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Vampire Diaries: The House Guest

“You deserved it.”

Fire theme, anyone? Caroline’s eternal flame continues to burn for Matt, Luka underwent some poetic fire-justice, and Elijah is immune to the flamethrower. Too bad, Mark Greig: it was a good idea.

So very many things happened in this episode that I’m not sure I can do it all justice. I’m not even sure I can fall back on witty sub-headings, either, as all of the plot threads came together in the end—just as the flamethrower we saw in Act I became relevant (and frightening) by Act III. (Chekov has nothing on Kevin Williamson.) But I will try anyway. And I will do so by including the Buffy quotes that occurred to me as I watched:

Luka, Dr. Martin, and the Witches
“We've got maybe seconds before Darth Rosenberg grinds everybody into jawa-burgers, and not one of you bunch has the midiclorians to stop her."

Katherine’s return at the end of the last episode meant that I was looking stage right when I should have been focused stage left, on the creepy Doc Martin and his tragic son Luka. A few episodes ago, the werewolves managed to come across as creeps on account of their wholesale hatred of the vampires. Doc Martin now fills that role, trusting Elijah rather than our heroes, even though we know that’s a terrible idea. Doc Martin also proved himself willing to cross numerous lines to get his daughter back/avenge Elijah’s death. His blindness to his own complicity in Luka’s really, really horrific death was astonishing, and it really shows that VD crafts its most compelling villains just by making them lack any empathy or sense of perspective.

The Evil Doctor’s super-charged destruction also showed just how Dark Willow the witches can get. They are incredibly powerful, and their loyalties seem to shift. It’s good that Doc Martin returned Bonnie’s powers…until she decides to cause the kind of destruction that we now know witches are capable of.

Caroline and Matt
"Love makes you do the wacky."

I should have hated Caroline’s serenade to Matt. There’s a fine line between cheesy and wonderful, though, and VD managed to stay on the side of the good. Caroline has a strong voice, and her actions fit her character perfectly: using her compulsion powers to act out a rock-star fantasy. And Matt loved it! So cute! As we all know, though, cute relationship moments inevitably lead to death and destruction. Caroline was really between a rock and a hard place: let her boyfriend die, or clue him into the supernatural? The best part about that scene was when Matt conjured the specter of Vicky out of the blue. It is the first thing he would think of, and his reaction makes perfect sense. Now Caroline is doomed to super-cute vampire sadness, though, which likely involves copious amounts of B-positive ice-cream and repeated viewings of The Notebook.

Alaric, Jenna, and Isobel
"Still a couple of nice guys out there."

Jenna’s not the most popular character on VD, and more’s the pity. She manages to play both the mom role and the normal-friend role quite well, and I desperately want Alaric to find interlocking happiness in her arms. Alaric, though, continues to hedge his bets about telling her what’s going on with all the supernatural elements, which is having the bizarre result of allowing John Gilbert/ Sark! to intrude into their relationship. Now that Isobel is back in town, things can only get worse. I’m especially worried about Jenna’s potential longevity, because if she dies, it would mean Elena would have to stay in Mystic Falls until Jeremy graduated from high school, which gives the show a way out of the awkward college transition so many teen dramas struggle with.

Stefan, Damon, and Katherine
“I love syphilis more than you.”

Stefan and Damon continue to search for the place where Emily Bennett and a previous generation of witches were killed, because witches release a magical energy when they die. (Which means that now Elena’s bathroom is…special?) Katherine helped, in a selfish sort of way, but Stefan and Damon kept her in the dark about their discovery, and then she figured it out later. Oh, well.

Katherine also revealed a bit of her previous plans this week, and it turns out she rejected Damon again by choosing Stefan’s unlife over his. What is that, three or four times now? Damon continues to be surprised when she does this to him, which makes him possibly the naivest vampire in Mystic Falls. His rejection of Katherine in the bedroom scene at the end was both hilarious and poignant—he wanted her, she wanted him, but he wanted his pride even more. That may be a step in the right direction.

Elena and Katherine
”Lot of opportunities of bawdy French farce.”

The flamethrower wasn’t the only device to pop up again. Katherine played Elena quite well in the opening scene (I was certainly confused), mostly just to mess with Stefan’s and Damon’s respective heads. Katherine managed to convince Dr. Martin of her Elenaness just long enough to kill him, which was either terrible over-reaction or completely appropriate.

But now that’s he’s out of the way and the werewolves are gone, we’re left with Isobel as our latest Big Bad. And we’re left with a wait until April 7th to find out what happens next.


• Elena: “Bonnie is freaked because she lost her powers, and Caroline is having Matt drama again.” That sums things up, doesn’t it? Supernatural destruction and boyfriend trouble are equally important.

• Caroline: “You are going to let me live out my rock star fantasies and you are going to be my back-up.”

• Katherine: You were mean, and very rough, and monstrous.”
Damon: “You deserved it.”
Katherine: “I liked it.”
Damon: “Katherine, there are six other bedrooms in this house. Go find one.”

This is definitely my most disorganized review ever—and it has gone through numerous drafts. It’s not just that numerous major plot points came and went. Rather, VD managed to bring all the plots together, resolving some stories, putting others on the back burner, and introducing new ones. It’s sort of remarkable, really. And that’s why it earns:

Four out of four eternal flames.

