Friday, October 7, 2011

304, Disturbing Behavior, It's What She Didn't Say that Counts

First things first, be warned - I liked this episode. If you didn’t like it, you’re probably just going to want to skip this review. Also, I’m doing this one from memory again. I’m trying to keep things in the right order. If I mess up, don’t hold it against me.



That’s a fancy little dress store. One thing you have to say about vampires, they must definitely know how to invest. Rebekah’s rant about the lack of fabric on modern dresses amuses me. She laments the fact that trousers were once scandalous, and now she’s basically not wearing anything.

She shows Stefan a dress, and he does a great imitation of my father when he has to shop with my mom. Sure, nice dress, honey. She’s so not buying it. Once again this week, she focuses on the fact that she can tell when Stefan’s lying. Not only does that reinforce the depth of their past relationship, you know (since she’s repeating herself) that’s about to be really important somewhere.

Stefan tires of shopping and decides to head outside for a bit. Well, hello there, Katherine. My gosh, I’ve missed you.


Speaking of missing things......

Ahhh, Damon and Elena are cooking. Brings back such fond memories to better kitchen banter in season one.

His lines in this episode are so quick and sharp. One of the writers must be channeling his inner Kevin Williamson - they’ve pegged Damon spot-on.

Speaking of, Damon’s totally in-tune with Elena here. He’s not here to help her cook. As she tells Alaric, he’s there because he’s expecting her to break, and he’s going to be there when she does. That means helping cook the dreaded chili.

As a viewer, Alaric’s concerned expression at the apparent connection between Damon and Elena annoys me. As a parent, he’s totally right. If that were my daughter, I’d be more than moderately concerned. Yes, I know, there’s a lot of worse things out there in Mystic Falls...and Elena needs all the protection she can get, but Elena even told Alaric she wasn’t sure what she was getting into with Damon. Until she can answer that with certainty, Alaric has the right to be wary.


And one more thing I’ve missed......

Whoa, I’d forgotten the connection between Jeremy and Anna. I LOVE Malese Jow (I’ve been getting my fix on Nickelodeon shows lately.) She’s one of the most “human” of the vampires. I think she must rival Katherine in age - her control was amazing. The emotion that she brings to this scene is beautiful, but it’ll be rivaled by another one of her scenes later.


One thing I hadn’t missed....

Bonnie’s home! Her arrival breaks up my pretty Anna/Jeremy scene. But, I have to say, Bonnie didn’t annoy me in this episode. She’s there for Elena (and by extension Caroline) when her friend really needs her. When she’s working in tandem with the other girls, I don’t dislike Bonnie.

For those of y’all who read my reviews often, that’s saying a lot here.


Sheriff Forbes called Damon for help. How much do I love this transition scene?

Liz needed help, and once again, she looked to our reluctant hero. There’s no reason why she didn’t ask Caroline to do this, but she didn’t. She trusts Damon.

I really don’t like Bill. I’ll get back to that.


Stefan comes back and Rebecca’s not amused that he’s been gone for long. Time for a little witch tracking spell.

I like Gloria. I really do - at least here.

She’s working for Klaus, but she doesn’t like him. (I’m still going with the witch indebted thing here that Katherine hinted at once.) Gloria’s working with him because she has to for some reason, she’s not doing this because she thinks he’s doing the right thing.

Since Gloria isn’t too sure about what she’s looking for, she’s going to call in Rebecca’s help.

Oh, there’s the necklace - right in the middle of a little girl talk. Bonnie’s mildly frustrated that everything in Mystic Falls fell apart while she was busy being bored with her dad’s family.

Caroline’s a little suspicious as to why Damon was there helping Elena cook, but before they can delve too much into that, Elena’s necklace heats up and burns her. When she hands it to Bonnie, literal sparks fly.

Back in Chicago, Gloria knows she’s found the necklace, but she’s tired and she needs a little time to rest. Hmm...I’m skeptical.

Klaus is annoyed, but Stefan knows how to have a good time. They just need to go eat some ladies, and he’ll even let Klaus pick their victims out.


The girls have decided to take their research to town square. Fresh air is good for you...

While Bonnie tries to figure out what’s going on with the necklace, Caroline continues her original line of questioning. She’s spent a ton of time with Elena lately, and she’s seen more than Elena will likely admit to herself.

Is Elena switching Salvatores?


Now our vampire trio has finished their snacks. Rebekah’s acting like the spoiled brat that Klaus has hinted that she is. Stefan needs some air - and Klaus thinks Stefan is headed to write a name on the wall. But that’s not where our younger brother Salvatore is headed.

He knows Gloria knows more than she’s telling.

And she knows Stefan does too.

The next scene is icky as she tortures the knowledge of what’s up with the necklace out of him. She doesn’t take kindly to the new age stuff, she prefers old fashioned voodoo. After she locates the necklace, she can see visions of Elena, but he’s fighting her. I’ll admit that his pleas show that he hasn’t gone full ripper yet. He’s struggling against her because she can’t know about Elena.

And then she pushes even harder.

There it is. The key to why Klaus can’t make his army. The doppleganger’s still alive. Happy with this new weapon in her arsenal, she’s smug as she backs away - right into a stake from Katherine.

Hmm, even this ultra-powerful witch is totally at the mercy of this unexpected attack.

It’s more than a little creepy that Katherine’s watching out for Stefan this closely. For someone who’s always been looking out for number one, she’s taking a massive risk here - if Klaus unexpectedly showed up in the bar, he’d find Katherine. But she was willing to take the risk to find Stefan. She knew he was in over his head, and now she’s proven it.

He still won’t work with her though. She needs a new partner in crime. Wonder where she’ll get one of those?


Damon’s looking through the various pots of chili - loved the little Founding Family nametags. I was kind of expecting him to switch the Gilbert chili with one of the really good ones....but I digress.

As expected, Alaric’s not too far from his friend’s side. But we have a bit of a problem. Our not-so-reluctant guardian has a little bit of an issue with what was going on in the kitchen earlier that day. In his opinion, Damon needs to back away from Elena.

Alaric’s looking out for Elena, and part of that means he needs to put the brakes on whatever’s going on between his charge and his friend. Damon seems honestly shocked. If Alaric’s doing this to protect Elena, what on earth does he think Damon’s been trying to do.

Team Blood and Beer, I feel you are on shaky ground right now.

We don’t really get the chance for Alaric to answer Damon’s question because now Liz arrives with the news that the council meeting is about to start. As head of the council, Damon needs to be there.


More Jeremy and Anna cuteness. She can come because he’s calling out to her. I think that’s going to be important later.


Mrs. Mayor is leading the anti-werewolf council that just happens to consist of a mom of a werewolf, mom of a vampire, and a vampire. Yeah, I’ll bet these council meetings are amazingly productive.

She seems to just want to get out of the little meeting room as quickly as possible. Before they all leave, Damon stops for a drink of water (I was really hoping there wasn’t any vervain in there...this is a council meeting after all). Quick question, does Mrs. Mayor know what Damon is?

Stefan and Katherine are talking. She’s skeptical that he’s really thought all of this out. She’s worried that he’s let this “I’m a bad guy now” thing make him over confident. She wants to know what he’s planning to do, and when she hears about this hunter dude, she is not pleased.

Very little freaks Katherine Pierce out. This hunter guy apparently does. She heard about him centuries ago, which begs the question, what is he?

Not human - he’d be dead by now.

A witch? I know they can slow aging, but how much?

Werewolf? They seem to live rather human lifetimes.

A vampire who hunts other vampires?


Katherine may want to join the party, but there’s only room for one hero in the room right now. Stefan’s been reading his own press, so he’s not buying what she’s selling, and that’s about to be a really big problem.


Ok, we’re about to hit the largest section of “D’Ann commentary,” marked by italics. This is my recap, and I can chase bunnies if I want to.

So...Ric and Elena leave while Elena asks where Damon is. Ric doesn’t care, but this scene does illustrate just how much time Damon’s been spending around Elena. He’s not here with her, and she’s looking for him before she leaves.

Houston, we have a problem. That’s an understatement.

Bill is threatening to out Damon to the council. (Insert appropriate snickers here.) Damon needs to fix the problem, and it’s almost as if he’s counting on Alaric’s backup here. When he doesn’t get it (and, I’m going to excuse Elena’s little moment of word vomit here because she’s about to say something so amazing, I’m going to blame her comment about keeping Damon in check as her being overly tired or something like that), Damon has to act. After checking for Alaric’s ring, Damon declares Alaric temporarily dead and goes to deal with the problem.

Why didn’t the compulsion work on Bill?

This is the only real section I have an issue with on this episode, and it isn’t for the reason you think. Really? The dude has trained his brain to resist compulsion? Sorry, that’s just lame to me. Most of our witchy stuff has loopholes, but this one just doesn’t work. Unless Bill has a vampire friend who he’s practiced resisting the compulsion with, there’s no way he could have built up an immunity to it like Katherine can resist vervain now. (Ok, so on fifth thought, I have an idea about this scene....discussion to be coming soon.)

So, a very “in control” Damon attacks Bill. After blasting Bill for underestimating him, Damon goes in for what appears to be the kill, but is actually just really intense scare tactics.

Caroline doesn’t realize that Damon’s just trying to teach her dad a lesson. She immediately comes to her father’s assistance. Older and stronger should be able to take out the younger vamp, right? But Caroline has anger on her side. She’s able to overpower Damon and take him down for what he’s doing to her dad.

While I initially had HUGE issues with this, I think I see where they’re going with the anger can overpower age thing. Spoiler theory - don’t read this if you don’t want to know something about next week. Next week, Elena’s in danger. Klaus and Rebekah are both trying to prevent him from getting to Elena. Age will not be able to overcome his anger at the risk to Elena.

Elena rushes into the room during the fight between Caroline and Damon. She’s livid as she turns on Damon. And here, we have a case of what she DIDN’T say that’s important.

Elena faces off with Damon, screaming at him that she doesn’t want him to be what OTHER people think he is. She doesn’t say what SHE thinks he is. She knows the “real” Damon, and it isn’t even the monster that he views himself as. She wants him to be the man that she’s come to know - the one she likes just like he is.

Here Damon’s past comes to the surface. He’s always been second to Stefan, even though he was the firstborn. Here, we see his feelings of inadequacy when comparing himself to his brother. He’s assuming that she’s angry because he’s not acting like Stefan, but that’s not her point. She knows there’s more to him than he even sees in himself. That’s why she’s calling him out.


Tyler and Caroline have grown on me. For being a werewolf and vampire, these two somehow seem the most teenager-ish on the show tonight. Maybe it’s Tyler’s “you want me to kick his ass” line, but this scene is really nice.

They’re going to give this couple some issues pretty soon, aren’t they?


Oh, Stefan, you really should have listened to Katherine. Even if you don’t trust her, she’s been surviving for a very long time. The girl’s got good instincts.

Rebekah meets up with Stefan in the warehouse and finds him fingering one of the coffins. Whatever her suspicions are, she warns him not to ask Klaus too much about Michael (the man they’re afraid of). While Stefan lies (badly) and feigns disinterest, Rebekah pulls him to her and seizes the opportunity for a kiss.

