Welcome back, Fangbangers! It appears we have a lot of catching up to do . . .
So, tell me, how did you spend YOUR summer? Did you travel to far off places?
Meet some new and interesting people?
Get healthy by starting a new . . . um . . . workout routine?
Change up your look a bit?
Black eyes are the new orange . . .
Perhaps, you just spent the summer relaxing by the pool?
To be honest, it’s been so long, I’m just hoping that none of you DIED, and are merely carrying on the facade of living to spare my feelings. (Please let me know if you are.)
Regardless of what . . . or who . . . you were doing this summer, sometimes it’s just nice to return home and connect with old friends.
This week’s TVD Season Premiere saw most of our favorite Mystic Fallians heading into uncharted waters . . . sometimes literally.
For Caroline and Elena, this meant going from vampires at the top of their high school food chain, to freshmen in college, who can’t attend frat parties, because no one will invite them in . . .
For Damon, this meant staying home and having to babysit unruly humans, while his girlfriend was off having fun, and his brother was . . . taking a really long bath.
For Stefan, this meant interminable and repeated death by drowning . . . all while suffering from the knowledge that his brother and former lover were boning, and his shadow self was off wreaking havoc on Mystic Falls, while wearing his face . . .
Katherine was forced to relearn the ignominy of running in high heels, and seducing men with her hot body and sexy smoker’s voice, as opposed to merely compelling them to like her like she used to do . . .
Matt had to endure . . . whatever the f*&k happened to him at the end of the episode . . .
And Bonnie had to remain virtually ignored and invisible, while all her friends were out having storylines of their own, barely acknowledging her existence . . . which, if you think about it, is not too different from what Bonnie does every season.
In a show where more than 3/4’s of the characters are supernatural, there tends to be a lot of focus on predators and hunters, those with the power to feed on the weak and innocent. But, at least at the start of Season 5, our Scooby Gang is feeling a lot more vulnerable and unprepared than usual. They are the prey . . . the hunted.
Let’s review, shall we?
Poor Stefan and Bonnie! All their friends have been so busy having sex with one another, that nobody seemed to notice that they both “died.”
That’s the trouble with being a broody loner, Stefan Salvatore. When you fall off the face of the Earth, everybody just assumes that you need “space,” and not that your evil doppelganger buried you in an underwater tomb for all eternity . . .
As for Bonnie, her situation is arguably even more pathetic than Stefan’s. By following said friends and family around unseen, while engaging them in one-sided conversations in which they will never take part, and shouting at them unheard, Bonnie has taken her usual sidekick status to a whole new level: She’s become a TVD viewer . . . a fangirl! The writers might as well put her on a couch, in front of a flat screen, for all her plot significance.
Those of you who have lost someone special in your life, can probably relate to the belief that that person is up in Heaven somewhere looking down on you, doing his or her best to protect you and keep you safe.
And yet, you kind of hope they aren’t watching you ALL the time, right?
I mean, I don’t know how you picture YOUR Heaven. But in my version, there’s a lot more to do there than simply watch the television channel tuned in to Your Loved Ones broadcast network. My Heaven is happening place. The people there party, socialize, and engage in hobbies. They have LIVES in death.
So, as much as I think it’s “swell” that Bonnie is spending her ghost moments making sure her friends are happy, and aren’t missing her too much, I also think the writers have painted themselves into a bit of a corner with the character. They need to either write her a storyline that puts her ghostly tendencies to good use, or write her out of the show.
Because, honestly, if I wanted to watch someone scream at Damon and Elena completely unnoticed, I’d just put a camera on myself . . .
*gingerly steps off soapbox*
In happier news . . .
Hot Fun in the Summertime
Last season’s TVD finale marked the blossoming of two (sort of) new romantic relationships. After an entire season characterized pesky sire bond concerns, humanity switches in the off position, arguments about Silas and The Cure, and crippling cases of Survivors Guilt, Damon and Elena FINALLY declared their love for one another the night after Elena’s graduation from high school.
