Recap: ‘The Vampire Diaries’: Death is your gift
There’s an episode in the fifth season of ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’ in which the First Slayer tells Buffy, “Death is your gift.” During the course of this episode I kept coming back to the idea that Elena hurts every single person that she touches and that maybe in a way death is her gift, too.
Think about it: Elena’s parents died, both biological and adoptive. Her brother has died several times (thanks, Damon!). Aunt Jenna was turned into a vampire and then sacrificed by Klaus. Caroline became a vampire, and then lost her father after he chose not to complete his own transition. Matt lost his sister. Tyler activated his werewolf curse and eventually was turned into a hybrid, and is currently of unknown whereabouts. Damon and Stefan, well, they’re both hopelessly in love with the girl but neither can seem to get it right which leads to a lot of furrowed brows and sad eyes. And Bonnie, well, she lost her Grams after opening the tomb and Damon turned her mother into a vampire in order to save Elena. That leaves us with Alaric, who, by the way, has been the show’s punching bag for awhile now.
Alaric has been killed several times over the course of the show (again, thanks, Damon!). He’s been possessed by Klaus. Both his wife and his girlfriend were turned into vampires and are now both real dead, not undead. And now he suffers from rage blackouts courtesy of that damn Gilbert ring that brought him back from the dead 9 million times.
I think it’s about time the writers cut the poor vampire hunter some slack, don’t you? Lord knows this show doesn’t need any more ‘Buffy’ comparisons, especially since I started this review with one, but I have to say, making one of the core group the Big Bad of the season, as it appears Alaric has turned out to be, albeit unknowingly and against his own will, feels like it’s been done. And it’s because ‘Buffy’ did it in season six when Willow went all vein-y and turned into Dark Willow (something the show had been alluding to for awhile with her interest in dark magic) after Warren’s stray bullet killed Tara.
Obviously the two situations are not all that similar. Willow chose vengeance and as I understand it, the Gilbert ring broke down Alaric’s psyche and allowed the darkness to come through. But I hate to see the show go down this path, if only because Elena and Jeremy need Alaric’s parental guidance. It’s all they’ve got. He’s all they’ve got left. And sure, Elena is 18 now (shouldn’t she be applying to colleges or something?), but everyone needs that parental presence in their lives, no matter how old they are. And if you won’t listen to me, Caroline told Abby the same exact thing in tonight’s episode when she caught her writing a Dear Bonnie letter in the kitchen. “No one is better off without their parents!” she said. And yet Abby ignored her and left Bonnie to annoy us all some more.
And let’s face it, everyone needs a Caroline lecture. Every single character on this show needs a lecture from the All Knowing Caroline. She’s wise despite the fact she was introduced as the typical blond cheerleader in the first season. Becoming a vampire did wonders for her personality and for her intelligence it seems. Bonnie, however …. Well, Bonnie does nothing but mope around trying to make everyone feel sorry for her. And as evidenced above, Elena has it way worse than Bonnie and she doesn’t make me want to bang my head into a wall every time she’s on screen. Which is a very good thing because I’d probably be walking around concussed all the time if that were the case. But truthfully, I’ve never connected to Bonnie. In fact, the only time I ever cared about her storyline was when she was with Jeremy, and I think that was only because I desperately wanted Jeremy to find someone to love who didn’t end up a vampire and, also, dead.
Speaking of the other Gilbert sibling, he made an appearance tonight! Granted, it was just a telephone call from Elena in which she basically just called to check up on him. But he was actually on screen. It wasn’t just a fake one-sided phone call. I hope this means Jeremy will be back in Mystic Falls for good soon. Because I’ve been missing Steven’s face a lot these past couple of months. (I may have actually squealed, “JEREMY!” while doing a fist pump when he showed up on screen.) Anyway, so Elena phoned Jeremy up to check on him. And I suppose she couldn’t very well say, “Hey, bro. Remember how I erased your memories and all that crap? And how I sent you away to live with “family” out in Denver? Cool. Um, are you also an accidental psycho killer? Because Alaric is. And I was just wondering.” No, Elena couldn’t say that. And even if Jeremy was suffering from those same rage blackouts as Alaric, I don’t suppose he’d know he was suffering from them. Which is another reason to bring him home, Elena! Let;s be honest. Denver is super lame and I bet Jeremy hates it. He was just pretending to be happy for your sake. Yeah, that’s it.
