The Vampire Diaries: The gang’s all here!

Yup, Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) a vampire for sure now.

How good was last night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries?  I know some people aren’t fans of the fact that Elena is now a vampire, but let’s be honest, it was bound to happen sometime.  I really appreciate the fact that the writers took the chance and made her a vampire this early in the series.  (Especially if it means we’ll eventually see a Katherine/Elena show down – I know, Katherine is older therefore technically stronger, but Elena has love on her side. . . oh who am I kidding, Katherine would kick her ass.  I still want to see the fight though.)  Last night’s episode proved that this was a really great decision.  Making Elena a vampire has made it necessary to put the love triangle on hold for the moment, has given Damon and Stefan a new way to have the same philosophical disagreement about what it means to be a vampire (Stefan wants to get Elena started on an all-animal diet immediately, Damon thinks she needs vampire food AKA human blood from the vein in order to survive), Caroline is no longer the baby vampire on the block so it gives her a chance to take the lead instead of always being in Elena’s shadow, and it has given Bonnie and Jeremy a chance to make googly eyes at each other again which makes me very happy. Continue reading

The Vampire Diaries: Returning to 1912

Old timey boxing with Sage the Vampire (Cassidy Freeman)

It’s BAAAACK!!!  I can’t believe it’s been a month since the last episode of The Vampire Diaries.  Like Stefan for human blood, I was definitely jonesing.  However, something felt just a little bit off about the episode last night.  Maybe the long break (and the fact that my DVR died during the hiatus and took all my saved episodes with it) got me out of the show’s rhythm but it felt like the writers were trying to cram in more story than necessary and the whole episode felt a little forced because of it. Continue reading

The Vampire Diaries: An Episode in Four Parts

I think I'll skip the whole wolf-pire transformation, thanks.

Normally, I don’t care for shows that have so many characters that they never all interact or come together, but last night, The Vampire Diaries sort of changed my mind.  All of the combinations are so strong and all of their individual paths so interesting, that it’s like watching four episodes of the show all at once.  So, since the show broke into four parts, so shall this recap (although I apologize in advance for the length.  I got a little out of control).

Ladies, Zach Roerig for your viewing pleasure (ew. I totally just grossed myself out. Even Zach looks shocked).

Part 1: In which Jeremy and poor Matty try to talk to ghosts.

1/2 naked Matt alert!  Jeremy tells Matt that he saw Vicki again and that she was asking him to help her.  He thinks that with Matt’s help, he can contact Vicki and figure out what she needs help for.  Matt is pretty reluctant – he’s been left alone too many times I think and doesn’t want to risk getting in touch with his sister only to have her yanked away again.  Poor Matty (seriously.  There is no character I feel worse for than Matt.  He’s the only human among his friends – sure Jeremy’s still technically human, but he’s also talking to ghosts now so he’s got some connection to the supernatural going on – his sister is dead, his mother abandoned him and his vampire ex-girlfriend is now sleeping with his werewolf ex-best friend.  It’s all so much).  Eventually, Matt gives in for a minute and he and Jeremy go digging through Vicki’s things.  Matt realizes that he can’t handle this and tells Jeremy he doesn’t want to help.  After Jeremy leaves, he puts a photograph of himself and Vicki as kids face down on a crate and when he turns back around it’s standing upright.

Vicki is totally up to no good.

This seems to convince him of something because the next thing you know, he shows up at Jeremy’s house with a six-pack and some of Vicki’s things.  (Does anyone else think that Matt is going to become a drunk this year?  He’s been drinking a lot this season and really, what does he have stopping him?  Oh, Poor Matty!)  Jeremy and Matt bond over the fact that neither of them remember their last moments with Vicki and just like that, Vicki is there, asking Jeremy to help her again.  Matt just sort of stares off in the direction that Jeremy is looking with a really weirded out look of concern on his face.  Jeremy tells him that she’s there and when he asks her how he can help, she tells him she can come back, but before he can tell Matt, Anna breaks a window and tells Jeremy not to trust Vicki.  So not only does Jeremy have two dead vampire ex-girlfriends haunting him, they hate each other.  Awesome.

I don't quite understand why Stefan seems so content to play Klaus' sidekick.

Part 2: In which Klaus fails to make more baby wolf-pires.

