The Vampire Diaries: Leverage
|Written by April Yorke|
|Wednesday, 19 October 2011 14:58|
Despite rocking all over the place the week prior, Alaric is nowhere to be seen in last week’s The Vampire Diaries, “The Reckoning.” I guess he needed to recharge the AWESOME before dropping it on us again (next time!). In the meantime, Caroline’s obsession with doing normal, fun, teenage things ends disastrously (yet again) for pretty much everyone involved: Matt, Elena, Tyler, Bonnie, Stefan, and Klaus and Rebekah to a certain extent. Even Damon gets his feelings hurt. Things go slightly better for Katherine, but it’s really only a matter of time.
Mystic Falls is Afraid of Locks
So Matt is working out at high school by himself at night. I'm pretty sure you can't just bust into the weight room like that. To the point where we needed supervision just to use it during normal school hours at my high school. But we all know the townsfolk of Mystic Falls don’t stand on little things like legal liability. A shadow runs by, and Matt runs after it because he is so sad that even ghost friends seem like a good company to him. Instead, he finds Tyler, Caroline, Bonnie, and Elena setting up mousetraps all over the floor in an empty classroom because . . . it’s senior prank night. And none of his alive (or undead, in Caroline’s case) friends invited him. Thanks, guys? And you wonder why Matt is so lonely that he WANTS to be friends with a ghost. Outside of Casper, of course. We all want to be friends with Casper, right? Devon Sawa was so cute back then!
ANYway, despite being all sweaty in his workout hoodie (?), Matt’s down for senior pranking now that he knows about it. Elena, in the meantime, is off to krazy-glue Alaric’s desk shut. Elena’s a bitch like that. Also, she might say “super”glue, but it’s got to be krazy. While wandering down the empty, darkened hallway while every dang door of this school sits unlocked, she runs into KLAUS. Klaus, as you can imagine, is pissed that she’s not quite as dead as he imagined her to be and promises to rectify that. TITLE CARD. Klaus! Not a dream! AMAZING!
Meanwhile, when Stefan comes to in the back of the van for what we are about to find out is not the second time, it’s nightfall, Klaus is gone, and Bex is standing guard. Turns out that Klaus is so heartbroken by Stefan’s betrayal that he spent the day breaking Stefan’s neck. Over and over again. Given that Damon broke his best friend’s neck over a disagreement, I’m kind of surprised that Klaus didn’t do worse. Also, are we all on board with the Klaus is gay and in love with Stefan theory? Okay, cool. Joseph Morgan, don’t ever change. So at some point during this torturous day that Stefan doesn’t even remember, Klaus learned/figured out that Elena is alive. Stefan moronically tries to run to Elena’s rescue, so Bex beats him around the head a bit before driving an absolutely massive crow bar into his abdomen. She stalks off to the school. Senior pranks are for vampires, too.
Klaus is dragging Elena into the school gym because . . . I don’t know, really. Because he likes a grand stage. Except that he craves a grand stage but fears rejection so thoroughly that he’ll never follow through on the performance. He’s a very sad character, is Klaus. So Klaus, Elena, and Klaus’ AMERICAN ACCENT! bust into gym, scare most of the people out of there, and compel one remaining girl to balance on one foot while one lucky compelled guy gets to beat her to death when she falls. Elena, because she is not only a brave little toaster but also an idiot, says, “Klaus, you don’t have to do this,” to which Klaus replies, “Oh, come one, love. Of course I do.” I mean, really. He’s there because you ruined his plan to make a hybrid army. Think he’s going to spare some classmates because he isn’t REQUIRED to kill them? Writers put those lines in just in case we find it calloused or out of character for Elena not to plead for their lives, but the actual sentence is distractingly dumb. And it, or variations thereof, come up about 1000 times in the episode, so it only grows more obviously out of place as the episode goes on. A simple, “Please, don’t,” would suffice. Also, it bears repeating: Joseph Morgan, don’t ever change.
Hey, let’s check in with Caroline and Tyler! They are getting kissy by a water fountain that Caroline just honeyed. Also, they worry about Matt. SOMEONE should. These two are really sweet together, though. Let’s find a way to ruin it, shall we? Ah, yes, there’s Bex. She wants Tyler, and she’s a helluva lot stronger than Caroline, so she gets what she wants.
