Vampire Diaries Season 3 Episode 15 recap

This episode was called “All My Children”.  It’s amusing to me primarily not just because Esther had five and planned to off them all, but in the way that the writers get to play with their character toys, pulling some in, putting others away.  Most got a decent workout this week, but I still feel kind of unsatisfied…

…and I probably should have known because we start with Elena awake in bed.   Hey, remember she used to have a diary?  But honestly, episodes that start with the bastion of all that is virtuous contemplating her fate make me a little tired – especially when, after all’s said and done,  she didn’t do much in this episode.

And that’s my biggest complaint as we round the corner into the last quarter of the season – Elena hasn’t done much in a while. When she was begging Stefan to come back to her, she cared.  She was determined.  When she was using every fibre of her being to keep from melting into Damon’s mouth, (and I mean back in the “I’m strong” weeks – remember when he touched her ribs?) she was working HARD.   

But she seems justifiably over Stefan, and utterly disgusted with Damon even before he banged Rebecca, so all she can do is be the victim, because as everyone noted tonight, the world stops when Elena’s in trouble.

I do like what the show does here: Elena’s a Mary Sue, but they call her on it.  Tonight was about how she can kind of be a bad friend.  To Bonnie, to Caroline, even to Rebecca.  She doesn’t mean to, exactly, but how much does “mean to” matter, after a certain point?  After all, Elena got herself into trouble tonight because she just haaad to go with her other thousand-year-old boyfriend, Elijah (and seriously, her obsession with him is about more than just that he’s “honorable”, am I right? Daddy issues, much?), and everyone had to compromise themselves to bail her out, yet again.

I think what I’m getting at is something I’ve not wanted to highlight …but the show is bringing me to water.  Elena’s not a girls’ girl, when all is said and done.  The souls of those she loves are paramount but if it came down to Damon or Bonnie, just for example, she’d stand there and wring her hands until one of them made the choice for her.  Like they’ve done so many times before.

Damon did that tonight, of course.  Took the dirty deed of turning Bonnie’s Abby into a vampire.  I think I am not alone when I say that the actress wasn’t inspiring a whole lot of confidence, but then again, if she was hesitant about being a witch, she sure doesn’t have a choice now.  Which might be fine for her.    

But he didn’t have to.  He took it out of Stefan’s hands because he knows how badly Stefan’s hurting.  How he couldn’t handle it so early into his withdrawal.  Damon’s seen many girls come and go – even special ones like Elena whose eyes make him do crazy things – but he’s only got one brother.  He will forever protect his brother, even when he doesn’t want to. So he wrenches himself away from the young woman he loves, which is easier this week because she’s not doing anything,

I know some of you are dying for more about the First Family, but we didn’t find much out this week that we didn’t know before.  Of course, there’s what Finn said:  “[dying will]release me from an eternity of shame.  It’s not a sacrifice, it’s a gift.”  Just when you least expect it, there’s that subtext again.  Thanks, show.

But we already knew what we know now – they’re emotionally stunted  cranky pantses, prone to “running off”conveniently whenever they’ve all had a disagreement.  But though I think Rebecca is consistently bringing a high level of conflict between the girl she is, the one she wants to be, and the woman she aspires to be, and I really commend actress Clare Holt because I utterly lose myself in her…

…I am so tired of Klaus’ scenery chewing.  It’s been about a year now, and it’s enough.  He was so scary when he arrived, and now…now he draws pictures….of Caroline…with horses.  When your hero is laughable, no matter what powers he has, it’s time to change course…

Which brings me to something else.  Someone wanted to know whether I thought there was systemic avoidance of Bonnie, and the Bonnie stories, and Bonnie romances.  Whether I thought it was suspicious that her storylines never continued forever.  More pointedly, whether I thought there was racism to it.

I do think there’s some avoidance there.  I think skin tone is the very last thing it has to do with.

When you’re working in series form, it’s a moving target.  Some stories work, some don’t.  Some just play themselves out,  even if they were meant to go on for longer.   I.e., what else were Ric and Jenna really going to do? Be happy?

And sometimes you have great ideas for great storylines and your actors aren’t able to pull them off the way you want.  Sucks, but is true.  Bonnie and Jeremy together should’ve been juicy.  Steven R. McQueen and Kat Graham were, however, completely somnolent onscreen.  I wish it weren’t the case.  You can’t know this stuff.  Then add to that that Candice Accola lights up the screen, and that Kat Graham is cutting an album right now, and there’s all kinds of reasons.  It happens.   Remember that guy who was the lead on Parks and Rec first season?  Miss him?  Didn’t think so.

Did you miss Alaric from this recap?  No, because he couldn’t shift himself to go find his legally-of-age-potentially-awkward-housemate/ward!  Let him get shot!

Hey, so did you all know that you were getting a VD break?   Now until March 15th?   There are many wonderful things about living in Canada but the cable providers and the PVR have never managed to capture a full promo in their lives so I watched it online.  Flashback episode, involving Kol.   Eye candy,  20’s porn…what else could you want?