Monday, October 17, 2011

Important Life Lessons & DRAMATIC MUSIC: The Vampire Diaries 3:5 Recap

This week's Vampire Diaries recap is late because I'm just back from Mayo where there is no internet. (True story: there is no internet in the whole of Mayo.) But without further ado...

Previously, on The Vampire Diaries:

Elena & Katherine are identical! But they're not related! They're doppelgängers, & Evil English Klaus, who is evil, & English, has to kill a doppelgänger to break an ancient curse! He thinks he's killed Elena but she's still alive! So he doesn't know what's gone wrong! The only way he can get what he wants is by contacting the Original Witch! But, as the name suggests, she's been dead for centuries! And the only way he can get in contact with the Original Witch is by a Magical Witchy Necklace that used to be hers! Where could this necklace be? Elena, who is the Good Doppelgänger, has it! And Klaus doesn't know it! But wait! Katherine, who is the Evil Doppelgänger, has stolen the necklace! And now she wants to take Damon on a road trip!

Damon & Stefan are vampire brothers! They are both in love with Elena! And Katherine is in love with both of them! But mostly she just loves herself! Stefan used to be the Good Brother & Damon was the Bad Brother, but now Stefan has joined Evil English Klaus & has become a Ripping Killing Off-the-Rails Machine! He even told Elena he doesn't love her any more! But he's just pretending that he doesn't care to keep her safe! And he's the one who gave her the necklace! But now Katherine has it!

Klaus has a sister! Her name is Rebecca! She's an Original Vampire too! Stefan used to be friends with them back in the 20s & he discovered that they were on the run from someone! That someone is a vampire hunter called Michael! Here's what he looks like:

Flashbacks are helpful Bad Guy identifiers. Stefan made the mistake of asking Rebecca about Michael & now the Evil Siblings know he's not on their side! And Klaus wants to know what it is he's been hiding! So he brings him back to Mystic Falls! Which is where Elena lives! This is Very Bad News!

Currently, on The Vampire Diaries, it's time for a cliché! It's a horror movie cliché! It's an empty high school! It's my favourite horror movie cliché! I can tell this is going to be an awesome episode.

The halls are empty! The classrooms are empty! There's a weird clanking sound echoing through the school! It turns out to be Matt, the Sensitive Blond Jock! He's working out after class, because there totally wouldn't be an insurance issue with letting a student use those heavy exercise machines in a completely empty building. Suddenly, he hears a noise! Eerie music begins to play. He steps out of the gym into the empty corridor. Something ghostlike brushes past him! And because this is a horror movie cliché, instead of running screaming from the school as fast as his Sensitive Jock Legs can carry him, he goes towards the ghostly sound! The music intensifies! He follows the screechy-violin music into a dark classroom, where he turns on the light &...

Sets off a floor-full of mousetraps set by his friends because they're preparing for Senior Prank Night! Oh shucks you guys! Matt is not impressed. He'd forgotten all about Senior Prank Night, but gets roped into it anyway, by Caroline, the Bossy Blond Vampire. Also, I suspect they need him to fill the Token Human spot on the team.

(Left to right: Caroline the Bimbo Turned Bossy Blond Vampire, Tyler the Jock-Jerk Turned Nice-Guy Werewolf, Elena the Good Doppelganger, & Bonnie the Good Witch.)

Our gang of lovable misfits are now in Senior Year! They've been Through A Lot! But they've made it! So now it's time for them to make memories that'll last them the rest of their lives, by supergluing teachers' desks shut. Suddenly the school is well-lit & full of students having a lark & some high jinx. Elena is Very Happy.

Until she walks into one of the school's only remaining badly-lit corridors, & you know by the fact that the camera's close to her face & the Lark-&-Some-High-Jinx music has stopped that something bad's about to happen.

That something bad is Klaus! Oh no!

Today's opening scene music is too cool for school! It's Super-Cool Road Trip Music! Know why? Cause Damon & Katherine, the king & queen of Too Cool For School, are on a road trip! Damon is board & Katherine is flirty. I think that's all I really need to say about any scene that contains the two of them. The rest is just banter.

