in her own prison world, which is where Bonnie very briefly encountered her.  There’s an old saying that it “takes one to know one” and if Kai, a former sociopathic serial killer, warns not to let her out of her prison, then I would listen to him.  He has gone a little soft, but he’s making complete sense.  Of course, Damon will be stubborn and do everything in his power to bring his mother back, but he better be prepared for the consequences.  After over a century trapped in her own prison, she won’t be eager for an innocent reunion with her sons.  She left for a reason, and her blood thirst alone is a dangerous thing to consider before breaking her out.

Enzo was back this week after missing Liz Forbes’ funeral, which Caroline did call him out on.  He must have been too busy teasing Sarah Salvatore to no avail.  Once he even reveals that he’s a vampire to her, she doesn’t flinch or seem the least bit disturbed.  That’s certainly an unexpected reaction to a revelation like that, which makes her a thousand times more interesting.  We know she’s human but what does this mean?  Maybe Stefan compelled her to act nonchalantly to supernatural beings like this all her life in the hopes of protecting her.

Between Damon and Bonnie’s scenes and Caroline’s sassy/borderline meta commentary, it was another exciting episode all thanks to first time director, Ian Somerhalder!

Notable quotables:

-”Gloating in one of my best friend’s times of need? It’s weird that I miss you.” -Bonnie to Damon

-”It’s okay.  The whole vampire thing is over anyway.” -Caroline butting in on Enzo and Sarah’s conversation

What did you think of the episode?  

[Photo via The CW]

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