Friday, September 17, 2010

The Vampire Diaries: Season 2

So, as you may have already noticed... we are obsessed with the new season of The Vampire Diaries. We may have criticized the show as being a poor man's True Blood for teens when it first came out but it has definitely earned itself a spot on our DVR schedule!

We just posted a full refresher course for the last season of The Vampire Diaries so those of you who may have overlooked the show could catch up before we dive into the new season. (True Blood is on hiatus anyway, come on, give it a shot, you know you want to!)

So here's our take on the first two episodes of season 2...


#1 The Return (Season Premiere):

The premiere picked up exactly where the finale ended... Katherine has just stabbed John Gilbert and he's bleeding all over the kitchen. Caroline is in critical condition at the hospital after the car accident. Jeremy is lying in bed, possibly dying from an overdose of pills (with Anna's vampire blood still in his system).

Elena comes home to a scary mess of Uncle John in the kitchen and calls 911. Luckily Katherine takes off before doing anymore damage. Elena runs to check on Jeremy and finds out about his stupid plan. Ironically, the blood in his system actually helped protect him from the effect of the sleeping pills and has almost completely left his system. Poor Jeremy, he can't even commit suicide properly!

At the hospital, Elena gives John back his ring, so he will be okay... but Stefan threatens him that he better leave town. He does, but not before telling Jeremy that it's his legacy or whatever to fight vampires just like he and his father and all the Gilbert men before them. Snore... Everyone else is stressing over whether or not Caroline will be okay and Bonnie is overwhelmed with guilt when she learns that Tyler was affected by "the device" because she had pretended to disable it but lied. Damon offers to give her some vampire blood to help speed up her healing. Meanwhile Tyler is dealing with his father's death when his mysterious, uncle Mason (Taylor Kinney) arrives. Maybe he knows the family secret? Side note: Tyler and Jeremy have a brief moment of bonding over the fact that they both have dads that were assholes who are dead. Hey, whatever it takes right?

Damon has a confusing conversation with Elena who has no memory of what he thinks was a kiss they shared. This clues him into the fact that Katherine is back! Dun... dun... dun... Stefan and Damon are stressing, trying to figure out what Katherine wants... and are trying hard not to let her bait them back into their old rivalry.

You can so easily tell the difference between Katherine and Elena (it's not just the hair!) that you almost forget that they're both played by the same actress.

It's subtle but it's good. We gotta hand it to Nina Dobrev... she has certainly worked on her acting chops since her days on Degrassi or cheesy films like The American Mall and Never Cry Werewolf.

Katherine shows up at the Lockwood residence and attacks Bonnie but Stefan saves her and they have a verbal showdown. 

Stefan: "I haven't spent 145 years obsessed with you." 
Katherine: "Based on your choice of women, I'd say otherwise. Though I'll admit that it does bother me that you've fallen in love with someone else."
Stefan: "I was never in love with you, Katherine. You compelled me. None of my feelings were real."
Katherine: "Believe what you want, Stefan. But I know the truth and deep down, so do you. ... You want to know why I'm here: I came back for you." 
Stefan: "The problem, Katherine, is that I hate you."
Katherine: "You hate me, huh? That sounds like the beginning of a love story, Stefan. Not the end of one."
Later, Katherine shows up at the Salvatore residence and she and Damon make out a bit, but it all goes sour when Katherine admits that she never loved him. "It was always Stefan." Ouch. Poor guy has been pining over her for over 100 years and she never even loved him. Honestly, it was enough to actually make you feel bad for him. Hottie Ian Somerhalder definitely gave this role his all, you really see the heartbreak - and then mental downward spiral - all over his face.

He then confronts Elena about the kiss that didn't happen and tries to get her to admit that they do have some kind of connection. Of course, Elena says that she only loves Stefan too. Double ouch. Jeremy interrupts them and Damon snaps his neck. WTF!? Luckily he was wearing John's ring, so he doesn't actually die, leaving us to wonder if Damon saw the ring or not?

In the final WTF moment of the episode, Katherine later goes to see Caroline in the hospital, introduces herself, and tells her to give the Salvatores a message: "Game on". Then she smothers Caroline with a pillow. Oh yes. One of the best season premieres we've seen in a while.

#2 Brave New World:

Don't worry. Caroline's not dead! She's... undead. She still had Damon's blood in her system, so she woke up as a confused vampire. Watching her suck blood out of a bag at the hospital made me gag, but Caroline's transition is one of the best new plot twists and honestly, it makes the character a lot less annoying. And Candice Accola did a great job with it.

Meanwhile, the Salvatores have other concerns... While at the Lockwood residence talking to Mrs. Lockwood (who will be taking over for her dead husband as Interim Mayor) he overhears something that piques his interest even more about Lockwood family curse. Why did "the device" affect Tyler and the Mayor, even though they aren't vampires? What are they? And damn, why is Mason Lockwood such an awesome arm wrestler?

Damon devises a little test... He compells a guy to pick a fight with Tyler, just to see what happens. What results is a really dumb looking special effects stunt of Mason leaping through the air with yellow eyes. Okay.

 The poor guy they fight has an even worse fate though than being double teamed by would-be-werewolves. Caroline, trying really hard not to bite her boyfriend Matt, can't help herself and kills him, oops. (Not Matt, the poor schmo who fought the Lockwoods. Hey she couldn't help it. He smelled delicious.)

