Posted by: April on Jan 28, 2011
ANGRY DISCLAIMER: I would like to put a nice bit of Damon witticism or Stefan insight in the blog post title, I really would, but my local CW’s The Vampire Diaries sound problem was completely out of control last night. With apologies to my regular viewing companions because I’ve tried not to bring it up lest it become something that drives them nuts as well, for I can keep quiet no longer. This season, there’s a little buzz-click-click to cuts into Vampire Diaries. Maybe a whir-click-click. It happens repeatedly throughout the hour, it’s only on the CW, and it’s only during Vampire Diaries. I have no idea what’s going on over at PIX 11 (WPIX, New York), but last night’s new entry, “The Descent,” featured not only the buzz-click-click in regular rotation but combined it with the SOUND CUTTING OUT ENTIRELY. Thanks for that, PIX. So, this recap comes with a warning that I may have missed something very important thanks to the incompetence of the PIX sound people.
Okay, recap time. Wait, another apology: perhaps because I was so annoyed with the sound, this episode struck me as long. Not in a “wow, look how much they can cram into an hour” way that this show usually uses to inspire awe, but in a “how is this still going on” way. Also maybe in a “Where’s Stefan?” way.
For reals this time, the recap. Last night’s episode of The Vampire Diaries, “The Descent,” started off just right with shirtless Stefan, continued on to Damon’s best Florence Nightingale routine, and reminded Elena that she’s our brave little toaster for a reason. Also, Caroline needs a break from all the kissing.
Shirtless Stefan Starts Your Day off Right
Elena’s up in Stefan’s room of a morning, but, sadly for everyone (mostly her), she just got there. Shirtless Stefan sneaks up behind her, vamp-style, but it’s all sweet and loving. Elena and Stefan agree that they should never ever be apart ever (aw, teenagers). While Elena thinks that that plan will be effective immediately, Stefan goes ahead and ruins the moment by pointing out that their current relative safety is entirely dependent on a deal that Elena made with Elijah, which is a lot like saying that it’s entirely dependent on thin air. Elena accepts the air. Elena wants to know why Elijah can compel other vamps (how does she know this? Did Stefan tell her that Katherine was compelled to stay in the tomb? But how would he know? He took off before that happened. Maybe Elijah told her that’s what he would do). Stefan points out that the magic of being an Original is lost on him. Stefan puts on a shirt and harrumphs a bit more, the better to cook up schemes. Elena produces a small vial of clear liquid, mixes a few drops with a glass of water from the bar, and takes a sip. She hands it over to Stefan, claiming she made it weak but that Stefan doesn’t have to do this. Seems that over the break, even though it was only overnight for the residents of Mystic Falls, Stefan decided that he’s done trying to learn to control his bloodcoholism and will instead build up a tolerance to vervain. Flip, continuity’s gone completely off the rails in this scene. Stefan shoots it down with a grimace, starts to cough, and collapses to the floor in pain. After he recovers, Elena decides to stick around Eternal Fireplace the better to get eaten by a wolf bite-ravaged Rose. Stefan bails for the Grill. Wait, what day is it? Doesn’t anyone have school?
Damon’s playing nursemaid with Rose and, man, is this going to be heartbreaking. He’s trying to tempt her with a glass of delicious, healing blood. Meanwhile, her back is getting worse. Elena does a terrible job of hiding that fact while lying that it looks better. Alaric calls to notify Damon that Jules just rolled into the Grill, and Damon leaves Elena in charge of monitoring Rose’s worsening condition.
At the Grill, Stefan sits down opposite Alaric, nods in Jules’ direction, and asks if that’s the “RRROW” while making a scratch, scratch, pounce motion with his hand. HA! I want that gif. Alaric affirms it. Stefan gets down to business: this deal with Elijah is sospetto. Katherine pointed him in the direction of Isobel. Does Alaric still have his missing/dead/vampire wife’s number? Why yes, he might have. First he’s going to disappear from the rest of the episode to ponder whether he should give that number to Stefan. Mere seconds later, Stefan and his lovingly photographed iPhone get the number via text and leave Isobel a message about how they need to help Elena. Damon shows up. Stefan is quick to point out that killing Jules right then and there will attract a lot of attention. Damon’s all, “Durr, Stefan, I kill ladies out in the alley next to the Grill. Get it right.” Like that girl that time and dear Lexi (pour one out). Unfortunately, Stefan and his camera-adored iPhone get a call back, so he’s out the door.
