The Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 8 recap

Okay, so while this episode was literally just exposition (and a welcome break from C plots involving Matt being confused and Jeremy being not that bright),  it was pretty entertaining,  mostly because, since it was the Rebekah show,  I have to acknowledge that this actress really is pretty good.   I think the stroke of genius the show did was in having her be delighted to be in high school (and really, how can I quibble about her being too old when she’s, you know, OLD?).   Her method of compelling the girls to model her homecoming dress is, okay, over the top but the fact that she wants to go to homecoming totally isn’t.   It’s the greatest.   What do you give up when you’re a vampire?

Rebekah  gives us good insight into what happened way back when the originals began (and I’m sorry, but I still don’t see Elijah the way you all do.  Not. Cute. ) but as we hear of her tragedy I’m struck by something distinct, and it bothered me all the way through.

This week, everyone did things that were more or less quintessentially them (or them, these days).   Damon let Stefan go out and drink! Damon-y!  Alaric and Bonnie figured out ancient runes! Helpful!  Elena…annoyingly interrogated someone who had information that could help her, without so much as a little guile or sophistication.   Irritating!

This is my thing with Elena: she’s so one-track-mind about saving her precious Stefan (not her own body, which I guess is kind of admirable) but she is getting insufferable (and I hear some of you out there, going ‘getting?’ ) in her insistence that everything should-can-will go back to normal, just as soon as her boyfriend is fixed.

I know all about all the reasons why this is the most important of ever and Elena is the only one who can bring Stefan back from the brink and so on and so on but you guys, she has literally become that girl who only talks about her boyfriend.   She is BORING, and though we’ve had little tastes of heat here and there (thank God she didn’t kick Damon out of bed or I would have been almost done with her),  she’s just not compelling enough to keep me paying attention unless she makes some damn mistakes!    As usual, this is not a rant against Dobrev, because she’s great - and where’s Katherine these days anyway?  You don’t mean to tell me that she went out at the hands of Michael like that, right? - but if Elena, the character, doesn’t start to have some layers, I might start to not care.  

As for the mythology, the original vampires and all, I mean…sure.   When Elena corrects Rebekah’s understanding of what happened,  it basically reinforces that vampires are who they are before and after they’re turned;  it’s just that Rebekah didn’t realize that, exactly.   Poor lamb.   But since I know they’ll dispatch with Klaus eventually (and do you know how long it took me to add up Nick = Nicholas = ‘Niklaus’ = Klaus?  A long time)  I don’t particularly care how they do it, and explaining that it’s this tree and this necklace and why doesn’t particularly make me excited.

It seems like we’re at a turning point for the show so, even though they’re weeks ahead in production, let me make a request: can we get this stuff complicated already?   You know how to do it, I’ve seen you.   But enough with the straight-up good guys and bad guys – Damon’s not going to do anything wrong,  we’re not worried about him, and Klaus, love him though I do, is a cartoon. I want some conflict up in here.  When Caroline’s dad wanted to flay the skin from her body, I could get into that.   A little more?  Let’s see Elena pulled in two directions.   Let’s understand what might make Bonnie or someone want to throw her over.    Some intrigue and angst – please?