Tag Archives: 3.12

Pretty Little Liars Season 3A – The Good, The Bad, and the TOBY!

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Hey there, my Pretties!  This week, PLL wrapped up its third summer season with a hot sex scene, the discovery of a bastard child, another dead body, and a shocking twist that absolutely blew last season’s arguably anti-climactic reveal of Mona as “A” out of the water.  Though admittedly a bit less action-packed than past seasons, season 3A of PLL still managed to serve up some genuine scares (Mona’s “nursery rhyme” anyone?), a few great one liners (“Bitch can see!”), and some tantalizing clues that kept fans guessing each week, long after the final credits rolled.

So, hold on to your teeth, check your dolls for hidden recording devices, and always keep that wooden mannequin leg handy (You never know when you might have to murder a snake with it.), because here comes a Pretty Little Season 3A retrospective . . .

THE GOOD

After Mona’s “outing” as A last season, I think a lot of fans, myself included, worried that PLL would begin to run out of steam.  “Would subsequent seasons of the show just be more of the same?”  We wondered . . . another A . . . more text messages . . . a few empty scares and clues that would end up going no where . . . until it was ultimately revealed that the story was turning out just as the books had predicted it would.

And yet, somehow, the writers and producers of PLL managed to overcome this obstacle . . . at least, partially, by giving the season a darker, more mature, tone (the girls are seniors now, after all), introducing some new characters, while delving further into some older ones, and creating some really solid standalone moments that brought back memories of what the show was like in its groundbreaking first season.

So, without further adieu, I present to you, “The Good” of Season 3A . . .

Best Scares/ Moments of Season 3A

Maya-normal activity

Admittedly, I had a lot of issues with the Maya St. Germaine murder mystery, as you’ll see in “The Bad” below.  That said, one aspect of this B-plot that I enjoyed thoroughly was the use of web videos to increase the intrigue, and heighten the fright factor, of what otherwise could have become just another “cold case” type story.  Just as the PLL writers have always done with their trademark Dead Ali Flashbacks, Maya’s web diary, helped to make Maya a more interesting and mysterious dead character, than she ever was a live one.

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In addition to providing some “slice of life” character insight, Maya’s videos also heightened the tension of the scenes in which they were featured, because the viewer always knew that, just outside the video frame, someone was out there trying to KILL her.  This technique sort of harkened back to “Ali’s Last Video Debut from Season 1.”  I’m sure you guys remember that one . . .

However, one of my favorite video moments of the season actually didn’t come from Maya’s video diary at all.  Rather, it came from the surveillance video that Noel Kahn sent Spencer to exculpate himself as a murder suspect.  The makers of the Paranormal Activity series will tell you, there’s just something about a grainy surveillance video, featuring seemingly random footage of people you know that’s inexplicably scary.  Maybe it’s the feeling of “authenticity” you get from watching something with a time stamp.  Or, maybe it’s because they catch you off guard, by being so boring most of the time, and then, converting to BATSH*T CRAZY MODE, just when you’re about ready to change the channel . . .

All I know is that when Maya, seconds after appearing on screen, got yanked out of the frame by an unseen evildoer, I jumped out of my seat, for the first time, this season . . .

Show Me Your Teeth

Sure, it was campy, and not particularly believable, but I love that the “A” team made a necklace out of real teeth, and slipped it into Emily’s bag at school.  I mean, sure, I imagine those chompers could have come from any number of mundane places . . . the dentists office, some way-too-proud parents commemorative jar, the tooth fairy . . . But just the mere idea that the A Team might have hand plucked pearly whites from Ali’s now nearly two-year old corpse is disgustingly genius!

Truth or Scare

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Because the girls are forced to deal with some pretty adult stuff on a daily basis, we often forget the fact that, back when they were hanging out with Ali, they were all still REALLY young.  That’s why some of my favorite PLL moments take seemingly innocent childhood toys and games, and present them in a creepier, much more sinister, light.  The most obvious example of this are those ugly-as-sin talking dolls that have fast become Evil!Mona’s calling card.  Halloween masks, Ouiji Boards, pumpkins, and super cute clown banks have also been used to create this same effect.

This season, however, the PLL writers boldly tackled a place where only middle school sleepover parties have gone before: Truth or Dare.  We’ve all played this one before, right?  It’s a game that, at it’s tamest, involves revealing secret crushes to your friends, and at it’s most bawdy typically involves flashing people, and making dirty prank phone calls.

But PLL somehow managed to turn a simple game of Truth or Dare into a tantalizing game of Cat and Mouse, during which Rosewood’s two most intense residents, Spencer Hastings and Jenna Cavanaugh each tried to out interrogate one another.  And while the game, itself, didn’t exactly reveal to fans, anything they didn’t already know, it was still incredibly fun to watch . . .

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Snakes at a Fashion Show

Let’s face it.  Snakes are SCARY!  If they weren’t, nobody would have ever bothered to make a movie, who’s entire plot featured them slithering around on a plane.  So despite the fact, that I have no idea how anyone on the so-called A-team managed to (a) buy that kind of a snake; and (b) slip it into a box of clothing without anyone being any the wiser, the ick factor produced when Spencer opened that box, and that disgusting snake started nipping at her heels, had me squealing at my TV set.

