There were some awesome recaps this week, which isn’t all that surprising coming off an episode like Plan B. Relive the heartbreak and OMFGTVD moments before we doll ourselves up for the Masquerade tomorrow night. Please give all of these sites a visit by clicking their author/site headers.
Think there are some clever recaps we should check out? Hit us up in the comments.
Featured in this installment: Monsters of Television, Den of Geek, Heroine TV, From My Side of the Moon, The Two Cents, Hit Fix, Thomas Galvin, Zap2It, The TV Watchtower, My Friend Amy, Small Screen Scoop, AOL TV Squad, TV Overmind, L.A. Times, Television Without Pity, ThinkHero, Smart Pop Books, and our very own Crissy Calhoun.
When Julie Plec told the crowd at New York Comic Con two weeks ago that ‘Plan B’ would be a “game-changer,” she was making the ultimate understatement. Last night’s episode proved that they didn’t just change games, they changed planets — solar systems even. Katherine is operating in her own universe of evil.
Get ready to pay attention, folks – this episode is full of metaphorical doors opening and closing, juggling storylines, dueling dualities, new mythologies and unsettling revelations, two amusing if random Indiana Jones references, pretty boys in agony, pretty boys in tears, and the official inauguration of Steven R. McQueen into the Derek Zoolander Club for Serious-Face Actors. (Paul Wesley and Ian Somerhalder are already members.)
In his review of TVD for The A.V. Club at the beginning of the season, Todd VanDerWerff compared TVD to Smallville, stating both are the kind of program he could watch at the beginning and end of the season only, yet still manage to keep up. I have never watched Smallville, so I can’t speak to that issue, but for TVD, I have to disagree. Sure, the “previously on” features may provide a cliff’s notes guide to the main plot points, but experiencing them in this form would remove all their shock, their impact, and their resonance. I know what some of you may be thinking…resonance? Don’t worry–I know TVD ain’t all that deep, but it does excel at surprises—as this episode demonstrates. TVD may not be world’s deepest show, but it is seriously competing for world’s most entertaining.
From the opening cross-cuts between Stefan and Elena’s tender love scene and Katherine and Mason’s sizzling heat, it’s obvious we’re in for a treat, but that treat is so not warm chocolate pudding. If you’re looking for solace, look elsewhere, because The Vampire Diaries “Plan B” is not only the same as its plan A, it’s also the same as Damon’s bad, wrong, very bad and wrong impulse: plunge hot pokers into the chest; rip out the heart; throw it across the room. Yeah, my beautiful Evil Pixie Monster huffs and puffs and blows my beautiful Brick House down, and I would be furious, were it not so glorious.
Lockwood Estates – Porch of Pragmatism
Damon Salvatore: Hey Elena, could you tell your brother to stop following me around?
Jeremy Gilbert: Puppy eyes!
Elena Gilbert: Hey, Jeremy? Do you remember who it was that broke your neck that one night? Starts with a ‘D’… rhymes with “why are you trying to be buddies with the guy that almost murdered you?”
Finally accepting his place in the town’s supernatural shenanigans, and even fighting for it, Jeremy went to Damon to share what he knew about Tyler (Michael Trevino) and the moonstone. His information actually proved invaluable to Damon and Stefan in their quest to take down Mason. And when Elena didn’t like that Jeremy was getting so involved, his stood up to her and told her he was in it now because of her and she couldn’t keep him out of it. Things got a little too heavy for Jeremy while Damon was interrogating/torturing Mason with yet another killer plant. (What is it with this show and torture by plant?) “Kill or be killed,” Damon said, grabbing him by the neck. “Suck it up or leave.” I think it’s safe to say Jeremy’s here to stay. “I don’t know how, but she’s going to pay,” he said with resolve after Katherine threatened Elena and their family.
Speaking of Jeremy… He gets points with me for standing up to Elena (Elena, get over yourself! Jeremy has every right to be involved in the supernatural shenanigans going on in Mystic Falls—he IS a part of it, after all), but he loses points for handing over the wolfsbane to Damon mid-torture. Duh! Come on, Jer, you can’t figure out that it might actually make the torture worse for a werewolf?
I just don’t get Bonnie’s thought process, and I think to be fair to her character, who is a major one and important to the show’s mythology, her feelings, not just her reactions, should be given more attention. Bonnie should be more than a plot device or straw man. As is, she seems like an inconsistent character, to whom it is difficult to relate. Her murder wish on Damon never bothered me. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who wants to kill Damon has plenty of reason. Go for it, victims of Damon. I mean, you won’t succeed, because he’s part of the necessary fabric of the show, but I don’t mind watching you try. What bothered me was Bonnie’s illogical reasoning as to how Damon is responsible for everything bad in the entire world (and probably alternate universes too!), plus her attitude towards everyone else, Caroline in particular. Still, this episode did a lot to bring Bonnie towards levels of human emotion, so PROGRESS.
