Vampire Diaries: A View to a Kill

“Ah, yes, for the love of Elena.”

Vampire Diaries regained some of my faith this week, with a fun episode that created forward momentum and had a bevy of pop-culture jokes. Those of us who were worried that VD was getting to twisty might be able to breathe a sigh of relief, especially if next week is as resolve-y as it looks like it will be.

Let’s start with the good: Kol is dead! At first, this felt like a major event—then I realized that it’s not Kol who matters, but how his death affects everyone else. How? Klaus’s angry reaction, which should have some bloody consequences, and Jeremy’s hunter’s mark, which is finally complete. Kol served his function as an exposition machine (“be afraid of Silas!”) and vengeance-starter (“be afraid of Klaus now, too!”).

And what about Rebekah? Will she be as calm and low-key as Stefan hopes? I’d like to see Rebekah do something other than whine about her family; perhaps her desire to be human will stick, although she does tend towards the moody and the swingy. Perhaps Stefan is good for her, even if just to make her realize she wants to be loved by someone as much as Stefan loves Elena, or Lloyd Dobler loved Ione Skye.

The tight timeline of Bonnie’s spell-trap for Klaus—three days, four max—means that something big must happen soon. Will it be the raising of Silas, the discovery of the cure? I doubt it. Nothing ever goes quite as planned in Mystic Falls. Then again, Elena and Jeremy did manage to kill Kol, so that’s a good sign.

Now that I’ve written all that, though, I realize that I’m more excited about what this episode sets up than what it was about. I never worried Elena and Jeremy would die—we got a clear shot of Jeremy’s ring, and Elena is the star of the show. Stefan and Rebekah’s 80s dance was cute, then annoying. (The Princess Bride reference was fun.) The conversation between Klaus and Damon was a surprising highlight; it felt like the writers were responding to the fandom. Especially on the question of how forgivable Damon is, and why so many of us (myself included) have a double standard when it comes to vampire blame.

Most of the episode’s tension came from various characters killing time or having it killed for them. Stefan kept Rebekah occupied just long enough for her to realize she wants humanity. Elena stalled Kol, then stalled out on keeping him distracted. Damon was locked in the basement, playing the role of cell potato. And Bonnie was trapped in an awkward family meeting that even I wanted to escape from.

Bonnie’s parents have realized how bad expression is for her, but she is resistant to their attempts to help. The return of Bonnie’s mom was a surprise, and would have been more appropriate if Bonnie had, at some point before her return, mentioned wanting a cure to save her mother from vampirism. Bonnie may be super-powerful, but she’s also constantly, inappropriately, angry. No one should care that much about a dance being canceled.

But while we know Bonnie’s magic is a terrible idea, everyone else seems to have forgotten that April (remember her?) nearly died because of Bonnie’s expression. Elena et al. are willing to use Bonnie’s power to trap Klaus. Aren’t they worried she’ll blow her top?

And how concerned should we be about Klaus’s claim that he never wanted the cure in the first place, and wants to destroy it? Much as I want our heroes to finally succeed at something, my money is on Klaus. He tends to get what he wants.


Bites:

• Mayor Bonnie’s Dad: “Would you like me to read you a list of the names of people who have gone missing or died in tragic accidents in your senior year alone?”

• Stefan: “Why don’t you two enjoy a little villain-bonding time?”

• Damon: “You know how hard it is to get the X-box brains to focus?”

• Klaus: “How is it she manages to look over every horrific thing you’ve done? Is it willful ignorance, or perhaps something more pathological?”

• Damon: “If you’re gonna be bad, be bad with purpose.”

• Rebekah: “I think I saw a horror movie that started just like this.”

• Damon: “It’s one of his trademarks. Like brooding, and his hair.” This felt like an Angel reference.

And Pieces:

• The song playing over Stefan’s morning-after sneak of shame was pretty awesome.

• Kol’s line about liking this world reminded me of Spike: “Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals on legs.

• Was Elena asking Kol to teach her how to make a gin and tonic? Because that’s not one of the most complicated drinks ever.

• Stefan’s Bon Jovi love was a nice callback to one of his Season One conversations with Lexi.

• Do you think Stefan knew that the bottle of water her gave Damon had vervain in it, so Damon couldn’t be compelled by Klaus?

• No one seemed concerned that killing Kol would kill any of their vampire friends. Did they choose not to care, or have I forgotten something?

