Friday, May 11, 2012
Vampire Diaries Post Mortem: The Departed
When we last saw Elena, she collapsed in the master bedroom of the Gilbert house, blood flowing from her nose. The episode opens with a dream sequence and Elena dancing to music as she gets ready for school. Aunt Jenna is in town and it's awesome to see her. I thought I would 'feel' more for seeing Elena's parents, but the complete lack of reaction was there. In fact, the disconnect between the past and the present echoed rather prominently.
In the present, Elena awakes in the hospital, confused. Jeremy is filling in the brothers Salvatore. The prize goes to Damon for the best lines (as usual). Why the hell did Jeremy take Elena to the hospital? Because she was unconscious, that's what you do when you find your sister in a heap. No, Damon reminds him, not when you have vampires on speed dial. They order Jeremy to get her out of there, now. She's a sitting duck in the hospital, particularly if Kol and Rebekah come gunning for her.
Of course, I would like to point out, that the boys should have given her blood before they left just to be on the safe side. Meredith telling Jeremy it was just a minor concussion was a lot of bunk. Unfortunately, Jeremy doesn't know about Meredith's proclivities for giving her patients vampire blood.
Damon thanks Stefan for not being the stupidest brother in the world and they decide one goes back and one stays on the road. Apparently Stefan got the lucky straw, but Stefan's just not the one to handle a crisis and he sure as hell isn't the one to manage Elena, but again, I digress...
Speaking of Proclivities
Alaric the Dark arrives. He's Elena's guardian...yeah, no. Elena's eighteen. She doesn't exactly have a legal guardian anymore. But Dark Alaric terrifies Meredith. He also dumps her vampire blood supply and puts her on notice. The Council is aware of her actions and they are going to be reporting her to the medical board...I can't wait to read that letter: Dear Mundane Medical Board Directors, Dr. Fell cheats death by giving her patients vampire blood. You should pull her license...
But anyway, I digress...
At the house, Caroline, Tyler and Matt bring Jeremy and Elena home. Caroline ushers Elena to the sofa while Tyler checks out the rest of the house to make sure it's safe. I love just how fierce Tyler is in his need to protect.
Back in the Past
It's the night of the bonfire and Matt and Elena are supposed to be going. Elena ditches family night, but she's more than a little drunk and apparently Matt keeps talking about marriage. She calls her mom and her mom tells her that she knows what she wants, she just has to be able to let Matt go. Elena awakes at the house and Matt is sitting there. She tells him she's sorry about sophomore year and stringing him along.
She also confesses she has to decide about Damon and Stefan. She can't keep doing this. FYI, Elena, I know you were saying you really needed your mom to talk to in this episode. As a mom, you're 18, you don't decide who you're with for the rest of your life just because...you decide when you know.
You People Should Know to Stick Together
Matt and Jeremy's all too human concern for Elena made sense to me, but they are also not the soundest of decision makers. Stefan's arrival hot on the heels of Elena's declaration that she had to make a choice was telling, but the passion between them seems to be gone to me. I just didn't feel anything when she hugged him other than: "relief" that someone was there who could take care of her. She is fighting growing up and being a woman so hard because being an adult is hard.
Meanwhile, the Sheriff and the Mayor tell Caroline and Tyler they have to run. The Council knows about them and will try to kill them. They need to disappear into the world. The two agree to separate, Tyler will get all their stuff and they'll meet up again in two hours.
BIG mistake. HUGE.
The arrival of Elijah at the house was nice and spooky. Particularly with Jeremy talking to Alaric the Dark at the Grill. Unfortunately as happy as I was to see my Elijah, I really thought he wasn't utilized well enough. Not well at all.
Matt calling Elijah on why Elena should ever trust him considering he's broken every promise and Elijah's genuine contrition felt extremely real to me. I loved Damon saying no, no, no, no, no, no. Particularly with Stefan abdicating any kind of responsibility with his "it's Elena's choice."
Elena is 18. Hellllooooo? And since when do her choices come out good?
I'm just saying.
But Elena is moved by Elijah's need to be with his brother.
Amusing side note: I liked Elijah hoping that this would teach his brother humility. After all, he loved to coffin up his own relatives.
Stefan takes the opportunity to kiss Elena and say goodbye, just in case they don't get the chance to later (as mini me put it: foreshadowing!)
Storage Locker 1020
Not entirely sure what the point of 1020 was, unless that was around the time that the Originals was turned. It seemed to be an in joke that I missed. Yes, I know I rarely miss these inferences. But instead of getting to the Atlantic, Damon stopped at a storage locker somewhere (that we later find is hundred miles away) and Bonnie is there.
Personal Gripe: Bonnie at the locker and then in Mystic Falls relatively quickly for the timeline of the show, but in an hour Elena couldn't get to Damon when she was already out of Mystic Falls (or at least heading out) in the slowest drive ever...but that's me...anyway...
Bonnie wants a moment alone with Klaus to revel in the moment that she's trapped him. Damon totally gets that and lets her do it.
Me: That's a mistake.
Also still not sure why Bonnie needed to be there when Damon was just going to hand off Klaus to Rebekah. I was confuzzled. It just seemed like too much of a convenience to put Bonnie (another poor decision maker) into the mix. Bonnie's little rant that she should let him die, they should all die, but that would mean letting Caroline die and letting her Mother die.
Note to Bonnie: Abby is a waste of a motive. Sorry. She abandoned you. She's a weak person and she's a terrible mom. So not letting Caroline die, check. Not letting Abby die, not so much.