Bonnie and Matt are toilet papering the heretofore neither seen nor mentioned school pool. I like how they add the exposition of Bonnie and Matt being lifeguards together, so we won't feel like what follows came out of nowhere. Or, you know, notice that Bonnie and Matt have essentially never interacted outside of that time at the Grill when Bonnie accidentally dated a vampire. Matt’s sad. Bonnie thinks that’s too bad. Matt goes to get more toilet paper . . . from the bathroom? Are you for real? Okay, fuck this. First of all, the mass destruction of school property is dangerous and rude as hell, but using the school’s own resources to do so is beyond the pale. Do you know what my class’ senior prank was? We put a thing on the roof. Nearly 10 years later, I can’t even tell you what the thing was, but I would hazard a guess that absolutely no lasting damage or injury came out of it. And I get why Caroline in particular would have pre-emptive nostalgia for her high school years, but for the rest, I tell you truly that none of this matters, that you will not remember high school as your glory years, and, if you do, you’re not doing life right. Every year should be a glory year because your focus should be on being awesome.
Ahem. The point is that Matt closes a stall door, which re-opens, and Matt goes back to check like a person who’s never watch a horror movie, and someone’s scrawled “RIP Vicki Donovan” on the wall. Which is really sweet, come to think of it. Matt walks off, but Ghost Vicki is there in that unfortunate outfit she died in.
GYM PARTY! All the players are there: Klaus, Elena, Bex, Tyler, Caroline, Bonnie, and Stefan. Klaus wants Bonnie to figure out why he’s shooting blanks in the hybrid department or else, well, everyone dies. He doesn’t explicitly say that, but I can’t imagine Tyler would be the only corpse he would leave in his wake. Er, because Klaus forced his blood down Tyler’s throat and snapped his neck. You know, classic hybrid baking. So Bonnie’s like, “Oh, shit!” and runs off to magic. The Originals get miffed about Stefan’s love for Elena. They are so JELUS! Klaus wants Stefan to chow down on those teens right in front of Elena, so she can see that Stefan is with him and not her, and Stefan declines. He also tells Klaus, “You don’t have to do this,” because everyone forgot that that is Klaus’ least favourite thing to be told. Klaus has had it with Stefan’s lack of loyalty and yet promises of the same. He didn’t do this all summer, but he’s going to do it now: compel Stefan. That’s so sad! All he wanted was Stefan’s love. Stefan drains the teens in seconds, while Elena watches and is horrified, but, honestly, Elena, you didn’t have to look.
This is not good enough for Klaus! Stefan still wants Klaus to let Elena go! Elena is bitching at him not to make Stefan do things! Klaus gets in a good one with, “The species is such a broody lot. I just invited him to the party. He’s the one dancing on the table.” Man, it sucks to be Klaus. There isn’t a person alive/undead who isn’t trying to thwart him in some way. He can’t even count on Rebekah not to mess up his plans because her own shit often gets in the way. Hmm, I’m getting very sympathy for the devil here. Reminder: Klaus also took my most badass Elijah away. Right, right. Klaus is the bad guy. As if that weren’t enough, Bex found a photo of Elena and Stefan on Caroline’s phone showing Elena wearing the necklace, and she’s come to throw a shit fit about that. When Elena tells her that she doesn’t know where the necklace is, Bex tries to rip her throat out for lying. But no, Elena doesn’t know. Katherine stole it. Klaus does that thing that everyone always does where he murmurs, “Katerina,” and stares dreamily off into the middle distance for a few moments before coming back to himself. Himself being in a big, big mess. Klaus is tired of everyone bitching in his ear, so he punches 20 minutes into the conveniently located scoreboard and compels Stefan to rip Elena’s throat out if they don’t have themselves a solution before the time runs out. Bex can break Elena’s spine if Elena tries to run. Klaus leaves, and Bex stalks off almost immediately after. Stefan and Elena stare at each other with worry. Dun? Non-spoiler alert: Stefan’s not going to murder Elena. That would be a balls out ending to the series, though. Stefan murders her, thereby reminding us that vampires aren’t all that dreamy, and Damon vows to make him pay. The cycle repeats. Of course, we’re not there yet, but the idea’s free, writers!
Speaking of Damon, let’s check in with the other Brother Salvatore, shall we?
Just Three Miles from the Rest Stop/And My Mouth’s Too Dry to Rage
Damon’s drivin’, and Katherine’s feelin’ frisky. Ew, don't make out while driving! Dangerous! Damon pushes Kat off after a few seconds, though, claiming, “Truth is, you just don't do it for me anymore.” And then he pulls into a rest stop. No, not for that. It’s time to stretch our legs and switch up drivers and throw the keys into the reeds until Katherine fesses up. Oh, that old gambit. Shortly after securing Damon’s word that he’s in it to win it re: taking Klaus down, Kat pops open the trunk to reveal an unconscious Jeremy. Aw, poor Jer.
