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Episode Review: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (“The Sun Also Rises”)

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Season 2, Episode 21 (43)
Date of airing: May 5, 2011 (TheCW)
Watched for review: Jan 21, 2012
Number of review in February/2012: 5/88

And this was not the season finale? All the time I’m thinking why there is one more episode to come this season. I actually had to check if I have missed an episode, because it just feels like it. But no, the writers delivered all the drama in the penultimate episode. But what is going to follow in the actual season finale? After all, there are just two stories left all of a sudden. And those two were created in the last episode and this one. Ending the season one episode earlier – I think only the fourth episode of BUFFY did this once.

Anyway, great episode. I have the feeling it was the best of the show so far. Action, thrill, drama, emotions. And in the meantime loads of death scenes. The clean-up service was wonderful. And when one scene creates shivers done my spine, then this episode must be good. Talking about the scene with Bonnie (Kat Graham) putting her magic on Klaus (Joseph Morgan). Great cinematography in that scene, with all those lightnings, wind and sound effects. It really was a suspenseful scene, and I didn’t want it to end. What a shame that the fight Bonnie vs. Klaus was so short in general, but the rest of the ritual showdown was great.

I was pretty much shocked for a second time, when Jenna (Sara Canning) was indeed a vampire. Maybe I wasn’t in the right mood for last episode’s cliffhanger to get that. But during this episode I figured out by myself how Jenna could be used as a vampire, and how it could affect her motherly relationship with Elena (Nina Dobrev). The most annoying thing about it was that Jenna believed too fast for me that she was a vampire. Not two episodes ago she didn’t know anything. Now she’s a vampire, drinking blood right after her transition, trying to kill, trying to overcome Klaus. And then dying. Sad sad scene, I was almost crying. And the scene really looked like the writers wanted to finish off Jenna. No hope of her coming back, no hope that she might be alive at the end of the episode, because Bonnie cast some spell. No, she is really dead, and I knew it when Klaus staked her. I just expected Klaus would have done more to her than just staking. He ripped out Jules’ (Michaela McManus) heart, but he only stakes Jenna?

Then, Klaus and Elena. That was BUFFY-esque right there, when Elena was being sucked at, and when she supposedly died. Also great acting from Paul Wesley here, and also a great scene in general, when Damon (Ian Somerhalder) came afterwards and put her besides Stefan. A nice little dramatic scene right there, while Bonnie is still trying to kill Klaus. Unfortunately for the predictability, Elijah (Daniel Gillies) had to double-cross everybody again. Not really good, but obviously the writers want to keep the two Originals warm for the next season. And when it’s true what Klaus said (the Originals being alive), then it could be an interesting third season Originals-wise. I don’t wanna know what the writers have planned for future antagonists in the lives of Elena and the Salvatores. But, In have to say that Elijah’s “I’m sorry” to Bonnie was just stupid. Simple cop-out to let Klaus live.

And finally, there was the next morning. Touching letter from John (David Anders), and I was actually almost tearing up. With Elena and Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) having lost all kinds of parents, the dynamic could be changed in the third season. After all, there is still Alaric, and when Jeremy finally starts to kick ass in the whole supernatural business, the relationship between Elena and him could also be changed drastically. Instead of letting him say “I have you”, he could have added “I’ll fight for you until I die” or something, just to make clear that Jeremy will be part of the supernatural storyline in the third season. But when Jeremy would have said that, I would have said “cliché”.

