Now, know this, my lack of a post thus far has nothing to do with my thoughts on the episode. Other than two slight issues I really liked this episode. One was character based, but it was 100% *in* character and so it didn't bother me at all but rather amused me in an annoyed way (so you know that means it was my Stefan-boo). The other was a writing issue, but hey Brian Young wrote the episode all on his own lonesome, what can ya expect? The fact that I only had one teeny issue is pretty durn impressive considering this was a solo outing. I think (after SEVEN WHOLE FREAKING YEARS!) he's finally picking up better writing techniques from those he's been working with regularly. Seriously because overall I really, really liked this episode. I thought it was great. So I'll just get those two quibbles out of the way first.
My Young issue was the whole Bonnie randomly collapsing when Alaric picked up the stone-thingy (whatever magical, mystical name—I'll eventually pick up on it, we all know they'll say it a million times before the season's over) thus leaving only FIVE SECONDS to Bring. Matt. Back. Before the six minutes was up. Puhleeze. I expect better from this show. And I usually get it. Like 95% of the time. But, you know, Brian Young. As soon as Bonnie told Matt that he would be fine heart-beating-less for up to six minutes, I rolled my eyes and thought: 'Really, show? Who are you and what have you done with my TVD?' At this point I didn't know who had written the episode. Uh huh. It was just predictable manufactured suspense that meant NOTHING.
We knew as soon as she said that that *something* was going to happen that would keep her from bringing Matt back after the 10-second mark and cutting it close to the 6-minute mark. We also knew that she *would* manage to bring him back *before* we hit the 6-minute mark (sorry, bogwitch. It was stupid. And even more so because it made no sense. Bonnie had held the rock thingie before and had NOT fainted. Ric had held it before and it had not effected Bonnie. Later when he held it, put it on the corpse and it brought dead guy to life briefly, did Bonnie collapse then? Uhm, no. Why? Because, right, there was no one's heart that conveniently needed to magically be restarted by Bonnie then. So stupid. Very disappoint, show. Or rather, Brian Young. But, alas, very unsurprised. And also? Totally unnecessary. Such a cheap attempt at suspense that no doubt failed miserably for anybody watching who has any brain cells that work. You're not gonna kill the only non-supernatural original cast member in the freaking second episode of the season in a non-sweeps month. Especially without not trying to hype up a “Big Death." Pfft.
Yes, yes, they're trying to hype of Matt's anger at Damon and the supernatural entities—albeit misplaced—to lead to Bonnie's confession. However, there were other ways to do that. And… another however… I have to hope that all of this is leading to do hopeful eventualities. Since Bonnie told Matt that she wants him to start fighting and he appeared to agree, I'm assuming the unspoken there was ‘fight with me.' And as we know from last week, and their phone call, with Bonnie is Damon.
What I'm hoping is that this is leading to not only Damon and Matt on the same side (please, please, please!!), but also my growing desire for Matt and Bonnie because it's starting to make some kind of symmetrical sense. They've been there from the beginning. They've been on both sides, hating the vampires, fighting against them, for them, back and forth, torn, so they can understand each other. In other words, Bonnie can see his point of view in a way that no one else can. Bonnie and Matt can also understand their love for Elena, Caroline and Jeremy and the others in a way that no one else can.
Also, they are humans, who have died and have come back from death. And right now, they're the only humans. Yes, Bonnie's a witch, but she has a human lifespan (unless she cheats, but that's using dark magic, and she wouldn't do that). And they've felt orphaned most of their lives in a way that the others haven't even if they technically have parents still around right now. So there's a lot there and I'm really wondering if something is going to be explored. I'd like to see it.
OK, now that I moved on from that one writing issue to wax poetic about the idea of Bonnie and Matt, let me move onto my other issue, which as I said wasn't a show-issue, but an ‘Oh, Stefan, my boo, why you gotta be such an asshole?' Cuz really, he so was to Damon, wasn't he? I mean, how does he not really get how utterly sucktastic his “deal" with Lily and her little Band of Merry Heretics is? There is no win for Stefan and the town in that deal. Lily and her brood get the Salvatore boarding house. Lily and her brood get Mystic Falls and any human who happens to wander into the town limits is open season for the vamp/witches.
