Friday, January 13, 2012

The Vampire Diaries Recap S1E4: Family Ties

We've actually finally reached the part of the season where things start picking up. The diary voice overs are done by Stefan, and both times they're extremely brief. Some of the one dimensional characters start picking up a bit of depth, which is actually one of the things that the show gets very good at as it goes on.



Season 1 Episode: 4 Family Ties

We start with a very creepy sequence at the Gilbert house, starting with a weird noise and including Elena watching the news report about her death. The sequence ends with Elena getting snarfled by Damon. My first thought was "Holy shit, that was fast." It is, in fact, a nightmare Damon is deliberately inflicting on Stefan. (Upon reflection, I'm glad this is not an ability my younger brother has ever possessed.)

Damon makes a snarky comment, and so Stefan throws a knife at Damon, scoring a clearly non-painful hit. Damon's response: "All right, I deserved that." Heh. Then Damon reveals that he's covered his tracks, ensuring that the investigation into the mysterious animal attacks goes away. Damon admits he's planning on sticking around for a while. Damon mentions his intentions to get into Elena's pants (brothers) and then stabs Stefan back. Because Stefan put a hole in his John Varvados t-shirt. (Aside: Google-fu says it retails for 90 bucks. I'm thinking it's Damon's fault for spending that much money on less than a yard of fabric).  While Damon shrugged off his knife wound, Stefan didn't have it quite so easy. It's true, the animal blood just isn't as effective as human blood.

Ouch.
There is then a brief voice over where Stefan talks about what a monster Damon is, and how helpless Stefan is to stop him. It's true, though, he's not strong enough to fight off Damon, nor a powerful enough vampire to sneak up on Damon.

Jenna, Elena's aunt, is talking about the local reporter and what a jerkwad he is. We later find out that Logan cheated on her, but they finally agree to dinner after some mild persistance and grovelling by Logan Fell.

Elena is cleaning some old jewelry, and then Stefan shows up. so she sneaks him upstairs for makeouts.  Stefan loses vamp control and has to back off. Which, again, if this is an issue when kissing a pretty girl, what happens when some dude skins his knee on the football field? And yes, I still am not over what a huge mistake that could have turned out to be. Elena and Stefan agree to go to the founder's party together, which is apparently a big in-town deal.

Damon helps Caroline pick out a dress for the founders day after compelling her to take him. Damon is flipping through Twilight the whole time and commenting on it. He misses Anne Rice, hah.

Caroline asks why he doesn't sparkle, bless. Damon: "Because I live in the real world, where vampires burn in the sun." When she asks why he doesn't, he points out his ring. Caroline asks if all the bites mean that she's gonna turn into a vampire, and he explains that she's safe and very briefly outlines what it takes to become a vampire. She would have to drink his blood, then die, then drink human blood. Then she asks if he's gonna kill her, and he tells her he will, later on. It's kinda chilling.

Directly after, she says she'll do anything for him. She's been thoroughly compelled onto Team Damon.
At the Grill, Vicki is waiting on Tyler and his family, and he's refusing to make eye contact with her. He clearly doesn't want his parents to know that they're seeing each other, although his mother  picks up on this because he's as obvious as the sun. Vicki storms off, although later she prods Tyler into asking her to the big party. Which Jeremy is a jerk about.

Bonnie and Caroline are talking about the founder's party. Bonnie is gonna be forced to go stag because Caroline and Elena both have dates. Caroline is planting the seeds Damon gave her to set doubt in Bonnie, who is still mildly suspicious of Stefan. She said the dinner with Stefan and Elena cured that, but then Elena prodded her about the feeling she had.

Zach Salvatore, great (great great great?) nephew to the vampiric brothers, runs into Damon. Damon is then... unpleasant to Zach, although I get the feeling it's almost a warm greeting, as far as Damon is concerned. Zach and Stefan have an argument where Stefan admits he's no match for Damon. Zach then tells Stefan that he's been secretly growing vervain, and that the human Salvatores have been doing it since Damon wiped out the vervain population in Mystic Falls.

