Friday, January 20, 2012

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: The Ties That Bind

Okay, I am going to commit a little bit of  Post Mortem Faux Paus this week.  Typically, I like to recap it, run you through the episode, a sort of play by play of the wild (and yes, snarky) thoughts that go through my head while I am indulging in my absolute favorite show.  Yes, that jury is in (in case there was ever any doubt), The Vampire Diaries is one of the best television shows I have ever watched, I am totally addicted, I literally schedule my Thursdays around it and you better have blood or bone showing if you call me when it's on.

Our Vampire Diaries Anonymous meeting is now in session.  My name is Heather and I'm a Damonaholic. Thankfully, I love just about everything on this show so I even like the bits that Damon doesn't appear in.  

So if you're wondering what's so different about this post mortem from all my others, click the link and come on down.  All those of you who don't want to be spoiled, this is where you get off.  Everyone else, let's go.



My Elijah Is Back!


Yes, I am going all the way to the end of the episode to kick off this post mortem because I have missed Elijah since he ended up daggered and coffined at the end of last season.  Elijah (Daniel Gilles) brings a level of gravitas to playing a vampire that no other character on the show has achieved.  For all his temper tantrums and ferocity, Klaus comes across as a narcissistic, overbearing (and spoiled) brat who desperately craves the affection of his 'sired' hybrids because Mummy and Daddy just didn't love him enough.

Seriously.  So over that.

Elijah, on the other hand, is poised, smooth and rarely harried.  The most overwhelmed we saw of him was during The Dinner Party episode in season two.  He came to the Gilbert Lake House, intent on removing Elena from the custody of the Salvatores after the aborted attempt to kill him.  Elena wouldn't let him in, but stabbed herself to make him swear his oath, again.  As she crumpled to the ground, his scream was so viscerally brutal that it made me think he cared a hell of a lot more about her dying than he did about her being the doppelganger.  When he begged Elena to let him save her and promised her anything, she repaid him with the dagger through the heart.

When next we saw Elijah, Elena woke him to give them more options than having someone else die for her.  Again, Elijah never lost his cool until face to face with his brother and Klaus telling him that he'd never dumped their family into the ocean.  Elijah chose to trust Klaus and that was his mistake.

But baby, he's back and I for one and beyond thrilled.  He owes Elena big time because he broke his word and Elijah is the 'moral' one, which means that will have some meaning to him.  

Whew.  Now that I have that off my chest, let's talk about the ties that bind and chaff and cut off the circulation...


Bonnie Needs Elena


I have said before that one of the tent poles of this show are the friendships, particularly the bond between Bonnie, Elena and Caroline.  It's survived the death of family members, the compulsion of boyfriends, the almost being eaten by a soon to be boyfriend and the transformation to vampire.  You could say these girls have complicated relationships. Last week, I accused Bonnie of being way too judgmental, so it was nice to see that she was reaching out to Elena -- except she was doing it because she needed Elena's help.  Not her 'physical help,' even though she got that too, but her emotional support.

Why?

Because Bonnie was going to look for her mother.  A woman she hasn't seen or heard from in fifteen years.  So Elena has Liz send her a listing of every Abby Bennett in the country. (Dude, I want to hear that phone call.  "Hey, Sheriff Forbes.  We need to find a witch by the name of Abby Bennett, can you look them all up in the oober data base and send us all the deets?  Email?  Nah, print them out, with color, then we can sort them, thanks.")   Sorry, I digress...

Bonnie reveals the coffins to Elena, which was good because that secret needed to be busted.  Stefan was less than pleased when he found them there (hello, Stefan, you vampire douche bag currently, Elena is sweet, tortured best friend...did you really think Bonnie would keep a secret?)  He gets all huffy and more than a little pouty. (Methinks the big, bad Stefan is having a harder time playing his part.)

Meanwhile, Elena disses Stef and she and Bonnie start pouring through all the data on Abby Bennett.  Bonnie kind of apologizes to Elena for being a bitch.  Elena rolls with it.  Their kosher.  (And that really is what friendship is all about).

We Kissed. Now it's Weird.