Stefan, Caroline, Damon and Matt (the apparent sole residents of Mystic Falls now aside from Lily & Co. since the rest of the entire town was EVACUATED—everyone else who lived there had to leave their homes, lose their jobs, relocate, etc.) get to, uhm, not be killed? That is the freaking deal. It. Is. Terrible! They get nothing from it. Even Elena's deal where Klaus kills her and Jenna died was better. Yeah, that's how bad the deal Stefan made with mom and adoptees is—Elena's suicidal deal with Klaus that got Aunt Jenna turned and killed was better! An Elena deal was the better one!
And here's Stefan being all snotty to Damon because Damon fought back. Because Damon wasn't sitting back and resting on Stefan's stupid-ass laurels on a (very, very, did I mention VERY badly-made) deal made with mama. Did Caroline pay the price a bit? Yeah. Is Elena now paying the price? Yeah. Is Damon being a snotty, whiny-ass dickhead to Stefan as Stefan was to him? No. Because Damon is not an asshole (cough*cough* Stefan *cough*cough). No, Damon has his emotional breakdown because first, yeah, he made a deal with Lily too, but wait—once he gets over his emotional breakdown because Elena is the love of his life. He stops and he thinks. He uses his brain. Because Damon is smart. He puts things together. He comes up with a plan. And, thank God, Stefan actually stops being a snotty asswipe and goes back to being the boo I love instead of the fool I love despite his assiness. He listens; he realizes that Damon is the smart (and better-looking) brother.
That's my boo, Stefan. Erm, apparently, he's not only my Boo. Or Caroline's. Or Elena's once upon a time. Or Ivy's. Or Katherine's. Or Rebekah's. But also… well, Valerie's. Well, well, well. Wasn't that a surprise!? And so perfectly played. Well done, show! (Kudos, Mr. Young.) When Mary Louise was being so nasty to Caroline and then Valerie came in and appeared to help her, it was believable because we'd seen so little of any of the Heretics so far. And what we'd seen of Mary Louise and Nora honestly hadn't shown either of them in the best light, not to mention the fact that, well, Mary Louise *had* been torturing Caroline.
But the reveal… ooh, the reveal that not only was Valerie the worst of all made perfect sense when taking into account her overall angry demeanor, her diary entries which had done nothing but drip condescension. However because of the slight humor in those same entries, because of her somewhat dour attitude played against the somewhat more vapidly bitchiness of Mary Louise and Nora it was easy to believe that she was the least “evil" of the three. So that was fabulous and then even better finding out that the reason she made Caroline's skin vervained-to-the-touch not to protect her from Mary Louise but so that Stefan couldn't touch her.
Because of course she's still hot for Stefan. Of course. It's Stefan. So, so well done…. I truly love the intricate revealing of information on this show and how it continues to build connections so superbly. I just love it so much.
You know what else I love? That Elena's presence continues to so fully be immersed within every thread of the show's narrative. This is what I believed would happen… and it is *exactly* what is happening. And the fact that Elena is his moral compass, but more importantly, that she is his love, his heart, is so very much *at* the heart of who Damon Salvatore is. It's just beautiful to watch. I am so sorry for any Damon/Elena fan that chose to no longer watch the show because they believed that Damon and Elena were “finished" at the end of last season. How very, very wrong they were. Elena Gilbert is as much a part of Damon Salvatore and his story as she ever was. Just because we don't see her on the screen does not mean she is not there. She is; she most definitely is.
As for someone whose presence is there on screen, well, there's Miss Caroline Forbes… and well, looks like this season is carrying on as the others have, huh? I mean, we were going full-on Caroline torture porn from just about beginning to end there. Poor thing. Oh, Caroline. Elena was kidnapped a lot, but not tortured very often (you know, except by the Salvatore Brothers, ahem). Caroline? Kidnapped, tortured… on the regular.
