Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Vampire Diaries, Season 5, Episode 2: True Lies

Bonnie recaps the fate of her father, Disposable Black Person #788 to Jeremy. Jeremy tries to comfort her – but they cannot touch because she is dead, just like her father. She also warns Jeremy that Silas is after Catherine so they need to make sure he doesn’t get his hands on her (I suggest this should be achieved by dropping Catherine in a woodchipper).

On to Katherine who is not having a good day – having crawled out of the car wreck she is now injured and reduced to hitchhiking. Except Silas’s mind control means the woman who stops for her maces her (wow, this is your definition of “keeping an eye out for someone”? Remind me never to let this woman look after my pets!). Katherine punches her unconscious – and that hurts as well. Being human is no fun! Especially not when Matt comes out of the woods and holds her at gun point

Katherine, you’ve just been captured by Matt. The show’s woobie and general whining victim. The shame should kill you know.

Meanwhile, Stefan continues to have happy dappy hallucinations interrupted by inconvenient drowning. And, despite that, it’s still a fate less horrible than Katherine having to live with the fact Matt just captured her.

At college, the whole campus is mourning Megan (crowd scene! Time for some racial diversity!) and Caroline is being all kinds of arseholish about it. But they do remind us of all the mysteries around Megan – and confirm that her death has been covered up by the powers that be, just as the Mystic Falls Founders council would have (praise be to the Founders!).

The person who signed off on the fake death certificate is a Dr. Wensly Maxfield  - who, coincidentally, is also a microbiology professor at the college – and Elena has switched her and Caroline to his class. Caroline is stroppy at this because this involves going to a class where she may actually have to work. Ha! Like anyone student on Vampire Diaries has ever attended a class! Caroline protests “what happened to getting drunk and making bad decisions about boys?”

Uh – that would be Vampire Diaries season 1-4. Actually, it’d be a bit of a twist if you spent a season not drinking and making truly awful decisions about boys, I’m just saying.

Back in Mystic Falls, Damon begs Founderella to search the quarry where Stefan is having his fun drowning hallucinations, finally convincing her by warning her that he may feel ultra-mega guilty about living a happy life while Stefan suffered a terrible, awful fate. I choose to believe that Liz has no patience for more angst so agrees. And Jeremy tells Damon that Matt has Katherine – and Damon is as shocked as I am that Matt has actually been useful. Catherine herself is snarky and even lampshades that she’s leverage just like the Moonstone waaaaay back in season 2 when Katherine was a viable enemy.

Elena and Caroline actually attend class (probably having a shocked moment discovering that classrooms actually exist) and Elena arranges more flirting between Caroline and her oh-so-obvious-and-oh-so-dead love interest Jesse. Dr. Maxfield arrives and is very snarky and quickly kicks Caroline and Elena out because his class isn’t for freshmen.

Elena calls Damon to whine about it – she didn’t try to glamour him because she assumes he’s on vervain – Damon asks whether she used torture, Elena laughs and then Damon laughs and they both laugh about the fact that Damon’s a serial killer, ho ho ho how hilarious. I kid you not. They actually laugh about Damon’s serial killing ways

Silas interrupts the call before they can move on to how much fun killing people and hearing them scream. Elena hangs up as Silas compels her too – and then he tells her a variation of all the bad news in Mystic Falls – Jeremy has been expelled had a fight with Damon and has now run off. Elena asks where Jeremy is and Silas wonders if she has any ideas

Because, of course, Jeremy has Katherine (brief cameo – Katherine is a whiny whiny human and Silas’s little mind control trick is causing them headaches – and making them knock people out so they don’t contact Stefan. Also “keep an eye out for her” also includes drawing shotguns now).

Damon rushes to college to fill Caroline in on the whole Silas situation (would it have been better if he told Caroline and Elena earlier? Of course it would!) And Silas keeps using Elena and her phone to try and get hold of Jeremy – and get a tip off he then runs past Elena to get a pretty good idea where they’ve gone.

Damon catches up with Silas and grabs him by the neck… really? Damon, you’ve done this to Originals, you’ve done this to Katherine, you’ve done this to all kinds of vampires who are thousands of years older than you – threatening violence against things that can reduce you to chunky salsa is a bad idea.

To the college bonfire party thing with Damon randomly threatening people looking for Elena and Caroline trying to restrain him from losing his ever loving mind. Elena is at the party, angsty because Damon has been keeping secrets from her and she meets up with Jesse-the-so-not-going-to-survive-the-season. He talks about Dr. Maxfield and gives her clues about the secret society he’s supposed to be part of while waving a piece of firewood-that-totally-isn’t-a-stake-honest. Whether he was going to use it or set Elena up with a trap because moot because Damon arrives and knocks him unconscious. Because… reasons.

Damon and Elena find some time alone and revelations are paused for shirtlessness and humping – and vervain water. Ouch, kinky. Elena ties the surprised Damon to a chair and starts to stake him until he spits the vervain water back at her, breaking the mind control. Yup, Silas whammied Elena to kill Damon – I am thankful this didn’t happen. The amount of angst this would have caused would have been astronomical and after season 4 I am so done with Elena angst.

Silas has craftily linked Elena’s urge to kill Damon to her anger at him, which means Damon telling her what’s going on leads to more murder urges until she nails herself to a chair (ouch) so she can listen.

And listen she does – but between Jeremy expelled, Damon not caring about the death of Bonnie’s dad, Jeremy guarding Katherine – Elena is not happy. The compulsion kicks in and she rips out the gas line from the fire and starts striking matches… Damon tries to get her to think of something she wants more than killing Damon – the only way to break the compulsion – and settles on getting her to think about Stefan, the woo-woo bad feelings she’s been having about him all summer and how he’s suffering. It breaks through her rage and returns her to normal

Yes, worry over Stefan not love for Damon broke through. Love Triangle’s back on guys! Yay.

