Monday, February 11, 2013

The Vampire Diaries

The Vampire Diaries
Episode 13: Into the Wild
By: Carlos Uribe

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

Spoilers Ahoy!

The search for the cure is on as it has to be found before the spell trapping Klaus wears out. This would suggest that there would be significant plot movements in this episode but that doesn't happen. The episode makes the mistake of slowing down the narrative pace to a crawl when it should have speeded up to season two speeds. The previous episode had even ended with all of the characters going “here we go” but the episode's writer apparently didn't get the memo. This isn't to suggest that nothing happens because there are plot developments in this episode. That is mainly that the most important characters head to an island off the coast of Canada in order to find the cure. Once on the island, there is a lot of character drama. This character drama isn't necessarily weak but it's just too much. There is a difference between including character moments and having so many that they basically drag down the narrative momentum. This is a show that's usually pretty good at keeping this balance so it's disappointing to see the show falter in this regard. Once on the island, Shane manages to use some unknown island accomplices to kidnap Jeremy, trick Bonnie into leaving the group, and use a vampire hunter to knock Damon out. The only protagonists remaining in a group are Elena and Stefan (with Rebekah) to try and stop Shane from releasing Silas and get the cure. Here's hoping that the show seriously picks up the speed for their epic battle.

Anything important happen back at home? Tyler and Caroline were left behind and the show gives them something to do when they decide to visit Elena's home. Tyler is interested in gloating their victory over Klaus while Caroline tries to be there for Tyler. This all leads to Klaus biting Caroline because there needs to be some life-endangering drama in the episode. Since Klaus' blood remains the only one capable to saving Caroline*, the episode becomes about whether or not he decides to save her. He predictably does and nothing really moved forward in this story. I guess it's supposed to continue to promise a potential romance between Caroline and Klaus but it's difficult to take seriously when Klaus could potentially leave Mystic Falls in the spin-off.

It's not that Into the Wild was a bad episode but that it simply made the wrong move to be a slow episode when it should have been a fast one. It really cut into the narrative momentum the season had been building up to.

*Why can't Tyler use his blood? Is it hybrid blood or just Klaus' blood that cures vampires bit by werewolf bites?

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