Meanwhile, while all of the stuff involving Alaric was going on (oh yeah, I forgot, he totally attacked Crazy Nanny Carrie and for a minute I kind of felt bad for her. I’m sorry, Torrey, I just have a hard time separating you from Crazy Nannie Carrie and Melissa Hastings – you play crazy evil so well!), Damon was fooling around with the worst two women on the planet, Sage and Rebekah.
I enjoyed seeing Damon seduce Rebekah again, even if he was doing it so Sage could pull some weird ‘Twilight’ shit and use her mind to find her weakness. “Rebekah may be an Original, but she’s a girl. You find her weakness and exploit it,” Sage told Damon. Sadly, what neither of Damon nor Sage know, is that it’s not because she’s a girl that she’s got a weakness. Being a girl is Rebekah’s weakness. Rebekah was turned so early that she carries with her that insecurity that comes along with being a young woman. She might have been around for thousands of years, but she’s still a young woman inside. It’s why she was so excited about the homecoming dance and why she took a liking to Matt after he gave her his Letterman jacket to foolishly try to keep her warm. Damon exploited that insecurity in her and after they had sex, Sage walked in and mind-raped her.
Later, Damon, wrapped in nothing but his sex sheet (did he just leave Rebekah up there naked without any covers?), decided it was time to peruse the old Salvatore library for yet another piece of the latest puzzle (those Salvatore’s certainly like to keep records – no wonder Stefan has a diary). He found the old milling ledgers that the Salvatore’s keep just hanging out on a shelf in their house, and discovered that the second white oak tree was cut down and used to build the Wickery Bridge. Yup, that same bridge that A) Elena’s parent’s drove off and died, B) Stefan tried to kill Elena on earlier this season, and C) just happens to be being restored this episode. Boy, what a lucky coincidence that was! So Damon tells Sage about the bridge, because he’s an idiot, and the next thing he knows, Rebekah’s burning the wood from the bridge. Should’ve seen that betrayal by Sage coming, dude.
“I told you I’d save your creepy boyfriend!” Damon yelled at Sage. But she was too smart for him. She used her ‘Twilight’ magic to get into his mind too. And she found out that the Originals are linked and that if Rebekah dies, so too does her One True Love Finn. By the way, I refuse to believe that a woman like Sage would love the weird, crazy-eyed, suicidal Finn. But whatever. Little does Sage know, but Damon’s got the new sign for Wickery Bridge. And what’s it made of? That same white oak tree. BAM.
Some other observations:
- Elena: “You stood there and let him feed on an innocent girl.” / Damon: “I didn’t let him do anything. If you want to get nitpicky about it, I made him.” / Elena: “Why would you do that?”/ Damon: “Because we’re vampires, Elena. We need human blood to survive. We’re predators, not puppies.” / Elena: “Well, Stefan found a way around it before.” / Damon: “Stefan has built himself a delusional wagon which he’s repeatedly fallen off of. What he needs to learn is control.“
- “Ric, the world can’t stop just because you’re an accidental psycho killer.”
- “Unless you’re interested in a Sage/Rebekah sex sandwich, I suggest you make yourself scarce.” (Question: why hasn’t there ever been a Damon and Stefan sex sandwich? That would seriously solve this show’s major problem, the choice between Stelena and Delena.)
- Damon’s “he doesn’t love you” speech to Sage was very reminiscent of scenes from the first season in which Damon was told that Katherine never loved him. I thought it very nice to see him tell someone else that kind of thing, especially someone who seems to have spent much of her existence like Damon had until the first season; holding on to something that probably wasn’t real.
- I wish the writers would stop trying to make Bonnie happen. Because I’m never going to like her.
- I miss Tyler. And Jeremy. And Klaus. And Kol. And Elijah. BRING THEM ALL BACK, ASAP, PLEASE.
- Stefan seems to be making progress on the control thing, as he was able to withstand the hunger long enough to give Meredith some of his blood to heal her. Nevermind the fact he left Evil!Alaric downstairs with no guard, not knowing whether or not when he woke up if he’d still be evil or not.
- I think the only way to save Alaric this time is to turn him into a vampire. And I’m completely OK with this if it means I’ll still have Alaric on this show. He’s my favorite character, and I think I might die inside if he dies on the show. What would I do without my Damon/Alaric bromance? (Which has been back these past couple of episodes. Thank you, writers!)
That’s it for now. What did you guys think? Did you see the Sage thing coming? Do you like the idea of Alaric being evil?
Note: Photo courtesy of The CW.