Basically, if you want to take over the world, make sure all the people who stand in your way are distracted by ridiculously dysfunctional love triangles. That's the takeaway message of the new arc on Vampire Diaries. Spoilers ahead...
The show is really pushing the Travelers, who are like bargain-basement witches with a habit of creepy chanting in unison, as the new threat. And I guess there's a war between Travelers and witches, but nobody bothered to tell Bonnie. And we've never seen much hint that the witches have much of a national or global organization, beyond local groups here and there. But now it's going to be an all-out magical battle. With lots of doppelganger blood!
Last night's Vampire Diaries was crammed with sparkling, hilarious dialogue — but the actual plot was kind of maddening. As has been the case a lot lately, nobody seems to take the Travelers too seriously as a threat. A while back, Stefan and Elena meekly handed over a ton of their blood to these guys, and now Stefan and Caroline are conspiring to kill Stefan's nice-guy doppelganger — and they only balk because Tom the Paramedic is so nice, not because they're going to be handing power to these evil douches.
In general, this was a ten-car pileup of disastrous choices. Damon and Elena are so obsessed with squeezing the last drop of will-they-won't-they out of their codependent sex-spree of a relationship, they barely notice that Stefan's been kidnapped. When Jeremy meets up with Liv the witch, everyone is obsessed with whether Jeremy is cheating on Bonnie — not what this supposedly non-powerful witch might want with the world's last Hunter. Caroline is busy trying to figure out if she's got the hots for the evil Enzo because he reminds her of Klaus, and then trying to decide whether Tom the Doppelganger is too sweet to kill.
Nobody is taking the threat of the Travelers seriously — until they commit some kind of ritual suicide thingy using Stefan and Elena's blood, and overload Bonnie with mystical deaths all at once, causing the Other Side to puke up a mysterious figure. Who, I'm guessing, is their leader Markos?
Oh, but the dialogue really was sparkly. Including a "fried green tomatoes" joke, a threat to give Stefan a "back-alley lobotomy," booze as "the breakfast of champions," "Tyler Lockwood's a life coach," "I'm in need of a new murder buddy." And the best line, which basically sums up this entire series: "Elena's friends are right: The world really does revolve around her."