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Bloody Tricks and Sucky Treats – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Monster’s Ball”

rawr damon

Happy Post-Halloween, Fangbangers?  Still nursing that pesky Candy Hangover?

eating kat

Are you currently grappling with the naughty things you might have done, while wearing someone else’s face?

shadow self

Perhaps, your just a teensy bit bummed, because this Halloween wasn’t quite as epic, as you hoped it would be?

dear great pumpkin

got a rock

Whatever your current early-Novembery mood,  this recap is sure to . . . not change it at all . . .

soap dish smash

But it will make you feel a bit better about your family and friends, who I assume have never broken your neck multiple times in a single evening, just so your evil doppelganger could hit on his ex-girlfriend . . .

neck breaking

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. . . or stabbed you in the stomach on the day of your family reunion . . .

sad nadia

. . . or fed you to a hungry vampire, encouraged him to drain you entirely of blood, and then seemed slightly disappointed when you didn’t actually die . . .

im a survivor

2 21 everynightisave you but bonnie dies

If you had family and friends like those, a tummy ache and a crappy Halloween would be the least  of your problems . . .

life sucks get a helmet

See?  I bet your life is looking better to you already!

happy elena

Let’s review, shall we?

A Long Time Ago, I Used to Have Friends . . .

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Dear Diary,

After abandoning you for four seasons, and burning you to shreds  back when I lost my humanity, I’ve decided to recycle you as a lame recapping plot device.  Congrats?

Sitting alone beneath the Saddest Tree at Whitmore College, Elena helpfully recaps for us, via Diary-writing Inner Monologue, the “Previously On the Vampire Diaries” sequence that just ended two seconds ago.  I strongly suspect this is because Elena fears that some fans of this show and a few of its writers suffer from extreme short-term memory loss, and can only remember what’s going on with the show at the very minute they are watching it . . .

Wait, did I just type that?  I don’t remember typing that . . .

3 16 dear diary fearisforthewinter

3 16 chipmunk fearisforthewinter

3 16 told him joe fearisfor

3 16 lie will haunt fear is for

In her monologue, Elena suggests that her Diary might be “tired of her talking about Death.”  This statement taught me a number of things I never knew about diaries.  First, apparently, when you burn your diary, its soul and memories get transferred forward to every diary you will ever have in the future.  So, no matter how nice you might be to your current diary, it will always remember you as a book-murdering, death babbling on about, b*tch.  Second, your diary is reading everything you write in it for entertainment value, and silently judges you whenever you don’t deliver.  In short, diaries are Major Asshats.

laughing dan

Speaking of Major Asshats, Elena is being one to Damon by ignoring his calls, while he’s standing right behind her, watching her ignore his calls.  When Damon calls Elena on her crap she calmly explains that she is too busy waxing poetic to a Diary that secretly hates her guts to have sex with a guy that looks like this naked . . .

wet damon 2

Doctor Damon promptly diagnoses his suddenly-frigid girlfriend with “Survivor’s Guilt.” But I think it’s that pesky short term memory loss again.  Elena simply doesn’t remember how awesome sex with Damon was!  Well, Elena, since you were so helpful  in recapping the recap of the show two minutes after it aired, please allow me to return the favor . . .

more sex

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You’re welcome . . .

You see, Elena, sex with hot people is very powerful.  It magically makes you to forget all the bad things about your life and relationships.  Just look at Tyler and Caroline!

post coit

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taroline sex

The writers only let these two see one another about once a season, for conjugal visits.  And yet, all it takes is a few minutes of hot hybrid humping,  and Tyler and Caroline are suddenly convinced that they are the best, most well-adjusted, couple in Mystic Falls (not that they have all that much competition .  . . I mean, Jeremy exclusively dates corpses).

defans jeremy hulk

Maybe if you started dating live women, for a change, you wouldn’t have to keep ruining your shirts out of sexual frustration .  . .

Speaking of corpses, Bonnie is still lurking around town watching, of all things, Elena writing in her diary.  BO-RRRRING!  Maybe, being dead kills your libido.  Because Ghost Me would totally be spending my Eternity-in-Limbo watching the Forwood Sex happening upstairs, or back in Mystic Falls, watching Jeremy bone Oriental Rugs . . .

jer bear pushups

Your DEAD, Bon-Bon.  It’s high time you got your priorities in order . . .

Speaking of attractive people who can’t move on with their lives, check out New Sexy Blonde Guy, who stops by Dead Megan’s memorial daily to leave flowers and attract girls like Elena for whom Damaged Broody Boys with Sinister Secrets are like catnip . . .

sad shaun sipos

Elena visits New Sexy Blonde Guy to get his name and make some innocent conversation.  But he is not buying what she is selling, and blows her off without fanfare.  Well played, New Sexy Blonde Guy!  Elena already has enough Damaged Broody Boys with Sinister Secrets to build her own harem.  Let the rest of us have a chance!

marcia marcia marcia

Elena, Elena, Elena!

Everybody is all a-buzz about the Random Weekly Event / Excuse to Get All the Characters In the Same Place Whitmore Costume Ball, except for the finally Shirtless (Yay!) Cinderella Jesse, whose Evil Step Professor is forcing him to stay strapped to a table and be subject to stupid experiments that only seem to confirm what everybody and their mother already knew about recently-turned vampires . . .

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Let’s see, they . . . are SENSITIVE TO SOUNDS AND SUNLIGHT!

duh told you so

They LIKE BLOOD!

ep 9 obviously stiles

THEIR TEETH GET POINTY BEFORE THEY FEED!

Damon eye roll

As much as I like seeing you half-naked, Jesse, don’t let that douchebag do you dirty like this.  You are a NEW, RAVENOUSLY HUNGRY, EXTREMELY PISSED OFF VAMPIRE, DAMMIT!  Compel the guy into believing he’s a piece of Salisbury Steak, eat his ass, and get out of there!

meat with eyes

Professor Medium-Rare field

Meanwhile, over in a fleabag motel, somewhere in the U.S., Katherine gorges on trans fats, while Nadia breaks the news to her about Silas’ plans for her blood.  It turns out the “Diabolical One” won’t be content with just a stryrofoam cup filled with Katherine’s delicious blood.  He needs ALL OF IT!  (This is true, even though the actual Cure for Vampirism that Katherine drank was only the size of a thimble.)

the kat thank me brought cure

Yikes!  That’s a mighty big meal for a skinny guy!  Ever hear of portion control, PIG?

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At least now we know where Stefan gets his appetite . . . and his super fast metabolism . . .

Damon’s Ridiculous  Stupid   Suicidal   Extremely Dumb   Awful Great Idea

“Hey,” says Damon to Jer Bear, as the two lounge around La Casa de Rich and Awesome because their dead girlfriends won’t or can’t sleep with them.  “I’ve got an awesome idea!  Let’s risk all of our lives, and possibly bring about the Apocalypse, by aligning ourselves with the Sociopathic Mind-Controlling Vampire/Witch Freak, who looks just like my brother, so that we can bring Bonnie back from the dead, and Elena will be ever-so-slightly less miserable and maybe start having sex with me again.”

lightbulb-idea

thinking damon bitemesomerhalder

To which, Jer Bear replies, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  Hey, why not? I was planning on a busy day of doing push-ups and chopping wood half-naked.

jer 1

But this sounds like fun too!  Besides, it’s not as though Damon’s plans ever go horribly wrong . . .”

dead jer 2

Meanwhile, Bonnie is shaking her head in disapproval, thinking to herself, “Why am I sexually attracted to this kid, when he’s clearly a moron?”

team bonnie its delena love

Then, she remembers what he looks like with his shirt off, and decides to keep her mouth shut.

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So, what’s the grand plan?  Basically it involves everyone going to the Ball (SURPRISE!), so that they can track down Quetsiyah, who will be picking up some sort of Mystical Anchor thingy.  Then, they are going to take that Mystical Anchor thingy and give it to Silas, so that he can drink Katherine’s blood, turn into a mortal witch, and resurrect Bonnie right before he dies.

no no on

P.S. For some inexplicable reason (Comedy for Delena Fans?), this plan involves killing Stefan multiple times, thereby breaking the bond between the two Doppelgangers, and allowing Silas to read / mind control Quetsiyah.

stefan shrug

[OK, Vampire Diaries Mythology Experts, I have two questions for you:  (1) If Silas’ big plan was merely to find out where Quetsiyah was hiding the Mystical Anchor thingy, why didn’t he just have someone else tail her at the party . . . someone who didn’t possess the face shes hated for over 1,000 years?

quet

(2) If Silas could always read / mind control Quetsiyah, before the witch mentally linked him to and subsequently brain-fried his doppelganger (as we saw him do at one point during the episode), why didn’t he simply brainwash her to undo her spell, thereby allowing him to live in the after life with Amara centuries ago?]

brain fried stefan

“Doh!”

Now, that we’re all thoroughly confused, let’s head to the party shall we?

Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1492  . . .

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The best part of every TVD themed-dance episode is inevitably the costumes.  And this episode is no exception.  Caroline and Tyler attend the Whitmore Costume Ball as Bonnie and Clyde . . .

bonnie and clyde big

bonnie and clyde

Damon and Elena go as a pre-fat and stinky gout-footed Henry VIII and a pre-beheaded Anne Boleyn, respectively (How romantic?) . . .

halloween

I can barely tell the two apart!

8th couple

Amnesia Stefan attends as Season 3 Ripper Stefan James Dean . . .

3 2 hello brother stefan

james dean

Professor Severus Snape   Dickhead   Maxfield dresses up as Dr. Jekyll.

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(Though without the hat, he kind of just looks like a guy in a suit . . .)

And Hot Sexy Blonde Guy goes as “that one douchebag at every costume party, who thinks he’s too cool to dress up, and therefore, wears a lame shirt with a tuxedo drawn on the front.”

aaron in tux

Meanwhile, at some greasy spoon diner, Nadia and Katherine consume even more trans fats (though neither of these women look as though they’ve ever so much as looked at a french fry, let alone swallowed one).  While they munch, Nadia interrogates Katherine about her dark past of female friend betrayal, before admitting to her that Katherine had sold out and gotten her mother killed.  And, because of this, Nadia turned herself into a vampire, so that she could better follow her around for 500 years, without . . . you know . . . getting old and dying and stuff. . .

nadia

“Really, I just did it because I knew, if I stopped looking like this, it would be much more difficult for me to have threesomes with random people I ran into while traveling through Europe.”

(What is it about Katherine that possesses people to spend their entire eternity doing a REALLY, REALLY bad job of finding her?  Damon did it for 150 years .  . . Klaus and this chick . . . for 500.  As someone who, as a child, couldn’t play Hide-in-go-Seek for more than two rounds without getting bored and going back in the house to play video games, I’m intrigued . . .)

Convinced the foreign vampire chick is trying to kill her, Katherine stakes Nadia in the heart, knowing full well that this will not kill her, because her heart is all greased up from all the fatty foods they just consumed.   (Huh?  Is that an actual thing?  Does this mean that fat, unhealthy, high cholesterol having vampires are more immortal than other vampires?)

ep 5 more oral fixation stiles tyler

It turns out Katherine knows that Nadia was lying about her story, since, after the first few months or so, even Klaus’ inept minions weren’t stupid enough to mistake another woman for Katherine.  It is then that Nadia admits the truth, Katherine killed her mother, not by turning her in to Katherine’s minions, but by hanging herself in a cave and turning vamp.   You see, Nadia is Katherine’s daughter, the one who was taken away from Katherine because she had it out of wedlock, shortly before Klaus killed her entire family and hunted her down . ..

katherine

Awww, how touching!  A mother – daughter reunion.  Katherine and Nadia would have totally tearfully hugged, were it not for the 6-inch steak sticking out of Nadia’s heart.

first stabbing

I wonder if Hallmark sells a Mother’s Day Card that says, “I love you, even though you pretty much ruined my life, and traumatized me for all eternity.”

If they don’t yet, they totally should . . .

Like Lambs to Slaughter . . .

Ever a glutton for punishment, Amnesia Stefan decides to hit on, of all people, the chick who fried his brains, Quetsiyah.  (Stefan’s always been a sucker for women who make him act stupid . . .)

stefan shrug

Damon gallantly rescues his brother from possible future heartbreak, by breaking his neck instead  . . .

(There should be a Hallmark card for that too.)

While Stefan is snoozing away in the foyer, Silas is working his magic on Quetsiyah.  He quickly learns that Quetsiyah doesn’t know where the Mystic Anchor is, because Nadia and the Travelers hid it (it’s clearly inside Matt, and can only be extracted using the knife Gregor is hiding in his house).  So, she’s using a locket of hers that miraculously made its way to one of the display cases at the party to perform a locator spell.

witchy

Poor Baby Silas gets a headache, every time Stefan starts to wake up from being dead.

