Don’t get us wrong: we’re happy that Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) and Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham) are not in fact gone from The Vampire Diaries — we’re just not so sure it is the best narrative choice. As this seemingly interminable summer hiatus moves steadily on, we contemplate the question: Is bringing Bonnie and Damon back a mistake?
Yes, this show has lost all sense of consequence
This show laughs in the face of consequence. It has taken the vampirism theme of cheating death and followed it through to a near-infinite conclusion. And it works on some level because we, as viewers, don’t want our favorite characters to die. But, it also takes away from the strength of narrative because we are never really afraid any of our heroes will die. It’s kind of like the television equivalent of junk food: it might taste good, but it’s not as satisfying in the long term. The Season 5 finale was a great opportunity for this show to make some bold statements concerning stakes, and they totally wasted it by not killing any major characters. We fear this may have been one time too many.
No, it gives the show a new, compelling plot
On the other hand, we haven’t been excited about a TVD plot line in a while. Season 5 felt like one impersonal and arbitrary battle for good vs. evil after another, and none of them emotionally-important to our characters. They were pawns in greater battles of good vs. evil, and it left us a bit bored. Word on the street is that Season 6 will be a “journey back to each other,” presumably as both Damon and Bonnie try to make their ways back to their loved ones. This is not only something we haven’t seen before on this show, but something in which all of the characters are personally invested. They aren’t playing a role in someone else’s story. They are playing out their own motivations and desires. This could be great — so much better than if Damon and Bonnie died.
Maybe, we’ll have to see how it plays out
We used to have blind confidence in this show, but that time has passed. It’s underwhelmed us too many times. We still love it. We’ll still watch it. But we’re not going to assume that it will pay off all of its plots and themes — though, we still have hope. So, as far as whether bringing Bonnie and Damon back is a mistake, we’re going to have to wait and see what happens. Only time will tell if this storylines is one worth investing in, and if this particular example of our favorite characters cheating death was worth the lowered stakes that have come along with it.
Do you think bringing Bonnie and Damon back was a mistake? Sound off in the comments below!