The Moth Chase

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

Posts Tagged ‘Elena Gilbert

Isolation leads to misery

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She’s Come Undone

OK, so I’m over torture as a regular device on a teen soap opera. It barely seems worth pointing out how many things are wrong with the assumption that inflicting intense physical and psychological trauma on anybody (even somebody who heals so fast we barely have to see the effects of the torture) is a good way “to make them human.” Much less given Stubenville and the likes what is wrong with the picture of two dashing young men torturing a young woman who doesn’t feel what they want her to feel. There is so much wrong with all of this. But it is all so blase, I’m with Rebekha and Katherine on this one: yawn. And don’t even get me started on why everyone has stopped mentioning that all of this is Damon’s fault in the first place since he commanded a then-sired Elena to turn off her emotions. It really does seem like the interesting gender dynamics of seasons past have devolved into male agents whose actions are barely questioned and female agents who suffer their affects and then are blamed for them. I’d ask you to help me come up with a better interpretation, but I’m not sure I care. Read the rest of this entry »

The Originals

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Marcel!

The Originals

Well there are certainly better reasons to bring a new life into this world than building a dynasty so you can steal the warmth, love, community and power that another man has spent his considerable eternal life building! Then again, if we take the “king” metaphor seriously, this is pretty much how reproduction works, right? The women may not be kept locked up in an alligator infested bayou to see out their pregnancies, but Hallie was transformed from potential bad-ass hybrid looking for her roots into a kind of walking womb to rebirth all the Originals hopes and dreams. I do love Elijah’s optimism that what is left of that clan will surely do a better job as parents and aunts/uncles than they did as children and siblings! I can only assume that this is the set up for the new spin-off series The Originals. And I have to admit, if last night was any indication, I might be switching teams! Read the rest of this entry »

Good is a hard word to live up to

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Matt and Rebekah

Well vervain is out of the Mystic Falls water supply and the best the vampires can think to do is compel a shopkeeper to steal a prom dress. Then again, we are talking about the highlight of senior year, so maybe I need to keep my priorities straight. My favorite part of last night’s episode was the hope of the gang that high school nostalgia – “friendship and memories” as Caroline says to a trying-her-best-to-be-giddy Bonnie – would be the thing to switch Elena’s humanity back on. I was a bit confused that this was a new tactic (haven’t Damon and Stefan constantly been trying to get Elena to turn back on her humanity? Why was this suddenly presented as a new plan?), but loved that it let the show play with the “what makes us human” question all over again. Read the rest of this entry »

A little Death Goes Unnoticed

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Lexi and Damon

Dear Kathryn,

While I found it embarrassing to watch an emotionless Elena bounce with glee (an emotion, no?) in a pretty tame ‘underground’ club (which I actually thought for a second was The Bronze from Buffy when they first walked in), the trip to New York was somehow redeemed for me by the fact that I’m quite sure the city shots that broke up scenes were borrowed from Gossip Girl. I like the idea that these CW shows can share…Perhaps Serena and Blair will take a trip to Mystic Falls – something I’d definitely tune in for! Mostly, the trip to New York made me wonder why Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

March 22, 2013 at 6:54 am

Turn It Off

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Dear Kathryn,

How many times do we have to hear Stefan and Damon declare that Elena can’t survive something before it becomes true? Thank goodness we finally saw her snap last night, because I was becoming tired of wondering when she was going to. Back and forth and back and forth we’ve gone trying to figure out if she’s more alive with Stefan or with Damon (although you and I tend to come down with the latter) – but never, I thought as I watched her with the kerosene last night, have I seen her more alive than when dousing her childhood home for arson. Putting aside how ridiculous a cover up this plan is when the three walk slowly and sexily away from the burning house, Stefan looking back a few times to make sure it’s actually going down – I’m hopeful that Elena is about to go Ripper and get interesting. Perhaps Damon will find that he doesn’t like her as much as he thought he would when she does to the dark side? I guess we should have known something dramatic was about to happen when the CW ticker tape at the bottom of the screen started letting us know we’re on three week hiatus!  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

