The Vampire Diaries’ Ripper Redux – Part III (Feeding the Monster Within . . .)

“Who’s next in line to GET IN MY BELLY?” 

“Is it YOU?”

Welcome back, my darling Ripper-aholics!  Thank you for joining us for Part III of The Ripper Redux Chronicles.  Last week on The Ripper Redux, we traveled to Present Day, Mystic Falls,  to observe the first underpinings of Modern Day Ripper Stefan.  This week, it’s back to 1864, where we will learn how Stefan and Damon spent their first few days as vampires . . .

“Dammit, Stefan!  I just had this couch cleaned!  Must you always eat in the living room!”

Ironically, it is during these Darkest Days, that Stefan began to build two tenuous links to his humanity, both of which were destined to chart his fate for the rest of eternity: (1) his own vampire brother, and (2) his tremendous capacity for LOOOOOOOOVE . . .

*clears throat*  Did it just get hot in here?

I’m referring, of course, to the same Ripper Stefan who devoured all but one of Elena’s ancestors for dinner . . .

The Last Gilbert Standing . . . (well, actually, he was pretty much laying down, at the time) 

 . . .  and snacked on a trio of Lusty Ladies of the Night for dessert.  Here was a vampire whose appetite for blood and lust knew no bounds.  It is this Ripper Stefan who we meet in the series of flashbacks shown in Season 2’s “The Dinner Party” . . .

“Could I, perhaps, trouble you for a bib?” 

(By the way, for those of you who missed the two previous installments of this series, worry not!  You can check them out by clicking the links below:

Part I: Click Here

Part II: Click Here 

Bon appetite!)

“I had to turn it off.  It was the only way I could survive . . .”

Setting the Scene: 

Judging you . . .

So much for a romantic getaway!  Tensions between Stefan and Elena reach their height, when Stefan learns that Elena’s “agreement” with Elijah involves her sacrificing her own life to the Original Badass, Klaus (who we later learn is Elijah’s brother).  Elena’s got some ‘splaining to do!  But, as it turns out, she isn’t the only one . . .

At the Gilbert cottage, Elena finds an old diary of her ancestor, Jonathan Gilbert.  In it, he details his 1864 run-ins with then-newbie vampire, Stefan Salvatore.  And some of the things that Jonathan has to say about Elena’s boyfriend aren’t particularly nice . . .

“Damn, that Jonathan Gilbert!  I should have decapitated that Diary-Writing Douchebag, when I had the chance!  Oh, wait . . . that means Elena would never have been born.  Doesn’t it?  Hmm . . . nevermind then.”

Let’s watch the clip, shall we?

(Click the internal link to view.)

Potent Quotables:

Present Day –

ELENA:  “He described you as a monster.”

STEFAN:  “That’s what I was . . . In the weeks after I became a vampire, I relished in it.  I took it to the darkest place I could.”

(And later . . .)

ELENA: “It sounds like you were Damon.”

STEFAN: “I was worse.”

STEFAN (voiceover): “I wasn’t myself then.  I was full of guilt, for what I did to my father, my brother.  I had to turn it off.  It was the only way that I could survive.”

Flashback –

STEFAN: “Damon, don’t be like this.  I’m just having fun.”

DAMON: “Staying ALIVE is more fun Stefan.  We have to be more careful than this, more clever . . . like Katherine was.”

STEFAN: “Look where that got her.”

DAMON: “I’m done here . . . with YOU.  I’m leaving town.”

STEFAN: “You hate me . . . I know . . . an eternity of misery and all that . . . I know . . . But you don’t have to leave town.  Damon, I’ll do better.  I promise.”

DAMON: “No, you will get us killed.  I’d rather leave you to do that to yourself.”

Why this scene is a key moment in Ripper Canon:

 Julie:  The TVD writers have done an extremely good job of taking what we THINK we know about Stefan’s blood lusty past, and repeatedly turning it on its head.  (They will do so again, in the Season Finale.)   In the last scene from “Blood Brothers,” we saw Ghost Emily tell Stefan that his TRUE CURSE would be his inherent good heartedness, and the way in which the pain and guilt of his sins would eat him up inside forever.  Based on Stefan’s facial expression following the exchange, we knew that Emily’s words had a definite effect on him.  However, the effect wasn’t exactly what you would expect . . .