But that wasn’t the best part.  The best part was when Cece Drake “rescued” Spencer though, honestly, it’s seems pretty obvious she had something to do with the darn thing being there in the first place by  . . . wait for it . . . beating the CRAP out of the snake with a MANNEQUIN LEG!  Girls got skills .  . .

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Child’s Play – Mona van der Waal Edition

I’m going to discuss Mona’s dialogue in this scene a bit more in depth in the “clues” section.  For now, I just wanted to fangirl a bit about this scene itself, and how it seemed custom-made to produce chills in anyone who happened to be watching at the time . . . from the abandoned corridor in the already creepy insane asylum . . . to the implication that there are enough Crazy Babies, and/or Crazy Mom’s with Babies for said insane asylum to have a Toddler’s Ward . . . to that terrifying way Mona had of stroking the dolls lovingly like that Creepy Ring Monster from Lord of the Rings, while speaking in this whisper-soft, sing-song voice that made you feel like, any minute, her head was going to start spinning around and green-stuff was going to pour out of her mouth . . In short, it was AWESOME!

Best one-liners

“Or, I’ll show my boobs and we’ll be news again.”

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Why: Because Drunk!Emily is always ten times more fun than Sober!Emily.  And because, no matter how old I get, the word “boobs,” still makes me cover my hand over my mouth and giggle like an eight-year old who just heard a “naughty word.”

“Bitch can see!”

Why: We’ve all known Blind Jenna could see for ages.  But there was something genuinely satisfying about having the girls FINALLY figure it out.  And Lucy Hale’s wide-eyed, yet uncharacteristically “street,” delivery of the line was priceless (and made me secretly want to watch Jenna and Aria “rumble” in the school parking lot.  For the record, my money would be on Aria.  She may be small, but she’s scrappy!

“When you baby squirrel Ezra, you are stealing his nuts.”

Just the images on Tumblr of Ian Harding’s head on a squirrel’s body that followed the episode in which this statement appeared, were enough to make me fall in love with this line.  Plus, once again, the eight-year old school girl in me, got a real kick about the fact that, no matter how you slice it, Spencer was talking to Aria about  Fitzy’s Man Parts . . .

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Best New Character – Cece Drake

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When you are coming onto a show in its third season as a new character, the deck is already stacked against you.  TV fans aren’t particularly known for being fond of change.  And chances are, the new character is being brought in to mess with their Ships, and Gal Pals, which makes it even harder for the Newbie to develop his or her own fanbase.

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I’ll be honest, I was all set to dislike Cece Drake, when her character was first introduced in the middle of the Season.  Though she was portrayed as a possible early muse for Ali, I thought for sure she’d be the straight-to-video version of a complex character I had actually grown to adore over the seasons.  However, as the season progressed, I developed a soft spot for Cece’s Fiercely-Loyal-Mean Girl-Who-Likes-to-Party-Persona.

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Of course, I don’t trust her, as far as I can throw her, but the PLL girls have all become SO serious lately, that it’s nice to throw a character into the mix, who clearly doesn’t give a rats about anything, but living in the moment, and having a good time.  Did I mention she MURDERED A SNAKE WITH A MANNEQUIN LEG?

Best Villain – Mona van der Waal

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As I mentioned earlier, I was one of the people, who were annoyed by the writer’s decision to stay loyal to the books, and make Mona “A.”  Though I thought Janel Parrish did a great job with the material she was given, during the first season, I thought her reveal as a Crazy Psychotic Loon in last season’s finale was too abrupt, and not necessarily believable.

Fast forward to season 3A, and Mona has become one of the best villains on TV.  Alternating from nearly comatose, to syrupy sweet, to oddly sympathetic, to creepily childlike, to batsh*t crazy, to EVIL!GENIUS MASTERMIND in the course of just twelve episodes, you never really knew what you were going to get, whenever Mona van der Waal appeared on screen.  But you always knew it was going to be spectacular . . .

Best clue- Mona’s secret code

Perhaps suffering from “A Fatigue,” I found it difficult to become invested in PLL during the first few episodes of Season 3A.  Basically, I just couldn’t bring myself to care all that much about which 5 or 6 suspicious-looking Rosewood residents stole Ali’s coffin, and took Drunk!Emily on a Wild Ride.  More on that later . . .

However, all that changed, during the episode “Crazy,” when Mona started speaking in her super special code.  Suddenly, I was like a Season 1 PLL fan again, re-watching scenes, stalking the message boards, and ravenously hunting through trade magazine for spoilers.  What I loved about this code, was that it never took fan’s intelligence for granted.  The PLL writers had enough faith that us fans would pick up on the hidden messages in the scene.  And we did, which made solving the mystery that much more fun . . .

Best flashback – The story of Pigskin

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If you’ve read this blog before, you might know that I was never Paige’s biggest fan.  (I belive the nickname “Little Orphan B*tchy” was used once or twice.  And while I’m still not 100% sold on the character, or her relationship with Emily, I adored the opportunity to delve deeper into her psyche this season.

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One of the best opportunities us fans had to get to know Paige better, was the flashback involving her and Ali.  Sure, it made Paige look a little crazypants, with those marks she left on Ali’s back (though, not nearly as crazy pants as she looked when she tried to DROWN EMILY), but it also explained  a heck of a lot about Paige’s treatment of Emily, and arguably disturbing behavior, during those early episodes.  I mean, how could you not sympathize with the poor girl, after Ali stole her love letter to Emily, thereby humiliating her in the worst, and most personal way possible?

