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Vampire Diaries: The Dinner Party

“Thus ending our werewolf chapter and bringing us to Elijah.”

I’m starting to feel like my Vampire Diaries reviews are getting a bit redundant. But I can’t help it—this has been a wonderful season, and every episode leaves me with a big wacky grin on my face. Can the show possibly keep this up?

I hope so. This week’s entry was so jam-packed full of goodies that I didn’t even mind the two minor quibbles: too many flashbacks, and not enough time between Elijah’s death, resurrection, and other death. I might be in the minority in this, but I don’t love the VD flashbacks. They add depth and are necessary to explain Stefan’s and Damon’s past actions, but I start to zone out whenever I see ruffles and cravats. Having said that, though, I thought it quite interesting that Elena reading Jonathan Gilbert’s diary reminded Stefan of Lexie, which made him remember some of the grievances he has against Damon. Will that matter down the line? Doesn’t everything on this show?

Stefan’s fond memories of Lexie also helped him deal with Elena’s tragic impending martyrdom. Normally, I’m horrified by the idea of a wise boyfriend helping a young girl realize something about herself, but I never felt uncomfortable with what Stefan was helping Elena work though. He does have more experience with many of these problems, and he managed to provide guidance without being patronizing, just as Lexie did for him.

During his dark period, Stefan didn’t turn to Damon—just as Damon tends not to ask Stefan for help or support when he needs it most. The two brothers really are not communicating well, and while that means good things for Stefan and Elena, it means that Damon is left only with civilian friends who might not fully understand where he’s coming from. Alaric is right: compelling Andie Star, news reporter, is “too weird.” Stefan would address the issue directly, but Alaric just sidesteps it in that way men sometimes do with their friends.

All that personal stuff, though, pales in comparison to this episode’s major moments: Elijah, Elijah, Elena, and Katherine. Even though I know VD is fast-paced and action-packed, I’m still surprised every time they refuse to draw a story out. I thought Elijah’s death would come at the end of the season. Instead, he died—not once but twice. The first death was shocking, but I was still reeling from it when he resurrected. A few more minutes in-between would have increased the impact of both events, I think.

Nevertheless, Elena stabbing herself blew me away. All this time, I’ve wondered that no character has thought of the obvious vampire solution to the problem of Elena’s sacrificeability. Turns out, Elena had thought of it—she just wasn’t talking about. On a less-skilled show, this might have felt like a solution ex machina, but instead it gave some depth to Elena’s martyrdom. She has thought through the range of possible solutions, she just hasn’t brought them up to Stefan. Understandable, given the circumstances. Maybe Elena’s way, whatever it is, really will help defeat Elijah.

And now, Elijah is dead and daggered, resting in the basement cell of the Salvatore house. It’s too bad they can’t just burn him. In fact, can they burn him? Or would that disintegrate the dagger? Plus, now that his compulsion is undone, Katherine is free. That’s so incredibly cool.

Less cool are the problems brewing between Alaric and Jenna. Alaric is so damn desirable, and he was such a hero with the secretive stabbing that came out of nowhere. Jenna should know how cool her boyfriend is. (I hope they have a heart-to-heart soon.) When Alaric put the ring on the sideboard, I really thought he was going to punch Jon Gilbert/Sark!. What he actually did—just walking away and sacrificing near-immortality for Jenna—is so much cooler.

But it leaves us with a bunch of new problems: Elijah in the cell is sort of like Katherine in the tomb: a problem waiting to happen. Katherine herself is back in the game, as is the moonstone. Alaric has lost his ring of power, and Bonnie has lost her powers. Stefan seems to have regained his sense of anger at Damon. And it turns out that Elena’s death is on the table as a possible plot point, and Katherine is willing to help. Or pretending to help. Probably the latter.

Bites:

• Damon: “Yes, Stefan, I’ve become you. How tragic for both of us.”

• Elijah: “It’s a joke, Ric. Lighten up.”

• Alaric: “This is too weird.”

• Andie: “I am so grateful that Damon tells me everything.”

• Damon: “There’s no such thing as a bad idea. Just poorly executed awesome ones.” That’s a bumper sticker waiting to happen.

• Damon: “Let me guess. In addition to the moonstone, the doppelganger, the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe…”

• Damon: “Elijah, did you know that Jon is Elena’s uncle-slash-father? Of course, she hates him, so there is no need to keep him on the endangered species list.”

• Damon: “We’re at irreparable odds.” This was such a nineteenth-century Spike line.

And Pieces:

• In this week’s facial hair report, Alaric bought a new razor, but lost it again. Sadly, Elena has fallen victim to this season’s trend for thicker eyebrows.

• What does Elijah want with the witch-massacre ground?

• I love to watch vampires do dishes. Like pictures of dogs playing poker, it never gets old.

• The song playing over the awesome Katherine reemergence scene contained a line about someone named, you guessed it, Katherine. I didn’t quite have the right effect.

Four out of four sexy vampire shower scenes.

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

7 comments:

  1. I get such a charge out of The Vampire Diaries lately -- it makes me gasp as well as laugh out loud. I was shocked when Alaric killed Elijah... not surprised when he didn't stay dead... but shocked again when Elena took him out. And now he's in the basement, waiting to be revived for the next plot twist. Centering it all around a dinner party with all those different levels of knowledge and all those factions plotting against each other was so funny. And Katherine was Machiavellian again. Wonderful.

    After the disappointment of Heroes, I have been so happy to see David Anders doing material worthy of him. I'm enjoying what's going on with the (slightly) older generation as much as I have with the leads.

    As far as I'm concerned, this entire season has been four out of four incredibly twisted plot twists. Let's hope they can keep this up.

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  2. Much as I loved seeing Lexie again the flashbacks where the only thing about this episode I didn’t like. Everything else was just brilliant.

    Okay, after they killed Elijah the second time I was screaming at the TV for someone to get a hacksaw or a least a flamethrower and make sure he wasn't ever coming back. Just leaving him in the basement is asking for trouble. With any luck they'll address that issue next week because it would kinda make the characters all look a little stupid if they didn't.

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  3. Exactly, Mark. I was just this minute thinking they should take some cues from Dexter and go shopping for plastic wrap, saws and cleavers, and a large selection of Hefty bags.

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  4. Billie, that’s a scene I’d love to see; Damon and Stefan going shopping at their local Walmart for some Elijah hacking supplies.

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  5. I love how you described the Damon Stefan relationship. To bring up Lexi they way they did it with Damon question Stefan was a good was to not make Stefan also telling Damon what is wrong like before. It had more impact how they did it and the hurt in his face was touching me. I can understand that he told him his "YEah remember her " showing that is still is hurt because now Damon is able to understand and feel it, so the weight of it is much heigher than it would have been before.

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  6. Great that nothing gets forgotten on the show. Was nice to see Lexi. No Caroline though, I bet they have a limit for blond female vampires. ;)

    Now i wonder how will they deal with the inevetible arrival of Klaus, they can't kill another original without reviving Elijah. I guess they could switch the dagger between them every 108 minutes if they can find Desmond to do it. ;)

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  7. So Elijah showed up for dinner! Please tell me it was on a Friday night!

    I liked seeing Lexi again. I didn't understand why the Gilbert's went outside if they heard a noise. They know vampires need to be invited in right? Why not just stay inside?

    I trust Katherine about as far as I can throw her, but it has been confirmed that she's scared of Klaus so she does have reason to help them eliminate him as a threat.

    "Now i wonder how will they deal with the inevetible arrival of Klaus, they can't kill another original without reviving Elijah. I guess they could switch the dagger between them every 108 minutes if they can find Desmond to do it. ;)" AMAZING!

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