Dear Vampire Diary,

 

While talking to Stefan about his heightened bloodlust, Damon actually raises some good points that are food for thought. I would expect him to just try and convince Stefan to be an old-fashioned hunter-killer human-feeding vampire, but instead he proposes going to a blood bank. It’s almost a victimless crime, and certainly doesn’t require Stefan to hunt or kill. Instead of taking Damon’s rare good idea, he says he has his reasons for not doing so and returns to self-imposed brooding as he tries to resume normal life…unlife? Afterlife? Eventually I’m going to figure out a term for this.

 

Clearly he let himself in, since nobody would invite that guy into their home, so he's almost certainly not a vampire.

"Hi, I’m uncle John. I have a face which says 'I love babies, can I eat yours?'”

So sketchy Uncle John has come to town to keep Aunt Jenna from selling Elena’s father’s old office (something we barely established was happening in a D plot from like two episodes ago). After about 60 seconds it’s pretty clear that no one in the whole world likes Uncle John, I wonder why.

 

I really don’t understand the Jeremy/Tyler dynamic. Tyler approaches Jeremy and tries to be friendly, which strike me as odd because Jeremy did that a few episodes ago and Tyler shot him down, since Vicki’s the only thing they had in common. Now she’s STILL the only thing they have in common but Tyler’s taking a break from being the least friendly guy on a show full of vampires? I don’t understand.

 

Uncle John shows up at the first meeting of the Founder’s Council that I’ve really seen, and actually addresses the conspicuous vampire activities generated by the Home for Wayward Vampires. Maybe his job is to point out obvious logical inconsistencies…if so, it’s no wonder that no one in town likes him; sci-fi and fantasy shows hate having their plot holes pointed out.

 

Stefan tells Damon what I’m thinking, “I really liked you a whole lot better when you hated everybody”, as the brothers enter the founders’ kickoff party. Still not sure what it is they’re supposed to be “kicking off”, though.

 

In fairness, I'm not really sure why you hire a DJ to play classical music. This outcome was largely inevitable.

"For the Love of God, no more Black Eyed Peas!"

Shortly thereafter, Elena arrives and finds Stefan drunk. First he can’t control his instincts to not get rough with her, now he’s turning to alcohol. Seems like they’re telling us that blood is an addiction that leads to abusive behavior. At first she’s upset, but then Stefan tries to turn it into a positive. He says when drunk he’s much more willing to dance, and even compels the DJ to put on a contemporary song to dance to. Drunk Stefan is suspiciously like Damon, and Elena is alarmingly okay with this paradigm shift. Stefan better watch out now that Damon’s trying to move on from Katherine!

 

While dancing, Elena bumps into a rude jerk on the dance floor. Stefan grabs the guy and compels him to apologize…wow, you can use vampire powers to coerce civility? I’ve never been more interested in being a vampire than I am right now. Of course drunk/detoxing Stefan isn’t satisfied with the apology and very nearly assaults the guy…yet somehow Elena isn’t really alarmed. She’s definitely concerned, yes, but she continues to rationalize all of his strange actions as being a temporary side effect of human blood.

 

Uncle John knows a fair amount about vampires: he knows the truth behind the vampire tomb and he also seems to know both that Damon is linked to the tomb incident and that he is a vampire. Obviously he doesn’t take any action to try and kill Damon…if only he’d had the Saltzman Stake-o-Matic (now just ten low payments of $14.95 plus shipping and handling), then Mystic Falls would be one step closer to solving its undead infestation problem, instead of John having a broken neck in a heap below the balcony.

 

Kelly (Matt and Vicki’s Mom) starts making out with her dead daughter’s ex-boyfriend (Tyler), which proves two things: First, Kelly is the exact same person as Julie Cooper and Secondly, Matt seems to have some weird sixth sense for when his Mom is awkwardly making out with somebody he knows, as he stumbles onto the scene almost immediately and gets in a fistfight with Tyler.

 

After the fight, Stefan senses Kelly’s open head wound and finds himself very hungry. He starts touching her open wound while she’s just sitting there staring at him. She gets upset but not as upset as she should be, it’s super creepy. He then tastes her blood from his fingers and falls off the wagon.

 

"You sure? The contours of your neck feel very familiar to my snapping hands."

