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The Vampire Diaries - Best Served Cold - Review

There was so much to love about this action-packed, twist-filled episode, not least of all the feeling of happiness at how fun and addictive The Vampire Diaries still is in its seventh season.  In fact, during Seasons 4 and 5 of the show, the writers could have learned a lot from the tight plotting, shock-driven, emotionally powerful episodes we've seen so far in Season 7.  It's always hugely impressive when a show not only remains relevant and exciting in later seasons, but especially when it rejuvenates and even outdoes itself.

Three years from now...what?!  We returned to the scene of Damon and Alaric's awkward, acrimonious reunion with Damon urging Ric to check in on his fiancee.  Well, it just so happens that the fiancee is Caroline (!!!), who doesn't like to be interrupted before a broadcast and had texted Alaric earlier to see if they needed bread.  Between Ric's intimately nonchalant knowledge of Caroline's typical perfectionist tendencies and the simple domesticity of that text, we got a few brief hints of the nature of their relationship.  Meanwhile, a bloodied Caroline did an unexpected in-front-of-the-camera appearance to convey a message to Stefan!  I'm continuing to love these shock-a-minute flash-forwards and am excited to see how the show will begin to take steps towards an Alaric/Caroline romance, because wow!  Really?!

Revenge is a dish...Stefan was determined to kill Julian immediately, after learning that Lily's lover viciously beat a pregnant Valerie back in the 19th century.  However, without knowing about this, Damon was more inclined to give Lily six months of happiness with Julian before murdering him as revenge for Lily giving Kai the idea for Elena's sleeping beauty curse.  Instead of the kind of admittedly superficial, transparently temporary Stefan and Damon feuds we have seen so many times before, this dispute yielded some hilarious, suspenseful, and touching moments.  I loved Damon's interruption of Stefan's pool cue murder of Julian by telling a hypothetical "story," and the brothers' confrontation in their mother's bedroom (which used to be Damon's, ew!) was too funny.  Their battle with Julian made it clear that they have a formidable enemy in him, and in Lily, an unpredictable potential ally.
When Stefan finally explained the Valerie backstory to Damon and admitted how sad he felt that he'd lost the chance to be a father, we got some fascinating insights into how both brothers feel about potentially being a parent someday.  Damon recalled how he and Elena had discussed having children, and declared that he would love to be a great father just to spite the memory of his own terrible father Giuseppe.  Stefan and Damon bringing their not-so-dear old dad up in this scene was one of our first bits of foreshadowing that there's more to come regarding Giuseppe this season.  Stefan admitted that with all he's experienced in his long life, not having a child might end up being his single greatest regret.  We saw how visceral Stefan's feelings are on this subject with the post-title-card dream sequence of Stefan and the son he could have had, Jacob.

All of this talk of parenthood tied brilliantly into Alaric's storyline, making the structure of this episode seamless. served cold.  We got more details on Julian's personality and M.O. this week, seeing him expertly manipulate Lily and the Heretics, clearly trying to make all of Lily's adopted children love him so that he can use their loyalty for his own shady purposes.  It's probably also no coincidence that a pop-up compelled blood clinic appeared at Mystic Falls High shortly after Julian's arrival.

Lily was less repellent in this episode than in the last one, though her cruel dismissal of Valerie and continued refusal to see Julian's true colors are still irritating.  Her determination to try to create a peaceful Mystic Falls and bury the hatchet with Stefan, Damon, and the rest of the scoobies was best summed up by Bonnie's apt remark, "I hope you're joking."  At least Lily showed some true concern for Stefan and Damon's survival when they were fighting with Julian, even making her evil boyfriend promise not to hurt them again.  Yet it's hard to put much stock in her sincerity when her feelings and loyalties shift seismically from one moment to the next.  Perhaps the best way to describe Lily is dangerously flaky!

Oh my Benzo!  I adored Bonnie and Enzo's flirtation this week, as she became his date by default when they both showed up to Lily's absurd party at the same time.  When Bonnie straightened out Enzo's tie "to make Lily jealous," the sparks between Bonnie and Enzo were clear.  In fact, the flare up of chemistry was intense enough to scare Enzo off for the time being, as if he couldn't handle acknowledging that there's something there between him and Bonnie.  I can't wait to see more of this relationship as it unfolds.

Alaric, Florence, Caroline, Valerie, and that reveal!  So, you thought it was pretty shocking that Caroline and Alaric end up engaged three years in the future, huh?  Well, we hadn't seen anything yet!

This segment of the episode began with Bonnie urging Ric to help the woman inhabiting Jo's body, since the resurrected soul, whom we later learned was named Florence, was having a hard time getting used to the contemporary land of the living.  No sooner had Alaric started to assist Florence when she began to physically deteriorate.  A vampire soul in a human body turned out to be a deadly combination, leading to Florence's rapid demise.  Her death scene, wherein she told Alaric that Jo had been a lucky woman, and Ric thanked her for letting him hear Jo's voice again, was beautiful and heartbreaking.  I felt badly for poor Florence and for the ever-luckless Alaric...but wait.  It suddenly seemed that Ric's luck might be turning around in the most unexpected manner.

While watching the horrifying home video of Ric and Jo's wedding, Valerie noticed something about the Gemini coven's chanting after Jo was attacked and all hell broke loose.  The chanting was actually supposed to protect the newest Gemini twins...the ones living in Jo's womb.  Valerie guessed that the twins were still alive, protected by the spell, and promptly began a new spell to locate them.  Ironically, Caroline was dubious of the whole affair and kept insisting that the spell could never work, right up until a line of fire on the map started to travel right towards her.  After an explosion of flames overtook the map, Valerie announced that the babies were indeed still alive...inside Caroline's body!  

Wait, what?  Actually, that should have been the title of this stunning episode.  While we can certainly get a clearer picture of how Caroline and Alaric ended up being so close, how can vampire Caroline carry children?  Presumably because they were spelled there rather than a traditional conception?  Moreover, what in the world is she going to do and how will she handle this?  All in all, the biggest question is, is it next Thursday yet?!

Elsewhere in the episode: Caroline was adorably tart when she was trying to rush Valerie out of town into a new life far away from Stefan.  Matilda Pettigrew, ha!

The sartorially obsessed Nora is starting to get quite annoying.  I don't even care about Mary Louise, but watching Nora hen-peck her over her outfits and feed into her insecurities is grating.  The two of them feel like a bland tangent that's one of the only flaws of the season.  However, the rest of the episode was so amazing that their pointlessness, and of course Matt's, didn't matter at all!

What did you think of this episode?  Share your thoughts in the comments!  And be sure to catch an all-new The Vampire Diaries, next Thursday at 8/7 on the CW.

About the Author - Virginia Mae Fontana
Virginia is happy to be reviewing The Vampire Diaries and Beauty and the Beast for Spoiler TV. She enjoys obsessing over films and pop music - in addition to tv shows, of course! You can find her blog, SugarRushed, at and her Twitter handle is @VMaeFontana
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