I’m a Believer
So how about the “take matters into her own hands” Elena?! For the first time we start to see some spunk and backbone. While I don’t want to see her lose her introspection, I loved when she picked the journal up, sighed, and then put it aside, determined exactly not to be “that girl.” But best of all I loved seeing her capacity for duplicity – she suspects something is up with Stefan and she follows her instincts, sneaking away from the car wash, casting a half-guilty, half-suspicious glance over her shoulder at the “I just want to be normal” Stefan sudsing up a car.
Which is what makes her final speech – I’m not a believer – such an interesting set-up for future episodes. She wants to assert herself (perhaps a bit too pointedly?) as a modern woman: rational, self-sufficient, level-headed, and willing to stare brute reality in the face. Realizing her boyfriend is a vampire throws a major kink in this self-image and it is going to be fun to see how her acceptance of Stefan’s undead state changes her. Can she transition into the weird supernatural world she actually inhabits with her personality in tact? This is really the question most vampire mythologies are asking – and I can’t wait to see what this series does with it.
While we’re on the topic of girl-power: Bonnie! I know you’ve been following her growing awareness and control over her powers and it seems like we are finally going to see her come into her own. I loved that she starts to realize she can use her powers to act out – even though it clearly terrifies her.
As for the eternal struggle between Stefan and Damon, I loved that Damon has – thanks to Stefan’s machinations – fully become a creature of the night. I sort of hope he doesn’t get that ring back for a while so we can watch him sulk around in the shadows. Also, did you notice that the town folks don’t really understand what they’re up against? They clearly have legends passed down about how vampires operate, but no communal legend about how these vampires function. It makes we wonder if they will even know what to do with the objects they are trying to compile, or if the objects have in fact turned into kinds of totems – powerful in their own right, but exerting more power over the humans who wield them than the humans can exert over them (much like that creepy crystal hanging in Caroline’s room)?
Mishmashed thoughts: what about that tidbit of vampire lore – without blood the vampire becomes a mummy, able to be tucked away for a while, but presumably restored to living death at any point? Didn’t you kind of want to meet the beautiful, funny, bitchy Katherine? I hear rumors we’ll get flashbacks next week and I am curious to see if Stefan’s mixed review holds.
OK, got to run, but the big question of the night: have we seen the last of Vicki?
Yes, finally – I’m so glad Elena is stepping up her game. At first I was frustrated that she put her diary aside, though. While determined not to be ‘that girl’, she essentially became it by changing her normal habits (she did journal before she met Stefan!) because of boy troubles. I was relieved that she returned to journaling at the end, refusing to give up her inner life but, more poignantly, journaling straight from it.
And I, like you, am excited to see where the series takes this non-believer storyline once Elena is compelled to believe. This particular image of the modern woman – obsessed with rational, non-spiritual explanations – is less appealing to me than, say, a Bonnie type, for whom power will mean embracing mystery. I loved seeing Bonnie’s unique skills develop this week, too, as she sought revenge on a mean girl (that girl got the best line in the show, by the way: “He’s a little Alzi-heimy” – terrible, but so perfect), and set the car on fire. I’m eager to see what happens next week with her turn to an older mentor for help (seriously, was that Whitley from A Different World? She sure did look like her!).
Is Vicki gone? I don’t think so! I’m trying to remember the vampire lore bit from last week or the week before – Caroline asked Damon how someone becomes a vampire and while brushing off her answer he mumbled something about having blood drained once, surviving and having it drained again…which is pretty close to what just happened to Vicki. I’m hoping this means we’re about to have a female, townie vamp join the undead team. What an interesting way to continue the class commentary on this show: old, rich, settler Salvatore family and the town’s trashy loser family as the lead vamps. Here’s hoping!
A couple of other things: I was intrigued that the stone used to keep the vampires alive (so to speak) in the sun was lapis lazuli. Perhaps I’m reading too much in to this, but it’s worth noting (especially seeing as Stefan referenced its use in the Middle Ages), that this is the stone that was ground up by Renaissance artists to create the paint for renditions of the Virgin Mary’s cloak. It’s a stone that has long religious significance, related particularly to women. A random, but interesting association. And the ‘oh my god my boyf’s a vampire’ montage was brilliant! I love a good montage anyway, but this one really took the prize. It summed up all the previous weeks episodes for any newcomers, reminded us of the little things we may have lost, included great fang flashes, multiple narrative arcs, music and diary writing. That one goes down in my history of favourite tv montage scenes, for sure!
Also looking forward to seeing Katherine! Although the zombie/mummy imagery tends to terrify me and I’d prefer it if this show didn’t go too far down that path!