March 28, 2010

The Vampire Diaries: More Soul, Less Feeling :(

Print More

It has happened: The much anticipated (?) return of The Vampire Diaries to our televisions. This may be called the Spring Break edition recap. It is distinguished from previous recaps only in that its author is no longer the color of a television, tuned to a dead channel and has also regained (?) the secret knowledge of full sentences. And we forge ahead in the hopes that my verbosity has also gone the way of the Play Station 2 …

Last time, the cast of Thriller was emerging out of its tomb only to discover that their beloved demi-god MJ has returned to Valhalla, but there were still plenty of people around to eat. Poor Damon got made into a fool, and how. I mean, what a chump. Chump-city. Chump-crab meat salad. 21 Chump Street. What goes Chump in the night? Get it? He’s a chump. Oh and Grandma Witch became Grandma Death. Boo! Thankfully, Bonnie’s not in this episode so we don’t have to hear about it.

Mainly, this episode delved deeper into the mystery of Elena’s birth. Ooooh! Finally! Yes, it’s all about the “mystery” of how the mom is Nice Teach’s wife, was obviously turned by Damon and is probably hanging out somewhere with Katherine avoiding her familiars. (I think, perhaps, some research viewing of the excellent archetypal, “where’s your mom” plot of How I Met Your Mother is in order. I want to meet that mom!) If you did not already surmise the above “mystery,” you are either paying a beneficially superficial attention to the television (good for your brain!) or are a complete moron. Yes, that’s very sad for you — please don’t procreate or join the Tea Party.

Auntie Jenna has discovered the mom’s name using the amazing powers of product placement (Bing is never going to take my galactic overlord Google away from me so stop trying because I have read Catcher in the Rye and I WILL destroy the phonies). Truly her powers of research are dizzying. Elena hops in her new mini (cute!) and heads off to see Trudie, a high school friend of her mom’s. Trudie knows all about Vervaine, vampires and things. She’s afraid of Elena and rightly so. After she leaves, a giant goon comes to kill her! Apparently she did what she was supposed to: Direct Elena away. But you can’t argue with giant goons. The goon race is a proud and taciturn one, stubborn too. Trudie didn’t say much other than that Isobel went to Duke (we knew!) and that she did not know who Elena’s father was. The latter is obviously a lie, so hopefully it’s someone freaky.

Alaric has somehow managed to keep a lid on his anger about Damon’s alleged wife-murdering. This is pretty odd, no? Maybe he’s on a lot of Xanax. That makes sense. Stefan keeps promising that he will do something about it, but that he needs time. We know Stefan has little physical power and mostly prattles on, so unsurprisingly, he doesn’t really help at all.

We see in some flashbacks the disintegration of Alaric’s marriage prior to Isobel’s death (rebirth). She was studying lore at Duke, got bored of being around living husbands and went of in search of the supernatural. It seems she smoked out Damon and he ridded her of a mundane human existence. Unfortunately, “Rick’s” current love-life isn’t fairing much better. He should have stayed in Paris. He finally manages to kiss Auntie Jenna only to discover that Elena is probably his step-daughter. Sometimes things ARE just the worst!

Things really become unsettling for the poor guy, when Damon rubs his face in the wife-murdering in front of an angry sea of cougars at the town’s charity bachelor auction. Unfortunately, Elena is there too. Where she had been all worried about Damon was coping with Katherine’s trans-chump-tation, she’s just kind of pissed. This guy killed your mom. Killed her. Oh, whatever. Poor Rick can’t take it. He runs off to attack Damon with a stake, only to get staked. It was all very heartrending.

Damon is suffering as usual. He’s applied the normal medicines: liquor and co-eds. Alas, he can’t stop screwing up, killing peoples moms, hitting on moms embarrassing moms and the like. He’s STILL looking for Katherine and hypothesizing about her whereabouts. AAUUHHHhhhhhh …. that is the sound of a plot line dying, me dying, or an indication that the Black Beast of Aaauugghh is in Mystic Falls. That would be an excellent plot line. Let’s go with that.

And so we have a parallel: Damon can’t get over Katherine and Alaric can’t get over Isobel. Both of them are big dummies! Love is for chumps! The cool embrace of the Galactic Overlord Google is soothing and eternal!

Well old Rick doesn’t need to invoke the power of Google (yet!) because that hideous ring he wears was actually a magical gift from Isobel, given to him in the guise of a “token” of his wife’s love. Apparently, whatever Isobel became, she was capable of love once or, at least, terrible taste in magical rings. Have we had ENOUGH WITH THESE RINGS? And do all the vampires have them? Not one vampire, except that dummy employed to kidnap Elena, has been unable to prance about in the light of day. I mean they might as well sparkle at this point.

In other mom news, the perpetual shitty mom, Marissa’s mom from that place of the oranges and water polo, returns to the screen to give Matty her treatment. She’s a drunk. She bangs random dudes. She runs about with some guy who dumped her. Then she cries about it to her poor son. She does not care about Vicki, who was her daughter and was also murdered (disappeared). Crap mom combined with the return of Tyler’s rich drunk mom and Elena’s vampire mom raises the issue of parenting again. Oh, how these children run amok. Oh, for the long-lost days of the agrarian ideal.

Unfortunately for cheery Caroline, who likes Matt oh-so-much, crap mom “does not like her.” She calls her a phony. I have little doubt that this woman has ever read Catcher in the Rye so, Caroline’s life is probably safe, but, as usual, her self-esteem takes the toll. What will happen to this adorable relationship?!

The big goon returns! He delivers a message to Elena: “Stop looking.” Hmm, sounds like much looking is on the horizon! In a classic self-destruct message move, the goon, who was Jedi-mind tricked by vampire mom, throws himself in front of car. They’re unflappable, those goons! He doesn’t destroy his phone, however. As soon as Elena gets home, she redials and hears Isobel’s voice a bit before mama hangs up. But as it seems most people in this town do not experience normal human emotions, I’m sure she wasn’t too torn up about it.

Finally, the Thriller-ites are gathering at some poor woman’s house. Jeremy may yet have a chance with vampire girlfriend part deux …

This episode was fun but didn’t really flesh anything out. We still don’t know what Elena’s connection is to Katherine, although Damon hints that there’s some perhaps familial connection between Isobel and Katherine? I suppose the issue is that Elena’s mom drama just isn’t all that compelling. At this point, we’re better off meeting her or finally meeting Katherine. I would much prefer to find out about her dad. But even more so, I would like to discover things that are not about Elena’s ridiculous and largely dead family. We need some new jazz. Hopefully, MJ’s lost brothers and sisters will shake things up. It’s true; when you eat people, it really doesn’t matter if you’re black or white.

Original Author: Rabia Muqaddam