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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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A Birthday and Five Funerals – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Our Town”

[Greetings, Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars Fans!  I know I owe you all two recaps today.  Unfortunately, I was feeling a bit under the weather last night.  However, I hope to get both recaps out to you by early January 18th (all fingers crossed).  This means my Glee-cap should arrive by January 19th.  Sorry about the delay.  And thank you for being patient!]

BONNIE: “Make a wish, Caroline.”

CAROLINE: “I wish to get more action than Elena, this year.” 

 

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“Nice, Caroline!  I thought we were friends.  Do the words, ‘three seasons of virtual celibacy’ mean anything to you?” 

Greetings Fangbangers!  I’m going to admit that some very strange things happened to me during this episode . . . things I never thought would happen, ever . . .  Here they are,  in no particular order:

(1) Bonnie, as per usual, was judgmental toward Elena, about something she did last week. And I AGREED WITH BONNIE!

(2) Matt Donovan actually made me smile.  (This hasn’t happened, since he got high, back in “The Birthday.”  Perhaps, I only like Matt when he’s wasted .  . .)

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(3) Elena refused a second kiss from Damon, and I was totally OK with it.  (BECAUSE, NEXT TIME, SHE’S GOING TO KISS HIM, INSTEAD!)

(4) I found myself incredibly turned on by a (sort of) love scene between Caroline, and someone who wasn’t Tyler . . .

Clearly, the apocalypse is upon us .  . .

Also this week, I found myself, at various points during the episode, seriously questioning the respective motivations of Stefan, Klaus, and Tyler.

Are these men behaving out of self-interest,  genuine concern for their lady friends, or, in the case of Tyler, a slighty modified version of compulsion?  Also, would they all have been better off keeping their hands (and teeth) to themselves?

All in all, it was a very intriguing episode .  . . one I very much look forward to “biting into” with you, right now . . .

(By the way, special thanks to Andre, for providing me some seriously amazing screencaps for this episode.  I just wish we had a TVD tumblr, so that I can share them all with you.)

Channeling “Frustrations”

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“I will not imagine Damon naked.  I will not imagine Damon naked . . . I will not . . .”

“Dammit!”

So, Fangbangers, have you ever been really horny stressed out?  Do you sometimes find yourself with so much excess desire and sexual energy, you simply must find someone to bone some way to release it?  I have.  And whenever I feel this way, I tend to GO BONE DAMON SALVATORE, THIS INSTANT, ELENA! do one of two things . . .

(1) workout my frustrations with some good old-fashioned humping physical exertion; or

(2) get naked cool off in a nice, refreshing shower.

When you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense that Elena ended up doing the former, especially, in light of her recent epic porch smooch with Damon.

It’s also no surprise that, Damon did the latter.  (After all, let’s face it, it’s been WAY TOO LONG, since we got to see Mr. Smoulderhotter NAKED!)

 I’ve never been so envious of a towel, in my entire life.

I mean, Damon’s always been known to be quite the suds-loving dude . . .  He takes his personal hygiene VERY seriously . . .

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But aside from all that, Damon is in a REALLY good place right now.

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And . . . now, I’m jealous of the shower head . . . 

After three seasons of angst, and unrequited love, the elder Salvatore Brother has FINALLY unburdened himself to Elena.  He’s exposed himself to her, in the rawest, most personal way, and SHE reciprocated!

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 It was everything he dreamed about.  And he’s totally satisfied with how it all turned out.

Elena, on the other hand, is CONFUSED, not to mention SERIOUSLY SEXUALLY FRUSTRATED.  It’s as if, through that kiss, Damon transferred years of horny angst, unrequited love, and giddy confusion from his shoulders onto her own . . .

The only way to release that tension will be for Elena to similarly unburden herself.  But, until she does that, something tells me she’s going to be thinking about that kiss for a VERY, VERY long time . . .

“Have you talked to Damon, today?”  Elena asks Alaric apprehensively, as she thrusts her body into that big sweaty hunk of punching bag.  (It’s a surprisingly girly comment, coming from our new warrior princess . . . Suddenly, she’s a preteen again, asking her best friend, if he thinks her crush likes her.)

Alaric clearly suspects something is going on between his surrogate kid, and his bromantic buddy, but, fortunately knows when to leave well enough alone . . .

“She could beat me up, for sure.” 

Meanwhile, over at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Stefan also might suspect that Damon’s gotten some tongue action (among other things), when the latter saunters out of his shower, naked except for a towel, looking surprisingly peppy, not to mention cocky as hell.

But if you were hoping for a brotherly bonding  / gossip session over the brother’s mutual Gal Friday, you will end up being sorely disappointed.  Stefan, who, by the way, hasn’t been laid in AGES .  . .

“Rub it in, why don’t ya?” 

 .  . .  is all business.  He wants the two of them over at Institution for Dead Witches on the Rag, ASAP, so that the pair can discuss Operation Kill Klaus.

As douchetastic and cold as Stefan has been, of late (He also seems to be wearing a heck of a lot more guyliner, since he went over to the dark side.), it was kind of fun to see the Salvatore Brothers back to their old schemes, and sibling banter.  We haven’t seen that from them, in a while . . .

Knock, Knock . . . (a.k.a. Funeral 1)

Knock, knock . . .

Who’s there?

Heartless Hybrid . . .

Heartless Hybrid who . . .

Oh crap!

Despite the fact that there are three other unopened coffins in our midst (one of which contains Elijah and his awesome hair) . . .

 . . . everyone only seems interested in that Mystery One . . .

“What are we?   Chopped liver?” 

We find Bonnie at the Institution, doing her own version of Bibbity Bobbity Boo over it . . .

Hey, I’ve got an idea.  Why doesn’t she try to light the coffin on fire, or give it a headache, like she used to do to Damon . . . 

 (only without the nosebleeds . . . Have we completely forgotten about the nosebleeds, writers?) to no avail.

That’s right, Bonnie.  I’m never letting you live this down . . . 

Later, Damon tries to bash it in with a crowbar.  That’s more like it.  I’m just waiting for a Batsh*t Crazy Stefan to come at the thing with an electric chainsaw.  Now, THAT would be awesome . . .

But, suddenly, just as Bonnie finishes her silly little rhyme, and Damon and Stefan reach the doorway to the Institution, the coffins disappear (What a clever little security system those witches have set up!)  Damon rushes inside to warn Bonnie.  Then, he and Stefan tag team and promptly de-heart our first anonymous hybrid victim of the evening.

Man, is it just me, or are these hybrids incredibly lame?

I don’t know, Klaus.  Maybe they get that from their mom’s side of the family?  But it seems to me like some of the Season 1 vampires, were about ten times more difficult to kill than these supposed Lean, Mean, Killing Machines . . .

Part vampire . .  . part werewolf . . . ALL LOSER?

“These hybrids are really bringing the neighborhood down,” snarks Damon, as he tosses the bloody heart on the floor.

No wonder he showers so much . . . 

Correction:  They WOULD be bringing the neighborhood down, if any of them were actually smart enough to survive longer than five minutes to do it . . .

A Very, Very Un-Birthday to YOU!

“I was originally going to write the letters in my own blood, but thought that might be inappropriate.” 

Over at school, Elena and Bonnie are busy decorating undead birthday girl, Caroline’s locker, when Elena announces that she has a confession to make.  “I kissed Damon, and it was so hot I nearly orgasmed, right there on my porch.  I’m so horny right now I could SCREAM. Jeremy’s leaving Mystic Falls, because I made Damon compel him to do so,” she admits, more or less.

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The look on Bonnie’s face, when she hears this, is just FILLED with judgment.  Can you imagine what her face is going to look like, when she learns Damon and Elena are boning?

She knows her ex would never willingly leave his family to battle evil, while he scurried off to someplace “safe.”  And she also knows how much Jeremy always hated the way everyone, especially his sister, always treated him like a toddler, and never let him play in any Scooby Games.  But, as angry as she is, Bonnie doesn’t say anything . . . yet.

Instead, she goes and asks Jeremy about why he’s leaving.  And when he provides her with the stock, Stepford Husband, compulsion response with which Damon has provided him, she gives him this smirk that says, “You are acting like a such a brainwashed tool, right now.  And you don’t even know it.”

For a second, it seems like Bonnie just might have gotten through to Jeremy.  But then he sees a shiny object (Ghost Anna?), and completely forgets that she exists.  Sorry, Bonster.  You may be right about this one.  But your ship has definitely sailed . . .

“I’m sorry. Damon has also compelled me to forget the name of that witch I used to screw.”

Meanwhile, an unusually Mopey Caroline arrives at school to find Tyler waiting for her in the parking lot.

“I could always ‘accidentally’ run him over with my car . . .” 

I know girls like Caroline.  Under normal circumstances, she’d probably show up to school on her birthday, wearing a tiara, a gold sequined dress, and a big button that says, “F*&k Kiss me, I’m a year older.”

“When I open my eyes, I better see lot of expensive presents in front of me, or else!” 

But our girl Caroline has changed, in more ways than one, since last year.  And the sight of her erstwhile beau isn’t making things any easier on her.

Speaking of subdued, the events of the past week seem to have finally gotten it through Tyler’s thick (but still adorable) hybrid skull that being “Gay for Klaus” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  He apologizes profusely to Caroline for no longer being able to put her first, given how demanding his new lover happens to be.  Then, he sweetly slips an adorable silver charm bracelet into her hand, wishes her happy birthday, and exits stage left . . .

As the couple talk, there’s some song playing in the background, in which the lyrics repeat, “It’s over,” over and OVER again.  And there’s just something about it that really makes me want to break something.

Many fellow TVD fans have often complained about the LOUDNESS of the show’s background music.  But this was the first time it TRULY bothered me . . . like a too-loud laugh track, over a part of a sitcom that wasn’t particularly funny . . .

“Turn the music down, dammit, I’m trying to hear FORWOOD!” 

All this angst and pedantic music quickly become too much for Caroline.  So, her and her plaid Catholic School Girl Skirt both decide to take a sick day  . . .

How very Britney Spears, circa 1998 . . . 

When, she arrives back at her house, however, Elena, Matt, and Bonnie are there waiting for her.  (Did they all call in sick too?)

How many high school boys do you know who would willingly wear a bubble gum pink dunce cap? 

They’ve planned a tequila campfire party in her honor.  But Caroline, as we know, isn’t in a celebrating mood.  “[My birthday, this year] is just a reminder that I’m dead,” she gripes.  “I’m stuck in a filler year,” Vampire Barbie adds about her “forever 17” status.

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(I don’t know about 17 being a filler year, per se.  At least you can get your driver’s license, over and over again!)

But worry not, Caroline fans.  Because Elena Gilbert, Therapist to Vampires, knows exactly the kind of party that Caroline needs . . .

A Very Klefan Breakup (a.k.a Funeral 2)

Speaking of vampires who are desperately in need of both therapy and sex, it seems Klaus has crafted a comfy new coffin for his re-daggered sister, Rebekah (or, perhaps, he saved the old one . . . knowing it wouldn’t be long before he’d get sick of his sister, and need it again).

He tells Punky She-Hybrid to “Show Rebekah to her room,” while lovingly caressing the coffin.  And, for a moment, I’m reminded of that movie where Ryan Gosling started having intimate conversations with, and eventually, if I recall, marrying, a life-sized female doll . . .

But before Punky She-Hybrid can give Coffin Number 1, the grand tour of the Original Hybrid Suite, Stefan magically appears . . . (because, apparently, this is a day for Reunions with Ex-Boyfriends).

Klaus’ eyes light up when he sees his Steffypoo.  And for a moment, I think the ancient vampire truly believes that the two of them are about to kiss and have sex make up.

But before Klaus and Stefan can continue their weekly weiner-measuring contest, Stefan has some grievances to air about their relationship, “friends don’t strip friends of their free will,” whines Stefan, of Klaus’ Very Bad Boyfriend decision to render him a virtual zombie for three or four episodes.

“Must . . . eat . . . braaaaaiiiiins.” 

To Klaus’ credit,  he actually apologizes for this.  “I know that was extreme, but I can get a bit moody sometimes,” says the guy who has a habit of KILLING his relatives, for fun.   “I was hoping [now that all that is over and done], that we could pick up right where we left off,” he coos, the sexual suggestiveness of his statement, fairly clear, as he winks at his boy toy, and blows kisses in his direction.

But Stefan’s not giving in so easily, nor is he swayed, by Klaus’ decision to play the “Brother Card.”  In fact, Stefan’s SOOOO not down with the idea of a Klefan reunion that he CHOPS OF PUNKY SHE-HYBRID’S HEAD!

So, remember back when Stefan used to eat people’s heads off, and then glue them back on, because he felt bad about it?  Apparently, neither does he . . . 

And another one bites the dust . . .

I love how the decapitated body just stood there, for about three seconds, before finally crumbling to the ground. 

For those of you keeping track at home, out of Klaus’ merry band of hybrids, we now have two, without hearts, and two without heads.  Now, we just need some arms, legs, and torsos, up in this joint.  And we could have ourselves a mean game of Hangman!

But alas, Klaus decides to burn Punky She-Hybrid’s head, in all it’s stylish Angry Girl Band-loving glory.  This to me, seems like a real waste, especially when a “decorative sculpture” like this could really have spruced up Coffin Rebekah’s new bedroom . .  .

A Very Klyler Breakup?

But Stefan isn’t the only boy toy of Klaus’ that’s cheesed off at him.  Seemingly moments after Stefan the Decapitator has departed, in comes a snarling, feral-looking Tyler.  He’s not giving in to this “sire” thing.  No sir!  He’s his own man, dammit.

So, of course, Klaus has to send Tyler off on another errand: namely, bite Caroline, and give her were-hybrid rabies, like Rose and Damon, before her.

(Hmmm . . . interesting.  So, a hybrid bite can kill a vampire, just as easily as a werewolf one can, despite the fact that hybrids are, technically, part vampire.  What happens, when they bite themselves?) 

Tyler says “Hell to the No” to this errand, which I appreciated very much (Of course, I would have appreciated it much more, if his “Hell to the No” was followed by “Pretty please don’t kill Caroline, because I love her” . . .  as opposed to merely, “Why should I do it?” . . . the unspoken .  . . and, perhaps, unintentional, implication being that it would be OK, if someone else did it).

“See?  I should have run him over with my car!” 

Klaus pouts a bit, at his sex  slave’s surprising disobedience.  But, oddly enough, he ultimately lets Tyler off the hook, for this particular errand, without much fanfare . . . or does he?

In which it becomes shockingly apparent that the entire Founder’s Council is made up of vampires and psycho killers . . .

That night, Team Bad Ass, a.k.a. Alaric and Damon, attend one of those ridiculous faux-Founder’s Day parties at the Lockwood Mansion, so that they can later appear at one of those totally useless Anti-Vampire Council meetings.  While they wait, Alaric talks to Damon about how odd it is that Stefan’s gone balls out, evil, while Damon is in hero-mode, and playing house with Elena.  (You can always count on Alaric to say what everyone else is thinking . . .)

Speaking of Elena, “something’s up with [her],” Alaric confides in his bromantic buddy.

Damon smirks at this, undoubtedly imagining the way her tongue tastes.   But he reveals nothing.  Instead, he deflects, “I’m sure, whatever it is it starts with a ‘Stef’ and ends with an ‘an.'” He jokes.  (More like starts with a “DAM” and ends with an “IT’S ON!”)

