As I’ve always told you guys, I’m not really a fan of the History Lesson episodes on The Vampire Diaries. For the most part, they are never handled smoothly. Most shows can’t do this well, regardless, so it’s not something I hold against The Vampire Diaries all that much. However, I do dock points when the flashbacks seem to serve no purpose for the currently storyline… and to be honest, I wouldn’t say that tonight’s were particularly imperative to the overall narrative. Of course, I love that it was a great example of why Elena should turn her humanity (drink!) back on. However, I would go as far as to say some particular things were a bit out of character. Personally, I just don’t buy Lexi sleeping with Damon… or Stefan sending her off. Perhaps I’m forgetting the context of what Stefan was preoccupied with in the ’70s, or perhaps we haven’t been given that information, but it seems to me that he would be the one to go save his brother.
But let’s not dwell on the negatives, shan’t we? For there are plenty of positives to talk about during “Because the Night.” For one, Apathetic Elena was written much better than last week. As opposed to telling everyone she didn’t care, she actually just displayed the fact that she didn’t care. And even then, I would exactly call it complete apathy (which is something I think last week’s episode didn’t execute properly; so Elena doesn’t care, why should we? that emotion is about as engaging as… well… it’s not engaging at all). I would call it something along the lines of conscienceless. There was a moment during tonight’s episode when Elena and Damon are kissing where I finally felt like I was watching something completely different from the past year and a half. Damon and Elena could kiss on that rooftop and the context didn’t have to be about the love triangle between them and Stefan or even about romance at all. And let’s be honest, that’s a much more interesting subtext.
Translation: we like Elena when she does things. This episode, she knows that Damon is playing her, so she decides to go along with his rouse so that she can get to the cure first and choose to not take it. I groaned and rolled my eyes when Damon said he would make sure she take the cure even if it meant that he had to break her neck and tie her up to do so because wow what’s new? But when Rebekah came and twisted his neck and she and Elena exchanged sly grins, it’s almost what I’ve been waiting a long time for and never even knew I wanted. Shutting off her humanity (drink!) may have given this show that extra push it needed to stop feeling like a gothic love story — where a teenage girl’s fairytale crumbles before her — and transition into something much more adult and mature… or maybe not, it’s only been one episode.
Over in Mystic Falls, Bonnie is actually still part of the storyline. She and Silas gather up 12 witches to slaughter, and at somewhat-Caroline’s hand, they are successful. There are plenty of reasons to not like what transpired here tonight. First, I thought we were done with the entire no-one-remembers-anything plots. There is absolutely zero dramatic tension having Bonnie forget everything she did, as if she were just in a daze and under some spell. The plot was much more interesting when Bonnie was crazed with power. Now it just seems like she has been manipulated (and not in a teen drama high school evil way) since episode one this season, and that’s boring. Second, it’s kind of gross that the show may be using Caroline indirectly allowing 12 people to die as a way to validate that she is as bad as Klaus and therefore shouldn’t be judging any attraction she has to him. Actually, having Caroline be attracted to “the darkness” was good enough. But I digress, what I do like about this storyline is that it gets the ball rolling. Somehow, the Vampire Diaries writers truly did amp up the Big Bad tension from this time a year ago. And just like last year, I’m currently asking myself how they could top a season where both the living and the dead’s universe are about to blend together. We soon shall see, I guess. But this entire Silas plot has actually got me guessing and double-guessing in a way I used to do during seasons one and two of TVD.
That’s always welcome.
What I think the show is doing with Caroline currently, however, is something that I would have loved to see them do with Elena just a couple of seasons ago… and which they have now squandered. I think that the love triangle would have been quite compelling had Elena been shown to be attracted to the darkness, much like Caroline currently is. I can’t say why I’m not jumping on it for Caroline in this instance, but unfortunately it just doesn’t do much for me. There’s a certain je ne sais quoi about it that I unfortunately cannot define. Although, I think in some ways that Klaus was introduced as someone who hasn’t exactly lived up to his full potential. Tonight, when Silas stabs Klaus, it was supposed to be seen as this triumphant moment for him — “Oh no, he can even beat KLAUS? OF ALL PEOPLE?” But really, I’m not all that shocked, and I suppose most of the audience isn’t either. Klaus’s reputation definitely hurt the potential “sucked by the darkness” storyline in that respect. Besides that, it was probably also a case of too little, too late.
Overall, this was a much needed and welcome episode after last week’s. And I’m looking forward to where the story progresses from here.
- Hybrid failures. And then Klaus is like, “They’re not THAT bad.” Ha! Love it.
- So we all agree that Elena and Rebekah working together is amazing? Okay good.
- Also, we all agree that them biting that one girl was great? Okay good.
- Damon: “I have failed.” Stefan: “Well I caused the apocalypse, so…”
- I seriously thought the show would even kill off Bonnie. They’ve got me guessing a lot. Good for them!
- “You got Lexi’d?”
- Oh and this episode was also really funny, in a purposeful, good way.
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