Saturday, March 30, 2013

Vampire Diaries Season 4 Episode 18: American Gothic

Annoying Elena and Annoying Rebekah are on an annoying road trip and annoying each other. How very annoying. By sheer chance (because there’s absolutely no way that sense or careful planning is going to happen with these 2) they stumble across one of Katherine’s  blood donors. But it quickly becomes clear Katherine has messed pretty heavily with the woman’s brain to keep her secrets

Following them are Damon and Stefan and Stefan is taking great pleasure in mocking Damon for being outwitted by Rebekah and Elena (admittedly, this is a very very very very shameful thing and it’s possible he’s enjoying being the one to do the mocking for a change. Of course, all of this requires Stefan to be capable of enjoyment – I think I saw a smile! An actual smile!)

Klaus is having a really un-fun time trying to remove the white oak stake Silas rammed into his chest (isn’t it awkward when you just can’t reach those few inches of itch on your back? It’s like that only with open wounds, dislocated joints, blood poisoning and… actually not a lot like that at all really) when Caroline arrives to talk and be shocked “hey that could kill you” (she doesn’t have the best bedside manner). Turns out it’s Silas pulling another disguise and giving Kalus a warning – Silas gets the cure or he will make Klaus’s life miserable. If making Klaus miserable involves more of him writhing on the floor shirtless, getting all sweaty than I would like to declare myself Team!Silas.

And Elena and Rebekah are hot on Katherine’s trail – they split up, and Katherine finds Elena and prepares to kill her – and then Rebekah intervenes (alas). Time for hard questioning in the diner! Katherine expects Elena to be miffed about the whole killing Jeremy thing but Elena remains blasé, telling Katherine her humanity has switched off. She remarks – very pointedly – that it must be sad for the boys not to have their super-special human. Ain’t that the truth. She tries to leave bit Rebekah impales her hand with a fork. That simply must be unhygienic and definitely worries a waitress.

Katherine wants to cure to trade it to Klaus so he will stop chasing her. Oh Katherine, it’s been 2 seasons since Klaus gave a damn about you. There’s now Caroline, Elena, Tyler, Elena, his siblings, Elena, the werewolf girl Hayleigh I can barely remember, Elena and who the hell knows what else is keeping him in Mystic Falls before he reaches you on the list. And, frankly, if you wanted to make Klaus back off, being responsible for freeing Silas probably wasn’t the best plan in the world ever. Anyway, given Katherine’s long history of screwing everyone over for funsies, neither Rebekah nor Elena believe her and decide to check her phone instead and found that she has a meeting with someone called Em at 2. Elena plans to go in her place, Katherine doesn’t look thrilled by the plan.

This time the real Caroline goes to see Klaus. There’s a brief misunderstanding when he mistakes Caroline for Silas before asking her for help. Caroline quickly questions why she should help Klaus at all given the givens and he points out, as the head of their line, if he dies so does just about everyone they know – he points to a blooded pair of sheers and says he wants her to cut the stake out of him. Ouch.

Damn and Stefan catch up with Elena and Rebekah’s stolen car and Stefan is loving the “I told you so” gig poking Damon about him wanting Elena to embrace her vampirism. Yes – there is a middle ground between violent, dangerous, reckless sociopath and goody goody nice human. Actually, given the vampires ion the Vampire Diaries, I can understand why he wouldn’t believe that. And he talks about the difficulty of getting Elena back to Mystic Falls now she has an Original body guard (at last, some acknowledgement that Rebekah is actually dangerous!)

After menacing Katherine out of her jewellery and clothes, Elena practices imitating her (with lots of mocking from her and Rebekah towards poor Katherine) before Elena goes off to the meeting  leaving Rebekah to mock Katherine and Katherine to give a perfect slap down to Rebekah’s ridiculous desire for the cure – which will only remove her immortality, not “everything else she hates about herself.” Ouch – a powerful hit and an accurate one. Which is when Stefan and Damon show up

And at the meeting, Elena meets Elijah. Hah, “E M” isn’t “em” it’s Elijah Mikaelson. And he kisses her – hello Elijah! Elena’s acting skills manage to convince Elijah for, maybe, 2 seconds before he asks he where Katherine is.

