The Vampire Diaries: Welcome to Paradise Recap (6×03)

Synopsis: Elena and the rest of the land of the living go to a party at a swimming hole during which Stefan executes his revenge plot against Enzo. Back in Purgatory, Bonnie and Damon meet their only other companion, the dashingly irreverent Kai, who promptly tries to kill them both. Caroline gets the short end of the emotional stick yet again with the increasingly irritating Stefan.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Unlike the past two episodes of the season, this episode was a conglomeration of story lines I didn’t like which focused on secondary characters who I don’t care about.

After Elena compelled away all her memories of Damon last week, her character is reminiscent of First Season Elena. Seriously- we haven’t seen Elena this chipper in years. It plays a little emotionally flat, which is intentional because we know the character is in a complete state of denial.

But it also begs the question, if Elena was so blissfully, eternally in love with Damon as she claims she was when he was alive, why did we never see any of the joy? I will grant you that it’s hard to play idyllic romance when doppelgangers and Travelers and Originals are running amok, but I’m not buying the tragically separated star-crossed lovers act when I haven’t seen Elena actually with Damon and happy for the entire last two seasons. At least when she was with Stefan, we got a better look at the day to day of their relationship and the emotional support which they provided each other. With Damon all we saw was conflict and co-dependence.

Anyway, First Season Elena convinces everyone to go to a college swimming hole party. The show makes the redneck joke for me, so I don’t have to waste the energy doing it myself. Stefan only agrees because he wants to kill Enzo after Enzo killed his denial girlfriend from last week. Elena’s the only one who wins because she kisses Cute Brag guy from the hospital volunteer group.

At the party, Stefan confronts Enzo only to be interrupted by Matt’s douchey Neighborhood Watch friend who tries to stake Stefan. Enzo saves Stefan and kills Neighborhood Watch, but ungrateful Stefan ends up giving Enzo to the head of the Neighborhood Watch to die at the end of the episode.

Meanwhile, Jeremy’s still hooking up with Girl-Elena-Almost-Drained-Without-Consequences, but surprise! There are suddenly Consequences when Tyler figures out that all vampire compulsions wear off when humans enter Mystic Falls. So No-Consequences Girl actually knows the truth about who bit her and what Elena is.

This is what Consequences looks like in a bikini. [the-vampirediaries.com]
This is what Consequences looks like in a bikini. [the-vampirediaries.com]
In the vein of other storylines I don’t really care about, Liv and Tyler have a bit of a thing going on. Liv’s being downright nasty to Tyler because apparently she and I share the same horribly misguided flirtation style. The two have a moment where they almost kiss after Liv admits she has the feelings for Tyler, but she runs away before it happens.

Now onto storylines which I do care about:

The Other Side is much more exciting than This Side this week.

Damon and Bonnie are living out their days in Purgatory, and they’re starting to grate on each others’ nerves. After they fight, Damon storms into the grocery store to grab a bottle of something to drink, only to find the only other person on The Other Side with them: Kai. Kai is a bit of a brat- he illustrates this by filling all the bourbon bottles with vervain and trying to kill Damon after they first meet.

At least he promises to keep things interesting.

Bonnie swoops in and saves the day. The prospect of watching Damon die finally reawakens her magic powers, and she swiftly incapacitates Kai. When Kai wakes up trussed up in the Gilbert home, he claims he meant to reawaken the magic inside of Bonnie the entire time. #NotBuyingIt

Finally, let’s talk about Caroline.

Poor, sweet Caroline. I love Caroline- she’s perfect and I’m not currently accepting any other opinions. Caroline feels like she has nowhere to go and no one to talk to.

She’s not wrong.

Elena’s in denial and acting all zen and healed- and frankly, it leaves Caroline with no one to relate to. At least when Elena was broken, so was Caroline. They were on the same page, and now suddenly Elena’s in a whole different book.

aka this book - CuteBrag. [the-vampirediaries.com]
aka this book – CuteBrag.
Then there’s Stefan.

I have choice words for Stefan this season. Mostly because he’s being a thoughtless, selfish, careless dickwad. Technical term. Caroline essentially tells him that she needs him, both as a friend and romantically, and guess what he does. He walks away. Unforgivable. You do NOT walk away from vulnerable Caroline.

Chipper!Elena picks up the pieces, and even though they’re not in the same place right now, the one constant in Elena’s character is that she’s a fantastic friend. And that’s probably the best thing Caroline can hope for right now.

Welcome to paradise, folks.


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