Posted by: April on Nov 15, 2010
Last week’s The Vampire Diaries, “Katerina,” dealt us a heavy blow of exposition, but it was far more lively and interesting than boring ol’ “Memory Lane.” There was so much going on here that we better just dig right in.
First, a bit of housekeeping: every time someone says “the curse,” you might think that they are talking about one curse, but you are wrong. Even saying “the sun and the moon curse” is still conflating ideas. From now on there are three (3!) curses : 1) the sun curse, aka the curse that restricts vampires to the night; 2) the moon curse that turns werewolves under the full moon; and 3) the Petrova curse. Speak of the devil . . .
The Petrova Curse
Eternal Fireplace. Elena knocks. Damon greets her, and there’s no hint of what came before from either. She’s cool with Damon and giving even Stefan the cold shoulder. What gives, lady? They just saved your life. A little kindness wouldn’t hurt. Anyway, Elena’s like, “Is there a reason for this coffee date with my sole surviving kidnapper?” meaning Rose, who’s like, “I’m totally reformed now. I’m taking the exposition express.” So they sit her down and tell her all about C/Klaus, who’s going to bleed her dry just as soon as he can, and Elena’s all, “So the oldest vamp in the world is after me and thus I am doomed?” Rose says yes, Damon says her negativity isn’t helping, and Stefan says no. He points out that they’ve never met anyone who’s met C/Klaus, they don’t know even know how to spell his name, so for all they know it’s another Brothers Grimm fairytale designed to keep baby vampires in line. And that’s when Elena decides fuck this bullshit, I’m going to high school (aka the most bullshity bullshit that ever bullshitted). Stefan’s still (still!) pretending to go to high school, so he wants to car pool and save the planet, but Elena honestly says, “I know where it is.” Seriously, that is way harsh. Stefan tries not glance over his shoulder and see if Damon noticed.
Caroline and Elena are most assuredly not at school, just walking through the woods with Elena lugs a heavy leather bag. I laugh and laugh at twiggy little Elena practically dragging the thing while Vampire Caroline strolls along beside her. You just know that at the car Caroline was like, “I’ll carry it,” and Elena was all, “I’ll do it myself!” because Gilberts are stubborn like that. So Elena drags her massive leather case all the way down to the tomb because she’s here to interrogate Katherine. For a minute I hope it’s full of torture implements, but Elena’s not yet a Salvatore. Caroline heaves open the stone door and heads off to distract Stefan as per Elena’s orders. In the meantime, Katherine shudders and drags her gnarled limps across the tomb like a J-horror ghost and finally croaks, “Hello, Elena.”
WAIT JUST A MINUTE: When did Elena learn that Katherine isn’t dead but in the tomb? She asked Stefan if Katherine is “really gone” and Stefan said yes, then we saw Damon lock her away. WTF is the meaning of this? Not cool, show.
There’s a lot of back and forth here, so let’s skip that in one shot. In the present, Elena tosses Katherine a blanket, a latern, and finally the Petrova family history that Damon gave her on their ROAD TRIP!, all the while doling out little cups of blood from a bottle that she pushes over the barrier with a stick. Good Elena. With every sip, Katherine looks healthier.
In Bulgaria in 1492, Katerina Petrova gave birth to a girl out of wedlock. Her shamed parents gave their granddaughter away and banished their daughter to England. Because she was a pragmatist and a skin walker and a survivor first* even in her salad days, pretty soon Katerina’s mastered the English language and accent.** She’s fallen in with a wealthy aristocrat in the form of C/Klaus, which is all fun and games until she figures out he plans to bleed her dry to break the sun curse and solidify the moon curse.
So now she runs like hell through the woods, which must be hell in that corset and whatever was passing for shoes in those days, until Trevor grabs her and points her in the direction of a cottage while he leads Elijah and some other dude astray. At the cottage, Rose and a compelled old lady let her in. As soon as she’s explained the sitch, Rose is like, “Hells no. I am not getting on C/Klaus’ bad side. Come nightfall, I’m taking you straight to him and begging his forgiveness.” Next night, Katerina’s got a blade in her side. No way is she going back to Klaus alive. Rose, pissed, feeds her some blood to heal her up, and Katerina drinks deep. She waits for Rose to go deal with the newly arrived Trevor. Trevor, it seems, didn’t turn Katerina at all and certainly not out of pity. He saved her because he loved her. The proto-Damon. Rose, so loyal, is like, “Now we’ll be on the run for the rest of our lives.” Too bad Katerina’s swinging from the rafters. When she comes to, Trevor and Rose are like, “How could you?” and Katerina eats that poor compelled lady to complete the transition.
