The Vampire Diaries 5.17 “Rescue Me” Reviewby Emma Fraser / March 28, 2014
Elena has only been back for two episodes on The Vampire Diaries since Katherine borrowed her body and it already feels like she is stuck in a Damon relationship discussion rut. This is acknowledged at the end of the episode when she explains why she has to travel back to college alone as otherwise “we’re never going to get to where we need to go. We’ll just end up back here where we started.” This is a line that sums up the entire process of “Rescue Me” as characters struggle to end up where they need to be and it’s rather meandering in its attempt. This is a table setting episode; characters shifting and revealing information that will be important in the future and unfortunately the pacing feels off.
Continuing with Elena and she spends a lot of time trying to control her Damon desires; she manages this despite his naked declarations and classroom sex suggestions. There are still moments where Elena’s mind wanders and if Liv hadn’t shown up with a plan to kill Elena, she might have succumbed to these desires. Elena has a list of reasons why they shouldn’t get back together; they are bad for each other, it’s bad for Jeremy’s stability and they do bad things for each other when they are a couple. I would argue that all of these reasons are BS (especially the Jeremy one) and they’re all just excuses. Now there must be a reason why the writers don’t want Elena and Damon together at this time, but all of these reasons don’t ring true and it just comes across as plot contrivance. At least Damon doesn’t go off the deep end this time, which is a bonus and he’s all day drinking and snark.
Jeremy is bombing at school and he’s missed 11 days, started 3 fights and cheated in math class twice. Now this is where the dealing with a crazy amount of supernatural danger and the attendance of school problem occurs. It was the same when Elena et al were at school; it’s just impossible to have all this going on and still do homework. Jeremy pretty much spells this out and it’s like Elena has already forgotten what her school days were like. Jeremy has struck a deal with Liv to protect Elena and thanks to his hunter status, he’s the only one who can’t be mind controlled by Travelers. It looks like the youngest Gilbert is going to be very important in defeating Sloan and whatever her diabolical plan is. Jeremy is also fed up of the Salvatore mansion dramaz so he is swapping one fancy home for another with Tyler and Matt; oh and they’re now a package deal as Jeremy insisted their involvement to Luke and Liv.
Poor Bonnie is left hanging leaving desperate voicemails to Jeremy – we never did find out where he stayed – and she ends up in a world of pain when multiple Travelers pass through her. The episode ends with someone coming back into this world through Bonnie and I’m assuming this is Markos, the leader of the Travelers. Bonnie as the anchor is now about relaying messages and I was hoping she was going to become more than this; it doesn’t help that this week she is the only one at Whitmore college as this isolates her from the rest of the story.
Having so many different locations is one thing that leaves this episode emotionally and physically scattered. Enzo and Caroline are off on a doppelganger search; there’s some fun stuff here as Enzo gets his flirt on with Caroline (a distraction tactic we later find out) and a discussion about how far they would go for the people they love. Caroline has boundaries it turns out and she can’t kill Stefan’s doppelganger Tom. The fact that he looks exactly like Stefan probably has an element in why she stumbles, oh and because she’s a good person. Enzo isn’t against using a door knob as a projectile or snapping necks and it turns out he has his own lost maybe love to track down.
The Stefan/Caroline friendship is one I have discussed quite a lot in the past; it’s one of my favorite dynamics on The Vampire Diaries and I’m concerned they are shifting it from platonic to something more romantically inclined. They work together because it’s a relationship based on companionship, not lust. The scene in the car is rather sweet, as is the spooning and I just hope this as physical as they get with each other.
As the big bad of the second half of the season The Travelers motives are still a little hazy; they have quarrel with witches due to witches using nature for power. Now that Elena and Stefan are the last two doppelgangers they are incredibly special to them and the blood that was drained from them is a source of power. What this will do and who Markos is remains a mystery for now, but it looks like a battle is about to begin.
– Enzo’s doesn’t think that highly of modern women (well the women in magazines) as they are “all bosom and no mystery.”
– Stefan teases Caroline that she has a thing for British accents and it’s moments like this which demonstrates why they are better as BFFs rather than BF/GF.
– “Perky blonde angel of death” something new to add to the resume Caroline, or not as she didn’t do it.
– Damon cites Jeremy’s affair with a ghost to suggest he might be cheating “the only thing that was missing was a sappy love song and a pottery wheel.”
– Matt is good at delivering CliffsNotes summaries of who characters are.
– The world does actually revolve around Elena (and Stefan). Katherine would be so mad about this.