So, when we saw her “three years from now," at the beginning I thought that I was wrong in my guess that it was her chasing Stefan and trying to kill him like I was thinking after the last episode. But then after the final scene, I think it might still be a possibility. She's clearly very, very upset with Stefan—who's *not* her fiancé! Yeah, that was so obvious, again with the no-name-mention, coincidence?—and she was so-not-fatally-staked at the end there.
So… she could either have been compelled, witch-voodoo'd (who knows what these Heretics can do) or turned her switch off after she's so-not-fatally-staked “three years from now." And then she goes on the hunt for Stefan. It's possible. Or it could be Valerie that Stefan was talking about, and they just said “she" because they didn't want any suspicions for the Valerie-reveal this week. Hmm…. We'll see.
OK, randoms ….
- Aww, Caroline's in TV journalism! Way back on career day in season 01, episode 10 ("The Turning Point") she told her mom that it's what she wanted a career in. Nice continuity!
- But, hmm, so what's up with Stefan and Caroline? Oh, heck, I'm not even remotely gonna guess. We'll find out.
- OMG! Nora's funeral outfit was hilarious. Can anyone blame Caroline? I laughed when she walked out.
- Gawd, Alaric! I DON'T CARE ABOUT YOU AND JO AT ALL! The show seriously needs to kill this whole Jo-association because it's making everything Alaric-related continue to be a drain. I want Alaric Saltzman, snarky badass/vampire hunter/vampire-best friend/bar-drinking buddy back, not this podperson who exists only to revolve around a character NO ONE CARES ABOUT!
- When Damon told Lily "she's not a toy soldier" about Elena, he damn near broke my heart. He loves her so much. If anyone watching this show actually thinks that Damon Salvatore is moving on from this woman and is going to fall for anyone else anytime soon, they are living in a parallel universe and watching another version of this show.
- Speaking of this moment, of that scene, of that whole situation… OH. MY. GOD. Lily Salvatore is the ACTUAL WORST! You guys, I hate her! So much.
- Oh, oh, oh and again, speaking about Lily (AAAHHH! FLAMES!). I don't know I feel about Enzo and Lily. I am not entirely comfortable with this because she is evil and must die painfully. By Damon's hand. But that will make Enzo upset. And I really like Enzo now. And I want Damon and Enzo and Alaric to go on an awesome road trip together. But that won't happen because of the ACTUAL WORST that is Lily!
FLAMES… ON THE SIDE OF MY FACE!!
- On the other hand, I really like the other three female Heretics. They're all interesting characters so far. They're different. And while I hated that they took Elena and how much it hurt my beautiful Damon (seriously, let me be shallow here… so, so beautiful!), all of them describing all that Malcolm had done for them was so good. It was a lovely way of humanizing these characters (other than Lily who is beyond being humanized—damnit, Damon and Stefan *are* her flesh and blood and how she treats them and has denounced them is beyond words) as they humanized Malcolm. And Beau does intrigue me.
- Speaking of shallow, Bonnie looked really pretty.
- I know I mentioned the Bonnie/Matt scenes above, but I want to give another shout-out to their final scene in the car because I really, really liked it. Especially when Matt was talking about how he drives around the town and how he used to see people and now he wishes that he didn't, and his voice was all choked up and he was teary-eyed. And *that* is why I loved Matt. He's not bitter and vengeful because he's become hard and uncaring; it's because he still does care so very much. It's because his heart is still so very much full of love and because he wants this town that he grew up to once more be a peaceful, thriving community. That is what he's fighting for inside and that is where the bitterness comes from. And he just feels like he's fighting alone now. Hopefully with Bonnie by his side (and please, please, please with Damon too), he'll start to let hope bloom within him again.
Phew! So sorry this was late, but yeah, real life be interfering. Great episode, but for the one teensy. As long as Elena and Damon/Elena continue being treated with respect (which is totes happening and I expect to continue), I have no doubt that this season will continue the awesome this show has delivered all along. It's only two episodes in, but I'm loving it.