The Vampire Diaries: The Never-Ending Funeral
It’s Friday! Which means yesterday was Thursday! Which means that Vampire Diaries was on! Which means now I am recapping it! I am excited and nervous and gassy and scared and happy all at once! It is like I myself am a newly made vampire in transition! Or this guy!
I don’t think I could handle this level of sustained “squee” for an entire season, and it seems like the show itself understands this because last night’s episode was all “Okay guys, let’s calm down, set up the season’s arc, and re-establish the bonds between that goofy gaggle of supernatural teens and also Matt!” So while the season premiere was a high octane, WTF-fest, last night’s was solid, funny, touching, and sexy – what those fools in Mystic Fall do best! It should be their town motto! Either that or “Mystic Falls: We Have Been Quietly Racist For Going On Four Socially Awkward Seasons!” What is that in Latin? Somebody do it and I will give you a prize – TEN POINTS TO HUFFLEPUFF! I’m sorry, I’ve been drinking, fuck Hufflepuff though, seriously.
Proving its superiority to all other would-be vamp franchises, this episode opens with Elena being nervous to eat a deer. Not wanting her to follow in his own Ripper-footsteps or in the footsteps of his brother and sometimes tongue-kissing partner, Damon, Stefan has decided to take Elena into the forest for some sex and how-to-be-a-vampire lessons. These lessons include how to eat deer instead of people. While Stefan is optimistic and packing so much stuff in his duffel bag that I made no fewer than eight jokes about his being a lady to no one because I was alone. Damon, however, is outraged and sneering as is his wont. Logically his rage is coming from the idiocy of Stefan trying to prevent Elena from drinking human blood, but everyone who has ever fantasized about Damon in the shower knows he is really upset because he is thinking about all of the banging in the woods that will be happening that he will not be a part of. All his sniping is in vain, and it is into the woods with Bernadette Peters for Stefan and Elena!
It turns out that Stefan is terrible at being a vampire teacher and gets a solid D as a sex-having partner as well. Being totally controlling and having a savior complex worthy of Enoch Thompson, Stefan won’t even let Elena kill the deer she feasts on alone, instead he just sort of maims it for her? I think it is hilarious that they won’t show this, but the amount of times my eyes have made soulful contact with underage man nipples on program has reached probably the triple digits.
While Elena is digesting, Stefan thinks it is now a good time to teach her how to run very, very fast and make her hair into a mussy vampire pompadour. She ignores his hair tips, and but is excited to learn how to, in the words of Ricky Bobby, “Go Fast.” Apparently the first step of running so quickly that no one can see you is to have the man you are currently welcoming into you nethers on the regs place his manly hands upon your supple thighs while prrrrobably grazing your ass with his semi. Shockingly, this form of pedagogy only serves to heat up Elena’s already heightened senses – the running lesson can wait, there is tree sex to be had!
But all is not well in the land of open-air coitus! Having glutted herself upon Bambi, Elena finds herself unwell, and, in a twist of something but definitely not irony, she super-fast runs away from Stefan (sans tutelage!) to puke up her bloody breakfast in the woods. It’s a super good time. I can’t lie, for one, harrowing moment I thought she was pregnant, but then I calmed the fuck down, even though the idea of Damon cackling and then swanning around while saying “It’s true, I impregnated Elena – AND NONE OF YOU EVEN SAW IT COMING!” Sadly since this is not the case, it begs the questions – what’s up with Vampire Elena and her giant, giant hands? Is she dying? Is her transition fucked? What’s the deal?
It’s not something we find out immediately because then every episode of the show would be roughly eight minutes long. Instead, Elena keeps this blood-puking development a secret from Stefan, which is a really, really healthy to do in a relationship and also just like, simply as a young vampire – indirectly lie about some weird shit happening to you, that’s cool, bro! You kind of can’t blame her. Back in the dingy cabin in the woods, Stefan pops some champagne to celebrate Elena’s first feed – “It’s from the year you were born!” he says – LIKE A TOTAL SOCIOPATH. Elena is less enthusiastic, trying to explain just how sick the blood made her feel, but Stefan’s all “Don’t hear you, don’t care, just wanna make out with my perfect immortal forever-girlfriend.” Ugh, whatever Stefan!
