We kissed, now it’s weird.
Okay, I was walking my dog this week when it suddenly occurred to me that I feel, somehow, like the fourth of the four coffins is Katherine. I get tired of thinking about who-all the Klaus relatives are, but I can wish, right?
So this week was my favourite kind of Vampire Diaries. Lots of emotions and feeling, fewer hearts actually hitting the floor. Most of the episode really struck my fancy so I want to address the one thing that didn’t right off the top.
The Tyler/Caroline/Her Dad story was a little bit absurd to me. Sometimes these weird combinations can work, but more often it’s the story room going ‘well, if all these people are over here at Bonnie’s Mom’s, what the hell are we going to do with Tyler and Caroline?” Specifically, it bugged because we got nothing out of it. I know Caroline’s not Elena, but between the last time her dad was in town and the birthday vows she made, I thought she was finished doing anything for his approval and wish the story’d gone another way entirely, like that she and Tyler ran him out of town. The boring paternalism of the story – never mind the fact that it’s fake, and that Caroline’s dad just gets his rocks off messing with vampires – did nothing for me.
I realize it was partly a window into Alaric’s new girlfriend, ‘all-female-doctors-are-named-Meredith’. But we know well enough that she can’t be what she says she is, as well as that adult women on this show never keep their promises (unless they’re dumb, and then they die).
In fact, it’s a bit Girl Who Owned a City. Our guys are all 18, but still believe, in the not-so-hidden allegories where vampire = gay, that being one doesn’t preclude you from being a happy, healthy member of society. So where’s the dividing line? Which adults in this town believe there’s actually something to be said for the supernatural? Because I’m not busying that Alaric’s girlfriend is one of them.
(Once again, and for the LAST TIME (this week), the chemistry between Nina Dobrev and Matt Davis is a little unsettling. That much more so because Jeremy Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.)
But the best part of this episode is the lack of bruise. I’m not saying I’m sure they didn’t get them. My friend Lara and I talk about this. How, when you get hurt, you see the bruise and can’t stop touching it. ‘Yep, that’s a bruise. That’s a bruise.” You poke it incessantly. It’s the same with emotional bruises. You push and maul them and they make you wince, and then – one day you realize they don’t hurt anymore.
It’s one of the most amazing feelings. You can see Elena realize this as she’s digging wood out of her ex-lover’s body. He says ‘you’ve changed’. And it’s almost as though she’s surprised not to have tears coursing down her face. She didn’t realize, maybe until that moment, that it wasn’t a bruise anymore, Stefan’s lack of love for her. She tells him she kissed Damon not because she wants to hurt him, exactly, or to exonerate herself – but to let him know the bruise has healed. That’s why she’s a different girl now.
Bonnie’s wound, of course, is different. Putting aside the strange almost-brother who didn’t seem entirely sharp, she’s had that thing scabbed over for years. What she’s doing now – agreeing to help her mother help her – or see what kind of powers they can rustle up – will necessarily open some wounds. The ‘why did you leave me’ question seems never to ever have an explanation but it doesn’t stop grown children from asking, over and over again.
I do have to say how happy I am Jeremy’s gone. I’m not supposed to be, I know – but it created false discord between Bonnie and Elena that I don’t miss, it was the obligatory ‘where is he’ albatross that always slowed down every story, and not everyone he loved can die, it was getting old. I have no objection if they bring him back some way in the finale, and I don’t think he was bad – but the character’s being gone is a relief…even if I do bet we never see the inside of Mystic Falls High School again.
Finally, a small note. I love Damon, as we are required to do. Oh lord. “We kissed, now it’s weird”. The other night Lainey and I rewound Logan and Veronica at poker a few times and squee’d. I will be rewinding Damon’s pouty face ad nauseum. All by myself. I am a grown person, but I …cannot help but love him.
Oh and yes. Elijah’s back. Apparently this makes some of you happy?