TV Review: The Vampire Diaries 7.3 “Age of Innocence”

The Vampire Diaries
Season 7 Episode 3: “Age of Innocence”
Directed by Michael A. Allowitz
Written by Melinda Hsu Taylor and Holly Brix
Created by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec
Starring Paul Wesley, Ian Somerhalder, Kat Graham, Candice Accola King, Zach Roerig, Matthew Davis, Michael Malarkey, Annie Wersching, Elizabeth Blackmore, Todd Lasance, Tim Kang, Michael Trevino
The CW
Air Date: Thursday, October 22, 2015, 8pm

Warning: This is a recap of Vampire Diaries 7.3 “Age of Innocence,” so SPOILERS…

Stefan (Paul Wesley) in the future is so mysterious. He’s on a mission. He wants to get in touch with Caroline (Candice Accola King), but it’s cool. He calls Tyler (Michael Trevino) to ask him to contact Caroline. His scar is opening up and he doesn’t “have much time.” But, whatever. Tyler says he should be running, but he casually walks over to his beautiful car, saves his diary at the last minute because he’s so damn sentimental, and drops a lighter in the trunk. BOOM, it explodes right behind him as he walks towards the camera. But he doesn’t look back. He’s Stefan Salvatore.

Back in present day, the retelling of Valerie (Elizabeth Blackmore) and Stefan’s love story drags out for the entire episode and brings us to the past (which I do usually like). It turns out that in 1863, Stefan was a sad 16-year old, still mourning the loss of his mother with no support from his brother (he was at war for the Confederates to please his dad and it was bad all around). Valerie was sent by Mama Salvatore (Annie Wersching) to check in on Stefan, but she fell for him. He was so innocent, it’s sort of gross. I think it’s supposed to be cute, but it feels overdone. Regardless, Valerie is his first love and his first time and there is a romantic scene between them that feels so long, uncomfortable, and boring, that it rivals the Twilight honeymoon scene! Poor Caroline has to dwell on this while in captivity and I would venture to say that’s worse than physical torture.

Stefan enacts his plan to connect with his mom and pretend he’s mad at Damon (Ian Somerhalder). There’s just a wedge that’s been driven between them. Sniff, sniff. It does work and he begins to teach his mother to drive. They bond. I don’t think this is totally pretend, as Stefan really loves his mother. They discuss the Valerie situation, and we also learn that Lily had a boyfriend, Julian, back in 1863. It turns out Julian was evil and controlling of Valerie, and really just wanted a ride on Lily’s boat (literally). Julian convinced Valerie to lie to Lily and say that Stefan had moved on and never thought about his mother anymore. In the present day, Stefan explains that this simply isn’t true; that Lily was ripped from his arms; that he will never forget it. The worst part is when we find out that Valerie was pregnant with Stefan’s child and Julian beat her to the point of near-death, killing the baby in the process. Valerie never told Lily because she didn’t want to reveal that she had lied about Stefan’s feelings and that she fell for him.

All Bonnie (Kat Graham) wants to do is write in her diary, but she just can’t finish a sentence without having mind flashes of gruesome bloody murders and passing out on the floor. So inconvenient. It’s Bachelor Nation at Alaric’s (Matthew Davis)! Damon is crashing with him and walking around in a towel while discussing supernatural stuff! Bonnie walks in and acts normal, but man, I’m predicting a love fest between these two eventually (we can only hope)! Some of you might disagree. Alaric is in dangerous territory. He lies that he destroyed the Phoenix Stone, but Damon gives him a look that’s like, “Dude, I wasn’t born yesterday…I was born 150 years ago.”

Elderly, clever, and good looking Damon rallies the troops (a.k.a. Bonnie and Alaric) to take a road trip to Myrtle Beach to visit Lily’s sixth Heretic buddy, Oscar. Surprisingly, he’s nothing like Oscar the Grouch! He is positively groovy! It’s a total bummer that the trio has to harm and maim him (after he siphons off Bonnie’s nightmare flashes) in order to do a “hostage swap” for Elena (Nina Dobrev)! Frown face. Unfortunately, even though Damon discusses the trade with Lily, Valerie sneaks in and kills her bro, Oscar, so that he doesn’t bring back Julian the “devil!” D-r-a-m-a. Oh, and Bonnie knows that Alaric kept the Phoenix Stone and she’s mad for a minute but then she’s like, “I got you, bro.” I have to say, Bonnie is quite the forgiving witch lady. Alaric necrofancies bringing his wife back and Bon-Bon is going to help him do it.

Lily returns home (she doesn’t know the fate of Oscar yet) and speaks with Caroline. Caroline shows Lily that Stefan wrote about her nearly every day and that he loved her. Lily is visibly emotional, in what appears to be a mix of guilt, sadness, and happiness. Perhaps she will turn over a new leaf with little Stef. Or not, when she finds out next episode about Damon and Stefan’s diabolical plan. For now, though, she is so touched that she releases Caroline, who is grateful that Lily’s “heart grew four times” today!

Back in the dorm room that has a cozy fireplace (how have I never mentioned how ridiculous this is?), Caroline voices her insecurities about Val and Stefan assures her that he’s looking forward and not back. “All I care about is that you’re here and safe,” he says. But something tells me now that he knows the truth about Valerie, things are about to get COMPLICATED.

Hope y’all enjoyed my recap/review! Come back again next week and let me know what you think in the comments!

The Vampire Diaries|Age of Innocence Trailer|The CW

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