'The Vampire Diaries': Vicki's Halloween surprise
I didn't expect to be blown away by this week's "Vampire Diaries" episode. I mean, if you've got a show about vampires and you're going to do a Halloween episode, you'd better bring it.
After my rather doting review of the previous episode, I was ready to be really critical of this one. After all, two really awesome episodes in a row is a rare feat ... especially if your show doesn't feature a glee club or Tim Riggins. Right?
Wrong. I officially stand corrected. Tonight's episode, "Haunted," was more exciting, more surprising and far scarier than I could have hoped. If you haven't watched it yet, consider this your spoiler alert! You're going to want to fire up your DVR before you read the rest of this article.
I gasped out loud a couple of times tonight. First, when Vicki was licking blood out of Jeremy's mouth. Are they even allowed to show that much tongue on the CW before 10 p.m.? Impressive.
I was floored again, of course, when Stefan drove the stake through Vicki's chest. When I spoke with executive producer and writer Kevin Williamson last week, he explained that Vicki's addictive personality and volatile moods would only escalate now that she'd been turned. I expected plenty of drama, especially with Jeremy, but Williamson can sure keep a secret because I definitely didn't anticipate Vicki's "eternity" to be cut quite this short.
I'm sad to see Vicki go because Kayla Ewell's acting chops were really starting to show, but it was clear that she couldn't have lasted long on the path she was on. Mostly, I'm worried about how Matt's going to take the news of his sister's death! He knew that she had a drug problem and he knew she was keeping bad company, but he was still doggedly trying to help her get it together. "Is this what I'm in for?" he asked Elena, before he knew of Vicki's demise. "A lifetime of worrying about her?"
Despite the implication that he might ultimately be better off without his sister, I have a feeling that Matt is going to take this really, really hard. We know that Matt is protective of those he loves, and I'm sure he's going to think he's failed his sister.
If we can back up for just a moment, though, to the blissful moments when Vicki was more undead than dead -- how cute were Matt and Elena's coordinating costumes? Despite Stefan's broody sincerity and Damon's undeniable charm, I find myself firmly on Team Matt. He's so cute! And he's got those super earnest puppy-dog eyes. Plus, uh, I'm guessing that given a choice of beverages, he'd probably go with a Dr Pepper over an open vein any day. I like that in a man. (Don't worry, I know it's hopeless! Rooting for Matt on "The Vampire Diaries" is like rooting for Roy on "The Office" -- it's just never going to work out.)
Besides, I'm sure Matt is going to be too busy mourning his sister to have much of a love life. With their absentee parents, Vicki is pretty much the only family Matt had, regardless of her manic unpredictability.
The sibling bond remains a strong theme in the series. This episode really offered some insight into Elena's relationship with Jeremy, too. There were several times throughout the episode when we were reminded that Jeremy is still a few years younger than the rest of the kids. He's a little less mature, with a bit of a bratty streak -- though that's understandable, considering the situation with his parents. He's got a tough shell and a defensive edge, but he's still fragile.
Elena's decision to wipe Vicki's death from Jeremy's memory was a risky one. I can understand the sentiment; when someone you love is hurting that badly, you want to make it better as quickly as you possibly can.
Still, I'm not sure she's really considered the position she's in now. Sure, it seemed like Damon was just doing her a favor when he offered to Eternal Sunshine Jeremy. But it's only Episode 6, and we all know that Damon doesn't just do favors for no reason. I seriously doubt that Damon did that out of the goodness of his cold black heart. What's the catch?
The subplots are getting more interesting, too! I'm trying to figure out what "Uncle" Zach's angle was with the council. He was protecting them by supplying vervain ... but he wasn't willing to completely sell out Damon and Stefan. His family loyalty got the better of him.
I'm really glad to find out more about Bonnie and her family's history. I can't wait to learn the significance of that necklace that burned Damon's hand, and it was nice to see more of Bonnie's grandmother. Though, she doesn't look like any grandma I've ever seen! She looks like she just got done playing Mimi in "Rent." Maybe witchcraft keeps you youthful?
How do you think Matt is going to handle losing Vicki? Do you think Damon was playing games or showing genuine sympathy when he went to talk to Jeremy? Are you glad Elena has warmed up to Stefan again?
Let's discuss it in the comments below, and don't forget to come back next week!
-- Carina MacKenzie (follow me on Twitter @cadlymack)
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Photos: Top - Steven R. McQueen as Jeremy and Kayla Ewell as Vicki. Bottom - Paul Wesley as Stefan and Zach Roerig as Matt. Credit: CW