Arabian (arabian) wrote,
Arabian
arabian

2.16 - 'The House Guest' (The Vampire Diaries)

Whee! New Vampire Diaries episode.

Boo! Last new Vampire Diaries episode until April.

First I must address the most important aspect of this episode. Ian Somerhalder is hot, like uber-OHMYGOD!jaw-dropping hot, and he is clearly back in the full bloom of health and boy, does it show. *sigh* So beautiful.

Ahem, moving on to other weightier matters. Well, this episode reconfirms my belief that "The Descent" was supposed to be the last episode before the hiatus as opposed to "In the Light of the Moon," because if we go back one week, this episode would have aired on the 18th of February, ie, Valentines Day week, and this was a VERY heavy romance episode (the beginning bit with Stefan and Elena, the ultra-romantic Matt and Caroline stuff, the cute Jeremy and Bonnie, and finally, the downside of romance, the continued dissolution of Jenna and Alaric. So in that spirit, I'll break this down to couples. :)

Stefan/Elena, and Stefan/Katherine

See, continued no-fallout-land from Stefan's latest revelations. :rolls eyes: Their opening scene was cute, but in retrospect there was a not so-cute aspect to it. Not only was Stefan not able to tell Elena and Katherine apart, based on his comment to Elena (but who he thought was Katherine), he believed that he was unable to tell them apart when he was making out with Elena. That paired with Katherine's confession that she (once again) chose Stefan over Damon makes me believe that the whole unresolved Stefan and Katherine situation has yet to fully play out. And I can't wait until it does! :D I really do appreciate that the show has kept Katherine's love for Stefan (well, at least as much as she's capable of loving), and that they didn't have her switch her affections over to Damon now that he's more of a challenge to her. Yes, yes, she tried to seduce him, but sex and love are clearly not connected in Katherine's mind, LOL!

Damon/Elena

Pretty much zilch, but unlike Stefan, Damon knew Katherine was Katherine, even if he was a bit wary when she tried to play the Elena card with him, he still kept his hold on her. And in their one solo scene together, once again, Damon and Elena were completely in synch in their thought process. So, yay? Hey, it's something! A shipper's gotta take what they can get, thank you very much. :nods:

Also, Elena DID include Damon in her frustrated venting about wanting Katherine out of the house and away from Stefan *and* Damon. Aww, Elena and her two vampire boyfriends. :)

Matt/Caroline

You all know that I ship Stefan and Caroline so hard like whoah!, but damn, this show, what it does to my shipper tendencies is unprecedented. Other than my beloved Damon and Elena, I am such a multi-shipper whore. Case in point: My lordy, did I think the Matt/Caroline kiss was uber-adorably-wonderfully romantic? Yes, I did, indeed! I literally grinned and clapped with glee. It was so over the top romantic and passionate and just so very lovely. I still think that Candice Accola's best chemistry is with Paul Wesley, but she had some fine chemistry with Michael Trevino, and when written so, her chemistry with Zach Roerig shines nicely as well.

What I wonder, though, is what happened with Caroline's resolve in staying away from Matt? She broke up with him (or caused him to break up with her) because of Stefan telling her that it's the best thing to do when a vampire is with a human, but that, selfishly, he couldn't end things with Elena. I get that it's been building since Matt has confronted her with his feelings, but we haven't seen why Caroline would have changed her mind. I'm going to fanwank that seeing Stefan and Elena seemingly relationship-problem free (since *every* issue with them is glossed over and swept under the rug in an instant), and being more in control of her vampiric ways, she's decided that she can, well, control her vampiric ways to be with him. Besides, they're still only seventeen, so it's a while before the whole aging thing would be an issue.

Back to what happened in the episode, I loved that not only was Vicki brought up, but that Matt thought Caroline was the one who hurt her. I never even thought he'd go there (although I expected the Vicki mention), but it was so logical that, of course, he would think Caroline is responsible for the "vampire" that Vicki spoke of because as far as he knows Caroline is the only one and he has no clue that it only happened recently. Nice use of the show's history there. I loved it. Now what will happen with them when the show comes back?!?!?

