“I Could Never Love Like That” didn’t do much to move the story along. In fact, it pretty much took us back to two episodes ago. Damon’s plan to lure Stefan into switching his humanity switch back to ‘on’ with the help of their mother worked – far too easily if you ask me – and now Caroline is the only crazed vampire running around town, once again. The only difference is that now she’s forgotten what it means to be humane, which in itself, is something that makes me uncomfortable.
When Elena (Nina Dobrev) “lost” her brother, she turned into her own worst self. She didn’t have the desire or ability to control her actions. Caroline’s natural ability to control herself is the one thing from her human self that has survived and amplified more so than any other trait. Without that, Caroline is really a rather dull character. Fans of The Vampire Diaries have watched season after season as vampires brutalized helpless humans. If that’s all she has to offer, then give me predictable Caroline any day – at least she has some versatility.
The same goes for Enzo (Michael Malarkey), who is getting more screen time as the series sets him up to play a larger role in the narrative. With both Dobrev and Michael Trevino, long time stars of the show, exiting at the end of the season, and newcomer Woods already cast in a potential new Julie Plec series, there’s nothing but possibilities for the remaining characters.
When all Enzo is doing is being the bully that he has obviously spent some time perfecting over the years, he’s not that interesting to watch. Scenes where he manages to show compassion, on the other hand, make him wondrously compelling. Especially when he shows concern for Caroline. There’s something about his schoolboy crush on her that makes it hard to not like him, even if it’s just the teensiest bit.
Out of the entire episode, the only thing that really struck me as worthwhile was Matt’s (Zach Roerig) stance on taking Elena’s blood as the quick fix to being staked (which doesn’t have nearly the same effect on a human). As with any teen drama, The Vampire Diaries has its fair share of back and forth on a variety of subject matters. It was a nice change of pace to see a character really stick by their personal believes, even at the cost of something so great as what could have been his life. Matt has always been the one who gets the short end of the stick so it makes it easy to root for him, but he’s finally really giving viewers a tangible reason besides just being the nice guy.
Unfortunately, The Vampire Diaries failed to give fans anything more than a lackluster return episode tonight. The writers are really going to need to step it up if they plan to send Elena and Tyler off in the manner they deserve. It would be a shame to let them leave on anything but a high note.