Friday, January 27, 2012

Important Life Lessons & Ancient Viking Vampires: The Vampire Diaries 3:8 Recap

Previously on The Vampire Diaries, there are Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves under Mystic Falls, & in the  Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves there are Secret Prehistoric Viking Cave Paintings.

Currently, on The Vampire Diaries, Elena & Alaric explore the Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves, amazed at how ancient everything is, Damon pulls pranks, because that's what vampires do best, everything is ancient, Elena glares at Damon, because that's what Elena does best, & did I mention how everything is ancient? Especially the Secret Prehistoric Viking Cave Paintings.

Life Lesson #1: Vikings: they are ancient.

As always, on The Vampire Diaries, Alaric knows everything because he is a high school history teacher. He explains to Damon & Elena that Secret Prehistoric Viking Cave Paintings tell a story. An ancient story. A story about werewolves. And Vikings.

Apparently, while the Lockwoods arrived in Mystic Falls with the infamous Founders in the 1860s, a tribe of Ancient Werewolves were here long before, carelessly graffiti-ing their names onto cave walls in runic Viking script. Names like: 

Ah yes, that famous Viking name, Rebekah.

Before Alaric can explain exactly how Rebekah is a Viking name, it's FLASHBACK TIME! We haven't had a good flashback in at least two episodes!

We find ourselves in the Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves, in the ancient past. You can tell Rebekah was a rebel even before she became a vampire because she Wishes To Wield a Blade even though she's a woman & she graffiti-s on cave walls with a dagger. In this flashback, we also learn that Klaus & Rebekah are afraid of their father, & with good reason, because their father is none other than Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire! DUN DUN DUNNNNNN!

Allow me, at this juncture, to take issue with The Vampire Diaries' history. Now, I am not a history student & I am certainly not a history teacher like Alaric the Know-it-All, so I don't know much about anything not involving literary vampires that happened before 1985 (hey, if I wasn't born, it's ancient history). HOWEVER, I strongly suspect that the following Life Lessons are not necessarily endorsed by Actual History Lessons. (And by strongly suspect I mean I have asked people who are more intelligent & knowledgeable than I am including but not limited to Wikipedia.)

Life Lesson #2: Contrary to popular belief, Vikings did actually form permanent settlements in the USA.

Life Lesson #3: In Virginia.

Life Lesson #4: Vikings were known for their prehistoric cave paintings.

Life Lesson #5: "Prehistoric," like "ancient," is a pretty loose term.

Life Lesson #6:  Elijah, Michael, Esther & Rebekah are all legitimate Viking names.

(Also, I've been spelling Rebecca wrong all this time. Sorry, Rebekah.)

Meanwhile, in the present day, Alaric studies the pictures he's taken of the Secret Prehistoric Viking Cave Paintings while Elena Buffys with Damon.

"Now, allow me to demonstrate what a vampire - not me, of course, just a random, hypothetical vampire - would do if you just held your neck a little bit more to the left."

Alaric's having some trouble with his Ancient Viking translations, so Elena decides to go straight to the source & ask Rebekah what her teenage cave artwork means. Rebekah, however, is much more interested in practising her cheerleading before homecoming than answering Elena's questions. However, she does reveal that she's spent 1000 years running from her father & that if Elena wakes him up everybody's doomed. Then she asks Elena to excuse her, because this 1000-plus-year-old evil Original Vampire has the serious need to cheerlead.

Life Lesson #7: It is perfectly natural for Ancient Viking Vampires with Jewish names to have English & Australian accents.

Life Lesson #8: You can never overdo the flashbacks.

In this flashback, Klaus & Elijah are swordfighting, there is a Random Adorable Child, & Rebekah has freakin beautiful hair & I am totally trying this style out next weekend.

So far it all seems like fun & games in Ancient Viking Camp, but we are about to learn that Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire DOESN'T LIKE FUN. (I'm beginning to understand why they locked him in a coffin for sixty years.) Teaching A Lesson swordfights ensue, which Klaus loses, quite spectacularly.

Back in the present day, Alaric is translating runes because of course Alaric speaks Ancient Viking.

