'The Vampire Diaries': Trouble brewing at the sock-hop
Happy Thursday, Show Trackers! "The Vampire Diaries" is back, and in this episode, we're reminded that these characters are still in high school, and sometimes, they do actually go to school... well, for dances, at least.
8:01 - It's confirmed, it seems, that the man in the road is a vampire. Now that Damon isn't the only immediate threat, Stefan gets doubly worried. He gives Elena a box of Vervain goodies -- and he even made Jeremy a bracelet! Cute. Can someone please give some to Caroline?
8:02 - Along with giving him the vervain bracelet, Elena should tell Jeremy never to let anyone through their door. Ever. Unless you've seen them stripped naked standing in sunlight without any jewelry on them, and not burning up, don't invite them into your home! Who is this strange hoodie-wearing vampire pizza boy?
8:03 - "You're just bitter because one of us gets to be with the person that we love, and poor Katherine is just out of reach." In my interview with Paul Wesley this week, he mentioned the natural chemistry between himself and Ian Somerhalder -- and scenes like this one, with the brothers taunting each other, really utilize that.
8:04 - Just last week Alaric off-handedly told Jeremy how important it is to hang on to family heirlooms... and now Jeremy is handing Jonathan Gilbert's Vampires for Dummies man-diary off to Alaric. I don't care if it is "porn for history teachers." Make a photocopy or something!
8:05 - Finally, someone gave Caroline some vervain! Her mother should be charged with neglect for not getting that into her sooner. I mean, I'm not sure who would charge her, since she's the sheriff, but still.
8:05 - MATT! I missed him last week! And with him, we meet the hot new bartender. I'm excited to see Sean Faris back on TV. He's been in two short-lived TV shows -- one that was canceled too soon ("Life as We Know It") and one that probably never should've made it to air ("Reunion").
I won't hold my breath for his character, Ben, to stick around long on "The Vampire Diaries," though. New characters I like tend to end up dead, with their blood all over Damon's hands. I hope that before his inevitable demise, he and Bonnie get together. Bonnie's been through a lot lately... falling into tombs and sprouting witch powers in new places. She could use a few fun dates!
8:11 - "We're predators, Elena. We hunt. We stalk. It's often as exciting as the kill." It's interesting that Stefan uses the word 'we' here. No matter how long he goes without killing a human being, he's still hyper-aware of his darker side and its potential consequences.
8:13 - Caroline and Matt are sweet together, but it's clear that he's still a little hung up on his old notions of her. He's so quick to assume she's passing judgment about his job as a busboy, when she seemed to just be genuinely bummed that she wouldn't see him at the dance.
8:14 - Speaking of passing judgment, I'm still struggling to make up my mind about Jeremy's new friend Anna. There's something a little weird about how she keeps pressing the vampire subject. I can't wait to find out her angle.
8:16 - Jenna finally gives us a little bit of insight into Elena's heritage. Her biological mother was a 16-year-old named Isobel who showed up late one night at the Gilberts' door. After she ran out on baby Elena, the Gilberts forged documents so that they could keep her.
8:18 - Damon is making a list of the original Secret Society of Vampire Hunters, it seems. Benjamin Lockwood, John Gilbert, and a couple of others obscured by his hand. It's all part of his "diabolical plan, the sequel."
The way that Damon and Stefan talk about their father is interesting. Stefan asks about "posthumous bonding," which suggests that Daddy Salvatore and Damon might not have been too close in life. Damon responds with, "the man could barely spell his own name." Not a whole lot of love lost for their long-dead father.
Stefan tells Damon he'd help him release Katherine -- not the rest of the vampires, but Katherine. I don't believe him at all. It's true that Stefan isn't the brother you'd expect to lie, but he's just as good at manipulating Damon as Damon is at manipulating... well, everyone.
8:19 - Jonathan Gilbert's watch is seriously unreliable, flicking around like crazy trying to find the hooded vampire pizza boy in the house. Can't Bonnie's Grams whip up a slightly more modern vampire-seeker? There should be an app for that.
8:25 - "I'll be with the two of you. I'll be safe," Elena says after Damon suggests that they go to the dance in order to bait the hooded vampire pizza boy. Stefan looks a little bit uneasy. Could he be wary of Elena's newfound trust in Damon?