A flicker of...something....flashes across her face. Her earlier warnings come back to haunt him.

Stefan should have listened to Katherine. Rebekah does know him too well. She can instantly tell that he’s lying to her - about being able to love her again, about being with them, about a piece of his life back in Mystic Falls.

Klaus comes in, and just like a tattle tale little sister, she spills everything she knows to Klaus. Lights out for Stefan.


Morning’s finally arrived, and Damon’s pouring 2 drinks - one for him and one for his soon to be no longer dead buddy. Ric is livid that Damon killed him. While I almost defended Ric earlier, I’m going to have to go with Damon here. Bill needed to be dealt with. A man who’d brutalize his own daughter in the hope of curing her is no one to mess around with, and he’s totally not someone to have trying to take over the leadership role in the Founder’s Council.

Damon needed to act, and Alaric needed to get out of his way.


Caroline and Elena have a really nice heart to heart. Once again wandering through the square, Caroline’s not going to beat around the bush any longer. Elena needs to be honest with herself, even if she’s not going to voice it to her friends. Elena feels something for Damon, and Caroline knows it.

Notice here that Elena doesn’t deny her feelings. She doesn’t try to tell Caroline that her friend is imagining things. She’s just torn.

Torn between what she feels and what she thinks that means about her. She protests that if she says anything...even thinks anything about her feelings for Damon, that they’ll be real. She can’t do that.

Problem is, she already has. She and Damon had that moment after their first failed rescue attempt to bring Stefan home. She told Damon she feels something...she cares...and she’s conflicted.

She’s always said that she isn’t Katherine. Yet, to borrow Caroline’s words, if she switches Salvatores, will she be any different from the woman who shares her face?

Of course she will, but that’s not what Elena sees.

Elena is unsure about what falling for the darker and more dangerous Salvatore means about her.... The problem with that scenario is that she already DID fall for the darker brother when she fell for Stefan. Despite everything she's been told...things she's witnessed, she still just doesn’t realize it.

Bill wanders by, interrupting the girls’ conversation.

Caroline goes to her father and discovers he’s leaving. Even after showing him what she’s capable of doing - fighting Damon to defend him, forcing her blood on him to heal him, it isn’t enough. He only sees her as something that’s broken. His daughter is gone. She’ll never be the same in his eyes.


Alaric meets with Liz and Mrs. Mayor. Whatever Elena said to him in the van after their failed attempt to rescue Stefan must have really gotten to him. His new role of guardian to the Gilbert kids combined with Damon’s most recent actions have pushed him to fully earn that Gilbert ring he’s wearing. The humans need a voice on the council - one that knows what’s really going on in the town.

And Alaric’s going to be that voice. At the next meeting, he’s filling the Gilbert family vacancy.

Bonnie and Elena are meeting in the lovely outdoor seating area at the Grill. Bonnie seems troubled. Not only can she not figure out what’s going on with the necklace, she now knows about Jeremy’s own version of ghosts of girlfriends past that’s been going on.

Elena seems concerned, but what she wants is her necklace. She needs that little connection with Stefan.

As soon as Bonnie hands it over, Elena’s gone - like blink of an eye gone. (I’ll admit that the first time I saw this, I’d been distracted. I thought that the necklace had a spell that somehow transported Elena somewhere - hey, stranger things have happened on this show.)

I did not expect....
Someone’s at the Salvatore door. Damon answers it, expecting an apology from Elena.

In an instant, Elena’s face transforms, and Katherine smiles back at Damon. She’s getting very good at this. One brother would play along with her, so she’s come to find a new partner in crime.

She dangles the necklace in front of Damon and proposes a little trip. Stung by Elena’s words at the Lockwood house combined with his argument with Alaric that morning, Damon’s actually up for a little adventure.

What is Katherine’s game here? Is she taking the necklace because she knows it’s what Klaus wants? Is she somehow trying to protect Stefan? Does she just want a little leverage?

In all the focus on the necklace, one big elephant in the room has gone without mention. Katherine now knows about the ghosts.

Katherine said it herself. She knows stuff, and she uses it to her advantage. Her conversation with Bonnie will definitely be called into play soon.


Stefan wakes up and Klaus is ready for a little chat. The Hybrid isn’t mad - mainly curious. His sister has good instincts, and she senses that Stefan’s not being truthful. He has something to hide. Klaus wants to know what it is.

Oh Stefan, if you’d listened to Katherine, if you’d been a better liar, you wouldn’t be back in Mystic Falls right now. All you needed to do was convince Rebekah you were head over heels, and you’d still be day drinking somewhere. As it stands, you’re in serious trouble.

Stefan may not be the true ripper without remorse yet, but he’s not in control of his bloodlust.

Damon’s gone - off with Katherine on some adventure with the necklace.

And she might have Alaric, Caroline, and Bonnie, but Elena’s basically on her own. She wants to trust Stefan - she’s convinced she can somehow save him. Her one voice of reason is currently car tripping with Katherine.

Yeah, next week’s not going to end well.

Friday, September 16, 2011

She'll Cry if She Wants To - TVD 301 Recap

Ok. Here goes. First up, this review isn’t going to be as detailed as most. I’ve been working on something else all day, and I don’t have time to rewatch as I’m trying to write this up. This is from memory. Please be kind.

I’ll hit the high points. Add some commentary. Then, at the end, I have a couple of concerns.

Still with me?

Let’s go.

Opening at the house out in the middle of nowhere. Yeah, that’s not going to end well. Klaus’ American accent does NOTHING for me. Then, I don’t understand why the girl didn’t run like heck when he switched into his British accent. He hadn’t compelled her yet. Surely, the accent switch was a sign that the dude was dangerous.

Yikes. Stefan standing blocking the doorway was chilling. This scene was one of the only times I really felt the “ripper” aspect of his nature.

Loved the parallel between Damon in the finale and Elena here in the premiere. They both opened curtains (to songs by the same artist) but for much different reasons. Damon had been trying to end his suffering, and Elena was beginning her adult life.

So, Jeremy’s got a job....and he doesn’t seem to be too enthused. Alaric’s been sleeping on the couch. Yep, life goes on in Mystic Falls. Speaking of, Caroline’s planning a not-surprise party while also passing on leads for Stefan’s potential whereabouts.

Damon apparently really likes his bubble baths. I really thought he’d be in the bath with Andie, but it doesn’t appear that’s the way it went down (or she got out a LONG time ago). I like the fact that he was already on his way downstairs to get more liquor when Elena got there instead of somehow arriving in the living room just to flaunt what he’d been up to.

She’s obviously been spending a lot of time at Casa Salvatore over the summer, since she just waltzes into the house without knocking or anything like that. Yes, she got an eye full. Her reaction made me laugh.

Jeremy sees dead people while at his job. Haven’t figured out the ghosts’ purpose other than to make Jeremy backpedal from all the progress he made last season - when I actually began to like his character. Now he’s back to drugs and that’s just putting MORE pressure on Elena. Not a fan at the moment.

So...I understand that the show is wanting us to realize that quite a bit of time has passed, but I don’t really understand why Tyler was in this scene with Elena’s party preparations. (Isn’t it kind of sad that Elena’s having to help decorate for her own 18th birthday party?) Tyler and Caroline have a very unique vibe going here. I’m not anti-Forwood, but something isn’t working for me. I think it might be that Tyler’s here at all - I’d rather that this would have been a scene with just the girls.

Apparently Damon and Ric have actually been taking Elena’s words to heart, even if they didn’t let her know about it. I’m assuming Damon needed Ric here to help him get in the house. This has to be one of the ickiest scenes in TVD so far. And...since this is apparently Stefan’s “signature,” this is where I move into commentary mode for the first time of this recap.

The fact that Damon apparently was well aware of this side of Stefan is a continuity error for me. There is NO WAY on earth that Damon would even tempt Stefan with human blood knowing what it turned his brother least he wouldn’t have done it once Damon began to feel for Elena. This Stefan is DANGEROUS and twisted. Damon would never have let Elena walk into the room in Miss Mystic Falls to vervain Stefan if he’d known this is what Stefan on too much blood turns into.

Moving on...

Pretty sure we were back in the bar here. Sorry, the human darts game was so disturbing that I’m just going to scurry on past this scene. It was twisted. Yes, we understand Klaus and Stefan are evil. Yuck.

And now we’ve hit one of the three highlights of the episode for me.

The necklace scene.

They had me at the music in the background. Seriously, I think this section of the episode is likely one of the most beautiful moments we’ve seen on the show. I think I like it as much as the Miss Mystic Falls dance....the way they looked back and forth at each other in the mirror, the way Damon choked up when he spoke to her. Gah!

This is my recap and I can give this scene three paragraphs if I want to.

“This is the starting of my greatest fear...” Damon’s been left alone with Elena. In many respects, he’s the only one capable of protecting her right now (sorry, Alaric,’re not the best babysitter). He’s in love with her, but she’s beyond emotionally fragile right now and he knows it.

“This is the starting of a brand new day...” The looks between them speak for themselves. If ever there was a time that I hoped there was a meaning behind the song choice on this show, this one is one of them. She’s just confessed that she’s likely going to break down before the cake - and once again he’s her rock. Supporting her as she needs it. Literally in this case, since he offers her his arm to lead her into the party that she doesn’t want to have.

I think Stefan and Klaus are still playing darts here. Klaus learns that Damon’s following them. And, this is an important part for later, Stefan volunteers to take care of it - and is given NO instructions by Klaus. What Stefan chooses to do is all on him.

Ok, I’m going to give Jeremy a pass at the drug use just because it allowed us to have my third favorite scene in the episode. When Elena sees her brother, she doesn’t confront him herself, she charges outside to find her “guardian.” When she commands Damon to hand her his drink...and he gives it to her....speaks volumes to the closeness of this pair. She takes Damon’s drink, downs a few sips, and hands it back to him. They are so comfortable together now. Having her around so often must be killing him. I’l get back to that later.

Andie’s alone at the station. Once again, this isn’t going to end well. When she was running in terror, I felt like I was watching a horror movie. She’s relieved to see Stefan, but she really shouldn’t be. I don’t think she was in on the whole “how Stefan’s been spending his summer” discussion.

Elena needs to take a breather from the party and happens into Caroline having a snack. While I understand that her friends aren’t wanting her to waste away - I don’t think that Elena was really ready for this conversation, even though she probably needed it. I’m glad it was Caroline here. Interesting how her main source of support has shifted from Bonnie to Caroline throughout the past few months.

Now we begin the most disturbing segment of the episode - and after “human darts,” that’s really saying something. Stefan meets Damon in the darkened studio (and, he doesn’t really own that “Hello Brother” phrase). After Stefan tells Damon to stop following him, Damon makes a quip about having a birthday girl to take care of (or something like that).

Then we see how deeply disturbed Stefan can really be.

The guy’s not currently at the mercy of the blood (which is how Damon explained Stefan’s actions for mutilating the girls earlier).

No one compelled him to do anything to hurt Andie.