Damon arrives in the Gilbert kitchen full of good cheer and information.  A little compulsion speeds up the search process (because really who doesn't want to look at 147 possible rap sheets?)   Yep, it's the right Abby.  Bonnie is nervous.  Damon says, let's go, he gets shotgun.  Elena says he can't go.  Damon pouts (and O.M.G. that was a hilarious pout and did anyone else notice that he didn't do that 'eye thing he does').

Elena wants Bonnie to have her reunion with her mom sans Damon's snarky commentary.  But Bonnie would have to be blind, deaf, dumb and on another continent to not notice the tension, so what's up?

"We kiss. Now it's weird." He turns back to Elena with just a hint of a teasing smile. "Have a great trip."

Three points in Damon's favor:


  • He listened to Elena's reasons why he couldn't go and he didn't take them personally. 
  • He outted their kiss to Bonnie, because he's done with the hiding dance.
  • He may not be going on that trip, but he knows they'll be talking about him.

Now, if you are one of those wondering why Damon would let Elena take off into danger like that, I think it's reasonable to assume he knows her well enough that if he tried to stop her or didn't listen and forced himself along it would lead to more trouble.  What works for Damon and Elena right now is that 'trust' and 'respect' thing they have going.

Even if it is 'weird'.

This was only complimented by the later tense discussion between Bonnie and Elena in the car when she asked about the kiss and whether it was good.  When Elena said she didn't want to talk about it, Bonnie sighed.  "That's a yes."

Muhahahaha.

Daddy Dearest, Part Deux


Caroline is less than thrilled to find Tyler in her living room.  He tells her he understands, the problem is he told Klaus he wouldn't bite her. He wouldn't hurt her and he did it anyway.  He finally gets why the sire bond is an issue.  He's called in Big Daddy Forbes to help.

Now I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this except for my post mortem speculation at the end, but for now, I leave Bill with these thoughts:


  • Get stronger ropes
  • Don't stay in the room while he changes
  • And damn, Daddy with an axe is pretty cool

Tyler and Bill both love Caroline and I love their commitment to making this work.  Of course, I said from the beginning that part of the pain is associated with fighting the change.  Tyler has to embrace who he is and while it may still hurt, the change will become swift and rewarding rather than so brutal and mind numbing.  I'd almost hazard a guess he'd have more control in wolf form if his mental processes were deep fried by the shift.

Klaus is Tired of the Games






Stefan arrives home to find Klaus settled in waiting for him.  Klaus is tired of the games.  He sent away his hybrids, what does Stefan want to give back his family?  Of course, Klaus has a plan, he's been way to laid back about this from the beginning.  Of course, his Hybrids are still out there so he sends one off to do a job.

Oh, by the way, I haven't forgotten about Bonnie's dream, I'll get to that at the end.

Mommy Issues



Apparently, Abby Bennett Wilson doesn't live that far from Mystic Falls (it really didn't seem like it took Elena and Bonnie long to get there).  The house is cute. Bonnie is nervous.  But when she knocks on the door, they are greeted by good looking Jamie.  Turns out Jamie is a sort of stepson to Abby, she took him in, straightened him out and raised him right.

Cue the barb to the heart for Bonnie.

When Abby comes in, it's tense between the Bennett women.  Bonnie says she doesn't really want her mother back, she wants her help because of her dreams.  Abby admits to some interesting facts during the tete-a-tete:


  • She and Miranda Sommers Gilbert were best friends
  • Fifteen years ago, an ancient vampire came to Mystic Falls to take the doppelganger
  • Abby lured him away and used all of her magic to bind him in a cemetery (So that clarifies that it was indeed Big Daddy Original, Michael and it was Abby who imprisoned him)
  • Drained, she felt normal for the first time and instead of returning home, she ran away
  • Her magic is still gone, because she believes nature punished her for abandoning her daughter


Elena steps out to give mother and daughter some time, but Stefan shows up and he's less than pleased that Bonnie and Elena are seeing Abby and shut him out.  Elena tries to explain that Bonnie needed an actual reunion with her mother, not Stefan's agenda.

Jamie rocks out with a shotgun and shoots Stefan in the chest with some wooden splinters and buckshot.  Abby drugs Bonnie and drags her off into a car, leaving Elena bound in the barn with a gravely injured Stefan.