“Screw YOU, Emily!” 

Also, in that episode, we saw Damon wash his hands of Stefan for the role the latter played in his at least-partially unwilling vampire transition.  The Elder Salvatore Brother vowed, right then and there, to make his little brother’s life miserable for all eternity.  The exchange suggested that Damon left town that evening, “turned off his emotions,” and immediately became the Bad Boy Vamp we know and love today . . .

In this scene, however, we learn that wasn’t the case.  Despite his anger at Stefan, Damon, apparently, still felt enough kinship with and brotherly responsibility toward Stefan to stay with him for a few more weeks.  But every relationship has its breaking point.  And THIS was Damon’s . . .

Amy:  Bloodaholic Stefan has the addict behaviors down pat here: the benders, the denial, the pleading when faced with consequences. In this brief flashback we see him slurping away at many a willing victim (“Me! I’m next!” those Civil War belles sure were slutty!) in what is basically a Blood Orgy of sorts.  His growling as he feeds, the girls moans, the seeming pleasure that hunter and prey are both getting off on are as close to S-E-X as TVD is allowed to get away with on the CW . . .

“Was it as good for you, as it was for me?” 

Julie:  Ummm . . . I’ll have what she’s having. 😉  Now that you mention it, New Vamp Stefan definitely seems a bit crazier, and more maniacal, than Seasoned Vamp Stefan.  (So much for “not wasting the blood,” and “not making a mess!”)  Having not yet sufficiently mastered the “talents” required to become the cold calculating killer we witnessed in “Miss Mystic Falls,” when Stefan chews on his Victorian Honeys, he seems more in need of a feeding trough and a roll of extra-absorbant paper towels, than anything else . . .

And yet, New Vamp Stefan does share a couple of traits with the Blood-Lusty Stefan of “Miss Mystic Falls”: namely, an enjoyment of killing, and a complete lack of concern for his human victims .  . .

Amy:   Enjoyment of killing, indeed!  Ripper Stefan is having a grand old time doing his Biting Thing, until Wet Blanket Big Bro Damon arrives to compel the Slutty Belles out of La Casa de Rich and Awesome 1.0, and smack some sense into him.

“Come on, Stefan!  We don’t even know whether or not vampires can get STD’s, yet!  Can you imagine having crabs for all eternity?” 

This is where Stefan becomes quite the Little Brother with his rationalizations (No worries about the Founding Families, he’s gonna kill them soon, anyway), whining (that line “Damon don’t be like this, I’m just having fun” is delivered in such a bratty tone), justifying his “weeks” of binging on willing ladies’ necks and putting the Salvatores at risk, by exposing the lie that they survived both human – and vampire deaths.

Source

Julie: Good point, Amy!  You know, it’s interesting that, in his voiceover, Stefan claims that “turning off his emotions” was his chosen method of coping with his guilt, during those Early Vampire Days.  And yet, just like in “Blood Brothers,” here we see Stefan, once again, become rather emotional, when the Elder Salvatore makes his SECOND threat to leave Stefan alone to his own devices.

Source

Stefan’s childlike entreaties for his brother to stay with him, (“I’ll do better.  I promise!”), stand in stark contrast, to his monstrous acts earlier in the episode.  Here is an individual who is DEATHLY afraid of being alone with himself, and his own powerfully devastating emotions.  Despite the fact that, during the act of killing, Stefan genuinely seems to be able to effectively turn off his humanity, it always seems to bite him in the ass, immediately after feeding . . . kind of like a bad hangover that just won’t go away.

“I have SUCH a headache.  I’m never drinking AGAIN, I swear!  I’m sticking to bunnies, from now on . . .” 

Amy:  When Damon lays down the law – that he is done with Stefan for good – that’s when the facade of not giving a sh*t and calling the downward spiral he’s on “fun” comes crashing down and Stefan is faced with what he couldn’t face the night he became a vampire: going on without his brother. The desperate tone his voice takes – the way he grasps at Damon as he stalks off – he’s pathetic really.  As Julie notes, he is terrified of being alone with himself and feeling all that he is so anxious to “turn off”. But he also needs Damon with him.

