Posts from the ‘Vampire Diaries’ Category

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 8

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.

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 7

This will be of the utmost importance, considering we expressly prohibit any vampires from leaving the home.

Here, at the Wayward Home for Vampires' Fashion Center, we will style your hair and clothes to be more appealing to the tastes of our target demographic...I mean, to blend in with society.

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Welcome to the Home for Wayward Resurrected Vampires! Here we will update your wardrobe, explain the concept of television and let you feed on our hypnotically Stockholm syndromed hostess as you attempt to acclimate to life (unlife? Undead terminology is very confusing) after being magically sealed in a tomb for roughly 150 years.

 

Matt has wasted no time in having a father-daughter conversation with his deadbeat mother. There’s a really creepy sentence for you. He asks her to tone down her party lifestyle and get a job, causing her to complain that he’s being too judge-y. Moments later Caroline arrives and Kelly leaves the room with a scoff and a super passive aggressive brush off. Starting to understand why Viki was so screwed up…

 

Matt suggests that he and Caroline have a movie night, which she objects to because his Mom clearly and openly hates her for no reason. Caroline’s idea of compromise is to ask Matt’s ex-girlfriend and her now vampire boyfriend to movie night and make it into a double date, ripe with wacky misunderstanding potential. Did I mention she extends this invitation without Matt’s consent? I’m pretty sure Caroline wants this to explode in her face for some reason.

 

"I'd totally press charges if vampires had a judicial system!"

"Gah what the heck!? I was just waiting for you to say 'please'! This is terribly rude!"

As much as I love Damon, I never get tired of seeing people put him in his place. Anna and her mom arrive as unwanted guests in his home Apparently Anna managed to find out that Damon’s on the inside with the founder’s council, and the mother daughter team wants to use him to defeat whatever vampire hunting force remains and reclaim Mystic Falls. True to form, Damon is too smart to get tangled in this ridiculous plan, but he’s not too smart to have his eyes gouged out by a much more powerful vampire.

 

Ah, now I feel better. See, Stefan’s spent most of this episode being so irritatingly charming that it was actually starting to bother me. Then he goes and infers that he was making plans for Elena to be his girlfriend while he was still just stalking her and tops that off with a double date story about Hugh Heffner and some twins. Now I’m annoyed by Elena not being bothered by any of that weirdness.

 

I feel conflicted by this setup: we’ve got Matt’s Mom, Kelly, planning on letting loose at a bar with a sulking Damon and a reluctant Aunt Jenna. On the one hand this sounds entertaining and I’m interested to see what come of it. On the other hand it sort of just feels like we blindly threw darts at a wall of names to assemble this group together. Maybe I should give dart-writing a chance, for all I know it could be a great, untapped source of creativity!

 

Clearly Caroline hadn’t actually thought this double date through. She tells Elena the point was for her to show Matt she had moved on, Elena thought she and Matt were supposed to become friends again. Maybe next time, before we invite our boyfriend’s ex along on a double date, we’ll consider any outcome other than an extremely unlikely one that involves said ex’s cooperation without telling them what they’re meant to be doing.

 

Oh…that’s bad. I hadn’t actually considered the side effect of the tomb vampires mistaking Elena for Katherine, which should have been fairly obvious. I’m not sure exactly what the vampires might do as a result of this misunderstanding, but I’d venture a guess that it won’t be wacky. Guess I’ll have to save my canned laughter for the double date plotline.

 

I think Elena needs to reprioritize. At first she was very reluctant to go on this double date because it would be too much fun and she’s a brooding teenager. Now one of her best friends is mad at her about the double date AND there’s at least one unknown vampire running about unchecked and she’s like “no, we need to have fun RIGHT NOW!” Is she sure she’s adopted? I’m started to see a resemblance between her and Jeremy’s carelessness.

 

Well that was pretty anti-climactic. Team booze hounds sort of just got drunk…then Kelly and Damon started flirting really hard until Jenna finally left. I am disappointed by your dartboard scenario!

 

Cutting yourself then having a vampire drink your blood is like the goth-emoest thing that anyone has ever thought of.

"I knew you were a vampire!" “Technically this proves nothing, I could just have a REALLY unsettling fetish”

Oh boy, remember that time I referenced Jeremy’s carelessness? Deliberately cutting yourself and inviting your Vampire crush Anna to feed on your blood counts. It counts super, SUPER hard.

 

Oh great, Damon had the same idea to bring Matt’s Mom back to Salvatore manor, so Matt and Caroline see their respective mother and ex-boyfriend hot and heavy in the hallway. I finally have my wacky misunderstanding worthy of a sitcom laugh track!

 

Nothing like a good old-fashioned vampire brawl to get brothers to set aside their differences! I remember the good old days when my brother and I would wander the spooky woods with stakes and torches, looking for trouble. I wonder if that has anything to do with my psychological issues.

 

Oh boy, remember that time I referenced Jeremy’s carelessness? Figuring out that vampires exist, then that your “missing” (read: dead) girlfriend was a vampire then trying to get your new love interest to turn you into the walking undead counts. It counts pretty hard.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

So this episode picks up immediately after the last one ended, and yet its suddenly thunder storming for dramatic effect. I thought that type of thing only happened in melodramas and cartoons.

 

Jeremy and Anna are still hanging out, and she claims that running water also does not effect vampires as Dracula would have you believe. She’s still refusing to turn Jeremy, and for good reason…well, for lack of good reason actually. Jeremy has no clue why he wants to be a vampire, that makes two of us.

 

Pearl tells that disgruntled vampire Frederick that they shouldn’t fight for revenge, and that they should use patience and cunning to take back the town of Mystic Falls. Personally I feel like Vampires, who are essentially immortal, are probably the most likely creatures to hold grudges.

 

Here’s a question, now we’ve probably got at least 20 vampires running around town, and most of them don’t have a problem feeding on humans. They can’t all be feeding off of Miss Gibbons, the lady who owns the Wayward Vampire Home, cause she’d be very dead. How are all the vampires feeding without the town noticing more “animal attacks”?

 

And Stefan fangirls everywhere have incredibly conflicting emotions about tortured fanservice Stefan.

“We didn’t HAVE to take your shirt off, but since we’re here and your abs are here, we figured: might as well.”

I guess Vampires like hoods…Stefan goes out to hunt for some food and gets ambushed by three vampires in hoods and staked in the chest. They drag him back to the Home for Wayward Vampires where Damon discovers that a living person lives there and won’t let him in. This gives the vampire jerk squad plenty of time to start torturing Stefan. More importantly it gives them an excuse to take his shirt off. Hello ladies.

