While we saw only a bit of Stefan's older brother, Damon, in the Pilot, we definitely got to see a lot more of him in this episode. Firstly, we there was some interesting interaction with our lovely heroine, Elena. He also continued to get his flirt-on with Caroline and more importantly, we got quite a lookie-see into his relationship with his baby brother. And that stuff especially was goo-ood!
The first scene that featured the two wasn't as revealing as the latter, but it most certainly set the tone for what was to come. Despite the fact that Stefan has made it quite clear how into Elena he is, when he saw Damon with her, his reaction to her all but read as 'Elena who?' He was so very much focused on his brother, much to Damon's amusement, that Elena understandably was left wondering if she had made a mistake in trying to pursue Stefan so boldly.
Now it's fairly clear why Stefan was concentrating on Damon as forcefully as he was. In just the few minutes that Damon had Elena all to his own, he stirred the pot between the two, causing some unease regarding Stefan and his "ex." Damon also has charm to spare and wasted zero time plying Elena with it. Using his looks, teasing tidbits about his brother, raising philosophical questions about love and just flat-out playing the charming rogue (going so far as to kiss her hand in farewell.. :swoon:). So, yeah, I can understand why Stefan--who must know his brother's M.O. after at least a century, I'm thinking based on the picture of Katherine, the Elena-look-a-like--would worry just what kind of mischief Damon is getting up to given the opportunity to be alone with Elena.
Once Elena had left, the light-hearted mood that Damon had created with Elena, even with that bit of tension, completely dissipated. He may have still been smiling, still using a light tone, but how he invaded Stefan's personal space was anything but friendly. Getting all up in Stefan's face with this mocking, undercurrent of seething anger was so intense. You can just feel the years of animosity between these two.
And then the later scene when they were on the roof with Vicki, you could see how much history there is. What was really interesting though is that while Damon may claim to hate Stefan, it was obvious that what Damon wants is a relationship with his brother... the two of them just living the high of the vampire lifestyle together. Still, those deeper, darker feelings are definitely there and whatever happened between them, it obviously has to do with the mysterious Katherine. Damon's comment from the Pilot made that clear.
What's really nice is that with every additional scene between Stefan and Damon, it's clear that this show did an excellent job casting these two actors, Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder, as brothers because their sibling chemistry is fantastic. They play off of each other very well.
Also playing against each other very well is Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev (Elena). We had the opportunity to see Stefan and Elena and their potential in the first episode; now it's time for Damon and Elena. And, well, for me... I'm leaning towards the latter. I did say that Stefan and Elena were sweet but that I couldn't ship them because of the Katherine-look-alike aspect), well, I also can't really see myself shipping them because 'sweet' generally doesn't do it for me in the whole shipping department, but Damon and Elena? I could go down this road. I mean, the looks and the tension, and how close they were and the side-looks and just the... feels. It was there and it was definitely not... sweet. See?
However, Stefan and Elena... yeah, they're just not doing it for me. Sweet, sure, but, yeah, the Katherine-thing *and* another mark against them popped up in this one. Yes, it was kinda adorable how Stefan used Elena's words about their "epic" conversation when sweet-talking her outside the Salvatore house, but, but, but... we didn't see any of that "epic" conversation. Honestly, Damon and Elena had more of a meaningful conversation in their one scene than we've actually seen Stefan and Elena have in five scenes. So talk about epic conversations all you want, but if we don't even get a hint of them, well, that feeling, that first kiss doesn't feel completely earned.
And on the note of their first kiss... really? In only the second episode? I mean, really, really?! Are we sure this is the OTP of the show? Things that make you go hmmm... indeed. Also on a 'things that make you go...' note, I'm thinking I was wrong in my supposition from the Pilot that Caroline would be involved in a romantic mix with Elena, Stefan and Matt. Obviously, Stefan and Elena are on course (first kiss done... really, already?), and Matt is still definitely harboring feelings for his ex that do not seem to be dissipating. And now Caroline has moved on (and, boy, has she moved on) to the non-Stefan-Salvatore. Namely, older brother Damon. So, I dunno. Of course, it doesn't really seem like Damon is all that involved in any sort of triangle with Stefan and Elena (despite his charming manner when he met Elena, and the actors' chemistry) yet at this point either and the whole dang promotion for the show seems to be predicated on a triangle between Elena and the Salvatore brothers, so who knows?