He’d just made a deal with Klaus to save Damon’s life....and this is how he decided to keep his brother from following him any longer.

He compelled Andie to stand at the edge of the catwalk. He made her bring Damon to him - and she was probably aware her life was about to end. Then, to emphasize his point, he made her jump to her death while he forced Damon to watch as he pinned him against the wall.

Stefan is one scary dude.

A emotionally drained Damon arrives back at the boardinghouse, and he’s no longer in the mood to party. When he goes to his room, he’s met by Elena. She’s found his Stefan-tracking area and wants to know why Damon hasn’t told her what he’s been up to. He wants her to forget Stefan...because this Stefan isn’t the one she used to know. Her Stefan won’t be returning in her lifetime. (I understand Damon was still wanting to protect Elena, but WHY didn’t he tell her about Andie here. The girl needs to understand how far he’s gone.) Elena is shocked and hurt here. I so wanted to see Damon come back and level with her about why he lashed out...sadly, that wasn’t meant to be.

Jeremy and Matt bond over ice cream. Matt doesn’t understand that when Jeremy says he sees Vicki, Jeremy means he sees Vickie. Poor Matt. This supernatural stuff is hard.

Tyler and Caroline have some serious pent-up needs to take care of. Seriously? This is probably the hottest sex scene we’ve seen on the show...and it’s between these two characters? I guess the emphasis was on what happens when two supernaturals get together, but yikes! Whichever Salvatore happens to bed another character in the future, the standards for intensity have been kicked up a notch.

And now we’re at my second favorite scene - not because I like seeing Damon in pain (totally the other way around), but because I liked seeing Damon’s control. Yes, Damon trashed Stefan’s room, but he didn’t physically hurt anyone here. This situation is so similar to after he lost Rose - he could easily have wandered out and found a wasted teenager wandering home from the party. Instead, he even stopped destroying Stefan’s room mid-explosion.

Damon’s face as he leans against the table speaks for itself. His worst fears are confirmed. Stefan has truly gone over the edge.

If only Stefan fully understood that. By calling Elena here, that’s really cruel. Yes, she earlier told Caroline she just wanted to know he was alive, but that’s likely because she still thinks he’s doing these things because Klaus is forcing him to. Listening to her plead with him, promising him that she’s still in love with him.

Soundtrack moment two: The song playing here speaks of changes in the weather. I think the conclusion of this scene likely signals a change of seasons for the show. The Stefan and Elena season is over - even if Elena doesn’t realize it yet. Stefan may be trying to fight through here, but he’s given himself over to Klaus. He may cry because he’s conflicted, but no one made him kill Andie the way he did.

Elena doesn’t understand how far gone Stefan is. She doesn’t know what he’s really capable of. When she was with him, she bought the story of the man he tried to be...but that’s not really who he is.

Now onto my comments:
Let’s talk Damon’s hair.... No, this isn’t one of those comments. I think they’re having him grow out his hair as an outward expression of his inner turmoil. The guy’s in over his head. He’s having to be the good guy, and we know he doesn’t think of himself that way. Like when he was letting himself go and partying down with the college girls after losing Katherine, he’s not functioning at full capacity here.

Poor Elena. The girl’s in denial, but it’s because she doesn’t really have all the facts. I’m beyond afraid that she’s not going to really believe that Stefan’s really as far gone as he is until he physically hurts her. I don’t want to see it (and Damon’s reaction would likely be beyond frightening), but she doesn’t seem to understand exactly how detached he is.

And now I have to be honest. These recaps take a lot out of me. I rewatch the show at least 4 times before I’m ready to do these. Right now, I can’t invest that level of emotions. This episode was painful in its intensity. I’m not certain if I’ll be up to doing these full-blown reviews for a while. Seeing the connection between Damon and Elena, while neither are willing to act on it because of each or their duty, honor (can’t figure out the right word here) to Stefan is just too much for me to watch more than once.

I’d love to know what you thought of this one, though.

Contest Entry

Hey guys - just wanted to let you know that I've entered a contest on this site for original fiction. (And...Ciara has a story up as well.)

For a bit of fun, we decided to do a bit of a contest. The first person who finds each of our stories wins a one-shot (subject of your choice).

PM me here or send me a DM on Twitter if you find it. Helpful least mine's in the contemporary category.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Two Steps Forward, A Million Steps Back

Wow, being a mom to a special needs kid is never easy.

I think what’s hardest, though, is that you never know when issues you thought were totally gone suddenly come back with a vengeance.

One therapist says Bud is autistic.

Another says no, he’s just quirky.

Well, my quirky kid has been crying…for two hours. He literally can’t stop. He’s sick, and the doctor put him on 5 meds. Taking all of them scared him, and he hasn’t been able to calm down sense.

So frustrating.

You want to help, but nothing seems to work - not even his favorite dog at his side.

This has already been a rotten year.

At school, we’ve already had two parent meetings, and we’re only 3 weeks in. The teachers have changed the rules on us, and his friends are no longer allowed to eat with him at his nut-free table. These same two boys have eaten lunch with him every day for three years. And now, because they bring their lunch from home, suddenly they’re off limits. One of these kids learned to eat sunflower-seed-butter sandwiches so he’d be safe for my son.

But the school says it’s too hard for them to check the two boys’ lunches every day…even though they’ve never brought anything dangerous…and he’s lost his safe haven at lunch.

His teacher doesn’t understand the dynamics of working with a dyslexic student - much less one who has a few wires that work differently than other kids. Going to school has become a chore.

And now he’s worn down.

My amazing boy - who was beyond proud of his straight As and “student of the six weeks”….the kid who substitutes have left notes about how amazing he is to have in class….the one who was the reason his dyslexia specialist didn’t retire this year…

That kid.

He’s drowning. He’s so stressed out about school and everything that’s changed. He made himself sick.

Tonight he’s just a shadow of the kid I’ve come to know over the past year.

We’ve worked so hard to get to this point, but the “old” Bud is back. The one that’s inconsolable. The one who can’t communicate.

And my heart breaks.

As a mom and as a teacher, I wish schools could see what their never-ending emphasis on tests….and silly rules….and “getting kids ready for next year” is doing to the students.

Teachers are parents, well, a lot of them are. I understand they’re stressed. They’re overworked. They have too much to do and too little time to do it.

I know.

I’ve been there.

But I wish they could see my son right now….well, maybe I don’t.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Hunger Games Poster

I'm a little skeptical about some of the casting. Well, let's just say I'm a LOT skeptical of the casting for the movie, but the poster looks amazing.

I had to post it here.

If you haven't read "The Hunger Games" series, you're truly missing out. Add it to your to be read pile after you finish "The Body Finder" series, though. That's still my favorite.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Who's the Guy in the White Hat?

"He was his most vulnerable. He was so beautiful and damaged and honest. Elena likes the good guy at the end of the day." - Nina Dobrev, AOL TV Squad interview, CW Upfronts

I normally take cast interviews with a grain of salt, after all, they can't really give out any real spoilers - that would really defeat the purpose of watching the show.


Something about this little snippet stuck with me. I had ample time in the car this week, which is my thinking spot of choice as many of y'all know.

I even ran this comment by my husband. (Full disclosure - he's been a Delena shipper since the third or fourth episode.) He reminded me of something I can't believe I'd forgotten. In post-Deathly Hallows interviews, we found out that JKR told several castmembers their characters' fate and motivations before they were revealed in the book simply to help them know how to interact with the other characters on the big screen.

In no way am I about to imply that TVD is equal to HP. However, it would make sense that even if the actors don't know "endgame," they do know their own character's hearts.

Let's get back to that quote.

"Elena likes the good guy at the end of the day."

So, which brother is really the guy wearing the white hat? Which one should?

To answer this question, I think we really need to analyze the brothers at their core. Which "self" has each brother hidden from Elena?

Stefan told Elena that he was a monster. He's done things he regrets. He, um, ate her relatives. She saw him after the Miss Mystic Falls pageant. He threw her against a wall and flung Damon into a tree as if he were a rag doll.

Even still, I don't think Elena understands the real Stefan. Has she met the vampire that even newly-turned Caroline described in "Plan B?" "I’m better than Stefan. He’s a bit of a problem drinker. A blood-aholic." If Elena had been privy to this conversation between Caroline and her mom, I would hope that would have been a bit of a red flag. How could her friend, who I admit is a bit of a control freak, have better control of her new nature than Stefan..who'd been a vampire for over a century?

I think we had another recent clue as to the side of Stefan he's been hiding during Stefan and Elena's hike on her "last day." When Elena questions Stefan about control, he admits that he continues to fight every day. Granted, he's talking about the struggle with his emotions, but he's just conceded the fact that his desire for blood outweighs even the conflict within himself. When Elena says that his hunger must be the worst part of being a vampire, he doesn't contradict her.

And then we have this newest piece of information. Stefan was a ripper. Damon and Stefan hinted at Stefan's background in the past, but we never fully understood how bad Stefan must have been. To have impressed Klaus? A vampire that wiped out an entire village? No matter how small the community, we're not talking about a single family here...a village.

Elena doesn't know about that Stefan.

And then there's Damon.

He was his most vulnerable. He was so beautiful and damaged and honest.

Who's the person he's been hiding beneath his admittedly dangerous exterior?

He said it himself, “I don’t mind being the bad guy. I’ll make all the life and death decisions while you’re busy worrying about collateral damage. I’ll even let her hate me for it. But at the end of the day, I’ll be the one to keep her alive.” He's a man who was driven by his passion for 150 years. He's the man who so desperately wanted to keep Elena alive that he did something he knew would make her hate him...just to make sure she kept breathing (in a manner of speaking).

At his core, Damon may be damaged, but he's also vulnerable and loves with an intensity unmatched by many.

We were able to see this more vulnerable side of Damon throughout the season. As he's been more deeply impacted by his feelings for Elena, he's becoming more and more the man he once was before he turned.

So which one is really the good guy? Who should be wearing the white hat?

In my family, we joke that Damon is TVD's version of Han Solo. For those familiar with Star Wars, you know who ended up with the girl in the end.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kleenexes at the Ready? - 221 Recap

This episode also tore me up like no other. Please forgive my tardiness with the recap. I honestly couldn’t handle trying to write about it for a few days past watching.

Let’s also establish this at the outset. I love Caroline. I adore the changes in her character this season. BUT, I think the Matt/Tyler/Caroline stuff brought the intensity of the episode to a halt (even DH shared this opinion). I appreciate that it apparently sets up a lot of what happens in the finale, but this ep is better without this secondary subplot.

SO....Matt shot Tyler. Matt can’t accept Caroline. Caroline knows her mom knows about her. Caroline cuddled with Tyler (who was naked under that blanket) on the couch. Let’s move on.

145 Years and No Last Goodbye
- There’s no scene that has more clearly established the changes in Damon along with his lack of feelings for Katherine than this scene. He doesn’t think she’s worthy of a goodbye. She says that she had to make the call to lure out Jenna. He stresses that yes, she had the choice, and she owed it to him to protect Jenna. But she’s still Katherine - looking out for herself. When Damon says that he hopes she enjoys an eternity alone, I honestly think that she may have had a moment where he got through to her. I sense this may mean bad things for one of the characters I’ve developed a strange fondness for this season.