 

I’m not sure how I feel about trying to ask Saltzman for help rescuing Stefan. I mean, logically he’s a good choice: seasoned vampire hunter, potentially unkillable…however, he does have a slight problem with vampires, specifically Damon for turning his wife. I’m surprised they even managed to get a serious audience with him, but Damon says Pearl knows where he can find his wife, so he agrees…though I’m not really sure what he would do with that information at this point.

 

Oh good, Anna has presented us with an easy system for classifying the justifications of turned vampires. A vampire turns someone because of:

A)   The need for a henchman

B)   Some twisted revenge scheme.

C)   Boredom (to which she gives the footnote “That never turns out well”

D)   True love, which the vampire doing the turning wants to last for eternity

She did of course forget to mention “a need for using the carpool lane” as a reason to turn someone, but otherwise a solidly comprehensive list.

 

I understand why Elena is constantly trying to force herself into a position to help on these dangerous missions, especially with Stefan being held captive, but I have to side with everyone telling her no…and wonder how she hasn’t picked up on this after so many no’s. Damon is a super-powered socipathic killing machine, Saltzman, again, is as close to a pro vampire hunter as we’ve seen whereas she…she is a teenage girl. It’s not a perfect metaphor, but commissioner Gordon doesn’t call for Batman, Robin and Alfred the butler, Gotham need people with actual crime fighting skills!

 

Glad to see the Stake-o-Matic in full force once again. Speaking of Batman, with just a few more anti-vampire gadgets , Saltzman could totally go full-on undead vigilante.

 

So Caroline got stranded on a mud road in the middle of the Nowhere Woods because of the rainstorm. She’s actually having a pretty good day; instead of being attacked by vampires she just found a dead one. Viki, to be precise. Incidentally, her boyfriend (Viki’s brother) is not having an especially good day.

 

I'm sure Stefan feeding on Elena will eventually lead to a new conclusion for my abusive relationship vampire theory, for which I am excited.

"I've never seen you drink blood, so this finally confirms you're a vampire and not just a superhero." “Technically this proves nothing, I could just have a REALLY unsettling fetish.”

Ugh, finally! Half of this episode has been telegraphing the scene where Elena saves Stefan’s life by offering him her blood!

 

I’m going to be honest, this house Vampire House storyline is not my favorite. It doesn’t really focus on any of the main characters and the vampires’ plan lacks a direction or focus to give it any gravity. Also, when Damon’s not in charge he doesn’t get to act like a deranged game show host, which is perhaps the best part of the show.

 

Just when it seems like all hope is lost for the buddy slayer team of Saltzman and Salvatore, who are slowly being surrounded by a slew of angry vampires from the wayward home, Pearl shows up and everyone just sort of disperses on slightly bitter terms. Blast this infernal episode and its refusal to be interesting!

 

"Aw man, and I just cleaned in here! This is why we can't have nice things!"

"Lucy, you got some splainin' to do!"

And even further adding to my general apathy towards this episode, most of this last act just seems to be a montage of people reacting to Viki’s death, which happened kind of a while ago. Is it in character and completely logical for these people to have this reaction? Absolutely. Is it interesting to watch? No, not at all. I  can only hope this is setting up for something relevant, probably something to do with Jeremy becoming a vampire.

 

Nope, I was mistaken, this has lead to the exact opposite of that outcome, which Jeremy proves by confessing to Anna that Viki was his reason for wanting to turn vampire in the first place. So all of this uninteresting stuff happened so that more interesting things could NOT happen. This is some crack storytelling.

 

At least our final shot of the episode shows morbid promise! Looks like Stefan has a taste for human blood again, which he can’t control. Who’s looking forward to a very special episode about addiction…to human blood? I know I am, if only to have an episode of Vampire Diaries focus around one of its main characters again.

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 6

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Remember that time I asked why it is that becoming a vampire makes you inherently creepy? That was not a rhetorical question. Seems our friends Anna and Ben, that bartender (who strikes me as a vampire redshirt), haven’t just kidnapped Elena, but also Bonnie. In case you were unclear, serial kidnapping is definitely creepy.

 

If anti-virus software was this effective against invasions I might actually buy a PC again!

"Argh, this is the worst brain freeze I've ever experienced!" "Don't test me, or I'll show you my magical wet willie too!"

Holy crap! Bonnie’s grandmother just like gut-punched Damon with just her mind. “I’m not Bonnie” she says, and she’s not kidding. Bonnie’s response to Damon asking for witch help would probably have been to go willingly with Damon into an obvious trap or something.

 

Wow, maybe I should take that back! She just turned a glass of ordinary motel water into fire using just her mind and magic, to attack and escape from her vampire captor/ex-boyfriend. And she would have gotten away with it too, had she not let her best friend get taken hostage on the way out. Two steps forward, one step back. Plus, in fairness, it was MOTEL water, so it was probably pretty close to flammable to start with.

 

Once Stefan inevitably rescues the girls, they regroup at the casa del whatever the Spanish word for “witches” is. There they hatch a pretty terrible plan…actually no, what they do is resurrect the same terrible plan Stefan already pretended to have (helping Damon free Katherine, but kill the other vampires sealed with her). This time, though, they have an experienced witch agreeing to help. So really all they’ve managed to do is make their bad plan worse.

 

I feel like Stefan should at least already have his flamethrower ready, honestly!

"What could go wrong? We're just going to open the door to a magical prison containing 27 hungry, angry vampires." "Everything about that is wrong!"

Damon’s certainly a tough one to read. At first he was a full-blown sociopath, then he was just the irresponsible brother for a while and now he’s mellowed to the point that he’s practically a gentleman. I mean, I can’t remember the last time he compelled someone selfishly, not even when he took Elena to Georgia without her vervain. She even takes it off again to try and prove to him that she and Stefan really want to help him, and he just takes her at her word.

 

Jeremy finally opens up to his vampire stalker-ess (is there a female form of the word stalker?), and she responds by revealing that she’s leaving town suddenly for no plausibly defined reason. Well, unless you count her undead mother being resurrected by witches in an underground tomb. Then her thug boyfriend knocks him unconscious so he can meet the parent. You could have just asked!

 

You know, in a way, the Vampire Diaries take on teens and alcohol is refreshing. They just acknowledge that it exists. Now personally, I’m against alcohol period, so trust me when I say I’m not being biased about this point. But so many shows make such a big spectacle out of teen drinking one way or another. It’s kind of nice to see a show treat the issue in a way that seems more realistic. It’s around, no one’s surprised to see it at a party…it just adds to the totally realistic vampire slice of life story.

 

I notice the witches are wearing precautionary vervain necklaces, which gives me an excuse to make an aside here. If I live in a world full of vampires, I don’t think a thin metal chain would make me feel safe from their influence. They do have super strength, after all. For my money, I’d want it live woven into my clothes or something. That seems like a pretty good barrier.

