Friday, February 11, 2011

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Daddy Issues and Crying Wolf

I didn’t do a post mortem last week and I wasn’t sure why until Crying Wolf aired last night. The two episodes dovetailed into each and other so well that I realized to talk about one, you need to talk about the other. This post mortem won’t be a synopsis so much as a discussion of the broad strokes of the story unfolding in Mystic Falls.

The Werewolves

Since Jules arrived, the werewolves have been nothing but trouble. You could make the argument that this war began with Damon stabbing Mason all those episodes ago, but since then, it has been escalation piled upon escalation. Now, Mason’s dead, Jules is out for blood, Tyler is a werewolf and uncertain who to trust and a pack of wolves is out to kill Damon, Caroline and Stefan.

In Daddy Issues, Brady and the wolves take Caroline when they think Stefan is holding Tyler hostage. Brady takes great delight in torturing Caroline, shooting her with wooden bullets, spraying her with vervain and more. It was never a question of Damon and Stefan coming for her, just a matter of when. The fight at Brady’s trailer was intense, too bad Damon didn’t get Jules’ heart since he went for her first.

Even though Tyler released Caroline, he stood stock still, in shock; uncertain of what to do when the wolves got the upper hand. With Jules cocking a gun at the back of Caroline’s head, Damon about to be staked and Stefan down, Tyler stood and did nothing. It took Jonas to drop all the wolves. The warlock did so with a wide spread spell that we’ve seen Bonnie use before.

He tells the vampires to go, he is there to uphold Elijah’s deal with Elena that her friends and family be safe. It is a testament to Elena’s consideration of Tyler that he wasn’t dropped to his knees either. Jonas warns Tyler to tell his friends to get out of town. But, you know they don’t.

Particularly when Tyler reveals that Mason returned to Mystic Falls to find the moonstone. Now Brady and Jules have even more to hunt. In Crying Wolf, they show Tyler a picture of Mason’s vampire girlfriend “Kathy” and Tyler is stunned because [doppelganger alert] it’s Elena.

Now the wolves go after Damon, Stefan and Elena. Damon is at home, so Jules takes four others with her to take him down while Brady goes alone to eliminate Stefan and take Elena. They talk Tyler into it by saying that breaking the curse will free him from ever having to shift again, but leave out the key detail that Elena has to die to do that.

It’s amusing that Jules took so much backup after Damon, I guess we know whom she perceives as the real threat. But despite the torture, Damon was happy to continue pissing her off by telling her nothing. When Elijah arrived, the look of pure glee on Damon’s face was hysterical.

Needless to say, Elijah held up the moonstone and invited the wolves to come and take it. Jules lost four more wolves and fled the scene. Meanwhile, at the Gilbert lake house, Stefan is shot by Brady and left with a wooden bullet very close to his heart. Brady then goes in to fetch the doppelganger. Elena reacted smartly, trying to keep away from him, arming herself and dropping her sweatshirt to lure him to her scent (seriously for a girl who everyone claims is martyring herself, she isn’t just willing to lay down and die for anyone).

Stefan begs Tyler to help him so he can help Elena. When Tyler yells at him about the curse, Stefan tells it to him straight: to break the curse, Elena must die. Is Tyler willing to do that?

Tyler gets it right and Stefan takes out Brady as he chases Elena out of the house. Elena hugs Tyler, but the boy looks so overwrought, I can almost forgive him for last week.

Almost.

Elijah and Damon

Damon is still trying to figure Elijah out. He wants to know what the original knows and Damon really doesn’t know how to NOT poke a sleeping bear. Thus his confrontation with Elijah at the Lockwood’s ended with Damon on the other end of a pencil through his neck. Elijah reminded him; politely (gotta love the cool politeness that radiates power in Daniel Gilles voice) that Damon was alive only so long as he served Elijah’s purpose. Now be a good little vampire and go protect Elena.

After disposing of the wolves, Elijah freed Damon from the chains and collar and smirked “That’s the third time I’ve saved you.” In case anyone wasn’t keeping count. But the look of glee on Damon’s face and the way he watched how Elijah dealt with the wolves was a combination of awe and assessment. Damon still plans to take out Elijah; he just needs to learn all he can.

Uncle John

Uncle John is back in town as of Daddy Issues (although we did see him at the end of the previous week’s episode). As much as I love David Anders, John Gilbert has always had his own agenda. This week, it’s throwing his weight around as Elena’s father. He even outed the secret to Jenna, forcing it to be public knowledge much to Elena’s disgust. He taunts Damon, reminding him that he needs to trust him before he’ll help him (hey John, Damon snapped your neck but you tried to barbecue him, not feeling the love there). When Damon leaves to deal with the werewolves, he instructs John to babysit Elena and do his daddy duty and keep her from following.

John brings Damon a dagger and tells him to dip the dagger in the ashwood ash and use that to stab Elijah (go team books, because Klaus in the books had to be staked with a stake made of Ashwood, the tree of knowledge). So I liked that little tip of the hat, but Damon doesn’t trust the information.