He's Compelling


Turns out Klaus' Hybrid was already a step ahead of them.  He compelled Jamie to kill himself if Abby didn't get the location of the coffins to Klaus.  Elena figures out that Jamie is compelled by his actions (really loved watching her think on her feet).  He tells her he was supposed to kill Stefan, even kill himself if necessary, but Elena was not to be harmed.

She plays that her wrists are killing her and when he goes to help, she ambushes him and knocks him out with the gun.  Turns out all the boxing and training she's been doing is paying off.

She goes to Stefan and digs the wooden shards out of his chest.  But Stefan notices that she's different, harder and stronger.

When he's laying there, weak she says she has to tell him something.  She's not feeling guilty about it, but she does feel guilty that he doesn't know.

I Kissed Damon

Three, beautifully simple, provocative words.  Not Damon kissed me. Not it was a horrible day and I had to send Jeremy away and after the last several months, Damon's been there for me and he has these feelings.  No explanations (she really doesn't owe Stefan any), just I kissed Damon.

Stefan's response was absolute silence.  It was probably the best choice on the part of the writers.  What could he say? He's supposed to be 'unfeeling.' and 'uncaring' - if he'd snarked at her it would have maintained his cover, but deep down, "I kissed Damon" kicked him square in his heart and his testicles.

He got up and just walked away.

But I am pretty sure Elena saw the pain in his eyes, because her head moved...just a little and her eyes widened.  She saw it.  She knew.  But she didn't do what Elena in the past would have done, instead of chasing him or demanding truth from him, she let him go.

At the car, Stefan apologizes for what he did at the bridge.  He said he shouldn't have done it and he was sorry.  Elena thanks him, but she still doesn't move to comfort him or say she forgives him.  And she shouldn't.  He put her through hell and yes, apparently he did do it on purpose, knowingly subjecting her to that pain.

He then tells her she's too good for Damon.  She's too good for both of them.  Then he leaves her.


Can We Trust Abby?


On the road, Abby meets with the Hybrid and tells him that Bonnie hasn't given her any information, but that Stefan showed up.  When Bonnie wakes up, she can't believe her mother drugged her.  Abby pushes her to answer the question, so they can save Jamie.  Bonnie says it's about more than just the too of them.  Abby not so subtly texts her to warn her friends.

So Bonnie warns Damon (off screen) and later, Abby says she will try to get her magic back to help Bonnie. If that's what Bonnie wants.  Apparently Bonnie does want that.  But I don't trust her.

There's something dicey in witch-ville about this chick.

Coffin Shell Game


Damon arrives at the witch house and sees the coffins are 'not there' and knows something is up.  Klaus walks out.  Pleased that he has finally located his coffins.  When the witches strike him down, Damon suggests that insulting them isn't the best idea.  Klaus growls that the thing about witches is their loyalty to their own and a hundred dead witches have a thousand descendents and he doesn't have a problem killing them all.

So the witches cave.

Just like that.

WOW can we say fickle things?

Only oops, there's only three coffins, not four.

When Klaus tries to threaten him, Damon just grins and says nah-uh-uh -- same rules apply.  It doesn't matter how much Klaus wanted his family back, Damon bets he wants what is in that locked coffin back more.  And apparently he's right.  So he waves ta ta to Klaus.

Meredith the Vampire Doctor


Okay, Meredith Fell isn't actually a vampire. But Damon has bad juju vibes about her and earlier in the episode, he heads over to the hospital to check her out.  After all it was her coroner ex that got 'staked' last week.  Meredith puts the first nail in her own coffin by vervaining Damon and bloodjacking him.

That's a big arse old red flag if I ever saw one.

Later, Damon checks on Rick and notices there's no rabbit in the pot on the stove and applauds that. Then he tells him about what Meredith does.

And the Stupid Award Goes, too...


Okay, Alaric has had a rough life.  He's lost both the women he loved to vampire madness, but the man is seriously not hard up. He goes to confront Meredith and she says, oh Damon must have told him. She didn't get it, she used enough vervain to knock him out.

What does Alaric do?  He says, "Hey, Damon drinks it every day. He's got a resistance."

Dude? Bros before hos!  Gibbs slap yourself.

But it gets better.

Then he demands to know why and she says she'll show him.  In rolls a gravely injured Bill Forbes (Tyler managed his transformation and mauled Bill in the process).   He's an ACTUAL animal attack.

Insert lame joke here.

