Category: Vampire Diaries


How shall I kill thee?  Let me count the ways….

I sat down this week prepared for a more mild episode with a lot of backstory about Stefan and how he went from Dark to Light.  Well, in true Vampire Diaries fashion, I got exactly what I thought I should from the preview – plus about a billion other exciting things.  This show week after week blows me away with the way it’s paced and written.  Every time I think there can’t be more to the episode, they come back with even more excitement.  It really is a “thrill ride” – unlike many movies that advertise themselves that way.

We start the ep with the aforementioned flashbacks, and get to watch Dark Stefan tormenting the Gilbert family.  He’s gone whacko and is killing everyone around town, and it’s Damon who is the voice of reason telling him to tone it down.  The excuse for this balst from the past?  Turns out Elena, still at the cabin from last week, is reading the Gilbert Journal aka Vampire Diary aka Slayer Guide Book.  She gives Stefan a weird look and he decides to tell her his story, a la Lestat.   I wasn’t really very interested in this, but basically it involves him killing lots of innocents, then getting found by Lexi, who takes him under her wing and explains to him that he has blocked out the side of him that feels pain, but once he unlocks it he’ll also be able to feel love.  Oh joy, corny much?  We are also reminded later that Damon unceremoniously killed Lexi in season one.  It almost seems like the writers are regretting that decision, but oh well.  The main point of this is Stefan wants Elena to not give up on life/love/Stefan.  But girlfriend is dead set on being a martyr, so what can ya do?

In the mean time Bonnie is basking in the afterglow of her hot kiss with Jeremy.  Or is she?  When he comes up to her all she wants to talk about is witchcraft so he is suitably dismayed.  He asks her if she wants to “hang” and do some witch stuff and eat at his place so she says yes.  Boy Warlock briefly appears to confront her but they basically ignore his sorry ass.  So she comes to the house, and Jeremy has gone all out with takeout food and candles, hoping he can finally get some.  Bonnie is surprised, because she is apparently an idiot, and realizes “oh it’s a date…”  Duh, bitch!  Horny teen on the prowl who you just tongue meshed last night.  In order to not scare her away, he downplays the 10 hours he spent prepping to get laid and the 20 pack of condoms he bought, and tells her instead they can just practice spells, after awkwardly confirming that she did indeed at least enjoy the kiss.  She agrees and they settle down to do some casting, amazing us by stealing flame from a candle and putting it in her hands.  Uhhh, OK, I thought she could do that a long time ago.  Whatever, they babble about draining power, so Jeremy askes her to drain his fluids, I mean his life force, and just as they are about to get into some serious draining, Daddy Warlock appears, throws Jeremy on the wall and bitch slaps her down.    He then proceeds to threaten her and steal her powers.  Ouch.  Now as much as I am not a big Bonnie fan, I was really hoping she’d go Dark Willow on his ass and take him down a notch.  But alas, it looks like we are going to be saddled with a couple weeks of Jeremy comforting Bonnie about losing her powers.  Yawn.

Now on to the main plot.  There’s some intro with Jenna hanging with Elijah (cute couple!) to visit the old family areas, and he’s searching for some old graveyard.  I honestly wasn’t paying much attention.  Alaric drops by and is jealous, plus Jenna has been giving him the cold shoulder ever since Uncle John infected her with his annoying doubts about Isabel.  The scene goes nowhere but somehow they all end up at the bar and Heroes galpal suggests they all have a fun dinner party at Damon’s.  Woot!  Man I wish I could have gone to this party.  Elijah is delighted, and shows up later at the house.  He tells Damon, who by the way is planning to kill him with the magic dagger and voodoo ash (given to Damon by John who is apparently very trustworthy), that if he tries anything less than friendly, he’ll kill everyone in the house and steal Elena to boot.  Damon’s like, no way bro, I just wanna hang with you!  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that just before this, Damon goes to visit Katherine, who’s all decrepit waiting for blood.  I guess he wasn’t 100% stupid as he wanted to make sure John wasn’t lying, so he goes to confirm the dagger’s powers with someone even more trustworthy: the chick who’s lied, broke his heart and betrayed and kicked his ass a dozen times.  Yeah, that’s where I’d go for my critical life and death info too.  He also apparently had time to stop by Forever 21 and pick her up some nice new dresses, cuz that’s just how he rolls.  She ends up begging him to not kill Elijah (promising to help him save Elena and fight Klaus), because then she’ll be stuck in the cave forever (since Elijah was the one who compelled her there).  Damon just taunts her some more and tells her she’s revealed everything to him, muhahaha!