Stefan/Caroline

Okay, I'm seriously pushing here, but with no Stefan/Caroline interaction at all, I'll grasp at any straw. Her "breathe" thing when she saw Matt dying was what Stefan taught her to do. Awww. Yeah, that's all I've got, LOL!

Jenna/Alaric

I really appreciated the Alaric and Elena conversation about Jenna and her not knowing anything. I know it's what we've all discussed and figured was the case, but it was nice having the show take a breather to give us that scene. It's another sign of the awesome of this show of how well they manage to imbue the characters with strong characterization and motivation amidst the insanely-fast moving plots. As for their porch scene, how could Jenna hear Alaric's sweet confession of love and be so cold in response? Wah! I don't ship them AT ALL, but I felt so for my poor, over-guyliner-ed bb in that moment. Yes, yes, he's been keeping stuff from her and she knows, but, but, but he was so sincere and adorable. Oh, Alaric. Go and find Damon, he'll comfort you. ;)

Jeremy/Bonnie

Okay, so I've figured out how I feel about them. As long as they're not "passionately" kissing, Jeremy and Bonnie remain uberly-adorable. I didn't even mind the peck in the school hallway, I grinned and gave a little squee. They were as cute as two shiny buttons that feature kittens frolicking on them. Just keep the passion stuff to those who can sell the hell out of it. Which brings us to ...

Damon/Katherine

Even with just the not-even-completed kiss, they were still all kinds of blazing hot. Dayum! Seriously, Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev (no matter who the heck she's playing) have INCREDIBLE chemistry. So, so, so damn hot. And more than hot, that scene had so many layers. There was the obvious heat (SO! HOT!), but also the humor of Damon shoving her away by pushing her face away (hah!) and Katherine pouting in response. In addition, we had Katherine finally getting it that she's lost him. She really has. Not only did he reject her, he played her! He let her lounge on his bed, got what information he wanted from her (how the townsfolk found out that Emily was a witch), climb all over him, let loose with the sexy voice, bedroom eyes, gentle, romantic hands framing her face, and then almost gave into her kiss, lips barely touching before shoving her to the side with complete disinterest. He played her, led her on and then calmly went back to his reading.

What was especially awesome is how so much of their scenes were a counterpoint to their interactions in "The Return," and how they showed just how over Katherine he is. In that episode, she confessed that it was Stefan, it was always Stefan and it devastated him. Here, her admission that (a) she knew he'd die, and (b) chose him as the one to wield the dagger because she wanted Stefan to live, even if it meant that Damon would die (understandably) hurt Damon, but he wasn't ripped to shreds emotionally. After all, one can still be hurt by a rejection, even if you're no longer in love with that person. That was clearly the case here. Also, in that episode, like this one, he threw her down, but this time, he kept it from turning into something sexual. And she tried to seduce him again, and as mentioned above, he easily resisted her. Damon is done, and I think what happened is that Katherine got that clue. And viewers were supposed to get that as well. The lyrics that were clearly heard after Damon rejected her were pretty durn obvious:

You can't play on broken strings/You can't feel anything/That your heart don't want to feel
Those lyrics, plus Katherine's pout when he threw her over, while hilarious, were telling. Katherine gets what she wants (as she told him earlier). She may not love him, but she wants him, especially this new (to her) Damon. And the look she threw his way before she left showed a Katherine who is NOT happy about being rejected. Damon has officially become a challenge.

