Episode 2.17 TVD “Know Thy Enemy” or “The Bravery of Bonnie Bennett” (04/13/2011)

First, a confession.  I’ve never been a fan of Bonnie Bennett.

I know, I know.  She’s Elena’s BFF.  But until recently, I did not find her …forgive me…compelling.

It is a testament to the superior quality of the writing and acting on “The Vampire Diaries” that Bonnie has grown on me through her development as a character.  In Season 2, like Caroline, she has gone from being Elena’s best gal pal (albeit a pal with powers) to being really interesting.

In Season 1, Bonnie began as perplexed and then excited by her special abilities, then transitioned to guarded about when and how to use them,  and arrived as the reluctant “keeper of the flame” upon the death of her beloved mentor and grandmother, Sheila Bennett, aka “Grams”.

It was the death of her grandmother that really made Bonnie evaluate when and how to use her powers, and on whom.  But it was this event that also drove a wedge into her relationship with Elena.

Bonnie blamed vampires for her grandmother’s death, so she hated them.  The fact that Elena is in love with a vampire created a rift between these two best friends.  However, as time passed, Bonnie appeared to mend the bond with her friend, and she saved Damon and Stefan from death at the end of the first season, solely out of loyalty to Elena.

In Season 2, Bonnie became a more integral part of the story, as the theme of the Sun and the Moon Curse developed.  Since the elements to break the curse involve a vampire, a werewolf, a witch, the moonstone and a doppelganger, Bonnie’s powers took on a whole new meaning.

But what we have seen the most in Season 2 is Bonnie’s most admirable characteristic – her loyalty to her friends…all of them.

Bonnie is the one who convinces Damon to give his blood to an injured Caroline in order to save her life.

After the initial shock of facing Caroline as a newly turned vampire, Bonnie casts a spell on a ring so that Caroline can walk in the sun like the Salvatore brothers.

When Stefan is caught in the well full of vervain, Bonnie helps Elena and Caroline rescue him.

When Elena is kidnapped, Bonnie “finds” her by pushing the boundaries of her developing powers, rendering herself unconscious in the process.

When she needs to know what the Martins are up to, she casts a spell on Luka, and brings Jonas’ wrath upon herself – resulting in the loss of her powers.

But that was just a temporary setback.  Those powers, and additional information, are returned to her by Jonas upon his own death.

There is nothing that Bonnie won’t do for her friends.  She has demonstrated time and again that she is even willing to help Stefan and Damon if it is in service to Elena.

In “Know Thy Enemy”, Bonnie comes into the absolute fullness of her power.  At the witch’s burial ground, she is able to absorb all the power of the witches who have died there.

But, this power comes with a terrible price.

Apparently, in order to use it all – which is what Bonnie will have to do in order to kill Klaus – she will have to sacrifice her life in the process.

So Bonnie is faced with a choice – her life, or the lives of her friends.

And she has chosen her friends.

Although Jeremy is horrified, Bonnie explains herself.  She believes that this is what she was born to do – that this is her part in the history that is being played out in Mystic Falls.  Her power is not about floating feathers or blowing out candles – it is about overcoming evil and preserving the lives of her friends, especially her BFF, Elena.

Although this post is a commentary on “Know Thy Enemy”, I also offer this speculation.  I believe that Bonnie Bennett will meet her death in the final episode of Season 2.  It may be in the form of a cliff-hanger that has us wondering all summer “Did or didn’t Bonnie Bennett survive?” but I don’t think she will.  She will be one of the 3 characters who die by season end.

And I believe her place will be filled by (get ready fans of the books) Meredith.  I don’t know how the writers plan to introduce her, but that is my prediction – that Meredith will show up in Mystic Falls shortly.

So prepare to say good-bye to the incredibly brave Bonnie Bennett.  May she find peace in the next world and be reunited with her beloved Grams.

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