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Crazy Nanny Carrie, er, I mean Meredith Fell then annoyingly magically appears to hit on Alaric some more, and remind us that, as a “Founding Fell,” she’s part of this Useless Council too . . .(Hey, you know who else was a Fell?  Season 1 Logan . . . the guy Damon and Alaric both killed . . . coincidence?)

Crazy Nanny continues to flirt with Alaric, and make weirdly threatening references to the fact that she still imagines throwing her ex boyfriend from high school off a bridge.  Woah, Crazy Nanny Meredith! Considering that you’re a doctor, it’s safe to say you’ve been out of high school for at least ten years.  It’s time to let go, psychopath . . .

Later, we see said ex-boyfriend and Meredith fighting about something.  The ex gets a bit rough with Meredith, and Prince Alaric comes to her rescue.  Instead of being mad at Alaric, the guy in question actually seems to pity him, even going so far as to warn him about the nutjob he’s about to start screwing.  (Clearly, this guy has watched One Tree Hill and Pretty Little Liars.)

Cause of death:  The use of too much hair product, at once . . . 

We later learn that this guy is the Town Medical Examiner, a.k.a. The Guy Who Lies and Says Residents Were Killed by Wild Dogs,  When They Were Actually Sucked Dry by Stefan Salvatore . . .

More interesting than Crazy Nanny Meredith’s fantasies of becoming Stephen King’s Carrie, and Medical Examiner Guy’s shockingly bad hair is the fact that “some British guy,” has apparently donated oodles of cash to Mystic Falls’ Founder’s Council.

Annnnd .  . . that’s how the Baddest Vampire of them All, and his Band of Strong, But Stupid, Hybrids all became honorary members of the Now Virtually 0% Human Anti-Vampire Council . . .  Would you believe that Klaus got his foot in the proverbial council door, by offering the group PROTECTION from Stefan?  Talk about the ultimate switcheroo.

To be honest, I was much less surprised that Carol Lockwood went along with her son’s new boyfriend’s plans, than I was that former vampire despiser, Lizard Forbes has suddenly gone out and bought herself a “Team Klaus” t-shirt.

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Is it possible that she is predicting a future romance for her Vampire Barbie daughter, and the Original Hybrid?  Stay tuned . . .

LIZ: “Bet you $20 they are boning by sweeps week.”

DAMON: “I’ll take that bet . . .” 

Speaking of Crazy!Stefan, he makes a go at killing, yet a third hybrid, upstairs in the Lockwood Mansion.  (This one, would have been another beheading . . . not very creative.  However, he is ultimately stopped by Peacekeeping!Damon.  Go figure! Damon’s passionate plea of “No dead hybrids at the Founder’s Party,” reminds me so much of Chris Rock’s “No sex in the Champagne Room,” that it makes me giggle.

Stefan, however, isn’t amused.  So, he storms off to go pee on some more proverbial trees, so as to mark his town territory, and “be the better villain,” so to speak.  And by “trees,” I mean “Elena” . . .

Meanwhile . . .

Here Lies Caroline Forbes . . .  (a.k.a. Funeral 3)

In the most morbid,  but surprisingly appropriate birthday party ever, Elena and the gang take Caroline to Fell’s tomb.  There, they decide to give her a FUNERAL . . . you know, because she’s dead . . . and stuff.  The idea, of course, is to get her to stop focusing on her OLD life of GETTING OLD, and start focusing on her NEW LIFE (which . . . is really, more or less, the same as her old one, except she occasionally drinks blood, and never ever will have to pay for Botox).

Then, Caroline proceeds to get mildly inebriated on tequila, and uses it as an excuse to drunk text Tyler.  (We’ve all been there. ;))  This prompts Elena to make a snide remark, and Bonnie to stick up for Caroline.  (AGAIN, I’m agreeing with Bonnie AGAIN!  What the heck is wrong with me?)  Apparently, liquor has loosened Bonnie’s lips enough for her to Elena what she really things of her decision to steal Jeremy’s free will, and send him away, possibly for good.

“Judging you . . . again.”

Matt gripes comedically, that all this catty girl talk is totally ruining Caroline’s kickass funeral.  So, BonBon leaves.  Enter Tyler to the tune of the song “Birthday Sex.”  (Now, THAT would have been a good soundtrack choice!)

Love Bites and Dating Dealbreakers . . .

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Tyler wants to talk to Caroline . . .  alone.  You see, his conversation with Klaus has taught him that he CAN, in fact say no. . .  maybe.  Of course, he’s thrilled . . . so thrilled, in fact, that he confesses his love to Caroline.  Now, they are kissing.  Now, they are humping against a tree.  Now, they are . . . BITING EACHOTHER’S NECKS????

Ruh-roh!  Apparently, some foreplay is just no longer acceptable, when you are a hybrid hooking up with a Vampire Barbie.  Caroline falls to the floor, a mixture of shock, accusation, and pain, on her face.

Gnarliest hickey ever . . . I think Tyler might need braces . . . 

To Tyler’s credit, he looks genuinely shocked at what he did.  He obeyed Klaus’ wishes after all, even though (I think) he clearly didn’t want to do so.  Now, if that ‘s not compulsion, I don’t know what is . . .

I would have liked for Tyler not to run off into the woods like a b*tch to leave Caroline dying in the forest.   But run off, he did.  In Tyler’s defense, Caroline asked him to leave.  And he DID go and get her help, which, I suspect, was also precisely what Klaus wanted him to do . . .

Meanwhile, an adorable wasted Elena and Matt tumble out of the tomb, in search of Caroline.  Just as they find her, Stefan knocks Matt unconscious, and steals Elena away, without so much as a “Happy Birthday,” to Dying Caroline.  Way to be a gentleman, ASSHAT!

Next thing we know, Stefan is speeding down the highway with a kidnapped, and super pouty, Elena.  He wants to drive her down to the bridge where they first met . . . you know, back when her parents drowned, and he rescued her?  Ahh .  . . memories.  In fact, Stefan wants to take reliving those memories all the way to the next level, by DRIVING OVER THE BRIDGE, AND DROWNING WITH ELENA . . .

Damon calls Elena for some phone sex, and is not-at-all pleased that his brother has picked up the phone.  He becomes even less pleased, when he learns what exactly Crazy!Stefan plans to do.

In an odd turn of events, Damon suddenly finds himself on the same side as Klaus.  He runs to warn his new friend, of what’s happening.  “Get rid of your hybrids, or he’s going to kill Elena,” Damon says, more or less.

“Sometimes, I wish YOU were my brother . . . you know . . . aside from the whole, leaving your siblings in coffins for 1,000’s of years . . . thing.” 

Initially, Klaus isn’t concerned.  He believes that Stefan ultimately loves Elena WAY too much to kill her.  So, therefore, he must be bluffing.  But when Klaus calls Stefan on the phone, he hears Elena’s anguished screams . . . screams which sound so very real.  Then he hears Stefan, do the one thing, that to Elena, is worse than killing her out right, he force feeds her his blood . . . the exact same action for which he attacked Damon, last season.

Now, Klaus seemed fairly certain that Stefan wouldn’t kill Elena.  But he’s much less certain he won’t turn her into a vampire, thereby making yet another Petrova Doppelganger useless as a human blood bank / hybrid making machine.  This is a HUGE deal.  After all, Klaus had to wait 500 years after Katherine turned vamp, for another opportunity to become / make hybrids.  Who knows how long he’ll have to wait next time around?

Watching Klaus cry, as he hears Elena’s screams of terror, you could almost imagine that he really does care about her, as more than  just a blood bank.  And maybe he does.  After all, Klaus has romantic history with two girls, who look exactly like Elena.  So, it’s not hard to imagine that some of that tenderness has translated over to this new doppelganger, who’s so very important to him, in so many ways.

At the last possible minute, (once Klaus agrees to get his hybrids out of Mystic Falls, of course) Stefan stops the car.  Oddly enough, despite having gone through the last few minutes with Elena, this guy seems truly confused, as to why she won’t back into the car with him.

Stefan’s speech to Elena is interesting, because it causes you to question just how much of his “No Emotions” thing, is an act, while, at the same time, illustrates just how insensitive and hard-hearted his experiences with Klaus have made him.

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Stefan explains to Elena that she and Damon HAD to believe that he was really going to kill her / and/ or turn her into a vampire,  to convince Klaus of the same thing.  And if all that was an act, maybe the rest of it was too.  After all, it certainly wouldn’t be the first time Stefan pretended not to care about Elena,  in order to protect her.

On the other hand, as Elena tearfully explains, Stefan traumatized her, beyond belief, by forcing her to relive the moment of her parents death.  And the fact that Stefan could make her do this, without giving so much as a thought to the mental and emotional impact it would have on her, shows him to not be the same guy with whom she fell so madly in love, a few years back.

Stefan digs the knife deeper, by telling Elena that defeating Klaus is all he has left, pointedly leaving both Damon and Elena out of that equation.  He also tells Elena that they’ve been “over,” since he left Mystic Falls, and that he doesn’t care what she thinks about him, anymore.  Of course, his facial expressions, when he says this, say otherwise.

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Then, the Poopyhead drives off, leaving Elena in the middle of the road, for Damon to rescue . . . again. That’s right, boys and girls.  Stefan Salvatore is on Team Delena.  And, as awful a dude as he’s been lately, I certainly can’t fault him for that.

Speaking of Delena . . .

The Kiss Raincheck? 🙂

Throughout the hour, we’ve been waiting for Damon and Elena to address their epic liplock.  Now, fittingly enough, they get to do so, in the exact same spot, where the infamous smooch occurred.  Let’s rewatch, shall we?

I must admit, on first watch, I was disappointed that Elena rebuffed Damon’s sweet facial caresses, and soulful love eyes, with her, “You can’t kiss me again.”

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I thought to myself, “Oh come on, Elena!  Stefan practically ROLLED OUT THE RED CARPET for you to give in to your desires with Damon.  Surely, you can’t be feeling guilty about it now!”

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But Damon’s wistful remark, about it being “right .  . . but not right now,” was true in so many ways.

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It also reminded me of that little Dawson’s Creek moment, I shared with you last week.  You know, the one where Pacey told Joey that he couldn’t keep kissing her, because he’d already made his feelings known.  So, if she wanted their relationship to continue, she would have to kiss him?

In essence, I think that is what Damon and Elena are both saying to one another, here.  From Elena’s perspective, it wouldn’t be fair for her to accept another one of Damon’s mind-blowing kisses on THIS night, when her heart is so very raw, from where Stefan stamped on it.  Despite her obviously strong feelings for Damon, if she let him kiss her right now, it would be more about Stefan than it would be about Damon.  And Elena cares enough about Damon to know that he doesn’t deserve that . . .

The next time Damon and Elena kiss, it should be all about THEM, just like it was the first time.

From Damon’s perspective,  he, like a certain Pacey Witter, knows that their next kiss must be Elena-initiated.  And it needs to come at time, when Elena is finally genuinely OK with what happened between her and Stefan.  He loves and respects Elena enough to wait for that moment to come.  He’s also confident enough in her love for him, to know that it WILL come eventually . . .

Dreaming of Delena . . . 

And, if the longing look Elena gave Damon at the end of this scene, and her words to Matt at the end of the episode are any indication, that moment will probably come sooner, rather than later . . .

The Softer Side of Klaus?

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Coming from a Hardcore Delena and Forwood shipper, you might be surprised to know that I found this the most fascinating moment of this episode.  It was both surprising, and, at the same time, telegraphed from the very first scene.  Most intriguing of all was the fact that Klaus’ motives for doing what he did are still not entirely certain.

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On one hand, it certainly seems as though Klaus told Tyler to bite Caroline, knowing, full well that he would initially say no, and then, inadvertently end up doing it, anyway.  At first, most of us fans, probably felt that this was done to show the Scooby Gang that Klaus means business, just as the attempted murder of Jeremy did, last week.  However, on second glance, it seems more likely that Klaus only got Tyler to bite Caroline, so that he could ultimately save her.

The question is, why did he go through all this trouble to do that, for a girl with whom, up to this point, he has had little to no interaction?  Does he truly care about her as much as he seems to, in this clip?

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Is it possible that Klaus feels kinship with Caroline, because both have questioned their existence, in the past?

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Or maybe because she looks so much like his sister (the other Vampire Barbie), or, perhaps, like someone he once loved?  Has he coveted her all along, and merely been using Tyler to get to her?

Or, was all this merely a way, of keeping Tyler in line, by breaking him of the one person, who potentially had the power to keep him from being completely loyal?  Also, having someone, like Caroline, who is so intimately linked to Stefan’s inner circle beholden to him, certainly can’t hurt Klaus’ plans for continued Elena usage, and world domination?  The coy way, in which Klaus caresses the bracelet Tyler gave her for birthday (He ultimately gives her a much nicer, more expensive piece of jewelry, himself.) could be interpreted either way . . .

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But whether you are Team Klaroline, or Team Forwood, you have to admit that these two are pretty darn sexy together . . . And here I thought death bed flirting was only hot , when Delena was doing it.  Shows, how much I know . . .

Bye, Bye Jer Bear!

After Caroline gets her bracelet, things wrap up pretty quickly.  Jeremy gets shipped off to Denver, without much fanfare.  And Bonnie, for all her complaints and hand-wringing, when it actually comes time for him to leave, merely,  hugs him goodbye.

Don’t worry, Jeremy.  You’ll be back.  The ones that don’t die ALWAYS comeback.  (Come to think of it, so do the ones that DO die . . .)

Here Lies Elena Gilbert (a.k.a. Funeral 4) . . .

We follow up this tearful Jer Bear moment, with a surprisingly sweet one between Matt and Elena on that fateful Bridge of DEATH.  Elena notes sadly that her former self might be disappointed with her current self, a girl in love with VAMPIRES (That’s right, I said “vampires” PLURAL . . .

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You know what that means, don’t you, DAMON?

The Matt we USED to know, would have probably agreed with Elena.  But New Matt, was much kinder, giving Old Elena a “funeral,”  so that she might be able to embrace her new crazy life, one which, though he might not fully understand, he does support,  because he  . . . wait for it  . . . wants her to be happy.

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Way to go, Matt!  (I can’t believe I just typed those words . . . I must be going crazier than Stefan . . .)

Speaking of crazy . . .

Here Lies Crazy Nanny Carrie’s Victim Preppy Medical Examiner Guy . . . (a.k.a. Funeral 5)

Question: If the only Medical Examiner in town gets whacked, who gets to determine his Cause of Death? 

While Alaric proceeds to get Day Drunk with Crazy Nanny Meredith, Lizard Forbes and her once-again pal Damon go traipsing in the forest to locate yet another of Mystic Falls growing list of Dead Unimportant Characters.  This time its . . . surprise . . . Preppy Medical Examiner Guy . . . as in, the same one Crazy Nanny Meredith talked about tossing over a bridge, and the same one that Alaric publicly tussled with the night before.  He’s got a stake in his chest, the victim of one of those rare things in Mystic Falls: the HUMAN KILL.

He stole Bonnie’s nose bleed.   BASTARD! 

Do, I suspect a Crazy Nanny Meredith Murder, followed by an Alaric Saltzman frame-up, possibly to avenge the death of an odious weatherman named Logan Fell?  You bet I do!

