Vampire Diaries: Fool Me Once

“God, it’s like 1864 all over again.”

We’re back in the thick of it with this episode: Bonnie and Elena are still kidnapped, Damon and Stefan are still at loggerheads, and something is a-brewing with the Witches of Mystic Falls. There’s a lot going on in this episode, enough to mask the fact (for me, first time ‘round) that it’s really a long-con episode.

We’ve got lots of pieces on the board, and lots of queens to topple—well, to exhume, I guess. It’s like three-dimensional chess. Stefan and Elena are pretending to support Damon, and Elena even took off her vervain necklace to prove her honesty (How much are they supporting Damon? How much are they just playing along so he doesn’t get more dangerous?). That scene isn’t too convincing, though, if we believe Anna’s surmise that Elena takes vervain as well as wearing it. Damon falls for it, though, perhaps because he’s so very close to his goal of saving Katherine. Then again, maybe Elena means it.

Anna and her boy-toy, meanwhile, need a witch and a grimoire to rescue Anna’s mother. Because they had neither, they used Jeremy as a pawn to convince Stefan to betray his plan with Elena, and they use the promise of Katherine to trick Damon. Stefan’s attempt to save Jeremy requires Grams’s and Bonnie’s agreement, as well as some heavy-duty manipulation of both doors and seals. Grams wanted Damon trapped, but not Stefan. On top of all of that, we’ve got Bonnie the wildcard. Her devotion to Elena, which translates to her unwillingness to let Elena’s boyfriend die, trumped Grams’s more hard-hearted approach to protect just the humans.

Whew. I think that’s everything. (Everything except Matt and Caroline’s relationship drama, which we can address next time.) There were two great tragedies this week: Grams’s death and Katherine’s absence. Now that Grams is dead, our heroes are lacking a guiding moral compass who knows the dark side and how to avoid going over to it; Katherine’s absence…well, we’ll see how that plays out.

[Begin Ode to Damon.] When Damon told Elena that he “didn’t compel you in Atlanta because we were having fun. I wanted it to be real,” I got fangirl shivers. This is why he’s so appealing, isn’t it? A bad boy who’s willing to turn good for one special Mary Sue. And I’ve totally fallen for the trick like a geeky twelve year old. Oh, well. Fool me once, twice, I don’t care. He’s sexy. [End Ode to Damon.]

Jeremy thinks something is up. We know that because he searched Bing for vampire information. The only time I have ever seen anyone use Bing is on this show and on Gossip Girl. If only everything else on this show were that simple: instead, we have different people wanting different things, relying on a variety of methods to get what they want—even when what they want is just boring old happiness. Wait, that's what I love about this show.

Bites:

• Caroline: “Seriously, everyone goes. Even quiet loner little brothers.”

• Jeremy: “You’re... fun. You’re also kinda strange and lurky.”

• Elena [to Damon]: “You and I, we have something.”

And Pieces:

• Grumpy: For those of you who aren’t re-watching, but watching for the first time, the CW skipped quite a few episodes. Which means they skipped Caroline and Matt starting a relationship, Jeremy meeting a pretty and mysterious vampire named Anna, a new history teacher named Alaric arriving in town, complete with a dark past, and Damon and Elena becoming closer. As well as about a billion other things. Damn you, CW!

• Grumpy, Part II: Because I haven’t watched the intermediary episodes in a very long time, I’m not 100% certain about everything I said above. My memory of everyone’s motivations is a bit hazy, because, as I’ve said elsewhere, this show is labyrinthine. So, my apologies for any errors.

• Happy: The CW aired a delightfully cheesy and sexy Damon mash-up during Friday’s repeat of Supernatural. It’s available here.

• Why are spells always in Latin? It just doesn't make historical sense. Seriously, I mean it.

• The tomb vampires are alive!

So much happened here. So much emotion. So much drama. Is it... can it be...

Four out of four grimoires.

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

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I loved this review, I laughed at least twice. This was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I saw the first three episodes sometime last year. Then I stopped, completely turned off. Then people kept telling me how improved it was, so I tried to watch it again. This episode is what I came in on... so you can imagined the gap in story between episode three and fourteen.

I thought it would be like most shows, no real development. Suffice it to say I was completely lost. Now I started to give it a real try with this current re-run strip. And I almost threw in the proverbial shoe when I found out they were skipping seven episodes. But I bit the bullet and watched them online, through various methods. Once again returning to this episode. So I've seen it from two different perspectives. And I have to say that I am really upset that I already knew what was coming.

This was a packed episode, with a lot of plot and major developments. But they managed to make it fun. The real change was surprising. Besides Bonnie, who I'm really ambivalent about, I actually like most of the characters now. Even... gasp, Stefan. Anyway enough of my rambling, thank you for your review. I'm glad that this show is getting better. Let's hope that it continues to grow, and rest of the season is a good as it promises to be.

L.

Josie Kafka said...

L, the rest of the season is *definitely* wonderful.

ChrisB said...

This is why he’s so appealing, isn’t it? A bad boy who’s willing to turn good for one special Mary Sue. And I’ve totally fallen for the trick like a geeky twelve year old. Oh, well. Fool me once, twice, I don’t care. He’s sexy.

Couldn't agree with you more, especially now that I know he is old enough not to feel guilty. :-)

But, it does say a lot about the character that we are all so willing to forgive him his past trespasses (murder and all) and allow our hearts to break a little when his does.

P.S. They also use Bing, very prominently, on Hawaii Five-0.

Marianna said...

Well this just got interesting. I wonder what kind of effect the Katherine revelation will have on Damon. It seems like it's leading toward Damon becoming more human and Elena being torn between the two in an Angel vs. Spike kind of thing.

I assumed that the vervain that Anna was referring to was the necklace, even though Anna probably didn't realize it.

Seriously, who uses Bing?

Elena actually said that she didn't think it was Latin while the witches were spell casting.