She beats it back to Bulgaria, but it’s too late. Her family’s been slaughtered.
Back in the tomb, Katherine assures Elena that this, too, will be her fate and the fate of her family. They need Petrova blood because the witch who’s responsible for the original curse sealed it was Petrova blood. Witches are crafty like that. They need werewolf blood (Tyler) and vampire blood (Caroline) and a witch (Bonnie) and the moonstone. Even when you wondered what Katherine’s game was, she was getting all her pieces ready for her check mate. Katherine advises Elena to take the same way out that she did if Stefan has the fortitude to her turn, but Elena counters that that’s no solution since Katherine ended up on the run for 500 years. Katherine allows that she underestimated C/Klaus’ dedication to revenge. She implies that there’s a way to break the Petrova curse, the one that makes the rest of it require their blood, and it involves the moonstone.
Naturally, that’s when Stefan shows up to break up this party. Elena thinks Caroline tattled. She didn’t, but Stefan only had to think of the most reckless thing Elena could be doing to find her. He advises her not to believe a thing Katherine’s said, as Katherine is a “psychotic bitch.” Blind panic is a really ugly colour on Stefan. Of course, he doesn’t know that this entire episode, and even parts of the last several episodes, have been focused on swinging our sympathies around to Katherine, but still. That’s nasty talk, Stefan. Katherine’s like, “Oh, no, my dear boy. It’s all true and then some. Eventually C/Klaus will come a-callin’, and he’ll wipe out everyone in his path, including you, while I’ll be safe as houses inside my mystical prison holding my trump card (the moonstone). It’s great being a psychotic bitch.” So she wanders back into the tomb, chillin’ like a villain. If I didn’t love Katherine before, I certainly do now.
Back at the Gilbert rez, Elena’s slowly flipping out on the porch. She can’t blame Stefan coming to town or the two of them getting together (explaining the cold shoulder). Everything, every bad thing, comes down to her. And while that’s not true and furthermore makes no sense (it’s a curse, for pity’s sake), her feelings do. She breaks down in Stefan’s arms while he tries to hold her and himself together all at once. It’s a big job.
*I never would have guessed that Katherine’s the Lafayette of this show, but it does make sense. As far as this whole curse thing is concerned, she is the Guide.
**If you had any doubt about it, this is the episode that cements Nina Dobrev as a rare talent. There’s so much going on here, and she never – never once – drops the ball. Amazing.
The Awful Truth
Realizing she sucks at duplicity, Caroline opts to keep Stefan in place with the truth: she tells him that she spilled the vampire beans to Tyler. Over a big meal at the Grill (just a cup of green tea for Stefan), Caroline prattles on and on about Tyler the werewolf, how wolves are just like us, there’s a full moon coming up, what to do, etc. Stefan’s totally right with her for all of it, but eventually he gets worried enough to draw a line. He knows Caroline’s covering for Elena, so why doesn’t she cough up Elena’s location. It’s not in any way harsh; just totally like, “You can’t kid a kidder, kid.” Friendly. Which is exactly what Caroline says next, how come Stefan just sat there and listened to her. Because you’re family now, Caroline. Stefan says that Caroline reminds him of a friend, and I pre-emptively pour one out for my homie Lexi. Caroline fully goes, “YOU have a FRIEND?” and Stefan only laughs when he tells Caroline to try to keep the surprise out of her voice. He says that friend was Lexi. See? Family. Caroline wants to know more, but, since that story ends with, “Damon staked her to cover for his own sorry ass with your mom,” Stefan tables this discussion for now. Where’s Elena. Caroline does that thing that she does now where she looks down and takes a deep breath and remembers that she is strong, vampire strong, and tells Stefan that she’s not telling him where Elena is. I only wish Caroline could have realized she was this strong before the vampire. So Stefan’s like, quit joking, where is she. Caroline won’t give up the intel. Stefan: “She’s with Damon, isn’t she.”
