The Vampire Diaries
Original Air Date: Apr 29, 2010
Meg – Senior Reviewer
Tonight’s episode has a little bit of everything: strategic shirtlessness, accidental patricide, twisty revelations, and a startling assassination.
We start off with Stefan still detoxing behind bars in the depths of the Salvatore mansion, as he starts to have flashbacks to the time when he and Damon were turned.
Flashback: The Vampening
The Salvatore brothers run through the woods, carrying a weakened Katherine. Damon gets shot and dies quickly in his brother’s arms (I don’t think it’s a “spoiler” to say this is a temporary development…). Stefan sees the torch-wielding villagers approaching (never a good sign), but is shot in the gut before he can escape. As Stefan loses consciousness, he sees Katherine recaptured.
Later, Stefan wakes up to find Emily (Katherine’s maid) waiting for him. Emily explains that the brothers are “in transition” between being “undead” and just plain dead—if they don’t feed on human blood soon, they will die. Stefan is confused because he has never ingested vamp blood and he thought that was a necessary part of the equation. Emily drops the bomb that Katherine had been secretly compelling him for weeks to drink her blood (gross). She also reveals that while Stefan was under mind control, Damon willingly drank Katherine’s blood (double gross). Stefan finds Damon (delightfully shirtless, might I add) brooding lakeside, distraught over losing Katherine.
Stefan explains to his brother that they will die if they don’t feed on humans. Damon doesn’t care – the only reason he wanted to be a vampire was so he could be with Katherine. (Sidenote: I don’t mean to spit on the love story here, but seriously – what was so effing great about Katherine that he’s spent the last 200 years obsessed with her? Can someone fill me in?).
Stefan decides that the best possible thing for him to do as a newly turned vampire is to go and visit his father, aka Captain “Death-to-Vampyres!” Clearly death has not made him smarter. He approaches his old house and uses his new super-hearing skills to overhear his father talking to Jonathan Gilbert 1.0 and insisting that Gilbert doctor the town records to say that the church fire killed civilians, not vampires. Papa Salvatore makes certain that his sons will be recorded as “innocent victims.”
Stefan appears to his dad who – justifiably – freaks the heck out. Papa Salvatore is horrified at the abomination and reveals that it was he who fired the shot that killed Stefan for “choosing the vampires over us.” Some awkward fight choreography ensues, which somehow leads to Papa S staking himself. Stefan sees the blood oozing from his father’s almost-corpse and grabs the reddened stake like it’s a Ben & Jerry’s blood-sicle. He licks his fingers and this is just all very, very gross.
The Present: Stefan-Watch
Elena and Damon are still keeping watch over Stefan, as they try and convince him to eat (well, drink) something. He’s wallowing and demands that Elena leave him alone and that he is a monster and deserves to die and blah blah anstytormentedfishcakes… Elena gives Stefan his ring back and unlocks his basement prison. Still awash in self-pity, he leaves the ring behind and makes a break for it. Elena argues with Damon and he tells her that she doesn’t understand Stefan’s guilt because she doesn’t know the full story….
Flashback: What Really Happened
Post-patricide, Stefan goes to Damon, extolling the apparent awesomeness of vampirism. He tells Damon that he feels powerful and oh, by the way, he totally accidentally just murdered their father. Damon doesn’t seem too upset and has resigned himself to dying. Stefan begs Damon to feed and complete the transformation— even offering him a hypnotized village girl. Stefan gets very grabby and it sort of looks like he and Damon are going to make out for a second (I’m not sure this is what the Director was going for), and Damon gives in (to the bloodlust, not the bro-lust). Stefan is thrilled that the two of them can have infinite magical brother time. Sadly, Damon ruins the moment by promising Stefan “an eternity of misery.” It turns out Damon’s pissed, not that Stefan forced him to turn, but that Katherine chose to turn Stefan in the first place.
The Present: Stefan-Watch II
Elena finds Stefan and pleads with him to put his protective ring back on before the sun rises. I’d probably be more moved by this scene if I hadn’t watched Buffy and Angel have the same conversation in Buffy’s Season Three. Elena points out the rather obvious math, that Stefan + Permanent Death does NOT erase the hurt he’s done or resurrect his victims. She tells him that “our actions set things in motion and we have to live with that” and implores him to choose to keep fighting. He puts his ring back on and they kiss. I know that the Elena-Stefan love story is a focal point, but I almost think it would have been more interesting to have had it be Damon instead of Elena trying to convince Stefan not to kill himself. What do you think?
Jeremy and Anna
In other storylines, Anna surprises Jeremy with the news that she will soon be matriculating at Mystic Falls High School. I don’t understand this—if you were immortal and could do anything you wanted, would you really choose to spend more time in high school? Jeremy is duly flattered that she’s willing to brave pep rallies and calculus just to be with him. Later, they start to get naked and Anna lamely calls Jeremy her “weakness” (Hey, Anna? Please don’t make this any more Danielle Steele than it already is). Anna also calls Uncle Jon a “hater”, which is sort of hilarious.
Later, Anna’s mom Pearl tells her that Mystic Falls is no longer safe for them and that they need to leave immediately. Anna says goodbye to a sleeping Jeremy and goes home to find her mother DEAD. Somebody staked Pearl!
Uncle J is still being a smarmy bastard. That’s pretty much his role this episode. He tells Elena that he knows she is dating a vampire – he even goes so far as to say “what would your mother think?” She throws it right back in his face and asks “which mother?” Ooh – point to Elena.
Uncle Jon chats with Pearl at a bar and they both decide to abandon pretenses. He tells Pearl that he wants the gadget she stole from Jonathan Gilbert 1.0 and that he is counting on her historic “weakness for Gilbert men” to play out in his favor. Wow. He starts spinning some yarn about how he’s read all of Jonathan 1.0’s journals and how much he had regretted hurting Pearl, his one true love. Pearl just eats it up. Just as I’m about to gag, Uncle Jonathan laughs at her and says he’s kidding and that Jonathan 1.0 hated her. Heh. Not the brightest move on his part, but still pretty funny. Pearl tells him she gave the gadget to Damon and that she hopes Uncle J rots in hell. Unfortunately, he retaliates by visiting her later and staking her in the heart. Bye, Pearl.
Damon and Alaric
In a development that I love, Alaric and Damon team up to track down Isobel. They get a lead on her possible location by tracing Uncle Jon’s cell calls. Damon and Alaric trade barbs, but I think they’re developing a grudging respect for one another. Best exchange of the night:
Damon: I’m not going with you, you tried to kill me!
Alaric: You DID kill me!
At the address, they find blood in the fridge and Henry, a vamp that Damon recognizes from the tomb. Henry seems like a decent sort who is excited to see Damon again. They chat amiably and Henry reveals that the vamps who escaped from the tombs are in league with Uncle Jon who has been helping them adjust to modernity, specifically cars, computers, and internet dating (I so would have appreciated a cut scene of David Anders schooling some 1860s vamps in romantic netiquette. Henry keeps chatting away, spilling that the vampires all want revenge against the founding families of Mystic Falls and that Uncle Jon has a plan. Sadly, Alaric stakes Henry (aww, he seemed nice) before he can tip Uncle Jon off.
Damon and Alaric take a blood and beer break and bond over chasing their vampire women. Alaric decides he’s done obsessing over Isobel (Quitter! He’s only been looking for two years—Damon’s been at it for 146!). Of course this means that the episode ends with Alaric being confronted by Miss Isobel herself – dun dun DUN!
What did you think of the episode? Are you excited to see Isobel wreak havoc on Mystic Falls? What did you think of the flashback revelation? Leave some comments and let me know your two cents.