The Moth Chase

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

Channeling

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Dear Natalie,

Well, things are heating up for our friends in Mystic Falls, and the full moon is just around the corner!

I really loved the focus on Bonnie this week. The scene where Luca teachers her to channel was deliciously magical – both literally (I like it when we see the witches’ power in action) and in that fun teenage titilation of flirtation way. It was a lovely take on the “let me show you how to do that” moment in early flirtation, replete with close physical contact (but not too close), silly banter, and then the utter astonishment on Bonnie’s part when she masters the skill being taught, which translates into more attraction for the teacher. Of course, you know the whole time that Luca is is probably acting on orders and not to be trusted (though I tried to hold out a tiny glimmer of hope that maybe he wouldn’t know what his dad was up to). I was a little worried that Bonnie was going to get overshadowed by the stronger, more experienced guy. But then she keeps his dogtags and uses them to steal his power without his knowledge! That was a twist I absolutely loved! Bonnie taking the power back into her own hands and using the boy power to her own ends! It was also kind of devious, really. She knew what happened to her Grams when they performed this spell together, so she had to suspect that it would take its toll on Luca too. Which makes Bonnie much more ruthless than I might have thought, especially to the boy she seemed to like.

Does that mean that Jer stands a chance? I liked his speech about the mutuality of their attraction, though I also get why Bonnie has a hard time admitting that she feels that way about him. It is hard to make the switch from thinking of someone as a younger brother to imagining them as boyfriend material. Especially if you feel the beginning stirrings of desire for the new hot witch boy who just moved to town.

The question of how attraction works was front and center this episode: Jer and Bonnie, Bonnie and Luca, Damon and Rose, and most intensely, the Caroline, Matt and Tyler triangle. I haven’t really felt sexual tension between Caroline and Tyler, but there is a strong bond developing based on the shared experience of their supernatural transformations and the fact that they can be completely honest with each other in a way neither of them can be with Matt. When Tyler appears in the door there is no other way for Matt to read the situation. And while he is wrong, he is also kind of right. Something is happening between those two that might be stronger than sexual attraction, even if it never morphs into that. Which is another way to think about the whole dynamic of different sexed friendships in high school. I was lucky enough to have a best friend who was a guy my last two years in high school. The lurking subtext of attraction was always there and there were all kinds of channeling of desire, practicing the skills of relating we would both use in our romantic relationships, and even some playful physical experimentation that seemed innocent enough (that is, we didn’t acknowledge it as sexual even though in retrospect it definitely was). These friendships are incredibly valuable, I think, and helped make possible a way of being with the opposite sex that escaped the cliches of boyfriend/girlfriend culture, at least in my high school. But they are also hard to maintain and can be very confusing. The connection I had with my best friend was far stronger than any I had with the guys I dated and it lasted longer in my life. In many ways, it was the first real adult relationship I had – and was closer to the relationship I have with my husband now in the sense that it was not governed by blind attraction and confusing hormones alone. Nonetheless, it is a complicated gift and a confusing thing to figure out when you are 16. I love that our characters are working to figure it out on various levels, right alongside their other romantic interests. It might be why I kind of hope Bonnie and Jer don’t hook up, or at least don’t become boyfriend/girlfriend. Same for Caroline and Tyler.

Speaking of Tyler, I was also really moved by his palpable fear. And that
“Blair Witchy” type video was terrifying! Far worse, I imagine, than the thing itself is the horror of trying to imagine it and watching someone else endure it, knowing it is coming for you (this is a classic technique of torture, showing the knife before the cut increases the psychological terror and fear). I really wonder how Caro will be able to help him get through this.

Elena just kind of pissed me off. I get that she was trying to be super proactive, but it just felt selfish and whiny. Why in the world would she think that Claus would spare her friends even if she gives herself up? And if she really has the greater good in mind, isn’t unleashing the vampire race into the light of the day a really problematic proposition? I suppose it never has been about the human race, as much as her own feelings and safety.

But let’s talk for a moment about the huge revelation – Elijah is working to protect the doppelganger! Protect her from what? From Claus? For Claus? This is the most exciting turn of events yet – way more exciting for me than Stephan locked in the tomb with Katherine (though that does have promise since anytime Elena and Stefan are dragged apart by circumstances beyond their control good things happen). I predict that Elijah and Luca’s dad (can’t think of his name now) are going to be working against Claus – somehow committed to keeping the curse from being lifted, but I don’t know for what or why yet. What do you all think, dear readers? What is that end game? And will Stefan and Katherine really get it on like the “next week on” suggested?

wishing I could channel someone right now!
Kathryn

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