Posted by: April on Nov 9, 2010
Last week’s The Vampire Diaries, “Rose,” was a little lacking in the holy shit compared to “Masquerade.” Of course, it’s hard not to do. Perhaps they were simply observing the cardinal rule of taking it down a notch to avoid blowing one’s wad. If so, well played. We got deeper into the Petrova mystery, Bonnie’s witchy powers, and Salvatore heartbreak. Also, did I mention the ROAD TRIP? Let’s go.
Stefan’s chillin’ like a villain at school (I take a minute to laugh at this continued pretence). Jeremy strolls up to point out that’s easier to get someone to cover for you if you give that someone a heads up. Stefan doesn’t know what Jer’s talking about, and it pretty soon they both realize that Elena’s unaccounted for. Stefan is going to have a meltdown.
At the Forbes rez, Caroline is flitting around her room getting ready for school while Damon swings by to grill her about the town’s newest werewolf. I’m going to get to that plot later in the recap, but we need to talk about this scene now because the blocking is electric. Somerhalder’s the stand out this episode, and it all starts here. Damon’s hanging at the edge of the room, unable to cross the threshold, while Caroline moves around oblivious, totally focused on accessorizing and answering texts and what have you. It’s like Damon knows that Bad Damon was in that room, and now he’s afraid if he goes in there, Bad Damon will come back. And the fact that we can get all that from his posture is some serious shit. Point of the scene: Damon’s like, wolves and vamps don’t mix, so you know Caroline’s going to start mixing it up as soon as Damon turns his back.
School parking lot. Stefan needs reassurance that Damon really did lock Katherine in the tomb and that Katherine is not, therefore, responsible for the latest bit of Elena violence. He’s pacing all over the place and hugging himself, not at all the man of action we’ve come to expect. He knows that this is a long shot and that without it he’s got no clues. See? Meltdown. Damon’s pretty much like, “Yup, we are clueless.”
School. Stefan’s asking Bonnie all manner of questions about the tomb’s mystical lock because he wants to interrogate Katherine for clues. Bonnie’s like, “That’s a good idea, but I’ve got a better one.” In Alaric’s empty classroom, Bonnie uses Jer’s blood (because he’s a blood relative) and a spell to find Elena’s location. It’s about 300 miles away. It’s not street address accurate, though, so Jer drops some Google maps satellite images on Stephan’s ass that lets us know that there is a solitary house in the vicinity of the blood drop with nothing else around it. Damon, despite having warned Stefan about the dangers of going off half cocked, shows up to give Stefan a ride. ROAD TRIP!
House with nothing else around it. My viewing companion wonders why they wouldn’t hide Elena in a big city to avoid this very issue, but, since Rose (formerly known as Bela from Supernatural and much more likable here) tells Elena to go ahead and scream her head off because no one will hear, I’m guessing that’s why. My other viewing companion points out that this decaying plantation looks like an Anthropologie catalogue. I think it looks like Twelve Oaks. That French prince that helped get Zoe kidnapped on The West Wing is there, and he wants a bite of dear Elena. Rose puts him off because they’ve got a plan. Elena spends approximately half the day going, “What’stheplanwhat’stheplanwhat’stheplan” until Rose cracks. “Haven’t the Salvatores been teaching you your vampire history?” It goes a little something like this.
The First Petrova Doppelganger
About 500 years ago, the originals (Vampire Diaries’ Volturi/alphas/old ones/Authority) found human Katerina Petrova. The blood of a Petrova doppelganger is required to break the curse, and Katerina was the first. Trevor (that’s that bastard French prince) was meant to guard her. Trevor, however, took pity on Katerina and thought to spare her from her fate by turning her. Katerina escaped with her undead life (and presumably -- although not necessarily -- the moonstone), while Trevor and his best friend Rose have been on the run ever since.
Back to the ROAD TRIP
Now that Elena’s on the scene, Rose and Trevor are going to trade her for their freedom. Grand. Elena retreats to her couch where she finds a note stuck to her shoe. It reads, “Stefan and Damon are coming for you. B.” This spell, btw, put Bonnie into a spell coma. It freaked poor crushing Jer the hell out.
