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'The Vampire Diaries': Elena asks the big question

October 8, 2009 | 10:26 pm
55145 This week's "Vampire Diaries" episode, titled "You're Undead to Me," didn't waste any time with creeping us out. The opening scene featured Stefan speaking to Damon through bars in the Salvatore family's dungeon of a basement. Damon is weak, starving, and he isn't wearing the ring that keeps him from burning in the sun.

Stefan says that he's not trying to punish his brother, just to reeducate him. Really? He killed five people and chowed down on two more. I'd say a little punishment is justified ... until you hear what Stefan's idea of education is. "You'll grow weaker and weaker, and eventually you won't be able to move or speak. In a week your skin will desiccate, and you'll mummify: a living corpse. I've injected you with enough vervain to keep you weak. Once your circulation stops, I'll move you to the family crypt, and then in 50 years, we'll reevaluate."

Sounds an awful lot like punishment to me! Gross. I have to hand it to him, I'm impressed that Stefan actually seemed committed to keeping Damon down there. I was sure that their brotherly bond (or what's left of it) would ultimately make Stefan cave.

Okay, so Damon is a murderous, manipulative vampire with an insatiable thirst for human blood and a creepy psychic link with the head cheerleader. It's in everyone's best interest that he be locked up in the basement, wheezing and drying up ... except for those of us viewing the show. This week's episode was great, but I was glad Damon broke free at the end -- I missed his usual wisecracks this week!

I quite enjoyed the episode though, and mostly because of Elena. I really misjudged her at the beginning of the season; she's become quite a force to be reckoned with. This week she proved once again that she's no Bella Swan. Her aunt Jenna asks her how she's feeling after Stefan blew her off with nothing but a vague message for four days, and Elena really lets it rip. "I'm not OK with any of it, but I'm not going to cry about it either. I was going to write in my diary this morning, but then I thought, 'What am I going to write?' I'm not going to be one of those pathetic girls whose world stops spinning because of some guy. I'll be fine."

Hear her roar?

She makes Stefan really work to get back in her favor, too. I loved how she played it cool when he talked to her at school, and gave him the brushoff when he was acting shady and secretive at the Grill -- after being an hour late for their date, at that. She finally let him back in when he showed up at her house to cook for her -- after all, he's got that Italian pedigree (and 150 years of kitchen experience).

I can't blame her for forgiving him! Stefan was utterly charming as he told her all about himself. He likes "The Great Gatsby" and doesn't turn up his nose at Grisham. He loves Seinfeld but prefers "I Love Lucy," and his film tastes tend toward Scorcese. Musically, he's "across the board" -- but he digs that one Miley song, too. Don't we all?

Okay, so maybe he didn't tell her the important things. And maybe he totally hulked out when she nicked her finger and started to bleed. But still, how could she resist? After all, he's got a hell of a smile ... when those fangs retract.

By the way, he did his talking all while chopping garlic -- so take note, vamp fans. The Salvatore brothers not only don't sparkle, they also aren't crippled by flavorful sauces.

Happiness doesn't last long when the guy you're dating is technically dead. The honeymoon ended rather abruptly at the high school's car wash fundraiser. (Called the "Sexy Suds Event" -- which definitely wouldn't fly with my old high school's administration, but they do things a little differently on the CW.) An old man tells Elena that he remembers Stefan from an incident that happened in Mystic Falls in 1953. Despite the man's granddaughter brushing him off as senile, Elena's curiosity is piqued.

Aunt Jenna's suitor, Logan, is a local newscaster. Elena cashes in on the connection to gain access to the station and check out their news archives -- where she finds footage of Stefan lurking in a doorway in the 1950s.

Everything starts to fall into place for Elena. Stefan's name on the guest list at the original Founder's Party from over a century ago, his magically healing cut at the football game, the way his eyes go a little crazy whenever he gets worked up. It all connects with the murders and the bite marks on Caroline's neck.

Elsewhere, Damon finally breaks out -- possibly killing his "uncle" Zach in the process -- and finds Vicki in the graveyard. I have to say, I was getting a little tired of Vicki's games by the end of this episode. She thinks she has feelings for Jeremy -- but she doesn't like the idea of him cleaning up his act. When he mentions that he's getting a little tired of getting high, she brushes him off, acting like he's being snobby for even suggesting it.

So I wasn't too heartbroken when Damon sank his teeth in and fed on Vicki to regain his lost strength. I do hope she survives the attack, though -- Jeremy can't handle another great loss in his life, and her brother Matt is one of my favorite characters. I wouldn't want to see her death kick off his downward spiral.

The episode ended with a bang -- finally, Elena showed up at Stefan's door and asked him the question we've all been hoping she'd ask: "What are you?"

Can't wait to see how he answers that one.

Before I sign off, I wanted to mention the music this week! I'm loving the soundtrack to the series so far -- the music is low-key but really kicks up the emotion in the more powerful scenes. If you dig the songs as much as I do, you can follow music supervisor Chris Mollere @cmollere on Twitter; he tweets the artists and titles so that you know what to search for on iTunes.

As always, you can post a comment below to let me know your thoughts on this week's episode! Were you charmed by Stefan's culinary skills? Does it turn you off that he indulges in the occasional Hannah Montana song? Do you think Vicki will survive Damon's second attack on her neck? Are you looking forward to seeing Bonnie's witchcraft story expanded? Let's chat!

-- Carina MacKenzie (follow me on Twitter @cadlymack)

Related:

Vampire Diaries cast off the hook
The undead show signs of life
Rooting for Elena

Photo: Stefan (Paul Wesley)  and Damon (Ian Somerhalder).  Credit: The CW.
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