Rebekah texts Elena to ask if she wants to hang out which makes Elena pretty happy because, as she says to Damon, she's ready to do a bit of Mean Girls-ing to break Rebekah & get her to tell them the truth. And while I appreciate that they point out that once a 1000 year old vampire joins the highschool cheerleading squad, we're operating under a whole different set of rules, I had to giggle every time Elena said the words Mean Girls Power Struggle.

(Every magazine should hire me to do their photoshopping.)

Meanwhile, in the dungeon jail cell, Damon decides to ignore the whole Lexie-detox Stefan-chained-to-a-chair plan, & instead he takes his brother out to the pub.

In Girlland, Rebekah now wants to be Elena's BFF. She meets Elena at the Salvatore mansion with loud pop music, champagne, & her own compelled private runway show & asks Elena to help her choose a dress for the homecoming dance.

Now, if there's one thing The Vampire Diaries does well it's compulsion scenes. We've spent the last few episodes learning how petty, shallow & immature Rebekah is, so that we almost think of her just as a pouty, spoiled teenage girl, but scenes like this one pretty neatly remind us of what happens when a pouty, spoiled teenage girl can do anything she damn wants. It's a chilling thought.

Anyway, so far Rebekah's totally winning the Mean Girl war because she can compel people, kill people & look amazing in a slinky prom dress. Also, she's got high shoes & drinks champagne during the day (yo ho yo ho, a vampire's life for me...).

Mean Girls Points: Rebekah 1, Elena 0.

Back at the house, Alaric is busy fatherfiguring at Bonnie about her boy troubles when he notices that the Magical Witchy Necklace has its own Ancient Viking Rune!

At the Salvatore mansion, Rebekah alternates snooping through Stefan's bedroom & giving us more flashbacks, in which she sort of explains the whole Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves thing by telling us that her Viking family were landowners in Europe who came to the New World via witchcraft to escape a plague but the New World was already populated by werewolves (& here we have yet another problematic Native-Americans-as-Werewolves subplot) so once a month the Vikings had to hide in caves & paint their diaries on the walls. So I guess that explains the cave paintings.

The necklace belonged to a witch (you can tell she's a witch because she's the only black Viking around) & Rebekah thinks it's pretty but the witch won't let her touch it. Also, the Random Adorable Child is Rebekah & Klaus's adorable brother. But oh no! One night, Adorable Brother & Klaus sneak out of the Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves to look at the werewolves turn & Adorable Brother is attacked! All the Vikings want the witch to save him but she can't Upset the Balance of Nature & so he dies! And that makes the Vikings reeeeally angry.

Meanwhile, in A Grotty Bar Somewhere in Virginia, Damon & Stefan are drinking ("I'll have your finest Waitress Brew, preferably a blonde, twenty-five year old vintage") & doing a bit of brotherly bonding, which Stefan immediately sees through, because he may be Off The Rails, but he's not completely stupid. He wants Damon to give it a rest & leave him alone, but Damon's got a new Ripper-Detox plan, & it involves blood & alcohol, so I guess it isn't really a detox after all.

Back at the Salvatore mansion, Rebekah's a bit embarrassed at having shared such a personal flashback so she tries to tell Elena that Stefan's a horrible predatory creature & that vampires don't care about stupid human lives, but Elena, who's a lot more on the ball than usual this episode, points out that Rebekah herself seems to care a lot about homecoming dance for a horrible predatory creature who doesn't care about stupid human lives. Then Elena tells Rebekah to go compel herself a friend.

Mean Girl Score: Rebekah 1, Elena 1.

Accepting this as a fair point, Rebekah tells Elena a bit more of her story. After the Adorable Brother died, the Original Witch turned the entire family into vampires as a way of keeping them alive, but because Buffy didn't exist yet & nobody knew what vampires were, they didn't realise what a curse not being able to go out in sunlight was. To say nothing of the insatiable desire to eat your friends.

In MORE FLASHBACKS we learn that the Original Witch is in fact Esther, Rebekah's mother, but I think that The Vampire Diaries made a mistake: Esther is white & blonde & therefore can't be a witch, right? Be consistent, Vampire Diaries!

