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Vampire Diaries – “Isobel” – review
For being the penultimate episode of the season, this episode was a lot more talk than action. I guess they’re saving the action for next week. As we saw in the last scene last week, Isobel—Alaric’s missing cum dead cum vampire wife and Elena’s birth mother–finally came back to town. She is working with Jon Gilbert and steps in to help him obtain the artifact from Damon by kidnapping Jeremy and threatening to kill him if Elena doesn’t convince Damon to give it to her. And how is Elena to exercise such influence over Damon? According to Isobel, “He’s in love with” her.
Hm. Hm. Hm. I just…I don’t know if I like where that’s going. I don’t want Damon to be in love with her (and I’m actually not convinced that he is, just that it’s possible). For one thing, I thought their big brother/little sister vibe was hilarious. For another, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense: if Damon is the sort of person who would love someone like Katherine, why the hell would he fall for someone like Elena? No offense to Elena, but Isobel was right—we all know she’s NOT Katherine. Isobel meant it as an insult, which means Elena should take it as a compliment, but for Damon it means she’s not his type…and I really don’t think the intervening years have convinced him of the charms of innocence, either. It worked in the books because it was there the whole time; on this show it hasn’t been there until post-tomb arc at the earliest (if it’s there at all), which makes it a plot device more than a natural fit for the character.
Other big revelations included the truth coming out that Elena is Jon’s daughter with Isobel, so a Gilbert after all; Jeremy and Jon realizing they both know about vampires; Jeremy telling Elena he knows everything; and Bonnie revealing herself as a bitch of heretofore unsuspected proportions. She sees Elena crying after meeting with Isobel and comes to tell her “she couldn’t just say nothing.” Elena confesses all, and Bonnie tells her that Ancestor John had never actually invented anything, Katherine had just had Emily spell his inventions into working. She can break that spell, and pretends to do so before Elena gives the device to Isobel. Then we find out at the end of the episode that Bonnie had lied (interestingly, it wasn’t clear whether the inventions really worked as inventions or just that she hadn’t lifted the spell, but either way she lied) and sent a functional device to Jon via Isobel. I know she did that because she wants all the vampires dead—but, look, what kind of shitty friend is she? It’s one thing to put someone out of your life; it’s another to pretend to let them back in with the specific hope of betraying them. I hope Elena doesn’t forgive her for that move. She probably will, because that’s her character, but I hope she doesn’t. It was a bitch move. Badly done, Bonnie; badly done, indeed.
Although it could set up an interesting females who used to be friends battle as well as a witches/vampires battle. In the end I guess what Bonnie did was nothing but what they’d have done anyway if she hadn’t tried to help, namely hand over the device intact to save Jeremy, but. It’s the principle of the thing, and it leaves Jon Gilbert with the final piece he needs to put the ultimate vampire-destroyer together and go after all the vampires on Katherine’s hit-list…because, surprise!, Jon and Isobel are working for Katherine.
Speaking of Katherine, I wonder if Isobel adding Stefan and Damon to said list will cause a break between her and Katherine? Katherine wanted “all the tomb vampires” dead, but she had obviously turned the Salvatore brothers for a reason…even if she abandoned them later, she may not take kindly to some of her minions trying to kill them.
Best line of the night was again from Damon. He and Isobel circle around each other; she points out he shouldn’t kill Katherine’s messenger, and he lets her think she has seduced him before he pins her and snarls, “You see, I DO believe in killing the messenger. Because it sends a message.” Hot. And well-played.
Second best line again went to Elena, when she has washed her hands of Isobel—“Thank you for being such a disappointment. It leaves the memory of my real mother intact.”
Don’t waste any sympathy on Isobel. She did such a good job of making an utter bitch of herself that I felt nothing when she was talking to Alaric at the end, before she left for good. It was I think supposed to be tender, but I felt nothing even when she looked ready to cry about her “mistake.” I just wanted her to be gone. Interesting that she compelled him to be over her. I suppose that was an acknowledgment on her part that she had felt some guilt over doing him like that.
One final complication is the Jeremy/Anna situation. She went to him finally at the end of the episode, implication being that she’s going to stay with him, and told him about her mother. So she’ll be under the same roof as his vampire-hunting uncle who killed her mother. I have a feeling that will become important.
Will it be important next week, though? Or will it be pushed into next season? Remains to be seen….