Back to school…seriously?
Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 6 recap
So this episode had a lot going on and obviously some fun, but I had a big stick in my craw about it early on, and I just have to get it out of the way. Because what I realize is it actually needs some help from you.
This show never skimps on emotional realism. It’s camp, sometimes, but it never isn’t authentic to who these kids are, and what they care about.
So sometimes, you know when they say ‘it’s not you, it’s me?’ I think that’s the case for me here. Because I don’t get the whole ‘we are seniors now’ celebration. Every school-based show hits it eventually, but it doesn’t feel like anything I know. What exactly are the rights and privileges conferred, other than passes to go talk to the guidance counselor about your applications?
(A further sidebar should point out that at the time I was going through Ontario high school – and until pretty recently, actually – it was five years long. That pretty much quashes any feelings except “Get Me OUUUUUUUTTTT”. )
So yes, I have a hard time understanding the yen to go back to high school when your life is constantly on the line, as per Elena and Bonnie and Caroline, on an hourly basis. But then, given how childishly they acted this ep, maybe it makes sense?
That’s not just a segue. I really couldn’t believe the amount of pouting and whining that went on, not to mention the endless evocation of the words ‘my boyfriend’. Let’s just examine the dialogue exchange near the top of the show, and before you send me email, yes, I’m paraphrasing.
Bonnie: It doesn’t matter that my boyfriend keeps seeing and talking to his dead exes! That’s Okay!
Caroline: My boyfriend was turned into the first ever hybrid, but that’s all right! No big deal!
Elena: I met my boyfriend, the one who has given up his soul, on this day last year.
Others: You win.
So, sing it with me, y’all. Why does she have to win? I know she’s the star of the show and all that good stuff. But why do we have to portray this kind of friendship where Elena always has to be the most hurt, the most troubled? Could she spare some concern for her erstwhile brother, who is literally seeing ghosts?
Instead, Elena goes on to play cat-and-mouse with Stefan for a few moments. This story didn’t do a lot for me, particularly as Stefan was, you know, free again by the end of the ‘plan’ – but there were some high water marks.
Elena played the ‘drunk high school girl’ to the hilt. I could see how it might be over-the-top any other time, but she was so authentic here as your average slam-it-back-to-forget teenager. I was impressed. Less appealing in this story were the awkward situations with Stefan and Rick in the hallway, which really just serve to make us want Elena to take self defense from someone else, no? What I’m getting at, I suppose, is that high school felt like an awkward setting for this story. Made it silly where it could have been more pressing. The presence of Stefan and Rebecca (and while she was shoehorned in, I LOVE her desire to be on the Spirit Squad and go to keggers and things, highly amusing) just felt silly instead of threatening.
But of course, now that she’s treating Stefan like an annoying little brother, Elena has eyes to see Damon for what he is. I cheered when she actually let herself feel jealousy at Damon’s flirting with Rebecca. Oh, PS, how incredibly hot was it when he touched the bottom of her ribs? I rewound at least three times, because I was trying to catch the dialogue, catch my breath, and also figure out what kind of outfit she was wearing to expose that spot on her body. I came to few conclusions except that I can’t breathe, even now, just thinking about it. These two are going to explore areas that Elena and Stefan never did, and I’m not even putting a non-gutter qualifier on that. Damon’s passion, knowing everything he needs to about Elena, and still not treating her as Alaric does – like a dead girl walking – is incredible on its own. Now, if I were really filling out my wish list, I’d want to know why he loves her. I know we had allusions this episode to the young woman being ‘strong’, but beyond that. Now that Damon could have her (soon, by sweeps) what makes her the one he loves?
It’s both easier and more difficult to understand than poor dumb Matt, who just wanted his sister back, and asked few questions. I love that as soon as she had a flesh-and-blood body again, she didn’t so much as ask how he was or have a sandwich before going to ruin Elena’s life. So we know Elena neither saw her nor heard her – is this an inferiority complex? Is this what happens if you think you’re not being heard? Vickie’s now bound by Bonnie’s spell but I really do hope we haven’t seen the last of her. I would have loved it if she continued bumming around town. “Slightly impotent vampire and her inept human brother” is a show I’d love to watch.
Shows I’m on the fence about include “Caroline’s boyfriend really does have feelings”. I don’t want Tyler’s jerkitude to be so easily dispensed with. I don’t want one lecture from Caroline to fix all that’s wrong with him. I don’t think that’s what’s going to happen, not least because of the midnight snack he shared with Rebecca. But since his uncle Mason brought out his best-and-worst jerkitude, we can look forward to what emotional havoc that wreaks – I hope Caroline doesn’t put up with too much, though.
Stefan called Elena pathetic for keeping the torch for him. She said it made her strong. Is it wrong if I feel they’re kind of both right? Wouldn’t it be nice if Elena could lock away her emotions for Stefan and continue to pursue a life? Wouldn’t she be the toughest around? Her thinking, I understand, is that he’s only going to go back to being the Stefan she loves if she saves him. But what if she gave up being Florence Nightingale? Wouldn’t she be cooler and more desirable still? Isn’t Katherine the coolest in this situation just for having her own path?