Klaus and Stefan (carrying werewolf Ray) make their way through the woods to Ray’s pack of wolves.  Klaus introduces himself (quite politely) and they recognize him as the hybrid and kind of freak out.  Although Klaus force-fed Ray his blood and killed him in the last episode, there is still one more step that has to be taken before Ray can complete his transformation – he has to drink human blood.  Luckily for him, one of the werewolves brought along her human boyfriend and while Ray is chowing down, Klaus gets busy turning the rest of the pack.  It’s all super gross!  Stefan is pretty calm and collected while talking to Klaus about all of his plans to create an army.  Klaus isn’t really planning to go to war so much as to put so much fear into the hearts of the other beings around him that he becomes virtually untouchable.  Throughout this conversation, I can’t help but feel that Stefan is a bit disposable and unnecessary in Klaus’ plans.  I mean, he can’t be turned into a wolf-pire (because a werewolf bite will kill him and besides, on The Vampire Diaries, werewolves are born, not made) and once Klaus has all his hybrids set up, why will he need Stefan hanging around being all mopey and emotional?  He won’t.  Curious.

I do love Klaus (Joseph Morgan) though.

As they’re doing talking, Ray begins to shake violently and bleeding from his eyes which is not the way things were supposed to go and upsets Klaus greatly.  Another wolf-pire wakes up and at the same time, Ray runs away – Stefan tracks him down but Ray bites him in the process and when he turns to follow, he overhears Elena, Damon and Alaric hiking in the woods and gets nervous.  Klaus isn’t happy when Stefan returns sans Ray and plus a wolf bite so he tells him that he won’t get any of healing blood until Stefan brings Ray back.  So Stefan heads back out and Klaus finally kills the poor human schmuck who was turning everyone and then notices that all of his creations seem to be slowly turning on him which freaks him out.  Stefan brings Ray’s body back (more on this development later) to the camp and discovers that Klaus has been busy killing all of the other hybrids while he was gone.  Apparently, it’s not so easy to make a werewolf/vampire hybrid army.

Klaus offers Stefan a sip of his blood to help with his werewolf bite.

Klaus is not pleased about this turn of events.  He reiterates the ritual he performed last year to break the curse: he killed the werewolf (Jules), the vampire (Jenna) and the doppelganger (Elena) so why isn’t it working?  Why can’t he turn werewolves into wolf-pires?  (ok, he doesn’t use the word wolf-pire, but it sounds so much cooler than “hybrid).  For a second, you can see the wheels in his head turning as he tries to figure out why it’s not working and the panic that crosses Stefan’s face makes it clear that he thinks Klaus has clued into the fact that maybe the doppelganger isn’t so much dead as very very alive (because .  Stefan sort of meekly asks Klaus for his blood, and for a second it looks like he’s not going to give it to him.  He does, of course.  Who would Klaus be without his loyal ripper sidekick?  Even he acknowledges that he has no one else.  Aw, poor Klaus (not really).

Elena tries to convince a pretty hungover Alaric to help her track Stefan.

Part 3: In which Damon is a glutton for punishment and Elena takes Alaric on a pretty good guilt trip through the woods

After the phone call from Stefan last week, Elena is busy trying to convince Damon that Stefan is still Stefan deep down and Damon is trying to convince Elena that Stefan is gone more than geographically.  Finding Damon uninterested in helping her track down Stefan, Elena turns to Alaric to find out what he knows about Stefan and Tennessee.  But remember last week when Alaric decided he was not made for parenting two orphaned teenagers and moved out of their house?  Yeah, he’s still not so much interested in doing any of that.  Elena gets a good dig in at Alaric when she says that despite the fact that everyone says that Stefan is a lost cause, she’s not the kind of person who just checks out.  Eventually, Alaric relents and tells her that Stefan and Klaus are tracking werewolves which leads Elena to the grill to talk to Tyler about werewolf habits on the full moon.  Apparently, there are specific mountains and state parks that some of the wolves less inclined to be chained up during that time of the month hang out at.  He puts the address in her phone and Elena basically says “please please please with a cherry on top”  and guilt trips him again until Alaric agrees to accompany her on her search.

I very much enjoyed the fact that this fight between Elena and Damon took place in the water.

While tracking Stefan and Klaus in the woods, Elena and Alaric (who came stocked for activities other than birdwatching including a wolfsbane grenade which is awesome) have a weirdly intense argument over John Gilbert’s invincible ring.  Elena wants Alaric to wear it (apparently it doesn’t work on her because she’s the doppelganger.  I didn’t know that), he doesn’t want the responsibility of belonging to her family any more than he already does and it goes on like that for a minute before he gives in (again) and takes the ring.  Ok, I just need to point out how weird it was that Elena decided that that was the perfect moment to strip down to her bathing suit and stand on the ledge as if she was going to jump in.  Of course it was at that exact moment that Damon ran at hyperspeed and pushed her in the water.  I think Alaric and Damon’s bromance is one of the best relationships on this show and think it’s awesome that Alaric called Damon for backup.  Damon is pretty pissed that Elena is refusing to leave the woods without finding Stefan.  And Elena is pissed that Damon doesn’t want to stay.  Alaric was really banking on Damon to get her to change her mind, but he gives in and she promises that they’ll leave before the full moon.

