THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: “Blood Brothers”
Read on for my recap & review of The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode “Amends,” aired December 15th, 1998. Oh, wait, that can’t be right. Keep reading for a detailed recap & commentary of The Vampire Diaries episode 1×20, “Blood Brothers,” aired April 29th, 2010.
This week we learned that Angel Stefan killed his father. Also, he was haunted by all the evil he had done and decided to go outside and wait for sunrise, committing vampire suicide. But then Buffy Elena talked Angel Stefan out of it, convincing him to keep on fighting. And then there was magical snow. Then there was NOT snow. You can see why I might have been confused. This week, we were treated to more flashbacks. However, they were severely lacking in Katherine O’Hara, so I was a tad disappointed. Katherine gives the necessary umph to those flashbacks, show. Next time, please feature Katherine doing more than lying on the ground muzzled, please. We did get a little more from Emily, albeit cryptic and moralizing. And there was some Papa Salvatore, so there’s that. The question is, did he taste like chicken?
We open on Stefan in his cage, passed out. He comes to, and he looks like he’s on drugs, continuing the whole junkie metaphor. Cue flashback! Johnathan Gilbert and company are rounding up vampires, into their paddywagon, using those creeeeepy vampire muzzles. We seem to be picking up soon after we left on in the “Children of the Damned” flashbacks. Reminder: these townspeople suck. Stefan distracts the mob by shouting that he found another vampire. Then he and Damon try to rescue Katherine. They remove her muzzle and undo the ropes, but then Damon is shot in the back. Who does that? Then Stefan is shot as well, after brooding over Damon’s dead body. And they lie there in the dirt, dying. Katherine is apparently still too weak from vervain. Then we cut briefly to the present, seeing Damon’s face looking over Stefan, then back to the past. We see Katherine’s face juxtaposed to Elena’s face in the present, then Katherine’s face in the past. Yeah, I’m getting a little dizzy and confused just writing about it. Still in the past, Katherine is dragged off and put in the jail-mobile, and then we cut to Elena’s face behind the bars. Oh, isn’t that transition artistic and clever? Title card.
Elena tells her new best friend Damon that it’s so hard for her to see Stefan like this. Damon reminds her, “You’re the one who locked him up.” Ha! She reminds him that he helped. Haha! Damon makes excuses: “I couldn’t have him run around chewing people when the town was looking for vampires, now could I?” Elena: “It had nothing to do with you actually caring about him?” Damon: “Your thing, not mine.” Riiiiight.
Caged Stefan looks at his hand, still apparently suffering from blood withdrawal and looking all wonky, and realizes that he’s not wearing his special ring. Cut to Stefan in 1864, looking at the ring on his hand. Sigh. Stefan is just waking up after being shot the night before. His shirt is all bloody, and he is wearing gaudy jewelry, but he doesn’t understand why. Emily is there to provide exposition ease him through the shock. She explains that the Katherine had the ring made for him weeks ago. She and her brother (her brother?!?) brought Stefan there last night. He asks where Damon is, and we see that Damon is sitting by the water. Stefan asks, “Am I uh …?” Emily: “Not yet. You’re in transition.” Stefan doesn’t understand how this is happening. Emily explains, “You had Katherine’s blood in your system when you died.” Stefan: “But I never …” Emily: “She’s been compelling you to drink it for weeks, Stefan.” Yep, just as I suspected. Emily adds that for Damon, no compulsion was necessary: “He drank from her willingly.” At this, Stefan goes to talk to his brother, who is sitting by the water, shirtless. This show is pretty ridiculous with its excuses to get the boys shirtless, but as excuses go, getting shot is a pretty good one. Damon tells Stefan his story: “I woke up last night and didn’t know where I was. I went to the church and I watched them drag her inside. Then they set fire to it, and the whole thing went up in flames. They killed her Stefan. She’s gone.” Um, that’s great. I would have preferred to SEE it though, not hear it. Oh, exposition, how you annoy me.
In the present, Elena is at Casa Salvatore with Damon, where she has apparently been spending her nights. She asks if Damon figured out the fancy new gadget yet, lest we forget its looming presence. Damon explains that Pearl has no idea what it does, as she thought she was stealing the vampire compass. He adds: “That Johnathan Gilbert was a crazy scientist. Have you spoken to your uncle, lately?” Elena: “I’ve been avoiding him, actually. That and I’ve been here most nights.” Damon: “So you’ll be here again tonight?” Elena: “Is that a problem?” Damon: “Yes. You are a complete nuisance.” It was all in the delivery, but I loved that line. While it is quite the cliché, Elena really does bring out the good in Damon. The more time he spends with Elena, the more I like Damon.
