Vampire Diaries: Rose

“It’s Elena.”

This was not the best episode ever, and it had some glaring inconsistencies, but the Massive Information Dump pretty much set up the rest of the season and contributed a huge amount of (relevant) lore to the world of the Vampire Diaries.

We got so much new information about the Originals and about what Elena is (and why she matters) that this almost feels like a new series with a wider scope, which should help VD segue into its third year without too many everyone’s-at-college growing pains. Interestingly, VD also finally went back to high school in this episode—I had started to wonder if this entire season would be the summer between junior and senior year, and next year senior year itself.

In the meantime, though, we’ve met two new vamps: Rose the Rogue Vampire, who has spent 500 years on the lam, but is now sans best friend, and Elijah the Original, who is so superpowerful that even a giant coat rack won’t kill him. Elijah wants Elena, because she’s a Petrova doppelganger, which means that her blood will break the sun/moon curse that the moonstone keeps in place.

Rose wanted to trade Elena for her liberty, which is a fascinating way to introduce this new scope: it’s sort of like Elena got kidnapped from a small-town soap opera and landed in an epic narrative that spans continents and millennia. If I’m right, and this geographic, temporal, and personal widening is part of the larger plan to keep this show interesting post-high school, I hope it never loses its real strength: the interplay between characters that we love.

Some of those characters were a bit weird tonight, though. Writer Brian Young has written some great VD episodes, from “Isobel” to “The Turning Point” (my conversion episode), but I really didn’t like Caroline’s fear when Damon grabbed her in the hallway—she’s kicked his ass before, and seeing her again reduced to a scared girl really didn’t appeal to me, even though her getting ready while he watched was a nice way to indicate that they’re becoming closer. Elena, too, seemed more complainy and weak right after her kidnapping than she usually is, even if she did bounce back quickly. Plus, I’m a little confused about Bonnie’s statement to Jeremy that he and Elena are blood relatives. Did Elena not tell her best friend that she was adopted? Did Jeremy not feel like that might matter for the spell?

Damon, however, was right on point. Last week, Paul Wesley did an incredible job weeping his way through a real break-up with Elena. This week it was Ian Somerhalder’s turn to make me cry when he told Elena that he loved her, kissed her on the forehead, and then made her forget. (Tragic sexy vampire, do you need a hug? I’ve got your hug right here.) I think Damon did this not just for his own “selfish” reasons, but to try to reconcile himself with Stefan, even if Stefan never knows. Erasing Elena’s memories of his declaration is his own way of giving some sort of closure to their non-relationship, which will help him team up with Stefan to keep her safe. Stefan may be willing to die for Elena, but Damon is willing to live in unhappiness for her.

More development of the potential Bonnie/Jeremy romance, which I still think is strange. And what’s going on with Caroline and Tyler Lockwood? Caroline, you can do so much better. Really. Although, if Caroline hooks up with Tyler and then the Salvatore brothers decide to take him down, it could be a spectacular vampire smackdown.

Bites:

• Caroline: “That werewolf road leads straight to vampire boulevard.”

• Damon: “Alaric sure likes his weapons. What the hell is it?”
Stefan: “It’s a vervain bomb or grenade launcher or something.”

• Damon: “Can we not do the whole road-trip bonding thing? The cliché of it all makes me itch.”
Stefan: “Oh, c’mon Damon. We both know that you being in this car has absolutely nothing to do with me, anyway.”
Damon: “And the elephant in the room lets out a mighty roar.”

• Damon: “Keep it up, Stefan. I can step out of helping as easily as I stepped in.”

• Stefan: “I can’t think of a better reason to die.” Aww.

• Damon: “What I’m about to say is probably the most selfish thing I’ve ever said in my life... I just have to say it once. You need to hear it. I love you, Elena. And it’s because I love you that I can’t be selfish with you. It’s why you can’t know this. I don’t deserve you, but my brother does. [Kiss] God, I wish you didn’t have to forget this. But you do.”

And Pieces:

• Rose is a sucker for bad boys. There’s a bad-boy vamp in Mystic Falls who could certainly use some cold comfort.

• Although evidently Stefan had a wild phase. Did we know that? How bad was he? (Like, Angelus bad?)

• One last quibble: the action sequence in the old North Carolina house was horribly staged and shot.

• Bonnie’s magic message was like supernatural texting.

Three and a half out of four roaring elephants.