 

Convoluted? Yes. Badass? Also yes.

"Oh my god it burns! We’re in a freaking forest, wouldn’t it have been easier just to stake me!?"

Generally I have to say I prefer Damon’s style as a character, but I can’t deny that Stefan has some pretty amazing moments himself. For example, clotheslining a vampire and then setting him on fire with a makeshift flamethrower.

 

I probably shouldn’t have sold Bonnie’s grandmother so short, after all she’s not Bonnie, just as she pointed out earlier. She didn’t even need a plan to compensate for Stefan’s bad idea, apparently the seal keeping the vampires in the tomb was unrelated to the door they opened using the witch ritual. This means all the vampires inside are still stuck inside, new ones can just enter.

 

When Stefan goes inside to try and save Elena from a whole slew of vampires – actually “slew” seems like a very fitting plural noun for vampires – Bonnie threatens to try and take the seal down herself to save him, if her grandma won’t help. I say let her try, she’s more likely to spontaneously turn into a newt than successfully pull off that spell.

 

Unsurprisingly, that whole “living corpse” thing they’ve been alluding to for a while now is pretty gross.

 

Damon discovers that Katherine isn’t in the tomb after all, and is rightfully pretty pissed. When Elena comes to fetch the boys while the witches are still keeping the seal at bay, he seems to think she’s Katherine for a split second. Which raises an unsettling thought. Assuming Elena is really related to Katherine, then if Damon dated Katherine and Stefan dated Elena, then they’d have all the creepiness of brothers dating identical twins AND brothers dating a mother and daughter. That’s some kinky stuff.

 

Aw, sad Damon’s no fun :(. He interrogates Anna and her mother, only to discover they knew the whole time that Katherine’s been loose. She’s known where to find Damon and didn’t care. Even vampires can’t escape the abusive vampire relationship cycle.

 

So let’s review Bonnie’s track record for the episode. She managed to get herself kidnapped by a guy she pretty much knew was a vampire, but then she cast a pretty cool spell. Of course her own incompetence undid the usefulness of said spell, but she got rescued anyway. With her grandmother’s help she managed to open the door to that tomb using an old ritual, enacting a trap that should have sealed all the vampires they know away forever. Bonnie persuaded her grandmother to assist her in breaking the seal to the tomb to save one vampire (Stefan) while releasing three potentially dangerous vampires, as well as permanently leaving the door open to the rest of those living corpse vampires in the tomb. Oh yeah, and the spell that broke free all of those man-eating vampires? It killed her totally awesome grandmother.

 

Bonnie sucks!

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

We’re back to business as usual, with our newly escaped vampire friend feeding on a human hiker in broad daylight. I actually really like the blocking here, where the camera focuses on the vampire’s hand as he kills that guy so we can see his lapus lazuli ring. Since we found out that Emily the witch enchanted those rings, it makes sense that the vampires from Mystic Falls back in the day would all be daywalkers. All the more reason not to let them escape the tomb for any reason, Bonnie!

 

Utilizing a laughably implausible series of deductions, Aunt Jenna has tracked down a high school yearbook photo of the woman who could well be Elena’s birthmother. You can tell they’re related because of their shared dark features and brooding expressions.

 

Does it really come as a shock that I watched The O.C. considering that I'm watching the entirety of Vampire Diaries?

"Hey, Melinda Clarke, I loved you as Julie Cooper on the O.C.!" "Thanks! Wish I could say the same about your work defiling my son and couch."

Oh good, a completely unmotivated scene’s worth of fan service between Caroline and Matt. And here I was worrying that I wasn’t going to see Caroline without a shirt on today. That sounds like sarcasm, but she’s cute so if she wants to take her shirt off I’ll allow it. Unfortunately even that won’t cause her or Matt to contribute anything worthwhile to the plot. It will, however, provide an awkward context for Matt’s loosely established mother to mysteriously come back to town. Oops.

 

All things considered, once they revealed that Alaric’s wife and Elena’s mother had the same first name, it seemed pretty much impossible for that to be a coincidence. When Aunt Jenna and Alaric hook up, there’s going to be a weird quasai-incestuous web to untangle.

 

Hey, good for Isobel! She’s the one person who managed to figure out that those “animal attacks” were the laziest cover-up in history. Also sort of explains why she got eaten by a vampire. Be careful what you wish for?

 

At least vervain is more versatile and less conspicuous than Kryptonite.

"Would you like one lump of vervain with your tea or two?"

Vervain is sort of starting to have that same disproportionate availability problem that Kryptonite has in the Superman world. I’m pretty sure they said it was pretty hard to come by, at least in Virginia, and now every Tom, Dick and Harry’s serving vervain tea with crumpets.

 

Seriously? This is our B-Story du jour? The founders are having a charity bachelor auction? That sounds more like a Desperate Housewives plot or something. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, Vampire Diaries, but I suspect someone(s) in the writers room was drunk.

 

I find this auction system confusing. They seem to be suggesting that you buy raffle tickets which then represent the cash value you spent on them, which you can use to bid on bachelors. Wouldn’t is be easier to just…have an auction?

 

With some help from the Sheriff, Damon pieces together that this Isobel woman everyone’s clamoring about is Alaric’s dead wife who he sort of ate. Of course, being Damon, he finds the most tasteless and humiliating way to confirm this fact for Alaric. I imagine Damon doesn’t know about his Saltzman Stake-o-Matic, cause I sure don’t want to mess with that and I’m not even a vampire.

 

Okay, so now I finally understand this date auction…as much as I’m going to. Looks like it is in fact a date raffle, with the winners of dates being chosen randomly, through a raffle system. This is awkward in so many ways. For one, you probably don’t raise as much money for charity this way and secondly people donating to the charity could get stuck on a super-awkward blind date.

 

No wonder the IMF only ever has a handful of people on staff!

I’ve heard of a message self-destructing after five seconds, but a messenger? That seems needlessly wasteful.

Pro tip, Isobel, when you don’t want to be found, but the only person looking for you already thinks you’re dead, sending a messenger to tell them you don’t want to be found is only going to make them want to look for you. You might as well tell me NOT to push a giant red button!

 

Alaric confronts Damon with a stake and learns that Isobel wasn’t killed, she was turned. He is then quickly killed by Damon and left for dead as his craziness renews his quest to find Katherine. “Quickly” here meaning both shortly thereafter and for a short amount of time, as a flashback vaguely explains that Alaric’s family heirloom ring isn’t lapus lazuli, but some sort of undeath ring. I wish my Cheerios had one of those in it!

 

Again, Isobel, when you send a self-destructing messenger to tell people that you’re alive, dumb things can happen. Like Elena stealing said messenger’s phone and using it to call you. This is why you can’t have nice things.