The second I walked out of the house, someone grabbed me - Poor confused Jenna. Obviously, Elena knows exactly what’s going on, but she has to help Jenna clue in to the fact she’s now a vamp. I wonder what would have happened if Elena had really quickly said not to drink the blood... Of course, Jenna’s alternative would just have been to be dead then too, but she couldn’t have been the sacrifice.

Title Card and my stomach was already churning. This is going to be one of THOSE episodes.

And now we have multiple handy visits from the Exposition Fairy. We now know that Jeremy and Bonnie have been seeking out a “changed our mind, don’t want to be a vampire” spell and Elijah’s making sure Stefan’s clear on the concept of what all’s about to happen.

Of course, we have our obligatory “Bonnie’s going to be okay” moment. Is it alright that she’s honestly last in my line of “characters I’m worried about” tonight. Let Bonnie die killing Klaus...he’s killed a ton of people. Y’all need to make sure he’s dead as in REALLY dead. If that takes losing Bonnie, then we’ll all deal. No, Elena wouldn’t want that, but I don’t think she was ready for Jenna to go either. (I think everyone was assuming it would be Katherine.)

Now, I’ve seen a lot of comments asking why Damon was at the boardinghouse drinking in this next section of the scene. Well, they hadn’t done the locator spell yet. No one knew where he was supposed to go to stop the sacrifice. (That, and Damon probably needed a stiff drink to get him through the rest of the night.)

Damon has to tell Stefan about Jenna. Suddenly the stakes have been raised exponentially.

I Feel Like Myself, Only Not - Can I say poor Jenna again? Not only is she transitioning into a vampire, she’s doing it knowing that she’s going to be sacrificed in a matter of hours. Elena tries to pull a “witchy honor” speech with Greta. Sadly, I think Greta really was doing all this of her own free will... the excitement of the whole “new order” reminds me a bit of Hitler Youth.

You Do Not Want To Mess With Me Right Now - Damon’s really already feeling the results of the wolf bite. He does an amazingly good job of hiding what’s going on from everyone else. He’s come to terms with his death sentence, now it’s time to keep Elena and Jenna from being sacrificed. Interesting here that we see that John really was counting on Damon protecting Elena. I think hearing that Damon was willing to take vervain (despite the pain it caused) to protect Elena showed John how much Elena really meant to Damon. He’d trusted Damon with his daughter’s life...and Damon knows he failed. He tries to make light of it, but he’s done everything he can up until this point to keep his impulsive act from impacting Elena’s eternity.

I’ve Got The Moonstone
- Yep, here’s where it starts to get freaky and really sad. I hadn’t realized that Jules and Elena had never met. Too bad they did so under the circumstances. Sara Canning really “sold” Jenna’s fear in this whole scene. I think one of the reasons I was so impacted by Jules’ death (perhaps the only character who’s below Bonnie on my “characters I could live without” scale) was the look of utter horror on Jenna’s face.

Ooooh, Interesting Spells - Bonnie and Jeremy continue their spell research. I think this “bring back to life” spell that wasn’t clearly explained will be important in the finale. Someone arrives. Alaric comes downstairs to talk to Jeremy. Interesting that it isn’t Stefan. He’s there. I’ve always said that I felt a “fatherly vibe” between Alaric and Elena. Knowing she’s his wife’s daughter is the closest thing to a child he has, but I think that also impacts his relationship with Jeremy.

One of my main points - Stefan explains that Klaus took Jenna as retaliation for Damon rescuing Caroline. I don’t think that’s right, though. Klaus had Katherine “do something for him” immediately after she stood in the sunlight. Klaus took Jenna after he thought Elena had left. Jenna was ALWAYS the vampire Klaus intended to use - that’s why she was with Greta, the witch performing the spell. Caroline was the backup.

A little fuzzy here - Why is Stefan so convinced that Klaus wants Stefan more? Does he think Klaus would be impressed by the Romeo and Juliet quality of lovers as sacrifices or is it something else? I’m still convinced that Stefan has somehow encountered Klaus in the past.

Isn’t There Someone Else Who Can Do This? - Let’s all take a deep breath. It’s about to get very sad very quickly. As soon as Jenna went all reflective, I knew she was truly a goner. Jenna believes she’s totally failed Elena and Jeremy, but Elena says it’s her fault. At this point, it’s far too late to assign blame. They’ve already watched Jules die. As much as Elena tries to reassure Jenna (and then begs her to run when she has the chance), Jenna knows that she just has a few minutes left.

Insert appropriate eye-welling here.

You’re Very Honorable - This scene inserted the doubt I’d been feeling all season. Seriously, someone should have listened to Damon. (I’ll get back to this in a bit.) Stefan and Elijah have a heart to heart. While Elijah is impressed that Stefan intends to take Jenna’s place, Stefan questions Elijah once again. Stefan’s tried to kill his brother - more than once. He’s never been able to. If Stefan’s about to offer himself in Jenna’s stead, then he wants to make certain his death means something. He needs to know that Elijah has truly prepared himself for the implications of killing his brother. Elijah says that he owes it to the rest of his family. He doesn’t just hate his brother; he’s seeking revenge.

I Did Everything You Asked - Elena doesn’t seem to grasp just how unhinged Klaus is. She says she did everything he asked (honestly, I’ve apparently blocked something out along the way. I don’t remember her ever making a deal with Klaus - just Elijah. Please, if you remember when she worked out a deal with Klaus, remind me of that scene in the comments so I don’t drive myself insane) and she doesn’t understand why Jenna’s still on the list of tonight’s victims. In the midst of her pleas, something unexpected turned up.

You Weren’t On the Guest List - Once again, I get the feeling here that Stefan and Klaus have met in the past...even if Stefan didn’t know who Klaus was at the time. Stefan wants to talk.

A Parent’s Love - We learn more about one of the spells (still not sure if it’s the resuscitation spell mentioned earlier) where a mother bound her life force to that of her child. For the moment, we see a level of respect between John and Damon that I haven’t seen before. Neither may fully trust the other’s tactics, but they’re both doing all they can do to save the most important person in their world.

Three Goddesses on Nature’s Altar - Stefan explains to Klaus that he wants to trade places with Jenna. Klaus isn’t buying. He likes the idea of three women dying for him. (Which is one reason I think Tyler/Caroline were the backup vamp and werewolf.)

Locked In - After Bonnie does the binding spell with John, she kisses Jeremy (and knocks him out). Damon, Elijah, and Bonnie have work to do. Alaric thinks he’s going to help, but Damon (I think) has made the call to keep his friend locked in the house. The sacrifice has been going on long enough that I think Damon was aware that by the time they got there, no one was going to be able to help Jenna (or Stefan if he was successful at taking Jenna’s place). Personally, I believe Damon completely understood what would happen to John if the spell was successful. He needed to ensure that someone would be left to take care of Elena. They couldn’t take the risk of letting Alaric go with them.

Who’s It Going to Be?
- Elena has the choice between an awful decision and a horrible decision. Her boyfriend or her aunt? Thankfully, Klaus takes the choice away as soon as he makes it. Stefan’s not on the list tonight. Klaus drives a stake through his spinal cord, leaving him unconscious on the ground. He makes some sort of vague “I have other plans for him” comment which really makes me cringe. Klaus is one twisted dude. You don’t want to be on the list of people he finds interesting.

I Know What I Have to Do - Like I said, if Jenna and Damon had been working together, I don’t know if this sacrifice would have ever gone down. Jenna knows what she has to do, and despite Elena’s wishes (Bonnie, are you listening here?), it will come at the cost of her own life. Rather than running away as Elena wanted, Jenna has come to the correct realization that if she can kill Greta, Klaus won’t be able to hurt her niece. She felt as if she’d failed Elena and Jeremy in her job of raising them this past 6 months or so. She’s not going to do that again. Like any parent, she gives her own life to try to protect Elena. Of course, Klaus steps in and stakes Jenna first in the side. Rather than ending her life quickly and neatly, he wants to see the terror in Jenna’s eyes as he kills her.

Just so you know, on my first viewing, this is where my son decided to come in and start talking to me. Apparently, my sobbing had made him curious.

Elena’s cries for Jenna to turn off her emotions so she wouldn’t be scared totally left me in a puddle. Nina is likely the most realistic crier on television. Filming this episode must have been beyond exhausting for her. Elena’s pain is so very, very real.

Shh! - Stefan wakes just as Jenna is truly dead. Something has changed in Elena’s eyes. While tears stream down her cheeks, she shushes Stefan as he tries to comfort her. She just wants to know one thing....are they ready to kill Klaus? When he answers yes, she changes into a very dark Elena. Klaus offers his hand and she looks totally frightening as she marches to her impending death. I think at this moment she’s welcoming death since it will be the first step in taking Klaus out. Interesting ... she has no “I love yous” or tearful goodbyes to Stefan. This isn’t the Elena we’ve known for two seasons. Watching her aunt die was the final straw. I’m going to be interested in seeing Season 3 Elena. Klaus steps up and wraps his arms around Elena. Klaus is a distinctly different vampire in way of biting. We’ve seen Damon’s enjoyment of biting, but Klaus takes it to a whole new level. There is an intimacy here that really creeps me out. He cradles her to his chest (while his hands get more than a little personal). There’s not a hint of regret in Elena’s face as he quickly drains her until she’s lying dead on the ground.

You Were Dead - Lightning, wind, chanting in Latin...Bonnie arrives and is more than a little scary. Damon finishes the job Jenna started and kills Greta before she even knew what hit her. After sweeping the mostly-dead Elena into his arms, he carries her to Stefan’s side where he removes the stake from Stefan’s spinal cord. Stefan doesn’t want Damon in the battle...he wants Damon to get Elena to safety. Interesting. The book fan in me really loved this battle - if only Elijah had lived up to his end of the agreement. In Elijah’s defense, though, he was only doing this so that he could get revenge on Klaus for his family members’ deaths. Elijah would never have forgiven himself if he’d killed Klaus while dooming his family members for eternity. Of course, they should have just listened to Damon and never trusted Elijah in the first place.

Elijah and Klaus get away making Jenna’s death totally meaningless.

Did You Read All of This? - John’s writing a letter. Yeah, he’s totally about to die. He hands the letter and his ring to Jeremy with instructions to take care of his sister. He nods to Alaric, echoing his wishes. (I totally think Alaric is the most likely candidate for guardian next season.) There’s a noise upstairs. They all look at each other. Who’s coming “home?” Obviously they’d be deluded to believe that everyone made it out of the night’s events. I can’t imagine their fear at going up the stairs to see just who came back.

I’ll Stake You Myself
- Damon carries Elena into the house in what I think is the second most beautiful scenes in the episode. He looks at her with such tenderness - mixed with such regret. He couldn’t bear for her to die, but he also doesn’t want her angry with him for the rest of eternity. For now, though, it only matters to him that she’s hopefully about to be breathing again. Damon senses the other men in the room. He looks at Alaric and shakes his head. He doesn’t need words. Jeremy does, though. I do think Damon really is sorry here. He wanted to take Jenna’s place just as much as Stefan did. No one wanted Jenna to be a victim. John takes one last look at his daughter and steps outside. Elena gasps as John drops. I firmly believe that the house could fall down around them right now and Damon wouldn’t have looked away from Elena’s face. She says she feels fine, and all is right with Damon’s world.

