The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

A witch, a were, a vamp, a doppel and a moonstone all walk into a bar…

with 3 comments

Dear Kathryn,

Well after a few incredibly fast-paced weeks, this one slowed down a little in action, but certainly not in story.  Finally we learn what a doppel is – or at least we sort of learn.  There is this familial lineage thing, but the doubling seems to happen rarely (every 600 years or so!), and its possibility was originally inaugurated by a witch – perhaps, it seems, explicitly as part of the apparatus for breaking the sun and moon curse.  I wondered if there was a reason they had Katherine turn in the year of Columbus’ American voyage.  But then again, I also wondered why Rose had a hangman’s noose already set up in her living room?!? But most of all, this story got me wondering if, in addition to the curse-breaking powers and eerie image splitting, the doppel also has some hold of attraction over vampires – why was Trevor soooo in love and willing to risk his life for her?  Just as both Stefan and Damon were utterly devoted to 19th century Katherine and now to Elena.  Is this one mystery left in the doppel – is there reason she’s so attractive to vamps?  Do they realize on some level that she’s the key to unlocking their curse?

I enjoyed this shift this week to Elena realizing that everything that’s going wrong surrounds her, not her love for Stefan – although it sucks, there was something kind of empowering about that.  She and all she loves aren’t just persecuted because of teenage love (because that storyline is annoying), but more so because of some historical weight hanging over Elena’s own identity and hidden power.  And getting to see a glimmer of that weight and guilt and sadness in Katherine gave her character just that little bit of pathos she needed.  But where can this go?  Will Elena make the “right” choice and sacrifice herself?  And what will happen if she does?  Surely that will be the season’s cliffhanger – how many episodes do we have left, do you know?

I’m liking these new vampire characters – I’m bummed that Slater was killed.  I immediately took a liking to him…perhaps it’s because he raised an interesting question of what a vamp should do with eternity and, to me, study study study is a great answer!  But I kind of like Rose too – and I’m loving this hook up with Damon and the potential in that.  Didn’t the two of them getting together make apparent what a kid Elena is?  Rose is a woman – and she made Damon of a sudden look like a grown up man…finally.

So Dr. Martin (haha, really?! I had a pair of his boots in high school) is with the bad guys!  Does that mean the cute son is too?  And what will that mean for Bonnie?  This is something I find kind of annoying about this show – so Bonnie is all googly over Jer and then a black guy walks on set and she’s all of a sudden unable to see Jeremy any more.  When the guy walked in we knew he would either be killed immediately (like every other black guy on the show), be a witch (check, sorry – a warlock), or be bait for Bonnie (also, check).  Come on Vampire Diaries – a little less racial profiling please!  Cross-racial attraction is a pretty normal (and as a bi-racial kid, myself, I like to think glorious) thing, and that attraction doesn’t just disappear when same-raced others show up!  But hey, thanks for feeding that stereotype.

Then again, there’s the possibility he had some spell over her – I mean, if a vampire can compel a vampire (and that compelled  vampire can know he’s compelled in some hilarious Cartesian moment), and special glass can let vamps hang out in a bright, free wi-fi, hip cafe,  it seems now anything is possible.  And I can’t wait to see what that anything is.

Wondering what my next Ph.D. would be if I had eternity???
Natalie

—–

Dear Natalie,

Histories and pre-histories are so much fun! Why is that? Even cheesy period costumes and bad accents are kind of a delight when you are talking about Original vampires. What do you think Claus is going to look like when we finally meet him? I keep thinking of a reference in Buffy to the really ancient vampires as being so old they are cloven footed. Sometime tells me Claus is going to be suaver than that, but it would be kind of nice if we got some really creepy feature (like that paper thin skin for the Volturi in Twilight) – something to mark his old-as-evil status.