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So, Damon gladly provides his new friend with virtual Aspirin, by killing his brother every four to six hours minutes, as directed.  (Talk about whacked priorities.  Then again, this is the guy who is risking the lives of the entire town to bring back from the dead a girl he never seemed to like all that much, whose death he failed to notice for over four months. . . )

damon dont judge

Elsewhere at the ball, Caroline would very much like to have Kinky Handcuff Sex with Tyler.  But he turns her down, because he has to pack and be in New Orleans by Tuesday, 8 p.m. / 7 p.m Central to guest star on The Originals  . . .

originals poster

It turns out Tyler is still a bit sore at Klaus for making the younger hybrid temporarily gay for him, mind controlling him to almost kill his girlfriend, and then actually killing his mother and hybrid buddies.  He wants revenge, even though the kind of revenge he can get is pretty darn limited considering that killing Klaus will result in Tyler’s death, as well as the death of basically every character in the entire CW franchise, due to that whole “bloodline” thing . . .

tyler points

Caroline goes all Taylor Swift on Tyler, telling him that if he walks out on her now, they are “Never, Ever, Ever Getting Back Together (No, not ever.).”

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And then he leaves  . . .  again . . . for the 465th time.

Elena sees New Sexy Blonde Guy looking sad by the punch bowl and compels him into telling her his name (Aaron) and sob story (“Everyone I love dies.”)

everyone die

cant feel

Awwww, how sweet!  It looks like Elena has found herself a Kindred Spirit Grim Reaper.  Watch out coeds of Whitmore College!  With these two allied together, it’s highly unlikely any of you will live long enough to ever don a cap and gown .  . .

grim reapers at CVS

Speaking of people I wouldn’t trust my life with, Elena shares a creepy, highly inappropriate dance, with Professor-I-Like-to-Torture-My-Students-For-Fun-And-Call-It-Research kind of like the toady looking teacher who always wore pink in Book 5 of the Harry Potter series Maxfield.  During the dance, the Professor tells Elena that he thinks a vampire killed Megan . . .

surprised-face

(“You mean to tell me a vampire killed someone on a Vampire Show?  LUDICROUS!”)

He also warns Elena that people are on to her true identity, and she should leave school ASAP, before they find her . . . bad people . . . the kind of people who strap their hot teaching assistants down to operating tables and perform stupid, but highly painful, experiments on them to prove things they already know . . .

OOPS, did I say that?

wes max

P.S. Professor Maxfield has some kind of familial relationship with Hot Grim Reaper Aaron . . .  you know, because if a character on this show has the same hair color as another character on this show they are almost always relatives of one another  . . .

Hey Matt, you are blonde and seem low on family members?   How’d you like to inherit a douchey professor dad, and dour collegiate fraternal twin brother?

3 1 high matt tbtvdgifs

And Now, for the Grand Finale . . .

Stefan awakens once again, but fakes death long enough to catch Damon off guard and snap his neck for a change.  Brothers are the best, aren’t they?

brother to brother salvatores 1864 love

Then, he rushes to tell Quetsiyah that she’s been hitting on the wrong Paul Wesley look-alike.  Quetsiyah responds by sticking her hand in Silas’ chest and squeezing his heart like its a stress ball, until his body dries out.

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(Wait?  I thought only vampires and people from the show Once Upon a Time could do that?  Apparently, witches can too?  Do not try this at home, practicers of Wicca!)

rebekah heart

open heart surgery

Once Damon wakes up from being dead, he dutifully carries his new pal, ash-hearted Silas home to La Casa de Rich and Awesome to wait out his temporary death on the couch like everyone else on this show does.  (They should really consider getting that leather cleaned.)

The Casting Couch

Elena comes home and seems less than bothered by the fact that a creepy Stefan lookalike is rotting on the couch where she and Damon sometimes screw.  She’s even less bothered when Damon casually invites Katherine over and haphazardly feeds her to Silas.  The two watch vacant-eyed and expressionless as the woman Damon once loved for 150 year, who looks just like Elena, has the life drained out of her by Stefan’s Evil Twin.

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It is weird and highly unsettling.  But maybe their humanity switches were on the fritz.  It’s happened before.

turn it off

stone faced elena

Besides, it’s for a good cause!  Elena’s pet Bonnie is dead.  And everyone who’s ever seen the movie Pet Cemetery knows that bringing your pets back to life at all costs is always, always a good idea . . .

cat scary

Then, Katherine wakes up from the dead and wonders, quite logically, if she’s in Hell.

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Worse, honey .  . . you’re in Mystic Falls . . .

Until next week, Fangbangers!

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

Somebody That I Used To Know . . . – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “For Whom the Bell Tolls”

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Greetings, Fangbangers!  It’s Remembrance Day over in Mystic Falls, which is convenient, considering that most of our Scooby Gang begin the episode empty-headed, clueless, and in need of some serious shots of Ginkgo-Baloba . . .

the headache filthy pirate hook

brain fried stefan

make me forget spidey

Let’s see we’ve got Stefan, who has “mysteriously” lost his memory, and suddenly finds himself under the delusion that he is the “fun brother,” who “gets the girl.”  WRONG and WRONG-ER . . .

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Matt sets up cameras all around the house, because he can’t, for the life of him, figure out why he loses time daily, and has developed a sudden fascination for ancient weapons, Russian vodka, and speaking in the voice of a cartoon super villain . . .

you killed me

Elena truly believes that the best way to bring Stefan’s memory back is to remind him what a noble minded doormat he used to be, and how much his life currently sucks . . .

delena sex big

carry on

Bonnie very nearly succeeds in hiding her death by using the very same excuse my parents told me when I was two and my cat died, “She’s just on a really, REALLY, REALLY long vacation.”  (Then, she gets hypnotized by Jeremy’s abdominals into coming out of the closet as The Dead Chick.)

omg dead

New guy, Jesse thinks there’s absolutely nothing weird about his professor instructing him to disrobe for a routine medical examination during “office hours.”  (Not that any of us are complaining . . .)

confused jesse

In short, 99.99% of the characters on this show are kind of dumb.

my idiots

But that’s why we love them.

happy elena hugging damon color

Let’s review, shall we?

Highway to Hell-o

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Nothing says epic eternal bromance like an emo diary reading followed immediately by a massive car crash, while driving down a highway at midnight at 120 miles per hour . . .

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“Don’t worry about the car.  You can always compel yourself another one.”

I’d like to think that Damon’s decision to literally kill himself and Stefan was a slightly misguided scientific experiment based on the hypothesis that throwing his brother from a flaming automobile and banging his head into the pavement would physically snap the sense back into him . . .

never too late to die too

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But if we’re being completely honest, I just think Damon was getting back at Stefan for referring to him as “the safe brother,” as opposed to “the fun one.”

no no on

Apparently, the elder (clearly more fun) Salvatore brother has never heard the age old saying, “kerosene and hot metal may incinerate my bones, but names will never hurt me . . .

damon soulful crying

Ultimately, the two blood-sucking-brothers walk away from their fatal car accident with nary a scratch on either of their delicately chiseled faces.  Unfortunately, Stefan remains as forgetful as ever  .  . .

stefan shrug

Body of Evidence

Well, hello there, Steve McQueen’s abs!  We haven’t seen YOU in a few episodes . . .

jer bear pushups

I’ve never in my life been so jealous of an Oriental Rug . . .

“Well, don’t stop on my account,” demures Dead Bonnie, as she leers appreciatively at the unique bulge in her boyfriend’s pants that only seems to appear when he humps the floor mats of La Casa de Rich and Awesome.  (Hey, when you’re girlfriend’s a ghost who can’t touch you, you gotta get your kicks where you can, am I right?)

defans jeremy hulk

Jer Bear thinks that it’s high time the World’s Laziest Poltergeist (Seriously, girl is a “Powerful Witch,” whose been dead for months, and she hasn’t moved so much as a salt shaker!) come clean to her pals about the whole “dying thing.”  Bonnie concedes that the fact that she hasn’t answered any of the three-hundred e-mails Matt has sent her does make her seem like kind of a b*tch.  It also makes Matt seem like a major loser.  Get a hobby, Man!  Maybe that freaky dude that inhabits your body sometimes can help you out in that regard.  And death would at least give her a decent excuse for being such a crap friend . . .

2 21 bonnie bamff rouxx

Plus, TVD hasn’t had a funeral since last week.  They are LONG overdue!

Hex, Lies and Videotape

I suspect that Matt always dreamed that the first time he rigged video cameras up all around his house it would be to film a hot sex tape with Rebekah . . . or Caroline . . . or Elena, or any of the other girls who have unceremoniously dumped him before he got the chance to make YouTube history . . .

matt car breakdown

Instead, he’s doing it to catch in the act the foreign dude who occasionally hijacks his face to make out with hot chicks, dig up dead bodies, and generally just have a lot more fun than Real Matt ever gets to have on this show . . .

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And the cheese stands alone . . .

I have to admit, this one surprised me.  I was totally expecting Igor Von Bad Guy or whatever Matt’s “passenger’s” name is to cut the feeds on the video cameras, so Matt would be kept in the dark about his identity for at least a few more weeks.  Instead, he cavalierly sneers at the camera, and chats with Matt, while cutting the hand they both occasionally share.  More importantly, he warns him to protect that honestly-sort-of-lame looking pocket knife with the ridiculously dull blade that Matt always seems to find on hand whenever he wakes up from a vacation in Eastern European Supervillanea . . .

gregor

“Say hello to my little hand . . .”

Hey Igor Von Bad Guy, if you really want to protect your weapon, you might want to try putting it in a safe deposit box or something.  Because hiding it with the lamebrained bartender who regularly forgets where he parked his motor vehicle in the five-car parking lot of the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls is a surefire recipe for disaster . . .

3 1 high matt tbtvdgifs

Fight for your right to potty . . .

Speaking of the Only Bar / Social Establishment in Mystic Falls, that’s where Damon has taken Stefan on the next stop of his Misty Water-colored Memory Tour . . .

all alone drink

I guess I’d need a few of tequila shots in my system too, after I’d just been reminded about “that one time when I ate my dad,” and “those 5,462 times I ate other people.”

beating up stefan

Since we are on the subject of nameless, faceless, human blood bags, whose hungry for some Tasty Waitress?

freaking hungry

After slyly telling a recently-arrived Elena that he doesn’t remember her name, Stefan deftly excuses himself to follow Nameless Waitress into the restroom.  Come on, Stefan!  Hasn’t anyone told you you should poop where you eat . . . or eat where other people poop . . . or . . . well, you get the idea.

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Stefan’s Sexy Murder Monologue to the Compelled Waitress, made moments before he started chomping down on her neck like it was a piece of beef jerky reminded me of that OTHER time Stefan patiently psychoanalyzed himself before sinking his teeth into a damsel in distress.  Remember Miss Mystic Falls, ladies and gents?

Amnesia!Stefan may not remember his history right now, but he sure does seem doomed to repeat it . . .

3 13 burning stefan montagues

Let’s face it.   No one really wants to meet their demise in a dingy public restroom.  And so Nameless Waitress has Damon Salvatore to thank for swooping in and preventing his little bro from finishing his Happy Meal.

3 2 hello brother damon

The Salvatores wisely decide its time for a location change . . .

nodding oh yeah

. . . and then stupidly decide to go to the cemetery, where an entire town of human blood bags just so happens to be camped out for the night . . .

Damon eye roll

It’s like bringing an obese man to Baskin Robbins, and thinking it will help him stay on his diet . . .

Thanks for the Memories, (B*tch)!

Having never exactly considered myself to be a small-town girl, I’ve always thought the majority of Mystic Falls’ “town social events” kind of lame.  I mean, Founder’s Day . . . snooze, Gone with the Wind screening . . . boring, Wickery Bridge Restoration Fundraiser . . . zzzzz.

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It’s a good thing massive amounts of people always tend to die during these events, otherwise they’d be a total waste of time . . .

happy elena

“Yay, senseless death!”

That said, I must admit that I could 100 percent get behind the idea of Remembrance Day . . . tying corpses hands to strings with bells on them, just in case they happen to have been mistakenly buried alive?  Staying up all night getting drunk in a cemetery, while reminiscing about the past?  AWESOME!

ian says awesome

Unfortunately, Stefan’s on a diet.  So, he has to spend the evening locked away in a tomb with his countless dead relatives and former friends, most of whom, either he or his brother killed . . .