The three amigos face down Ray the wolf-pire

Deadline decided, the three amigos (Elena, Damon and Alaric) continue on their way until they cross paths with a very bloody Ray who attacks Damon immediately upon realizing that he is a vampire.  The attack is a little worrisome, but it does give them a chance to use that really awesome wolfsbane grenade.  They tie Ray to a tree with some rope and chain that they just happen to have with them (thanks to Alaric and his “birdwatching” bag).  Elena drowns some ropes in vervain to hold Ray but despite telling Ric to take them, Damon does and gets pissed at her when they sting to his touch.  It’s kind of hilarious (“I said Ric”.)  Elena approaches Ray gently and just then he starts to turn despite the fact that it’s still light out.  The idea of a werewolf without any rules is scary enough that Elena gets the three of them to run without finding Stefan.

I think this still is awesome.

She trips on something and when she looks up, she is face to face with a wolf who is not happy to see her.  He seems to waffle between her and Damon before Damon leads the wolf away.  Alaric gets Elena to run despite the fact that she wants to go after Damon.  Ray, in his human-ish form but still bleeding from the eyes, tracks down Damon and attacks him.  Just as Ray is about to kill Damon, Stefan rips his heart out.  (I do love that the only way to kill a hybrid is to rip out their heart.  It’s awesomely gruesome.)  They have a nice little reunion in which Damon confronts him about the phone call and Stefan tries in vain to convince him he never made that call and tells Damon it’s up to him to convince Elena that he’s never going home.

I love how casually Stefan is holding Ray's heart here.

Elena and Alaric have made it back to the car and she’s fretting over the fact that they’re sitting in a car while Stefan and Damon are in the woods.  ”Let the vampires fight the hybrid zombie mountain man.  I’ll take care of keeping the humans safe.” – Alaric.  She pushes him again about the fact that he’s not as checked out as he professes to be and basically begs him to come back and be a family with her and Jeremy.  It’s kind of sweet and also totally appropriate – he should be their guardian.  He was gearing up for the job before Jenna died anyway.  And despite the fact that Elena is now 18 and therefore technically able to take care of Jeremy, she’s still pretty lost.  Also, he’s keeping the ring (which was an awesome way to end that conversation).  Damon comes back and Stefan watches as the three amigos drive away.  Elena almost catches a glimpse of him, but he’s gone before she can confirm.

No one does "intense brooding" like Ian Somerhalder.

Back at the house, Damon tells Elena that he saw Stefan and that he’s now convinced that despite his protests, Stefan can be saved “because even in his darkest place, my brother still can’t let me die”.  So he promises to help her bring him back.  Damon then pushes her to admit that she wanted to leave the mountain because she was worried about him.  When she asks why he needs to hear her say it out loud he says, intensely “because, when I drag my brother from the edge and deliver him back to you, i want you to remember the things you felt while he was gone.”

I’m not sure how I feel about the relationship between Damon and Elena right now.  Objectively I like it because I like Damon and I think Elena needs to be pushed to be a little less earnest all of the time.  But I also think that the triangle being set up could get very very tiring and will end with one brother leaving when she picks the other and then returning to make her change her mind over and over again.

Tyler wakes up naked after transforming into a werewolf in front of his mother. Awkward.

Part 4: In which AWESOME things happen

Back at Lockwood Manner, Mrs. Lockwood is adding a little vervain to the coffee as a way to test Tyler for vampirism (that’s TOTALLY the word).  He notices the bad taste but doesn’t react otherwise.  He does take a moment to show her that he cares about Caroline, but she’s simply too relieved that Tyler isn’t a vampire to really react.  Tyler then goes to the grill to wait for Caroline who is supposed to help him through the full moon that night.  Matt brings him some coffee and sort of-kind of-not really offers to take her place during the transition, but Tyler declines.  Turns out, Matt has been lacing the coffee with vervain every now and again and Tyler clues in to what his mother put in the coffee earlier in the day.

This whole "Daddy" thing isn't going to end well for Caroline, is it?

Tyler confronts his mother about the vervain and when she feigns ignorance he tells her he’s not having it.  She forbids him from seeing Caroline, calling her a monster and Tyler realizes that his own mother doesn’t know that he’s a werewolf.  So, being AWESOME, he shows his mother that he’s just as much a monster as Caroline by turning in front of her.  It’s pretty intense and urgent and perfect.  (MAN a lot is going on in this episode)  Tyler wakes up in the dungeon, naked, to his mother’s worried look.  Despite an earlier conversation with a man named Bill who convinced her that all vampires must die, she tells Tyler she’ll make sure that nothing happens to Caroline and I believe that that’s what she wants at that moment.  When she calls that Bill guy to take it back, he persists and refuses to back off his mission to get rid of the vampire. Caroline wakes up chained (very tightly) to a chair in a dungeon and calls out to whomever is there holding her captive.  Bill opens the door and turns out to be her FATHER!!!  HOLY CRAP I DID NOT EXPECT THAT!

