Tuesday, October 16, 2012

All is right with the world, The Vampire Diaries is (are?) back

It's been a long summer, amiright? No arched-eyebrowed Damon, no slightly-dyspeptic-looking Stefan, no it's-cool-to-make-out-with-both-of-them Elena. But the wait is over, and I'm . . . a little underwhelmed, but hopeful. Bloodsucking spoilers follow.

I think the problem is totally my own. Despite my love for all stories vampiric, the one element of the genre that I find about as compelling as collating mass mailers for college reunions (long story) is the "newborn vampire" sequence. I didn't like it in Interview with the Vampire when Louis swanned around his backyard like he was in a performance of Cats, and I bet I won't like it when red-eyed Bella goes for a cross country run in hers. Since the majority of this episode chronicles Elena's liminal state between human and vamp, I was mostly uninterested, though I was mildly amused that pre-vamp state in Vamp Diaries universe has a lot in common with a tequila hangover--can't tolerate lights, noises, or food.

A lot of the ep seemed concerned with tying up loose ends from last season's finale. So (deep breath), Klaus is back in his body and Tyler is back in his. The council has been overrun by some pastor/rancher (?) ballbuster who is arresting all the family members who are a little too friendly with the supernaturals. Bonnie is trying to save Elena from becoming Vampira, and gets a warning from Grams (Jasmine Guy! Holla!) that she's meddling too much in dark magic. Also, both Stefan and Damon are still in love with Elena. That remains the same.

By the end of the episode, Elena has vamped out, and in so doing, remembered everything that Damon compelled her to forget, i.e., he loves her (this sort of recall is the opposite of a tequila hangover). But what is most interesting is the mass suicide of the pastor/rancher/council leader and his minions. Methinks he's somehow able to better meddle from beyond the grave. That, or the show realized that the one remaining supernatural creature it has left to melodramatize is zombies. I desperately hope that the next episode will return to my favorite element of Vampire Diaries--the over-the-top Mystic Falls civic event (dance, carnival, benefit ball) around which the plot pivots!

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