Cut to Anna and Jeremy outside the school. Jeremy asks her what she is doing there and she shows him her class schedule. She will now be attending high school, starting tomorrow. She is wearing a leather jacket, by the way, so that she can fit in. If you are a vampire, vampire hunter, or dating a vampire, you must wear leather. It’s a rule. Jeremy asks, “Why would you want to go to high school? It blows.” Anna: “Do I really need to answer that?” Aaww. Jeremy: “So you’d suffer through all this just to hang out with me?” She says yes. Luckily, rather than being creeped out, Jeremy thinks that it’s awesome that she will be going to high school just to be with him. They kiss. Awww. They are so happy and adorable. So, what tragedy will befall these carefree lovers? According to TV rules, something terrible must happen in the next 40 minutes. [And it really really does.]
Meanwhile, Damon visits Stefan in his basement detox center. Damon comes bearing blood, urging his brother to eat: “100% Stefan diet approved. You know what will happen if you don’t eat? You’ll get all rotting and crusty.” Mythology moment! Stefan says that he’s not hungry. Damon: “Of course you are. We’re eternally hungry.” Again, he tells Stefan to take the blood, but Stefan won’t. Damon is fed up: “The human blood should be gone by now. You want to explain to me why you’re still in here feeling sorry for yourself?” Stefan doesn’t answer. He’s too busy brooding. Damon: “Fine. Starve. What do I care?” Riiiiight. Damon, you wear your heart on your sleeve at this point, so I don’t believe a word you say. You may be a complete sociopath, but you’re a sociopath with feelings.
Upstairs, Damon answers the phone to hear Alaric on the other end. Alaaaaaaaric. Swoon. Damon: “Before I hang up, how’d you get this number?” Alaric: “That’s a mystery. Listen, I’ve been doing some digging on Elena’s uncle. You interested?” Damon wants the details, so Alaric explains that he has a friend from Duke who ran a track on John’s cell. John was getting calls from Isobel, which is no surprise, from the same number that Elena called back in “A Few Good Men.” But now, a new number has popped up, and Alaric found the corresponding address in a place called Grove Hill. Damon wants the address, but Alaric won’t give it to him, insisting that the two go together. Thank you, show. Damon: “I’m not going with you, you tried to kill me.” Alaric: “Well, you did kill me.” Hee. This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Just wait. Damon switches over to answer a call from Elena. Apparently the school day is already over, and she is getting ready to head back over to Casa Salvatore. She asks how Stefan is. Damon: “Extra broody. Hold on.” He switches over to say goodbye to Alaric: “You drive. Pick me up in an hour.” Then he switches back to Elena. Hmmm. Call waiting is hard to recap. Let’s avoid this in the future, please. Damon tells Elena that Stefan won’t eat anything. Elena: “He has to eat. What’s his favorite … kind of …” Damon: “His favorite kind of what?” Elena: “Type of animal blood that he prefers?” Oh, Elena. Damon: “Ooh, gross.” Hee. Elena: “Your joking doesn’t help.” Damon: “It helps me. Now hurry up. I can’t babysit all night. I have things to do.” Goodness, I love those two together. Not in a romantic way, necessarily, just their rapport. They give good rapport. I’m just saying. Elena: “I would say drop dead, but ….” Ha! Damon: “Stefan likes … puppy blood. Little golden retriever puppies, with cute floppy ears. That’s his favorite.” Hehe. Elena hangs up in disbelief. A little bit of a continuity problem here that I must clear up. Doesn’t everyone already know that Stefan loves bunnies best? Fluffy bunnies with cute floppy ears. It is not in question.
As Elena hangs up the phone, Uncle John surprises her when she closes her closet door. She tells him that she’s heading out, and clearly does not want to talk to him. He says it won’t take long. John: “I know you know. It’s really silly to keep pretending.” Well then. He adds: “What do you think your mother would say if she knew you were dating a vampire?” Elena: “Which mother?” Oooh, good one, Elena! I like you again. And the look she gives him as she leaves is just perfect. More feisty Elena, please.
Meanwhile, Stefan is in his cage, brooooooding. We cut to 1864, where Damon and Stefan are still talking by the lake. They are so pale and they have such awful hair, that I can’t say that this flashback is doing much for them, aesthetically. We are suffering from a lack of waistcoats here. Stefan: “I bet Johnathan Gilbert has told father by now. I wonder how he took the news that we’re dead.” Oh, I bet I know! Damon: “As if he cares. He betrayed us.” Stefan: “He thought he was protecting us, Damon. He thought he was protecting this town.” Damon: “God. The sun hurts my eyes.” Way to change the subject, Damon. But, mythology moment! Take note. Stefan explains: “That’s part of it. The muscle aches, the sick feeling. Emily says it’s our bodies pushing us to feed, to complete the transition.” Damon: “That’s not gonna happen.” Stefan: “Is that your choice then? To die instead?” Damon: “Isn’t it yours? This was all to be with Katherine. She’s gone. I want it over.” Interesting. So, Damon, the willing participant in the blood exchange, has no idea about the tomb and spell at this point, and would rather die than have eternal life without his true love. While Stefan, turned against his will, is pretty curious about this whole vampire thing, and not so sure he wants it to be over.
