The Vampire Diaries: I’ll Remember (6×01)

Synopsis: In the aftermath of last season’s finale, the gang are living in various states of denial. Elena’s hitting some magic witch herbs a little too hard so she can hallucinate being together with Damon again. Later, she asks Alaric to erase all her memories of him. She’s also attacking random humans outside of Mystic Falls because the herbs are making her thirsty and a little erratic. Caroline’s trying to find a way back in to Mystic Falls, Stefan’s MIA, and Damon and Bonnie are apparently not as dead as we thought they were.

Rating: ★★★★★

There’s a tendency for some shows to collapse under the weight of their own convoluted back stories. With five seasons of history, I was dreading this season of The Vampire Diaries. Luckily, the writers decided to check in with the characters after a significant time lapse. Hitting the ‘pause’ button on all the drama from last season was probably the best possible decision for the storyline. It feels like we’re watching a completely different show, and I kinda like it.

Anyway, things on This Side have fallen apart after the Other Side literally fell apart last season.

Elena seems eerily normal after having lost her best friend and her boyfriend three months ago, so you automatically know she’s doing something horribly maladjusted to cope. She’s decided to become a doctor, no doubt partially to rob the hospital’s blood bank for herself and Alaric.

Surprise! Alaric’s a vampire (did I have an aneurysm and miss this somehow last season?) and he’s compelled himself a new job as a professor of occult studies at Whitmore. Apparently all of the Whitmore interview faculty have finally stopped taking vervaine at this point and Ric’s just hella tired of even trying to come up with a halfway plausible cover story for his shenanigans.

He’s also lost all sense of game. [the-vampirediaries.com]
Jeremy’s pulling his usual teen rebel angst, hooking up with random girls and wasting his days away playing generic first person shooters at Matt’s house. Speaking of Matt, he went in the, ‘I’m going to be super productive with my grief’ route and chose to join the citizen’s self defense brigade.

Which is essentially a steroidy version of the Neighborhood Watch with fewer flashlights and more hand-to-hand combat. We learn later that Matt’s been cleaning up the messes from the vampire attacks on the outskirts of Mystic Falls.

Tyler’s deeply interested in Liv, the female half of the WonderWitchTwins, but so far she is not having it. But you can also totally tell it’s the type of ‘not having it’ that means she will, indeed, eventually have it. Think seven-year old boys punching girls on the playground to show misguided affection.

Caroline’s dropped out of college to figure out how to remove the spell which prevents vampires from setting foot in Mystic Falls, to no avail. She’s also (understandably) upset that Stefan’s left without saying goodbye and now he’s screening her calls.

Now that we’re caught up on the minor characters, it’s back to Elena and her clear break from reality.

Elena’s giving a new meaning to the phrase, ‘I’d kill for a drink,’ mostly by almost killing unsuspecting humans on the outskirts of Mystic Falls because she’s thirsty. She’s also been harassing Luke, the male half of the WonderWitchTwins, for hallucinogenic herbs to see visions of her dead boyfriend.

Yeah. It’s pretty intense.

Elena realizes she has a drug problem once Caroline catches her draining a girl outside of the city limits. Elena screws up and lets the girl escape without compelling her- a mess which Matt later cleans up- and a properly contrite Elena promises to quit the drugs.

Elena calls Stefan for reassurance. Stefan tells her (pretty unconvincingly) that he’s given up the search to bring Bonnie and Damon back and Elena disintegrates in front of our eyes.

When Elena tells Hallucination!Damon her decision to say goodbye, she still can’t make the vision go away. After Elena breaks down and trashes her hallucination den, Damon’s still sitting with her, touching her shoulder to tell her it’s alright.

To be honest, I almost started crying at this point.

After her meltdown, Elena exhibits her typical character flaw and takes things entirely too far in the opposite direction. In a heartwrenching speech, Elena tells Ric how she doesn’t want to spend the rest of eternity without Damon, and she needs Ric to erase all her memories of Damon in order to survive.

We immediately flash from Elena and Ric to a domestic scene as the episode closes, where we see Bonnie and Damon happily making vampire-shaped pancakes in a sort of utopian purgatory.


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