Monday, October 10, 2011

Important Life Lessons & Dramatic Fades to Black: The Vampire Diaries 3:4 Recap

Next week, I promise to write at least one post that has nothing whatsoever to do with The Vampire Diaries, but for now, I'm going to continue recapping each episode. Because if I don't make fun of this show, who will?

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, all this stuff happened, & there were a lot of flashbacks.

This week, the Vampire Diaries team is mixing it up a little, & giving us the title text after the previously on. I'm not sure what this means for the rest of their tried & tested formulae this episode. I don't know about you guys, but I'm getting a little worried. There are certain things I expect from The Vampire Diaries each week & I don't appreciate them changing everything up on me now. Am I reading too much into the early title text? Do I have slight OCD tendencies? Have I watched way too much Vampire Diaries? Read on to find out!

This week's opening song is some kind of electro-pop dance thing. It bounces! It's repetitive! It's different! Know why? Cause this week, we open in Chicago! It's the big city! There are buildings! And buses! And multiple places to eat! It's everything Mystic Falls lacks! It even gets its own subtitle to tell us what it is! Mystic Falls never gets a subtitle.

We rejoin our Evilest of Evil Duos in a posh boutique where they are lounging on divans drinking champagne, which is clearly what Evil Duos do best. Don't they know that Damon is supposed to drink in the opening scene of every episode, not Stefan? This is very unsettling. Anyway. Rebecca is trying on dresses & learning about the twenty-first century since she was temporarily murdered by her brother in 1922 & is missing out on a significant chunk of time. Rebecca doesn't like the clothes she's trying on because she got dirty looks when she wore trousers back in the 20s & women today, according to her, dress like prostitutes. Klaus, who totally understands how feminism works, informs her that she wore trousers so that the women of today could wear nothing. Rebecca also hates the music. That, I can agree with her about. Come back, emo songs, all is forgiven!

Klaus is grumpy because Rebecca doesn't have the Magic Witchy Necklace any more. Stefan's definitely not telling them that he knows where it is. He's getting pretty distracted by Rebecca's prostitute dress, though, so decides to go outside & "get some air". But who's that smirking at him from the opposite side of the street? She looks like sweet little Elena but her hair is wavy so you know she's evil: it's Katherine!

In Mystic Falls Elena is in the kitchen, making chilli to bring to a potluck -

Life Lesson #1: In American small towns, even ones infested with vampires or on the brink of disaster, there are always potlucks. No matter what happens, there will always be potlucks.

- & Damon is in the kitchen, criticising her chilli because he's in love with her & that's the only way he knows how to show it.

In this scene, we are reaffirming the normality of Elena & Damon's burgeoning relationship with teasing japes, hip bumps & stupid grins. I'm not buying it. Neither is Alaric. Elena explains that Damon is staying close in case she Breaks. You know, because she spent the whole summer chasing her murdering vampire boyfriend who kept running away & finally realised that maybe he didn't want to be found after all. But she's still wearing the Magic Witchy Necklace he gave her, & that signifies their Unbreakable Bond even though it totally belonged to his vampire ex-girlfriend before he gave it to her. Oops.

In Chicago, Katherine has beckoned & Stefan has followed. Katherine somehow knows that Klaus is looking for Rebecca's necklace, & she also knows that Stefan gave Elena said necklace in season one. But Stefan has a Diabolical Plan! And he won't tell Katherine! Katherine doesn't like that very much but Stefan says to stay out of it because he doesn't need her help. Katherine doesn't like that very much either.

Back in Mystic Falls, Jeremy is busy being a Sensitive Artsy Teenage Boy asleep in his clothes surrounded by charcoal & sketchpads. He rolls over & suddenly his staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend is lying beside him!

Jeremy gets a bit of a fright. His staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend is glad he can hear her because she's been yelling his name & screaming at him for days, which isn't creepy at all. (Like, even in the shower?) Jeremy says he was dreaming about her, which is probably why she's all corporeal now & Anna just focuses on the fact that he was dreaming about her & stares romantically into his eyes. Didn't you have something important to tell him, Anna?

