Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Vampire Diaries Season Three, Episode Eight: Ordinary People

This episode was all about the original vampires, and may I say that it's about time that they started building this plot and letting us know who the big bad is on this show. It all begins when Alaric and Damon show Elena some carvings on the old Lockwood property carved by Rebekah.  Apparently, the carvings have been there longer than Mystic Falls has been a town.  Apparently, the original family are Vikings who settled in North America for a better life.  Can we all agree that a Viking settlement in the middle of Georgia in the 980's, which btw is when the Vikings traveled to North America is ridiculous?  I guess we are supposed to ignore the ridiculousness of this, the same way that we were expected to ignore the way that Katherine supposedly traveled across Eastern Europe to end up in the U.K. last season.  The fact that they were all speaking English as well, I suppose is just another one of those happy occurrences.

Unable to figure out what the pictograms mean, Elena approaches Rebekah in the hope that she will explain what is going on.  It turns out that Micheal is their father and Elena threatens to wake him unless, Rebekah tells her their entire history. Michael treated Klaus like crap and was emotionally abusive to him, because he is not his son, but the son of the nearby werewolves.  Elena is certain that Rebekah will tell her the truth, because she is a 1000 year old vampire who has joined the cheer leading squad.  I am going to take this as the writers acknowledging that they know that Rebekah concerning herself with petty things like cheer leading and trying to become popular is ludicrous.

Damon decides to free Stephan and take him out drinking because he has sensed that Stefan has actually given up.

When Elena arrives at Rebekah's, she asks Elena to choose which homecoming dress is the nicest. Again, why is a 1000 year old vampire concerned about how she looks at homecoming?  When Elena threatens her, Rebekah attacks one of the models she has selected and tells her, "You do not threaten me, you will learn what I want you to learn." Finally, Rebekah is acting like the thousand year old vampire that she is, it's just too bad that it will be short lived.

Alaric and Bonnie have a heart to heart when she brings him the necklace that she was unable to destroy.  Alaric tells her that things will get better, and that he has been a Jeremy before.  I suppose Bonnie was expected to feel comfort from the whole boys will be boys speech. From looking at the necklace, Alaric learns that one of the symbols on the wall means witch. This is the last we see of Bonnie for the episode because having fulfilled her work as the resident magical negro on call, she goes back into the plot box.

Back at Rebekah's, they engage in more bullshit history, when Elena points out that "this area of the world hadn't even been discovered yet." (note:  this sentence excludes the fact that Natives had been living there for a good longtime. But hey, what's a little thing like erasure on The Vampire Diaries?) But hey, problem solved because Rebekah's mother knew a witch named Ayana, "who had heard of a mystical land where everyone was healthy, blessed by the gift of speed and strength".  I wonder how Ayana managed to contact Esther to tell her about the prosperous land considering there was no mail or telephone service at this time.

We learn that the feud between vampires and werewolves began when Klaus and his younger brother Henric snuck out to watch the werewolves turn, though it was forbidden, and Henric was killed for his troubles. Esther begged Ayana to save her son, but she told Esther that there is no way, and that they must say goodbye to him.  Alright, so not only do we have a community of Vikings who don't belong there, but they decide to include a token Black  woman out of nowhere. Yep, when they need woo woo, it's absolutely necessary to include token Black characters. Also why bother with including any kind of historical accuracy when it comes to this story.  No need to mention that Blacks first came to North America as slaves, because that would call into question all of the ugly founders day celebrations that occur in Mystic Falls.

Their conversation is interrupted however, when Damon calls Elena to inform her that he has taken Stefan out of his captivity.  The first thing that Damon does is offer Stefan a pretty young blonde woman to drink from.  Damon tells Stefan that he likes the edge, but that his problem is his inability to resist falling over it. For his part, Stefan is convinced that like Elena, Damon has not given up hope on him.  We know that Stefan and Damon are brothers, but I fail to understand why they have to keep referring to each other as such throughout the scene.Ooops, I know, family drama is the theme of this episode and to ensure that the viewer gets this, the writers intend to used it like a battering ram on us.

Back at Rebekah's, Elena tells her that she does not understand why they're a couple, because Stefan is a vampire and that they're a predatory species.  At least someone on this show can acknowledge a vampire for who and what they are, rather than the ridiculous suggestion that they are redeemable. Rebekah returns to telling the story, and Elena asks why they didn't just leave if they were so afraid of the werewolves and Rebekah answers, "pride, my father didn't want to run anymore. He wanted to fight and be superior to the wolves.  Where they could bite, we had to bite harder, where they had speed, we had to be faster, agility, strength, senses."  It turns out that vampirism was not a curse, but a bid to protect the family from what they perceived to be a threat.

