The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 16 Review: The Downward Spiral

at .  Updated at .

Caroline Forbes is a girl on a mission to have some fun. And this new, humanity-less Caroline is certainly fun!

The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 16, Ian Somerhalder's directorial debut, featured Caroline on a downward spiral which actually seemed to be headed anywhere but down. The story is definitely looking up.

Caroline Forbes' control-freak tendencies, which helped her get a grip on her vampire urges in record time, are useful for more than just planning amazing costume parties. Now that she's without her humanity, her Type A nature is keeping her totally in check and it's actually pretty genius and scary.

Liam, the boy we all forgot, is Caroline's first post-humanity plaything. Interestingly enough, she finds that killing him would be more inconvenient than letting him live and erasing his memories because killing him means a dead body and dead bodies mean questions and questions mean police and what if one of them reminds Caroline of Liz!?

Isn't it amazing how the brain of a slightly neurotic vampire works? (Yes. Yes it is.)

This Caroline is pretty fantastic.

She's saying all the things we're thinking; about Elena being terrible, about Enzo's accent instantly upping the hotness factor, and how she is not now nor has she ever been dumb.

Elena, I shut off my humanity. I didn't turn into an idiot. The last thing I want to do is give you a reason to ruin my life.


She's in control, an evil genius, and she wants one thing: a single year of feeling nothing. That's it, and given the fact that vampires are nearly immortal, one year is nothing. So long as her friends vow not to try to convince her to switch her humanity back on, she promises not to kill anyone. It's a good deal, really, but Stefan can't leave well enough alone.

Let the record reflect that, despite Elena's ability to make everything – even Caroline maybe killing someone in the future – about her, it was actually Stefan who chanted Team Humanity and landed himself in quite the predicament.

To save Sarah Salvatore's life, which was placed into the hands of premed sophomore Liam so Caroline wouldn't go down for the murder (GENIUS!), Caroline wants Stefan to switch his humanity off, too.


It was certainly an interesting proposal and one that he would absolutely have to accept because we haven't had Ripper Stefan in a couple of seasons now and this series is nothing without the occasional foray into the darker side of Stefan's nature. It's a good thing we all love Ripper Stefan.

A humanity-less Staroline sounds like a good time and the promos from The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 17, where Stefan and Caroline get a little hot and bothered, definitely back that up. I don't love the fact that Stefan and Caroline are essentially getting together while neither of them have the ability to care, but it should be fun to watch.

The question is whether Caroline and her extreme control can keep Stefan on the catch-eat-erase plan instead of allowing him to rip people apart after feeding. She may be powerless to fight what seems to be more a part of him than he ever knew. Genetically a part of him. Sort of.

Mama Salvatore, Lily, is also a ripper. 

Yep. She's in the 1903 prison world because, after faking her death in 1858, she set off for Europe where she spent the next 45 years killing nearly 3,000 people. There are so many questions about Lily; like did Giuseppe know? Who turned her? Answers, please!

Damon discovered this shocking information after probably ruining his friendship with Bonnie, thanks to Kai. All Kai wanted to do was apologize to Bonnie now that he's found some humanity himself and all Bonnie wants to do is melt Kai's face off. 

(Prediction: Since we know Christopher Woods is on tap to helm Julie Plec's new project for The CW, my money's on Bonnie killing him by the end of the season.)

Kai sort of deserves to have his face melted off, so it's not like anyone can blame Bonnie for wanting to go there. Props to Chris Woods for displaying feelings of remorse all over his face while he struggled to figure out how to say he was sorry. It's been fun to watch him channel so many different sides to this character so I'll be sad if/when Kai leaves us.

But leave us he must. Probably. There's only room for one witch on this show and Bonnie's it. 

Her parts of tonight's episode were tinged with just the right amount of heartbreak and isolation that I actually found myself wondering what it would be like to be completely alone for as long as she was only to be thrust back into this vibrant, people-filled world again. 

She's in shock and she's overwhelmed and how dare her friends for not taking a beat and making sure she's okay to go off on some vampire-chasing adventure. Elena Gilbert is a terrible friend. 

Damon, the only one who sort of understood what she was feeling, was too busy dealing with his own mother's mystery to think clearly. Instead of just being honest with her and telling her that he needed information about his mother, he had to manipulate and drag Kai to the rave to surprise her. 

He deserved that stabbing, choking, whammy in her dorm room, with a punch to the face for good measure. Come on, Damon. 

It'll be interesting to see what develops for Bonnie as she struggles to find her place in this new world. She's lived such a different existence from her friends and she's obviously not okay. But they're all off dealing with their own demons and she seems to want no part of it. There's this feeling that she's sort of dangerous now but also incredibly grown up. Hey, living in a prison world will do that to a person, right?

I still cannot bring myself to care that Enzo wants to do whatever it is he wants to do to Sarah Salvatore and I missed Matt's blue eyes. Props to Ian Somerhalder on a great directorial debut!

What did you think of "The Downward Spiral"? Do you love humanity-less Caroline? How do you feel about Stefan turning off his humanity, too?

Some of your favorite lines from tonight's episode can be found on The Vampire Diaries quotes page, but if you want to see them in real time be sure to watch The Vampire Diaries online!

The Downward Spiral Review

Editor Rating: 4.0 / 5.0
  • 4.0 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 3.6 / 5.0 (92 Votes)

Miranda Wicker is a Staff Writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

The Vampire Diaries Season 6 Episode 16 Quotes

[to Damon] Congratulations! Everything you know about your mom is wrong.


Liam: Caroline Forbes, the girl from the swimming hole.
Caroline: Liam! The boy I forgot existed!