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12 November 2016 @ 07:10 pm
8.04 - 'An Eternity Of Misery' (The Vampire Diaries)  
I know, I know... the episode only aired yesterday and yet here I am with my write-up. What is this?!

Or not. Tyler actually is bye-bye by Damon. Maybe I just was looking for a reason—any reason—to be hopeful after, erm, certain events and so I applied that desperate need for optimism to The Vampire Diaries. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that our (now, this time I'm pretty sure) dead werewolf/cockroach-no-more hybrid being taken out by Damon was the wrong move. I totally do get it. And here I'll do a quick regurgitation of all of the reasons why it's not on Damon:

Number one because he was being controlled by Sybil. OK, fine, he did it so he wouldn't go to Hell... and it was something Damon did of his own choice, but, remember this is someone who has had his mind messed with for months. Plus, he did so because he was promised in return a huge gimme: A respite from eternal damnation. So, no, it's not on Damon. It's on Sybil. Basically, we're talking the ultra-horrific, supernatural version of a forced confession after many multiple hours plus of police brutality. And, let's get real, even if that wasn't the case? Stefan would still forgive his brother. Damon killed Lexi* and Stefan forgave him. Damon killed Uncle Zach (no asterisk here) and Stefan forgave him. Killing Tyler Lockwood? Stefan would forgive him. Yeah. So Stefan would forgive him even his big brother took out his fiancée's ex-boyfriend. Sure, the others might not (though, Elena totes would, especially given the situation), but Stefan would.

* And saved Liz Forbes in the process. Ahem, Lexi could have used her vampire speed and run away to live and destroy Stefan's life in her version of "saving him" another day. Instead she chose to attack the sheriff. Just a reminder.
And to add to that… let's talk about the others. Enzo won't care like at all. Bonnie, once she gets over her upset regarding the whole trying to kill her and her boyfriend and best friend bit, she'll start looking at the big picture. She has grown a lot since season 02 when her world view—even as a witch—was very black and white.

I'm pretty sure that when Enzo is back with them—hell, even without his humanity switch flipped the way of the good guys—he'll make it clear what is going on. And Bonnie *is* Damon's best friend. Yes, she'll be upset about what happened to Tyler… but, Damon is her best friend. Tyler is a friend who is also the ex-boyfriend of her childhood bestie and he treated her like crap. Tyler also was a total douche to Jeremy, her first boyfriend… someone who she still cares deeply for. In fact, Tyler was pretty much a douche most of all of their lives to all of them. Yes, he's their friend, but let's get real… outside of Enzo—who is the most recent to join the Scooby Gang—Tyler is the least connected to them all.

I mean, Stefan's last meaningful interaction with him was getting all up in his face for being an utter dickhead to Caroline because she did something he didn't like. Alaric? All judgy McJudgy Pants because Tyler was being a little prick (for a good reason, but there's a reason that Ric assumed otherwise). Yes, Matt will be upset… but, they have their issues too (Tyler making out with Matt's mom, the whole Tyler/Caroline/Matt thingie). Then there's the kicker: Hello! Damon has his humanity switch off because he is being mind-controlled in a fashion that is horrendously awful, so he's so not just Damon being dick-Damon. In other words, long-winded way of saying… they're all totes going to forgive him. Especially when they all realize: Oh, the Big Bad we're going to have to fight? The Big Bad who has essentially been in control of Damon for the last several months is, oh, you know, THE DEVIL!

{Takes a deep breath} OK, before we discuss that little bit of confirmation, back to Tyler be dead-ness. So, there was a rather big part of the reason why I just couldn't quite wrap my brain around Tyler being dead—and well, he wasn't. Damon didn't kill him at the end of the last episode, so I was right about that. He just didn't, you know, heal him or anything. Still hoping that we'll see that good of Damon shine through at some point… because that would be awesome. Anyhoo, that big part of the reason was that Julie Plec wanted her happy series ending and that was what kept tingling in the back of my head.

However… I forgot something really, really important. Julie is the co-executive producer. As in the first two seasons, Julie Plec is joined by the lovely, ever-fictionally/violently-minded Kevin Williamson. You know, the same Kevin Williamson who was all, 'Yeah, let's have Damon kill Jeremy! That will be awesome!' So, yeah, I totes discounted his input. Maybe this time, he was all, 'Ooh, can we bring Jeremy back and have Damon kill him for real this time?! That would be super awesome!' and Julie was like "NO!"

