THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: Unpleasantville - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: Unpleasantville

January 29, 2010 by  

You can’t live in a town called “Mystic Falls” and not expect it to be crawling with vampires, witches and bears oh my! Listen Elena, if you want to date a vampire, you’re going to need more than just pencils and an old mop to defend yourself.  Let me give you the email address of my friend Buffy.  Girl can hook you up with stakes, holy water, the works. I don’t think she ever used vervain. She was the type of girl who dazzled the vamps, if you know what I mean.  But I guess you do.

Yes my friends, another day brings another vamp (or three) to the not so quiet Virgina town. The hooded fangster that Elena hit with her car last week was back again, and surprise, surprise, he knew Katherine. That old really did vamptress get around! Now he was out to Elena.  As my shrink would say, he was projecting his unresolved feelings toward Katherine onto poor Elena. I’d say it sucks to look like Katherine, but come on. She’s (they are) stunning.  Beauty comes with a price. Don’t let anyone else tell you differently.

Noah wasn’t the only new vamp in town. Cute little annoying Anna, who has been on Jeremy like Piven on sushi, showed her true colors tonight. Her true colors of course being pale white with blood red eyes. Rounding out the threesome of cold ones is Ben (Sean Faris), the bartender at The Grill who just so happens to have caught the eye of Ms. Bonnie. Here’s to hoping Elena gave her a lesbian vervain necklace too.

(I’m not one to advocate drugs use of any kind, but why go through the effort to make necklaces and bracelets when Amazon sells Vervain in pill form? Much easier, no?)

Often TV episodes have a underlining common theme connecting the various plots and storylines.  Tonight that theme was stalking.  Now here’s a subject with which I can talk with some authority. As such I impart some of my wisdom on to this week’s novices.

  • Anna – I get that you’re a desperate vamp, but if you’re trying to keep your cover then you might want to play it a bit cooler with Jeremy. You asked him out twice, and got denied – TWICE. But that wasn’t enough. You then went and showed up somewhere you weren’t invited, which left him no other option then to practically call you a stalker to your face. He stopped short of using the “S” word but you went ahead and filled in the blank for him. [Head slap] The first rule of stalking is to never admit your stalking. It really cheapens the art form. I hope Johnathan Gilbert’s diary has got the goods you need, because you just sent the stalking movement back by years.
  • Noah – Stop trying to kiss ass with the boss by using Kevin Williamson’s famous “Scream” phone call game. You’re a vampire who can run super fast. If you wanted to get to Elena you could have snapped her neck in school and have been done with it. Oh and a good stalker, even those who pathetically resort to unwanted phone calls, know better than to let their victim object of affection see them while on the phone making said harassing call. You can’t have it both ways.
  • Bonnie – I’m going to give you credit for your “eye-stalking”. That’s a new word to add to the stalker lexicon. And you didn’t completely annoy me this episode. Good for you.

Stefan was kind enough to pass along a stalking device of his own on to Elena. The Gilbert pocket watch, which doubles as a compass to sniff out pesky vamps was technically Elena’s to begin with as it was passed down from her ancestors…oh right, it wasn’t hers. She was adopted. (Too soon for adoption jokes?) I can’t say that the vamp compass proved to be all that useful. All it did was spin around.  Isn’t there some kind of iPhone app to sniff out the vamps? Hell, I’d pay the $0.99 for it.

Tonight we learned that Elena’s biological mother’s name was Isabel. She was a young girl in labor when she showed up at Dr. Gilbert’s office.  She took off after Elena was born, so her “adoptive” parents forged a birth certificate and decided to keep her. I figured introducing the adoption angle opened the door for Elena’s mother to return. But after the big reveal that Isabel was also the name of Alaric’s wife, the one killed by Damon, all bets are off. Then again, there might be more than one woman in Virgina named Isabel. But when I heard Alaric say her name, I shared the same slightly shock and bewildered look as Aunt Jenna.

