Friday, October 12, 2012

Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: Growing Pains

It's almost hard to believe it's finally back, but season four debuted with a bang last night and we're going to talk about some of the twists, the turns, and the WTF moments. Producers revealed the cold open a couple of weeks ago, offering us a glimpse of the all the changes in Mystic Falls and setting the tone for the episode with Elena's, "I'm human or at least I was…" The next couple of minutes were also previewed. The white noise, the intensification of sound and Elena's sudden wake with a gasp...

Stefan and Damon sat in her room waiting for her to wake—apparently she has been slipping in and out of consciousness. Stefan tried to soften it, and told Elena that Bonnie was working on a spell to try and undo what happened (because lately Bonnie is the plot device to save all things)—but Damon provided the more realistic view: "You feed or you die. There is no door number 3."

Elena wants to exhaust all hope so that's what Stefan will do because apparently whipped boy is her lapdog. Yes, here comes some of my irritation with this whole triangle. Elena chose Stefan because she can control him—she will never have that level of control over Damon when it comes to her safety. Damon will always choose Elena—Stefan will choose what Elena tells him, too.


Loved Damon's digs about Elena's 'choices.'  He is still smarting over hers and I don't blame him. I like snarky Damon, but as always, he's looking out for her whether she likes it or not.

Growing Up Vampire

The boys disagree, as they are wont to do, and Damon points out that Stefan is clinging to a hope that they can undo something that has never been undone. Stefan chose to save Matt because that's what Elena wanted, but if he'd saved Elena—Matt would be dead, but at least Elena would still be alive. Damon heads out and lets Stefan stay to hold Elena's hand. He's got a vampire to kill.

Now, there's a lot of intertwining threads so I am going to tackle our characters one at a time, here, rather than try to recap the whole episode. Bear in mind, if you haven't seen it—yes, I will be spoiling things for you.

Caroline

She hasn't left town; in fact, she's hanging out in Matt's room at the hospital to make sure he is okay. Matt is eaten up with guilt that Elena is a vampire and it's his fault she was on that bridge to begin with (yes, Matt, your choices and Jeremy's weren't the best where she was concerned).  Caroline's sad though because Tyler is gone, she's supposed to be on the run and she has no idea where to go now. When Pastor John shows up at the hospital with a goon squad to check every room, secure the blood supply and fire Meredith Fell (couldn't happen to a nicer gal, she annoys me)—Caroline scoots out lickety split.

And goes back to her place, where a phone call from Mom comes a little too late for Vamp Barbie and we kick off our season with her record intact—she's doped with vervain and kidnapped. BTW, if we started a drinking game and did a shot every time Caroline got taken—yep, we'd get at least one drink per episode.

Klaus/Tyler & Bonnie

Allow me to say that I think Klaus ate this show. I am even less thrilled when we find out Tyler agreed to this body swap as long as Klaus hopped out ASAP. But since Klaus' body isn't ashes, he wants Bonnie to put him back. Bonnie doesn't have time for this—she wants to try and save Elena. In typical self-interested fashion, Klaus no longer cares because Elena is dead and isn't useful—until Bonnie points out she might be able to restore his blood bag and the future of making hybrids.

Yeah—this whole piece kind of made me sick, too.

Of course, Carol calls worried about Tyler and Klaus finally takes it, annoyed until she reveals that Caroline was taken and Klaus is all chuffed up about that—must rescue his Vampire Barbie.

Rebecca

Damon hates you. Our guy goes after her with the white oak stake, but isn't quite successful. Fortunately, he literally dodges a bullet when the Expendables cast—I mean lock down Pastor John squad shows up to take her out with multiple gunshots and a stake through the heart. Of course, she's an Original so that's only gonna keep a girl down for a brief period of time.

FYI, Alaric may have ratted them all out to the council, but he failed to mention get the daggers and use the white oak ash to keep a blonde bitch in place. But, I digress…

Two blonde vampires sitting in a van…Rebecca wakes up in a van with Caroline, bound by vervain ropes and chains. I loved Klaus/Tyler's rescue, destroying the vehicles and he reaches in to rip the ropes off Caroline and pulls her out. Caroline is thrilled to have Tyler back (remember, she thought he died when Alaric off'd Klaus) and Klaus/Tyler glances in at Rebecca and tells his baby sister to keep them busy and then LEAVES her.

I almost felt bad for Rebecca, but damn that was funny.

Hot Hybrid Sex

Caroline throws herself at Tyler, kissing him like mad and rips off his shirt. He calls her 'luv' twice and it takes a moment for it to sink in that she's making out with Klaus. And boy is she pissed, I loved how hard she hit him. Course, he flirted and promised they could have hotter hybrid sex as soon as he had the 'right equipment' again. 

Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW


Elena & Stefan

Meanwhile back at the Gilbert house, Elena can't stop reacting to all the sensory input. She reunites with Jeremy briefly and he tells her he can't imagine worse than her becoming "one of them" – I dunno, Jere, how about her dying? She barely hears him and he reminds her he saw Vicki go through this and she had a hard time, but Elena says she will be fine, she isn't Vicki.