And that was “Our Town,” in a Nutshell.  Next week, on TVD: Tyler gets chained up and naked again, Crazy Nanny Meredith shows her true colors, and Bonnie appears to be bleeding from her nasal passages again.  Hooray!  You can check out the Canadian and American trailers for this episode, entitled “The Ties that Bind,” here:

Until next time, my fellow Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

I Dream of Dead People (and DELENA KISSES!) – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “The New Deal”

Welcome back, my fellow Fangbangers!  I missed you!  Heck, I missed this show!  Now, I know how Stefan feels, when he’s going through blood withdrawal . . .

All those sad, lonely, desperate Thursday nights without my TVD  . . .  it’s a wonder I didn’t completely lose my head or have Stefan chew it, or Jeremy chop it off with a meat cleaver . . . .

So, of course, this brings up the inevitable question .  . .  Was “The New Deal” worth the interminable wait . . . the sleepless nights . . . the hours spent watching Delena fanvideos on YouTube, while sitting entirely too close to my computer screen?  Survey says . . .

Well, I’ll take that as a yes! 🙂

But wait . . . before I get started on the recap . . . I think I’m forgetting something.  What could I possibly be forgetting?

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Oh . . . yes . . . THAT.  Well, we will definitely be talking about THAT, soon enough.  But first, let’s get all that “other stuff” out of the way.  Shall we? 😉

“If you unbury it, he will come . . .”

We open the episode with a nice close-up shot on Bonnie, who’s dressed like she’s ready to head out for a night of clubbing.

This, of course, caused me to ponder how far away the nearest dance club is from Mystic Falls.  It’s too bad Vicki’s gone.  She would have known the answer to that question, for sure . . .

But enough about Vicki.  We’re with Bonnie, now.  Mmm-kay?  And Bonnie’s hearing The Whispers.  You know The Whispers, right?  These guys are WAY famous.  If they had an IMDB page, it would probably be longer than Robert De Niro’s.

The Whispers are always popping up in horror movies, and scary TV shows, and telling the protagonist to do BAD THINGS:  “steal that precious object,” “cheat on your wife,” “kill That Guy,” “eat more Chicken McNuggets.”

Unfortunately, here, The Whispers just want Bonnie to go into Lame Emily’s Ugly House of Dead Witchcraft and Mildew.  Bonnie obeys.  (Far be it for her to disobey The Whispers!)  She goes into the basement of the Ugly House.  There are four coffins there.  (Gee golly!  I wonder what it all means?)

It’s a nice day for a vamp funeral  . . . or four . . . 

The Whispers tell Bonnie to open one of the coffins.  (They sure can be bossy . . . those Whispers.)  And when she does .  . . well . . . you’ll never guess who’s in there!  It’s KLAUS!  And he just looks like the happiest Dead Guy ever! 

Oh, hey Bonnie!  Do you know where the bathroom is in this place?  I’ve gotta piss like a racehorse.”

He’s also wearing some seriously tacky Man Bling on his finger and neck.

“Real Men” apparently wear insanely ugly jewelry . . . 

Hey, maybe Bonnie has decided to go clubbing, after all!  She notices that Klaus’ Man Bling would look TOTALLY AWESOME with her shiny gold-plated  halter top, and black leather jacket.  Should she take them?  The Whispers say go for it!  Klaus won’t need jewelry where he’s going.

“My Preciousssss!” 

Bonnie reaches down to take the jewelry.  Bad girl!  Someone grabs her from behind.  Now, she’s really going to get it!  No one has ever stolen Man Bling from the Original Hybrid, and lived to tell the tale.  At home on the couch, TVD fans hold their breaths, awaiting her witchy demise . . .

Or not . . .

You see, Bonnie was just dreaming . .  .  But you probably already knew that, didn’t you?  You sly little fangbanger, you!

“Great, now I have to pee like a racehorse . . .” 

“Hey, Hot Soon-to-be-Headless Hybrid!  Wanna Race?”

While Bonnie’s still in Dreamland, our girl Elena is out kicking ass, and taking names.

Actually, she’s jogging.  And yet, given Elena’s track record with vampires, werewolves, hybrids and other assorted demons, I kind of think learning how to run away is a much better use of her time, don’t you think?  Of course, there’s only one problem: HUMANS CAN’T RUN AWAY FROM SUPERNATURAL CREATURES . . .

“Doh!”

Speaking of the aforementioned OBVIOUS premise, I think it’s kind of funny that, after finishing her 5K race, or, however, long it is that our girl jogs, Elena looks at her stop watch, and gives herself a mental pat on the back for her improved speed.

You can almost hear her saying in her head.  “I finished in 25 minutes.  That’s 30 seconds faster than last time!  That means I should now be able to run a full 30 seconds, before whatever vampire is chasing me that week chews my legs off . . . or whatever . .  .

Elena’s self-congratulatory mood is short-lived however, because someone is jogging behind her.  He’s kind of hot .  . . but not Damon hot,  or Tyler hot . . . just normal run-of-the-mill hot.  He is also wearing the Blue Hoodie of Death, and has Senseless Kill of the Week written all over him.

“Hey . . . is that guy looking at my ass?  He better not be looking at my ass.”

Elena knows that none of these things are good signs.  She starts to panic.  But maybe she’s just being paranoid?   He could just be a Random Running Guy, right?  Elena breathes a sigh of relief.

Then, she remembers what television show she’s on, and starts running like hell . . .

At home, we’re counting the seconds before This Guy goes into warp speed and chews off Elena’s legs.  But he just keeps following her at regular speed . . . no . . . scratch that . . . slow speed  . . . Elena’s kicking his ass.  This guy’s a chump!

And then . . . like that . . . he’s gone.

So, you can imagine Elena’s surprise when he comes back again IN THE COMPLETE OPPOSITE DIRECTION from where we last saw him.  He bumps into Elena on purpose, while mumbling apologies about how he should really watch where he’s going.

“Has anybody ever told you that you have a great ass?” 

At this point, Foster the People’s “Pumped Up Kicks” starts playing in my head, “All the other kids with the pumped up kicks, you better run, run, run, out-run my hybrid . . .”

That’s how the song goes, isn’t it?

Three Cheers for the Klaus-ageddon!

Later, at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, Bonnie and Elena are swapping stories about their CRAZZZY mornings.

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I just keep wondering where Caroline is during all this?  Don’t they realize that Caroline’s boyfriend just became Gay for Klaus, and she’s in an Extremely Vulnerable State, right now?  They couldn’t have asked her to come along for their little breakfast session?  HOW RUUUUUDE!

“Don’t mess with me.   I eat girls like you for breakfast.  No . . . seriously . . . for breakfast this morning, I ate a girl that looked just like you.” 

Speaking of rude, Bonnie, who has NO TACT, WHATSOEVER, decides that this is the perfect time to bring up He Who Shall No Longer Be Named, a.k.a. Stefan.  “He betrayed us.  The Stefan we know is gone,” replies Elena, in a voice that says, “Keep on this subject, and I’ll start asking you about Luka.  Remember him, Bon-Bon?”

By the way, did you all notice how Elena said “us”  . .  . as in “Damon and I are an “us” now.  Get used to it?”  Because, I certainly did. 😉

Speaking of Damon, I think it’s adorable (in a highly dysfunctional way) that my TV Boyfriend is such a raging alcoholic that the bartender basically puts an entire shelf full of liquor in front of him, so that he can mix his own drinks at his leisure, despite the fact that it’s probably about 11 a.m. in TVD-land .  . .

Damon’s kind of bummed though, because Boy Toy Alaric is being a TOTAL kill joy, and not drinking with him.   LAME!  So, Damon tries to entice him . . . first with his baking skills (“I’ve got a screw driver, and a bloody mary.  It’s brunch in a bottle”), and then with his sexual wiles (“Let’s get naked.”)

Come on, Chunky Monkey!  Don’t be such a stick-in-the-mud.  Get naked with your bromantic buddy.  It’s not like we all haven’t seen it before . . .

But alas, Alaric is in no mood for sex games with Damon.  He’s seriously bummed out, because he had to fail Jeremy on a plagiarized history paper.  Damn!  That’s cold.  I thought the whole point of having a history teacher as your pseudo dad is so you can get straight A’s?

Apparently, Alaric is skulking at the bar, in order to perform his first of many interventions on his errant not-so-son (seriously, the Scooby Gang must have spent at least ten minutes during this hour Waiting for Jeremy), as soon as the latter arrives at work.  Not so fast, No Longer Alchy-ric!  Sexy Female Bartender says Jer Bear got canned from The Only Bar / Social Establishment weeks ago.

Ruh-roh!  I guess this means Matt Donovan is going to have to go back to being the Only Waiter at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls again . .  .There goes your social life, Matty Boy!

But don’t worry.  You still have your sister and your mom to hang out with . . . oh . . . wait . . . never mind . . .

“Let’s get drunk and shoot some stuff . . .”

Speaking of Naughty!Jeremy, he’s out in the woods with Tyler, boning drinking cheap beer, and shooting stuff with crossbows.  (How very hillbilly of them!)

“Hey Ty, after this, are you up for some cow-tipping?”

Much like the rest of us, Jeremy wonders out loud, why Tyler is suddenly so interested in hanging out with him, considering that the two of them have had virtually nothing to do with one another, since that time back in Season 2, where Tyler’s dad just died, and Jer Bear and Ty-Ty discovered that they both liked to draw supernatural creatures, drink booze, and screw slutty soon-to-be-dead girls . . .

Tyler responds that “Since you are leaving the show for a while,  the writers thought it might be nice to throw those much-neglected Team Jyler fans a mildly homoerotic bone, while they still could.  “I’m pissed at Caroline, and Bonnie dumped your ass . . . the point is to get drunk and shoot stuff.”

Oh Tyler!  How you slay me with your eloquent wordsmith-ery!  It almost makes me forget that you are about to RUIN THIS POOR BOY’S LIFE, FOREVER . . . almost.

Now, don’t even try looking at me with those puppy dog eyes of yours. Because it’s just not going to work . . . 

Jeremy instructs Tyler to get out of the way, since he’s drunk and is about to “shoot stuff,” just like Tyler said.  But Tyler’s all, “Heyyyy . . .  I’m a hybrid.  Why not shoot me?  Come on!  I know you wanna!”

Is it just me, or is Tyler particularly screencappable today?  It’s almost as if becoming a hybrid has provided him with an entirely new range of facial expressions to try out . . . 

In the first of many Helpful Hybrid Tips Tyler reveals throughout the episode, Vampy Teen Wolf explains that the only way to really kill a hybrid is to chop off it’s head, while it’s unconscious.  Good to know . . .

Jeremy then shoots Tyler with the crossbow, and Tyler catches it.  Bo-ring!  I thought he was going to deflect it with his Massive Muscular Man Chest.  Maybe next time . . .

Elena ponders the Epic Question that has plagued fangirl bloggers for years:  What is Damon Salvatore’s Most Attractive Look?

“Oops . . . I cockblocked again.” 

Back at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, a slightly slurry but still maddenly gorgeous Damon has told Elena about Jeremy’s little Work Mishap, in between his fifth shot of scotch, and his second round of darts.  (Fortunately, the drinks haven’t negatively impacted his aim or, as we will see soon enough, his pick-up lines.)

“If I’m this good at hitting a bullseye with a dart, just imagine how good I might be at locating other sensitive areas.”

Mama Elena, of course, is “very, very disappointed in Jer Bear,” and has been leaving increasingly frantic phone messages on his cell phone, as a result.  Damon, however, seems completely unfazed.  He tries to calm Elena down, by reminding her that Jeremy is a teenager . . . and that being sullen and sometimes irresponsible is simply what teens do.

“Elena, you seem so tense.  I hereby renew the request I made earlier to Alaric, that we all get naked.  I’ll go first.” 

(I always find it interesting how much the rest of the Scooby Gang is constantly noting how young and impressionable Jeremy is, when he’s really only two years younger than Elena.  After all, 16-years old, isn’t exactly a toddler, especially when you consider that Elena, herself, was just a year older than that, when the series started.  The issue of Jeremy’s “youth” will come into play again, later on in the episode.   So, stay tuned . . .)

Funny . . . he doesn’t look like he needs a diaper change . . .

Even when Damon seems carefree and tipsy, he’s always looking out for Elena, and trying to make her feel better about the admittedly horrible situations in which she seems to find herself on a nearly daily basis.  He does this by lifting her spirits with flirty humor, and comforting words, disguised as nonchalant banter.  It’s only when Elena’s truly distraught, that he allows himself to get serious with her, and let his true feelings show, as we will see later in the episode  . . .

Elena is always looking out for Damon too . . . She just does it in a more obvious way.   I like how Elena sees Damon joking around, and looking seemingly drunk and happy, but instinctively knows that he is smarting from his brother’s betrayal, while still missing him terribly, and hiding all this pain behind glibness and false bravado.  “Are you OK?”  She asks him, her brows furrowed, and her eyes filled with obvious concern (among other things) for this beautiful vampire.

Are you OK because I don’t want you to be too drunk to ravish me in your bedroom, after we make out, later tonight?”

But Damon is no fool.  He has no desire to rehash the Stefan Salvatore Saga with the woman he loves.  And he’s much too selfless, at least when it comes to her, to bring her down, by recounting his own personal woes.  Instead, he uses this as an opportunity for flirtation.

Damon confidently strolls into Elena’s personal space, and inquires which of his many looks she finds the most attractive, since she admitted that his Drunken Frat Vampire visage isn’t her “favorite.”  Flustered, Elena quickly counters that she doesn’t necessarily find any of his looks attractive.   However, the way she’s staring at his lips, and pawing at his chest, when she says it, makes me think that, even as she denies it, Elena is mentally perusing a catalogue of her favorite Damon Looks, in order to choose the most erotic one.

“Pick ME, Elena . . . pick ME!”

Now, I’m no mind reader, of course.  But my guess is that THIS is the look she ultimately chose . . .

As with most sexy Delena moments, this one gets cockblocked by Klaus, who seems to be enjoying the Delena Show just as much as the rest of us.  “Don’t mind me,” he says with a smirk, as he approaches the Dartboard of Looooooove . . .

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“Damon, my brother . . . you better hit that, soon.  Because if you don’t, I will . . .”

Klaus hasn’t shown up alone, though.  He’s got his good pal The Soon-to-be-Headless Hybrid with him . . .  Soon-to-be-Headless has a name, apparently.  It’s “Tony.”  I’m just choosing not to remember it.  (I mean, why bother, right?)  Damon’s left nipple has had more screen time than this guy will ever have on TVD . . .  He did have a cute head, though . . .

“Coincidentally, Damon’s left nipple also happens to be named ‘Tony.'”

As always, Klaus has a special request for his favorite couple.  He wants them to help him find his  sister, and Grave Robbing Stefan.  If they do that, he’ll be a good little Mystic Falls neighbor, and leave them alone . . . well . . . at least until he needs Elena’s blood again to make more hybrid minions.  Something tells me he’ll have at least one less of those by the end of the episode . . .

“Damn you, MURDEROUS MEAT CLEAVER!  DAMN YOUUUUUU!” 

As for Elena, she has absolutely no interest in getting in the middle of the b*tch fight between her ex-boyfriend, and his new boyfriend . . .

That sounds to me like a Klaus and Stefan Problem,” Elena says smartly.  (Damon’s right.  She does get feisty, when she’s angry.)

Klaus, however, considers himself way too important to get himself sassed by a mere human.  He moves closer to her, in order to show her who’s boss.  But then THIS happens . . .