Now about Bonnie: As you know, I have not been the biggest fan of Mystic Falls’ resident witch this season But the Bonnie we saw in “Plan B”, for the most part, *may* have me easing a toe ever so slightly back onto the Bennett Bandwagon. I finally saw something in Bonnie that could be the beginnings of solving my love/hate dilemma. Bonnie noticeably struggled this ep with the fact that the lines between friendship, moral obligation and personal vendetta are not so black and white in this world, but , actually, very, very gray indeed. Her scenes with Caroline, though awkward for them both, revealed Bonnie is not completely cold-hearted when it comes to her once-beloved-best-friend-gone-vamp and – dare I say it – there may be hope for rebuilding that bond and rekindling a little of that ol’ Bonnie – the one I was a big fan of.
I love Caroline. At times her insecurity has annoyed me, but overall I find her character to be one of the more balanced and well drawn. I couldn’t help but be touched by the development in the relationship with her mother and with Bonnie. I actually cried a little when she compelled her mother…Caroline shows in some ways more than the other vamps, I believe, how being a vampire has human moments but also monstrous moments. The act of compelling her mother after being truly vulnerable with her was one of both utter selfishness but also kindness. Caroline also gets to be a full character with a range of emotions, acts of courage, and acts of selfishness. Team Caroline!
This is now two episodes in a row that Elena has, without hesitation, hurried into somewhere dark and scary to save Stefan’s vampire butt. At the beginning of the season I was concerned that Elena’s general awesomeness would seem anemic when compared to Katherine’s sharp tongue and complete lack of scruples. Now, watching Elena literally repel down into a scary well… I’m convinced that she won’t be overshadowed. Girls rule on this show.
Jessica Rae: Here’s something to analyze…if Mason loved and semi-trusted Katherine, why hide the Moonstone in a well full of vervain? Especially if he planned to give it to her.
Vee: And he doesn’t even know the half of it. Hmmm. Mason was cautious, but I don’t think he was cynical. I think he probably thought love would conquer all…in some pathetic, delusional way. Much like Damon. Which is why his death was so useless and tragic and worked on a few different levels. That scene was just surprisingly effective. I thought I’d enjoy Mason getting a bit of comeuppance, but instead… Sad, sad, sad.
Jessica Rae: I think Damon saw himself in Mason. It was a self-destructive act on many levels. He knew he’d have consequences, he must have. Eliminating Mason was easier than straight-up killing himself. I also think Damon was very jealous that Mason thought he had Katherine’s love. And almost…Damon might have thought he was sparring Mason from something down the line. “He wants us to kill him.”
Vee: Yeah. The phrase “mercy killing” popped into my head at one point, because there was probably an element of that from Damon’s POV.
With lots of tears and angstycakes, Elena and Stefan break up because “people are getting hurt.” I think this is stupid. Why break up? Katherine is still going to have a vendetta against both of them. They are stronger as a team, not when they are lovelorn and isolated. Am I wrong?
That breakup scene is one of the saddest I’ve ever seen (even sadder than some real-life breakups!): Stefan knew what Elena was there to say, and he knew there was no argument he could make to save their relationship. When their being together means that others are likely to pay for that happiness with their lives, Elena and Stefan have no moral choice but to be apart, no matter how deeply they love each other. They feel responsible for what happened to Jenna; their first reaction isn’t anger at Katherine, but with themselves. If they hadn’t persisted in seeing each other, Jenna wouldn’t be in the hospital. While Katherine is obviously ultimately to blame for Jenna stabbing herself, it would be hard for anyone not to feel the culpability Stefan and Elena do in this situation.
This really was an episode not only of relationship break-ups but also of bridges being built to repair friendships between Bonnie and all that are on team vampire. Whilst Bonnie reluctantly agrees to help Stefan and Damon at first, it was good to see some time spent between the ladies of the show that have been divided over vampire allegiance, and with the coming battle with Katherine having a witch on your side is definitely an advantage, especially if she is also your best friend. The scene at the vervain filled well showed that these women together with all their different resources are an excellent team and even though it was surprising that Bonnie did not use her witchcraft it was satisfying to see them together again.
I thought the softer side of Damon was a nice addition to his character. It seemed as though he genuinely felt bad for bringing grief to Elena and Stefan, which is something new to him. I think that the arrival of Katherine has actually brought Damon and Stefan closer as brothers, where before we continually saw them at odds with one another. It’s a nice turn of events. I like watching them work together instead of against one another.
Our heroes can’t be as scary as Katherine. They can’t match her, or outwit her. They can only hope to defend themselves, catch a lucky break, or kill her.
Katherine is actually having a pretty hard time killing anyone since all three of her attempts to kill someone close to Elena has failed so far. But maybe that is part of her infamous “Plan B.” She does not actually need to kill anyone, for the murderous attempts were sufficient enough to finally convince Stefan and Elena that they had to break up. Yet as any one can tell you, when you force someone to behave against their will under coercion or duress, it is only effective for so long. Eventually people will chafe under the undue influence and rise up to fight back against their tormentor. Katherine may have had over a century to strategically make Plan A through Plan Z; but in all that time, she never actually took into consideration how multi-faceted people are. They behave irrationally, without regard for themselves, and they will do anything to protect those that they love.
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