Damon offers Jules an exchange: a cure for a wolf bite for her life. Jules isn’t so interested in that deal and throws down some threats of her own. Jules, are you an idiot? You’re in wolf form 13 nights a year. He’s a vampire 365. Anyway, Jules starts in about the horrible suffering Rose will endure before she dies, so Damon lets her leave. Damon, just kill her. I am not normally for the indiscriminate killing of characters, especially female ones, but why let Jules live? She doesn’t have a cure (because there isn’t one), and she’s a proven danger to you and yours. Just rip out her damn heart already.
Over at the bar, poor, compelled Sheriff informs Damon that one of her deputies found a big burned pile of ripped up body parts (thanks, Jules!) and assumes there’s a new vamp in town. Damon is in on the hunt. I guess that’s what he spends the rest of his day doing since it’s still breakfast time, and we don’t see him again until night.
You Can’t Keep a Good Vamp Down
Elena’s got Rose up to Damon’s bed to convalesce and takes a moment to look around Damon’s never before seen suite. Let’s take a tour: His room’s very dark because the curtains are drawn for Rose’s sake and also because it’s darkly panelled. It’s a lot more sparsely decorated than Stefan’s, just the massive bed, a lamp, an overstuffed leather arm chair, and a suspiciously thin copy of Gone with the Wind. There are a couple of paintings on the walls under small lamps. I think they’re meant to invoke Renoir’s portrait work. Off to one side and in complete contrast to the dark, old-fashioned chamber is the bathroom. It’s a bright, open, modern spa with a gorgeous looking tub just hanging out over by the windows. I bet Damon just sits in there and cries about his feelings. What, I bet he does! ANYway, Rose’s is all, so I’m dying, and Elena’s all, buck up, solider, and Rose is all, no, I’ve been poisoned. You’re dying because you’re too scared to fight. Elena tries to deny this, but the charges are merited. Rose’s relatively quiet suffering is replaced by a wave of pain, and Elena offers her a fresh squeezed bag of blood. I know that they act like downing the donor blood is a cruelty-free pursuit, but can we just admit that it’s not? Injured people and surgical patients need that blood to live, and now they’re not going to get type specific. With all the twihards out there, I’m sure vamps these days can find plenty of willing volunteers to feed on.
Right, so, Rose starts coughing up the blood. Elena runs into the bathroom to grab a towel, but Rose is gone when she turns around. Rose attacks Katerina, saying that everything is all her fault, and eventually Elena manages to convince Rose that she’s not Katerina. Rose feels immediately guilty. Elena goes to grab clean sheets, and Rose is once again gone when Elena returns. Instead of making a run for it, Elena tracks Rose down to the basement, where she is binging on blood sacs. Rose tries to attack Elena again. Elena makes it all the way to the Eternal Fireplace before Rose catches up with her. Elena pulls the curtains open and hits Rose with some sun. Like a moron, Elena heads for the door instead of out the damn window. Rose catches her again at the front door. Elena digs her fingers into Rose’s back and bolts upstairs before Rose gets back up. Yes! I love that Elena fights dirty. She barricades herself in Stefan’s room, opens the curtains and the door to the balcony to get the most sun in, and smashes a chair for a stake. Does she then leave? Nope, she leaves Damon a message that she’s lost control of the asylum, then sits down to wait.
At nightfall, Elena and her stake venture out into the house, but she finds only Damon. Who is only just now returning. From nowhere in particular. I’m just saying, this could have used some thought.
Rose has made it all the way to the Founders Boosters Pep Rally thingie over at MFHS (it’s not really explained what’s going on, and we all know it doesn’t matter anyway). Was that the closest place with a lot of people? I kind of wish I could see a map of Mystic Falls. So, anyway, a kindly janitor finds Rose doubled over and tries to help, but, since he’s black and not a witch, he gets to die for his troubles. Rose then moves on to a couple getting in their car to leave. The gentleman opens the door for his girl and gets attacked while he walks around to his side. Damon and Elena roll up, too, but not before Rose takes a bite out of the girl. The wolf bite must have weakened Rose because Damon’s able to get the jump on her. He brings her back to her senses, but it’s all for naught. As Rose surveys the damage she’s done, she begs Damon to just kill her already. Props to Lauren Cohan in this scene: Rose is crying and screaming out in pain -- physical and emotional -- and it looks horrendous.
