Stake, Rattle and Roll – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “The Rager”


Umm, Elena.  This may not be the best time to tell you this, but . . . you have a little something on your face.

Howdy, Fangbangers!  This week, on TVD, Elena got some lessons in Vampire Anger Management from . . . This Guy?

She also took the most ridiculously uncool-looking motorcycle ride since this moviecame out, back in 2007 . . .

Also this week, Rebekah did her best impersonation of what Regina George from Mean Girls would act like, if Regina George from Mean Girls was a vampire . . .

While Damon opted instead for a little Vampire Magic Mike action . . .


Let’s review, shall we?

Because in Mystic Falls, the Dentist makes house calls . . .


“OK, now open your mouth and say AHHHHHHHHHH!

Of all the spooky things that happen on this show, I’d have to say the most terrifying of them all aside from Elena’s massive Blood Puke Fest, last week was that time when Vampire Hunter Connor performed some impromptu dental work on Hybrid Tyler.  Because, let’s face it.  Dentists are way scarier than any vampire, werewolf or witch, I’ve ever seen . . .

It all started with Tyler snoozing at the hospital, recovering from his not-so-much-there-anymore bullet wound . . .

Poor Tyler!  It’s so hard to find good help these days.  You would think that with all the money Mommy spent on her son’s hospital bodyguard, he’d be smart enough not to leave his post and WANDER DOWN THE HALL, just because he “heard a sound.”

I mean, come on!  If that’s not the oldest trick in the book, I don’t know what is . . .

The good news is supernatural Tyler was more than equipped to battle his intruder.  The bad news?  He had to do it while wearing a dress . . .


“Let’s dance!  One-two-cha-cha-cha.  Three-four-cha-cha-cha.”

I’m going to go ahead and give Tyler the benefit of the doubt, by saying that his inconvenient “battle attire” was at least partially to blame for his getting his ass handed to him by a guy whose idea of a good time is carving pictures into bullets for fun.  Of course, that whole “being injected with a paralytic” thing didn’t help either . . . Oh, then this happened . . .


“Hey, you know, since you’re already in there, would you mind checking out this cavity I have on my left molar?

So, it turns out, Connor didn’t want to clean Tyler’s teeth at all!  He was just using him for his vampire-killing werewolf venom!  HOW RUDE!

“You owe me, Bro!  I don’t give up my spit to just anybody!  That sh*t’s sacred!”

Tyler returned home to his Mommy’s house,  only to learn that Klaus and his band of Merry Mute Hot Hybrids had come to crash at his pad for a few days . . .


“Hey Tyler.  I’ve decided to use your home as the photo-shoot site for my Sexy Supernaturals of 2013 Calendar.  Meet Mr. January and Mr. March.”

I kid!  Actually, Klaus hired these soon-to-be-dead extras to protect Tyler – his special snowflake of a hybrid.


After all, now that former Bloodbag Elena is immortal, Klaus’ sex slaves magical creations are kind of an “endangered species.”  Without them, Klaus might be forced to hire boring humans to kiss his ass for him, like regular rich people do.  Perish the thought!

I don’t know, Klaus.  Putting all your precious hybrids under one roof doesn’t seem like such a good idea to me.  For one thing, the entire species has just become one “gas leak” away from extinction.  Hasn’t the Anti-Vampire Council taught you anything?

Not to mention the fact that Vampire Hunter Connor now has a convenient one-stop shop for all the werewolf spit he could possibly want.  But more on that later . . .

Damon Salvatore Stars in “Trailer Park Shenanigans”

When we first saw Damon this week, he was ragging on his little brother . .  .


 . .  . while making empty threats to leave Mystic Falls for about the 28th time since the series began . . .  Oh Damon!  You aren’t fooling anybody.  We all know you can’t bear to leave The Elena for more than half an episode . . .

Anywhoo, Damon heads over to the scummy-looking trailer where Vampire Hunter Connor is currently residing.  And, perhaps this is just me, but I thought it looked suspiciously similar to the scummy-looking trailer where those lame werewolves put down stakes, back in Season 2.  Perhaps, all of Mystic Falls’ Big Bads engage in some kind of a carpooling / timeshare system?

“It’s because none of us ever live long enough to sign a long-term lease.”

So, Damon was chilling in this trailer (though, I’m not quite sure how he got in, as he was clearly never invited), perusing some purloined love letters from the late Pastor Young, when all the sudden, this happened . . .

Don’t you just hate it, when you’re trespassing in your enemy’s house, and you find yourself stabbed with an arrow attached to a bomb that’s triggered to go off, if you move a muscle?  I know I do!  Fortunately, Damon was used to this . . .

Ahhh . . . sweet foreplay.

And promptly decided to phone his lady friend for help . . .


It was just another day at the office for Dr. Meri-Death Fell, who promptly extracted the offending bomb-arrow-contraption from our hero’s pelvis, while offering him some sage advice about the importance of “brotherly love.”  Damn, when I go to the doctor, I’m lucky if I get a 15 cent lollipop along with my bill!


That’s right, folks.  Much like a certain Vampire Rose, Meredith Fell is one of those characters I initially hated, who came to earn my grudging respect by admitting that she is on Team Delena.

I mean, really.  How could I possibly hate a character who tells Damon he’s the better brother, because he’s out actually protecting Elena from evil vampire hunters, while Saint Stefan is busy carting her around to poison keggers, and taking her on stupid motorcycle rides?

Speaking of Elena and Stefan . . .

Back-alley wrist sucking, and bathroom catfights


Well . . . that’s one way of checking if your pencil is sharp enough . . .

Like many enterprising high school students, Elena’s day began with a healthy breakfast . . .

So beefy!

How far the mighty hath fallen, Matt.  You used to make out with girls like Elena behind the school.  Now, the best you can hope for is that they offer you a bandaid, after they’ve sucked the marrow out of your wrist . . .

“Try to eat less garlic for dinner.  My hot vampire boyfriends, who I actually make out with, have been complaining about my breath.”

Over in The-History-Class-That-Used-to-Be-Taught-By-Alaric-Saltzman-But-Is-Now-Taught-By-a-Blind-Teacher-Who’s-Oblivious-to-the-Fact-That-Her-Students-Occasionally-Stab-Eachother-with-Pencils, Rebekah and Elena exchanged some harsh words with one another.


It seems that Elena doesn’t like Rebekah, because Rebekah (1) killed Alcoholic Surrogate Dad, (2) kind of /sort of killed Elena, (3) almost killed Elena’s bloodbag, Matt, and (4) used to bone both of Elena’s boyfriends, Damon and Stefan.


In turn, Rebekah doesn’t like Elena, because . . . well . . . everyone else in Mystic Falls loooooves Elena, and it totally pisses Rebekah off.

It didn’t take long for Rebekah and Elena to start cat fighting with one another, using one bloody pencil as a shared weapon between them.  Meanwhile, useless Stefan, not wanting to “get involved,” sat idly by, clearly turned on by the spectacle, and obviously imagining that the two hot vampettes were fighting over him . . .

Did I mention that Vampire Hunter Connor — who seems to have no gainful employment, and therefore, can spend all his time designing pretty bullets, booby trapping his trailer, and lurking around high schoolers like the pedophile we all know him secretly to be — was conveniently at Mystic Falls High that day?  Though Connor’s initial reason for showing up at the school was to hit on “recruit” latent-vampire hunter Jeremy, who he noticed was totally checking out his super-secret tattoos, last week, at the Only-Bar-Social-Establishment-in-Mystic-Falls . . .

. . . the sexy bald man’s presence at Mystic Falls High School actually ended up being beneficial to multiple parties.  First, there was Rebekah, who devised a rather clever plan to out the newbie vamp in front of her would-be killer, by preparing her a surprise mid-morning snack . . .


Don’t do it, Elena.  Eating in the bathroom is SUPER unsanitary . . .

Fortunately, Elena — who, let’s face it, is probably used to going hungry often, given her penchant for model thinness — managed to control her inner cannibal.  And our “SAG card winning” (three lines is all it takes!) student extra got to live another day . . .

Another unintended beneficiary of Connor’s presence was Matt, who, in a moment of rare genius, outed the much-despised Rebekah as a vamp, when asked about the source of his “arm hickeys.”  Did I mention that Rebekah was planning to have a big keg party that night at her new home?  Ruh-roh, Klaus Barbie fans . . . I smell trouble!



So, you know how, at the beginning of the episode, Connor sucked spit out of Tyler’s mouth (it’s not as sexy as it sounds) for no seemingly discernible reason?  Well, it turns out he can use it to spike the keg supply at Rebekah’s party, thereby murdering all Mystic Falls Teen Vamps with one proverbial red solo cup!  Pretty ingenious, right?

Except, here’s the thing . . . I mean, the guy took, what, two tablespoons, three tablespoons of saliva TOPS from Tyler’s mouth?  And that’s supposed to saturate an entire keg?  That must be some seriously powerful mouth goo!

“Even my spit is awesome . . .”

So, of course, the big question becomes, will any of OUR favorite vamps drink the poison beer?

Because if that’s not a PSA against underage drinking, I don’t know what is!

But first, our Scooby Gang had to get to the party.  And Elena, for one, was not about to attend her nemeses’ soiree empty handed.  She planned on partying with a big stick in her hand . . . Damon’s big stick, of course. 😉


Again, special thanks to Connor for bloodying up Damon, thereby giving our favorite Salvatore an excuse to “get out of those DIRRRTY clothes,” right when Elena was stopping by to rifle through Damon’s underwear drawer for that . . white oak stake.

Yeah, whatever, Elena.  You can claim all you want that you came over to Damon’s house just to “kill Rebekah” with that “magical Original-killing stake,” but we all know the only hard pointy object you were really interested in lies right between Damon’s legs . . .

Speaking of couples that I ship more than Stelena, did you all get a load of the intense connection / sweet chemistry between Baby Vamp Caroline and Daddy Vamp, Stefan, this week?


Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m still a card-carrying Forwood fan.  But there’s just something about the easy-going, natural, and non-judgmental way in which Stefan and Caroline relate to one another, that makes Stefan seem so much more relatable than he is when he’s worshiping at the altar of and/or stern father figuring Elena . . .

Though it’s not something I see as being an “endgame,” I definitely wouldn’t mind the writers delving a bit further into the Steroline relationship, this season .  . .

But since I mentioned Tyler, I should add that our baby hybrid has gotten himself into a bit of a pickle.  And that pickle has a name: Hayley . . .


Ever since Tyler’s convenient miraculous “breaking of the sire bond, off-screen” many fans have been wondering what, or, perhaps more accurately, whohe was doing, during those “lost months in the woods.”  Now, we know.


OK.  Here’s the thing, even if we give Tyler the benefit of the doubt, and assume that he was a perfect gentleman, all through his time away from Caroline, we all know how intense werewolf-shifting can be for a couple of hot-blooded horny teens . . .

And, just like Stefan took some serious umbrage at the notion of Damon and Elena sharing blood  . . .

. . . I suspect that the naturally jealous Caroline will have some serious issues with the idea of Tyler shifting in front of another single lady.  And, of course, Klaus, who inadvertently found out about Hayley’s existence this week,  will undoubtedly use this situation to his advantage . . .

In short, I predict a lot of drawings of ponies from this guy, in the near future . . .

But back to the beer.  Rebekah was drinking like a fish, so we knew immediately that she’d be in for a rough night.

Hoity toity Stefan, on the other hand, shuns all cheap booze.  (Only the best for our Baby Salvatore!)  So, he was in the clear . . .

At first, Elena seemed like she might be safe, having offered her cup of brew to the Quirky! Adorable! April Young.  But then Big Bad Rebekah had to go and temporarily sunburn Elena, by dropping her sunscreen ring down the insinkerator.  Oops!

No one ruins Elena’s flawless complexion and gets away with it!  Elena was out for blood!  She grabbed her surrogate Damon Salvatore Penis white oak stake, and prepared to strike.  But then Jiminey Cricket the Vampire, a.k.a. Stefan informed Elena that killing an entire line of vampires, just because some b*tch jacked your ugly ring, would be a bit excessive.  So, Elena decided to do the next best thing . . . a keg stand?

“Mmmm poison Lockwood backwash mixed with Bud Light.  A tasty combination!”

It seemed like a kind of random move to me.  But it sure did piss off Rebekah.  So, mission accomplished, in that regard.  Also, it looked cool.  And Elena really needed those extra coolness points to make up for the ridiculousness of the scene that followed this one . .

“A whole new wooooooooorld . . . “

Ahhh young love (though, I guess, in this case, only half-young)!  It can be so freeing sometimes, can’t it?  It can make you feel immortal especially if you are actually immortal.  It can make you feel like you’re . . . wait for it . . .  “The King of the World.”

It can make you do stupid dorky things, like wear a funny-looking helmet on a motorcycle ride that is supposed to represent your new-found freedom from doing things like wearing funny-looking helmets . . .





I don’t know.  I just think there were plenty of less cringe-worthy ways to make the point that Elena was embracing her free-spirited vampire side.   For example, she could have gone bungee jumping, or cliff diving.  She could have . . . danced in her underwear with Damon Salvatore . . .

Instead, she did this.  And the whole time I was watching, I was secretly hoping that she would faceplant into a tree.  Yes, I’m aware that makes me a terrible person . . .

Speaking of Guilt . . .


Dating Tips by Rebekah Mikaelson: “When the boy you like seems unwilling to give you his heart, take it for yourself.  He probably wasn’t using it, anyway.

Delirious from the werewolf venom that was just starting to make it’s way through their respective bloodstreams, both Rebekah and Elena were forced to face the darkest sides of their true nature.  For Rebekah, this meant hearing the boy she had grown to admire most, tell her she was juvenile, pathetic, and undeserving of love.  So, she did what any girl would do in that situation.  She ripped out his heart . . . literally . . .

Don’t worry, Matt lovers.  It was just a dream . . . for now . . .

As for Elena, during sex with Stefan, she also did what any girl would do in her situation . . . She imagined she was boning Damon.


The writers implied that this hallucination was meant to represent Elena’s belief that her vampire style was more akin to that of the fun-loving, morally loose, murderer-in-moderation, Damon, than to the all-or-nothing, Jekyll and Hyde, Puritan/Ripper Stefan.


But, personally, I prefer to think that Elena got a nice long glimpse of Damon’s “white oak stake” earlier in the day, and decided that she wanted MORE, MORE, MORE . . .

Speaking of Damon . . .

Badass Bromances and Who the F*&k are The Five . . .

With the help of Jeremy, who used Connor’s “interest” in him to lure the vampire hunter to the hospital, under the guise of catching Damon Salvatore . . .

And Damon would know . . .


  . . . Damon, and, surprisingly enough, Klaus, banded together to ensnare vampire hunter Connor in a trap that was remarkably similar to the one Connor caught Damon with earlier.  (Payback is a b*tch.)


With Connor caught in their crosshairs, Klaus and Damon took this time to flirt with one another, as former enemies turned bromantic buddies will inevitably due . . .


Of course, all this flirting and trash talking leads to the inadvertent exposure of some intriguing information about Connor.  According to Klaus, his tattoos, along with the markings on his bullets designate him as more than just your garden-variety Alaric Saltzman type vampire hunter.  Rather, Connor (and possibly Jeremy) is one of the elusive “Five,” a group of supernatural vampires that . . . I suspect . . . might have the ability to revert vampires back into their mortal form.

Aha, TVD . . . I see what you are doing here, you sly devils you . . .

Unfortunately, before my suspicions can be confirmed, Connor and foes trigger the bomb and the room goes kablooey, taking Connor right along with it into oblivion . . . or does it?

In which Klaus saves EVERYONE, and Damon saves . . . Matt?

Like many of you viewers, I found it amusing that, after all that has happened, Stefan still has Klaus on speed dial, and willingly cell phone stalked him, when Elena needed the Original Hybrid’s blood to cure her werewolf poisoning.  Of course, as we all know by now, Klaus never does anything without a clear and calculated reason, and his rescue of vampire non-bloodbag, Elena is no different.  In a surprise scene at the end of the episode, we find out that Klaus has also saved Connor.

Could it be that Klaus has plans to use Connor to turn Elena back into a human, so that he can use her blood to create more hybrids?  Only time will tell . . .

Speaking of bloodbags, we find a newly healthy Elena chowing down on Matt’s arm again, just as she did earlier in the episode.  Except this time around she’s . . . wait for it . . .

Of all the people in Matt’s world, Elena was probably the last person he thought would almost kill him.  And yet, almost kill him, Elena does, putting Blood bag boy’s life in danger, for about the 80th time this season . . .

Then, in a complete reversal of the scene from the pilot, in which minutes-old vampire Elena rescued Matt from a furious-Damon, the Elder Salvatore holds back the ravenous Elena from finishing off her quarterback jock chew toy . . .


Just as Stefan seemed the perfect person to teach the naturally impulsive baby vamp Caroline to control her vampire urges, by helping her go cold turkey from them, until she could cope with them more naturally, so too does Damon’s method of bloodsucking-in-moderation seem well-suited to Elena’s more even-keeled, laid-back temperament.  Once again, I was touched by how gentle, and non-judgmental Damon was with Elena, reminding her that her vampire impulses were not shameful, and promising her that he could help her control them in a way that would still enable her to enjoy her un-death . . .


This, of course, leads us right in to the positively Fangtastic-looking promos for next week’s episode, which I would like to hereby lovingly entitle: The Delena LOVE AND SEX Buffet .  . . See for yourself . . .

Until next time, Fangbangers!

[][Fangirls Forever]


Filed under The Vampire Diaries

23 responses to “Stake, Rattle and Roll – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “The Rager”

  1. OMG, you are brilliant! That The Five’s power might actually be able to turn vamps back into humans. I’ve been looking for witchy ju-ju ways to do that, but it makes perfect sense that it’s Connor. That’s why Klaus now finds BOTH Connor and Elena ‘useful’ again….I am totally stunned! I’m totally on-board with the fact that St. Stefan and Caroline seem more, um, suited to each other. Kinda like Connor and Rebekah (in her present back-slid I’m-just-a-bitch-mode) would make a great couple you’d love to hate! Tyler also got a bite taken out of his reformed dumb jock butt with the whole Hayley issue. I personally have no problem believing he tapped that in the woods. But doggie-style or no, it’s set up for Caroline to believe it, so there ya go (Klaus). He got more leverage in one epi on The Kids than he’s had since, oh, a random made-up Aztec legend? AND now he has a reason to actually remain in the story, unlike no doppelganger no bloodbags no point. Not that I care–I personally think he just LOOKS like a pedophile, has creeped me out from Day One, and shoulda been MUCH more badass that Connor managed in his very first scene, but that’s just me. My personal favorite moments of the epi? “Is that a stake in my pocket or are you just happy to see me?” and the just-effed OMG where’d Stefan go pullback. *dead* Fabbo recap, as usual!

    • Hey mak! I’m so glad you liked my recap, as I absolutely ADORED your. I’m still giggling about some of your captions, theories and snark. Oh, and I absolutely adore the idea of Connor and Beks teaming up as the Sexy Stakey TEAM OF MEAN. Now, those are two angry people who could have some SPECTACULAR hate sex, don’t you think?

      It’s interesting how well received Connor has been so far as a Big Bad. He definitely seems like more of a major threat, than some of his all bark / no bite predecessors (Mikael, Brady, Jonas . . . remember him?). Maybe it’s a “bald guy with tatts” thing? 🙂

      Ahhh, Klaus and his random made-up Aztec legend . . . such memories ;). I’d say that was probably TVD’s second biggest legitimate shocker twist of all time (the first, of course, being Kat’s surprise amputation of Uncle / Father John’s hand in the season one finale).