Cut to Stefan and Elena in the present. She asks how he’s feeling, and tells him that he needs the blood to survive. Stefan: “I don’t want to survive.” Elena: “Don’t say that.” Stefan: “I’m sorry, Elena. After what I’ve done it has to end. I just want it over.” Now, where have I heard that before?
A short while later, Damon and Elena discuss Stefan’s new death wish upstairs. Damon shrugs it off: “You know, he’s just being dramatic. He’s not gonna starve himself.” Elena: “Why would he say that?” Damon: “Because he feels bad about hurting that girl. It’s very typical Stefan martyr stuff. It will pass.” Elena: “Will it? Because he seemed to be in a lot of pain.” Damon: “That will pass too, once he eats.” Elena: “I didn’t mean physical pain.” Damon: “I know what you meant. Look, are you going to be okay here if I have to run out? I have to go do an errand with a teacher.” Elena: “A teacher? Alaric? Are you two friends now?” Damon: “I don’t have any friends, Elena.” Elena: “Right.” I’m pretty sure that Elena knows he’s full of it, rather than offended. Also, I love Ian, but he needs to do less mumbling—so hard to hear his lines in this scene. He tells Elena to stay up there, and not go downstairs. She says that she’ll be fine. Damon: “You know, you’re very trusting of him, given the circumstances.” Elena: “So are you. Otherwise you wouldn’t be leaving.” There are two ways to take Elena’s reply. One, that he is also trusting of Stefan, otherwise he wouldn’t be leaving Elena alone with him. Two, he is also trusting of Elena, otherwise he wouldn’t rely on her to be the one keeping an eye on Stefan. Either way reveals how much he cares about both Elena and Stefan.
Meanwhile, Pearl arrives at the Mystic Grill to meet Uncle John. I mean, where else would she meet him. He says that he’s surprised that she came. Pearl: “Jenna tells me that you want to discuss the sale of the building in person.” A likely story. John: “Still, revealing yourself to me like this, you took quite a risk.” Pearl: “I’m not stupid, Mr. Gilbert. You knew who I was when you requested the meeting. So, Damon tells me that you’re looking for the device that I took from Johnathan. I’m sure you realize that I have no intention of giving it to you.” John: “That’s why I wanted to meet you. I plan on changing your mind.” Pearl: “Really? How so?” John: “With my Gilbert charm. I know you have a weakness for it. May I buy you a drink?” Hmmm. I think that Uncle John has it confused. It was Pearl who charmed Johnathan Gilbert, not the other way around. Also, as my sister Frani pointed out, “Sark is like ew in this show,” so it would seem that the prospect of charming ladies is unlikely.
Pearl’s daughter, however, is being quite charmed by another Gilbert. Jeremy and Anna hang out in his room and Jeremy exposits: “So, your mother was in love with Johnathan Gilbert, and he betrayed her?” Anna: “Yep.” Through their continued conversation, we get a replay of how Uncle John wants the device, blah blah blah. Anna is as over it as I am: “Do we have to talk about this all night? I’ve told you everything.” Thank you. She notes that she probably shouldn’t have, as this could get them both in a lot of trouble. Jeremy promises not to say anything. Anna: “Your uncle John wants us dead.” Jeremy: “You don’t know that.” Anna: “Yes I do. He’s a hater, Jeremy.” Really, Anna? You’re going to call Uncle John, “a hater”? Seriously? Have you been watching too many hip hop videos from 2001? She adds, “You’re something else entirely.” He asks what that would be. Anna: “My weakness.” Oh, the cheese. Also, now we know he’s going to end up getting her killed at some point, probably to save his life. [Thankfully that doesn’t happen in this episode.] They make out, and as things progress Jeremy worries, “I don’t want Jenna to walk in on us.” Anna says that Jenna is in the kitchen, and just opened the fridge, clearly using her vamp super-hearing. Jeremy: “That is so cool.” Oh, you say that now …
Then we cut to Alaric and Damon, whose scenes together are the best part of this entire episode. I noted on Twitter that I would totally watch a spin-off featuring the adventures of Alaric and Damon. It would be amazing. I’d settle for more scenes between them though. Which reminds me, I haven’t even recapped their scenes together yet … better get started. The boys arrive at the mysterious house in Grove Hill, and get ready to break in. And we get another mythology moment. Damon: “This is where it gets tricky. I may or may not be able to get in.” Alaric: “How does that work? Do you always have to be invited in?” Damon: “By the owner or person of entitlement. Short term rentals and hotels are a bit of a grey area. You kind of got to play it by ear.” Ha! I love that the show is making the uncertainty of the rules cannon, so as to fudge them later. Brilliant! Alaric: “Could we not kill anyone tonight, please?” Hee. Also, remember his words for later. Damon: “You just brought me along for my company?” They both are able to enter the house, and as they proceed the lights are off and it seems empty. Damon finds human blood in the fridge and tells his new buddy, “Uh, Ric, we have company.” It’s a vampire, but he seems pretty harmless and adorable. Damon recognizes him: “I know you. Your name’s Henry. You were in the tomb.” Henry must have been raised to treat his elders with respect, or perhaps it is a social class thing, because he answers, “Yes, sir.” A vampire with manners! I already like him. He wonders why Damon is there.
