Posted by: April on Oct 7, 2010
Last week’s The Vampire Diaries, “Memory Lane,” was hard for me to digest. I’ve been sitting on it all week. At first I thought that the A Plot didn’t work for me because it involved a lot of sitting around and talking. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I just didn’t like “Memory Lane.” It had all the elements of a good Vampire Diaries episode: loads of action, great acting, good tension. It even boasted Katherine and Elena coming face-to-face and a hint of shirtless Salvatore. So why didn’t it work? Because suddenly everyone’s a moron.
“I could rip you to shreds and do my nails at the same time."
Katherine’s invading Stefan’s dreams. Nice touch, we haven’t seen that particular trick in a while. She’s forcing him to remember when they were terrible dancers and whipping up scenarios in which he has to suffer the sight of Elena and Damon the same way that the sight of Stefan and Elena is suffering for her. Because that’s a solid tactic? What’s her argument there? He should come back to her to make her feel better about the fact that he’s moved on? Well, okay then.
Awake, Katherine reminds Stefan that she could kick his ass six ways from Sunday (I . . . kind of want to see this), so there’s no use fighting. You know what would be useful? Moving a damn human into that house. When are there going to be any consequences for Zach’s death? Surely the Council will grow suspicious of his absence eventually. Stefan decides that if he can't make her go away, he can at least try to pump Katherine for information about werewolves. She’s more interested in pushing her reconciliation agenda. Stefan’s caught between disbelief and disinterest as far as that’s concerned, so he fakes Katherine out with a kiss to plunge one of Alaric’s fab vervain darts into her back. Does he then stake her through the heart, cut off her head, and burn the house down just to make triple sure? He does not.
Down in the vervain grow-op/torture/detox/self-pity cellar, Stefan chains Katherine up and proceeds to torture her with vervain fronds and conversation about her motives. Are you for real? Who the hell cares why she’s here when you can stake her and put an end to whatever she has planned? This is the most logical solution. It will also save you and your loved ones from further violence and torture. I hate this. The show dictates that Katherine must go on, so she’s kept alive for reasons inorganic to the characters. Stefan’s demonstrated time and again that he is by far the most badass vampire on this show, beyond capable of taking down anyone who presents a threat to Elena. Ugh.
Their many, many words boil to two essentially points: 1) Human Stefan’s love for Katherine was not compelled and 2) Katherine used her knowledge of the fact that George Lockwood was a werewolf to ensure her escape from the Great Vampire Round-Up of 1864. She also gave him the moonstone that Mason wants so badly, and she may have another secret that George knew about. Finally, she really did love Stefan and promised to come back for him.
So many questions, none of them likely to be answered, but here are a top three:
- How is it relevant that Stefan wasn’t compelled to love Katherine? Yes, it upsets Stefan because it was important to him to believe that he was compelled, but here’s something to hang on to: once she started to compel Stefan, she took away his choices. He was freaked by her being a vampire; she forced him to be okay with it. She fed from him and was feeding him her blood with the intention of turning him, and he had no idea. She was carrying on with his brother (and more on that in a minute), and there still exists the strong possibility that she made him be okay with that, too. Once she started taking away his ability to make his own choices, she did compel his love. She wasn’t who he thought he loved. What’s more, she used that love as an excuse to abuse him. So he can go ahead and hate her, real human feelings or no.
- Does Katherine genuinely believe Stefan hasn’t changed in 145 years? Stefan is not now who he was then. Yes, he talks a good game about holding onto humanity, but Katherine’s shocked “You’re going to torture me now?”was real. Because he was going to torture her. Because that’s who he is now. Human Stefan was far too sensitive -- a peacemaker -- for such an action. Vampire Stefan is lethal. Katherine’s in love with a highly sincere teenager-in-love who no longer exists. She made sure of that.
- Where does Damon fit into this? She compels him away from an obviously arranged rendez-vous after Stefan’s declaration of love. But then she keeps seeing Damon. She keeps feeding him her blood. Where, exactly, did Damon fit into her plan? If she loved solely Stefan, why not just compel Damon’s feelings away? Needlessly cruel, this Katherine.
Anyway, Katherine’s been faking the whole chained-up thing this entire time because she pulled a Princess Bride to make herself immune to vervain, and those restraints suck. Once Elena shows up, Katherine confronts her to be crytic and vaguely threatening (when asked why they look exactly the same, Katherine tells Elena that she’s asking the wrong questions). Stefan pulls the stake Katerine put in his leg out, zips upstairs, and chases Katherine away. Of course, if the show hadn’t necessitated that he back off from staking her the two times he almost did, none of this would be happening. So unbelievable and stupid.
Later at the Grill, Elena takes Caroline up on her Katherine-mandated advice to stop dating a vampire, and Stefan takes Katherine up on her advice to stop dating Elena lest Katherine kill Elena right in front on him. In other words, they stage a fake break up for the eavesdropping Caroline’s benefit (though not to the benefit of an eavesdropping Damon), then reunite at Elena’s place. Poor Stefan remarks that even though he knew it was fake, it felt real. Yes, immortals dating humans has a shelf life unless you do something about it. How they don’t know Katherine’s eavesdropping right now is beyond me. At any rate, the relationship’s on the d/l for now.
“I’m going to find Mason Lockwood and put some silver in him.”
I want you to understand that this is Damon’s entire plot for the episode. And it is so stupid. I suspect Damon has a supernatural creature quota in his own mind for Mystic Falls, so he runs around trying to kill various werewolves and witches and vampires to keep that number to where he thinks it ought to be. Anyway, at Alaric’s behest, Jenna throws the lamest BBQ possible, so that Damon can oh-so-obviously attempt to out Mason as a werewolf. I have no idea why he even thinks this is necessary. I also have no idea why vampires and werewolves can recognize each other so easily, but vampires can’t tell humans and vampires apart. That night outside the Grill, Mason offers Damon a truce, saying he has no interest in pursuing a vampire/werewolf grudgematch, but Damon is too shortsighted to see the advantages of this. He opts instead to plunge a giant silver knife he lifted from Jenna into Mason’s heretofore healthy torso. Looks like silver doesn’t actually work on these wolves, though. Mason pulls out the knife and warns Damon that he made an enemy when he could have made an ally. No shit. Dude needs help with his restraints! You could be the one to control those puppies and, therefore, this puppy, Damon. Gah.
In other news:
- No Bonnie, Jeremy, or Matt this episode.
- Six people? Win, lose, or draw? I know Jenna can do better than that. On the other hand, I would buy that she doesn’t like anyone else in town enough to invite them.
- Props to Caroline, though: I also thought Damon was drawing a puppy with a tutu.
- Love the nonplussed look Alaric shoots Mason at the prospect of spending more time with him and the genuinely amused smile Damon gets when he offers not to spend more time with Alaric. Their man-love continues apace.
- Why is Caroline so obvious about trying to keep Elena from Stefan? Couldn’t she have just said that she’s having a really hard time with her break up with Matt? Elena would have given her a shoulder to cry on (I think. I hope).
- Katherine’s only threatening Caroline with her own death? Not the Sheriff or Matt or anyone else? Lame, Caroline.
- Looks like that moonstone might help calm the wolf within. Maybe that’s what Mason was mixing up in that water bottle before his metamorphosis.
- Mason finally tells Tyler what it takes to kick the werewolf-possible gene over to full wolf: you have to kill someone. George Lockwood would have accomplished that in the Civil War, and Mason insists that Tyler won’t be able to stop thinking about it once he knows. Think that means that Mason killed someone intentionally?
Tonight: Caroline’s secret is out.