Only Tyler (Michael Trevino) and Caroline’s (Candice Accola) little romance plot didn’t bring anything. Sure, Matt (Zach Roerig) broke up with her now, but the story felt so lost in the whole ritual thing. And when Caroline and Matt were on screen, I was praying to the Gods for this story to end and/or get to business. Maybe it wouldn’t have been wrong to make sure in the last episode that Tyler, Matt and Caroline are okay, and postpone this story to the season finale. It really was the wrong time for Matt to break up with Caroline, and for the writers to tease a hot and steamy love affair between her and Tyler. 9/10

Buffy-esque death scene for Elena

A romantic little plot to waste time. Plus: Tyler without a shirt

Episode Review: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (“The Last Dance”)

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Season 2, Episode 18 (40)
Date of airing: Apr 14, 2011 (TheCW)
Watched for review: Jan 18, 2012
Number of review in February/2012: 2/85

Another solid episode. But how the hell did I know that Bonnie (Kat Graham) wouldn’t die? Even though I was a bit skeptical during the scene, where she fought Alaric-Klaus (Matthew Davis) and looked at Elena (Nina Dobrev) for the last time, I never thought the writers would kill off Bonnie here. Too “unimportant” this episode felt, too “ridiculous” it would have been for Bonnie’s last appearance. So, when she died, I was just waiting for the moment, when she opened her eyes again. And then she opened her eyes again. But what a surprise this episode would have been, when Bonnie would have died for real. I can understand why the writers chose that path instead of letting Bonnie really die, but at the end, it was just another one of those super-lame fake-outs, as well as another moment, which killed an excellent story. Bonnie being dead so short before the season finale could have created some interesting (emotional) storylines for some of the characters.

Other than that., the rest was solid. I actually liked Alaric as Klaus, and I find it dumb that no one questions where Katherine is. Sure, the gang probably knows Klaus has her, but with Klaus in Mystic Falls, killing Bonnie and hunting down Elena, what is Katherine doing in the meantime? The characters could have at least asked the questions for themselves, especially since it’s not clear for them whether Klaus and Katherine are working on the same team. Anyway, I was quite surprised about myself and Alaric being such a cool Klaus. Despite some of the questionable plot holes – for example, how can Alaric as a possessed human being compel another vampire? There is some inner logic, which doesn’t really fit – I wouldn’t mind when the real Klaus is waiting for his return. And for the answer why the spirit-Klaus needs another body for the action in Mystic Falls.

The 60s setting was boring though. Seems like there are tons of parties for Mystic Falls to attend (at least one in every second episode, lol), and seems like the writers are always using the party scenes for the shit to hit the fan. They could create different settings for all this stuff, it doesn’t always have to happen in the background of a party. Especially since it’s becoming illogical that the gang is always risking their own lives, attending the party, as well as innocent people. Like the three guys who beat up Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen). Caroline (Candice Accola) looked nice though, despite her story not being fired up at the moment. Matt (Zach Roerig) doesn’t really work as a spy for Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) yet, which is why I hope it won’t take that long for somebody to figure out what’s wrong. And for Matt to finally choose a side. After there are already a lot of good people on Team Elena, it would be great to have Matt on Team Klaus in the third season. Just because it would be awesome to have somebody from the main cast as a villain.

Well, there isn’t much more to say about the episode. Jeremy’s epic “sadness”, because Bonnie could die, and his reasoning for telling Damon (Ian Somerhalder) were understandable, but it shows again that the writers don’t know how to add him in the show. He needs to have something for Team Elena, otherwise he is becoming less and less interesting in the third season. At the moment, Jeremy is Xander, just without the eye and the heart for the Scooby gang, and with less screentime. It’s really time to give him something to fight for, to fight with, and to fight against. At the latest in the season finale. Otherwise Jeremy is on the top of my list of “wanted dead” characters, because he is stealing screentime of worthy storylines.

By the way: Despite all the sparkles flying around, which seemed ridiculous (how many sparkles can fly with only a couple of lights exploding?), the fight scene between Bonnie and Alaric-Klaus was neat. She breaks all his bones, he is just waiting for her to die, and in the meanwhile it gets pretty light. Nice little shooting there, even though over the top near the end. If it would have been Bonnie’s real death scene though, I would have trash-talked it. 7.5/10

Caroline tries to be a Kennedy, but they are no vampires...

