Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Vampire Diaries Review: The Birthday

So Season 3 has finally come to us, and boy are the writers upping their game! Apologies for the late review – it took me this long to reassemble my brain following the season premiere last week…

Previously on The Vampire Diaries: There was a whole lot of backstory, a whole lot of myths, legends and curses, most of which turned out to be a pile of lies to find the doppelganger. Katherine was feisty, Damon was snarky, and Stefan tried to out noble everyone within a ten mile radius. Bonnie was apparently the most important person in Mystic Falls, Elijah was most definitely the coolest, and Klaus had an ego to rival Damon’s. People died, people survived, and death bed smoochies are now included in the werewolf bite deluxe package…

I feel like this beginning has slipped in from True Blood – it’s more that vibe than Vampire Diaries. Although who knew that Klaus could do a pretty yummy southern accent?...
“I promise I’m not a serial killer, I just want to use your phone.” Aw sweetie, face it head on, admitting your problem is the first step on the road to recovery…

I love that he tries to see if he can get in without compelling first. It’s all about the challenge with this guy.
I have to admit even I jumped a bit when she opens the door and sees broody Stefan waiting to catch the left overs. “I love it when they run.”
I also love that Klaus takes no part in the bloodshed. He’s enjoying Stefan’s problem and seeing how far he can push him until he completely snaps, because until he’s smirking and swaggering and relishing the blood shed, I don’t think he’s snapped.

Cue screams – welcome back VD, we’ve missed you.

I love that this whole opening with Elena is so close to the opening we had in Season 1 when she was dealing with the death of her parents. These kids have been through so much. Why is no-one hugging them?!
(Although she’s managing the parenting Jeremy thing pretty well…)

Caroline! I missed you! And a party! Oh sweetie C’mere!!!!

Ric! Ha, I love that he’s not only crashing at the Gilbert’s, but he also can’t make the coffee machine work.

Oh god these two are so cute, Caroline and Tyler just light up like lightbulbs whenever they’re around each other. Drop the shopping and shirtless hug already!

I like the Ric/Elena dynamic they’ve got going on and how she’s immediately latched on to the idea that Ric is the nearest thing to an adult around her (Damon has the mentality of a teenage boy after all) and therefore the adult will move in, be a parent, and make everything be ok again. She probably should have given that memo to Ric at some point though…

Wow, Andie is still around? I’d almost forgotten her existence. And why are we trying to pretend that Damon and Andie have a meaningful relationship that isn’t based on her being his full working slave?... ‘Get your own champagne’ – really?

Although anything that gets Damon wandering around the house in nothing but soap suds is good.

I love the dynamic going on between Elena and Damon. I wasn’t sure how it would play out following that deathbed smush moment at the end of last season, but I like this antagonistic flirting. It makes me happy inside.

Damon has a cupboard full of maps and tip offs?! This guys needs a broom cupboard! And a typewriter! And a bottle of whiskey! And to never find pants again!

Hello Bonnie product placement cram in!
Um, when did Jeremy get buff?! Does waiting tables do that to you?...
Or maybe it’s the constant jumping over seeing your dead vampire girlfriends!

Oh Matt, someone else is in desperate need of shirtless hugs! Maybe Jeremy would oblige. I think they’d make a cute couple.

Oh dear god you have no idea how happy Tyler and Caroline are making me right now. The whole, people think we’re dating? That’s crazy! And insane! And why are you smiling like that?! I’m smiling because you’re smiling! Giggle, wink, nudge etc. I LOVE IT.

“I however, am something else. A different kind of monster.”
I love that Stefan’s compelled everyone in the bar, so it’s the horrific freakshow that no-one even bats an eye over. Shudders, but in a good way. I’m also so glad that Klaus is now a regular, because he is freaking awesome, and makes me swoon then cower in fright in a matter of seconds. The only thing that can possibly top this, is if they PULL THE DAGGER OUT and let my true love return. Yes Elijah baby I’m looking at you.