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While watching Damon and Stefan compare notes and rack up points for each family member they’ve eaten was amusing, a night of Amnesia Stefan sitting by himself in a tomb full of corpses would have been a lame way to spend Remembrance Day.  Fortunately, Elena pops up just in time to cocktease Amnesia!Stefan right back into Ripperdom . .  .  You go,  girl!

dancing elena

Things start out innocently enough. Elena takes Stefan back to Mystic Falls High School (You know that place they pretended to attend for four years, but only actually entered about once a year for those inevitably fatal Decade Dances?), where she forces him to recreate the moment when they first met by drowning in a river, and letting him save her, while systematically allowing both of her parents to die painful watery deaths bumping into her repeatedly outside the restroom.  (There were a suspicious amount of bathroom references in this episode . . .).

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where we collided

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Then, she takes him to the rooftop of the school, which actually has no past plot significance that I can remember, but I guess is a good a place as any to stare demurely into her formerly lovers eyes long enough for him to fall in love with her again, only so that she can inevitably rip his heart out, when she tells him (a) she’s just not that into him anymore; and (b) she’s boning his bro on a regular basis . . . AND LOVING IT.

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“Look at me, pretending to be a bird.  Aren’t I adorable?”

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That revelation comes at the third stop of the Stelena Memory Lane Tour, which, not surprisingly, is the top of Wickery Bridge.  After casually explaining to Stefan how he once saved her life on Wickory Bridge, and once let her die, thereby causing her to become a vampire, Elena leans her face just a bit too closely into Stefan’s face and waits patiently to drop a bomb on his ass  . . .

touched your face

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Now, Stefan may be amnesiatic, but he’s still a dude.  And dudes know a sexual overture, when they see one.  This time, he’s going to get to bite the girl, and she’s going to like it, dammit . . .

freaking hungry

 . . . for sex . . . even though I don’t remember ever having any . . .”

Suave Stefan sweet talks his ex girlfriend a bit, telling her how her sex appeal seems to have miraculously sated his hunger . . . at least the hunger in his mouth . . .  Then, he goes in for a taste of his cure.

stelena

“I’m with Damon,” Elena warns preemptively . . .

strangle balloon

deflated balloon

blue balls

Do not pass Go.  Do not collect $200.  Because Stefan Salvatore, you have just been DE-NIED . . . again . . .

beating up stefan

Apparently, the fact that Stefan woke up to the sight of Damon and Elena making out, and they slept in the same bed together, wasn’t a big enough tip to Stefan that these two were boning on a regular basis.  Does having amnesia take away IQ points?

got the girl

Feeling betrayed all over again by his brother and former lover, and hoodwinked by Elena’s ill-advised, poorly timed flirt fest, Amnesia!Stefan does what most of us do, when we’ve just been dumped and are feeling unattractive and unloved . . . he turns to food . . .

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“Eating my feelings.”

Happy Hunting, Amnesia!Sort-of RipperStefan!

Because Caroline’s Dates Make for the Best Chew Toys!

The best way to get over someone, is to get under someone else . . .

sex girl boy

This is predominately Caroline’s reasoning, when she invites new college coed Sex G-d Jesse to “study biology and one another’s body parts” at Mystic Falls Weekly Human Murder Party, where unimportant characters are mercilessly offed to up the series’ body count Remembrance Day Festivities.

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As an added bonus, Jesse is “very close” with this season’s Creepy, But Vaguely Attractive Professor, Who is Possibly/Probably Up to No Good Alaric Saltzman . . . Professor Shane . . . Severus Snape . . . Professor Maxfield.  This means that, if Jesse is lucky enough to live past five episodes of this series, Caroline can ply the stud for important information, WHILE getting under him / over Tyler . .

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Things get off to a pretty decent start, in that regard, with Caroline and Hunky Pawn sharing a chaste kiss in the forest, while quizzing one another on biology terms.

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Then, comes Stefan, a.k.a Mr. Can’t Eat Just One, and things start to go to crap pretty quickly . . .

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At first Amnesia!Stefan is cordial, if a bit sexually aggressive, telling Caroline that she looks hotter in person than in her pictures.  (Notice how he immediately remembers Caroline’s name, but not Elena’s . . .interesting.)

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Then, Stefan introduces Jesse to Mystic Falls by offering to treat his neck like a chicken wing.  Caroline, who has always been the group’s Miss Fix It, deftly compels her boy toy into hiding, and politely offers Stefan access to her secret blood bag stash.  But by the time she turns around to show him the way, Sir Sucks A lot is already gone . . .

you suck laurrrrde

Poor Jesse.  It turns out, while the college scholar is an expert at cracking biological equations, and kissing blondes, his Hide and Go Seek skills leave much to be desired.  Stefan has magically appeared and begun sucking him dry before the “special guest star” can say “Olly, olly oxen free.”

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Fortunately, Caroline arrives just in time to save the day.  (For the writers to kill off a character that looks like Jesse, before fans ever get the chance to see him without his shirt would truly be a travesty of justice.)  With a chomp on her wrist, and a few carefully placed words to Stefan, Caroline manages to rescue her prospective boyfriend from death, and talk her likely future friend-with-benefits off the ledge of Ripperdom, in a matter of mere seconds.

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After returning to La Casa de Rich and Awesome, and burning all of his lame-ass journals (it’s about time!) . . .

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. . . Stefan decides to leave the Haven of Personal Misery in favor of greener pastures.  However, he agrees to check in with Caroline regularly as his unofficial sponsor for Bloodaholics anonymous, because SHE’S the only person he now truly trusts . . .

As for Jesse, he gets to live at least long enough to probably strip for us in a future episode . . . HOORAY!

stripping jess

Loom Awkwardly Over Your Castmates in Peace, Bonnie Bennett . . .

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In other news, Jeremy finally delivered to the Scooby Gang the Newsflash of Bonnie’s death . . .

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(In other late breaking news . . . this just in . . . Barak Obama was re-elected President of the United States!)

Responses among the group were understandably sad, and possibly a bit guilty.  Because I think most of us would like to think that if our supposed best friend croaked, it would take us less than a half a year to figure it out .  . .

soap dish smash

When Jeremy told Damon the news, he begged his unofficial bro-in-law to take it back, under the assumption that if it was never talked about it wouldn’t be true.  (Funny, that’s kind of the logic Bonnie used for keeping this  need-to-know information from her friends in the first place.)

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Then, Jeremy and Damon emotionally hugged it out.  And I forgot how weird and awkward the beginning of the scene was, because the end was so poignantly beautiful.

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Matt’s reaction was a bit more muted, but equally devastating.  And Elena, well . . . she was just upset that she burned all her funeral clothes when she torched her house, and wouldn’t be able to “Peace Out,” Bonnie in style . . .

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Just kidding . . . Elena was inconsolable for the obvious reasons, of course.  And also because it is becoming more and more obvious that having a familial or friendship relationship with Elena Gilbert is basically the equivalent to being diagnosed with in inoperable brain tumor.  You know, eventually, you are going to go.  It’s only a matter of time . . .

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We didn’t get to see the moment when Caroline found out about Bonnie’s death.  But her quiet moment of saddened reflection, coupled with amnesia Stefan’s comforting her and offering being there for her in the best way he could, despite currently having no memory at all of the deceased, was fitting for her character, who began the show as the character who required the most coddling, and has slowly but surely evolved into its emotional rock . . .

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I’ll admit I got a bit teary at Bonnie’s funeral, despite the fact that Bonnie Bennett has always been the most problematically written character on the show, and perhaps, a bit because of it . .  .

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Funerals have always been more about the survivors grieving, obtaining peace, and ultimately moving on from the loss, to whatever extent possible, than about the decedents themselves.  And, in that sense, Bonnie’s funeral was oddly touching.  It was sweet and humane to see Bonnie offering through Jeremy words of encouragement to each of her surviving friends, even if the words themselves were kind of trite and mundane.  (“I wasn’t really mad at you.”  “Things will get better.”  “Have fun at college.”)  It’s the way I think most of us would like to treat our loved ones, if we got the chance to comfort them after our deaths, and vice versa.

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On the other hand, as a memorial for Bonnie’s “life,” the Bennett funeral left a bit to be desired.  Pom-poms?  A Whistle (because her and Matt were lifeguards for one episode)?, Feathers (in honor of the super lame trick Bonnie did for Elena to prove that she was a witch)? And a Spell Book?

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These were the talismans of a life lived on screen for nearly five seasons?  Couple that with the fact that not one surviving character was seen giving an emotional eulogy in Bonnie’s honor, apart from Jeremy himself (and even he needed Bonnie’s help to get out the words), and you’ve got yourself a pretty sorry goodbye party for a character that’s kind of already been forgotten, and yet isn’t entirely gone . . .

2 22 bloody nose bonnie

Compare this to one of the most beautiful, touching, heart-wrenching, aptly-tributary-to-the-life-of-the-character, not-quite-funerals in TVD history, and you’ll see a clear difference . . .

Heck, even ne’er-do-well, Worst-Dad-Ever, Uncle Father John got a better send off than Bonnie!

And then there was the part where everyone kind of ditched the funeral to celebrate Tyler finally coming back.

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Life goes on, indeed.  Nice knowing ya, Bon-Bon!

Because that’s what this show needs . . . MORE vampires . . .

If Caroline’s romantic reunion with Tyler had you worried that boy toy Jesse wouldn’t be long for this world,  you were both right and wrong . . .

eye roll car

We find him on his Professor’s examination table in the final scene of the hour, almost, but not quite, shirtless . . . we’re getting closer . . .

It turns out, Jesse’s having “blacked out” the night before has him concerned about his health.  Having quickly surmised that Jesse had vampire blood in his system, Professor Severus Snape Maxfield instructs Jesse not to worry about his health.  He’ll be just fine! . . . Annnnnd then he kills him.

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You gotta love college . . .

Next week on TVD, the gang remembers that pesky Silas problem they’ve been dealing with the past few episodes . . .

Until then, Fangbangers!

waves

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Filed under The Vampire Diaries

A Life Lived in Shades of Grey – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Fireflies”

bloody with purity ring

“Let [Scott] be the hero of his Black and White World.  Real survivors, you and I, we live in Shades of Grey.”

Ah, sweet Moral Ambiguity!  It’s a touchstone of every supernatural tale.  After all, these characters live in a world where monsters have the capacity to be heroes.

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Heroes sometimes turn out to be monsters.

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And, no matter how much evil you’ve done, during the course of your lifetime, your character’s likeability is almost always directly proportional to how good you look with your shirt off.

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Come to think of it, that’s pretty much true of every show I watch . . .

“Fireflies” saw four of the series’ main characters struggle with issues of morality.  Derek, Allison and Chris Argent each grappled with their instincts toward self-preservation, and shielding their families from harm, versus an obligation to protect innocents, and serve a cause greater than themselves.

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As for Stiles .  . .Poor Stiles!  Not only has his sixteen or so years of chastity left him incredibly sexually frustrated . . .

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blue balls

 . . . now it might actually get him killed!

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What’s worse?  Stiles responsible decision to get a condom last week, might have actually ended up killing his old friend from PRESCHOOL!

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Geez, writers!  What kind of messages are you sending these young impressionable Teen Wolf watchers?

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Throw in some very smart fireflies, a couple of very unlucky in love lesbians, and the worst place ever to store a school supply cabinet, and you’ve got yourself another banner hour of Teen Wolf, wolfbangers!

stiles with wolf hat

Let’s review, shall we?

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[As always, special thanks to Andre for the kickass screencaps.  He truly knows how to capture the hidden beauty of dead virgins . . .]

Thug Bug Life

In a town comprised of werewolf packs, suicidal cats, servile psychopathic lizards, and kamikaze birds, it doesn’t surprise me at all that Beacon Hills has a Bug Mafia . . .

If nothing else, the first two scenes of this episode illustrated that the insect organized crime contingent is a force with which to be reckoned . . .

bug mafia

It’s 10 p.m.  Do you know where your children are?

your children

Because rest assured, if I was a parent of young kids in Beacon Hills, mine wouldn’t be allowed to leave the house after 5 p.m., at least until they turned 30.  I’d use straitjackets if necessary . . .

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The moon is high in the sky.  Two young kids we’ve never seen before (and, most likely, will never see again) are “innocently” catching fireflies in jars.

cATCHING FIRE

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It would be an adorable and relaxing scene, if we didn’t remember what show we were watching . . .

Sure enough, here comes the Big Bad Boyd Wolf . . .

big boyd wolf

Hey, did they change Boyd’s Wolf Look, this week?  He’s looking a bit more Mr. T than usual.  Perhaps, they’ve been feeding him this in bank jail . . .

mr. t cereal

Run into the poorly constructed shed, kiddies!  It worked for the Three Little Pigs!  Oh . . . wait . . . nevermind!