It’s from John. That’s probably smart.

But at the end of Daddy Issues John went to see Katherine in the tomb. It seems Katherine set Stefan on Isobel’s trail for her own reasons (surprise!) and John tells her that Isobel received her message and he is there for the answer. So, John is planning to help Katherine get out of the tomb?



Seriously?

I cannot wait to figure out his endgame because I admit it. I’m stumped.

John and Jenna obviously have a lot of unfinished business and John wants Alaric out of the house, not to mention his ring back. Is John jealous of Isobel’s feelings for Alaric or Jenna’s or both?

Bonnie, Caroline and Jeremy

I love Caroline this season. I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again and again. The character constantly proves just how worthy she is whether it’s standing up to the wolves abusing her or telling Tyler that he’s a jerk because when push comes to shove, you protect your friends. She lied to him, yes. But she did it to protect him and to protect Damon and Stefan.

Considering his actions, she was right to do both. I feel for Tyler, I do. But Caroline went through hell in Daddy Issues and how sweet was it for Crying Wolf to open with all three girls collapsed in bed, asleep. It’s so normal. You can forget their supernatural drama and it was good to see.

But while Elena escaped for a weekend with Stefan, Bonnie and Caroline plotted to find out what Luka and his father were really up to. I love that the two were working together, particularly because the Bonnie/Caroline dynamic was so damaged after Caroline became a vampire. The two need each other and Elena. So I loved that. I also loved that Jeremy showed up, ready to help. He didn’t like Bonnie’s interest in Luka, but he even less likes the idea that Luka and Jonas are working with Elijah.

Remember, Jeremy is determined to save his sister!

But, yes, you knew there was a but coming. I take issue with how Bonnie handled it. From way back, Damon said “witches, judgy little things” and Bonnie “spell-drugging” Luka, then taking him back to Caroline’s where they could interrogate him by forcing him to spill his guts sways a lot closer to the dark side of that moral magic line.

I get the needs must, but I think Bonnie forces the issue when her feelings are hurt and not when it is the “right” or “reasonable” thing to do. No surprise, Luka reveals that Elijah still plans to sacrifice Elena. Because Klaus will be weak after the sacrifice and Elijah will be able to kill him with the help of Jonas and Luka. Luka’s heretofore unmentioned sister is apparently under Klaus’ control as Klaus burns through witch families looking for a solution to the curse.

Hmm, might that be where Bonnie’s mother went? After all, we know she “left” years ago and Bonnie’s father wants nothing to do with magic (and is he going to show up one of these days? Would love to meet him).

I also loved the female bonding when Caroline encouraged Bonnie to give Jeremy a chance. She may have always seen him as Elena’s brother, but with Bonnie now a witch and Caroline now a vampire, it was certainly possible for Jeremy to have changed too!

In the end, Bonnie confessed to Jeremy that she had always seen Jeremy as the kid brother going through his emo phase, his drug phase and now he’s this hot guy and … Jeremy focused on the hot guy part and kissed her.

It was sweet.

In the End

Tyler is leaving Mystic Falls. That hurts. I get why he is going, but I so wanted to smack him upside the head. He makes these impulsive decisions and doesn’t think about the consequences. It’s going to kill his mother. At least he tried to do right by Caroline in telling Matt a version of the truth and more or less ordering him to be good to her.

Michael Trevino (Tyler) posted to twitter last night that yes, that was Tyler’s swan song. Will we see him again? We don’t know. But he’s not dead, so that’s something. I think if Klaus is going for the sacrifice, they still need a werewolf. But I want Tyler and Caroline to work it out, so he has to come back.

Period.

Damon and Stefan now know that Elijah plans to still sacrifice Elena, proving their suspicions. But it’s Stefan who is in for a shock when tells Elena that, because she isn’t surprised. The language of her deal with Elijah was very specific, she understands that death is an option. She is okay with that, because it means saving the people she loves. Stefan isn’t because he doesn’t believe she’s ever truly lived, so what does she know?

Sigh.


I do get Elena’s stance. It’s survivor guilt. But try explaining that to the 163 year old in the room.

Now, I know I didn’t get into Damon’s existential crisis or his emotional turmoil, but I actually think that will deserve a post of its own at some point. The meanwhile, hats off to the entire cast because they deliver, week after week.

Oh and in case you need something to tide you over till next week, here’s an extended preview of The Dinner Party.


Extended Preview for The Dinner Party

3 comments:

  1. Excellent review! Loved that ur stumped on john

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  2. Great commentary I cant believe I missed so much like the Gleeful look on Damons face.
    I do enjoy Caroline so much better she makes a great teen vamp.
    I loved this show before but I REALLY love it now, I still dont get why Jules Needs or Wants Tyler.
    I hope it's not the last we see of them.

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  3. This episode Stefan wasn't always the good guy. He used to rip people apart just for the hell of it. He was just as badass as Damon maybe even worser than Damon. I can't wait for the next episode of The Vampire Diaries Season 2 Episode 15 extends some flashback friendly episode, taking us back to Stefan’s darker day.

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