Speaking of Alaric, it wasn’t until he sported that letterman jacket tonight that I completely remembered where I knew him from. Letterman jacket – college- Harvard – Elle Woods! He was Warner in ‘Legally Blonde’ (Oh and in case you weren’t aware, I can in fact hear each and every one of you saying ‘Um, no duh, Kath.‘ As I like to say…Shut it, ‘shida!) BTW, he can chaperone my dance anytime.

The Robert E. Lee High Decades Dance looked like my worst nightmare, and I’m not talking about the vamps killing vamps action.  A school dance, with no booze, that forces you to dress in a costume? I’m nauseated just thinking about it.

Despite my loathing of the premise, even I might have attended the dance if I was flanked my the Salvatore brothers (um, I said flanked…keep it clean). Elena may have been the bait for Noah, but Stefan was doing just fine pretending to be the fisherman. And talk about some dance skills! Lindy hop your way over here my friend. How fun was it to see Stefan loosen up a bit? He looked like he was actually having fun with his girlfriend. Keep shining. Keep smiling, Stefan. I like it.

Between Elena & Stefan and Damon & his new blonde friend hilariously cutting a rug on the dance floor, I wasn’t sure if they were trying to catch a vamp or auditioning to be the new regular couple on Dance TV (if you get the reference 10 GMMR points to you!) But there was a job to do, and Noah did his part by getting Elena all by her lonesome and then tossing her around for a few. (As if she could outrun him. As if she could fight him off. He’s designed to kill, and he wanted to kill her. He’s never wanted a human’s blood so badly before. —Sorry, I just can’t help myself sometimes.) Luckily for Elena there a couple of No. 2’s nearby with which to stake him. Unfortunately for her, it wasn’t enough to kill him, and for the second time that night Elena came thisclose to being Vamp Veal. Good thing that boyfriend of hers is superfast (and has super awesome hair).

Stefan and Damon stake the vamp, but just enough to get answers from him.  Noah, who looked like a poor man’s Freddie Prinze Jr., was after Elena because she looked Katherine (yup, heard that one before). But he was also interested in helping to open Katherine’s tomb. But like Damon, he didn’t have the know how to get it done. But he did know where the answers were hidden – in Emily grimoire*  (witch spell book) which can be found with Jonathan Gilbert’s diary; currently in the possession of that hunky History teacher. Alaric seemed to know just how special that diary was when he asked Jeremy to borrow it. What we don’t yet know is whether or not there in info in there that he needs, or if maybe he’s using it to lure in all the vamps looking for it (that # is now at 3…4 if you count Stefan who wants it for a very different purpose).

But it wasn’t all bad guys and girls with fangs tonight. Matt and Caroline, who I missed desperately in last week’s episode, were back tonight. Their flirtation from the Fall hasn’t really gone anywhere much to the chagrin of Caroline.  She’s getting mixed signals from Matt. One minute he’s sweet with her and the next he’s looking for reasons to pick a fight.  It’s so weird. It’s almost as if he’s acting like a teenage boy. (Gasp!) When she calls him on it he finally admits that he still has feelings for Elena but he’s also afraid that if they screw “this” up he’s going to lose her friendship forever and he couldn’t bare that.  A perturbed Caroline stomped off, but was later found by Matt who kissed her like every girl deserves to be kissed. (Seriously, the men of TVD really know how to kiss. Is there a class or something, because damn….)

Despite its dark nature, THE VAMPIRE DIARIES is one of the most fun shows on TV (this is where I was going to insert the video of Damon dancing to prove my point, but I can’t see to find it online).  On more than a few occasions I found myself laughing out loud (usually it involved Damon – he’s got to be the best character to write for), and during another scene I actually clapped with excitement.  You gotta love a show that demands that level of excitement.

I know we covered a lot, but here are a few more memorable moments and things for you to ponder while I take my pocket watch around my apartment building to see if any of my neighbors are hot vampires.