Jeremy points out that she puts on a "it's fine face" so others don't worry, but she isn't listening. After he goes away, she smashes a light bulb because it keeps buzzing. Her conversation with Stefan also includes some manic laughter over the "we'll cross that bridge when we come to it" and he says her emotions are heightened—very heightened.

She finds Damon in her room, and is surprised because she thought he left—but wait, no it's a memory—of the night in season two, the episode Rose—where he brought her back her necklace and told her he loved her. And he told her that he didn't deserve her, but maybe his brother did. But she needed to hear him tell her—just once, that he loved her and then he took the memory away.

Hands down one of the best scenes in the episode because watching Elena remember carried a lot of power. She went back downstairs and found Stefan surrounded. Stefan told her not to move. They were whisked off to Pastor John's ranch (and yes, back at the ranch), the Pastor has Elena in his house where it's 'safe' because no vampires have been invited in. He plans to use Rebecca to bait out her original siblings (dumb man, I do wish Elijah showed up though, he could have ripped out his heart and moved on) and he wants Elena to lure in Damon.

Transitioning is a Bitch

Elena can't really focus though, too many distractions and hunger assaulting her. The Pastor lets it slip that this doomsday plan was something her parents came up with, a final solution for dealing with the vamps if they came back. But Elena can't handle it and runs, but she's so out of it, that they easily knock her out and drop her in a cell next to Stefan's in the barn. Rebecca's miffed because she thought she killed Elena. Course, she's also pleased that she gets to watch her die again.

Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW

Bonnie pulls off her spell to cross over to the afterlife and plans to pull Elena's spirit back, but Grams is not having this crap. Bonnie is messing with evil magic and it was awesome to see Grams again—but she warned Bonnie, if she continued to dabble the spirits would strike her. And Bonnie fails to save Elena. Now Elena realizes she is going to die and she needs blood.

She doesn't hesitate, she wants to feed and she can't. Stefan and she share a very sweet moment, but seriously when he says "Damon was right, you should have fed this morning."

Dude, Damon is always right because he doesn't waste his time. Oy.

Photo: Bob Mahoney/The CW


I guess Rebecca is moved by the loving display between the two and she helps Stefan bait and kill one of the guards. Elena reaches through the bars to the pool of blood (FYI, her head and part of a shoulder go right through, Nina is TINY) and gets some finger licking goodness to complete her transition.

Damon and Matt

Damon finds Stefan and Elena gone, and is talking to Meredith and Liz about where they might have gone (by the way the Expendables cast relieved Carol and Liz of their jobs). Matt also chooses this moment to show up and Damon throws him up against a wall and demands "In what world is it okay that you get to be the one that lives?"

Liz manages to get Damon to let him go and they figure that the Pastor took their prisoners to the ranch. So Damon drags Matt out with him. At the ranch, he bites Matt right in front of the house to lure out the pastor. He refuses and Damon offers a trade. Then Damon is shot. But he's playing possum; he easily kills the guys who come after him and goes back to picking on Matt—because he wants to kill him.

Matt took Elena on that bridge.
Elena chose to save Matt's life.

Yeah, Damon not happy but as he starts to kill him again, baby vamp Elena knocks him off Matt and tells him to leave Matt alone.

Baby Vamp got back.

Elena and Damon share a moment where Damon tells her he never wanted this for her because she didn't. She wanted to be alive and to grow up and to have all those things and he wanted it for her. He didn't understand it for a long time, until she lost it, but it's what he wanted for her because he's selfish like that, but then she knows that.

She's remembered everything—and I think there is more to it than just their first meeting or the I love you—something they share now. Can't wait to find out what that was. And no, it's no surprise that Damon would choose Elena.

Bonnie Gets Dark

Klaus is done waiting, he threatens to rip out Tyler's heart and body jump if Bonnie doesn't put him back so she has to do the dark magic and it works, Tyler is free, Klaus is in his own corpse and Grams takes the spirit hit, her soul destroyed forever, thank you Bonnie and she's devastated "what have I done?"

You didn't listen, Bonnie. That's what you didn't do.

Sibling Rivalry

Rebecca arrives home to find Klaus packing up the few remaining bags of Elena's blood and she's pissed. He left her there, and he says it's because she can't die, but Bex knows better. He's a selfish prick and she destroys the blood bags in a fit of pique. Klaus breaks her neck and tells her she isn't his sister anymore,
Oops.

A New Day Rises

Elena and Stefan greet the new day sitting on top of the Salvatore house. She's reconciled to her decision. She's still alive and she's taking it better than Stefan could hope—but she has to be the strong one for him. He also gives her the daylight ring Bonnie made for her.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch (told you I would do it), Pastor John has all of his Expendables in the house and he unscrews the gas line and tells them they will ride to the rapture together and blows the house up…

Yeah, me neither. No clue what the hell that was about? Did someone compel him? Was he really just fruit loops all along? Is it to call something else out? No idea.

But me, I'm happy my boys are back and Damon day is intact. We've got a lot coming up this year as the kids "grow up" but I think that moment for Elena and Stefan was important, because the human girl may have chosen Stefan, but we do a lot of silly things when we're teens—the vamp Elena is almost the metaphor for growing up and she will have a woman's desires and needs.

We can only hope.

Are you happy Vampire Diaries is back?


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