Vampire Diaries: The Sacrifice

“He’d die before he let anything happen to her. They both would.”

The problem with having wonderful friends is that you just might want to sacrifice yourself for them. That’s certainly Elena’s problem, and Stefan’s, and Jeremy’s, and Bonnie’s. Each one of those people did something phenomenally stupid, but they had a really, really good reason for it.

Normally, “People Do Stupid Things” is not my favorite plot. But everyone’s stupid thing felt right, given their characters and recent events. Let’s take them one stupid thing at a time:

Elena: “It’s either me or my family.”

All of Elena’s friends (except ignorant Aunt Jenna) are super-powered, even her ring-bearer little bro. Because of that, they want to risk themselves to save her—but she can’t stand being the victim/sacrifice anymore, and just wants to end things by, you know, ending things.

It’s stupid, but it makes sense, and I might do the same if I were in her shoes. If Elena were comfortable with everyone always saving her, she’d start to seem like a selfish twit. Her unwillingness to rely on their superpowers, though, isn’t the best decision—as Damon made very clear. When he took command of the situation, part of me wanted to slap him for having the audacity to tell anyone that he knew what was best. The other part of me (a good 99%) thought it was one of the sexiest scenes I’ve seen since Buffy and Spike. Which brings me to…

Stefan: “Promise me, we’ll protect her."

It’s hard to remember that Stefan and Elena are broken up, especially since they still so obviously care for each other. But they were conspicuously never alone in this episode, and we didn’t get our standard end-of-episode kiss, which I miss now that it’s gone. Although, if it means more intense Damon moments, perhaps a little time apart isn’t a bad thing.

Stefan’s sacrifice this week was secondary: he saved Jeremy because Jeremy deserves it, but also to spare Elena the pain of losing her brother. And now he’s trapped in a crypt with Katherine, as his brother and his ex-girlfriend have a steamy argument. (I almost wrote: “as his boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend…”) The previews for next week must remain unmentioned in the comments, as they look delicious, and we should let our friends be surprised.

Jeremy: “Argh, argh!”

Jeremy did the one thing the private eyes know never to do: he went in without back-up, to get the moonstone (and save Elena) and to spare Bonnie from having to do a difficult spell. Of course, he underestimated Katherine’s powers of recovery, and wound up dying repeatedly at her hands (well, her teeth).

In the words of an evil Angel villain: “How very touching his meaningless death was.” Jeremy wants to be in the game, but not out of some little-brother “Hey, me too!” sentiment. He genuinely wants to be as super-powered and super-heroic as his friends, and he sees himself as Bonnie’s equal. He’s just not very good at it yet. And, for us viewers, his presence seems to mean Alaric’s absence, which is not a fair trade.

Bonnie: “I’m not strong enough.”

Bonnie sacrificed her health—she was willing to do it for the moonstone, and wound up doing it for Jeremy. That’s a good example of how one sacrifice begets more sacrifice: she wanted to save Jeremy; he wanted to save her; Stefan wound up locked in a cave. (That’s always how it ends for me, too.) Interestingly, Bonnie was willing to sacrifice Luka to save Jeremy—she drew on his powers without a quibble. Bonnie is still a wild card.

She’s not the only one scheming, either: Luka knows at least a little something about his father’s plans for Bonnie and the moonstone. Elena schemed with Rose to sacrifice herself to Klaus, but Elijah’s scheme—which is still unclear—interrupted and Rose bolted. And that’s where the secondary meaning of all of these sacrifices come in: it’s not just what our characters are willing to give up, but who they’re willing to hurt along the way.

This was one of the most jam-packed episodes we’ve seen yet, and I haven’t even mentioned Caroline and Tyler. (Well, now I have.) It was wonderfully intriguing, and has set up a billion conflicts for next week, which I think is the mid-season finale. Next week should be so cool!

Bites:

• Alaric: “Well, I’m naked, so I’m gonna go.” Pity.

• Damon: “Yep, we’re awesome.” Indeed.

• Damon: “It’s a plan. Is it perfect? What plan is?” Famous last words...

• Damon: “Gee, thanks, you sixteen year-old child. Why didn’t we think about that? Why are you even here?” Exactly!

• Damon: “Who’s going to save your life while you’re out making decisions?” Sexist bastard!

• Damon: “Get your ass out the door before I throw you over my shoulder and carry you out myself.” Is it so wrong that I loved this line and the sexist bastard who uttered it?