  • I know that Damon and Stefan are trying to keep a lid on this whole ‘vamp’ thing, but I think someone needs to bring Jeremy into the circle of trust.  If not that boy is going to keep inviting every stray vamp into the house.
  • Damon: I think we need a fresh start.
    Bonnie: You tried to kill me.
    Damon: But I didn’t. And if I wanted to I would have. Does that not count for anything?
  • My one slight concern with TVD is the same one I have with CHUCK. There has to come a point in time where not every new face in town is a bad guy, or somehow associated with a bad guy. And by “guy” I of course mean a creature from your worst nightmare.
  • Has anyone seen Tyler? Tyyyyylllllerrrr? Where are you?
  • “Don’t rain on my hot guy parade.” – What do you want to bet that this episode was written soon after the GLEE mid-season finale. Either way, a line of dialogue that brings together Glee & TVD is fine by me.
  • The writers need to do something with Jeremy. Steven R. McQueen was so brooding and tough at the beginning of the series, and now he’s just this goody two shoes who does his homework, gets A’s on his extra credit papers, and happily mans the punch station at the school dance.  I know Damon used his “charm” to steer him straight, but now he’s becoming a bit pointless and weak. Let’s bring back just a hint of his bad boy ways.
  • Damon: Elena, would you like to dance?
    Elena: I would love to.
    [To Stefan] Elena: May I have this dance
    [Cut to a scorned Damon] – I’ll dance with you, Dam.
  • Ending the episode with Ben and Anna walking away with the upbeat “Mr. Sandman” playing them out…perfection!

So much to love this week. Dare I say this was one my favorite episodes to date? It might just be. Your thoughts on last night’s “Unpleasantville”? Loved it? Hated it? Favorite moments? (Oh and if you have that video of Damon dancing, please share. I’ll be your best friend.)



8 Responses to “THE VAMPIRE DIARIES: Unpleasantville”

  1. Kimber on January 29th, 2010 9:23 am

    Great ep! I had a theory about the Isabel being Elena’s mom thing … first, if we’re going on the assumption that Alaric’s wife Isabel is the same Isabel that birthed Elena … what if she didn’t die? We saw Alaric walking in on Damon with Isabel, but was it ever shown that she *died*? What if he sired her, and she somehow was pregnant and gave birth to Elena?

    It’s all a jumble right now, and last night’s ep definitely confused me even further on The Birth Mom Conundrum. Is Alaric’s Isabel the same one who gave birth to Elena? If so, when did this happen, and who is the father? And did she die the night Damon attacked her? Or did he bring her over, and perhaps Alaric had to stake her?

  2. Patty on January 29th, 2010 11:05 am

    Thanks again for getting me addicted to this show!

    I am totally confused about Isabel and how she can be Elena’s birth mother. Alaric isn’t that old so he can’t possible be her father. Is that is indeed the Isabel that gave birth to Elena, you know there is some fishyness in there. All these vamps can’t know each other and Damon munching on her and Alaric catching them? There is no such thin as coincidence.

    Another thing, how long has Shawn Faris been a vampire? Was he one when he was in high school? He can’t have knows Katherine, right?

    Also, there seems to be way too much vervane around. I wan’t some people to be compelled!

    This was a totally fun episode.

  3. strunkette on January 29th, 2010 11:23 am

    I also loved this episode.

    The time frame totally works for Alaric’s Isabel and Elena’s mom to be one and the same. If Isabel was 16 when she had Elena, she’d be 32 now(Is Elena 16?) He could be 32 easily. Though we don’t know when his wife died. I’m sure he’s been researching and trying to find answers for awhile. If the Isabels are the same it means she is an descendant of Katherine. That might be why Damon went after her and why she might be alive now. I could see Damon wanting a Katherine heir as a vampire.

    I love how this show has so many twists and turns. Though I agree with you, Kath, that not everyone needs to be a vamp/bad guy.

  4. Lise on January 29th, 2010 11:33 am

    Love the “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” reference. I love how this show is becoming less and less a guilty pleasure and more of just a pleasure without the qualifiers. So… would that mean Alaric is her dad?

  5. Big Fan on January 30th, 2010 10:20 am

    Just a couple of things. One, I respect the Buffy love you have and it’s common line from fandom, “more like Buffy.” But my answer is to just watch Buffy. There isn’t going to be a Scooby Gang or cemetery partrols because it would just be a rip-off and Lord knows this TV series doesn’t need to bat down that accusation again (recall all TV’s Twilight references it gets).

