The Vampire Diaries - Season 8 Episode 2 : Today Will Be Different



After learning that someone from Stefan’s past may be Damon and Enzo’s next target, Stefan, Bonnie and Caroline head to North Carolina. There, Bonnie takes drastic measures in an attempt to break Enzo free of whatever has a hold over him. At the Armory, Alaric and Georgie stumble upon a mysterious symbol that may be related to the supernatural force controlling Damon and Enzo. Finally, Caroline gets an unexpected surprise from Stefan.

TVD’s treatment of bonnie bennett is traumatizing. by saying that, I don’t mean that tv shows and media depictions directly inflict trauma on viewers. it’s not that simple. trauma in this instance is about conditioning certain people to accept and expect a certain level of punishment and pain, to internalize this pain as part of their very existence. bonnie’s treatment is traumatizing because it supplements a constellation of trauma that spans our social, cultural and political words: the traumatic punishment of black women in the afterlife of slavery. as a culture and as individuals, we learn to accept and expect such punishment whenever a black female character appears onscreen. many times, these characters are killed or shuttled off, ala Abbie Mills. occasionally, after much agitation by fans and much trial over multiple seasons, they’re given some narrative prominence, ala Michonne in TWD. bonnie bennett has the dubious distinction of spending seven years on a show that has allowed her nothing but suffering and pain. the small respites she’s allowed are shamefully dwarfed by the magnitude of physical and emotional trauma she’s made to suffer and endure, trauma that far outstrips that which any of the white female characters have experienced. this isn’t an insult to those white characters, this is just a fact. for those of us that love bonnie, identify with her and/or share a social and racial identity with her, this trauma is a reminder of the limits of “fantasy”. which is why it’s absolutely important, both for personal and political reasons, we stop expecting canon, the arbiter of bonnie’s trauma, to redeem itself. TVD canon is built and structured to punish black female agency. there’s no other way to put it. any measure of happiness and freedom bonnie can enjoy will only come from us, her fans. no matter who you ship her with or don’t, we have to start taking care of our needs and caring for bonnie as a character on our own terms. so as TVD hurtles through its final season, please take care of yourself, connect with other fans, build support and community with other fans, and celebrate/ love bonnie with other fans. we can’t always control when and how we’re traumatized but we can choose how to act in the midst of and move forward from that experience. take care of yourselves and each other bonnie fam <3

The Vampire Diaries 8x01

It was stupid.

Let’s start with the positives:

Stefonnie at last. I’ve been one of the many people rooting for Stefan and Bonnie to finally be friends again, and they had a lot of friends-supporting-each other scenes in this episode so that was good.

Violence. It was good violence. I always thought this show was best when it wasn’t afraid to stick somebody in the back with a giant hook, shove them into a vat of blood, and have them eaten alive. That’s some good horror. 

Meta humor. The opening callback was whatever to me, but I loved that part of it where the couple discussed genres and one of them goes, “I’m just glad the whole vampire craze is over.” TVD’s humor is best when self-aware. It’s not afraid to make fun of itself, that’s for sure. It doubles my appreciation of the crack when I think about how TVD, while a seemingly derivative vampire show, was still highly influential on pop culture. I also greatly appreciated the imagery of Damon lounging out by the blood pool while people get stuck and eaten like fishes, reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I could see it in a comic book. If you don’t know me, comic-book-y imagery is my shit.

Um…I guess I’m glad Steroline got a few scenes.

It’s not Season 7, so that’s good.

Now for the cons:

Everything else.

Boring. I was on board for maybe the first ten minutes of the show, totally willing to give the new season a new shot. By minute ten, I was bored. The plot was uninteresting, I wasn’t engaged or invested in any of the characters that I have known for so long, and I spent the rest of the episode on my phone.

Alaric. There was too much of him. Part of the reason the episode was so boring was because Alaric was in it. He was the most boring part. I’m not interested in Alaric and I never was. I always thought he was a creep. I was proven right when he started that weird relationship with Caroline.

The plot. Stupid. I don’t really need to say any more.

Bonnie and Caroline never spoke throughout the whole episode and apparently don’t give a shit about each other.

Bonnie is heartbroken. Why? Not because she’s lost the two most important men in her life. Because she’s lost Enzo. Damon might as well be chopped liver. Sure, Jan. Also, screw important, apparently Bonnie doesn’t have anyone else in her life except Enzo because she barely accepts Stefan’s friendship by the end and Caroline is a non-factor. Instead she spills her feelings to a diary addressed to her dead friend. Did Matt leave the show or…?

The kids are stupid. The whole twins storyline is stupid. Caroline being a “mommy” is egregriously stupid. Do I think it could have been done right? Maybe. But it wasn’t. I don’t know which one is which and I don’t care. They got too much screentime. They annoyed and bored me. I could care less about the little monsters. Again, the whole premise of Caroline being their mom and Alaric being their dad is fucking weird, but on top of that, Caroline’s mom scenes annoy the living shit out of me. The nanny storyline is fucking stupid as hell too. Who cares?

Stefan and Caroline are still weird together and not themselves, although they’re definitely much better than last season, which we better not talk about. But they’re still not the Steroline of old (S4, S5, S6, etc), probably because Season 7 fucked them in the ass. But also, let’s be honest, because the writers can’t write their dynamic for shit. I think they get confused by the whole friends-and-lovers thing. They probably think that if two best friends become lovers they suddenly stop being best friends and get weird or something.

The new villain is another basic white girl Elena-lookalike. Cool.

Caroline’s character actually bored me in this episode. Holy shit. New low.

Stop bringing up fucking Elena constantly. Stop giving us Elena/Delena flashbacks to try to keep her relevant. No one cares. We care about the characters that are still on the show now. Damon’s pining for Elena is old hat. We went through that last season. We get it. He misses her. Everyone does. Poor Elena. We miss Elena. What will we ever do without Elena here to guide us through our struggles. How will we survive without her strength. You’ve beaten us over the head with this crock of shit. Fuck it, I get it. I’m a believer. Are you happy? Stop.

Bonenzo is boring. I appreciate that a sexy man genuinely loves Bonnie and prioritizes her. But the Enzo we see loving Bonnie was still created by the writers as a Discount!Damon to try to steer fans away from Bamon and shut them up. Some people ate their shit. I didn’t. Enzo actually kinda grosses me out a little when he gets all lovey-dovey. The relationship is a failed attempt at telling a rushed loved story and falls flat when it tries to be more and carry the episode.

Everything else. Except for the brief glimmers I mentioned at the top, it fell flat. The show needs to revive itself, and I think I know how. I’ve been saying the same thing for years now.

On a final note, I’m basically only watching the show for Bonnie and Caroline now, so it’s especially a bad idea not to give them their due or have them in scenes together. 

Does anyone find it interesting that since Damon is off/has something wrong with him/shut his humanity off, Bonnie’s magic is also gone? Bonnie’s magic originally started activating as soon as Damon came back to Mystic Falls and Damon was the reason why her magic was working again when they were both trapped in the 1994 Prison World because Damon was in trouble. I have a feeling that this is intentional and it really showcases how deep and powerful of a bond and connection Damon and Bonnie have. Only two people who have such a strong, unexplainable connection that is undeniable have the ability to be a trigger for someone’s humanity or magic. The fact that Damon and Bonnie have that kind of influence and power over each other, whether it’s for the good or bad, is extremely amazing.