Friday, September 16, 2011

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: The Birthday

It's back! It's back! It's back!  Along with cooler temperatures (thank you Mother Nature), Pumpkin Spice Latte (thank you Starbuck's),  The Vampire Diaries returned last night to kick off the fall season (thank you The CW, Kevin Williamson and more).

So where does one begin in an hour chock full of Easter eggs for the fans, bread crumbs for the season and two, count them two, smoking hot moments that had me backing up to watch them again and again?

It's a Cold, Cruel Morning

It's Elena's 18th birthday and as with every other major event in Mystic Falls that means it's time for a party.  Elena wants nothing to do with a big party, particularly because she is worried about Stefan, grieving for Jenna and coping with the idea that 'life goes on.'   Don't worry, Caroline Forbes, master planner, has already sunk her teeth into the planning of a shindig to blow the roof off the Salvatore house.   Gotta love that she talked Damon into letting the entire high school keg it up there. 

Alaric is still sleeping on the sofa at the Gilbert house because he doesn't want to sleep in Elena's dead parents' bedroom or in the bedroom of his dead girlfriend.  Note to Elena, time to pack those rooms up and reclaim them.  You keep living in the past and you're going to end up with some severe emotional problems, just ask Damon and Stefan.

Speaking of Damon,  I was not thrilled to see girlfriend Andie back in the picture.  Nice actress and all, but the character does nothing for me.  Thankfully, someone in writer land was listening because I got a treat at the end.   Andie won't get Damon a drink, so he gets out of his bubble bath all soapy and naked (damn the angle of that camera) and strolls downstairs, dripping, yes dripping, to greet Elena who's walked in with a clue from Sheriff Forbes.

Hitting pause for a moment, how cool is that? While we didn't get to see Liz Forbes in this episode, I knew she'd make a smashing ally and she is helping Elena and Caroline track potential crimes that could be linked to Klaus and thus Stefan. 

Okay, back to the episode.

Damon greets Elena on her birthday in his birthday suit.  Love. Love. Love.   Elena squeaks and throws him a tiny tea towel (yeah honey, that's not gonna cover much but hey, that's okay by me) and turns with her hand over her eyes, but did anyone else notice the way her fingers were parted allowing for a yummy peek?   (S'okay, Elena, I would definitely have been peeking too.

Party Prep

Party pre-prep is in full swing and there's Tyler, helping Caroline like a dutiful lad who has more than friendship on his mind.  I have to say, Tyler as a character is truly fantastic.  He's evolved since first season prick Tyler.  He's got a good heart, he's loyal and his sense of humor is off the charts dry and quirky.   Caroline and Elena are chatting it up, as besties are wont to do.

Elena doesn't understand why Damon wasn't more excited about her clue. 

Tyler: D'oh, maybe he isn't trying that hard to find Stefan, because it leaves the playing field wide open for Elena.

Caroline: TYLER!

Elena is sure Damon is trying, because he cares and he knows how much Elena cares.

Tyler: Yeah, but you kissed him anyway.

Caroline: Tyler!


So Caroline and Tyler's tete a tete are sprinkled with gossip about Elena, Damon and Stefan (way to go girl code, Caroline).   Elena is more amused than upset, Caroline is mortified and Tyler is like 'what?'  he was just trying to help.

Later conversations between Tyler and Caroline include the gems of:

Caroline: "Matt thinks we're dating."
Tyler: "So does my mom."

Caroline: "You're asking that slut to Elena's party?"
Tyler:  "Yeah. Not like I have anything else going on and I'm horny all the time."
Caroline: "Me too.  It's a vampire thing, you know all these hormones and heightened feelings.  Makes me crazy."
Tyler: "It's a werewolf thing too!"

At the party, Tyler is burning up the floor with his little bit of nookie as Caroline glares moodily, a very large bottle of alcohol in her hand.  Matt (stoner Matt no less) shows up and things get tense.  It takes Tyler ten seconds to notice and pull his arm candy over to check on Caroline as Matt ditches her.  Again.

Bubblehead Arm Candy gushes: "Caroline, this is a great party!"
Caroline: "Thank you.  Now leave it."

And wham, off goes Tyler's sexual healing for the evening.   Tyler stares agape at her, because it's clear, that Caroline is distinctly unhappy and says what the hell? He already went down this road and she shut him down.  So if she wants something to happen, she needs to do something.

One pair of scorching kisses later and Caroline and Tyler race back to the Lockwood Mansion for some wild, bed tossing sex.  Did you not laugh when she 'threw' young Master Lockwood onto the bed?

Go Team Forewood!