Well, actually, this hair is more humiliating . . .

Oh, and she ended up NOT being Maya’s killer . . . so . . . that was nice . . .

THE BAD

Ah, yes . . . the Positivity Train has officially left the station . . . at least temporarily.  Here’s the part of the blog, where I talk about the aspects of Season 3A that I thought didn’t work, and dragged down an otherwise solid season . . .

Worst twist – Nate is Maya’s stalker / killer

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Come on now, PLL writers!  No one, for a second, believed that the super creepy, suspiciously appearing, and not the least bit interesting or likeable “Nate St. Germaine” was Maya’s real cousin, or anything, other than exactly what he turned out to be, Maya’s stalker / murderer.  So, the fact that this guy spent no less than twelve episodes, eating up screentime, with his fake Maya Memories, and his cringe-worthy attempts at “bonding with Emily,” were more frustrating than they were fascinating.  It also made Emily look like a TOTAL MORON (more on that later), for falling for his tricks . . .

Maybe if the writers (and the actor who played Nate) made the character look like a bit less of a lecher, from the get go, more of us would have actually been fooled by the guy . . .

Worst Plotlines –

PLL parents try dating 

Yeah, sorry.  Maybe this makes me sound ageist.  But I don’t watch PLL to see Ashley Marin date the Dull as Dishwater Deacon, or Byron Montgomery date that blonde twit student with whom he cheated on Ella.  And, yes, the American Pie Guy is hot and charming.  But I don’t watch PLL to see him makeout with Ella in the coffee shop either.  None of this has ANYTHING to do with Ali’s death or “A.”

Just sayin’ . . .

Emily’s “lost night”

So, let me get this straight.  Emily got roofied.  Then, she was picked up on the street by Jenna and Noel.  Then, she went to some restaurant with that dude who sort of/ kind of/ but not really dated Aria for one episode, and then pretty much disappeared forever.  Then, she went to Paige’s house, and made out with her a little bit. And THEN she went back to the cemetery, and watched the “A” team dig up a grave?

Ummm . . . am I missing something here?

Don’t get me wrong, I think the idea of Ali’s corpse being stolen, and Emily being framed for it, shows a lot of promise.  I just wish the writers managed the mystery in a more streamlined way, rather than going for the, throw in everything but the kitchen sink approach . . .

Worst clues –

The Ugly Earring

The real mystery for me, is why ANYONE in their right mind would wear that hideous earring, and not, how it ended up being Rosewood’s answer to the Traveling Pants, winding up under couch cushions, in graves, inside of lockers, and in Paige’s purse, all in the course of a single season . . .

Those lame final sequences

Remember when PLL final sequences were AWESOME?  Like the one that showed Lucas bashing the crap out of Ali’s memorial fountain . . . . or the one where “A” killed the Rat Named Spencer . . . or the one where “A” changed the Rosewood Population sign to imply that SOMEONE WOULD DIE TONIGHT!

Yeah . . . now, we’ve got “A” drinking booze, watching Wheel a Fortune, and listening to old songs on a jukebox.  Can you say, LAZY?

Worst new characters

Nate – SEE ABOVE. 🙂

Maggie

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Hey, I love Alex Mack as much as the next girl . . .

But I do not love the freaky, wide-eyed pixie version of her that Fitzy supposedly impregnated with his spawn.  And now, from what I hear, this is Aria’s New Competition?  Jackie 2.0?  Been there, done that, read the Cliff Notes for it . . . let’s move on . . .

Most Frustrating Character Development – The Dumbing Down of Emily

Oh, Emily.  Let’s face it, you were never the sharpest tool in the shed.  And we know academics have never been your strong suit, considering you were ALMOST LEFT BACK A GRADE.  But, in the course of a single season you, failed to mind your FLASK (NEVER LEAVE YOUR BOOZE UNATTENDED, GIRLFRIEND) . . . got roofied . . . lent your diseased flask to your girlfriend, WITHOUT WASHING IT, so that she could get roofied too (Now, that’s just unsanitary.), hung out with your dead other girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER, believed that your dead girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER was her cousin, despite the fact that he DIDN’T KNOW WHERE HER PARENTS LIVED, and SEEMED TO LOOOOOVE HER, IN A WAY COUSINS SHOULD NOT LOVE ONE ANOTHER, kissed your dead girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER, despite the fact that he was a TOTALLY DISGUSTING CREEPER, and finally, went to a cabin alone with your dead girlfriend’s OBVIOUS KILLER, despite the fact that he was a TOTALLY DISGUSTING CREEPER.

Maybe you just mistook your thinking cap for your swim cap this season, huh, Emily?

And, finally .  . .

THE TOBY

Ooh, talk about a shocking twist.  Coming off a season, where the Big Reveal of who “A” Was shocked almost NOBODY, Season 3A’s final moments legitimately surprised EVERYONE!  Who would have suspected that Spencer’s stalwart Rock . . . the man who supported her crazy, fell off a scaffold for her, played endless games of Scrabble with her, humped her many times in his truck, and took her virginity, would also be one of her biggest enemies?

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And that look on his face, as he donned that hoodie, and ran off into the night . . . SUPER CREEPY.

Of course, the implications of this discovery are HUGE.  WHY did Toby do it?  How long has he been doing it?  And, perhaps most importantly, did he ever really care about Spencer at all?