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


  1. Oh well, at least Damon gave it a shot. Besides, if Elijah’s is indeed like Captain Scarlet then there’s always the Eric Northman solution (best done with the participation of someone you trust, not a shifty romantic rival, unless you want to get cement in your hair).

    Caroline really is the super-cutest vampire in the entire world. Her Bangles tribute was pure cheddar and I loved it regardless. Matt’s been practically a non-entity so far I wonder if he’s actually going to become interesting now that he knows the truth. Out of the whole cast he is the most expendable I wouldn’t be surprised if he ended up sharing his sister’s fate. Does Caroline even know what really happened to Vicky? Things move so quickly on this show it hard to keep track of everything.

  2. I've just seen the episode, and had to read the review straight away..

    There are so many unexpected twists and turns in this show! Like Isobel showing up... and just hours (?) after Ric told Jenna that she was dead..how will their relationship ever recover from that?

    I had almost forgotten about Vicky, and her telling Matt about vampires, but I'm glad he connected the dots right away... If he can't handle knowing the truth, then someone should compell him to forget it ever happened, and things would get back to normal for him..

    I don't have a good feeling about Bonnie, and what she was told to do to kill Klaus.. It's not that long ago that she worked against the vampires, it won't surprise me if she does it again, if she believes that's for the best...

    And one last thing; there won't be another episode until april??
    I'm in Norway, so this kind of information doesn't reach me...

  3. This show totally rocks. Another episode that just galloped along. Rocking and galloping. Is that a mixed metaphor?

    The witch stuff was terrific. Poor Luka. I rather liked him; I could feel that it was only a matter of time until he changed sides. And his father -- wow. I really, really liked how he passed everything on to Bonnie at the end.

    I've been thinking that Jenna *has* to know what's going on if only for her own safety, not to mention the situation with
    Alaric. And they addressed that with Caroline blowing it with Matt. The song was great, and Matt's reaction to it made me like him as a character -- for about five minutes. Caroline, if Matt can't handle the truth, he's not good enough for you.

    Damon telling Katherine there were six other bedrooms, find one, made me laugh out loud.

    Josie, I loved your review. You can't go wrong with Buffy quotes. :)

  4. I don't understand why Caroline didn't just compel Matt to forget that he drank her blood

  5. I have a question about Matt drinking Caroline's blood....Can he turn into a vampire if he dies while Caroline's blood is in his system? I can't remember how that worked or the timeframe in some of the previous shows like with Jeremy and Caroline. Is that part of what Caroline was trying to tell Matt?

  6. I seriously thought they had actually killed off Matt, as Mark said above Matt is the most expendable in the cast, and with this shows penchanct for big shocks and plot twists i really thought they were pulling a Whedonstyle cute-reunion-immediately-followed-by-violent-death thing, then when Caroline saw all the blood when she tried to save him I thought she would be too tempted by it to actually save him, so then when he got revived i felt kind of disappointed that they didn't go with that storyline :/ but still AWESOME episode, and Candice Accola is a pretty good singer!

  7. What a great episode to tide us over :) I didn't think your review was messy Josie, it made sense to split the action up into character groups.

    Can someone remind me - why wasn't the witch curse to keep vampires in the tomb keeping Katherine inside? Weren't she and Stefan both trapped in there not so long ago? I am sure this was shown on screen and has just slipped my mind.

    Hurrah Mia Kirshner (I think of her as Jenny from The L Word) is back. Sark and Jenny make for fun evil duo goodness. Poor Elena with her evil parents And evil doppelganger all around at once.

    Also, hurrah for the super cutest popstar vamp, she's a pretty good singer! Also glad that Matt is finally back in the storyline and in the know about vampires, this should be interesting :)

  8. Even more proof that the show is very intelligent: Damon attempting to dispose of Elijah's body and Matt reaction to vampires being real. Of course it brings back memories of Vicky and who found her body back in season one? Caroline when her car broke down during a storm. Everything adds up.

    VD: a show were plot twists matter and cliffhangers are not resolved in 2 minutes. (That's my contribution to the TB vs VD thread where I can't yet post as i'm not cought up yet)

  9. I've been trying to think of a way for Caroline to clear things up with Matt without outing Stefan and Damon, and I think she should ask Elena to talk to Matt. Elena can explain that Caroline didn't even become a vampire until well after Vicki's disappearance, and the fact that Caroline was the one that found Vicki's body should support that. Of course Matt might have some uncomfortable follow-up questions that Elena can't answer, but she could say family legacy, not at liberty to go into detail, etc., which isn't really a lie considering both sides of her family got her involved in all of this.

    lisa, Caroline could compel Matt to forget, but that would go against the conversation she had with Elena about how he might be better off in the long run knowing about vampires as well as her realization during their time apart that she couldn't have a relationship with him without being honest with him.

    Anonymous, yes, Matt can turn into a vampire if he dies with Caroline's blood in his system (which is how Caroline became a vampire), so ideally someone should keep an eye on him for the next 24 hours. However him storming out just made that difficult.

    Harry, the witch curse keeping vampires in the tomb was removed by Doc Martin and Luka at Elijah's instruction as part of the deal Elena made with him to get Stefan freed. Katherine couldn't leave because Elijah compelled her to stay, but that compulsion wore off once Elijah died.

    Binge watching makes it easier to keep track of stuff. Wow is this show addictive! =)


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