One of my viewing companions goes, “Funny how he went there,” and funny indeed:
- Funny how his delivery is flat, not a question at all. Like he thinks it’s inevitable. If so, why?
- Does he think it’s karmic payback for Katherine?
- Does he think that, in the end, maybe Elena and Damon belong together?
- Or that his brother is just the kind of hound who would wear Elena down and Elena/Stefan would be powerless to stop it (prolly not this one, it’s not a very flattering portrait of either)?
- Or that they are such assholes that they would do this to him? Which is especially sad given
- What happened last week.
What with all the compelling, I don’t think Stefan and Damon really wronged each other in their human days with the Katherine triangle. She was playing games we still don’t fully comprehend, so who’s to say who got it right. But now, Damon did wrong Stefan by trying to kiss his girlfriend and he’s trying to fix it by taking himself out of the equation (not that any of them know this). Stefan only knows how Damon feels (everyone and their brother knows how Damon feels). Elena’s all over the place with the Petrova curse hanging over her, and now they’ve all got so much love to lose. Hang on.
This show takes critical slack for the way it moves at warp speed to confuse you into thinking you’re moving forward when you’re really just circling around and around the same galaxy, but you’ve got to acknowledge that there is something worthwhile, televisually, going on here when I can get all that from a line reading or Damon’s blocking last week or the 12 roles Nina Dobrev has to take on from week to week. It’s easy to love the sumptuous 16 mm shooting of The Walking Dead or the period detail of Mad Men or the sweeping “this is America” of Boardwalk Empire or Treme or Deadwood. But it’s very difficult to look at a teen soap about vampires and werewolves and witches and still say, “This, too, is worth my time.” But you know what? This, too, is worth your time. Maybe not in the same way, but it is.
ANYway, back at the Grill, Caroline immediately goes, “What! No!” Whatever Elena’s up to, Caroline’s not giving it up, but she is sure that Elena is alright. Stefan finally remembers that he is on a soap opera, thinks of the craziest thing Elena could be doing, and heads off to the tomb.
Pocketful of Sunshine
So Damon’s like, “There must be a way to find C/Klaus,” and Rose is like, “There is no way to find C/Klaus.” Hold on, I’ve got something nitpicky to get out of the way: did anyone else think it was implied that Rose didn’t know C/Klaus and then get confused when it was clear in Katerina’s story that Rose did? It made me worried that Rose has got an angle here, and I am no mood for angles where the Salvatores are concerned. As if they aren’t beset on all sides on the best of days (to say nothing of how, come December, one will probably try to use the other as a tree ornament), they don’t need the call to also be coming from inside the house. So Rose better be on the up and up is what I’m saying here.
Rose points out that her contact led back to Elijah, and, since Elijah’s dead, that route is out. I’m pretty sure they could bridge the gap if they needed to, Rose. Damon decides that they should start with her contact anyway (exactly), but Rose isn’t a daywalker, so they take Trevor’s blacked out SUV from the last episode.
At some café somewhere, Damon and Rose meet up with Slater, an adorable little vampire who’s using his eternal life to pursue many a post-graduate degree. Also, the café has special windows for non-daywalkers like Slater and Rose. Anyway, Slater is bummed about Trevor but doesn’t think that they could find out who was on the other side of Elijah even if they wanted to, which he sort of doesn’t. In the meantime, a fully revived Elijah tosses a hundred in a busker’s guitar case and swipes a handful of quarters. I know American quarters are thicker and heavier than Canadian ones, but man does that handful of change look insane. It’s like he’s got silver dollars or something.
So he’s listening in, tossing his pocketful of change from hand to hand, and decides he’s heard enough. Elijah tosses the quarters at the café’s glass front, shattering the windows. Slater and Rose immediately hit the decks, smoking and writhing in pain. Slater covers himself up with his computer bag and crawls to safety. An immune Damon tries to figure out what’s going on, but all he’s really done is reveal himself as a daywalker. Eventually he scoops Rose up and carries her out to the car. She heals rapidly but cries steadily about how C/Klaus was responsible for this attack and will kill them all.