    Alaric Saltzman’s wife’s name is spelled Isobel. Isobel was a character in the L.J. Smith books, but just the names are the same (in the books, Isobel was a Japanese-American classmate of Elena’s that gets pocessed by a demon). Another thing is that in the book series, the high school is Robert E. Lee High School, home of the Wildcats. In the TV series, it’s Mystical Falls High School, home of the Timberwolves.

    The soundstrack. I used to be a fan of songs on this show, but first it what emo wannabe Celine Dion song during the Stefan and Elena PG-rated sex scene. And now it’s an emo covers of 1950’s hits… I mean different situations called for non-emo songs.

    Anna the vampire question. Why didn’t she use her magic pupils on Jeremy? I mean she knew Katherine so she’s been a vampire since 1864. Plus Jeremy has read his ancestor’s journal and therefore wouldn’t he know where the grimoire is? Again, magic pupils.

    Just before Noah is killed, when Stefan and Damon are doing their best Jack Bauer impressions, I had to note that these actors are way to pretty to come as rough, let alone murderously tough. Keep waiting to talk ad cruchs or hair product, not tombs. Although to Freddie Prinze, Jr. stuff, google that actor without his shirt.

    Bonnie. Two things. One was when Ben the Bartender asked her where she wanted to go for a date and I almost laught because it’s pretty established that there is only one restaurant in this town. Another thing, Bonnie looks better with bangs, right?

    The thing about the adoption storyline, besides being too soap operary and having it’s logic holes (Birth records at city hall? She was Pierce, you were a Gilbert? Not every single ancestor of a person has the same surname? I could go on), the thing that bothers me about the adoption storyline is that it doesn’t explain why the big mystery of why Katherine and Elena are IDENTICAL, not just look a look. If another actress who like Nina Dobrev had been casted as Katherine or Nina Dobrev look suffiently when she plays Katherine, they might get away with family resemblances. But they’re identical just by virtue of Nina Dobrev playing both roles. Plus Katherine has a clairvoyant handmaiden, who can’t help but feel she knew she was going to get stuck in the burning church and she would be back until that comet returned in 2009, and it’s too much of coincidence that not only is there somebody there that’s her physically indentical double, but she is also the same age. I mean Elena could easily look like her ancestor, but be 65 when Katherine was suppose to return. But she’s 17. Not to mention the coincidence of her dating the same guys that Katherine did.

    To your CHUCK point, yeah, they’ve done with for the last two episodes now where a new character is introduced (Bree, Noah), is the driver of the plot and then gets killed off. I mean “Uncle” Zach or Mr. Tanner or Logan “Scum” Fell or Vicki stuck it out for a few episodes so I think help give their deaths bigger shock value.

  6. Big Fan2 on January 30th, 2010 10:29 am

    QUOTE: “Has anyone seen Trevor?”

    Do you mean Tyler Lockwood? Guess that’s a sign he really has been gone too long.

    Wow, just read over my previous post and wish I had proof read it. Yikes. Sorry about that.

  7. Give Me My Remote on January 31st, 2010 12:19 am

    YOU wish you had proofread? I forgot his name was Tyler.

    There’s no excuse, BUT this could have been a whole lost worse. I was writing this recap around 1am on Friday morning. I decided not to post it that night because I wanted to give it a once over in the morning. On Friday morning I took another glance and realized that I had fallen asleep while typing the night before. There were three or four times I called Jeremy “Sawyer”. And there was something in there about the island. Clearly my sleeping brain was on LOST.

    I’d kill to have an Editor read my stuff before I post it. Dream…oh…dream.

    As for the “Buffy” and “Twilight” stuff – just sarcasm. It’s a fun show…have a little fun with it 🙂

  8. Give Me My Remote on January 31st, 2010 12:31 am

    “I love how this show is becoming less and less a guilty pleasure and more of just a pleasure without the qualifiers”

    @Lisa – I used very similar words to express the same sentiment to a friend last night. Just enjoyable TV.