Vampire Diaries: Blood Brothers


“You vampires are so emotional.”

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.”

And Pieces:

• Stefan drinking his father’s blood reminded me of the discussion of vampires killing their parents in AngelLineage.”

• 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!)

6 comments:

Liz said...

I'm incredibly excited that you've decided to start reviewing this show!

Felipe said...

Threads galore, weave away baby, weave away.

This episode presented so many parallels with some of my favorite shows. Stephan's time out kept bringing me back to Sam's demon blood intervention, and Isobel's return gave me major Alias vibes, but that just might of been Sark.

Anyway, Damon was particularly funny this episode. I enjoy Damon and Alaric together.

Pearl's death hurt me I really liked her, and I'm scared of how Anna will react.

I started watching VD after your essay recommending the series and I'm glad I listened. It's nothing epic, YET, but it's on its way. Keep up the great reviews.

Noelle said...

This is really random, a day late, and a dollar short, but I was wondering why there were no reviews for the episodes Under Control and Miss Mystic Falls. They're a couple of my favorites of a show I secretly enjoy almost as much as candy. I also like the reviews on this site, this one included, so I just thought I'd ask.

Josie Kafka said...

Hi Noelle,

After my mad dash a few weeks ago, I'm just doing one review per week, roughly in sync with the CW's airing of the re-runs. I'll review Under Control by Friday of this week, and Miss Mystic Falls next week.

I'm really looking forward to that one, too--there's that great scene with...well, no spoilers here. :-)

Billie Doux said...

Loved the opening line about Stefan running around chewing on people. And the puppy blood, which reminded me of Buffy/Angel.

And Stefan forcing Damon into a live of vamp was a real surprise. It explains a lot.

"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." LOL, Josie. Wonderful.

Is it Stefan or Stephan?

Josie Kafka said...

Hi Billie,

It's Stefan. I've got to go through these first reviews and fix the spelling.