Downstairs, Caroline has brought Elena chilli (because, remember, Damon joked that everybody brings chilli to a potluck) & Bonnie, Elena's Good Witch Best Friend, who is home after spending the entire summer with her dad's family. Bonnie is also Jeremy's Good Witch Girlfriend, & she probably wouldn't be thrilled to know that he was busy making swoony eyes at his staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend as she was coming up the driveway. Anna appears reflected in the hall mirror as Jeremy & Bonnie kiss. Nope, not creepy at all.

Outside City Hall across town, Damon is talking to Caroline's sheriff mom about the whole kidnap-&-torture thing that happened with Caroline's dad & not only do we learn that the sheriff's ex-husband is a torturer, but he's gay, too, which is pretty much just as bad. Damon wants to kill him but the sheriff, while happy being friends with vampires, doesn't "advocate their lifestyle." Damon wittily quips that that's probably what she said to Caroline's dad when they divorced. Yes we see what you did there, Vampire Diaries, you compared gay people to vampires. That's very clever & not offensive at all. Please, carry on.

Life Lesson #2: There is a dark & dank dungeon full of cells & chains under every City Hall in America.

Bill is chained to the same chair he tortured his daughter in. Damon takes a little taste of him to make sure there's no vervain in his system & proceeds to erase his memory & compel him to leave town. Something tells me we haven't seen the last of Caroline's Gay Torturer Dad or his heavy-handed allegories about being able to change vampires' natures.

Life Lesson #3: Gay people - they're like vampires, only worse.

Back in Chicago, Gloria is casting a spell to find Rebecca's necklace. Rebecca figures Gloria can probably use her in the locator spell because after all she did wear the damn thing for a thousand years. That necklace looks awfully modern for a thousand & ninety year old piece of jewellery. But anyway.

We cut back to Elena's kitchen, where Elena & Caroline are catching up with Bonnie when the necklace suddenly begins to burn Elena's skin! In Chicago, Gloria can Sense Something! Elena can mostly sense blistered flesh. Gloria does some Witchy Chants while Bonnie asks Elena if she can see the necklace. When she touches it the necklace sends off sparks & burns her too! Gloria looks at Stefan. She does that dramatic X-Factor waiting-for-the-results pause & says ominously: "I've found it." Dun dun dunnnnnn...

When the fade-out fades back in, we learn that, to Stefan's relief, Gloria doesn't actually know where the necklace is, just that there's a girl & her friends & that somehow has something to do with it. Mostly, she needs Klaus to get his Evil English Werepire self outta her face so she can work on the details. The Evil Duo Trio leave the bar & Gloria looks relieved.

Back in Mystic Falls it's Founder's Day at the Lockwood mansion & Bonnie has brought her Big Book o'Spells to the barbecue to try find out what made the Magic Witchy Necklace burn. Caroline is more concerned with finding out if Elena's switching vampire brother boyfriends. Also, she loves her father dearly. *headdesk*

Life Lesson #4: You can decide not to be involved in your daughter's life at all for two seasons & then kidnap her, torture her & try to brainwash her but don't worry, she'll still love you dearly. I'm guessing she doesn't know he's gay, or she'd probably be a lot less understanding.

But enough with the love stuff, Bonnie's found a locator charm in her Big Book o'Spells! Or no, she hasn't, the necklace has just randomly decided to levitate! You can tell it's not supposed to be happening because the music's gone all waily. Because of the burning & the levitation & the waily music, Bonnie cleverly concurs that Elena's necklace must be Witchy & Magical. Doesn't she already know that all jewellery is magical jewellery?

Life Lesson #5: All jewellery is magical jewellery. I know these lessons can get a little repetitive, but they are Very Important & also Very True. So hide those hoop earrings, cause you never know what they're gonna do.

