The Moth Chase

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

As I lay dying

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Dear Natalie,

Well, it seems we were both a little bit right in our predictions. Klaus, as you surmised, was the answer to the problem of the werewolf bite – not by biting does he cure, but by bleeding. And Klaus was after one of the Salvatore brothers – Stefan as I predicted. I wonder if it will be as fun to watch Stefan go all-bad as you hoped it might be to watch Damon? I kind of think it might be even better. Stefan has mostly just annoyed me with his whining and placating and too sensitive by half routine. A real ripper? Well, I never would have believed it, but I’m happy to see if they can really make a bad boy out of him. Until he actually killed the innocent girl, I definitely worried that he was faking it. You remember how he was taking little doses of Elena’s blood to build his tolerance? I worried that they would pull that out at the end of the episode to explain how he faked Klaus out. Clearly Klaus was worried about something like that too. So bravo on such a smart, wicked villain. I know I was kind of down on Klaus a couple weeks ago, but he has grown on me big time. Maybe it is perverse, but I am ready for a vampire without a tormented soul. Did it strike you as kind of paltry that his big evil scheme is to go on a brofriend bender with the newly wild Stefan? I am still betting he wants to start his were-vamp army with sensitive Stefan Salvatore.

Of course, Stefan only started down this dark path because of the other Salvatore brother. Let’s pause for a second and question the logic that drove Stefan to make that nefarious exchange. I know it would be pretty lame to bust into Klaus’ apartment, demand he heal Damon, promise to do anything, and then back out. Not to mention, I’m not so sure “backing out” is an option with the unstoppable Klaus. But I also got the feeling that Stefan thought he could control the blood lust – what is a bag or two of blood? By the time he realized Klaus wasn’t such a dupe, it was too late – the blood lust was awoken and the sweet Stefan was gone. Do you think there was some part of Stefan who wanted out? Wanted to stop being so good and sweet and understanding? The little snippets we heard and saw of the past Salvatores really reinforced the idea that Damon is actually the sweet sentimental one and Stefan the wicked bastard. Damon confronts his history with Katherine, realizing it is his own blinding love for her that causes him to drink her blood, effectively sealing her fate. And we’ve definitely seen that he is driven by dramatic and passionate emotions, much more so than broody Stefan. Klaus reminds us that Stefan used to be quite the bad boy – and not in a “I tantilizingly take my shirt off for the ladies” sort of way, but in a “I kill whole migrant villages” sort of way. I would love a season 3 that rewrites the Salvatore history a bit more. And of course, that chaste little kiss between Elena and Damon on what was assumed to be his death bed, promises to get a lot steamier if Stefan really does go off the rails.

But hands down my favorite twist in this finale was the revelation that (finally!) Jeremy is not normal either! I am not sure just what his special province will be, but it clearly involves seeing dead people, or at least dead ex-girlfriends. Not perhaps as cool as being a were, a vamp, or a witch, but I am sure there is more too it and I can’t wait to see what it is. Matt is still out in the non-supernatural cold (and, um, where were Matt and Tyler??), but something tells me he’ll get a piece of the pie soon enough.And if the Mystic Falls gang is going to have to track down and stop a bad-boy rampage of Klaus and Stefan, they will need all the supernatural help they can get.

Final thoughts:

1) Yay that Caroline and her mom have made up for real this time. Does that mean we’ll have a real adult on the scene?

2) Speaking of adults, do you find Alaric hard to read? He seems to be moving in as a substitute guardian and his relationship with Jenna and role as a teacher firmly plants him in the adult world. But he is tied to the teenage world by an increasing bond with Damon. I loved their little moment in the cellar where the full weight of their complicated history/friendship was put on the table. But Damon is increasingly tied to the teen world, especially now in his confessed love of Elena. Is this weird triangulation making the adults more juvenille or the teens more adult? Does it matter?

3) What is up with the southern iconic references? The episode was called “As I Lay Dying” – a play on William Faulkner’s novella. And the main action revolved around a town-wide screening of “Gone With the Wind.” Caroline even went so far as to compare the Klaus drama to the burning of Atlanta at the end of the Civil War. Is this just teenage solipsism run wild, or is there a larger point being made? It seems impossible that the writers could invoke two mammoth southern myths and not have meant something by it. But just like the ties between race, slavery, and witch-craft, I can’t figure out what they mean by it. For the first time I started to wonder if Damon and Stefan’s turning during the Civil War is some big allegory – the traumas and collective psychic wounds of that war playing themselves out in personalize, supernaturalized ways. But I’m probably just trying to make real symbolism where there is only playful allusion.

4) Um, do you think we should be worried there is a whole vault of original vampires buried in some unspecified house in Mystic Falls who only stay dead so long as their daggers stay in place? Far more scary than a silly vampire tomb from season 1!

Thanks, N, for a great season. And just think, with True Blood coming back soon, we won’t have to wait too long for more fangy fun!



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