And that led me to a new theory. What if we wind up with Katherine and Elena fighting for Damon's soul? I'm not saying that Elena will attempt to seduce Damon, but I could see the fear that Damon will fall under Katherine's spell again and go back to how he was for the last 145 years being impetus enough to make Elena confront her feelings for Damon and knowingly use them to get him to stay on the side of the good. She wouldn't just be doing it to help "save" Damon, but to keep Stefan from losing his brother, and the countless innocents who could be hurt by a humanity-free Damon again. I dunno, but I could see it happening, heck, I can even see Stefan pushing Elena to confront that something between her and Damon if it will help save his brother. After all, he told Damon that he was cool with his kissing Elena because it meant that he was getting his brother back, that part of him that could feel. I just know that I can totally see Katherine deciding that she's going to win Damon back just to prove that she can, and Elena being the only thing that could stop her if Damon starts to fall victim once again to Katherine's wiles.

Backing up a bit, I also loved their earlier scene when Damon slapped her hand away, she smacked at him, he smacked back at her. I laughed so hard and rewound it about five times. Seriously, no matter what roles they are playing, what eras, Ian and Nina are so darn good onscreen together. They just have a wonderful rhythm and zing alongside that chemistry. They are not just incredibly hot, they can also be utterly hilarious (see: arm-smacking), and just so darn cute! I mean, look at them, faces next to one another, those expressions!

     

These two! Damn, they are so beautiful together.

Phew! Okay, moving onto the non-couple moments ...

- Another aces-Ian Somerhalder-delivery moment. I mean, he was ON the entire episode even though Damon wasn't even remotely taking the lead role, every moment with him was pretty much perfection, but that fantastic moment of delivery that was my favorite was so very easily the "lie" he half-whispered to Katherine during this exchange:

Damon: You know this whole friendly, cooperative thing?
Katherine: Mmhmm?
Damon: I don't buy it.
Katherine: I have no reason to lie to you, Damon.
Damon: Lie.
AWESOME!

- It was nice hearing Elena flat-out acknowledge that keeping those they love in the dark is hurting them, and not offering protection. Alas, she didn't take it to its logical conclusion. TELL JENNA! Oh, Elena. *sigh* I did appreciate that Alaric is leaving the decision up to Elena, though. The importance of family is never forgotten on this show, and I love that.

- Erm, but, yeah, make-up people, you need to keep the guyliner away from Matt Davis. It's ridiculous, yo!

- I liked that despite all that happened in this episode, it was still, in many ways a breather episode. Some key characters got a chance to just talk, and, you know, breathe. And the girl's night was a part of that. Seeing the trio just sitting around talking about ordering pizza and Caroline's addiction to The Notebook was just lovely.

- Damon flaming the unseen Luka was awesome. Oh, this show!

- Candice Accola singing was a nice little treat. She sounded fabulous, and I love that song. And I want a clear, studio-recorded version of it now. She certainly sounded better than Susannah Hoffs ever did singing it.

- I loved how giddy and happy both Bonnie and Elena were for Caroline (and Matt). So adorable; I love how this show not only doesn't forget the importance of family amidst all of the couples and triangles, but also the importance of friendship.

- Whee! I loved Damon's spoken "nope" as he nodded yes to Stefan, and Stefan's "that's too bad" as he read the information. Hee! The Salvatore Brothers working together!

- I do love how the mythology is now being enriched with all of the witches massacre burial ground stuff. This show does such a fabulous job in adding little bits and pieces to the puzzle. And, aha!, there is another way to kill Klaus even without the dagger.

- Oh, Jenna, you and your unintentionally hilarious comments. "I'm a parent so I can handle anything." Number one, as a parent? You suck royally, my dear. Also, being a parent and finding out all of the supernatural goobley-gook? No comparison, sweetie. Yeah, I can see why Sara Canning is trying to market "Team Oblivious Human" tee-shirts, LOL!

- So, wow, Jonas showed us just how powerful a witch can be. I hope you were taking notes, Bonnie. (I'm sure she knows about the astral projection stuff after the fact.)

- Hmm, so Stefan killed Jonas, but we know that he wasn't hurting Bonnie at the end there, but giving her her powers back. Hmmm. I wonder if Bonnie will tell Stefan that specifically, or if he'll make that connection on his own. Or like every "bad" thing that Stefan does be completely glossed over. I mean, he could have pulled Jonas away, but he went straight for the kill. I'm not judging him (I mean, come on, I'm a Damon-stan!, that'd be mighty hypocritical of me), I just wonder if that aspect of the kill will come up.

