The Vampire Diaries: There Goes the Neighborhood

Stefan: I remember them. From 1864. They were in the tomb.
Damon: Yeah. About that.

Before each episode of the Vampire Diaries, there’s this tiny part of me that’s scared that this will be the episode that falters, that’s lame, that takes the storyline in a predictable, boring or completely stupid direction. And the show just keeps getting better. I love the new characters. I love how Pearl has become a proper antagonist for Damon, stronger than him and with an even more diabolical plan than Damon’s was to open the tomb. Bad-assery!

I hadn’t given much thought to how exposed the Salvatore brothers are living in their mansion with no human until Pearl and Anna were there waiting. Damon really shouldn’t have killed Uncle Zack. Bad move.

The Matt-Caroline Elena-Stefan double-date was everything I wanted it to be — awkward, funny, and resolved in just the right way. Matt has always been a stand-up guy about Stefan and their car-bonding times seemed to have pushed the boys into actual friends territory. Caroline and Elena? Um. I have to agree with Caroline that Elena has no idea what it feels like to be Caroline, the second choice. Caroline had a difficult night — watching her boyfriend reminisce with his ex, while her ex flirted with her boyfriend’s mother. Who hates her and calls her the rebound girl. Not fun. I loved the scene between Matt and Caroline in the car, but they’ve always been good together when they’re totally alone. It’s the being in public thing that’s tricky for those two.

Despite Stefan and Elena being one of those perfect-together, love–each other couples, they do not bore me at all. I love them together. I think they work because they’re always surrounded by danger and chaos. Perfect example was the scene of Elena, all tucked into bed with her teddybear, calling Stefan to say she’s home safe and had a wonderful time on their date. Stefan is sweet as pie on the other end . . . as Damon pounds bourbon and drags the body of a dead vampire in the background. Love. It.

Also love Kelly Donovan. She’s pitch-perfect with Damon, with Jenna, and especially with Matt as the ne’er-do-well mom who relies on her son to take care of her, instead of the other way around. I doubt she’ll make more than a show of trying to be responsible after Matt’s talk at the end of the episode. Poor Matty.

Now let’s talk about the real shocker. Jeremy. Jeremy wants to be turned. I freaking loved the scene with him and Anna in the kitchen making sandwiches. Jeremy slicing his hand, baiting her, and then saying, “Go for it.” That’s something we don’t see with our other vampire-human couple; we never see Stefan feed, and certainly not on Elena. Why does Jeremy want to be a vampire? To find Vickie so he can be with her? Does he have feelings for Anna? Ah! Elena wiping Jeremy’s mind took with it all the nightmarish realities about vampirism — if he remembered Vickie attacking him, attacking Elena, would he want to be turned?

One nitpicky question: if Frederick had to ask Aunt Jenna where Damon lived, then it stands to reason that Pearl didn’t tell him where the Salvatores lived or that their house wasn’t protected from unwelcome vampires. How did Frederick know he could just jump through the window? Was he willing to risk throwing his body at the window only to find it barricaded by the threshold rule? That would be funny to see.

It seems like Damon getting his eyes pushed in by Pearl was only a small taste of the gore ahead. The trailer for next week’s episode, “Let the Right One In” (which could be a reference to the threshold rule, as well as the Swedish vampire novel/film) is hard to watch. I don’t like the word “torture” associated with Stefan Salvatore. Actually, across the board, I’m anti-torture.

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