"Hey,didn’t I kill you?" "No, I’m pretty sure I would remember that."

I think Damon’s losing his touch. First he killed Saltzman, who turned out find and is still ambiguously indestructible, now Uncle John saunters back into the party like he just took a power nap. Guess it’s not a coincidence, Damon looks closer and realizes that John has the same ring as Saltzman. Saltzman, who got his from Elena’s mother, who allegedly got it off of Elena’s adopted father while she was a patient. Makes you think Damon should stop trying to piss off everyone connected to the Gilberts, huh?

 

That guy Stefan compelled to apologize picks a fight, and Stefan almost eats him. You wouldn’t like him when he’s hungry.

 

During the party Elena makes a poor word choice while talking to Jeremy and suggests his theory about foul play regarding Vicki’s death might be true. He goes home and locates Elena’s vampire diary and discovers that she knows about vampires and was an accessory to the cover-up of her murder. Elena, this is what you get for calling the show The Vampire Diaries instead of the Totally Plausible Vampire Cover-Up Story.

 

John seems to know everything, not just about Damon being a vampire, but also his past with Katherine, Saltzman’s part in everything and he even claims that he sent Isobel to Damon when she wanted to be turned. It seems like everyone who comes to town knows a suspicious amount about the characters of Mystic Falls, is there like a primer in the town tourism center or is everyone just reading spoilers online?

 

When Stefan returns home, Damon starts to tell him about the problem posed by John, but stops himself when he realizes he has a chance to tempt his brother into being evil. He leaves an unfinished glass of human blood to not only turn his brother to the dark side, but also further alluding to symbolic relationship between vampiric blood drinking and alcoholism.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

Since the council was already aware of vanishing blood bank supply, it’s not exactly a shock to know that they’re already on to Stefan. Not entirely sure who to blame here. From the sounds of it, Stefan covered his tracks well, and only because John has knowledge of how vampires operate did they detect the theft. On the other hand, hooking your brother on human blood when the town’s on high vampire alert seems to implicate Damon.

 

It’s a bit of a tangent, but I wonder why John doesn’t outright tell the council about the possibility of daywalking vampires? It’s one of their bigger weaknesses as a group of aspiring hunters. Maybe they would finally be suspicious enough to force people to ingest vervain as a rite of entry, you know, a really obvious way to make sure they aren’t being infiltrated by vampires?

 

I love how Damon, one of the most obvious sociopaths I’ve ever seen, is often the only person on this show with any common sense. Anna comes over and apologizes on behalf of the vampires that kidnapped and tortured his brother, but sort of defends it by saying those vampires were misbehaving. Damon’s response is to point out that a group of vampires who’ve been trapped and starved for over a century aren’t likely to play by anybody’s rules but their own.

 

I don’t think I follow this “Miss Mystic Falls” concept. For one, it sounds more like and ABC Family plotline than a CW one…the fact that I can make this distinction is probably how I am occasionally mistaken for a gay man. Secondly, it seems like the contest coincides with Founder’s day which presents two sources of confusion.

 

Firstly, I’m still watching season one, how have we already come all the way back around to founder’s day? I don’t even remember summer happening on the show. Secondly, Elena refuses to drop this pageant she’s not really interested in because her mom signed her up for it. Her mom was dead by the time the last founder’s day came around, and I believe it had been at least a few months since her death at that point. What kind of pageant is this that coincides with an annual event but doesn’t happen each year, and requires a signup like 18 months or more in advance?

Considering that all this blood came from a hospital and not a blood bank, I’d be surprised if the had enough blood for a single transfusion.

"I’ll tell you when I’ve had enough! *hiccup*"

 

With the tipoff from Anna, Damon attempts to confront Stefan about stealing blood. He first tries to establish Stefan’s taste for human blood by arguing that Stefan is usually depressed, but now he’s not. Is drinking human blood something you do when depressed, like an alcoholic? You have to admit, it makes sense for vampires to be abusive in their relationships if drinking blood is supposed to represent alcoholism.

