The Vampire Diaries
Episode 11: Catch Me If You Can
By: Carlos Uribe
The Vampire Diaries is a show about Elena's love triangle with two vampires.
One of the best decisions that this season has made was to split the characters up into teams. Watching their plans to get to the cure first while trying to sabotage the other teams has turned out to be extremely entertaining. One of the teams practically falls apart in this episode when Shane gets arrested by the sheriff. They're investigating him for having Pastor Young blow up elven other people. Bonnie is adamant that the college professor that's been showing her how to use magic again is innocent until he confesses to her. Bonnie loses control of her magic as all the faith she had in Shane shattered. She's able to recover control of her magic in the nick of time but that she lost it in the first place is not a good thing. Shane insists that she needs him as a guide to control this magic but it's not like he can really be trusted. The suggestion that she likes the power that this dark magic gives her is a frightening direction the writers could take the character in-along with the growing evidence that she has trouble controlling it. This is all slowly adding to the narrative momentum as I'm sure that something bad is going to happen soon. What I liked about this team's dissolution is that it was practically caused by Rebekah when April told the sheriff and Bonnie's dad about Shane. This had led to his arrest and subsequent confession. Her intention had been to solely ensure that the professor wasn't in his office but it was still a pretty good move by the character.
Team Rebekah/Stefan didn't do so badly this week. They managed to go into the professor's office and successfully steal the tombstone. In an interesting twist, there might be yet another player involved in this game to find the cure as a compelled man broke into the office with the same goal. He might have also been sent by Kol to try and stop Silas from being awakened. What do they need the tombstone for? That's a good question. To add to that success, they managed to get Bonnie to turn on Shane while also separating Damon from his team. The plot was all solid as they basically went from last place to being near the top. They might still not have a witch or the hunter's map but this is what allowed them to take out the other teams. Adding to the success of this plot was Stefan's descent into apathy towards Elena and her problems. He helps save her brother but only after making it abundantly clear that he simply does not care about her. It's harsh. To add insult to injury, he starts to sleep with Rebekah at the end of the episode. It's a new way to take the Stefan character that is paying dividends. Having him be the good guy whose in love with Elena was decent but did make him rather dull when he was on his own. Being a ripper was fun but the body count and guilt is too high to sustain. Converting him to an apathetic character who is only seeking the cure to set his mind at ease about Elena is simply a great way. It makes sense that he would hide all the pain and pretend he doesn't care considering where he is at the moment and what's he gone through.
Team Klaus suffers some setbacks but it does get some advantages. The setback is that they lose Damon. The good news is that Jeremy has killed a lot more vampires which means his hunter's mark is slowly growing. The issue is that Klaus wants him to kill more vampires because the mark isn't growing fast enough. They need the map as soon as possible. There are a lot of obstacles to getting this done as Jeremy understandably has a moral problem with killing innocent people. The episode itself seemed to hint that it would involve Jeremy having to protect Matt from compelled vampires. This falls apart because another player enters the stage who has different motivations. It eventually changes gears but the moral quandary remains throughout the episode. Elena's solution? That instead of killing a few innocent new vampires, Jeremy should get the mark over with by killing Kol and all of the vampires he has seared. Okay, so the moral quandary is actually made worse by Elena but it does seem easier for Jeremy to chew stabbing one vampire than multiple ones.
As for Kol, he's on a team of his own. His motivation is different in that he doesn't want the cure to be found or Silas to be released. This means that he's actively working against all of the teams. He might think that Shane is dead but that doesn't mean he's going to give up on his goal. So what does he do? He kills a lot of the vampires that Jeremy was supposed to kill and proceeds to compel Damon to kill Jeremy no matter what. A compulsion that survives through the episode as Rebekah wasn't able to dagger him. This guarantees that Damon is going to be locked up in his prison cell until Kol is taken care off or the cure is found. Kol does quite a bit of damage this episode but it has made him a target. That's one of the reasons that Elena wants to kill him.
The Vampire Diaries delivers a great episode because it has found a great formula for success: splitting the characters into mini-factions and seeing how the plans affect each other. It leads to a fun viewing experience. Whether it's watching Kol's plan to mess up everyone's plans or the pressure that Klaus puts on Jeremy as a hunter, it all adds up to show that the Vampire Diaries can still deliver the same level of quality we've come to expect of it. This is because as tightly plotted as this show is, the character drama remains intense and central to the proceedings. Stefan's turn from being in love to not caring is the key reason that this episode goes from just being fun to compelling.
Kol's plan on dealing with Jeremy is complicated because he doesn't want to be haunted by the Hunter's curse. His solution? Rip off Jeremy's arms! Kol's creativity skyrockets him into the list of my favorite characters.
The hints that Elena doesn't want to be cured keep on coming.