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Vampire Diaries: Heart of Darkness

“He changes her, too.”

This week’s episode focused on difficult encounters between characters, as well as the revelation of various secret longings, dark hearts, and veiled emotions, from Evilaric’s hidden stake (and not-so-hidden rage) to Elena’s ambiguous desire, Caroline’s alleged feelings for Klaus, and the last-minute revelation about Rebekah that I totally didn’t see coming.

Damon and Elena’s quest for ancestral answers led to two major Kol smackdowns (the baseball bat thing was horrifying because it was so quick), but the highlight was probably Elena and Damon finally getting their mack on. Probably? Well, it depends on how you feel about Elena and Damon. I’m inclined to agree with Rose, who helpfully provided us with an interpretive framework for this twist to the triangle: could be great, could be terrible. But the purity of Elena’s love with Stefan, while charming, makes for rather dull television. At the very least, she should [cough] explore her options.

It’s not surprising that we still don’t know which Original started the Rose line. (That feels like a Da Vinci Code joke.) The Originals have a lot invested in keeping that a secret, they tend to win every fight they get into, and they cahoot well. The return of Mama Original was a shock, and that she took over Rebekah’s body was a double-shock to me, even though I’d thought about Klaus taking over Alaric’s body more than once during the episode.

Does this mean Rebekah’s dead? Mama did say, “She’s dead,” but she might have just been playacting for Klaus’s benefit. I doubt they’d kill off Rebekah that quickly, especially given the wacky half-fake, half-real flirtation between her and Matt. It’d be great if Mama Original could kill the Originals. Except whoever started the Rose line, of course. (My goodness, this is complicated!)

Because of my Tyler-antipathy, I’m having a hard time caring about his fate being tied to the potential death of Klaus. Tyler’s quick-draw jealousy didn’t help the issues, as Klaus drawing a picture for Caroline is hardly proof of her secret heart’s infidelity. If she can forgive him for biting her, he can surely wrap his head around Caroline fake-flirting with Klaus, right? Unless we’re meant to believe Caroline has a thing for Klaus and just hasn’t realized it.

Alaric has gotten some meaty plots lately, and his philosophical inquiry into his own “darkest parts” and how they relate to his “failure” to live up to his hunter potential was quite depressing. It probably motivated his willingness to have the gumption beat out of him by Stefan, too: catharsis by vampire. Alaric’s villainous side is a bit less scenery-chewing, too, which is a delightful turn. Perhaps his two sides can merge? Or is he doomed to Dr. Jekyll’s fate, and Captain Ahab’s?

Alaric’s not living up to his own expectations, and Stefan and Damon have a similar problem. Damon doesn’t want to be good because it requires too much commitment to the consistency of goodness; Stefan is struggling with staying in control (particularly hard given the amount of bloodletting that happens each week in Mystic Falls). Damon’s refusal to be his usual bad-boy self is a fun twist, and it’ll be interesting to see if his secret chewy center has any staying power. There are always bumps in the road of life, especially towards the end of the season.

Bites:

• Elena: “Who did you have to compel for that?”
Damon: “Please! I used miles.”

• Damon: “Dead vampire is redundant.”

• Alaric: “Maybe his alter-ego is a pot-smoking, hippie pacifist.”

• Jeremy: “What? So you guys can make out some more?”

• Damon: “It’s like Vampire Hoarders.”

• Damon: “What? I said creepy, not ugly.”

And Pieces:

• The Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde thing was pretty funny, even if Elena didn’t think so.

• It was great to see Lauren Cohan again.

Three out of four motels.

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

17 comments:

  1. Loved it.

    I rarely critique kisses, but the Damon/Elena smooch-o-rama was great because they really went for it and I believed it. A lot of times, when you have a shipworthy couple finally lock lips, it feels too staged to be sexy. This one worked for me.

    It was great to see Lauren Cohan again. And yes, I absolutely didn't see the mom possession coming. Nice twist.

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  2. As someone who really isn't into Damon/Elena, I quite liked this episode, if only for the return of both Rose and Jeremy. I think my problem with "Delena" is due to Somerhalder and Dobrev dating in real life. I haven't read the books so I don't know how serious their pairing is.

    I really hope Tyler leaves again so that we can have more Klaus and Caroline. I loved the little spat between Rebekah and Caroline at the beginning. Although Claire Holt sounded more Australian than English this episode, I think.

    Am I the only one who misses Lauren Cohan with long hair?

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  3. Everytime i watch this show, i can't help but think of one thing: Julie Plec is one of us. She's the one who spent her time obsessing and taking apart tv series, probably badgering her friends with what worked and what didn't... much like we do here. How else can you explain how well done this is? She knows how to hit all the right spots, and still dodge the predictability darts.
    I freaking loved this episode. Everything from the musical clues to the close frames, this felt like old VD. I mean we'd only seen Rose for a few episodes, almost a year ago. And even secondary filler characters leave an impact on this show. I was so happy to see her, and not because "the music told me what to feel" (to quote Liz Lemon).
    And then there's that scene. I do not ship Delena. i do not. But that scene was so freaking well done, i had it on repeat. Acting, flickering lights, wind blowing through her hair, close angles, MUSIC, everything was top notch. It was a great pay-off to all you shippers.
    My only problem is with Alaric..or rather his portrayer... he seems to be phoning it in these days... it's taking away a lot of the gravitas considering this is the plot line that's gonna lead us out of this fantastic season.

