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.

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