Everyone has a different reaction to finding out about Caroline's new "condition". Damon wants to kill her partly because she knows about him, having regained all of her memories of how Damon treated her and partly because he knows she won't survive as a vampire for long. And he's probably right. I mean, hello, her mother is the head of the anti-vampires Founders Council. Don't you think she's going to be suspicious if her daughter stops going outside in the daytime? Somebody get her a sun-walking ring STAT. Stefan teaches her how to control herself so she's safe for now, but we know we haven't seen the end of this storyline yet.

Bonnie, upon finding out that Caroline is a vampire, freaks out and blames Damon. Yeah, technically it's his fault because of his blood and all, but dude, she was in a hospital, what were the chances of her dying? No one could've known Katherine was going to do that. Bonnie's character has taken a serious turn for the bitch in the past few episodes... but trying to kill Damon was just the last straw for me. Can someone put this witch in her place already? Elena saves Damon, in what can only be described as a Sookie-and-Eric moment of I'm-mad-at-you-but-not-so-mad-that-I-want-you-to-die. Well that, and she just thinks that Bonnie is better than that. Probably more that.

Back at home later that night, Matt goes to visit Caroline and tells her he loves her. Caroline resists the urge to bite him and hugs him instead. Poor Matt. Will someone please tell the poor guy about the whole vampires thing? He's honestly, like the last guy in town who doesn't know.

Watch Episodes From Season One Now:


Watch Episodes From Season Two Now:

The Return


Renee said...

As an avid vampire fan I have to say that I love this series and this is especially more true since it seems to be moving away from the teenage angst of the first season. I will however say that the Whiteness of the how notwithstanding Bonnie irritates me at times. They pick a disposable body to get into a fight with a man they suspect not to be human and of course he is Black. Then to add insult to injury that same man is killed. On a show with mostly White characters this sends the message that Black bodies are viewed as highly disposable and I have to admit that I have a problem with that.

Anonymous said...

Renee! This is so true. We actually discussed this while watching the finale and were thinking of addressing it in a separate post. (We might to look back at past episodes to see if this is a pattern.)

There were so few black characters to begin with and those that do show up are all dead by now (Bonnie's grandmother, Emily, the guy who picked the fight with Tyler, Harper from the tomb). Caroline also fed on the black nurse but she didn't die.

The same for Asian characters (Anna and Pearl) or any other ethnicity/race.

Renee said...

Oh my goodness you so had a point. I honestly didn't think about it further than the episode itself but there has been death and violence aimed at people of colour from season one. I don't even know how I missed the nurse as well.

Anonymous said...

I mean, in their defense, there has been death and violence aimed at... well... EVERYONE on this show. But I do think it's interesting that none of the people of color seem to make it past a few episodes.

The lack of color in general seems realistic for that type of neighborhood (and is sort of staying true to the books that the show is based on). But basically Bonnie is the ONLY living minority right now and she's possibly my least favorite character.

Renee said...

I think that Bonnie and Damon are the only ones worth watching the show for. My problem is that Bonnie has been written like the Black side kick who always comes to heel when Elena tells her to. She should have fried Damon last week when she wanted to. They also give us less reason to be emotionally invested in her, because they have not given her character much to do.

I don't really think that they are trying to stay true to the books, which IMO is a good thing, because the books were horribly written. I think they just used the most skeleton outline of the story and took it from there.

I don't think the exclusion of POC on the series is at all realistic. Without some obvious racial tension there is no reason to believe that POC would avoid living in that town. I don't buy it and I see it as racist. There is always some reason why the media has a reason to erase our presence. It reminds of the way that the writers of Mad Men keep insisting that it is okay not to have characters of colour even though a Black man won the most prestigious award in advertising several times during the 60's.

Anonymous said...

My take on the fictional town in TVD:

It seems like the town is obsessed with their founders. I mean, 'Founders Day' events spanned quite a few episodes. I get why this is an important plot device - flashbacks, family vendettas, etc - but the importance that the characters put on so-and-so being the descendant of so-and-so who founded this town blah blah blah is sort of racist (and classist) in and of itself. Because basically all the super important founders were white rich guys.

Possibly the most powerful characters the show has seen yet were women of color: Without Emily the vampires wouldn't be able to walk around in the daylight, there would be no magic life-saving rings or "the device" or anything. Bonnie's grandmother was hella powerful before she died and and now as Bonnie grows as a witch she can easily take Damon down without blinking. Yet, her character is reduced to Elena's sidekick (as you said) and annoying bitch.

OK, this is turning into its own blog. lol stay tuned!

Renee said...

Sorry I get caught up talking about Vampire Diaries as our two blogs are the only ones that write about it. Starting next week Tami from What Tami Said and I are starting a weekly podcast on it and hopefully that will reduce some of my drive to nit pick every second of the show. Thanks so much for indulging me though, I appreciate it.

Anonymous said...

I'm always happy to nitpick The Vampire Diaries with you! Since True Blood is done for now (and The Gates too), this show is fills the vampire void in my life!

Jezebel said...

As Lilith said, we were discussing some of these issues recently, especially after the last episode. It definitely jumped out at me while I was watching that the nurse that Caroline fed on and the guy at the carnival that she killed (after he was manipulated by Damon into fighting with Tyler) were both black. I even wondered if that played a role in Bonnie's reaction to his death, since they made a point of showing her 'having a moment' with the guy earlier in the carnival.

Another thing I was saying to Lilith is that I actually like the chemistry between Bonnie and Damon. (When she's not trying to kill him, that is.) Obviously she has every reason to hate him right now, but I hope they eventually explore the relationship beyond that. I also hope that they expand Bonnie's character in general beyond the point that she's been stuck at for awhile now.