'The Vampire Diaries': That's one scary mother
Have you made your Mother's Day plans yet, "Vampire Diaries" fans? After Thursday night's episode, "Isobel," you're going to want to make sure you show your mom how grateful you are that she's not a soulless creepster dead-behind-the-eyes vampire. Flowers and breakfast in bed might not cut it.Mia Kirshner has appeared as Isobel in several of Alaric's flashbacks this season, but as Damon has proven time and again, once a person has been turned, they're never quite the same. Tonight, we'll finally see what immortality and a handful of superpowers have done for Isobel. More importantly, Elena will finally see it.
Tonight's episode came with a special treat for fans on Twitter. Star Nina Dobrev as well as creators Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec live-tweeted during the episode. If you missed it, don't worry! I have all the highlights from their Twitter session below.
8:00 p.m. -- At first glance, Isobel seems rather harmless. She's almost calculatedly cool, but the way she asks Alaric about his job reminds us of who she used to be to him. You can practically hear her asking how his day was as they get ready for bed.
8:02 -- Oh. Now she seems slightly less harmless, what with the death grip choking and the threatening to slaughter innocent children and stuff. I guess that's kind of a dealbreaker.
8:03 -- "You've successfully cured [Stefan] of anything that was interesting about his personality," Damon tells Elena. Maybe we've all been a little too hard on Stefan. Sure, he may be more interesting when he's strung out on human blood, but not "interesting" in an I-want-you-to-be-my-boyfriend kind of way. It's more like "interesting" the way a Wikipedia page about a serial killer is interesting. You're horrified and grossed out, but you just can't stop clicking. Regular old Stefan and his pure "Angel" heart are good enough for me.
By the way, Show Trackers, do you ever notice that the Salvatore boys are always just getting out of bed or just coming out of the shower? They must be the most well-rested and hygienic blood-sucking creatures of the night ever.
8:04 -- MATT! Poor thing, he's been stuck at The Grill for two whole weeks. Tyler is back, too, but their bromance is on a break ever since Tyler made out with Matt's mom.
Though we often complain about secondary and tertiary characters going M.I.A. for episodes at a time, their absence does make the heart grow fonder. I'm not sure when Tyler became one of my favorites (along with Michael Trevino) but I'm definitely hoping to see his story develop next season. He has a lot of family issues to work through, and if there's anything this show does well, it's family drama. Williamson agrees with me. "Yes, we need more Tyler next season," he says. "It will happen."
8:05 -- Regina George interlude: CW, stop trying to make Bing happen. It's not going to happen.
8:07: Okay, Isobel is much, much more evil than Katherine. Turning gay cowboys straight? Major party foul. That's just un-American.
Nina Dobrev tweeted that Mia Kirshner actually speaks French. "Fun fact -- She plays my mother and she is also Canadian AND part Bulgarian. How crazy is that?"
8:08 -- "You don't have to see her if you don't want to," Damon tells Elena. We're so accustomed to him being callous at this point that every time he reveals his protective nature, it comes as a surprise.
8:09 -- I can't help it; I'm nervous just watching Elena wait to meet Isobel for the first time. There's no way this can end well, but at least in the meantime, Elena has her totally cute undead boyfriend making eyes at her from across the Grill.
8:13 -- Mia Kirshner is disturbing me. How does she make her eyes go all cold and dead like that? I'm going to start practicing that trick in the mirror. It might be a useful tool against sketchy guys in bars. Isobel tells Elena that her father was a "teenage waste of space." Wow, this mother-daughter reunion is absolutely nothing like the ones on "Oprah."
8:14 -- As we learned last week, vampires have a hidden parlor trick: they can turn their emotions on and off at will. They never have to feel anything they don't want to, and they don't even need a Xanax prescription to do it -- it's just like pushing a button. Still, Damon scoffs, "Stefan is different. He wants the whole human experience. He wants to feel every episode of 'How I Met Your Mother.'"
8:15 -- Isobel is the first person to bring up the inevitable complication of Elena's mortality. It's been in the back of all of our minds that Stefan will be a 17 year old who looks 27 forever. As for Elena ... well, Isobel puts it best. "Forever doesn't last very long when you're human."
8:16 -- I may be the only one, but I think that the rift between Bonnie and Elena is great. Everybody argues with their friends in high school -- it hurts, but it's part of growing up. Sure, fights about vampire boyfriends who indirectly killed your grandmother are a little more catastrophic than fights over not saving someone a seat on the bus to the bio field trip, but you catch my drift.
8:17 -- With all this mama drama I'd almost forgotten about poor orphaned Anna! Jeremy can relate; he's evidently forgotten to wash his hair.
8:18 -- "Okay, I'm Team Alarmon or Damoric," Kevin Williamson tweets.
"I'm with Kevin," Julie Plec replies. "Team Dalaric."
8:20 -- OK, I'm happy to watch Damon make out with anything, but please, can he stop kissing Elena's mom now? Gross! Kirshner may be hot, but ... mom germs. Come on.