So they have a fun dinner with Alaric, Jenna, Uncle John (who shows up uninvited), Heroes chick, Elijah and Damon.   Why can’t we all just get along because I would watch a show just about these guys having dinner parties and givign each other weird looks every week.  Damon eventually lures Elijah into the study where he’s got the dagger stashed, and is planning to make his move.  But at the same time, Elena at the lake house is busy reading the Handbook and confronts Stefan about the dagger.  But then she reads -wait for it- the dagger if used by another vampire will kill the vampire too!  Damn those witches for making so many funky rules with their artifacts.  It’s like a RPG item with too many modifiers.  Dagger of Elder Vampire Slaying: requires white oak ash to activate, +100% damage to Elder Vampires, not usable by vampires, must also be…. (oops not yet).  Stefan calls Damon but his iPhone isn’t on him, what’s up with that?  So he calls Alaric instead, and just in time Alaric interrupts what might have been a big disaster.  They head back to the dinner table for dessert, and as Jenna goes to the kitchen to bake her pie, Elijah again threatens everyone for good measure, but just as he talking BAM he’s stabbed through the heart and he dies.  Surprise!  Alaric has used the dagger and totally caught me off guard.  He’s human, so it’s OK!!!  Hooray!  Elijah is dead.  Again!  So let’s hurry up and chop him to pieces and then burn all the parts…  or not.  It’s probably better to just leave him untouched like we did last time, because nothing bad happened, right?

Next scene we see the bromance boys (Alaric and Damon) throwing Elijah’s body in some dungeon room.  I guess Damon had time to grab the dagger and he makes some bitchy remarks to Alaric, who tells him he’s his only friend so he better be nice.  These two need to get a room and be done with it.  Seriously, though, am I the only one who remembers Damon killing Alaric?  Oh well, I guess it’s all relative if you have a resurrection ring.  On a side note, it’s kind of cool how there are no repercussions to dying and coming back to life if you have one of those rings.  Pretty sweet. 

Back in the lake house, Elena is still reading ever so slowly from the Handbook.  Apparently there’s some empty pages or page breaks because it takes her a while to find out that you can kill the elder with the dagger and he will only stay dead as long as you leave the dagger in the body.  Yes I LOL’d here and almost threw my remote at the TV.  So Stefan calls Damon to tell him about this little glitch, but when he goes to check, surprise!  The body is gone and we know Elijah is gonna be all kinds of pissed.  Why he didn’t slaughter everyone in the house first, I don’t know, but he decides to go straight for Elena at the lake house.

The ongoing subplot with Alaric and Jenna gets some brief screen time, as she confronts him about Isabel and he just stares into space, so she starts crying and whining about not being able to trust him.  Annoying Uncle John promises to help him but he wants his resurrection ring back first.  So Alaric hands it over, but taunts him by reminding him he and Damon are best buds, and Damon will be pissed that John tried to trick him.  Clearly the whole point of this scene was to make sure the audience knows exactly who has the resurrection ring.  It’s John, aka The Highlander, aka The Horrible Actor who Dies but Keeps Coming Back.  Yes, we get it writers, you love him and will continue to resurrect him to punish me.