This could have been a sparkly goodbye for Bonnie

Written by Christian Wischofsky

February 6, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Episode Review: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES (“Know Thy Enemy”)

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Season 2, Episode 17 (39)
Date of airing: Apr 7, 2011 (TheCW)
Watched for review: Jan 18, 2012
Number of review in February/2012: 1/84

A pretty solid episode, despite all the wasted time to kill off Isobel (Mia Kirshner), as well as getting Klaus into the show. It could have been done in a much shorter time, and without laying out false twists. Like Isobel playing or not playing the Salvatore brothers and Elena (Nina Dobrev). That was a twist, which didn’t need to be in the episode, because it was obvious as hell that Isobel wouldn’t help out Elena and the brothers at all. At least her little lesbian-looking hug with Katherine looked like as if the writers seriously wanted to reveal that twist early enough, to not waste the rest of the episode with a question mark. But at the end, I was so expecting that Isobel would play an even bigger double game, even though she was compelled to do. Boring. When you watch THE VAMPIRE DIARIES long enough, you’ll smell the twists and turns.

But hey, it was surprising that Isobel burns to death. Surprising little shocker scene, and I’m quite happy. Though Elena should have shown a couple of tears to make believe she just lost her mother. I know she hates her and she was a vampire and stuff, but she was Elena’s mother, god dammit. And it doesn’t help the case, when John (David Anders) mentioned all the stuff during Elena’s birth, that Isobel’s heart was broken, that Isobel loved her and blah blah blah. Seems like the writers weren’t able to give Elena a couple of emotions here, which is why John had to give her some. Other than that: Elena wants to trust John? When this comes, something is always around the corner. I don’t trust John no more. Okay, I never have to begin with.

The story was okay. A bit thin, and only preparing for Isobel’s kill-off. Somehow nothing happened, when it comes to the moonstone, Klaus and the danger surrounding Elena, because it was all a master scheme again. Isobel lying, kidnapping, sometimes telling the truth, and in the middle a pretty pissed off Katherine, who is going to deal with Klaus. That’s basically it. Not even the brothers had something to do, let alone Elena, to stop what’s happening. They were just standing there, witnessing the events happening in the background of everything.

This is why the sub plots had to save the episode, and they were successful doing so. Finally Matt (Zach Roerig) gets attention from the writers. Liked his story, and I hope he’s gonna be involved in the third season. Maybe against the vampires, maybe for them. A first step was done at the end, when he surprisingly told Sheriff Forbes (Marguerite MacIntyre) everything. I didn’t expect for her to find out again that her daughter is a vampire. But now she did, it makes for an interesting season finish: What is she going to do against Caroline (Candice Accola), and how is Matt gonna be involved in it. Is he just gonna be a spy between the vampires and the hunters? Or is he going to be a game-changer in the scheme between the undead and living?

Also, the background of Vicky’s death being revisited is nice. What a shame I’m already spoiled by it, but I would have never thought in the first place that Vicky’s story returns. Though it seems logical. Matt finding out about the vampires, and of course he thinks about his sister here. Even if it’s the only character story for Matt in the rest of the season. So, while I liked Matt’s story, I didn’t like Jenna’s. First, she only had like ten seconds of screentime, and second, she’s just running away? Lame. Simple, clichéd way of the writers to bring her out of the picture while Klaus is returning. And I actually expected for him to return for real. Not in Alaric’s (Matthew Davis) body, but for real. Killing someone in the process. Like Elijah, who ripped out two hearts, just to show how evil he is.

Bonnie’s (Kat Graham) witch-power collection was okay. I liked she is the secret weapon of the brothers now, but I didn’t like it took almost the whole episode for the characters (and writers) to realize that the powers might kill her at the end. Of course Jeremy (Steven R. McQueen) goes nuts, and of course Bonnie wants to bring a sacrifice to save her friends. But that is a typical play of all the dangers within the story, and I already know the writers won’t play that card. 7/10

Team Damon is fit for the challenge

Isobel is burning hot

Written by Christian Wischofsky

February 3, 2012 at 9:00 AM

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