• Damon: “Alice is soundly sleeping and won’t remember a moment of this horribly stupid day.” Damon has very little patience for nobility, despite his own.

• Damon: “I killed you. You were dead.” He is also master of the obvious.

• Jeremy: “Don’t act like this is one-sided, like I’m some kid with a crush on his sister’s friend.” I'll try, but it's hard.

• Damon: “If I had a dollar for every time some evil vampire surprised me.”

• Elena: “I never question why you and Stefan, everyone else, tries to hard to save me. You shouldn’t question why I would try to save you.”

And Pieces:

• I loved that Elena ran into naked Alaric and then naked Rose. Everyone but her is getting some.

• Parallelism: cutting between Katherine and Elena as Damon and Stefan knock on their respective doors.

• I think Damon didn’t know that Stefan had a picture of Katherine.

• Nice continuity: Caroline remembering that Tyler shouldn’t know that she’s familiar with the old werewolf cage, or that she killed two deputies there.

• Slater’s girlfriend isn’t just a vapid fangbanger. She’s also a decent hacker, which makes Slater dating her make sense. There’s no sense at all in him using “Kristen Stewart” as a password, though.

• I mean no insult to Stefan by captioning his picture or loving the Damon/Elena sparkage. But we can talk more about that next week. I hope; oh, how I hope.

Three and a half out of four Kristen Stewart passwords.

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

6 comments:

Billie Doux said...

I loved your review, Josie. I must have laughed out loud five times. And I loved this episode. I loved Damon in this episode, even though he kept taking control. Or because he kept taking control. Such Damon/Elena sparkage. Yum.

That magic tomb door -- what a terrific plot device it is. And what a bad ass Bonnie has become, using someone like that. She's like Willow without the five seasons of character development, which is probably why we never know what she's going to do.

Did you notice that your quote section came close to being an all-Damon sweep?

Harry said...

Great review Josie :) You've managed to tease me to an excrutiating week about the previews for next week, Argh! But I'm going to remain in the dark, I love a good VD shocker.

Interesting observation about Bonnie, Billie :) if only I cared about her half as much as I adore Willow.

Josie Kafka said...

Fun news! Deadline.com (future home of the beloved Michael Ausiello) reports that Kevin Williamson is pitching a new series for the CW about "a group of people who investigate paranormal happenings."

It's like Supernatural and VD coming together to make a beautiful love-child. Which, according to my sources, my not be as ridiculous as it seems.

(Okay, that last bit is just a Lorne quote. I don't have sources.) Link here:

http://www.deadline.com/2010/11/kevin-williamson-developing-potential-vampire-diaries-companion-series/

Patryk said...

Yes indeed Josie, inteligent vampires wouldn't touch Twilight with a 10-foot pole.

JK said...

So I've come into this show after repeatedly having it recommended to me, not least by this very site. I've been running through the series so far at a brisk pace, and frankly I think it's gone from strength to strength.

However, I hated this episode. Most of it was actually quite good, but I spent the majority of it gnashing my teeth anyway at the sheer stupidity of the tomb plot. Here's my version of the plan:

Witch-girl and ring-boy walk into the tomb. Witch-girl boils Kathy's brain while ring-boy grabs the stone. They walk out and live happily ever after (or something).

Took me all of ten seconds to come up with it. WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH THESE PEOPLE?

I thought this show was above such plot-induced stupidity. Le sigh.

(Also, is it just me, or is every single black person in the world a witch? Okay, the carnie wasn't. Every single light-skinned black person. What's up with that?)

Since this episode aired a year and a half ago I'm sure it'll redeem itself quickly. But right now... I don't think I've been this annoyed with a great show since the finale of Battlestar Galactica. Urgh.

Marianna said...

JK, I definitely see your point, although I'm not sure that exact plan would have worked because Bonnie has tried the vampire brain aneurysm trick on Katherine before without success. I actually think Jeremy's plan was on the right track and just needed some extra safety measures. Use a bigger team like in Masquerade!
How about getting Alaric in on this mission?!

I have noticed that about the black witches. They might all be related, which would be good news for Jeremy at the moment. I'm a little annoyed they started referring to "Bennett witches." Bonnie's grandmother and great-grandmother (or great-great-grandmother? I lost track) were the witches of the family so it seems to at least mostly be channelled through the women of the family, in contrast to the Council families that focus on the men of the family (the Gilbert watch gets passed over Elena to Jeremy). So why would the name "Bennett" be of significance?