February 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

There is No Peace

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Dear Kathryn,

Oh, I feel guilty for watching this show sometimes! It’s so much fun, and I love the antics – but sometimes I wonder just how much of the implicit sexism and racism I can handle! We’ve already talked about Shane’s patriarchal control over Bonnie – now add to that the fact that his wife DIED because he was UNABLE TO CONTROL HER! Yeah, there’s nothing more dangerous than a woman whose husband can’t keep her in check [insert pained eye-roll here]. I can kind of roll with that stuff because it seems so silly most of the time (although I do worry what implicit messages get communicated to the young girls who watch the show!)…but what on earth was with those stereotypical “Islander” First Nations peoples running around the island in hip outfits with facepaint?!? Were they even supposed to be Indigenous people, or just white guys covered in the accouterments of exoticized Native culture? Pair this with the images of boats carrying Shane (who all of a sudden looked pretty Chris Columbus) and his crew up onto the beach prepared to steal some deep and ancient magic from the island, and it all felt painfully neo-colonial to me!  Read the rest of this entry »

Written by themothchase

February 8, 2013 at 3:02 pm

You are in complete control

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Shane the father figure

Dear Natalie,

Yes, it is good to be back! I am sorry I missed the conversation last week, which was a truly fun episode, but glad to jump back in now, where themes of self-control and compulsion were front and center. You wondered last week about whether or not compulsion was something a vampire could throw off. Damon reminded us that Stefan did that with Klaus when he’d been compelled to turn off his humanity. There is something fascinating going on with the idea that Stefan was able to shake compulsion because of his love for Elena, but Damon is not. I’m not sure it proves that Stefan loves Elena more than Damon does, but it does fit with Stefan’s more controlling personality! Stefan is the kind of person for whom the idea of love – and the idea of Elena – is necessary to hold on to his humanity. Without he always spirals into some uncaring psychopath. Read the rest of this entry »

Fall on your knees

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Jeremy and Elena showdown

Dear Natalie,

Well, Merry Christmas to you too! Was it just me, or was the choice to play the highly incongruous chorus from  “Oh Holy Night” – fall on your knees, oh hear the angels’ voices – during Klaus’ slaughter of the 11 hybrids a sly reference to the very scene you discussed last week when Tyler makes those same hybrids kneel before him? Or maybe a really overt reference! Either way, I couldn’t help giggling as that epic Christmas carol hit its high pitch and Klaus’ stood bloodied and weary surveying the corpses in his wake. It is nice to be reminded of the fine line between snark and histrionics on this show! Read the rest of this entry »

The Dreaded C-Word

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Dear Kathryn,

We’ve talked a lot about how these vampire narratives portray women’s choices, and last night’s episode offered a pretty brilliant portrayal of this dynamic. To break the sire bond, Damon has to convince Elena that his happiness depends on her being released from him…only then will she have free will to choose between the brothers. Now, I’m a bit murky on the details here – if the bond can’t be broken, then won’t Damon sending her away result in a negation of choice precisely because she would never be able to choose him? Setting that aside, though, I was intrigued by the presumption shared among all our characters that our basic state is one of free will. This is a collection of supernatural kids, all bound in some way to supernaturally heightened desires, needs, and compulsions. How can any of them believe their choices or their will are ever totally free?!

This type of problem was perfectly illustrated in the Tyler storyline – and here I found some fascinating gender and race dynamics at play. I wondered in the bar why not one person intervened Read the rest of this entry »

What Happened to ‘Safe is Good’?

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http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/vampire-diaries-407-damon-and-elena-sex-kiss.jpg

Hey Kathryn,

I’m titling this post with Caroline’s overly pointed question, “What happened to ‘Safe is Good’?” because while she asked it in the context of April’s dress, it was obviously meant to refer to Elena’s choices in men. Stefan has always been the ‘safe’ choice for Elena, while Damon embodies bad boy danger. And so watching the (almost hot?) sex scene unfold as Caroline pieced it all together was pretty fun. What this final revelation of Elena’s siring to Damon lifted up for me, though, was the theme of subconsciousness, instinct and sublimation that had been playing out through the whole episode – the idea that there is a real self, and enduring self, that exists somewhere beyond and untouched or unshaped by the self that acts or the self that lives in this moment. This came out especially with Matt’s explanation of the hunter instinct: something in Jer’s subconscious (presumed not to be the ‘real him’) pushes and pushes (in dreams, in nightmares, in fantasies) until it creates a basic instinct to kill. But if it’s coming from the subconscious, how can we say it’s not him? How can we imagine there’s some pure, non-hunter Jer we need to hold on to? Is this about Read the rest of this entry »

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