Vampire Diaries: Children of the Damned

“Some people just shouldn’t journal.”

Normally, I don’t enjoy scenes in which two characters talk about a third. It’s lazy storytelling and lazy characterization. But Elena and Stefan, talking about Damon in the kitchen, was perfect: as they figured out Damon’s thoughts and motivations, they were also talking about themselves, and Stefan was, in his own way, reflecting on the past.

It’s that past that came home to roost in this episode, which is all about children, parents, and how the child is the father of the man. This is usually a fairly parent-less show: Elena and Jeremy are orphans; Caroline is dismissive of Sheriff Mom; Matt’s mother is still MIA. The few parents we do have aren’t that impressive: Tyler’s mayoral pater familias, for instance. (Bonnie’s Grams is the exception.)

But new parents and new relationships are emerging. Damon and Stefan, on the cusp of being turned, struggled with whether or not to follow the harsh Code of Harry. Anna’s diabolical master plan is all about getting her mother, Pearl, out of the tomb. And there appears to be some sort of connection between Elena’s bio-mom and Alaric’s dead wife.

We shouldn’t forget our Wordsworth, though. Damon’s and Stefan’s early experiences with Katherine, with their own father, with the tomb, were all formative in their development, and in the development of their relationship to one another. Back in the 1860s, Stefan was trusting, and Damon was starting to scheme. Or, maybe I should say that Stefan trusted his father and Damon trusted Katherine and Stefan. And that’s the primary difference between them.

That trust came full circle this week at family night. Damon trusts Elena to tell him the truth, which means that he trusted Stefan again. Jeremy and Jenna trust Damon, too—he was practically asking them for little marshmallows for his hot cocoa. (Damon’s behavior felt very big brotherish toward Jeremy, right down to the bad advice.) I actually felt bad for Damon when he suspected that Stefan and Elena were betraying him, and even worse when he stroked Elena’s hair like he missed her. Poor, trusting murderer.

Alaric took a big step in trusting Stefan, too. It’s a gutsy move on his part, but we know that Stefan is a good little vamp. Alaric became a new man once his wife died, much as Anna became a new girl when Pearl was trapped in the tomb. It’s appropriate that Anna attempted to get the journal through Jeremy: even though she’s over a hundred years old, she does feel like a little sister. Maybe because she’s so adorably elfin.

Jonathan Gilbert and Giuseppe Salvatore were studies in contrast, both in terms of their actions in the past and their journals in the present. Gilbert is slightly crazy, focused on objects, and merciless. Papa Salvatore is just as merciless, but he is more closed-off—he even told Stefan that he would take most of his secrets to his grave. Which Stefan and Elena dug up. Which might be a symbol of something. Or a foreshadowing of something else.

Bites:

• Damon: “If I see something I haven’t seen before, I’ll throw a dollar at it.”

• Damon: “I really like this whole ménage-a-threesome team thing. It’s got a bit of a kick to it.”

• Elena: “I really think that Damon believes that everything he’s done, he’s done for love. It’s twisted. And sad.”

• Alaric: “I saw him draining the life out of her. He must have heard me coming—he just disappeared. So did her body. They never found her.”

• Damon: “Where’s Stefan? He’s missing family night. Which I am enjoying immensely.” I love watching vampires cook. It’s neat watching them play video games, too.

• Damon: “Hot trumps weird. Trust me.”

• Anna: “I arrived here around half-past comet.”

• Damon: “Well, this is an interesting turn of events.”

• Damon: “Give me the book, or I am snapping her neck, and you and I will have a vampire girlfriend.”

And Pieces:

• There was a comet in 1864, too. I take back everything I said about the comet being irrelevant.

• Jenna likes Damon. She also likes Alaric. Jenna has a thing for broken men, eh?

• Jenna said that all the Fells (as in Logan) were snooty. I wonder if we’ll see more Fells later. Oh, and we got confirmation that Anna was the one who turned him.

• Why isn’t Papa Salvatore buried in a cemetery?

• Those nineteenth-century vampire mouth guards are really brutal.

• The episode began with a bite (basically a re-do of the opening scene of the series, 1860s-style) and ended with a kidnapping.

My ratings are starting to feel redundant. All these episodes are wonderful.

Three and a half out of four vampire girlfriends.

(Screencap courtesy of vampire-diaries.net. Thanks!)

Josie Kafka is a full-time cat servant and part-time rogue demon hunter. (What's a rogue demon?)

11 comments:

pucklady said...

I'm confused about Anna's age. If Pearl "has 400 years" on Damon, then if Anna is her bio mom, then Anna must be as old as Pearl. I somehow imagine Pearl as being turned during some Chinese dynasty.

Josie Kafka said...

Pucklady, isn't Pearl Anna's mother? Anna never seems much older than Damon and Stefan, at least not to me.

pucklady said...

Yes, that is what I meant. I saw my error after I posted, but didn't want to delete and fix it. But Pearl is 400 years older than Stefan/Damon. And for Anna to be her child, she would have had to have been born before Pearl was turned. That makes Anna 550 years old, too, unless vamps do adoptions.

The implication is that Katherine is hundreds of years older than our boys, too, if she has been Pearl's BFF.

Josie Kafka said...

Oh, you're right, you're completely right. Unless it's some sort of sire relationship, but the VD universe doesn't seem to have those.

Billie Doux said...

Pucklady, I love your photo. Is that Mae West?

I knew you'd put in a link to Dexter, Josie, but you did it in a way I didn't expect. :)

The townspeople putting muzzles on vamps and taking them away was disturbing. And when you think about it, why should it be? A lot of these vamps are killing people. They're monsters. If we were the townspeople and not the viewers of a hot vampire series, we'd be whipping out our muzzles, too.

Josie Kafka said...

I don't know. I like to save my muzzles for special occasions, if you know what I mean. (I surely don't.)

Billie Doux said...

I just read this review again and I absolutely love your line, "Poor, trusting murderer." :)

ChrisB said...

While we're on the subject of age, do we ever learn Damon's? We know that Stefan is seventeen and that Damon is the older of the two, but how much older?

What I loved about this episode the second time through was not only how much was beginning to be set up for the end of the first season, but small seeds are beginning to be planted that will bloom much, much later.

Fantastic writing!

Josie Kafka said...

Damon is old enough that we don't have to feel guilty.

Miss Courtney said...

I never feel guilty, Josie. I know the actors who play teens are usually 30-something, right? That's the answer I'm going with...

Shruti said...

The heroine tells her best friend to "seize the day" and the best friend's date turns out to b a vampire... Lol!!!
Damon looked so heartbroken on finding out Elena lied to him... like u said "poor, trusting murderer"