Before we get to hear Damon talk himself out of that situation, however, we cut to Stefan in his cage. Grrrr. I was having such fun with Damon and Alaric. The cage scene is just an intro to another flashback. It is 1864, and newly-turned-but-not-fully-transitioned-Stefan arrives home at the Salvatore mansion. He uses his vamp super-hearing to listen in on Giuseppe Salvatore and Johnathan Gilbert discussing the cover up. Johnathan: “I want to make sure the Founders Archives are accurate.” Giuseppe: “Make sure that you document the loss of civilian life in the church.” Johnathan: “They were hardly civilians, Mr. Salvatore.” Giuseppe: “As far as anyone needs to know, they were. As the record keeper for the council, what you write will be passed down through generations. Certain details should be kept only between you and me.” Johnathan: “For example?” Giuseppe: “My sons. They will be remembered as innocent victims of the Battle of Willow Creek. Not for their shame.” Johnathan agrees and they toast to it. Oh, now we know how the vampires deaths were covered up. I had no clue and had been dying to know! Duh. What a waste of James Remar.
Back in the present, Elena checks in on Stefan. Stefan: “You know, Damon hasn’t fed me vervain in a while. I could be at those bars in a flash.” Elena: “Yeah, you could. But you won’t.” He tells Elena that he doesn’t want her here. She goes inside instead. Don’t be an idiot, Elena. Grrr. I mean, I applaud her bravery on the one hand; but on the other hand, don’t go in there, silly child. He tells her to get out. She tells him to drink the blood. As a rule, it is probably not a good idea for a human to encourage a strung out vampire to drink animal blood, when her blood is much more appealing. He freaks out and vamps out, but she doesn’t back down. Brave or stupid? You decide. Then Stefan realizes what he’s doing, and calms down, lowers his head in shame. Oh, he is so ashamed of himself! Brooooooooood.
Then we interrupt this regularly scheduled brooding (thank goodness) to return to the adventures of Alaric and Damon and their new vampire friend Henry. Alaric and Damon ask Henry how he knows John Gilbert. Henry explains that he met him right after he got out of the tomb, and John has been helping him out ever since. Oh, Henry. He is adorable and not very bright. I love him. Alaric: “Helping you out how?” Henry: “Adapting. It’s a whole new world. Cars, computers, Match.com. There’s so much to learn. He helped me to get this place.” Oh, I wish that we were shown the scenes of Uncle John explaining Match.com to Henry. I really do. Alaric wonders if he lives alone. Damon rephrases the question: “That’s my friend’s very passive aggressive way of asking, uh, do you know a woman named Isobel?” Sweet little Henry: “Uh, no. I don’t know an Isobel. I know John. He’s my only real friend. He really showed me the ropes. How to use a microwave, separate my whites.” Hee. Alaric: “What else do you do for him?” Henry: “I help keep an eye on the things, you know, with the others.” Damon asks what others. Henry explains: “From the tomb. They’re still pissed at the founding families for trying to burn them alive. I’m cool, but those tomb boys they want revenge.” Ha! Tomb boys! That has to be my favorite line of the episode. Well, after the whole back and forth about who tried to kill whom between Damon and Alaric on the phone, of course. Damon asks, “What does John want with them?” Henry: “He’s just keeping an eye on them. You know. Trying to make sure that they stay out of trouble.” Oh, poor Henry. He is not the brightest crayon in the box. I predict a short future for him. Damon: “Well, that’s John. Such a do-gooder.” Then Henry’s cell phone rings, and he announces brightly, “It’s John now!” I was cracking up at this point, and wishing that Henry could stick around. I mean, his naiveté is beautiful to watch. Alas. Damon asks to talk to him, and Henry obliges, passing him the phone. Damon holds the ringing phone trying to decide what to do. Henry: “Are you gonna answer that?” Oh, Henry. Damon asks Alaric: “Am I gonna answer that?” Alaric shakes his head. And I possibly swooned. What, you don’t think shaking one’s head can be sexy? Because it really can. That little exchange was my favorite part of the episode. That is, until I inevitable say that something else is my favorite. I’m fickle like that. Then Alaric stakes little Henry, with Damon’s help. While I appreciated their teamwork, I was a little sad that they killed the amusing boy. Damon: “Let’s not kill anyone tonight. Your words. Just pointing that out.” Hee.
