Saturday, 17 November 2012

The Vampire Diaries Review: We All Go A Little Mad Sometimes

Spoilers for the episode ahead!

Firstly apologies for the lack of a top five favourite moments for last week’s episode. It was an awesome episode, but a hideous week for me, so instead of trying to cram it in with all the excitements from this week, I will post it next week during the thanksgiving hiatus instead.

Did anyone else have problems catching their breath after this week’s episode? It’s promised to be pretty awesome right from the very first details started emerging several weeks ago – hints and teasers and it more than lived up to expectations for me. Watching the internet slowly combust over each scene was definitely one of my favourite parts of a truly spectacular episode. We had character development, ground work for the rest of the series and some pretty major shifts in every story.

So without further ado below are my top five favourite moments/things of the episode, only it was so good I can’t guarantee that it will manage to be contained to five, but I’ll try my best.

Let’s start with that opening, it certainly got my attention. No matter how easy it is to revive people on this show most of the time, that doesn’t diminish the shock value of seeing a character we love die. Similarly to when Elena found Ric dying from the stab would in Season 3 and had to help him by killing him, this moment with stabbing Jeremy in the neck evoked a similar response from me. It set the tone of the episode, and it didn’t let up for the rest of the hour.

The new big bad. Now yes ok it was just a brief head nod to the idea of the new big bad we may see, but Silas sounds a little bit scary to me, even if Damon merely paused before continuing on in his epic quest for love. If you pay attention to the slides happening behind Atticus Shane (Atticus!) we see not only the big hefty rock with Silas carved into it, but also a slide with the weird symbols we’ve seen Connor carving into stuff… Intrigued yet? I sure as hell am, particularly given that little Gilbert is now fully embroiled into this whole big saga. I’m glad they clued him in with all the information that Shane had before he went for it, although do we really trust Shane? It could just be that this show has given me serious trust issues, but whilst I love this character I sure as hell do not trust him as far as I can throw him…

But Jeremy takes us nicely into the sheer awesome of his new thread. He now has a reason for being in direct cahoots with Stefan and Klaus, and I cannot wait to see this play out. But at the same time, I’m a little bit terrified about his new Hunter status. We found out a little bit last week about Connor being unable to control the compulsion to kill as many vampires as possible – that doesn’t sound good to me. On the other hand, Jeremy covered in blood splatters whilst gory was kind of awesome, he may not have hit bad ass a few weeks back when he thought he had, but he is definitely heading that way now.

Let’s take a minute to talk about the hallucinations. These were brilliantly done, the acting, the editing, just everything about it worked brilliantly. I loved the forms these hallucinations took, Elena and her merry band of crazy trundling around town with a bloody Connor, bored Katherine and perhaps most shocking for me personally, was her Mother. I kinda expected to see Connor making life hell for Elena, and yes it was gruesome but he didn’t really get to her too badly. I loved seeing Katherine back again even in hallucination form, and it was fantastic to have her play the voice of the audience, to really take Elena to task over how pathetic she has been, to voice those fears and those frustrations and to almost be a nod to the audience to say, we know, we’re just waiting for Elena to catch on. And actually I loved that Elena tried to stand up to them but ultimately failed and broke under their torment, but that she at least acknowledged all of the things they threw at her. It felt like we finally saw development with Elena where she gets a grip, realises that this is her life, these are her fears, and she needs to suck it up or give up, and whilst it takes Damon’s help for her to realise she doesn’t want to give up, she does decide that.

The hallucination that was most shocking for me, was her Mother. It seemed almost sneaky and underhand, and what it is with these mothers and their insistence that their children have turned into monsters? I’m glad that it wasn’t Connor or Katherine that broke her, that it was someone much closer to her, who she would legitimately listen to that finally broke down the last of her will and convinced herself to commit suicide. I also love the symbolism of her dying in the same way as her birth mother – this show guys, it’s just brilliant.

Can I put three moments at the top of my list? Because part of me wants to put the final scene between Stefan and Elena at the top spot, but my inner shipper would like to put the scene between Damon and Elena in here too – and if we’re going here, then I really loved that moment on the bridge too…

So let’s start with the bridge. I loved that Damon knew her well enough that of course she’d go back to the symbolic place that she died. I also loved his attempts at mildly snarky humour to try and humour her or distract her enough to get a little bit closer to her and how they worked up to a point. Can we also take a moment to celebrate both the sheer brilliance of the acting and editing of this scene to have the hallucination Connor present and devil talking over Elena’s shoulder, her torn between him and Damon and Damon having no idea what she’s looking at. The whole thing played out so brilliantly. I’ve already mentioned my insane amounts of love for how the hallucinations were shot and edited, but that all really came to a head in this scene because it was the first time that we saw the two conflicting forces at work in the tug of war for Elena, and the look of complete loss and deadness in her eyes when she had truly given up hope was just phenomenal. Then that brief moment of reprieve and relief when Connor is gone before the sun gets to work before Elena panics (as she does so well) and Damon grabs her and throws them both off the bridge into the river. I actually gasped when that happened, because yes, brilliant idea and also, sopping wet Damon! 