So now we move on, and Elijah is at the lake house, and he’s ready to kick some ass.  He grabs some pebbles and uses his patented “quarters” move to blow down the door.  He tells Elena he can’t come in but he can wait her out.  Stefan cowers behind a wall and tells Elena to go deal with this mess (OK that didn’t really happen but whatever).  Elena’s like, don’t worry, I can handle this Elder Smelder Vampire, you go get prettied up for me.  So she comes out Full-On Elena style and bitches at Elijah yet again to make a deal.  He tells her no more bargains, he’s gonna kill everyone.  She tells him she still has one more card to play, the martyr card!  And all the fans know she can’t wait to play it.  With her dead, there is no more doppleganger to lure Klaus out.  Elijah says there’s no way Stefan will let her die, and she says F- that, he’ll turn me into a vampire just like Katherine and yuor plan will still be foiled.  Elijah, being wise after thousands of years, calls her bluff, but clearly he has underestimated just how wackily suicidal this girl is.  She’s been itching to kill herself for many episodes now so she takes delight in stabbing herself with a dagger.  Elijah is like, damn this girl is really f-ed up, and immediately concedes, promising her everything she demands (again) – man she is really good at manipulating centuries-old vampires.  He yells at her to let him heal her, and she jumps into his arms, pulls out the dagger… and STABS him to death!  I’ll be honest, I jumped out of the seat her and yelped in delight.  I totally did not see that coming, and I have to give it to the writers and Elena for keeping me on my toes the whole way.  We then see Damon come out and reveal he brought the dagger, brilliant!!!   She stares down the worthless vampire brothers and tells them – all right you little bitches, stop hiding things from me, from now on we do it MY WAY, we gonna throw down Elena-style!  Now I’m a bit bugged they still don’t bother dismantling Elijah’s body, but choose instead to just leave the dagger in place.  This irritates me because it means any time someone can just pull it out and he’s back again, again.  Oh well.

So after a big sigh of relief and thinking the episode is over, I smile as there is still one more scene!  Damon comes home and sees his hot chick showering, so he’s ready to have some fun.  But wait, that ain’t the Heroes chick, it’s…. BAM!!!  Katherine!!!!!  She stands there naked and asks for a towel as he stares and drools.  She tells him she’s played him yet again – killing Elijah actually freed her, it was always part of her plan.  But…. she’s here to help take Klaus out.  Exit, stage right.

Whew, that was a doozy of an episode.  I love being caught off guard, even though I feel like a tool for getting tricked, TWICE, and also I don’t see why these tools don’t take better precautions with their elder vampires.  But I forgive them for giving me such delight, and can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

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In an overload of cute coincidences, we get a heart wrenching (literally) Valentine’s episode that happens to be numerically episode 2-14.  Could they really have planned it this way?  Who knows?  In any case, as has been consistent with the show, we get an abundance of everything and the core plotline moves with alarming speed, while simultaneously keeping an eye out for big soap opera moments. 

The WW pack is pissed off and licking its wounds.  In comes a fresh faced smart kid WW (FFWW) who seems to know all about the moonstone and the breaking of the vampire stuck-in-nighttime curse.  Essentially it’s framed as whoever controls the moonstone controls the fate of the WWs vs the vampires.  He gathers the remaining WW bunch and they decide they have no options but to go full bore and attack ALL the vampires in town.  Sure, why not?  It’s not like it’s been established that a single vampire (or witch) can render a pack of them useless in mere seconds when it’s not the full moon.  But they know this is Vampire Diaries, and everyone’s powers vary as they need to, so they are probably hoping for the best. 

Meanwhile, we get a gratuitous shot of our 3 girls in bed together after their slumber party from last ep.  Stefan calls Elena, who falls off the bed, and they decide to go off on a romantic trip all on their own, mostly so she can get away from her dad (the ever annoying Highlander).  On a side note, I hate to rant but this guy (David Anders) is so freaking annoying, and he just won’t die.  Seriously, he doesn’t die.  And even when he does die (in various shows, no less) he finds a way to come back.  Whoever his agent is deserves a big bonus.  Anyway, back to the romantic trip to the family Lake House.  Elena is hesitant at first since she hasn’t been there since her parents died, but eventually Stefan convinces her to create some new memories there (aka sex).  We get a few more cute moments and some “romance” Stefan/Elena style (yawn), which eventually leads to the real reason they are here (sex).  To find a hidden chamber which houses all sorts of Vampire Slayer (TM) equipment, as well as another journal with lots of vampire killing info.  Sweet!  What excellent timing.  All that stuff would sure be nice if I had to fight The First!