In the diner, Katherine reveals that Elena’s probably dead and who “em” really is. Katherine also intimates that she’s Elijah’s lover and I have to be amused by the universal “ucky” around the table. Stefan asks where they are and when Katherine refuses to answer, he turns to Rebekah and she tells him where the meeting was. They tumble that she needs Elijah to negotiate with Klaus using the cure (therefore is probably manipulating Elijah) and decide Katherine will lead Rebekah to the cure while Stefan and Damon deal with Elijah

And how are they supposed to do that? I really wish Stefan and Damon would make up their mind whether they’re wary of the power of the Originals or not.

Speaking of Originals, Caroline is engaged in amateur exploratory surgery of Klaus’s back and making quips about whether he has a heart while he questions squeamishness when she just killed 12 witches for Bonnie. Passive aggressive surgery snark! Until Caroline realises she has leverage and says if Klaus wants her help Tyler has to be able to come home and Klaus needs to give her his word he won’t hurt Tyler.

C’mon Klaus, “hurt” is such an ambiguous term. For example, walling someone up 6 feet underground in a slab of concrete? Hey, I could split hairs on that!

Stefan and Elijah have a little phone conversation – Elijah assumes he holds all the cards since Katherine is capable of handling Stefan and Damon until Stefan mentions little sister Rebekah is also around. Elijah very careful controls himself – I love that simple action carrying so much emotion. He warns Stefan that Rebekah loathes Katherine and will kill her as soon as she gets the chance and if that happens he will dramatically kill Elena. Elena isn’t all that impressed and mocks Elijah’s supposed honour and being yet another man who has fallen into Katherine’s trap like so many others. Elijah asks why Elena’s turned her humanity off and she tells him Katherine has murdered Jeremy. Shock! Katherine is not a happy nice person! She *gasp* LIED?! WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED, ELIJAH!? WHO? KATHERINE A LIAR?! Oh what is the world coming to?! How could Elijah have ever predicted this eventuality?!

Y’know, these thousand year old vampires could do with being a little less… naïve.

Katherine leads Rebekah and Damon to her house (they mock her taste) and she opens her safe and *gasp* THE CURE IS GONE! She splutters in shock and Damon… doesn’t believe her. Aha, someone who doesn’t buy the bullshit. He sends Rebekah upstairs (WHY?! For the sake of all that is sensible, KATHERINE IS MORE POWERFUL THAN DAMON! We know this, we’ve seen it over and over, the only reason Katherine doesn’t take out both Stefan and Damon is because of Rebekah, Elijah confirmed this not 3 seconds ago! And you send Rebekah away?! GAH!) Damon figures out where Katherine has hidden it – in her fish tank with no fish but lots of vervain water – and Katherine uses her greater strength to force him face first into the water. Thankfully his scream alerts Rebekah who blocks the exit. Katherine throws the cure in the air and when Rebekah grabs it, Katherine runs.

Damon tries to convince Rebekah not to take the cure, but she tells him that he doesn’t want Elena human either – which he has no answer to. Stefan arrives just as Rebekah drinks the cure and collapses. Yay, human Rebekah, someone can eat her now.

Klaus can feel the splinter moving towards his heart but Caroline refuses to help until he gives his word. If he wants to be a friend he has to prove he can be trusted and so what if Tyler tried to kill him, it’s Mystic Falls, just about everyone has tried to kill everyone else at some point or other. They have a huge great dramatic fight which screams of passion until Klaus realises the pain is gone – it was never there, just a mind trick of Silas. Caroline distracted him, took his mind off it, brought him back. Caroline realises if Silas can do that to Klaus, the most powerful person they know, then what can he do to the rest of them?

Meanwhile with the angsty ones, Stefan blames Damon for letting Rebekah take the cure (because he was totally in a position to stop her) and Rebekah wakes up. Meanwhile Elijah is angsting at Elena about how he wants both her and Katherine to have their innocent happy joy joy back and Elena, for once, skewering things perfectly accurately until Katherine zooms in and snaps Elena’s neck. Time for Elijah’s horrified eyes! ZOMG HOW COULD SHE!

Seriously, Elijah you’re one of the few characters on this show who don’t eternally annoy me. This uber Musty Vampire thing is getting old.

Rebekah is all joyous about being alive and Damon points out that since she’s alive he can kill her now – and throws a knife at her. Which she catches by the blade in mid-air. And the cut on her hand heals instantly. Oops, cure is fake – just a concentrated shot of vervain to knock a vampire out.