Back in town, Damon sulks in the bar at Sheriff Liz and I kind of wish they would have an affair and then for a minute I’m all “wait, but Sheriff Liz is gay,” and then I realize that I am confused and that the gay one was Caroline’s dead father from Heroes. Liz checks in with Damon because they are secretly very good friends, and that is why he doesn’t drop his brown liquor and kill her when she is all “Soooo the whole council being blown up? You, uh, have anything to do with that Damon?” To his credit, Damon is indignant that he’s being asked – he’s offended that Liz thinks he’d blow up a house of people instead of eating them. LOL. Classic Damon. He then polishes off his eighth bottle of bourbon this episode. But seriously guys everyone is drinking so much bourbon! I’d suggest a TVD drinking game but I’m pretty sure it would just end in black outs, butt chugging, and tree sex.
Speaking of butt-chugging, their tete-a-tete is interrupted by the requisite evil character. In a fun turn of coincidence, because they killed off the only black actors other than Bonnie last week, (Grams, the dude in the cabin who went “What are you doing, pastor?” prior to being blown up.) this season’s bad guy gets to be black! Awesome. He is also probably a witch – I’m just putting that out there. This guy is some sort of private investigator, but WHAT KIND EXACTLY? A bad kind. Nobody seems to care for him, and they glare and look at each other a lot. He is trying to solve the mysterious death of the entire council and he WILL get to the bottom of it. Okay fancy pants, settle yourself, the entire town seemed to say.
While our new villain (clearly such given the Peter and the Wolf like anthem that plays whenever he appears) stalks the town being all moody and hateful, Neckless J and Matt The Human are trotting around town with some paper lanterns that they will immolate to remember the dead council members. You know, the council members! Like, like, him and also whatsherclit! EXACTLY. The only members of the council we care about are still alive, so good luck trying to get us to care, guys, good luck indeed. As Matt and Neckless lug around clearly empty cardboard boxes, the pastor’s daughter enters stage right. You remember her guys, she used to be homely, Elena babysat her, she got sent away to boarding school? Her father was a murderous bigot? LOL, you guys. So forgetful. Anyway, here she is now, being hot I guess? She stands around, awkwardly talking about her dead dad for a while. It was at this point that I snorted and yelled at the screen, “WELCOME TO DEAD DAD VILLE, POPULATION EVERYONE, WEIRDO.” and then I felt immediately terrible.
Remember that bad guy all ominously walking through town I mentioned? He was still doing that while Tyler and Caroline enjoyed some hey-you’re-not-dead-or-possessed-by-an-english-vampire-original time between the sheets together. Tyler is all about their slam fest, but Caroline is reticent, because she is Caroline, and concerned that the fact they are having sex is insensitive to the fact that everyone in town is dead. Tyler’s all like, “Naw bitch – this shit is NATURAL!” Then the bad guy shoots him in the chest immediately after deducing that he is a supernatural being. Caroline and Tyler super-fast-run to Stefan for some hunky nurse role play, and hopefully, some answers. They get a little of some, but sadly none of the other.
Stefan says that the wooden bullets used were hand carved, and seem to be covered in some sort of spell or curse or some shit that prevents him from touching them. If the bullets had been shot at a regular vampire, it would have killed him, Stefan intones, a fact everyone forgets later on when the guy shoots Damon. Oh calm down, it’s not spoilery, Damon is fine, okay? I mean he may have a drinking problem, but what do I look like, a doctor? The best thing about the attack on Tyler is how everyone is reacting to the fact that they’ve got yet another vamp hunter after them, they are all just sort of like – OH AWESOME. I GUESS THIS IS HAPPENING NOW? The entire cast of characters now reacts to terrible violence and loss with a thick wall of disturbing humor – this will later be addressed, which makes me worry that it will no longer be the case.
