The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

Sure Stefan, Whatever…

with 3 comments

Dear Kathryn,

Hmm, I don’t know – I felt little disappointed in this episode.  When I stop and think about it, quite a lot happened – but the stories that carried those happenings moved with a little less oomph and pizzazz than usual.  Of course, the really significant narrative line showed Mason accidentally killing his friend Jimmy, thus triggering the curse, as a single moment in what was likely to be an elaborate plot by Katherine to get to the moon stone.  Which leaves me with two questions – still wondering if Katherine does love Stefan?  She doesn’t seem all that into Mason (she’s using him for sure, and I get the sense that sex for her is just a fun, celebratory thing).  But she does have these other clear motives for being in Mystic Falls.  I guess we need to know exactly what that stone does and, man, I hope that doesn’t get dragged out all of this season like the mythical vampire finding object of the last.  Second question – Mason has only been a werewolf for a year?!  That was a real surprise to me.  So in 12 or less transformations, Mason’s figured out what he is and how to control it (all by himself)?  He seemed like much more of a seasoned veteran at this than a year would allow to me.  And if he’s only been what he is for a year, why has he always been super chilled surfer guy?  Was that just because of his anger issues?  Ah, to be a trust fund kid!!

The scene with Mason explaining everything to Tyler made perfect sense, and returned me to my previous question of why not share such vital info with the kid?  Especially if, as we now know, there’s an urge to make that first kill working it’s way through his actions.  Jer really does seem to have a death wish – but if it’s going to happen, I want him turned vamp, not accidentally mauled by his new friend.

For me, it was Liz who really held this episode together.  She seemed genuinely sad that her friend, Damon, had betrayed her but, nevertheless, shockingly unwavering in her willingness to hunt and torture him.  And of course, this helps make sense of her disowning of Caroline – who’s raging coming-out to her mother had such a hilariously gory edge to it that I had to congratulate the show for taking one minute not to take itself so damn seriously.  As she panted, “I’m your daughter” with blood all around her mouth like a child drinking milk, I actually laughed out loud.  Caroline is bringing some life to the show – between her burgeoning powers and continued neediness, I’m excited to see who she becomes.

So, Stefan is going to hit the human blood again – apparently this guy doesn’t understand the difference between a tolerant immunity and an addiction – you can’t take a sip a day to get used to something you’re hooked on!?  Ugh, that seemed so ridiculous to me.  But the scene did remind me again how chaste this show is in comparison to True Blood (and even, say, Gossip Girl on the same network).  First off, Elena just seems stupid – offering her blood-filled hand to a crazy powerful blood addict!  But second, I can’t imagine another vampire show where the vamp guy gets to feed on his human girl and it doesn’t make him totally overcome with desire.  This scene was more of a snuggly lovey fest with sweet kissies and a hug at the end than the overwhelming eros I tend to associate with vampire sex.  Not that I want to watch Stefan and Elena get it on – yuck vanilla boring.  But even Twilight had doing it (or not doing it) at its center.  So what I’m left wondering is whether this lack of erotic power makes Vampire Diaries a little boring compared to other vampire shows – or if it’s the very thing that opens up space for a multitude of narratives.  They’re certainly handling the werewolf stories better than True Blood managed at this point (even as they struggle to integrate their witches).  I don’t know – what do you think?

Indeed, I’m curious to hear what you thought of the whole episode – now I’m writing I realize quite a bit happened, but like I said, it still sort of fell flat for me.

checking all my lemonade before I drink,
Natalie

Written by themothchase

October 8, 2010 at 9:31 am

3 Responses

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  1. I’ve been reading your posts on this show for a while, and I really enjoy your thoughtful take on it, in contrast to most other reviews or recaps, which seem to fall under either rabid fandom or condescending dismissal. Anyway, I couldn’t resist commenting on this particular episode. I too felt that it fell a little flat, especially since I’d been looking forward to Sheriff Liz finding out about Damon since season 1. Add in Caroline’s revelation, and I felt like there should have been fireworks. Instead, that whole story thread seemed almost rushed and was a little underwhelming, given its significance.

    I have to say, though, that while overall it wasn’t what I’d hoped, they certainly hit all the character nuances beautifully. I particularly liked the portrayal of the dynamic between Sheriff Liz and Damon: her initial disbelief and loyal defense, followed by betrayal and grim determination, and then betrayal on his part as well. I liked that at least part of him actually saw her as his friend, even while he was using her. Hurrah for double motives! Damon’s pained glance at Stefan when he realized that Liz was willing to torture Stefan to get him to talk was also a nice touch. Finally, I loved the Caroline storyline this week and I actually like how her revelation seemed almost understated. There was the bloodbath, but it wasn’t followed by dramatic histrionics. It seemed very in character.

    Anyway, always enjoy reading your thoughts on the show. Thanks for taking the trouble to put them up.

    Kit

    October 9, 2010 at 12:07 am

    • Thanks so much for the comment, Kit! Please continue not to resist posting – we love hearing what our readers have to say! And I totally agree – while the episode fell a little flat, it did allow room for some more subtle character revelation…thanks for reminding us of that!

      themothchase

      October 9, 2010 at 2:02 pm

  2. The episode was a “meh” to me as well…but not with how you so eloquently write down your thoughts – you should write recaps for other sites such as huffingtonpost (like how Blankenship did for True Blood). I would have to say though, that you’re an even better writer than he is.

    Please continue to recap this show. Thanks :)

    Jona

    October 21, 2010 at 10:02 pm


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