Tag Archives: Blood Brothers

The Vampire Diaries’ Ripper Redux – A Look Back at Some of the Most Pivotal Scenes in Ripper Stefan Canon (Part I)

DAMON: “Psst, don’t you think it’s weird that TV Recappers and Imaginary Men are doing a blog series on YOU?  I mean, isn’t everything related to this show, on BOTH of those blogs, usually about ME?”

STEFAN:  “Yes .  . . but things have changed.  I’m EVIL now.  Girls like evil.  Didn’t you get the memo?” 

Greetings, Fangbangers!  September 15th is just a few short weeks away.  Before we know it, Damon, Elena, and the gang will be back on our TV screens, compelling us to watch them . . .

This, of course, begs the question:  “How have YOU been preparing for The Vampire Diaries Season 3 return?  Perhaps, you’ve tried out a new diet . . .

 . . . or spent time cuddled in bed with a loved one?

Maybe, you’ve sat yourself down on the proverbial therapist’s couch, in order to figure out what you’ve got hiding underneath those metaphorical “blankets” .  . .

Perhaps, you’ve been trying hard to forget the past, in hopes that you can stop it from haunting you . . .

As for me, and my fabulous blogging pal, Amy, over at Imaginary Men, we’ve been spending the hiatus, revisiting some of The Vampire Diaries’ most pivotal moments . . . and revisting them . . . and revisiting them . . .

During this exercise, one of the things we’ve found particularly intriguing was the evolution of Ripper Stefan.  As you know, Ripper Stefan, much like his companions, Naked Damon . . .

  . . . and Ponytail Elena . . .

 . . . have ALWAYS been a part of TVD canon.  But they only show themselves at pivotal moments during the series  . . .

In this web series, Amy and I will be reviewing four pivotal scenes in the evolution of Ripper Stefan.  The first one, you can read RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW.  The second one, will be featured on Amy’s Blog (hopefully, this coming Thursday).  The third one will be back on this blog, and  .  . .

 . . . well . . . you get the idea . . .

So, let’s get started with the Ripper Redux!  After all, when it comes right down to it, cannibalism IS just another form of Brotherly Love .  . .

Ripper Redux- Scene 1: “We can do this . . . TOGETHER!”

Episode: “Blood Brothers” – 1 X 20

Stefan Salvatore:  A bleeding heart, who makes hearts bleed . . . 

(Click the internal link to view)

Setting the Scene: 

Having both died with Vampire Katherine’s blood in their systems, Stefan and Damon awaken one fateful morning, in 1864, to find themselves “in transition,” half human  / half vampire.  Now, they are faced with a choice:  Feed on human blood within the next three days, and become a FULL vampire . . . or die of starvation.

In other news, I believe this is the ONLY time in Vampire Diaries history, in which Stefan and Damon can both be found shirtless in the same frame.  And, trust me, I’ve looked!

Damon — who can’t imagine a life without the woman he loves (Katherine, at this time, is presumed dead) — seems fairly certain that he will choose death over the alternative.  Stefan agrees, but seems a bit less certain of his decision than his brother.  But then the younger Salvatore brother greets . . . and eats  . . . his murderous vampire-slaying jackass of a dad, in his childhood home.  That’s when ALL BREAKS LOOSE . . . in Stefan’s soul.

Potent Quotables:

STEFAN:  “I brought her for you.  She is a gift.”

DAMON: “What have you done, Stefan?”

STEFAN:  (about his father) “He was dying and the blood was too strong .  . . I needed it.  I had to have it.”

STEFAN: “My body is exploding with power, Damon.  I can hear things from far away.  I can see through the darkness.  I can move like it’s magic.  And the guilt?  The pain?  Damon, I can turn it off like a switch.  Katherine was right.  It’s a whole ‘nother world out there, Damon.”

DAMON: “Katherine is dead, Stefan.  There is no world without her.”

STEFAN: “No.  You can turn that off too!  You don’t have to feel that, pain anymore!”

DAMON: “I don’t want it.”

STEFAN: “You are weak. You’ll be dead soon.  You NEED  THIS.  You’ll DIE.  . . Don’t fight it.  We can do this .  . . TOGETHER!”

