The Vampire Diaries: The Dinner Party (Review)
Previously… Despite Jonah’s warning, the werewolf posse stayed in Mystic Falls with a mind to reclaim the moonstone. Unfortunately for them, Elijah had other plans and, aside from Jules and Tyler, the wolves of Mystic Falls are no longer ambulatory, or alive for that matter. Stefan found out that Elena has always known Elijah plans to kill her, a sacrifice he sees no heroism in, just tragedy.
For a show whose first few episodes played out like a bad Twilight, I am continually surprised at the growth, this season especially, of the characters and events of The Vampire Diaries. Each of the last three episodes have been better than the previous one, building upon the solid foundation of characters and back stories season two has slowly peeled away. Take this week’s episode, for instance. While we’ve always known that Stefan (Paul Wesley) hasn’t been the squeaky clean vamp with the “hero haircut”, never did we know just how Angelus-like he was back in the day. As she stays in the house with a fuming Stefan outside, Elena (Nina Dobrev) comes across Jonathan Gilbert’s (Joe Knezevich) journal where he describes the horrible things Stefan did to him and his family. When confronted, Stefan admits to this and so much more. At one point, when Elena likens his past actions to Damon (Ian Sommerhalder), he confirms, with a sad shake of his head that he was much worse. Way before Damon decided that killing the emotional switch was the way to go, Stefan basked in the free-for-all of murder and death without having to feel shame or guilt. He’d gotten so bad that Damon wanted no part of it and left.
While we already knew Damon still harbored animosity towards Stefan for turning him, the dynamic showcased between the two this week was nothing short of mind blowing and logical. Despite their brotherly bond, I’ve always wondered just how Stefan tolerated the actions of the old Damon—killing their “uncle”, staking Lexi (Arielle Kebbel), etc. These questions were answered in a surprising way. Not only does Stefan feel guilt about turning Damon (his apology in “Rose” was the first time he admitted his culpability out loud) he also gets it. He understands Damon’s fears and also the fact that, just like he did when turning his brother, Damon needs Stefan.
Love has always been a powerful theme in television, and Lexi shares its importance with Stefan. When one feels with the strength of a vampire, love can be crippling but it can also be so much more. It is the key to the motivation of most of the characters on the show. Through love, though treacherous at times, can provide us with a strength and conviction we would possibly never discover within ourselves.
This sentiment has played out more than ever with Elena’s choice to sacrifice herself lest her friends and family die. I agreed with Stefan’s supposition that her actions are tragic and, similar to his tale, was a sign of someone giving up because no options looked to be available. Admittedly, I’ve never been a big fan of Elena but after the strength she showed tonight (I’m pretty sure you didn’t see that coming, Elijah) all I could do was applaud. No longer content with being the damsel in need of saving, she’s ready to get into the game and kick a bit of ass herself.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the secondary storyline for this week’s episode; picking up from his probing of Elijah last episode, Damon plans to kill the Original with the dagger given to him by John Gilbert (David Anders). Without giving too much away, the titular dinner party ends with a bang but not quite as big a bang as Elena does at the Gilbert cabin.
It seems like a broken record when I say this but, again, this week’s Vampire Diaries was the best yet. The writers’ focus and dedication on connecting strands of past shows and characters histories and motivations without leaving continuity gaps has provided the show with a thundering momentum en route to what will be a season finale that will no doubt leave fans begging for more.
- Once again Jonah (Randy J Goodwin) makes a grand entrance and, while he was going against an unseasoned witch in Bonnie (Katerina Graham), he’s no doubt one bad ass man-witch that you shouldn’t be messing with.
- It was good to see Lexi back. As much as I love Damon, it was a shame that he killed her; she would’ve made for quite the interesting recurring character
- Katherine, Katherine, Katherine…she is such a sly b***h. And I absolutely LOVE her. She will have our dynamic Salvatore duo in knots and, in turn, will have Elena pulling at her roots.
- Alaric Saltzman(Matthew Davis)…there was a burning rage in him the entire episode. Not only will John Gilbert (David Anders) have Damon at his heels for the treachery he attempted to pull on the vampire, messing with Jenna’s (Sara Canning) head did not sit well with Alaric. Watch your back, John…or don’t. Alaric just proved he’s worthy of prime time.
- As mentioned above, Elena’s continual development and finally discovering her inner strength has been a joy to watch. Up until the last few episodes, I was not a huge fan of hers. That changed with her declaration to the Salvatores. Looking forward to more of her strength as it relates to Katherine.
– Darryl (follow @djasper07 on Twitter)
Make sure to connect with us on Facebook & Twitter.