It’s interesting how, of all the PLL girls it was the one least likely to trust others, who let The Enemy literally get underneath her skin . . .

But I guess all is fair, in love and A . . .  Until next season, my Pretties!

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For those who wear their hearts on their sleeves (or, perhaps, someone else’s heart?) – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “The Ties that Bind”

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De-hearted Hybrid . . . the gift that keeps on giving . . .

Greetings, Fangbangers!  This week’s installment of TVD was all about family reunions, and heart-to-hearts . . .

Everytime a hybrid loses its heart, an angel gets its wings . . . 

Also, this week, 95% of TVD characters endured at least one ass-kicking . . .

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(And some characters endured multiple ass-kickings . . .)

So, load up on buckshot, tighten those chains, and, for heaven sake, keep your coffins hidden, because it’s time for another TVD-cap . . .

(As always special thanks to the awesomeness that is my good pal Andre, and his mad screencapping abilities . . .)

I Dream of Meanie . . .

Bonnie’s reaction, when she learned that her future love interest on the show is sort of / kind of her brother . .  . 

Ever notice how the only time most of the characters on TVD “sleep” is when they are passed out unconscious, or dying?  Not Bonnie, though.  She’s a regular Rip Van Witchy.  For the second week in a row, the episode begins with one of Bonnie’s “spirit dreams.”  Once again, our resident Nose Bleeder is all dressed up, with no where to go, but to a Dead Person Party . . .

“Well, this is morbid!  Why can’t I just have Dirty Damon Sex Dreams, like everybody else?”

Dream Bonnie finds herself near the graveside plots reserved for various members of her family.  In the midst of all this is a Mahogany Coffin, which, I suspect is supposed to represent Klaus’ Mysterious Fourth Coffin, only this one looks way more expensive than that one.  So, Bonnie does what any rational human being would do, when she sees a fancy coffin in her dreams.  She fondles it . . .

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“My precioussssss.”

But Bonnie’s not alone at her Dead Person Party.  Another guest has arrived . . .

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The fact that Klaus is in this dream makes a lot of sense, if you think about it.  After all, nobody loves Dead Family Members and Fancy Coffins, more than Klaus!

So, Klaus, being the gentleman that he is, makes some small talk with the Bonster, before . . . you know . . . eating her . . .

*Nom-nom, nom-nom, crunch, crunch, mmmmm . . .*

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Bonnie wakes up moments later INSIDE THE COFFIN.  Oddly enough, her neck is still attached to her head, despite Klaus having clearly lobbed it off, while making her his meal . .  . or, as I like to call it . . . foreplay.  One thing I have to say for Bonnie:  She has smarter dreams than I do.  Here’s how I know.  Dream Bonnie remembered to bring her cell phone to the Dead Person Party.  I can’t tell you how many dreams I’ve had, where the whole time, all I seemed to do was search for my cell phone, and wonder why I didn’t have it with me.  Super annoying!

Speaking of annoying, rather than actually using her cell phone to CALL SOMEONE, Bonnie decides to bang hysterically on the roof of the coffin, screaming, “I’M IN HERE.”  You know, just in case someone happens to drop by the cemetery for some R&R, at that very moment.  Someone like . . . her . . .

“Oh, hi there.  I was wondering if I could borrow your cell phone, since I left mine at home.  Thanks!”

*slams coffin shut again, and walks away* 

The minute Bonnie wakes up, she rushes to tell her Bestie Elena all about her dream, and that whole Hidden Coffin Thing.  This was actually pretty nice of Bonnie.  Because, typically, it takes the Scooby Gang about four episodes, to let Elena in on anything.  And, when she finds out, she usually ends up yelling at Damon . . .  So, really, when you think about it, Bonnie did Damon a solid, here . . .

“And then Klaus was like, ‘Can you open it?’ And I was like ‘Duh! No!’  And he was like ‘RRRRR-munch, munch.’ And I was like ‘Ahhhhhhh!’  And then, later, I was like, ‘Hi Mom!’ 

“That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” 

Somehow, from this ridiculous dream, Bonnie determines that her absentee mom, who she hasn’t seen in about 15 or so years, is the key to opening the fourth coffin.  To prove it, she decides to show Elena and a very pissed off Stefan a baby picture of herself, with some seriously poofy hair, and an oddly-placed bald spot . . .

Don’t you think it would have been nice, if they found a baby for this picture who actually looked remotely like Katerina Graham? 

The Return of the Eye Thing . . .

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Later that day, Bonnie and Elena are combing through photographs of people named “Abby Bennett,” in hopes of finding one that looks like she might be related to Bonnie.  During the search, we are treated to a couple examples of real people who are “not Bonnie’s mom.”  And I must say, I felt particularly bad for THIS PERSON, who Bonnie classified as being “too old” . . .

First of all, girlfriend looks about 22.  Second of all, that’s REALLY HARSH!  Can you imagine this model being super excited about landing a “role” on The Vampire Diaries, and telling all her friends to watch, only to find out that she’s “too old?”

Fortunately, Damon magically appears to put a stop to this madness . . .

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With a little compulsion, and a lot of luck, Damon is quickly able to locate the home address of the “real Abby Bennett.”  And, understandably, he feels his super-sleuthing has earned him the right to enjoy a little road tripping time with new kissing buddy, Elena.  When denied the option of riding shotgun, Damon the chivalrous, graciously offers to ride in the back seat with Elena.  This, of course, got me to thinking about a Delena fanfiction I wrote once, where Damon and Elena had hot amorous sex in the backseat of a car, while Tyler and Caroline sat in front, uncomfortably pretending not to notice all the moaning sounds emanating from behind them . . .

