weewarrior: (waiting for the perfect moment)
[personal profile] weewarrior
Short VD primer: I started watching this as background noise for doing my laundry and for a long time my interest stayed on that level, although I very quickly learned to appreciate the great number of interesting and often quite powerful female characters both human and supernatural. Roughly around Episode 9, the show started bringing in new and interesting characters and several storylines that jumped and twisted and intertwined in unpredictable and largely entertaining ways and some time later I realized I'm no longer ironically turned on by its bad boy image watching this for cheap kicks but actually enjoying it on its own merits. It even changed my opinion of Ian Somerhalder's acting skills, although that admittedly took a while.

I do like almost all characters; the ones I care most about are Alaric, Anna, Bonnie, Caroline and Elena, but I'm proud to say that after 21 episodes, I've even managed to distinguish Matt, Tyler and Jeremy. This, I assure you, was no mean feat.
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Some notes about last week's episode under the cut:



- Isobel is still quite a mess, rather fascinating and somehow, a very noirish character. She's inherently contradictory, wanting Elena and Alaric to hate her, and yet caring about both, working for Katherine, but also against her by plotting the Salvatore brothers' death, hurting Matt to prove a point and yet letting Jeremy go back home even before she got what she wanted. She regrets becoming a vampire, but also thinks she needed it, which certainly makes her tragic without excusing her methods: It's not like she has any trouble terrorizing, exploiting and/or killing people who are not Elena and Alaric, and the way she treats these two really takes tough love to a whole new level. Her last scene with Alaric was great for both of them, perfectly illustrating the push and pull relationship they have: he wants to put her behind him, but can't, and so has to make an attempt to lure her out, she probably truly wants him to be able to move on, and yet when she gives his ring back she puts it on his finger like a wedding band.

- Elena reacts to Isobel as one would expect: with dread and curiousity, then resentment and fear, and finally anger. The parallels between her asking Damon to compell Jeremy and Isobel telling John to kill Damon and Stefan are quite nice: both want to protect a loved one, both do it in an invasive way without even asking the person concerned. I'm sure that's a resemblance she wouldn't like much. I'm very interested to see how she'll react to John being her father (great, and now I'm getting Arrested Development flashbacks. "You said my father is my father, but my uncle is my father. My father is my uncle!")

- Bonnie! I absolutely understand why she decided not to sabotage the device - vampires, to her, are mostly evil and directly linked to Sheila's death, and even the more harmless ones like Stefan always seem to be on the brink of flipping as the situation with Amber proved - but it obviously was a little shortsighted, given that people like Katherine and John shouldn't be armed with a slingshot, never mind a magical-mechanical mass killing device. This will deal a huge blow to her friendship with Elena, which I'm dreading a little.

- Caroline, filled with new self-confidence from getting the Miss MF title, adorably tries to reconcile Matt and Tyler (essentially by yelling at the injured Matt) and to find out what ails Bonnie and Elena in a rare display of genuine concern for her friends. She's doing so great in fact, I'm a wee bit scared for my Care here. I don't want her to get chomped by vampires or perish in some other finale related mishap, so come on, girl, be mean, or at least more shallow!

- It cracks me up that they're now apparently packaging their vampire lore infodumps in Damon and Alaric Are Totally Not Developing A Friendship bonding sessions. It's a good idea, too, as these two actors certainly have a case of being watchable even when reading the phonebook to one another.

- "You're a dick and you kill people, but I still see something human in you": Nice insight into Damon, but certainly the quote also proves that Alaric is probably a little too willing to see the grey in almost black where people he likes are concerned (a trait he exceedingly shares with Elena, and one that admittedly serves both of them well in this morally very shifty universe).

- "You do not come into my town and threaten the people I care about." - "People," huh? Not just Elena. Damon is moving rather rapidly away from his nasty homicidal pixie image in the first half of the season without losing too much of his edge, which is a good thing. Even better: him getting back in touch with smidgens of humanity is not only related to his growing interest in Elena, it consists of bonding with others and it apparently includes moving away from his obsession with Katherine, which can obviously only be a good thing.

- So, let me try to get this straight: John - teenage waste of space John - loved Isobel who married Alaric and slept with and got turned by Damon. Later, John had a thing with Jenna, who has flirted with Damon and likes Alaric, who likes her right back, but is still hung up on Isobel, who still cares about him no matter how much she doesn't want it. And if that weren't enough, Damon has killed both Alaric and John, and is now best buddies with the former. That's not convoluted at all.

- In an annoying turn of events, I now actually feel sorry for John. Being a socially inept and rather awkward guy who always seems to come in second (to Johnathan Gilbert Snr Snr, presumably to Grayson, even to Alaric) and yet seemingly only wants to protect his family, who is not very grateful for that, isn't a great role to fill. Still, trying to manipulate Jeremy through letting himself get beaten up by Isobel's minions is pretty disturbing, and given that he killed Pearl and Harper only last episode, the endearment only goes so far.

- I've mentioned the ring moment between Isobel and Alaric before, but actually all of the ring exchanges between Isobel and John and Alaric have very interesting undercurrents when you take the rings as symbols for love and affection.

- Stefan and Elena waiting for Isobel together: very cute. Stefan getting jealous due to Isobel claiming Damon loves Elena: kind of boring. Please, give the boy some more interactions outside of these two?

- The show continues to not-so-subtly foreshadow Tyler's possible werewolf nature by having him pose moodily in front of banners featuring the Timberwolves. In other continuity news, Tyler is still an artist and gets hilariously forced to supervise the float project by Alaric. Let's say, that surely explains some pictures I've seen of said float.

- Jenna: you are superbly snarky my dear, but generally, you're starting to remind me of Alias' Francie and that is a dangerous place to be. Catch yourself a plot and quickly!

- Poor Anna.

- As she got constantly mentioned in this episode and seems to have an actual agenda in Mystic Falls, I wouldn't be too surprised if Katherine actually showed up next episode.


Next week: mayhem! Migraines! Giant floats! It's the season finale!
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