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Vampire Diaries: Bad Moon Rising

“Isn’t killing cute, defenseless animals the first step in becoming a serial killer?”

This episode was full of great scenes, great lines, and the return of my beloved Alaric (albeit with terrible puffy hair). So the different parts didn’t quite add up to a cohesive whole, and this felt like the first part of a two-parter. So the werewolf thing is kinda boring. This was still the most enjoyable hour of my week. (Is my life pathetic, or what?)

Caroline the Control Freak

A huge part of that enjoyment is due to Caroline. If someone had told me that Season Two would have a lot more Caroline, I would have been horribly dismayed, but this has turned out to be a fabulous decision on the part of the writers. She is such a unique vampire. She has all the usual baby vampire problems, like uncontrollable blood lust, but she’s also still very much Caroline. And, on top of all of that, she has a new gravitas—more than I would have thought the actress was capable of. Her interactions with Stefan showed that she still has a hilarious flighty side, but I wonder if her control-freak tendencies (and constant desire to be queen) will push her on to Katherine’s side. And I wonder what that means for her relationship with Bonnie, who has some control-freak tendencies of her own.

Caroline’s entire conversation with Stefan in the woods was hilarious. I feel like people may throw fruits and various meats at me, but…was there a spark there? Caroline and Stefan could be a fascinating couple. Don’t get me wrong, I like Stefan and Elena. But I wouldn’t hate some bizarre dramatic love triangles. I wouldn’t hate watching Damon’s reactions to that, either. And now that Matt is an ex…

Lycanthropic Lockwoods

The Lockwoods are still not that interesting. But the information that werewolf bites are fatal to vampires? That’s a great addition to the mythology. When Stefan was investigating the van, he seemed both his usual impervious “hey, it’s Tuesday” self, but with an edge of fright that vampires in this universe don’t typically have. The scene was also genuinely scary.

But why hasn’t Tyler Lockwood started wolfing out yet? Isn’t he a bit old to be so inexperienced? Why didn’t his dad ever give him the werewolf equivalent of the birds-and-bees talk? And didn’t those chains on Uncle Lockwood remind you of Oz? I miss Oz.

Tyler’s reaction to being shut down by that girl was hilarious. (I’m also just really happy he didn’t get violent.) It’s a nice contrast to the violence of Uncle Wolf, as well as Caroline biting Matt.

(I tried to make this section of my review hang together. Couldn’t be done.)

Damon at Duke

This entire plot felt like set-up to me. Elena still hates Damon, and she’s willing to manipulate him. Isobel’s research assistant Vanessa will surely make a re-appearance (luckily, not as Alaric’s new girl). Katherine is Slavic and her original name is Katerina Petrova. Doppelgangers are bad news. Werewolves are Aztecs. (I am unclear on how the Aztec werewolves made it to Virginia. But I like the sun/moon dichotomy. I’d never thought of Lon Chaney and Bela Lugosi that way.) All interesting, and all sure to lead somewhere eventually.

The most affecting parts of the road trip plot happened once everyone got back. Alaric is now with Jenna. (Hooray! I hope that doesn’t mean that one of them has to die.) And Elena admitted that she manipulated Damon. He saw this as evidence of her being Katherine-esque, but it’s really a sign that she actually does hate him. She wouldn’t do that to a friend, but he’s fair game. I’m dying to see how this gets resolved. How do you forgive someone for killing your little brother?


• Tyler: “What’s the deal with the freaky underground cellar?”
Mrs. Lockwood: “We don’t talk about those kind of rooms... This is the South, honey, but no one likes to reminisce about the old slave days.”

• Elena: “You touch her, and I swear I will never speak to you again.”
Damon: “What makes you think that has any power over me? ‘Cuz I took an arrow in the back for you? You are severely overestimating yourself.”

• Caroline: “So you’re saying that now I’m basically an insecure, neurotic control freak on crack?”

• Vanessa: “Does vervain really work?”
Damon: “Nope, not at all.”
Vanessa: “Can he hear us?”
Damon: “No. That would be creepy.”
Vanessa: “Can he read minds, too?”
Damon: “You know, if you want to see me naked, all you have to do is ask.”
Good to know.

• Caroline: “Why are you looking at him with your serious vampire look?”
Stefan: “My what? My ‘serious vampire’ look?”
Caroline: “It’s different from your ‘worried vampire’ look, neither of which stray too far from your ‘hey, it’s Tuesday’ look.”

• Damon: “I know I chipped a little off your wall of hatred.”

• Katherine: “Don’t be frightened. We’re going to have so much fun together.”

And Pieces:

• Courtney Ford, who played Professor Isobel’s assistant Vanessa, was on Dexter. And I totally didn’t see that crossbow coming. (I was probably too distracted with figuring out where I knew the actress from. That’s my excuse.)

• The two sides of Caroline’s personality were symbolized by her dark eye make-up and her cute pedal pushers.

• Alaric, Damon, and Elena doing “research” reminded me of Buffy, especially since “research” seemed to consist of flipping through stuff quickly.

Three out of four Aztecs in Virginia.

(Screencap courtesy of vampire-diaries.net.)

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


  1. I have to say 'me too' with Caroline. She's a bit like Harmony on Buffy, a character that got a lot more interesting when she became a vampire. And I was also getting some Stefan/Caroline romantic vibes in the woods.

    And 'me too' on the werewolves. As I've probably mentioned a zillion times in various reviews, I'm not a fan of the werewolf. At least they decided (like True Blood to use actual wolves instead of bad CGI, and that helps. And when Uncle Wolfy was chaining himself up, I was definitely thinking of Oz.

    During that last Damon/Elena scene on the steps (echoing the scene where Damon kissed Katherine, thinking she was Elena), I thought, I bet Damon did know about the ring and he is being his usual perverse, self-hating self. Giving it the best possible interpretation, maybe Damon was again trying to help Jeremy by trying to shock him out of his death wish and fascination with vampirism. Damon did help Jeremy by taking away his memories of Vicky, after all. And he just took an arrow for Elena.

    Terrific review, Josie.

  2. Thanks, Billie!

    Here's a great interview with the actress who plays Caroline (Candice Accola): http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2010/09/the-vampire-diaries-candice-accola-bites-into-a-new-challenge.html

    She comes across and sweet and knowledgeable. Plus, she admits she's a TV junkie--that makes her one of us!

  3. Omg!! I was worried about the sparks between Caroline and Stefan too! I'm not throwing anything at you since I also noticed the like closer than usual playfulness.


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