April 16, 2015, 8pm, The CW
After a month-long break, The Vampire Diaries picked up right where it left off. The last episode ended with Bonnie handing over the cure to vampirism to Damon, giving him the option of whether or not he wants to give it to Elena. Although the plot hasn’t moved forward since then, news that hit during the break puts a whole new perspective on the return of the cure.
The cure first appeared in the show’s fourth season and, despite spending a whole season trying to find it, the plot ended up being much ado about nothing in the end – Elena fed it to Katherine to get the upper hand in the middle of a fight. But as news recently broke that Nina Dobrev will be leaving the show at the end of this season, it now appears that the cure will play a much more significant role with its sudden and most recent appearance.
It is hammered home in “I Could Never Love Like That,” as Elena learns of Jo’s pregnancy and finds herself jealous that she’ll never be able to similarly start a family. Throughout the episode – to Jo, Damon and even Damon’s mother – Elena expresses dismay at opportunities that are lost because she’s no longer human. Damon has yet to tell Elena about his possession of the cure, as he expects a human Elena would not love him the way that vampire Elena does. And, as Damon points out in this episode, he has been abandoned by a lot of the women in his life, so it makes sense that he would fear that happening again.
This development – which would change the face of the show – casts a shadow over all of the other many moving pieces in this episode. Stefan and Caroline on the loose without their humanity is fun, but starts to move toward resolution as the appearance of Lily Salvatore pushes Stefan to turn back on his humanity. Meanwhile, it turns out that the Salvatores’ mother has little affection left for her sons and is only able to reconnect to Stefan with a script provided by Damon. This is a nice touch as the show has always been at its best when focused on the brothers’ relationship.
Meanwhile, Sarah Salvatore learns the truth about her family through Enzo, who also recounts his turning into a vampire – courtesy of Lily Salvatore. It is also revealed that Lily’s companions are vampire-witch hybrids that could cause serious havoc if they were able to escape the prison world in which they’re currently trapped.
Caroline ditches Stefan once Lily shows up, fearful that Stefan with his humanity would trigger her to turn her own humanity back on as well. Humanity-free Caroline ends up being simultaneously delightful and terrifying, which was underscored in this episode when confronted by her two exes – Matt and Tyler. She plays games, teasing them about their relationships with her while threatening to kill them. While this display prompts Tyler to anger, Matt just ends up disgusted.
Throughout this season, Matt has grown more and more hateful towards vampires and it seems to have finally reached its boiling point upon seeing one of his best friends and former loves threatening his life. Even with a massive wound in his stomach, he refuses Elena’s vampire blood to heal him. As he points out to Elena, all of his vampire friends are just one flick of a humanity switch away from being ruthless killers.
And with that, we come back to Elena’s melancholy about being a vampire – and the major plotline that will likely dominate the rest of the season. Overall, “I Could Never Love Like That” is designed to set up what comes next.
- “Technically, he died of a loophole.”
- “So you know what we do now?” “Yes, unfortunately, I do. Karaoke.” Side note: Caroline has been singing an awful lot since he lost her humanity.
- “Looks like somebody’s angry!” “He’s a wolf. It’s his resting face.”
- “Matt lives to hate vampires another day, Stefan’s on Caroline duty, and I just introduced mom to Uber. I’m taking bets on which one goes south first.”
Overall, "I Could Never Love Like That" is designed to set up what comes next.