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The Vampire Diaries – “History Repeating” – review
Okay, this episode requires that I do things a little differently this week: I need to speculate on some book to film translations that might be major spoilers for TV-only fans. So here’s how it’s going to work—I’ll make the usual analysis of the episode, then insert a nice big picture and a warning, and then have the book-centric spoiler section below for those of you who’ve read the books and are just as desperate to talk about what’s going on in relation to them as I am, and those of you who don’t mind spoilers.
As for what happened this week, events centered around Bonnie’s haunting that began at the end of last episode with her dream that sleepwalked her out to Fell’s Church. She tells Elena about what’s going on with her vivid and terrifying dreams, and throws the necklace away hoping it will break the pattern. When Elena stages a girls’ night for Bonnie and Caroline to make up, they find Bonnie’s necklace has rejoined her, and Caroline suggests a séance to prove that she’s taking Bonnie’s witch heritage “seriously.” The séance ends with Bonnie getting possessed by her ancestor Emily and walking out of the house vowing “not to let him have it, not to let it happen again.” Meanwhile, Stefan and Damon make up, mostly because Stefan wants an answer about why Damon is hassling Bonnie about that necklace. The new history teacher, Alaric Saltzman (an aptly cast, per the book description, Matt Davis) gives Jeremy an extra credit project to make up his grade, and when he runs into Jeremy having dinner with Aunt Jenna that night quickly strikes up a flirtation with Jenna.
At the old church, Damon admits what he wants with the necklace—to resurrect Katherine. He had struck a deal with Emily, Katherine’s handmaid, that he would save her children and thus protect her family line if she would save Katherine by putting her into the vampire equivalent of hibernation. Emily (possessing Bonnie) admits she had to save all the people in the church, all 27 vampires, and she will not release them. She burns the necklace, and Damon in a rage attacks Bonnie. Stefan gives her some of his blood to save her life and then tells Elena he has to leave. She might have come to realize that she could “do this,” but he has concluded that he can’t. The show ends with Elena and Bonnie sobbing into each other’s arms and Aunt Jenna answering the door late at night to find Logan there asking to be invited in….
First of all, holy crap. Talk about an intense episode. The whole thing with Bonnie’s powers is getting serious and frightening. She got possessed by her ancestress. That necklace got moved around by no power any of them could see or explain. Serious freaky shit. And how awesome was it to see Emily at full power just blast Damon onto a tree and nearly stake him accidentally on purpose? Don’t. Mess. With. The. Witches.
I loved finally getting to see Damon’s plan and getting to hear his side of the story. He admits to Stefan that he had not been compelled by Katherine, that he had understood the whole time what she was up to. This implies that he loved her more—because he loved her truly—and thus his determination to bring her back no matter what else came with her. Also on the Damon subject, the scene with Stefan when he’s playing Damon and then Damon plays him was HILARIOUS. I loved seeing them start to repair their brotherly relationship, because even if it was Stefan trying to manipulate him it was the beginning of a bridge back to brotherhood. And it was cute of Damon to try Stefan’s diet for a week in atonement for killing Lexi (even if that does in a way depreciate the value of her “life” to a dare or a joke) and then whine about it the whole time.
And Alaric…hm…is he a vampire? He had that ring from his “father” that looks mysteriously like the ones Stefan and Damon have, and he certainly waited for Aunt Jenna to invite him in. Or was he just being polite? Hard to say. But if he is a vamp, then there must be something about that family that attracts them, because first Stefan falling for Elena and then Jenna getting haunted by Logan’s reincarnation AND the new vamp in town? And if Logan is now a vampire, what will it mean for his place on the Council? Regardless, I like Jenna getting a storyline of her own now. Although it’s yet another nail in the coffin on my hopes that Meredith will ever show up as a character, since she’s the one who lands Alaric in the books….
Jeremy’s history project, to go through his dad’s box of Gilbert family mementos and history, finally gave us some insight into the Gilbert lineage. According to Jenna they came over on the Mayflower, and Jeremy found a diary written by someone in 1864. Honestly, I love the multiple diary parallels that the TV show is drawing. In the book the only diaries were Elena’s and one of the town founder’s. I am very curious to find out what the Gilbert involvement in the vampire massacre and Katherine/Salvatore brothers triangle was.
Final point—how cute are Caroline and Matt? They were the comic relief this episode, with Caroline flouncing around not believing in witchcraft and acting shut out and put upon, and accusing Matt of Lame Boy Moves which he turned right back on to her as a Lame Girl Move. And he was so funny explaining why he left her room—“your mom’s the sheriff. I climbed out the window.” Yeah, her mom’s the sheriff and a bona fide man-hater after Caroline’s dad ran off with another man. Matt’s smart not to get caught. But then climbing back in her window to secretly hang out, because he understands being alone…aw. So sweet. Especially since he never really liked her. I mean, can’t blame the guy since Caroline comes off as shallow and petty, and especially if he was always in love with Elena. But as I said last time, Caroline is pretty willing to let him rescue her and less of a bitch than she seems like sometimes, and Matt obviously wants to be somebody’s hero. I hope Damon doesn’t screw things up.
One major complaint: Stefan’s leaving? Seriously? Seriously, CW, you’re really going to go there? WTF. This isn’t Twilight. You don’t need to go all New Moon here. STEFAN WOULD NEVER LEAVE ELENA OH MY GOD WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING? I don’t like that they feel the need to use a similar storyline to a different franchise, since it doesn’t fit the MO of these characters. Like not at all.
OH MY GOD JUST HOOK THEM UP ALREADY!!!
SPOILERS FROM THE BOOKS
Basically just two parts I want to talk about, Alaric and Katherine.
First, I find it hilarious that they are making Alaric out to look like he’s maybe a vampire when in fact he is a vampire hunter. I bet his wife in North Carolina was killed by one, and that’s what set off his whole quest. The big question mark is about his ring—is it a trophy from having killed a vampire, or was his father also a vampire hunter who passed it down? If it was a family heirloom, then did the Saltzman family history have anything to do with his wife’s getting targeted by a vampire? Hm….
Second, Katherine. I found it curious that the show kind of tipped their hand that she’s still around this early. My guess is that Katherine was already resurrected by someone else (like Klaus, if he ends up showing his face in this franchise) or will be when no one will actually suspect that. Anyone else got a theory or want to lay odds that she shows up without being released by Bonnie/Emily?
And since they’re already pulling so much from the fourth book in early, when are we going to get to the Smallwood/Lockwood werewolf heritage?!
I love that this show has finally broken off almost completely from the books. It makes it fun for me not to pretty much know what’s coming up next, and it also means I can keep the books separate in my head. Any other fans of the books out there with an opinion on that subject?