Anyway, the World's Only White Witch didn't become a vampire herself, but kindly made Magic Sunlight Rings so her family wouldn't burn up in the daytime, & helped the vampires to burn the plot point tree white oak tree because that's the only thing that can kill an Original Vampire.

Meanwhile, in A Grotty Bar Somewhere in Virginia, Damon dances on tables with girls in an effort to remind Stefan what freedom is so that he'll try to get out of Klaus's hold. Stefan isn't optimistic & says that Klaus can't be killed. But what's this? Someone disagrees? Someone in a rather dapper suit! It's Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire!

Suits you sir!

Meanwhile, in FLASHBACKS, we learn that Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire's greatest shame is Klaus the Werepire, because - gasp! - Esther once had an affair with a werewolf & that's how Klaus was born! Esther, who seems like a real charmer, disowned Klaus once Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire found out about his origins but Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire was not satisfied! So he killed the whole village! And then he killed Esther! By tearing her heart from her chest as Klaus watched! What a family. And after that, Klaus & Elijah & Rebekah vowed to stick together as one Always & Forever ROUSING MUSIC.

Life Lesson #9: Women, if you are unfaithful you will give birth to an Evil English Werepire, so choose your husbands carefully!

Elena wants to know why Always & Forever means Even After You Locked Me in a Coffin For Ninety Years but Rebekah explains that Klaus is her brother & she's immortal, so there's really no one else to love. So actually, poor Rebekah just wants a friend.

Mean Girl Score: Rebekah 1, Elena 2.

And then she adds that if Elena does anything to harm her brother, Rebekah will rip her apart.

Mean Girl Score: Rebekah 2, Elena 2.

Back in A Grotty Bar Somewhere in Virginia, Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire plunges his hand through Damon's chest & threatens to rip out his heart if Stefan doesn't tell him where Klaus is! But Stefan's compelled not to say! And anyway, he's EVIL now, so why would he care if Damon died? As it turns out, he's not ALL evil, because at the very last minute he finds a loophole: he can't tell Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire where Klaus is, but can lure Klaus back to Mystic Falls!

Meanwhile, back in Mystic Falls, Alaric & his Viking Rune Deciphering Post-Its have figured out the real story about the Original Vampires, & it's not the one Rebekah's been told. (Although it does seem silly to leave the whole story written on a cave wall where anyone with a post-it note can read it.)

Elena goes back to Rebekah's place (where Rebekah is drinking whiskey, because champagne is for the morning & whiskey's for the afternoon - man, I wish I could be an Original Viking Vampire) to explain what Alaric's post-it notes have discovered. According to the post-its, a werepire killed the original witch, & Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire is no werepire!

Klaus the Evil English Viking Werepire is so evil that he killed his own mother! And then he lied & said it was his father so Rebekah wouldn't hate him! Understandably, Rebekah has a hard time adjusting to this information. And what do you get when you upset a 1000 year old teenage vampire?

BLOODLUSTY STRANGLE ANGER, that's what! (Don't worry, I get that sometimes too, Rebekah.) But then, because I suspect that Evil Original Vampire Rebekah is gonna become a good guy now, she lets Elena go.

Meanwhile, in A Grotty Bar's Carpark Somewhere in Virginia, the Salvatore brothers are having a heart-to-heart. The heart-to-heart goes a little something like this:

DAMON: Aw, see now? You really do care.
STEFAN: I really don't.
DAMON: Careful now, your humanity's showing.
STEFAN: Hey, I'm totally badass & have no humanity. I don't care about you, or about anything, & when Klaus is dead I'll be free to go away from you & Elena & all the stupidheads & just pout by myself forever. So there.
DAMON: It's okay, bro, sometimes I have Feelings too.
STEFAN: Careful now, your humanity's showing.

(Damon wins the vampire fight because even when he's the Good Guy he's still a little bit badass.)

And now it's time for everyone's favourite Deep & Meaningful Emo Pop Song Closing Scene!