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HIding kid

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Boyd is just about to say, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff.  And I’ll blow your house down.”

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But then he decides, “Screw it.”

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He lifts up the dinky shed, and tosses it aside like yesterday’s trash . . .

Fear not, kiddies.  Help is on the way!  It’s that stealth band of fireflies you captured, and nearly killed, coming to your rescue!  (Talk about a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome!)

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While Boyd is literally distracted by shiny objects, the kids make their getaway.

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“I’m sure it’s perfectly safe to hug this strange man we found lurking in the woods late at night.”

Elsewhere in the woods, a pair of amorous young lesbians on a camping trip aren’t quite as lucky .  . .

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Not to criticize or anything, but if you knew your significant other was deathly afraid of snakes and bugs, why oh why, would you choose, THE WOODS, of all places, as the locale for your first sexual encounter?

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Gee Lover, is that a hideously disgusting spider crawling out of your crotch, or are you just happy to see me?

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A couple of voyeuristic bugs appear on the side of the tent (Free Porn!), and the ill-fated (Emily?) is out of that tent, faster than you can say, “Are you a top or a bottom?”

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Very smart, Emily.  You found a couple of bugs in your tent, so you decided to run outside WHERE ALL THE REST OF THE BUGS ARE!

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What happens next is pretty darn disgusting . . . but also oddly impressive.  An entire swarm of creepy crawlies completely engulfs poor dumb Emily and LITERALLY MAKES HER DISAPPEAR . . .

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ghosted shot

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Just like the scene with Heather, I’m pretty sure hallucination was at play here.  Last week, whatever took Heather, used her fear of broken bottles and glass stabbed bare feet to lure her to the window, where she was promptly snatched up.  This week, the same supernatural force seemed to use Emily’s fear of bugs to lure her outside her lover’s tent, using the classic “divide and conquer” strategy.

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It’s what happened after that, which confuses me a bit . . .

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What kind of creature has the power to make a person evaporate into thin air?  And why wasn’t the same thing done to Heather, who was bodily yanked from her home by something that, at least based on Heather’s expression, was at least partially corporeal?

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We all remember, from last season, the Stilinskis’ trusty rule.  “One times an accident.  Twice is a coincidence.  Three times is a pattern.”

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Pattern . . . here we come!

Omigod, you killed a Jonas Brother!  (You bastard!)

dead life guard

You know, everyone assumes this season’s serial killer is committing its crimes, because it hates virgins.  But maybe it just really, really didn’t like Camp Rock 2.

DEMI LOVATO, JORDAN FRANCIS, ANNA MARIA PEREZ DE TAGLE

jo bros

Poor Lydia!  Apparently, all her screaming has given her just as bad of a headache as it’s given all of us . . .

headache

She calls out to her mom, to tell her that she’s going to the pharmacy.  But her mom, of course, doesn’t answer.

lydia parents

No surprise.  I mean, this is the woman who failed to notice her daughter had a tatted up man in her bed, on the first day of school.

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My new theory is that Lydia’s mom is actually dead, and has been for quite some time.  I think Klaus from The Vampire Diaries killed her . . .

drowned

klaus cheers

En route to the pharmacy, Lydia ends up taking a detour to the local pool, where the lifeguard is still on duty . . . sort of . . .  This is how you know Jeff Davis and co. have pretty sick senses of humor.  You see, this “guard” may have been a pro, when it came to guarding chastity.  But guarding lives?  Not so much . . .

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“If only he had screwed me.  I would have turned into a Real Boy just like Pinocchio.”

Lydia immediately calls Stiles for help . . .

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 . . . causing Stydia fans the world over to cheer . . .

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As for Stiles, he’s just jealous that she dialed 911 first.  Damn those pesky authorities!

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Stiles may have missed that first call.  But he’ll be damned if he lets some slimy 911 police escort walk his lady up to her bedroom . . .

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That’s a job for Stiles, and Stiles alone . . .

The writers tease fans into thinking Stiles wants to ask Lydia a “Relationship Question,” when he really just wants to know why she still seems to be drawn to dead bodies like a firefly to a rabid werewolves face . . .

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Stiles and Lydia both wonder if Lydia is being controlled by Peter again.  But I’m pretty sure this a red herring.  On one hand, I do believe that Lydia’s “connection” to dead bodies Banshee .  . . she’s clearly a banshee. is what enabled the then-dead Peter to possess her, in the first place.  However, the kills she was drawn to last season, weren’t Peter’s kills, they were the kanaimas.  Likewise, I’m pretty sure this season’s victims were murdered by something other than Peter  . . .

looking good peter hale

That said, there does seem to be some connection between the fear hallucinations the victims are experiencing prior to their deaths, and the hallucinations the Scooby Gang experienced at the party, care of Lydia’s Mysterious Wolfsbane Juice . . .

lydia and punch

Speaking of jumping to conclusions, Stiles immediately assumes that the Lifeguard was murdered by rabid Boyd and Cora.  So, he warns Scott, that the two must be taken down, ASAP, or more innocent people’s lives will be at risk.  Though Stiles’ conjecture ultimately turns out to be wrong, the assumption that Boyd and Cora are already cold blooded killers is necessary to make the rest of this episode work.  It raises the stakes, and makes the characters’ decisions seem bolder and more impactful than they would otherwise . .

stiles dancing at gay bar melchiors

Werewolves and Hunters Unite!

Poor Isaac!  The guy has been chopped up, freeze-dried, nipple fried, and pretty much tortured in every way imaginable, these past two episodes, for the sake of “the team.”  And he’s still seems to have red shirt status, among his ever dwindling pack . . .

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Scott doesn’t even consider Isaac to be “real help,” when it comes to subduing Boyd and Cora.  Then again, perhaps, that has something to do with Isaac’s insistence on wearing that oh-so-fashionable scarf, on the escaped werewolves trail.  This is Werewolf Hunger Games, not Project Runway, honey . . .

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Still  . . . I must admit, the scarf does look pretty damn good.

Anywhoo, Scott suggests the wolf pack commandeer expert werewolf hunter, and erstwhile enemy, Papa Argent to help with the search.  Derek doesn’t think its a good idea.  So, he lingers behind Scott in his new, uber intimidating, Soccer Mom Minivan, to make sure Argent doesn’t try any funny stuff.

sexy

“Pimp my ride, please?”

Come on, Derek.  You’re 24.  What’s with the 45-year olds car?  At least get an option for a sun roof, so you could stick your head out the window, while in wolf mode?

Isaac hopes to use these precious in-car moments with Derek to talk about their “feelings.”  Needless to say, it doesn’t go well . . .

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Though his attempt failed miserably, I respect that Isaac tried to get Derek to open up about his sister, Cora.  If anyone can relate to have complicated feelings about your blood relations, it’s the guy whose dad used to shove him in an icebox, but suffered an untimely death, due to lizard mauling …

As for Papa Argent, after giving Scott a warm welcome . . .

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I’ve seen that facial expression somewhere before . . .

ep 6 uh oh no

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He tells his daughter’s ex, who his wife tried to have killed, in no uncertain terms, that he is OUT of the hunting business.  Of course, as Papa Argent is about to learn, the werewolf hunting business is like the mafia.  Everytime you try to get out, THEY PULL YOU BACK IN . . .

pull me back in

. . .  you know by casually getting you to drive by teenage corpses, wearing purity rings . . .

dead save

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Now comes the educational part of our program, where we learn all about hunting werewolves in the woods . . .

cool men walking

 . . . you know . . . just in case any of you viewers have an interest in taking on that sort of career.  (By the way, was that Papa Argent’s full time job?  I wonder what one gets paid for catching-but-not-murdering-unless-they-REALLY-ask-for-it supernatural creatures that most of the world doesn’t believe exist.)

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In other not important to anything other than this show news, did you know that fireflies in California (at least the ones not involved in insect organized crime) don’t typically glow?  They have no “fire.”  I guess that makes them just . . . you know . . . flies.

Scott helps out the cause by putting little strobe lights everywhere  (Because werewolves like disco?), and doing completely random flips in the air, for no logical reason whatsoever.

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But at least he’s not doing that ridiculous crab walk thing anymore.

crab man

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“Show-off!”

As for Allison, having been traumatized once by chilling in a cleaning supply closet with this . . .

dead erica

BabyScared

And again by learning that her mom nearly succeeded in murdering her boyfriend . . .

mom bat

Allison decides to cope with her Massive Case of the Sads, by doing what she usually does when she’s feeling blue . . . namely shooting up sh*t .  . .

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The difference is that NOW she’s shooting sh*t for GOOD, and not for evil . . .

Perched high above the world, Allison uses her bow and arrow to lure Crazy Cora and Boyd right into the Scooby Gang’s trap . . . an “empty school.”  You know, because the Scooby Gang has had so much luck battling baddies at the school, in the past . . .

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Isaac notices Allison’s handiwork, and is impressed . . . almost impressed enough to lend her his awesome scarf .  . . but not quite.

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They kill Virgins, don’t they?

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Back at the hospital, Stiles makes a not entirely unexpected, but still massively depressing, discovery . . .

dead heather

Dylan O’Brien knocks it out of the park in this quiet moment that is truly heart wrenching, yet understated, and oddly beautiful   . . .

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A lesser actor would have chewed the scenery here, breaking down into loud sobs.  But Stiles knows that emoting won’t bring his friend back.  And he doesn’t feel as though he deserves pity from Scott’s mom, who happens to be with him at the time, or anyone else.  I imagine a part of him might even feel partly responsible for what has happened . . . and wonder whether he could have somehow prevented it . . .

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Yet Stiles doesn’t dwell on these things.  Instead, he composes himself quickly, and focuses on the matter at hand.  Upon examining the two dead bodies, which, by the way, just seem to be lying around the hospital . . . Stiles immediately determines that the way in which they were killed is inconsistent with a werewolf mauling.  Rather, the deaths, both of which having resulted from a blow to the head, a strangling, and a gutting, seem almost ritualistic.

And then, of course, Stiles figures out what these two sorry corpses have in common . . . THEIR ADVERTISED VIRGINITY.

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That’s right folks, in Beacon Hills the new rule of  to live by is apparently f*&k or die . . .

sex girl boy

Sure enough, our poor bug hating lesbian is revealed to be a virgin as well  . . . a dead virgin.

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“Is it Friday yet?’

Though virgin sacrifices are nothing new in horror fare, they actually fly in the face of the teen slasher trope of virgins being the sole survivors of the story.  The sluts always die first .  . .

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never have sex

Needless to say, I’m betting Poor Stiles wishes he was in a slasher film right about now .  . .

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MTV’s Favorite Antihero Becomes More Hero (and less anti)

Meanwhile, the decidedly non virginal Peter and Derek meet outside the school to discuss the whole Boyd and Cora situation.  An apt pupil of the “Save Your Own Ass” school of thought, Peter advocates letting Boyd and Cora “kill a few homeless dudes” to work off their rage.  Doing this will prevent Derek from having to murder members of his own pack, in order to save virtual strangers.

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Derek seems to seriously consider Peter’s argument.  After all, saving his own ass first, has worked OK for him so far . . . it helped him to become Alpha.

im the alpha

But when the crew manage to successfully trap Boyd and Cora in the boiler room, just a few moments before sunrise, it seems as though Derek might just be able to get away without making the choice.

close door

And he totally would have been able to do it too, were it not for two ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS PLOT OCCURRENCES . . .

(1) The new English teacher for, some reason, feels the need to hang out at school ALL NIGHT grading papers, despite the fact that school has only been in session for about two days   . . . and   . . . on the first day a flock of birds destroyed her entire classroom . . .

scared teach

and

(2) Some genius thought it would be a great idea to put the school supply cabinet in the BOILER ROOM.  You know .. . because it’s always wise to put large stacks of paper near things that have a tendency to EXPLODE and/or CATCH FIRE . . .

paper girl

So, long story short, Mrs. McDamselinDistress winds up locked in the boiler room with a very hungry, very pissed off Boyd and Cora.

What’s a Sexy Derek to do?

ep 9 yeah derek just teenwolf

Ultimately, Derek does the “right thing,” by allowing Boyd and Cora to tear him from limb to limb, so Professor Future Love Interest can live to inappropriately text her students another day . . .

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Then, this happens.  And suddenly, I feel like I’m watching a commercial for Axe Body Spray . . .

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So, yeah, it’s pretty obvious these two beautiful people are eventually going to bang one another.  And I’m glad, for the sole reason that Derek Hale is simply too pretty NOT to be getting laid on a regular basis.