That’s right, boys and girls, Damon shoulders his way between Klaus and Elena, and gives Klaus THE STARE.  Watch out Bad Ass Damon . . . your chivalry is showing!

One of my favorite Klaus moments in the episode was when he giggled at Damon’s obvious show of affection for Elena.  I know that part of him sees this as a weakness of Damon’s that he can exploit.  But I strongly suspect that another part of him just sees it as really hot . . .

“This is me broadening the scope,” responds Klaus to Elena’s retort, before exiting stage left.

Well played you adorable, curly-haired, villain, you!

Somebody call an interior decorator (or an exorcist) . . .

Elsewhere, Bonnie return to Lame Emily’s Ugly House of Witchcraft and Mildew .  . . a.k.a. home of The Whispers.  Honestly, you would think that a house inhabited by a bunch of ghostly witches would be more aesthetically pleasing.  The resale value must be next to nada.  HGTV would most definitely not approve.

Behold . . . a house that only a dead person could love. 

Bonnie is only mildly surprised to learn that Stefan (who’s still looking all cold and Ripper-y, despite his recent de-compulsion by Klaus) has been living here.  Quite a step down from La Casa de Rich and Awesome, I’d say!  Not to mention the fact that he used to share a mansion with one person.  Now he’s sharing a two-bedroom colonial with four staked Originals, and a bunch of dead witches, who are perpetually on the rag . . .

“Damon, let me move back in and I promise I will never make fun of your massive bath soap collection again.” 

Stefan wants Bonnie to  use a spell to help keep the coffins hidden from Klaus.  Bonnie is uncertain she has enough nosebleeds left in her to do this . . .

It’s Time for Hybrids 101, with your Trusty Professor, Tyler Hotpants . . .

Back at the Gilbert house, Alaric and Elena are waiting in the kitchen to attempt their second Jer Bear intervention.  But when Jeremy finally arrives home, he’s all “Not without My Tyler.”  Suddenly, Mr. Gay for Klaus, himself, has been invited inside the Gilbert home.  And guess who’s sticking around for dinner?

“Hey, do you mind if I use your neck for a few seconds?  I haven’t fed all day.” 

Clearly speaking for the TVD fandom, Alaric wonders out loud what exactly the difference is between being Klaus’ “sire” and doing everything he says, and being compelled to do whatever Klaus says . . .

“Yes Master, I will absolutely color coordinate with you, the next time we go out to pick up chicks.” 

At first, Tyler is actually pretty convincing in his support of siring.  Tyler explains that he “obeys” Klaus, because he feels indebted to him for saving him from a life of painful monthly transformations, and, of course, mortality.  He also assures the Gilbert clan that he’s still his own man, and can disobey Klaus whenever he feels like it.  It’s kind of like a crack junkie, who says, “I can stop whenever I want. I just choose not to do so.”

But as convincing as Tyler’s initial arguments might have been, he shoots himself in the foot by admitting that he would rip his heart out of his chest, if Klaus asked him nicely to do it . . .

So, let me get this straight, Ty-Ty. You are forever indebted to Klaus for saving your life .  . . so indebted, in fact, that if he asked you to KILL YOURSELF, you would do it?  I don’t know . . .  that sounds a heck of a lot like compulsion to me . . .

Oh, and Tyler?  Elena and Alaric are TOTALLY judging you, now . . .

Damon finds a new drinking buddy . . .

Back at La Casa de Rich and Awesome, Klaus has just let himself in, completely uninvited.  By now, the whole notion that this house is owned by Elena, and therefore, no one can be invited in, unless she says so, has been completely forgotten in TVD land.  Damon might as well open a Bed-in-Breakfast, considering all the supernatural creatures, who come and go as they please.  They don’t call it the Salvatore Boarding House, for nothing . . .

Klaus has come to drink with Damon, flirt with him shamelessly, b*tch about Stefan, and,  of course, re-issue his offer to stop cock blocking Damon and Elena, and killing off their friends, provided the couple help him locate his pretty little coffins.  Unfortunately for Klaus, Damon would probably respond much better to compulsion than flirtation, as he seems to be the only male character on this show who’s completely immune to the Original Hybrid’s unique charms.

But Klaus can’t compel Damon, because Damon’s been drinking vervain.  So, instead the Big Bad Vamp metaphorically waves his weiner at his younger nemesis, by making a Mysterious Phone Call, in which he instructs SOMEONE to do SOMETHING he told them to do earlier . . .

SPPOOOOOKKKYYY . .  .

Always look both ways before crossing the street (or responding to a hypnotic phone call) . . .

In a scene that is extremely reminiscent of the one from Plan B, in which Katherine compelled Useless Aunt Jenna by phone to stab herself in the chest, after dinner, we see Jeremy in the corner, engaged in a clandestine conversation.  After he hangs up the phone, Jeremy sits back at the kitchen table, as if nothing happened.

But moments later, when Mama Elena and Papa Alaric stupidly turn their back on Jeremy to wash dishes, and make fun of Tyler, and his silly Sire-y Ways, Jer Bear takes off his Ugly Ass Ring of Immortality and walks out into the street, looking like the Hottest Zombie Ever!

He then dazedly stands in the middle of the road and waits for a car to come and run him over into oblivion.  Now, last I checked, Elena lives in a suburban development, where the speed limit in front of her house is probably a whopping 25 mph.  You would think, at that slow speed, someone might notice a teenage boy standing in the middle of the road, like a moron.

Death Car for Cutie 

A-ha!  But Klaus took care of that too!  Because, sure enough Busy Bee, Soon-to-be Headless Hybrid is cruising on the street at about 90 mph.  (Annnnd . . . now we know why Jeremy had to take off his ring.  If a HUMAN drove the car into him, the ring wouldn’t save him.  But because Soon-to-be Headless did it, it’s considered a Supernatural Death.  Well, technically, the compulsion is supernatural too and . . . nevermind.)

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Fortunately, Alaric, who, as we all know, has been holding on to the Ugly Ass Ring of Immortality that Uncle / Father John gave Elena, back in “The Hybrid,” jumps in front of the car just in time to push Jeremy out of the way.  The good news is that he saves Jeremy’s life . . .

The bad news is that Alaric is dead .  . . for now .  . .

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In a rather unnecessary “I told you so,” moment, Elena informs a very shaken-up Jeremy that (1) he’s been compelled by Klaus to kill himself; and (2) his so-called good buddy Tyler has only been hanging out with him, so that he could compel him off vervain.  Way to rub salt in the wound, Elena . . .

Like the compelled suicide attempt itself, this aspect of Klaus’ plan is also similar to Katherine’s from “Plan B.”  If you recall, Katherine posed as Elena,  in order to get Jenna to stop taking vervain . . .

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So, while Klaus gets an “A” for deviousness.  He gets a “C” for originality.  Sorry, Original Hybrid!

Elsewhere, Klaus is busy building his future Mystic Falls home, (which, honestly, I thought would be much bigger), when Tyler arrives MORALLY OUTRAGED by what Klaus almost succeeded in doing to Jeremy, and the part he played in it.  (Seriously, Tyler, you made the dude stop taking vervain, in the service of someone who HATES his family.  What exactly did you think was going to happen?)

Klaus calmly tells Tyler, more or less, to man-up.  (hybrid-up?)  “You need to get over your conscience.  Human life is a means to an end,” Papa Bear explains patronizingly to Baby Bear.

I love how Klaus refers to a “conscience” as something you can simply “get over,” like a head cold, or a bad stomach flu . . .

Meanwhile, back at the Gilbert house, Damon has, once again, come to Elena’s aid.  “How’s [Alaric]?”  He asks, with obvious concern for his bromantic drinking buddy.

“He’s still dead,” replies Elena conversationally.

If you recall, the first few times Alaric died, wearing his ring, he came back to life, within mere minutes.  But, back in “Disturbing Behavior,” when Damon killed him, it seemed to take at least an hour.  This time, Alaric is dead for multiple hours, and experiences additional complications that I will address in just a bit.  No word yet, on why Alaric’s ring seems to be offering it’s wearing increasingly diminishing returns.  Perhaps, even when it comes to Magical Rings, there’s a limit to how many “Get Out of Death Free” cards, a person is entitled to use . . .

 ‘This is depressing . . . I need another drink.”

Leaving Alaric to . . . um . . .  rest in peace, Damon and Elena discuss their respective plans to finally rid Klaus from their lives for good.  Elena wants to return Rebekah to Klaus, so that he can undagger her.  But Damon won’t hear of it.  He hates the idea of Rebekah seeking vengeance against Elena, considering that Elena is the one who staked her, in the first place.  As for Damon’s plan, he wants to give Klaus back his precious coffins, if only he knew where they were . .  .

Remembering Bonnie’s dream, Elena thinks she knows exactly where to look, and calls Bonnie to confirm . . .

But before Elena and Damon can head off on their Next Big Kill Klaus Plan, Little Bro Jer has some haunting parting words for them both: “None of us are going to make it out of here alive,” he warns.

(By the end of the episode, of course, we know that for certain, that Jeremy’s words aren’t entirely true, considering that ONE person gets out of Mystic Falls, very much alive.  But could this possibly be a foreshadowing of Elena eventually being turned into a vampire?  Stay tuned .  . .)

Over the River and Through the Woods . . .

So, remember last season, when Damon tried to enter Lame Emily’s Ugly House of Witchcraft and Mildew, for the first time?

Well, apparently, female witches are quite good at holding grudges, because they are still up to their same shenanigans, when Damon tries to enter the house, this time.  My only question is, why are they still so Pro Stefan, especially considering what a major douche he’s become, of late . . .

At first, Damon waits outside, while Elena tries to talk some sense into Stefan.  “Bonnie sucks at keeping secrets,” Stefan pouts, when Elena admits to knowing exactly why Stefan is there and what he’s doing.

I’ll admit, I’m a bit shocked when Elena tells Stefan that Klaus will KILL Jeremy, if he doesn’t put an end to this vendetta, and Stefan barely bats an eyelash.  “That’s not my problem,” he says callously.

WOW!  Even Compelled Zombie Ripper Stefan wasn’t this cold!  Considering that Stefan claims to be doing all this to save his own brother, you would think he would be more sympathetic to Elena’s desire to do the exact same thing.  I’m glad when she finally slaps him.  He’s had that one coming to him for quite awhile, now . . .

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Having heard everything that went on inside Ugly House, Damon grabs hold of Elena’s hand to comfort her over what she’s just endured.  “You deal with your brother, and I’ll deal with mine,” Damon assures Elena, sweetly, offering her that sad half smile, he seems to reserve exclusively for her . . .

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“Cutthroat and Devious.”

Fighting the torturous sunburn he’s getting, Damon rushes into the house to talk to Stefan . . . and, of course, by “talk” I mean “beat up.”  I kind of feel like Damon and Stefan fight with one another the way other brothers hug, or give eachother Manly Back Pats.  And when they stake one another, it’s like their own super secret handshake . . .

During the fighting, grunting, staking, and de-staking, Damon cleverly manages to throw his brother out of the Ugly Witch House, before he starts to look like a cast member on the Jersey Shore.  But before they can discuss anything else, Damon has one question he’s been dying to ask his brother since before the hiatus, namely: “Why didn’t you just let Mikael kill Klaus, Ya MORON?”

“I did it to save YOU,” Stefan admits in a way that is surprisingly sheepish, and heartfelt, especially considering the icy way he dealt with Elena earlier.

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Elena is absolutely right.  Damon truly is the key to Stefan’s humanity.  Right now, he’s the only one to whom the latter is willing to show that he still has it.  Honestly, the whole fight scene was kind of hilarious (yet oddly sexy), as was Damon’s occasional bratty remarks,  like “No wayyyyyy,” and “STOP SAVING ME!”

Once they are done trying to temporarily kill one another, Damon and Stefan eventually come to a truce.  “In order to defeat Klaus, you need to be cutthroat and devious,” Damon explains to his little brother.  “I am so much better at that than you.”

Stefan does not necessarily disagree.  The brothers ultimately agree that they  will work together (along with Bonnie) to keep the coffins from Klaus, provided Elena has no part in their plan.

*insert girly growling noises here* 

It’s nice to know that Stefan still has some concern for Elena’s well being.  And it’s interesting to see how, now, the shoe is on the other foot.  Back in “Rose,” Damon compelled Elena to forget his love declaration for her, because he thought that Stefan was “better for her.”

Now, it’s Stefan who’s keeping his distance from Elena, and continuously pushing her away, at least partly, because he knows that Damon will love and protect her, no matter what . . .

As for the coffins, they’ve been hiding in the Ugly Witch House the entire time, only becoming visible when the witches want them to be seen.  (Well, at least there’s ONE person those vengeful witches seem to hate more than Damon .  . . Klaus).  Toward the end of the episode, Bonnie notes that if The Whispers are right, one, in particular, will be the key to Klaus’ undoing.  It’s the fourth coffin, the only one that DOESN’T contain an Original Family Member within it.  Could this coffin be the one that houses the First Petrova?

Everything Comes to a Head . . . Literally

They say that the definition of “stupidity” is doing the same thing multiple times, and continuing to expect different results.  That was exactly what I thought about, when I saw Jeremy once again trying to shoot Tyler with a crossbow, and Tyler once again, catching it.  I don’t know.  Perhaps, this was just Jeremy’s unique way of “breaking up” with Tyler.  No more sex in the champagne room for these two!

Nonetheless, Tyler still obviously has enough of a soul, and independent spirit to want Jeremy stay alive.  And for that reason, Tyler warned him that he should stay in his house, because Klaus wasn’t finished with him yet . . .

Back at the Gilbert House, Alaric is FINALLY coming back to life .  .  . That’s the “good news.”  The bad news is that he’s coughing up blood, and somehow still near death’s door.  Apparently, while the Ugly Ass Ring of Immortality has kept his heart beating, it hasn’t bothered to cure his injuries, thereby making it the Lazy Ass Ring of Immortality.

At this rate, a friggin crossbow would be more effective at protecting Alaric than his ring . . . 

A frantic Elena calls the ambulence.  But by the time they arrive, someone else is there compelling them to leave.   Surprise!  It’s Soon-to-be-Headless Hybrid!  Seriously, Klaus?  Again?  This is like on that show Punk’d, when all the pranks starred that same Dax guy for about five seasons, and Ashton Kutcher wondered why suddenly none of the celebrities were being fooled anymore.  If Klaus supposedly has all these fabulous sired hybrids, why the heck does he keep using this same one?

“Howdy . . .” 

Anywhoo . . . Soon-to-be-Headless tells Elena that, now that the ambulence is gone, Alaric’s only shot at survival is to invite the hybrid inside, and let Alaric drink his blood.  I guess this would make Alaric a plain-old vampire, since only Klaus, himself, could make hybrids, and Alaric was never a werewolf.  Elena seems torn, having been in a not-entirely-different situation to Alaric herself,  not long ago.

Fortunately, however, she doesn’t have to make that choice for Alaric, because Soon-To-Be-Headless was just crossbowed.  That’s right. Jeremy is BACK, baby!  But wait, he hasn’t finished with the hybrid yet.  Striding into the house, like it’s no big THANG, Jeremy reemerges on the porch with a meat cleaver and hacks off Now-Actually-Headless’s skull, as easily as if he’s cutting through butter.