In Mystic Falls, Stefan wakes refreshed from a night of being tortured by Klaus. Rebecca, who is guarding him, knows that he knows that Klaus knows that... hold on, I've lost track. Anyway, Rebecca says Klaus is ripping Elena the Cow's Bloody Head off! Stefan plays it totally nonchalant & badass until...

He slams Rebecca to the ground! (Maybe the dramatic music made him do it.) But Rebecca is jealous! And way, way stronger than Stefan. Vampire fights make the most sickening bone-crunchy noises. It's awesome. Also, Stefan ends up impaled on a metal pole.

Life Lesson #1: Never make a vampire woman jealous.

Back at the high school, Klaus is dragging Elena angrily through the corridors, talking at her about his plan & why it didn't work & what he's going to do now (make sure she can still break the curse & then kill her, but first make her suffer a lot) in typical Bad Guy fashion.

Life Lesson #2: Bad Guys really do like to talk.

It's pop-rock music time! This really is a high school episode! It's like something out of Ten Things I Hate About You, which may well be the greatest teen movie ever. In the gym, those whacky seniors are constructing some sort of elaborate prank involving hundreds of paper cups. But what's this? Klaus storms into the hall, puts on an American accent & tells the kids to leave! All except two poor souls who get singled out to be compelled.

So, Klaus does the creepy compulsion thing really well. Today, he compels a girl to stand on one leg, & tells her guy friend that if she touches that leg to the ground he is to beat her to death. It's always the compulsion scenes I find genuinely creepy. That probably says something about my problems with authority.

Far far away, we rejoin the roadtrip, which has paused momentarily since Damon's stopped the car & thrown away the keys. He demands to know what Katherine's up to! He would never have left town with her so willingly otherwise! Katherine tells him she's stolen Elena's necklace because Klaus wants it & she wants to stay two steps ahead of her enemy, but she doesn't say why Klaus wants it. Also, she's kidnapped Jeremy & stuffed him in the trunk. Because nothing inspires a vampire's trust more than the unconscious teenage brother of the woman he loves.

Back in Mystic Falls, we're back in the high school! I've missed Mystic Falls High! Also, I'm glad term's starting again because the second chapter of my thesis, which I'm starting research on next week, is all about high school! So recapping The Vampire Diaries is totally study!

Anyway, in the school, which is suddenly ill-lit & empty again, Caroline & Tyler are having a Moment. Caroline wants everybody to be happy, & she wants this school year to be the best one ever.

Life Lesson #3: If you live in a town in which supernatural shit goes down about every other day, don't say you want this to be the best year ever, even if you're thinking it. You're totally going to jinx it.

Oh look, here comes a jinx! It's Rebecca, & she knows who they are! But who is she, Caroline wants to know. Why, she's the New Girl, & she's got fangs!

In the pool room -

Life Lesson #4: All American high schools have olympic-sized pools in their gyms.

- Bonnie & Matt are TPing the room & talking about Jeremy's sightings of Vicky, Matt's dead sister who is also Jeremy's Drugged-Up-Party-Girl Come Staked-Vampire-Turned-Ghost ex-girlfriend. It's a complicated situation. Bonnie & Matt look back on the year that's past, & muse on the fact that last summer they had no problems except breakups & failing CPR & now Matt's feeling really left out because his ex is dating a vampire, his friend's a witch & his sister's a ghost & he's just a lowly human. Don't worry Matt, it worked out okay for Xander! (Plus or minus an eye.)

He goes off to get more toilet paper & there's no music, so you know something bad's right around the next toilet stall...

I don't think we need a cliché count for this one - this whole episode is based on the high-school-inna-scary-movie trope.

Matt's about to leave with his toilet paper when one of the bathroom stall doors open! But he was just inside, & there was nobody there! The Eerie Violins are back. (That'd be a great name for a band.) He goes to check, & sees graffiti eulogising his dead sister. Then he closes the stall door again & his sister's right behind him!