      Anywhoo, thanks for reading. I always adore talking TVD with you.

      • Andre

        I didn’t find it shocking at all. Just plain boring and stupid, it let to more questions than it answered. :/

  2. helena

    I love your recaps. They are really funny and it is great to read the recap of another delena fan. Hey, I wasn’t able to see the best delena moments of the 3rd season part 2 😦

    Thank you and keep the good job with the recaps =D They are the greatest

    • Thanks so much, helena! That’s so sweet of you to say. I’m so glad you’ve been enjoying the recaps. 🙂

      And you are absolutely right about my flaking on getting the Top Delena moments post for the second half of season 3, published prior to the beginning of Season 4. I guess that just means I will have to make my next Delena-centric post that much more in-depth, to make up for it, won’t I? 😉

  3. aleksandra

    Hi Julie. You’re really great. I love your recaps. I’m a Delena fan too. I’m also a huge fan of GG and of course a Chair shipper. Are you going to make GG recaps?I really love your GG reviews and I’m curious what your opinion about the new episodes is. Thank you for your great work.

    • Hey aleksandra! A Delena fan AND a Chair shipper. You have excellent taste! 😉 Thanks so much for reading, and for your kind words. I definitely do plan on writing a GG / Chair centric post in the near future, especially now that our favorite Upper East Side couple is pretty much guaranteed to be endgame, right? 🙂

      • aleksandra

        Thanks Julie:-). You also have an excellent taste! And you’re an AMAZING writer! I’m so happy that Chair is endgame:-). I never had doubts about it.I’m looking forward to reading that GG/Chair centric post.

  4. I laughed a lot, especially at the carpooling villains reference. I know it’s only been three episodes, but for me this season is the most consistent since season one. I’m loving it. This episode made me ship any characters who shared a scene, and that’s how I like it. I prefer the show when it focuses on meaningful (or at least weird) character interactions than a few forced romantic encounters. As I said last week, I identify way more with Elena as a bipolar vampire than as a long-suffering martyr. (Though as a vampire, I might resemble Stefan’s all or nothing persona.) Also glad Connor didn’t die. I like the mysterious characters, but TVD often kills them off which makes them more lame than intriguing. Until next week! 🙂

    • Hey Noelle! Elena as a bipolar vampire . . . I love it! 🙂 You bring up a great point. More so than in the past two seasons, I feel like this season of TVD is genuinely focusing on character development, and exhibiting it through solid dialogue between characters who we don’t necessarily get to see interact on a weekly basis. Little scenes . . . like the exchanges between Stefan and Caroline, Stefan and Bonnie, and Elena and Matt, have added a sense of complexity to the series that we haven’t seen in a while.

      You are also right about Connor, as the big-bad villian to beat so far this season. Hopefully, he’ll at least last longer and be able to do more damage to our Scooby Gang than that ridiculous Pastor Young. 🙂

      Hmmm, I’d like to think I’d be a more Damon-y or Caroline-y, “everything in moderation”-type vampire. But I guess I’ll never get to find out. 🙂

  5. East Coast Captain

    Hey Jewls!

    They are vampire hunters Jewls not vampires I think…

    You think they can turn a vampire back into a human? Interesting theory. In the books Damon turns back into a human. Though if that scenario should happen in TVD perhaps maybe Stefan turns him back into a vampire when Damon begs him to do it fully rectifying when Stefan forced Damon to turn in 1864.

    I don´t blame Tyler for sort of cheating on Caroline with Hayley she is a very sexy thing. Frolocking around naked in the woods with her? Not bad.

    Steroline has a healthy following did you know that? Never say never Jewls the endgame could be a surprising twist.

    Of course Mrs. Paul Wesley is Team Delena! 😉

    Stefan and Damon are good teachers when it comes to teaching new vamps the ways of the undead though each of their methods has a con and a pro.

    I think Elena is ripping her very throat next episode, I knew that at her young age they always slip up.

    • Hey East Coast Captain? Did I call the Five vampires? It must have been a typo. 🙂

      I’m not sure if the Five have the power to revert vampires back into humans just yet. But it would explain Klaus’ restored interest in Elena’s well-being, as well as his decision to rescue Connor. We all know how much Klaus values his silly hybrids, right?

      Haha, I figured you’d like Hayley. She’s definitely your type, spunky, strong, sexy, and takes no crap from anyone. I’m still having trouble not picturing her as Faye from Secret Circle. But, hopefully, that will dissipate in time.

      You might be right about both Stefan’s and Damon’s methods of vampire instruction both having their pros and cons. I do wonder if, next week, we will find that Damon’s lessons to Elena about moderation will end up not going exactly as planned

  6. Kayla

    OMG you are an amazing writer!! I always love reading your recaps!! I’m also glad that your a Delena fan like me. But did you hear the news?? The new book is out and Elena finally makes her final choice final… Too many finals? Anywho e-mail me if you want to be spoiled on who she ends up with! Oh and I agree with what East Coast Captain said about Mrs. Paul Wesley being a Delener 🙂 And yes, next week’s episode is going to be much like this week’s in which Elena handles “the white stake” if you catch my drift. 😉

    • Thanks so much Kayla. I’m always looking to meet other Delena fans. We are like kindred spirits. 🙂

      Thanks so much for offering to spoil the books for me. I’ll definitely take you up on that. I heard Elena picks Stefan in the final book of the series. I also heard that Alloy’s decision, in that regard, was a key part in L.J. Smith’s departure as the series’ author.

      Part of me almost doesn’t want to know what happens in the books. This way, I could continue to envision the series ending the way I always assumed Ms. Smith wanted them to end, with Damon and Elena together. 🙂 And yet, another part of me is super curious as to how it all actually ended in the “real world.”

      Decisions . . . decisions. 🙂

  7. East Coast Captain

    I also wanted your pov about something? You know any good betas? I feel I like the spin off to Have Blood will travel is not well done I want to fix a few things.

    • I loved your spinoff! I wouldn’t change a thing!

      But if you are looking for a solid beta, might I suggest talking to Andre? 😉 He’s on FF as well, and has a very meticulous and no-nonsense editing style. I wouldn’t want to presume upon him to help. But, if he sees this, and is interested, I advise him to forward you his info, so that you two could work together. 🙂

      Look at me, making business connections between fellow TVD / Teen Wolf fans. I’m so proud of myself. 😉

  8. Andre

    Well this is probably my most snarky and mean comment ever and what I think of that episode is basically a rant. Sorry but I am happy I didn’t see this episode, what I got from your recap was worse enough.

    Your first picture of Tyler Lockwood made me think:
    What is wrong with these writers, that they can’t let the characters graduate? Most of the old crew entered the show with their characters at age 17 and Elena turned 18 at the start of season 3, damn shouldn’t they finally graduate?
    What is wrong with them? Is it because in America everyone has to go to college in the average mind and because the writers couldn’t deal with that? Who cares? They never cared for consistency, so why not simply add a UCA Mystic Falls to the town if they don’t want them to leave? Hey, they did it in Sunnydale.
    And if they don’t want to leave town, get new actors.

    HOW CAN ANY CRITIC GIVE THIS SHOW POSITIVE REVIEWS? By what standards is this a good show? I would need to throw my memory out of the window and replace it with that of a three-year old to still find this show good the way it is.

    Now this whole battling Tyler thing and his fangs makes me wonder why you even search for in-show explanations on this show anymore. Or is it that you don’t and this is your way of preventing to go nuts from all of this?
    Considered that Tyler is a vampire and so the bodyguard should not have been necessary (I refuse to refer to him as a hybrid of vampire and werewolf now, because the hybrids are nearly exclusively defined by their vampirism, as a matter of fact Klaus is usually shown with two upper pairs of fangs, as was that one hybrid Damon dehearted from behind, while Tyler was only shown with one pair of upper canines so he is a vampire). Remember, he is on human blood and according to season 2 he would be able to hear people on the next level of the hospital. Or in other words: HE SHOULD HAVE HEARD THE FUCKER COMING!!! Not to mention that in season 3 he was able to catch an arrow at close range, so his reflexes should have been fast enough to avoid the hunter. It was the same as in season 2 when Jules vs Rose was the same as Caroline vs Mason or later when that werewolf Stevie managed to vervain Damon despite the fact that he let himself drop from the ceiling, with Damon noticing and therefore should have been able to react accordingly. The same with Elena backwards headbutting Rebekah in season 3, which should have cracked Elena’s skull or at least give her a concussion, but instead it set Elena free. The same with the pencil in this episode: Rebekah should have been able to be much faster than Elena.
    The writers don’t think the way you do kjewls, they simply want their “drama” and to get there they constantly ignore the rules and powers they introduced. Not to mention that it would have been smarter to generally kidnap Tyler and drain him of saliva whenever needed, this way he can run around and tell everybody what happened. Not very smart a move with lots of bloodthirsty vampires and idiotic vampire sympathizer in this town.

    And now the “hybrids” are back again (well for reasons never explained Klaus’ original family never wanted him so he needs them now to keep company), wow, I wonder where the writers think they are when Klaus doesn’t need them. I mean they were nowhere around when the old hag, ups, Esther was back and wanted to kill her children, another case of taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut that failed spectacularly, one of many before and many to come, we can be sure of that.
    Are the hybrids in some sort of pocket dimension when not needed, you know like Bonnie, or do they just float around and are ready on call, you know like the musicians on Glee?

    And again nearly every hybrid was male, wow what a coincidence

    Seriously, I know both your society and mine are patriarchal, but how can anybody dismiss that this show clearly is even more so?

    Oh and why was Klaus not burned in the coffin again? And what actually happened to the indestructible stake to make it “Klaus safe?” Why doesn’t Klaus take all his hybrids, and human slaves; and get it back? Or can this stuff not kill him also now?

