Vampire Diaries: Total Eclipse of the Heart

“Karma is happening to me.”

There’s something thrilling about TVD’s return to its roots. Sure, a lot has changed since the heady days of the mysterious comet, the bloodthirsty Salvatore, and Elena writing in her diary. But TVD seems to have taken the 100-episode mark as an opportunity for another turning point that lets the show play to its strengths.

The Delena shippers may disagree, but I think Damon’s “old sadistic self” is a lot more fun to watch than his soft and cuddly version. Even Damon seems to think so, telling Stefan that he’s “better like this.” A nod to the fans? A glimpse into Damon’s complicated relationship with evil? Damon does enjoy a good wallow, and he uses violence as an excuse to make others hate him. Stefan reminded him (and us) of that this week, and even that bit of emotional exposition—which I usually hate with a fiery passion—was pleasantly evocative of episodes of yore, as was Jeremy in peril and Damon biting someone in the last minute of action.

We even had a dance! I don’t know about your alma mater, but I don’t recall my college holding dances with any regularity. (We loved a good protest, though.) The Whitmore lonely hearts ball was a cute opportunity to see Katherine-as-Elena playing the peppy high schooler with Stefan. It’s such a fun twist on old stories, to see Katherine attempt to recreate what came naturally to Elena and the more sanctimonious Salvatore.

Katherine’s desire to steal Stefan’s heart is odd. She wants him to love her because…conquest? He won’t be much fun for her, what with the self-righteousness, the hero hair, and the general dogoodery. And if something goes wrong, he’s more than willing to get a little violent: witness his attempted take-down of Enzo. Perhaps, after half a millennium of running, Katherine just wants to settle down with a nice guy. Or she thinks she wants that.

I wonder if Stefan will figure it out. Matt did, which was awesome. I wish he would get supernaturaled already, so that we know he won’t die. (I still worry about that, even on this show in which death is almost never permanent.) The whole mortal-peril thing is interesting, too, as the main group doesn’t seem to keep very close tabs on Matt, so his disappearance with Nadia might go unnoticed by everyone but Tyler.

And they might have bigger issues to deal with, now that Damon has become hungry for vampire blood. That hunger—which we saw earlier this season with Jesse the mysteriously single TA—is turning into this season’s werewolf bite: something apparently insurmountable that will, I’m sure, eventually be surmounted. Perhaps the new witch will have something to do with solving that puzzle.

Maybe she’ll be the one to realize that Elena isn’t really Elena. Apparently, Bonnie thinks Katherine died because she saw her briefly during the reunion scene in “500 Years of Solitude.” That means it’s up to our heroes to realize that Elena is just a little bit off, and Elena has been rather mutable since becoming a vampire, anyway. For all my joking about Stefan’s sanctimony, I like to think that he’ll be the one to figure out that these touching heart-to-heart moments are weird.


• Stefan: “So, Elena breaks up with you, and you go on a killing spree. Could you be any more predictable?”

• Caroline: “I can be bitter, party of one.”

• Matt: “That’s Katherine’s daughter, and the psycho doesn’t fall far from the tree.”

And Pieces:

• Wow, I’d totally forgotten that Tyler hooked up with Matt’s mom. How could I forget that?!

• Damon’s grin after threatening to kidnap Jeremy was Joker levels of frightening.

• Caroline shredded the picture Klaus gave her. Are they setting up a Stefan/Katherine/Caroline triangle? I’m not sure how I feel about that.

• Bonnie looked incredible in this episode.

I’m really enjoying TVD of late. Are you all feeling the same way?

Three out of four fire hydrant jokes.

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?)


J.D. Balthazar said...

Okay, I'm really trying to not feel frustrated with this whole story-line. It feels like we're being forced down a path that's not only been traveled before, but was done better before. I guess it's being turned on its ear a bit, with the romance angle being a triangle between Kathrine/Stefen/Caroline. I'm pretty sure Caroline is the winner in that scenario. It's a manufactured way to have some Elena/Stefen scenes without actually having Elena/Stefen scenes. It gives us old Damon (which I'm not all that fond of), without fully breaking him up with Elena (yes I know they were technically broken up).

All of it just feels temporary, so it's frustrating. If we end up not losing Elena and Damon, and we get Caroline and Stefen at the end of this arc I'd be for it. I guess I'm just upset by the idea that Elena is 'dead'. It feels like shades of Illyria.

lisa menaster said...

I don't like how many guys Caroline has gotten with. She's hooked up with Damon, Matt, Tyler, Klaus and now it looks like Stefan will be next. I'm not saying she's a slut, I just think the writers need to stop setting her up with every guy on the show.