Damon and Ric are so cute together. Ric should so move in with him… I would pay good money to see a sitcom involving the two of them living together.

Oh good, blood, guts and carnage. And dead girls!
I love that Damon knows Stefan so well to know his kills, and I also love this explanation for his Ripper title.
“He feeds so much he blacks out, rips them apart. And then when he comes round he feels remorse. It’s the damndest thing – he puts the bodies back together again.”
Ew – yet at the same time, freaking awesome.

I LOVE THIS. The fact that Tyler is the voice of reason around here, and only because Caroline has been telling him things she shouldn’t have done.
“Just because I tell you things, doesn’t mean you’re allowed to know them.”

Hey! You’re horny, I’m horny, we have all this sexual tension together and you’re off to go have sex tonight! Caroline is so crying inside. And possibly visiting Ann Summers.

How does Ric do it? Walks across a room, accidentally finds the werewolf cellar of doom. If this guy fell over drunk he’d probably find gold…

Oh dear god, the torture on this show is inspired! I probably shouldn’t admit to being impressed by that! But chaining him to a dark board and throwing wolfsbane soaked darts at him?.... Stefan why are you wasting your brain in high school?!

Klaus, think this through. You ‘deal with’ Damon, you lose your hold on Stefan… And he seems so genuinely put out and hurt that Stefan isn’t having fun on his roadtrip of insanity!

“It’s your party you can cry if you want to!”

“I know I promised not to buy you anything…”
“You stole it?!”
It’s a logical leap…
And seriously, who does that?! Elena knows how Damon feels, she’s played on it before But asking him to put the necklace on her is such an obvious trick, it seems a little too… I don’t know… Mean?
Although I love their entrance together. Damon smug that he’s got the prettiest girl, and Elena enjoying being escorted in by easily the hottest guy in that house.

Oh Jeremy, why are you back on the drugs?... And why are you dragging Matt down with you?! Although seriously, the more I see of the two of them, the more I love them.

“You know I died right, and Bonnie used magic to bring me back to life?”
“Yeah, Elena told me.”
Great conversation opener… These two are going to go far…
(But if Jeremy and Matt don’t work out maybe he can try for Elena again!)

“I am every parent’s worst nightmare. I’m the chaperone teacher from hell.”
At least Ric knows and understands this.

Best entrance ever. Stefan sure does have a good imagination and flare for the dramatic as soon as he’s on the people stuff.
Although really, Andie should know better than to hang around in darkened empty studios these days. She’s dating a vampire, learn from this!
Stefan really has gone creepy ass. And all I can say is I want more.

Um, Tyler grinding and Caroline getting pissed (in both senses) – shirtless hug already guys!
“Great party!”
“Thanks! Now leave it.” Tyler, I think the phrase you’re looking  for is ‘cockblocked.’

Actual Conversations #1
“Hold the fort down will you.”
“What the fort full of my drunk history students?”
“Drink more, it’ll feel less weird.”

Seriously, favourite bromance ever. Unless Matt and Jeremy really get going.
I’d forgotten how loose Caroline’s tongue gets when she’s drunk. Although at least she’s not cotton coating everything for Elena and actually being honest with her. Hey, maybe Tyler’s rubbing off on her… (Yes, every pun intended.)
Damon, if you’re going to have a sneaky cupboard full of sneaky plans, at least close the door properly…

Actual Conversations #2
“Where are you?”
“By the punch bowl”
“Don’t lie to me – I saw your closet!”
“Oh wait, got to go break up beer pong!”

Lets just take a moment to appreciate the sheer awesomeness of the switched dynamic between the two of them. I love the parallel’s we’ve had with the pilot of season 1, and how things are being flipped on their heads. I love how the ‘Hello Brother’ seems slightly more awkward coming from Stefan – it’s like he’s trying, but he hasn’t yet hit the suave cool, completely relaxed attitude that Damon always seems to be in possession of. Stefan is still (despite his ripper ways) completely uptight and stressed about the whole thing. He’s trying to be bad ass and convince everyone he doesn’t care, but at the same time he’s mentally worrying about whether he’s being convincing enough. I really hope we get to see Stefan completely let rip and let go and just be the fun loving blood sucker we’ve heard tales of.
“I need you to let me go.”
“Now I’ve got a birthday girl at home who’s not going to let me do that.”

