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Vampire Diaries: By the Light of the Moon

“Do nothing.”

Hey! That’s not what was supposed to happen! This was not the episode I was so excited about, and I’m feeling pouty.

Thanks to the previews, I expected a mind-blowing episode. Stefan, overcome with hunger and blood lust, was going to sleep with Katherine. Elena would walk in on them, and realize that she couldn’t keep her boyfriend (or keep her friends safe) unless she became a vampire. She’d turn to Damon for cold comfort, and he—since Rose would still be gone—would turn her and sleep with her. I’m not sure where it was supposed to go from there. Caroline/Elijah smackdown? Bonnie/Luka witch fight?

Sadly, none of this happened. My imagination was much, much more exciting. In fact, not much happened in the real episode, either. It’s more like things un-happened, leaving me unhappy. To wit:

Rose returned, which un-happened her flight last week. But then she got bit, which un-happened her return. I like Rose, and I like her vampires-with-benefits relationship with Damon. But to kill off a character whose departure I’d thought was already a foregone conclusion doesn’t seem like the riskiest writerly choice. Will her death send Damon on a mission of werewolf vengeance? That could be neat.

Stefan got out of the tomb, which un-happened his confinement. Katherine is still in the tomb, which un-happened the suspense. Katherine’s dream-walking seduction of Stefan was super-sexy. That’s probably why they featured it in the previews as much as they did. I wouldn’t have minded a bit more hunger-fueled soft core vampire cave porn, but the fates just weren’t smiling on me this week.

Bonnie didn’t de-spell the moonstone (even though she thinks she did). She also didn’t figure out that Luka is a bad guy (although now we have confirmation that he is working with this father and Elijah). Bonnie, whose father we’ve never seen, and whose Grams is dead, really needs a family. Our heroes aren’t quite it, because she is so averse to vampire generally. When Luka asserted that he follows a code of loyalty to the larger family of witches, Bonnie gave her first genuine smile in many, many episodes. I wonder how his betrayal will affect her—dark Bonnie, maybe?

Elijah didn’t hurt Elena, and is no longer a threat. Katherine, Stefan, ditto. An Elijah-alliance (an Elijahance?) could prove remarkable fruitful down the line, but right now it just feels like deferral. I know I said exactly that about Katherine in the tomb, which is now a plot that I enjoy. So I reserve the right to like this plot later. Right now, not so much.

Tyler didn’t bite Caroline. But he certainly did take an ungodly amount of time to transform. I’m sure there are people out there—probably people younger than me—who care for Tyler and were moved by his overlong transformation. I, however, did not enjoy it. Even Caroline’s empathy, while touching, wasn’t quite worth the screen time. I like her better when she’s kicking ass.

Not everything was terrible. Elijah standing behind the door as Jenna looked for the papers was scary. Damon and Alaric mucking up a fake seduction of Jules the werewolf was hilarious. And Stefan and Elena, reuniting not just with a kiss, but with actual sex, was great. Since so many things un-happened, I have no idea where we’ll pick up in January—although the mention of Isobel might be a hint. A cliffhanger would have been thrilling. Instead, we got smallish solutions to really big problems.


• Damon: “I’ve been dead before. I got over it.”

• Damon: “Yes, Elena. I find hilarity in the lengths I have to go to to save your life.”

• Damon: “Vampire Barbie asked her if she could handle it, and I said ‘Why not?’, and figured he’d bit her and solve two of my problems.”

• Alaric: “Oh, come on, it’s not like I’m a freak.” Note to men: this line is not reassuring.

• Jules: “You’ve been marked.”

• Damon: “’You’ve been marked!’ What the hell kind of wolf throw-down crap is that, anyway?”

And Pieces

• The spell that keeps Elena trapped in the house reminded me of Buffy.

• Who was Jules the Werewolf calling? Isobel? An alpha?

I’m not sure how to rate this. What do you think? Maybe 2.5 out of 4 unhappy un-happenings?

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


  1. Stefan who? There were some serious hot undertones on the Elijah/Elena conversation scene. I'm almost a shipper now.

    Caroline and Tyler were awesome. I kept thinking "get out, Caroline", while being moved that she didn't. What a loyal friend.