 

From the sounds of things, Uncle John is on Isobel’s vampiric payroll (definitely not a company you want to fudge your time card for), and he’s trying to track down one of Jonathan Gilbert’s illogical steam punk inventions that fell into the hands of a vampire from the tomb, Anna’s mother Pearl. John tries to blackmail Damon into finding the macguffin, but Damon reminds John that he’s both a vampire and a sociopath, and if the council learns he’s a vampire, he will just kill them all. I approve.

 

Bonnie is the WORST. She’s finally back in town, but all she’s done since returning is act quiet and depressed. Elena finally confronts her about it and she explains her issue: she’s upset her grandmother died in vain since the vampires escaped from the tomb, and now she blames the Salvatores for it…

 

Excuse me!? I’m quite certain you were the one who insisted your grandmother try to temporarily release the seal and you even coerced her into doing the spell. Plus it was your own lack of talent as a witch that forced her to overexert herself to compensate for your…Bonnie-ness! You are the singular source responsible for any and all consequences of your own terrible idea, you witch!

 

Jeremy just can not stop lending out dangerous information about Jonathan Gilbert’s journal! First he lends it to Alaric without a second thought, then he tells Anna where it is so she can steal it and now he’s telling untrustworthy Uncle John about its existence. On the one hand he’s going to eventually get everyone killed, but on the other hand his idiocy makes him a huge asset to vampires, so he’ll probably die last.

 

Not sure how to feel about the addiction plotline. I mean, Sci-Fi and Fantasy have a history of disguising serious issues to address them, especially in television on shows like Star Trek, and I much prefer this to the brief subplot where Jeremy was a drug addict. Still, I really prefer when Damon and Stefan are begrudgingly working together, and I really don’t find the internal struggle thing very exciting…probably because a basic understanding of television dictates that Stefan will go back to normal soon enough.

 

"But hey, even if I die, I know some delicious teenage girls you could feed on!"

"Thank you sir, may I please have another? Oh...oh no wait, I'm bleeding out. A shame, that."

Damon sneaks into the dressing room for the pageant and tells Elena about Stefan’s new diet (I’m sure that’s totally why he came there). Stefan walks in and freaks out when he discovers that Elena knows his secret, which causes him to accidentally kidnap Amber, another contestant in the pageant. Unfortunately for Stefan, the cops generally frown on even accidental kidnapping, and I would know…er from secondhand information.

 

Amber, the girl Stefan kidnapped from the party totally exemplifies the willing victim of an abusive relationship. As she’s gushing blood from her bite wound “it’s okay, it doesn’t hurt that much, just not so hard next time”. Even Stefan is kind of freaked out by how calm she is, but that’s what you get for compelling your victims. The ability to compel equates to a level of charm that convinces someone to rationalize away all the relationship red flags, you know, like Elena is doing naturally.

 

Bonnie does the first truly useful thing of her witching career and psychically beams dial-up noise into Stefan’s head when he’s hunting Amber. It puts him back to normal just in time for him to freak out about everyone seeing him covered in some innocent girl’s blood. Seriously, though, where did she learn to do that? I know Bonnie left town for a while, but mind punching a vampire seems like a pretty high-level skill, and she’s….well, she’s Bonnie.

 

"Hey, maybe it will decode secret messages from Van Hellsing!"

“What is this thing? Looks like you got it out of a box of Cheerios.” “No, it is a plot device, it will almost certainly be essential for something by the end of this season.”

Pearl gives Jonathan’s device to Damon as an apology for nearly getting a bunch of people killed by wayward vampires, including Stefan who (as a result of the vampires escaping the tomb) now hungers for human blood and is jeopardizing all of the vampires in town. Oh, and she doesn’t know what the device does either. I guess it’s the thought that counts, so at least it’s slightly better than a Hallmark card.

 

Elena goes to see Stefan. She tells him that she knows his actions aren’t him, they’re her fault for giving him the blood (coughrationalizingcough) and he tries to convince her that he is truly a monster and the blood just makes it more obvious. He finally agrees to accept her help, so she injects him with a syringe full of vervain and locks him in the Salvatore’s dungeon.

 

In review, Damon is thinking through the consequences of his actions and helped Elena at the Miss Mystic pageant to spare her feelings, Stefan is feeding on living humans and functioning almost solely on pure instinct and Anna and Pearl have mellowed out dramatically and are asking nicely for Damon’s trust. I’m pretty sure it’s opposite day.

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