This week's song is all about being all alone & how nothing has changed & Rebekah cries by a roaring fire. Cut to Elena's house, where Damon has made himself comfortable on her bed while she was in the bathroom. Damon tells Elena what he's done & explains that Stefan's a bigger dick than ever, but now he's a dick that's on their side & the song is about wanting to be someone else instead. As expected, Elena's not as thrilled about that information as she could be, because she's thinking about Rebekah who is not a dick but is also on their side, & how she's just a girl who lost her mother too young & lets love consume her (Just like Elena, right? See what we did there?) & the song is instrumentally violinny & Very Sad & Elena talks about how there is no bond more important than the Bond Of Family. Then the song says something about being written on the wind & Elena tells Damon that Stefan won't be saved because he loves her, but because he loves Damon, because (& I'm paraphrasing here) BROMANCE IS STRONGER THAN LOVE. Then Elena & Damon lie romantically (& entirely chastely) in bed together & the song says that if it were me it'd have a little trust. I'm not too sure about that now, song, I mean, I don't see a post-emo-pop-song-closing-scene cliffhanger this episode. How do you expect me to trust when you change things around like this? Although I know there's one thing we can all have trust in. That's right: BROMANCE.

Life Lesson #10: Bromance: it's stronger than love.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Important Life Lessons & Even More Ghosts than Last Time: The Vampire Diaries 3:7 Recap

I have been a Very Bad Blogger & have missed a whole bunch of episodes of The Vampire Diaries which is clearly inexcusable so I just won't try to apologise. Instead, I propose some recaps! Lots of recaps! ALL the recaps! Here is what has been happening up to now in our favourite TV show about a girl who is a doppelgänger of an evil vampire who is in love with two vampire brothers who are both in love with the original doppelgänger girl & we're not quite sure which of them is supposed to be the Good Brother or the Bad Boy Brother in any given week. Also there are ghosts. And werepires. And witches who are all African-American because that makes sense. Actually, everything in this show makes perfect sense. Especially Viking names, as you will discover shortly.

When we left Mystic Falls many, many moons ago (too many moons ago), our loveable heroine Elena was in quite a pickle. Not only has her mopey vampire boyfriend Stefan gone Off the Rails & become a blood-drinking Ripper who is under the control of Evil English Klaus, who is a werepire, but her mopey boyfriend's charming & roguish brother Damon totally has the hots for her & isn't particularly subtle about it. But does she like him back? Or is she just not ready yet to admit that Stefan is Lost to Her Forever?

At the same time, Elena's little brother Jeremy (who is dating her best friend Bonnie, who is African-American & so therefore is a witch) has started seeing ghosts. Most importantly, he has started seeing the his staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriends in the flesh! (Yes, he has more than one staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend. This is just that type of show.)

Also, Evil English Klaus (who is an Original Vampire as well as being evil, English, & a werepire) has an Evil English sister called Rebecca who is mostly evil in the sense that characters in Mean Girls are evil. Also, she is on the cheerleading squad, which is exactly where you'd expect a 1000 year-old Original Vampire to be. Evil English Klaus & Slightly Petty Rebecca are also in a pickle because they are running from Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire, who wants to hunt them. Because they're vampires. Katherine, the vampire of whom Elena is a doppelgänger (is that even grammatically correct?) has just released Michael the Vampire Hunting Vampire from his tomb, so Klaus & Rebecca are really in for it this time.

Oh & also also also, Elena's friend Caroline the Bossy Blond Vampire is going out with Tyler who used to be a jock & then became a werewolf & now has been turned into an Angry Jock Werepire by Klaus. Also also, Tyler's uncle Mason, who was a werewolf but then was killed by Damon & Alaric (who is the father figure of the show) is now a ghost & seems to delight in invisibly torturing Damon.

Got all that? Okay, let's race through this recap together because there are plenty more to come!

The episode starts with Damon being tortured for a while before cutting to yet another town event that has something to do with the founding fathers. Anna the staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend of Jeremy is still around, & looking a lot more like a staked-vampire-turned-ghost girlfriend than a staked-vampire-turned-ghost ex-girlfriend (thank the founders for the copy-paste tool). You know what, let's just call them ghostpires from now on, shall we?

Jeremy very subtly holds Anna's invisible hand in public. I know, Alaric, I feel the same way.