 

That one vampire who escaped discovers a halfway home for receased (re-undead?) vampires, run by Anna and her mother, Pearl. Whatever happens as a result of this is also Bonnie’s fault.

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 5

Dear Vampire Diary,

Vampire Pizza is very quick, but if you don't tip the delivery guys well then you'll become dinner.

“Hey, if I slip you an extra twenty, will you not come back and attack my sister?” “Hmmm, no promises.”

Here’s a reason to tell Jeremy about vampires: so he doesn’t invite the pizza guy into their home, thus allowing a shady vampire free access to Elena, who seems to be made of like vampire nip or something.

 

On that note, I don’t think we should really trust Jeremy at all. Don’t get me wrong, he’s been a much more interesting character since his vampire girlfriend died and he was hypnotized to forget about her, but he never even noticed the family heirloom pocketwatch go missing, and then he hands over that journal from his ancestor to Alaric without any hesitation. A book like that is probably very delicate…though he was carrying it around school in his backpack, so it may actually be better off.

 

At this rate I should just start writing “Jeremy Gilbert” in my vampire diary and dot the i’s with hearts…and probably put little vampire fangs on the m’s. Anyway, now he’s pushing away the cute home school girl because he’s hung up on his dead vampire girlfriend, who was a terrible influence and that he doesn’t even know is dead. If he’s not careful, this entry is just going to be reasons I hate Jeremy.

 

Remember that time all the vampires were going to leave town? I do. I know the Salvatores now have reason to stay, I just think it’s funny that neither of them ever really addressed sticking around, they just sort of didn’t leave.

 

Again, the Vampire Compass (TM) isn't very useful if the person most likely to drop by unannounced, your boyfriend, constantly gives you a false positive.

"Hey Elena, what’s hanging? Other than me of course! Hahaha, I crack myself up."

So the vampire pizza delivery boy comes back and tries to eat Elena, but he uses the oldest trick in the book to hide.

 

I think it’s kind of funny that people are finally on board with trying to kill Damon now that he’s mostly behaving himself, and occasionally being helpful.

 

Well, I was all set to congratulate Anna for having common sense once again for reprimanding Jeremy for giving out his journal indiscriminately, until she turned out to be a vampire. If I had a nickel for every time I ended a story with “until she turned out to be a vampire” I’d be a rich man.

 

It seems like people who get involved with vampires have a tendency to keep getting involved with vampires. First Caroline with Damon, then Logan and now Jeremy with Vicky followed by Anna. So according to my vaguely defined abusive vampire theory, some people are just the vampire type, and keep getting attracted without learning their lesson.

 

Turn-offs include responsible decision making and his physical and emotional well being.

Jeremy Gilbert: Turn-ons include candle-lit dinners, (super) strong, independent women and undead monsters who want to feed on him both literally and figuratively.

Anna’s vampire obsession seems weird now that we know she’s a vampire. Like, why bother trying to convince Jeremy that vampires exist when she knows they exist because she is one, and having people know about it is a liability.

 

Oh good, the journal that Jeremy irresponsibly lent his teacher contains a lead toward opening the tomb full of angry, hungry vampires. It seems weird to have Stefan be the one torturing this information out of Anna’s friend the, vampire pizza guy, though.

 

It’s a good thing that every single person in this world keeps a journal, because they seem to be a great source of vampire-related information. I’m surprised, though, that since the pilot they’ve always been referred to as journals and not diaries. That’s like having Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom take place in a regular old church. In theory they are similar concepts, but it’s just not the same.

 

So it looks like Anna has a vampire boyfriend, and together they’re trying to free all of the angry vampires too. This seems like a poor decision. I mean, taking care of an army of vampires is a big responsibility, you’ll have to feed them and walk them and clean up after them…did they really think this through?

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

So we get our episodic dose of cold open vampire attack in the form of a Flashback to Katherine-era Mystic Falls. Despite all of Stefan and Damon’s talk of their rivalry over Katherine, this is the first time I really sense the drama behind it. We’ve already seen the moment when Stefan got turned against his will, but now we see Damon asking to be turned and Katherine forcing him to wait.

 

This whole scene with Damon intruding on Elena and Stefan’s morning-after-glow raises an uncomfortable point about vampires cohabitating. You thought it was bad hearing your roommate going at it? Try hearing every agonizing detail with your super senses. I now have the heebie jeebies.

 

For a hundred and forty five years Damon has ruined Stefan’s happiness every chance he’s gotten. Isn’t there an expression that goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me consistently over the course of a century and a half, shame on me”?

 

"Look, It even tells the time! Oh no, wait...yeah it's just broken."

"Behold, I've invented a device to track vampires!" “What is it, Magic?” “No! It operates on Newtonian laws of Vampires...shut up.”

I’m glad that even people in 1864 called shenanigans on the vampire compass, though it’s kind of concerning that the people of Mystic Falls have either gotten dumb or complacent enough to just accept these sorts of things. Like “animal attacks” and “large quantities of people leaving town suddenly for no reason”.

 

Woops! Apparently papa Salvatore was a vampire hunter. I bet that made Thanksgiving dinners pretty awkward.

 

Okay, now I certainly had my reservations at first, but Saltzman is definitely shaping up to be an awesome character. He’s the only person who really seems to grasp the vampire threat, and can handle himself against them. Plus, apparently he invented some sort of anti-vampire stake cannon fit for a really sweet action cartoon.

 

It just occurred to me that Katherine is a daywalker, despite inferences in the present that only Damon and Stefan can use their magical decoder rings to eat lunch at outdoor cafes and such. She must be the source of their vaguely explained power!

 

I hear he's already developing an automatic version due for release in time for Christmas this year!

The Saltzman Slay-o-Matic 5000, available at all fine sporting goods retailers.

Woah, wait, vampires can parlay their reflexes into super video game playing power!? Imagine the quality of my Let’s Plays if I just added some human blood to my diet!

 

Ah-ha! There we go! Emily is apparently the one responsible for whatever nondescript enchantment on those rings lets vampires survive sunlight. Between that and whatever deal she made with Damon to release those vampires from the tomb, I’m finally starting to see the family resemblance to Bonnie.

 

Looks like Anna, Jeremy’s socially awkward, vampire-obsessed vampire stalker is actually Annabelle, Katherine’s vampire friend’s vampire daughter. Whether or not you managed to follow that description to understand the relationship, I think you and I can both agree that we’re finally delving into soap opera grade relationship territory.

 

Shucks, looks like the Damon/Stefan partnership built on a foundation of lies has finally crumbled. The brothers met at their father’s grave since it turns out his vampire hunter status led to him being entrusted with the Grimoire with the spell which can open the tomb. This confrontation, in turn, facilitated possibly the least plausible moment of the series so far; an emo teenage girl with vampire blood forced into her system NOT trying to kill herself to gain eternal life as a vampire.