So maybe he pouted, and Kevin is so sweet and lovely and cute, how could Julie resist? So, maybe then he was all 'What about Tyler? He's got no ties left. No one care *that* much about him. They'd all totally forgive Damon if he killed Tyler, Pshaw!' And Julie thought about it and conceded. 'Fine, Damon is under mind control with his humanity switch flipped after all. Plus, we are dealing with the Devil. OK, Kevin, you win, Damon can kill Tyler.' And that's how it happened.

{Shakes head} Still, I gotta admit though, I'm not 100% sure that he is dead-dead (only 99.9%). Wait, just hear me out… Why didn't Damon just kill him in the middle of the road? Why go to all the trouble of putting him in the trunk of a car, drive him way out and use him for time-bait? Damon didn't know that he'd be running into Matt and need to make him go vamoose so he could search for the thing—whatever it was—that Sybil wanted. And Damon wasn't planning on going back to Mystic Falls soon enough to have the others save Tyler... so why the trunk-slow bleed-out death? Why not just kill him on the road? That was just... {scratches head} why? *sigh*

Still, he sure looked dead, and Matt sure acted like he was dead, and Matt does have training so he would know. {Whines} But why did Damon do all of that then? What was the point? To play a sick game at Sybil's behest? I guess for the others to wonder where Tyler is, then his corpse shows up… but wouldn't Sybil (and thus Damon) want the others off his back sooner rather than later? I don't know, I don't know. It's just that clearly this season the writers are not wasting any screen time/dialogue, etc. to get their story told. We aren't getting filler here, folks. So why? And, come on, this is The Vampire Diaries. Maybe I've grown to like the werewolf/cockroach hybrid more than I realized and I just want to find out he's still somehow miraculously alive?

Yeah, he's probably dead. That's what this show does. It kills people.

Speaking of… DAMNIT! I asked you not to kill Georgie, show! I liked Georgie. A lot. Couldn't you have let her live a few more episodes at least? Really?! *sigh* Don't get me wrong, how she went out was pretty damn cool in terms of what it told us, but still… {whimpers} I liked Georgie. I was initially really bummed when it seemed like she was Sybil's sister (what with the liking her and all), but it was cool! So not expecting that. I thought: Show, you have really surprised me. But then, she was not. She was just Sybil's sister's supper. Seline. Yeah, yeah, Seline, we'll get to her in a second, but first… didja notice?

Of course you did. What happened when Georgie died (damnit!), and her spirit was watching Seline snack away (eww, gross!). Even as she was scrabbling at the ground, she got sucked away into the sky and into Hell (when the very same thing happened to Katherine—she died, not gotten eaten by a heretofore thought of as mythological Siren—we only thought maybe it was Hell). Now, we know… yeah, Katherine got sucked into Hell. Hell? Yeah, more on that later too. Firstly, I just thought it was a reminder of that. But then, then, then… I realized something! It was an aha! moment! Indeed it was.

So Georgie is going to Hell just like Katherine and all of the others did after the Ghost World went bye-bye. BUT... no, no, no, no. Not *all* the others went to Hell. Some of them found redemption and did not go to Hell!! There was the gloriously awesome Grams—who likely never truly committed an evil deed so wouldn't have gone there anyway. But, but, but… Lexi would have gone to Hell because she did kill people, she did turn people into vampires (to kill as well).

Early in "Home" (season 05, episode 22), Stefan was being pulled towards the darkness—so yes, Stefan is bound for Hell—and Lexi was able to grab onto him and keep him from being taken. But Lexi had to hold onto something as well; she was being pulled also. Lexi was going to Hell. (Rightly so!) However, after she fought off Markos, while he was ripped away to Hell, Lexi was not. She was left alone and was able to find her peace. In other words, she found redemption. She didn't go to Hell. First, by taking out Markos she stopped the Travelers—who had already committed such atrocities and would so commit more—and that was huge!). Then Lexi decided deliberately to sacrifice her life for Stefan's happiness (to have Damon in his life—something that she was pretty much directly responsible for screwing up for the last 160+ years).

This means that Damon and Stefan (and Caroline and Elena and Bonnie....) can find redemption; they won't necessarily go to Hell. There is a path. I LOVE THIS SHOW! When we first saw Georgie pulled into Hell like that (exactly like Katherine—except for the location and the lack of light, due to the location), I thought it was just a really cool way of awesomely showing off their continuity mad skillz. Nope, it was to remind viewers that there is a possibility for redemption. It can be done.