(Screencap thanks to http://vampirediariesweb.com/)

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

19 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I found a lot of the stuff about the Originals and Why Doppelgangers Are Important sort of confusing, but I'm all for expanding the mythology. And I'm so much in love with VD right now that I'm going to watch this episode again. Loved Bonnie sending the message to Elena; I was sort of expecting flaming letters in the air, but the crumpled paper on the couch was great. Damon and Elena are giving me Spike and Buffy vibes. (Does that mean they'll eventually have a passionate, destructive affair?)

I was wondering about Elena and Jeremy and the spell, too; I said to Dan, wait a minute, they're not related. Dan said, Yes, they are. Uncle John is her father, so they're cousins.

Giant coat rack. :) It just seems wrong that it didn't kill him. It feels like they're breaking the rules. Guess we'll see.

Josie Kafka said...

How could I forget Sark?

Billie Doux said...

You're not alone because I forgot him, too. Or at least I spaced out his genetic contribution. I bet we're not the only ones.

Felipe said...

Ditto on forgetting Sark, and I agree that this wasn't the best episode. I enjoyed your recap more than watching it play out.

This episode felt like a season opener, while the last episode felt like a season finale. I love how the writers are pushing the story along, one episode gives us questions then the next answers them while giving us more questions, and so on. No need for long drawn out plots, I just hope they don't run out of ideas.

The whole stake not working can probably be due to him being an Orignal, maybe like the Turok-Han from Buffy. I'm sure we'll find out next episode.

Mark Greig said...

I think we all forgot about Sark being Elena dad because it’s a plot threat that’s kinda been forgotten about since Katherine arrived and doppelganger hi-jinks ensured.

I agree that this wasn’t one of the season’s strongest episodes but the massive info-dump will certainly come in handy later on.

Not sure where I got this from (probably a movie rather than a book) but I’m sure that in some vampire lore it is necessary to both stake and decapitate a vampire to ensure they don’t come back. Which may explain why Elijah took Trevor’s head off besides general meanness.

VampireFanGirl said...

In the book series, the 'Old Ones' can only be killed by a certain type of wood. I think TVD maybe following the rule in this instance.

Also agree with comments about Damon (so in character) and Caroline (out of character) for this episode.

Morgan India said...

Jeremy and Elena are still blood related through Sark. Sark's brother is Jeremy's father. So they're still blood related, but not as siblings, more like cousins, so I don't think it was a continuity problem.

Also, I loved Lauren Cohan as Rose. Glad to see her on another CW program again.

Josie Kafka said...

Mark, is that how van Helsing killed Dracula in the Bram Stoker novel?

(And why, oh why, do I think Paul will know the answer to this?)

Mark Greig said...

According to the ever reliable Wikipedia, Josie, in the novel it is Lucy who, after turning into a vampire, is staked and then beheaded by Van Helsing and friends while Dracula himself is killed by being sheared through the throat (ouch) with a Kukri and stabbed in the heart with a Bowie knife.

(But I’m sure Paul already knew all of this)

Josie Kafka said...

Wikipedia just takes the fun out of misremembering, doesn't it?

Mark Greig said...

Aye, it does. Also makes actually bothering to read the book somewhat redundant.

Patryk said...

No mention that Damon and Stefan pulled a nice Supernatural homage and in an episode that featured a Supernatural alum? Can't be a coincidence. :)

Julia said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ChrisB said...

Can I just say. Watching Damon compel Elena with a tear running his cheek just made me a firm member of his team.

But then, I started shipping Buffy and Spike from the moment he turned up in Sunnydale. I guess I will always root for the reformed bad boys.

Shruti said...

The scene between Damon and Elena was the first scene I ever saw of this series. My frn gave me a brief sketch of d series and made me see the scene. Then I HAD to see the series!

ChrisB I agree... Even I am such a sucker for the 'bad' vampires (pun intended). Spike...Damon...Eric. I never understood the appeal for dark and brooding vampires :)

Great review Josie :)

Shruti said...

@ Julia I wondered that too. But may be he was just soooo surprised to see the human doppelganger after believing the line to be dead for 500 years that he didnt notice it...Maybe!

Doc said...

Josie,

Another great review. I had the same "blood relation" question you mention, but it didn't take me long to remember that her father is Jeremy's Uncle Sark. Which was a relief, because I didn't want to think the writers would have made such a blunder!

Major "Supernatural" vibe with the Salvatore brothers in the car. And speaking of "Supernatural": Lauren Cohan!

Very satisfying to see Elijah spiked with the weapon he'd improvised for himself--even if the kill didn't take.

Doc said...

Julia,

I'm sure you'll never see this, but: Why did you include a spoiler in your comment?

Seems like something pretty minor, but still, a spoiler is a spoiler!

Josie Kafka said...

I've removed the spoilery comment, Doc. Thank you for bringing it to our attention!