Why it’s essential to RIPPER CANON:

Before we get started, can any of you Pretty Little Liars fans out there confirm for me whether or not the girl who plays “Dinner” in
this scene is, in fact, Troian Bellisario, a.k.a. Spencer Hastings from PLL?

I suspect she’s NOT, because I didn’t notice the credit on her IMDB page (and you would think, of all prior film and television credits, THIS would be one she’d definitely want on there!).  And yet, every time Iook at “Dinner,” all I see is “Spencer,” particularly, at the beginning of the scene, when Damon asks, “Who’s THAT?”  It’s really quite distracting . . .

“Please don’t eat me, you big sexy vampire, YOU!  I’ve got enough problems with “A” out to ruin my life.”

Anyway, on to the scene . . .

The most obvious parallel between THIS scene, and the one between Stefan and Klaus in the finale, comes right out in the first sentence
Stefan utters.  Stefan refers to “Dinner” as a “gift” that Damon should be honored to “rip into.”  Years later, Klaus uses the same concept of
“gift” to entice Stefan to feed, not just on human BLOOD, but on a REAL HUMAN girl, just like “Dinner.”

It’s probably worth noting, that back in 1864, blood bags weren’t as readily available as they are today.   Therefore, I suspect that MOST of the
vampires living in Mystic Falls back then (as well as the vampires in Katherine’s and Klaus’ time) fed almost exclusively on HUMAN blood.  They did so, not necessarily because they loved doing it, but because that’s what they needed to do, in order to survive.

This would seem to soften the blow of what Stefan is asking of his brother, thereby, making it seem slightly more humane, at least in
context.  But Stefan’s remorseless detailing to Damon about how he ate their DAD, because he “had to have [his blood],” tends to erase any sympathy we might have otherwise mustered for him in this scene.  No matter how AWFUL a person is, I really don’t think anyone deserves to be eaten alive by their own son.  Do you?

In Stefan’s defense, this guy kind of SUCKED .  . . 

Next, we witness Stefan’s “pitch” to Damon about the“Wonders of Vampirism.”  And, boy, does he sell it!  This monologue was undoubtedly a tough one for Paul Wesley deliver.  In the hands of a lesser actor, you could imagine these words coming out sounding too cliché, or Scooby Doo-esque, a parody of themselves.

“Mmmmm, just like Dad used to make taste.” 

Yet, Paul delivers the lines like a coke addict, who is jonesing off his very first taste.  It’s the right choice for the character.  After all, blood IS a drug, for Stefan.  It allows him to experience a sort of manic euphoria that he would never allow himself to enjoy in an un-altered state.

In the ultimate role reversal, we see Damon (noticeably weakened from having purposefully allowed himself to live bloodless for a couple of days) looking at his transformed brother with a mixture of fear, concern, pity, and just a twinge of self-righteousness.  Of course, in the present day, we have seen Stefan give Damon THIS look many times.  But for Damon, this seems to be somewhat of a first.

I’m totally judging you, right now  . . . 

I mention self-righteousness.  And yet, surprisingly enough, I’m not actually referring to Damon judging Stefan for eating his dad, nor for his
unrelenting enjoyment of being a vampire.  Rather, Damon judges Stefan for not LOVING Katherine enough to TRULY be willing to die for her.  However, the  fact that Damon seems to LOVE Katherine more than Stefan does, gives him no joy.  As we later learn, a big part of  Damon’s turning on Stefan, and threatening him with an “eternity of misery,” stems from his resentment that Katherine chose to feed Stefan her blood, in addition to Damon.

Yet amidst all this drug pushing, violence, jealousy and cannibalism, there is a surprising amount of brotherly love in this scene.  And though he may be doing it for his own selfish reasons (most notably, a fear of spending eternity alone), I suspect there is a part of Stefan, even in his darkest incarnation, that genuinely wants what’s best for his brother.  And to Stefan, what is best for Damon is LIVING!

“Here I am .  . . just chillin.’  Living La Vida Vampire.” 

“You are weak . . . You’ll be dead soon.  You need this!  You’ll die,” pleads Stefan, clutching at his brother’s shirt, in desperation.

