Vampire Diaries: Smells Like Teen Spirit

“Anyone else think it should feel slightly more empowering?”

How? What? How? Three very excellent questions. And here’s a fourth:

Damon, will you feed me s’mores?

By the end of this episode, Elena has gone dark-Buffy, Damon is being haunted by the ghost (?) of a dead werewolf uncle, Jeremy is about to cheat on Bonnie with the ghost of his vampire ex-girlfriend, Bonnie is dodging Jeremy’s calls, Caroline still hasn’t realized that she is so much better than Tyler, Tyler has been sire-whipped by Klaus, Katherine has become vegan-vampire-vampire-hunter snack food, and Matt has continued his journey towards disaffected death. (That’s my guess, at least.)

How did we get there? A series of very unfortunate mistakes, each one of which was perfectly understandable. And that’s why I love this show.

Matt’s decision to bring Vicki back into reality made sense: he is alone, his mother is long-gone, and Matt’s awareness of the supernatural element makes him feel outside of his groups of friends and outside of the innocent high school population, too. Vicki told him that he was so much better “at being a part of this,” but that’s become increasingly untrue, especially with Tyler’s werewolf tendencies, and the fact that both of his exes are now with supernatural beings.

It always comes with a price, though. I think there’s more to the price than just the mysterious behind-the-scenes with wanting Elena dead. I think the whole Matt, Bonnie, Vicki hullabaloo made it possible for anyone who wants to break through to do so, regardless of whether or not they are wanted. Damon surely wasn’t thinking of Uncle Werewolf when he suddenly appeared out of absolutely nowhere! at the end of the episode.

Damon is surely in for some trouble. Werewolf vengeance will certainly do more harm to his house. (And Damon does make sense as a very domestic vampire, doesn’t he?) Will Uncle Werewolf do serious harm to Damon, or is it possible that he could be distracted by Tyler’s increasing Klausification?

Speaking of that: siring. In the Buffyverse, siring is the standard verb for one vampire making another, and there is always a strong connection between sire and child. But, as Damon explained, strong identification with one’s maker is quite rare—he makes it sound like a freakish mental disorder. Tyler being sired makes sense for two reasons: one, Klaus is superpowerful, why not be able to create co-dependency in his creations? Second, despite his manly exterior, Tyler’s character is weak. His father, his mother, his uncle, that female werewolf, and Caroline have all defined him completely, albeit briefly. Now it looks like Rebekah will be his new formative experience.

Barbie Klaus. Blech. She just looks like a catty bitch, doesn’t she? I hope Caroline is the one to dagger her to death. And I hope she doesn’t turn Casa Salvatore into even more of an evil fraternity house than it already is: Persian rugs aren’t cheap, and Stefan’s bloodlust is really out of control—you know an addict is close to overloading when they start playing with their food.

Stefan’s task as Elena’s minder, and the way that Elena used that to trick him into making himself vulnerable to being tranqed was both fascinating and horrifying. The master plan, cobbled together despite a lack of daggers and an utterly useless hybrid quarterback, meant that Elena had to act drunker than she was and annoy Stefan just enough to make him pursue her, while still not tipping her hand. She let herself fall off the bleachers: she knew he would catch her, just as much as when they were still a couple and he still had his humanity.

It’s tempting to see Stefan’s actions as revealing a glimmer of that humanity—as tempting for me as it is for Elena, I’m sure. But she lost all of that imaginary sympathy for his inner goodness when he called her pathetic. Humanity in this show isn’t something inside of a vampire: it’s the overlay. Strip it off and all that is left is cruelty. The same sort of cruelty that makes someone see agony as pathetic.

Elena did good, with the wrist-stake. (She should continue to practice her kar-a-té.) She’s always been stronger than one might think—young girl who dates over-aged vampires doesn’t even begin to describe her. But now she’s willing to put herself first, and to get a little (completely fair) vengeance in, too. I just hope she doesn’t become so strong that she loses her humanity, and her emotional vulnerability, because that is part of what makes her strong. Having said that, the bonfire scenes between Stefan and Elena were crackling with sexual tension.

Speaking of sexual tension. OMG. S’mores will never taste as good as they looked in that moment.

Our heroes’ master plan to defuse Stefan came into conflict with Mysterious Witch’s plan to kill Elena in order to prevent the creation of more hybrids. Here, too, Elena had to rely on Stefan’s desire to protect her. Sadly, her desire to ultimately protect him prevented her—and Alaric—from using that fire as a way to really get Stefan under control. He would have lived through it, although it might have severely weakened him for a while.

Elena and Alaric are a bit too nice for that, though. Although Alaric is doing a fairly fabulous job as an embittered Giles (we can see how he’d be one of those ‘tough but fair’ teachers), he is clearly still holding a grudge against Damon. Elena thought his speech about “vampires” in the beginning was about Stefan, but clearly Alaric is on a no-vampire-mercy kick. I wonder what will happen when he encounters the vegan-vampire-vampire-hunter Mikael.