Cut to Uncle John hanging up his phone. As we already saw, John was unable to get through to his lackey, who was busy being staked by Alaric. John continues his attempt to charm Pearl into giving up the device. She wonders why she should let him have it. He says he can help her, since the town council listens to him. Pearl: “But the device doesn’t even work. Why would you even want it?” John: “It’s a family heirloom. Call me sentimental.” Uh huh. Riiiiight. Any theories on what Vampire Compass 2.0 actually does? Then Uncle John decides to take another tack: “I read his journals. They’re very extensive. He actually wrote about you. You were his one regret. He loved you and he hated himself for what he did to you.” Pearl: “You’re lying.” John: “No. In his last days he wrote how sorry he was. You were the only woman he ever loved.” John pauses here for Pearl’s emotional reaction, and then laughs evilly. “Good God, you vampires, you’re so emotional. Johnathan Gilbert hated you. His only regret was that he didn’t drive a stake through your heart himself.” Way harsh. And with that, Johnathan Gilbert lost the last bit of sympathy any Sark-loving audience members may have had for him. Pearl gets up to leave, and tells John that she gave the device to Damon. “Why don’t you ask him for it yourself? I’m sure he’d be delighted to give it to you. And then, Mr. Gilbert, may you rot in hell.”
Meanwhile, Elena is still dealing with her suicidal boyfriend. Elena: “Talk to me Stefan. Why are you doing this?” Stefan: “I’m making the decision I should have made years ago.” Elena: “What are you talking about?” Stefan: “You have to feed in order to complete the transition.” Elena knows that. Stefan: “It was a choice I shouldn’t have made.” My only comment on this scene is, did Stefan always have that black rose tattoo? Because that thing is huge. And distracting. And a rose.
Cut back to 1864. Stefan goes inside to see his father, who greets him with fear and disgust: “You’re one of them now.” Stefan: “No, father, I came to say goodbye.” Giuseppe: “I watched you die.” Stefan: “You were there when we were shot?” Giuseppe: “I pulled the trigger myself.” Wow. And I thought Lost had daddy issues. Stefan explains: “I haven’t turned yet. I don’t want to. I’m going to let myself die, father. Please.” Giuseppe then plays the part of the arch-villain, saying, “Yes, you are,” and lunging for his son with a makeshift stake. Stefan uses pushes his father away, but he doesn’t know his own vamp strength. This results in Papa Salvatore stabbing himself through the torso. There is lots of blood. Uh oh. Stefan touches it … and he licks his fingers. Wow. This is going to a very dark place. We don’t actually see Stefan suck his father dry, but that is the implication. Just another thing for Stefan and Angel to have in common, in case their broody foreheads weren’t enough. I couldn’t find the clip from Angel season 1 episode 15, “The Prodigal,” which features Angelus killing his father; so instead, check out a trailer for the classic episode below. While it originally aired 10 years ago, it could have easily been a trailer for tonight’s episode of The Vampire Diaries.
Not that similarities between Stefan and Angel are a bad thing, necessarily. But Angel saved the world … a lot, in order to make amends for his blood-sucking ways. So where does that comparison leave Stefan?
But back to the episode. It seems that all that we just saw involving Stefan and his father was being told to Elena, as we cut back to the present. Stefan asks, “How can you even look at me right now?” Elena: “We need to be able to talk about these things, Stefan. I need to hear them. Come upstairs. We can talk about it more and we’ll keep talking, as long as you need.” Cue the eye-rolls. I mean, there’s a mature desire for one’s significant other to communicate, and then there’s hearing he killed his dad and sucked his blood. Said father did kill his son first … but still. I think Elena should take some time to process what this means. Instead, Stefan is not so sure that he’s ready to leave his cage, but Elena says he is. She says that she will be upstairs when he’s ready, and leaves him with his ring. That is what we call foreshadowing.
Meanwhile, we return to Alaric and Damon. Oh, we were apart from them for too long. They are searching Henry’s place (R.I.P. Henry) for clues, as they are Scoobies now. However, they don’t find anything. Well they find a little something. When Damon grabs some blood from the fridge for dinner, he finds a beer for Alaric and tosses it to him. How sweet and thoughtful. Damon and Alaric are amazing together. I am now Team Blood & Beer, as Red coined it. Alaric is still a little disappointed that they found no sign of Isobel. Damon: “What did you think you were going to find? Isobel with a cigar and slippers?” Alaric realizes that he needs to get a grip: “Oh man. I’ve got to stop this. I can’t keep searching for her.” Damon: “Really, after only 2 years? That’s actually moderately healthy.” Ha! Okay, can I change my vote for best line of the episode now? Alaric realizes who he is talking to, and asks Damon how many years he is going on. Damon: “146. I figure the 200 year mark is probably a good stopping point.” Alaric should totally be Damon’s sponsor in Addicted-to-Pierce-Women Anonymous. Alaric laughs, and continues: “I mean no answer’s enough. I keep thinking I want to know why, when … you know, the precise moment when my wife decided life with me wasn’t enough.” Damon: “She charmed me, your wife, Isobel. She talked a big game, and she was smart. She had this excitement in her eyes. I probably should have known there was something different about her, a tie to Katherine. There had to be some reason I didn’t kill her.” Alaric: “That’s enough Damon. I don’t want to hear any more. I just don’t want to waste any more of my life looking for answers that I really don’t want. I’m through with Isobel. I’m done, with all of this.” You say that now … but it may get tricky.