Stefan: Hey, when you said plants, I thought you meant weed.*
Tyler shows up at the Gilberts for the box of jewelry stuff and Jeremy and Tyler almost throw down. Again. Then, this happens:
Tyler: "Hey, would it make a difference if I told you I actually like Vicki?"
Jeremy: "Not even if you meant it."
This is actually interesting because it does seem like Tyler actually DOES like Vicki, even though he's been a class A jerk so far. Also it seems like he's wanting to maybe not fight so much with Jeremy, maybe after Matt pointed out what a dick he was being. It's the first time I actually thought that maybe Tyler might be all right occasionally, possibly.

Elena and Bonnie set down to painting Elena's nails and Elena calls Bonnie out on having a secret she wanted to spill. Bonnie spills. Damon told Caroline to tell Bonnie so she would tell Elena that Katherine chose Damon and Stefan went nuts, manipulating Katherine to turn against Damon. Elena points out that it's Damon's story, and it's none of her business. Bonnie points out that it's her business if it means Stefan is a manipulative jerk, and that Elena really doesn't know all that much about Stefan. While Damon's story is bullshit, Bonnie kind of has a point. Although Elena also has her reasons to distrust Damon, since he has bee manipulative and tried to kiss her against her will.

Really, they both have a point.
Stefan and Damon are getting ready for the ball, and Stefan is drinking alcohol, which Damon teases him about. Damon is still team "drink human blood" and I still find this really confusing, you'd think that after doing his best to convince Stefan he's willing to kill anybody that maybe he wouldn't want Stefan to be equally strong and pissed off at him.

Elena and Bonnie primp and then the phone rings. Tyler's mom calls because the pocket watch is missing. Elena rightly deduces that Jeremy swiped it before Tyler left. Elena accuses him of ebaying it and he pulls it from his hiding spot, and he informs her that he would never sell it, because it was supposed to be his. Jeremy tells her to take it and get out. Jeremy could have just said something in the first place instead of stealing it and then turning it into an argument, but there's a lot of "Why didn't you just SAY SO" going on in this episode. It's a theme.

Damon likes being an eternal stud (and so do the rest of us), and Stefan is sarcastic. Damon is giving Stefan shit about Katherine, that when Stefan was being chaste he and Katherine were doing the naughty. He then very nearly drinks vervained scotch, but he pours it out. This only served to piss him off and as far as I can tell, doesn't actually serve a purpose in the long run. Also it means there's a big bottle of scotch that only humans can drink. When Zach apologizes for it not working (I guess the application was his idea) Stefan says he expected that, but it was his plan because it "lowered Damon's guard". Which turns out to be the opposite of true, because later Damon won't accept a drink from Stefan's hand. Zach has given Stefan more vervain, and Stefan has a definite plan. As another side note: I'm not sure if what they're using is essential oil from vervain extract. Extracts are easier to make at home, although this has clearly been filtered carefully after extraction.

Apparently, it doesn't take much vervain.
At the Mayor's, Tyler sneaks off and gets Vicki in the back way, so he can avoid his parents. Tyler's Mom totally sees it because they're, like, right there but Tyler seems to be doing his level best to keep Vicki from meeting his parents as his girlfriend. Vicki knows she's being snuck around, and she's irritated about it. I don't blame her, honestly.

Elena is ready for the party and, after thinking about it, leaves the pocket watch for Jeremy. Again, if he'd just have SAID something she'd have given it to him in the first place, but he's too busy acting like everyone is against him to consider it.

Damon and Caroline arrive at the party and Caroline goes to needle her Mom. Apparently, Caroline's Dad is gay. Damon gets emo when he sees Elena and Stefan being lovey dovey - again, proving Stefan's guess about Damon's humanity correct. Elena is being emo at her parents' collection of jewelry. There is all kinds of emo going on.

Although Elena is being forced to do things her mother promised to do, that'd bum me out too.
Elena discovers the original Salvatore brothers had the same names- another piece of the immortal puzzle. It clangs on her weird-shit-o-meter. Caroline drags Stefan off to dance so Damon can needle Stefan by way of Elena more. Damon apologizes for being a jerk to Elena, and then starts talking about Katherine and 'the original Salvatore brothers'. Damon tells Elena a litte bit about how he and Stefan died, that they were shot in cold blood. Elena claims she's not gonna get in the middle of their sibling stuff, essentially calling Damon out on trying to drag her into it in the first place.