This is sheer brilliance. Stefan gets points for brilliance. And you can begin to see what he’d be like if he actually let go in that smirk – “oh come on, a little bit cool! Hey Andie, you can move now.”
This whole kill, just for the off pissing effect it will have on Damon, is brilliant. There is no blood lust here, just cool calculations of what will piss off Damon the most and make him stop following him,
As deaths go, Andie’s is pretty good though. Although I can’t say I’m sorry that she’s gone.

Actual Conversations #3
“Here trucky trucky truch!”
“What are you doing?”
“I can’t find my truck!”
“Probably a good sign that you shouldn’t be driving…”
I don’t think Jeremy is stoned enough. Although part of me does wonder what would happen if he just ran over the GhostAnna?

Did Caroline actually just choke slam a guy out of her way?... This girl gets way cooler than her already huge awesomeness when she’s drunk.
“Cos if I shouldn’t be dating, all you’ve got to do is say something.”
They are officially the cutest couple EVAH.
And I’m impressed that it took them that little amount of time to get it together and get it on.

“HEY! You missed the cake.” This whole interaction is brilliant. Caroline’s horny, I’m drunk and about to get it on with my hot werewolf shirtless friend, impacting with Damon’s shocked demeanour. I have to say, when he first walked in I was worried he might start killing people/rampaging as he is wont to do when things go tits up.
This almost scared me more. The quiet, detached walk through the dancing crowds to his room. I loved it.

And his night just isn’t getting any better. Can Elena not see? Does she not know him well enough to notice that he really isn’t his usual peppy self and something really awful might have just happened?
No, apparently not.

“You were an idiot. We both were.”
Finally he tells her, and she won’t accept it. “Stefan’s gone and he’s not coming back – not in your life time.” That whole speech is just perfect, and the sigh when he looks like he wants to take it back and comfort her, and then he doesn’t. This Damon seems a hell of a lot more restrained and mature for all his flirty comments.

Oh god, someone needs to take Matt in and adopt him. He’s stoned, drunk, lost his truck, going home to an empty house and has no money for ice-cream. And he still remains vaguely upbeat. He makes me want to cry and feed him soup.

I really hope there was some form of torture done involving pool balls and wolfsbane.
“Have you not been listening to a word I’ve been saying? I have great plans for you.”

Stefan looks so broken. I don’t believe his hard man act at all anymore.

Happy Birthday Elena! You’re 18, you can handle everything on your own!
I kind of wanted to slap Ric for this. I mean sure, he’s got a fairly good grasp on how screwed up he is, but he’s still wallowing and can’t see how much Elena and Jeremy could do with his help.

Oh dear god, why have we waited this long for Forward to happen?...
I never want it to stop. Ever.
Monster sex is the best.

Ahha! Well I’m impressed he managed to contain the destructive impulses as long as he did. I kind of wonder whether there’s still a party going on downstairs or whether he’s bodily chucked them all out yet?

I think Stefan might be breaking into little tiny pieces.
Kind of like my cute meter after seeing Jeremy’s birthday card for Elena.
I love that Elena gets a breather phone call and immediately assumes it’s Stefan. What does that say about their relationship?!
On a serious note, that phone call is heartbreaking. Stefan is completely destroying me with the crying and the silence and suddenly it makes him relatable and sympathetic, which he wasn’t when he was being all tortury. I’m impressed, they’ve made him a bad guy, and they’ve also made us care.

Mrs Lockwood!
Walk of shame Caroline….

So yeah, pretty stunning episode to come back on. Not so action packed as last season’s opener, but a very good episode full of the epic level of awesome we’ve come to expect.
I think this series could be the best yet if it carries on as it’s begun…
Your thoughts?

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