Hey Tyler, what do you say we roll down the back windows on this baby, and head for the local car wash?”

But I digress . . . a super pouty Elena tells Damon he can’t come on the road trip, because she thinks he will be mean to Bonnie, during her Epic Mother Child Reunion.  In Elena’s defense, she’s probably right.  Then again, how can you really say no to a face like this?

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This adorable Delena exchange (which, unfortunately, was the only one we got for the ENTIRE hour) reminded me of another instance, in which Elena lectured Damon, and Damon responded by . . . well . . . doing THIS . . .

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Not at all surprisingly, you could cut the Delena sexual tension in the room with a butter knife.  And it doesn’t go unnoticed by Bonnie, who immediately asks, “What’s going on between you too?”

Of course, you can count on Damon to spill the beans on the soon-to-be-couple’s epic necking session.

By doing this, Damon ensures that, even though he can’t go on the road trip with Bonnie and Elena, he is at least guaranteed to be a major topic of discussion thereon.   Well played, Pimp Salvatore . . .

Love Means Never Having to Say “I bit you.”

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Redemption, thy name is Shirtless Tyler Lockwood!  Those of us Forwood fans who became concerned last week, that the siring of Tyler would lead to a complete, and utter, assassination of his character (both metaphorically, and, possibly even literally) breathed a sigh of relief this week, when Hybrid #2 manned up in a really big way.  After accidentally giving his girlfriend the Love Bite to End All Love Bites, Tyler doesn’t hide in his room all day, binging on carbs, and watching YouTube videos.  (Though, that’s probably what I would do, if I were him.)  Instead, he shows up on Caroline’s doorstep, first thing in the morning with an apology, a special guest star, and, most importantly, a PLAN . . .

So, remember Caroline’s Big Gay Dad . . . a.k.a. the Asshat, who tried to De-Vamp Caroline, by locking her in a dungeon, and drying her out, in a sick version of Daddy / Daughter Time?

Someone’s not getting a Father’s Day gift . . . 

Well, apparently, just like Tyler, he knows a thing or too about guilt, and being the subject of Vampire Barbie’s disappointment and wrath.  He also knows how to fend off compulsion with his mind, a party trick that could come in super handy, if you are someone who is . . . oh, I don’t know . . . Gay for Klaus . . .

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“Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the e-card that said, ‘Sorry, I almost gave you were rabies.’  So, I decided to do the next best thing.”

Caroline’s dad always seems to get just a bit too much glee out of torturing supernatural high schoolers.  That said, his notion that Tyler can break his sire bond, by owning his painful werewolf transformations, thereby staving off the gratitude he feels toward Klaus for allowing him not to experience that pain, is an intriguing one.  Of course, it assumes that the sire bond exists only in Tyler’s conscience, and has absolutely nothing to do with magic or compulsion .  . . an assumption with which I’m inclined to disagree.

 “Let’s make out.”

“Yes, Master.”

Nonetheless, I love the idea of Tyler trying to regain his own independence, by embracing his werewolf side, a side of himself which, to a large extent, was what first connected him to Caroline, in the first place . . .

Since we already know how LONNNNG and painful, werewolf transformation can be, especially for a relative “newbie werewolf” like Tyler, I for one was grateful to get the Cliff Notes version, this time . . .

I suspect Caroline was grateful, as well.  Because, whatever has happened between these two of late, I think she still loves him.  Given that, it must be unbelievably hard for her to see him in so much pain . . . especially, since she knows he’s enduring it, to a large extent, for her.  There’s also that whole, “werewolf bite kills a vampire” thing.

So, when Tyler kindly growls for Caroline to “beat it,” so he can turn into a monster in peace, he doesn’t have to ask twice.  She’s out faster than a tubby girl in dodgeball.  Big Gay Dad on the otherhand, clearly has a death wish, and sticks around.  Someone should have told this guy, that you don’t shake sticks at angry dogs.  And you DEFINITELY don’t go after angry werewolves with an axe . . .

“Kiddies .  . . do not try this at home.” 

“Is this guy for real?’ 

Next thing you know, Tyler is giving a BIGGGGG love bite to another member of the Forbes family.  And I’m thinking to myself, “Oh Tyler, honey, eating your girlfriend’s father is REALLY not the best way to salvage your relationship . . .”

“Hey . . . he started it.”

Crazy Nanny Carrie Takes on Team Badass

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I think Alaric’s finally found a girlfriend, who’s as big of an alcoholic as he is!

“Bottoms up, bottoms up . . . let me fill your cup.  Got a couple bottles, but a couple ain’t enough . . .” 

We find him, at the beginning of this episode, once again day drinking at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls with Crazy Nanny Carrie, who, of course, classifies herself as an “Angry Drunk,” before heading out for another day of “saving lives” (or taking them?).  Damon arrives on the scene, looking more than a bit jealous that his bromantic buddy has been drinking with someone who isn’t him . . .

Damon also watches a lot of TV.  So, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if he caught Crazy Nanny Carrie drugging Mayor Dan, and trying to bury him alive on One Tree Hill . . .

Given all that, coupled with the recent untimely demise of a certain Medical Examiner Ex Boyfriend of the Crazy Nanny’s . . .

