At this point I don't think there is any salvaging of this season. This was like the 7th or 8th mediocre episode in a row. I thought we were finally done with Jeremy but now he is coming back--yawn. Rebecca is about the most useless character I've seen--all she is good for is sex apparently. Sage--why again is she there--I cared zero about her last week and even less this week. And am I suppose to care about some 900 year old offscreen love affair between her and some plot device named Finn? I barely can muster enthusiasm for the actual onscreen 'shipping that has become far too prominent this season.
At least in the past the show managed to not let it overshadow the series--now it is angst all the time i.e. Bonnie/Jeremy, Elena/Stefan, Stefan/Damon, Damon/Elena, Rebecca/Matt, Rebecca/Damon, Elena/Matt, Caroline/Klaus, Caroline/Tyler etc etc. It has practically ruined the show.
I also could have done without Abby's subplot. She amounted to little more than a plot device to help release Ester and give Bonnie something to whine about--it could have been interesting but with so little mention of her before her appearing and so little screentime I just had no investment. And the subplot week hardly helped given that we've seen over and over and over on this series someone turning into a vampire and their struggle(Vicki, Caroline, Mr Forbes etc etc) so that was so very tired--thankfully it didn't take up that much of the show. And Ultimately she was conveniently removed from the series once she had played her role in the larger plot.
Last week I was lukewarm about Alaric turning out to be the serial killer and the way the story unfolded further this week just reaffirmed that initial impression. The revelation of his motive for attacking council members was weak and Matt Davis just didn't pull off the sadistic darker persona nearly as well as it needed to be.
Stefan's struggle with drinking blood is stale. Bleah. The series definitely feels like it is running on fumes.