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OK finished a marathon session of season 7.  My initial thoughts are it mirrors season 3 in that the first half of was better than the second.  I really liked Lily as a character and I loved the fact that she was torn between supporting the Mystics (who were her adopted family) and Stefan and Damon (who were her actual family).  I quite liked the dynamic between the various Mystics and certainly thought there were some good characters.  Particularly Valarie and the romance with Nora/Marie Louise.  Nora/Marie Louise came across as extremely spoilt and immature but I think the latter half of the season when they both decided to die together showed that they truly loved each other.  Valarie developed quite a bit as a character.  She started off as another vampire but the back story of her falling in love with Stefan, getting pregnant and Julian beating her and forcing her to lose the baby showed she had another side to her.  And we gradually saw her empathising with Caroline when she was pregnant with the next generation of Gemini twins and helping to protect them and also aiding Stefan escape from the vampire hunter, rekindling her relationship with him and letting him go when she knew he was in love with Caroline.

For me the worst part of the season was when they killed Lily off.  I was very disappointed with Damon's attitude towards her on her death bed.  He could have a least said something positive but she went to her grave thinking that he hated her.  I would like to think Damon loved her in his own sort of way and I did think he was sorry the way things ended but was too stubborn to admit it.  One of the things I found fascinating about Lily was that she allowed herself to be dominated and bullied by men to the point where it took priority over protecting her own family.  We saw this with the Salvatore brother's when they were kids and to a lesser extent with the Mystics or more specifically Valarie when she mentioned what happened with Julian.  Unlike before when she tried to escape from her husband but didn't this time she sacrificed herself (or so she thought) to protect them from the man she loved.

After Lily's death things started to fall apart.  It didn't feel like a family with the rest of the Mystics and they were all killed off with the exception of Valarie.  Although he had help from Valarie I thought Stefan was able to kill Julian way too easily as they gave the impression he was quite a powerful vampire.  Then I found the stuff with Rayna Cruz hunting after Stefan (which was the basic premise for this season) and The Armory's pursuit of Bonnie and various others quite mundane and repetitive.  I did like the part where they were doing the spell to transfer Rayna into Bonnie's body to stop Bonnie from dying and Rayna had her final revenge saying that Bonnie would assume the role of the Hunter and dedicate her life to going after vampires.  It was also really good to see Klaus again and I didn't even mind Tyler showing up for a couple of episodes.

You can't have an end of season without a cliff hanger so we now see Damon and Enzo on a pursuit of evil rounding up bodies for who knows what.  The second half of the season made me think that they should only really continue doing this for a couple more seasons tops and perhaps call it a day.  The main reason I continued watching was because of Damon.  I really like his personality and find his dry, cynical sense of humor highly amusing.  It's not even so much what he says but the way he says it that I find funny.  If he wasn't in the show there is a good chance I would stop watching it.

They're currently showing season 8 but I'm all TVD out so need a break for a while.  I wanted to make a start on The Originals, season 1 but even though it's only 10 episodes, I'm not even sure I could watch it right now.

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