. . .  you certainly can’t blame Damon for being a wee bit suspicious of the woman who’s planning to eat his boyfriend’s Chunky Monkey  . . .

And so, one half of Team Badass heads straight to hospital to pay the good doctor a visit, armed with an admittedly rather lame excuse for his presence there . . .

 

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A newborn’s response to being waved at by Damon Salvatore . . . 

Having disposed of the pleasantries, Damon quickly launches into some not-so-thinly veiled accusations that Crazy Nanny Carrie murdered her preppy sweater vest wearing ex-beau.  At first, Crazy Nanny takes these insults in stride.  It’s nothing she hasn’t heard before.  But then, she VERVAINS DAMON, and JACKS HIS BLOOD, WHILE HE SLEEPS, which is so NOT the way to treat your boyfriend’s best friend .  . .

That said, it did give us the opportunity to watch Damon sleep, which was awesome.  I’m not going to lie . . .

Sadly, Damon’s shirt was kept on, throughout the entire ordeal . . . But surely, you wouldn’t blame me for taking a little creative license with this moment.  Would you?

A little while later, Damon  visits Alaric (who is looking particularly sweaty and sexy in his grey tank top) for a friendly round of “I told you so.”

 “You better buff up, if you want to date this one,” Damon warns.  “Diagnosis: Psycho case.”

To be honest, I missed a lot of this scene.  I was way to focused on the magically reappearing, disappearing sweat on Alaric’s shirt . . .

Now you see it . . .

Now you don’t . . .

See it . . .

Don’t . . .

“Dude, I think that immortality ring of yours is giving you a glandular issue . . .” 

Eventually, Alaric confronts Crazy Nanny Carrie, and she reveals to him her Deep Dark Secret . . . she uses vampire blood to cure her patients.  She also has a collection of decapitated heads in her bathtub.  (We even see Crazy Nanny using Damon’s blood to save Big Gay Dad, so that he might live to torture Poor Tyler another day.  Hooray!)

“Turn into a werewolf without pain?  Easy for him to say .  . . At least, he gets to drift into convenient unconsciousness, when I break HIS bones.” 

Alaric might be a history teacher.  But he clearly hasn’t learned the number one lesson of all history courses:  history has a way of repeating itself.  A few years back, Alaric dated a psycho named Isobel, to whom he told all his Deepest Darkest Secrets.  She ended up dumping his ass, and then returning to town, only to use those secrets to get him POSSESSED BY AN EVIL VAMPIRE.  And yet, Mr. Disappearing / Reappearing Sweat Stain saw absolutely nothing wrong with revealing to Crazy Nanny Carrie, a woman he barely knows, the fact that (1) he’s a vampire hunter with a MAD weapons stash, and (2) he owns an immortality ring . . .

Crazy Nanny Carrie wastes no time trying to pry the damn thing off his finger, while they make out (probably so that she can morph into Medusa and turn him into stone, or something).  Fortunately, Elena barges in, and, in doing so, probably saves Alaric’s life.  But even that’s a lesson Alaric hasn’t seemed to have learned yet.  Hey Alchy-ric!  News flash: When you live with teenagers, and you want to hook up with your girlfriend, CLOSE THE DAMN DOOR, FIRST!

“Whoopsies!” 

“Geez, Alaric!  At least put a sock on the doorknob, or something!”

“Baby, I’m Howling for You . . .”

I absolutely love that Klaus is a fan of The Black Keys.  I also happen to think that “Howling for You” is a perfect theme song for the character.  I would have liked it even more if he started to dance to it . . .

 At some point, in the middle of the song, Stefan pops by for a little Ripper Reunion . . .

They talk business.   They talk coffins.  Neither one is willing to budge an inch on his position.  Then Klaus makes an offhand comment about how he doesn’t think the whole “Crazy Stefan” thing, is really working for him.  “How’s that working out for you?  Do you have any friends left?”  He asks, slyly.

Ouch, Klaus!  Of course, this searing analysis would probably mean a lot more coming from a guy who didn’t kill both his parents, and stake all his siblings . . .

That said, no one can say now that Klaus doesn’t have a lot of friends.  He’s made a ton of them recently . . . I mean, literally “made them.”  In fact, he calls one of these so-called friends, shortly after Stefan leaves.  He then instructs the hybrid to pay a little visit to a certain Bennett household where, Elena and Bonnie may or may not be headed, as they speak . . .

“Dammit, Klaus.  Why did you have to call me?  Every hybrid on this show that gets a speaking part, always ends up without a head or a heart . .  .” 

In which Bonnie joins Team Damon, and my respect for her increases ten-fold . . .

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You know, Bonnie and I have never been particularly close.  And I think part of the reason for that was that she always seemed particularly anti-Delena.  And, as you might have guessed, I’m a bit of a fanatic about that Ship . . .

Then came this week’s road trip, in which Bonnie craftily got Elena to admit that Damon was a good kisser, and, in that beautiful moment, all the things that made me HATE Bonnie’s character, in the past  (the fire starting,  the ugly nose-bleeding, the judginess, and the migraine-making) was forgiven . . . at least, until she starts pulling that sh*t again . . .