Cut to Anna, arriving home from spending time with Jeremy. As she enters the farm house, she sees that her mom is packing. Anna: “What’s the matter?” Pearl: “I need you to pack your things. We’re leaving.” Anna says no. Pearl: “I was wrong to think that we could make a home here. It’s time for us to move on.” Anna is not having this. Pearl insists: “We can’t stay. There’s too many people here who know the truth. Too much history.” Anna: “So, you’re just gonna give up? Pack us up and move us out?” Pearl: “It’s not safe here. You know it.” Anna: “Please.” Pearl: “This is about Jeremy.” Anna lies: “No. It’s about me finally getting to build a life for myself. Please, mama.” Pearl: “You gave me my life back. I’m just trying to protect yours. I can’t force you. It’s your decision.” Oh, I wonder what will happen to keep Anna from having to make that decision, and leaving town?
Damon arrives home to Casa Salvatore to see Elena studying. He quips, “Oh, God. You’re still here?” Elena: “Were you expecting anything else?” Damon: “Nope.” I would also point out that the two are very comfortable with each other. In fact, Damon picks Elena’s legs up and puts them on his lap. She asks how his errand was. Damon: “Futile. Although, I think I witnessed a teacher having an existential crisis.” Hee. He asks whether Stefan has eaten yet. Elena: “I thought you didn’t care.” Damon: “Chalk it up to morbid curiosity.” Elena: “I think he’s getting there. But he’s got a lot of guilt that he has to deal with. It doesn’t help that you’ve spent the past 145 years punishing him for Katherine getting caught.” Damon: “This is my fault now?” Elena: “No, it’s no one’s fault, Damon. I’m just saying that you’re not exactly innocent. You’ve made it your life’s mission to make him miserable.” Damon stands up, angry: “Let me ask you a question. In all this important soul searching and cleansing of the demons of Stefan’s past, did you ever manage to get the rest of the story?” Elena: “He said there was more.” Damon: “Yeah, that’s an understatement.” He walks away, but Elena won’t let it go. “Damon! Damon, tell me.”
Cue the flashback, in which we learn the rest of the story. Stefan brings a girl to Damon, and she has clearly been compelled. Damon: “What are you doing? Who is that?” Stefan: “I’ve brought her for you. She’s a gift. [Turning to the girl.] Have a seat please.” Damon: “What have you done, Stefan?” Stefan: “Damon I’ve been to see Father. He came at me. I didn’t know my own strength. There was blood everywhere. He was dying and the blood was too strong. I needed it. I had to have it.” Well, that’s one way to tell your brother that you killed your father. Damon: “You fed?” Stefan: “Yes. And it’s incredible. My body is exploding with power, Damon. I can hear things from far away. I can see through the darkness. I can move like it’s magic. And the guilt, the pain, Damon I can turn it off like a switch. Katherine was right. It’s a whole other world out there.” Interesting. One would have thought that Damon would be the one to realize the benefits of completing the transition, but in this case it is Stefan. Damon is not sold: “Katherine is dead, Stefan. There’s no world without her.” Stefan: “No. You can turn that off too. You don’t have to feel that pain anymore. You’re weak, you’ll be dead soon. You need this. You’ll die.” Okay, what is all this turning off pain and guilt like a switch talk? Does this mean that by feeding on human blood, it effectively serves as a way to turn off a vampire’s conscience? And is it a conscious choice that a vampire must make after drinking the blood, or is it automatic? Human blood seems to have magical properties that work much like the loss of one’s soul in the Buffy verse. Hmmm. Damon says that he can’t, but Stefan grabs him, then grabs the girl and draws her blood. He tells Damon: “I won’t let you die. Don’t fight it. We can do this. Together.” Then he pretty much forces him to feed. Sort of.
Cut to Damon in the present. He tells Elena: “From the moment Stefan had his first taste of human blood he was a different person. I suppose I should thank him. It’s been a hell of a ride.” Damon pretends not to care, and Elena calls him on it. Then she realizes what Stefan might do: “Oh my god. He said he wanted to die.” She goes downstairs to Stefan’s cell, only to find the ring but no Stefan. Dun dun dun.
Meanwhile, Anna climbs through Jeremy’s window while he is sleeping to say goodbye. He stirs, but is only half awake. As he falls back asleep, she kisses him and says goodbye. Well, I guess we know what she chose—to go with her mom. Not that it matters, as we shall see.