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Of course, right about now, getting Stiles laid is much more important.  Screwing Stiles has officially become a matter of life and death.  So, what do you say, Wolfbangers?  Anyone ready to take one for the team?

handsraised2

Next time on Teen Wolf . . .

next on

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See ya then, WolfStilesbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com] [My Tumblr] [Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Teen Wolf

Risk and Reward – A Recap of Teen Wolf’s “Chaos Rising”

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Risk and Reward . . . according to that teacher with a SERIOUS case of the Crazy Eyes Coach Finstock, these are the two principals that guide the stock market.

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And while that’s true, I would argue that the concept of Risk and Reward guides every aspect of human existence. 

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Think about it this way . . . Throughout our lives, we are faced with about a million choices, everything from the small (What am I going to eat for lunch today?  How should I wear my hair?), to the huge (What career path will I take?  Do I want to get married, and have kids?)

electrifying

Some choices are riskier than others.  The riskier the choice, the bigger the reward you  reap, if you succeed in taking it.  But if you fail, the consequences you suffer from making a riskier choice, are inevitably much larger than the ones that stem from making a safe choice . . .

failing awkward jawline thewinchestrs - Copy

This week on Teen Wolf, the members of our Scooby Gang all engaged in some pretty risky behaviors.  Did their risks pay off?  Would you have made the same choices they did?  Are you feeling lucky, Wolfbangers?

not sure how to stop

No?  Well, on to the recap, anyway . . .

[As always, special thanks to Andre, for the awesome screencaps . . . and for instinctively knowing things like that I’m going to make fun of Allison for misspelling “logos.”  And making it about ten times easier for me to do that.]

Stiles Stilinski: Sex with a minor in a room filled with glass bottles, and expensive wine?  YES.  Unprotected sex?  NO!

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Stiles’ perpetual celibacy, and frustrating . . .  shirtfulness (?) . . .

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. . . particularly in a world where all his male co-stars seem to REALLY love the ladies, and HATE cotton .  . .

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. . . have pretty much become a running gag on the show.

But in the opening moments of Episode 2, Season 3, it seems like Stiles might be able to FINALLY cash in that much-treasured v-card . . . or at least show us a little peek of skin, while attempting to do so . . .

teen wolf allison argent stiles

Invited to the party of a childhood friend, who he hasn’t seem in quite some time, poor Stiles’ eyes seem in danger of popping out of his skull, when the same girl with whom he once played Power Rangers, is now mauling his face with her tongue, pushing him into a basement wine cellar, and aggressively propositioning him for no-frills, first time, sex.

kissed stiles

haha facial expressions

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Since Stiles is arguably the moral backbone of this show, I instantly feared that our hero would end up going all “After School Special” on Heather, lecturing her about the need to make ones first time “special,” by doing it with “someone you love” . . .

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Yes, yes . . . I know, that’s technically the “right answer.”  But Stiles is a hormonally charged teenage boy, for crying out loud . . . a teenage boy, who has just been offered sex with a hot teenage girl!  For Stiles to act any other way than exactly how he did (excited, yet fumbling and ridiculously awkward), would be unrealistic for the character . . .

stiles with wolf hat

Stiles’ “I’m about to get laid” dance . . .

But lest you think Jeff Davis and co. have NO sense of moral responsibility, condoms instantly enter the scene . . .

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condom

Indeed, both Heather and Stiles agree that there is “No Glove, No Love,” as far as they are both concerned . . . even if the only “glove” available, might well be about ten sizes too big for Stiles . . . and might just fit around his weiner like a Where’s Waldo hat . . .

got it

xxl

ruh roh

wheres waldo

Stiles took a risk coming down to the cellar with Heather.  And in running back upstairs to collect the condom, he juggles between two more risks: (1) the risk of STDs and/or Heather prospectively appearing on the next season of Teen Mom versus (2) the risk of her getting brutally mauled by an unseen supernatural creature, in the two minutes it takes him to retrieve a condom from her upstairs bathroom.

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go bye bye

“NOOOO!  Now, I’ll never get to learn what it feels like to have sex with Dylan O’Brien!  Thanks a lot, Unseen Bottle Breaking Killer!”

peter pan

Sorry Stiles . . . no reward for you . . . not this time, anyway . . .

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blue balls

Now, about that mauling . . . On first glance, it appeared like some unforeseen force was breaking all the wine bottles at Heather’s feet.  (Would someone tell me again, why she was barefoot?)

feet

(Does NO ONE wear shoes on this show?)

But, if you recall, after Heather was taken through the window, Stiles returned to a squeaky clean cellar.

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This scenario presents the possibility that (1) the broken bottles were merely a hallucination, inflicted on Heather, to cause her to move back up against the window (making her easy pickings for whatever was on the other side); and (2) since, as far as we know, Heather is a human, with no relation to the wolfpack world, there may be another big bad lurking in Beacon Hills other than the Alpha Pack .  . . possibly the one that is exerting its influence on all the animals in the area . . .

make bunny cry

But really, all that’s just plot filler.  The importance of this whole scene, for me anyway, was that poor Stiles, still remains sans popped cherry . . . and we never got to see him take off his shirt.  A moment of silence, please, dear Wolfbangers, for another chance to see Stiles pects, crashed and burned . . .

burns paper stiles pls

But hey, look on the bright side!  Thanks to Heather (well, actually, Heather’s “big boned” brother . . . though it’s probably best we don’t think about that) now every girl (and guy) in Stiles’ economics class, thinks he has an extra large package . . .

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Perhaps, there’s some hope for our unlucky-in-love hero yet . . .

Isaac Lahey: Trust undead psycho hipster? NO!  Willingly get spine-raped by undead psycho hipster? YES!

I’ll confess I wasn’t exactly on Team Isaac last season.

isaac control

But I must admit, the kid is growing on me . . .

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For an abused child with MAJOR daddy and trust issues, Isaac comes off as surprisingly innocent and childlike . . . a guy who is so deathly in need of a father figure, that he is seemingly willing to trust any weird wolf man, or hot biker chick with advanced weaponry, who shouts orders his way.

puppy love

Well . . . almost anybody . . . There are some folks even Isaac doesn’t like . . .

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And while Isaac’s bizarre innocence, in the face of a life filled with literally nothing but sh*t, is risky and dangerous, it’s also oddly refreshing . . .

happy elena

Because Isaac could have just as easily become a sullen broody loner like Derek, or a sassy sociopath like Peter .  . .

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Instead, he’s Ronald Weasley with fangs . . .

ronald weasley pissed

Though Isaac clearly has qualms about being molested by Peter, so that the latter can “read his mind” regarding the possible whereabouts of Boyd and Erika, he quickly agrees to do it, simply because Derek told him it was cool  . . .

hot derek

isaac look

“Whatever you say, Sexy!”

And what about Peter?  The big bad of Season 1 (and half of Season 2), who made his grand entrance to a THEME song, now sports super tight hipster pants, walks with a sassy swagger, and has the mustache of a gangster from HBO’s Boardwalk Empire?

hipster peter

It seems that Teen Wolf is following in the TVD tradition of converting former Big Baddies into uncomfortable allies, just in time for the Bigger Bad to come along . . .

cannot be killed

My theory?  By the second half of this season The EVIL Alpha Pack will also inevitably join forces with Derek & Co., just in time to battle whatever the heck it was that pulled Heather from the window of her wine cellar . . .

But I’m getting ahead of myself here . . . The important thing is that “EVIL” Peter Hale is back.  And though he’s not nearly as evil as he used to be, boyfriend looks goooooood . . .

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OK . . . so you know, when you were a little kid, and you’d go to the doctor to get shots.  And the doctor, or your mom, or whoever was standing next to you at the time, would always say something like, “This hurts me, more than it hurts you?”

ep 9 bang bang awyeahteen wolf

And, even as a little kid, you knew that was a load of crap, because THAT PERSON, wasn’t the one getting BLUDGEONED WITH A NEEDLE IN THEIR ASS!

Well .  . . in this case, mind raping Isaac really did seem to hurt Peter more than it hurt Isaac . . .

hugsies isaac

I mean check out that facial expression . . . That is most definitely the opposite of an “O” face, if you catch my drift . . .

More like an “OH NO!” face . . .

Oh No Mr. Eric

Based on doing . . . whatever the f*&k it was Peter did to Isaac, he figured out that Baby Wolf had, in fact, stumbled into the Alpha Pack’s lair, and located Boyd and Erika!

ep 10 happy stiles

But . . . he had no clue where they actually were .  . .

verbal keyboard smash

And the pair would pretty much be dead, in less than twenty four hours, if the Scooby Gang didn’t do something to rescue them . . .

sad stiles

Yeah .  . . mind rape is totally overrated . . .

Derek Hale:  Accept help from the two pretty girls who tried to have you killed last season? NO!  Accept help from Stiles, and that new-fangled toy called the Internet?  YES!

If you are one of the five people who have read my Teen Wolf fanfiction, you know that I find the Derek / Allison dynamic interesting. I mean, think about it.  Allison was raised on fear and hatred of werewolves.   Derek was raised on fear and hatred of the hunters, who he grew up believing had murdered his family.  Allison blames Derek for the death of his mother.  Derek blames Allison for going psycho in Season 2, and trying to kill him, and his entire pack.

derek alpha

allison bamf heir of slytherin

There’s angst there . . . tension . . . a lifetime of hatred.  And yet, at their core, Allison and Derek are very much alike.  They are both products of tough and aggressive upbringings.  They mask angst and sadness, with physical toughness, and violence.  They are both trying to be better than those that came before them, but aren’t quite sure they have enough emotional strength, and “goodness” in them to accomplish that . . .

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That’s why, even though the scene during which Allison and Lydia confronted Derek with the matching marks on their arms, and were brutally rebuffed by him, was pretty much filler, it was also, oddly, one of my favorite scenes from the episode . . .

Crystal Reed and Tyler Hoechlin somehow managed to convey all that complexity in the two short scenes they shared with one another.  Derek, understandably, couldn’t bring himself to accept Allison’s help, or her explanations regarding the possible origins of the symbol on her arm . . .   (He needed to hear the same information relayed to him again, later, by Stiles, before he was willing to act on it . . . a decision, which arguably lost him crucial moments in the rescue of Boyd and Erika.)

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As for Allison, though she was willing to put aside her personal feelings to bring this information to Derek, she couldn’t do so without reiterating her disgust of what he represents . . .

But beneath all this, I saw something else growing between these two characters . . . grudging respect, and maybe, just maybe a hint of sexual tension.

derek dream 2 romy kicks ass

Do I think the writers will go there with Derek and Allison, this season?  Maybe not.  But the opportunity exists.  And the writers would be unwise to completely ignore it . . .

P.S. How did the Biker Chick manage to brand the bank logo on the girl’s arms, just using her bare hands?  Was she a tattoo artist from the future?  It would certainly explain that weird light saber-y weapon she de-wolfied the twins with, last week.

On a lighter note, I love that Derek Hale is a 24 year old guy, who . . . even though he literally may have been raised in a barn . . . at least went to high school .  . . and yet still seemingly has no clue how to search for things on Google.

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It looks like someone needs to get some private tutoring lessons from Stiles, STAT!  Am I right, Sterek fans?

Isaac Lahey: Risk death by allowing ones self to be submerged shirtless into a bath of ice water?  YES!  Risk death by allowing ones self to be submerged pantsless in a bath of ice water?  NO!

As if last week’s stomach splicing, and nipple electrocution, and this week’s, spine splicing weren’t painful enough, Poor Isaac was forced to endure even more torture, in the latter half of this week’s episode, when the Scooby Gang tried to DROWN HIM IN AN ICE BATH TO PUT HIM IN A TRANCE, just because THIS GUY told them to do it?

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no no on

Yikes!  Who knew werewolf hypnosis was so complicated?  Whatever happened to swinging a pocket watch in front of someone’s face, and telling them they were getting sleepy?

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Anywhoo, with little encouragement from the rest of the gang, Isaac gladly took off his shirt, like the good little MTV Heartthrob he is destined to become, but kept his pants on . . . because . . . you know . . . shrinkage . . .

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Perhaps, he felt self conscious, under the watchful eye of Stiles and his XXL condom stash . . .

xxl

Trance-fied, VERY cold, and shrinkage free Isaac reveals to the rest of the wolf pack some crucial information about Boyd’s and Erika’s whereabouts . . .

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wake up is

. . . but also that Erika might not be so much . . . um . . . alive . . . anymore.

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In other news, there appears to be another mysterious she-wolf incarcerated with Boyd . . .

cora capture

As Yoda would say, “Thickening . . . the plot is . . .”