Pass the Tissues - No, no one really says that (unlike the rest of my little headers this time...hope you liked those transitions), but someone should. Seriously, Kleenex tissues could have been the product placement for this episode since I know I went through about a box in watching, rewatching, and writing this recap (the things I do for y’all....)

Only Dumbledore’s death in HP has hit me as hard as this scene. From the moment in Elena’s room to the cemetery, Nina Dobrev had me in a puddle of grief. (And, I have to say that she looked AMAZING in this segment of the episode).
Watching the little band of survivors walk through the graveyard where Damon has compelled gravediggers to give Jenna and John a swift burial was so intensely gut-wrenching.

Stefan attempted to place a comforting hand around Elena, but she shrugged out of it and stepped to Jenna’s grave alone. While John’s heartfelt last letter is heard in the background, Elena sobs as she places roses on the graves of all the parental figures (save Isobel) she’s lost in just a matter of a few months. The camera focus on everyone else as they take their turn in mourning (mainly) Jenna’s loss. Finally we see Damon. He’s stepped away from everyone else. He’s aware how much he’s angered Elena. but when she’s at her most overwhelmed by her grief, she looks up and locks eyes with Damon. There’s no anger or bitterness there.

I have to say I wonder if anyone’s told Elena Klaus is still alive at this point. Would that push her completely over the edge?

Damon stays apart from the group as the memorial service comes to an end. Stefan steps to his brothers side saying Elena needs all of them now. Damon needs to know his brother’s plan for tracking down Klaus. Stefan looks confused for a moment until Damon reveals that he’s not going to be around to help. He reveals the wolf bite and Stefan is beyond shocked. While reassuring Damon they’d fix this, Damon only has one request - Elena can’t find out about Damon’s injury. She’s already mourning enough people.

With one of the most visually striking scenes in the episode (if not the series), Damon nods his goodbye to his brother (entrusting Elena to him) and walks through the graveyard in a silent farewell.

(Honestly, I think this should have been the finale. That last scene was agonizingly beautiful.)

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Last Day

Meandering Moments......

This is going to be a recap like no other. I have about 30 minutes to write it. I’ve watched it twice. I’m just hitting the highlights (or...lowlights) in no real particular order. This episode had too many really “big” scenes to let it fall victim to my out of town trip.

Let’s go!

Team Blood and Beer! Oh my goodness - I never realized how much I missed their interaction. From the fact that Alaric felt comfortable enough with Damon that he went in to break up the fight between the brothers to when he asked Damon just what he needed him to do in the bar...this pairing is total greatness. If something happens to Alaric during the sacrifice (or as a result of Jenna’s new status), I’ll likely be wearing black for a week.

Let’s take a nature walk! I know a lot of people have issues with this section of scenes (and the way Elena spent her “last” day), but I’ll admit that it actually worked for me. That’s probably because it ended with one of my favorite scenes...ever....on this show.

First up, at first I wondered why Elena wasn’t spending more time with her family. Then I realized that’s because she knows she’s not really about to die. She’s about to turn. She’ll see everyone again - just in a different light. Jenna’s aware of what just happened to Elena. She may be in shock, but her niece is now not going to die as a result of the sacrifice, but she is going to be facing a major life change. Jeremy and John don’t count because they don’t seem to be in this episode.

Elena needed some time away to process what was going on. She didn’t need to be in the boardinghouse where Damon, Elijah, and who knows who else might be listening in to her talking through what was happening. A nature walk is as good a way as any to give her some time to think.

And she did.

If I could have her speech framed, I would. It was so very Elena. It showed the whole depth of conflict she’s been through - not only now, knowing that her human life was coming to a close - but “the box” that she didn’t want to open back at the lakehouse has apparently been cracked open. She knows she had no intention of becoming a vampire - not yet. She wanted the picket fence and kids on the lawn...or at least the option of that choice.

Very telling, she admits that she doesn’t know if Stefan is her “forever.” She knows she’s too young for those type of decisions. She wanted the chance to grow up.

Mind games!
When Damon realizes the implications of his actions and begins to try to correct them, he’s ready to collect on the debt Katherine owes.

If she doesn’t play ball, she’s going to have to share Stefan with Elena...forever. That’s enough to get her talking. If Katherine’s ever loved anyone other than her family, I believe it’s Stefan.

Shared regrets...
Damon comes from his room, nursing his wounds. Elijah’s there packing up his questionable elixir. I found it delightfully interesting that it wasn’t Stefan, Elena, or Alaric that made Damon realize the true impact of what he’d just done. For just a moment, there was a palpable connection between Elijah and Damon. When Elijah spoke about Elena hating Damon forever - there was such regret in his voice. Somehow, I think he’d made the same choice Damon did at some point in the past.

Does the Kat have feelings?
When Damon woke up, and Katherine broke the news about the “backup” vampire, she honestly seemed sorry she’d lured Jenna out. I think the memory of what Klaus did to her family still truly haunts her. Here, when Klaus thought Elena had betrayed him (and left with Stefan), he’s back to his old tricks - seizing the member of Elena’s family who is perhaps the most vulnerable.

An insanely bad decision...
Yep, I saved it for the end. I’ve seen Damon’s actions called a lot of different things...insane, obsessive, selfish. I’m going to say it’s none of these.

On their hike, Stefan stressed again how being a vampire makes you “more” of yourself. No one is a better example of this than Damon.

Elena once said that everything Damon had done early in season one...she honestly believed he did for love. Once again, we meet the brother who loved too much (and I’ll get to the one who didn’t love enough).

Damon isn’t obsessed with Elena. He’s been content to stand back and watch her with his brother.

He is deeply and passionately in love with her. He said in “The Last Dance” that he’d be okay with making decisions that caused her to hate him. We saw that here. He doesn’t care if she detested what she became - it was enough for him that she was just still breathing.

But it wasn’t the right decision. Elena should have had a choice, and when he spoke with Elijah, he realized that. For the first time, Damon has truly allowed the dire consequences of his actions sink in.

And back to the mountaintop... I know this was likely just my point of view, but I was also deeply saddened by the moment when Elena asked Stefan why he didn’t ask to turn her. He said he knew it wasn’t what she wanted. A part of me questions that. He should have at least mentioned it to her. When they were going through their list of options, it was a possibility for them - she’s watched Caroline and her development. She’d still be something of who she was.

I can’t help but wonder if they’ll revisit this sometime. Is Stefan the brother who didn’t love enough once again?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Not So Fond of Klaus

This one is going to be short and sweet because I don’t have a ton to say about this episode - other than I’m still more than a little fuzzy on some details.

Since DH and I actually spent quite a while discussing this episode, I did want to share some of our (mainly his) random musings, because I think he was spot on in several points.

Unlike my normal recaps, I’m not going scene by scene. I’m going to be hitting some of the major points.

To my SE readers, I have to note at the outset - this analysis contains the most intense criticism of Stefan’s character I’ve ever put into writing. Please remember that these are my personal views, and this is my personal blog. If you’d like to discuss my points about Stefan, I’d prefer it if these comments didn’t find their way back into the SE discussion area. Feel free to discuss by PM, comments here, or in the general episode discussion thread.

Y’all know how I feel about timelines. I have to start off with trying to figure out the timing between this scene and the Damon/Elena scene at the close of TLD. When Elena talked with Damon, she was clearly ready for bed - no makeup, sleep t-shirt and shorts. She’s either not able to go to sleep without talking to him or she’s awakened and can’t go back to sleep because she’s bothered by slapping him.

As she leaves, she focuses on Damon’s jacket on the bed. Since Andie clearly isn’t at the Salvatore house at this point, Damon leaves at some point. Once he’s gone (and Stefan’s asleep), Elena dresses and goes down to wake Elijah.

Andie’s back, and I’m surprised to discover I don’t dislike her as much as I once did. Damon allows her to call the shots as to whether or not he feeds on her that morning (even if he’s not thrilled). When she says no, he doesn’t force her. I think she’s a bit like Alice in Rose - she finds Damon hot enough that she doesn’t care if she’s also a snack.

Interesting that Stefan doesn’t like Damon feeding on Andie. Is he not still feeding on Elena? I really wish they’d clear that up.

Flashbacks - I’m always intrigued by what they choose to show us in the flashbacks. The Katherine we see here when Elijah is playing tag with her reminds me so much of the Katherine playing with “our boys” before they were turned. I believe these scenes are intentionally mirroring each other.

Another point I have to address is how incredibly similar Katherine is to Elena in some of these scenes. She’s comfortable talking with one brother while obviously in the relationship with the other.

And on the brothers comment.....I’m going to go on record here. (First, I totally called the fact that they were brothers too.) Elijah is the “Damon” brother. Klaus is Stefan. At some point (and we’ll go more into this in a second), Klaus lost the love of the one he’d chosen - and it pushed him over the edge. Elijah is tightly wound, and he doesn’t seem to flinch at killing someone when he deems it necessary. Klaus is a different animal entirely. He’s powerful and controlling. At one point he was deeply in love - and he seems to be in denial about that fact.

Elena/Elijah interaction - I see where she’s trying to save Bonnie (and everyone else), but I’m just not sure here.... Rose said Elijah was a man of honor, but what if there’s someone else he made a deal with first? I don’t think we’ve heard the whole story about what’s involved in the sacrifice. There are still too many fuzzy areas. If the doppelganger’s life could be saved, then why did the Martins believe Elena would die in order to bring an end to Klaus?

Something’s just not adding up.

Which brings me to the curse. I’ll admit it. I totally don’t understand it. Supposedly the curse is Klaus-specific, but I think there’s another element to it. Werewolves can procreate (the traditional way). Vampires can’t. If Klaus wants to create a whole new race, he’s got to be able to have little werepires. I’m almost convinced that if the curse is lifted, the whole “vampires can’t procreate” thing’s going to be tossed out the window.

And now we’re onto the whole curse thing. I haven’t tried to analyze it too much, but I think an attempt to try to save the Original Petrova lead to the family becoming vampires - and they’ve lived to regret it (much like Damon didn’t want to live forever if he couldn’t have Katherine back in ye olde Civil War days).

Jenna and Elena - that scene was so very sad, but I did want more here. Even though it would have caused a visit from the exposition fairy, I would have enjoyed seeing more of the interaction between Elena and Jenna while Elena tried to bring Jenna up to speed.

Somewhere around here Katherine dances. At first I didn’t think we needed the scene, but (I think it was Thomas Galvin who suggested this first) this moment so shows the parallels with Damon. Watching Katherine doing her “drunk dance” was so similar to when Damon danced with Vickie. I appreciated this scene more on viewing two.