It's Her Party, She Can Cry if She Wants Too

Meanwhile, Elena is sitting in Stefan's room wrapped in melancholy.  Damon's usual snark is in abeyance as he gives her back the necklace (dude, how many times is Damon going to find that and bring it back to her? It's so damn sweet) and sweeter still is when she asks him to put it on her. 

Her death bed declaration that she loves him just the way he is sits like a giant elephant in the middle of Stefan's abandoned bedroom.   Elena's not really in a partying mood and she is worried that she'll ruin it by crying.  Damon teases her that it's her party and she can cry if she wants too (groan, guffaw), but he cheers her up enough to gather her composure and go downstairs on his arm to the wild party in full swing.

Overwhelmed, Elena makes the best of it and when things become too much, she escapes to Damon's bedroom, in search of Damon (nice), but finds Caroline instead.  She also finds the closet where Damon has been mapping Stefan's kills.  He's trying to find his brother harder than Elena realizes, but Damon doesn't want Klaus to know Elena's alive or Elena to get anywhere near Ripper Stefan.

And I love you Elena, but considering your penchant for rushing into houses packed with vampires, challenging creatures far more powerful than you and the blind faith you have in your own survivability, I'm with Damon.  You do need to be kept in the dark.

But now Elena knows and she wants to confront Damon about it, unfortunately...

Stefan The Ripper

Stefan and Klaus have spent Elena's birthday murdering a couple of college co-eds (which Stefan put back together again) -- was that not priceless when Alaric and Damon discovered the bodies.  Damon had seen it before, remember, he's seen Ripper Stefan and knows that his brother goes mad, then feels some remorse and tries to do things like put decapitated heads back on bodies.

Damon cleaned up the mess, but he was seen.  The watcher warns Klaus that Damon is still tracking he and Stefan, interrupting their bar crawl of hit the werewolf (guest star David Gallagher) with the wolfsbane darts.  Klaus is going to go after Damon and end his party pooper stalking, but Stefan asks for the honor.

Klaus doesn't trust Stefan, he's pretty sure that even with all the blood drunkeness, he hasn't fully turned to the dark side, but he allows Stefan the chance.  Stefan then stalks Andie at the television station, compels her onto the catwalk and has her step off to a bone crunching death at Damon's feet. 

The point, brother to brother, is for Damon to let Stefan go.  Period.

An aggrieved Damon returns to the Salvatore house just in time to get the third degree from Elena.  Interestingly, Elena's more upset that Damon is keeping her out of it and that he made her feel foolish (hmmm, she wants Damon's respect as much as anything) for her clues.  Damon, however, is really not in the mood.  While he wasn't in love with Andie, he's definitely feeling some guilt for her death. 

He tells Elena in no uncertain terms that those deaths he was tracking weren't just Klaus, they were Stefan too.  Cuddly Stefan has been replaced by grr-and-argh Stefan and she may never see her Stefan again, at least not in her lifetime.

That statement was a gut punch, for Elena and Damon.  His gaze filled with pain even as he said it, I think as much for the idea that Elena's life was finite and would end.

Powerful stuff.

And here come the cliffhangers...

Caroline leaves a deliciously bare-chested Tyler to dress and sneak home for her walk of shame, but she gets caught by Mama Lockwood who appears dangerously amused at Caroline's presence.  Unfortunately, when Caroline touches her purse, she gets burned (prolly vervain) and then shot, three times, with vervain darts.

Dear Mrs. Lockwood,  please understand that your son will be a tad in-FUR-riated with you and Caroline's mom, the Sheriff? She's going to kick your ass.  I'm just saying.

Alaric moves out of the Gilbert household.  He's got to get his life together and he can't be the 'parent' Elena and Jeremy want.  Don't worry Elena, Alaric will still be your buddy. 

Jeremy's still sees dead people.

And Stefan took a few moments to dial Elena's phone from an unknown number.  Although he said nothing, he listened to her tell him it would all be okay and that she does love him and that he has to hold onto that.   Very sweet homage to the Buffy/Angel moment all those years ago.

And that's a wrap.

 Next week, Elena wants to go hunting werewolves and we get to see if Klaus feeding David Gallagher his blood and snapping his neck worked.

What was your favorite part?


  1. You forgot cider mills and hot cider. That's drinking a sensuous sip of fall.

  2. I am so glad that this show is finally back on.

  3. LOL! I love cider too, but I am definitely more a pumpkin girl and yes, Mary, me too. I've missed Mystic Falls.

  4. Ok. Do I read it or not??? I haven't seen it. The stupid TV channel here hasn't even given us a date for showing it yet! Grrr. Comiserations please. Sigh. To peek or not to peek, this is the question.

  5. Ah Tahlia, I confess, there are spoilers in the post, but not about everything that happens in the episode, but definitely on at least three of the major events. I am so sorry you haven't gotten to see it, it was like a reunion with a long lost friend.