You see, Pearl (remember her?) told Katherine about someone Klaus feared. Someone who could kill Klaus. A vampire/hunter hybrid. Pearl, knowing the power of leverage, refused to give up the goods to Katherine. She did, however, confide in her daughter Anna. And wouldn’t you just know it? Damon tells Katherine she’s either desperate, lying, drunk, “or a desperate, lying drunk.” Hee! A suddenly conscious Jeremy pops up on the picnic table to inform Damon that he can talk to Anna. Way to stomp all over the fun, Jer.
So Anna’s immediately there and not at all interested in helping Katherine and Damon, in no small part because they’re just as likely to kill Jeremy as anything else. Katherine leans over and suggests to Damon that “to make an omelette, you have to break a few legs.” Damon immediately walks over and slams Jer’s head into the picnic table while yelling at Anna that he will keep doing this until she spills. So she does. The vamp/hunter is Michael. And just when we get to the juicy part, Damon checks Jer’s phone. It’s full of scary, “we are in so much trouble” messages. Damon decides he never should have left and tosses Jer the keys to keep them on the Michael trail. Katherine cannot believe Damon is just going to take off after their big break, so Damon decides to twist the knife a little more: “I wouldn't have done it for you.” Bullshit, Damon. Yes, you would have. In a heartbeat. You spent 150 years hoping to break her out of that tomb and make her love you again. Sigh. Damon walks away. I assume he’ll break into a vamp-zip any second now.
The Party that Everyone Ends Up At, Hybrid Edition
Gym. Stefan and Elena are having a little heart-to-heart that’s awfully reminiscent of the one they had two weeks ago. Stefan loves Elena, yes, but that doesn’t mean that he can develop Caroline’s dad’s resistance to compulsion in 20 minutes. Actually, he’s kind of sarcastic with Elena about it, which I love. Really. It’s true and real and makes them a couple worth believing in and rooting for instead of just “Stefan is moony-eyed over Elena’s awesomeness.” Real people might love each other all the time, but they don’t necessarily like each other every second of every day. Elena thinks, at this point, Stefan should just overcome, and Stefan sarcastically spits, “Why, because I love you?” Are you going to tell me you love me again? But Elena is ready for that answer! “Yes, because you love me! Because of all that we have been through together! And because you owe me!” For leaving her, I guess. I’m not sure I buy the idea that Stefan’s emotions re: Elena can overcome mind-control, but I suppose it does line up with the idea held by some that love – sustained, lasting love – is as much as conscious choice is it is anything else. Stefan tries so hard to get her to see reason: he is a ripper. When the buzzer goes off, nothing will stop him from getting to Elena’s blood. The way things have been going this summer, he won’t even want to stop.
Oh, hey, remember Matt and Bonnie and that pool? Well, Ghost Vicki made a big mess of Matt's stuff, which is just so silly. Ghost Vicki sucks. She lead him right out to that pool again, and Matt realizes/decides/is crazy enough to think that they are never going to find Jeremy as quickly as he can die and be revived by Bonnie! So in the time that it takes Bonnie to run from the parking lot to the pool, Matt straps some weights from the top of the hour around his torso and hops on in there. Matt, how horrible. He is way too dedicated to this plot. Honestly, it is a horrendous way to die and has more to do with how ALONE Matt is than it does with anything else. Bonnie, of course, pulls Matt out with an improper technique and administers some highly successful CPR. Just before Matt returns to the land of the living, he sits with Vicki on the side of the pool. She’s got a message for Bonnie. That message? Klaus can’t make hybrids because Elena’s still alive. Geez, we ALREADY KNEW THAT.
Gym. Stefan is sweating, panting on the floor, praying that the floorboards will rise up and stake him of their own accord. Finally, finally, he begs Elena just to run. She refuses. Girl, I know you are our brave little toaster, but this is ridiculous. You won't even try running? The buzzer sounds, and Stefan zips toward Elena but slams himself into the bleachers instead. At first I think he impales himself, but it turns out that he’s holding onto the bleachers for dear life. Finally, finally, Elena runs. He’s chasing her down the hallway, slamming himself into various lockers and doorways in an attempt to slow down in pace. In the cafeteria that always has an abandoned janitor’s cart, Stefan grabs a mop, snaps off the wood handle, and starts to stake himself in the abdomen to stop himself from killing Elena. Stefan is staking himself for love. I just want you to understand that.
