In addition to the seventeen zillion plot threads that VD is currently weaving into a climatic season finale, this episode was filled with sexy young things: shirtless Damon and Jeremy, not to mention Katherine looking stunning as always in those corsets. Oh, yeah: and flashbacks galore—I was shocked by how Damon and Stefan became vampires, and I was also shocked by their differing reactions to it.
Damon may come off as fun-loving and thrill-seeking, but he’s really just lonely. He only became a vampire for Katherine, and he continues to hunt her down mostly because he doesn’t have any one else to hunt. He said to Elena that he didn’t have any friends, which is a pretty dark way of looking at the situation: Elena has proved more than once that she cares about Damon, and their easy way with one another definitely screams Friends! to me. But Damon’s too stuck in his own martyr stuff to see it.
On the flip side, that random tomb-vampire-guy thinks John Gilbert is his friend—and that’s where we get our Theme of the Week: friendship. John Gilbert is just using him to get what he wants, the same way that Pearl is using John (and he is using her) and Jeremy is using Anna (ditto, I think).
On a show with so much nebulous evil—vampires that we like, but fear, and other vampires that we don’t like, even though we’ve never seen them kill anyone—the lines get blurry. But what it boils down to are the sides we take and the choices we make: whom to protect, whom to look out for, and to whom we tell our secrets. John Gilbert is evil because he doesn’t seem to be protecting anyone. But Alaric and Damon are on their way to a grudging buddy-cop friendship just as much as Elena and Damon were in the first few episodes, which makes me like Alaric more than I did before. (Damon, of course, I adore.)
But can Damon realize that he has friends, and that friends are what matter? He feels like there’s no world besides Katherine, even though he has a whole life (well, an un-life) right in Mystic Falls. Oh... no... I can feel it coming! I’m going to quote John Lennon: Un-life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. There, I did it. As though liking this show weren’t embarrassing enough.
Stefan did realize it, although too late to save his father and his soul, at least as he sees it. He starves himself to atone, and so that he can’t switch the guilt off. Damon started off wanting to make Stefan miserable to punish him for his sins, but now he just makes him miserable for feeling guilty in ways that Damon doesn’t—or at least isn’t willing to admit that he does. The brothers are basically projecting all their own issues onto each other, and that blinds them to their own bromantic connection. That kind of psychological complexity made the flashbacks, which I haven’t really been a fan of before, really seem relevant and touching this episode. Their conversation at the end? These boys need couples therapy.
Bites (vampire pun!):
• Damon: “I’m not going with you! You tried to kill me.”
Alaric: “You did kill me.”
• Elena: “Your joking doesn’t help.”
Damon: “It helps me.”
• Damon: “Stefan likes puppy blood. Little golden retriever blood with cute floppy ears. That’s his favorite.”
• Uncle John: “What do you think your mother would say, if she knew you were dating a vampire?”
Elena: “Which mother?” Oooh, snap!
• Alaric: “Can we not kill anyone tonight, please?”
Damon: “You just brought me along for my company?”
• Vampire Guy: “John’s my only real friend. He really showed me the ropes—how to use a microwave, separate my whites.”
• Damon: “Really, after only two years? That’s actually…moderately healthy?”
Alaric: “What are you going on? 146?”
Damon: “Well, I figure the 200 mark is a good stopping point.”
• Damon: “You got what you wanted. You and me for all eternity.”
• Damon: “You’re back on Bambi blood and I’m the big bad brother all over again. Everything is right in the world.”
• Damon: “Witches. Judgey little things.”
• Stefan drinking his father’s blood reminded me of the discussion of vampires killing their parents in Angel “Lineage.”
• Damon lifting Elena’s feet, and sitting with her on the couch: they’re so interesting together.
• This is my first Vampire Diaries review, and I’m finding it difficult to slip into the reviewing process so close to the end of the season. I’m not sure what I expect you to do with that information, but there it is.
• Goodbye, Pearl. Hello, Isobel.
Four out of four golden retriever puppies with cute floppy ears. Awww.
(Thanks to vampire-diaries.net for the screencap!)
Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)
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