Clearly Stefan is disturbed at Elena’s growing closeness to Damon. Even though the viewer didn’t “see” it, I imagine Stefan saw Elena dancing with Damon. While she’d been locked in her pit of worry while dancing with him, Damon was able to pull her out of that melancholy for just a few moments to when Stefan hadn’t been able to do so.

Stefan and Damon had reached something of an agreement at the end of Rose. The brothers realized they couldn’t fight over Elena and still protect her, so they called a truce.

I think Stefan wanted out of the truce. He deliberately provokes Damon at numerous points during the episode, but at the end, Stefan finally hits Damon where he knows it will hurt most.

When he makes the comment that he has something that Damon will never have, he doesn’t say “her love.” (He’s been troubled since the finale of last season on that point.) He says “her respect.”

Stefan hit Damon at his most vulnerable point to provoke the fight. The instant Stefan says “respect,” Damon snaps and throws the punch.

Damon never had the respect of his father. I believe he’s been the victim of a lifetime of psychological and emotional abuse at the hands of their father, and Stefan knows exactly how to taunt him to get Damon to be the one to break the truce.

(Scene from Children of the Damned....)

“You’ll forgive me if I have trouble respecting a deserter.” Papa Salvatore

“I never asked for your respect.” Damon to Papa Salvatore

Papa Salvatore rounded on Damon. “Good for you, Damon, because all I have is disappointment.”

Comments from the husband....
After basically a season and a half of seeing very little of Stefan’s personality, the more I see of his true self, the less I like him. At this moment, he’s dealing with the only family member he has left - his brother. Instead of walking away and honoring the truce, he taunts and digs and uses his past insecurities against him. Elena hasn’t witnessed this side of Stefan. What would she make of this Stefan?

My disappointment with Stefan reached record levels with this episode. The way he was willing to grovel at Elijah’s feet - acting like he was the only one concerned with Elena’s safety...all the while knowing about Damon’s comments the night before.

Damon doesn’t trust Elijah, and he’s not afraid to make that known. It might be going against what Elena wants, but he’s going on record here. He’s not buying what Elijah’s selling.

Damon and Andie....this scene pained me so much. He TRIED to make her leave. He warned her that he was dangerous. He was so conflicted. He almost won....until she said she wanted him to know that someone cared about him.

Andie’s not who he wants. He couldn’t take it any longer. Yes, he snapped, but he also gained control of himself. Reigning himself in while he’s beyond angry is a huge moment for Damon. I didn’t want Elena to walk in while he was attacking Andie, but unless she’s deaf - I don’t see how she would have missed what was going down. I really hope we see a moment where Elena realizes the huge stride he’s made.

In a nutshell...I didn’t enjoy Klaus as much as I’d hoped to.

Much of that had to do with the breakdown we’re seeing in Stefan’s character. Elena’s so blindly in love right now (and rightly so...she doesn’t need a lot more on her plate right now). She’s not seeing this other side that he’s revealed to us during his dealings with Damon in this episode. I hate seeing Damon reduced to what he’s become. I firmly believe he’s more on the “hero’s journey,” and when you’re trying to build a hero - you have to take him to depths even a writer isn’t certain their character can handle. At some point, he has to hit bottom. I hope we’ve witnessed that lowest point.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Quake Relief

I've been moved beyond words watching the magnitude of the devastation in Japan. While I might be powerless to go physically help with relief efforts, I am extremely thankful that others have the ability to be there for the survivors.

If you haven't already made a donation to one of the organizations working to bring needed assistance to the earthquake and tsunami survivors, please consider making a donation to World Vision by clicking on the button above.

Thank you!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Shipper Wars - Love is a Battlefield

Ahh....shipper wars. Those two words can strike fear into the heart of the most experienced moderator - or they can at least lead to a really desperate need for Tylenol and a nap.

I'll admit it. The "shipper stuff" is probably my least favorite part of dealing with fandom. I don't mind "squee." I love watching the unfulfilled chemistry that exists between Damon and Elena. I also think that as she's dealing with all this heavy stuff of recent days, she needs an anchor, and for now that's Stefan.

I love Elena's relationship with both brothers - but for different reasons. I've noticed many fans don't share my point of view, and that's okay.

In the pilot, Stefan makes the comment that Elena's relationship with Matt lacked passion.

That's something the TVD fandom is certainly not lacking to any degree. I've watched them work together to trend topics important to the actors and the general fandom. I witnessed first hand the excitement surrounding a cast appearance when I was lucky enough to go to the Frisco Hot Topic tour where Ian Somerhalder and Candice Accola. There, among the hundreds of frenzied fans (who waited in line for HOURS), I never heard an argument. Team Damon, Team Stefan, Team Matt (Davis), Team Elena were all represented.

Did they argue?


Everyone was just excited to be there. To pass the time we talked about favorite episodes, when we started watching the show, if anyone else we knew watched. We also discussed other books and what we did in our "real" lives.

We had a good time - no matter who we hope Elena ends up with. That's my dream for the fandom. We all have a starting point...we like the same show. Is getting along really that difficult?

Discussing a show shouldn't turn into a battlefield. There isn't an "us" or a "them." It's a "we."

We are fans.

We are excited.

We are incredibly bored during this hiatus.

When fans turn against each other, there are no winners...just a lot of confusion and hurt feelings.

I could ramble on for a very long time about this topic, but I think Crissy Calhoun said it best in a recent interview I read. I'll let her close this post off.

Damon tolerates Stefan being with the woman he loves, and Stefan tolerates his brother being in love with his girlfriend, because they are brothers and they love and respect each other — I would love to see that sentiment echoed in the fandom.
- Crissy Calhoun (as interviewed by @entertainocd )

Drat - I've tried four times, and I can't get the link to this interview to post. Erin (@entertainocd) has an incredible blog. Please go visit it. I can't link to it, but she has a link from her Twitter profile. Thanks!

Friday, February 25, 2011

TVD Recap, "The House Guest" ... Things Just Got Real Awkward

Salvatore Boarding House
Stefan and Elena - I have to admit...watching Elena and Stefan being playful has to be a good thing. After all, Elena’s had way too much heavy stuff going on lately. I guess Stefan’s trying to keep her from ending up medicated. Glad she decided to give him “five minutes,” but yikes, Stefan’s gotta be confident in his abilities. Guess what Lexi said was right. (Ahem...moving on...)

Katherine and Damon - Damon seems to instantly know that’s Katherine (probably because he’s aware of what’s going on upstairs - that hearing’s a blessing and a curse). Stefan interrupts Katherine’s (very good) attempt at confusing Damon.

Here’s where I get confused - Stefan just spent the night with Elena and, unless I miss my guess, just indulged once again. She hasn’t been out of his sight until he went downstairs to check on Damon and Katherine. THIS is when he throws Elena against the wall so hard he’s actually hurting her? He couldn’t tell he was being intimate with Elena just a few minutes ago? That’s seriously twisted - I’ll come back to this later.

Katherine/Elena/Stefan/Damon - I must start by saying the effects are much improved over Memory Lane. Elena and Katherine both appear to be looking at each other - not air. Elena’s coming across as a little bit of a brat here. Love the fact that when Katherine steps closer to Elena, Damon follows.

Mystic Falls High
Matt and Caroline - It’s nice that these two have a moment of almost talking about their issues with Tyler. Matt leaves the ball in Caroline’s court. For once, he’s not the one tongue-tied about their relationship - she has to decide what’s going to happen.

Elena and Stefan - Wow, they still go to school? Elena is frustrated. She wants to get rid of Katherine. She doesn’t trust her. She knows Katherine said she was only back for Stefan. Elena isn’t fond of Katherine being a resident of the Salvatore house. Stefan tries to convince her that he can just stay at her house that night, but Elena’s already got a girl’s night planned. Maybe Katherine can come...that wouldn’t be awkward at all.

Salvatore Boarding House
Damon and the flamethrower - Damon’s nothing if not inventive. Trying to roast Elijah’s body doesn’t seem to be effective. Katherine visits and verifies that plan isn’t going to be effective. Damon asks the question I’ve been dying to know the answer to...did Katherine know he’d die if he used the dagger. Always one for self-preservation, Katherine scoots around that question and asks if he knew Elijah’s plan. When Damon points the flamethrower at her, she’s honest about one thing. Katherine always gets what she wants. Question is - what does she want right now? She does finally confess that she did know he’d die. She REALLY wanted out of that tomb.

Mystic Falls High
Stefan meets with Bonnie and Jeremy to warn them that Katherine’s got her Elena impression down to a science. Speaking of, he wants to meet with those skilled in the dark arts. Bonnie agrees to try to arrange a meeting with Daddy Warlock and Son. As it is time for class, Jeremy moves in for a kiss, but Bonnie ducks away. He points out that his sister is nowhere in sight, and Bonnie gives him a peck.

Alaric and Elena - Would this be a teacher/student conference or a parent/student conference? I’m going with quasi-parent/student meeting. Elena’s face when she finds out that Alaric gave up his ring is beyond perfect. She (and Jeremy) can’t lose another parent-figure. Alaric wants to let Jenna in on what’s going on, but he leaves the decision up to Elena. Yeah, like the girl doesn’t need any more pressure.

The Grill
Warlocks, Bonnie, and Stefan - Oh, this meeting isn’t at all uncomfortable. Stefan the peacemaker steps in again. We saw how well that went down with Tyler. Seems like it’s going just that well now.

Salvatore House
Damon’s doing a little light reading while trying to ignore Katherine. Unfortunately (or fortunately for those watching), Katherine doesn’t like to be ignored. She keeps pressing Damon’s buttons until has her pinned down on the piano bench (how did I not know they had a piano before). Katherine knows they’re looking for the site of the Great Witch Massacre. Stefan comes home and fills them in on the witch plot. They’re definitely going to need that burial ground.

Warlock Apartment

Daddy Warlock doesn’t trust the Salvatores or Katherine (probably a good call on that last one). He’s going to let Elijah kill them.

Gilbert House
Elena, Bonnie, Caroline, and random piece of product placement - They’re having trouble deciding what to eat and what movie to watch. Bonnie’s missing her powers. Caroline’s missing Matt. Elena’s missing having Katherine not in Mystic Falls. When Jenna arrives, she’s surprised Elena knows about the fight, but she wants to know if it is some kind of attempt to cheer her up.

Gotta point out that whenever a character reaches into the Gilbert fridge, I kind of cringe in fear.

I love the honest conversation between Caroline and Jenna. Caroline’s playing Devil’s Advocate, but she’s totally describing her issues with Matt. (By the way, are they drinking wine?)

Warlock Apartment

Time for man witch mystical arm wrestling powers. Luka’s going to go “visit” Elijah’s body.

Which leads us to....

Salvatore House
Damon senses something’s off. He turns and catches Katherine’s eye. She gives the best “What?” expression here. Luka keeps exploring the house while Katherine decides to explore the area over Damon’s shoulder. Oooohhh - Emily died on the same place the rest of the witches were killed. (If that’s part of Mystic Falls history, shouldn’t the head of The Council know where it is?)

Katherine’s hungry and heads down for a snack. Something’s off. She goes to investigate.