Meredith pops out Damon's blood (from her pocket, because we know blood kept in the pocket is safe, right?) and injects Bill with vampire blood to save him.

Meredith is the miracle doctor. She hates seeing people die. So she uses vampire blood when she can.

What does our rocket scientist, history teach do?

He takes her back to the Gilbert house and tells her about his RING.

His freaking RING?

She starts to tug it off his finger and he grips it back.  Then she jokes does he think she's psycho?

Well, since he's caught canoodling her, I think RICK is the psych case here.

Meredith excuses herself and Elena comforts Rick that it's okay, Jenna's gone, it's okay if he moves on.

No, Elena. It's not okay if he moves on with a head case that Rick just spills the beans too.  He doesn't know who this chick is.

Damn.  Alaric, give your brain dibs on the blood supply.

Brothers


At the Salvatore manse,  Stefan walks in to find Damon drinking.  Damon lets him know he only managed to get one coffin out, but Klaus has the rest.  Stefan agrees the locked one was probably a good choice.  Damon tells him Abby can't really help them, she doesn't have any powers.

"That doesn't really surprise me." Stefan says. "It's been that kind of night."

He starts to walk away when Damon asks if Elena's okay.

Ut oh.

Stefan cracks his fist across Damon's face.

Damon:  "I guess you two had a heart to heart."

But the cat's way out of the bag, no lying about not having feelings after that reaction.

But Damon offers a consolation prize -- he took out one of the daggers.

Elijah

Which brings us back to the beginning, at Casa Isobel,  Klaus' hybrid is cut off mid-bootlick by Elijah ripping out his heart and greeting Klaus with a "What did I miss?"

Oh hell yeah, babe. I am so happy to see him.

Post Mortem Questions


So we learned a few things in this episode.  We learned that Michael knew about Elena fifteen years ago.  Which means the supernatural community in Mystic Falls may or may not have been aware of her.  It lends support to the idea that the Grayson/Miranda car accident wasn't an actual car accident, but another attempt on Elena.

Of course, I want to know how they knew she was the doppelganger fifteen years ago.   And is it possible that Isobel knew, which is what fueled her quest for knowledge about vampires?  Is that why she told Rick she needed it? That she had to do it and that she would always regret it?  Is that what she and John worked on for years behind the scenes while Miranda and Grayson shielded Elena.

Could this even be why Miranda encouraged Elena to journal, because someday she would need that outlet?

Finally, Bill Forbes had to learn to not be compelled from somebody or for some reason.  He would have been in Mystic Falls fifteen years ago when Michael showed up.  Was Michael the reason he had to learn? Or was Michael the one who taught him?  More thoughts to ponder.

And based on the dream at the beginning, with Bonnie seeing herself in the coffin, I have to ask is it possible that it is Ayanna, the ancient and wise witch who led Michael and Esther to the new world, the witch who is there?

The three most likely suspects:


  • Esther, the Original Witch and Mother
  • Ayianna, another witch and possible Bennett ancestor which is why it needs a Bennett to open it
  • The Original Katherine/Elena for whom they are the doppelganger 


I am actually strongly favoring number three.  That original could be a witch or a werewolf.  Klaus was TOLD remember, how to make a Hybrid? How to break his curse and then create them? He's been obsessed with making a Hybrid?  If that original in the coffin is the original upon whom the doppelgangers are based, it would be poetic if she were a werewolf too.  If that was why Klaus kept her sealed in to keep her alive...

Yes, too much speculation.  What or who is in that coffin? will be driving this storyline for a while and I doubt we'll learn much before we get to May Sweeps.

But who knows? In Mystic Falls, anything is possible.

2 comments:

  1. Okay, here is some supposition...

    The person in the coffin is the original doppleganger...
    Who is also the witch.

    Making Elena and Bonnie distant relations and explaining why Katherine and now Elena's blood is special in the first place. And why their family dopplegangs.

    Just a thought...

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  2. Okay, skipped everything that might have been a spoiler b/c I've never watched Vampire Diaries. Love vampires. From Dracula to Lost Boys to Buffy, but always thought the diaries sounded lame. Now I will have to take a look based on your review.

    Here's some more blood for you: My Little Ponies Massacred:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-QiODJ0aS8

    ReplyDelete