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Vampire Diaries: Ghost World

“We’ll choose between boyfriend ghost dramas.”

It’s oddly reassuring that this episode of VD is not perfect. This is not to say that it was terrible—rather, it was very, very good. It just lacked the frightening impact of the previous five episodes. That’s a good thing: it’s a reminder that even at its least-astonishing, this is still a fascinating high-tension show.

Part of the diminished impact of this episode might be due to the re-emergence of three players that, while interesting, are not our heroes: Anna, Lexie, and Mason Lockwood. A slight shift in emphasis took some of the emotional burden off of Elena, who has really been rung through the ringer lately. Her character moments were smaller, but still vital in her ever-evolving relationship with Stefan and with her own maturity. But I’m getting ahead of myself…

Anna, Jeremy, and Bonnie

Jeremy’s unwillingness to let go of Anna hasn’t been my favorite storyline this season, although when I step back to look at the bigger picture of the state of television today, I have to give Jeremy props for not being an annoying younger brother. Despite his increasing buffness, though, the real stand-out of his story was Anna. She misses Jeremy, but ultimately she’s just lonely—I am so happy that she found her mother, finally, and that she’s gone beyond the “supernatural purgatory” to, hopefully, a happier place.

What does that mean for Jeremy and Bonnie? Probably not good things. Bonnie has the newly reconstituted necklace, which once again puts our least-interesting character in charge of a super-powerful object. Jeremy, on the other hand, has alienated his sister and showed himself to be a weaker man than Matt.

(I always think Bonnie is about to die, but this time I really think it. She’s so alone without Gram.)

Elena, Stefan, and Lexie

How interesting is it that Stefan saw Lexie first? Was he thinking of her, or does that rule not apply once the ghosts became manifest? Anyway, it was wonderful to see Lexie again, particularly the part where she slammed Stefan’s head into a car window. The rehab process was less enchanting, as it’s hard for me to separate inhuman Stefan from human Stefan.

The boundary isn’t entirely clear, either: once he reached pure starvation, Stefan dropped the mean act and was just forthright and honest with Elena. It wasn’t happy, but it shows that some of his meanness, such as calling Elena pathetic last week, is just as much an act as anything else: inhuman Stefan is neutral and uncaring, but not actively angry at Elena. (That he doesn’t care, of course, just hurts her more.)

Stefan’s antipathy to Elena’s pain, and the undyingness that is Klaus, have really pushed her into the acceptance phase of the grieving process. She’ll wait a while, but she won’t wait for Stefan’s return forever. She doesn’t, however, seem to have realized that there is still an element of impossibility in their relationship: as she ages, and he doesn’t, it will become increasingly like Anna holding Jeremy back. I suppose that that’s a good problem for Elena to have, because it would mean she’s got her Stefan back. In the meantime, though, she has to add staking her ex-boyfriend to her daily to-do list.

Mason, Damon, and Alaric

Mason is more exciting as a ghost than he ever was as a werewolf. After getting his vengeance on, Mason really stepped up to the plate. His willingness to help his absentee nephew was touching, particularly as it led to a pseudo-Indiana Jones/Angel cave journey (complete with wooden spikes and redemption!) with Damon.

The best part, though, was watching Damon work up to apologizing to Alaric. He had to hear about the other side from Mason—a place of eternal regret. Damon does regret many of his actions, but he doesn’t seem to believe in the power of forgiveness: he just wallows in his grief and uses it as an excuse to indulge in selfish and destructive behavior. But Mason made Damon realize that he doesn’t want to regret his relationship with Alaric, and he was painfully, giggle-inducingly charming when he not-apologized to the world’s sexiest history teacher.

Hopefully Alaric will accept that apology, as their bromance is the one relationship that isn’t made more interesting by the introduction of strife. In the meantime, though, Alaric has a new toy to play with. The look on his face when he saw the cave-drawings was perfect—it’s got to be every historian’s dream, to discover something old and unseen for centuries. And possibly, it’s a chance to finally kill Klaus. Hooray!

Bites:

• Mason said things with Mikael didn’t “turn out so good.” What does he mean? What happened to Katherine and Mikael in the tomb?

• I’ve had a hard time finding the screencaps I want this season, so that one above is from some previous episode.

• Elena had better call Sheriff Forbes: “Hey, Sheriff? I’ve got my vampire fiendish uncaring ex-boyfriend locked in the creepy cells below the city jail, ‘kay?”

And Pieces:

• Damon: “Greetings, blondie, witchy.”

• Caroline: “Please tell me that’s a recipe for witch cookies.”

• Stefan: “I forgot how much I used to care.”

• Damon: “Sorry to break it to you, but Tyler can’t be helped. At least not while Klaus is alive, which is, like, always.”

• Mason: “I’m a ghost, not God.”

• Elena: “Are you going to love a ghost for the rest of your life?”

• Lexie: “That necklace represented hope.”
Stefan: “Ironic, then, that it’s about to get blown to pieces.”

• Elena: “I won’t love a ghost for the rest of my life.”

Like I said: not the best episode ever, but still better than 95% of what’s on TV today. The previews for next week look absolutely wonderful.

Three out of four witch cookies.

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

5 comments:

  1. Great review as always!
    But I have to add a quote:

    Alaric: Are you gonna recycle that same crap-ass apology you gave Mason Lockwood?
    Damon: Yeah, well, I didn't mean it with him.

    Best.Bromance.Ever. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree with all of the mild negatives you pointed out, Josie, but I still absolutely loved this episode -- if only for Anna's reunion with her mother, and the Damon/Alaric trip to the cave. And Caroline kicking butt again. I was also oddly happy to see Uncle Mason, because his death was so awful. And Damon apologizing? Delightful.

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  3. i agree with better than 95% of what is on tv right now!
    love reading our reviews. thanks!

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  4. I know that it will likely be Elena, but I really hope that when this show does comes to an conclusion Damon ends up with Alaric instead.

    And that Caroline becomes vampire queen of the world.

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  5. Am I the only one who wept? As one by one, the ghosts disappeared, I had more and more tears.

    All of which came to an almighty "YES!" when Elena said she wouldn't love a ghost her whole life.

    Methinks Stefan is running out of time....

    ReplyDelete

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