Three and a half out of four koala corsages.

26 comments:

Morgan India said...

I was really, really upset and pissed off about Kol's death. I feel like Elena and the group (minus Stefan) have lost their advantage when they killed Kol. I'm hoping that Plec knows what she's doing because I've honestly lost faith in the shows "heroes" for the time being.

Furious!Klaus was fun, as was Elena's reaction to finding out about Stefan and Rebekah.

I'm now hoping that Elijah comes back and kicks some butt.

Wow, this comment seems whiny and negative but I really was upset about Kol's death.

Billie Doux said...

I really enjoyed it, and I agree that Kol himself wasn't the point -- it was the reaction, mostly Klaus's. I was surprised, too, because if they're thinking of spinning off the Originals, there are only so many of them -- why kill one now?

Elena was bad ass. I like Elena as a bad ass. So was Jeremy, for that matter. The fight with Kol in the house was intense.

Terrific review, Josie.

Samantha Gomes said...

Laughing hard at the "awkward family meeting that even I wanted to escape from". Great review and even greater episode that ended pretty well with Damon punching Stefan in the face - didn't he deserve that one for implying Damon had used the sire-bond to get his way with Elena? He surely did. Have some faith on women's sex liberation, Stefan, lol - right before an exposure of not so little Gilbert's torso with the map.
I'm afraid of Klaus, big time. He's always big bad and, as Damon pointed out, never with a purpose other than his own satisfaction. That's why drawing horses and beautiful diamond bracelets aren't enough... And talking about that... Where is Caroline, for Pete sake? I miss her.
So we're all going somewhere next episode to see our heroes fail miserably another time, I wonder. But even if they do, if next episode's as good as this one, it'll be worth waiting for.

Samantha Gomes said...

By the way, I'm not sad Kol went off the scenes for good. He was a puppet for Klaus's intentions before and now a serious threat for everyone else. Can we have Elijah now, please?
Last, seeing Damon and Klaus chatting reminded me of Alaric... If Silas should bring back the dead, he could bring our old History teacher back, couldn't he... Just wishful thinking...

Caroline Forbes said...

At least you got a line, I wasn't even in the episode Matt!

Juliette said...

Whether or not I liked this episode was going to depend entirely on whether Stefan daggered Rebekah or not - he didn't, so I liked it. Too much betrayal on this show sometimes!

I'm still bothered by the death of Kol though, in the sense of our heroes completely losing any sense of morality they ever had (maybe that's the appeal of Damon - at least he's honest. The same could be said for Klaus in a way, but of course, I like him too). Part of me really wanted them all to drop down dead at the end because it turns out Klaus was lying and actually Kol was the ultimate sire of their line. It would have served them right.

I also found myself firmly on the side of Kol and Bonnie's parents in this episode. None of this lot need the cure to save themselves, they just want it - Elena for the most important reasons perhaps, since the sire bond is a big problem, but they'll all live without it. Why on earth are they willing to risk apocalyptic consequences just for the stupid cure?! (Maybe I'm just getting old).

It was a bit weird the way everyone kept talking about Caroline but she wasn't there - is the actress doing a movie or something?! Didn't miss Tyler though. If only finding the stupid cure meant having to kill him off...

CrazyCris said...

lol! I loved Stefan's references to '80s movies, particularly the Princess Bride! :p

This episode finally felt like the show was moving in a direction, any direction!

I'm glad Kol is gone, they never did anything to make me feel any sort of attachment to him, and he kept threatening Jeremy!!! :o( (but we'll probably see him on the spin-off)

I'm definitely worried about Bonnie...

And yeah, where were Caroline and Tyler?!

Mark Greig said...

I am also distressed by the death of Kol. Not because I liked the character, but because our heroes willingly committed an act of mass murder to suit their own selfish needs. As Juliette said, they don't need the cure, no one is in mortal danger without it, they just something want it. Yes, every who died was a vampire, but as we know not all vampires are ruthless killers. And they have all be sentenced to death by the people we are supposed to see as heroes.

Not only that, but they are all ignoring Kol's warnings about Silas and the danger he poses. They are so preoccupied with whether or not they can find the cure, none of them have stopped to think if they should. Klaus doesn't need to try and be sympathetic. At the rate this lot are going, he is going to look like a Gandhi by comparison.

Josie Kafka said...