Derek Hale and Allison Argent: Break into abandoned, Alpha Pack-filled, bank with little plan or forethought?  YES!  Heed the warnings of others? NO!

Stiles Stilinski is my hero, not only because he’s better at doing Fake Google Searches than Allison Argent . . .

web surf

logos

sookie laughs

But also because he somehow managed to make the logic leap, from a picture of his dad in a newspaper article about an old bank heist, to eventually getting the old floorplans for that bank, and being able to determine exactly how the crooks broke in, all those years ago  . ..

heist study

werewolves not bond villains

I’m telling you . . . in an alternate universe, Stiles and Derek are detectives in a crime procedural buddy cop comedy that my mom watches, after Law and Order SVU. . .

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Need proof?  How about this scene, where Derek proves to Stiles that he can break through a wall of concrete, simply by giving his more diminutive pal, a fist bumping high five . . .

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Now, that must have been some pretty impressive fisting . . .

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Not as impressive as this fisting though . . .

Yet, fisting or no fisting, Derek ultimately decides to bring Scott on his rescue mission, instead of Stiles, because “logical thinkers” tend to be major buzz kills on rescue missions .  . . even logical thinkers with big weiners . . .

abort

Allison also figures out that the Alphas are hiding Boyd and Erika in the old abandoned bank.  And how just she get in, you ask?  By walking in the front door, of course . . .

enter bank

stefan shrug

“That was easy.”

Hmmm . . . maybe Stiles isn’t as great of a thinker as I thought.  After all, he just got bested by the girl who doesn’t know how to spell “logos.”

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Boy this bank is becoming a Teen Wolf Reunion special.  First, Allison runs into the school shrink from last season, who rushes her into a cleaning supply closet for her own safety.  Though, honestly, I’m not really sure how safe that closet is, considering the state of Allison’s new “roommate.”

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BabyScared

Ouch Erika . . . looking a little rough, aren’t we?  Someone’s in need of a SERIOUS makeover.

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What?  She’s dead? NOOOOOO!  Not Erika!  Someone get that biker chick to jump start her nipples, like she did for Isaac?

soon dead

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She’s dead too?  Ohhhh . . . never mind.  Nice knowing ya, Wolf Barbie . . .

Talk about Bad Timing.  Not two seconds after Scott and Derek arrive at the bank, do Stiles and Peter, back home, realize that the Alphas have actually lured Scott and Derek there, as part of an EEEEEVIIIIIL plan.

busted scott der

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You see, this bank is made of some weird material that scatters moon light.  And the Alphas have basically been keeping Boyd, Erika, and . . . Mystery Girl there for three months (I hope they at least let them shower), preventing them from turning into a werewolf, just so Derek’s busting through the ceiling would expose them to the moonlight, making them go super apesh*t.

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That’s a whole lotta work, just to kill a couple of wolves, you probably could have just pounced on and killed on your own, right?

Except, here’s the thing . . . last week, we learned that the Alpha’s ultimate goal is to have Derek snuff out Scott, as a potential threat.  And, perhaps, getting him to do that will involve manipulating Derek into joining their pack.  From what we’ve learned in the past, the Alphas in this pack, all murdered members of their entire pack, in order to become part of this one.  Perhaps, it was the Alpha’s intent to capture Derek’s entire pack, and make them all moon-crazed, so Derek would have to put them down, thus inadvertently rendering himself eligible for membership in the ULTIMATE Alpha Pack.

im the alpha

I suspect they didn’t count on Isaac getting away, or Erika . . . possibly committing suicide to save her pack, or getting mortally wounded while trying to escape to warn Derek?

erica and allison

I’m still guessing here.  But if the pack’s ultimate goal is to strong arm Derek’s loyalty, it makes sense that the other female wolf they captured, has even stronger ties to Derek than Boyd, Erika, or even Isaac . . .

She is  . . . wait for it . . . his BABY SISTER!

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Huh . . . you say . . . but I thought Derek’s sister was DEAD?

nodding oh yeah

I thought everyone in Derek’s family was dead .  . . well . . . except for Derek . . . and now Peter . . . and well . . .

looking good peter hale

YOU THOUGHT WRONG!

You could just smell the sibling rivalry in the room  . . . along with the ammonia from the cleaning closet, and the stench of three-month unwashed werewolves.  This is going to be GOOOOD!

cora

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Boyd and .  . .  CORA . . .  that’s her name by the way, warn Derek and Scott to leave, before they fully wolf out.

But then, someone traps them in place with a circle of MOUNTAIN ASSSSSSSHHHHHH  . . .

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Who would do such a thing?  Who would betray our heroes?

counselor

oh hell to the no

Mrs. Morell, you traitorous hussy!  And after your friend the vet worked so hard to almost kill Isaac in an ice cold bath to help him find you!

traitorous

Some people just don’t know how to show gratitude . . .

Worry not, Wolf Friends.  Allison, fresh out of her ammonia closet / grave is here to rescue you.  She pushes aside the mountain ash, freeing those two rabid werewolves from captivity, and saving Derek and Scott from inevitable demise . . .

clap for bonus

I mean, so what if these two end up devouring all of Beacon Hills?  At least our two sexy stud muffins are safe, right?  Priorities . . .

trademark scott face

Derek, who has never exactly been one for subtlety, decides this is the perfect time to force Scott to tell Allison about that time her dearly departed mother tried to murder his ass . . . AWK-WARD. . .

free ali

“Whatchu talkin about, Derek?”

Meanwhile, back at the Martin House, Lydia wakes up screaming . . . again.

ahhhhhhhhhhh

thescream

sookie shut the fuck up

Oh no, Teen Wolf!   Are you trying to tell me that this entire episode was Lydia’s dream?  No?  Maybe she’s upset, because she just found out they canceled Smash?

ep 9 stiles hale tumblr going to die

lyd screams

“But I LOVE musicals!”

Tune in next week to find out.

See ya then, Wolfbangers!

hi stiles

[www.juliekushner.com][My Tumblr] [Fangirls Forever]

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Filed under Teen Wolf

The Katherine Pierce Project – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “American Gothic”

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Greetings Fangbangers!  Have you ever wondered what TVD would be like, if Katherine was its leading lady, instead of Elena?  Try this premise on for size: Nina Dobrev stars as Katherine Pierce,  an “ordinary” vampire gal trying to get her life back on track, in the “wacky” small town she’s compelled to universally adore her.  But when a REALLY Old Flame re-enters her life (Daniel Gillies, as Elijah Mikaelson) . . .

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 .  . . will Katherine be willing to give up the “normal”world she’s built for herself, for a second chance at True Love?

Also starring Sookie Stackhouse as “the Wacky Best Friend” . . .

not into vampire

Regina Mills as “That Bitchy Neighbor Who USED to Control the Town, until Katherine Came Along” . . .

not happy want to

Victoria Grayson as “The Other Bitchy Neighbor” . . .

victoria grayson

Nick Miller as “The Hot Bartender / Handyman” . . .

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 . . . and Daenerys Targaryen as “That Crazy Lady Who is Always Babbling About Her Dragons” . . .

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Coming this Fall to NBC (because the CW doesn’t do Sitcoms . . . or shows featuring characters over the age of 25).

With a shiny new locale, and two previously-absent characters taking center stage for much of the hour . . .  

you cannot beat

ELIJAH . . . .

love youuuuu sookieverse

 .  . . this week’s pre-hiatus (Another one?  Already?) installment of TVD certainly felt like a different show.

Personally, I think it made for a nice change of pace.

happy elena

So, ease on down to Death Diner, and don’t forget to tip kill your waitress . . .

dead waitress 1

 . . . because it’s time for another TVD-cap . . .

Dark Clouds and Silver Linings

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After hours on the road, Thelma and Louise Elena and Rebekah conveniently take a rest stop at the one town that just so happens to contain Katherine Pierce.  They know they are in the right place, because Elena’s roadside snack mistakes her for Katherine, just seconds before the Big Bite . . .

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As I suggested in the introduction, I  love the idea of Katherine compelling an entire town to be her Happy Meals.  And I kind of wish we got to explore it further.  The way the townspeople were compelled to ONLY remember Katherine when SHE was talking to them, and not when anyone else inquired after her (as Rebekah tried to do, in the first scene)?  Absolutely brilliant!

damon approves

I was also intrigued by the fact that the supposedly stone cold Katherine appeared to be taking into account all the Bite Fetish Preferences of her various food sources.  Case in point, that one chick preferred to be bitten on the wrist, and actually appeared hurt and offended when Elena-as-Katherine seemingly ignored her wishes.

the kat always look out for myself  petrova-gifs

 That’s kind of chivalrous of Katherine, don’t you think?  Especially when you consider how many people she likely feeds from in that town, and the wide range of wacky ways on which each probably prefers to be fed.  How does she keep track of them all?  Perhaps, she keeps a list somewhere?  Or maybe even. . . A DIARY?

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“Today the mailman told me he would prefer I only feed on him, by biting him in the ass.  Too much?”

Silver Lining: Rebekah and Elena ultimately find Katherine.

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Dark Cloud: Upon being discovered, Katherine promptly kicks Elena’s ass.  (Then again, depending on how you feel about Elena, maybe that could be construed as a silver lining too . . .)

elena no point

Also on the road, on the hunt for THE CURE . . .

cure one more time

 . . . are Stefan and Damon.

brother to brother salvatores 1864 love

Silver lining: Damon finds his precious car, which the girls abandoned on the road, in favor of a newer shinier model . . .

Rose

Dark cloud: It’s out of gas.

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While refilling the tank, Damon and Stefan agree that New Elena kind of sucks ass, because she steals ugly blue ribbons from cheerleaders hair, eats people without wiping off her mouth, steals cars, and, perhaps, most importantly, won’t sleep with either of them . . .

good sexx

Silver Lining: Mutual rejection by Elena = Salvatore Brotherly Bonding, something we haven’t really seen in a while on this show.

brother to brother stefan damon

“Kiss me, you fool!”

Dark Cloud: This means that we’re going to have to wait until Damon takes another shower for us to see him naked again. 🙂

more fun naked

Silver Lining:  Damon showers more than any character on this show.

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3 11 bamf wet damon lohan

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So, right about now, you are probably wondering what the deal is with this whole “Dark Cloud / Silver Lining thing.  Is this my new gimmick?  Is it going to replace my obsession with Surprised Monkey . . .

surprised-face

Scared Baby . . .

BabyScared

 . . . or this completely random picture of Stiles from Teen Wolf?

nodding oh yeah

No.  Honestly, I just really liked the way Stefan said “Dark Cloud” in this scene . . .

Truth: if Stefan said the words “Dark Cloud” like that in every episode, I would be much more attracted to his character than I am now . . .

stefan salvatore fist pump best

 . . . just not enough to become a Stelena fan.  Sorry.  I’m not sorry.

stefan crying gif

A Beautiful Place to Die

Meanwhile, back in Mystic Falls, Klaus has a really bad boo-boo, in a Naughty Place that he can’t scratch.

2 8 kurt ooh

Sorry ladies, I’m talking about his back . . .

boo nolan

Silver Lining: Caroline comes to his rescue, and is being all flirty with his shirtless, in pain, possibly dying, ass, by cupping his face in her hands, and giving him big pouty googly eyes.

American Gothic

klaroline lovers

Dark Cloud: Oops, did I say Caroline?  I meant Silas, who decided to make himself look like Caroline, just for sh*ts and giggles.

klaus tums

Wait . . . so this guy is a cross dresser, now?

big bang

(BTW, “Caroline” makes a much better Silas than Professor Bushyhead Dumpy Dork . . . just saying.)

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Back in Katherine Town, Klaus Barbie Rebekah, has come to Evilena’s rescue,  and introduces Katherine to a little ass kicking, herself.  The two hot vamps muse about what a beautiful place the town is to die.  Meh, I’ve seen much prettier places to die . . .

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Everyone’s hungry.  So, the three girls take a break from their mutually assured,  oddly sexually charged ass kicking of one another, to eat some pie at the local Death Diner.  That’s such a Dude thing to do, isn’t it?  Settle your differences with fisticuffs, and then go eat immediately after, as if you all didn’t just try to kill one another . . .

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Doppleganger Hijinks 2: Electric Boogaloo

At Death Diner, the Search for the Cure has hit a bit of a snag.  Katherine won’t give up the goods . . .

the kat thank me brought cure

 . . . so the three girls sort of just hang around acting passive aggressive with one another, while occasionally stabbing one another with forks.

fork to kill self

Then, Elena hits pay dirt, when she notices a conveniently placed appointment on Katherine’s phone with the mysterious “EM.”

draco malfoy facepalm

Tsk, tsk Katherine.  One would have thought you’d have more creative nicknames for the dude you’re screwing than just his initials.