 

"Oh no, don't make me a vampire. While you're at it, you better not have hot vampire sex with me, that would be 'terrible'".

"Hold the phone, if I die right now I get to be a vampire? This seems like a win-win to me, a typical emo teenage girl."

I hope at some point they explain why Emily wanted to put herself on the line to help out a bunch of vampires. Isn’t just being a witch dangerous enough in the 1800’s? And if they were all such good friends, why didn’t they turn her so she could be a vampire witch? In the rock paper scissors game of witch, werewolf, vampire, I’m pretty sure vampire witch trumps all.

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 4

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Logan, that news reporter who cheated on Aunt Jenna, is very insistent on being invited into her house. He’s clearly a vampire, but since he hasn’t used the ability to compel her to invite himself in, I suspect that doesn’t work. He may also just be a lousy vampire…and really, those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

 

Oh, hey, an old-fashioned vampire attack to close out the cold open! It’s been a while since we’ve seen one of those. I don’t know if that was supposed to come as a surprise, but repeatedly asking someone to invite you in isn’t something that not-vampires do very often.

 

Since Damon and Stefan have both declared intentions to leave town, the brothers discuss where they’ll go next. Damon suggests the two try out for the Amazing Race. This idea is AWESOME! You try and honestly tell me that you wouldn’t watch a pair of vampires race around the world performing a series of challenges.

 

You know, despite the whole cougar explosion a few years back I’d say American culture gets pretty iffy about age differences in couples, and especially with high schoolers. Despite this, I rarely hear people say anything about 162 year old guys making eyes at high school girls in vampire fiction.

Is their like a wooden bullet wholesaler or something? Where does Logan keep getting these things?

“How do you walk in the sun?” “Who turned you” “How do you walk in the sun?” “I’ve seen this tree before!”

 

So the Sheriff is not only the head of local law enforcement, but also a member of a secret vampire hunting organization, yet when hunting vampires she’s unprepared. Meanwhile newscaster Logan, admittedly also a member of said secret organization, who is minding his own business and probably disoriented from being turned into a vampire is totally ready to slay some liches (get it? undead joke). I think this town may need an emergency election.

 

I really do enjoy seeing the Salvatore brothers working together. You know what they say, “the family who murders vampires together out of clandestine self-preservation, stays together”. It sounds wittier in the original Latin.

 

Does Caroline have some sort of Vampire magnetism? Honestly. First Damon, now Logan? Does she just have the best blood or something?

 

Man I really appreciate Damon’s ability to play every angle. He’s got Stefan helping him take down Logan, he’s got Logan helping him try to free Katherine behind Stefan’s back, and all the while he’s got the Sheriff in the palm of his hand. If I was playing a game or sociopathic mastermind in gym class I would pick Damon first every day of the week.

 

I object, on the grounds that Bonnie has cornered the market on blatantly obvious supernatural things!

“What’s your problem, man?” “Judging by this incredibly transparent camera angle, I’m probably going to become a werewolf.”

For some reason Jeremy is suddenly intent on trying to be friends with Tyler, the other guy who was sleeping with his dead vampire girlfriend. Saltzman breaks up a fight between them (instigated by the mayor, for some reason), then we’re presented with what’s likely to be the least subtle  moment of foreshadowing I’ve ever seen.

 

Elena asks Stefan not to leave town because she loves him. This immediately degenerates into a makeout session, which in turn evolves into this weird emotional casserole of sweet, gratuitous and horrifying. Vampires are so complicated, no wonder they’re so emo all the time.

 

Episode ten and the main love interests have already had sex. They just don’t make vampire romances like they used to. It’s okay, though, this relationship can’t last long without derailing.

 

I’m not really sure what to make of the unreasonably suspicious Alaric Saltzman now. He gallantly came and staked Logan after keeping Jeremy out of trouble at the school’s career night. He seems to play the good guy vampire part way better than Stefan. Though he just sort of left the dead Vampire out for the world to find, so he’s not so bright.

 

I can’t decide if all this vampire trauma is going to give Caroline a thick skin or a psychotic break. At this point, I’ll say even odds, but when the vampires stop compelling her to be okay with everything, all bets are off!

 

Again, if there’s one major thing I would say about this show, it’s that they deal with the whole emo vampire thing really well. Both Stefan and Elena are inherently dramatic people who rarely smile or find anything about life that won’t give them an angst fit. Yet when they’re together, they both definitely liven up (especially in the case of the undead guy). I really appreciate the subtlety of the character direction on this show.

 

Whoops! There it is, Elena found the photographic evidence that Stefan’s been stalking her all along. The photo of Katherine. That ought to jam a wrench in this relationship for a few episodes. I definitely understand her reaction of running away, but she PROBABLY shouldn’t have taken off her anti-vampire necklace. Or crashed her car into what was probably a vampire.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Alaric Saltzman has a vampire diary!? In it he writes about killing Logan, but he implies not only that he isn’t a vampire, but also that he’s never seen one. If he’s not a vampire and has never seen one, then why does he have that Lapus Lazuli ring?

 

"Oh, and I notice you aren't protected from my mind control any more. Today's going to be a lot of fun!"

"Good morning! Hope you don't mind that I took the liberty of kidnapping you and crossing state lines while you were sleeping!"

Well that’s a creepy wake-up call! Damon saves Elena from the car crash after she fled Stefan’s place, then tosses her in the passenger side of his car and drives to Georgia. Oh great, and he stole her phone AND he noticed she doesn’t have her anti-mind control necklace. Girl needs some Folgers in her cup to start turning this morning around.

 

You have got to be kidding me! Bonnie finally has a chance to do something useful without the ghost of her dead ancestor possessing her body and her witch powers have inexplicably disappeared. My frustration with her character has reached the point of complete irrationality.

 

Gina Torres? Cool! Making out with Damon? Well…he is as charming as he his dangerously unpredictable, and he did kill his brother’s best friend to cover his own murder spree. Also, she seems to be a witch, guess we’re having a witch episode.

 

Okay, so according to Bonnie’s grandmother, the reason Bonnie can’t use her powers is because her fear of vampires is blocking them off somehow. If fear shuts off witchcraft it doesn’t seem terribly practical.

 

Elena seems to have defeated the entire bar where Damon has taken her at a drinking contest, even though she is a relatively small girl.

 

Elena had a rough morning, for sure, but Damon’s having a whole bad week. First Logan shot him like a dozen times with wooden bullets, now Lexi’s Vampire boyfriend is beating him to a pulp with a wooden plank, soaking him and gasoline and is threatening to light him on fire. It’s a good thing that wasted Elena is a master conflict mediator.