His “turning” of Damon into a vampire didn’t go quite as planned, with the “lifetime of eternal misery” and such.  But maybe he had hope since Damon stuck around that what he did to his brother could be forgiven – OR perhaps he imagined they would enjoy the kind of brutal partnership that we now know Klaus has planned for him . . .

Source

Julie: I’m glad you brought up the whole Klaus Connection.  I remember watching this episode for the first time, and being EXTREMELY disappointed with the whole “I Stopped Being Bad Stefan, Because Lexi Taught Me the True Meaning of Love” explanation.

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I just thought it was such a cop out, on the writers’ part.  I mean, here we were assuming that Stefan’s Bloodlust was something he battled with, on and off,  for 160+ -some odd years, and then this flashback comes along, which suggests it only lasted 160 some odd hours. 

Now, we see that Stefan DID, in fact, have a “drinking problem,” LONG AFTER meeting Lexi.  In fact, in “As I Lay Dying,” Klaus suggests that Ripper Stefan was alive and well, as recently as 1917.  This, of course, makes things a lot more interesting, as it potentially paves the way for us to see some still-darker flashbacks of Ripper Stefan in Season 3.  It also makes me wonder whether Stefan intentionally misled Elena about the extent of his dark past, in this episode . . .

Amy:  Heck yeah!  Bring on more Ripper Stefan!

The mirror of this scene is at least a dozen others we’ve seen in present day Mystic Falls – in which Damon acts cruel, flippant and ignorant to whatever pleas or demands Stefan is making of him.

To find out that at the beginning those roles were reversed adds yet another layer to the very complicated relationship and history of the Brothers Salvatore. Personally, I hope in S3 we explore more how Stefan thinks himself “worse” than Damon. Was that our first clue that he was less Lexi’s Reformed Vamp Buddy . . .

. . .  than he was the “ripper” of Klaus’ wingman fantasies?

Source

Julie:  I guess we will have to wait until September 15th to find out, won’t we?

“Damn you, CW!  DAMN YOU!”

HOWEVER . . . speaking of Stefan and Klaus, Part IV of this series tackles Stefan’s jaw-dropping degradation into his Ripper self, at the hands of the Original Were-Vamp, as seen in TVD’s EPIC Season 2 finale, “As I Lay Dying.”  You will be able to find THAT installment over at Amy’s spectacular Imaginary Men blog, sometime next week.

Until then, HAPPY FANGING!

[www.juliekushner.com] [Fangirls Forever – (Now featuring Team Ripper-themed t-shirts!)]

14 Comments

Filed under The Vampire Diaries

14 responses to “The Vampire Diaries’ Ripper Redux – Part III (Feeding the Monster Within . . .)

  1. Brittany-Marie

    Thank you for this amazingness! Definitely helping with the four week count down — Now if only you could help me build a time machine or you know, a little remote with a fast-forward button ❤

    • My pleasure, Brittany Marie! I’m happy to help. It’s the least I can do, for all the awesome LINKS, and TVD goodies you send me. They never fail to make me smile (and drool a bit, on occasion, particularly, when shirtless Damon is involved).

      Perhaps, we can get Damon to compel the people at CW to air the Season 3 premiere a few weeks early. 😉

  2. Brittany-Marie

    Wouldn’t that be a treat and a half?

    Perhaps all of our TVD Vamp-Buddies could work together to make the compulsion even stronger! 😀

  3. sassyfran

    I loved thanks for posting I will have to check out the other two 🙂

    • Awwww, thanks so much, sassyfran! I’m so glad you liked our little Ripper Redux! 😉 I recall your being a Stefan fan!

      I can’t wait to read your PLL recap! I’ve been so behind with everything this week. 😦 It’s definitely the first thing I’m going to do when I get home though! I’m very interested in hearing your thoughts on this last episode — your being such a big Fitzy fan, and all. 😉

  4. Pingback: The Vampire Diaries’ Ripper Redux – Part III: Ye Olde Bloody Flashbacks aplenty! « she liked Imaginary Men best of all

  5. serendipity

    Hi Julie! Thanks again for the help in tiding over those endless days before the start of the new season!