As for Matt and Rebekah, their courtship was much less complicated: a few longing looks, and sexually suggestive comments, culminating in a decision to spend a summer on the road engaged in a good old fashioned no-frills Screwfest . . .
Now, I’ll be the first to admit, I tend to prefer my TV relationships unbearably sexually tense, and frustratingly unresolved . . .
What can I say? I’m a girl who loves the chase? Romantic bliss bores me . . . at least when it’s of the fictional variety.
That said, I was pleasantly surprised by how Damon and Elena and Matt and Rebekah behaved as couples. I liked that both of these couplings seemed to make all parties involved better versions of themselves.
The typically straight-laced Elena and Matt seemed happier, more carefree, and, of course, more sexually adventurous under the romantic tutelage of their naughty vampire counterparts.
As for Damon, he remained every bit of the snarky, sex-crazed, vampire I fell in love with three seasons ago. And yet, finally obtaining the woman of his dreams has given him a certain maturity that his 170+ prior years on Earth never did. In this episode, alone, we saw him take genuine fatherly concern in the well being of Jeremy Gilbert, the same kid he killed in Season 2 in a drunken rage fueled by romantic rejection. Now, that’s progress!
What’s more, Damon was willing to put aside the wounds of a 145 year long crush to help an ex-girlfriend in need, no sexual favors required.
As for Rebekah, apart from the discovery that she might be bisexual, we learned little about what a summer of European sex with Matt has done for her personality. But she did seem a bit less bratty than usual, don’t you think?
Summer romances are easy. The weather is hot. The workloads are lighter. And we’re all slightly more naked and carefree.
The real test of these two functional couples will be weather they can survive the blustery fall and the long bitter cold of winter? With Elena off having coed college adventures . . .
. . . Rebekah embarking on TV spinoff territory, and Matt possibly turning into a Demon spawn, can these loves last through Sweeps Week? Only time will tell . . .
Vampire College Hijinks
I know comedy is not the main purpose of this show. But am I the only one who thinks that the writers missed a real opportunity for hilarity by killing off Megan, a.k.a. The Unwanted Third Roommate so quickly?
I mean, think about it. These Mystic Falls vamps are so used to living around folks who think it’s totally OK to guzzle from a blood bag, require formal invitations to enter establishments, brainwash pesky teachers and neighbors, and occasionally nibble on a neck or two.
Imagine all the fun that could be had by pairing go-with-the-flow vamp Elena and Type-A hyper vamp Caroline with a TRULY CLUELESS college coed (which, I suspect we will learn, Megan actually wasn’t). I can already picture Elena and Caroline putting scrunchies on the door, to fend off Megan, not when they are having sex like most dorm mates do, but when they are engaging in a blood binge. (Megan would probably think they were secret lesbians, as opposed to secret vampires.)
Caroline’s and Elena’s differing opinions about how to handle Megan also seemed ripe for situation comedy. I can already see Caroline regularly compelling Megan (once she got her off the “protein” vervain water, of course) to do her bidding, and then going to ridiculous lengths to hide that compulsion from the more gentle-hearted Elena . . .
“I swear, Elena. She just did all my laundry, because she REALLY, REALLY wanted to . . .”
But alas, Megan was destined to be Senseless Death Patient Zero in this show known for introducing seemingly important characters to provide product placement, and then die quick and painful deaths 20 minutes into the series . . .
That said, Megan’s odd connection to Elena’s father (suggested by the picture on her cell phone), her seeming knowledge of vampire lore (illustrated by her ownership of vervain, and her casual refusal to get Caroline and Elena invited into the frat party), and the way that her death was clearly perpetrated by, and promptly covered up by a vampire (bite marks . . . fake suicide note), made for an intriguing introduction to this season’s college-based storyline.
(Speaking of faked suicides, rumor has it that if your college roommate offs themselves during the semester, you get straight A’s for the year. If Elena’s and Caroline’s attendance records at Whitmore College are anything like the ones they had at Mystic Falls High, that perk is going to come in mighty handy for them this season.)