 

Well, that was a short-lived cameo for Gina Torres, but at least she didn’t die twice in the first two episodes of the series, like Alan Tudyk did on V. Those Firefly alumni have it rough.

 

You know, I have to concede that for all this show’s teenage flights of over-emotional self-indulgence, when it really counts the characters generally have normal, human reactions. When Elena finally gets back to Stefan to confront him she’s like, “okay I can deal with vampires and witches, but why didn’t you tell me about your creepy fascination with that woman who looks exactly like me?” Honestly, that seems reasonable to me, given all she’s seen she pretty much HAS to deal with the supernatural, but this is something Stefan had some control over.

 

"At least if I get amnesia it will temporarily cancel out all of these other cliches."

"So you're telling me that people I know who die are fairly likely to come back to life and I effectively have an evil twin? I'm dangerously close to becoming self aware about out soap opera!"

What’s worse than finding out that your boyfriend is mainly interested in you because you look like his dead vampire girlfriend, you ask? Well, how about finding out that he saved you from the car accident that killed your parents, but didn’t have time to save them too? Oh, oh, and while we’re at it, after the car accident your resemblance to said vampire girlfriend cause him to actually stalk you for about a year to “learn everything he could about you” to make sure you weren’t actually her? Oh, and one more thing, apparently Elena was also adopted. Yeah, she’s having a memorable day…

 

Okay, so I haven’t mentioned this, but Jeremy’s spent the episode’s B plot making friends with a slightly awkward home schooled love interest (Anna). I bring this up now because she, being one of the few people in town with a reasonable excuse for not having an abundance of common sense, seems to be the one person who’s realized that the town’s frequency or horrible animal attacks is both alarming and unusual. Everyone in town should be ashamed.

 

We end the episode coming full circle on that flashback Alaric had about his girlfriend/wife/non-descript significant other. He sees Damon and it reminds him of that time that Damon fed on the woman of ambiguous romantic relation to Alaric. Oops!

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 3

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Well, if Vicki was going to go after someone to eat as a vampire, I feel like Tyler’s a good choice. Our weird Jason Voorhees-esque motif about abusive relationships and vampires continues as she retaliates by trying to eat him. Vampires never die or age just like abusive relationships never end or change. That almost sounds like a delightful vampire poem.

 

I hadn’t noticed that the high school mascot was the timber wolves…just…wow.

 

It’s kind of refreshing that Elena actually reacts to the idea of keeping secrets about everyone to protect vampires.

 

If Vicki is any indication, side effects of being dead include supernatural agility, heightened senses, a taste for human blood and an insufferable amount of complaining.

 

I can’t decide if it’s cleverness or laziness that’s driven the witch to dress like a witch and the new vampire to dress like a vampire for Halloween.

 

This is why vampires can't have nice things.

"Stefan, aren't you the reformed vampire who believes that people can change? Why'd you kill my brother's girlfriend?" "I slipped...and grabbed a sharp piece of wood to break my fall...and then stumbled into her chest."

It’s a good thing the school has a trash can full of wooden planks with which to fend off and possibly kill attacking vampires…why does it have that? Does this school have a vampire slaying elective? It would be practical.

 

Gonna be honest, Stefan, I know she was a bloodthirsty vampire at risk of attacking your friends, but staking her to death might have been a bit much. He without sin and all that.

 

These witch plots continue to be terribly woven into the story. The scenes are routinely about a minute long and just full of exposition with little or no motivation.

 

Damon: “You’re confusing me with someone with remorse. None of this matters to me.”

I think that sums things up quite nicely.

 

This is a really emasculating moment for Stefan. Elena wants her brother to forget about the time he saw he vampire girlfriend get staked, but because Stefan doesn’t eat people, they have to rely on his brother who he hates to save his love interest’s brother from Post Vampiric Stress Syndrome.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Looks like it’s Stefen’s 162nd birthday which has brought a generically attractive blonde vampire girl to town to celebrate. She, Lexi, says that only the Salvatore s have the magical Lapis Lazuli daylight survival rings. He suggests that they won’t work for anyone else. The plot thickens.

 

Again, I’m glad Elena’s a real person. We already knew she was predisposed to being emo so all this death, lies and vampirism SHOULD annoy the crap out of her, which it does.

 

Haha, well it looks like Lexi feeds on humans because she proves stronger than Damon. It’s fun to see him get bullied.

 

Leave it to a teenager (and the most annoying character on the show) to complain about a powerful magical amulet not looking pretty enough.

 

I guess if it got to that point he'd just compel whoever was left to buy his crappy story. Wouldn't be too hard.

"Hey Damon, the town census says we're the only people still living in town. Where's everybody else?" "Um...they all had to leave town...suddenly."

You know the whole “mysteriously left town on short notice” thing can work in small doses, but it has already happened to Vicki, Logan and Stefan’s “uncle”. I feel like someone’s going to have to start picking up on this soon.

 

“Bonnie, what’s going on?” Really Elena? In the pilot she wouldn’t shut up about her witch heritage and you just found out vampires exist. Just stop trying to be skeptical.

 

Ah, so Lexi doesn’t just feed on humans like Damon, she feeds on donated human blood. Probably not donated TO her, but when dealing with vampires you’re probably going to hit on something morally reprehensible eventually.

 

The Caroline/Damon relationship is definitely the core of my thesis, at least at this stage of the show. “Why are you being like this?” she asks him, “I’m so good to you!” “You’re shallow and useless,” he replies.

 

Lexi’s actually being genuinely helpful with the Stefan/Elena relationship…not really sure why. I definitely had the impression she was into him, though I could have just been reading into how protective she was of him.

 

Damon’s got some serious game, between working closely with the council and even providing them a weapon (vervain) to throw off suspicion, to not just killing some people and trying to put Lexi on the spot, but leaving a hypnotized witness. I think that staking Lexi may have been a bit much, though, even if Stefan and Elena hadn’t been watching. Also, since the bullets weren’t slowing Lexi down, I have to say shame on the sheriff for hunting vampires without appropriate tools.

 

Two vampires down in as many episodes. We’re going to start running out soon at this rate, unless we keep introducing new ones.

 

Pro tip, Matt, when you drop off the sheriff’s daughter at her house and the sheriff knows the girl is completely wasted, it’s probably not smart to sleep in her bed, funny business or no. Trigger happy sheriff’s probably going to think you’re taking advantage of her daughter.

 

Seriously though, this is really messed up and I feel like Stefan should stop trying to be reasonable with Damon after this.

"Ugh, is-is that a stake in your pocket or are you happy to see me?" "Oooh, sorry, I should probably be more careful where I leave that thing"

Damon, I wouldn’t be so smug about solving the vampire suspicion problem, since you caused it in the first place and then killed Stefan’s friend.