Juliette, last season the producers brokered a deal where each secondary character (Tyler, Caroline, Bonnie, Jeremy) would take a few episodes off to save money. I think they're doing the same thing this season.

Billie, I'm under the impression that the Originals series will be set in the past. I think Kol's mention of 1900's New Orleans was setting that up.

Mark Greig said...

I've read that the Originals spin-off with be set in the present, but use regular flashbacks in the same way Highlander did. So that way they can kill off an Original and still have them turn up for the spin-off.

CrazyCris said...

Huh, I thought it would all be in the past! Otherwise that's pretty much telling us they won't be killing off Klaus or Rebekah... talk about major spoiler!

Mark Greig said...

Klaus can't be killed off or else everyone else would die. But since no major character is part of their bloodline, Rebekah and Elijah can both be killed, while still appearing in the spin-off via flashbacks.

CrazyCris said...

I thought that hadn't been confirmed... the Klaus bloodline thing! After all they were willing to kill him before when Bonnie swapped his body with Tyler's...

Steve said...

If I remember correctly they were not going to kill Klaus - they were going to keep him chained up alive and let him dessicate - like the condition Michael was in when Catherine found him.

ChrisB said...

Music from the ‘80s seems to be all over our televisions these days. The Carrie Diaries, The Americans and now this. At least we got to hear the “godfather of all rock anthems” this time out.

I agree with Mark’s comment about Kol’s death. I, too, was disturbed by it and felt that Damon and Klaus’ conversation was to get us ready to forgive everyone for a very bad act. Guess we’ll see where they take it from here.

Juliette said...

Josie, thanks, that makes more sense now! It seemed so weird they kept talking about people who weren't there!

Mark, I totally agree. I spent the whole episode wondering why no one was listening to Kol and how they can possibly be willing to risk the world ending just so they can get the cure.

Anonymous said...

This is not Buffy. The Mystic Falls gang are not heroes and never have been. They're just a group of people trying to survive in the crazy world they find themselves caught up in. The fact that vampires are not soulless creatures on TVD adds to its complexity. How do we define murder? Is it just killing humans or is it sentient creatures who are considered "good." Good by whose standards? Kol was a threat to Jeremy and his death served more than one purpose.

Rish said...

^^

That's like saying, "Oh, this person is a threat to me. Let me kill EVERY PERSON HE HAS EVER HARMED."

Because, I'm pretty sure most of those he sired were probably victims.

Lik G said...

VD need to stop ripping Buffy off.. they are doing it too much, -Stefan went to kill himself on the hill in the sun, -Klaus took Elena and she said goodbye to Stefan, the whole "Close your eyes" thing, Kol liking the world, Jeremy the ultimate hunter,"potentials", Buffy is AWESOME, everybody knows that. but if they can't make something original on their own they should end the show and be done with that.

btw i like Stefan with Rebekah.. and he really better of with her than with Elena, they ALL are.

anyways... not a bad episode.

Josie Kafka said...

Isn't "Stairway to Heaven" the godfather of all rock anthems?

ChrisB said...

I wouldn't call Bon Jovi the godfather of anything (although i do like "Wanted Dead or Alive" and was pleased to hear something other than an '80s pop song). I was quoting Stefan who really should know better and should understand that Bon Jovi stands on the shoulders of all those who came before -- especially Zeppelin.

Josie Kafka said...

Oh, Chris, I know! I meant to complain about Stefan saying that in my review, but forgot.

ChrisB said...

No worries, Josie. I was being snarky about Stefan and it didn't translate well onto the page. It has always rather amused me that for a man who has lived through the entire life span of rock and roll, Stefan seems to have enjoyed the '80s the most.

Call me crazy -- if I were going to live forever, I would have spent the '60s being a groupie for them all, winding up at Woodstock. Alas, in this life, I was too young.

:-)

Anonymous said...

Stairway to Heaven or Bohemian Rhapsody would probably be tied.

Nadim said...

I just caught up and watched this and I THINK the show is back on track. I loved everything from Jeremy killing Kol until the final moment. Let's hope next week is the culmination of everything we've been waiting for to turn this season around after a disappointing stretch.

Nadim said...

"No one should care that much about a dance being canceled."

Hahha Josie I wrote about the same thing in my review notes. It's very lame how Bonnie was angry about that with everything going on. I wish this show didn't try to be such a teenage affair sometimes.