    And what’s with this that Klaus and Tyler are now even?
    And why does Klaus want to protect Tyler anyway? I mean so far his precious hybrids dropped dead like flies all the time so what are the writers thinking? Do they want these two to be the last two hybrids on earth? I mean who here actually thinks that both of these, or even one of them, will die this season should raise his/her hand. No one? I thought so.
    Is Tyler suddenly special? Why? Or does Klaus want to score with Caroline?
    Is there any explanation for this that is not cheesy and/or lame?

    And the trailer of Connor… the show people are lazy as hell apparently, so I think chances are good that this is the same trailer. And why in all hell didn’t that bomb go off right away? Why the useless gimmick?
    Oh yeah right, because Damon can’t die, they have to keep him in fake mortal danger, but not let him die. This stuff kills suspense because you have to be an idiot to think that they will kill Damon anytime soon. You have to be an idiot to buy that the character was ever in danger of not surviving.
    Gosh, just kill him and get over it, I am sure the writers could just cook up some other dysfunctional super strong drama queen with daddy and girlfriend issues. :/

    Oh and Damon is soooooo muuuuchhhh better because he is protecting Elena. Why should anybody protect Elena? Oh yeah, because she is loveable. Loveable my ass.

    And this comment of the show by stating that Damon is the better brother is: BULLSHITT!!!
    Damon is not the better brother; he is the reason for all this crap in the first place (apart from the writers of course).
    Who alerted the town’s council to the presence of vampires?
    Who killed Tanner just to proof something?
    Who lured Elena’s mother to vampirism and thereby to Katherine and thereby causing Klaus to appear?
    Who abused Caroline (hint it was not Matt as many Forwooders love to claim)?
    Who slaughtered all those stoners in season 1?
    Who is responsible for turning Vicky and thereby causing her death?
    Who wanted to kill Tyler because he was in the way and insulted him?
    Who brainwashed Jeremy and caused his depression?
    Who killed Lexi?
    Who is responsible for the awakening of the Tomb vampires and thereby all those angry ghosts?
    Who is responsible for the death of Grandma Bennet?
    Who made out with Mama Donovan in front of everybody?
    Who snapped Jeremy’s neck because he was upset?
    Who didn’t have the guts to simply kill Katherine despite what she did to him and thereby causing Tyler’s werewolfism?
    Who is responsible for Rose’s death because he couldn’t control his asshole tendencies?
    Who brought down the wrath of the werewolves on the town by attacking and killing Mason?
    Who was so stupid to not even try to actually get rid of Elijah’s body? (No, the flame thrower doesn’t count as actually trying)
    Who forced his blood on Elena?
    Who was so stupid not to take precautions when battling Tyler? (Not to mention that it was another example of bad writing, since Damon should have been stronger than Tyler)
    Who violated Andy because he was upset?
    Who gave Esther another opportunity of manipulating Alaric?
    Who was the reason Klaus wasn’t killed by Mikael and Mikael getting killed?
    Who agreed to compel Jeremy again, sending him into a world filled with dangerous vampires?
    Who turned Bonnie’s mother?
    Who caused Stefan’s second Ripper-phase from which he needed 30 years to recover?
    The answer to all these questions is: DAMON.
    And now I am supposed to believe that Damon is the better brother? By what standards? Because he was not the only one doing bullshit on the show? He was the one doing/causing most of the bullshit. The only one who might have caused more disaster was Elena.

    Wow I was right, so Matt is Elena’s living blood bag. Wow, even more of a degradation, first ex-boy friend, than convenient tool and now food. Seriously is there anybody on this show not in a stupid love triangle that is not there to either serve or threat Elena?
    That is probably why she had to become a vampire too, apart from the lame triangle, she must be in danger constantly and Klaus would never kill her (even if she would become human again) now that Alaric is gone.

    Oh and Jeremy will become a vampire hunter? I was right again. Isn’t this show exciting and full of surprises?

    Wouldn’t surprise me if this will happen just there to have Elena chose again, and be in danger of course. And let’s just assume he is, or will be. Will he become supernatural than? Or will it be like with Elena, that she is claimed to be supernatural albeit previous portrayals spoke the opposite. You know Elijah stated her to be a supernatural entity, small problem: According to the show supernatural entities cannot be compelled by vampires!!!! So Elena should have been immune to compulsion or the other way around, the ring should have worked. Or will there be the excuse that this applies only to werewolves, vampires and witches? That wouldn’t surprise me either. In fact, I would expect some sort of lame half-cooked answer that only satisfies crazy and lazy people.

    So Tyler “met” someone in the mountains. See, I knew his heroism was just a way to make him more likeable when the bomb blows up. And how exactly did the sire bond got broken? What will come this time? True Love? No wait, we had that already, but then again…
    And I think there is a very very good chance that the actual reason Haley was introduced is to make Caroline run into Klaus’ arms. Seriously when did these writers ever care about explanations that make sense so why should there be another reason now?

    Wow in four seasons finally someone thought of trying to kill a vamp by taking the sun-ring? Haven’t these writers created ingenious characters?
    You know I am so happy I want to do this:

    And why is killing an entire line of vampires something bad? Did Rebekah even sire any? Oh, yeah, because on this show, vampires are fundamentally good, their intense craving for human blood is exactly the same as a different skin color or facial features, so they are a minority that has to be protected and cherished for the “way they are.” They stand in for all the minorities of the world.
    I am pretty sure that the writers have exactly that attitude, True Blood already had and Teen Wolf has, but in either case I think this is BULLSHIT! Being afraid of vampires and wanting them gone is not the same as homophobia, misogyny or yellow peril. It is a sign of functioning survival instinct and not of perceived threats that only exist in your heads. I think this equation of vampire with minority insulting.
    Seriously can anybody explain to me why bloodthirsty monsters with super powers and drama queen tendencies are used as symbols for minorities that demand respect and the same rights and duties as everyone else?

    So werewolf venom only “affects” these two vamps? Shouldn’t it kill them right away? And why are they hallucinating? Did the lame writers of TVD stole from Teen Wolf again, as they did last season (seriously the other victims of direct bites did not hallucinate)?
    And of course Elena had to dream boning Damon. *rolleyes*
    Kjewls come on, that is so stupid and cheap, how can you possibly like that?
    And speaking of the venom: what about Rebekah? Is a werewolf bite suddenly deadly to an Original as well? If yes Esther never seems to be able to do anything right.

    Now is that serious that Jeremy lured Connor with that simple trick? Seriously? The guy knew Tyler was a hybrid but he did not know of Jeremy’s connection to vampires? Wow, this makes so much sense.

    And isn’t it astounding how fast alliances shift in this series? Wow, no moral compass or advanced thinking at all. Seriously, by real life standard these guys are worse than Rachel Berry and Sue Sylvester together.

    So now there are hunters who might be able to revert vampires into humans? Seriously? And nobody except Klaus knows that or off them? Even after all this time? No legends, no myths, nothing? Seriously? Why do people like that? That is so stupid. That is probably just there so Elena has the chance to become human again. You know like in the books. I hope the writers don’t do that, but then again, did they ever leave out the opportunity for a stupid and overused concept?
    And supernatural hunters? Based on what exactly? And why aren’t they known? And why didn’t Esther summon some of them?

    And stop saying Damon is non-judgemental. He is a drama queen without moral compass who hates everybody that doesn’t give him what he wants and only is nice to Elena because he wants to bone her. No wait, that is not the reason. The reason is: To feed you fans, to keep you watching. No writer could be that stupid not to notice and exploit that. Really, that is everything there is to this back and forth of Stelena and Delena. It is just to keep you watching.

    Well this was my rant about this stupid episode, now to some actually interesting:

    I recently saw this episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit (a show I recommend) about Manners:

    and it made me think:
    Does the virtual non-mentioning of slavery in the past of Mystic Falls have to do with the mentioned desire to return to the norms of the Victorian era? The show falls right into that time period and it cannot be denied that it barely ever mentioned slavery; it doesn’t depict it at all. The way it is presented in the show’s flashbacks, it’s as though racism and slavery never existed in that universe and that all the servants of the Salvatores were black by chance.
    Sure not every Confederate was a racist or a slave owner, many probably couldn’t afford to be the latter, but still, there was nothing ever in the show mentioning that issue, only some half-hearted attempts in season 1 and 2. Quite the contrary, those times are mostly romanticized, the war only glossed over and only mentioned for convenience as it seems, as in Stefan’s early ripper days when he fed on dying soldiers.
    Even the customs of the time are romanticized. Remember the preparations for the Ms. Mystic Falls back in season 1, what Stefan stated about the non-touching? It was stated as something “honorable” or so, but wasn’t it rather born out of the Victorian era’s fear of sexuality? And isn’t it weird that an unmarried Chinese woman could just walk around in those days? Or other women as well? Wasn’t it rather that in those days women had to have men at their side when leaving their own street because they could be taken for prostitutes? And wasn’t it at the time the Victorians didn’t bathe very often?
    I think the show’s portrayal of the past fits that assumption of mine, because another clue is its choice of first supernaturals of the show: vampires. It is no coincidence that they show Katherine as such a dangerous vixen in comparison to the more chastise Elena. That fits those Victorian morals the same way it did in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Women who break out of male rule (something none of the women in TVD did so far) and are in charge of their own sexuality are portrayed as dangerous. It is the same with Sage later in season 3 (I knew back than that she was a vampire, simply by the fact that there was a woman who was a boxer, to male a profession to be attribute to one of the good human characters). Not to mention that nearly every witch is African American, albeit rather light-skinned all and all, and nearly exclusively in service to the vampires, something of the more troublesome messages of the show.
    So all in all, that is what the show is: They long for the Victorian era in the South.

    Also this show is not nearly as original as it is made to be. Several points I already pointed out in my deviantart journal:
    Anybody can see that there was nothing special about their portrayal in terms of mythology so there is no reason in my eyes to point that out.

    So, these issues I mentioned are as follows:

    Heightened emotion of the vampires – This theme is very reminiscent of the vampires in Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles who are also subject to extreme states of emotion.

