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Vampire Diaries: The Hybrid

“Here, doggy doggy.”

Was this episode perfect? Yes, it was perfect. Hilarious, touching, fast-paced, tense, covered in blood and gore. And Alaric is adorable even before his morning coffee.

Let’s take a minute to meditate on the triangle of self-sacrifice. Stefan has sacrificed himself and his morality to save Damon’s life. Damon is sacrificing his desire for Elena out of gratitude to his brother. And Elena, who lacks even an iota of self-preservation, is willing to put her life on the line to rescue her “off the rails” boyfriend because she senses that he hasn’t entirely lost his humanity.

There’s also a great deal of (perfectly reasonable) selfishness going on. Elena is willing to cause all sorts of trouble to get her boyfriend back. Damon will help Elena rescue Stefan, but he wants his good deeds to be acknowledged—he wants her to remember how she feels about him, the same way that he wanted her to forget how he felt about her in “Rose” last season. I will continue to maintain that Stefan enjoys being a “martyr” (as Damon puts it) and getting to enjoy his daily feast with a healthy side of daily guilt.

Maybe I shouldn’t call all of that selfishness. Maybe I should call it hope-filled desire. Alaric’s desire to check out turned out to be motivated by his lack of hope about having a family, but Elena, patron saint of lost causes, has brought him back into the fold. Jeremy and Matt want closure on Vicki’s death: a last moment that they know is the last moment and can remember later. Klaus wants just what Alaric wants: a family to replace those he has lost.

Luckily, Klaus doesn’t have a super-useful Elena on his side. His “domino effect” plan to create an army of hybrid “comrades” luckily didn’t work: they all went rabid or bled out. Will Klaus realize that one item on his to-do list shouldn’t be crossed off? He came darn close to seeing Elena in the Tennessee woods.

Elena, Damon, Alaric, and Klaus all started the process of re-thinking their relationships tonight. Elena voiced her concern for Damon; Damon began the slow process of making his case to Elena; Alaric re-joined the Gilbert household; and Klaus began to realize that communism just isn’t a viable option, especially if the hybrid/zombie/mountain-men aren’t sufficiently industrialized to count as a true proletariat.

Mrs. Lockwood also found out about, and came to terms with, her son’s occasionally-hirsute inner nature. Sadly, she is still not a fan of the melanin-deficient. Caroline, looking even more beautiful than ever, is locked in a room, chained to a chair, about to be subjected to…a chat from Daddy? The writers/producers do know that Caroline is off-limits, right? Repeat after me: She must not be killed. She must not be killed. She must not be killed. (I will not spend time on the weirdly reverse-Oedipal hatred Carol Lockwood has for Caroline Forbes and Tyler’s previous girlfriends.)


• Elena: “You’re the one who said I could handle things on my own now.”
Alaric: “I meant frozen dinners and SATs.”

• Matt: “Is this the kind of thing you need another person for?” Like moving a mattress?

• Elena: “You were a Boy Scout, weren’t you? A Boy Scout-slash-vampire-slayer?”
Alaric: “Slash-whiskey-drinking-all-around-lost-cause.”

• Alaric: “Why don’t you save [the ring] for future generations of stubborn, relentless baby Gilberts?”
Elena: “Okay, how ‘bout you borrow it until we survive this? I’d feel bad if I got you killed before happy hour.”

• Alaric: “Are you guys twelve?”

• Elena: “Rick, here, take these [vervain covered ropes].”
Damon: “Ahhh!”
Elena: “I said ‘Rick!’”

• Alaric: “Let the vampire fight the hybrid/zombie/mountain-man.”

• Anna: “Jeremy, don’t trust Vicki.”

• Damon: “He’s an insufferable martyr who needs his ass kicked.”

• Damon: “You had a bag full of weapons and a teacher with an eternity ring. You could have kept going.”

• Damon: “When I drag my brother from the edge and bring him back to you, I want you to remember the things you felt when he was gone.”