In the car, Stefan’s honestly all, “So, you’re in love with my girlfriend? Let’s talk about that.” Damon is not the mood for Stefan’s road trip bonding. He pulls out a blood bag from the back seat (these things don’t stay fresh all that long, peeps) and take a few swigs, all defiant. Stefan asks for a hit off that, and Damon’s like, “You’re shitting me.” Stefan explains that he’s been drinking human blood, a little more every day, over the last few weeks. Damon hasn’t noticed a diminished stash, so he wonders where Stefan has been getting the blood. There is a very sad moment where Stefan tries to figure out exactly how damaging the answer will be to Damon then weigh that damage against the importance of repairing their brotherly bond though honesty. Finally, he admits as evenly as possible that he’s been drinking Elena’s blood. Damon does not know what to do with that. Both the depth of their bond and the idea that they are into some freaky sex games is too much for poor Damon, so he retreats into needling. He wonders if Elena would still be into feeding Stefan if she had seen him in the height of his addiction, ripping people to shreds for a fix, and Stefan needles right back, “Oh, you mean when I was more like you?” Damon says exactly, but the way he warily checks the rear view to make sure Bad Damon isn’t haunting the back seat suggests otherwise.
House with nothing else around it. Elijah shows up to collect Rose’s trade. Rose makes the same damn mistake everyone’s making on TV these days: instead of getting their pardons in blood, she accepts “It’s within my power” from Elijah. Rose tells him about the doppelganger, which throws Elijah for a loop since everyone believes that Katerina died childless. He gives Elena an insanely creepy sniff to determine that she’s human and not Katherine. He pardons Rose but slices off Trevor’s head with his bare hand. Damn. Rose wasn’t kidding when she called him your worst nightmare. Elena’s pretty freaked but tries to play for time/get some leverage by blurting out that she knows where the moonstone is. Elijah wants it tout suite and tries to compel Elena into giving up its location. Elena’s got her necklace on, and, when Elijah realizes it, he rips it off and tries again. Of course, Elena knows it’s in Mystic Falls. Elijah’s like, “ROAD TRIP!”
I cannot believe I did not realize this sooner. This entire time I’ve been like, “Why do you need to break the curse if you’ve got daywalker jewellery?” as Elijah clearly has. I’ve been looking at the micro instead of the macro. The curse affects all vamps and wolves. Breaking it will free every last one of them. That’s a world domination plan Russell Edgington would get behind.
Damon pulls over the car near the house with nothing else around it and once again points out that Stefan has no idea what he’s getting himself into. It could be suicide. Stefan “can’t think of a better reason to die” than saving Elena. Finally, he’s like, “There’s your car if you want to go,” so Damon has to repeat the episode’s mantra: It’s Elena.
And while I appreciate this, she’s not Buffy, peeps. But I guess the larger point is that they know, to a one, that Elena would do all this and more for any of them. She’s our brave little toaster.
House with nothing else around it. Elijah’s dragging Elena out to the car while Rose, I don’t know, whinges about terms of release or something. Whatever. Pretty soon Stefan and Damon are vamp zooming all over the place, grabbing Elena and Rose, respectively, and hiding them up the giant stairwell’s landings. Damon is all business, clamping his hand over Rose’s mouth and giving her a shut up look, while Stefan is sexier, using a single finger to separate his lips from Elena’s. He must have written a plan out or drawn a little cartoon like Rukia used to do for Ichigo because suddenly she comes down the stairs and pleads for clemency for her “friends.” Elijah’s been snapping off the hooks from an old coat rack, then just busting it in half because he is ridiculous and loves to waste his own time. Drama queen. He comes up the stairs to grab Elena, and she responds by tossing a vervain grenade in his face. Sparks fly out, but the damage lasts only a few seconds. It’s enough time for Stefan to charge out shooting stakes (never hitting the heart) and jump Elijah. They tussle for a while before Damon stakes Elijah into the door with the very half coat rack stake he made especially for them. They fail to further behead him and burn the pieces. Damon looks up hopefully at Elena descending the stairs, but she’s been beaming love and concern at Stefan, who just popped into the frame. He asks if she’s alright and pulls her into an embrace. Over his shoulder, she mouths, “Thank you,” to Damon. “You’re welcome,” he mouths back.
Bonnie comes to, and Jer would like to know what’s what. Bonnie says that her spells can take a lot out of her, and Jer’s a little freaked that that sometimes means a coma. Bonnie explains that this is a weakness that she would like to keep secret. Jeremy thinks that “from Damon” is the unsaid portion of that sentence, but Bonnie meant from everyone. Aw, that makes me sad. You can trust Stefan! Her secret is safe with Jer.