Even during Damon’s first feeding, Stefan, in his own twisted way, seems insistent on showing brotherly affection and concern for the
elder Salvatore.  Observe how he gently clutching his brother’s shoulder, offering him both physical and emotional support, as he takes his first taste.

“Hey, Stefan!  Can you get out of here!  Can’t you see I’m trying to get laid?” 

These aforementioned “brotherly moments” have echoes throughout the series.  The first echo appears in “The Last Day,” when Damon makes the unilateral decision to force feed Elena his blood, in order to prevent the possibility of HER death by Klaus.  She sees his actions as selfish.  But he sees them, at least at the time, as her only TRUE chance at survival.

The second echo comes during the finale, when Stefan literally sells his soul to the Devil, also so that Damon . . . can LIVE.

“This is Martyr Stefan speaking.  How can I personally sacrifice for your happiness today?” 

Back in 1864, Stefan enticed his hungry and weak brother to complete his vampire transition, so that the two of them could spend eternity
TOGETHER.  But a furious Damon rebuffed his entreaties.  And for many years, Stefan walked the Earth without his “other half.”  Now, in the present day, Stefan again must walk ALONE without his brother.  Only this time, the choice to do so was all HIS . . .

Amy’s Take:

For me “Blood Brothers” will forever be the episode that aired while I was en route to Las Vegas. I was so desperate to see it though, that I asked my friend who I was visiting to DVR it FOR me so I could sneak in a watch between all my various crazy Vegas shenanigans! I just COULD NOT wait 5 whole days to see how “As the Salvatores Turned” came out!

And it did not disappoint. This episode is full of angst, emotional torture, guilt, resentment, pain, and extra broodiness. It not only reveals the absolute core of the Salvatore’s relationship – but it has the added bonus of super hot Paul Wesley’s tank-topped shoulders, AND Paul Wesley pulling out a pretty extraordinary performance as a man who is is so tired and pained by the the choices he’s made that he’s ready to die for his own mistakes.

Early on in the episode, Stefan is brooding in his basement prison at La Casa de Rich and Awesome. He doesn’t seem mad that his brother and
girlfriend conspired to stab him with vervain and lock him up until he detoxes from his bloodlust. Mostly he just seems determined to do what he should have done 140 years before: die.

“After what I’ve done, it has to end. I just want it over”

When Elena relays Stefan’s mood to Damon, he scoffs with a dismissive, he’s just being dramatic….typical Stefan Martyr stuff which means
that not only has Stefan had previous bouts of “Martyr stuff”, but that Damon has been around to witness it and doesn’t take it at all seriously.

But Stefan is taking his martyrdom quite seriously this time – he’s not just upset with himself for falling off the wagon and lunching on Amber the Beauty Queen, he’s upset with himself for EVERY SINGLE DECISION HE’S MADE SINCE BECOMING A VAMPIRE. Just a century plus of guilt being carried on his (sexy, muscular) shoulders! He tells Elena, I’m making the decision I should have made years ago by letting himself starve to death (or later on possibly burn to death.)

This episode is so much about choices: how we make them, how they define us, how, our actions are what set things in motion, but we have to
live with that as Elena tells suicidal Stefan. Stefan did not have a choice to drink from Katherine – he was compelled to – so his LACK of choice – set everything after into motion. He chose (a bit reluctantly IMO compared w/ Damon’s resoluteness not to transition fully) not to become a vampire, but then his instincts when faced with his bleeding-to-death-dad caused him to make his first shameful choice: to drink and become a vampire.

Side note: Of all the terrible things we’ve seen/heard of Damon doing, I have to say watching Stefan accidentally kill, but then FEAST from his own DAD was for me, one of the more disturbing acts on this show.  Vampirism by Patricide – that’s pretty intense! It is also the very first “decision” of Stefan’s that will forever haunt him.

I fully echo Julie’s description of High-on-Blood-Stefan giving his best “come to the dark side” pitch to his horrified brother. This whole arc of Bloodaholic Stefan was so perfectly played by Paul.  He really IS an addict – it becomes clear that Damon drinks human blood because  he likes it – Stefan drinks it because he loves it – it erases everything that hurts him, …the guilt, the pain…I can turn it off!