Ayana tries to warn Esther and Michael that there will be a cost to the spell that they desire, and that it is the makings of a plague, which will cause the  spirits to turn on them.  Ayana refuses to participate, and so Micheal tells Esther that it is in her hands to protect the family.  It turns out that Esther was the witch in the original family - the original witch. Rebkah is not a witch because a vampire is an abomination of nature, and a witch is nature's servant.  It was Michael who killed his family and then he offered them human blood to complete the ritual.  They quickly learned that Ayana was right, because for every strength they gained, they discovered they had a weakness.  Even when they found a way to walk in the light, their fellow villagers could keep them out of their homes and rejected them. The family burned the tree to the ground that could kill them, but they couldn't stop their desire to drink blood. 

Back at the bar, Stefan and Damon are confronted by Michael.  Am I the only one who is amused that Michael managed to acclimate so quickly to modern times?  Even his speech pattern was modern, which is bizarre considering how long he was entombed.

Back at Rebekah's, Elena asks when Michael began hunting Klaus.  It seems that when Klaus made his first human kill, that it triggered his werewolf gene, thus making him Micheal's greatest shame. Esther tried to fix the situation by putting the hybrid curse on Klaus to suppress his werewolf side, and then she turned her back on him.  Rebekah tells Elena that Micheal's pride was magnified and he went on a rampage and killed half of the village and then their mother.  "He said she broke his heart, so he would break hers."  Apparently, he tore it from her body as Klaus watched.  Klaus and Rebekah buried their mother and together, and then Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah, agreed to "stick together as one, always and forever". Elena points out that Klaus did lock her in a coffin for 90 years, but Rebekah tells her that Klaus has no tolerance for those who disappoint him.  She goes on to say, "he's my brother and I'm an immortal, should I spend an eternity alone instead?"   

Rebekah tells Elena to leave, but she says that she is looking for one good reason not to wake Michael.  Rebekah tells her that she has given her plenty of reasons, and that if she goes after her brother, that she will rip her apart.  At this point, it makes absolutely no sense that Elena does not become a snack.  I know that Klaus wants her blood to enable him to make more hybrids, but she is actually threatening their destruction.  It is ridiculous for Elena to make this threat and have Rebekah do absolutely nothing about it. No human should be behaving this cavalierly around vampires no matter how much they think they are worth.

Back at the bar, Stefan tells Michael that he can give him no information about Klaus, because he is compelled to do what he says.  Michael tells Damon that he has been a vampire hunter longer than he has been alive and then puts his fist inside of Damon's body, threatening to rip his heart out. Damon pleads that Stefan cannot care, because his feelings have been cut off. Just before Michael can rip out Damon's heart, Stefan says that he can lure Klaus back to Mystic Falls.  Michael responds with, "get Klaus back to Mystic Falls, and I will gladly drive a stake through him, fail and I will drive it through yours".

Back at the Lockwood plantation, they are looking at the carvings again. Alaric continues to be confused by the drawings, but Elena the supposed brainiac of the group finds a symbol for Klaus and realizes that the person who killed Esther, was Klaus and not Michael. Elena returns to Rebekah's and explains that she figured out that Klaus is the murderer. Rebekah goes into denial, but Elena insists that Esther put the hybrid curse on him and rejected him, and that with the werewolf gene comes aggression and anger. "He killed her Rebekah, and then he made up this entire lie about your father, so that he wouldn't lose you," said Elena. Rebekah throws a fit and throws the pictures in the fire and Elena answers, "Klaus killed your mother. He has a hold on you, on me, on everyone.  He has for a thousand years; we have to make it stop."  Rebekah collapse to the ground in tears.

When Damon and Stefan leave the bar, Damon accuses him of remembering his humanity, but Stefan counters with "you're right, you reminded me what freedom felt like and when we kill Klaus, I'll be free. Free to leave. You see I didn't do this for you Damon, I did this for myself." Damon tells him that he cannot give up, because Stefan saved his life and is in the situation he is in because of it. When Stefan responds by telling  Damon that he should be careful, because his humanity is showing, they get into a fist fight, from which Damon emerges victorious.

Back at Elena's, Damon is lying on her bed waiting for her.  Damon tells her that they got Michael and that she can yell at him for freeing Stefan.  Elena says she is not mad, and just wants to go to bed.   Elena then goes onto tell Damon that they have Rebekah on their side because, "she is just a girl who lost her mom to young, and that she loves blindly and recklessly even if it consumes her."  At this point, I don't know how Damon didn't look at her and say pot meet kettle.  Also, can I just point out that reducing a 1000 year old vampire to "just a girl" is ridiculously minimizing.

Elena tells Damon that she learned that there is nothing more important than the bond of family.  Elena has come to believe that Damon is going to be the one to save Stefan from himself, because of his love for him and not his love for Elena.

I thought all of the back story in this episode was great, though from a historical perspective, it amounted to complete bunk.  I also don't understand why the hell Klaus would write down his crimes, leaving it there to be discovered later. What a ridiculous way to put this story together. The writers typically ask for more than a suspension of belief from viewers, but incredible leaps of fancy that have no basis in reality and this episode is the perfect example of this.