This is actually going to be short (for me and Vampire Diaries) because for the first time, I'm really quite disappointed in a Vampire Diaries episode. I'm still shocked that I am. Other than the Tyler/Caroline and Elijah scenes, the show just kinda ... sat there. Why was I disappointed, let me count the ways:
1.) I don't care if Rose dies. I really do not care. I'm wondering now (considering they named her initial episode, "Rose") if the show thought that viewers would react to Rose the way they have other recurring characters (Alaric, Anna, Pearl, etc.) and be like noooo! Because they know she isn't in the main cast, therefore could die easily. But the thing is that I don't care about her, and based on what I've read here and there, not many people care whether she lives or dies. So as a cliffhanger, that really kinda blew.
ETA: Wow, the longer preview is REALLY laying on Damon cares about Rose thick. *sigh* Not really digging that. And, yes, that is the Damon/Elena shipper in me talking.
Edited again: Actually, no, it's not, it's my Damon fangirl. I'm fine with Damon being emo and ultra-protective over Elena (and Stefan) because they are his Achilles' heel, but to have him that way over random vampire chick he's bedding? No, no, no. Not Damon. Damnit. Keep him cool and awesome-sarcastic boy with everyone else.
2.) I was convinced that there just HAD to be more to the Stefan/Katherine stuff because story-wise, I simply could not see them cutting off the head of the Stefan/Elena story at this point. Would it have been in character for Stefan to give in to Katherine? To a point, based on all the set-up, I do think so. I think it would have been a tough sell, but I think the show could have pulled it off. However, story-wise, no, it just didn't jibe, so I knew there had to be SOMETHING there. And, of course, there was. It was all a dream, Katherine putting it in his head. The entirety of the preview that got folks all worked up was all we got, and all in his head.
Which brings us to my biggest problem with this whole Stefan in the tomb. WHY?!?!?!? What was the friggin' point? Nothing happened because he was in there, and this is where I think the writers really dropped the ball. They set it up for viewers to think that something would happen with Stefan/Katherine. It didn't. They set it up for viewers to think that with Stefan out of the way, things might/maybe change with Damon and Elena, the two growing closer. It didn't. Stefan was out by episode's end, after Damon and Elena had spent exactly ONE short scene together where they didn't actually have much genuine interaction. I'm not complaining about the fact that Stefan got out, or that nothing happened with Stefan/Katherine (although, the S/K fangirl in me would have liked that). I'm not even complaining that we didn't get much Damon/Elena. I'm complaining because THE SHOW set it up to think that something was going to happen based on Stefan in the tomb, and absolutely nothing happened. There was no forward story momentum, other than, uhm, okay, I guess Stefan and Elena *are* back together. Really, what was the point? The show set up expectations (fairly huge ones) and completely tossed them out like last week's trash.
3.) I don't care about Luka. I don't know him well enough. I don't care. So much time was spent on him that could have been spent on characters I care about (or Bonnie bonding with Jeremy, not Luka). And the moonstone was not un-moonstoned and Elijah's minions have it. With nothing else of substance (oh, right, Rose was potentially fatally bit ... yawn), just not a big enough of deal. Furthermore, it just made Bonnie look rather stupid to me that she gave the moonstone then to Luka. Why? And why would she trust someone that quickly, that easily with the lives of almost everyone she cares about potentially on the line?
4.) Yes, the Tyler transformation stuff was excellent (easily the best part of the episode), but it was very anti-climactic. Again, nothing happened. He transformed, and stayed locked in the dungeon. It was very well-done and moving, but nothing actually happened story-wise. We knew he was going to transform. He did. And ... that was it. Yes, Tyler and Caroline's relationship deepened, but considering that nothing else of substance (oh, right, Rose ... don't care) happened in the entire episode, it wasn't enough.
5.) The Elijah deal. Yes, all the Elijah scenes were great, but again, they were anti-climactic. So, uhm, Elijah's deal is that he wants Elena and co. to do ... nothing? Ooh, exciting. Or not.
Aside from the fact that this was a weak episode, it was -- after the season finale and season premiere -- the one episode that needed to HIT! because we've got five weeks before a new episode. This did not HIT!, it didn't even slightly push. I'm left with absolutely no burning desire to see what happens next, other than my general love of the show. Now last week? Last week would have been a FABULOUS episode to break on before their hiatus. So many OMG! questions! GET ME TO NEXT WEEK YESTERDAY PLEASE, KTHANXBAI!!!
1) What would happen with Damon and Elena with Stefan out of the picture?
2) What would happen with Stefan and Katherine with Stefan locked in there with her?
3) How will Tyler and the transformation go?
4) Will Caroline get caught in the crossfire and get bit?
5) Will Damon get caught in the crossfire and get bit?
6) Why did Elijah let Elena and Damon go?
7) What's going to happen with Bonnie and her worsening reaction to strong magic use?
8) Just how far down the emo road will Jeremy travel due to Bonnie's rejection?
This week comes, and we got answers to all of the above and they were ...
3) Badly, but no repercussions.
6) So they could do nothing.
8) Not at all.
Really, show? Really?!?!?
Now, I did like a few things ...
- "Vampire Barbie." UTTER PERFECTION!
- The Tyler first arm snapping, his reaction, all of that stuff, Caroline/Tyler ... fantastic!
- Elijah. UTTER PERFECTION!
- Aww, Alaric doesn't want Damon to die.
- Double aww, Damon listened to Alaric.
- Rose's "special friend" response was amusing.
And that's about it.
Oh, and not a like or dislike, but dang, poor Ian Somerhalder. Boy is so clearly sick as a dog. :(
As for the preview for upcoming episode? Why would Rose even say that to Elena about loving both of them (presumably Stefan and Damon)? Elena's response should be (if the names weren't specified): "No, Matt and I broke up ages ago. We're just friends." As much as I adore Damon and Elena, girl is nowhere near -- NOWHERE NEAR! -- even remotely "love" and "Damon Salvatore," I don't care how many times he was included in her "people I care about/love" speeches last week. It was a generalization. I'm a die-hard Elena/Damon fan and I don't buy for a second that she loves Damon. Is intrigued? Feels a connection that she does not want to? Is hot for him? Has tender feelings that she refuses to acknowledge because of what it means? Sure to all of the above, but love? Hell to the no.
With that said, one meh episode out of eleven is not bad at all, especially when the other ten we're pretty much durn great to (a much bigger majority of them being) AMAZING, but that that one episode is the fall finale with five weeks of no new episodes to come? So very frustrating.
Show, I am writing words I did not think I would write this early in our relationship: I am disappointed. :(
ETA: I rewatched the episode after the season ended during my season 2rewatch and had much kinder thoughts that I'll add here.
Boy, oh, boy, did "By the Light of the Moon" improve upon a rewatch and sandwiched nicely within the other episodes with no expectations. It really was a strong, solid episode with strong performances. Everyone was in character, and the issues I had with it the first go-round were all gone. Again, no expectations, straight into the next episode and how so much in it offered foreshadowing of what was to come was actually pretty durn brilliant in hindsight.