Elijah begins the musty lecturing of Katherine as if she cares. She tries to convince him but he finally begins to open his eyes (only took him a few centuries) and see the real Katherine. He turns to leave and she grabs him and says she needs him to talk to Klaus, he gave his word – oops, he leaves and she doesn’t profess love or beg him to stay – but to talk to Klaus? Yeah, that won’t convince anyone. Katherine goes and retrieves the real cure

And catches up with Elijah again and begins another perfect spiel meant to draw him in, giving him the cure (which she doesn’t actually have a use form without him acting to intercede) as some kind of proof of her sincerity and leaves for him to decide (uh-huh don’t fall for it Elijah)

Time for a sibling reunion, Elijah and Rebekah (”I thought you were the smart brother,” “you don’t have a smart brother”. Isn’t that the truth?). Like Katherine, he questions whether becoming human again will solve any of Rebekah’s problems. He doesn’t understand why he considers their family a burden (hello? Have you MET your siblings? Finn the vapid and personalityless – and dead. Kol the murderous – and dead. Klaus who daggered her for decades? Mummy Dearest who tried to kill them all? Daddy Dearest who did the same?)  She just wants to live and die as she chooses, apparently. Which is when Klaus rings – and she hands the phone to Elijah. He tells Klaus he’s coming back to Mystic Falls, it’s about time someone took charge – and he and Rebekah get in a car.

Klaus thanks Caroline and they have a moment. He asks if they’re friends and she asks if he’s going to let Tyler back into town, when he doesn’t answer she turns and leaves. He points out he’s not actually LOOKING for Tyler

Damon admits to Stefan that he “let” Rebekah take the cure because he didn’t see why they’d want Elena become human then he admits he screwed up. He apologises and Stefan points out they keep repeating their same histories, their same mistakes. Stefan wants to restart his life without making the same mistakes- he wants to make Elena normal then get out of her life, break his patterns. They agree – with matching eyebrow expressions – to get Elena the cure. Which means convincing her.

They catch up with Elena in the diner where she says she doesn’t want the cure – and they need to accept it or there will be consequences . Stefan points out he was the same, his emotions were off, he didn’t want to turn them on again but Elena didn’t want to accept it. Elena kills the waitress – behold! Consequence! And if they keep trying to fix her she will keep killing

Like Damon cares? Or like they can’t snap her neck, take her back home and lock her in a basement? They don’t even need to snap her neck, they’re both much older and more powerful than her – what they can face down Originals and Katherine but can’t imagine stopping Elena?! In what way are they powerless to stop her slaughtering people? In what way does ANYONE on this cast even CARE about slaughtering people? Is there any single vampire on this show without 3-4 bodies minimum to their name? No-one cares, no-one ever cares – but this is a sudden dramatic threat?

Do you know what interesting storylines are happening at the moment?

Silas, plotting something that may cause the end of the world

Bonnie (hey, remember her?!), using magic beyond her control, killing people and dealing with the aftermath.

Even Klaus finding that he’s not necessarily king of the hill with Silas around and maybe trying to find out why that is and if there are other vampires apparently unconnected to the Original bloodline

The village council putting Vervain in the water and taking real steps against the vampires around them and whether Liz, Founderella, can fix it

Do you know what storylines are NOT interesting at the moment?

Elena. Elena and her angst. Stefan and Damon looking for Elena. Looking for the cure for precious Elena (even knowing what Silas is planning!)

Still, I welcome the return of Elijah – albeit for… prurient reasons.

And can someone, please for the love of plot continuity, remember how powerful the Originals are! This endless swapping between “aaargh, Original, scary!” and “oh an Original? Like I care!” is getting ridiculous. Either they’re super powerful or they’re not. In fact, no, it’s part of a greater flaw in Vampire Diaries – the vampires continually forget where they stand in the power hierarchy. We’ve had far too much of Stefan and (especially) Damon, ever since season 1, challenging vampires way stronger than them who continually slap them down and even running at witches who we KNOW are just going to do the head popping thing. They’re not learning and it’s annoying.

And can someone tell me what Silas actually is that he drinks blood, is immortal yet has all of these nifty magic tricks?

And why why why is everyone “oh cure for Elena, oh cure for Rebekah” when SILAS is running around?!