Vicki asks Tyler to dance, and he says no. He doesn't want to take her inside, and she's pissed because he doesn't want anybody to see them together. They're sitting on a bench on the lawn doing nothing, and Tyler is being avoidy. Tyler's mom shows up and basically calls him a jerk in front of Vicki, and then calls Vicki trash when she leaves. Tyler looks legitimately bummed. This is another "you should have just said something" moment, because what I'm relatively certain he was really trying to avoid was his mom being rude to his girlfriend. He could have just said "Look, I like you, but my Mom can be a real bitch and I think she might be mean to you."

She's very snide.
Bonnie is sitting by herself and lights a candle with her brain powers. Which freaks her out, so she blows it out. She has successfully predicted a murder and talked non-stop about being a witch, so this isn't exactly shocking. However, it's the first tangible result she's gotten. Good on her!

Stefan offers Damon a drink, who of course refuses, because he suspects Stefan is gonna try to vervain him again.  Damon and Stefan have a tense moment, and Elena breaks it by asking Stefan to dance with her. Caroline can't help but comment on how cute they are, which annoys Damon of course. Damon hasn't bothered to compel Caroline not to be Elena's best friend.

Caroline: They're so cute!
Elena and Stefan are dancing. Elena asks about Katherine, and Stefan refuses to say anything. His awkwardness in dodging the question makes the 'manipulative jerk' thing Bonnie was talking about earlier seem so much more plausible. Also, since she's now heard Damon's side, it seems really weird that Stefan is dodging it. Stefan really could just come out and say that he and Damon were both with Katherine, and things were actually pretty unclear when she died. Or he could tell Elena that Damon is a viscious animal intent on, at the very least, killing one of her best friends. Oh, wait, he's using that intent to his advantage. I get where Stefan is coming from, but the lying dodgy part is where I really empathize with Elena.

Bonnie and Elena are sharing a dessert and they both feel guilty about the fight. Bonnie is afraid she planted doubt where there shouldn't be any, and Elena admits that she swore she wouldn't get involved in the brotherly spat and went and got involved anyway. Mrs. Lockwood shows up and asks about the watch, and Elena lies her skinny butt off about it.

Damon sneaks off to swipe a "very important crystal" he tells Caroline is his. He earlier informed Caroline that he'd covered his tracks so the party could go off, he then compelled Caroline into inviting him, so he could swipe a crystal. This probably adds into his long-term plans, although he of course isn't telling Caroline much about those.

Bonnie then lights a room full of candles, which gives her the wig. The candle she lit earlier had just gone out, she could convince herself it had simply stuttered or something. A roomful is much harder to handwave off, it's really starting to hit HER that she's a witch, even though we've known it since she mentioned the word witch in the first episode.

I do like the way this bit is handled.
Caroline and Elena meet in the bathroom, fixing their makeup. Elena discovers the bites and rightly deducts that it's Damon, which freaks Caroline out. She threatens Damon for being abusive and then goes straight to Stefan and apologizes. She tells him about the bruises and bitemarks. Stefan is unsurprised, which irritates Elena. He claims to be handling it, and she points out that Damon should be arrested. He tells her that there are things that he can't tell her, and then he asks for her trust. She says "Trust is earned. I can't just magically hand it over." Again, I see where Stefan is coming from, but we've definitely reached the 'not telling Elena anything means you're kind of being a jerk' point.

Also: Vicki shows up at the Gilberts and macks on Jeremy, improving his night considerably, I'm sure.

Being less of an ass than Tyler isn't exactly a challenge, though.
Damon drags Caroline off, who is freaking out about Elena finding out. Damon is clearly pissed, but he tells Caroline it's gonna be okay, comforts her. Then he tries to kill her, because she's not useful anymore. Stefan's 'he's a monster' point receives some validity. Damon doesn't succeed because she's been spiked with vervain, and then Stefan shows up to drag him off. Caroline comes to consciousness alone in the grass. She discovers the gem, her purse, and starts freaking out when Elena discovers her. Poor baby. Because she's been compelled by Damon, she doesn't remember everything that was going on, and even if she did she can't talk about it.

I just want to hug Caroline, okay? It's been a rough few days for her.
Then: Stefan locks Damon in the vervain cell in the Salvatore basement. He gives it a brief voice over. He says he did what he had to do, to protect Elena, but he still used poor Caroline to reach that goal. To be fair, the vervain probably saved her life, but she's very confused and remembers some things but can't talk about any of them.

There's a meeting of founding families, and they need the Gilbert pocket watch. They know about the vampires.

* Did not actually happen.

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