Here’s to Duplicity
This episode really brought together some of the themes that fascinate me most right now on tv: the ways bodies are portrayed in supernaturally themed pop culture, the relationship between gender and power, self-determination and just good old fashioned trickery. So let’s start with the whole Bonnie switcheroo – I have to admit that on this one I wish they had least waited until next week for the reveal. It felt so obvious that Bonnie was not dead – Damon’s cryptic statements, her willingness to “do anything,” even the speed at which her poor nose started bleeding. It all pointed too much to a ruse. That being said, I am left wondering what spell it was that Bonnie cast to be able to endure death that way. Was it really a spell, or are we to think she drank Damon’s blood? He seemed to know what the “anything” was she’d need to do – it’s difficult to imagine that he’d know a spell…wouldn’t he just rely on blood? This thought was even affirmed as Elena begged Stefan to give Bonnie some of his blood. I don’t know – I’m hoping for a super witchy vamp. That might be the best thing this show has seen yet! And it would almost certainly bolster her strength in a way that might make her unstoppable in the final showdown with Klaus!
We’ve talked much about our discomfort with the young women on this show presenting themselves so willingly and, more so, so blazely, as martyrs. But I felt tonight that we got to see a new shade of this willingness – indeed, it seemed to me that neither Elena or Bonnie had actually thought through what it would mean to die. If anything, their attitudes started to look like the foolishness of youth. You know, that sense that you can drive recklessly, take stupid risks, drink yourself into a poisoned state – all the things teenagers do to endanger their lives because they haven’t quite gotten over the immortality complex that comes with adolescence. Bonnie and Elena are surrounded by actual immortal beings. It’s no wonder that predilection would be evident in their own ways of approaching the world.
Which is what makes Jeremy perhaps one of the more interesting characters on this show. He reminded me tonight of those kids in the Harry Potter movies who can see the creepy zombie horse things that pull their carriages into Hogwarts – you know, they can only see those creatures if they, themselves, have already seen death. And so after Harry sees Cedric die, he joins Luna in finally being able to see – actually see – death. Jer is like that, not only because of his parents, but Vicki too…the kid has seen more death than your average teenage boy. So despite possessing this ring of immortality, he seems the most in tune to the dangers of their exploits. If there’s one thing I’d like to see the show beef up, it’s the dynamic they could work around Jeremy’s insight.
Ok, on to the Klaus-Alaric thing – so, Klaus can inhabit bodies, but those bodies can die and, I assume then, that body will become Alaric’s again. The whole thing pretty much functions, as Elena put it, like a possession. Bummer, I was expecting something a little more complex and interesting. Nevertheless, I’m intrigued to see what memories Alaric is left with, if Klaus will move on to a new body…and what moving on to a new body would even mean. Not to draw the Harry Potter analogy again – but is Klaus like a Voldemort? Is he parasitic, dependent on the bodies of others to get around because he himself is in some weakened state? Or was he just using Alaric because it fit a plan? And if so, where was his actual body through all this? I need these questions answered.
Loose ends: when you saw Matt dressing as JFK, did you think it was foreshadowing that he would be the one to die tonight? Oof, I got nervous for that! And why is poor Caroline so out of the loop? This remains beyond my comprehension! On the 60’s decade dance – did it strike you how much their vision of the 60’s resonated with our actual youth, perhaps even more so than with the actual 60s? I certainly would have worn those ear-rings Elena had on when I was in the 6th grade (I actually think I had them in yellow!). And Klaus-Alaric’s creepy dedication of “Last Kiss” to Elena resonated with the Pearl Jam cover that happened when you and I were in high school. Same goes for “I Think We’re Alone Now” – another 60s hit that was covered for our generation by Tiffany. I guess I’m left wondering how old I am if the decade my youth relived has come full circle again – yikes! And the torture of Katherine with the knife in the thigh – perhaps too much? I certainly regretted that I was sitting down to watch with my dinner in my lap. Oh, and finally, I can’t not mention – Damon in those leather pants…really? Yeah, it just needed to be said. It’s a damn rare day when you see a man pull off leather pants on tv…nay, anywhere! But what’s up with them re-sparking the chemistry between him and Elena? It’s been a while since we’ve seen that – why bring it back now? “I will always choose you”…is it just me, or did that make you wonder if a finale in which Damon has to choose between saving Elena or Stefan is on it’s way?
Can’t wait to hear what you thought!