While Stefan is doing his best Florence Nightengale, complete with cap and mini skirt, Elena is doing the nasty with Damon! If by nasty you mean sharing his blood. When Elena hears about the death of THE ENTIRE COUNCIL she goes to harangue Damon, like she has always done. The more she becomes un-dead the more things stay the same…or something? Damon, still smarting from the fact that Elena picked Stefan, and more so, that Elena is uh – DEAD NOW – isn’t really happy to see her, but let’s her know that he didn’t get all murdery on the dead members of the town. Once this is out of the way, Damon figures out, courtesy of Elena’s total inability to lie, that the deer blood (not Jager, though god I wish Elena had spent the episode quietly drinking Jager and throwing it back up only to try again) was a no go, leads Damon to drag her into the bathroom and insist she suckle his wrist. Elena obliviously fails to see how this could be viewed as cheating or erotic in any way, and she drinks away as Damon strokes her hair. It was. You guys I can’t lie it was pretty hot.
I kind of hope that this was the Dobrev and Somerhalder do when they are at home having sexy times, in between shooting episodes and saving the lives of several dolphins – because Somerhalder is totes an activist, bitches. So this scene went on for a really long time until I realized my right hand had come up and kept rewinding back the same thirty seconds or so – I blame the hybrids. Once her lust for blood has been quenched in a way Stefan can never know about (until the end of the episode) Elena puts on a rose colored day dress for
the founder’s day BBQthe funeral of the whole town. She is helping put programs in the empty pews, even though that’s not how that works, and then quietly talks to the dead pastor’s daughter, before fondling her wrist while dreams of processing her iron rich blood in the depths of her immortal bowel dance through her head. “What? Nothing! SHUT UP!” says Elena, before dancing off to the bathroom and throwing up blood EVERYWHERE. All over. It was like the Shining when the elevator doors open and also when I am having a day of particularly heavy flow.
So Elena can’t thrive on Vamp juice either! What’s happening! Is she dying? Can she only feed directly…from the human vein! I gasped! But not actually. Totally panicked and with blood all up in her boobs, she calls Damon! And I was all “Elena you do not even know how much you love Damon and it is killllling me.” Damon shows up with a sack of human blood and a new frock for Elena. He wards off the man there to kill them all, and then comforts E when she can’t stomach the sack-blood either. As they are having one of their standard tender moments – is it just me, or is Damon the only one you believe when he tells you everything’s going to be okay?…and by ‘you’ clearly I mean…Elena…a fictional character….on a show….-who should saunter up just as Elena is running back into the church? STEFAN OF COURSE
Stefan is peeved, he’s had a tough day, and finding out his brother has been allowing his lady to suckle upon him is infuriating. As if that weren’t bad enough, he’d had to go over to Bonnie’s house and humor her in her total grief over probably damning her Grams. Bonnie was all “I feel so dark and empty and alone and I haven’t gotten off this couch for a week,” and Stefan was all “Oh my god how much more of this do I have to listen to before you tell me whether or not this is magical writing on these wooden bullets?” He thought he was saying it in his brain but he said it out loud, and Bonnie was all “Fair, fair – it’s not like we’re, you know, friends or anything, who’ve seen each other through our darkest times. Also no – that is not magical writing.” Stefan nods and heads off to church, promptly forgetting about Bonnie until it is convenient to recall her sorrow at the close of the episode.
At the service, everyone is there except for depressed Bonnie and Pastor Young’s tearful daughter, Plot Device, who has been stabbed in the abdomen by the baddie and gagged up in the choir balcony, slowly bleeding to death. She’s bait, you see. Baddie hopes that any vamp in the congregation will be all whipping their hair back forth Willow Smith style as they try to find out where the smell is coming from.
Damon, remembering suddenly that they all have exceptional hearing is like “Be cool guys,” and everybody is, because frankly when Damon swanned into church, dipped his fingers in holy water and then crossed himself it was pretty much the bossest moment this show has had. Damon owns this season, oddly, he truly does. Everyone nods, agreeing with (me) Damon, and in the balcony being what is probably the most opposite of subtle, our villain sits perched, the blood of Plot Device trickling through the air vents while he does his best impression of his favorite television program, Homeland.
