Friday, February 18, 2011

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: The Dinner Party

I’ll say this for The Vampire Diaries, it’s never boring and this episode actually had two “OMG” moments that startled me. For a show I typically can predict by following the intricacies of the plot line, I have to say, they twisted the knife a couple of times (literally and figuratively).
Mystic Falls and Histories Mysteries
As always, I must tip my hat to the writers, directors, producers and stars of The Vampire Diaries for delivering a fast-paced, tightly scripted hour of television. Of course, I have questions, speculations and theories – but then it wouldn’t be The Vampire Diaries if I didn’t.

I bet it was the men who made a big deal about being the founders back in 1860, men are very territorial. – Jenna
Yes they are. – Elijah

From his first appearance in Rose, Daniel Gilles Elijah has certainly captivated the imagination. He scared the hell out of Trevor and Rose. He negotiated in exceptionally precise language. He took Trevor’s head off without breaking a sweat. He terrified Katherine. He left Elena and Damon wondering when he appeared in The Sacrifice and later in By the Light of the Moon, he negotiated a deal with Elena that would protect her friends.

Lighten up, Alaric. It's a joke.

Elijah’s cool European tones, looks and refined manner bespoke of his age far more than his tremendous strength and speed. He delivered an intimidating presence and for those of you who watched last week’s show down with the werewolves, his refined manner is a silken glove for the cold, hard steel beneath.

In every encounter, Elijah maneuvers those around him like pieces on a chessboard. He will protect Elena’s loved ones because he is honorable and will stick by his bargain, but as always, it’s Damon who is fanning the flames that may very well burn down all their houses.

The Love of A Woman

Damon summed it up beautifully all those episodes ago when he said “doesn’t it always come down to the love of a woman?” In this episode, the love of a woman includes:

  • Alaric’s love for Jenna
  • John’s love for Elena and Isobel
  • Damon and Stefan’s love for Elena
  • Damon and Stefan’s love/hate for Katherine
  • Jeremy’s love for Elena and his passion for Bonnie
  • Jonas and Luka’s love for the missing sister

That’s a lot of love for one episode, but every single one of these love stories, twisted and convoluted played a part in what went down. I can’t help but think going forward, this episode will be a pivotal moment in what happens next, more so than the Masquerade, Rose and Crying Wolf.

In this episode, everyone made choices – some good, some bad and some absolutely terrible. But these choices all have consequences and those consequences are what will drive us towards the finale for season two. Brace yourself people, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Killing Elijah

John Gilbert gave Damon a blade and ashes from an ashwood tree. He told him that to dip the dagger in the ashes and then plunge it into the heart of the Original would kill him. Damon has been keeping the weapon on the down low, waiting for his opportunity. He doesn’t trust John (he is smart most of the time, our Damon is), but with the confirmation obtained by Bonnie and Caroline that Elijah does indeed intend to kill Elena in the sacrifice, the gloves are coming off.
Dammit, I'm your friend.
The werewolves are gone, Katherine is trapped and if the threat of Elijah is removed then the Salvatores can focus on dealing with Klaus. What intrigues me here is that despite Damon’s doubts and John’s hovering like a vulture, Damon decides to give it a try. If he is successful, Elijah will be dead, but if he’s not, Elijah will tear him apart.

With Elena safely ensconced at the lake house with Stefan, Damon arranges a dinner party with Jenna, Elijah, Alaric and Andie (as well as uninvited Uncle John). It’s Damon’s plan to stab Elijah after dinner but before the dessert.

Fortunately, at the lake house where Elena is pouring through Jonathon Gilbert’s journals, she discovers that her ancestor did a lot of research into the originals, including into the dagger. There’s just one widdle, bitty, catch. The dagger must be wielded by a human, because if a vampire does it, then it will kill both the vampire wielding it and the vampire struck.

Clever, clever John.

Alaric warns Damon in time, so Damon doesn’t strike. The party continues, but when Jenna is out of the room, Alaric stabs Elijah through the back of the chair. It was a stunning moment that even caught Damon off guard. But John has Alaric twisting in the wind, playing Jenna against him and Jenna’s infatuation with Elijah didn’t help.

Too bad that Alaric couldn’t control the impulse, because as Elena reads forward, she discovers that the blade must stay in or the Original may recover.


Damon rushes to the basement, but Elijah is gone.

The Mystery of John Gilbert

At the lake house, Stefan has tried to show Elena that living is harder than dying, but so much more worth it. He shares with her his first meeting with Lexie and he describes how maddened and glutton he was after his change. It seems that Stefan went on a rampage, slaughtering the Founding Family members including Jonathon Gilbert (but he had no idea about the ring) or Jonathon’s subsequent survival.