In other college coed news, Caroline is seemingly suddenly single, after her boyfriend Tyler, once again decided to dump her by voicemail, opting to defer his freshman year at Whitmore, in exchange for “helping out a werewolf pack that needs me.”
Yeah . . . because that worked out SOOOO well for you last time, Tyler.
As for everyone’s favorite Vampire Barbie, with new dude Jess clearly keeping his eye on her, and Klaus just a couple hours away in New Orleans, I suspect she won’t be single for long . . .
Meanwhile, back home . . .
Mr. Mom and The Juvenile Delinquents
Damon’s promise to Elena that he’ll be a good little house husband, while she’s off getting her learning on hits a bit of a snag, when he gets an unwanted visitor in the form of a newly human Katherine Pierce.
One of the problems with spending your 500 years on Earth pretty much pissing off, breaking the hearts of, and/or eating everyone you meet, is that eventually Karma will come back to bite you in the ass in pretty major way.
Such is the case with Katherine, who has such an impressive talent for losing friends and alienating people that, by the end of the episode, she literally has an ENTIRE TOWN of people out to get her . . .
Katherine may have lost her ability to run in high heels without getting blisters, drink 3 bottles of tequila without getting drunk, compel enemies to do her bidding just by staring at them, and appear perfectly clean despite rarely being seen showering, or brushing her hair . . . (Seriously, Girlfriend was downright dirty looking this week . . . Thank goodness for Damon’s magical bathtub, or we’d probably be able to smell her through the TV screen.) But her snarktastic sense of humor, seductive talents, and supremely selfish sense of self-preservation remain refreshingly intact . . .
As difficult as it must have been for Elena’s doppelganger to ask Damon, of all people, for help, she did it without batting an eyelash. And, in doing so, she succeeded, at least temporarily, in gaining herself a powerful vampire ally in a world where it has literally become almost impossible for humans to survive through midseason . . .
Of course, by the end of the episode, she screws that up too. But she still gets points for trying . . .
Speaking of navigating rough terrain, as if being the Creepy Kid Who Sometimes Talks to Dead People didn’t make him enough of an outcast, JerBear now has to add “came back from the dead” and “burned down his childhood home, just because he wanted attention” to his social resume.
The character’s inherent weirdness aside, I find it hard to believe that any self-respecting high school student would be stupid enough to attempt to beat up Jeremy after getting a look at those crazy muscles he’s sprouted in the past year in a half. Seriously, DUDE IS JACKED UP!
Also, people rumored to have burned down their house? Their usually not the kind of people you want to mess with. Just saying . . .
And yet, on Jeremy’s first day back at school as a “real live boy,” he gets picked on by not one, but TWO ridiculously stupid teens. So, he proceeds to wipe the floor with both of them . . .
Now, I’m not generally a proponent of violence, but those two douchebags had it coming. No one gets between a 16 year old boy and his cell phone . .. NO ONE!
Under normal circumstances, I suspect Damon Salvatore would be proud of his surrogate baby bro and law for sticking up for himself. But Jeremy’s impending suspension spells trouble on the horizon between Elena and Damon, the latter of whom PROMISED to keep JerBear on the straight and narrow, while she was away at school . . .
So, Damon tries his hand at the “Dad Thing” offering Jeremy a surprisingly paternal lecture, and getting him accepted back into public school with the help of a little good old fashioned compulsion. As for the unruly Katherine, he offers her his protection and a much-needed bath. And so peace at La Casa de Rich and Awesome is restored . . .
For about five minutes, anyway . . .
Dr. Stefan and Mr. Silas
Even underwater and about three-quarters dead, Stefan Salvatore can’t help but be his brooding, mopey self, hallucinating conversations with Damon, in which the latter instructs him to turn off his humanity (just like he told Elena to do last season), and conversations with Elena where she tells him to keep his humanity ON.
Meanwhile, Doppelganger Silas is having FUN!
He’s wearing (gasp) un-ironed shirts!