To the camp where Jeremy & co are, Katherine is still really really whiney and Jeremy takes pity on her (don’t fall for it Jeremy). Silas drops by and tries to mind control Matt aaaand it doesn’t work and Matt screams for Jeremy and Katherine to run. Silas is rather bemused by this – and it’s not because after 4 seasons he now eats Vervain as a salad. Apparently the woman who returned his ring has done something to him – is already in Matt’s head. Silas calls her “Traveller” and snaps Matt’s neck.

Pesky, but he is wearing the Gilbert evil-making-resurrection ring. Only now we get more info (or retconning on the ring), Matt is on the otherside, all ghostly and invisible and Bonnie shows up to be his helpful guide and servant (of course) on the ring. He has to reconnect to his body – and apparently each time you die with the ring you wake up further from your body, so have to travel further to get back. Of course Matt then realises that Bonnie on the ghostly side.

She tries to pass it off as no big deal, depreciating her problems and saying she’s ok. But Matt offers comfort and denies that it’s ok – her being dead and her dad being dead are both very much not Ok. He holds her and Bonnie cries

Jeremy wants to go back for Matt, Katherine puts this down as a bad idea and since she’s had 500 years of practice running, she’s pretty much an expert. Jeremy says this is why people treat her like an object and runs back anyway.

Jeremy finds Matt’s body and checks on the ring – and Silas appears noticing the ring must have woo-woo. Jeremy isn’t much bothered – Silas is slower and weaker than a vampire and all his scary tricks don’t work on Jeremy, the Hunter. Jeremy is stronger and faster than Silas and after some fighting he gets the upper hand – until Silas stabs Jeremy by pushing a branch through his own chest and out the other side. Silas is immortal, he can pull tricks like that.

Jeremy looks like he’s a gonna – but Katherine rides to the rescue and shoots Silas, twice. What, he can ram a tree branch through his chest but buck shot is his Achilles heel? And yes, Katherine’s on the redemption train! Choo-choo all aboard those who want their past sins completely ignored!

Matt and Bonnie return to his body and Matt realises he’s going to forget everything, including Bonnie’s death. He tells her that she and Jeremy can’t keep it a secret and that she can’t come to terms with her dad’s death if she can’t manage her own (which seems somewhat bizarre and I bet appears in no grief councillor manual ever). Matt wakes up and Jeremy notices Bonnie, he talks to her and she tearfully says she isn’t ready to be dead yet – and doesn’t know how to handle her dad’s death – how is she going to handle the sheriff calling, people looking for her to tell her the news? Jeremy promises to cover for her and to be there for support.

Meanwhile Caroline and Jesse have some alone time discussing relationships and Jesse’s broken down long-distance relationship. Awwww.

Silas checks in at a petrol station for some blood from the whammied clerk and the Travellers arrive (who he first insults as “gypsies”), they were using Matt as a “host” apparently – and they want Silas entombed again, apparently what the Travellers have always wanted. So says the woman right before stabbing her companion in the neck. She’s not a team player and isn’t especially interested in what the Travellers want.

Back to Elena and she’s dropping out of college, leaving Caroline to do her investigating so she can go looking for Stefan. She and Damon have a whole bonding moment (where he lets go the whole Elena having psychic dreams about Stefan) and Dr. Maxfield shows up. He knew her father, knew Dr. Gilbert’s research and isn’t phased when she confronts him about faking a death certificate, when he comes back he wants to talk to her.

And Liz (who will always be Founderella to me) has found something in the quarry. A casket, the meta box Stefan was sealed in. Liz wisely didn’t open it in case she had to deal with a hungry Stefan but when they open it there’s a body inside – not Stefan’s but by his slashed throat and chalk white skin, probably Stefan’s meal.

Ok, some notes among the sarcasm – Jeremy, the reason why people treat Katherine like an object is that is how she has been cast – either enemy to thwart, desirable item to possess or thing to kill in petty vengeance. She has spent most of the series as the antagonist but that itself has been driven by her constant need to find something, anything, to stop Klaus killing her. And considering what Klaus is and how impossible he is to defeat? I can’t say that her actions haven’t been at least somewhat understandable

Far be it from me to like Katherine – but putting her treatment down to the fact she’s mean and doesn’t run back into certain death is a… shaky summation of her character.

Do I even have to talk about the fact Elena and Damon openly joke about the fact Damon is a serial killer?

Bonnie – ok some things I liked. I liked that she cried. I liked that she grieved. I liked that Elena and Caroline spent a millisecond worrying about her (not much more but it was something). I liked that both Matt and Jeremy sought to offer comfort and recognised that Bonnie was going through some shit that needed acknowledgement and support and that she isn’t just the witchy turret of special powers. These are pluses

But her position inherently makes her an outsider (and spiritual guide. Honestly, even when dead Bonnie’s there helping) and cuts off how much support anyone can even offer her – let alone how many people even know she needs support. It’s like they’ve finally got the cast to acknowledge Bonnie may have issues that are deserving of their attention – but only after there’s a barrier to prevent their attention actually reaching her

And who are the Travellers? Are they supposed to be Romani? In which case why use “Travellers” (which can apply to a wide variety of nomadic groups and even itinerant workers who don’t belong to a stereotypically nomadic ethnicity) rather than Romani?

I have a minor concern about the number of plot lines. We have Silas. We have Stefan and wherever he is. We have Katherine. We have the Travellers. We have the mysterious Dr. Maxfield and the odd vampire knowledge on campus – there’s a lot going on.