If you know me, you know how much I do not like History Lessons[*] on The Vampire Diaries. They just muddle things up. But for the most part, at least this particular History Lesson, helped explain the transition for both brothers from a Stefan who allowed the darkness within him to take over, to an angelic Stefan, to Ripper Stefan all the way until 1920. It also showcased the shades of grey for Damon and underscored the very contrast these two brothers live in — where Stefan is one extreme or the other and where Damon was sickening when we met him but has somewhat transitioned to a livable middle ground. Of course, the show would like you to think it’s new (old?) character Sage that did this… but okay, whatever.
[*] “History Lessons” are what I call the flashback episodes on this show.
And so while I’m tired of bitching that certain characters aren’t in this episode for whatever reason (I guess Bonnie, her mother, and Caroline were off doing whatever they were doing alone), I was mostly thrilled that we got an entire episode dedicated to the serial killings, because, also if you know me, you know how much I love the serial murders story. The serial story has been the only saving grace in the latter half of this season — perhaps because it was the only thing that was putting anyone in danger while everyone else just dillydallied around, kissing anything with a pulse. So much so, that the fact they could base an entire episode around not the Original Family, or even Klaus, shows how much of a non-factor Klaus is as this point. Is anyone scared of him? What is his story? Are the Hybrids a part of anything now? Bueller?
But I digress, regardless of what you may think about the pacing of last night’s episode (where we were told for an entire hour that Alaric was the one committing the murders, and then the twist was that he was committing the murders), I still very much enjoyed it. Particularly, I liked how Meredith’s “creepiness” was turned on its head, how she was only hanging out with Alaric because she suspected he was the criminal. (Though, it doesn’t explain how much she wanted to jump into bed with him. Which was, like, a lot. Maybe she’s into that, seeing as at hour’s end she ended up showing she cared for him.) But regardless, underscoring the fact that dying and coming back to life multiple times in the same season can drive a person mad gives the rings actual weight, rather than being a plot device (á la Bonnie). Only good can come from that, even if it means yet another one of Elena’s parents/guardians will die. More so, it makes Jeremy even the slightest bit relevant again, who has also died and come back to life several times.
And if for nothing else, it at least allowed me to see my new favorite duo Elena and Matt. They’re so hilariously helpless but at the same time kind of badass in a normal way, y’know? Like, “Screw vamps, let’s break the law and — oh crap, we’re busted.” I love it. I love even more the musical score whenever Elena and Matt lock eyes on one another, or when her finger is on his lips… because what we need is a love trapezoid on this show. Do it, Vampire Diaries! Love interests, yea!!! Okay, I’m just being hypocritical at this point, but I do kind of like the Elena and Matt pairing. I don’t know if I’d like them together together, but at least it would feel a bit more organic to make him relevant? I mean, even Matt knows he’s basically useless, as shown by his dialogue tonight. “I’m practically invisible.” Yeah, yeah you are.
Maybe the reason I like the pairing so much is that it shows how much growing up, in the sense that she’s becoming more aware of her surroundings and fending for herself, Elena has done. It almost makes me upset that we’re still harboring on the Stefan-needs-to-drink-animal-blood-or-else-I’m-mad-at-him thing. Elena, just let him suck you off like Sookie on True Blood and let’s call it a day. I’m much more interested in Stefan’s inner struggle (portrayed beautifully by the underrated Paul Wesley) than what it means for Elena. Who cares what it means for Elena at this point? Stefan has decided he’s no good for her, at least not yet, while Elena has jumped from one brother to the next and then back. “I just can’t shake him.” (Well, of course not, he’s a vampire and super strong. Teehee, me and my jokes.) Though, it doesn’t help that Damon has been trying to accomplish the same thing; I can’t “shake” the fact that he truly doesn’t care about Bonnie, regardless. But the more I think about it, the more the idea of his spontaneous thinking to save Elena seems like genuine ideals for him. That said, Stefan and Damon didn’t have much of a choice last episode.
I know I haven’t been much of a fan for the second half of this season, but I think with the rings story, I’m going to really enjoy what’s happening. It’s utilizing characters I care about to put characters I care about in danger. What’s not to like? And how lame would it have been if Samantha Gilbert was the one killing everybody? Lame. Not only that, but that’s some powerful retcon. I’m thisclose to believing that they had this idea from the beginning of the series (everybody going crazy). While it may not have been the biggest bang for a return, I mostly enjoyed last night’s episode. Thank you, Vampire Diaries writers.