Stefan brings Elena home, and everyone is happy to see her safe and sound.
Eternal fireplace. For reasons that made little sense at the time except as a set up for this scene, Damon earlier got huffy about Stefan “pour[ing] blood down [his] throat” and thus forcing him to be a vampire. Now, Stefan thanks Damon for the assist today and apologizes for his role in turning Damon. Damon tries to fob him off, but Stefan persists. He knew that it wasn’t what Damon wanted, but he was afraid and he wanted his big brother there. He’s truly sorry. Damon does not know what to do with that either. So he . . .
Shows up in Elena’s room. She comes out of her bathroom and jumps at the sight. She shivers and stutters and wonders if he’s Good Damon or Bad Damon tonight and how to respond appropriately, and he pulls out her necklace. Elena thought it lost and seems touched to have it returned. Damon looks like he’s going to insist on putting in on, and Elena’s proximity alert goes into overdrive. Damon, however, needs to hang onto the necklace for now because he’s got something to say. He takes a deep breath and lays his cards on the table, completely matter of fact: He loves Elena, which means he can’t be selfish with her. Because he can’t be selfish with her, he . . . to be honest, I didn’t entirely follow this line of reasoning with specific relation to the concepts of selfishness and deserving. Basically, he’s decided that he doesn’t deserve her, but Stefan does, so Elena can never remember that Damon just confessed to loving her. So he gently kisses her forehead, compels her real quick, and vamp zooms out of there, leaving her necklace ‘round her neck the only trace that any of this ever happened. And while I am touched by the unselfish, genuinely loving act of not pursuing someone you love because they are with someone they love/someone better for them, a small part of me . . .
Gets my back up at the Lois Lane/Superman, Mary Jane/Spiderman, Bella/Edward of it all. Loving someone doesn’t mean you get to make decisions for them. Of course, these guys tried to give their ladies up because they thought being with them would result in dead ladies, but even that’s not owning their own selfishness (they don’t want to deal with the responsibility/guilt of the lady death rather than allowing adults to make their own choices even if those choices are bad for them), but this is not that. Still, Elena didn’t entirely look opposed to what she thought was going to be a kiss on the lips, which means it should be her right to choose between Stefan and Damon. Besides, as Jer pointed out, compelling someone doesn’t make the pain go away. It only takes away its name.
Eternal fireplace. Rose appears from the shadows, and Stefan tenses into battle posture. Rose isn’t here to fight but to offer help. Eventually, the old ones will figure out what Elijah was up to. When they do, the original original will come looking for the doppelganger. The gravity of the moment is lost on me when Rose reveals the name of their alpha is Klaus, and I go, “C-Claus or K-Klaus?” then laugh for a while picturing this lame 80s Paul Allen-type with a taste for blow. Wait, here’s Elijah, reviving under the cover of moonlight. Someday I hope those boys learn the importance of the double tap.
In other news:
- For the second episode in a row, I’ve noticed that Stefan points with both his index finger and his pinkie, as in “You get the horns.” I’ve never seen him in anything else, so I can’t tell if this is a Paul Wesley thing or a character thing, but it’s distracting.
- Alaric is very busy in this episode for never being in it.
- Oh, right, Caroline and Tyler. Tyler runs around wolfing at everyone all episode and makes the mistake of thinking Caroline’s wolf like me. She shows him her fangs but sticks to the Damon-approved script and says she’s the only vamp in town.
- A never seen Matt thinks he passed out drunk at the masquerade.
- I picked that photo out more than a week before the episode aired because ROAD TRIP!
- UPDATE: Stefan made a comment that suggested that he stopped drinking human blood only when he met/started dating Elena that I didn't dignify with a comment in the recap because it's complete nonsense and would be a total retcon.
- UPDATE: Rose mentions to Elena and Stefan, separately, that Lexi tried to set up Rose with Stefan about 100 years ago, calling Stefan "one of the good ones." Rose declined because she's more the bad boy type. And while we have no reason not to believe her, it's easy to claim a link with someone can't deny it.
Next time: Katherine fills Elena in on her/their history. Rose cries about how they’re all going to die.