The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 2 Review: Toy Soldiers

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Caroline's future might have been bright at the beginning of The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 2, but things in present day Mystic Falls are bleaker than ever.

That's at least in part due to Damon's inability to think through the consequences of his actions, and that's part of why we love him, right?

Right. Because the minute Damon stops being impulsive and irrational is the minute he will cease to be himself.

"Never Let Me Go" cleared up quite a few questions left lingering after the premiere.

For starters, it's safe to say that Caroline is not the vampire hunter we saw at the end of The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 1. My money after tonight is on that shadowy figure belonging to Jo Laughlin-Saltzman. Or whatever name she'll have when she's resurrected.

I mean, let's be real. After learning about the Phoenix stone and what it does and seeing those visions of Bonnie's, there's no way Jo's coming back "normal."

While I have no insider information and can't say for certain that Jodi Lyn O'Keefe will be coming back to The Vampire Diaries, it would make a pretty excellent development if the Phoenix stone turns those it resuscitates into hunters and Alaric unwittingly sets a demonic hunter on the loose after his friends. 

My thought process is this: Lily wants the Phoenix stone. Beau has the same mark we saw on Future Stefan. Bonnie's visions featured the bloody "X" pretty prominently.

Lily probably wants the stone so she can destroy it, thus ensuring Beau's safety. Alaric will somehow resurrect the person who can and will take out the Heretics (since they seem unstoppable by any means other than Bonnie and Damon's trickery). That will come with a price.

Am I right? I have no idea. 

What I do know is that, despite the fact that she had just killed him and brought him back to life, Bonnie is convincing when she asks those who want to take their town back to fight beside her.

As an aside, how terrible is it to be Matt Donovan after all these years, you guys? The guy has had the WORST life. (Is it just me or were his eyes extra blue tonight?)

Future Caroline doesn't really imply Bonnie and her battalion are going to be successful in taking back their town, either because they're exiled or it just doesn't exist anymore.

We know Future Caroline is engaged to someone who is not Stefan when she's working her fancy, and very high profile (odd for a vampire) job as a news producer and that neither of them can go back to Mystic Falls. Sorry, Staroline fans! When couples get together things tend to get a little boring, so the on-off drama is essential, even if we hate it.

My money's on Matt being her fiance simply because he's one of the few remaining men in the town and we know Enzo has his eyes on Lily, which is sort of weirdly creepy but also not. 

Enzo cares for Caroline, and said as much tonight as he listened to her screams from upstairs. He doesn't care about her enough to want to be any part of a rescue effort and is instead making a play to be Lily's lover. Is this a for real thing Enzo wants or is he using that to gain some sort of upper hand against her "children"? He doesn't care for the Heretics, and that's pretty clear, but does he really want a relationship with Lily, thus making him a weird stepfather of sorts to Damon and Stefan AND the Heretics?

Again, I have no idea. But I'm curious.

There's no part of me who believes that Enzo has truly chosen Team Heretic in this war. Yes, Lily turned him, but he spent 100 years believing he'd been abandoned. He probably felt a fondness for her when she was returned, but this isn't a man who has pined for someone who never showed him any romantic inclinations prior to turning him into a vampire and saving his life. 

In short, we're not watching Katherine 2.0 happen. Enzo is playing a game with Lily. He's not spellbound by her.

My gut tells me Enzo is acting as a double agent. He wants to be in the Heretic house so he can keep an eye on Caroline and make a play to overthrow Lily and her family when the opportunity presents itself. If the opportunity presents itself. 

One of the most important and well-scripted scenes of the night came when Damon stood in an empty crypt and listened to his mother's tale of taking away his toy soldiers when he was a child and she wanted to get him to comply with her commands. In that moment all he could think about was doing or saying whatever she wanted so that he could rescue the love of his life.

Instead of hopping into his car and driving off into the sunset in typical Damon fashion, he returned to the Lockwood manor where he and Stefan were able to realize their mother's manipulations, dating back centuries, and enact a plan of their own. We know that both Elena's body and Caroline are alive three years in the future, so there's a decent chance this plan will work. 

Judging by the future, Valerie's plan certainly worked. She has a history with Stefan, dating all the way back to 1863, and doesn't want Caroline and Stefan to be together. Solution? Turn her skin into vervain so they can't touch. Perf!

It occurred to me just now that he's never actually seen all of the Heretics and probably doesn't know that Valerie is one of them. Interesting. I can't wait to see what happens when he finds out!

What are your thoughts about "Never Let Me Go"? Are you loving the Heretics? What happens to drive Caroline and Stefan apart in the future? Sound off in the comments below and don't forget to watch The Vampire Diaries online!

Check out these scenes from The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 3!

And also this preview!

Never Let Me Go Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.7 / 5.0 (83 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 7 Episode 2 Quotes

Stefan: You killed him, didn't you?
Damon: Tyler? No. Jeremy once, but are we really bringing that up right now?

Alaric: You wouldn't think it's weird that I'm trying to contact my fiance who's been dead for months?
Bonnie: Honestly, after everything we've experienced, it'd be weird if you weren't.