But he can't hear her! But he might have felt her! It must be so frustrating to be a ghost.

In the gym, Girl Standing on One Leg is clearly no ballerina. She's about to drop her leg when Bonnie & Matt come into the gym. Elena shouts at them to leave but they're exactly who Klaus has been waiting for! (Well, Bonnie is, no one cares about Matt cause he's just a lowly human.) And then Rebecca drags Tyler in too, & Klaus grabs him & explains his Evil Plan.

He forces Tyler to drink some of his blood & tells the assembled (& rather shocked) audience that every time he's tried to turn a werewolf into a werepire hybrid the werewolf dies. So he tells Bonnie she'd better find a way to reverse that, or else it's bye bye Tyler. *Snap* goes Tyler's neck.


On the other side of town, Stefan wakes up - with difficulty - & removes the large metal bar that's sticking through his chest.

Life Lesson #5: Seriously. Never made a lady vampire jealous.

At the gym, Rebecca's being jealous at Elena & Klaus has commanded Bonnie to go fetch her Big Book o'Spells to make sure Tyler comes back to life without bleeding from the eyeballs. Bonnie is worried because the Original Witch spell is over a thousand years old & her Big Book o'Spells doesn't go back that far. She used to be able to contact the Ghosts of Witches Past but they conveniently cut her off after she brought Jeremy back from the dead. I don't understand their problem, I mean it's not like anyone ever stays dead in this show. But Bonnie's figured something out! She may not be able to contact the dead, but you know who can? Jeremy can!

You know who else has figured this out? That's right, it's our favourite scheming doppelgänger, Katherine! Katherine's old friend Pearl from season two once said that she knew of a vampire who could kill Klaus, but she neglected to share the rest of the information with anyone but her teenage daughter, & now she's dead. And so is her teenage daughter. Who is this teenage daughter, I hear those of you who didn't watch season two ask? Why, it's none other than Jeremy's other Staked-Vampire-Turned-Ghost Ex-Girlfriend, Anna! It's all coming together so nicely!

Back at the high school, Stefan seems to have had a change of heart. He comes into the gym to ask Klaus's forgiveness & pledge himself to him. Klaus, unsurprisingly, tells Stefan to kill the human couple, & elbows Elena in the face when she protests.

Life Lesson #6: Never say "he isn't going to hurt me" around an Evil English Werepire. He'll take it as a challenge.

Stefan completely forgets his pledge & turns on Klaus! He tells him he'll do anything once Klaus doesn't hurt Elena! But Klaus doesn’t believe him! Do we honestly blame him? So he compels Stefan to obey him forever!

The music gets so dramatic I can hardly stand it & Evil Compelled Stefan -

- kills those poor defenceless humans! Which is totally different & more dramatic than all the times he killed poor defenceless humans for Klaus without the excuse of having been compelled to do it.

Meanwhile, on a picnic bench somewhere in Road Trip County, Jeremy is talking to Anna but she refuses to help Katherine. So Damon punches Jeremy, which makes Anna a lot more willing to talk. She says that they're looking for Michael the Vampire-Hunting Vampire, but that it'd be a Very Bad Idea to wake him because he'd kill them all. Damon gets his keys.

Back in Mystic Falls, Rebecca's learning how to use mobile telephones. Apparently holding the phone at arms length & making duck-lips is just instinctive, even to a 1920s girl.

She's definitely got the tapping-to-zoom thing down though, because after going through Caroline's photos & pouting at the ones of Stefan & Elena, she notices that Elena's necklace looks somehow familiar...

Rebecca storms into the gym & demands to know where her necklace is! Stefan looks up from his meal -

Life Lesson #7: Even when compelled, vampires are messy eaters.

- Rebecca shows Klaus Caroline's phone -

Life Lesson #8: Evil English Werepires are also very good with smartphones.

- & she runs at Elena.

Life Lesson #9: 1920s vampire women are very possessive & will rip your throat out if they think you're lying about not having their necklace any more.

Life Lesson #10: When Original Vampires want to know something, they'll play Good Cop Bad Cop.