    I only realized with seeing the clip again, that Stefan seems to be lying to Elena when he tells her that “WE” were angry at the founding families, suggesting that they both did their fair share in offing members of said founding families… If the flashback later is any indication, where Stefan tells Damon not to worry because the founding families will not be a problem much longer, Damon doesn’t seem to know anything about that, meaning Stefan might have done all those things by himself, no? (And he didn’t work very thorougly either, since ALL the founding families seem to have survived to the present day – Gilbert, Lockwood, Forbes, Fell, etc.)

    Since you expressed interest in Stefan’s Diaries, this is again one of those places where the books seem to deviate from show’s canon, because Damon and Stefan leave town together, and only split up after arriving in New Orleans, when Damon is fed up with Stefan’s behaviour, and then Stefan meets Lexi. The flashback here suggests Damon leaves MF alone, after Stefan met up with Lexi… Just FYI 😉

    Looking forward to your recap of True Blood!

    • Excellent point, valerie! Though Stefan and Damon might have both been ANGRY about what the Founding Families did to Katherine, only ONE of them expressed his anger, by going on a killing spree. Likewise, while both Salvatore Brothers were ANGRY at their dad for coming from what I like to call the Sheriff Forbes School of Parenting, in preferring that his own sons be DEAD to having them “associate” (in the biblical sense ;)) with vampires, only Stefan actually ATE him. 🙂

      Interestingly enough though, I think Stefan’s statement to Elena was consistent with his character, and the unique way in which he copes with his guilt. Damon never has any trouble fessing up to his bad acts, because he essentially sees himself as a “bad vampire” . . . a cold and calculating killer. And that’s OK with him . . . or at least, it WAS, until Elena came along. 😉 Conversely, Stefan always holds himself up as the “good brother.” So, while, inside, he may be tearing himself up with guilt over the murders he committed, on the outside, he always seems to have an excuse or justification for what he did.

      So, when Stefan goes on a bloodlusty rampage, and ineffectively murders all of the members of the founding families (maybe some of the others also had rings like John did?), he claims that he did it to avenge Katherine’s “death”, and on behalf of his grieving, but basically, passive, brother. And when Stefan lies to Elena about his dark past, he claims that he does it to protect her, and prevent her from experiencing any additional loss, rather than to keep HIMSELF from losing her. By putting forth these justifications, Stefan feels that he can continue to hold himself out as the “good brother,” and distance himself from his Ripper Side, of which he is so ashamed.

      It’s interesting that the TVD writers encapsulated the flashbacks fro Stefan’s Diaries, so that it appears that Damon left Stefan in Mystic Falls, post-Lexi, as opposed to in New Orleans, pre-Lexi. While I generally found the whole Lexi Performs an Intervention for Stefan on Behalf of LOOOOOOOVE plot point cheesy, there was ONE aspect of it that I liked a lot. And for that aspect to exist, Stefan had to have already met Lexi, before Damon abandoned him for his Ripper ways. (I’m sure you know where I’m going with this. ;))

      If you recall, in this episode, there was a brief exchange between Lexi and Damon (who, at the time were basically strangers), in which Lexi insightfully predicted that Damon, who, back then, was serving as both the “good brother” and the “good vampire,” would eventually allow his anger to get the best of him, and turn him into something dark and murderous, if he wasn’t careful.

      The scene served, not only as a nice little explanation as to why the sweet docile new vamp Damon from these flashbacks, became the remorseless killer we met in the pilot episode, but also as an interesting foreshadowing of Damon’s subsequent murder of Lexi, in order to prove himself to the townspeople. Had Stefan not met Lexi until after Damon was out of the picture, we wouldn’t have been able to witness this particular exchange.

      So, I guess, sometimes the TV show IS better than the book, right? 🙂

  6. So much awesomeness here, again, you two. It is interesting that Stefan’s curse of the pure heart comes with the binge drinking, in order to quench the pain.

    His line about not making a mess cracks me up because who is the messiest eater of all vampires? Mr. Stefan? On another note, him wanting to be a doctor will always kill me. It makes perfect sense for his good-guy self, but it is so creepy/funny thinking about ripper-doctor.

