Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 11 recap

I’m actually going to pretend this was the new season’s return.  It was so great and had this authentic Vampire Diaries mix of real danger, authentic teenage longing, and actual animalistic terror.  Stuff felt real, you know?

Elena sometimes doesn’t act like a normal person, giving over the interesting parts of being a girl stuck in this town, sort of perpetually a victim and with nothing to do about it.   She’s been a fragile flower,who’s been in trouble more than once, more than 10 times.  However many episodes we have.

But she’s getting tougher.  And isn’t that more interesting to watch in the first place?  She’s making a decision to stop being who she is and start being who she’s going to be.  In particular, I like the attitude from Alaric, who I know loved her (and not in that way – at least today) but who I don’t think actually thought she was going to be able to do it.  She got tougher than he gave her credit for, and I love that.

I have to admit I thought Matt was kind of a strange choice to be with her on the bridge.  Even though Damon wouldn’t have shown up for a straight-up hearts-and-feelings talk like the one Elena had, he is ultimately why she’s doing this.  She needs to let go of what Stefan did for her then, and go forward into – yes, it’s true – what Damon can and will do for her now.  And I don’t mean ‘do for her’ in the protection way anymore.  Part of being the grown-up woman she’s becoming is giving in to her real hopes and desires, and that means allowing herself to have the comfort of Damon, now that she knows she wants it, and deserves it.  Stefan is getting both more lucid and more crazy by the day, and the new Elena needs something different than wishing and hoping in her bedroom, where she’ll no longer be worrying about her brother.  And maybe, if we’re being hopeful, the new Elena knows that no matter how many times Stefan threatens her, she’s not going to hope he’s going to become a new man.  She knows who he is now – which is who Damon was.   And taking care of Elena is what she has to do now…

I do wonder about her and Bonnie, though.  I don’t know if this is about the writing or what, but there’s always been a very recognizable chafing between the two girls.  They’re friends but with a pretty significant friction that has come up time and again.  And yet Bonnie is what…impotent?  She doesn’t want to cross Elena enough to tell Jeremy what’s going on.  She’ll mouth off to Elena when they’re drunk together but can’t pull the trigger to actually help him.  At least, not yet…

Caroline, who always seemed pragmatic in these things, was a little more problematic for me.   Yes, her birthday is her first since she turned, but honestly, she’s more part of the club now than out of it.  This is the drum Matt’s always beating – they’re all part of a separate life and leaving him behind.  I know she’s an overachiever-type who wants to achieve but out of everyone, Caroline’s supernatural leanings have been the least problematic where her teen life is concerned – if you accept that Tyler would have become a hybrid anyway.   But here we go from there – she’s indebted to Klaus somehow, as anyone could guess, but how will he tamp down her natural Carolineness?

So we watch Matt just wistfully look at how his friends are going to move on.  We look at Bonnie, who’s powerless but bitter about the fact that Jeremy’s done and gone.  We have Elena who, despite all her toughness, growing all this time, can’t help but cry when she sees Stefan trying to hurt her – no matter how much he’s trying to hurt her to keep her safe.   

They really are growing up.

“You can’t kiss me again”
“I know”

Oh, and pardon me.  Alaric’s doctor is a murderer, not the murdered.  At least not yet.