And Pieces:

• Why did Alaric raise his crossbow when Damon pushed Elena into the river? Did he momentarily worry she was really Katherine? (Did you?)

• Did anyone get a Lost vibe from the tramping through the woods?

• It’s so Caroline to still call Tyler’s mom “Mrs. Lockwood” even after she has locked her up.

• Random compliment: Damon joked to Alaric “Do you remember where I parked my car?” It’s a neat way of acknowledging that Damon arrived separately, and that he and Elena didn’t have a chance to talk on the ride back from the mountains (hence the bedroom scene). Thank you, VD, for practicing safe continuity.

Wit, blood, and suspense aside, it was the personal, two-person scenes that really made this episode wonderful. Alaric and Elena, Elena and Damon, Damon and Stefan—and Stefan and Elena’s “Pangs” moment in the woods—were beautifully perfect. Each one had a perfect tension: family, sex, brotherliness, true love.

I love this show.

Four out of four HRGs.

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


  1. I didn't enjoy this episode as much as you, Josie. I just didn't buy Damon and Alaric going along with Elena's plan to go up into the woods to find a pack of werewolves on the night of the full moon. She came across as foolish for coming up with such a idiotically suicidal plan and they looking even more foolish for going along with it.

    But I agree with you 100% when it comes to Caroline. She must not be killed.

  2. I loved every minute of it. Or nearly every minute. The whole hybrid thing is so messy with the blurring the line between supernatural creatures, and I still don't find Klaus anywhere near as enjoyable as Elijah, or even as scary as Elijah. Klaus is just despicable.

    But Damon and Alaric together have become one of my favorite bromances. I'm so totally pleased that Alaric moved back in. The romantic and dramatic tension between Damon and Elena just works for me, and I don't tend to ship just anyone. I absolutely agree that Caroline must not be killed, and I'm betting she'll manage to convince Daddy she's not a monster. (He looks weird without the big glasses.)

    Did they tone down the jerk with Tyler? I actually liked him. I like that he gives a damn about Caroline, to the point of revealing his problem to his mother. Maybe that's it, because before, Tyler was so massively self-involved that no one else existed. I guess if we're getting Tyler and Matt as the only Caroline love interests, I'm now rooting for Tyler.

    My favorite line in the episode, for some reason, was "stubborn, relentless baby Gilberts." I must have repeated it three or four times. So -- four out of four stubborn, relentless baby Gilberts for me too, Josie. Loved your review.

  3. Great episode, great review. I didn't recognise HRG because it's been so long since I saw Heroes - I quit after season one - and I didn't even cop that he was Caroline's daddy til she said it. I haven't been getting much sleep lately - I'm slow... :-D It's a very interesting development! Except DO NOT HURT CAROLINE.

    Also loving the Alaric stuff - it sucked when Jenna died but at least he's got family now. And he's always great but especially with Damon.

    And Billie - welcome to Tyler-land! Mwa ha ha! I'm glad he's starting to grow on you. It starts slow but by the end, you're head over heels. I admire Michael Trevino for letting his character be a total douchebag in season one and allowing the character's better side to develop slowly. It's a little like watching Logan go from obligatory psychotic jackass to Veronica's loving (though messed-up) boyfriend. I don't think it's too fan-wanky to put a lot of Tyler's crappy behaviour down to his abusive dad and incipient wolf-hood. Anyway, Caroline makes him want to be a better man. Awww. (end fangirl rant).

    I'm not convinced by Klaus yet but I'm prepared to wait. Elijah will have to come back and things will then get very cool.

    I am loving Stefan this season. Serious, serious kudos to Paul Wesley. Great job!

    GOD, I love Vampire Diaries! Since I'm way behind on my Supernatural watching and can't get excited about Season 7 yet, VD is my new favourite show!

  4. I set a new personal best for saying OMG in one 42 minute stretch.

    God, but I love this show.


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