Oh, David Gallagher, we hardly knew ye.

So yeah, a lot went on this episode.  Once again, Tyler and Caroline got short shrift even though they are turning into my favorite characters and have an AWESOME story line going on.  I am really loving the nuances in Stefan’s story (though nuances may be too generous for Paul Wesley’s acting at times) and love the way he is playing both sides – acting like the cold ripper for Klaus and simply melting whenever he gets around his brother or thinks of Elena.  I am interested to see what happens when Jeremy has to deal with not only his dead vampire ex-girlfriends but also his very much alive witch current girlfriend and would like Matt to be given something significant to do this season.  One little gripe.  I really wish they had given David Gallagher a bit more to do before so unceremoniously killing him off.  All he did last week was lie on a pool table with bloody darts on his head.  All he did this week was writhe in pain.  It would have been nice to see him participate in the story a bit, but I guess he made a good prop.  But mostly, I just never want this show to end.

The Vampire Diaries: All the pieces fall into place

Will this be Elena and Stefan's last day as a human/vampire couple? (eh, probably not)

Our Home Team (Elena, Stefan, Damon, et al) had some pretty big things to take care of after Alaric arrived to deliver the news that Klaus would be performing the ritual that night.  The ramp up to Klaus’ ritual has been perfectly set up in my opinion.  From Klaus getting all of his little puzzle pieces in place (the moonstone, a vampire and werewolf to sacrifice and the doppleganger/Elena) to the ways in which Damon has been trying to thwart the plan at all turns, The Vampire Diaries has been slowly building up to what promises to be a massive confrontation.   Continue reading

The Vampire Diaries: This show is so awesome you guys.

The Vampire Diaries is so bad-ass.

Let’s just say it up front: The Vampire Diaries seems to be changing the rules of TV right before our eyes.  On every other teen drama, plots like what happened last night would be stretched over weeks, not one commercial break.  The audience would be begging for a resolution instead of simply waiting with baited breath.  The characters would have needlessly kept so many secrets from one another that they could barely remember what were lies and what was the truth.  And eventually, the story line would end with a whimper instead of an emotional bang.  Not this show.  On The Vampire Diaries, the information comes fast and furious and although, at times, it can be hard to remember who knows what, the writers have started solving that issue by finally bringing Matt and the sheriff into the know (if not the fold just yet). Continue reading

The Vampire Diaries: VampireMommy Bites the Dust


(Vampire) Mommy dearest (Mia Kirshner) returns, much to Aunt Jenna's (Sara Canning) surprise

I am so glad The Vampire Diaries is back.  How I’ve missed its twisty turny ways!  We picked up right where we left off six weeks ago with Isobel on Elena’s doorstep promising to protect her.  I found Jenna’s freak out to be a little much, but that might just be because the intensity of her disillusionment had dissipated over the hiatus.  Meanwhile, Katherine was still trying to convince the Salvatore brothers that she was helping them to protect Elena because that’s what would most help her: ”I know that I want Klaus dead.  Which puts me squarely on team you.”  It turns out, not so much.  She met up with Isobel at one of her fancy foreclosed safe houses and promptly switched sides.

I love how Nina Dobrev's physicality changes when she's playing Katherine (as in this photo).

Damon and Stefan stupidly left Katherine alone in the house (especially stupid considering what Damon had just told her: “Don’t mistake the fact that we haven’t set yourself on fire in your sleep for trust.”) which allowed her to find the moonstone (hiding in plain sight in a bowl of fancy soaps in Damon’s bathroom).  Isobel led a warlock guy to Alaric where she first apologized to him and admitted that she really did love him (really?  I’m not sure I believed that.  It may have been Mia Kirshner’s delivery, but her words felt really lifeless to me) then she let the warlock do his witchy head trick on Alaric and take him away.  At this point I was a little unsure about what Isobel was up to.  She clearly wasn’t out to protect Elena like she claimed, but I couldn’t tell if she was actually on Katherine’s side or just working to protect herself.  The warlock seemed to be under Isobel’s thumb, but I was still holding out hope that she wouldn’t turn out to be a soulless vampire (I know, I know.  She is a soulless vampire.  But Damon and Stefan have managed to make the whole soulless vampire thing work in conjunction with compassion.  I was sort of hoping Isobel could too). Continue reading