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  4. I've never really cheered a kiss before but that was pretty cool.

    My problem was Jeremy. I found it funny that Alaric said Jeremy's alter-ego would be a pot-smoker. Um, no, that's who he was before he was compelled. Apparently his alter-ego plays baseball...badly. Just because Steve McQueen got all buff, Jeremy's now a jock?

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  5. Utterly brilliant. Totally restored my faith in the show after a bunch of weak and unfocused hours. I for one can NOT wait for the rest of the season to go out with a bang. And my God "Never Let Me Go" was the perfect song choice for the makeout moment.

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  6. That kiss was definitely worth the wait. I agree with what Billie said, because they really went for it you believed it more. Maybe because they're dating, they both felt more comfortable not holding anything back. I wonder how far they would've gone if Jeremy hadn't shown up to play cockblocker.

    Totally didn't see the Rebekah/Esther twist coming. When Esther dropped dead I kept thinking 'Well, that was a bit rubbish. All that build up for nothing'. Oh, silly me, I should've know something was a foot.

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  7. Lol @cockblocker.
    Now that we know what transpired in that motel, it made the moment Stefan dismissed Elena with a "Be safe" a hell of a lot more entertaining.

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  8. I actually do think that maybe they did kill rebekah...just like that so we don't have to me mad at one of our heroes for killing her... we sort of like her and we sort of like elijah but we hate klaus and kole... nothing redeeming there... hence there are two stakes left... so with rebekah gone that leaves only killing klaus and mean brother and hopefully elijah will turn out to have sired rose...
    as to the kiss YES!!!! that rocked!!! the awesome part was in the hotel room right before..when damon caught her looking at him... so well done...
    I am a huge delana fan so i say keep it coming!!!

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  9. This was my favorite episode in a while. I really really REALLY hope Rebekah is the one who started the Rose Line, just because it'll give her an excuse to stick around. I like her way too much, and I'm extremely curious to see where that whole flirty thing with Matt will go. She's the one original that I'd love to see more of, the rest of them really grate now, especially Klaus. He never f*cks off.

    Great review as always Josie =)

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  10. and by the way, I'm not anonymous, I'm Samantha Gomes, snifs....

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  11. Bad Jeremy, no donut for you.Not only you suck at baseball and are a major killjoy (lol @cockblock 2), but as a Ghost Whisperer you do need to improve a bit - why wouldn't you give Damon and Elena the messages literally. But thanks to him, Damon had the funniest lines of the show as usual. Him calling Jeremy Whoopi was hilarious.
    I loved this episode, every single moment of it, but as a huge Damon fan, I loved his scenes with Elena. It was sexy the way she stared at him (who could blame her?) and the kiss scene was sparkly. If Jeremy hadn't stopped them, probably CW would have to raise their ratings.
    And Rose, it was great to see her. I remember the dream scene made me cry so much and it showed a sweetness and kindness of Damon's he tries so hard to hide. It's what I like about his character, the multiple layers of his personality plus the things he does with his eyes, remarkably that abandoned puppy look he had when he asked, "Do you?"
    Last, poor Rebekah. I swear to God I'll never complain at my relationship with my mom...
    Sitting at the edge of my couch, waiting for next episode.

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  12. Ahhhh that kiss with Never Let Me Go was completely electrifying, beautifully staged, shot and acted. I am not much into the pairing - I guess I'd always choose pure love over best/worst gambling, but Delena certainly is entertaining to watch. I was a bit confused about what posessed Rebekah said at the end - was she saying Klaus posessed Alaric? That doesn't seem right. But if not then Who is Evilaric? The dead original? But he died well after Alaric started going schizo. I am :S

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  13. Harry, Klaus possessed Alaric last season. Remember? That's how he got access to places like Alaric's apartment, and how he started causing trouble.

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  14. Just got around to watching this episode. One of the best in a while. I loved it.

    I loved the 20's versus 70's debate. It made me laugh. Having been a child of the latter decade (bad hair and bell bottoms included), I would completely agree that the 20's are more sexy. Score one for Rebekah.

    Speaking of whom, I did NOT see the switch happening and had forgotten about the one last season. Great twist and I can't wait to see how it plays out.

    But, I am a HUGE Delena shipper and that kiss was awesome, amazing, mind-blowing, etc. I completely agree with Billie that sometimes these things are not as good as we have anticipated. This was even better -- and a better choice of song is hard to imagine.

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  15. I've been gradually losing interest in the show over the course of the season, especially the last handful of episodes, but this episode was back on top form and really restored my faith in the show, it was great!!!

    I'm not a shipper, I don't really care who ends up with who, but I was literally squealing with excitement through that entire scene!

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  16. I am not going to talk about the AWESOME kiss as everyone has pretty much said everything about it...

    I jut=st have one question... Did I miss Elena handing over the ownership of Salvatore house back to the brothers? How could every vampire enter without an invitation? Elijah couldnt last season....

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  17. Amazzzzing kiss.. I could feel the kiss and had scene on rewind. Can't wait for the rest of the season.

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