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Vampire Diaries: Miss Mystic Falls

“He’ll do anything; he’ll say anything—because he’s not going to want to stop.”

It’s not easy being a Southern belle. In addition to the whole steel magnolia, iron-fist, velvet-glove thing, you have all the weight of generations upon generations of Southern belles behind you. And the men-folk have their own pasts to contend with.

Elena’s conflict du jour is figuring out how she fits into the Gilbert family’s traditions, even though she’s not a Gilbert (at least, not how she thought), and now that her parents are dead. Elena fits into this society, but not perfectly: she enjoys playing around with Stefan more than learning the old-school dance, she likes her vampire buddies more than the local humans, and she’s pretty much given up on charity work. But she still wants to honor her mother’s memory, perhaps even more so now that she knows a bit about bio-mom Isobel.

Caroline, on the other hand, wanted the title of Miss Mystic so much. I’m glad she got it. (Plus, it was funny watching her wish Elena ill.) She’s qualified, too: despite her questionable taste in men, she has one of those super-charged high school resumes that everyone thinks college-application readers love. She did deserve it. Way to go, Caroline.

For Bonnie, it’s not an issue of being a part of the founding families. It can’t be: she’s black. But she does have the weight of Grams’s history, and tragic death, weighing her down. How can she be okay with ambiguous vampires, knowing how her Grams died, and what she died for?

Sark has his own shoes to fill—that is, the shoes of his namesake. Jeremy is equally interested in Jonathan Gilbert’s old journals, but not for the same reasons. Sark likes the power, the conniving, and Isobel. Jeremy is lonely, scared, and looking for purpose. But he’s also getting hints of the complexity of what’s going on with the slow-burning vampires vs. founders death-match, courtesy of Anna.

Enough about humans, though. What about the vampires? The metaphor of vampire-as-alcoholic (or addict) has been done before. But Vampire Diaries really aced the specifics of alcoholic behavior: Stefan isn’t just lying, he’s full of Dutch courage and false confidence; he tells people they don’t understand, that nothing has changed—he doesn’t see how much they have changed, and he doesn’t want to. He doesn’t understand that’s it’s not the drinking, per se: it’s the lying, the manipulation, the feeding bits of disinformation to different people. And he’s willing to hurt anyone to get what he wants.

Damon jumped right in to save the day. Again. This time, he’s covering for Stefan’s selfish and manipulative behavior: classic relative-of-an-addict behavior. (Maybe he needs to go to a VampAnon meeting.) But Damon dancing with Elena wasn’t just about him covering for Stefan, it was also him wanting to be Elena’s friend. Their relationship is one that doesn’t have reference to the past—it’s not about what’s expected, or fulfilling old patterns, or replaying the same stories. It’s something else, but neither Damon nor Elena knows exactly what yet. We don’t, either.


• John: “I think we’ll make a good team, don’t you, Damon?”
Damon: “John, whatever I can do to keep this town safe, even if it means spending time with you.”

• Damon: “You’ve spent the last century and a half being the poster-child for Prozac.”

• Random Debutante: “Just because my DUI made my community service mandatory doesn’t mean I was any less committed.”

• Mrs. Lockwood as Dance Instructor: “Flirt with your eyes.”

• Anna: “Sometimes you have to wear uncomfortable heels to blend in.”

• Damon’s line deliveries were awe-inspiringly cool tonight, but that coolness doesn’t translate well to the page, so you’ll just have to trust me: cool.

And Pieces:

• In this week’s Hair Report (a line I have blatantly stolen from Billie—don’t tell her), Alaric is sporting a sportier ‘do, Anna has learned to wield a brush, and Bonnie found her lost flatiron.

• Mystic Falls... Fells Church. Does this story take place in Falls Church, an actual town in Virginia?

• Caroline’s escort was Jeffrey Lockwood Hamilton. Mayor Lockwood’s nephew?

• Bonnie is scary.

• Jenna and Alaric might have something goin’ on off-screen. Good for Jenna.

• Instead of ending with a bite, this episode ended with Elena sedating Stefan. Neat twist.

• Another impossibly sexy new promo from the CW tonight. This one featured Damon, Stefan, and Elena/Katherine in a bed. Elena has “Damon just poured honey all over my body, Stefan licked it off, and I liked it” hair. Hence the ambiguity over her identity. Only Katherine could look that sultry. Right?

Three and a half out of four blood-bank bandits.

(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?)


  1. I just loved Damon and Elena and the Pride and Prejudice dance scene. And him standing in as her escort. But mostly I kept thinking of Faith saying, "Am I the good slayer now? Is she the bad slayer now?" Damon and Stefan have completely switched roles. Will Elena switch to Damon?

  2. Sparks flew out of the screen when Damon danced with Elena. That scene made the entire episode. :)

  3. Mrs. Lockwood as Dance Instructor: “Flirt with your eyes.”

    And, oh my dear, did they ever! Phew...

    Plus, love the allusion to Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day -- one of the best books ever for children, or adults who still sometimes call Australia by accident. Like me.

  4. That book is for children? My life philosophy is based primarily on that book. That, and The Princess Bride.

  5. What struck me most about this episode was all the natural light. For some reason it seemed very different from a lighting perspective. And my, don't Damon's eyes look rather lovely in flooded light? ;)

  6. what is the name of this type of dance?


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