But not if Sybil and her sister, Seline!, have anything to do about it, though. Ooh, I knew there was something off with Seline! I wrote this after the second episode of the season:

I also wonder about one of our other new characters: Seline, aka HotNanny. We aren't learning much about her. Her name is similar to Sybil. She was the first person that Virginia went after. She's ridiculously accommodating. Georgie doesn't like her, and yes, you can say that it's just because she's jealous because she has the hots for Ric, but I don't think Georgie's at that stage with Ric. She just thinks he's the hot Professor. She's not OMG!Ilovehim!, but Seline rubs her the wrong way and there's no reason she should. But… Georgie's been to hell, so it would make sense that she would sense something off about a messenger of the devil, right? I don't know, there's something about Seline I don't like.
I KNEW Seline was the other Siren. I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! So creepy her telling secret, bedtime, don't tell mommy/daddy, stories to the twins. (Poor Lizzie and Josie, they are going to be in major danger at some point, aren't they? Oh yeah.) OK, fine, I highly doubt that I'm the only person who thought this, but still, yeah, totes thought Seline was fishy. Yes, I did. Anyhoo, this episode wonderfully added layers to Seline, and I thought that the actress, Kristen Gutoskie, did a great job in bringing it with the challenge of all those layers.

And those layers added to Seline also helped explain Sybil a bit more. Yes, she's still awful and terrible and is a long, long, loooong way from that village girl who cared, who didn't want to hurt anyone, and who tried to kill herself after finding out that she had been tricked into becoming a cannibal. But seeing who she was and how she began, the history of a character, what begins their evolution, is always appreciated.

Even more appreciated was how the history of her push-and-pull with her sibling led to further exploration (on Stefan's end) about his relationship with Damon. How much did I love beyond words his response to Sybil's question here?

Sybil: Who are you in this story? The victim who tried for years to not to feed on human blood only for his selfish brother to blow into town and ruin it all? Or are you the monster who sealed his brother's fate the day you forced him to turn into a vampire? Who doomed his brother to an eternity of misery because you were afraid of being alone?
Stefan: There you go again, old history.
Sybil: You'd be surprised how fresh it is in Damon's mind. Answer me, who are you?
Stefan: I'm both.
How much did I love it? SO, SO MUCH! I loved his answer because it showed such tremendous growth on his part. For so long, he's either blamed Damon solely, or blamed himself solely. He just hasn't allowed himself to see that there are two sides here. Both of them screwed up. Stefan initially, and Damon in his reaction. Obviously—since Sybil got all of this information from Damon's mind—he gets it more than Stefan. But Stefan beginning to get it now is so good, so huge. Why it is important to Sybil that Stefan get it, I'm clueless, but that's why there are 12 {sobs} episodes left.

Regardless of the why right now, I'm just so happy for Stefan… even if it really sucks to be him right now since he loves his brother so much and just wants to save him. As always, the heart of The Vampire Diaries is Stefan and Damon and their journey to that love and understanding they felt for one another pre-Katherine. And they are so close now. They are getting there, yes, they are.

So will Matt (Matty!) and Damon, damnit! Yes, the dream will not die until 12 episodes from now when there is no chance left. I mean, come on! After months, Damon sees Matt unexpectedly right after he just shot him in the stomach. How does Damon react? With anger? Nope. With vengeance? Nope. With intent to attack in kind? Nope. He sees Matt and just says his name, well, his last name, with an annoyed tinge of 'why did you go and do that?' Yup. He loves him.

And then their next scene… Matt's trying to act all bad-ass, and Damon calmly tells him that they both know that Matt is not going to kill him. (This is true.) And then Matt kinda, yeah, totes proves that by saying later on that "if" Damon hurts Tyler he *will* kill Damon (meaning that he wasn't planning to before... see?). Note, that Damon *just* told him that he "ripped into Tyler's throat… and left him bleeding." Erm, Matty, that means he already hurt him… yes, I see no killing of Damon. Because, deep down, yeah, Matt is not going to kill Damon. Damon knows it; Matt knows it; I know.