Elena whines for blood, Stefan is worried and also annoyed (per usual, kudos to Paul Wesley for keepin’ it fresh, pomade-style) Tyler and Caroline mutter all sorts of sassy things and I dream of a world where Caroline insists they get their own public access talk show together, while Neckless J retracts his head into the solitary if fleshy chamber his torso provides.
Elena is clinging to Stefan for dear life because if she doesn’t get someone human blood she is about to freak out. It is dangerously close to what happens if I am not promptly given coffee EXACTLY HOW I LIKE IT in the mornings. The group is at a loss, Elena is about to lose her goddamn mind, and Matt suggests, that since he is the only mortal among them, regularly mistreated, totally alone, why not take it a step further and let Elena feed on him. In church. Right that second.
And NOBODY SEEMS TO THINK THIS IS A TERRIBLE PLAN. THEY GO AHEAD AND ELENA FEEDS ON MATT! AND THEN AFTERWARDS NO ONE EVEN HELPS HIM AND HE HAS TO WEAR A NECK BANDAID FOR THE REST OF THE EPISODE! Matt, you sir, have become a chump. You need to go visit Neckless J’s family in Denver for a while and think about the emotional dumping ground you have let yourself become.
With Elena fed, burped and changed, now is the hour for Damon to rip the bad guy’s head off – only Stefan won’t let him. While they bicker about this, Tyler jumps up and plays decoys, and the baddie promptly shoots the hell out of his torso while I keep my fingers crossed hoping to see more of his chest, alas another day, I’m sure.
The town of Mystic Falls that has not been blown up by a crazed priest or turned into supernatural beings flees the funeral screaming and this is never addressed accept for some snide asides about “wondering how they will cover it up this time.” You guys. Who is left to cover it up? Sheriff Liz? Does she run the media now? Is she like Murdoch? If Sheriff Liz wrote the paper it would be one page ripped out of an old copy of More magazine providing tips on maintaining colorectal wellness.
In the fracas, Damon tries to catch the baddie who is not goddamn playing and shoots him with the bullets we are now meant to forget have the power to kill Damon and then drives off in a pickup truck blasting Informer by Snow. Stefan pretends like he wants to help Damon but then punches him instead, because he and Damon are really trying to up the sadistic elements of their sex play.
Meanwhile inside the church Elena tries to eat Pastor Young’s dying Plot Device and Caroline goes to town on her scolding wise, all while healing the hell out of that traumatized bitch. Whereas Stefan was a terrible mentor, Caroline is the best and uses the weeping Plot Device as a teachable moment, instructing Elena in the art of the glamour – it will work if you mean it when you say it. So it’s like what sociopaths do when they lie? Good to know. Elena does it successfully and we get a close up of her metallic eyeshadow and I’m not impressed.
With this done, Elena and Stefan have a big fight about how she lied to him about her trouble with blood and then how she fed off of Damon. I really, really wished that Elena had tried to glamor Stefan into getting over it, and he had confronted her and been like “Are you – did you just try to glamor me?” Because that would have been amazing. Instead they take turns yelling at each other and then emotionally manipulating each other with Elena winning the day by proclaiming that she has been miserable and caught in a constant cycle of grief since her parents died four years ago.
To console her, Stefan calls everyone together to some picnic tables and says everyone is grieving badly and using humor as a mask and they really talk about their shit and so instead of talking about their shit they light sacks from Japan and say the name of someone they love who has died. Damon is like “This is the worst thing you guys have ever done,” and, being correct, he leaves.
Then I cried for the second time this season, because Damon leaves his friends who are quietly mourning their dead and goes to quietly mourn his own. At Alaric’s grave he gets drunk and sassy – because he is Damon – and vents about how frustrated he is, how his brother pisses him off, how Elena didn’t pick him and then died, and how he is surrounded by children and most of all how pissed off he is that he has to stay and do it all because he promised Alaric he would. All the while, the ghost of Alaric is listening, and when Damon sadly wanders off, Alaric speaks wistfully: “I miss you too buddy,” and it was the best.
Also Neckless J complimented the villain on a massive arm tattoo that no one could see, so that’s probably important.