Back to the pack, Go Pack Go!  Damon and his boytoy Alaric are licking their wounds after a meaningless confrontation with Elijah, who has come to town ostensibly to promote a new book or some such nonsense.  Elijah shows Damon who’s boss as they establish that he really is an elder vampire and can kick Damon’s butt whenever he feels like.  Alaric does nothing but make some off hand comment about how Elijah has great hair.  Really?  Someone please get this guy something useful to do!  He was in Blue Crush for Pete’s sake!  Damon as usual likes to mouth off, so it’s amusing to watch as he yet again gets pwned by a stronger vampire.  But he knows he’s the breakout star of the show, so he laughs it off and gets Alaric to bring him drinks.  Earlier, Alaric had a run in with the Highlander who, in the most annoying way possible, threatened to reveal his secrets to Jenna.  So he whines about not wanting to lie anymore to her, while Damon looks bored and we are too.  It’s cute how these guys are best buds now, even though Damon killed him last season.  Luckily there’s no short supply on resurrection rings (or for that matter daywalker rings – the gear in this show is top notch), and the Highlander reminds the audience that Alaric has one (setup for later in the episode much?).   

Oh yeah, there’s a short sequence regarding the reporter (some chick I last saw in Heroes) Damon played with last week, who he has compelled into falling in love with him.  I guess she’s his diversion from Elena and it’s kind of sweet that he puts on a scarf for her to cover up the bite marks.   So anyway, Alaric is finally leaving, (I guess they just hang out all day/night, it’s not like he has to teach or grade papers or anything), Damon’s resting and whack, there’s a sound and Damon finds poor Alaric “dead” yet again, as the camera pans to his resurrection ring a few times to make sure we remember he’s not *really* dead.  Yay, the pack is here!  Damon fights but gets subdued again, overwhelmed by the numbers (plus he’s already hurt), and soon enough, FFWW is torturing him with a contraption straight out of Saw (to get the moonstone), and even cleverly references the “torture porn” genre.  Kudos to you FFWW!!  I’m thinking this is a cool new character I could like.  Damon laughs it off, again knowing he’s a bigger name than any of these losers, and continues to taunt the pack even though we don’t perceive any advantage he might have, aside from knowing Alaric is lying there and can theoretically come back to be even more useless than he was earlier.

Back in town, the Scooby Gang is back at it.   Luckily the writers have contained them into this minor subplot so we are spared too much of Bonnie.  So the witch, her drooling slave Jeremy, and Caroline (slumming it a bit this episode) have devised an awesome plot to kidnap Kid Warlock and pump him for info, Salem-witch style.  Bonnie makes some sexy eyes at him which is apparently enough to get him to lose his senses and drink a roofie, and the team grabs him and goes.  Jeremy asks Bonnie if she’s strong enough to cast her spell because he’s so sweet and sensitive, and always so concerned about her, but she tells him she’s fine as she can apparently gain all sorts of power from a few 99 cent candles they picked up at Target.  She has him fetch a bowl of water so that Caroline can gossip with her about what a hot piece of young beef Jeremy is.  After a few more giggles and acknowledgment that they are both damaged goods and should settle for whatever comes along (yes I’m sure everyone feels sorry for these girls to be stuck with Jeremy and Matt), Bonnie is ready to cast her mind control candlespell.  Warlock Boy resists and says he’ll be killed for revealing info, but Bonnie sucks it out of him regardless – the big news is in spite of keeping her protected for the interim, long term they are going to have to sacrifice Elena.  Shocker!  The Scooby Gang is not amused by this at all so they immediately call Stefan and tell him the bad news.

