Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Vampire Diaires

The Vampire Diaries
Episode 9: O Come, All Ye Faithful
By: Carlos Uribe

The Vampire Diaries is a show about Elena's love triangle with two vampires.

Spoilers Ahoy!

This is an episode of The Vampire Diaries where Damon has to do his best to free Elena from his sire bond. This is a difficult task with him because he really doesn't want to do it. He's finally in a place where she loves him just as much as he loves her and she pressures him to not send her away. She's happy being in a relationship with him. He can't bring himself to do what he promised Stefan at the beginning of the episode. When Elena has to meet Bonnie and Jeremy to try and free him from his urge to kill her, Damon goes along with her to their parents lake house. They spend the day together as the two try to process the feelings that they have towards each other. At the end of the episode, Damon shows just how much he's really in love with Elena when he does end up breaking the sire bond. He asks her to go home and to let him go. Sacrificing this chance they have of a real relationship is a strong one he feels he has to make for her benefit. He's so conflicted by it that taking an entire day actually makes it more meaningful for the character. Making matters more complicated is that his brother was led to believe that Damon ended the sire bond the night before. This means that he lied to his brother for an entire day that he was spending the day with Elena. Stefan finds out that he hasn't broken the sire bond right around the same time that Damon actually gets to it. This was all great love triangle drama that the series managed to use in it's favor. If there's any real relationship that develops between Damon and Elena it'll be much stronger because of what has transpired. This is because it means that Elena chose him without any artificial bond and because Damon's character is shown to be willing to do anything for her. At the same time, it really does allow a girl to once again drive a wedge between the two brothers.

The episode didn't just concentrate between Damon and Elena's relationship but also between Elena and her brother. He brother has become a hunter and he now has an uncontrollable urge to kill his sister. He can't even allow her into the lake house without trying to stab her in the back. Bonnie and Shane try to shift the hunter's mind so that it's first gut reaction of killing vampires won't dominate his brain by giving him a detour for the people he likes. This is all to state that they're conditioning his subconscious mind to allow any relevant vampire character to live. The large problem is that Elena's bond with Jeremy isn't strong enough to penetrate Jeremy's new hatred towards vampires. It is such a strong move for the show to make as usually love will dominate all. That the show doesn't really comment on this is surprising. Damon's response is that the problem with this reconfiguring of the brain is that they're danging a bone in front of a dog. In order for it to work, Jeremy has to associate his feelings for a vampire for someone who isn't one. This allows him to see Elena without seeing a deadly monster that he has to kill. In this case, it turns out to be his strong feelings that he still has for Bonnie that allow him to bypass his new hunter state. Rekindling his passions for Bonnie seems a bit sudden, as if the show suddenly remembered they were there. It still worked nice. Using his feelings for Bonnie doesn't negate that the bond he shared with his sister wasn't strong enough to beat back his new self. Now that Jeremy can control his urge to kill vampires, he can continue to build the map on his body. The person to guide him will be Damon, which allows him to remain separate from Elena.

Elena might be having serious personal problems with Damon breaking up her sire bond and her relationship with her brother but she's having a better day than the twelve hybrids. This pack are allowing Tyler to be their alpha leader but they're doomed. They start to make their move towards Klaus, hoping to use a witch to defeat Klaus by transferring his body to someone else. The plan is to initially use Tyler but then Caroline gets the idea to simply transfer his body over to Rebekah. They can stab her and keep him out of the picture for the long run. It's a good plan but it was never Hayley's intention to actually defeat Klaus. The twelve hybrids are to serve as a sacrifice rather than actually be set free. She's able to sabotage the plan by snapping Caroline's neck and ensuring that Tyler isn't with his pack. In one amazing violent montage set to music, Klaus is seeing killing the twelve hyrbids for conspiring against him. It's violent and exciting. It also helps to finally allow Klaus to simply act as a pure villain. He's largely been drawing pictures and threatening people for a long time now but this episode is a reminder that he is actually dangerous. He's able to wipe out the pack with relative ease. It does leave him all alone in the world as he has lost his little army. To extract revenge, he decides to take out the one person he believes is still in Tyler's world. That person being his mother, Carol. When the episode ended with him successfully drowning her, it was a moment of shock that I haven't felt from this show in a while. I don't know why, but it's at this moment that I felt like the season was actually beginning.

O Come, All Ye Faithful is a brilliant episode of the Vampire Diaires that has quickly become my favorite episode from this season so far. It's a mid-season finale that the first half of the season has basically built up to. There is Tyler's hybrid revolution, Jeremy's desire to kill her sister, Elena's sire bond with Jeremy, and there's even some development of the cure plot as Shane reveals they don't need the sword to find it. These are all parts of the episode and they are all the major plotlines that this season has been building towards. This episode was a successful close to the first half of the season and makes me really excited for the second half.

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