Vampire Diaries: True Lies

“Whoa, Elena, that is not—”

The Vampire Diaries has three main plots: mystery, quest, and protection. (I’m not counting the obvious fourth of love triangles, because that’s not so much a plot as a hook.) In keeping with the exuberant re-set we got last week, TVD’s second episode this season fired on all its plotty delightful cylinders. With great dialogue, to boot.

The mystery comes in two flavors: what’s up at Whitmore College, and why does Silas want Katherine? The Whitmore College adventure might be fun, especially if Dr. Maxfield turns out to be less of a jerk than he first appeared. (Newsflash, doc: if you have a PhD or an MD and are still a TA, you might want to go easy on the pretension. Just sayin’.) At episode’s end, Caroline was left in the Sherlock role, so perhaps she’ll intimidate Dr. Maxfield into treating students with more respect.

Silas’s desire to acquire Katherine surely has something to do with the cure. He tried to strangle her last week, so maybe he wants her dead. Or maybe he just wanted her unconscious and pliant so he can drain her of blood or wear her intestines as a hat. Either way, we and our heroes are still left wondering why Silas is devoted enough to Katherine to hang around a small town in Virginia despite being a super-hot all-powerful immortal being.

That mystery dovetails with a quest plot: Silas is questing for Katherine, who identified herself as just like the moonstone that everyone wanted for so long. (Perhaps Damon should hide Katherine in his soap dish.) But as Matt pointed out, Katherine gets treated like an object because she treats others that way. Even when those others, like Jeremy and Matt, just want to protect her from the aforementioned super-hot all-powerful immortal being.

Matt’s secret superpower—making unlikable characters likable—was once again in full force this week. Last season, I was surprised to find myself liking Rebekah as Matt re-connected with her. This week, Matt’s kindness (and baby blues) melted some of Katherine’s ice-queen snark, which made her journey towards understanding kindness rather charming. Matt hugging Bonnie also made me really feel the impact of her death, and of her father’s death on her, in a way I hadn’t before.

I’d say that gift is more than enough reason to keep Matt part of the main story lines, but the TVD writers feel different. As we found out, Matt has been partly possessed by a Traveler, who, uh…traveled inside of Matt to get the lay of the land, conveniently preventing Matt from being Silas-controlled in the woods. Did Matt’s temporary death remove the Traveler from inside him? Or is the Traveler’s death enough to do that? Because one odd person looking like/hiding inside of another is probably enough for this season.

I assume Nadia won’t hide inside Matt, since she seems to have fond memories of their threesome over the summer. I’m curious to see what sort of game she’s playing, especially since it’s a game that’s interesting enough for Silas to refrain from killing her. For now.

I wonder if “for now” is also all that can be said of the Damon/Elena relationship. Remembering Stefan knocked the Silasing out of Elena, and although Damon said he was cool with that, I have a hard time imagining that Stefan won’t take issue with his brother dating his ex-girlfriend. Especially since the last scene hinted that Stefan finally broke down, turned off his humanity, acquired a corpse (how?!), and set the Ripper free again.


• Caroline: “He’s deferring from enrolling, and deferring from returning my phone calls. So I’m deferring from ever having sex with him again.”

• Caroline: “I love applied microbiology. It’s my favorite biology. You know, little things are just so cute.”

• Damon: “You do realize that you are dating a reformed serial killer, don’t you?”

• Silas: “What I don’t get is why she likes you.”
Damon: “That’s because you haven’t had sex with me.” Ian Somerhalder usually emphasizes the sarcasm, but this came out perfectly deadpan. Excellent choice.

• Katherine: “You can understand why I’m a little upset that I’m on the verge of being defeated by a sinus infection.” I get precisely that angry about getting sick, too.

• Jeremy: “Plus, I work out.”

And Pieces:

• Megan’s death certificate says she died of “suicide”? Isn’t that like dying of “murder”? Even a forged death certificate should be more plausible than that.

• Is “Gypsy” really offensive? That’s a genuine question. I thought “Gypsy” referred to a particular ethnic group, but “Travelers” could be anywhere, like Ireland.

Three and a half out of four Katherine “Moonstone” Pierces

Josie Kafka reviews The Vampire Diaries, True Detective, Game of Thrones, and various other things that take her fancy. She is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)


Anonymous said...

'Gypsy' (or 'gyppo' especially) is considered a derogatory slur directed at the Roma people, approximately 1.5 million of which were killed as part of Hitler's 'final solution'. Mengele himself took a very special interest in the Roma. Look it up if you want to be sickened beyond belief.

'Gypsy' is not an ethnic slur in and of itself, but it does carry plenty of offensive connotations. It's used to refer to the Roma as purely nomadic stereotypes, somewhat on par with referring to all Irishmen as 'micks'. So I guess the TVD crew are erring on the side of caution.

percysowner said...

Especially since the last scene hinted that Stefan finally broke down, turned off his humanity, acquired a corpse (how?!), and set the Ripper free again.

I think the deputy opened the vault and Stefan ate him.

Megan’s death certificate says she died of “suicide”? Isn’t that like dying of “murder”? Even a forged death certificate should be more plausible than that.

I think cause of death is usually a short general term (natural causes, accident, murder, suicide) and then the report on the death goes into the details of how the person died. Death certificates aren't very long. Coroner reports are.

Billie Doux said...

Loved it. I particularly liked Damon and Elena going through the de-Silas-ing, Jeremy with Katherine, and Matt saying goodbye to Bonnie. Nice touch that every time the ring is used, Matt finds himself further away from his body.

Stefan's escape confused me, too. I think they needed a brief scene in there. They did sort of set it up with Forbes agreeing to start searching for Stefan, but that wasn't quite enough.

I thought Silas was a boring plot device last season, but Paul Wesley is doing such a great job with him that I have officially reversed my position. So far, they're two for oh.

Enjoyed your review, Josie, as always. :)

Josie Kafka said...

Anonymous, that was a very clear explanation. Thank you!

Billie: Silas is much more fun now. And I can only assume that Stefan's escape was supposed to be confusing.

ChrisB said...

Color me impressed. I had all but given up on this show last year and then this one happened. This was, by far, my favorite episode in a long, long time. I actually watched it (as opposed to "watching" it while folding laundry, cooking dinner, or something else that only enables one eye to be on the television).

It is really fun watching two of the three leads playing such different roles. Katherine as weak and sick is a hoot and Silas is creepy and weird.

That last make-out scene with Damon and Elena had me wondering. How awful must it be to pretend to be in love with and have to kiss your ex? Awkward!

Lesley said...

Just now watching season 5 (I love marathons at the end of the season. Am doing it with originals and supernatural too). Love the moonstone reference. I have actually read the book. Surprised to find out Katherine reads though. Lol