Now, admittedly, this is not the most realistic rendition of a decapitation.  In real life, Jeremy would probably have to spend an hour methodically chipping at this guy’s neck, to get through the skin alone.  But that’s OK.  Because, while this may have been the fakest Head Chop EVER, it was also the sexiest.  I mean, can you imagine getting turned on by decapitation?  I can . . . now!  Heck, even the blood splatters on Jeremy’s face, upon finishing the job are hot!

They look kind of like freckles . . .

Elena doesn’t necessarily think so, though.  She’s choking back tears . . . not necessarily because she gives two sh*ts about Now-Actually-Headless Hybrid.  Nope, she’s merely mourning the loss of Jeremy’s innocence.  Oh honey, you forget that Jeremy once dated Vicki Donovan.  I hate to break it to you, Big Gilbert, but that Innocence Ship sailed away a LOOOOONG time ago . . .

Paging, Dr. Fell . . .

At the hospital, Alaric’s doctor is Crazy Nanny Carrie from One Tree Hill.  No, I’m sorry, I mean, Psychotic B*tch Sister Melissa from Pretty Little Liars.  OMG, how am I supposed to trust this woman, when every single solitary role she takes, her character ends up being a totally evil wackadoo.  (She’s also Paul Wesley’s real-life wife.  Go figure!)

Anywhoo, Doctor Not-Crazy-Nanny-Carrie and Not-Psychotic-B*tch-Sister-Melissa is super flirty with Alaric.  She’s also super intrigued by his miraculous healing abilities and wants to study him in a lab.  (Not the worst pickup line I’ve ever heard . . . but I’ve certainly heard better.)

Dr. Fell’s “game” improves a bit, when she asks Alaric if he has a guardian angel, or he “sold his soul to the devil.”  Alaric’s clever reply, “a little bit of both,” actually describes Damon Salvatore to a tee, don’t you think?

But more important than her flirting abilities, perhaps, is the “good” doctor’s name.  Dr. Fell wants Alaric to call her by her first name: Meredith.  Intrepid TVD book fans will recall that “Meredith” was Book Elena’s smart, sardonic, dark-haired, and olive-complexioned “other best friend,” aside from Bonnie.  They will also recall that “Meredith” dated the vampire hunter / history teacher, Alaric Saltzman throughout most of the series.

So, is this the TVD writers way of FINALLY introducing this character — who by the way, was a real fan favorite — into the television series?  Well, that remains to be seen.  Torrey Devitto definitely “looks” the way Meredith was described in the books (though she’s about ten years older).  But I just don’t trust her . . . and if she’s a character I can’t trust, she’s NOT Book Meredith.  Sorry Crazy Nanny Carrie . . .

A “fair trade” . . .

In a scene and plotline that was surprisingly reminiscent of Elena’s decision to go against both Salvatore’s wishes, and un-dagger Elijah, so that he could help her kill Klaus, Elena decides to invite Klaus into her home . . .

. . .  and offer him the not-particularly-dead Staked Rebekah, in exchange for a promise of Jeremy’s continued safety.  Before Klaus can accept the bargain, Elena lets him know two important pieces of information: (1) Elena, as we know was the one who staked Rebekah.  So, if Klaus still needs Elena, for her blood, or just for leverage, Klaus will have to keep Rebekah from killing the Petrova Doppelganger.  (2) Rebekah knows that Klaus killed their mother.

Klaus ultimately accepts the terms of Elena’s deal, but still wants Elena to help him find Stefan.  Elena hasn’t turned her back on her former beau quite enough yet to reveal his whereabouts to Klaus.  She does let the Original Hybrid, however, that there is no longer any love lost between the pair.  “Stefan doesn’t care about me, anymore,” she explains resolutely.  “You turned him into a monster, and now he’s your problem.”

Recognizing that Stefan is no longer a sufficient bargaining chip to auction in exchange for Elena’s loyalty,  and that Jeremy is now off the table, Klaus reminds Elena that he can still kill other people she loves, like Caroline, Bonnie, or . . . . wait for it . . . DAMON!

NOOOOOOO!

Needless to say, Klaus threat was  a highly effective one . . .

Someone’s in the kitchen with Elena . . .

Speaking of Damon, back at the Gilbert house, he chivalrously agrees to dispose of Now-Actually-Headless Hybrid’s body, while Elena frantically scrubs at her bloody hands.  (Why are you’re hands so bloody, Elena?  And don’t say it’s from “cleaning the porch,” because I don’t buy it.  Did you soak them in the Poor Guy’s disembodied skull?)

Back in “Homecoming” Elena took a very angry, betrayed, drunk, and frightened, Damon’s face in both of her hands, and told him him that they would survive whatever Klaus through their way . . . together.  Now, in “The New Deal,” Damon is returning the favor.  His “are you all right?”  absolutely echoes Elena’s own words to him, earlier in the episode.

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 And the way Damon pulls Elena’s shaking body and tear-stricken face toward his own and promises her that he will fix things for her, and her increasingly dysfunctional family says so much about what these two individuals mean to one another, and the way each lifts the other up, when they are feeling particularly weak and vulnerable . . .

(Sidenote: I noticed that, while Elena immediately admitted to giving up Rebekah to Klaus, Damon, though clearly torn about it, kept his alliance with Stefan from Elena.  Presumably, Elena still thinks Damon agrees with her about giving up the coffin.  I just hope this little white lie doesn’t come back to bite Damon in the butt later, especially considering the AMAZING place these two finally have reached in their relationship . . .)

For your own good . . .

How interesting that both Klaus and Elena “give up” their younger siblings, purportedly for their own good, and to “keep them safe,” but possibly for selfish reasons as well.  Klaus shows some surprisingly vulnerability when he de-stakes Rebekah in the house he has built in order to reunite with his family.  He watches her hand twitch back to life with excitement and anticipation.

But then he remembers Elena’s words.  I think Klaus re-stakes Rebekah, because he doesn’t want to face the way she will look at him, now that she knows he has killed their mother.  He fears her disappointment . . . her accusations . .  . and her judgments.  So, while, I’m sure a part of him keeps Rebekah daggered to “protect” her from those who would use her against him, a larger part of him does it to protect himself . . .

Back at the Gilbert house, Damon finds Jeremy in Elena’s bedroom and tells him that his sister thinks it’s time the two of them had another one of their talks.  He’s surprisingly paternal about it, just as he was the first time Damon compelled Jeremy, in order to make him forget the circumstances surrounding Vicki’s death.  Damon’s compulsion here has the same effect, more or less.  It takes away Jeremy’s pain, and leads him to Denver for a new life . . . one that is free from supernatural threats . . . one that will most likely not require him to chop off some hybrid’s head to save his family.

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But Damon also takes away Jeremy’s natural concern for the well-being of his sister, and that troubled me a bit.  Aside from my not wanting to see the character go, I’m just not sure how long compulsion like that could stick.  How many times will Jeremy brush off inquiries about his family back home, before he starts to wonder himself, whether something is missing from his life?  Perhaps, this was done on purpose to allow Steven R. McQueen to return to the show at a later date . . .

I hope so, because I feel like this story is not over.  By having Damon compel Jeremy, she kept him safe, but she also removed his free will, and treated him like a child.  She did the exact same thing she criticized Damon for doing to her, when he force fed her his own blood, back in “The Last Day.”  Of course, she did it out of love . . . but I think she also did it to help herself feel a sense of control in the crazy world in which she was living, and to free herself from guilt . .  .

And it’s this familial “guilt” that plays a big role in this episode’s epic finale . . .

These lips were made for Ambush Kissing . . .

Back at the end of Season 1, there was a kiss that took place on the Gilbert Porch.  It preceded a speech, in which Damon thanked a person he “thought” was Elena, for making him into a better person, and for seeing him as someone who was worth saving.  And though that person actually ended up being “Katherine,” staunch Delena fans adopted the scene was one of their own, hoping upon hope that it would be revisited, one day . . . and that, this time, it would be REAL . . .

Two years later, we got our wish, but with some crucial differences.  This time, it’s Elena who’s thanking Damon for being there for her . . . for seeing her as someone who is worth saving . . . for making her feel like a better person, even when she’s making morally ambiguous decisions.

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Elena, who wasn’t actually on the porch that last time, doesn’t see the parallel between this scene, and the last one.  But Damon does.  And it’s Elena’s thankfulness that Damon is alive, that reminds him of how Elena was the person who kept him alive on Founder’s Day, but Stefan kept him alive during “Homecoming,”  This makes Damon feel guilty enough to admit to Elena that Stefan hasn’t totally turned off his emotions, and that his continued vitality is at least somewhat responsible for the danger in which all of them are currently enmeshed.

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This expression of guilt causes Elena to wonder, once again, whether Stefan is really lost forever.  However, it causes Damon to feel guilt about something else, entirely, his love for Elena.  But this time, Damon isn’t going to relive the unrequited heartache of “Rose.”  He’s not going to be “selfless” by compelling Elena to forget his kiss . . . his love for her.  Rather, he’s going to own up to the strong feelings he’s felt for this woman for two years now . . . feelings he’s finally starting to see, might be returned.

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Damon’s kiss in “Founder’s Day,” was sweet and tentative.  His kiss here is intense, decisive, passionate, and filled with two years worth of pent-up emotion.  More importantly, Elena kisses him back!   Watch as she grabs the hand he has cupped on her cheek, in order to pull Damon closer, and prolong this beautiful and delicious moment between them . . .

Now, while I would have loved for Elena to have been the one to pull Damon into a kiss, the first time he walked off that porch, in some ways, this was more meaningful, given Damon’s history of always giving up Elena for the greater good.  His manning up to his love for her, will hopefully give her the swift kick in the ass she needs to make the next move.

The song that’s playing during this scene is called “Holding on and Letting Go,” by Ross Cooperman.  While Damon and Elena are kissing the lyrics talk about one door swinging closed, and another door swinging open.  Now, of course, this could refer to any number of things that happened throughout the episode: Alaric’s growing mortality, Tyler’s realization of Klaus’ hold on him, Klaus’ re-staking of Rebekah, Jeremy’s departure, Damon’s and Stefan’s truce . . . but personally, I’m hoping it refers to the state of Elena’s heart . .  .

On that note, check out the extended promo for next week’s episode entitled “Our Town” . . .  (bad segway, I know) . . .

As for our friends in Canada, I’m actually a bit less impressed with the Canadian promo, this time around.   Aside from that “car scene,” which the CW had already released, there isn’t much here, that we didn’t see in the promo above.  Nevertheless, here you go . . .

Now, it’s your turn.  Let me know what you thought about Jeremy’s departure, the Delena kiss, Tyler’s betrayal, Crazy Nanny Carrie’s arrival, Ripper Stefan 8.0, and anything else related to this fabulous show that I feel so lucky to have gracing my television screen, each week.  Until next time, Fangbangers . . .

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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This Used to Be a Funhouse (But Now it’s Filled with Evil Clowns) – A Recap of Pretty Little Liars’ “Monsters in the End”

Betcha can’t guess which one is the Evil Clown?

(By the way, the title of this recap was brought to you by a fabulous little song, entitled “Funhouse,” by the one and only, Pink.  To “get in the mood,” feel free to enjoy it here.  But, those, like myself, who suffer from Clown Phobia, be warned.  There ARE Evil Clowns in the music video . . .)

Hey there, my Pretties!  This week’s installment of Pretty Little Liars was not for the faint of heart.  In fact, it was pretty downright terrifying!  No matter what scares you, be it clowns, closed spaces, creepy stalkers, having to wear a BAG over your head, or . . . MONA . . .

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

 . . . chances are there was something in this penultimate hour of PLL’s first season that made you want to SCREAM!

So, are you ready to relive the fear?  Let’s get on with the recap . . .

“I Always Feel Like Somebody’s Watching Me.  (And I Have No Privacy.)”

The episode opens with a REALLY grotesque looking life-sized clown being dragged away on a gurney.  Surrounding that clown are about four other equally evil-looking clowns, including THIS GUY . . .

Yes, boys and girls.  Garrett the Police Boy spends the ENTIRE episode lurking in the background, watching our Pretty Little Liars navigate the slings and arrows of being tortured by “A.”  And if he didn’t look about 15-years old, this would make him a TOTAL pedophile (Because we don’t have enough of THOSE on this show!).  But since he DOES look 15, and IS wearing uniform, we can chalk this up to Little Garrett just being REALLY good at his job (and REALLY needing to get laid . . . like . . .  BIG TIME!)

Anyway . . . as Garrett watches amorously from a nearby window, our PLL’s enjoy coffee at one of their favorite hangouts.  Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games.  Our fabulous foursome has important business to discuss, like Evil Blind Jenna, and her bizarro alliance with Hot Male Ho Caleb. 

The girls decide that someone needs to talk up Caleb, and figure out why Evil Blind Jenna was so interested in stalking them.  (Isn’t EVERYBODY on this show interested in stalking the PLL girls?)  Emily and Aria suggest they tag team ambush the boy (kinky!).  However, Hanna reluctantly admits that, if anyone should be getting information out of Caleb, it should be the girl who’s taken an extended vacation inside his boxers  . . .

“Got a secret?  Can you keep it (in your pants)?”

As the girls are leaving the restaurant, Spencer stops to stare out the window.  She is certain (and rightfully so) that the girls are being watched.  Unfortunately, for Spencer, the rest of the PLL’s stopped listening to her paranoid rantings, ever since she started making THIS FACE all the time . . .

As we will soon find out, Aria, in particular, should have heeded Spencer’s warnings . . .

Why You Should Always Password Protect Your Computer . . .

I have a question for you ladies out there.  When you first start crushing on a boy, or, at least, before you start dating him, aren’t Googling him, and checking out his Facebook page two of the FIRST things you do to “get to know him better” and “confirm he’s not a serial killer?”  I mean, SERIOUSLY!  I find it REALLY hard to believe that Aria has been dating her Fitzy for ALL THIS TIME, and has never even thought to look him up on Facebook.  Then again, this is the girl who accidentally sent a SEXT to her OWN mother . . .

Speaking of Aria’s mom, I know I’m usually kind of hard on her in my recaps, due to the almost obscene level of SHEER BORINGNESS that surrounds her relationship with “Byron,” and my irrational anger at having to be subjected to it, week after week.  Nonetheless, I must admit, Mama Montgomery was responsible for what was arguably the most hilarious PLL scene of the week. 

So, yes, I guess it WAS understandable that Aria’s mom, upon seeing Caleb talking intently to Aria about Hanna (more on them later), would assume that Caleb was Aria’s “secret boyfriend.”  What wasn’t quite as understandable was the ridiculously HILARIOUS way in which she reacted to this false news . . .

OK.  WHAT THE HELL IS THAT FACIAL EXPRESSION??  Did I miss the episode where Ella Montgomery became a blood-thirsty vampire?  She looks insane!

And while I do agree with Ella’s assessment that Caleb is “cute,” I highly doubt that, as a teacher at that school, Caleb’s reputation as a “con artist” who is “always in detention” and “got caught living in the school library” would have escaped her knowledge.  (I guess ignorance runs in that family.)  Then again, if Ella had a choice, she would probably rather Aria be dating Juvenile Delinquent Caleb, then the person she is actually dating . . . the one who Aria impulsively spilled coffee all over to prevent her mother from seeing them talking in the hallway . . .

“Ohhhh no!  You have a big brown coffee stain on your crotch!  Please, let me wipe it off very slowly with a napkin, while my mom watches . . .”

