This episode of Vampire Diaries was a vast improvement on last week’s. Not that that’s hard. This week didn’t have to be exciting, or groundbreaking, or jaw-dropping. It didn’t have to be full of edge-of-your-seat drama, or life or death situations. It didn’t have to have twists in the plot or, in fact, any plot development at all. And it didn’t have any of those things. What it did have was great storytelling, and a stripped-back, (relatively) pressure-free look at the characters. And, like “After School Special”, that made all the difference. We’re beginning to think that VD is at its best when it focuses more on the people than the mysticism.
Not that this episode was completely devoid of that. Silas features (briefly), this time in the guise of Caroline, and there is still that constant thread relating to the cure. The drama surrounding the cure has been upped, though not significantly. While it is now heading toward Mystic Falls – surprisingly enough, in the hands of Elijah ‘where has he been ‘til now’ Mikaelson – we’re no more concerned or enlightened than we were last week, or the week before, or the week before that. We’re just a little more curious. But only a little bit.
There was a smidge of drama in the form of Damon letting Rebekah take what they both thought was the cure (we were never fooled) because, on some level, he preferred vampire Elena to I’m-allowed-to-make-my-own-decisions-(sometimes)-cos-I’m-human Elena. That drama was short lived (Damon realized his mistake as quickly as Rebekah downed that “cure”), and served only to inspire Stefan to make a decision – when Elena is cured he’s going to break his and Damon’s pattern of falling for (and fighting over) the same girls, and will make sure Elena’s out of his life for good. We don’t think he’s going to kill her, so where does that leave us? Will they be going to different colleges in the Fall, or something?
The most concentrated drama (possibly in all VD history*) came in the form of Elena finally and completely flipping her lid. This also marked the point at which we stopped preferring vampire Elena to I-don’t-kill-innocent-people-who-are-just-trying-to-give-me-my-free-refill Elena. We are finally willing to admit that she’s not better when she’s being bad – this week, she just went too far. Though this does land our boys in a sticky predicament – do they keep trying to convince Elena to take the cure, thereby risking innocent lives, or wait for her to figure it out on her own damn time? We all know she’s eventually going to be human again. Now all that’s left is to find out how. Are we the only ones wishing the writers would just get that over with already?
Charming romance (read: screaming matches and sizzling, off-the-charts tension) was prevalent between Klaus and Caroline. And that’s something else we wish the writers would just get on with. It’s been long enough to make it believable if Caroline gives in. So make it happen, thanks. In the meantime, we’ll just have to make do with the smoldering glances and lingering pauses. And the joy of watching Caroline being slowly proven wrong about someone.
Our only problem with the episode was what wasn’t in it – Bonnie. After the dramatic twist to the end of last week’s episode, we were hoping for some scenes in which Bonnie wrestled with her guilt and grief over Jeremy’s death. This sounds sadistic, we know, but we were sort of looking forward to some real, human moments. Maybe we’ll get them next week.
And now we end on some broad supposition and speculation. As we move forward, here’s where we stand: the cure is completely in Mikaelson hands. Elijah doesn’t immediately matter to the outcome. He just wants to give Klaus the cure in exchange for his girlfriend Katherine’s freedom. What happens next is really anyone’s guess. Will Klaus give it to Silas, let his sister have it, or cram it down Elena’s throat so that he gets his doppelgänger back? Until this week, we probably would have been Team Rebekah, but now? We’re not so sure. We’re dying to get Elena back (for the aforementioned reasons and to see how things with she and Damon play out), but we’re also curious about what they would face with Silas. Whether he gets his cure or not, he’s certainly going to be the Big Bad next season. All that remains to be seen is how the pieces will align against him, and what exactly they’ll be fighting. – K
“I hate to say I told you so, but… duh!”
– Elijah, Elena