Dark Alaric Comes Hunting
I love the constant references to how efficient paper pushers and police officers are when they can do their jobs. He shows up at the storage lockers, demands to know where Klaus is and snaps Damon's neck.
Note, he could have staked Damon several times now and hasn't. Snapping his neck, by the way, now he and Damon are two for two. For all that Dark Alaric is on a mission to kill the Originals, methinks Momma Original screwed the pooch - again - because Dark Alaric is very mono-focused. For someone who wants all vampires dead, it would be more efficient just to kill the boys when he had his chances, but he didn't.
In the meanwhile, Alaric starts going through the building one storage locker at a time. Rebekah shows up and Damon grabs her before she runs right into Alaric. They sneak Klaus body out, but not fast enough. Rick stakes him. I actually felt bad for Rebekah in that moment, her absolute horror at seeing Klaus burn was painful. Damon made her run and went to stop Alaric.
But that fight was over.
If Klaus really was the father of their bloodline, they should feel it. Damon called to warn Stefan that Klaus was down. Elijah's stunned reserve also hurt. His hatred for his brother was completely tied up in his devotion to his family, so that made for a confusing mix. Caroline fled to find Tyler, devastated in the knowledge that he would surely die.
It was heartbreaking when Tyler told her to go, to run, and don't come back. Especially when he was in agony, but she wasn't and he forced himself to shift to try and make her go. Poor Caroline.
Worse, still was the knowledge revealed later that Bonnie parked Klaus' soul in Tyler's body. Klaus would still be a hybrid, but he had no body to return too. She did it to save her mother. Really, Bonnie? You threw Tyler under the bus to save your mom? Your logic being Tyler was dead anyway if Klaus died?
Time for Bonnie to get hers. I'm done with the judgy, fickly thing.
Matt and Elena are both deeply saddened by the news of Tyler, but Matt says he can take her to only one brother. She has to choose, Damon or Stefan.
That's where she makes the choice.
The phone call to Damon was a cheap one off. He just accepted that she chose Stefan, that she loved him, but that Damon consumed her. If only they'd met first...after a poignant goodbye, Damon hangs up the phone and waits to die, but Dark Alaric is back.
Rebekah got away.
Back in this Fight
For some reason, Dark Alaric is enjoying kicking the crap out of Damon. Just saying, vampire and all. But Damon isn't fighting back, he's done. He's waiting for the death to come. But then comes the flashback moment to the night of the bonfire.
Damon was laying in the road (sorry that just cracks me up whenever he does his lay in the road trick) and he hears Elena on the phone. He bounces to his feet and rushes over.
"No, I'm sorry. I'm Elena."
Damon is puzzled, but then fascinated. They talk including trading a few snarky comments and Elena's definitely flirting with him. But her parents show up and he tells Elena she needs passion, adventure and a love that consumes her. He wants her to have all that, but for now, she has to forget meeting him and he compels her.
Spurred by that memory, Damon suddenly fights back. He strikes Alaric. It's a great metaphor, he's not out of the battle for Elena's heart. He was there first. He just took away that memory...
I warned you all for weeks that I knew Elena would die before this season was over, I saw it coming and Rebekah told Stefan she was done, Elena had to die so Alaric would die. All bets were off now that Klaus was dead (and Elijah didn't seem to be around to stop little sis although he was confused because they were sure none of them begat that bloodline).
In a mirror of the accident that took her parents, Elena and Matt went off the bridge into Wickery Pond. Stefan arrived, a little too late and Elena forced him to take Matt instead of her, mirroring her father's actions.
Sidenote: What the hell kind of vampire is Stefan? Just take them both up. Seriously. Also, this is again the difference between Damon and Stefan, Damon would have saved Elena. She could hate him all she wanted, as long as she was alive to do it.
But the moment Elena 'died' - Alaric dropped like a rock in his fight with Damon and Damon's absolute horror as he realized it and beseeched "You can't be dead...no...no...no..."
Sidenote: This scene ripped my heart out. Losing Alaric twice was bad enough, but Damon's pain hurt. So did Jeremy's when he realized the Alaric who came to see him was a ghost. Sigh.
Alaric turned to gray and lifeless in his arms, but it was a double whammy for Damon. He was losing his best friend and Elena in that same moment. The next scene at the hospital when Meredith confessed that she'd given Elena vampire blood turned Damon's grief to more horror. Elena doesn't want to be a vampire, he knows that and there, on the bridge, Stefan sat a vigil, staring at Elena's lifeless body when her eyes popped open...
Cue the music, season three is over.
Elena not choosing Damon was a cop out. Elena being forced to choose while in the truck was, too. To be honest, I've said this many times, this group has been driving at 90 miles an hour from crisis to crisis with room for a breath. I get that Elena wanted to be with the majority she thought were about to die and that she thought she was doing the right thing in letting Damon go, but I have my suspicions that she was going to let Stefan go, too.
At the accident, making Stefan save Matt was the first time she was able to have a say in preventing someone else's life being lost while hers was saved (girl has serious survivor guilt issues) and we all know Elena will not want to transition. I have a feeling, it will be Damon who forces it. Damon who plays her antagonist, makes her learn to fight, makes her learn to survive...Damon who will challenge her.
But Elena is going to remember all the times she was compelled. It's a game changer.
Klaus in Tyler's body is a 'yuck' although Trevino will play it well. But I think Tyler is going to be gone from Mystic Falls to keep alive the idea that "Klaus" is dead.
So what does next season hold?
It's going to be sixteen long weeks to find out. Brace yourselves. I'm going to do a season three post mortem next week.
What did you think?