Bonnie learns that the ghosts being more visible than usual is All Her Fault & that losing her boyfriend to a dead girl is just one of the consequences of bring him back to life. Elena learns that in the past, every time Stefan went Off the Rails his best friend Lexie staged an intervention & made him flat-haired & broody again. But now Lexie is dead. If only we knew someone who could communicate with ghosts!

In other news, Matt is still Very Sad, Caroline is trying to set him up with Bonnie, Stefan quips a lot when he's evil, werewolf-turned-ghost (wereghost?) Mason is still pretty pissed off that Damon & Alaric killed him that one time, & Bonnie & Caroline are trying to find a way to make the ghosts go back to being invisible presences that can see living people at all times (like, even in the toilet) but can't communicate with them & just go around being all stalkery & invisible & (understandably) rather depressed.

Life Lesson #1: When you die, it really sucks.

Life Lesson #2: The only private places to do spells are abandoned haunted buildings.

Of course.

So while Bonnie & Caroline are invoking the power of the 100 dead witches Bonnie's dead witch grandmother, Jeremy & Anna OMG KISS.

Life Lesson #3: It's totes not cheating if the other girl's dead.

Bonnie & her grandmother then proceed to underline what I've said about this show from the beginning (i.e. NOBODY EVER STAYS DEAD IN THIS GODDAMN SHOW) by bringing ALL THE GHOSTS back to life. ALL OF THEM!

Luckily, one of those ALL THE GHOSTS is Lexie, whose first order of business as a now-corporeal ghostpire is to give Stefan a lecture about how terribly Off the Rails he is. And when he acts all Bad Boyish & tells her he doesn't care, Lexie smashes his face into a car window. Cause that's the only way to get through to addicts.

Lexie: she is the badassest.

Meanwhile, in the creepy abandoned building, Grams tells us that everything is all Bonnie's fault because when she brought Jeremy back from the dead she left The Gates open & then all the cows ghosts got out. How does Grams know all this? Because

Life Lesson #4: Witches don't let a little thing like death stop them from gossiping.

Naturally, though, there is a way to close The Gates. Can you guess what it is? That's right! It's Elena's Magic Witchy Necklace that Stefan gave her when he was a Good Guy & that belonged to Rebecca before that & before Rebecca had it it belonged to the Original Witch. Bonnie must now destroy the necklace, but with Lexie about to start Elena on the Stefan-Ripper Detox Crash Course, Elena doesn't want to close the gates any more.

Meanwhile, Mason, unlike Lexie, has got his priorities straight. His first order of business as a now-corporeal wereghost is to go to the pub. Turns out, he doesn't want revenge against Alaric & Damon, he just wants to drink. And to help our heroes find a weapon that can kill Klaus so that his newly werepired nephew can break free from Klaus's control. Oh, & he also wants Damon to apologise for having killed him. Which Damon does. Adorably.

That creepy dungeon cell under the Mystic Falls jail really does get its uses, doesn't it? This episode, it is the setting for Elena & Lexie's ghostpire intervention.

In which we learn that Lexie is so badass she can use ONLY HER EYES

To make Stefan do this:

(Elena takes detailed notes.)

Lexie's Sexy Eyes can also make Stefan believe he has been starving of blood for about three months. Hallucinations & high jinks ensue.

Meanwhile, in the Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves underneath the town (yes, you did just read that right), Mason & Damon may have found a clue to the whereabouts of the weapon that can kill Klaus.

At the same time, Caroline tells Bonnie that her boyfriend's been cheating on her with his ghostpire ex-girlfriend, Lexie starts to torture Stefan as part of the intervention but Elena turns & runs because she clearly doesn't have what it takes to put a Ripper back on the straight & narrow path, & a whole bunch of ghostpires turn up at the town celebrations & start killing members of the founding families.

I'm surprised there are any of them left at this stage.