This, of course, brings me back to my main story.  Aria arrives at Fitzy’s house early, while he is still at school.  While there, she “accidentally” knocks into his laptop.   And, because he was not smart enough to password protect it (stupidity is apparently contagious on this show), and because he has left it on ALL DAY with his Facebook page wide open, Aria finds THIS PICTURE . . .

Who the f*&k is JACKIE MOLINA?  (Maybe SHE’S A!)

That’s right, my Pretties!  Apparently, “Jackie Molina” and Fitzy used to “lick one another’s Gelato,” back in the day!  And they did it in ITALY, while she was wearing HIS ENGAGEMENT RING!

Oh Fitzy!  You’ve got some ‘splaining to do!

I love the other PLL’s reactions, when Aria comes clean to them about inadvertently cyberstalking her English teacher boyfriend!

“What was his status update?  Ezra Fitz has joined the Mark Twain Fanpage?”  Spencer snarks.

Fitzy likes this (and so do his four wives in Western Europe).

Make a fake profile, friend Jackie, get to him through her, and NAIL HIS ASS TO THE WALL,” a recently betrayed (and obviously still VERY BITTER) Hanna exclaims, when she learns about Fitzy’s possible “Double Life.”

And with Hanna’s help, Aria does exactly that . . .

But when “Jackie” eventually accepts fake-Aria’s friend request, Aria can’t bring herself to go through with it.  So, she rents a WHOLE LOTTA Big Love DVD’s (Yay polygamy!) and rushes to her boyfriend’s apartment, to get information straight from the Fitzy’s Gelato-licking mouth . . .

Now, I hate to say it, Ezria fans, but I found Fitzy’s explanation about Jackie, a bit lacking in the credibility department.  Was I the only one?  According to Fitzy, he was engaged to Jackie, back when the pair were finishing up college, which had to have been at least three or four years ago.  He proposed to her in Italy.  She said “yes,” at first . . . and then she said “no.”  And yet, “Jackie” not only KEPT THAT PICTURE on her Facebook profile, but she, VERY RECENTLY, TAGGED her supposed ex- lover in it, so that it would appear at the top of Fitzy’s “recent updates” page. 

Isn’t that kind of a dick thing to do:  rub your botched engagement in the face of the dude you spurned. after over two years of dating?  I mean, seriously!  What is wrong with you, “JACKIE MOLINA!”

Issues of reality aside, Fitzy insists that Jackie is his past, and Aria is his mid-life crisis future.  And because they aren’t able to take normal “coupley” pictures together, for obvious reasons, Aria and Fitzy decide to pose for a picture that they WON’T be embarrassed to show their friends . . .

Ummm . . . yeahhhhhhh . . . the only thing that would make this Bag Head picture more disturbing, would be if Aria had cut “mouth holes” out of the bags, so that her and Fitzy could be photographed “licking eachother’s Gelato.”  (Just imagine the paper cuts!)

Bag Head Photographs preserved for posterity, Aria suddenly has to bolt (more on that later).   The problem of course, is that SOMEONE saw her leaving . . .

Oh Fitzy!  You have some ‘splaining to do  . . . AGAIN!

In the final scene of the episode, a mysterious gloved hand removes the hide-a-key from under Fitzy’s welcome mat (SERIOUSLY FITZY?  You might has well have just left it in the DOOR!), and sneaks inside, under cover of night.  Hide your Bag Head, Ezra Fitz!  Because you are about to be in some SERIOUS trouble, Mister!

Speaking of boys in the dog house . . .

Another One Bites the Dust . . .

Goodbye Caleb!  (For good?)

As promised, Hanna approaches Caleb to ply her whorish ex boyfriend for information about Blind Jenna.  To his credit, Caleb seems pretty darn remorseful about what he has done.  Then again, sleeping on a park bench for two days would be enough to make anyone “remorseful.”  (Not to mention REALLY smelly!)

Hot Male Ho Caleb confesses to Hanna that Blind Jenna paid him a lot of money to locate a “key”  that she believed that Ali had given one of the girls before she died / was murdered.  “I miss you,” Caleb whines, after providing Hanna with some useful, if maddeningly vague, intel.

“Yeah, well . . . you’ll get over it,” Hanna replies, before stomping off.

Caleb then stops by Hanna’s house to give a letter he has written for her to Hanna’s mother.  You see, Caleb is heading off to “Arizona,” and the letter is meant to tell Hanna “goodbye.” (I hear they have really nice park benches to sleep on in Arizona!) 

In hindsight, had Hanna’s mom accepted the letter, things might have gone very differently for Caleb and Hanna.  But noooooo . . . Hanna’s mom’s heart had softened toward Caleb.  And she wanted him to go to the “Founder’s Day Carnival”  to say goodbye to Hanna in person.  (First The Vampire Diaries, now Pretty Little Liars?  Is my town the only town that doesn’t have a Founder’s Day?) 

“Hanna doesn’t need any more men in her life leaving, without saying goodbye like, for example, every other boy on this SHOW!”  Mama Marin instructs.

So, Caleb heads on over to Founder’s Day, where he runs into .  . . the terrifying . . . the horrific . . . the vomit-inducing . . . MONA!

Can they just MURDER this chick, already?  Seriously!  Just looking at her makes me want to break my television . . .

Because Hanna won’t talk to him again and because he’s a TOTAL MORON Caleb gives his very personal letter to Mona, so that she can give it Hanna, on his behalf.  So, of course, the minute Caleb walks away, Mona starts reading the letter.  Not liking what it says (Because she wants Hanna all to herself?), Mona proceeds to rip the darn thing up, over the trash . . .

She then pours her soda all over it.  Now, if Mona was a normal human being, we would never be able to learn the contents of that letter.  Fortunately, for us, however, Mona is NOT a normal human being.  Rather, she is a strange alien life form, who’s hands are like delicate scissors, and who’s mind is like cottage cheese.  So, when she rips up Caleb’s letter, she does so in a way, that makes the whole thing STILL COMPLETELY LEGIBLE.  And then, when she pours soda on the letter, she only pours it on the outer rim, so that NONE of the words are obscured . . .

Seriously!  Who rips paper in perfect straight lines like that?

When Hanna returns and asks Mona what she was talking to Caleb about, Mona lies through her ridiculously large, eye-gougingly white, beaver teeth, and tells her that Caleb was merely asking for change.  So, later, when Aria and Hanna spy Caleb waiting on line to board a bus to Arizona (a bus that is conveniently parked RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE FOUNDER’S DAY CARNIVAL), Hanna turns down Aria’s suggestion that she rush over and say goodbye.  And, of course, back at home, Hanna’s mother, though openly admitting that she was “wrong” about Caleb, never mentions the letter he had written for Hanna.  (Because, like I said, stupidity is contagious on this show!)

Sorry Hanna!  It’s really not your fault that everyone around you, is either dumb or evil!

Meanwhile, somewhere deep in the PLL Lost Boy Vortex, Lucas Gottesman is pumping his fist in triumph . . . Lucas and Hanna . . . it is SO ON . . . again  . . .

Source

(Hey, check out the cardboard cutout of President Obama in the lefthand corner of this GIF!  RANDOM!)

Speaking of dorky, but surprisingly adorable, couples that seem to be in for the long haul . . .

Spencer and Abs Toby Sitting in A Tree H-U-M-P-I-N-G . . .

This is the number of times Spencer and Toby are going to SCREW, after this episode is over . .  and that’s just tonight!

Every teen drama has it’s Romeo and Juliet.  This is a couple who are constantly being kept apart from one another, by their family and friends.  A couple that must battle extraordinary forces to stay together  . . . forces like b*tchy sisters, and creepy pedo brothers-in-law, and funhouses that LOCK, and, EVIL CLOWNS! 

When the episode begins, Spencer’s mom and sister tell Spencer that she can’t PLAY DOCTOR Scrabble with Abs Toby anymore .  . .

Just in case you forgot the rationale behind the nickname . . .

They believe that, by associating herself, with the OTHER known suspect in Ali’s murder, Spencer will only make herself look more guilty to prospective jurors.  Instead, they think she should attend the Founder’s Day Carnival, so that she can “integrate into the community.”  When Spencer runs outside to see Toby, she learns that HE is not supposed to see HER either, because HIS family thinks she framed him for Ali’s murder . . .

The pair silently (because Blind Jenna is nearby) agree to meet at the Founder’s Day Carnival .  (Riiiight, because NO ONE will know you are together, if you hang out at the BIGGEST TOWN EVENT OF THE YEAR!  Apparently, even the two smartest characters on this show are not immune to the Stupidity Epidemic, spreading like wildfire around this town.) 

At the Carnival, Creepy Pedo Ian threatens Spencer for the 85,000th time this Season.  And Spencer catches Creepy Pedo and Melissa in a not-so-little white lie.

As it turns out, Melissa is pretty clueless about the layout of the Hilton Head hotel, where she supposedly aborted her FIRST baby with Creepy Pedo Ian a year ago.  This means it’s possible that Creepy Pedo DID spend a weekend in the hotel with Ali shortly before her death, as the PLL girls initially suspected.  But, then, why would Melissa cover for him?  Verrrrry interesting!

Spencer then gets a text from “Toby” who wants to meet her in the “Fun House,” which, pretty much seems like the least romantic meeting spot ever!  But Spencer goes anyway.  And, let’s just say, she doesn’t have that much “fun” there . . .

If Spencer entered the Funhouse hoping to get felt up . . . she got her wish.

Hey, did you know that, in addition to her other talents, which, include, among other things, having impeccable text message timing, and being able to insert messages inside fortune cookies, “A” is also a Master Graffiti Artist?

The question is:  Who, aside from Ian, Melissa, and Blind Jenna, would want Spencer to “shut up?”  She hasn’t really incriminated anyone else . . . lately . . .

Anyway, Spencer wanders off into a deserted corrior, and ends up trapped in the dark.  In short, it’s every claustrophobic’s nightmare come true!  (Like I always said, “A” CLEARLY hates Spencer and Hanna THE MOST!)

Spencer screams at the top of her lungs, and cries continuously.  But no one seems to hear her.  Then, suddenly, she hears the walls literally crumbling in front of her.  And then she sees THIS . . .

“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!  It’s CREEPY PEDO IAN with a HOOK FOR A HAND!  HEEEEEEELLLLLLLLP!”

So, Ian is Spencer’s HERO?  HE’S the one who RESCUED her from the Funhouse?  WTF?

Surprisingly, Creepy Pedo assumes the role of the “Good Brother-in-Law” quite well in this scene.  He’s actually fairly convincing, when he’s yelling at the carnival attendees, for allowing his baby-sister-in-law to become trapped in that way.  And yet, I’m still not 100% sure that neither he or Melissa were the ones that trapped Spencer in there, in the first place.  But, for now, I will give the pedophile the benefit of the doubt.  Because I’m kind and generous like that . . . 🙂

After her “brush with death,” Spencer decides that she will no longer live in fear of public opinion.  Life is too short to not play doctor with Abs Toby, dammit!  And, so, when Spencer’s current Flavor of the Month magically appears at the carnival (WAY LATE, MIND YOU!) Spencer, rushes over to him, and begins to “lick his Gelato,” in front of her WHOLE family . . .

Be jealous, Creepy Pedo Ian!  Be VERY JEALOUS!

It’s just you and your hook for a hand, TONIGHT!

Speaking of people Spencer has made out with . . .

I FINALLY FOUND WREN A.K.A. JULIAN MORRIS!  He’s on TWITTER!  And FACEBOOK!  And HAS HIS OWN WEBSITE

Life is GOOD AGAIN!

OK .  .  . back to the show . . .

Paige . . . You’re FIRED!

Silly Paige!  Don’t you know that everybody on this show, except Aria, gets a new love interest, every three episodes?

Emily’s storyline was a tad redundant this week.  Once again, Paige offered to be Emily’s “girlfriend.”  Once again, she contemplated “coming out.”  This time, the plan was for Paige to meet the head of some Gay Pride Association from a neighboring school, at a coffee shop,  so that she could figure out how to come out to her dad.  Paige asked Emily to accompany her to this “outing.”  Emily agreed.  But when she got there, Paige had bailed, leaving Emily and the modelesque “Samara” to flirt shamelessly with one another, and make plans to meet at, where else, the FOUNDER’S DAY CARNIVAL!

When Paige sees “Samara” rubbing up on Emily, under the guise of “helping her try on earrings,” she is obviously SUPER JEALOUS.  But, instead of staking claim to Emily, by doing some rubbing up of her own, Paige lashes out at Samara, and calls out Emily for telling Samara that Paige is gay, despite the fact that it was PAIGE who made the appointment with Samara, in the first place.  Deciding that Paige has awful hair!  is way too much drama to be worth the trouble, Emily grabs the pair of earrings her future girlfriend gave her, and stalks off.

Once at home, Emily gets an apologetic message from Paige.  She then gets another one from “A,”  informing Emily that her “type” is girls who’s secrets she has to keep.  I SMELL A FLASHBACK!

It’s now a year prior.  Once again, Ali is manipulating Emily’s romantic feelings for her, to get the attention she desires.  Ali gives Emily a cheap snowglobe from her vacation, warning her not to tell the other girls about it, because, Emily is supposedly the only one of the four for whom she got a gift.  “Keep it in a safe place,” instructs Ali.  “It’s more valuable than it looks.”

Having not made out with a girl ALL EPISODE, lonely Emily starts fondling Ali’s snow globe.  And lo and behold, it has a FALSE BOTTOM.  Something is inside.  It’s . . . wait for it . . . THE KEY BLIND JENNA WAS SEEKING!

Score!

Emily immediately recognizes the key in question, as one that belongs to a storage locker.  So, she texts all the girls to meet her down there.  Spencer, of course, can’t come, because she’s a little “stuck” at the moment.  But Aria and Hanna do accompany Emily to the storage locker . . .  (Lord knows who’s been paying the fees on it, for the YEAR that Ali’s been dead!)

Personally, I think renting an ENTIRE storage locker, to store ONE Tweety Bird lunchbox is a bit overdramatic.  (Not to mention a HUGE waste of money!)  Nevertheless, the girls retrieve the cute little lunch box, and find within it, yet another flash drive . . . (What’s with PLL girls, and their hiding flashdrives in BIRDS?  First, the ugly owl, now THIS?)

“Ughhh!  She left a turkey sandwich in here too!”

Back at home, the girls insert the flashdrive in one of their laptops.  On it, appears to be HOURS AND HOURS of footage of the girls and Ali from the past year, obviously taken by cameras hidden in their homes, by someone other than Abs Toby . . .

The girls begin to suspect that Ali was killed for having incriminating evidence of this video stalker.  This, of course, begs the question of WHO THE HECK IS HE (OR SHE?)

Based on the Much Music Preview, next week’s Season Finale looks pretty intense.  It promises, among other things, the return of Lucas (and Caleb), a surprise appearance by the mysterious “Jackie Molina,” more annoying antics by Garrett the Police Boy, and LOTS of driving around in the dark.  What more could a PLL fan ask for?  (Well, aside from lots of hot sex, of course?)

See you then, my Pretties!

[www.juliekushner.com]

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The Vampire Diaries’ Damon Salvatore and Elena Gilbert: The Top Ten WINNING Season 1 Moments for OUR Team!

 

It’s a choice that heroines in teen dramas have had to grapple with for ages: the brooding and sensitive good boy versus the unrepentant and dangerous bad one. 

And nowhere on television is that eternal question more fully explored than on the CW’s The Vampire Diaries, where good can be bad . . .

 . . . and bad can be deliciously GOOD!