 

Considering that we established that Damon’s powers are better than Stefan, I think that Stefan administering a stake to Damon’s gut was way too easy.

 

What’s up with this town’s graveyard? There’s a mausoleum and like 5 tombstones, that accounts for like the amount of people of have died in town since the show started. Actually, I don’t think it even covers that.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Hey! Not only are we in school, but there’s a teacher other than Mr. Tanner. The school board must have finally caved in the actually-staffing-the-school negotiations.

 

I had my name legally changed from "Shady Murderman" because I couldn't get hired as a teacher.

"Hello, my name is Alaric Saltzman, and I will probably kill you or someone you care about before I'm written out of this series."

Oh wow, and another teacher within just a few minutes. This guy even gets a highly fictitious sounding name: Alaric Saltzman. I have to assume with a name like Alaric that he has something to do with vampires. Uh oh, he’s the history teacher! Is history like the Vampire Diaries equivalent of the Defense Against the Dark Arts class from Harry Potter?

 

“Sorry I killed your best friend, here’s some coffee” doesn’t quite seem like an adequate apology. Still, it shows at least the vaguest hint of effort from Damon, which is new.

 

What’s that? A suspicious family heirloom ring with a blue tint to it? It was pretty strongly insinuated in the last episode that the Salvatore brothers were the only ones with magic daylight protecting decoder rings, but maybe this will come as news to everyone.

 

When did Damon suddenly figure out like every detail of Bonnie’s life? Granted, she hasn’t shown us a lot of depth so far, but not that long ago he didn’t even know she was a witch (shocking, I know), now he knows that her dead witch ancestor is haunting her through the crystal. My guess is that she needs to change her privacy settings on Facebook.

 

Dun dun DUH! The amulet that Bonnie threw away in a field in the middle of nowhere reappeared unexpectedly in her purse! If she can’t deal with this level of unexplained phenomena she’s not going to be a very good witch.

 

“I consider you to be my best friend, even though we barely ever speak and I’ve been holding a grudge against you because you won’t return something I don’t even want.” Looks like Caroline and Damon have something in common, an inability to apologize appropriately.

 

They'll only learn the error of their ways when the spirits invite a bunch of their friends, get drunk and trash the place.

"Inviting relentless spirits into our lives is fun! While we're at it, let's invite some more Vampires into my house!"

Seriously? A séance? Hasn’t Bonnie spent this entire episode complaining about a ghost haunting her? Why would we agree to invite in a spirit? You deserve whatever you get from this.

 

Damon says Stefan is an expert on starving vampires. That does raise the question, why did Stefan know about that whole living corpse thing to threaten Damon with it before?

 

Oh good! Bonnie’s become possessed by the ghost of Emily! Maybe she’ll contribute to the story in some way!

 

You would think that being a vampire himself, Stefan would be prepared for things like super-sensory eavesdropping when he gets important information via phone call.

 

I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the burning tree. Even Bonnie’s ancestors have a pyromania problem. I have to say, I’m a little bummed that Emily’s contribution while possessing Bonnie was to destroy the thing that was possibly going to make Bonnie useful.

 

So is “having a wounded human drink my blood” the go-to solution for all vampire problems?

 

Well they caught me by surprise here. I would not have guessed that Damon was the one with genuine feelings for Katherine. Of course I hadn’t guessed that she was an evil vampire or that she was probably alive and tramped somewhere with a bunch of angry vampires, so maybe I’m  not the best one to ask.

 

Interesting, so vampire blood is pretty much just super medicine as long as you don’t die?

 

Oh no! Stefan’s leaving. He probably shouldn’t go until he’s made sure that Damon’s also leaving. You know, cause he eats people indiscriminately?

 

So Elena tells Bonnie about the vampires during a musical montage, which she responds to by crying. I like to think he reactions was something like, “There were two sexy vampires in town and you didn’t tell me? You’re a terrible friend, you know how much I loved Twilight!”

 

Oh. Logan’s back. And he ALSO seems to be a vampire. Kind of a lot of vampire happening in this town all of a sudden. Maybe they really are planning on continuing to kill vampires with relatively reckless abandon. Logan’s return does at least explain why they’ve continued to use footage from him during the “previously on the Vampire Diaries” segments.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diaries: Volume 2

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

Okay, Mystic Falls, what’s the deal? Don’t you have any animal experts at all? I feel like all of these gruesome “animal attacks” would have raised at least SOME suspicion of something more sinister than a wolf or whatever. Of course I say this, but it’s really only a matter of time until werewolves show up and make me sound silly.

 

Aw yeah! We’re finally going to have an implausible social event! These are a staple of any teen drama worth the name. I wonder if the Founder’s Party is going to be all-in ridiculous, like black-tie or something.

 

Damon’s relationship with Caroline seems like an allegory for controlling male dominance in a relationship. And I thought that before the stab at Twilight that makes it even more apparent (Damon sits lamenting the past days of Anne Rice and asks “What’s so special about Bella?”).

 

If there’s some sort of drug to help treat the symptoms of angst, I’d like to sign Elena’s brother Jeremy up for the trial group. He’s throwing an absolute fit over his sister lending their family heirlooms to the mayor’s family for one night of cultural history. Chill out!

 

Obviously some of it would be myth, but don't you think people hunting vampires would be prepared for this type of situation?

"So, you going to invite me in?" "Well, I'm part of a secret council that actively hunts vampires...so sure, why not?"

It’s a good thing so many people in Mystic Falls are predisposed to phrasing their greetings as an invitation inside, otherwise vampires would have much more trouble crashing parties. And here I was thinking that being a plus one would be invitation enough. Silly me.

 

You know, I wasn’t having a problem with this party until the awkward scene where Caroline tries to get Stefan to dance with her. Am I the only one who thinks its weird to ask your friend’s date to dance when you came to the party with your own date? I guess that’s not the weirdest thing I’ve heard of, but she handled it really strangely. Making things MORE peculiar, though, is the fact that the founder’s party is more like a museum wing than a fancy ball, plus there doesn’t seem to be music playing. Where did she plan on dancing and to what?

 

Stefan’s at a pretty big disadvantage in the vampire war. Not only does he not drink human blood, making him physically weaker, but Daman’s natural charm is leaps and bounds above Stefan’s sincerity. He lies to Elena about what happened with Katherine, and even without his mind powers she buys it hook, line and sinker.

 

This C story about the witch girl learning to light candles with her mind is the least organic plot I can remember in ages. She’s in only a few scenes by herself in contrived situations to get her to try to start the fires, with no motivation for her to think she can or to try to do so.

 

Elena spots the horrific vampire bites on Carolyn’s neck. Maybe I’m onto something with this allegory angle. Vampires are abusive boyfriends, who feed on their lovers (though literally here instead of emotionally). Meanwhile Stefan is the one who can actually change?

