It’s a difficult thing when you begin to review a television show. I mean, obviously, I’m just here reviewing it for my own blog — not anywhere important — but still, you begin to look at it differently. I suppose I can still watch an episode and find that there’s a great entertainment value in it, but otherwise it may have fallen flat…and yet that’s still very hard for me to do. It’s difficult to separate yourself from the entertainment value and the storyline and the characterization.
Should I just begin reviewing on entertainment value alone? I feel as though in the beginning of this season, I was doing just that — and certainly, tonight’s episode was entertaining. It always is. But now, I focus way too much on the ifs and hows and whys in the quest of who these characters are.
For example, when Tyler found the drawing Klaus made for Caroline and questioned why she had kept it, I questioned the same thing. Why would Caroline keep the drawing the mass murderer in town who tried to kill her twice and sired her boyfriend and threatened everyone she loves made? Why? It mostly irks me because in the beginning of the episode, it seemed like Caroline’s heart was set straight. But if that scene was actually inputted to test whether or not she’s reciprocating feelings, I don’t know how this is a logical step for her character.
The same goes for Elena who planted one on an almost-half-naked Damon as they then proceeded to dry hump against a column only to be interrupted by her brother. In other words, they were interrupted by the guy Damon killed close to six months ago (in show time) who happens to be Elena’s brother. Can we actually forgive that? As I was watching with my sister, I reminded her of that and she responded with, “Ah! He’s a vampire! They do those things!”
Those things? Like kill people? I mean — what now? It’s completely unforgivable. Completely! Now, Stefan obviously has murdered countless people, but it wasn’t her own brother. And what gets at me the most is that Elena is not one bit attracted to Damon’s darkness. Not at all. They aren’t even trying to make you believe that’s what’s happening. She only stares him down when she learns of how he put Rose out of her misery, because it displays the “good” in him. It’s only a hard decision to admit her feelings for Damon because he very well may be “good.” I mean, she admitted herself that if he had screwed up, the decision would have been made for her.
Listen, everyone knows I’m rooting for Stefan and Elena. But that doesn’t make me some dramatic weirdo who just cannot stand Damon and Elena together. Make it happen. I couldn’t care less. But do it in a way in which when I watch it, I’m not thinking Elena’s attracted to the exact same aspects in these brothers. It’s hard enough for me not feeling any chemistry between the two characters, but I’m also watching a relationship develop from the idea of the former relationship with the other brother. I don’t understand it.
And so when Rose said that Stefan’s love is “pure” but Damon’s may be the best or worst thing because it makes her question life, I’m still dumbfounded. First off, what is so awful about pure love? Second, who is Rose to be an authority on Elena’s relationship with Stefan? (Because she’s a ghost creeper?) And third, what else in Elena’s existence isn’t making her question life? The girl, just in the past two years or so, has lost her parents, her biological parents, may be losing her guardian, found out vampires existed, found out werewolves existed, found out witches existed, became the number one commodity between these beings, learned she was a descendant of doppelgangers, lost her boyfriend to his own darkness, and had to navigate it all without dying every single day. What is there to question? Evilness exists.
At least, with the Alaric storyline, the show has decided to ride that level of ambiguity a bit better. Although, Stefan did have to basically state it explicitly: there is darkness in all of us. And thus, with that statement, it seems the show is headed into a place of allowing the characters to acknowledge their own evil but being “okay with it” as long as that evil doesn’t overtake them. Or something to that effect. I guess, for the most part, I’m fine with this definition of “good” on the show. (Even if, as aforementioned, it completely contradicts the Elena and Damon relationship, which could be a great storyline.) Though, I’m not exactly a fan of Stefan determining that everything he went through is all for not if Elena has feelings for someone else. YOU COULD HAVE GONE THROUGH THAT JOURNEY FOR YOURSELF. Elena is not the end all and be all for justification.
And if I don’t stop there, I will continue with this topic forever. So let me get on with what else happened.
Elsewhere, this was a pretty shipper-heavy episode. Caroline and Tyler did it and then had issues. Damon and Elena went there with their hot and heavy kiss. Stefan and Elena are a bit estranged during the episode. Klaus and Caroline are mentioned. And Rebecca and Matt have sparks. Rebecca is perhaps my favorite Original at this point, mostly because she very well may be the most well-layered character this show has ever created. She’s just fantastic — either the writing, or the acting, or both, but you can just see how much goodness there is inside her, just how vulnerable she is. And her line, “I haven’t lived a day in my life,” just absolutely killed me. And then her mother had to possess her. Nice going there, mom. In any case, I think Matt is becoming the Caroline of the show, where people may start shipping him with everyone. And since, over the past few episodes, I have become a huge fan of Rebecca’s, I’m okay with Matt and Rebecca.
And here’s why I like them more than Caroline and Klaus: Rebecca feels. And that’s really all that matters. Besides, it’s not so out-of-nowhere. And she didn’t try to kill everyone. I mean, she does want to kill Elena… so it’s complicated. But if the show has to go there, I think it makes a bit more sense.
Meanwhile, Kol is finally useful and was fun as the ruthless villain. And now the Scooby Doo Gang has no idea where they descended from. Ruh-roh! I’m sure there has to be a way to get around this. (It’s probably that the Originals will stay indefinitely.) Needless to say, I’m only okay with this storyline if it actually goes somewhere. And, to be frank, I don’t care if both Klaus and Tyler are collateral damage. Buh-bye. Something’s gotta give. These people cannot just stay around if there’s no purpose.
Speaking of which, I don’t know what to make of this whole possessed story…only because, as I mentioned, Rebecca is my favorite. So I want her back. Other than that, it’s most certainly compelling. I mean, here I am not caring which Originals die, but knowing that if one of them dies, all the vampires in their bloodlines die — and it’s like a game of Russian Roulette, so now I have to care. It’s a fantastic storyline, currently. I enjoyed Damon, Elena, and Jeremy hunting down clues and Kol pushing Elena down. Good stuff.
In that sense, the episode had great entertainment value. I would categorize this as one of the more interesting episodes this season. But I still find myself questioning a bit of the characters’ actions. I don’t think I’ll be able to judge the episodes by one aspect or the other, solely, anytime soon, and I think that’s okay. I think it’s okay to either love or hate an episode because you thought it was entertaining or made no sense or was boring or was true to the characters. Personally, there were enough twists to keep me on my toes. But I’m hoping that seeing this season through pays off in what I think is lack of sensical development. But hey, it’s an hour of TVD — so it was good.