Stefan wants to know if Damon’s found anything. Love the silent conversation between the pair that contradicts Damon’s words. How far the brothers have come. I just wish we knew what he’d read that was so interesting.

Wow, that knife makes some kind of squeaky noise coming out of Elijah’s chest. I’m kind of weirded out that Luka can have a conversation with his dad while still fighting Katherine for control of the knife.

How far have we come this season? I may have screamed loudly when Katherine was staked. (I love Elena, but I LOVE Nina when she’s playing Katherine. I don’t want her to die being offed in some random act.)

Mom moment here - if my child just happened to be fighting a really old and powerful vampire for a knife (because that’s so realistic), that’s when I’d tell him it was time for his little field trip to be over. My words would not be - hey, stake her. Mom moment over. We can move along.

Damon’s come to Katherine’s rescue. He’s a little more inventive, and he likes his flamethrower. I don’t think he knew he was about to torch Luka since he sent Stefan to “go do something about it.” Daddy Warlock looks up some healing spell in the grimoire. Might want to make a mental note of this. I’m thinking this spell will be revisited.

Mystic Grill
For a place having money trouble, business seems to be really booming. Not only have the girls decided to visit, Alaric’s making his nightly stop. Jenna totally blows him off, or at least she tries to. She thinks she can handle anything. I do hope so. She’s not going to be in the dark for too long. Elena’s realized that keeping everyone in the dark can be just as damaging as underestimating them.

Caroline takes Elena’s words to heart - prompting her to jump onto the stage for one of the episodes only real lighthearted moments. (When she compelled the band dude, that was totally awesome. I love Caroline. Please let her make it to the end of the series.) Matt seems to get the message. Ignoring the crowd gathered around them, he leaps onto the stage and makes up (and makes out) with Caroline.

Warlock Central
Daddy Warlock is mad. Be afraid! He’s coming after Elena after taking Stefan to his knees. He tells Stefan he’s about to find out what killing Luka felt like. I’m a little muddy Jonas planning on killing Elena or just taking her to Klaus?

Salvatore House
In a moment of irony, Katherine is laying on the couch nursing her stomach wound (hey, now you know what Jenna felt like). Damon brings her a blood bag and a surprise. Stake! I didn’t say it was a good surprise. Damon likes to get even - that was for not telling him the stake would kill him.

He wants the truth.

Katherine fills him in. Uncle John agreed to help get Katherine out of the tomb in exchange for her help with Klaus. One of the Salvatores had to go, though. She chose to save Stefan. Ouch! Doesn’t seem to come as a total shock to Damon. (Poor guy, maybe it isn’t so bad that he’s messing around with Andie. At least she seems to really like him.)

The Grill
Elena decides to take a poorly timed bathroom break - oops, looks like the room’s already in use. Matt and Caroline are having a moment. Elena cuts Bonnie off before she interrupts our recently reunited couple. Elena seems so pleased at Matt and Caroline’s happiness that Bonnie decides it’s the perfect time to ask her about Jeremy.

Awww, Elena is perfectly fine with Bonnie and Jeremy being together. Somehow, I think Elena’s just given one of the two the kiss of death. Neither of them have good track records with romantic partners.

Stefan calls Elena, but it is too loud and she has to go outside(?). Damon heads out to help Stefan, but Katherine has a plan (and it is really a pretty good one). Bonnie faces off with Jonas and refuses to tell him where Elena has gone. Now, I know the residents of Mystic Falls don’t seem to mind the mounting body count in the town, but I’d think they’d find all the lamps EXPLODING to be a little odd. I’d run, but that’s just me.

Stefan and Katherine find Caroline. Their plan needs one more vampire.

Alaric successfully gets Jenna out of the Grill. How does Alaric know Stefan’s there? Did we miss a phone call?

Matt finds Bonnie crumpled on the floor and carries her out as “Elena” pleads with Jonas. Stefan is either doing a really good job of acting here or the lines between Katherine and Elena are continuing to blur for him. He pulls Katherine from the room as if he were protecting Elena. I’m thinking Kat can handle herself....

Oh my gosh, I didn’t know how much I loved Caroline and Matt until this scene started. I was beyond worried that one of them wasn’t going to make it out. No one is allowed to do away with Caroline.

We now enter the shortest section of the show I’ve ever seen. What’s with two minutes between commercial breaks?

Caroline’s up. Interesting that she has to work to control her bloodlust before she can save Matt (who, at this time, is looking like he’d rather die than be hanging out with Caroline going all veiny on him).

Gilbert House
Jeremy and Bonnie - Whew, the drama of the night is over. Time for some tea. Wait, who’s at the door?

Stefan and Katherine arrive. Have they looked around the house? Katherine (as Elena) is so very in charge here. She’s still acting like Elena, but Dr. Martin forgot that Katherine looks JUST LIKE the person he’s looking for. Katherine attacks kills Jonas. Bonnie leans in to close his eyes. Yikes! Not quite dead yet. Stefan snaps Jonas’ neck as Katherine steps on his throat.

And, we’re back to commercials. See, I told you this section was short.

Elena and Damon arrive at Elena’s house. They’re in agreement, following a plan of Katherine’s is never a good idea. Stefan and Katherine come downstairs. Katherine snaps Elena’s necklace as she pulls it off to return - for just an instant, there seems to be a hint of something in Elena’s face. (The girl’s gotta be wondering how her necklace made it back from when Elijah ripped it off her). Stony looks are exchanged between Damon and Stefan. Elena just wants Katherine out of the house, and she makes sure Stefan hears her. Elena, um, Katherine really did just do you a favor. Can you at least talk to her? Katherine admits she doesn’t like Elena either. Katherine looks pointedly at Damon, if anyone’s going to believe her, they need to understand that Katherine needs Elena alive, so she’s not a threat.

What is it with the Gilbert porch? Alaric’s confession was so heart-felt. Come on, Elena. Tell your aunt what’s going on. Jenna makes the understatement of the century...tonight was very weird.

Jeremy tries to talk Bonnie through her disappointment at losing any hope of getting her powers back. She has a surprise for him. Jonas gave them back.

Damon’s bedroom
Katherine bounces onto Damon’s bed. He keeps reading. She wants to talk about Emily. She doesn’t believe that he doesn’t know where Emily died - he was focused on Emily since she was the key to getting Katherine back out of the tomb.

But enough about that...

Katherine climbs up the bed discussing Damon’s earlier actions. He hurt her. He was mean - a monster...and she liked it. As he opens his mouth to kiss her, well, this happens....

Caroline’s house
Caroline and Matt - So sad. She’s hoping Matt will understand, but she’s forgotten something. A vampire killed his sister. Matt goes totally berserk when he finds out that vampires are real, and Caroline is one. He makes the wrong assumption that Caroline’s the one who attacked Vickie.

Gilbert kitchen
Jenna and Elena share some ice cream as the doorbell rings. Elena, quick, Jenna’s about to answer the door. You must run and stop her! Definitely....Jenna doesn’t need to be answering the door right now. That’s Isobel (looking pretty worn out, what’s she been up to in her quest to stop Klaus?).... Alaric just told Jenna that Isobel’s dead. I don’t think this is going to end well, but we aren’t going to know any time soon.

Final thoughts:

I stand by my earlier theory. I believe Damon accidentally compelled Elena that Stefan “deserved her” as part of his “Rose confession.” Elena has just been too forgiving of Stefan of late - even when he truly deserved her ire. (Really, Elena, he almost choked you after he’d just had sex with you. If he couldn’t tell you weren’t Katherine then....his ability to distinguish one from the other is really, really blurring.)

As a result of this theory, Elena’s really fighting a battle with herself. She NEEDS to believe Stefan, but she’s not comfortable having him in such close contact with Katherine.

The ease he’s able to function with Katherine makes me think he’s not as over her as he thinks. Not only did he trust her enough to find Isobel (well, John), but he sided with Katherine during the arguments this week.
Damon really is over Katherine. He might have slept with Rose and Andie recently, but when Katherine offers herself to him, he refuses while physically pushing her away.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It's All A Matter of Trust - "The Dinner Party"

Elena reading journal flashback -
Elena is beyond surprised at what she learns from the journal. Apparently Stefan took out Honoraria Fell, Thomas ____ (Fell?), and the original Jonathan Gilbert. Jonathan already had his ring of anti-death at this point. Wonder if that’s why the Salvatores don’t get invited to the Founding Family stuff anymore (“Family Ties” reference)?

Stefan at the dock -
Stefan pensively looks back at Elena reading in the lakehouse. He knows she’s reading a Gilbert journal. Does he know what she’ll find?

His phone rings....Damon’s calling. One of this episode’s strengths is the way it looks at the relationship between the brothers. Stefan continues to watch Elena (is he judging her reaction?) while Damon brings him up to speed on his plan. (Just have to take a moment - Damon and I have the same phone - that is all.) I’ve seen a lot of comments scattered about Damon’s irresponsible plan. I do think we need to point out that Stefan is very much aware of what Damon’s planning to do. He only reminds Damon to be careful, though, he doesn’t try to talk him out of attempting to kill Elijah. He might not have been one to formulate the plan, but Stefan doesn’t disagree with what Damon’s about to do.

Jenna, Elijah, and Alaric -
This seems very random, but I believe this info about the witches coming to town earlier than the Founding Families will prove to be really important the the second half of the season. The werewolf chapter may be over, but the witch chapter is just beginning.

Love the interaction between Ric and Elijah here. Elijah points out to Ric that he’s on Elena’s list. Elijah’s so at ease with who he is...I’m really going to hate losing him.

Bonnie/Jeremy ... I don’t “do” witch stuff. This might be a long series of episodes for me.

Elena/Stefan -
Elena practically jumps out of her chair when Stefan comes in. You can cut the tension in the room with a knife. Stefan’s still angry about what he’s learned about Elena’s deal with Klaus. Elena’s equally upset, but she’s reacting to the information she’s learned from the journals.

It is interesting that Stefan has waited until this point to fill her in on “his side” of the story. Elena is so disappointed here. I think she’d assumed that Stefan had already filled her in on the truly important details of his life. Yes, she knew he had done some things he regretted - he hasn’t always been a non-HB vampire, but I don’t think she realized that he’d known the people he’d killed.

If he’d truly only wanted her to hear the story from him, why did he wait until she brought it up after reading the journal? My POV - I think he was waiting to see if he’d been mentioned in the journals. If he hadn’t been mentioned, I don’t think Elena would have ever gotten this section of the story. His wording was interesting here - “We were angry at the founding families....” Only one brother seemed to be eating them. One fact that really shows the depths that Stefan has descended to - he’s killing the people he’s known all his life - not just random people.

The brothers’ roles are reversed here. Stefan is killing with abandon. Damon is the brother trying to take the morally correct path - telling the girls to run and not think of the place again. I hope we get to see the moment that Damon shatters at some point. He’s still a reluctant vampire here. How does he become the monster we see in the pilot episode?