Back at the Eternal Fireplace, Rose and Damon call each other out for being bummed about Trevor and in love with Elena, respectively. They dare each other to turn their feelings off, which we can all guess turns into the double dog dare of sex. After, Rose informs a shirtless Damon that there is no turning off of feelings. The ability wears away after a few centuries, and then you just have to fake it. Poor Damon. Every week more information he just does not know how to deal with. That was the one thing he was clinging to. It must suck not to have a back-up plan.
Damon’s phone rings, and there’s an hilarious sound effect to accompany Damon peeling his sweaty back off the leather couch. It’s Slater. He tells Damon that there is a way to break the Petrova curse, but he’ll need the moonstone. Back at Slater’s impressive place, Elijah’s standing there. He congratulates Slater on his performance, and Slater admits that he has a degree in theatre. Is that a joke? Because Slater could not have been more obviously scared for his life. I hate it when actors have to really obviously lie so that they audience knows that they are lying. Give us a little credit. Slater wants to know how Elijah can compel (!) him given that they are both vampires. Is it that Elijah is an original? Elijah merely says that he’s a very special vampire. Then he compels Slater to stake himself. Aw! I liked Slater.
The good doctor comes ‘round the corner, and, oh, wait, the good doctor. Okay, hold on.
Logical fallacies are for everyone
If you’re African American with the vicinity of Mystic Falls or coming into contact with someone from Mystical Falls, you must belong to one of the following three categories: supernatural, dead, or supernatural and dead. To wit:
Supernatural: Bonnie, Lucy, Luka, The Good Doctor
Supernatural and dead: Bree, Grams, Beth Ann, Harper
So Jeremy’s picking up Bonnie’s dropped books and the lady herself outside of school, trying vainly to get her to notice the vibe he’s sending her way and to go play pool at the Grill after school. There’s a very awkward moment when Bonnie goes, “But you’re Elena’s brother,” and Jeremy’s response is “Ahhhhh,” but they recover nicely and make a plan. But lo! There is another African American in the midst! He walks up, and he and Bonnie make eyes at each other while Luka explains that he’s new in town and needs some direction. Jeremy sees his latest chance to get laid going up in smoke, so he drags Luka off to direct him to the office and hopefully where to get off as well. What? This dude is just not as cute as our Jeremy.
Over at the Grill, Luka’s there with his exceptionally creepy doctor father. I do send an high five Mystic Falls’ way for getting another doctor. It’s only been over a year. So the good doctor’s like, “Of the Salem Bennetts?” and Bonnie’s like, “I gotta go.” But later Luka shows Bonnie how he can float some salt, and she goes, “So you’re a witch?” Luka: “I prefer the term warlock.” I prefer man-witch. Jeremy looks over and sees what might be flirting but is definitely witchy bonding, realizes he has played the game and lost, and peaces. Poor Jer! Good form, though.
And now back to the good doctor.
So the good doctor comes around the corner, and it’s implied that Elijah got his ability to compel other vamps from his man-witch. Man, are Shelia and Bonnie the only witches around who weren’t/aren’t in vampire employ? Stay strong, Bonnie. Elijah’s like, “Can it be done?” The good doctor seems to think so.
In other news:
- All the photos for this week were pretty boring, so I went with Bonnie’s stink face.
- No Matt, Tyler, Jenna, or Alaric this week.
- I think Matt should be the human to take up residence at the Eternal Fireplace. He probably can’t afford his rent on his own anyway.
- ‘Bout time someone noticed Bonnie. Girl is hot.
- I wonder if Book Katerina was Russian and they moved the act to Bulgaria for Nina Dobrev’s sake.
Thursday, December 2: Everyone’s in on a plan to de-spell the moonstone/break the Petrova curse, except Elena, who really doesn’t like all the fuss/the sacrifices everyone is going to make for her. Bonnie thinks she’s a strong enough witch, but maybe she’s not, and maybe Katherine gets out and teams up with Rose to get C/Klaus’ attention. Also, Alaric’s naked.