Klaus kindly asks a bleeding Elena where the necklace is, & when Elena explains that Katherine stole it Klaus decides to make things more fun by giving Bonnie twenty minutes to find the spell. If she fails, he says, Stefan must kill Elena.


Meanwhile, Bonnie still can't get through to Jeremy & something's been throwing Matt's clothes around the workout room! Matt follows a trail of clothes (how many clothes does this boy have?) to the pool room where he finds his car keys at the bottom of the pool. Then Vicky appears behind him! But he can't hear her! So she kicks one of his shoes into the pool! That sure gets his attention. Then, she spots his phone lying on the ground.

Life Lesson #11: Smartphones are the new ouiji boards.

Matt's got a great idea! He knows Jeremy can see ghosts because Bonnie brought him back from the dead, so Matt decides that if Bonnie brings him back from the dead, he'll see ghosts too! She doesn't even need to do magic, cause she never failed CPR! Isn't that handy? I can't see any possible problem with this plan!

Bonnie rushes through the halls! The music is super dramatic! She plunges into the pool & brings now-dead Matt back to the surface!

Back in Road Trip County, Damon gets his phone back from Katherine & sees a bunch of messages from Bonnie. He leaves Jeremy with Katherine to get Anna to tell them more about Michael the Vampire-Hunting Vampire, & he returns to Mystic Falls to save the day.

At the high school, the CPR isn't working! Matt wakes up in a glowy blue version of the pool room, where Vicky tells him to give Bonnie a message before sending him back to life.

Life Lesson #12: This is the Ultimate Life Lesson I've learned from The Vampire Diaries. Everybody dies horrible violent deaths, usually as teenagers. But, Life Lesson #12a: Nobody, & I mean nobody, ever stays dead.

In the gym, Elena's trying to get Stefan to fight the compulsion & just drink from her without killing her when the timer goes off but Stefan shouts that now he is A RIPPER! And A RIPPER DOESN'T STOP!

A RIPPER is also a tortured soul, which is something that this scene really reminds us about, because this scene is all about how much A RIPPER loves Elena & how she's the only reason he can't turn it all off & how now that he's A RIPPER he's gone all Edward Cullen on us & hears only the sweet sweet beat of her heart every time she speaks & wants her blood (or should I say "blood") more than anything & if he tastes even one drop of that sweet bloody nectar she's dead.


In the science lab, Tyler's woken up. Rebecca kindly explains the impending death situation to him. Oh hey, she's found the countdown function on the iPhone! It took me like a week to figure my one out, & I grew up in this century.

And yes, I know it's not an iPhone, but it's pretty much the same thing.

Back at the pool hall, Matt delivers Vicky's message to Bonnie, which is from the Original Witch herself. As we all suspected, except, apparently, for the characters of this show, Elena is the key. It's because she survived that the curse wasn't broken, & it'll only be broken if she dies. Matt says that Tyler's going to die, isn't he, but Klaus, who's overheard the entire exchange, would like to beg to differ.

Life Lesson #13: When it comes to sensitive information that could get your friends killed, it's best to whisper.

In the gym, the countdown's almost up! Sixteen seconds to go! Stefan implores Elena to run for it but Elena says Stefan must fight! She declares her love for him! He makes this face:

She tells him not to give up! But he can't hold it! He clings to the bleachers! He rushes at her! He tells her to run! RUN!


Elena races down the corridors! Stefan follows! He slams into lockers to slow himself down! Elena runs! Stefan slams! Elena runs! Stefan slams! Elena runs! Stefan slams! (This goes on for a while.) Elena runs! And slams into Klaus!!! There aren't enough exclamation marks for this scene!!!

And they even throw in a cliché! God I love this show! Klaus says "we've got to stop meeting like this" & we cut to Stefan, who's made it to the cafeteria - but wait, what's he doing? He's breaking a sweeping brush in half! Could it be? Is our broody tortured soul going to stake himself? He raises the brush-stake & stabs it through his stomach as Klaus & Elena crash into the room! Klaus applauds Stefan's love for Elena, but he removes the stake & tries to convince Stefan to turn off his humanity. Stefan shoves Klaus & says "NO!!!!!!!!" (There were exactly that many exclamation marks. I counted.)

Klaus throws Stefan to the other side of the room & Super Compels him as the DRAMATIC MUSIC swells & swells. Stefan's eyes roll back in his head! His expression becomes even more vacant than usual. Klaus has won. He decides to test his victory by asking A RIPPER (somewhere, Rupert Giles is crying) if he would like a nice drink from the doppelgänger neck.

I guess that's a yes.


In the science lab, Tyler's dying. Klaus comes in with a test tube of Elena's blood because he doesn't think that the Original Witch told the truth. So instead of killing Elena, he wants Tyler to drink a bit of her blood. Well, that's much better for all involved, now isn't it?

The music gets all dramatic (again)! Tyler starts to thrash around on the floor! Caroline screams! Tyler writhes! He cries out! And then, he turns into this:

Tyler is now a bona fide werepire! Hooray for Klaus!

Later on, Elena wakes up in a hospital bed. She wants to leave but the nurse won't let her because she's lost a lot of blood. But it turns out the nurse is taking her blood for Klaus! Out in the car park, Klaus explains to Rebecca that the Original Witch was a very clever lady who hated Klaus very much so she made it so that he had to kill the doppelgänger to become a werepire, but in killing her would lose the ability to make more werepires, therefore dooming him to an eternity of loneliness. Because he couldn't, you know, make friends with other vampires or werewolves.

So that's what Klaus's whole werepire obsession is about, Rebecca figures out. Poor little Klaus is just afraid of being alone. If I didn't want to be alone, I wouldn't compel my best bro friend to forget all about me & lock my sister in a coffin for ninety years. But maybe that's just me.

Klaus sends Rebecca off to get the truck so they & Elena can get the hell out of this one horse town, when Damon shows up! Yay Damon! Only he can save the day! Look at this face, this is a face that means business:

Klaus goes to kill Damon but Damon tells him Michael the Vampire-Hunting Vampire knows where he is! And he's coming to get him! So Klaus drops Damon & disappears! He didn't even call his bluff!

Damon finds Elena asleep on the hospital bed & judging by the soundtrack I think it may be time for another Deep & Meaningful emo pop song closing scene! Yay!

This week, the song is about there being too many fights in the world tonight & Elena whispers Damon's name & he carries her out of the hospital. Cut to the high school, where Caroline wants to know if Tyler's all right but he says he feels amazing & twirls her in the air & says this is gonna be the best year ever. Caroline smiles but she's secretly worried & the song is about looking to you & someone stealing someone else's heart. Cut to the workout room, where Matt is troubled & Bonnie tells him to try live his life like a normal person but he knows he can't any more & the music's all electric-guitar instrumental because Matt's too upset for lyrics. Bonnie leaves & Matt hears someone beside him & he looks up & it's Vicky & the song's all about someone staying with someone else. Cut to Damon's house, where the music gently fades & he offers a shell-shocked Elena some bourbon & hands her her necklace, which he stole back from Katherine. Elena is More Than Sad because Stefan's really gone this time & Damon wasn't there to help. He says he shouldn't have left & - one more cliché for the road! - promises he will never leave her again. And he does that weird eye thing.

Their Tender Moment is suddenly cut short, however, when Actually Evil This Time Stefan shows up at the living room door! Is it just me, or has his hair gotten more vertical since the last scene? He pours himself a scotch, cause he's clearly the Bad Boy now (& boy oh boy has he worked on that swagger) & informs Elena that Klaus has asked him to keep an eye on her while he's gone.

Meanwhile, somewhere far away, it's time for this week's post-emo-pop-song-dramatic-montage cliffhanger scene!

Katherine & Jeremy have found Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire's tomb! They break in & throw open the coffin lid! Houdini lies inside!

The music does daba-daba-DUM-daba-daba-DUM-daba-daba-DUM faster & faster as Katherine & Jeremy look down... And the Hunter's eyes open!


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