Then again, Stefan did call Damon to come over to Elena's in the first place. Maybe he's hoping to be able to rely on his brother a bit, too.
8:27 - I love school dance episodes. This one in particular must have been great fun for not only the costume designer, but also the music supervisor! Following up 1950s classic "This Magic Moment" with Rogue Wave's cover of James Taylor's "Everyday" is brilliant.
8:28 - I have to say, Nina's hair is reaching great heights. This episode is a great ad for the Bumpit.
8:33 - "You're doing that thing again," Jeremy tells Anna. "That thing where you pretend we're dating, even though we're not." Ouch! Still, Anna is coming on a little strong. She keeps showing up wherever he is! She definitely wants something from him... I'm not sure if it's just a date, though. Mark me down as highly, highly suspicious.
8:34 - The idea of Damon as Stefan's legal guardian is kind of hilarious. The other way around, perhaps. Alaric is really good about hiding his discomfort around Damon. He's playing it very, very cool.
8:35 - You go, Bonnie! She's such a rock star. I guess once you learn to set fires with your mind, talking to a hot older guy is child's play.
8:37 - I knew Anna was a vampire! Just what Jeremy needs in his life... another girl who is probably going to end up on the wrong end of a stake.
8:38 - Please excuse my inner 12-year-old, but Stefan swinging Elena around on the dance floor and kissing her was... soooooo cute! I can't stress enough how nice it is to see Stefan have a little bit of fun once in a while. "Now you remember that," he teases, "because it's never gonna happen again." Did Edward Sullen just crack a smile?
8:39 - Hoodie pizza vampire boy's name is Noah, and he and Anna apparently go way back. Way back -- they knew Katherine. How did they escape the tomb? How did the Salvatores escape from the tomb, for that matter.
8:44 - And the showdown begins. The creepy vampire pulls the old hoodie switcheroo, leaving Elena without Stefan to protect her. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with Elena's pencil-staking skills, even if she is missing all the vital organs.
8:48 - Right now, it seems like Stefan really does want to help Damon get into the tomb, otherwise he probably would've just killed Noah, instead of wasting all that time intentionally missing his heart with the stake. He could just be playing the game for Damon, but it seems like a pretty gruesome show in front of Elena.
8:52 - Stefan makes a good point when he draws a connection between Noah and Damon. After all, Damon has also been invited into the Gilbert home, and Damon is also known to feast on humans.
It reminds us just what Stefan is sacrificing for Damon. He could have killed his brother and put an end to everything a long time ago. Instead, he's going to great lengths, playing along with the tomb game, to get Damon out of his hair but keep him alive. Stefan still maintains a low level of faith in Damon.
8:54 - Could it be Alaric's wife was Elena's mother? Obviously, she's not the only woman named Isobel in the world, but it could explain why Damon wanted to kill her in the first place.
8:56 - Matt and Caroline's first kiss is epic! Awww, my inner 12-year-old is all mushy again. They're adorable together! They've both been through a hard year, even if Caroline's memories of Damon's abuse are mostly fuzzy. They deserve a little happiness.
8:59 - Oh, God. Don't kill Ben before he goes on his date with Bonnie! I wanted to see that.
Or... not. Ben's a vampire, too!? Everyone seems to have known him for years, so how long has he been hanging out in town? Was he just waiting for the Salvatores?
I wasn't expecting all of the new characters to turn out to be vampires. This could be really, really bad news for Mystic Falls. Unpredictable characters like these make Damon seem a little bit more human, a little bit more safe. Uniting against a common enemy is sure to do some interesting things to the Salvatore brothers' relationship. They might have to -- dare I say it? -- trust each other.
Let me know your thoughts on this episode in the comments below! What do you think is going to happen with the tomb, now that we know Stefan was lying to Damon about helping? What do you think of Anna and Ben, the new vamps in town? Why do you think Anna wants Jeremy to know about the vampires? Where do you think Tyler is currently vacationing?
Don't forget to come back next week for the new episode recap, and if you haven't yet, check out my exclusive interview with Paul Wesley!
--Carina Mackenzie (let's chat on Twitter @cadlymack)
Photos (Credit: CW): Top: "The Vampire Diaries" cast in their '50s finest. Middle: Guest star Malese Jow as Anna. Bottom: Katerina Graham as Bonnie and Sean Faris as Ben.
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