Vampire Diaries Marathon: “Friday Night Bites” & “Family Ties”

So this whole marathon, two episodes a night plus blog posts thing has turned out to be a little much for the holiday season! Last night I was out at a choral concert of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (which included this cool solo thing where the soprano sang something or other about Christmas, in German, and then one chorister was on the balcony echoing back words to her. Very cool.

Anyway! On to The Vampire Diaries!

“Friday Night Bites”: Good lord, Damon Salvatore. Watching him manipulate Caroline and try to subtly (well, sorta subtly) chip away at Elena’s relationship with Stefan, watching him go from kinda sweet to murderous to kinda sweet again — Damon Salvatore makes for good TV. The moment at the end worked so well for me — sometimes the writing-in-my-diary narration cheeses me out a little, but hearing Stefan write about how his brother has become the monster Damon had only pretended to be, how he has entirely lost his humanity while Damon stands watching Elena sleeping, tenderly brushing her hair off her face… So creepy, so sweet. Stefan was right the first time: Damon still mourns Katherine, and that keeps him on this side of a terrible monster with no chance at redemption. Either that or he was just planning how he’d kill her. Errr, I vote for option 1.

Rewatching these episodes it’s also cool to see how they dole out the information on how vampires work in this universe. Healing powers? Check. Disabled by vervain? Check. And as we find out about the vamps, Bonnie finds out about her witchy-witchy ways. I wish I had the power to just *know* where all the things are hiding in my kitchen.

Even though I knew it was coming, I still felt a little ripped-off that the hot & heavy make-out session between Elena and Stefan was just a dream . . . but I love the twist of Stefan turning into Damon, so we’ll call it even. The other moment that gets me: when Elena and Damon are talking in her kitchen, and she says to him, I’m sorry about Katherine. You lost her too. ::heart breaks::
Shirtless vampire? Double check.

“Family Ties”: A Taylor Swift AND a Twilight reference in the same episode?? The whole mind-frak Elena has to navigate, with both Salvatores acting alternately charming and baffling, in this episode is perfect. I liked seeing Stefan outsmart his brother, finally getting a chance to one-up him and lock him in that vervain grow-op.

Other fave moments: Bonnie lighting all the candles in the dining room; the reveal of the Founders Council at the end; and the backstory (well, some of it) of what happened to Katherine back in 1865. Fittingly for the “family ties” episode, we got to see more of “Uncle” Zack and meet some parents: Sheriff Forbes and the Mayor and Mrs. Lockwood. Boo on all three of them. Well, half a boo on Sheriff Forbes, and two and a half boos for the Lockwoods. That mom is an evil, evil person. And I love that Vicky made one more “bad decision” and went back to Jeremy. He got the girl and the pocketwatch.
Shirtless vampire? mais oui! both S. and D.

next up on the Slow-Poke’s Marathon: 3.05 “You’re Undead to Me” and 3.06 “Lost Girls”