Cut to Stefan by the lake. It’s a flashback. No, it’s the present, just in the same location. No, now it’s a flashback. Ooh, this episode gives me a headache. Stefan and Damon talk, post-feeding. Stefan asks his brother how he feels. Damon: “You were right. It is a whole new world.” Stefan is ridiculously optimistic: “We can explore it together.” Damon: “You got what you wanted. You and me for an eternity. But hear this, brother. I will make it an eternity of misery for you.” Then he cackles an evil laugh, and shakes his fist. Kidding. He doesn’t do those things. But the line is real, sadly. It seemed less cheesy in the book.
Cut to the present. Stefan calls Damon’s name, but no one is there. Stefan looks like he is having an acid trip or something, and then we cut back to 1864. Emily is there, and she notes that Stefan has transitioned. Stefan: “You’d have rather found me dead?” Emily: “Katherine saved my life once. I owed her. That doesn’t mean I’d wish her curse on anyone.” Stefan: “Feels more like a gift.” Emily: “That will change.” He asks why. Emily: “Because even in death, your heart is pure. I sense that about you. That will be your curse.” Your heart is pure? Seriously? Bianca Lawson has never been forced to say such a bad line on television ever .. even in the days of her awful pseudo-Jamaican accent on Buffy. As Kendra, the Vampire Slayer, she once said: “Dat’s me favorite shirt. Dat’s me only shirt.” But pure of heart? That’s just offensive. And not just because of the cheese factor. Stefan does not have a pure heart. And I don’t want him to. He has a very loving and passionate heart, sure, but it’s not pure. Pure hearts are what mythological creatures like unicorns have. Stefan would totally suck a unicorn dry, if he was hungry. I’m not saying he’s Voldemort … but let’s be real here. He’s a vampire.
Okay, so, to those of you who did not stop reading, let’s continue. We cut back to the present. Elena has found Stefan, and she approaches. She tells him that Damon told her the rest of the story. Stefan: “I should have died that night, just like I had chosen. And I should have let Damon die too.” Should, coulda, woulda. Too late now, Stefan. She reminds him that he didn’t and that he can’t change what happened. Stefan whines: “Every single person that’s been hurt, every single life that’s been lost is because of me.” She then tells him the account of what happened on the night of her parent’s death. She snuck out to a party, and got stranded. Her parents had to come pick her up, which is why they were out driving on Wickory Bridge that night, where they would crash and die. Elena: “Our actions are what set things in motion, but we have to live with that.” Stefan shakes his head. “I made a choice, Elena. And because of that choice, a lot of people were hurt.” Elena: “You also make a choice to stop, to reject the person that the blood made you. You made a choice to be good, Stefan. That’s the person who jumped in the water to save the family whose car had driven off the bridge. That’s the person who saved my life.” Stefan: “You don’t understand, Elena. It hurts me. It hurts me knowing what I’ve done. And that pain … that pain is with me all the time. And every day I think that if I just give myself over to the blood, I can make that pain stop. It would be that easy. And every day I fight that. And I’m just so terrified that one day I’m not gonna want to fight that any more, Elena. And the next time I hurt somebody, it could be you.” Elena: “There will be no next time.” Stefan: “You don’t know that.” Word. Elena: “Maybe I don’t. But what I do know is that you could take this [holding up the ring], throw it in the quarry, and let the sun rise. Or you could take this ring and put it on and keep fighting.” She puts the ring in his hand and kisses him. She continues, “It’s your choice.” After all his brooding and whining, Stefan mulls this over for about 2 seconds, and then calls Elena’s name. He puts the ring back on, and they kiss. In case you are curious as to how this scene was enacted 12 years ago, check out the video below.
Joking aside, this idea of continuing the good fight, is one that I’m rather fond of. In fact, the idea of life being a struggle, and all that really matters is not giving up, is one of the similarities that I found between The Vampire Diaries novels and the Whedonverse, before the show ever aired. I wrote a whole essay about it: “Yeah, the world sucks, but so what? Musings on morality in The Vampire Diaries and the Whedonverse.”
But back to the recap. At the farm house, Harper helps Pearl pack. Pearl thanks him, and says that Annabelle should be back soon. She lets him know that he shouldn’t feel obligated to leave, just because she is. Harper explains: “This was never my home, Miss Pearl. I was just a soldier who was left to die. You saved me. I’m coming with you.” Interesting. Or at least it could be, hypothetically, if … well, I’ll get to that. Pearl starts carrying baggage, and as she walks out the door, she is staked in the heart. What??????????????????????? Except I really wasn’t shocked, because I was spoiled on Twitter, reading tweets from 4 hours earlier, during a commercial break. Darn East Coast. Or, more correctly, darn West Coast for being 3 hours behind. Grrr. Also, lesson learned. I thought Lost Tuesdays were the only days I had to avoid Twitter for four hours. Still, I would entreat you all to avoid spoiling death scenes. I think it’s awesome to tweet your reactions to the episode, live, but try to vague it up a little. Otherwise, you’re effectively stopping the other half of the country from tweeting during the episode. Not to mention people in other countries who have to wait to watch. Okay, I will get off my soap box now.