His hair is less Christian Bale as Batman, and more Jim Carey in the Ace Ventura movies.
He drinks police women’s blood out of styrofoam cups, and then reads their minds, just because he can . . .
He knocks directly into Jeremy’s recently-healed over Hunter tattoo at the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, silently daring the the former killer to recognize him as Silas.
He gets all flirty with Katherine in the bathtub, and then, mere seconds later, tries to strangle her, like its the most natural thing in the world.
When she slashes his face with a straight razor, and runs away from him he seems more amused than annoyed . . . the Devil’s version of foreplay.
Whereas Klaus’ villainy came from a place of impulsivity, a hunger for power, and a subconscious need for love and attention, Silas is much more purposeful and single-minded, always appearing to be at least one step ahead of his adversaries.
When Damon instructs Jeremy and Katherine to drive far away and not tell Damon where they are going (so that Silas cannot lift that information from Damon’s mind), Silas cleverly offers up the whereabouts of Stefan (who, up until this point, Damon did not even know was missing in the first place), in exchange for Damon turning in Katherine.
But Katherine’s pretty single minded too, when it comes to saving her ass. And she orchestrates her own escape at Jeremy’s expense, by crashing Baby Gilbert’s car, while she and Mr. Muscles are still inside.
(OK, people REALLY have to stop murdering this kid. It’s getting old . . .)
It’s Daddy Damon to the rescue! He lovingly holds JerBear in his arms, and nurses him back to life, by feeding him his own blood . . .
How sweet . . . and kind of gross . . .
By the time all this is happening, Katherine, of course, is long gone . . . but for how long? And what exactly does Silas want from her anyway? Methinks it has something to do with that annoying ass Cure they kept babbling on about last season . . . the same Cure that now courses through Katherine’s veins . . . making her vulnerable, yet, at the same time, valuable.
In other words . . . she’s Elena 3.0 . . .
Ain’t No Party Like a Mystic Falls Party . . .
If I lived in Mystic Falls, one thing I would never ever do is attend a party, or memorial service, or period-themed dance, or graduation ceremony, or film showing of the movie classic, Gone with the Wind . . .
In fact, I’ve become entirely convinced that Mystic Falls parties are part of a suicide pact among Mystic Falls residents. They attend out of some mutually held agreement to regularly thin out the population, kind of like that short story I had to read in school called The Lottery, where spoiler alert, the winning townspeople got stoned to death . . .
This year’s “End of Summer” party is no different.
Matt meets up with the pretty lady Rebekah made out with in Europe at the beginning of the episode. The good news? She flirts with him, and gives him back his much coveted Ugly Ass Ring of Immortality. The bad news . . . Matt has officially become one of the ill fated Bon Temps residents from Season 2 of True Blood. Anyone whose seen the show knows exactly what I’m talking about . . .
This is what happens to you when you let strange men sneak up behind you and give you scalp massages while chanting in Latin, Matt!
So, who the heck is this Nadia check, anyway? And why is she giving Matt the black-color contact treatment?
Feel free to post your guesses in the comment section.
In other news, this Mystic Falls Party had a super special guest speaker . . .
SURPRISE! IT’S SILAS!
Silas’ first order of business? Kill the Mayor? Why? Because it’s fun!
Also, because the Mayors on these types of shows pretty much always have to be brutally murdered. It’s like Supernatural Teen Show Rule Number 1.
Sorry Bonnie. The bad news is that this show clearly hates you. The good news. Now you have a ghost dad! Ghost Dads are fun! Just ask Bill Cosby!
Next order of business, hypnotize the entire town to become your mindless Katherine Hunting Slaves . . .
Now, admittedly that was pretty impressive. But also kind of unnecessary. Why didn’t Silas just brainwash Katherine, back when he had her in the tub? She’s human after all, and presumably entirely susceptible to that sort of thing.
Then again, I guess if he did that the story would be over, and we wouldn’t have a show. So, here’s to overly complicated plans for the murder of a single individual! Cheers!
Next time on TVD . . .
See ya then, Fangbangers!