Eternal Fireplace. Damon’s bed. An angry Damon is trying to give Elena the boot, but Rose wants some girl talk on her death bed. She talks about how she despises killing, especially how joyous and fulfilling the hunt can be, and how it’s so important to hold on to your humanity even when it hurts. Basically, she’s articulating everything that Damon’s going to repeat at the end of the episode, making it doubly pointless (I’ll get to the other reason in a minute). She talks to Elena about how she doesn’t want to fight, but she needs to for the sake of her family. Finally, Elena takes her leave. Damon insists that Rose get some sleep, and she does, in Damon’s arms. For the first time ever, a vamp invades someone’s dreams for not a nefarious purpose. He takes Rose back to the field she told Elena she loved to play in as a child. They sit in the sun and talk for a while about what it will be like when she’s dead, if she’ll see her family or Trevor again, and how she’s no longer in any pain. Rose tells Damon that she spent her whole life on the run not only because C/Klaus was after her but also because she was too afraid to put down roots. Damon has a family and people who depend on him, and, of that, Rose is jealous. Damon, being Damon, tries to blow this off. Rose challenges him to a race to the tree line. She counts to three, and, just when she gets to go, real Damon drives a stake into real Rose’s chest while a single tear rolls down his cheek. See? Told you it was going to be heartbreaking.
Downstairs in front of Eternal Fireplace, Elena’s waiting. She left and came back. Elena tries to get Damon to talk about his feelings, but Damon’s not interested. His eyes are darting all over the place, like he wants to run, but his feet are cemented in place. Elena says some weird shit about Damon being “so close.” Eventually, Elena just gives Damon a big hug, and Damon tries not to burst into tears. Elena lingers a little too close to Damon’s face for a little too long, then leaves.
In the woods, Damon shows Sheriff Rose’s body in his trunk, claiming he got the vamp. He offers to dispose of the body as well.
A woman driving down a country road hits the breaks when her headlights catch a body on the pavement. She gets out and tries to help, and of course it’s Damon. NICE call back! Just like Katherine taught him. Deadie wonders if Damon is lost. And, okay, while it’s funny that Damon is lost “metaphorically,” neither the acting nor the writing in this scene is particularly up to snuff (that’s the other reason for those keeping score), so let’s skip ahead to the part where Damon “reveals” to Deadie that thing that Stefan and Elena are always pushing him toward, the thing Elena thinks he is “so close” to, is the thing he wants most in the world: to be human again. But he can’t because he’s a vampire, so there’s no use in trying. He lets Deadie go and, in what comes as a surprise to absolutely no one, catches up with her at her car and takes a nice juicy bite out of her neck. Great. Now that you’ve dealt with your existential crisis, Damon, could you go kill Jules already? You’re going to be sorry you didn’t.
Finally, back at Gilbert Rez, Elena comes home to find Stefan waiting for her. One of my viewing companions snarks on her less than enthusiastic reception of her lover, while I think she’s just had a hard day. Stefan confesses that he did something he knew she wouldn’t like -- seek out Isobel -- but Elena’s taken Rose’s talk to heart and decided to fight. There’s our brave little toaster! Stefan stands aside to let someone else to come forward, and in those 10 seconds my mind goes into overdrive trying to figure it out who it might be since Isobel was never invited in and Stefan doesn’t have the power to do so. Uncle Daddy! Man, what a reunion that would have been given how they left things between Stefan and John. So Uncle Daddy steps out of the shadows and says, “Hello, Elena.” Ooo, what fun is in store!