At the house, Stefan confronts Elena about the plot reveal, and she admits she always knew she’d probably have to sacrifice herself.  Stefan yells at her and calls her a wannabe martyr, it’s “tragic” he tells her, because she’s so young and awesome.  She’s like, yeah whatever dude, I’m so awesome I can save all you losers, so leave me alone.  Secretly I think she knows that with all the witches, resurrection rings, vampires, vampire diaries, and handbook journals lying around, she probably has a pretty good chance of coming back even after dying.  Here’s hoping she becomes a Slayer.  Anyway, Big Bad WW from last week brings Tyler to the house to get her.  He neutralizes Stefan and has Tyler watch him while he terrorizes Elena, who gets to do her “run around the house and hide” act yet again.  Is there anyone better than her at running around houses being chased by bad guys?  I think not.  She uses some clever tricks to elude BBWW, while Stefan confrotns whiny Tyler and tells him his new buddies lied to him and are planning to kill Elena.  Faster than you can say flip flop, Ty’s back to the good side and Stefan is easily able to rip BBWW’s heart out, which is apparently the optimal way to kill WWs (established when they killed Mason earlier in the season).

Speaking of which, back at Damon’s house, just as the torture is getting good, who walks in but Elijah, he of the “great hair.”  He makes short work of the WW pack, and gets the record for most beating hearts extracted in the least amount of time in any show to date (I think).  This scene is all cool, and just when I think he might spare FFWW for future fun, he rips him a new one.  Oh well.  Jules actually gets away but no one seems to care, because Elijah is more concerned with taunting Damon and reminding him how many times he’s had to save him.

Whew.  That is a ton of action and plot reveals for a single episode and I know I still missed some stuff.  We end the ep with Tyler saying a heartfelt goodbye to Matt and giving his blessing to him to take care of Caroline, before driving off with Jules.  It looks like they are writing him off for now – but given the curse stuff needs a WW to be sacrificed, I’m sure he’ll be back later.  We also get the long-awaited kiss between Jeremy and Bonnie, as she finally acknowledges she wants to “ski the slopes” with some “hot” young stuff.  So it looks like we’ve got all the couples roughly together just in time for Valentine’s, hooray!

Next week looks like some flashbacks where we get to see Dark Stefan.  Should be fun.

This week we feature the triumphant return of a fan favorite, The Highlander aka Uncle John Gilbert aka Elena’s long lost birth daddy and Jeremy’s uncle.  OK let me be clear, I can’t stand this guy.  Every time I see him I think to myself why is an old Doogie Howser on the screen, and why has he forgotten how to act.  He annoyed me in Heroes, he annoyed me in 24, he annoys me in Vampire Diaries.   When he’s on screen I can’t help but wonder how he keeps getting work, and why it’s always on my favorite shows.  So that’s the bad news.  He’s back in town professing to want to help protect Elena and the gang but poor guy, no one seems to trust him.  Maybe it’s because he tried to kill pretty much everyone last time around, or maybe he just annoys them as much as he annoys me.  The opening scenes are mostly people bitching at him while he tries to ingratiate himself back onto the show.

Here’s the good news though: somehow his grating presence doesn’t take away from yet another awesome episode.  We start and end with naked Damon dealing with his “issues” – is he good, is he evil, why is he fighting his nature for someone that doesn’t love him.  He has another great scene with Elena (they have about 10 times the chemistry that Elena has with Stefan) where every look seems fraught with meaning and sexual tension. 

But quickly the plot goes elsewhere as the gang is faced with Tyler and his new WW friends causing problems.  They capture poor Caroline and proceed to torture the crap out of her.  I must say the girl does a great job of screaming in pain, I found it tough to watch and couldn’t wait for her to get out and kick some WW ass.  While it’s not explicitly said, I believe they wanted to convey this was the equivalent of her getting raped in terms of being violated.  Apparently the WWs know all the buttons to push and exactly how best to torture a vampire.

