Photos courtesy the CW
The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 9 recap
Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. This is the kind of fun I want to see on this show! Everyone’s in one place, people are operating at cross-purposes, there are layers and layers. My only real complaint is that Rebekah was taken out of the action so early, since we know she’s far more entertaining to listen to than Klaus is.
So much went on with these people that we almost have to examine them one by one. So I’m going to move from people I like least to most, because I am nothing if not an eleven-year-old girl who likes to rank ‘favourites’.
Klaus: Okay, so I’ve been tired of this man for ever now. I thought we were in for something interesting when Rebekah realized he had in fact (maybe?) duped her about who was the evilest of all in their families.
But, like all bad boys who are secretly just whiny because Daddy didn’t love them, Klaus is exhausting and boring, especially since he has only two settings: ragey and completely emo, tear-running-down cheek and all. He’s never going to change, as we hear all the time, given that he’s been running with this M.O. for a thousand years. A bully is nothing if not desperately insecure, and the fact that he can be so easily duped by Stefan explains exactly why he thinks nobody can be trusted – least of all himself.
Michael, you seemed like kind of a jerk, and your passing seems rather permanent. Miss ya, Love ya. Thanks for dropping by.
Tyler is another piece of work who makes you realize that no matter what the situation, the fundamentals underneath the person actually determine who they’re supposed to be. Like, he was always going to be kind of a dick. Circumstances combined to make his dickishness misplaced or confined to the werewolf times of the month, but when push comes to shove, of course it’s Tyler who can sympathize with Klaus, you know?
Speaking of sympathy, Bonnie, I love you. But I have none. I’m sorry. I’ve been yelled at on Twitter about this but I need you to pull up your damn socks. Where did I miss that the sun shone out of this teenage boy’s dumb ass? Whereupon did he propose that the two of you betroth forever and ever? I get the teenage drama, and I get that you think you love him, but with all the actual we-can-never-be-together going on around here, the fact that he betrayed you in such a …human way makes the whole thing kind of ridiculous, no? I really wish you would get over it.
Caroline: Keep on keeping on. If you’re feeling like you’re not busy you could lend some support to our girl Rebekah, who suffers only from never having had girlfriends. This show leads me around like a horse chasing sugar, but she was so sweet and vulnerable and I continue to be in love with the idea that she just wants to be a high school girl (albeit a mature one – ahem). She’s going to be so legitimately hurt by Elena having violated the girl code that her vengeance, while Original-Vampire-esque, I’m sure, will also be fraught with the kind of junior-high-school drama that makes your stomach clench when you see a folded note with your name on the outside…
As for Elena, her progress is steady. She seems to construct herself more of a spine as the weeks go by, and this week she said those blessed words. You know the ones. “We’ll let him go.” She looks at Damon with his face in her hands (and I mean, how do you even look away after that? The best part of the romance between Damon/Elena, to me, is that he has had so, so many women of all different kinds, and is living in awe of the fact that this 18-year-old can make him feel something different and new, you know?) and we can almost see the future. We can see a world in which Elena moves on (I just wish it was deliberate, not just because she couldn’t have her first choice) and then gets stuck between them for real.
As for Stefan, I’m thrilled on the one hand that he has his free will back because a compelled vampire is nobody’s dramatic intrigue, but then again, I’m pretty exhausted by the whole “will Stefan’s humanity never PREVAIL” set of circumstances, so it’s pretty much a draw here. My worry is that even though he swears he doesn’t want to go all the way back to being old Stefan, that the evil cackler we’ve come to not-hate won’t be around for much longer.
Damon, on the other hand, continues to show a much stronger chance of being permanently layered, what with being Damon Salvatore, but also being completely open to a new kind of life. He’s just beginning to experiment with what could happen if he decided to be a real person again. However, if my predictive powers are anything, I would say that given that Elena has not given him reason enough to stay good (yes, I can think of several ‘reasons’, and I am nothing if not a bad influence on young girls), this is not a permanent state of affairs. Which is fine, because we like him bad, and because Elena should have to do some of the work to keep her world spinning the way she likes it.
And this, too, is fine, because my favourite character of all, Ms. Katherine, will need someone to help her slough off that nasty humanity. I’m mostly joking, since finding out that she was not permanently dead (just drained, or something) and that she in fact battles with that pesky conscience-type item was a delicious and long-anticipated treat for those of us who think both Salvatores have their eye on the wrong doppelganger. I never believe big declarations of Katherine ‘going away’ – as Damon points out, she flees every other week, just to give herself some excitement. But I do resent that the character with the most layers these days is the one who’s always leaving the scene of the crime.
This is, for those who don’t know, the mid-season finale. I.e. we’re Mystic-Falls free until January something. Thank you so much for your emails and tweets and opinions about the changing nature of this recap. I have such a blast doing this because y’all watch as closely as I do and with as much bated breath, and Lord knows we have been patient so the odds that we will get some truly naughty, real-triangle-style love affairs in the new year may not go unheeded.