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This Damon-centric conversation is cock blocked by a phone call from Stefan, who Elena tells Bonnie to ignore, before eventually taking the phone herself (which is the responsible thing to do, considering Bonnie is DRIVING, and shouldn’t be on her cell phone, in the first place, Stefan).  Elena ends up lying to Stefan, telling him that the two are going to the lakehouse, instead of to Bonnie’s mom’s house.  Stefan, of course, sees right through the lie, and vows to do something about it . . . a decison that, under the circumstances, he might end up regretting . . .

Family Reunion gone Baaaaaaaaaad.

“Bonnie!  I’d like you to meet your mom, and your new boyfriend / brother.  They will both be trying to kill you today . . .” 

Since we saw Soon-to-Be-Heartless-Hybrid pay a visit to the Bennett house, just moments earlier, us viewers are all pretty sure this mother/child reunion is going to end badly.  We just aren’t sure how.

 When Bonnie and Elena first arrive at the house, they meet THIS GUY . . .

 . . . who seems to have no qualms about inviting the two strange females into the house (one of whom claims to be the owner of the house’s daughter), and offering them food and drink, as if he owns the place.  When Bonnie asks “Jamie” (that’s his name, by the way) if the two of them are related, and he says “no,” my first thought is that Abby Bennett is a cougar, and this is her boyfriend.  Part of me is actually disappointed that this didn’t end up being the case . . .

“So, basically, my bio mom was a sociopathic vampire, and yours is a total slut.  Awesome!” 

“Jamie” explains that his dad dated Bonnie’s mom, but ended up being a total douchebag deadbeat.  So, Mama Bennett ended up raising him as the child she never had.  Of course, she did have a child . . . Bonnie.  So, we certainly can’t blame our little witch for being a bit resentful, under the circumstances.

“Don’t make me light a fire up your ass, JAAAAIMMMEE.” 

Another thing, I couldn’t help but notice is that, though they are not technically related, in some ways, Jamie IS kind of like Bonnie’s brother.  And, to me, this makes things kind of icky, especially if the writers are planning on pairing the two together romantically, as rumors seem to suggest that they are . . .  But hey, it worked in Clueless, right?

Shortly thereafter, Bonnie’s bio mom returns to the house.  Elena quickly leaves, so that the two can “iron out their issues” in piece . . .

“So, mom . . . you used to be a witch, right.  How did you cope with all the nose bleeds?  Sometimes, I bleed so much, I feel like my nostrils are going to fall off my face . . .”

I have to say, I was neither impressed, nor did I entirely buy, Abby Bennett’s story as to why she ditched Bon-Bon as a kid.   So, let me get this straight, she “lost her powers” fifteen years ago, while luring Original Mikael into a coffin, and then decided to leave town without her kid or husband, so she didn’t have to be a witch anymore?

Well, without her powers wasn’t she “not a witch anymore,” anyway?  And, if she was planning to leave town, why didn’t she think to take her three-year old, and the rest of her family with her?  Wouldn’t that have made more sense?

Also, this “kind-hearted” woman . . . who was willing to literally give up everything to save her best friend’s kid (Mikael was supposedly in town looking for Elena) . . .  and went on to raise someone else’s kid as her own . . . never even thought to check on whether her OWN MOTHER, who she put in charge of raising HER KID, was alive or dead?

I don’t know.  Something about this story stinks . . . and it isn’t just the nosebleeds that are making it so . . .

Outside in the barn, or whereever it is that Elena ends up, she runs into Stefan, who’s none too happy with her for lying to him about her plans.

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Unfortunately, for him, he doesn’t get too much time to “express his feelings,” because THIS happens . . .

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That had to hurt . . .

Yeah, apparently, hybrid compulsion beats Stefan compulsion.  Who knew?  When Jamie comes to intervene on Stefan’s and Elena’s arguing, Stefan horrifies Elena, by strangling the poor kid, and compelling him to leave.  But it’s Jamie who has the last laugh, when he turns right back around, and pumps Stefan’s stomach full of buckshot.  He also ties Elena to a post, with some rope.

(Chivalry is SO dead!)

Things aren’t going much better, inside.  When Bonnie hears the gunshot, Mama Abby muffles Bonnie’s face, until she falls unconscious, and drags her ass into a car.  Man, the parents on this show suck ass . . .

“Rockabye Bonnie, in the farmhouse.  When the wind blows, I’ll DRUG YOU, UNTIL YOU PASS OUT . .  .” 

Stefan gets a woody (multiple woodies, actually)

I guess all that time Elena has spent working out is finally starting to pay off . . .

Elena somehow manages to break free of the ropes confining her to the wooden post.  As Stefan writhes on the floor in pain, more or less, useless.  Elena gets Jamie to admit that he’s been compelled to (1) hurt Stefan; (2) keep Elena safe; and (3) KILL HIMSELF IF BONNIE DOESN’T REVEAL TO KLAUS’ HYBRID THE LOCATION OF THE COFFINS.  Then, feigning rope burn, Elena gets Jamie to come close enough to her that she can knock him unconscious, with a spare piece of wood.

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Once that’s over and done with she kneels down to tend to Stefan, who suggest that Elena hand pick all the buckshot out of his body.  (FUN!)  Part of me was actually surprised that Stefan didn’t ask her to do it with her mouth, like THIS GUY did . . .

(If it had been Damon on the floor, he totally would have done this .  . .)

It makes sense that Elena’s acts of bravery and kindness would prompt Nice Stefan to make a rare cameo appearance.  First, he compliments Elena on how much tougher she’s become, since he temporarily ditched her ass, and went Rogue Ripper . . .