This scene is phenomenal. Damon just admitted for the first time that he cares about Elena, which probably means that he's malfunctioning or something, but he's not softening up a bit. "I do believe in killing the messenger," he hisses at Isobel. "You know why? Because it sends a message."
8:26 -- When teenage girls argue, there are tearful conversations and longing stares across dingy bars and endless hours spent writing in journals. Here, Matt and Tyler show us how teenage boys argue:
Matt: You're a ..., end of story.
Tyler: I know! Whatever.
8:27 -- Poor, incompetent Original Johnathan Gilbert. He never invented anything! Emily just enchanted like... everything in the entire town. According to Bonnie's research in Emily's spellbook, the mysterious invention that Katherine and Isobel have been looking for is a weapon.
8:31 -- I'm sorry, did Isobel just hurt MATT!? I don't even love-to-hate her anymore, I just hate her. Unforgivable! Thank God Stefan and his super-strength were there to save the day.
8:34 -- Matt really wasn't going to go to the hospital because he didn't want to be in the car with Tyler? I take it back. They're being pretty girly.
8:38 -- I honestly can't decide if I want Elena to hook up with Damon or if I want her to be Stefan's Forever Girl. The grass is always greener on the other side, I know, but she and Damon just sizzle.
8:43 -- "There's a group of vampires from a long time ago that wants revenge on this town." Aren't stakes and fire enough? Johnathan Gilbert's enchanted invention must be the vampire equivalent of a nuclear warhead to have Katherine all worked up about it.
8:44 -- Okay, Bonnie is so cool. I'm so glad to have her back in the mix, even if part of me thinks she caved pretty easily on her vampire embargo.
8:45 -- Whenever there's a scene in the town square, I can't help but think that Mystic Falls looks an awful lot like like Hill Valley. Save the clock tower!
8:46 -- Isobel might be the worst mother since... well, since Kelly Donovan, but she can't help imparting a little bit of motherly wisdom. "He's in love with you," she tells Elena about Damon. Uh-oh ... cat's out of the bag. "As long as you have a Salvatore on each arm, you're doomed. Katherine was smart. She got out. But we all know that you're not Katherine."
I don't know. Doomsday with the Salvatore brothers might not be the worst fate ever.
8:51 -- I love the sibling dynamics on this show. Jeremy has hidden his anger at Elena for several episodes, but he can't fake the happy-go-lucky little brother thing any more. Her intentions were good, but we all know where that leads.
8:53 -- This final confrontation between Alaric and Isobel was really important to round out his character. "I wanted this. I needed this. And I'm going to regret it forever. This was my mistake, not yours. You're not going to remember this. I loved you, I did. And when I think about what I gave up, it hurts. But now your heart's free of me. It's easier this way." She feels things after all! She'll push that Vampire Insta-Xanax button soon enough, I'm sure.
8:54 -- Anna's back! Malese Jow continues to blow me away.
8:55 -- Yay, post-game recap at the Salvatore Broodinghouse! Er, Boardinghouse. I don't really like Stefan sounding like a jealous boyfriend. He should know that warning Damon to stay away from Elena is only going to fuel his fire.
Even Dobrev is a little surprised by this side of her on-screen boyfriend. "Stefan's jealous???" she tweets.
8:57 -- Uncle John is Elena's teenage waste of space father!? OK, I don't like him, and I'm not hoping he sticks around, but in a show where bloodlines and family history are so essential to the myth-arc, I am pleased that Elena is still a Gilbert by blood.
8:58 -- Isobel basically just put out a hit on Stefan and Damon because she wants a better life for Elena, the daughter whom she abandoned 17 years ago and whom she has spent the last 58 minutes torturing. Isobel chooses now to be a mom? Can't she just give Elena a curfew and the birds-and-the-bees talk and call it a day?
9:00 -- Wow. Bonnie is the last person I'd have expected to betray Elena this way. That vampire A-bomb still works, and Stefan and Damon are among its intended targets.
Next week: "It's Founder's Day. I'm here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl." Uh-oh. This is a series where every episode tends to feel epic, so I'm sure we'll all be rocked by the season finale. "One thing to say about next week: No one is safe," Plec tweets.
"Start your prayer list," Williamson agrees.
I've often said that what makes "The Vampire Diaries" stand out in a crowd of similar stories is the attention given to making the female characters strong and independent. These girls aren't flimsy; they don't surrender when things get complicated. Bonnie said that she was done with the vampires, and she meant it. As much as I love Damon and Stefan, I'm impressed by the courage of her convictions.
You know the drill! Let's hash it out in the comments below. What's one thing you want to see in next week's season finale? How are you planning to get through the long, dark, rerun-filled summer?
--Carina MacKenzie (follow me on Twitter @cadlymack)
To everything there is a season
Damon and Elena prove touching is overrated
An alternate universe where Stefan is fun
Photo: (Top) Ian Somerhalder as Damon, Paul Wesley as Stefan. Credit: CW. (bottom) Mia Kirshner as Isobel. Credit: CW
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