And soon Matt will know the truth of what the heck is going on. I mean, Damon told him. He can swear to God all he wants, but it isn't God that's listening right now. Hello! Yeah, we're getting to that now. So The Vampire Diaries just basically invented their own version of the creation of Hell. Have I mentioned how much I love this show? Does it make any sense that a powerful psychic rage-out sometime before 750 B.C. created Hell? No, but do vampires, werewolves, witches, travelers, doppelgangers, heretics and all of the fancy-schmancy-fangled mythology that this show has created for their universe? Nope. None of it has any basis in the reality that we know, but as long as they stay true and fairly consistent—which they have done—to *their* mythology, it works for me. And seriously, this show! I mean, This. Show! They are going all out in their last season, aren't they? The Big Bad of the final season of The Vampire Diaries is the Devil himself. Or Arcadius, a.k.a. Cade, as we are calling him in the land of Mystic Falls, Virginia.

Yeah. I really, really love this show. The freaking Devil and the punishment of literal, eternal damnation is what they are fighting against in their final season. I just have no words… (well, obviously I do.) I mean, we knew this was coming, but that they would actually create a new invention for Hell that fits with the show's already existing mythology!… it's amazing. And awesome. I LOVE THIS SHOW SO HARD!

OK, time for random stuffs…

- I really appreciated that all of the main characters in the flashbacks were persons of color because, yeah, ignore Hollywood with all of their white central casting of white actors in Egyptian/Middle Eastern roles from that place and era... they would have been predominantly persons of color. Yes, there were some white folks in the burning scene—some old, white dude lit the fire—but again, predominantly, it was persons of color in those scenes, all the major characters and a lot of the extras. Good.

- Speaking of, I thought that Wolé Parks as Arcadius/Cade did a nice job with what we had of him some far. He was very likable in those first scenes, coming across as such a kind soul with a good heart. And then that darkness in his final scene with Seline. Good stuff.

- And speaking of more casting… such great casting of Joel Gretsch as Matt's dad. Just fantastic, he looks like an older version of Zach Roerig enough that it's practically uncanny. (And I really love the actor. He's so good.)

- And another speaking of… MATTY!!! My beloved Matty Blue-Blue is back. Yay! (And shallow alert: Much better hair than last season.)

- So did Matt learn from Jeremy that in order to take Damon out for a while you just shoot him in the head? (Because like Matt, Jeremy would never kill Damon. They are after all his minions.) I could not help but reminded of one of my all-time favorite Damon lines that arose from the Jeremy/Damon-headshot moment from Catch Me If You Can" (S04E11).

My favorite line of the night and it was all due to Ian Somerhalder's as-always splendiferous delivery was after the afore-mentioned bullet to the head. "He shot me in the head. Stupid, idiot, border-line brain dead moron." I laughed SO HARD at that. Rewound it, watched it again, and laughed my fool-head off all over again. SO HILARIOUS!
Hehehe.

- I don't know why but it cracked me up how Matt just grabbed a "dead" Damon's arm to feed his dad his blood. I guess some of those anti-vampire principles just go flying out the window when someone you love is at stake, huh, Matty?

- Hmm, so methinks the show is trying to trick us into thinking that the Sirens *can* control women because Georgie did what Seline told her. But... we didn't see Seline do the whole mind-control thing on her, did we? No, we did not. Seline could have just forced her another way to do her bidding. Like, oh, I don't know, maybe she threatened to hurt the twins. Like Georgie is not going to do exactly what Seline says to do if the lives of those little girls are at stake. That way, Georgie does exactly what Seline wants her to do and we're left to assume that she did so because she was mind-controlled like the boys. I'm still not convinced.

- Hehehehe, did you catch what Matt said to Damon at the top of the tied-in-chains scene? I did! He told him that "for once, I don't care about your drama..." In other words, every other time that Damon was embroiled in some sort of dramatic circumstance, Matt *did* care. Uh huh.

- And thanks to Matty-Blue-Blue, we got our "Elena" and Damon/Elenamention of the episode. Yuppers. And even better was his reaction to Damon's commentary about it. Oh, and, pretty please, let him remember it once he gets all the facts about the situation. When Damon told Matt that he and Elena were through, Matt looked so like 'What game is he playing now?' because he just knew that it was not possibly true. And then when Damon continued with that he was seeing another woman, Matt literally flat-out told him: "You're lying." Uh huh. Even not knowing what be going on, Matt knows that this is cray-cray. Please do be remembering this part of the conversation later, Matty-boy. You know that something is fucked up with Damon's head right now. That there is a bright, shining, neon clue of epic proportions and you *did* catch it.