Everything, and everyone, seems to be conspiring against Elena, Caroline, and the Vampire Brothers. We’re only six episodes in, and already I feel the need for a break from all of the tragedy. (Although, admittedly, I watch all the Damon/Elena scenes with a huge grin on my face.) Maybe a light-hearted musical episode? Or a puppy party?

Bites:

• Alaric: “Better start lifting some weights. Put some meat on your bones.” What every newly-single teenage girl wants to hear.

• Damon: “The two brunettes on the staircase owe me a Persian rug.”

• Damon: “We need him to kill Klaus so I can de-rippify Stefan before he destroys my house.”

• Damon: “Journaling, reading, shaping his hair.”

• Katherine: “You’re not so scary for a badass vampire-vampire-hunter.”

• Damon: “C’mon, Buffy!”

• Damon: “What’s your plan, o warrior princess?”

• Damon: “This is different. It’s not a stint in rehab.”

• Elena: “Preoccupy her with your charm.”
Alaric: “Might have better luck with finding the dagger.”

• Caroline: “But, Klaus is the bad guy, Tyler. And why are you acting like some freaky, hybrid, slave minion?”

• Caroline: “So how do I fix him?”
Damon: “Get a new boyfriend.” Amen to that.

• Damon: “I could be mean, if that’s what you’re into.”

• Elena: “I knew you’d catch me.”

• Damon: “Elena, you almost got barbequed. The least I can do is apply first aid.”

And Pieces:

• Vampire twister.

• The dangling mouse over Mikael.

• I loved the Matt/Bonnie and Anna/Jeremy scenes intercut.

• Did Klaus know Tyler would be on his side? Is that why he left him behind?

• Caroline made it sound like she hates the word “d-bag” as much as I do.

• The Buffy/Xena allusions in the gym scene, along with the unbearable amount of sexual tension as Damon gave Buffy tips on sternums and stakes or whatever he was talking about. I wasn’t really listening.

Four out of four s'mores.

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

9 comments:

Mark Greig said...

Another fantastic episode. Surely they can't keep up this level of quality for much longer?

I couldn't help geeking out when Damon mentioned Buffy, Xena and that Tyler had been 'sired'. Loved Caroline's reaction as she was being Single White Vampired by Rebekah. I hope Caroline daggers her to death, too. There is only room for one vampire Barbie in Mystic Falls.

Oh, and Elena was definitely jealous.

Billie Doux said...

I loved it so, so much. Smores have never looked so appetizing.

Elena was definitely jealous.

I was thinking that the witch pulling the strings from the other side has to be Klaus's thousand years ago arch enemy?

Last night after this episode, I was posting a link to Gus's Person of Interest review on Twitter, and Ian Somerhalder posted that "Barbie Klaus was trending."

http://twitter.com/iansomerhalder

Mark Greig said...

That's certainly what I thought, Billie. I think that witch might be the original doppelganger as well.

Anonymous said...

Mark Greig, that is not what Billie had been insinuating at all. She thinks it is the Original witch that is pulling the strings, not the original doppelganger.

Mark Greig said...

Anonymous, that wasn't what I was suggesting. I agree with Billie that it is the original witch who is pulling the strings from the other side. What I was saying was that I think that the witch who cursed Klaus and the original doppelganger are one and the same.

Sam B said...

After half a season of not caring during S2, S3 has me completely hooked again.

Damon and smores? Yes please! Bad ass Stefan? Yes please!

So many great characters in the show and I particularly loved Jeremy this week and the way played it cool and pretended he hadn't seen Vicky!

Rebekah is getting on my nerves, but then I suppose she is meant to.


Loved Damon calling Elena Buffy - ha ha!!

Stephanie Myer should take note - real vampires don't sparkle!! ;-)

Sam

Anonymous said...

Mark Greig, although it would be nice to have Nina Dobrev play three different characters, I really doubt that this is the case. For one, why would she make the curse involve doppelgangers of herself? One day when she dies, Klaus would find it easier to locate the doppelganger just by tracing the Original witch's family lineage. Also, you would think that since the Original witch is a witch herself, her future descendants would also be witches. If the original doppelganger was just somebody that Klaus did not know at the ritual, but could see her face, he would still be able to find future doppelgangers, but it wouldn't be as easy since he has no knowledge about that person's bloodline.

Samantha Gomes said...

@Josie, so I wasn't the only one who didn't hear a word of what Damon said in that whole sternum/rib scene. Very sensual, as was the s'mores and Stefan's scene with Elena. Another great episode, and hard to think it can get any better than that?
But you know what, I always see people asking "please stop hurting Caroline" here, so I guess I'm gonna ask the same for Damon - staked by despicable Barbie Klaus and now tortured by Uncle Werewolf?! He was luckier when he was mean...
I really don't know what to expect about the next episode, but I know I'll be expecting for it anxiously...
S'mores...

Rish said...

I think Damon might have been thinking about Mason and the irony of the fact that he did not want to get blood on the carpets while torturing him while rolling up the carpet because Stefan did just that.

That's how Mason came to be...