Ballad of a Teenage Vampire
At the Founders Booster Pep Rally or Whatever, Tyler earnestly thanks Caroline for getting him through his first transformation, and Caroline sweetly starts babbling about how it’s going to getting easier and easier and all the construction they’ll have to do over the next month to fortify the cellar. She lets it slip that one bite from Wolf Tyler could have killed her, but, before the gravity of that admission can sink in, Matt approaches to talk to Caroline. Poor, poor in the dark Matt. Caroline babbles about how there’s nothing going on with Tyler, nothing at all, don’t you even think it, and Matt’s like, “Okay?” Matt thinks he wasn’t clear that time he showed up on Care’s (aw, Care!) porch, so he’d like to be a little more direct now. By which I mean give Caroline a big smooch. It’s great until Caroline’s like, “What are you doing?” and “I have to go.” Later in the empty hallway (maybe it’s Saturday), Matt confronts Caroline. He wasn’t expecting her to react that way. She’s normally straight with him (oh, that cuts), so he wants her to be straight with him now. Caroline admits that what was thinking was, “I love you,” but is at a loss to explain why that doesn’t translate to being together. Caroline takes advantage of a cheerleader (I guess Caroline quit the squad) distracting Matt with a request for more hamburgers to vamp-zoom out of there.
When she gets home, Tyler’s waiting on the porch. He wants to know why she helped him. Caroline’s like, “Duh, you needed help.” Knowing what he knows now, he presses, and, since she can’t very well admit that someone in her family’s got to be on werewolf duty, she launches into a kidding on the square speech about how Tyler doesn’t want people to care about him but too bad ‘cause she does and what’s he going to do about? What he’s going to do about it is kiss Caroline. He goes in for a second kiss, and Caroline kisses him back but quickly breaks it off. She tells Tyler that he can’t do that and further adds that everyone needs to stop kissing her before heading instead, leaving Tyler confused. Poor Care. I think her head and her heart are going in two different directions.
Tyler meets up with Jules, apparently at her request, at the Grill. Jules wants to be wolf buddies, talking about transitions and sniffing out vamps (like Caroline, which Tyler flatly denies. Aw). Tyler merely squirms in his seat, and Jules is genuinely sympathetic when she realizes just how green Tyler is. Still, the only thing that Tyler wants from Jules is Mason’s location, so Jules spits that he’s dead. She further clarifies that he was murdered by Caroline and her vampire friends, and, wait right there, lady. Damon confessed to the murder, and you have no proof or even indication that Caroline and Damon are part of the same bloodline or coven or whatever. Unless you can smell that about them (and if you can, do tell), you’re just tarring all vampires with the same brush, which is something Mason would never do. So you dishonour him twice by being so cruel to his nephew and being a speciesist. Some friend you are. ANYway, Tyler’s in disbelief since Caroline told him she was the only vamp in town, but Jules is insistent. Once the rest of her pack gets here, they are going to get themselves some frontier justice. Except 13 < 365. Think about it.
In other news:
- No Jenna, Bonnie, or Jeremy.
- Sometimes I forget that Alaric’s supposed to be a teacher at the high school everyone supposedly attends. Surely someone would wonder why he’s always fraternizing with his students, even outside of the two whose guardian he’s banging.
- I can’t remember when this happened or else I would have included it in the recap proper, but at one point someone (Rose?) asks Elena if she really believes that the moonstone has been de-spelled, and Elena says that Bonnie confirmed that she did the spell with another witch, but, since that other witch is in Elijah’s employ, probably not. And while I do seem to recall Elijah being like, “You’re not the only one with witches, bitches,” I don’t remember him ever pointing out that the Good Doctor and Luka were those witches, so I can’t figure out how Elena knows this. I generally don’t have a problem with characters filing each other in off screen since it saves a lot of exposition time, but there are too many gaps this episode to give them that credit.
- Can I just say well done to the CW for the previouslies? Normally we would have been reminded of Uncle Daddy so that his reappearance at the end wouldn’t have been a surprise, but they didn’t ruin it for us.
- About Katherine teaching Damon to play dead: isn’t it weird how happy and into Vampire Damon she seemed in that scene compared with what we know now? Nothing about Katherine and Damon’s relationship makes any sense.
- I saw a preview in which Rose told Elena that “it’s okay to love them both,” but I either didn’t hear it during the episode (PIX 11!), or it didn’t make the final cut. Either way, it is NOT OKAY to love them both when one of them MURDERED YOUR BROTHER. If Jer had died, Elena would never think of giving Damon to time of day, much less of making time with him, and having a magic ring certainly doesn’t change Damon’s intent.
Next time: Tyler’s in a rage re: Mason’s murder; John wants Elena (in a ponytail!) to trust him.