- Nina Dobrev looked AMAZING in that final scene as Katherine. GLORIOUS hair, sexy outfit, all slinky and sensual. Damn, Damon's a strong, strong man to resist that!

- So I thought it would be Katherine at the door because this seemed like an episode where the secrets were coming out. Elena finds out about Jeremy and Bonnie (and how adorable was her reaction?), Matt finds out about the reality of vampires, Damon (and viewers) find out about what John had cooking with Katherine, so I figured that the final scene would be Katherine showing up (as Elena is standing behind Jenna) at the door and Jenna would get her eye-opener. It still can happen with Isobel, obviously, but my mind never went there that it could be Isobel.

- Speaking of, wow, Mia Kirshner is looking rather harsh there. Could it be the make-up people trying to uglify the beautiful people of the world again, or is there some story-dictated reason for the look? I sincerely hope it's the latter, because they clearly were on target with Damon tonight. My God, did Ian Somehalder look especially gorgeous or what? Got a haircut, no annoying OTT guyliner, just absolutely beautiful. (Yes, yes, I already mentioned this, but dayum, he looked fine! Especially that last scene, those close-ups. Phew! Be still my heart (and loins!), I totally get why Katherine couldn't resist him!)

- ETA! OMG! I forgot this! Best use of compulsion yet. "You will make my rock-star dreams come true." BWAH!

- My only disappointments with regards to this episode were actually not related to the show itself (because Caroline Dries -- the writer -- rocks so very much), but I'll list them anyway.

1) Again, no Damon/Elena before the hiatus, wah! However, it's not nearly as bad as "By the Light of the Moon" because...

a) This episode was pretty durn awesome, while "By the Light of the Moon" was not much beyond okay.
b) There was no expectation of Damon/Elena goodness (unlike how "The Sacrifice" promised).
c) The Stefan/Elena stuff was at the beginning of the episode, not the end. Seems like a small thing, but having those two being all "sexy"-cute and then have 30+ minutes of awesome, as opposed to 30+ minutes of mostly meh! followed by Stefan/Elena "sexy"-cute times makes a huge difference.
d) There was no Damon/other chick to bring it home that Damon was not having sexy times with Elena. :pouts:
e) Okay, there was a Damon/other chick, but it was a character played by Nina Dobrev, and shipping Damon and Katherine or not, as stated above, Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev have blazing hot chemistry no matter what and that's always fun to watch. :D

2) The OTT guyliner on Ernesto. That is not Dries' fault at all, but rather the make-up department. Bad, make-up department, baaaaad.

3) The spoiler of "Two deaths! Ooh! Shocking!" in tonight's episode built up expectation that they would actually be shocking. Having Luka die was one thing (and YAY!! I did literally cheer, for reals, yo!), but the second death -- because we were spoiled that there would be two -- didn't have any oomph being just another guest-starring role. Had I not know there were two deaths, both would have been surprising. Still, I have to give The Vampire Diaries it's due, no other show would have me truly believing in the very real possibility that Matt or Katherine or Bonnie would actually die. That it wasn't a foregone conclusion that it wouldn't be a major player continues to show the awesome of my show. Yeah, baby.

So, not the bestest episode ever, but after "Daddy Issues," this was my favorite episode since the return from hiatus, and I'd put it in the top five of this season (at number five, but still ...). Squee! I love my show so!

*Sigh* No new show until April 7th. WAH!
Tags: alaric saltzman, candice accola, caroline forbes, damon/elena, damon/katherine, elena gilbert, ep discussion-tvd, ian somerhalder, jenna sommers, jeremy/bonnie, katherine pierce, nina dobrev, stefan salvatore, stefan/caroline, the vampire diaries, tv
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