    Vampires are descended from first vampires (called the Originals) and if the progenitor of a vampire line is killed all its descendents die also – This is also very similar to Anne Rice and mirrors what was portrayed in her novel Queen of the Damned in which it was stated that should the vampire Queen Akasha die all her descendents would die also, and they nearly did, had another vampire not eaten the Queen’s heart and thereby became the new Queen of the Damned.

    A witch is responsible for the creation of the Vampires – Now this feature could really be another example of the show’s treatment of witches as mere tools, but the main topic is the same as in the before mentioned novel Queen of Damned in which witches were also there before vampires and are directly or indirectly (depending on the readers viewpoint) responsible for the creation of the vampires.

    The “vampire-werewolf-war” and the near extermination of the werewolves – This is very similar to the first Underworld movie, the main difference is that in the movie the extermination is still going on and in the show it was stated that the vampires had hunted the werewolves to near extinction centuries ago. This is also similar to what was stated in the fourth book of the Twilight Series, Breaking Dawn, where it was said that the European werewolves, called Children of the Moon, where hunted to near extinction by the Volturi vampires. Also the “instinct” to attack vampires first and foremost is also reminiscent of Twilight and Underworld, especially in the third Underworld movie the bestial first generation werewolves attacked vampires the whole time despite having no reason to do so apart from self-defense.

    The lethal bite of the werewolves – Not exactly the same but it is similar to what was stated by the vampire Selene in the first Underworld movie. When asked by newly infected Lycan Michael on whether a bite by her would transform him into a vampire she answered that it would kill him because no one ever survived a bite from both species and the Lycan scientist in the movie stated that it seemed that both species were meant to destroy each other even on a cellular level. While never stated so, in the newest Underworld movie this topic was still used, as being evident by one of the main vampires of the film who had died during the Lycan attack. Since his body was barely harmed and considered that the Lycans fought without weapons this suggests that he was killed by bite. A werewolf bite in The Vampire Diaries was portrayed similar to a form of nasty infection, although the skin-reaction between Damon and Rose was very different. In Damon’s case it looked rather like a blood poisoning while in Rose’s case the affected skin looked rather blistered and infected.

    The older vampires are the stronger ones – This is at the same time similar to Anne Rice’s vampires who get stronger with age and the White Wolf game line Vampire: The Masquerade where older vampires had thicker vampire blood and where therefore stronger. Which of the two concepts was used for The Vampire Diaries I cannot say since it was never clarified why older vampires where stronger.

    Native Americans as werewolves – The werewolves encountered by the family of first vampires when they were still human were referred to as “Indians” by the Original vampire Elijah, something that is similar to Twilight and its portrayal of the Quileute werewolf pack, also in a deleted scene for season 2 it was stated that the werewolf gene passed down via the male line, something also in line with Twilight where nearly every werewolf is male and the sole female werewolf is menopausal suggesting that the trait can only be passed via the male line.

    The main two vampires where born and raised in the Virginia of the American Civil War, thereby belonging to the so-called slave states of the USA – This is very similar to the character Bill in the series True Blood (as well as the book series The Southern Vampire Mysteries which are the basis for the show) except that Bill was from Louisiana and not Virginia. It could be that the Civil War area was used in favor of the Renaissance of the books because US-American viewers might more easily identify with this time period, or in general are more familiar, or it was just another example of cashing in on what was used by someone else already.

    To become a vampire you have to die with vampire blood in your system – This reminded me of the TV series blade in which the human was infected with vampire blood (or in whatever the vampire virus was contained) and then had to die before being raised as a vampire. Having to drink the blood of a vampire to become a vampire was also used in Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, albeit somewhat inconsistently.

    Vampiric compulsion – So similar to the glamouring in The Southern Vampire Mysteries, it is hard to believe that it is coincidence. Either it’s from there or they both have it from another source.

    Vampir-Werewolf hybrids – Underworld, without any doubt. The TVD hybrids are nowhere near as dangerous as the three in Underworld but the similarity of the concept is clear. It also was featured in the RPG Werewolf the Apocalypse albeit these “Abominations” where more like undead werewolves, while the TVD hybrids were rather portrayed like a slightly mutated strain of vampires since apart from the bite and the eye color they never used their werewolf side in any way.

    Elijah was able to determine that Elena was lying in season 3 – Since this happened long after Teen Wolf got aired and already established this trick and such a thing was never done before this particular episode of TVD despite the thing that the vampires hearing abilities were stated already in season 1, I think the chances are very good that they simply copied it from Teen Wolf.

    The wolf comes out when the werewolf in human form is angry – Twilight, the only difference is that here it’s not a full transformation but only the eyes, which could easily be explained by budget limits.

    What I recently read about the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, made me think that this show is basically just another version of Dracula, it is that unoriginal. At least the similarities are a bit too striking in my eyes to not be based on the same cause.
    Before I begin: I personally don’t buy this “biting = penetration ” stuff, but as it seems this is what it is usually associated with in the minds of most people so I have to interpret it using that.

    Just like Dracula mirrored the gender and sexual anxieties as well as cultural fears of the late nineteenth century, so I think does TVD in regard to the end of the 20th and the start of the 21st century. Of course the main difference is that in Dracula the vampire is a monster with some sympathetic traits and while these vampiric traits are very similar in TVD, in the show the vampires are mostly portrayed as some sort of misunderstood minority, instead of the bloodthirsty monsters that they are (something the show, again, treats inconsistently).
    Like Dracula TVD seems to be a show about male bonding as its core, shown how fast the males on the show seem to forget all sorts of things just to do some bonding. Also like the novel the show seems to deal with the topics of new feminine gender roles, homosexuality, immigration, evolution (basically by never mentioning it and attributing the existence of the vampires to basic creation) and an “overall decay of traditional Victorian rules.” Like I said there is this constant longing for traditional Victorian rules in the show and therefore I think this topic of social decay is in the show as well.
    You could say that Klaus is the Dracula in the show in that he is progenitor of the majority of undead characters in the show and like Dracula is the reason why the “heroes” bond in the first place. Alaric was sort of the Van Helsing of the show albeit pushed further and further into the background as the series progressed, being reduced nearly totally to the mentor role and a tool.
    Similar to Mina, Elena is a girl (albeit Mina is a woman) on whom the ideals of female behavior are projected. Elena is constantly portrayed as a maternal figure so far, and is expected to use her mothering instincts (so to say) to guide her brother as well as other characters. Not to mention that her main source of power is self-sacrifice, something still mostly expected of women. What Mina says to Arthur in the Novel is very reminiscent of Elena: “We women have something of the mother in us that makes us rise above the smaller matters when the mother spirit is invoked.” Note: this is also reminiscent of the scene of Caroline and Tyler after Tyler’s first transformation, a scene rather reminiscent of mother and child than between lovers, something possibly to be expected when a female character is portrayed in a positive light in this show (similar to when Bonnie revived Jeremy, where she also sacrificed something). Also like Mina, Elena is not only in bodily danger (due to Klaus) but also in danger of being corrupted by her vampire suitors something especially Stefan, but also to some extent Damon, tried to protect her from time and again and which ultimately failed, apparently. Although you could say that the battle for her purity and innocence is still going on (while the one for Jeremy’s seems to be on hold). Actually you could argue that the main theme of the series is not the threat posed by enemies but rather the loss of female innocence, a trait that would be extremely valuable to men in the Victorian Era and apparently also is for Stefan and Damon who both stem from this time. Like already pointed out in other comments: it is probably no coincidence that the TV Salvatores are based in Virginia while the book versions were from the Italian Renaissance and I think this longing for the Victorian ideals mentioned the Penn & Teller video is at least a big part for the reason to portray them from this area and the war made a convenient excuse to hiding vampires. Albeit considered the number of writers it could be possible that similar to “Abraham Lincoln Vampire hunter” this was a further demonization of the South on the part of some writers.
    In either case Elena is a female figure that has to be saved by men time and again, thereby assigning her to the role typically reserved for women in Victorian morals.
    Furthermore by desiring the “mother figure” (first as a victim and later as a tool) Klaus (like Dracula) could be seen as double evil: he attempts to defile the designated mother of the show, the one who must guide with her moral hand (he does it by assigning to her the role of a tool). He could also be seen as a Dracula because he speaks with a non-American accent, just like Rebekah, thereby filling the role of the dangerous foreigner that comes to America and threatens its way of life by spreading his dangerous seed. After all why let them speak with those accents and sometimes figures of speech (after all Americans don’t say “mate” if they mean “buddy”) if the actors surely could do without? After all, they don’t write the scripts. What reasons are there to have them speak with British and Australian accents?
    Also like Dracula Klaus travelled the countryside and sought to establish his race. Of course unlike Dracula Klaus succeeded, or at least he sired some more than Dracula did. But by making Elena a vampire his plans are doomed to fail.