Up at the house, everyone brought chilli to the potluck -

Life Lesson #6: Everyone brings chilli to a potluck

- & Alaric is father-figuring by telling Damon to keep away from Elena. Damon gives Alaric a good look at his Unhappy Eyebrows before following the sheriff away to the council meeting upstairs.

In Chicago, the Evil Trio are snacking on blondes & Rebecca is bratty & bored because that's all female vampires can ever be. She even brattily whinges that she isn't bratty, which amuses our Evil Duo mightily. Stefan drains his blonde (you can almost hear the slurping-at-the-straw-even-when-there's-no-milkshake left sound) & goes off to write her name on his creepy wall.

Back in Mystic Falls, Jeremy leaves the Lockwood potluck to hide in one of the mansion's many rooms & talk to his staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend. Anna wants to know why he hasn't told his actual girlfriend that he can talk to ghosts yet, but Jeremy just wants to know how this whole Sixth Sense thing is happening. There's a lot of soft music & talk about the Other Side & Anna says that Vicki (the other staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend) is Dark & Dangerous. She warns Jeremy not to let her in (apparently ghosts can only appear to you if you want them to, which pretty much goes against everything horror has taught me about ghosts).

Hey, you know what we haven't had in a while? A cliché! I've really missed those clichés! Here's one though: the Ghost Story Cliché! Ghost comes back to her loved one & tries to touch him but he can't feel it so they raise up their hands & touch & they Feel Something!

Now, we return to Chicago, where Stefan has called in to Gloria's bar. He wants to know what she learned about the whereabouts of the necklace. Gloria heard the girls talking about Stefan but didn't say anything to Klaus because he's a hybrid halfbreed & she wouldn't help him with anything. However, as the Magic Witchy Necklace is actually a Very Important Talisman once owned by the Original Witch herself, Gloria wants it. She threatens to tell Klaus that his sidekick's a liar if Stefan doesn't help her get the Very Important Talisman, & when Stefan turns to attack her she blasts him with a Magical Migraine.

Once the dramatic music has dun dun dunnnnned itself out, we cut back to the bar, but it's dark & littered with witchy paraphernalia & Stefan's lying paralysed & shirtless on a table.

Life Lesson #7: Spells only work on shirtless men.

Also? I don't know about you guys, but this is not the kind of face I make when I'm in pain... Anyway! Moving right along!

Gloria's not one of those modern hippie witches, she likes to keep it old school voodoo, with the slit wrists & the anti-Magical Vampire Healing wound clamps & the vases to collect the blood in. She doesn't even need a Big Book o'Spells, she's that hardcore.

See, now that's a pain face.

Back in the Lockwood mansion, the Vampire Hunters Anonymous Town Council Meeting is in session. This one's short & sweet, as there haven't been any signs of vampire activity all summer. It's all been sunshine, daisies & torturing Dads in Mystic Falls lately. Speaking of which, here's Bill! What a surprise! That mind-control memory-loss really didn't take, did it?

(Oh wow, I've just realised something! Bill is totally Claire's Dad in Heroes! Typecast, much? I'd been wondering why he looked so familiar for the last few weeks. The generic bad guy with a superhuman blond teenage daughter look really should have given it away sooner. Maybe Clark Kent was right & people with glasses are completely unrecognisable when they take them off... Maybe he's actually Superman!)

(It's a simple but convincing equation.)

Meanwhile, in Jeremy's bedroom, Bonnie & Jeremy are looking through a bunch of Big Books o'Spells to find something about the Magical Witchy Necklace. Bonnie can't use the Ghosts of Witches Past to help her like last season because they cut her off after she brought Jeremy back from the dead. You'd think with all this talk of ghosts Jeremy could explain his spectral predicament to his Good Witch Girlfriend, but he pretends everything's just fine instead. That is, until Anna appears behind Bonnie to warn him that The Darkness approaches.

No, not that kind of Darkness, the kind of Darkness that sets Big Books o'Spells on fire! Panic ensues. Bonnie waves her wand & casts a flame-freezing charm says aguamenti something in Latin & the flames go out. Dramatic music plays.