Only then we cut to Elena sleeping and whilst I appreciate the logistics of shooting Damon and Elena and the search for the ring, presumably whilst she’s unconscious because she’s helpful like that (side note, would he stick her in the cab of Matt’s truck whilst he searched?) would be a little much, did we really have to be denied the beautiful sight of a sopping wet Damon carrying an unconscious Elena home? We like his heroic moments!

I just love the symbolism of this whole scene. Elena has been fighting her darker vampire nature for the last six episodes and really driven home (or tried to) how much she didn’t want to be that person and how she wanted to be the human girl who died on Wickery Bridge. I loved that she came back there this time only this time with Damon, and that in order to save her he took that leap with her into the water – Stefan has pulled her from the water twice, but this time to save her she goes into the water and Damon is there with her every step of the way. It felt like a reiteration of Damon saying in episode 5 he loves her either way, regardless of whether she’s vampire or human, and also a final laying to rest of that part of Elena. I’m looking forward to seeing how she moves forward from this point onwards, and whether her acceptance of herself sticks.

Anyway, so we than have another fantastic scene with Elena waking up with her ring (only this time Damon placed it there, Damon shippers, you may combust now) with Damon holding vigil in the windowseat. Everything about this scene was just so fantastically beautiful. I loved his concern with no ulterior motives, just out of genuine love for her, and I love that she finally says thank you and acknowledges that he saved her and she would be dead without him. There is a lot of talk between the brother’s with Stefan always respecting her choices and Damon always saying that he would always save her, but this is the first time we’ve really seen Damon take action, save her and for her to realise his actions. I just loved the quiet love and gratitude in this scene, and that Elena finally acknowledges not only his saving her, but starting to really acknowledge her own feelings for him instead of pushing him and them away.

I also loved that we got to see in this scene how much Damon has evolved over the course of the show. Series one Damon, there is no doubt he would have been working this scene to his own ends, but we actually get to see Damon take the higher road, to try and talk Elena into the virtues of his brother instead of pushing his advantage. I loved watching it, and it sets up the groundwork for some really fantastic scenes between the two of them over the next few episodes, with Damon still in love with her but not having pushed any unfair advantages, and Elena acknowledging her own and his feelings and not feeling betrayed by manipulations which he could have taken this episode. They’re approaching each other on equal ground, and I can’t wait to see it.

And then we have the heartbreak of the final scene between Stefan and Elena. I have to say I’m really glad that it was Stefan ending things rather than the other way round. So many times the decision has been in Elena’s hands and she hasn’t taken it, so it was nice to see him take control and say ‘I can’t do this anymore.’ It was also a fantastic call back to Season 2 when they were pretending to fight and he tells her that every time he says ‘I can’t do this anymore’ it means he loves her.
It was the first honest conversation Elena and Stefan have had in so long and it was fantastic to have this development and progress to really shake everything up. 
It was heartbreaking – Paul Wesley really killed it, and yet at the same time, it breathed fresh air into a triangle that was feeling stale.

So what did you make of this episode? Any favourite moments that I’ve missed? What about that break up, pleased or distraught? 
And what about that promo for episode 7 – so long as we all survive the hiatus next week…


  1. Loved your review & loved this episode. I'm a big fan of the show and an even bigger shipper of Damon and Elena. This episode just about killed me haha after I sat watching clips on youtube of the past episodes and came across this one

    And I'm not ashamed to say I cried my eyes out through it haha.

    1. Thanks for reading and commenting! It was definitely a good episode for Delena shippers! Although I don't think this means we're going to get an easy ride of it with wanting them together.
      I've seen that video too - definitely a good compilation of some of their best moments! :)

  2. Hm not sure what I felt about this episode. Elena seemed so whiny and needy which is so aggravating. Poor Stefan I liked him but I knew he wasn't made for Elena. Oh well do you know if it's playing this week?

    1. I get what you mean about Elena seeming whiny (which has gotten more than a little boring over the last few weeks) but I loved that we did actually get development with her character this week so we should see less of the mopy Elena soon! (I hope so at any rate!) I love Stefan, but I'd become really tired of seeing him and Elena together, their scenes seemed a little dull and flat in comparison to when Stefan is off doing his own thing - at which point that snark and badass side make an appearance!
      No new episode until Thursday 29th November :( Thank you for reading and commenting though!