    Now when talking about Elena we cannot, as the writers seem to do, ignore Katherine. Just like in Stoker’s time in our modern ones the role of women, and to a lesser extent men, have once again been questioned and in both the novel and the show this tension is “resolved” by attributing a large part of Victorian ideals to the “good girl” (Elena) and projected its fears on the “bad girl” (Katherine). Just like in Stokers time the “New Woman’s sexual independence made her particularly troublesome to the patriarchal order.” Apparently female independence threatens the patriarchal order more than homosexuality does in this show, so it is addressed more often. Just like Mina mocks the “New Woman” in Dracula so do the good females in the show mock the independent feminists. None of the good females is without a man for long and none of them is sexually independent. And considered this I doubt that there is anything empowering to women in this show and if it is meant to be it is rather in the way of the Cell Block tango in Glee:

    With her willingness to have sexual relationships with Stefan and Damon at the same time Katherine could be considered a bigamist, or two-timing whore as some would call it today, an ultimate breach of gender roles for Victorian times, having two wives for one man was bad enough, but the other way around unthinkable. Even without that she would present a figure that runs completely counter to modern day and Victorian preferred sexuality. In the Victorian era all sexual impulses were to be resisted, something the show shows in dancing without touching when it comes to the Victorian dance, something that is overtly romanticized in the show despite it being based on strict moral codes. Also Katherine and Elena are opposites in what they are supposed to be. Katherine is the bad girl because she represents what according to Victorian standard was the ideal for men: self will and government by self-control, something she is punished for by having her baby taken away and being banished from her home. While Elena is rather the female ideal: submission and yielding to the control of others (according to Victorian scholar in Dracula women have to be “enduringly, incorruptibly, good [and] wise not for self-development, but for self-renunciation” similar to TVD), something she is rewarded with by having both her men and also her brother and friends time and again no matter what happens (the best example is Bonnie’s quick forgiveness). Of course like the good girl she is, she is not truly allowed to have both men, unlike Katherine who was allowed to having them at the same time. Just like Mina in the end of the novel, Elena each time accepts the role of her men to protect her, ultimately agreeing with their actions.
    Unlike Elena who is sexually passive, Katherine is sexually “aggressive” (or better: active). The nineteenth century struggled with female sexual independence the same way our times do, perhaps even more so. Also like Jonathan’s desire to be taken by Dracula’s three brides so is Stefan’s and Damon’s desire to be taken by Katherine back in the 19th century something that Donald Sutherland called “Every Victorian man’s nightmare” (the men of Dracula represent the Victorian values of self-control and progress. They are expected to be rigidly moral and guarded against temptation; they are the strong pillars of technology and science). And also a nightmare for many men today, or simply something not generally liked, especially when the woman is literally on top, something that for many suggest loss of control and power. Stefan and Damon’s desire for a sexually aggressive woman who descends upon them is certainly not acceptable for an engaged middle class Victorian man aspiring to become a gentleman, neither is it for a middle-class American who aspires to become a “real” man. Even in our days the concept that women can be sexual is rather odd for many, they believe so to say “that girls say no to everything” and so a female actively wanting sex is difficult for them to grasp (as evident in the myth that women can only have sex when they really love someone). Like in Dracula, so are the women in TVD not allowed a middle ground. They don’t have to be virgins but sexually powerful is also not allowed for them if they want to be good. For Stefan and Damon to desire such a woman is something that is wrong for them to do so and they are punished for (both times by Katherine’s betrayal and their consequent death and transition). That it is wrong for them to do so is especially evident when they compare Elena and Katherine: although both look alike, they are complete opposite and although Katherine was stated to want them both Elena was presented as the more desirable choice. Just like with Dracula’s women, the women in TVD cannot be sexual without being enemies, something also portrayed by the shortlived portrayal of Vicky and Sage. Both females that, at least try in Vicky’s case, to have an active live and sexuality but who are ultimately punished for it by death. Sage already broke Victorian rules by boxing and defeating man and openly showing her body. Also she was an active agent and dared to defy Damon’s plan and having interests on her own. They could not have her get away with that, not such a sideline character. And she is ultimately punished by having her vengeance taken away right before her eyes by her painful death. In Vicky’s case it was at the hand of the men who so to say are her new fathers because she supposedly cannot control herself. Basically she had the same issues Elena and Caroline had with bloodlust and emotions but while the other two are allowed to live Vicky had to die, the reason for this is apparently her free sexuality. After becoming a vampire she is even more active and aggressive, showing traits that Damon also showed (e.g. Vicky saying to Elena right away what she does with Matt and thereby speaking her mind), but unlike Damon she was not allowed to have them (Damon’s statements to Caroline where of a much harsher nature). As a matter of fact neither Stefan, Damon nor Elena showed much, or any, regret for the fact that they are directly responsible for Vicky’s death while they are very distraught when any of the three is even remotely in danger. Both Vicky’s, Katherine’s and Sage’s portrayal imply that there is a degree of latent evil in women that is easily unleashed by sexual initiation. Also all three females have curled hair similar to the description of Lucy in Dracula, something reminiscent of the greek monster Medusa with her snake hair. Actually the story of Medusa is not so far away from the story of these three: There is a particular myth in which Medusa was originally a beautiful maiden. She desecrated Athena’s temple by lying there with Poseidon. Outraged, Athena turned Medusa’s hair into living snakes.
    Note that the most portrayed females, Caroline and Elena, are also portrayed to be the most innocent ones and having straight hair. Bonnie has curly hair, but she is barely more than a fringe character and despite stating them as guardians of nature witches in this show were nearly exclusively portrayed to be in service of evil powers, something also reminiscent of the Victorian era’s and prior attitudes to witches. Thereby the show ultimately treats witches as serving evil, either willingly or unwillingly, as the norm and those acting for good as the exceptions, the oddity, thereby exposing the statement regarding the role of witches in that universe as a lie on part of the writers.
    All three women were portrayed as beautiful and once being much better or even innocent and the vampirism, something that is often linked to sexual awakening, or actual sexuality brought their innate evil to the surface, something Elena also faces in the last episodes. Killing (respectively getting rid off) these three independent women, at least compared to the “good” ones, is thereby also a way of silencing them symbolically, not making their voices heard.
    Considered how strongly vampirism is connected to sexuality and biting to penetration on many minds, Vicky’s assault on Jeremy can be seen as an act of sexual aggression and independence, and at the same time possibly rape, towards a male that is inacceptable and thereby Vicky is staked (“penetrated”) to establish the wanted order of the male being the dominator and the female the submissive that is fucked. Interestingly, Rebekah is also punished for being an active woman from time to time while none of her brothers actually are. Finn’s death can be seen as punishment for him to be submissive to his mother, thereby violating accepted gender roles for males. Klaus embodies all the traits these four women have and are punished for but he never is, he is still alive and is even granted a chance and salvation as it seems, via the character of Caroline, with her blond hair, blue eyes and slightly childish behavior the embodiment of innocence in Western media. Of course in Western media blond females are usually associated with being available to men, something Caroline also seems to embody. But since this is in such a system an expected position, she is not truly punished for this.

    While Elena is closer to a feminist than either Caroline or Bonnie are (only Katherine, Vicky and Sage come close) she is not actually an independent girl. She was introduced as a former cheerleading captain but this role of hers has completely disappeared and like I myself pointed out, it is weird that her birthday party attracted such a huge crowd despite her abstaining from any social contact. There was no mentioning of her goals for the future that were unrelated to Stefan and she mostly identifies herself now through either Damon or Stefan. All her goodness (to sum it up and not make this comment to long) served to place her in opposition to the bad girl. And this dichotomy was further highlighted throughout the series whenever Katherine appeared, thereby fitting what Elizabeth Lee stated about the portrayal of women in Victorian minds, that “women were portrayed either frigid or else insatiable. A young lady was only worth as much as her chastity and appearance of complete innocence, for women were time bombs waiting to be set off. Once led astray, she was the fallen woman, and nothing could reconcile that till she died.” Also, like in Dracula, girls in TVD must be fragile so that the strong and courageous men can heroically battle the blood-sucking monster (especially fitting the battle with Klaus near the end of season 3). That Tyler became a vampire and was thereby stronger than Caroline, again, fits. This also clearly fits Elena and Katherine. Elena is the good one, the chastise one (I cannot remember that it was ever even mentioned that she had sex with Matt), the pure and innocent one, and now via vampirism she is portrayed as being in danger to be a bomb waiting to set off. She is not where Katherine is, but she could be and maybe that’s the real reason why Katherine isn’t there. Katherine is the fallen woman and so far nothing was shown that could reconcile that and should she be there the dichotomy would be lost.
    This makes sense when looking at the Victorian ideology. To it sanctity of home and family was significant, something the writers tried to drill into our heads time and again over the season, something only an idiot could have missed. We have not had the fixed role of the mother within (except for Esther), but possibly because the show cannot deal with Elena being an adult. Either way this sanctity of family, home and mother in a way close to the Victorian era has without a doubt made a comeback since the 90s, as evident in film and television and just like Dracula in its days, so does TVD today serve as a quest to safeguard embattled Victorian values from the threatening strands of modernism that are still there (ala “Buffy staked Edward”). And the “families” they created in the show are nothing if not dysfunctional (just like in Dracula when the men have to kill Lucy, the women three of them wanted to marry). Both the Salvatores and the Originals have tried to kill each other at one time or another. The Lockwood males are a bunch of time bombs waiting to go off. From the first day on the Forbes where portrayed as a broken record; with Caroline being angry at her mother for no apparent reason (stereotypical portrayal of a child of divorce) and the father having gone off to live the “gay lifestyle.” Thereby the Forbes serve as a warning to what happens to unconventional families, especially those with women working and fitting, as a sheriff, a role usually associated with males. Like female independence seems to be something the show abhors more than homosexuality. The words used by Damon regarding Liz’s husband as well as that gay cowboy in season 1 rather portray homosexual desire as something that can be switched on and off and is rather a choice than an inborn trait. But back to the families, Bonnie has a mother that abandoned her twice (apparently without any reason the first time) and her father was never shown, and that in ways that would indicate that he is neglectful, thereby casting a strange light on African American families. Matt and Vicky had a father who abandoned them and Matt had to throw his mother out because being without her was better than being with her, suggesting that blue collar families cannot function. Jenna was useless as a mother, Elena’s and Jeremy’s parents are dead (it’s easier to put someone on a pedestal if they are already gone). Elena’s biological parents where both pretty much absent and basically magnets of misery. Despite this the show constantly had the Originals and the Salvatores run back to each other just to get burned once more, time and again, all seemingly to drive the importance of family no matter what into the viewer’s heads.
    For one the show wants drama for the main three time and again but on the other hand it also wants to point out the importance of men going outside the sheltered domestic sphere and returning to the home and the family to be refreshed. While the Salvatores and the Originals come from outside the town, from the big world (even if they hailed from the same place), Elena was in a small Southern town (mark: the small and slightly remote town is very prominent in US-American media) that was supposed to be a protection for her against danger and temptation, both arrive with the Salvatores (and arguably welcomed by Elena since she invites both into her houses time and again), especially with Damon. With all those broken homes around her you could say that Mystic Falls serves the same function that the Asylum in Dracula served, for all its madness it is the bastion of reason, the place the main female figure is sent to be safe but where she ultimately falls prey to the evil of the bigger world. The men on the good side have to do the rough work in the open world, must encounter most of the peril and trial while Elena barely went out by herself to do that, she rather stumbles into or is dragged into it. Just like the men’s protection of Mina leaves a lot to be desired so does the protection of Elena by the Salvatores and considered that their plans always ultimately fail when it comes to Klaus, or any other current main villain of the month, they are incredibly incompetent to provide safety for anyone.

