The Vampire Diaries S07E02 “Never Let Me Go” Review
Airing in the UK on ITV2, Weds 11pm
Writer: Brian Young
Director: Chris Grismer
Essential plot points:
- It opens thee years from now in Austin, Texas with Caroline as some sort of producer for a television show. She misses a call from her fiancé who wants to take her to Mystic Falls before the wedding.
- In the present day a couple of teenagers trespass into Mystic Falls filming Blair Witch style. The Heretics catch them, Matt tries to save them but wakes up on the ground the next morning with a bandage on his arm.
- Alaric asks Bonnie whether she’s heard of the red stone, called the Phoenix Stone, which can bring people back from the dead. She asks whether it has any magical properties and has visions of violent deaths. She tells Alaric it’s evil and to destroy it with acid.
- Stefan finds out Lily has Caroline hostage. Damon asks Lily to trade Caroline for himself and discovers that Lily has signed the deed to the Salvatore house to Matt so they can’t enter or kill him to get the deed back.
- Caroline is tortured by Mary Louise and Nora. Another female Heretic, Valarie, says she can help Caroline and puts a spell on her to make her skin like vervain.
- Bonnie stops Matt’s heart with magic to break the threshold spell. His heart can stop for six minutes before anything bad happens to him but Bonnie assures him she’ll only stop it for ten seconds. However, when she tries to restart his heart the visions she had when holding the Phoenix Stone come back and she passes out. She wakes up just in time to restart Matt’s heart with barely a second to spare.
- Lily and her family bury Malcolm in the Salvatore family crypt and steal Elena’s coffin. Lily tells them use a cloaking spell and put her at the bottom of the waterfall so Damon won’t be able to find her. She uses this to blackmail Damon into going as far away possible.
- Meanwhile Stefan is trying to save Caroline but can’t touch her because of the vervain spell that Valarie put on her skin. This delays him and in the end they take too long and the threshold spell reactivates catapulting Stefan out of the house leaving Caroline behind.
- Matt tells Bonnie he wants to help fight the Heretics and Damon tells Stefan that while he is exiled from Mystic Falls he is going to find the sixth Heretic and capture him to trade for Caroline and Elena.
- Alaric contemplates destroying the Phoenix Stone with acid but ultimately can’t do it. He then goes to the hospital morgue and experiments by placing the stone on a random dead body of a male patient. He comes to life but dies again once Alaric removes the stone from his chest.
- Back at the Salvatore house Nora tells Caroline that Valarie isn’t trying to help her and is actually the most evil of them all. To prove this she gives Caroline Stefan’s journal and tells her to look at the entry from July 15th 1836. This entry tells of Stefan meeting Valarie at a fair and that she was the most wonderful girl.
- The final scene is back with Caroline three years in the future; her assistant tells her that a man called Stefan Salvatore is on the phone for her. Caroline tells him she doesn’t want to speak to him or hear his name ever again. Both her assistant and Caroline are suddenly hit with steaks from a mysterious source.
- One of the most compelling scenes in the series so far was when Lily told Damon that when he was a child and he broke one of her vases he refused to own up to it even when beaten bloody with a strap by his father. When she took all his toy soldiers away, however, he cried and cried and admitted he was at fault. To this analogy Damon says that Elena is not a toy soldier and Lily retorts that Malcolm was not a vase. This was very cleverly written and gives an insight into Lily and Damon’s family relationship and shows that, although Damon is centuries old, he can still be manipulated by his mother!
- More flash forwards this episode and very intriguing they are too. Who is Caroline’s fiancé in three years time? Who is this mysterious vampire killer that is terrorising everyone? Why can’t Caroline go back to Mystic Falls? Is the show going to jump forward three years at some point to answer all these questions? Only time (and more episodes) will tell…
- Caroline being captured and tortured by the Heretic lesbian couple is one of the weaker things about this episode. There isn’t a whole lot of a sense of danger for Caroline. Lily and Enzo won’t let the Heretics kill Caroline so she’s stuck there until Stefan (very unhurriedly) tries to save her.
- Stefan is also quite a weak character at the moment. He isn’t driving much of the plot at the moment and there isn’t much conviction in the horror he feels at Caroline in the hands of the Heretics.
- Matt is quite uninteresting and is always complaining about being the hard-done-by human. He always has a snipey comment about how everything is Damon’s or Bonnie’s or Stefan’s fault and he never comes up with his own solution to the problems. His character has been the same for a couple of seasons now and he is getting boring as just the token human who is there if any of the main characters need him for a spell or plot device.
- Enzo turns out to be an excellent guitar player who makes a move on Lily(!?). This is a strange development which could be interesting or could be disastrous. It does seem like he’s moved on from having a crush on Caroline quite quickly though.
- While being tortured Caroline is being asked for fashion tips! This felt really out of place and just plain weird.
Review by Georgina Tyson