Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Case of the..... The Vampire Diaries - Episode 4-6

Alright, no more promises with me saying “this week I should be posting this at a normal time.”  Clearly, life and/or nature doesn’t want it to happen.  Thus, I thank all of my readers for their awesome patience.  And to those of you who are American, I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

So, in last week’s review I indicated how excited I was that we’d be seeing Katherine with vampire Elena for the first time.  Well, they sorta teased us a bit with that appearance, didn’t they?  However, I actually really enjoyed the various hallucinations that were haunting Elena.  Specifically, I liked the way Elena justified the rationale for her to commit suicide, in line with how each character would think.  Admittedly, it was a bit unclear if these visions were purely Elena’s subconscious, or if Conner actually had the ability to get into her mind, or a combination of both – but nevertheless, the initial observation stands.  Now that she’s a vampire, she’s got several insecurities, and each image harped on a different one.  Katherine warned Elena that Stefan could never love her because she’s now a monster.  And Elena’s mother brought up the fact that she was already supposed to die twice, and that it’s okay for her to move on and let go.  She even had the perfect answer to Elena’s point that she can’t leave Jeremy behind – Elena can still appear to him as a ghost.  Truth be told, the vision Elena had of her mother was especially chilling, because she came across as so soothing and caring.  She was sweet and motherly with her constant assurances that Elena wasn’t a disappointment, and the manner in which she urged Elena to take her life was shockingly tender.  The fact that her mother avoided sounding sinister (which would have been the easy route) made the scene that much more disturbing.  And as I said earlier, she hit all the right notes.  Killing herself wouldn’t be a sin because she already died.  And she wouldn’t be abandoning Jeremy because she could still appear to him as a ghost.  It was twisted stuff.

There’s one issue that the series constantly brings up but always sorta skirts around at the same time, and it happened again this past episode, and that’s that all of these innocent people die in order to protect Elena.  How many times has this happened?  Bonnie’s grandmother and mother both died (to some extent) in order to save Elena.  Hell, isn’t Bonnie’s grandmother now being tortured in some afterlife witch place because Bonnie used dark magic for that very reason?  Even Caroline was made into a vampire as a pawn of sorts in this twisted four way love fest between Elena, Katherine, Stefan, and Damon.  And then there’s both Jenna and John.  It seems like every single character on the show has suffered a significant personal loss because of the fact that the primary concern is always to protect Elena.  In this most recent episode, Tyler’s friend Chris had to die in order for Jeremy to become a hunter so that Elena’s hallucinations would end. 

Granted, this “protect Elena at all costs” thing is rarely actually Elena’s doing (she’s usually more than willing to sacrifice herself), but I was shocked that Tyler didn’t bring up this fact.  I mean, the casual manner in which Caroline blew off Chris’ death by saying that he wasn’t really one of their friends was not only disrespectful to the loss of a life, but it was also a pretty big slap in the face to Tyler and the relationship he had built.  Like I said, the show doesn’t shy away from mentioning this trend, but it’s usually just a passing comment to create a temporary conflict between Elena and another central character.  I understand that these characters can hardly be upset about their friend not dying – and that Elena is rarely responsible….but still.

Speaking of Caroline, I didn’t particularly like the fake break up stuff with Tyler.  I had two very simple problems with it:  First, the show gets a little inconsistent with their super vampire hearing ability.  Sometimes a vampire can hear things from across a house in the middle of a party.  Here, Caroline, Tyler, and Hailey were discussing their ruse moments after Klaus left the house.  And secondly, I think they laid it on a bit too thick in order to show that Caroline now accepts Hailey as Tyler’s friend.  The huge smile and the sweet “thanks Hailey!” was a bit much.  Having said that, Klaus’ continued courting of Caroline does intrigue me.  And I did appreciate the fact that he was willing to kill her if she got in his way.  Good to see that not EVERYBODY turns soft when it comes to a crush.

While I wasn’t a fan of Tyler and Caroline’s fake break up, I thought the Stefan/Elena break up scene was absolutely perfect.  You all know that I’ve always favored this relationship, but the way the break up was scripted and performed was just right.  There were no tears.  There was no yelling.  And neither of them played the blame game.  It was just a unique situation where, at this point in time, this relationship could not work.  It wasn’t necessarily because of Stefan’s lies, nor was it necessarily about Elena’s feelings towards Damon.  Or even the fact that Elena was now a vampire.  It was just a combination of everything that has happened and everything they’re both feeling.  And plus, ideally, the amicable way in which their relationship ended allows us to avoid several weeks of bitterness and awkwardness.  Hopefully, the season will simply continue on its current path – just without these two being linked romantically.

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