Anywhoo, Elena decides that she’s going to impersonate Katherine at this meeting, something I’ve been wanting her to do, since Katherine first appeared.   You see, Katherine was always actually really GOOD at playing Elena.  And it was always my secret hope that Elena would SUCK at playing Katherine, and that it would be hilarious to watch.  I wasn’t wrong.

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Kudos to Nina Dobrev for instinctively realizing that Elena is a bad actress, and using that to her best advantage.  Everything about this scene is filled with win, from Elena’s ridiculous exaggeration of Katherine’s mannerisms, to Rebekah’s acting advice “make your voice deeper . . . more mannish,” to the look on Katherine’s face, when Elena insists on taking those killer high heels.

never pass for me kat

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Back in Mystic Falls, Caroline is also suffering from a case of mistaken identity.  Klaus thinks she’s SILAS AGAIN!  He’s pouting and telling her to leave him alone, like a 10-year old, getting accosted by a bully.

stop hounding me

crying baby

Then, Caroline makes some inane comment about prom committee, and Klaus realizes that this type of shallow, single-mindedness just can’t be faked.  HIS LADY LOVE IS HERE TO RESCUE HIM!  HOORAY!

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Back in K-Town, Elena meets Katherine’s “friend.”  SURPRISE!  Not really.  It’s Elijah.

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Bigger surprise?  He starts eating “Katherine’s” face.  And DAMN is he a good kisser!

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Once again, I’m wishing I was watching the Katherine Show, so we could see what these two are like between the sheets.  I’m thinking it would be pretty torrid!

sex girl boy

Reading the message boards, I notice that quite a few people were bothered by this development . . . specifically, the way it “tarnished” the image of Elijah as the consummate gentleman, the “smart brother,” in the words of Rebekah, i.e. the only male character on this show immune to sexual manipulation by girls who look like Nina Dobrev.

elijah wont show

(For the record, while Elijah is still my favorite Original, flaws and all, I’m pretty sure the title of “Smart Brother,” should go to Kol.  No fawning over teenagers for that guy!  Then again, I guess being smart didn’t do him much good, in the long run, considering he spent more time in a coffin than any of his siblings.)

burning kol

I certainly understand that sentiment, and felt the same way to an extent.  And yet, the new knowledge that Elijah occasionally thinks with his weiner . . .

boys all same

 . . . does make him seem more three-dimensional and real.  And this “character veracity” will be important, once the character is carrying his own series.

brothertobrother elijah honor in revenge

But back to that kiss.  To Elijah’s credit, he knows enough about tonguing Katherine to determine when he isn’t doing it.  And this is one of those times.  Ruh-roh, Evilena!

Hide and Seek

Back at Death Diner, the Salvatore Brothers join Katherine and Beks at their table.  “There goes the neighborhood,” indeed!  In the course of a single episode, what was once a One-Vampire Town is slowly becoming . . . well . . . Mystic Falls!

Katherine glibly reveals that she basically set up Elena to get murdered by her “friend” Elijah, and all but sky writes that her and the Original Vamp are currently doing the Horizontal Mambo, on a regular basis.

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 Salvatore Squared and Rebekah pretend to be disgusted by this.  But we all know they are secretly turned on / jealous.  Well . . . except for maybe Rebekah, who really shouldn’t be thinking about her big brother that way . . .

3 9 ele beks stake the-chosen

After some maneuvering, the group decides to split up, with Katherine grudgingly leading Damon and Beks to THE CURE, while Stefan copes with the Evilena Hostage situation.  Clearly, Stefan got the better end of the deal, since his “problem” was solved with a simple phone call.

“Don’t kill my version of Nina Dobrev, and I won’t kill yours,” Elijah offers, more or less.

stefan shrug

Elsewhere in K-Town, Katherine takes Beks and Damon to a house she claims is hers, though it’s pretty obvious she either killed its original occupants, or compelled them to give it to her.  She did, however, have time to put her own touches on the place . . . like have an empty fishtank filled with vervain water installed right in the middle of the living room.  Classy!

singing-fish-singing

“What a waste of a good tank!”

(By the way, remember back in Season 1, when vervain was this rare-hard-to-find plant that Uncle Salvatore was growing in small quantities in his basement?  Now, apparently the Mayor of Mystic Falls has enough to taint the ENTIRE town’s water supply.  And Katherine manages to get herself an entire tank full in East Bumblef*ck, PA.  What gives?)

So, Damon is reasoning out loud all of the different places Katherine would be most likely to hide the cure in her home.  And at this point, I’m literally screaming at my television.  “It’s in the SOAPDISH! CHECK THE SOAPDISH!”

soap dish smash

But instead, Damon checks the fish tank.  So, this happens . . .

fish tank

Should have gone with the soapdish.  That’s all I’m saying . . .

thinking damon bitemesomerhalder

To Damon’s credit, there is SOMETHING in that fish tank that looks suspiciously cure-shaped.  Katherine ends up giving it Beks before bolting.

Then Beks holds the little bottle aloft, doing an excellent impression of Smeagol from Lord of the Rings . . .

my precious

“My precious!”

cureee

 . . . before downing that red goo like it’s a jello shot she’s just been given by the character James Franco plays in Spring Breakers . . .

time to experiment

Stefan runs in just in time to say, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO,” for the second time in two episodes.  But to no avail.

surprised face stefan

Glug, glug, Beks drinks the cure and promptly passes out (because everyone knows that James Franco’s character in Spring Breakers roofies all his jello shots).

When Beks wakes up she’s super excited about the whole “being average” thing.  She feels FREE!  She feels ALIVE!  She feels like getting knocked up, and popping out puppies, ASAP!  She feels . . .

havent lived

 . . . like getting a stake thrown at her head by Damon?

And just when you think this will be the shortest Cured Vampire Life Ever, Beks catches the stake with her hand, and her wound immediately heals.

Human?  Not so much . . .

Sorry Beks, it looks like you just got yourself Katherine-d . . .

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Also finding fake stuff?  Caroline, who’s digging inside the blood, guts and goo of Klaus’ back, like he’s a turkey she’s stuffing.

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(I bet Klaus wished she was really “stuffing” him, if you know what I mean.)

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This whole vampire bloodline conceit actually works well in this case, because it makes Klaus a “Special Snowflake,” just like Elena used to be . . . only this time it’s actually for a good reason.  Elena is a Special Snowflake, because if she croaks, the Salvatores will never get to bone her again.

bored now elena

Klaus is a special snowflake, because if HE dies, the Salvatore Brothers won’t be able to bone ANYBODY ever again, because they will die too . . . and so will Katherine . . . and Tyler . . . and Caroline . . . and Elena.  Because Klaus is pretty much indirectly responsible for the vampirization of the entire cast.

santa klaus

Caroline takes a pause from Back-Digging to remind Klaus (as she does every week) what a little sh*t he is, and how, even though she thinks he’s hot (especially shirtless), the fact that he’s tried to kill her and her friends multiple times, and succeeded a few, is kind of a major turn-off.

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She thinks Klaus should let the guy she’s been boning return to Mystic Falls, because that would be a Major Turn ON!

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Wait . . . what?

Klaus yells back, more or less, “Don’t sass me, Little One!  I’m your Big Bad Special Snowflake!”

Then, POOF!  All of Klaus’ pain disappears . . . basically because it was never there in the first place.

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Silas, you scheming Mind-Rapist, you!

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Klaus thanks Caroline profusely for the magically curative powers of her Incessant Nagging. And it’s an oddly sweet moment . . . or at least as oddly sweet a moment can be, when you consider that Klaus is leaving the show in a couple of episodes.  And these two probably aren’t going to “happen” romantically, before then.

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Let this be a lesson to all you couples out there.  The next time your boyfriend or girlfriend chides you for being a pain in the ass.  Just tell them you are keeping them from feeling their imaginary back pain!

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The Real Deal

Back in K-Town, Elijah is holding Elena hostage, so that the Salvatore Brothers and his sister don’t kill Katherine.  But because Elijah is so civilized, this hostage situation involves genial smiles and polite conversation.

hi im elijah

(Remember back in Season 2, when Elijah kidnapped Elena for the first time, and he was the Scariest Hostage Taker EVER?  A lot has changed since then . . .)

hide from elijah

Elijah wants to know what happened to Elena?   She used to be such a nice girl . . . the kind of girl to whom you write elegant missives about the nature of her beautiful soul!  Now, she’s a total sh*t!

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Elena calmly explains how she became a total sh*t when Elijah’s girlfriend killed her brother.

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Then, to add insult to injury, she adds that she burned his love letter to her.  What a dirtbag move!

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Elijah seems genuinely bummed out about the death of JerBear.  (The two shared the same dedication to hair care products, after all.)  But he’s obviously more bummed out about the loss of those elegantly written sort-of letters.  Elijah is pretty much the William Darcy of TVD . . .

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Elena continues to needle Elijah, reminding him that Katherine is 100% manipulating him so that he can broker a peace treaty on her behalf with Klaus.  And Elijah just looks so sad to hear this, that I cheer when Katherine comes from behind and breaks Elena’s neck.  B*tch had it coming!

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But then Elijah gives Katherine the cold shoulder about the whole JerBear Murder, which has come to symbolize for him their entire relationship . . . a Tragic Sham, not to mention a Waste of Good Hair!

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To Katherine’s credit, she looks genuinely saddened by Elijah’s sudden rejection.  Though, at this point, it’s uncertain whether that sadness, comes from the actual loss of sensational sex with Elijah (which would certainly make ME cry, if I was her), or the fact that she’s pretty much just earned herself another 500 years of running from Klaus.

the kat kiss me or kill me

Whatever the real reason, Katherine makes strides to prove her loyalty to Elijah, by obtaining the ACTUAL cure (it was hiding in the Bite-Me-in-the-Wrist Chick’s house, from the beginning of the episode), and offering it up to Elijah to do with it what he will.

Elijah then reunites with his baby sister.  And the two of them head back to Mystic Falls. (In another stolen car, I presume?)

3 18 beks nice life salvatore falls

Back at Death Diner, Stefan and Damon continue to nag Elena about taking the cure.  So, she gets mad, and kills a waitress . . . in broad daylight . . . in front of EVERYONE.  (Though, I guess those who actually remember what happened will blame it on Katherine).  Elena warns the boys to stop trying to cure her, or she’ll keep killing random extras on the show.

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“Killing random extras on the show?  But that’s our job?”  Damon pouts.

open heart surgery

“I know!”  Stefan commiserates.  “Evilena sucks.  Her and I are SO broken up.  It’s high time I got a life,” he adds.

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And it only took him about three-quarters of a season to figure that out!

clap for bonus

Next week on TVD . . . hiatus.

damon soulful crying

The week after that . . . hiatus.

sick of crying

But after that, this . . .

Some are speculating that the Evilena in these promos is actually Katherine, given the focus in multiple shots on the bracelet on her wrist . . . a bracelet that looks remarkably similar to the daylight one Katherine refused to take off in this week’s episode.  But would Katherine risk returning to Mystic Falls just to play a trick on the Salvatore Brothers at prom?  Tune in two weeks from now to find out.

waves

Until next time, Fangbangers!

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Apocalypse Eventually? – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Because the Night”

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Greetings, Fangbangers!  And welcome to the End of the World!

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The Heroes have failed.  The Bad Guys have won.  And the Apocalypse is imminent.

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Now, there’s nothing left to do, but wait until the Gates to the Other Side open, and Evil swallows us whole . . .

wait here

Still waiting .  . .

thinking damon bitemesomerhalder

Any minute now .  . .

dont feel anything

It’s coming .  . .really . . . I promise . . .

3 3 bored honour in

*whistles uncomfortably*

awkward 2

Did I say the Apocalypse was NOW?  I meant NEXT WEEK!

worst apocalypse ever

This week on The Vampire Diaries, Silas WINS . . .

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Elena gets a haircut. . .

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And an ill timed commercial break deprives us of Rooftop Sex . . .

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Let’s review, shall we?

[This weeks screencaps are brought to you by screencapped.net.]

Bloody Big Apple

1977

It’s 1977 in New York City.  Disco isn’t dead yet.  Bell bottoms are still cool.  And there’s a Dead Guy lying in the street.

dead damon

victims

Or is there?

swak

*slurp, slurp . . .*

That’s right, boys and girls.  Different decade.  Same old vampire tricks . . .