Back in Chicago, Gloria's Topless Stefan Spell is still underway. Gloria puts her hands on Stefan's chest & learns through blurry blue flashbacks that Elena is the girl with the necklace, that Stefan loves her & would do anything for her, & oh yeah, that she's the Doppelgänger & is supposed to be dead & she just happens to be the reason why Klaus's hybrid-making experiment failed in bloody tears. But just as Gloria is basking in this knowledge, Katherine comes up behind her & stabs her in the neck! See Stefan, you did need her help after all!

Back in Mystic Falls, Elena, Caroline & Alaric are ready to leave the party but can't find Damon. Caroline is being mean to Elena by insulting her new favourite vampire brother. Which isn't fair because Damon really doesn't deserve Caroline's scorn. I mean, all he did was compel her for months, date-rape her on several occasions & then kill her & turn her into a vampire. But he's the Good Brother now! God, Caroline, stop being such a kill-joy.

Life Lesson #8: Warning your friend against your abusive ex-boyfriend simply isn't fair & you should just get over yourself & be happy that she's got such a swell fella to protect her now that her boyfriend's become evil.

Damon finds our heroes as they leave the house & tells them that Bill is impervious to compulsion & has threatened to out Damon. Which is Very Ironic because, remember, Bill is gay, & it's gay people that get outed, not vampires. Gay. Remember? Bill is gay. Slightly less importantly, he wants to run the town council & put vervain in the water supply. Elena thinks that's not a bad idea because it will help Damon control himself now that he's the Good Brother & doesn't have an actual Good Brother to keep him in check. Damon really doesn't like this reasoning. He wants to go kill Caroline's dad immediately but Alaric pulls another father-figure & blocks his path. Damon puts on his Bad Boy face, says "your temporary funeral" & breaks Alaric's neck.

Now. Let's talk about his whole "your temporary funeral" business. We all know that Alaric has Elena's Supernatural Protection Ring that means he can't be killed by anything supernatural. Which apparently means he's also immune to regular, snapped-neck killing if it's done by supernatural beings. Not only does that not make sense, but Damon's little quip makes even less sense because even if Alaric's is only a temporary death, there's no such thing as a temporary funeral. Funerals are temporary by nature; you have one, then you go home. Or get buried, depending whose funeral it is. And anyway, they won't give Alaric a funeral because of Life Lesson #9: Nobody ever bloody dies in this show! So it can't be his temporary funeral! I don't know why this bothers me so much! Let's move on!

We move on to Chicago, where Katherine & Stefan are cleaning up their witchy mess & Katherine has figured out Stefan's Diabolical Plan. He knows Klaus will never trust him but Rebecca is a woman, & therefore weak, & an easy mark, so he plans to make her fall even more deeply in love with him than she was ninety years ago. How will he do this? By bonding with Klaus & making her feel left out, of course! That really gets the girls going. Stefan also wants to know who this Hunter that Klaus is so afraid of is because that's how Stefan'll make his move. Katherine wants in on the plan but Stefan is a Lone Wolf now & tells her to find someone else to be her partner in crime.

It's an emo pop song again! And we're back in a bedroom in Mystic Falls with sad characters being sad! Now there's the Vampire Diaries we know & love know. Caroline's hiding out from her dad in Tyler's bedroom when he comes home from football practice. Tyler comforts Caroline, who is Very Upset because through everything, Bill is still her dad & she loves her dad. Tyler raises this episode's Shirtless Count to two when they start smooching, but then Elena calls Caroline because of Alaric's broken neck & that totally ruins the mood.

Downstairs, Bill is drinking Scotch because he does everything in moderation, & explaining his compulsion immunity to Damon. He also thinks Damon's technique is rather sloppy. Hur hur. Then he makes the mistake of telling Damon he's not self-destructive enough to kill the sheriff's ex-husband. Damon, who really doesn't like being underestimated, sticks his fangs in Bill's neck.

