In the grand tradition of past TV show weekly discusison threads at ye old Shaken & Stirred (Gilmore Gossip Circle, R.I.P.), I'm inaugurating one for Vampire Diaries talk… assuming y'all, you know, bite (so, so sorry).
Tonight's season opener capsule description is:
The Return. Elena returns home and is horrified to learn what has happened to Jeremy and Uncle John. Bonnie, Matt, and Damon wait at the hospital with Sheriff Forbes, who is anxious to hear whether Caroline will survive the car accident. Elena and Damon share a confusing conversation about the evening's events, and Damon realizes that Katherine has returned. He and Stefan set out to learn why Katherine came back and whether she poses a threat to Mystic Falls. Tyler's uncle, Mason, arrives to console his family members, who are still grieving after the mayor's death. J. Miller Tobin directed the episode written by Kevin Williamson & Julie Plec.
Even The Atlantic says this show is classy. (Or highly addictive and enjoyable, at least.)
See also: Sarah Rees Brennan on the crack that is this show.
11 thoughts on “Vamp Talk”
Just mainlined the first season, and thought this continued the tortured hijinks…
But I don’t want Caroline to become a vampire! She’s one of my favorite characters on the show, and I can’t help but worry this will all go Harmony With More Pathos. Let’s leave a few people human (and alive), shall we? (And stop killing all the women while say ::coughcough:: Uncle John bolts town.)
I also think it’s kind of hard when you’ve made a boogey-vamp like Katherine to truly pay it off with her reappearance and I hope her motivations and characterization get lots more development. Otherwise, I’m finding her largely a rehash of Isobel, when it feels she should be much different. Or, rather, her characterization didn’t surprise me, and I wanted it to. For instance, a hint of her relationship with Emily would have been welcome in her interaction with Bonnie (beyond the name); I hope we get more of an explanation of when Katherine saved her life and why she magicked so many things if she thought it was wrong (as Bonnie seems to think) this season. Since this show does conflicted badness / possible-some-goodness so very well.
Also, Stefan really does need to be more interesting. Poor Damon–you know he knew Jeremy was wearing that ring. I must admit, I kind of expected him to be the one who realized Katherine was pretending to be Elena, so maybe I don’t give Stefan (and his sentient eyebrows) enough credit.
MOAR Jenna. She’s like the less manic Lorelai of TV now.
Also, really liked this teeny interview with Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec for EW (pacing!):
“We wanted to be sort of a Southern Gothic Dark Shadows with a bunch of cool twists.” Achieved.
I’m so proud of you for watching all of S1 in 4 short days–that’s dedication! I was a teensy bit disappointed in “The Return”, perhaps because, yes, as you say, it’s hard to make Katherine’s reappearance live up to expectations. But also because I think they just missed some beats–wouldn’t other people (namely Jenna, the worst guardian ever) be asking what happened to John? wouldn’t there be more fallout from the recent vampire holocaust? And yes, wouldn’t Katherine expect some fealty from Bonnie as Emily’s descendant? And lastly, I felt like Damon’s reaction to Katherine’s reappearance was almost a non-reaction. He was almost pitiful, so I, for one am looking forward to a return to true form for him. On the other hand, this episode was golden because you know how I love threatening Stefan!
And poor Caroline for sure! Why couldn’t K have just murdered her terribly inept mother/sheriff? That woman is a terrible actress.
Obsessive TV catch-up is my superpower (that and picking pets off the internet). It didn’t hurt that the pacing of the show is amazingly tight.
I love Jenna, so I always want more of her. I wonder if part of the issue with Katherine is that Mia Kirshner actually seems evil in every role she plays, and that’s harder for Nina Dobrev. (Although I do think it’s a testament to her range that I hadn’t really thought of the sections with Katherine in the past as the same actress, not in the way I did last night. I kept thinking it was her first appearance, but it’s only her first appearance in modern dress.)
Yes on too sensitive Damon. And also Elena was protesting way too much.
Tyler + Jeremy forever.
For me, Alaric + Damon 4-ever! Where was Alaric? Remind me–where did we leave him at Founder’s Day?
Nina Dobrev is so much better as Katherine (villains are always easier) and I think she is making some effort to modify her voice to distinguish between the two (Elena is so breathy), but the contrast was definitely less enjoyable now that Katherine’s been given current speaking patterns and dress. This was one of my concerns with for this season–they went all out in S1. Many other shows might have continued parceling out flashbacks and kept us wondering about her fate for a couple seasons.
One tiny prick to my feminist conscience–in addition to the continued victimization of the female characters, unless of course you are a full-out vixen like Isobel or Katherine, in which case you will be the worst of the worst. There was a bit too much of the b-word thrown about by the Salvatore brothers for my taste. Gentlemen of their era should have more creative ways of insulting her.
Yes on the b-word. I had the same reaction. Also, I’m somewhat bugged by how easily strong (or at least focal) female characters get killed off, especially if they aren’t Evil. I loved both Vicky and Anna, and Lexi and Pearl. Some deaths, sure, but it seems like a little too much (also, how eternal are vampires if they are constantly being killed? how did they manage to survive this long if it’s so easy?).
But still love the show. I just hope Katherine isn’t the whole season’s focus. They almost have to either kill her or drive her from town, because I don’t see a way for her to stay on for very many episodes without it feeling like a rut.
That said, I trust the writing team to figure out a way to make her time in town and her departure more interesting. At least, I think I do.
I’m interested in the Katherine backstory; last night I imagined was about Big! Dramatic! Entrance! and it worked.
Anyone else believe that Katherine telling Damon she loved Stefan wasn’t about who she loved, but manipulating Damon to do exactly what he did?
And I find Elena’s “no, Damon, I love Stefan” a bit refreshing. She has a boyfriend, she loves him, she’s not going to entertain other interests. Even if the other interest is cuter, hotter, has better lines, and looks darn fine without a shirt.
Definitely on the manipulation. She’s just causing trouble.
I’m also with you on liking that Elena isn’t into two-timing her boyfriend (and his eyebrows), but I thought the way she dealt with Damon was out of character. She has always been able to talk to him and has understood that he’s secretly a squishy bunny inside where she’s concerned, and so I found it not quite believable that she’d suddenly be so vehemently rude and blase about his feelings. That seemed to me to be setting up the idea that her emotions are actually way more conflicted; her “I hate him” nicely echoed Katherine’s comment to Stefan that such sentiment is the beginning of a love story, not the end of one.
BUT I also think a little bit of my dissonance with it is that Damon acts the way he usually does with Elena with Katherine, but then behaves like a jerk to real Elena through most of the ep (e.g. I don’t believe if he’d given real Elena that line about her deciding he was worth saving that her reaction would have been disdain and rejection–which not to say she’d have made with the smoochies). Which is the sort of missed communication/characters without full info type of thing that bugs me in stories. Elena never even finds out what Damon was doing at her house that night, being thoughtful of Jeremy.
But I totally bought his taking Jeremy out, and thought that was a nice return to form.
Looking forward to next week.
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Drama, lies, and manipulation. katherine isn’t to be trusted, especially in what she says out loud.
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