Naturally, this is just about the moment when Klaus saunters in. He gingerly pulls the stake out of Stefan because, say it with me now, you don’t have to do this. Stef’s like, I kind of do, you want me to eat my girlfriend, and that makes me sad inside. Since Klaus has never seen anything like this before, he is pretty heartbroken about the entire affair. Oh, Klaus. He loves Stefan so much. So he pushes him up against the wall, stares deep into Stefan’s eyes, and compels the humanity right out of him. Stefan is squirmy and please don’t-y, but he’s no match for Klaus. Stefan eases up, Klaus steps away, and Elena asks what Klaus did to Stefan. “I fixed him.” Cue the Coldplay. Sure enough, Stefan vamp-zips over to rip Elena’s throat out.
Over in the science lab, Tyler is awake and suffering, due to either becoming a hybrid or dead very soon. Klaus shows up with a test tube (really) of doppelganger blood, feeds it to Tyler, and poof! Hybrid! Great? Not that I thought they were going to kill Tyler, but huh?
Out in a parking lot, Bex’s like, “Doppelganger blood, huh?” Seems that the original witch (whom I would really like to meet in flashback) hated Klaus so much that Klaus realized he should just do the opposite of whatever she says. Oh, ffs. You need Elena's blood? And Klaus just figures that out on his own? What is the point of all this. Also, Bex figures that Klaus wants his army of hybrids, so he doesn’t have to be alone for eternity. Either that or the best weapon is the one you never have to use. Probably doesn’t help when you are constantly killing your family members.
I will, however, say that making Elena’s blood the key is an excellent development by the writers. It puts the impetus on Klaus to not only keep Elena alive but also keep her human and help propagate her bloodline, so that another doppelganger may one day be found. And since those seem to come along every 500 years or so, that’s a lot of sitting, waiting, wishing for Klaus.
Elena wakes in the hospital. She doesn’t want to be there, or be giving blood when she’s already lost so much, but Klaus has compelled this nurse to collect some, so there it is.
Back out in the now-Rebekah-free hospital parking lot, Damon’s come to visit Elena. No clue how he knows where to find her. Klaus is ready for Damon and quite ready to kill him once and for all, save a promise he made to Stefan. Aw! But that doesn’t mean he can’t hurt Damon! So Damon completely blows his wad by claiming he’ll just ring up Michael for a visit. Michael is a pretty scary threat because Klaus blows. Honestly, though, that’s not a card you want to play when you don’t have the goods to back it up. Mind, part of the point is Damon experiencing the power of leverage. Anyway, Damon finds Elena in her hospital bed, pulls out the IV and the now bagless blood draining line, and scoops her up. Aw. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still not rooting for a Damon/Elena pairing, but I do think that’s sweet.
Back at the high school, Caroline and Tyler are leaving, and Tyler is taking his successful hybrid status way too well.
Over by the teen suicide don’t do it pool, Bonnie is giving Matt a talk about how great it is that he is not a vampire or witch or doppelganger or werewolf or hybrid or Haley Joel Osmet. He’s just normal and has the chance for a normal life that none of them will ever have. He should enjoy it. Oh, Bons. Matt should enjoy being normal, but he won't. Largely because his “normal” life involves no dad, a dead beat mom, and a dead sister. Graduate high school, leave town, and never look back, Matt. But no, he won’t. Look how happy he is to see his ghost sister again.
Eternal Fireplace. Damon pours Elena a drink and warns her that it is strong when she chokes on the first sip. Bet it’s from that special bottle he was saving! Also, it's a blood thinner, you fucking idiot! How is that supposed to help? Give her some of your blood if you want her to heal up. Elena is heartbroken that Stefan’s love for her is gone. If you ask me, it’s just lost. He’ll get it back. In the same breath, Damon assures Elena that Stefan loves her and that he (Damon) will never leave her again. He reaches for her knee and waits for Elena to brush his hand off, but she doesn’t. And that’s when Very Bad Stefan interrupts this touching moment. And I’ll tell you what – Brian Kinney would be proud of the way VBS is wearing that black tee. Seems Klaus left VBS on Elena-protection duty! I love this show! With his own glass of the good stuff, Stefan tells them to carry on and leaves for his quite possibly still Damon-trashed room.
Mausoleum. Michael’s since the 90s, according to Anna. Sure enough, this crypt contains Sebastian Roche in chain mail. Didn’t anyone find that an odd burial request in the 90s? Just when I start to wonder how Katherine and Jeremy are going to wake him up, his eyes snap open. Well, that was easy.
Next time: Elena wants to lock VBS up. Alaric is down with that plan.