Cut to Damon sitting in front of the fire, as Elena and Stefan enter. Damon quips, “Little boy lost.” Whatever, Damon. Elena takes her leave, to let the brothers talk, and Stefan thanks Damon. Damon: “No Stefan, thank you. You’re back on Bambi blood and I’m the big bad ass brother again. All’s right in the world.” Stefan still thanks him, again, for helping Elena take care of him. Damon: “You brood too much. Everything on this planet’s not your fault. My actions, what I do, it’s not you your fault. I own them. They belong to me. You are not allowed to feel my guilt.” Stefan: “Do you feel guilt?” Damon: “If I wanted to, it’s there.” Aha! So the human blood does not automatically remove the guilt, but it’s an option. Stefan stand up, as if to leave, but Damon adds: “You know, Emily waited ‘til after I’d turned to tell me that she’d been successful in protecting Katherine with her spell. She didn’t want me to know about the tomb. She said it would impact my decision.” Stefan: “She didn’t want either one of us to turn. She said it was a curse.” Damon: “Witches. Judgy little things.” Hee. Stefan: “Why didn’t you tell me?” Damon: “Because I didn’t want you to know. Because I hated you, and I still do.” Oh, we’re back to that? Stefan: “I know.” Damon: “Not because you forced me to turn.” Stefan: “Then why?” Damon: “Because she turned you. It was just supposed to be me, Stefan. Just me.” Okay, then what was the point of that whole reveal about Stefan making Damon turn? We already knew the whole jealousy angle, but the rest of the story was supposed to get to the deeper root of Damon’s anger. Turns out, it really didn’t. So, we’re back to where we started. And back to the reason for the brother’s bad blood in the books, but with a different death story. Again, I ask why?
But we take a break from this hamster wheel to cut to Anna returning home and finding her mom’s body. She sobs, and cries out, and it is really good work from Malese Jow, who has really become one of my favorite new additions to the show. Also, Harper’s dead body is lying next to Pearl’s too, staked through the heart. Poor guy didn’t even get to die onscreen. Ouch. Also, wasted opportunity.
But who killed our two vampires? We now get the answer, as we see Uncle John throw a stake gun and stakes into his trunk, and call up the sheriff. “Sorry to call so late. I have an update about the vampires.” Oh, Uncle John, now nobody likes you. But, David Anders, we will always have Alias.
We then cut to Alaric at the bar, drowning his sorrows. We hear a woman’s voice say, “Hello, Ric.” And it is revealed to be Isobel. Dun dun dun. The end.
Okay, so last week, Francesca thought I was trying to trick her with technical blogger mumbo jumbo when I texted her about her thoughts on TVD. This week, we talked on the phone in detail, as she was able to catch “Blood Brothers.” Of course, the last episode she saw before this one was “A Few Good Men,” 4 episodes ago, so you can imagine her confusion. Case in point: I asked her about Damon and Alaric. Frani: “So, now they’re like best friends? Last time I saw them, they were trying to kill each other. What did I miss?” Hee.
I should point out that Frani is in the midst of reading the books, so stop reading if you don’t want book spoilers. Whether Frani’s version of what happened in the books actually resembles what actually happened in the books, is another matter. Frani had a lot to say about the differences between the books and “the movie,” as she terms the TV show. On the characters of Katherine and Elena, she commented: “I don’t know. They kind of like switched. They act like Elena is all fiery in the books but Katherine was all docile.”
I asked her what she thought of the brothers’ deaths, and how it differed from the books. I was actually pretty fuzzy on what happened in the books myself, beyond the fact that the brothers killed each other. Frani: “The death? She [Katherine] doesn’t want to come in between the two brothers. Yeah they killed each other with swords.” Me: “Who struck the first blow? Damon or Stefan?” Frani: “Um … hmmm. I know that it was kinda weird. There was something weird about it. I keep getting the book and the movie mixed up, since I was just reading it.”
I asked her about the magical blood that serves as a conscience killer. She laughed, and then gave her explanation: “The human blood links him more to ‘the power.’ They were always talking about ‘the power’ in the books. I mean, it’s like drinking beer versus shots. What are you going to get more drunk off of?”
Frani also asked, “Was that Sark?” Me: “Yes!” Frani: “I was like, I think that’s Sark. But he’s so different. It’s like this different character that he’s playing.” My internal monologue, drowned by my giggles: “Yeah, that’s the point of acting.” Frani: “You know how you like him in that other show?” Me, gasping for breath between the laughs: “You mean, Alias, one of our favorite shows of all time, which we devoted hours of our lives marathoning over several vacations?” Frani: “I don’t like him on this show. He’s like ew.”