The Vampire Diaries Episodes 4-12 & 4-13 Review – “A View To Kill” & “Into The Wild”

Apologies, friends, for the lateness of these reviews.  This is my busy time at work, which means I don’t always get to watch the episodes live.  And this past week we were hit with the blizzard, which slowed things down even further.  But here are the reviews for the past TWO episodes of The Vampire Diaries.

 

Episode 4-12 – “A View to Kill”

 

Oh, look, another party in Mystic Falls!  The town’s balloon budget must be through the roof!  Was that a pun?  Did I do that on purpose?

 

First and foremost, I loved the fact that Kol dropped the line about the Originals once living in New Orleans.  Somebody is setting up for the spinoff….

 

Speaking of the spinoff, has there been any indication on who the show will center around, other than Klaus?  I’m assuming it’ll be during the modern day, and not a flashback.  Kol is now dead, as is Finn.  That leaves Klaus, Rebekah, and oft-absentee Elijah.  This season has certainly spent enough time trying to make the audience like Rebekah (and as far as I’m concerned, it’s been a success), so she’s certainly somebody that could act as a female lead.  Have they revealed if that’s the plan yet?

 

While on the subject of Klaus, I really enjoyed his interactions with Damon this episode.  Klaus has been an interesting case.  While they haven’t been QUITE as aggressive in making him likeable and forgivable as they have been with Rebekah, the writers have definitely attempted to rehabilitate his character.  Yet, every now and again, they revert right back to villainous Klaus (like having him kill Tyler’s mom, and having him reveal later on this episode that he was planning on killing everybody once they got the cure).  So while I’m not exactly sure which direction they plan on taking Klaus (certainly, they plan on making him “good” enough that they can center a show around him), but his discussion with Damon definitely allowed the audience to realize that he’s somebody who isn’t purely evil.  While he’s certainly no Boy Scout, there are circumstances in which he wants to be forgiven for his past sins.

 

Things are slowly getting more civil between Elena and Stefan.  They’re now interacting about matters that aren’t just life or death.  She’s even including him on their latest plots and ploys.  That’s a pretty big step!  And actually, this was an overall strong episode for Stefan.  I remember being disappointed in him when he allowed Klaus to dagger Rebekah after it seemed like he was bonding with her.  I was glad he resisted that opportunity this time around.  Their scenes, while not entirely pure, seemed sweet and became increasingly genuine.  Plus, Elena’s reaction to the reveal at the end of the episode was fun.  While I’ve been pretty critical of her the past several episodes, she really has come across as self absorbed in regards to Rebekah.  She’s just so matter-of-fact about how Rebekah has to be eliminated.  As if it’s not even something that should be discussed.  As she works with Klaus.  Ya’ know, the guy who murdered her own aunt.

 

I do credit this show for one thing:  The writers never skirt away from having the characters ask the questions that the audience is wondering.  As such, I was glad that Bonnie’s dad brought up the fact that Bonnie isn’t exactly doing a stellar job protecting the town.  I mean, under her watch, the following people have died (with some being resurrected as vampires):  Elena, Jenna, Caroline, Abby, Alaric, John Gilbert, Richard, Carol, Mason, AND Tyler Lockwood, 12 members of the Founders Council, Bill Forbes, Logan Fell, Luka and Jonas Martin, Jules, and her own grandmother.  Pretty much the ONLY two people that have remained safe under her watch are Matt and Jeremy, and both of them pretty much lost everybody in their respective families.

 

I say give the new Mayor a shot.

 

Episode 4-13 – “Into the Wild”

 

Over the past couple of seasons I’ve consistently complimented two types of episodes:  The ones that have paired together unlikely characters, and the ones in which a number of the central characters are stuck together in a precarious situation.  “Into the Wild” combined those two elements, which (unsurprisingly) resulted in a great and unique episode.  Even the drastic change in scenery made it seem so fresh and new.

 

With all of the central characters together, there was certainly a lot of drama and in fighting.  Most notably between Elena and Rebekah.  I had to wonder, is it fair to say that Rebekah killed Elena?  I don’t think so.  Really, all she did was stand in front of a car that she was in.  I know I’ve come off as “anti-Elena” the past several weeks, but I really do side with Rebekah (and Stefan, by extension) in regards to this tiff with Elena.  There have been NUMEROUS occasions in which Elena and the crew have betrayed Rebekah not because she did anything wrong, but because of the OFF CHANCE that she might do something wrong.  And before she found out that HER friends would be impacted, she facilitated the attempted demise of Rebekah and her entire family.  And she DID succeed in killing two of her brothers.  Considering Elena, Stefan, Damon, Jeremy, and everyone else in that group pride themselves on doing anything to protect their family – no matter how flawed their relationships may be – you’d think there’d be a certain level of self awareness.  Oh wait, I forgot, vampire Elena has no awareness.  Otherwise she would recognize what numerous others have told her – that Damon has done just as much bad as Rebekah.

 

Speaking of which, could we ALREADY be seeing the reunion between Elena and Stefan?  Slowly but surely, Elena seems to be realizing that Damon doesn’t have the same vision of the future as she does.  Meanwhile, her hopes and dreams seem to mirror Stefan’s.  Her little glance towards her just before she made amends with Rebekah seemed to hint at a reconciliation, but I personally think it’s too soon.  Yes, I’ve been rooting for Elena and Stefan to end up together, and I’ve also had a tough time buying Elena’s sudden devotion to Damon.  But they’ve decided to take that road, and to revert back to the status quo within a few episodes would be a disservice to the developments – no matter how positive or negative – each of the central characters have made thus far.  What I may expect to happen is for Elena to do with Damon what she did with Stefan at the beginning of the season.  She’ll begin to pull away from Damon and be drawn towards Stefan.  However, while Damon was on cloud nine when this happened, I see Stefan pushing Elena away.  Having said that, I wouldn’t be surprised if we do see them back together at the conclusion of this season’s finale.  That would be a more appropriate time, anyway.

 

Initially, I wasn’t sure what to make of Shane when he was first introduced.  I have to say, though, that I’ve quite enjoyed his somewhat villainous turn.  Remember in “A View to Kill,” when Damon told Klaus that if he wants to be a bad guy, he has to do it with a purpose?  Shane’s actions have occurred in such a way that both the characters and the audience has a reason to dislike him.  Yes, he has a purpose, but unlike Klaus or even Damon, he’s not willing to get his hands dirty.  In wrestling terms, you’ve got your “cool heel” (Damon), your “bad ass heel” (Klaus), and then your traditional “cowardly heel” (Shane).  He’s a guy the characters and audience can’t respect.  He’s unique and welcome change in that regard.

 

I’m a little surprised they’ve already approached the (seeming) conclusion of the cure story arc.  This is the 13th episode of the season, which means we still have nine episodes left in the season (assuming it’s a 22 episode season, like every other season has been).  This story – and certainly, the great structure of this episode – seems like a perfect way to end the season.  I’m curious as to where they can go from here, as a little less than half of the season still remains.

 

But I am incredibly intrigued by how this episode ended.  The group is now divided into separate sections – Elena, Stefan, and Rebekah, Shane, Bonnie, and Jeremy, and Damon and a mysterious vampire hunter in training.  And then at the home base, you have Caroline, Tyler, and Klaus, who is seeking redemption.  Again, they could’ve saved this for the finale!  And I mean that in a good way.

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