Unfortunately, the Magic Witchy Necklace is missing, so there's no way to make the founder-killing ghostpires go away. Did Anna steal the necklace? Let's have a look at her motivations:
  • According to The Vampire Diaries, when you die you do not a) simply cease existing, or b) go to some kind of heaven. Instead you hang around, stalking the people you love who are still living because there's nothing else to do. You can see living people but you can't see other ghosts, & no one can see you, so you're horribly alone & lonely & afraid all the time. Isn't that nice?
  • Anna is still in love with Jeremy, & he can see her & now kiss her. (Anna likes kisses.) When she was properly dead, she didn't get any kisses. Or any interaction of any kind.
  • Anna doesn't know where her mother is, if she's Moved On, or if she is just as lonely & scared as Anna herself is. Anna would like to know where her mother is.
  • But Anna knows how much havoc Vicki the other ghostpire ex-girlfriend wreaked when she became visible a few episodes ago, & she knows how dangerous it is for all the humans (including Jeremy) to have The Gates open for so long, because a lot of Evil Things can come through The Gates & if the Balance of Life & Death isn't upheld it could lead to a lot of disaster & destruction & other such unpleasant things, including but not limited to The End of the World As We Know It.

So what do you think, did Anna steal the necklace?

Of course Anna stole the necklace.

Elena lectures Anna on letting Jeremy go, Anna returns the necklace, the ghostpires run around attacking people & somewhere in the midst of all of this Caroline finds the time to be completely awesome & single-handedly save Mrs Lockwood from impending death. Go Caroline!

Jeremy & Anna say their goodbyes, Jeremy gives Bonnie the necklace, & Elena tells Lexie she's out of time because the necklace is about to be destroyed. In an effort to reconnect him with his humanity, Lexie reminds Stefan that the necklace has always represented hope for him. Stefan thinks it's pretty ironic that while that's true, & it could be the key to de-Ripperfying him, the necklace in question is about to be blown into pieces.

And now it's time for everyone's favourite Deep & Meaningful emo pop-song closing scene!

This week's song seems to be about standing outside & Bonnie & her ghost grandmother chant in Latin as the Magic Witchy Necklace burns. Cut to the party where Caroline beats up ALL THE GHOSTPIRES & the song says something about crowds & falling. Cut to the Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves (into which Damon is not invited, I forgot to mention) where Mason holds up his light & says that he has Found Something & the song is all about giving me peace. Then he conveniently disappears before letting Damon know what he's seen. Cut to the dungeon where Lexie tells Elena that's Stefan's still in there & the song is all about giving me love. Elena tells Lexie she knows what to do now (I mean, I wouldn't mind learning that Sexy Eye Trick...) & Lexie disappears too. Cut to the town where a Very Sad Anna is walking away but looks up & sees her mother. They hug & disappear together & the song is about crying but not letting it show. Cut to the abandoned house where Grams tells Bonnie she is stronger than all of this & the song is about all the things you wanted to do but never did. Then Grams disappears too & everybody's crying & the song ends & we start on the weekly post-emo-pop-song-dramatic-montage cliffhanger scene.

Aaand it's a Beautiful Bromance scene! I love Beautiful Bromance scenes! Damon, who is still stuck in the Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves but can't get further than a certain point because the Prehistoric Vikings never thought to let him in, has called Alaric to come help because, apart from Elena, Alaric is the only person he trusts. All together now, awwww. Alaric, however, doesn't trust Damon since Damon killed him that one time. In a rather epically adorable scene, Damon apologises to Alaric with the exact same words he used to apologise to Mason (only he means them this time). Then he shows Alaric his Flirty Face:

Meanwhile, Stefan wants to know what Elena's going to do now that Lexie & her Sexy Eyes have disappeared. Elena is not going to Give Up Hope but tells Stefan that if he doesn't find his humanity again he'll lose her forever because she has learned a lot from her little brother's ghostpire misadventures & refuses to love a ghost. Stefan ponders this, sweatily.

Then Elena locks him in the dungeon.

In the haunted house, Bonnie is Very Sad & (understandably) angry at Jeremy. But then there comes a strange noise from the fireplace! The fire flashes! The necklace reappears in the flames, completely whole! Even freakin necklaces don't stay dead in this show!

Back in the Secret Prehistoric Viking Caves, Alaric finds what Mason was looking at when he disappeared. The big secret to destroying Klaus forever is...

A cave painting of some horses??