My, my, it’s has been a rough summer in Mystic… I mean outside the city limits of Mystic Falls.  There’s plenty of adjustment to be done, and everyone is miserable.  In other words, status quo!  So, how did “I’ll Remember” do in setting up the season to come?  

I’m just going to gush and have my little fan girl fit right now.  Alaric, you’re back!!!  Oh man, don’t ever leave me again.  I feel like all is right with the universe again, even though he doesn’t.  He’s a college professor, teaching of all things occult studies to a bunch of people who of part of the occult.  That’s kind of like bringing ice to the eskimos.  They don’t need it, but it’s in abundance nonetheless and it’s what they do.  Honestly, is there occult studies programs out there at colleges?  It can’t be very far fetched, after all fandom studies is becoming a real thing.  Anyway, Alaric is perfect for the job.  Judging by all the books he had for Caroline, he’s going to be the new Giles (see, I managed to finally do a Buffy reference).  

It didn’t matter what Alaric was doing, because I was just so happy to see him be part of the gang again that I wanted to hug the screen and never, ever let go.  Alaric has resumed the role that suited him so well in the early seasons, the glue holding everyone together, even though he’s kind of falling apart inside himself.  His inner strength keeps him going, even though he’s hating every single bit of being a vampire.  He’s bred by original vampires though, so on the vampire scale he’s got some “special” skills.  So that brings us to Elena. 

I do admit, I was a casual watcher in season five.  I had to actually binge watch the last twelve episodes this summer to catch up.  I’m not exactly sure what happened to Elena through the years, but I do recall her being much stronger than this in earlier seasons.  You know, the matriarch figure that kind of pulls it all together for everyone?  The protector of Jeremy, the fighter against all that’s bad?  What the Hell happened?  I get she’s all weird now that the love of her life is dead, but she has experienced loss before, right?  Her so called “shocking” request for Alaric to compel her to forget Damon is pretty weak.  I hope Alaric stays in his right mind and realizes that would be a very, very bad idea and Elena needs to toughen up!  Yeah, I know what show I’m watching.  He’s so going to do it, because contrived plots are the norm! 

Am I surprised that Elena was doping herself up to hallucinate Damon?  Not really.  Denial comes in all forms.  I’m glad she realized there was a problem too and that fake Damon was trying to talk her back to reality.  But, um, well, did she consider the long term part of the plan?  Was she thinking fake Damon and her would eventually fight and break up?  Yeah, I know what show I’m watching, but it still seems too thin to me.  

Honestly, the character making the most sense to me other than Alaric is Stephan.  I’m not sure what he was up to, but hiding out as a mechanic in Savannah, grieving and swallowing his pain in isolation, is exactly how I’d expect a someone to react to the death of his brother, especially when you have that 160 years plus of history.  He’s sad and has found a lady friend, but she obviously doesn’t know the real him, even if he told her the truth (yeah, I wouldn’t have believed him either).  I’m still wondering if this is a case of the blues and he’s ready to move on (the smashing of the phone being the biggest hint) or if there’s something more to this story that we haven’t found out.  I’m willing to wait!  

Caroline is being Caroline, forgetting that sophomores in college should be over the whole high school popularity contest by now.  She’s sad because everyone else is sad and wants back in her town.  I’m taking odds on bets that Alaric was just giving her useless books to shut her up and keep her occupied for a while.  He’s a smart guy.  Did I tell you all how much I’m happy that Alaric isn’t dead anymore?  

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Riddle me this.  Is the lockout to Mystic Falls city limits only vampires?  So Jeremy gets a pass?  I know he’s a hunter, but he’s still supernatural, right?  He may be in a dour mood, but hanging out at the Lockwood mansion all day playing video games and eating pizza doesn’t sound like a bad way to live.  Come on Jeremy, I’ve always thought you could do better than Bonnie.  Witches come with a lot of baggage.  Find another reason to mope, like because your life sucks.  I’m just tickled he’s living with Matt.  I always said those two should get a house!  The bromance is strong with those two, even if Matt has been relegated to maid.  I still vividly remember the episode when Matt came to the Gilbert house to see a dead Jeremy on the couch.  Oh, the feels!  This moment was a long, very hard road to get here.  

I’m disappointed to see Matt was passing his time training for community watch.  Shouldn’t he like be a cop by now or something?  Come on Matt, you’re capable of so much more.  Especially when Jeremy made the best point of the evening, there is no crime or savage attacks now that the vampires are out of town.  Crime is non-existent!  Taking down offenders in the town square is just showing off.  What happened to Matt’s original house?  Does he own two now? Or did he sell it for cash since he obviously needs some sort of currency because the Grill is being rebuilt and the community watch offers a wage of free lunch.  I’m assuming the girl he saved is supposed to be his new love interest.  Matt doesn’t need a girl.  He needs a life.  

Question #2, I know Tyler signed his house over to Matt, but can he still visit now that he’s going to college?  After all, he’s human again, right?  You know he’s going to kill someone and become a werewolf again, don’t you?  And because Alaric has the blood of all the original vampires, including Klaus, he can create hybrids, right?  I am remembering the ritual correctly, aren’t I?  I’m placing odds that Tyler will be a hybrid again by midseason.  Yes, when I’m worrying about domestic details like this, perhaps the plots as presented weren’t enthralling me.  

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Then, after an hour of seeing everyone living in domestic misery, it all evens out with a tale at the end of domestic bliss.  You see, not everyone is having a pity party.  BUT…Damon and Bonnie???  Donning flannel and having a cozy breakfast of pancakes and coffee??  Oh, this is too rich.  If this is death, everyone should be staking themselves in the heart right now.  That’s our big “WTF???” for next week, and suddenly I’m not ruminating about odd bedfellows in a small southern town with an astronomical homicide rate.  I’m all about the other side.  Could that mean the Alaric/Damon reunion I’ve been dreaming about is not far off?  That’s the real romance in this show, and they’ve been apart far too long.    

What did you think of “I’ll Remember?”  Is the closer enough to bring you back next week?  Are you screaming “bros before ho’s” at the set like I am?  

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