Saturday, 5 February 2011

The Vampire Diaries: Daddy Issues Review

‘Daddy Issues'
The evolution of… um… well, everyone, actually.

It started off being an ode to the evolution of Caroline, but actually, there were developments with a few different characters this week. It wasn’t a sob my heart out episode, which was a nice relief, but it was high tension and packed full of action – after the slightly more focused internal fights that have been going on, it was good to have a nice big bust up in the woods to clear the air. Or, you know, insight more tensions and piss people off even more.

Tyler: I didn't know what to do.
Caroline: You help your friend. That's what you do.
Lets start with Caroline, because oh my word she deserves a prize for this week. It is incredible how she manages to pack her performance full of bad ass vampire bitch, and vulnerable school girl – and she not only pulls it all off, but she does it really really well. I love that she’s still over analysing and obsessing over her and Tyler’s kiss, when he has moved way beyond that, and even when he manhandles her and pins her (really hard!) against the car, we get a little lip wobbling, but no outright crying. A few episodes ago, Caroline would have been sobbing and freaking, but she gets why he’s so upset, and she holds it together, even though she’s shaken, and right there, in the first few minutes, we get a prelude of the Caroline yet to come.

Caroline is one of the most interesting characters we’ve had on the Vampire Diaries. She started off whingey, a bit vapid, incredibly self-absorbed and spoilt – and she’s still all of those things, but she’s grown up so much over the last season and a half. She’s died, she’s had to come to terms with the monster inside her, and deal with friends hating her, her Mom hating her, killing people, being hunted, breaking up with her boyfriend and wanting to kill pretty much everyone, couple that with the amount of crap Damon put her through, and she has literally been through hell and back.

And yet all of that kind of pales in comparison to what she goes through today. Shot in the head (which I was really shocked by, VD sure still knows how to throw me, even after all this time.) and she has to pull the bullet out of her head herself? Eesh. Then shot repeatedly just for kicks by Brady (creepiest and evilest guy we’ve had on for a while, and this is including those characters who rip out people’s hearts for funsies.) followed by a water pistol filled wither Vervain, and a blow dart with tooth picks in???
Caroline: Why are you doing this to me?
Brady: You're a vampire. Why not?

This takes torture to a whole new level. And also makes a point that whilst we’ve see some pretty bad things happen in Mystic Falls, there are always going to be nastier people out there who have pre-conceived grudges and are willing to do really awful things to others based on their prejudices. I’m looking at you werewolves – you are not getting on my good side right now…

That Caroline manages to be vulnerable and terrified and go through that, and then stand up for herself and give Tyler the dressing down of his life, is awesome. She keeps saying she’s ok, and she does really hold it together and almost convince you, until Bonnie and Elena arrive and she just starts crying and you’re forcibly reminded that she is just a teenage girl who is going through stuff no one should have to go through. I love that Caroline shows both sides though, and that’s why I loved her evolution the most, because she learnt a lot about herself and those around her, and she comes out stronger- but unlike Damon who would just build another wall around himself and go feed on people, she still shows her vulnerability.

The next evolution wasn’t really an evolution – not yet anyway. It was more just Tyler stumbling round and not making any of the right decisions. Oh baby, I wanted so much to hug you and have you and Caroline hook up and have little furry fanged babies- but you so don’t deserve her. The fact that you hesitated not once, but twice, does not stand in your favour right now.

I think this episode really separated the men from the boys, and showed that Tyler for all his ‘I’m the man of the house, I don’t need anyone, I’m a wolf boy now’ posturing, when you compare him to a lot of the other characters, he really isn’t there yet. Caroline showed her maturity today, and Tyler just wandered around going from bad to worse. I get that he let Caroline in last week, and he feels betrayed. And hell, this is the first time he’s going through some of the crap that most of the others go through on a weekly basis. But this was his first test, and he failed. Not only that, he went back to the bad guys and blabbed about the moonstone. I really hope he grows a pair soon and gets his moral compass sorted soon…

Damon. I love what the writers are doing with the Damon/Elena relationship, with nothing actually happening. We still get the moments and the lingering looks that show that something is there, but we also got Elena doing her usual ‘please Damon, don’t kill anyone, for me!’ and Damon totally calling her on it. I mean he’d have to be pretty dense not to see it, but it’s good that he actually says something about it, because otherwise she’d keep being a manipulative bum. Plus – the bathtub scene? *SWOON* I think this was the first time we saw Damon do a halfway tender bite – which was a nice change to say the least. 

I’m also loving him working through all of his emotions and issues without ever actually talking to her about them. He’s trying to reconcile the two halves of himself, and sort out whether he can even be the man Elena wants him to be – and providing some interesting evolution moments (and funny one liners.) It does make me wonder about Stefan though, Damon is having such a hard time sorting himself out, and goes on about being a monster – so where is Stefan’s? It makes me feel like Stefan is never completely honest, or is hiding all the time. I want to see more of this, because I can’t believe Stefan is this perfect guy with amazing self-control. I know we’ve seen moments of him snapping, but we see more of the crisis with Damon than we ever do with Stefan. I want more!
Damon: Since Stefan got here earlier, I'll let him try it his
way before I try it my way, which is a lot bloodier.

Uh does no one else find some of Stefan’s habits slightly worrying and creepy? Like his listening to private conversations whilst lurking in the shadows and then stepping out at the end and being all ‘yeah I eavesdrop, totally cool.’ Just saying…

I also really don't trust Jules and her pack mentality stuff. They all seem a little too psychotic for that to be completely true, and I'm equal parts terrified and curious to see what they're actually after.

I’m probably going to regret this at a later date, but I genuinely believe that Elijah is going to keep his word – things may go horribly wrong with it later, but I think he really will keep his word. That said, I also think that whilst Uncle John is still screwing up mightily and double crossing on a few things, I also believe he’s genuinely trying to make amends and tell the truth about other things. This show is full of messed up characters… 

I actually felt for UJ this week, which makes a change as I was quite happy for anyone to get the nearest sharp object and play poke with his organs. Maybe I am being incredibly naïve, but his exchanges with the others, (aside from Jenna who I think he just delights in pissing off) seemed genuine and heartfelt, even if he wasn’t telling them everything.

So glad he manned up and didn’t accept the ring back from Jeremy. Strangely wanted to give him a hug – or maybe just a reassuring pat on the arm – at the awkward scene in the grill. What’s this? Me feeling sorry for him? Shock!
And his scenes with Elena, particularly the last one, I loved. He’s screwed up so badly, and he knows there is no hope for him ever being her father, and I don’t think he even really wants to be, but he does want to keep her safe. She just needs to trust him now…

Jenna, you make me snigger. Which is a good thing considering you do very little else these days. Come on writer’s give her a little something more? Please? I’m glad she’s finally been clued in on some of the big goings on in Mystic Falls though, admittedly not on the same scale as ‘dating a vampire, have an evil doppelganger’ but still ‘evil uncle john is my biological father’ is still kind of up there.

So whilst I didn’t get the box of tissues out this week, it was still an awesomely strong episode. The fight with werewolves and vampires was freaking awesome –as was Mr magic daddy. Caroline stole the show, but we got strong performances from most of the main players. And with all these new alliances forming, I’m getting more excited week by week...

1 comment:

  1. This show is good, and addicting. I can't wait for more episodes to come out so I can watch what happens next. The biggest plus though is the acting. Everyone is soo good and believable. The storyline is good as well. Awesome!! I Watch Vampire Diaries Online