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Vampire Diaries: 1912

“...or as I like to call it, last time Mystic Falls had a serial killer on its hands.”

They might as well have called this episode “Hard Truths,” or “Sudden Surprises!” or “See? This is What Happens When Klaus Finally Leaves Us Alone. Happy Now?” It was an uncomfortable episode, in other words. Distressing, in terms of what’s going on with some of my favorite characters. And upsetting, in terms of what this means for the show’s long-term plans.

Meredith Fell reminded Elena of a hard truth that we tend to forget—she dates vampires. Okay, we don’t forget that, but we might forget what it means: she is willing to forgive a lot of bloodshed and drama. She claimed in her talk with Matt that she was drawn to Stefan because he couldn’t die. That didn’t seem to be the case in those early episodes, but it makes sense that Elena would feel that way now: she has lost so many people, immortality must seem even more attractive.

That attraction to immortality, along with the bad luck to be surrounded by so much mortality, means that Elena knows many inherently violent people, and her definition of normal might not be the same as everyone else’s. Does Elena have bad taste in friends? Is she so wrapped up in the craziness of her life that she can’t see Alaric for what he is? Does “borderline alcoholic vampire hunter” really sum him up accurately? Or is Meredith just blaming Elena because Meredith is kind of a bitch and doesn’t love our heroine as much as we do?

Elena and Meredith might join forces now that they’re both convinced Alaric is the serial killer. To which I say: What the frak? What the holy frankenfrak? That the ring has side effects makes sense, but I just don’t want it to be true. At all. Alaric is a force for good, no matter how many times he was arrested as a kid. All of the bad news about Alaric’s past feels like a massive ret-con: Isobel filed two restraining orders against him before they were married? Is that just her inherently dramatic nature, or was he a creepy stalker?

But why was that ret-con even necessary, since it’s apparently the ring that causes the trouble? Maybe that’s why I’m so disturbed. We didn’t need weird upsetting backstory to make the ring-theory work, right? I assume 1912 Samantha Gilbert didn’t harass women or get into underage bar brawls. But Elena and Meredith’s independent discoveries of Samantha Gilbert’s insanity seems to be a vote in favor of the theory’s accuracy. Grr!

In the flashbacks, Samantha Gilbert was just a minor player. The real focus was Sage, who I fully expect to appear in whatever the present year in Mystic Falls is. It’ll be nice to have a new love interest for Damon, especially now that he had undibbed Elena. And perhaps Sage can slip into Lexie’s role as fairy godvampire: helping Stefan understand how to control his formidable powers and rage. With boxing.

Damon, too, wants to help Stefan, and their talk at the end of the episode was the loveliest defense of co-dependency that I’ve ever heard: “I watched you go over the edge, and I didn’t do anything to stop you…I could have. But I just didn’t want to. But I want to now. Whenever you go to0 far, I will be there to pull you back, every second of every day, until you don’t need me. Because right now, you’re all I’ve got.”


• My list of quotes was so long it’d break the internet. So I’m going to let you put your favorites in the comments. (And I hope someone votes for the “wonder twin powers”!)

And Pieces:

• There’s a terrible, terrible casting spoiler floating around on the internet. As hard as it may be, let’s keep it out of comments in case there’s someone who still maintains their delightful innocence.

• No Bonnie or Caroline this week. I miss Caroline! I don’t miss Tyler.

• I enjoyed Rebekah wandering around, asking people about trees. If the whole serial killer thing weren’t so distracting, I’ll bet someone would have noticed just how weird that was.

• Nice call back to Alaric’s drunk dial in “Bringing Out the Dead.

• Is Matt back in the running as a love interest for Elena?

While I enjoyed the bromantic elements, I’m far too upset about the Alaric situation to be able to rate this dispassionately—and I’m still hoping we can blame Meredith Fell for all of this, somehow. So I’ll leave it to you: how many squirrels out of four?

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


  1. Damon: "Dear Diary, a chipmunk asked me my name today. I told him it was Joe. That lie will haunt me forever." :)

  2. To be fair, the only evidence we have that Alaric was arrested as a kid, or had multiple restraining orders against him is Meredith's word and she didn't actually say he DID have all that. She only asked if Elena knew if he had that. Elena didn't check or anything. It could have been a "do you really know him" question with made up "facts". In fact after Meredith forged the coroner's letter, I don't know how much else she would have forged. She's a strange one.

  3. I have to agree with percysowner. I'm not sure it is a ret-con, just Meredith manipulating. Something is going on with her. She has more information on Ric than she could have gathered in the short time she has known him. And, she obviously has no compunction in forging official documents.

    The thing that sways me into the 'Meredith is guilty' camp is the fact that she forged that document in the first place. If Ric is, in fact, killing people, why would she get him out of jail? Is it because she isn't finished with her killing spree? If so, she needs him on the outside to pin yet another murder on him.

    Poor Ric -- he has the worst luck with women!

    I had trouble with the Sage character (although it was nice to see Tess back on the screen). What was the point? I felt that she was probably meant to be someone more important to the story, but it somehow became truncated. I think we could have done without her.

    My quote of the week is "Have a drink with me, brother." Both brothers struggle with something they drink. Damon with the booze; Stefan with the blood. I find it interesting that when they need to connect, whether it is 1912 or now, they invite the other to partake in one or the other.