    Similar to Dracula and his “danger” of penetrating the men in the novel (e.g. when he declares Jonathan to be his) there is the same fear with Klaus, most noticeably in his claiming of ownership of both Stefan and Tyler, something you, probably accurately labeled as being “gay for Klaus.” For many this has homoerotic overtones and is of course important in its implication of power and control, especially in Tyler’s case, and the gender controversy of both the end of the 1800s as well as today, in that the men who are “threatened by penetration” (and thereby arguable domination) must overcome the one that wants to penetrate them. Penetration and domination are strongly linked in Western media, and others as well (e.g. in some countries it doesn’t matter to your status of a heterosexual on whether you fuck guys or girls as long as you are the one who fucks), as is evident by this parody:

    That Matt wants to be bitten means in that context that he wants to be penetrated, something in this universe associated with femininity, thereby Matt gets further emasculated, he already lacked the material wealth, will to dominate and aggression that defines most of the males in this show. It’s possible that Jeremy letting Anna suck his blood is the same and this is somewhat of a first sign for his further convergence into a tool after he got “penetrated” again by Katherine, something he is not entirely without fault of, because he willingly took the risk. Also since Katherine is Elena’s doppelganger you could see it that way that her biting him is a further emasculation of Jeremy (a penetration in which he is the passive, and thereby according to traditional gender roles feminine, one) by Elena resulting in his ever increasing role as a victim afterwards, something that is usually reserved for girls.

    Further Damon’s forcing of his arm to Vicky’s mouth or Klaus to Tyler’s is reminiscent to how Dracula pressed his chest to Mina’s mouth to force her to drink (by having Damon sire Caroline and Elena indirectly the show absolves him of the crime of passing on the curse once more and creating another dangerous female, albeit his relationship with Elena is now arguable incestuous). In all three cases the scene is about control and in all three it results in the forced one to be in control, at varying degrees, of the forcer. In Vicky’s case she was compelled by Damon and after having been turned by Klaus, Tyler got sired to him and wanted to please him, taking on a submissive and totally obedient role, or in Victorian universe: the role of the woman. In that way Tyler was the perfect Victorian wife to Klaus with his total obedience, naivety and dependence towards Klaus. That Caroline couldn’t defend Tyler just proves her inability to do so and Klaus’ control over Tyler (either through Rebekah or strength of his own) even before Tyler got sired.

    Also, like in Dracula, we have in the show the anxiety towards gender roles. In Victorian assumption it is men that are rational and women emotional, something still suggested today. Similar to Dracula we have men in the show that are constantly overcome by strong emotions and irrational impulses, each case associated with something bad: Klaus’ hissy fits, Tyler’s aggression, Stefan’s addiction, Damon’s impulsiveness. As a matter of fact they are even more so prone to aggression than the women (also an old cliché about the male and female nature) and in each case they are not punished for this, suggesting that aggression is normal for men. That Rose died to Jules’ bite much faster than Damon to Tyler’s also suggested a different set of rules for women and men.
    Both main good women (Elena and Caroline, Bonnie is only sideline) had stages of strong emotions and irrational (albeit rarely openly aggressive) behaviors, but they were not punished for this the way the men were (like Tyler having to leave Mystic Falls because he was becoming too soft), as though for them it is at least more ok. The best example would be Caroline, when you combine in-show and out-show reactions. Despite all her stalker tendencies and constant jealousy, only Matt ever called her to stop, something many Forewooders hated him for, placing the blame on him and not Caroline as though her unjustified jealousy was something normal. Elena’s constant stupid plans, her rambling and her current blood-thirstiness are also mostly excused. In a way I think vampirism in this show serves not to highlight the strongest traits of each character, but to have the characters act more like gender stereotypes.

      • Andre

        Damn internet connection, it swallowed the text. Well either way, this is the video I was referring to and not the one about creationism.

    • Hey Andre,

      I think the reason most teen dramas are so hesitant to send their characters to college is that college has been known to be the death knell of all teen shows. In fact, I can’t actually think of a single teen drama that was able to navigate that transition successfully. It will be interesting to see how TVD copes with this challenge. Personally, I think the best route to go would be to only have one or two characters actually attend college, while the rest of the characters, put it off (as they are wont to do, given their immortal status), in order to, you know, fight demons or something . . .

      Your analysis of Tyler in that first scene at the hospital cracked me up. “HE SHOULD HAVE HEARD THAT FUCKER COMING!” Indeed! The rules of hybrids do seem to change every week on this show, don’t they?

      As for Damon being the better brother, all the things you said about his actions are true. However, in comparison to Ripper Stefan, Damon is still, arguably less evil, and has murdered fewer people, in less ruthless ways. He’s also arguably sacrificed more personally, where Elena is concerned. I think this is what the character of Meredith was suggesting, in this episode.

      Believe it or not, I’ve never actually read Dracula or seen any of the film adaptations. Shameful, right?

      I enjoyed your analysis of feminism or the lack thereof on TVD. Very insightful. I tend not to look too much into the inner symbolism of TV shows portrayal of women, personally. For me, I prefer to analyze characters as individuals, as opposed to archetypes. I think a common complaint on shows that portray females is, “This show is sexist, because X female character does X, Y, Z.” But why must every female character need to be the perfect feminist role model? Why can’t a female character simply be a flawed individual, same as a male character?

      You don’t hear fans saying, for example, that Matt Donovan sets a bad example for men, because he is not sufficiently “strong or masculine?” Yet, if he was a female character, I suspect some fans would be making similar complaints about him, that they do about Elena’s perpetual damsel in distress status.

      Just playing devil’s advocate here. 🙂

      Actually, come to think of it, you do mention Matt’s emasculation in your post. 🙂 I love the bite / penetration analogy you made. Very clever. That said, I think Elena’s feeding on Matt was surprisingly asexual, in a way that past feedings on the show were much more sexualized. Specifically, Matt’s feeding was shown as an act of painful life-threatening sacrifice and friendship, whereas Damon’s feeding was a sexual act.

      Your theory about the series subconsciously equating Matt’s poverty with decreased masculinity is interesting. This is actually an unusual aspect of TVD. As, in most series, the blue collar, “poor guy,” is always portrayed as more masculine than the “rich pretty boy.” The series, The O.C. would be an excellent example of this, as would, pretty much any teen movie made in the last 20 or so years. 🙂

      So, are you REALLY not watching TVD, this year? 😉

      • Andre

        I think there needs to be a pretty good reason to make me watch TVD again. It is definitely not the show’s story and romance, since both are crap in my eyes. The only reason would be analyzing the show but to be honest, I did that last season but it became boring as well since they pretty much repeated themselves time and again. So if you want me to watch it again, you would need to convince me that the show is interesting enough for analyzing new topics and not the same crap over and over and over and over and over again (like the whole stuff with Bonnie and now the back and forth with Stefan and Damon again, been there done that). Like I said months ago the only other reason would be if the show makes a complete 180 but that hasn’t happened so far and therefore probably won’t happen, because currently it sells itself the way it is, just like Twilight does.

        Before I go into detail on the rest, one thing:
        If you hurry on and respond to my comment on the last episode, there is going to be a certain video in it you and many others here do not want to miss. 😉

        Now, in case of Teen drama, I think there is one, at least teen show, that managed the transition: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The show got more and more adult together with its viewers. And that is something TVD simply cannot handle. They could have done it like in Glee or like you suggested but I personally doubt that this will happen anytime soon. It is arguably a moot point to speculate about authors intent, I know this is kind of inconsistent with me to say that, but I think based on the show so far the “remote little town” is such a strong component of this show, even more so than Bon temps, that they will probably never quit it. To stay with the remote little town, apart from not dealing with the darker issues of history, they pretty much revised history, romanticized it and erased people from it.
        Actually I don’t have to write this part by myself because this genius blogger already did:

        “The Vampire Diaries has serious issues with how they deal with (or rather, don’t deal with) complicated race issues. They often ignore history (as characters of different centuries communicate), repeat it while ignoring it – thus pretending like they aren’t replicating problematic dynamics and stereotypes, and rewrite their own version of American history that conveniently places white people are “Originals” and pretends that aboriginal and indigenous people did not exist/were not around/have no role in the story.

        Never does Bonnie or any other character challenge the Salvatore’s role in the racist, slave past. Bonnie never has a problem with any of the Founder’s day events, with the Council and how power is structured and maintained along racial lines (in effect if not in intention), or with how her friends seem to romanticize the founding families or the era in which slavery was OK. An annoying hum throughout the series, it becomes most blatant when the audience is supposed to happily (and not critically) think of Elena as Scarlett O’Hara a la Gone With The Wind.
        (Which, if I am not mistaken, is a book owned by Damon, further emphasizing his relationship with the historic South that is never challenged, abandoned or questioned).
        I specifically mention Bonnie not because she is black, but because she has been the most vocal in standing up to the Salvatores – Damon in particular. However, Alaric would be equally appropriate for this role of addressing history, the world that informs that Salvatore’s views and their interactions with Bonnie, since he is a) a history teacher, and b) friends with the most offensive vampire.