Unlike in other shows, where the “good guy” is so bland and boring as to make the heroine’s choice completely obvious, writers Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec actually make a startlingly good case for both the “straight-laced” Stefan Salvatore, and his “fun loving killer” brother Damon.  Nonetheless, a choice HAS to be made . . .

Threesomes are fun, but they can’t last forever . . .

 . . . and I’ve made mine.  In Stefan’s defense, 9 times out of ten, when this sort of question is raised, I will throw MY lot in with the Bad Boy, without a second thought.  But there is something about Damon’s and Elena’s relationship that makes it special.

Unlike most heroines in these type of dramas, Elena is NOT drawn to Damon out of any sort of need for rebellion against authority.  After all, Elena’s parents are dead, and Useless Aunt Jenna certainly isn’t going to be “reigning her in” any time soon.  As for Damon, well, sure, his attraction to Elena may have started because (1) he wanted to stick it to his baby brother; and (2) she looked SO MUCH like his ex .  . .

 . . . but that changed almost immediately after he met her. 

Damon and Elena understand one another in a way no one else around them can.  They know eachothers’ vulnerabilities and weaknesses, as well as their respective strengths.  This allows them to be at ease with one another, and let their guards down in conversation. 

When Damon and Elena are in the same room together, the sexual tension between them crackles and pops like a sparkler on Independence Day.  And even when they aren’t saying anything, the pair can carry on entire conversations through eye contact and body language.

This is why what I am about to do here is so difficult.  When EVERY interaction between two individuals is electrically charged with sexuality, emotion, and meaning, how can one POSSIBLY boil down their entire complex relationship into JUST 10 scenes?   Nonetheless, I figured it was worth a try.  What follows are ten Damon / Elena scenes from Season 1 of The Vampire Diaries.  These scenes, in my opinion, really encapsulate the pair’s relationship, and comprise the best of what this couple has to offer.

[Note: For whatever reason, The CW has always been a bit finicky about what videos it allows us fans to embed in our blog posts.  Therefore, most of the below videos will require you to click on an internal link, that will redirect you to YouTube, before you can watch.  That being said, when I tell you the slight inconvenience you must endure to see the videos will be entirely worth it, I promise, I am not lying . . .]

10) Damon and Elena get flirty in Elena’s bedroom . . .

Nothing says “manly” like a boy in a pink bed, cuddling with a Teddy Bear.

Episode: “Under Control” – 1 X 18

Setting the scene: Elena invites Damon over for an emergency meeting to discuss Stefan, who has been acting strangely ever since he ingested Elena’s blood, during the prior episode . . .

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “You ask, I come.  I’m easy like that.”

DAMON: (Calls out to a suspicious Jeremy, who is eating cereal in the next room) “No, Elena, I will NOT got to your bedroom with you!”

Why it made the list:  I love how Damon challenges Elena’s growing attraction to him here, by invading her personal space.  Watch the glee Damon takes in laying on Elena’s bed, hugging her teddy bear, fingering her photographs, and fondling her bras and delicates.  Then, at the end of the scene, Damon invades Elena’s person, as he moves in close, trapping her up against the vanity table.  In that moment, without saying so, Damon is forcing Elena to confront her feelings for him, and how they differ from her feelings for Stefan.

9) Damon gives Elena a rose

Episode: “Under Control” –  1 X 18

Setting the scene:  Damon and Elena are at a Founder’s Day pre-party, where Stefan is drinking heavily, in an attempt to dull his hunger for human blood.  Elena expresses her concerns to Damon as the two sit next to one another at the bar.  But Damon is more concerned about Elena’s brother, Jeremy, who has been asking questions about Vicki Donovan’s death. 

 (Background: After Damon made Vicki into a vampire, she violently turned on Elena and Jeremy.  Stefan killed Vicki to save them.  Then, at Elena’s request, Damon buried Vicki’s body, and compelled Jeremy to forget what had happened.)

Potent quotables:

DAMON: (Mimicking Jeremy) “Oh, but sheriff, someone buried her.  Who would do that?”  (raises hand)  “I know, I know!  ME!”

And later . . .

DAMON: (Upon agreeing not to use any more compulsion on Jeremy) “OK.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

Why it made the list: For me, this scene really illustrates the snap, crackle, and pop of Damon’s and Elena’s witty banter.  These two are clearly at ease with one another.  Check out the pair’s body language, as they angle their chairs toward eachother, and repeatedly brush limbs.  I also love the old-fashioned way Damon “courts” Elena, by selecting a rose from a nearby bouquet, sniffing it to make sure it is of top quality, and delicately placing it in her hand. 

So often, we forget that Damon “grew up” in the mid 1800’s.  This scene gently reminds us of that.  When Elena receives the rose, she can’t help but be flattered and intrigued by Damon’s gesture, even though she knows she shouldn’t be.

8 ) Things “heat up,” while Damon and Elena are in the kitchen together. . .

Episode: “Children of the Damned”  – 1 X 13

Setting the scene: Damon has dropped by the Gilbert home for dinner, unannounced.  After the meal, Damon and Elena wash dishes together.  Things quickly evolve from fun and flirty, to serious and intense, when Damon inquires as to Stefan’s true motives, in agreeing to help Damon free his long lost love, Vampire Katherine, from a nearby tomb.  Elena initially shrugs off the question, but Damon confronts her directly, imploring her to be honest with him.  She isn’t . . .

Potent quotables:

ELENA:  “Don’t do that”

DAMON:  “Do what?”

ELENA:  “That move was deliberate.”

DAMON:  “Yeah, I was deliberately trying to get to the sink.”

And later . . .

ELENA: “I’m wearing vervain, Damon.  It’s not going to work.”

DAMON:  “I’m not trying to compel you.   I just want you to answer me . . . honestly”

Why it made the list: So many of Damon’s and Elena’s interactions revolve around the issue of trust.  Can these two individuals trust one another?  Well . . . that really depends on the episode. 

For me, this scene can really be broken down into two parts.  The first part of the scene is lighthearted and flirtatious.  Notice Damon’s highly sexualized “Ohhh . . . mmmm” when he “accidentally” bumps into Elena on the way to the sink.  While Elena pretends to be annoyed by the grope, the sly grin on her face says otherwise.

The second scene is more intense.  Damon can sense that Stefan and Elena are lying to him, but instinctively trusts Elena, and refuses to believe she could do anything so dishonest.  When Elena accuses Damon of trying to compel her to tell him the truth, he appears to be truly offended that she would think he would do that to her, after all they had been through.  When Damon asks Elena if he can trust Stefan, he is revealing to her a vulnerable side of him that she hasn’t seen before.  She feels guilty about lying to Damon, as evidenced by the way her eyes drift downward, refusing to meet his, at 1:18.  Then again, she may just be mesmerized by those gorgeous lips of his . . .

7) Damon and Elena get wet (in the rain)

Episode: “Let the Right One in” – 1 X 17

Setting the scene: Stefan is being held captive by the Hidey Hole Vamps (a random plotline developed, and promptly discarded mid season).  The Hidey Hole Vamps came from the tomb Damon opened during “Fool Me Once” (Episode 14).  You know, the one that was SUPPOSED to contain Vampire Katherine, but didn’t?  So, understandably, Damon feels a bit responsible for his brother’s kidnapping.  Elena of course, is beside herself, and wants part in the rescue.  But Damon fears that if Elena comes along, the responsibility will become too much for him.  And he will lose both Stefan AND Elena, in the process.

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  (Lovingly cupping Elena’s wet face in his hands).  “Elena, I know.  But I don’t know how to get him out.”

Why it made the list:  This short scene is intensely emotional for both Damon and Elena.  Both characters have completely let their guard down.  Elena, who is intensely strong willed, and usually highly adept at keeping her emotions in check, is near tears, at the thought of Stefan being killed by the Hidey Hole Vamps.  She feels helpless, and has stored all her hopes in Damon. 

As I mentioned earlier, Damon feels responsible for this whole situation.  He desperately wants to protect Elena and Stefan, and fears he is about to let them both down.  Damon, who has always been supernaturally strong, and can usually mask his feelings with bravado and snark, is completely stripped down and vulnerable here.  And he hates it .  . .

6) Damon watches Elena sleep

Episode: “Friday Night Bites”  – 1 X 3

Setting the scene:  Ummm, I think you all are smart enough to figure this one out on your own . . .

Potent quotables: 

STEFAN: (in voiceover) “I felt there was hope.  That somewhere deep inside, something inside Damon was human, normal.”

Why it made the list:  This scene, from the third Episode of The Vampire Diaries, is important, because it is truly the first time we see anything resembling humanity in Damon.  Up until this point, all we have seen him do is kill and manipulate people.  Every word spoken by him had an ulterior motive.  Every gesture was made in malice.  Here, we know, Damon’s actions are completely uncalculated, BECAUSE no one else can see them.  Not even Elena, herself, who is unconscious the entire time. 

It’s a short scene, only a few moments long, and (aside from the voiceover) dialogue free.  But those few seconds speak volumes about Damon’s complexity as a character, and his early feelings for Elena — feelings that would only grow stronger, as the series progressed . . .

5) Elena falls victim to Damon’s “Eye Thing”

Episode: “Founder’s Day” 1 X 22 (The Season 1 Finale)

Setting the scene: Elena has just changed out of her 1800’s attire, following the Founder’s Day parade, and a ride on the Miss Mystic Falls float.  Ever since Elena’s biological mother told Elena that Damon “loved her” (“Isobel” – Episode 1 X 21) things have gotten a bit awkward among our favorite Vampire Threesome.  And Elena desperately wants to clear the air. 

Speaking of clearing the air, things of become unusually chilly between Elena and her little brother, Jeremy, following Jeremy’s discovery that Elena has been keeping information aboutVicki’s vampiric demise from him.  She also played a major part in having Jeremy’s memory of the event wiped from his consciousness.

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “I like you better like this.  The period look, it didn’t suit you.”

ELENA:  “Is that an insult?”

DAMON:   “Actually, Elena.  It is a compliment, of the highest order.”

And later . . .

ELENA:  “So, I think you should stop with the flirty little comments, and that . . . Eye Thing . . . that you do.”

DAMON:  “What eye thing?”  (Does Eye Thing . . .)

ELENA: “Don’t make me regret being your friend.”

Why it made the list: In this scene, we can truly see how far Damon has come, from seeing Elena as a conquest, and a doppelganger of his long lost love, to being a sexy, intelligent, and caring woman, in her own right.  The fact that Damon prefers Elena wearing modern clothes, to Elena wearing Katherine’s clothes, speaks volumes about how much his feelings for her have grown.  Further evidence of that is found later in the scene, when Elena tells Damon not to make her regret being his friend.

Initially, of course, Damon’s face, which has been playful and seductive, since the opening of the scene, falls.  Here’s a sexy popular playboy, one who has NEVER had any trouble with the ladies.  And he has just been placed in the Friend Zone. 

But what makes things really interesting, is what Damon does next.  We watch as he takes a beat to ponder his relationship with Elena.  Instantly, he comes to the conclusion that a friendship with Elena would be far better than no relationship at all.  He nods sadly, but with a deep understanding and respect for Elena’s strength, as she goes to talk to Jeremy.  And don’t even get me started on that “Eye Thing.”

4) Damon tries to compel Elena to kiss him / gets slapped in the face

Episode: “Friday Night Bites:  – 1 x 3

Setting the scene: Damon has basically been compelling Elena’s friend Caroline to be his blood whore throughout the entire episode.  But Caroline has started to bore and annoy Damon, so he sets his sights on greener pastures, Elena’s.  Never one to go about things the “hard way,” Damon corners Elena, alone in the parking lot, during a high school football game.  He plans to compel her to be his love slave, just as he has done with Caroline.  Little does he know that Stefan has armed her with a vervain necklace, rendering her impervious to all mind control . . .

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “You’re right, I do have other intentions.  But so do you . . . I see them.  You want me . . . I get to you.  You find yourself drawn to me.  You think about me, even when you don’t want to think about me.  I bet you’ve even dreamed about me .  . . (Damon’s eyes glow green, with the power of compulsion behind them).  And right now, you want to kiss me.”

And later . . .

ELENA:  “I am NOT Katherine!”

Why it made the list: The acting in this scene between Ian Somerhalder (Damon) and Nina Dobrev (Elena) was positively brilliant.  For starters, the sexual tension between these two is undeniable  — even though, at this point, Elena is trying desperately to deny it, and Damon is trying to force it, for his own personal gain.  When Damon first makes his speech about how “hot for him” Elena is, we, as viewers, know that a lot of what he is saying true.  Elena DOES feel drawn to Damon.  She DOES think about him, even when she doesn’t want to.   And she HAS dreamed about him.

But what’s really interesting is to watch the scene from Elena’s perspective.  That dreamy, faraway, look in her eye.  The way she keeps leaning closer and closer to him, as he speaks, unable to break eye contact.  The first time I saw the scene, I wondered, for a moment, whether Damon had SUCCEEDED in compelling Elena to want to kiss him, in spite of the fact that she was wearing vervain. 

Then I wondered whether Elena knew what Damon was trying to do.  Based on that theory, she was  just pretending to fall under his spell, only to catch him off guard, when she went in for the slap later.  But here’s the thing:  at this point, Elena doesn’t KNOW that Stefan and Damon are vampires.  (Notice how Elena didn’t catch on to Damon’s ironic intimation, that he was MUCH older than Caroline.)  So, she has no idea, they are capable of mind control.  So, Elena’s seemingly lovestruck initial reaction to Damon’s words?  It was REAL!

3) Damon and Elena do the “Mating Dance”

Episode: “Miss Mystic Falls” – 1 X 19

Setting the Scene: Elena has unwillingly agreed to take part in the Miss Mystic Falls pageant.  Stefan has agreed to be her escort.  But on the day of the pageant, Stefan mysteriously disappears.  (Turns out he’s gone all blood lusty, and has set out to eliminate Elena’s competition, by eating it.)  Unbeknownst to Elena, Damon has stepped in to fill Stefan’s shoes, and, subsequently, save the day.

Potent quotables:

USELESS AUNT JENNA:   “What is she doing with Damon?”

ALARIC:  “I have NO IDEA!”

Why it made the list:  Like the earlier referenced scene, where Damon watched Elena sleep, this scene is nearly silent, save for the music to which the contestants dance.  I love the first part of the scene, where Elena has her “Oh so Teen Cliched” Staircase Moment, and we see Damon’s eyes light up with love and sexual desire, as he sees her in that blue dress for the first time.

You can see the changes that take place in the couple, as the dance progresses.  When it first starts, the two are wary of one another, stiff and business like.  But then the music starts to take over.  Smiles form on their faces.  They are actually enjoying THIS! 

Damon’s a surprisingly good dancer (much better than his younger brother).  The first part of the dance, during which the partners can’t touch, is a mating ritual in every sense of the world.  Damon and Elena circle one another like predator and prey.

But things really heat up when they are finally able to grab hold of one another.  He grasps her body firmly, in a manner that is strong and protective.  They both get a bit lost in the moment, wanting to move in closer, but unable to do so, based on the regimented nature of the dance.  When the music stops, and the pair are forced to break from one another, they both seem a bit jarred by the intense emotions this experience has brought to the surface.