Back to the lakehouse -
Elena compares early Stefan to Damon. I DON’T think she means the “current” version of Damon. She’s using past tense here to describe Stefan, but I think she’s also going with the Pilot Version of Damon in her comparison. A year hasn’t passed in Mystic Falls since the opening of the series (or at least I can’t tell that a year has gone by). The “monster” Damon is still fresh in her mind. Yes, she’s aware how much he’s changed - we saw that in “Daddy Issues.” She wouldn’t still think of him now as the monster Stefan is describing.

Interesting that Stefan describes himself as “worse” than Damon. Stefan killed friends - people he knew all his life until that point.

Mystic Grill -

Alaric is having jealousy issues with Elijah’s relationship with Jenna. Interesting how far his relationship has come with Damon. He’s sitting there with the compelled Andie and Damon - he mentions it is weird, but he doesn’t say it is wrong.

I can’t help but wonder if Damon had already compelled her to suggest a dinner party if Elijah happened to show up.

The Tomb -
I had to laugh at Damon bringing Katherine a change of clothes. He thinks he knows her so well. Sadly, she knows him even better....

Her word choice is so specific here. Damon “can’t do it.” It would be a “suicide mission.” I haven’t figured out if Kat knew Damon would die if he used the stake. (I’m holding out for no - I think she has a plan for the brothers, but she almost seems to be trying to give Damon a message here. I truly don’t know if she was aware he’d die. If she’s getting part of her information from Uncle John - and the Gilbert journals - I can see where he might have kept that little piece of information to himself.)

Jenna will later mention what seems to be the “theme” for this episode - trust. If Damon is the heart of the series (and if he’s not, we wouldn’t always go “visit” him during every episode since the true main character is Elena), this episode highlights what is one of Damon’s big personality traits.

If everything is magnified when someone becomes a vampire, Damon’s rash decision making isn’t his only “big” trait. Damon is also EXTREMELY trusting. He might fight it, but blindly trusting people is a part of who he is.
- He truly believed Katherine loved him - despite watching her interact with Stefan.
- He doesn’t question Katherine’s fear of being stuck locked in the tomb.
Elena and Stefan have both said they don’t trust UJ. Damon believes UJ is there to protect Elena, and he doesn’t question why UJ gave HIM the dagger.
Elena was able to “play” Damon so early in the season to find out about “the ring” issue.

Back to lakehouse -
If Damon’s trusting, Elena’s forgiving.....
Elena’s really, really calm now. I’ll admit that I find her perspective on the whole “Stefan used to be really bad” kind of questionable. It is nice to see Lexi again, though.

Dinner Party -

Please don’t let a John/Jenna/Alaric triangle happen. There are too many triangles (or wanna be triangles) going already.

Love the fact that Andie makes the “Damon tells me everything” comment. Honestly, he really does. He just then compels her to forget what he told her.

Alaric seems to realize that something’s off with the dinner party. He’s been around Damon long enough to know that Damon has to have another motive for the party. He is trying to minimize the risk to Jenna and Andie, though. He’s planning on Andie keeping Jenna out of harm’s way.

Gilbert house - sorry, more witch stuff...

Elijah’s entry -
I have to stop and comment here because it ties in with the question I’ve seen raised about whether or not Damon was on Elena’s list. Every person in that house (except for Andie) is on Elena’s list. And yet, Elijah says he’ll kill them all if there’s any plan to hurt him that night. Elijah was very careful with his wording in his deal with Elena. His witches would protect the friends from the werewolves and Klaus. He never said a word about not hurting the friends and family himself. (Elena seems to realize this later during her re-negotiations.) He can make the comment about keeping Damon alive because he’s useful because HE hasn’t chosen to kill Damon yet either... He’s already injured Damon once. Elijah’s actions weren’t part of the deal - even though he does have to follow through and keep Damon safe when he’s threatened by the werewolves.

Dinner party again -

Elijah’s giving us more info on the plot for the rest of season 2. Book nerd moment - I love the idea of ghosts - thanks Uncle John. I’m sure Damon DOES know the location of these witch burnings. I think he talked more with Emily than we know about. Andie may very well prove helpful for the next little while - she probably has killer research skills.

Back at the lakehouse - again

Elena’s doing some more reading. Uncle John is trying to off Elijah and Damon at the same time. Now we know why UJ showed up at the party - he doesn’t want to miss the show.

Elena doesn’t look pleased that Stefan left her out of the loop again.

Dinner party -
Alaric and UJ - the person who once slept with Jenna and Isobel (and IS Elena’s dad) is facing off with the person who was married to Isobel, IS sleeping with Jenna (and acts like Elena’s dad). The writer in me loves the irony here.

Damon and Elijah are having a moment in the study/library. I think Damon could actually be helpful here. He knows more about the witches than he’s letting on. Way to go Alaric - glad you answered your phone so that Damon didn’t end up dead.

John/Damon/Elijah - Elijah’s comments confuse me a little bit here. Elijah is a man of his word, but does he only consider other vampires worthy of making a real agreement with. I know people have picked up on the “I only allow you to live” comment to Damon, but what about the “I let Elena live here as a courtesy” statement. He’d also said that when she made the agreement that she’d be allowed to go on living her normal life. I think he left his own actions out of the agreement. (Yes, I kind of contradicted myself here, but Elena’s agreement - and who/what is covered confuses me.) I totally believe that Damon’s on her “friends and family plan” since Tyler seemed to be as well.

Go Alaric! Really, words can’t describe how proud of him I was at that moment. He’s well aware of the threat to Elena. He also is afraid for Jenna, since she’s spending so much time with Elijah. He’s eliminating the threat when he has the opportunity to do so. (And yes, I love Damon’s surprised expression here.) Too bad Elena hadn’t had the chance to read on before this point.

Lakehouse part 4

I really do love annoyed Elena. In fact, I’m going to say she’s beyond annoyed and is outright mad. Yes, I realize she’s lumping Damon in with Stefan on the “lie to me” thing. I think she’s angry at the plan Damon set in motion that Stefan didn’t tell her about. She’s treating them as a unit here because they were working together in a way.

Yes, Elena, yes...I think Stefan was trying to distract you here - but not from what you think. Stefan is telling you the story to distract you from how angry you were at him that he didn’t tell you about his past with Mystic Falls before.

Lexi and Stefan -
I love this section of the flashback because it mirrors Stefan’s “in the woods” conversation with Caroline.

Back to the present -

Stefan wants Elena to fight for her life just like he fought for his humanity. I understand - I totally don’t want to lose Elena as a character. I adore her. Even though they’re not yelling at each other at this point, their relationship is clearly not back to normal. He kisses her head, and she doesn’t meet his eyes. When he walks away, tears are forming in her eyes, but I can’t really decide if they’re from frustration, confusion, or something else.

Salvatore dungeon -

Damon’s trying to make light of the fact he lied to Alaric. Alaric grabs his arm and challenges him. They truly are friends. Alaric isn’t afraid of Damon here. I love seeing them together.

Elena’s reading again -

Boy, that paragraph would have been so important about 30 minutes earlier. Once again, Stefan is truly freaked out at what’s potentially about to happen to Damon. (Also, I think it is interesting that Elijah didn’t immediately kill everyone at dinner party, despite what he told Damon. His priority is getting Elena into his hands.)

More witchy stuff, but this is actually really pretty important. Jonah shows up...throws Jeremy against the wall, and takes Bonnie’s powers. I think this is a big deal that it happens AFTER the agreement has apparently been violated. Jonah is now free to deal with people on Elena’s list....

Elijah visits the lakehouse
Elena’s proving to be a very good liar. Even though she’s desperately trying to renegotiate, she knows her plan is just to get close enough to stake him. (In her renegotiation, I think she’s adding some things in here. She wants him to honor his original agreement but also is adding the clause that HE won’t harm anyone on the list. I don’t think he was part of the original plan.)

Elena remembers her conversation with Katherine a little too well - she does the stomach stab - which is very effective, but not immediately fatal. Once she has his word, she seizes her opportunity. (I can’t help but wonder if the deal’s still in place after he’s unstaked...come on, you know that’s coming. She was very clear about not harming anyone who’s tried to hurt him.)

Elena stakes Elijah (the only part of the episode that surprised my husband). The plan works much more effectively when Elena’s actually “in” on what’s going on. No, Stefan didn’t vamp out when Elena was bleeding everywhere. He was totally freaked out by how close Elena came to dying. (Interesting that they’ve now had Elena voice the idea of turning herself as a way of defeating the curse.) There is also no make-out scene here. Stefan is holding Elena, but that’s to give her support since she was just almost passed out on the ground.

Gilbert house -
PLEASE someone let Jenna in on what’s going on. (Personally, I’m hoping that person is Isobel who clues her in....)

No! Alaric must not give up the ring. I can’t wait to see what Damon and Isobel think about Alaric being ring-less. I don’t think either of them want Alaric unprotected.

Salvatore dungeon
Elena wants to be in charge. Must be a Petrova thing. Stefan wraps his arm around her, but in the next shot, she’s pulled away. She may have decided to fight like Stefan wanted, but I don’t think their issues are over.

I hate this next section, although I think it is realistic. It hasn’t been that long since Damon killed Lexi - at least not in show time. They haven’t really dealt with the issue.

I wish Stefan knew that Damon asked Lexi to help Stefan. The brothers were too much at odds with each other for Lexi to try to work with Damon too. Damon made the choice to separate himself from Stefan. His issues weren’t about control, though, he seems to have been doing alright with that. He’s still dealing with the issue that Katherine turned Stefan as well. He wasn’t prepared for that.

Damon’s bathroom

As much as I hate the fact that Damon got played by Katherine, I love the fact that she knows the brothers so well. She knew Damon would trust her - his desire to protect Elena and kill Elijah would keep him from questioning anything she said.

She knows Stefan just as well. At some point, he’s going to trip up. Those feelings for Katherine are there - and they’re very, very real. I want Elena to see Stefan interacting with Katherine.

I have no problem with the fact that Katherine knew Elijah compelled her. He didn’t take the memories away. He just told her to “stay.”

I know there wasn’t a lot of DE in this episode, but I still really enjoyed it. I think Katherine will prove to be SE’s downfall. If Isobel is able to help them defeat Klaus, Stefan will have to deal with the fact that Katherine told him the truth in the tomb. That will have an impact on him - whether or not he wants to deal with it is another story. Elena will have to sort out the fact that Stefan, despite all the times he told Elena that Katherine is a liar, actually trusted Katherine enough that he did what she told him to.

I’m still content to look at the long story arc. KW described Damon’s journey to be a 100 episode arc. TVD is very much Damon’s story just as much as it is Elena’s. It is slow for us (but not when you look at time passing in Mystic Falls).

This week’s episode all boiled down to trust:
Jenna doesn’t think she can trust Alaric.
Damon trusted both John and Katherine.
And the million dollar question...has Stefan broken Elena’s trust? Yes, she listened to him. Yes, she was disturbed by Lexi’s loss. But will she remember what he DIDN’T tell her after their “no more secrets” discussion from last season? While it may not have come into play this week, I think we’ve seen another hint at what will eventually break Stefan and Elena apart. He trusted Katherine enough to go find Isobel. He didn’t trust Elena enough to think she could handle his past.

I liked this episode, but that’s mainly for what’s been set in motion for the future.