I got the feeling watching this episode that Stefan was much more “the alpha” between the brothers during their human life.

“Oh Stefan, this is the best Hide and Seek Spot EVER!  They will never find us here . . .”

At the start, as he and Damon watch in horror as Katherine is carted away by the pitchfork wielding townsfolk – it is Stefan who comes up w/the plan to cause a distraction and directs Damon to go get Katherine.  As they attempt to rescue her, it is Stefan who is issuing Damon orders on getting her untied. And when it is time to transition or die – it is Stefan who comes, “gift” in hand (as it were) to show his brother how it’s done.

“You just put your lips together, and SUCK!” 

“Eww.”

The actual turning scene had me on the edge of my seat. For one thing – I’m pretty sure “Dinner” has been compelled by Stefan as she has that glassy-eyed stare and isn’t screaming or struggling.  So Stefan has already learned a nifty and dangerous vampire trick. Damon’s horror is visceral – you can see how repulsed he is by this offering and how freaked out he is that his brother has broken their vow and gone ahead with the transition. But a true hallmark of Bloodaholic Stefan is his desperation – he is DESPERATE for Damon to join him, to experience what he’s feeling, to not feel the pain of losing Katherine, to explore the “whole new world” that lays before them – together . . .

And there you have it, Fangbangers.  Part 1 of our 4 part series on the Evolution of Ripper Stefan . . .

Be sure to stop by Imaginary Men on Thursday for Part 2 . . . or else Damon will be very upset . . .

. . .  and Stefan might cry . . .

And we wouldn’t want THAT, would we?

[**** UPDATE:  PART 2 of this Series is NOW available! *****]

View it HERE!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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When The Vampire Diaries’ Meets Lost . . . : A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Blood Brothers”

Fans of both Lost and The Vampire Diaries likely found a lot of similarities between this week’s TVD installment and that other show trickling across the airwaves right now.  And I’m not just talking about how both shows feature Ian Somerhalder playing a ” hot dead guy” . . .

Like that “other show,” “Blood Brothers” split its time between the present day and a flashback this week, in order to: (1) further develop the characters featured in the flashback; (2) explain these characters’ actions and motivations; and (3) provide viewers with additional insight into the show’s “mysteries.”  In addition to being profoundly Lost-ian . . .

 . . . this week’s episode, also featured: some truly sexy moments (way to go Jeremy and Anna!), some shockingly disturbing moments (Stefan ate his dad?), a vampiric re-death (R.I.P. Vampire Pearl), a vampiric rebirth (Hi, Isobel!), and, if you were really looking hard for it (like I was), some yummy grist for the Damon and Elena shipper mill . . .

Sigh . . .

Let’s bite into the episode, shall we?

When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Eat Daddy .  . .

When we last left our pal Stefan, he was acting like a total human bloodaholic, and, in Damon’s words, “going around chewing on people.”

Before you chew on me, Stefan, may I interest you in a nice stick of gum, instead?

Same gushy center, less mess . . .

And so, with the help of Damon and Elena (It has such a nice ring to it, don’t you think?), Stefan met up with the business end of a vervain-filled syringe, and ended up locked up in a sort of jail cell, conveniently located right inside the Salvatores’ La Casa de Rich and Awesome.  (You know, if I ever make it big enough to buy myself a mansion, I am TOTALLY putting some sort of cage in it . . . )

Because CAGES are SUPER KINKY!

Anyway, being “locked up” and all, Stefan suddenly has a lot of time to think.  So, he flashes back to the time in his life when he and Damon first became vampires.  This is great news for us fans, because we FINALLY get to learn how it all went down . . .

When we last left Flashback World, the Mystic Falls townspeople were in the process of forcibly gathering up all of the town’s vampires, in order to stuff them in a church and burn them to smithereens.  The mob is being led by none other than Damon’s and Stefan’s father, who uses the information he learned from Stefan, himself, to get to Katherine.  This is a very RUDE thing of Daddy Salvatore to do, putting a muzzle on a woman with whom you used to play croquet . . .

“But, Mr. Salvatore, I let you WIN!”