    I liked the fact that Damon wasn't going to let Stefan slip down the rabbit hole again. He can't help but phrase it in such a way that it sounds as though it's about him, but he is determined not to let history repeat itself. Incredibly selfless, in my opinion, for if Stefan goes off on another rampage, Elena is free and clear.

  4. I had some distinctly anti-Damon thoughts this episode. Firstly, why is he forcing Stefan down a path of moderation, when Stefan obviously doesn't respond to that method? Stefan proved in his flashback that he doesn't know when to stop. Moderation doesn't work for everyone. For Stefan, total abstinence is the only way to go. Yet Damon's forcing him in another direction.

    And now Stefan's trying to be good again, and Elena's sort of half forgiven him, did Damon give him the girl to feed on knowing it would send him spiralling out of control... and thus, back out of Elena's favour? One of the episodes' themes was 'once you've loved you can't let go'. Is Damon trying to get rid of Stefan in order to clear the field of competition?

  5. Although I'm unhappy about the possibility that Alaric is doing very bad things, I'm also a tiny bit pleased that a major plot is being thrown in his direction. He's spent too much time in the background lately. And I'm definitely voting for Meredith framing Alaric.

    Can't remember the quotes unless I write them down. :) But it was definitely a quotable episode.

  6. This episode was really odd. Like you said Josie it was a little strange to see something so harsh coming at Alaric, but at least he's getting involved, right?!

    I'm dleighted Rebekah is getting a lot of screen-time. Series regular next year please?

    Awesome review, as usual, Josie.

  7. best moment of the series. Damon's face after saying he would throw her to the squirrels.

    thank goodness an episode without Klaus. unfortunately it wasn't a good one. Meredith is definitely up to something. Maybe she needs to kill someone and wants to cover it up by having Ric be arrested later for the other murders? A magical ring side effect being losing time and murdering the founder's council with a knife seems really specific. I wonder if someone is behind it?

  8. What a toned down episode for VD! Practically the most dramatic thing that happened in the episode was Elena seeing Stefan with blood all over his face. Considering she knows he's a vampire, that's hardly high drama. All the same, I found it quite involving!

    It did seem like the Sage aspect of the story was truncated, as was Damon convincing Stefan to drink human blood - you'd think it would have taken more time to sway him, even the first time round.

    Even though Damon think's he's being selfless, I totally agree with Paul that moderation is not the right track for Stefan. He was doing absolutely fine staying on the wagon before Klaus came and compelled him to be Ripper Stefan again. Also, Damon's moderation doesn't actually work for him - he's drained quite a few people since he arrived back in Season One, in fact the only one I can think of that he showed restraint with was Andi the reporter.

    Can someone remind me where each of the other Originals are? I was confused about Rebekah being the only one around.

    Oh, and I loved the wonder twin powers line Josie :-)

    I have no idea what the casting spoiler is but I am very excited all the same.

  9. I kinda liked Sage and I really hope she'll show up to give a reason to exist to those flashbacks. I also enjoyed Rebekah going on and on about trees like nothing's happening when she herself must think she's absolutely suspicious.
    As for Ric, if it means more layers, more screen-time and more background (and maybe Isobel flashback since I miss her so greatly for no other reason than Jenny Schecter nostalgy) then I'm okay with him killing people, although I'd rather it was Meredith. That bitch.

  10. As usual, the nicest quotes were given to Damon - his lines are always the best! The twin brothers rings one made me laugh hard.
    And yes, I pretty much think like everyone else - what a disturbing episode for Alaric lovers! That whole side effect of the rings does make sense, but I still think that the Fell ghost may have something to do with it.
    I remember Caroline's birthday party at the cemetery when either Matt or Elena mentioned the Fell Ghost - why would they mention it if it weren't important? Or maybe I'm in denial and don't want Rick to be the one to blame.

    But I'd say my favorite moment of the episode, besides the brother-bonding of "you're all I've got" was Elena telling Matt that she doesn't know how it came to that, but that Damon grew into her. Was it some sort of confession she's in love with him too?
    And, no matter how much I like Matt, and recall Klaus's suggestion that he would be the perfect one for Elena, I still want him back to Caroline,and Elena in Damon's arms - since I can't do it myself, lol.

  11. I sort of hated Sage. She just wasn't that compelling to me. And I agree with Panda. I like Rebekah, even if her character isn't particularly likeable.

    However, I do think Stefan should take a shot at moderation. He's never really tried it before. Damon and Rebekah can both drink blood so casually, sometimes without much of the weird eye-thing. Stefan goes crazy and trembly whenever he's around blood. Woodland creatures aren't enough to satiate him.

    And I'm so upset about Alaric. I do think it's true, though; Elena, Meredith, and Damon and Stefan all came to the same realization at once. Doesn't that usually say it's true?


  12. This episode made me so sad for my favorite character (Alaric of course). The super-shady backstory they decided to give him seemed forced, and I don't know how Meredith could have possibly found all that out about him (if she hasn't made it up has some have suggested).

    Mark already listed my favorite quote. it reminded me of http://www.douxreviews.com/2002/05/lost-raised-by-another.html

    Harry, the Originals all dispersed after Esther's failed spell.


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