When the dramatic fade-out fades back in again (deja vue) Damon's still sucking on Bill (okay, I'm sorry, I'll stop). He isn't going to kill him though, just toy with him a little. However, Caroline's not big on that idea, so she zooms across the room & throws Damon at a wall. And then through a window. And when he comes back while she's healing her dad with her Magical Vampire Blood & tells her to leave, she punches him in the face. I like Caroline.

Damon hits her & holds her down because he's stronger but she breaks his arm & headbuts him off her cause she's angrier. And more awesome. Then she zooms her dad out of the room.

Elena (who ran in when Damon's hands were at her friend's throat) & Damon then have an argument because Elena doesn't want Damon to be what other people think he is & Damon doesn't want to be controlled.

Life Lesson #10: Teenage vampires - they never grow up.

Back at Jeremy's house, Bonnie is vaccuuming up ashes after the Great Spellbook Fire of 2011 & Jeremy is in the bathroom, talking to his staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend. Jeremy wants Anna to stop appearing every time he's with Bonnie, but Anna reminds him that she can only appear when he's thinking about her. She realises that he hasn't told Bonnie he can see her because he still cares. But Jeremy does the right thing & says goodbye & as Anna's voice gets more & more echoey he shuts her out for good. Then he goes into the bedroom & tells Bonnie everything & Anna cries echoilly in the doorway & says she's all alone.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, dramatic music plays & Stefan revisits the coffin warehouse where Klaus was keeping Rebecca. He's about to open a coffin when Rebecca herself comes in & stops the music. She won't talk about who's hunting them but they chitchat about Klaus for a bit & then Rebecca pulls Stefan forward & kisses him because she wants him to one day love her like he loved Elena. He says that one day he thinks he will be able to. It's a very tender moment until Rebecca says she can always tell when Stefan's lying. Uh oh! Then Klaus comes in & Rebecca tells him something's wrong because Stefan was asking about Michael the Hunter! Double uh-oh! She says she can sense that Stefan's not with them. The dramatic music is back! Triple uh-oh! Then Klaus runs at Stefan & the screen goes black! I don't think I have enough uh-ohs for this!

And now it's time for one of our favourite Deep & Meaningful emo pop song closing scenes! Yay!

Today's song starts all instrumental & piano-y & Damon prepares drinks for himself & recently-resuscitated Alaric who doesn't want the drinks because Damon's a dick. Cut to the town, where Caroline is trying to get Elena to admit that she's attracted to Damon, which she totally is, but she doesn't want to admit it, but by saying that she pretty much does admit it, & the song's about feelings building up inside. Then Bill appears across the road & Caroline goes over to him & he thanks her for saving his life & she tells him she's going to be okay but he doesn't think so, because she's a vampire, so she'll never be okay & the song is about not knowing where you belong. Cut to the Lockwoods' house, where Alaric is asking the sheriff & the mayor if he can be on the council in order to look after the Real People of the town & the song says it's only love & it's only pain. Cut to Mystic Grill where Elena asks Bonnie for her necklace back & they sit over coffee & talk about Jeremy's Ghosts of Girlfriends Past... until their waitress arrives & Elena disappears!

I think that means it's time for this week's post-emo-pop-song-dramatic-montage cliffhanger scene! It's good to see that some things never change.

Elena knocks at Damon's door. The eerie music tells us everything is not as it seems... Damon quickly picks up on that & when Elena laughs & puts her hand on her hip he realises it's actually Katherine! Because Elena would never do anything so unladylike as putting a hand on her hip.

See? Clearly evil.

Katherine has come to Damon looking for a Partner in Crime. After all, it's what Stefan told her to do. Damon agrees to go on a roadtrip & Katherine holds up Elena's necklace.

Then we cut to some kind of storeroom where Stefan wakes up to find Klaus standing over him. Klaus is determined to find out what Stefan's been hiding so he throws open the rolling garage-type door of what ends up being a lorry & graciously welcomes Stefan back to Mystic Falls. Dun dun dunnnn...

1 comment:

  1. I love how funny you make the life lessons!! Me and mother really got a laugh out of #5