When Katherine is captured, Damon and Stefan band together to come to her rescue.  While they are attempting to untie and unmuzzle her, two gun shots are fired in rapid succession off-screen, one landing in each of the Salvatore brothers’ chests.  As the brothers’ lie on the ground, bloody and unconscious, Katherine is dragged away by the angry townspeople.

A few days later, Stefan and Damon wake up in a secluded area.  There, they are promptly informed by Witch Emily . . .

 . . . who just so happens to be the ancestor of Witch Bonnie . . .

 . . . that because both brothers drank Katherine’s blood (Damon, by choice, and Stefan, by compulsion) prior to being killed, they are now in transition toward becoming vampires.  The catch?  In order to fully transform into vampires, they need to drink . . .

 . . . ASAP, or they will DIE (for good, this time).

Initially, both Stefan and Damon agree that, without Katherine, there is no reason for eternal life. So, they must allow themselves to die, rather than complete the transition.  However, on a whim, Stefan decides to go to his father’s house to wish him goodbye.  Once there, his father informs Stefan that HE WAS THE ONE WHO SHOT THEM!!!!!  This bastard shot his own sons, because he didn’t like the girl they were dating?  Overreact much? 

 To make matters worse, Daddy Salvatore seems intent to finish the job.  He rushes at Stefan, clutching a large stake-like poker in his hands.  But Stefan, who has already gained some of his legendary vampire strength from those legendary (and hot) vampire arms of his . . .

 . . . stabs his DAD with the poker instead.  And while Stefan’s Daddy is moaning, groaning, and basically dying in front of him, Stefan begins to EAT HIM (well . . . drink his blood, at least).  The scene is NASTY!  I mean, sure, Daddy Salvatore was a TOTAL PRICK, no question.  But drinking the guy who gave you life, is kind of like drinking yourself .  . .

Stefan returns to Damon, all crazy-eyed and red-haired (not sure when present day Stefan found time in his busy “chewing on people” schedule to get a dye job, but, apparently, he did).  Trailing behind Stefan is a teenage girl, clearly under compulsion.  Stefan tells Damon that they were wrong.  That there is no need to die, not when drinking blood can “take away the pain” of life and “open up whole new worlds” for the Salvatore brothers.  Initially, Damon seems repulsed by his younger brother’s behavior, and hesitant to make the transition.  But, ultimately, his vampire urges take hold of him, and he sucks on (and very likely kills) the teenage girl.

After Damon returns from his “snack,” he angrily vows to make Stefan’s life hell on earth for all eternity.  And, in hindsight, we know that, for a good portion of his undeath, Damon did just that . . .

You just KNEW I’d find SOME WAY to use this picture again, in my recap, didn’t you?

They’re Bringing Sexy Back (from the dead . . .)

So, I’ve got good news and bad news.  Which news do you want first?  The good news?  OK.  Jeremy and Anna?  They are a SUPER HOT COUPLE!  And if their sort-of sex scene and post-coital cuddle wasn’t all of two-seconds long, I would have TOTALLY shown you a Shirtless Jeremy pic from it.  The actor who plays him (Steven R. McQueen) is, after all, 21-years old . . .

In addition to being HOT, Jeremy and Anna were also really sweet together.  Between Anna’s willingness to stand up to her mother, and revisit the slings and arrows of high school, just to spend time with Jeremy; and Jeremy’s sleepy whisper of “Oh, that feels so good,” when Anna lovingly rubbed his face, as the two laid in bed together, I instantly became a Team Jeranna fan! 

So, here’s the bad news:  near the end of the episode, Anna’s mom, Vampire Pearl . . .

 . . . was bludgeoned by a crossbow, shot at her from long range, and instantly killed!  Who killed her, you ask?  Presumably, this CREEPO . . .

 . . . Uncle John (I HATE THIS GUY!), who realized he no longer had any use for Pearl, upon learning that she had given his ancestor’s Magic Vampire Killer Thingy (that nobody knows how to use yet) to Damon.  Just one question:  What happened to Hottie Vampire Harper?

Vampire Pearl’s loyal associate was standing right next to Vampire Anna when she was bludgeoned, but has not been seen or heard from since . . .