I guess I'll just go with the flow and right now Elena is with Stefan (with Matt hovering mournfully in the background--and not too terribly fond of Stefan despite his helping to find Vicki), and Damon is very firmly with Caroline. As in firmly in her bed. Damn, Caroline practices what she preaches. She tells Elena to go for the sexytiems with Stefan... and once Caroline sees Damon again, there she is, full-bore sexytiems herself. I have to ask though...where are her parents?! I mean, she's what sixteen? Seventeen? And she's bringing an older guy, practically a stranger, home and there he is alone with her in her house, in her bed. Then he goes a'chomping. You know what they say about 'Stranger Danger!' Caroline, Caroline, Caroline. *sigh*
She better not die. They didn't kill Vicki off, they BETTER not kill Caroline off. Her, I like. I like her A LOT! Caroline is my favorite character at this point. I do NOT want to lose her, dangit! Vicki, eh? Damon can take another shot at knocking her off and succeed this time, I'm cool with that. What can I say? I didn't like her any better in this episode than I did in the first one. (Although, a caveat... Kayla Ewell who plays Vicki is a very good actress.) Yeah, I'm just not really feeling Vicki. And I feel so bad for Jeremy. The whole time he was getting his heart broken by her I was thinking: "Vicki is so not worth it, Jere. SO NOT WORTH IT." She's blind to the fact that Tyler is a douchebag and Jeremy is not.
Although, Jeremy certainly has teenage-asshole moments, LOL! Seriously, I think my favorite moment (well, after the Damon and Elena scene, seriously, that was some damn good chemistry, folks!) was when Jeremy came back home and Jenna called out to him. He was all patronizing and stuff since she'd tried the 'I'm cool and I understand drugs' talk. So he turns and walks up the stairs, ignoring her so she's all fuck this understanding shit, and threw an apple at his head. That was all good, but the best part was his response: The look of surprise and the cried out "Hey, ow, why? why!" Hah!
That was a great job by Steven R. McQueen. (Who is Steve McQueen's grandson! OMG!) Hee. So a shitty moment with his aunt or not, I still like Jeremy.
Unlike Vicki. And Tyler. Yeah, Tyler and Vicki remain my least favorite characters. Of the series regulars that is. Of the recurring characters, damn!, Tanner is SUCH a dick. Poor Jenna, having to deal with that asshole. First Tanner (who *should* know better) and then Jeremy (who so does *not* know better). She's doing the best she can. At least she's got Elena on her side!
OK, I'm gonna do some randoms now...
- I'm sorry, I have been enough hospitals to know that they are NEVER that dark. Puhleeze.
- Yes, Matt clearly still has romantic feelings for Elena, but that hasn't stopped their friendship from being present. We know from the last episode that the two were friends before they began dating so seeing that aspect of their relationship still playing out is lovely. Simply put, I just like how they are dealing with their post-break-up relationship paired with their long friendship.
- Again, just in general, I appreciate how the friendships are getting so much weight on this show, as much as the romantic ships. It wasn't just Matt and Elena, but we also got to see Bonnie, Elena and Caroline hanging out together without one of the two being the outsider (as we saw with Caroline in the Pilot). That's refreshingly surprising.
- I mentioned (more than a few times above) that I was surprised that Stefan and Elena's first kiss already happened, but I was also surprised that Matt told Elena about Vicki saying it was a vampire who attacked her. I did not expect the whole vampire thing to be brought up (to Elena of all people) so soon. I mean, wow, vampire-talk already in the second episode? Yeah, definitely surprising, so maybe this show is just gonna go against the grain, and speed up the unexpected.
- Finishing off in the shallow end of the pool, well there has clearly been time between the filming of the Pilot and this episode and Ian Somerhalder's hair has grown out a bit, and he's gotten into tip-top shape. He looks really, really beautiful. Yeah, totes, call me shallow, I don't care, but damn, that man is lovely. Truly a work of art. (See gifs above for proof.)
- Also shallow? Caroline (and her hair!) looked sooo pretty!
So the second episode and it's still pretty good. I'm not completely sold but I really like Caroline, Damon is beautiful and Elena is likable, not to mention that unexpected chemistry spark between Damon and Elena. And of course, I really like the emphasis on friendship and family along with the romance. So, yeah, I'm going to stick with it a bit longer, see where it goes from here.