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And yet, with generous amounts of guyliner, and a couple clever pop culture references (Son of Giusseppe, anyone?), Damon Salvatore manages to make what could have been a tired scene seem somehow fresh . . . not to mention way funnier than a double homicide has any right to be.  Because, he’s just cool like that.

damon eternal stud

Also, kudos to the music department for getting the rights to Talking Heads “Psycho Killer.”  When it comes to matching a song to a scene, it really doesn’t get much more perfect than this . . .

Of course, my favorite TVD Musical Moment will ALWAYS remain Damon’s dance with Vicki in Season 1 to Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.”

But this one came a close second.  What’s YOUR favorite TVD Musical Moment?

A Silas Hunting We Will Go

silas big fat problem

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defans jeremy hulk

When Stefan finds out Silas has been skulking around Mystic Falls, and draining the hospital blood supply, he immediately calls his ex-boyfriend Klaus for help.

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This, of course, totally pisses off Stefan’s New Girl Friday, Caroline.

caroline carter

Did I say pisses her off, I mean secretly thrills her in a Sexual Way . . .

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Such is the curse of the Good Girl, who longs for the Bad Boy, but hates herself for it . . .

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And when it comes to Bad Boys, Klaus pretty much takes the cake, in Caroline’s life.  After all, this IS the guy who killed her boyfriend’s mother and her best friend’s Useless Aunt, banished her boyfriend to the Great Beyond, and was responsible for almost poisoning Caroline, herself, to death with werewolf venom . . . twice.

calories

bite

But he draws her ponies, and triangles on a map.  And he buys her expensive things.  (DREAMY!)

3 11 klaroline gift from klaus 1 loveablesins

my little pony

ride the pony

Did I mention he has an accent?

That’s right, Klaroline fans.  Though, when it comes to snagging Caroline, up to this point, Klaus has had about as much game, as Charlie Brown on a football field .  . .

football

. . . he definitely made some headway into her heart, this week . .  .

klaus cheers

from the group geometry lesson .  . . to the Walk in the Woods . . .

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. . . to the come hither stares the pair were giving one another throughout the episode .  . .

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Something is definitely brewing here, Sports Fans.  And then Klaus did the one thing that is sure to send Caroline zooming right into his Dr. Evil Underoos . .  .

santa klaus

He REJECTED HER!

angry caroline

“As IF!”

But I’m getting ahead of myself, here.  For now, all you need to know is that our Blonde Vampire Trio has located Silas Bushyhead, by finding on a map, the two places where he is most likely to perform his next massacre . . .

The plot . . . it’s thickening . . .

A New York Sh*tty Flashback

This one time .  . . at Band Camp . . . I turned off my humanity, and started eating everyone in New York . . .

rawr damon

So begins, Damon’s Bedtime Story to Elena.

bed elena

And of course, every Bedtime Story has to have a Fairy Godmother . . .

lexi shortcake

Good ole, Lexie!  Talk about a Girl with Bad Boy Complex.  This reoccurring vampiress never met a Humanity Free Salvatore she didn’t want to fix.

lexie damon

But while “therapy” for Stefan involved tying him to a chair for months on end, and draining him dry, her methods of curing Damon were a bit more . . . unorthodox.

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Honestly, who could blame Damon for not wanting to restart that pesky humanity switch?  From the sexy neck shares, to the long nights spent drinking and dancing, this flashback read more like The Perks of Being a Vampire II: Electric Boogaloo than any sort of cautionary tale against bad vamp behavior!

suck face

And when Damon started fixing those Puppy Dog Eye Things in Lexie’s direction, and stroking her ego (among other lady parts), by claiming his love for her CURED HIM OF EVIL, I knew instantly he was full of crap.  (Even the most casual TVD fan knows that Damon Salvatore was a one-woman vamp for about 145 years, and that woman was sure as hell NOT LEXIE.)

the kat eating apple petrova gifs

But still, like the Most Gullible Vampire Ever, I found myself eagerly awaiting the start of some good, old fashioned humanity free Damon Sex .  . .

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And then those bastards cut to commercial!

soap dish smash

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Oh the humanity!

kids cry

Seriously, since when did the CW become PBS!  They skipped over the night, and went straight to MORNING?!  COME ON!  Even ABC Family gives us Naked Foreplay!

spoby sex

Anywhoo, I guess it isn’t supposed to matter, because the whole Seduction Thing was all just a scheme on Damon’s part to get Lexie locked up on the roof, without her sunscreen ring, so he could ditch her self-righteous ass.

thirsty damon 2

But still . . . a little skin would have been nice . . . just sayin’

the show

Feeding Family Style

Back in the present day, Damon’s gabbing on the phone with Stefan, who’s back in Mystic Falls, while Elena is busy getting the FASTEST Hair Color / Cut EVER.  (Maybe the hairdresser is a vampire too?)

phone 1

STEFAN: “Previously, on The Vampire Diaries . . .”

phone 2

DAMON: “Seriously, isn’t this supposed to be Elena’s job?  I don’t want to have to listen to this.  What, just because she has her humanity turned off, she gets a free pass on in-script recapping?  I’m contacting SAG!”

I like Elena’s new look . . . I do.  And in general, I enjoyed Nina Dobrev’s new take on humanity-free Elena this week.  She just seemed less robotic, and more mischievous . . . She seemed like she was actually having a good time being bad, for a change.

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My one gripe?  This Elena seems a lot less like Humanity Free Elena, and more like . . . Regular Katherine, even down to the bigger hair, and more stylish clothes.  I have a feeling that this is going to make next week, when the two start sharing the screen again VERY CONFUSING.

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But I digress, it turns out that Damon has some ulterior motives for his little Humanity Vacation Road Trip.  You guys remember Will from last week?

its will dying

Well, apparently, he was well known in New York City vampire circles as a Fake ID maker . . . or rather, a Real ID taker, who gave dead people’s ID’s to vampires on the run . . . And I bet you will never guess who Will’s favorite client was . . .

Ding! Ding! Ding!  Katherine Petrova, that’s right!

the kat thank me brought cure

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So, Damon’s Master Plan is to hunt down Katherine, swipe The Cure from her fingertips, and shove it down Elena’s throat, along with her morning Blood Breakfast.  Sounds easy, right?

shakes head

The only problem is that Elena’s on to his little scheme, and has some plans of her own for The Cure .  . . plans that involve it being given to her Brand New Bestie, instead . . . Rebekah.

crushing beks moonlight-dream

Woah!  Who ever thought that these two sworn enemies would end up partying together, and drinking from the same neck . . . literally?

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Apparently, Damon’s little pep talk to Rebekah, last week, about humans being boring, failed to convince the Original She-Vamp that her future shouldn’t be paved with mortality, and a bevy of Klaus Barbie Babies . . .

BabyScared

Now, I know this makes me a total traitor, but I kind of like the idea of a Human Rebekah.  She wants it more than anyone else.  Why shouldn’t she get it?

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And while I’m still quite positive that this storyline is going to end with the cure inadvertently being shoved down Damon’s throat, I have to admit that I’m with Team Elenbekah on this one . . .

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So, to review, Damon is playing Elena.  Elena is playing Damon.  And Rebekah is definitely NOT playing with This Guy . . .

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Now, that we know the Teams, we can start keeping score!

stefan salvatore fist pump best

Damon, thanks to Stefan’s uncanny ability to remember all his ex-girlfriend’s birthdays, finds a paper in Will’s apartment, listing all of Katherine’s known addresses.  (Score 1 for Damon).

ian says awesome

Then, Elena seductively brings him on the roof, for what Damon thinks will be some Lexie-inspired nookie, but is actually a game of Back-Pocket snatch and grab (Score 1 for Elena, Score -25 for Delena fans hoping for a little rooftop action from their favorite lovebirds).

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But Damon catches on to Elena’s scheme, and pries the paper back from her greedy little hands.  (Score 2 for Damon, 1 for Elena).

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Then, Rebekah pops up, seemingly out of nowhere, and breaks Damon’s neck!!  (Score 69 for Rebekah, Score 2 for Elena, and Score -25 for the temporarily dead Damon).

got to be kidding

In the final round, Rebekah, and Elena head off in Damon’s car, with his precious address list, while Damon naps off his death on the rooftop of that seedy New York bar.

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(Score 169 for Rebekah and Elena, Score -125 for Snoozing Damon, and Score 1,025 for Lexie, who, somewhere up in Vampire Purgatory, just got the best Poetic Justice of her unnaturally long life . . .)

Talk about Vampire Girl Power!

bitch mode activated

Binge and Purge – Wiccan Style

just met

“Hey, I just met you.  And now you’re crazy . . .”

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call witch

“So I’ll call all my witch friends .  . .”

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“And kill you, maybe?”

Meanwhile, back in Mystic Falls, Silas Bushyhead is still Svengali-ing Bonnie into murdering 12 people, who P.S., just so happen to have to be witches.

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Way to not support the Sisterhood of the Traveling Nosebleeds, BonBon!

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exist to me

dark willow

Silas Bushyhead’s plan really sets into motion, when Bonnie goes all Stephen King’s Carrie on the windows in her dad’s house.

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So dad does what any rational father would do in this situation . . . sends his daughter off in the woods to meet with his vampire ex-wife’s crazy witch friend, and her 11 teen minions?

stupid bitch chasing the ghost

Is Ridiculously Bad Parenting contagious?  Because it definitely seems like an epidemic in Mystic Falls.

nodding oh yeah

As much as I abhor me some Bonnie, even I have to admit the Witch Exorcism scene was pretty nifty, with Bonnie adding white eyeballs to her usual repertoire of Bleeding from the Nose and Whining . . .

white eyes

beautiful eyes haha

Then, Stefan . . . bless his heart, pops on the scene, and says, “WAIT!  Stop the exorcism, Bonnie’s working for SILAS!”

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To which, The Witch, replies . . . “Eh, no biggie!  We’ll just kill Bonnie.  We were half way there, anyway . . .”

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(Sounds like a plan to me!)

Of course, Stefan’s lame attempt at rescue ended up playing right into Bushyhead’s plans.  Because, minutes later, Caroline KILLS the head witch . . .

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.  .  . and all the others immediately fall dead, domino-style (which was also pretty unintentionally hilarious to watch).

And so, the Apocalypse has finally come to Mystic Falls . . .maybe.

Klaus, who earlier in the day gave Caroline a geometry lesson about equilateral Expression Triangles, now gives her another one, about how killing TWELVE witches, and OPENING THE GATES OF HELL, to save one REALLY annoying one, isn’t exactly a fair trade in the scheme of Good versus Evil.

killed 12

Caroline is SAD.  Caroline is VULNERABLE.  Caroline wants comfort.  In other words, Klaus is SO IN . . .

fantastic

. . . which is probably why he rejects her ass . . .

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Congratulations Charlie Brown Klaus.  It looks like you finally got that football, away from Lucy, after all!

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P.S. It turns out Bonnie has amnesia about her entire Bring It On: Apocalypse Mini Series.

get off island

This means, she has to learn about JerBear’s death ALL OVER AGAIN.  Might I suggest waiting until Season 4 of TVD comes out on Blue Ray . . .

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Bushwack . . . ing off?

Then Bushyhead Silas has to come and totally harsh Klaus’ buzz, by rubbing it in about the whole Apocalypse Thing, and staking his ass . . .

3 9 klaus pissed love hate in between

BASTARD!

Next week on TVD . . . did I hear someone say, Doppelganger Hijinx?

Oh, and what the heck is up with Dog-on-a-Leash Klaus, and . . . is that Silas!Caroline?

Color me intrigued . . . until next time, Fangbangers!

waves

[www.juliekushner.com][Fangirls Forever]

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Elena the Cheerleader Slayer – A Recap of The Vampire Diaries’ “Bring it On”

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Welcome back, Fangbangers!   This week on TVD, we got a chance to meet BAAAAAD Elena.  For those who are confused, BAAAAD Elena is actually not all that different from Good Elena.  She just wears less clothes, and eats more people!  (After all, perpetual nudity does cause one to work up an appetite . . . or so I’ve heard.)

freaking hungry

Also, in this episode, Klaus, the thousand-year old vampire drawer of ponies, ugly snowflakes, and random shapeless mounds of what look like poop “artist” extraordinaire, FINALLY GOT LAID, thus making him a hero for geriatrics everywhere!

klaus cheers

funny face grandpa

OK, so, it may not have been the most eventful TVD episode ever (or the second most, or even the eighth most).  But I guess after the doom and gloom of “Stand by Me,” the writers thought we were in need of something a little lighter . . . like a cheerleading competition!

spirit fingers

So, tighten up that high ponytail, puff up your pom-poms, and, for heaven sakes, leave that blue hair ribbon at home, because it’s time to “BRING IT ON!”