“I’m not sad. I’m freaking hungry.” — Stefan
One lying, bloodthirsty vampire brother you can’t trust. The other a considerate, protective, super hot vampire who doesn’t kill anymore, instead spending his time hiding his brother’s reckless bloody tracks. The change in both Salvatore brothers has been so gradual and believable that in “Miss Mystic Falls” it didn’t seem like wacky opposite day but the logical progression of the previous 18 episodes. Stefan is SO creepy as a human-blood drinker — hearing him describe to Amber how he wants to tear into her neck just the right way so he doesn’t waste a drop? seeing Amber’s blood dripping out of his mouth? ::shudder:: If I were Elena, I don’t know that I could come back from that. It’s one thing to abstractly know that your boyfriend is a vampire. Quite another to see him bite into a girl you’ve known your whole life, draining her of blood like a vicious rabid animal.
While Stefan giving in to the monster inside him was front and center in this episode, it was also quietly about all that Elena’s lost in the past year. She’s in the Founders Court, but the girl who signed up to be part of it is gone. The effect of losing her parents on Elena is something we haven’t seen much of for a while. The distance between who she is now and who she used to be is brought to the forefront for Elena with the Miss Mystic Falls competition. She says to Caroline, “I’m not this person anymore” and Caroline doesn’t dispute that — but she makes her stick with it for her mother. Finding Stefan is important, but in that moment honoring her mother’s wish trumps it.
And thank god she goes through with it — I could watch her and Damon dance on a loop and I would be so so swoon-happy. Their eye flirting? The intimacy of the near touch? Their chemistry is just … so … wow.
My favorite things about this episode beyond the creepiness of Stefan and the swoon-worthiness of Damon: how perfectly the friendship between Bonnie, Caroline, and Elena is handled. The moment we see Elena realize that it’s not that Bonnie needs space, it’s that she needs space from her — that Caroline is now in that first-best-friend position with Elena out in the cold. Heartbreaking but so true to how real-life friendships can drift away from us, especially between girls when a boyfriend comes into the picture and priorities change.
And finally the moment that impressed me most was Elena stabbing Stefan in the back with the vervain needle. I did not expect it and was so grateful it happened. Elena’s lost her parents; found out she was adopted; is alienated from her brother, lying to her aunt, and distanced from her best friend; and now her boyfriend is a bloodthirsty liar. But she has the strength to make the right choice.
As she comforted Stefan in his room — even after he became violent with her, slamming her into the wall — I had that twinge of ‘no, please don’t let her be OK with this just because she loves him.’ It just felt wrong. And then she pulled out that vervain needle, and Stefan crumbled. (Which reminded me of that moment on Buffy when she was forced to choose the safety of the world over her love for Angel.) It was a no good, very bad day for Elena.
Next episode we get another flashback (!) with “Blood Brothers”: