Vampire Diaries: History Repeating

“I think we should start over. Give this brother thing another chance.”

Good brother, bad brother. Ex-boyfriend, new potential. Best friend, other best friend. The past and the present. Elena and Katherine. The boundaries are getting blurry, sometimes due to forces beyond anyone’s control.

Stefan and Damon played at being each other and at being good ole boys. Stefan’s imitations of Damon were more successful than Damon’s imitations of him, but they were both equally funny and pointed. When they tossed the football around… well, I think there might be some sort of game-playing metaphor going on, but I’m too literal-minded to get it. At least they weren’t playing chess.

And that’s the sort of thing I love about this show. A more pretentious show would have gone for a hackneyed chess metaphor. (I'm looking at you, FlashForward.) But these are red-blooded Southern boys (well, undead Southern vampires)—why wouldn’t they play football? We see the same willingness to place the mundane next to the supernatural in the girls’ makeover-party-turned-séance.

And what a séance that was. Bonnie staring into her hands, especially since I just watched the Doctor Who episode "Blink," was thoroughly creepy. Seeing Emily in the mirror was equally creepy. Shudder. Creepy, creepy, creepy.

We got quite a bit of exposition from Damon, too—that comet that I dismissed so cavalierly a few episodes back? It really is the impetus for much that’s happened. Or, at least, it’s turning the drama—and Bonnie’s powers—up to eleven. How much of everything else is directed by fate? Is that part of why Alaric wound up in Mystic Falls at this very moment? Why he would assign Jeremy that particular assignment?

This is how fate and free will work in tandem: no one quite knows how they’re pulled towards what they desire. And this, too, is a reason that I enjoy this show so much: no one is opining about the nature of Fate and Free Will. They’re just living in a universe with a particular set of rules they’re only half-aware of. Just like the rest of us, I suppose.

Damon revealed his diabolical plan: to bring back Katherine. Stefan says it’s for revenge—against Mystic Falls and against Stefan himself. But Damon has too many layers to be just looking for revenge. He loves Katherine. It’s complex.

Alaric is complex, too: he has a gaudy ring—is he a vampire? Is he something else? What isn’t he telling us? He had a hard time crossing the boundary of Jenna’s front door. Speaking of boundaries, and binaries that lose their divisions: vampires. They’re dead, but their blood gives life. They can switch their humanity on and off. Their love is violent. Vampires, man. Vampires.

Bites:

• Stefan: “I realize that killing your closest and oldest friend is beyond evil, and yet, somehow, it’s worthy of humor.”
Damon: “Are you mimicking me?” He nailed it, too, every time he did it.

• Alaric: “Did you know your old teacher had a jackass file?” I will never get over how evil that teacher was. Especially when compared with Alaric.

• Matt: “What’s wrong with ‘hey’?”
Caroline: “It reeks of awkward subtext.”

• Elena: “A simple, ‘I didn’t kill my brother’ text would have sufficed.”

• Stefan: “Do you prefer the brooding forehead?”

And Pieces:

• Bianca Lawson (Kendra from Buffy) has guest-star credit as Emily, but I heard that her scenes were re-shot. Is she Emily? I can’t tell—it’s been too long since Buffy. (I am also watching these episodes on a tiny screen.)

• Bonnie and Caroline were both wearing incredibly unflattering shirts.

• I like Alaric and Jenna together. Actually, I like Alaric with just about everyone—Ian Somerhalder may make every scene more exciting, but Alaric (well, Matthew Davis) makes each one more intimate. That’s why, when they are on-screen together, it’s such a wonderful combo.

• We saw Logan this week. Wonder if he’ll matter.

Three out of four Jamaican Vampire Slayers.

(Screenshot 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?)

5 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I loved Damon and Stefan mimicking each other, because I could see for the first time that they really are brothers and they have a relationship. This was the episode when I started to like Stefan. I finally started to like Bonnie and Caroline, too. It's like a completely different show than it was in the first four episodes.

pucklady said...

Well, somebody at the Salvatore mansion plays chess. There is a chessboard set up in the main room with a game in progress. I've always wondered about that. And I've also wondered who vacuums and dusts. The mansion always looks wonderful. And they keep breaking windows, but the glass is always repaired by the next episode. That mansion is very mysterious. Just like the day that Damon and Vicki trashed Stephan's room, but the next episode, everything was tidy as new.

Josie Kafka said...

House elves?

Miss Courtney said...

I immediately recognized Emily as Maya from Pretty Little Liars as I'm watching them at the same time. I didn't put her as Kendra, but yeah, that's gonna mess with my mind, now.

Marianna said...

I've never known of a teacher who had a jackass file, but I did have a teacher who kept a list of weird things his students said.