    That line about eternal crabs: hilarity! You know these kids didn’t get educated on safe sex. Or did Damon teach Stefan the ways? (Is The Vampire Diaries tagline Catch VD trying to tell us something?)

    Cannot wait until the next one… and then the show! 😀

    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Noelle! Just think, in a few more weeks we will have BRAND NEW episodes of TVD to discuss.

      Your hilarious comment, actually got me thinking about real life, alcoholics and doctors. (Not that I’m saying these two types of individuals are related in any way, of course. :)) Regarding alcoholics, I wonder if a lot of people who turn to drinking in excess, do so for the same reasons that Stefan gorges on blood, namely to dull the pain of reliving their dark pasts, and prevent themselves from experiencing the heartaches of their present.

      As for doctors, I suspect, if you ask most of them why they chose their particular field, they would say something about “wanting to help people.” But don’t you think there are a few surgeons out there (not that any would actually admit it), who were drawn to becoming a surgeon, partly because they are enthralled by the idea of observing, studying and cutting into human flesh, for hours on end? Sounds pretty vampiric to me! 🙂

      Oh, and you are absolutely right, Stefan is, by far, the PIGGIEST EATER OF ALL THE VAMPIRES! Every time they show him feeding, I have this urge to reach into the television, and hand him a bib and a wet napkin for his face! You would think 145 years of feeding, would have taught him to clean up after himself! 😉

  7. Pingback: The Vampire Diaries’ Ripper Redux Pt. IV: Rebirth of a Ripper « she liked Imaginary Men best of all

  8. Pingback: The Vampire Diaries’ Ripper Redux Part IV – When Klaus Met Stefan . . . | TV Recappers Anonymous

  9. Oh, I definitely think that Stefan has misled Elena about the extent of his ripperness.

    He has always been concerned about others’ perception of him (“I’m the good brother”, trying to hide his addiction rather than seeking help at first, only revealing painful truths to Elena when forced to, like her similarity to Katherine in appearance when Elena finds the picture of Kat), and I’m sure we’ll be uncovering some skeletons in his closet in season three.

    I admit I am very curious about why Klaus is interested in Stefan specifically. Klaus wouldn’t just take an interest in any old vampire, and presumably there are vamps going on bloody rampages throughout the world. What makes Stefan and his methods of killing special? Is he particularly cruel, or particularly adept at covering his tracks. I’ve seen speculation that the Salvatores and Elijah/Klaus might be of the same bloodline. I’m not sure how I feel about that, exactly, but it would definitely explain Klaus’ interest in his vampire descendent 😉

    Maybe Klaus is intrigued by Stefan because of his inherent goodness. Maybe he likes the thought of messing with his mind and seeing how far he can take him down an evil path before he reclaims some of his humanity.

    All of these posts have been fabulous and are making me even more excited for Klaus/Stefan that I already am. Now, if only I could hunt down that full batch of bts photos of K/S to share with you…

    • Hey Cherie! I definitely think that, beyond his Evil Master Plan for Stefan, Klaus is definitely amused by the extreme duality of his nature. He undoubtedly enjoys having his very own vampire version of Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde to manipulate, and mold into his own image. And yet, I do wonder what it is that makes Stefan “special” to Klaus, beyond his unquenchable bloodlust and admirable murdering techniques. I mean, if you’ve seen one carotid artery slashed, you’ve seen them all right? 😉

      Honestly, I had no idea that there was speculation about the Salvatores being related to the Originals. In fact, I had always assumed that Klaus’ werewolf father was a Lockwood, making Klaus and Tyler distant relations. But I guess the Salvatores could be related to the Originals, as well, if, say one of the seven children in Klaus’ family was a female, who gave birth before she was turned. And that baby somehow escaped the family before their transformation.

      On the other hand, if both of the Salvatore brothers end up being related to Klaus and Elijah, why did Klaus seem so interested in Stefan, and not at all interested in Damon? After all, had Damon not been marked with Tyler’s bite, Klaus seemed fully prepared to use HIM as the vampire sacrifice, instead of Useless Aunt Jenna? Hmm . . .

      Well, this definitely leaves us plenty of food for thought to chew over, during the remaining TVD-less weeks ;). Is it September 15th yet?

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