The one mystery that was not solved tonight is how the originals came to be, but I suppose that is either for another time, or the kind of question that just won’t be answered. But we are getting more clarity on how the curse came to be, and doppelganger syndrome. Apparently, it all started with the witches, who designed the curse of the sun and moon to bind the vampires and werewolves within some kind of limit. We know the witches used the blood of a Petrova to bind the curse, but they also “created” the doppelganger so that it could be undone. Questions: if a Petrova was involved, presumably a long, long time ago, it kind of cancels out the story from South America (hard to imagine a Petrova there). But then again, maybe we are talking so long ago that all civilizations developed their own version of the tale, and we just heard one. Does this story presume that witches have always been trapped in the middle of other supernatural business? And is it part of their mandate, by and large, to do good or at least try to limit the evil of vamps and weres?  If so, why did the witches leave open the possibility that the curse could be undone? Unless, it was a sneaky way to keep plotting the weres and vamps against each other so they might finish each other off even in their sun and moon crippled states. That would be kind of cool. Let’s think a bit about the ingredients of the spell: a witch (obvious), a were and a vamp (the two creatures under the spell), a doppel (presumably the idea being that only the exact same blood in the spell can undo it), and a moonstone. That last one intrigues me as the only inanimate object in the list. Why not a sun stone? Why not a sun stone in addition to a moonstone? Is there something particularly special about the moon and the were curse that makes it need its own object to keep the curse in place?

If we are going on an assumption that witches on the whole are at least morally neutral, trying to minimize harm, if not actively trying to protect the world from other supernatural evil, what does that mean about Dr. Martin? Is he genuinely evil or is he caught up in vampire politics much like Rose and Trevor, trying to pay off a debt and protect his son? I agree completely that it was insanely stereotypical to have hot black dude and hot black chick making goo-goo eyes at each other the instant they meet. I am even more weirded out by the fact that every single witch/warlock we have met is black. And every vampire and werewolf is white. Given that witches for the most part are way more in touch with their bodies and intuitions and seem hemmed in by vampire power, though working surreptitiously to subvert it, it all seems a little too stereotypical. Either that, or it is meant to be some meta commentary on the history of the transatlantic slave trade and the racial politics of the circum-Atlantic world. But I’m not sure I’d give the show that much credit. On the other hand, they haven’t even tried to shake up this paradigm, so I kind of do wonder if they know what they are doing. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Katherine turned right as the New World was being discovered – a whole series of world historical events converging in the melodrama of thwarted love and murder plots. That would blow my mind, but I am holding out for more evidence.

Until then, I’ll settle for thwarted love and murder plots. Like the sad and fantastic affair that is blossoming between Damon and Rose. I agree completely – here, finally, are two adults meeting each other as the wounded, strong, cocky and broken people they are. We haven’t even seen a human adult act so real and it was awesome. Not to mention, it is about time they start doing something with Damon’s smoldering eyes or he might just burn the screen up.

I don’t want to make too many predictions about the end of the season, but I am starting to suspect that things aren’t going to end well for Elena. She won’t die, obviously, but I also think things won’t go smoothly for her. I still kind of wonder about her own turn to vampiric life, but would put more money on her losing someone close to her. Jer? Matt? (who has been way too absent!) Caroline? Do you want to start predicting?

I would get my next Ph.D. in neuroscience or the philosophy of technology.

Kathryn

Written by themothchase

November 12, 2010 at 8:10 am

3 Responses

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  1. I have noticed and hope that there is some deeper mythology or commentary for all of the witches/warlocks being black but there has been a black vampire on the show. He was kinda a throwaway character, Harper, one of the tomb vamps.

    Libby

    November 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    • Harper was such an odd case because they built him up as if he was going to be a bigger deal (kept repeating his name, hung a cliffhanger on his appearance…), and then just suddenly killed him as if he didn’t matter. I actually wondered at the time if he was going to be a witch/vampire hybrid because he was the first black vamp we had seen. At the very least, I thought he was going to be more significant than he was. Yeah, I’m hoping for more commentary on all the racial stuff too! (Natalie)

      themothchase

      November 14, 2010 at 3:46 pm

  2. Thanks, Libby. You are so right. I am sorry to have forgotten about Harper. But I am with you both – not a lot in terms of breaking up the racial supernatural profiling! (Kathryn)

    kreklis

    November 14, 2010 at 6:35 pm


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