2) Damon kisses Elena Katherine

Episode: “Founder’s Day” – 1 x 22 (Season 1 Finale)

Setting the scene: At the Founder’s Day Carnival, Bonnie, at Elena’s behest, used her magic to rescue Damon from death by fire.  Filled with gratitude, Damon goes to Elena’s house to set things right with Elena’s brother, Jeremy, by explaining to him, what truly happened with Vampire Vicki.  As he leaves the house, he runs into who he THINKS is Elena.  (It isn’t . . .)

Potent quotables:

DAMON:  “I’m not a hero, Elena.  I don’t do good.  It’s not in my nature.”

KATHERINE (as Elena):  “Maybe it is.”

And later . . .

DAMON:  “She did it for you [saved me], which means that, somewhere along the way, you decided that I was worth saving.  And I wanted to thank you for that.”

KATHERINE (as Elena):  “You’re welcome.”

Why it made the list: At first blush, it may seem like sacrilege to put a scene that didn’t even INCLUDE Elena, in a list of the “Top Ten Best Damon and Elena” scenes.  But the fact remains, that, from Damon’s perspective, this WAS Elena, to whom he had bared his soul, and with whom, after an entire season of trying and failing, he had finally shared a kiss.  All this time, us fans always assumed that Damon did “bad things” simply because he wanted to.  Now, we realize, that he did them, because he thought himself to be completely incapable of goodness.  He is confused by, and uncomfortable with, his growing humanity, but at the same time, excited by it.

And Damon is excited by Elena, who for the first time, seems truly open to his advances.  He kisses her tentatively at first.  And then, when she doesn’t pull away, really lets himself get carried away in the moment.  His hands cup her face, his fingers run through her hair.  All thoughts of this awful day, escape from his head, and all that is left is love and passion.

In hindsight, we can see that “Elena” was different — that she seemed colder and more aloof, then she had in previous scenes.  A few cocked eyebrows and vague responses here and there, betray Katherine’s lack of knowledge, as to what has been going on in Mystic Falls this season.  She notices the change in Damon immediately, and is bit intrigued by it, especially since, all this time, she thought SHE was the only woman who held any power over him.  And when they finally kiss, Katherine shows none of the extreme guilt the ever-faithful Elena would experience had she just made the decision to cheat on her vampire boyfriend.

And it’s this complexity, that makes the scene so compulsively watchable . . .

And finally . . . (drumroll please)

1) Damon returns Elena’s necklace

Episode: “Fool Me Once” – 1X14

Setting the scene: Having recently learned that Stefan and Elena have stolen the spellbook that he needs to free his love Katherine from the tomb, Damon feels hurt and betrayed.  After all, the couple had promised to help him get Katherine back, and Elena had given Damon his word that their intentions were genuine.  Later, Elena comes to visit an uncharacteristically broody Damon at his home, waving the metaphorical “white flag” and carrying the proverbial “olive branch.”

Potent quotables:

ELENA:  “I was protecting the people I love, Damon.  But so were you, in your own twisted way.  As hard as it is to figure, we are all on the same side, after the same thing.”

DAMON:  “Fool me once, shame on you.”

And later . . .

ELENA:  “You and I, we have something.  An understanding.  And I know my betrayal hurt you — different than it was with Stefan.  But I promise you, I will help you get Katherine back.

And still later . . .

DAMON:  I didn’t compel you in Atlanta, because we were having fun.  I wanted it to be real.  I’m trusting you.   Don’t make me regret it.

Why it TOPPED the list: This scene contains everything we LOVE about Damon and Elena, all rolled up into one beautiful and sexy package:  the witty banter, the silent looks filled with meaning, the complex innuendos, the invasion of personal space, gentle caresses, and an admission, on both Damon’s and Elena’s parts, that their relationship is special.  It travels far beyond the expected boundaries of friendship.  The episode, begins with a betrayal of trust, and concludes with the ultimate exchange of trust.  Elena, who has always secretly worried that Damon has been trying to compel her (how else could she explain her strong romantic feelings for him), really puts herself out there for Damon.

By taking off the vervain necklace that protects her from mind control, Elena is exposing herself completely to Damon.  She might as well be standing naked before him.  And Damon, who wonders whether he will ever be able to trust Elena again, has the perfect opportunity to exert ultimate power over her.  And just like in Atlanta, he refuses to take that opportunity.  He will not take advantage of Elena in that way.  When Damon closes in on Elena, and reaches behind her to take the necklace, she is frightened and a bit aroused.  All of this is evident, when, to her surprise, Damon gently clasps the necklace back around her neck.  

A gentle brush of Damon’s fingers across Elena’s throat is enough to send her eyes rolling back in her head in pure ecstacy.  But this scene isn’t just about sex or power.  It is about love, friendship, understanding, and a willingness to let someone see you at your most vulnerable.  And THAT is why this scene made Number One on my list . . .

Season 2 of the Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday, September 9th at 8 p.m. on The CW, and we all know what THAT means — more juicy Damon and Elena scenes to gush over and explore.  I for one, CAN’T WAIT!  Can YOU?

Neither can HE! 😉

[www.juliekushner.com]

 

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The Vampire Diaries Newest Villain, Mason Lockwood – Who would YOU cast?

Have you been chomping at the bit (no pun intended) for The Vampire Diaries to return from its already WAY TOO LONG hiatus?  Well, here’s some Season 2 scoopage to tide you over.  Apparently, bloodsucking vampires and witches on a rampage won’t be the only “supernatural problems” Mystic Falls will have to deal with next year.  Now, the not-so-sleepy Virginia town will also have to contend with . . . WEREWOLVES.

If you recall, during the show’s spectacular Season 1 finale episode, “Founders’ Day,” both Tyler Lockwood (played by Michael Trevino) . . .

. . . and his father, the Mayor, exhibited some “wolfy” tendencies, when faced with a “witchy” invention, whose intended purpose was to immobilize supernatural creatures.  Unfortunately, Mayor Lockwood didn’t survive the episode.

But, apparently, this means that his younger, hotter, brother must come to town and step into his shoes, or, perhaps more accurately, his doggie booties . . .

According to Michael Ausiello, over at Entertainment Weekly, the folks down at The Vampire Diaries have recently put out the following casting call:

Mason Lockwood: Described as Tyler’s “cool” uncle, Mason is sexy and athletic and possesses an easygoing charm. Though he has more control than his nephew, he can “flip in an instant” if crossed. Seeking Latin or Caucasian actors in their 30s for this recurring role.

Riiiiight, because that’s EXACTLY what The Vampire Diaries needs . . . MORE HOT MEN THAT LOOK GOOD WITH THEIR SHIRTS OFF (or open) . . .

Blatant male objectification aside, I thought it might be fun for me to try my hand at casting Mason Lockwood.  Here are my top five picks, in no particular order . . .

1) Michael Rosenbaum

Age: 37 (but he turns 38 on July 11th)

Where you’ ve seen him before:  He played Lex Luthor on Smallville.

Why he’d make a good Mason:  Let’s face it, no one does “sexy villian on a teen drama” like Michael Rosenbaum (except, maybe, Ian Somerhalder,  ;)).  Not only is Michael already a familiar face on the CW network, he’s definitely got the acting chops to pull off a “two-natured” (in more ways than one) role like this one.  It also might be nice to seem him in a role where he has HAIR, for a change . . .

2) Milo Ventimiglia

Age: 33 (just turned on July 8th – Happy belated, Milo!  What’s with me picking all these July babies for this role?)

Where you’ve seen him before: He played Peter Petrelli on Heroes and Jesse Mariano on Gilmore Girls.

Why he’d make a good Mason: Like Michael Rosenbaum, Milo is no stranger to the CW network (See Gilmore Girls reference above).  Nor would he be out of his element on a show featuring supernatural elements (See Heroes reference above).  Milo has already proven himself capable of playing a charming and likeable, yet volatile, persona.  He also bears a striking resemblance to Michael Trevino, who would play his nephew on the show.  And did you SEE that body?  Need I say more?

3) Scott Speedman

Age: 34

Where you’ve seen him before:  He played Ben Covington on Felicity, and Michael Corvin in all those Underworld movies.

Why he’d make a good Mason:  I can’t think of better preparation for playing a werewolf on a show featuring vampires and werewolves, than starring in a movie series as a  vampire / werewolf hybrid.  Can you?  Unlike Michael and Milo, Scott never starred on the CW, but he DID star on its predecessor channel, the WB, during his Felicity years.  Through Scott’s previous roles, he has definitely shown that he has enough innate masculinity and barely suppressed rage to fit in with the Lockwood clan.  And that uniquely raspy voice of his?  Pure sex . . .

4) Paul Walker

Age: 36

Where you’ve seen him before: Those Fast and Furious movies

Why he’d make a good Mason:  I’m not gonna lie.  I chose Paul almost exclusively for his beauty . . . and his body . . . and because Kerr Smith and Benjamin McKenzie are both already tied up with other television shows.  What can I say?  I’m only human!

5) Jesse Metcalfe

Age: 31

Where you’ve seen him before: He played that hot lawnmower dude, John, who got it on with Eva Langoria on Desperate Housewives.  He also played the title role in John Tucker Must Die.  (Too bad this character isn’t named “John.”  Because Jesse would have had the role in the bag.)

Why he’d make a good Mason:  Like Milo, I think Jesse kind of looks like Michael Trevino, which would weigh in his favor, for a part like this.  Plus, if these werewolves are anything like the werewolves in the Twilight series, they are going to have to be shirtless A LOT.  Clearly, this will be NO problem for Jesse.  On a more serious (and slightly selfish) note, Jesse Metcalfe is a very talented actor, and I’d really like to see him on my small screen again. 

 (Note:  When I was researching this post, I learned that Jesse Metcalfe is actually set to star in a new Jerry Bruckheimer-produced NBC pilot this fall, entitled ChaseBut everyone knows that most pilots don’t actually get picked up by the networks.  So as far as I am concerned, he’s still in the running  😉 . . .)

So, those are my picks.   Who would YOU cast as Mason Lockwood?

[ Season 2 of the Vampire Diaries premieres Thursday, September 9th at 8 p.m. on the CW Network. ]

P.S.  Apparently, less than 24-hours after I wrote this blog post, the producers over at The Vampire Diaries released their ACTUAL casting choice for Mason Lockwood.  (Special thanks to Amy, over at the always entertaining and fabulously fangirly imaginarymen blog, and first commenter Ellen O., for the late-breaking scoop!)  And the winner is . . . THIS GUY . . .

Taylor Kinney, who was best known for his role as EMT Glenn Morris on the NBC drama Trauma.  (Hey, that rhymes!)  And, just in case you were curious, here’s what he looks like without his shirt on . . .

Welcome to Fangirl Land, Mr. Kinney!  Prepare to be shamelessly objectified!

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Explosions! Car Crashes! Deaths! Kisses! And the Twist to End all Twists! – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ Season Finale “Founder’s Day”

Prior to the airing of The Vampire Diaries first season finale, the show’s creator, Kevin Williamson, admittedly, set the bar pretty high for himself.  By all accounts, The Vampire Diaries had a freshman season most television shows only DREAM about . . . a cast that was both beautiful AND talented;

 a show concept that, in the age of Twilight  and True Blood, was pretty much guaranteed to be a ratings dynamo with the core 18-49 TV viewing demographic;

sharp and snappy writing, and brilliant plotting that was genuinely unpredictable, without a single “jump the shark moment.” 

Stay cool, Arthur Fonzarelli!  Your services will not be needed here this season!

After its midseason hiatus, The Vampire Diaries truly came into its own!  No more lame diary writing scenes and voiceovers, no more “Damon as crow” CGI-laced images. 

We all have to “eat a little crow” sometimes . . .

The show had become a lean-mean plotting machine, with each subsequent episode besting the one before it, both in terms of shock value and sheer greatness.

See?  Greatness!

As if there wasn’t enough pressure on Williamson to produce television gold this week, the show creator himself decided to up the stakes.  In a number of interviews he gave before the finale, Williamson promised a season-ending episode that would literally stop hearts!  E! Online and Entertainment Weekly both teased that the show’s finale, entitled “Founder’s Day,” would offer fans no less than EIGHT cliffhangers, a car accident, two major deaths, and a shocking first kiss . . .  

We can dream, can’t we?

To be honest, going into this finale, I was a bit worried for my good pal Kevin.   After all, he and I go WAY back to the early 00’s, during his Dawson’s Creek days.

Pacey and Joey, forever!

Oh, hush up, Dawson!

So I really, really didn’t want my old friend to fail.  And yet I feared that he would.  I mean, who could live up to ALL THAT HYPE?

Answer . . . this guy!

I am happy to report that, this finale did, in fact, deliver! (Did it EVER?)   It was truly everything all those spoiler blogs promised, and so much more! 

I did have one complaint though . . . There were no Shirtless Salvatores!   

Nor were there any open-shirted Salvatores!

Not even was there a Salvatore in wife-beater tank top!

 Not a single bit of skin to whet our appetites until next season.  Kevin, honey, I love you, but that’s just plain cruel!

Clearly, Dawson agrees!

Excess clothing aside, surprisingly, the finale still left me an extremely happy girl.  (And that’s saying a lot, especially considering how much I love my shirtless men!)  So, without further adieu, on with the recap!

“I’m Here to Eat Cotton Candy and Steal Your Girl”

Tonight’s finale started innocently enough.  It was the day of the Founder’s Day Parade, an event that probably looked a lot like your high school homecoming parade.  That is, if you were lucky enough to go to high school with super hot vampires, and if your school had a substantial wardrobe budget for historically accurate dresswear from the late 19th century.  (Come to think of it, it probably didn’t look like your school’s homecoming parade at all . . .) 

Our heroine Elena, with ringleted hair and a gown that made her look suspiciously similar to her (heretofore seen only in flashbacks) vampire doppelganger, Katherine, rode the high school’s premiere float, along with her escort, the no longer blood-crazed, Stefan, 

as well as the recently plotline-light couple, Matt and Caroline.

The CW is still paying us . . . We might as well make ourselves useful.

And then Damon magically appeared . . .

Sigh!

And boy was our newly out of the “Elena-closet” lover boy an emotional rollercoaster, this evening!   When we first see him, he is very much the cocksure badass we know from early Season 1.  When Stefan questions him about why he’s at this event, he remarks, in classic Damon fashion, “I’m here to eat cotton candy and steal your girl . . .”  (By the way, do vampires eat in Vampire Diaries’ world?  Because I’ve never actually seen it happen . . .)

Dear Damon,

BITE ME!

Signed,

Julie Cotton Candy

Unlike many television characters who find themselves on the outskirts of a love triangle, Damon is NOT a silent piner!  From the moment Isobel called Damon out on his love for Elena last week, he has made sure the world knows his feelings!  Starting with Stefan.  After having been surprisingly civil to one another these last few episodes, Damon and Stefan really went at it this week.  Snarky comments flew through their air like boomerangs in the Australian outback. 

 And yet, not a single punch was thrown!  In fact, Damon’s and Stefan’s encounters looked a bit more like “girly catfights” than, “macho man brawls.”  This made the interactions between them all the more adorable.

Catfight!  Ladies in your corners!

In other news, Damon confronts, Witchy (and Bitchy) Bonnie (who, thank goodness, is no longer sporting those awful bangs we’ve seen on her in past weeks) to “thank” her for curing Ancestor Gilbert’s “invention” of its Vampire Torture properties.  The scene is particularly interesting,  since we learned last week, that Bonnie only pretended to do this . . .

I bought you something, Bonnie . . .

“I can turn you, Jeremy.”