Stefan and Damon proceed to try to liberate her (of course they conveniently don’t bother bringing their uber witch offense, or even Alaric to help.  Heck even Jeremy and Elena might have been useful in this fight).  I guess they weren’t expecting an entire wolfpack to show up out of the blue so I guess I won’t blame them.  After a great fight sequence, they eventually get worn down.  Tyler is dumbstruck for most of it and doesn’t do a thing except for finally freeing Caroline from her cage.  It’s too little too late as the remaining WWs get the drop on our beat up triad of vamps.  And then comes the deux ex machina.  Out of nowhere the even more uber Daddy Warlock appears and neutralizes all the WWs with a wave of his hands.   I love how easily the witches and warlocks render everyone else worthless.  Apparently he is honoring the deal Elena made with supervamp Elijah to keep them all safe.   Now any smart (or vengeful) vampire would have likely taken the opportunity to kill all those crazy killer WWs, but that’s just not the style for our gang.  I guess they want to make sure the bad guys rest up for the rematch.  I don’t know about you, but if some psychopathic WW dude just horribly tortured me for hours, I would go and chop his head off to be sure he didn’t come back and bite me.  But I guess that’s just me.

Caroline is suitably hurt, both physically and emotionally, and tells off the worthless tool Tyler for not doing more to help.  You go girl.  She also pushes Stefan away, who keeps offering to help her as she insists she is fine, and lies to Matt about it as well (sadly he catches her in the lie).  But this all just a classic Kevin Williamson setup, as he ends the plotline with the best scene of the night, as Stefan enlists Elena and Bonnie to come to her side for an all-girl sleepover while some awesome music from the soundtrack plays in the background.  If that didn’t bring a tear to your eye, you’re just mean-spirited and a Caroline hater.   

Speaking of Bonnie, another winning episode for her.  She changed her hair again and it looked great.  Plus she had very little dialog, aside from brushing off Daddy Warlock and making googoo eyes at Jeremy.  This is just the right amount of all these side characters, keeping them literally in the background is perfect.

The ep ends with another classic “twist” – Daddy John visiting Katherine and alluding to some sinister plan he is working on with her and Isabelle.  Was anyone really surprised to find John had an ulterior motive? 

Anyway, easily the best episode of 2011 so far.  Caroline is quickly becoming my favorite character on the show and she gives yet another remarkable performance.

Another solid episode of our favorite vampire and werewolf show.  Yes, there are more than one of these now (see “Being Human”) so we can’t just call it the vamp/WW show anymore.  Ian Somerholder is in prime form this week as he tries to deal with the love of his life and his new girltoy, plus a new WW chick who seems bent on killing him and assorted random villagers.  That’s more than enough for anybody in a single week.  Damon goes “dark” (again) by episode’s end which really comes as no surprise after having to kill his “friends with benefits” Rose in an all around touching death sequence wherein he controls her dreams and stakes her just as she is relaxed and happy.  I love the use of the dream control power which Mike assures me was introduced in the original premiere.

While I always enjoy watching Elena running around scared and screaming, it seemed a bit forced in this episode.  I loved her scenes with Rose when they didn’t involve the traditional “I’m gonna surprise you by standing right in back of you when you turn around” sequence. 

Meanwhile in Vampire 90210, Caroline is busy choosing between her hunky football player suitor and the new WW in town Tyler.  Personally I’d say it was an easy choice, one is a blond hunk whose bite won’t kill her, the other is a whiny annoying tool who doesn’t seem to know the first thing about WW lore.  Oh well, whatever, there’s no accounting for taste.  Still she manages to get the best line in after both studs try to kiss her and get to second base.  My girl’s not having any of that though.  She is a vamp with a purpose.  I don’t know what is yet, but I have faith in her.

This episode thankfully featured no scenes with witches or whiny little brothers, and not much of Stefan either.  Thumbs up for all of that.  But thumbs down for the “surprise” return of John Gilbert (David Anders aka The Highlander – you’ll have to go way back to Heroes to figure out that reference).  This guy is annoying in every show he’s on, but he keeps getting work.  How he does it I have no idea.