    There were other bits that made me enjoy the episode, such as:

    Elena and Jeremy actually having a brother and sister moment, when she pushed him and he fell off the couch.

    Damon and Alaric bromancing.

    Elena and Elijah. "I need you to do one more thing for me". "We are negotiating now?"

    I started watching VD last week and got hooked around epidode 6 or 7. I know many people have said that, but it's never enough: the plot advancement is amazing. I just wish they would devote more time to deepening the relationships.

    So it was nice to see an episode with so many "un-happenings", where the big happenings were the relationships. Because of that, and also because Rose is not that an important character (at least not yet), the cliffhanger was kinda meh and didn't fit the "happy" tone (as close as VD can get to one) the episode had towards the end.

  2. Tom L, I'm so glad you're enjoying the show!

    Did you skip episodes or do a marathon? (No judgment. I'm a marathoner myself.) It must have been completely absorbing all at once!

    By the way, if anyone wants to check out the show, next week the CW is showing a marathon of its own. I'm not sure if they're starting at the beginning, but they'll likely pick some important mythology episodes.

  3. I share your disappointment with this episode, Josie. Too many unhappy un-happenings. I did like the Caroline/Tyler scenes but then again I’ve come to love any and all Caroline scenes (I feel so guilty now for hating her so much last season) and Damon and Alaric working together is always a bonus especially since it’s so rare these days.

    But Stefan being trapped in the tomb with Katherine was just a great big wasted opportunity. If I hadn’t already guessed that all the steamy action the promos promised was going to be some sort of dream I’d almost feel cheated by the whole thing.

    PS; loving the picture captions.

  4. I really enjoyed this episode. But then again, I'm really enjoying every episode of VD these days. I'll definitely admit I was disappointed in the tomb denouement, though, and I kept wanting Caroline to just leave Tyler to growl and mutate alone already. But as I've already mentioned too many times, I'm a cat person and werewolves do nothing for me.

    And now the long wait until the last week of January! I'm actually thinking seriously about the marathon next week.

    And I love the captions on the photos, Josie. Where are you getting them? They're great.

  5. I'm so glad people like the picture captions!

    The photos themselves are promos from the episodes (courtesy of vampirediaries.net). The captions are a 100% Josie original.

  6. It was a marathon, Josie. And, yes, it was completely absorbing. I thought of taking a break after watching the first season, but that cliffhanger didn't let me.

    Now, I'm draging my sister to watch the show with me. "It's like Twilight, sis. Only it's not and it's so much better".

  7. Tom, make sure to drag her here, too, so we can bask in the glow of her newbie excitement!

  8. I enjoyed this episode. It wasn't the best but far from the worse. I find it merciful of the writers not leaving us hanging when we have to wait so many weeks for the next episode.

    Rose isn't really doing much for me, I really won't miss her if she succumbs to werewolf poisoning. Jules already seems more interesting.

    Although Luka is working with his Dad and Elijah, he seemed rather reluctant about it.

    Caroline in a red hoodie was a cute touch.

  9. I totally got Whedon vibes when Damon and Rose start being happy together, then she starts dying.

    I agree that with the epicness of the past few episodes, this episode seemed a little bit of a let down, especially as a mid-season finale

  10. I'll preface this with a Potential Spoiler (wild theory) Alert!!! Although I have absolutely no idea what coming in future episodes.

    I was watching the marathon, and it occurred to me (which if this has been mentioned before, so be it) that Kathrine was the first doppelganger. That means she was a doppelganger herself, and that there must be an Original Petrova that the curse is based on. Someone that was the basis for the curse maybe.

    What if Klaus is simply the henchmen of a very powerful original vampire version of Elena/Katherine. Well at least that's food for thought.


  11. I like that theory. :) Nina Dobrev could pull off playing threee separate characters i bet.

  12. Love your reviews Josie...
    I gotta mention another bit though...

    Elijah (On seeing Katherine): Katarina! Thank you for having the good sense to be frightened.


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