        Revisionist history is not fun. It’s particularly not fun for those whose histories and realities are erased in favor of ones more palatable to “dominant” (racist) discourse. It’s particularly not fun when it seems like the only reason history was revised was to conveniently create a context where a white person – or white family – could exist where they would probably not be otherwise.
        While TVD has hints of revisionist history (i.e. calling Emily Katherine’s “handmaiden”) to make eras of racist WTFery more palatable to modern audiences, they really outdid themselves with the “Original” family.
        The Original Family, that is Klaus’ family, are from a European (but of course) village that was devastated by the plague. They heard from a witch in America (Ayanna), that they could escape the plague by moving to (shocking) the New World. I assume this New World supposedly had indigenous people somewhere or other, but you wouldn’t really know it from the show or clips of the Originals’ past.
        Now, does this jive with your understanding of American history? Probably not.
        “But, this is a story about vampires, werewolves and witches, surely some suspension of belief is allowed,” you say. [Note by me: that is the same vibe I get from some people here and elsewhere time and again]
        Fair enough, but can we please examine why this ridiculous Eastern-European story needed to exist in the first place? Because The Original family HAD to be white. They would not cast or write non-white character. The Original family could have been just as old, had the same (or stronger) relationship to America if they were indigenous.
        [Note by me: back in season 3 I also had a bitter aftertaste in my mouth when in history class Alaric speaks about the Native Americans as the first people and Rebekah asks about the Vikings and the only answer is that there is no proof Vikings ever settled in America, no mentioning of the fact that the oldest bones in America are much older than the Norse cultures, the undertone seems to be the line “whites where here first,” after all the “Indians” were never shown]
        Conversely, they could have had NO relationship to America and been just as old and just as white/European and come over to America after it was “discovered” and being colonized. But, this would be more difficult for the writers to motivate Klaus’ decision to stay in and terrorize Mystic Falls.
        Which is ridiculous. This isn’t a fantasy story in some distant past that could legitimately entertain the introduction of characters of color in unconventional ways. This is distinctly attached to the American history and world that we know (via location and reference to real historical events, like the Civil War).
        If you’re revising history to make your audience (that you presume is white, non-indigenous, non-POC) more comfortable with whiteness in a time where racism was alive and well (even more than it is today), that is problematic. You are writing real histories and real peoples out of existence; you are positioning your white audience members’ need to feel comfortable over audiences of colors’ need to just exist in the story world*. If you’re creating this story because OMG Joseph Morgan is sooo hotttt and Claire Holt is soo fiinnee we havetohavetohaveto cast them.. then that is also problematic, because now you’re saying the existence of POCs is less important than increasing opportunities to act for conventionally attractive white actors who are already overwhelmingly present in the television industry.
        Even without touching on the celebration and nostalgic representation of the antebellum south, TVD seems to be incredibly uncomfortable with acknowledging: a) that POCs and indigenous people exist, and b) the relationship between white people and those communities have not been pleasant/are not things to be nostalgic about, and c) that POC watch (or would watch) your otherwise entertaining show if you didn’t keep positing white people and their comfort as more important than everyone else.
        *Please note, I am all for diversifying traditional stories to be more reflective of diverse, multiracial and multicultural audiences, particularly in an increasingly globalized society. I am not for pretending that communities of color that have already been historically marginalized for centuries (and are still suffering the effects of that marginalization) do not exist to make white audiences more comfortable or white actors more employable.”

        I couldn’t have said it better, basically because I doubt that I am so smart and good with words. All this just to have everything revolve around Mystic Falls. In my eyes this speaks for more than just fear of the transition to college. It rather speaks for the wish/need to portray a certain part of the world as romantically as possible, and never truly touching hard topics.

        What Mystic Falls has in common with both Sunnydale and Bon temps is that although all are supposedly so remote and small, they are the center of all sorts of supernatural activities. But only Sunnydale gave at least an explanation for that by having the town being placed specifically there by its mayor to provide food for the demons. But Mystic Falls never did that. There is no good reason for all these creatures to run around there all the time. Like I said: they want it to be in that place and around the main three (another example was that the place of the creation of the indestructible stake was the Salvatore graveyard [who would believe that to be coincidence]) and never bother to explain that.

        “The rules of hybrids do seem to change every week on this show, don’t they?”
        I assume that this was a sarcastic question. Since apparently TVD never follows its own rules. I really wonder what it is with these writers. Do they have no one who criticizes them for that? Seriously, if they don’t what their vamps and hybrids to never be surprised then they shouldn’t have given them such a high power level in the first place. The vampires of Buffy where fine the way they are with their strength.
        TVD never really follows the rules they created when it doesn’t suit their immediate needs (keeping viewers hooked on white triangles). Plec herself once stated on the possibility of Caroline being pregnant that it might be possible since they once stated that vampires physically function like humans, ignoring the statement that they can’t procreate. And speaking of that, if that were true, the random feeding behavior of them should be lethal to themselves due to all the diseases they would so to say “suck in.”

        I was really not surprised that you would defend Damon (even by trying to make him look better in comparison). As a matter of fact I was counting on it and already had my response ready:
        Ripper Stefan is only temporarily there, while Damon is basically the same person he was in the start, the same impulsive killer for more than 100 years and he didn’t kill for bloodthirst, he killed for sport. So his body count is definitely higher. I know many of you Damon fans think that he has changed, but in what way precisely? Because he cares about people? That is usually restricted to Elena and is basically just a shift of affection from Katherine (who is nowhere to be found) to Elena. In the case of everybody else he doesn’t even consider questioning his actions or asking for their approval, especially in Bonnie’s case he takes her service even more for granted than Elena and Stefan do (another reason why the show was accused of racism).
        And what exactly did Damon sacrifice? His life? No. His wealth? No. His sun ring? No. His eating habits? No. A part of his family? No. His freedom? No. His safety? Barely and that wouldn’t really be a sacrifice.
        Seriously, what did he sacrifice? I can’t think of anything.
        And even if he did, what evidence is there that it at least made up a small percentage for the crap he is responsible for in the first place? So far there is barely a hint that he made amends for what he did.
        Not that this surprises me one bit. For years they treated his character like that, allowing him everything. And the viewers credit them for it by watching and also making excuses. I doubt that TVD writers would ever listen to criticism, not real criticism, but they would listen to ratings.

        And you know what: None could ever tell me what is so great about him, that they forgive him this time and again.

        “I think a common complaint on shows that portray females is, “This show is sexist, because X female character does X, Y, Z.” But why must every female character have to be the perfect feminist role model? Why can’t a female character simply be a flawed individual, same as a male character? You don’t hear fans saying, for example, that Matt Donovan sets a bad example for men, because he is not sufficiently “strong or masculine?” Yet, if he was a female character, I suspect some fans would be making similar complaints about him, that they do about Elena’s perpetual damsel in distress status.”

        You make a very common mistake and seem to argue along the same line Plec tried to justify her treatment of Bonnie and Jamie, or how some tried to justify the lack of relationships for Mercedes in Glee or the casting of The Last Airbender. I think you either ignore or overlook the context.
        In Matt’s case no one cares because there are main male characters in the show who are the opposite of him, albeit everybody here is a tool for Elena, that’s why no one talks about it. Albeit the show is probably equally as sexist regarding men as it if for women (neither of the good main characters has interests that are usually seen as unmanly [Tyler’s and Jeremy’s art skills have been ignored for nearly 2 seasons].
        The same however is not true for the females. We only have two, maybe three, main females on this show and the role of the third Rebekah and Bonnie share because both disappear when it’s convenient. Nobody asks for a perfect female role model, albeit good female role models are still comparatively rare while Damsels in distress like Elena are all too common. All these three females are conventionally attractive (even Graham is pretty far removed in looks from a typical Subsaharan woman) and the ones with most screentime are Elena and Caroline. Before I go further: characters being there for only a few episodes do not count, the messages of a show are carried by their main cast.
        So, both Elena and Caroline are defined solely by their relationships with men now, especially Elena. Neither of them even tried to really go solo, it doesn’t seem to occur to them. None of their plans ever worked and they constantly have to be saved by men. On average both are damsels in distress and there is no other character who is not that is not either a fringe character (Bonnie, Sheriff Forbes), dead (Rose, Sage, Anna, Pearl) or no longer even there in the show (Katherine). On addition both Elena and especially Caroline were portrayed as being easy to get even by crazy serial killers like Damon and Klaus. Also the females that are truly independent are positioned to be on the bad side. That is a clear message in my eyes, since it’s the good characters that carry the wanted messages.
        Also both girls clearly prefer the bad guy over the good one albeit in the case of each four men: Stefan, Damon, Klaus, Tyler all of them fulfill more than one of the fifteen criteria for possibly being in an abusive relationship according to the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

        Does your partner:
        Embarrass you with put-downs?
        Look at you or act in ways that scare you?
        Control what you do, who you see or talk to or where you go?
        Stop you from seeing your friends or family members?
        Take your money or Social Security check, make you ask for money or refuse to give you money?
        Make all of the decisions?
        Tell you that you’re a bad parent or threaten to take away or hurt your children?
        Prevent you from working or attending school?
        Act like the abuse is no big deal, it’s your fault, or even deny doing it?
        Destroy your property or threaten to kill your pets?
        Intimidate you with guns, knives or other weapons?
        Shove you, slap you, choke you, or hit you?
        Force you to try and drop charges?
        Threaten to commit suicide?
        Threaten to kill you?

        If you answered ‘yes’ to even one of these questions, you may be in an abusive relationship

        Can anybody deny that each of them fulfilled at least 2 of these criteria? And that the show never addresses that but ultimately always forgives them? And attributing it to their vampire or werewolf nature only reeks of the old myth that men are violent by default and cannot do anything about it.
        The show might have been different, especially because early in season 2 Caroline fit the mentioned list, but it didn’t come to this.

        That Elena’s feeding on Matt was asexual might be a further message that he is not desirable, as well as that he is there so serve Elena no matter what. That he is blue collar could be linked to that since this show clearly advocates wealth and pushes middle-class and lower class people in the background and to the fringes. So I think the equation of Matt’s poverty with decreased masculinity might be unusual when compared to the OC but it fits TVD and the current vampire trends perfectly.

      • Disregard my last comment. I thought you meant the episode in this recap. Like I said . . . bad week = brains fried. 🙂

      • Andre

        No worry. 😉

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