Damon and Alaric – The Bromance Continues . . .

This week, Alaric calls his new buddy Damon (LOVE these two together!) to check out a lead he had on the possible whereabouts of his previously-thought-to-be-dead-but-actually-a-vampire wife, Isobel.  Damon immediately agrees to come along.  And although I know that Damon was the one responsible for turning Isobel, my Damon and Elena shipper sense tells me, that Damon went on this “little journey” with the secret hope of helping Elena to find her long lost biological mother.  After all, Alaric’s “ex” and Elena’s “mom” are one in the same person.

“Damon Salvatore is currently out kicking some Serious Vampire Ass for the woman he secretly loves . . . Leave a message.”

When Damon and Alaric arrive at the house initially thought to contain Isobel . . .

 . . . she’s not there.  However, some random Hidey Hole Vamp is!  (And WE thought they were GONE FOR GOOD!)  Upon learning that Random Vampire Henry is somehow connected to Creepy Uncle John, Alaric and Damon KILL HIS BLOODY BUTT for good!  Congratulations to Vampire Henry for winning the Senseless Death Award for the week!  Here’s your trophy . . .

 Teacher (as Damon lovingly calls Alaric) is getting surprisingly good at murdering folks, now, isn’t he?  Once the deed is done, the two engage in a heartwarming personal conversation about the struggles of pining over the “one who got away.”  “Two years pining over the woman who left you, is remarkably healthy, I think,” remarks Damon, self-deprecatingly, having mooned over Vampire Katherine for way over a century now.

Although the two pals end their little road trip empty handed, in the last scene of the episode, Isobel comes out of hiding and confronts Alaric at the local bar.  Seeing as how next week’s episode is entitled “Isobel,” I’m pretty sure we haven’t seen the last of this chick . . .

The Will to Live (and to wear sexy white tees that show of your KILLER arms) . . .

When Stefan wasn’t flashing back to his past, he spent most of the episode, brooding, refusing to drink blood, and flexing those drool-worthy pectoral muscles of his.  Elena, who has been basically living at La Casa de Rich and Awesome with both Salvatores for a few days now  . . . (Threesome anyone?) . . . continually tries to get through to Stefan, and break him out of his funk.  At one point, she even goes as far as to enter the “lion’s den” with the hungry vampire, putting her life at risk.  But Stefan, feeling incredibly guilty for his recent behavior, and for the part he played in making Damon become a vampire, wants to die, as he feels he should have done all those years ago.  During the episode’s climax, Stefan escapes his cage, leaving his “I can be in sunlight without rotting” ring on the floor by his prison cot.  His plan, of course, is to meet the sun and die at dawn.

“I put up with your crap for 20 episodes, and all I get for it is this UGLY ASS RING?   You could have at least got me something from Tiffany’s . . .”

Having recently heard Stefan’s flashback tale of woe from Damon (BTW E and D have been sharing adorably snarky barbs and smirks with one another ALL NIGHT . . . just saying), Elena instantly knows she can find Stefan at the very spot where he got Damon to eat that teen way back when.  Elena explains to Stefan that she too is no stranger to guilt.   After all, she was the reason her parents were out driving on the night they were both killed in the car accident.  Elena explains to Stefan that she knows he is “good,” and that, together, they can beat his human blood addiction.  Ultimately, Stefan puts back on that UGLY ASS RING, and the two kiss and make up.

With Stefan back to being the “good brother” and Damon’s alone time with Elena over, it is now Damon’s turn to brood.  In the last scene featuring the sexy Salvatore brothers, Damon admits that the REAL reason he hates Stefan is because Katherine chose to “turn” Stefan too.  And now, it seems, once again, that the two brothers are in love with the same girl . . .

Love sucks . . . and so do these guys .  . . literally.

 Can’t wait to sink your teeth into “Isobel?”  Non-spoilerphobes can click the video below to watch stills from next week’s episode, in which Slutty Bad Ass Vampire Isobel seems to be wreaking havoc on Mystic Falls.  The pictures feature, among other things, quite a few photos of Damon Salvatore adorably open-shirted.  So, put your fingers on those “print screen” buttons, ladies . . . 

 

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