My favorite guilty pleasure returned last night! Of course, as an enemy of mine recently pointed out, if all my pleasures are of the guilty variety, then what’s the point? I tried to give that some thought, but then within a few seconds of the new episode, Stefan showed up shirtless for no apparent reason other than to titillate me and countless tween girls everywhere, so I forgot all about it.
This week’s Vampire Diaries begins with werewolf megabitch Jules tidying up her latest crime scene. And that makes me wonder: what is the nature of werewolf attacks exactly? Is she just killing people accidentally/randomly? Is she eating them? Drinking their blood? We may never know, because the camera keeps cutting away the moment she attacks anyone, which leads to the latest Vampire Diaries Rule: “Don’t turn your back on the werewolf chick.”
“I trained at the best shirtless acting school on Venice Beach.”
That’s when we cut to Stefan and his chest, and I suddenly remember why I watch this show. He and Elena do some quick recap to bring everyone up to speed on her deal with sexy and ancient vampire Elijah. The deal in question is basically “do nothing; stay out of trouble.” But that wouldn’t make for very interesting television, so Stefan declares he’s going to do some research and try to find a way to recklessly attract the attention of the guy who wants to kill Elena. Then, to prove how manly he is, he chokes down some vervain. If this were True Blood, Elena would have suggested an alternative to taking it orally.
Just as I was starting to wonder if these kids ever go to school anymore, we cut to a big sign on the side of a school bus proclaiming it’s time for the Booster Club Barbeque! If you’ve read my previous recaps, you know how much I love every single party/event/function of the week in Mystic Falls. So, I think now is the perfect time for a little history lesson in modern drama. Perhaps you’ve heard of “Chekhov’s gun?” It’s a dramatic device named after Russian playwright Anton Chekhov and basically states that if you introduce a gun in the first act of the play, you better fire it in the second act. Otherwise, why have it at all?
So…as soon as I saw that banner, I knew that people were going to die by the end of the show. And since the writers of Vampire Diaries are clearly versed in modern Russian drama, they don’t disappoint. Of course, the barbeque also gives Caroline a reason to exist (but not Bonnie, since she’s absent from this episode). I have to say that I’m eagerly anticipating this vampire/werewolf/quarterback love triangle. (If Caroline were only a guy, this would make a great story in Dave Davenport’s Hard to Swallow series, where love triangles are easily solved by becoming threesomes).
Now, I haven’t been in high school since just before the American Revolution, but do kids today really think they’re going to spend their lives with the classmates they have sex with? The whole point of high school is to have sex with people you’ll never have to see again. Same goes for college. And vacations. And airport bathrooms.
Tyler and Caroline probably deserve each other, since they’re both so awful. And poor dumb Matt is really out of his league now that all his classmates are vampires or werewolves or witches or mystical doppelgangers. His only choice, really, is to either become a ghost or a mummy. All the sexy monsters are taken.
Speaking of sexy (or formerly sexy) monsters, poor Rose is suffering the effects of her werewolf bite, getting pale (even for a vampire) and waxing nostalgic about the good ol’ days in the old country. This is all very sad, except everyone around her is completely grossed out by her horrible gaping werewolf wound. And that gives me an idea for a new show where people with really awful-looking wounds make everyone around them terribly uncomfortable. I see it as a star vehicle for Rowan Atkinson or Reba McEntire.
By the end of the episode we learn that just before death, you dream you’re working at a Renaissance faire.
“Turkey legs and ale are in yonder tent, m’lord. Ye olde credit cards accepted.”
For some reason, I find this comforting. It’s much geekier than just heading toward a bright light. Or maybe in my final moments, I’ll envision myself at Comic-Con, surrounded by men in bulging tights as I head towards the Mattel booth, where there’s no line or surly Mattel employees, and there’s plenty of He-Man figures for all.
As for Elena, our heroine, she certainly survives the episode and Booster Club Barbeque, but just barely. It’s funny that when she so much as trips on a shoelace, the vamps come running to spirit her off to safety, but she can be stalked and chased and terrorized in the vampires’ own home and no one comes to help her. Let that be a lesson to you girls out there. Don’t have sex with vampires.
Next week: Caroline in a cage!
“Can you believe I used to be Miss Mystic Falls?”
The Vampie Diaries is on Thursday nights at 8/7c on the CW.