He remembered how Damon abandoned him to his madness, sickened by the depravity of it and how in many ways, Stefan was so much worse than Damon. Stefan even rebuffed Damon’s overtures of brotherhood. In the end, Damon left and asked Lexie to help his brother – because Stefan needed it.

Elena struggled with understanding what happened even as she obsessed over Jonathon’s journals. Jonathon, it seems, remained obsessed by vampires and their lore until his death and there were a LOT of journals in that room they found. So my question here – is did Jonathon Gilbert never actually die? Is Uncle John truly Jonathon? If Jonathon were rejuvenated with every death, he could appear young for decades, aging now only because he gave “his” ring to Isobel?

Is Jonathon/John the reason Isobel learned so much? If Jonathon has lived all these decades, it would explain his coldness, how he knows so much and how he found out? It would also add a painful twist to the Gilbert family history. It would explain John’s reticence to be anywhere near Stefan and his genuine fear in the hospital and it might also finally explain why Katherine specifically wanted him dead.

John was desperate for “his” ring back. He could have done anything to get Alaric to give the ring to Elena or Jeremy if he just didn’t want Alaric having it, but he didn’t. He wanted his ring back and he was very, very specific.

So he played Alaric.

He played Jenna.

And when it worked, when Jenna walked away, Alaric just threw in the towel and gave John his ring back.

Saving Elena

During the dinner, Elijah promised both Damon and John that he would take Elena away from them if they didn’t get it together. So it was no surprise that Elijah’s first act upon waking was to go to Jonas and tell him to find Elena. Remember that spell from way back when? I knew there was a reason that Elijah had Jonas perform it, because they had to be able to track her no matter where she went.

He went to the lake house and blew in the door, waiting until Elena was out of the way. He told her that he was a patient man and he may not be able to enter the house, but she would have to come out – eventually.
Find Elena
Elena countered with the offer that she wanted the deal back. She didn’t condone their trying to kill him, but she wanted everyone she loved protected. Elijah said no. Elena then told him she would kill herself and Elijah smiled, because he knew that Stefan would save her.

Elena agreed, Stefan would. But then she would have vampire blood in her system and she’d just kill herself again, turning into a vampire, like Katherine all those centuries ago,

Elijah called her bluff.

Elena stabbed herself.


Heart thumping like mad.

That was another truly great moment. I was with Elijah, I didn’t think Elena would go that far – that she would actually drive that blade into her abdomen and twist it.

Elijah freaked.

But I knew something was up when Stefan didn’t move. He remained out of sight and around the corner, visibly keeping himself still. Elena was bleeding out and Elijah was pressed against the boundary of the door, begging Elena to let him save her. He agreed to her terms, all of them. Anything.

Just let him save her.

That moment was agony. The sheer, raw power of that man being decimated to begging hurt. But you believed him, he would do anything to save Elena in that moment, his entire world hinged on it.

Elena stumbled out the door and into his arms, Elijah cradled her ready to give her his blood and she stabbed him through the heart before collapsing herself.

The boys appeared and Stefan gave Elena his blood to save her and we were left with the reality that Damon arrived before Elijah and that the three of them sprung a very deadly and dangerous trap.

Elena Lives to Fight

Elena tells the boys that yes, she will fight, but they do it on her terms and they stop keeping things from her. All three agreed. They just want to save her and they want her to want to live. Everything else is gravy. Too bad Katherine is out of the tomb and showering in Damon’s room. She baited him into killing Elijah by begging him not to do it.
We do it together

But what’s worse, Katherine plans to stick around and help them save Elena.

Big trouble in little Mystic Falls.

So much going on and so much more to come. I missed having Caroline in this episode. I still miss Tyler. I love that Bonnie and Jeremy are getting closer and I feel bad that Jonas just bottled up Bonnie’s powers (no I don’t think he “took” them, I just think he spell-locked her). Next week, it will be Jonas they have to contend with, because Elijah’s in the basement of the Salvatore Boarding House, blade in his heart. All Jonas has to do is take it out.

Sadly, I miss Elijah already.

What did you think of The Dinner Party?

Next week’s House Guest is the last episode until April and rumor has it that Klaus will appear in the April 21st episode. Other speculative moments, Elijah was looking for the witch burning site, I am guessing that at the head of the line for those Salem transplants who actually founded Mystic Falls were the Bennetts. Any takers?

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