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Yes, Stefan.  Being dumped tends to make people Stronger and Tougher, even Kelly Clarkson said so.  What’s interesting about what Stefan says here is that it kind of reminds me of what Katherine said to him, when the pair were first reunited in “The Return.”

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“You’re stronger . . . meaner . . . sexy.” 

Stefan also gets major points for admitting that he went just a smidge too far, with the whole “threatening to drown you over the same bridge where both your parents died,” thing . . .  And perhaps, it’s this honestly, and increased intimacy, between the two that prompts Elena to make this AWESOME confession . . .

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That’s right, Delena fans.  Elena Gilbert is not one to mince words.  And when she says she fell in love with “vampires” plural .  . . and then later admits to KISSING SOMEONE without guilt, as opposed to BEING KISSED, she means it, most definitely.  And whether or not I think this was the opportune moment to share this information with Stefan, I love that Elena is so willing to own up to her romantic feelings for Damon, not just to Stefan . . . but also to herself . . .

And really, can Stefan honestly blame her for falling for his brother, when Damon Salvatore is so friggin hot and charming, it’s almost painful to be in his presence, without ripping your clothing off he practically rolled the red carpet for the two of them to couple?

That said, even the staunchest of Delena shippers can’t help but feel the tiniest bit bad for Stefan, when — after weeks of showing virtually no emotion whatsoever, aside from sheer, unadulterated RAGE — the younger Salvatore brother suddenly looks as though he’s going to burst into tears at the prospect of his lover moving on, without him . . .

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Welcome back, Stefan’s Humanity!  Long time, no see . . .

Once Stefan has come down a bit, from the shock of hearing that Elena kissed Damon (He should watch it on YouTube.  He’ll really be miserable then!), Elena confronts him again.

“Hey Steffy . . . I just wanted to stop by and torture you some more with details about my new love life.  Here’s a detailed description of how Damon’s tongue felt as it probed my mouth and nether regions.  If you’d like, I could even show you pictures. . .” 

At this point, Stefan says something interesting: “You’re better than him.  You’re better than both of us,” he says sadly, before getting back into his car, and driving away.

We heard this same sentiment echoed by Damon, when he first told Elena he loved her (and compelled her to forget it) back in “Rose.”  To me, it shows just how psychically linked these two brothers are.  How sad that neither man believes himself worthy of the woman he loves the most.

Well, hey, if Elena ends up being “too good” for both Damon and Stefan, I’d be happy to take one of them off her hands for her .  . .

Elsewhere, Bonnie’s mom (who wasn’t compelled, but was acting against her real daughter to save her not-son?) keeps Jamie from offing himself, by getting Bonnie to come clean to Klaus’ hybrid about the location of the coffins.  But before she does that, she secretly gives Bonnie the OK to tell her friends what’s happening, so that they might have time to do something about it.  Their story ends on a relatively nice note, with Bonnie’s mom offering to try and get her power back (assuming she genuinely lost it, in the first place), so that she can help Bonnie open the Infamous Fourth Coffin.

I still don’t trust the witch, though . . .

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. . . sorry . . .

Klaus = 1, Dead Witches = 0

So, the good news for Klaus is that he found out from his hybrid where Damon and co. were hiding the coffins . . .

 . . . but the bad news is that the witches are hiding them from him, so he can’t actually see them  . . .

They are also pretending he’s old school Damon and beating the crap out of him WITH THEIR MINDS .  . .

So, he tells them, in no uncertain terms, that they better be nicer to him, or he will “Rip Damon from limb to limb” and “KILL EVERYONE THEY LOVE.”

Time to get some new tagline, Klaus.  These threats are getting old . . .

Lack of originality aside, the witches roll over and play dead decide to show Klaus the coffins . . .

The only problem, of course (for Klaus, that is), is that Damon has re-hidden the ALL IMPORTANT FOURTH COFFIN . . .

So, suck on that Klausipoo!

Klaus = 0, Damon = 2, Elijah = 310 . . . .

When Stefan arrives back home to La Casa de Rich and Awesome, after a long, eventful day of being shot at, and having his — now apparently working again — heart stomped on, he decides to offer his favorite brother a little “keepsake” from his journey . . .

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It’s a BLACK EYE!  HOORAY! 

Poor Damon . . . vervained, de-blooded,  beaten-up . . . he ALMOST wins the award for most abused cast member, this week .  . . almost . . .  But it appears, Damon might have taken a little keepsake of his own . . .

Meanwhile, back at the Klaus House, a mildly-pleased-with-himself Klaus, is going over his Malelovent Plans for World Domination with his Hybrid Pal of the week, when THIS happens . . .

Sorry Random Hybrid!  It looks like you just won yourself one of these . . .

But hey, look on the bright side.  I’m sure this episode earned you your SAG card!

Anywhoo . . .

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(He wants to know what he missed.  Do you think I should e-mail him my recaps? :))

That’s right boys and girls, Damon the Awesome de-staked Elijah, before returning his coffin to Klaus.

And now, boyfriend is going to have some SERIOUS explaining to do . . .

You can try to run, Klaus . . .

 . . . but you CAN’T HIDE!

And that was “The Ties that Bind,” in a nutshell.  Unfortunately, The Vampire Diaries is taking a short hiatus, next week.

But if the promos for episode 13 are any indication, it will definitely be worth the wait . . .

See you then, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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