 

Then again, looking at this whole Vicky choosing the lesser of two awfuls dating plotline, maybe this show is just about broken relationships.

 

I really do feel for Caroline, but she's not the brightest bulb, I wouldn't be shocked by this reaction from her.

"Oh you're spiking my drink?" "Yes, but only to kill my vampire brother" "Aw, so no incestuous vampire threesome?"

Okay, in fairness I definitely underestimated Stefan here. His ploy to spike Carolyn’s drink with the anti-vampire macguffin was pretty masterful, knowing that Damen would feed on her without a second thought. Of course he goes right back to wussville by locking Damen up instead of killing him, or even letting his “uncle” kill him, when he’s clearly proven to be super dangerous.

 

What on Earth!? Well I guess the town doesn’t have any animal experts, but they DO have some Vampire experts…the founder’s council? That’s a pretty good twist, and at least partially explains why the council was throwing a similar fit to Jeremy regarding that pocket watch.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

If a vampire doesn’t feed for long enough, they don’t die, but instead become a living corpse? And that’s Stefan’s 50 year rehabilitation plan? This vampire stuff’s getting real, but I can’t decide if I’ve underestimated Stefan again.

 

Oh yeah, forgot about Matt…I guess he’s technically a character too, though I think he’s competing with Bonnie for the title of least useful character.

 

More Vampire hunter talk. Interesting stuff. If the watch has some anti vampire voodoo, and is a family heirloom, does that mean the Gilberts are vampire slayers? Also it’s clear that the council doesn’t know about the weird magic daytime rings, which means they’re probably not especially good at their job.

 

I’m all for clean living, but you picked a weird time to start, Jeremy. You finally hook up with the bad girl and THEN you decide you don’t want to be doing drugs? You’re doing it backwards, when you start your downward spiral, you’re supposed to meet a bad influence and then use that relationship as the excuse to START taking drugs!

 

Unlike Caroline and Vicky before him, it looks like Mr. Tanner is dead. I can’t say I blame Damon for not showing restraint on that one. Doesn’t seem like anyone at the school misses him…actually, we haven’t actually been anywhere near the school since he died. They had to cancel school when he died, because they had to restaff the entire school, didn’t they?

 

I wonder if she'll ever learn to do anything constructive with her magic, like cast a spell to grow a personality.

"Hey guys, check it out, I'm a witch!" "This is why nobody invites you to parties, Bonnie."

Looks like the vampire regeneration factor can heal burning from sunlight. That’s handy.

 

Speaking of burning, Bonnie the witch really needs some psychiatric help to deal with her pyrokinesis problem.

 

Am I really supposed to believe there was film of local news from the 50’s? A lot of TV shows from back then weren’t even filmed, would the local news really go to the trouble? Even if it existed and even if you could zoom in on someone in the background it would be so hopelessly grainy you’d be unable to make out their features. I call shenanigans.

 

Elena figured out there are vampires. Cool for her.

 

Man, even when Vicky figured out that both of her boyfriends were incurable ogres, the abusive boyfriend vampire allegory thing still bit her…literally…in the neck. She’s been fed on twice. Sucks to be her.

 

 

Dear Vampire Diary,

 

I find it weird that Elena phrased her skepticism about her discovery as “I am not a believer”. This is a vague statement…does she not believe in the supernatural? This is what I assume because otherwise it suggests that people in her world believe in Vampires like they do Santa Claus or like a politician who will actually improve something in office.

 

I kid, she's certainly not that bad, but when I see her on screen she still feels like Elena...except when she's undeading people.

"Yo guys, sorry I'm late for your shindig, I hit mad traffic on the way to your crib."

I don’t know exactly why, but I totally don’t by Elena’s actress playing Katherine. She feels like she’s playing dress up.

 

What is Vicky made of, and how does she keep surviving this horrific blood loss? We should study her for science.

 

Time for the laundry list of Vampire myths! I appreciate the fact that they waited to pull this until there was someone to legitimately ask the questions. So that’s myth busted on crucifixes, holy water, garlic and the reflection thing. So almost none of vampire lore is true…at least they don’t sparkle in daylight.

 

This makes me uncomfortable. So Damon makes Vicky drink some of his blood after she survives yet again, then later they start drinking each other’s blood simultaneously. Somehow this seems weirdly incestuous and unpleasant. Aside from which, if vampires could sustain themselves on vampire blood, would it be necessary to feed on humans? I am confused.

 

So Katherine is the vampire that turned both the brothers, eh? I didn’t exactly call it, but I’m not as surprised as I should be. She’s pretty clearly a callous manipulator, so her using vampire powers selfishly would not be a shock even without my theory of abusive vampires.

 

This party montage with Vicky and Damon is delightfully gratuitous. Usually teen dramas save this sort thing for like slumber parties, but sometimes you’ve got to get the bad boy’s shirt off for some reason. She’s not pulling any shame punches either, dancing around and rolling on the floor in a tight/skimpy outfit.

 

So Vicky goes about expositioning her troubled past to Damon, who points out how very damaged she is and then kills her. Of course, she gets back up because she drank his blood. I’m unclear about how this works. I mean They’ve explained their process: drink a vampire’s blood, die, feed on a human. What I don’t get is how you can be undead before you finish the becoming a vampire process.

 

Maybe the needle is made from a teenage girl's hair, and thus is inherently attracted to vampires.

"Alright, got my vampire compass, got my wooden bullets, time to go vampire hunting! Uh oh, made in Taiwan? These bullets aren't going to kill vampires are they?"

Okay, time to talk about this pocket watch. So it seems that pocket watch that Jeremy was moping about is half of some sort of vampire tracking compass thing. Except that the part that actually seems to track them is the part the founder’s council already had, the compass was just an empty shell when they put the other part inside. So…why did they need the watch? Also, what mechanism does one use to track a vampire, anyway? Are they magnetic? Is it just a regular compass? If so the founders are kind of jerks for stealing the watch, but then again, Jeremy hasn’t seemed to miss it, despite his earlier tantrum.

 

Even if we accept that the compass somehow makes sense, what good is this thing for humans? Vampires are considerably faster, stronger and more mind control-y than humans are. You can use this compass thing to get close, piss of a vampire and then die? I think I need to have a word with their QA team.

 

Local newscaster guy got vampire’d! He has a history of abuse from when he cheated on aunt Jenna. Coincidence, or is he being punished for his abusive relationship past? But if this show sought to punish people for that behavior then it would be focused on the vampires, would it? I’m eventually going to figure out how my theory applies, blast it!

 

Looks like my theory about the compass holds true, at least. It got newscaster guy close enough to Vampires to shoot one, then get him wrecked, by an angry vampire. Once again, this feels like a Torchwood plan to me.