As far as narrative arcs go, this episode did a pretty good job—although I might be reading against the grain by making that argument. While Elena’s inhumanity is the ostensible focus of this episode, Damon’s shift from Son of Sam levels of terror to a man trapped on a roof, trying to do the right thing, is a fairly interesting journey.
Flashbacks on this show have never been my favorite part, because they tend to introduce random characters who don’t matter or survive for long. (Rebekah is a definite exception.) And 1970s New York punk-rock vampire made me think of Spike and the flawless episode “Fool for Love.” But “Because the Night” contrasted Damon at his worst with Damon at his apparent best. We’ve seen him good before, many times, but we’ve never seen him this well-intentioned for this long.
Does that mean I’m happy with Damon’s decision to unhumanize Elena? No, it was a bad writerly choice, although it made sense in terms of character. That Elena is becoming the new Damon, up to and including roof-abandonment, is lovely poetic justice.
Plus, everyone in this episode had cool hair.
Back in Mystic Falls, poetic justice took a dark turn. Bonnie continues to be the most pliable of characters, continuing to fall under Silas’s spell to the point where she is willing to kill twelve witches. She didn’t, though: Caroline did, to save her friend. Foreshadowing of even more death, as the search for a cure for Elena leads to the death of others? And is Bonnie really beyond help, even though she doesn’t remember anything since the Island?
So far, Finn’s fear of Silas is fitting. Silas—and the cure, and the search for the cure—creates trouble just by existing, as I suppose any object or person of great power would. Everyone is making mistakes, lying to their loved ones, and acting irrationally because of the cure and both the threat and the promise it represents. Even Caroline did a terrible thing, however unwittingly, and according to her rules, that makes her a “terrible person.” Any situation that makes Caroline “terrible” is sad, and sad is interesting.
• Elena: “You got Lexied?”
• Elena: “No, he’s playing me. I’m just returning the favor.”
• Damon: “Problem is, this filing system goes by birthdate, and I can’t for the life of me remember Katherine’s.”
Stefan: “June 5, 1473.”
Damon: “And that, brother, is why you are the better boyfriend.”
• This is me, not talking about the Klaus/Caroline vibes. Mostly because I don’t feel chemistry between these two, and he was condescending to her about math. Evil!
• Sorry about the lateness of this review. I have no excuse to offer, just two simple words: Root. Canal.
Two and a half out of four CBGBs, because I wound up fast-forwarding through some sections on re-watch.
Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)
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