Review: ‘The Vampire Diaries’: Bloody, bloody Christmas
Being a parent/guardian of a teenager is probably pretty difficult (sorry, mom and dad for those early 00s!), but being a parent to a teen in Mystic Falls is basically a death sentence. Over the course of three and a half seasons, we’ve watched as the parents and guardians of our main characters have perished any number of supernatural deaths.
It’s a little confusing trying to keep all of the dead straight (this is the only show that actually has a ‘Deceased Characters’ section on its wiki page), so I’ve made you all this handy ‘Revenge’-style parental death scorecard (two more deaths and we’ve got ourselves a Bingo card, folks!).
As you can see, I’ve already added Mrs. Mayor Lockwood (RIP) to the scorecard. It was hard for me to see Carol go, but the actress always has her werewolf friends over in Beacon Hills to chill with, right (I’m assuming Lydia’s mom hasn’t died; I’m only in the middle of the second season of ‘Teen Wolf’)?
But in reality, it was only a matter of time before we lost another parental figure. And to be honest, Carol wasn’t that great of a mayor anyway; her town events usually involved people getting injured or dying (she probably should have seen this coming?), so she probably wasn’t going to get re-elected anyhow. And hell, she only became mayor once her husband, the real Mayor Lockwood, died (RIP). This leads me to question the government structure of Mystic Falls – is it a monarchy? Do you have to be a member of the founding families? How do inept women like Carol and Sheriff Forbes still have jobs after half of the town’s population has been murdered by suspicious animal attacks? I need answers, people!
Truthfully, it’s probably safe to assume that it’s only a matter of time until every single one of our cast members is an orphan (where is Matt’s mom, anyway?) – but just to be safe, I hope someone’s got Sheriff Forbes locked away in a secret enchanted safety chamber/panic room where Klaus can’t get to her. Because if he figures out (assuming he hasn’t already) that Caroline was in on Kill Klaus Plot #84, I don’t think Liz is very safe. And come on, let’s be honest, it’s not like she’s out solving crimes or anything.
All kidding about dead parents aside, this episode was pretty monumental in the grand scheme of things. Story threads and fragments that seemed disjointed for several episodes were all tied into a neat little bow and placed under the big Mystic Falls Christmas Tree of Death.
Individual character storylines finally converged as Tyler attempted to take down Klaus with his gang of merry hybrids, only to be thwarted by Hayley’s betrayal – she told Klaus about the plan so he’d murder the 12 hybrids, thus completing Shane’s sacrifice (and paving the way for Klaus’ murder of Mayor Lockwood). In return for her going rogue, Hayley received information about her dead parents from Shane, who, whether he knows it yet or not, just got that much closer to his own shady goal, which I still haven’t entirely figured out.
Speaking of Shane, he was also an integral part of the other half of tonight’s episode (the part about Jeremy’s arms), further interweaving the threads of this tangled, bloody web. He helped, sort of, to redirect Jeremy’s inherent desire to kill his sister, all the while laying the groundwork for finding Silas and the “cure” for immortality. Shane claims that if they find where Silas is buried, they will find the cure, but I have a feeling that they’ll find much more than that. And who is to say that if they do find the cure, that the person won’t just revert to their original state – which is dead. This web is still very tangled and I have no idea how the writers will begin to untangle it, but if they can bring these previously unrelated stories to a head in tonight’s episode, I have faith they’ll be able to bring this baby full circle and all of our heads will explode.
The other big storylines of the evening related to Damon and Elena and the sire bond, and Stefan and Klaus and just how similar the two of them are. Let’s tackle the lovebirds first…
Stefan and Klaus (see what I did there? You thought I was going to talk about Delena first) have had a very tumultuous relationship over the course of the last century. From brothers and partners in death and destruction to enemies, Klaus finally dropped a couple knowledgebombs on our favorite broody brother tonight as he helped him see that the two of them haven’t necessarily lived all that differently. They both memorialize their victims because, otherwise, they’d be consumed by the ever-present loneliness that often comes with their vampire nature.
If a show can not only make you sympathetic to its main villain, but also force you to recognize the similarities between said villain and one of the series’ heroes, you’ve got one hell of a show and one hell of a story. And as Carrie Raisler pointed out in her always spot on review, our friends in Mystic Falls have an odd sense of morality – an odd sense of who’s right and who’s wrong. In tonight’s episode, I think Stefan finally realized this, whether it was fighting Tyler on the attack against Klaus or the aforementioned realization regarding his own evilness, the world doesn’t revolve around Elena or the Salvatores, and just because they’re not hunting and killing humans for dinner anymore, doesn’t necessarily make them any less evil than Klaus.
As for Damon and Elena, the two of them spent most of the episode together at the Gilbert lake house with Shane, Jeremy and Bonnie, attempting to figure out a way to keep Jeremy from killing Elena. But in the end, after several hours of solemn reflection at the lake house, Damon did the right thing – well, as much as he could. He gave in to the guilt, gave up what his heart truly wanted and he sent Elena home. But it’s worth noting that he didn’t tell her to leave town or forget him entirely, he simply told her to go back to Mystic Falls while he stayed behind to help train Jeremy to kill more vampires to complete his hunter tattoo. The bond is not broken. She still kissed him before she got into the car, and she told him she had wanted to fight him on leaving, but because he told her to go home, that’s what she did.
I’m sure Damon and Elena fans are reeling right now, but once again, I have to ask, you didn’t really think this was going to be easy did you? This story, if it’s going to play out the way I think it might (and I’m probably totally wrong, because I almost never see these things coming on ‘The Vampire Diaries’), we’re going to have to sit through a lot more pain and suffering before these two lovebirds are truly happy. If the sire bond can be broken without curing Elena, I think we’ll see that her feelings are real, just as she believes them to be. But that’s all up in the air right now.
Some stray observations:
- Caroline told Stefan about Damon and Elena, thus causing Stefan to throw a fit. And here’s my dilemma. If I’m going to hate on Sarah Braverman for jumping into bed with Hank so quickly on ‘Parenthood’, don’t I have to hold Elena to those same standards? In a perfect world, I would say yes. But Elena and Damon have been doing this dance for so long that their sexual frustration was starting to make me frustrated and I’m very happy the two of them finally slept together. And before there is any slut-shaming. Elena can have sex with whomever she wants, whenever she wants, wherever she wants, MMMK?
- Everyone was worried Matt was going to die (lol), but he was only in the episode for one 15 second scene to tell Caroline that April can’t be compelled because she’s wearing Jeremy’s vervain bracelet.
- Rebekah’s back y’all. April has undaggered the queen.
What did you guys think? Were you thrown by Hayley’s betrayal? How long do you think until April cracks? Are you sad for Tyler? Why can’t Stefan and Klaus just be best friends who paint post-modern snowflakes together like dudes do?
Note: Photo courtesy of The CW.