- *sigh* I wish that Damon had told Matt and Pete that Lou had killed one of his wives. There was a reason that Damon killed him. He wasn't a good guy. Alas, Damon thinks he is nothing but a lost cause. My poor Damon.

- Ewww! Ric destroying his eardrum was gross. We didn't even need to see anything (thank goodness!) just the idea of it. Blech! Still, definitely bad!ass 'Indiana' Alaric Saltzman has returned. But, on the subject of the pierced eardrum, so Ric won't be able to hear, right? I wonder... will he get home first before going to Stefan or Caroline? If so, will he run into Seline and will his lack of hearing reveal anything since it's the power of the Sirens' voices that we've all heard about? Things that make you go hmmmm.

- I knew I recognized Kristen Gutoskie (Seline), but I couldn't place it because I didn't really care for her character on Containment—and I only watched about five episodes (sorry, Julie [Plec], sorry Chris [Wood], sorry, Claudia [Black]). Julie does love her staple of actors. Going off on a tangent now… Man, I wish that Claudia Black had been cast in The Tomorrow People and not The Originals (or just not available for that even), because she is an outstanding, amazing actress with light blue eyes and dark hair like Ian Somerhalder and the long face, jaw line, cheekbones similar to Paul Wesley who would have been ABSOLUTE PERFECTION as Lily Salvatore. See!?

     

I know, I know, dead horse, that ship has sailed so completely. But, dang, she would have been so ridiculously perfect, it just breaks my heart. And SUCH a fantastic actress. So, so good and she was wasted on the horrible character that was Dahlia. Ugh! Anyhoo, I've gotten way off-topic, back to Gutoskie, I like her better—acting-wise, better-layered character—here on The Vampire Diaries than I did on Containment.

- Sorry (not sorry), I still love Sybil. (Yes, yes, I still want her to die painfully and in the worst way at Damon's hand.)

- No Bonnie, Enzo and barely any Caroline (hat-tip on that last one to ghidorah15, I'd originally forgotten the one Caroline scene with Stefan via phone call). I didn't miss them in this episode. (I am surprised though that Kat Graham and Candice King aren't in all of the episodes like Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley since there are only 16 this season. I guess those less-than-the-episode-count contracts still hold.)

- Shallow alert take two! Ian Somerhalder looked SO HOT. Yes, yes, he's always hot, but he looked especially good in this episode. I think it was because of the lack of jacket so we could really appreciate seeing him in that form-fitting shirt (and jeans). Plus, yeah, seeing him in the daylight so much really highlighted his pretty, pretty eyes. So very pretty. So. So. So pretty. How is he so very pretty? He just is. So pretty.

- I knew some Siren mytholody but for my own edification I looked up more specifics. I knew that it depended on how much and how varied The Vampire Diaries was going to take from history's mythology it could be two to seven Sirens as (per Wikipedia): "Their number is variously reported as from two to five. In the Odyssey, Homer says nothing of their origin or names, but gives the number of the Sirens as two. Later writers mention both their names and number: some state that there were three." The entry also includes a list of Sirens, and includes seven in total but none of the names even remotely resemble Sybil or Seline nor do any of their known back-stories fit. Obviously since we've got two Sirens, Sybil and Seline on an island and luring sailors to their shore where the ships are unable to reach but instead break apart... the show is cribbing mostly from Homer's Odyssey with just the two Sirens on an island luring sailors to their doom. If this is the case, one wonders if Enzo's knowledge of Odyssey will come into play at any point.

Also there is this interesting point I also found about the Siren mythology: "According to Hyginus (a Latin author, a pupil of the famous Cornelius Alexander Polyhistor, and a freedman of Caesar Augustus, so yeah, real dude who lived 64 BC – AD 17), sirens were fated to live only until the mortals who heard their songs were able to pass by them." Other post-Homeric authors believed this as well. I wonder if Damon and Enzo completely breaking free from them will be the thing that kills the Sirens then.

So this was a really good episode, not as good as last week—which was freaking awesome! But I'd put it on par with the first episode and that was really, really good. So, yeah, I am not disappoint. (Except that the episodes keep coming and that means that the number of episodes left is winding down. Wah!)
 
 
 
Arabian: Damon & Elena42arabian on November 15th, 2016 03:51 am (UTC)
That Sybil probably doesn't have as strong a hold on Damon's mind as she thinks, and that maybe he still has an Elena bubble somewhere locked away.